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sugarmtn
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Upgrade from vintage Marantz 1060B integrated amp?

My system is very entry level: vintage integrated Marantz 1060B / wharfedale diamond 10.1/ musical fidelity vdac MKII / denon dp-300f with ortofon 2M red cartridge.

It sounds real good but wondering how much improvement a more modern integrated amp would make. The marantz has been cleaned and gone over by local shop. In particular I'm looking at the Rega Brio-R, though that is the top end of my range. Listen mostly to streaming MOG and some vinyl.  Not a large room. Any thoughts/advice on whether amp upgrade will make much improvement? Thanks

JoeE SP9
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Upgrades

With upgrades you have to decide for yourself where you think your system is deficient. I don't see any real complaints about your current Marantz. Is it that you just want something new? There's nothing wrong with that.

That Marantz while a nice piece is decidedly underpowered for your speakers. I would look for something with around 80WPC or more.

The Rega Brio while nice is IMO a tad underpowered for Wharfdale Diamonds. The Cambridge Audio Azur 651A may be exactly what you're looking for. The 851A offers substantially more power albeit for more money. It may be an even better choice based on power alone.

sugarmtn
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I appreciate the feedback. I

I appreciate the feedback. I didn’t realize the wharfedale diamonds required a little extra power, though realize they aren’t the most sensitive. I would think 40 or 50 watts from a good amp would suffice in a relatively small room. Maybe those extra watts you suggest will be the difference maker.  I’ve bounced around a couple of vintage amps because I got good deals off craigslist and read how well they can compare to modern amps. Friends are always impressed with how good it sounds, however I like to tinker around and wonder if something new on the lower end of the price spectrum could be noticeably better and more engaging. Would like to hear other folks’  thoughts or experiences with this.

commsysman
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Amplifier

IMO you don't need a whole lot of power for the Diamond 10.1 speakers, but the old Marantz is not a great-sounding amplifier, and you can do better.

The NAD C326BEE has considerably more power, and should sound a lot better. It is $550.

That is my recommendation.

jgossman
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NAD's don't suck

But Arcam.  I've heard them right next to one another.  Arcam's may be more expensive by a notch, but they are better.  Better (albeit less) bass.  Better midrange.  More detail, etc.  Just listen, you'll know what I mean, but not until you hear one.

Or also try a Musical Fidelity integrated.  They are quite good.

commsysman
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Amplifier

I am selling one of my homes and liquidating 2 nice stereo systems, so i have been selling a lot of very nice gear.

I still have a 2-year-old Musical Fidelity M3i amplifier, which cost me $1500. It is just like new and I wil sell it for $900 plus shipping cost.

That is great deal for someone.

sugarmtn
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Update to older thread - New Question

I appreciate the feedback. I ended up getting an older NAD 7155 receiver from a friend, and that was a step up and sounded better with the Diamond 10.1 speakers. I then got my hands on a NAD PE 2400 amp, so using the 7155 as a preamp. It sounds even better.

My next question is how much I would need to spend on speakers for a noticeable upgrade in sound, and suggestions. Small room and I sit within 8 feet of the speakers. The KEF LS50 seem to have great reviews, but I'm a bit puzzled on the low frequency range, as I don't want a subwoofer, and they are a little above my target range. Any thoughts? thanks

bierfeldt
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Compared to the Diamonds

You will see a significant step forward below the $1500 price point of the Kef LS50s and you are right, the low end bass reproduction of the LS50s is underwhelming. Here is a list of speakers worth demoing in the $1500 and under price range that will deliver bass performance compared to your Diamond 10.1s

The Polk Audio LSi M703 for $750 per pair. Polk has a distinct sound to me that not everyone likes. If you like Wharfedale's, I am not sure you will love the Polks

Monitor Audio Silver 1s and 2s for $875 and $1050 respectively. Both are outstanding speakers, very neutral but I find they lack a touch of detail compared to a few other speakers, particularly the next two.

Peachtree D5s at $999. I was impressed with these small but really clear and tight sounding speakers. Lots of detail but not to the point that they are annoying and despite the small size, have some of the best bass response in the group. I think they are a very strong value and might be the best speaker in this ~$1000 price range.

PSB Imagine B at $1099. Also impressive. This is probably my second favorite speaker in this price range. PSB is neutral, detailed and easy to listen too. It lacks a touch of bass response compared to the Peachtrees.

Dynaudio Excite X-16 in Gloss White for $1295 available on Amazon. You may find dealers that have them in stock as these and the X-12s were discontinued earlier in the year and replaced by the X-14s. This is a killer value, but you have no choice in color. These are a step up from all the speakers above.

Wharfedale Jade 3 at $1499. The Jade 1s don't have the Bass response you will want but if you like Wharfedale, the Jade 3s are amazing. Warm yet detailed. This is an extraordinary speaker.

Dynaudio x-14 at $1499. This is a great, neutral, ultra detailed speaker. The Excite line from Dynaudio is elite and anyone looking in this price range should hear it. Paired with NAD equipment, I think this would a strong value. If you can deal with Gloss White, I would take the x-16 over it.

Revel Performa 3 M105 at $1499. I own these and love the sound. Detailed with a touch of warmth, I find these to be the most appealing speaker in the sub $2000 price range. What you may not like though is that this lacks the deeper bass response of some of the speakers mentioned above. Set up in an optimal way on stands, 2 ft from the wall, I thought the bass response was excellent but you need perfect placement.

Get out and listen to some of these and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the step forward they will offer compared to your Diamond 10.1s.

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