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dus10farthing
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bierfeldt
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I have a Rega Brio R

I have a Rega Brio R and it is a very good sounding but decidedly warm integrated amp. The one thing that I find underwhelming is that the bass lacks a touch of detail. To put it in perspective, it is warmer than my tube hybrid Rogue Hydra power amp and the bass is less detailed. Not completely fair since the Hydra is 3x as expensive but hopefully you get the idea. To pair with a brighter, cooler speaker like a Klipsch, short of going with a tube unit like a Jolida, I am not sure you will do better than the Brio R. It also has a really good internal phono stage, particularly paired with Rega cartridges. But it lacks an internal DAC.

I have never heard a bad thing about Peachtree and love the sound. The Nova 65SE is a great unit and has a first rate, built in DAC plus a touch more power. It won't be as warm as the Rega but also delivers crisper bass. The issue is that it doesn't have an internal phono stage and has stupidly few inputs. The extra 65w of power will really only make a difference if you have a very big room, listen at really high volumes or have low efficiency speakers. Either amp will drive those Klipsch speakers to deafening volumes (I mean that literally) long before you will even test the power output.

With the Rega I would recommend the Peachtree DAC iTx for $299. It is a sweet little unit that sounds amazing. With the the Peachtree I would recommend the Vincent Pho-8 phono stage for $299. It is a great unit, very small with the power supply in a separate box and has a great noise filter. I have this paired with an RP3 and an Exact2.

Regarding the speakers, if you like them then why toss them? i personally am not a fan of Klipsch but my personal tastes are highly irrelevant. If you find the sound is harsh or bright then you may want to get new speakers. Incidentally, I would be cautious driving any speaker with a sensitivity below 88dB with the Rega. You will need a hair more power to get them to open up.

Hope this helps and good luck to you.

dus10farthing
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bierfeldt
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They are a push

The only edge I would give the Brio is that with additional analog inputs is is a hair more flexible through time. Both are great sounding units and you can feel confident buying either. I bought the Brio R based on reviews and the fact that I got a deal on it from Needle Doctor when they discontinued the Silver finish.

Regarding buying a floor model, I actually feel the exact opposite of what you are thinking. I like floor models for three reasons. 1) It has been in a show room for a stretch so you know there is nothing wrong with it. 2) you typically get the full manufacturers warranty. 3) It is already burned in so your sound won't change much from the day you attach it to your system.

I bought the floor model of the Ayre Acoustics M-5xeMP preamp and my Rogue Hydra Power Amp was also a floor model. I saved $2500. Depending on how old the unit is, I would expect to get 20% to 35% off. If it is about 12 months old, 20% would be a good deal. At 24 months it ought to be 35% based on my experience.

DO NOT listen to other people opinions on brands. All that matters is your opinion. You are considering two integrated amps that will compliment those Klipsch speakers well. If anyone asks, tell them you are aware Klipsch is forward which is why you selected a warmer integrated amp. When you upgraded you did get an incredible speaker but tends to be polarizing with lots of people really loving or hating them. Because I or any other "audiophile" tells you they personally don't like Klipsch, it means that we respect the brand (every audiophile should respect the brand as it is legendary) but it doesn't align with our taste.

commsysman
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dus10farthing wrote:
dus10farthing wrote:

As the forum suggests, I am somewhat new to the hifi world and am discovering how deep the rabbit hole really is.

I am 27, single, and have a little cash to play with (would like to stay around $2k-2.5k). My goal is to put together a high quality (by standards of the average person) setup that will last me 5-10 years, until I'm uber rich and can blow several thousands of dollars to fully appreciate Adele. Basically - I want to have a sweet setup that will still be impressing me after a few years but still be a regular person about it. I, like all of us reading this, have a tendency to be sucked in and geek out on the equipment.

At this point, I bought the Klipsch RP-160Ms because I could get them for $400 at my local audio store (retails for closer to $600) - I hope this doesn't prove to be a mistake.

I bought the Rega RP-1 as my primary source. I also stream Apple Lossless (ALAC) files via Airplay to my Airport Express (digital optical). That's it.

Now I need an integrated amp.

Do I want the Rega Brio-R? 50 wpc @ 8 ohms -- the Klipsch RP-160Ms are efficient (97db). No built-in DAC with this one, just a fairly solid phono stage. I'd have to buy the DAC separately, which would put me at the upper, upper limit (if not right outside) of my rough budget. ** as an aside, all the local audio store has in stock of the Brio-R is a floor model. Don't know the discount they'd be willing to give yet, but wouldn't that be the ideal way to save money on it? Or is that risky?**

Do I want the PeachTree nova65SE? This one is around the same price as the Brio-R, but is 65wpc @ 8 ohms with a phono stage and DAC. Would save me some nice coin. But I've heard mixed things about Peachtree's quality and reliability (feedback was highly correlated with whether or not the retailer was a dealer for them -- may or may not have been a coincidence).

Or do you suggest something else for the setup? Anything (even if it's to throw the Klipsch's in the trash) will be helpful.

One more parameter: I'm putting all of the new gear in an old Victor Victrola VV-XI phonograph I have gutted and refinished. So the amp HAS to be less than 16 inches in width.

I will appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you!

commsysman
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System Build

I suggest that, considering your stated budget of $2000-5000, that you get the Musical Fidelity M3si integrated amp, which goes for $1500. I think Music Direct has it, but other dealers do too. It is a really excellent-sounding amplifier and has a bit more power. It also has a DAC and a very good phono preamp built in.

My personal opinion of those Klipsch speakers is that they are the worst-sounding speakers I have ever heard that claim to be "high fidelity". There are dozens of speakers that are much better for similar prices IMO. Sell them cheap or throw them away or return them if you can.

My first choice would be the PSB X2T speakers, which are $1300 per pair. Going from the Klipsch speakers to these would be sort of like trading in a Ford Focus for a BMW 528. They are really excellent-sounding for their price.

Another good choice would be the KEF Q500 speakers, which are also excellent and only $800 per pair from kefdirect.com.

The Rega is a good enough place to start for a turntable, but you probably should consider spending $200-250 or so on a better phono cartridge. The Ortophon 2M Blue is $240 from needle Doctor.

dus10farthing
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Allen Fant
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Welcome! dus10farthing-

Welcome! dus10farthing-

best advice- get out into the Audio shops and listen, listen, listen to the various gear.
Then, report back here for a suggestion or opinion. Your ears will guide you.

bierfeldt
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Couldn't agree more with Allen

Listening is the best thing you can do. See if you can find an Arcam dealer and honestly, I like Marantz a lot and I think they are worth listening too. Creek will be a bit above your budget as will Rogue unless you can find a floor model for sale.

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