Modern integrated amp for a vintage guy?

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by loaded, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. loaded

    loaded Member

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    I'm a vintage guy thinking about going modern. There, I said it. I really know nothing about the modern offerings as I have never had any interest. However, over the years my vintage set up has become more and more difficult to make space for in my small condo. I recently slipped a pair of Kef Q150's into my set up while my Boston Acoustic A400's were out of commission being re-foamed. Well, I love these little speakers. A lot. And now, I have started down a dark road wondering what else can I swap out to get some space back.

    I started looking at an integrated amp and I'm kind of lost as I'm not very familiar with the brands... so I thought you all could provide some good experiences and suggestions to help. So, first off, I am not an audiophile. But, I do want a great listening experience. I do not listen critically, just for enjoyment. Though, I am critical about my enjoyment! My set up is stereo only, I listen to vinyl and I'll stream music while I'm tooling around the space. I currently have a Sansui AU5900 preamping an Onkyo M-504 amp. I love this set up, but it's a pretty stout stack. Is there something new and more compact that will offer similar or better sound quality. Not looking for an all the bells and whistles kind of thing, simple with a premium put on the sound quality. Oh an I'm not rich... so I'll say around $500 since I know most of the suggestions will be just over my budget. But definitely under $800.

    Thanks in advance!
     

     

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  2. onepixel

    onepixel .

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  3. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I will second the Yamahas. Amazon has a refurbished A-S801 for less than $700 right now - I'd grab that in a heartbeat. The phono amp on that is good, and it has room for an optical input for a DAC or Google Chromecast Audio - boom, you're set. If you miss that one, they have a little-brother version - the A-S501 - for regular price of under $500. I've had both of those in my set up in the past and really liked them. Sometimes I still miss the A-S801, but I'm a tube man now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  4. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Those Yamaha amp's look real purty, too.
    Sorry. No affiliation with Yamaha. But when the time comes to get rid of all the separates, I'll most likely go back to the Yammy (or the Rogue).
     
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  5. loaded

    loaded Member

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    wow, they look amazing! no digital displays... and knobs! I forgot to mention I need knobs. Thanks guys, this gives me something to obsess over. It's funny, I thought I would see a bunch of brands I didn't recognize since that's what I have seen. But, nope, right back to Yamaha. My first favorite speakers were Yamaha.

    thanks!
     
  6. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    I like the Yamahas and have a few, but I'd also recommend the Cambridge CXA60, which can be had refurbished (factory, w/warranty) right in your ball park.

    [​IMG]

    However, if space is really at a premium, we have chip amps....:idea:
     
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  7. loaded

    loaded Member

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    that just eeks in my price range... and it looks good. big knob. just took a quick look at that chip amp link... have you heard them?
     
  8. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Oh yeah. Many of us have heard many of them. My favorite right now is the FX502SPRO at the link, but I haven't heard the Allo Volt+ and Volt+D and a number of guys swear by those. Enjoy that thread when you have some time--it's very informative.

    Meanwhile, the Cambridge above can be had "refurbished (factory, w/warranty)" for considerably less than the list price.
     
  9. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " F-15 Eagle Keeper Subscriber

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    I like my Yamaha's I also like my CambridgeAudio Azur 740C..
     
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  10. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not heard modern Yamahas.
    I have Rogue Sphinx version 1 hybrid tube / class D. Two pre tubes that can be rolled for tone changes. No tone controls, though, if ok with that. 100 wpc @ 8 ohms, 200 wpc @ 4ohms. Nice phono MM pre. A used one should fit at high end of your $800 budget.
    Oops, noticed you said new. Never mind.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  11. The Fuxtor

    The Fuxtor AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    look at the Schiit goodies. Small form factors , modern and actually built in the USA!
     

     

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  12. gongli

    gongli Musician + Audio Lover

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    Cambridge Audio SR-20 sounds good - that classic British sound with toroidal transformer...
     
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  13. homebrew

    homebrew Active Member

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  14. jsolo

    jsolo New Member

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    I have been looking at the D-3045, but I'm torn between that and the Yamaha r-n602. I really like the form factor of the NAD, but the Yamaha seems to have more features and power.
     
  15. homebrew

    homebrew Active Member

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    The power output between the two amplifiers is not significant. Remember a doubling of output power results in only a 3 dB increase in SPL. Other factors to consider: How loud do you listen? What's the impedance of your speakers? Speaker efficiency?
    If the Yamaha has more features, are those features something you would use?
     
  16. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    I have a Yamaha A-S500 I like. I also have a small Cambridge Audio receiver with SQ that has impressed me so much that I also think the CXA-60 well worth consideration, even though - full disclosure - I have not heard one. Bought the Yamaha used at a friendly price that would likely not cover that of a used CXA-60 in similar condition. Or if it did, I'll take three, please, and flip two.

    As for NAD... I have owned a good bit and was a huge fan. However, a common failure with two of their C16X series of preamps left me wondering if they've made some recent missteps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019

     

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  17. EyeGee

    EyeGee Big Ears Subscriber

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    I'm looking for an IA or receiver for a second system that I mostly use for redbook CDs and FM radio, using Martin Logan smaller Motion speakers. I've been thinking Yamaha A-S301 but also looked at a Denon and a Marantz 5005 with an open box price (~$300). I'll probably go with the 301 because I like the loudness dial option. Anybody got a take on how essential/useful that Yamaha exclusive feature is?
     
  18. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    I have that feature on my A-S500, but really don't use it. It certainly isn't essential for me, nor useful for my preferences. However, if you typically like to use the Loudness control on vintage gear, then you may well find it very useful, and, imo, superior to the older style. While most of my listening in the bedroom is Low Level, I get the sound I prefer using dual sub-woofers turned down to very low levels. So it depends on your speakers, their placement and your preferences whether you will find it useful. I tend to use the Pure Direct mode.

    I do like that the variable loudness is there - you never know what features may come in handy to have in the future.
     
  19. dcgibby

    dcgibby Member

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    To the OP, you've probably pulled the trigger by now, but beware the Yamaha integrateds are very bright. I recently bought an A-S701. On first listen, I thought my ears were gonna bleed. Granted, I'm playing it through Pioneer HPM-100s (heavily modified) which are bright speakers, but it was also very bright through my headphones. It toned down a bit when I tried my NHT Three's, but I lost quite a bit of detail in the top end. I think the Yamahas sound great with the right speakers which I don't seem to have. The A-S701 is going back and I'm gonna try a Peachtree Nova 150. It's a lot more money, but I'm hoping better sound.
     
  20. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    What kind of music were you playing? What's your listening environment like?

    They're not shrinking violets but IMHO not overbright either. But then I listen to acoustic jazz in heavily damped surroundings. Why is why YMMV.
     

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