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bbhardoin's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: Jul 4 2011 - 11:53am
Advice on a $400 integrated amplifier?

So this is my first venture into the audio market, and I would really appreciate some advice/ideas on buying an integrated amp. 


I managed to get my hands on my Dad's Klipsch Cornwalls from somewhere around 1970, but right now they're being downright insulted by the awful Sony stereo reciever he scraped up from some bargain bin he found in the 80s. 


I only need a few inputs, phono would be nice but not a requirement. Odds are I won't need any more than a couple channels as I'm a poor college student and pulling together the $400 max for an amplifier is already tough. Just from looking around this forum and reviews and stuff, I've come up with a few amps that may cut it, but as I'm kinda new to all this I would really appreciate any input:


Pioneer A-35R

Cambridge Audio Azur 340A


Napa Acoustic NA-208A

Emotiva UPA-2


Thanks in advance!

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
The Emotiva UPA-2 is not an integrated

amplifier.  You would need a preamp with it. If you can listen to the others that would be preferred.  If not the NAD and Cambridge Audio are servicable at that price level.  Stay with two channel, those Cornwalls will be the basis for a nice system.  A Jolida JD-1301A with its 12AX7 tube preamp section and MOSFET power amp section might be a nice amp for those efficient speakers.

RGibran's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Cornwalls sing with Tubes

Try to work some in somewhere, pre, amp or integrated.



bbhardoin's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: Jul 4 2011 - 11:53am

I'm just glad to have an idea of where to start. Its gonna be a bit of driving to get to a good audio store, and I appreciate the input. Probably saved me a good amount of random browsing.

Soothsayerman's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 4 2011 - 5:41pm
the NAD C316BEE is just $349

the NAD C316BEE is just $349 at audio advisor.

Paul Welch
Paul Welch's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2011 - 7:43pm
  The all tube integrated


The all tube integrated amp Jolida JD102B would be awesome sounding with those speakers.

Way more powerful than it's specs would indicate, it will run circles around the NAD 40 w RMS integrated

both in sound quality and in volume.  Please don't be afraid to give tubes a try, they are a more suited natural

amplification device vs. transistors.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 1 day 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

The NAD integrated is very good in that price range, as is the comparable Cambridge

integrated. As a newbie,I strongly recommend that you stay away from anything with

power tubes; low reliablity and variable tube performance are predictable headaches

you don't want.

The phono stages that come with integrated amps uniformly stink! Spend $150 on the Musical Fidelity phono stage and it will outperform any of them (it is almost as good as my Audio research PH-5, which I spent $2000 for...really!).


P.S. - come to think of about the 80Wpc NAD 356BEE integrated?

Mine is only about 8 months old, and cost $800, and I will sell it for $575. It is recommended as the amp for a primo $2500 system in this month's The Absolute Sound... Upgrade time for me.

jgossman's picture
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 18 2011 - 6:21am
Might think a little differently

I have a Lazarus Pre that I bought years ago for $120 and a Hafler amp that even after rebuild cost only $230.  Used can be a great deal, provided you aren't afraid to learn a little about the equipment.

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