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U6astik
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System: Harman Kardon HK 990 (?) + PSB Synchrony One + Oppo-95 + Music Hall MMF 9.1

Hello, I am a newbie at Stereophile forum and would appreciate any advice on my thoughts about the system I am going to build.

I have chosen the PSB Synch. One as main floorstanding speakers due to their bass extension, which I regard as very important for me in classical music, and relatively low price.

The CD/SACD player will be budget Oppo-95. I think it's a good start for a person who never had a proper source (just the laptop haedphones' jacks).

The main question is about the amplification. I would like it to be an integrated amp - the low-priced solution for moderate-fidelity audio :).
The amp should have digital inputs, analog ones, to be powerful enough to drive PSB One-s up to 110dB SPL (300W @ 4Ohms, as I've calculated [317W, to be exact]). And, as I've read from John Atkinson's review of PSB One-s, the amp should be warm-sounding.

Could you please tell me if the HK990 is the best integrated amp to fit into my tight requirements at 2-3k$?

I would also appreciate any thought on whether to buy a dedicated good phono stage (which is expensive) for Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable to connect it to the HK990, or the phono inputs in the latter are good enough for a young audiophile?

I would also be happy to see any comments on the room dimensions, PSB speakers' placement and room treatment to get the best sound of emotional and powerful classical music at home.

Thank you.

jackfish
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Why do you need digital inputs?

The Anthem 225 integrated has enough power and a phono stage that would do until you get something different. However, I'd look into the new Emotiva XSP-1 preamp with a pair of XPA-1s. For $2,900 you would get a fully differential system, a really good phono section, and ungodly power to drive the PSB Synchrony Ones. If you need a digital input, get a DAC.

U6astik
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Digital inputs offer

Digital inputs offer flexibility. And a four-in-one box is a good and simple thing for a newbie.

I wouldn't like to buy separately all the equipment needed - pre, power, phono, DAC (I am not even talking about combining products of different brands), although I understand, that it would me much more comfortable to place pre- and sources near the armchair and the power amps next to speakers not to run back and forth when you need to adjust volume or change a CD.

Judging from the pictures, Anthem 225 does not have separate MC-MM inputs, no digital inputs, it doesn't permit bi-wiring. So, I would definitely need a DAC to listen to music from Colorfly C4 for example.

Emotiva XSP-1 looks like a nice piece of equipment from behind, but also no bi-wiring option. Same for digital inputs :(  BTW, I didn't find the XSP-1 on Emotiva site.

Moreover, I don't seem to like the style of the two models mentioned above. It's not the main clue, but still...

Have you listened to HK990? How would you characterize its sound? What are its cons?

Kal Rubinson
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Review here:
Kal Rubinson
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Review here:
U6astik
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To Kal Rubinson

I have read the review on HK990 on Stereophile, the review is really great.

But, in review it was driving the 7T and I am not sure how will it sound with the PSB-s sad

That's why I am asking for people's opinion on HK990 - mainly, does it have enough "warmness" to eliminate the PSBs' peaks at mid- and high-treble.

Kal Rubinson
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It is not an EQ nor should

It is not an EQ nor should you choose an amp to be one.  It will certainly drive the PSBs as handily as it drove the 7T (or the B&Ws).  If you are set on the PSBs (which are excellent), then it is because you like the way they sound, test measurements notwithstanding.  What will have a great impact on the sound of the PSBs are your room's acoustics and your setup choices, not the amp.  

(OTOH, the 990 has an eq that you can choose to implement.)

U6astik
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To Kal Rubinson

Thank you very much for your reply.

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