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Best integrated amp under $1000?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by John Kahr, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. John Kahr

    John Kahr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9
    Hi all,
    I am at a loss with all of the new technology.
    Looking to start new, and slowly. I'd like something of quality to start off with but just cannot justify going for the high end.

    I'll be using a CD and phono, ones I have at first. Upgrading speakers eventually.

    Would like to stream Tidal/Spotify from the unit. USB would be nice.

    Not sure where to start. Please feel free to ask questions if it will help with advice. Thanks very much for all replies.
     

     

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  2. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Pigamus Maximus Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,230
    Location:
    Olympia Washington
    When looking for value for the dollar spent, I usually decide to check out the used market and see if I can find a component that is owned by a hobbyist who cares about their gear.

    The European companies have a tradition of making mighty fine sounding integrated amps. Personally I have excellent results with a Musical Fidelity inegrated. So I hopped onto US Audio Mart and found an example for you.

    http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649419170-musical-fidelity-a35/

    Now there are other great companies to buy from, such as Creek, Arcam, LFD, Mystral, Rotel, and a bunch of others. Here is a nice Creek.

    http://www.usaudiomart.com/details/...stiny-integrated-amp-w-remote-box-and-manual/

    As far as streaming goes, my recommendation would be to buy a streaming component like a Pioneer N30, or something along those lines versus having USB built into the DAC. The internal USB is going to be of average quality if you are buying an integrated that is not a top of the line unit.

    Regards
    Mister Pig
     
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  3. John Kahr

    John Kahr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9
    Thank you Mister Pig for your time and reply.

    I will absolutely consider those, they seem to be what I'm looking for.

    I didn't even know something like that N30 existed. Nor have I been to audiomart. That would work.
    Thanks!
     
  4. opnly bafld

    opnly bafld AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Illinois
    Marantz PM7005 ?
    I had a PM8005 and really liked it.
     
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  5. Mojo Warrior

    Mojo Warrior Reality Star

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  6. mikeybc

    mikeybc Listener

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The Musical Fidelity M3si would get my consideration for under 1000 used. 85 watts per channel and has a built in DAC.

    The Yamaha A-S801 might be a consideration if you want to go brand new, think they're about 900. Many choices, too many to list. The options posted above are all good too.
     
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  7. EyeGee

    EyeGee Big Ears Subscriber

    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Northern California
    Well, it's a receiver, but the Outlaw RR 2160 is getting raves @ a mere $800. With DAC and USB.

    That said, you probably can't go wrong with a NAD Integrated @ under $650. 50 watts/PC with DAC and Bluetooth.
     
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  8. Portkula

    Portkula Active Member

    Messages:
    365
    Yamaha A-S801.
     
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  9. John Kahr

    John Kahr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks for all your replies. Much appreciated!
     
  10. CKDC

    CKDC AK Subscriber Subscriber

    There is a Creek Destiny in Bartertown right now. I suggest you take a look.
     
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  11. OMGCat!

    OMGCat! AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,102
    Location:
    El Sereno, CA
    I've seen used Yamaha AS1000s and even an AS2100 for around a grand a few times. Need to jump at those prices for them.
     
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  12. onplane

    onplane What! No Wake???

    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Well, John, you asked for advice and my advice is to buy NO amp ... unless, of course, in the trivial situation that you don't have any amp.

    Reason I say that is the function of an amp is to provide electrical energy to drive speakers. For this reason I always recommend to get speakers FIRST and here is where $'s really count. It's highly unlikely you'll be able the hear the difference between a $200 amp and a $900 amp. The difference in sound coming from speakers in this same price range would be enormous.

    Further, the speakers you select will have a bearing upon the amp you'll need. Yes, you could buy a super power amp that can do anything, but if you end up with very efficient speakers, why waste those $'s. Spend them on speakers instead. Remember, John, it's the speakers that reproduce the sound that gets to your ears.

    What amp and speakers do you currently enjoy?

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
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  13. John Kahr

    John Kahr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks Jerry!

    Currently I listen to an older (late 80s) Kenwood system. 125 wpc with floor speakers. Not sure model numbers. It's ok. I was wanting to upgrade with an all new system and be able to stream Tidal/Spotify. Also cd player and use a vintage Yamaha turntable for my vinyl. I was going to start with the amp and build out from there, using existing speakers for awhile. I also have an old Kenwood KA? 7400 hooked up to Sony speakers.

    So that was my thought process, lol.

    Thanks!
     
  14. onplane

    onplane What! No Wake???

    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    John, I am also running a couple of old Kenwood amps and they do a fine job.

    In my "most listened to system" I bought a new, modern amp a little over a year ago when my 40 year old HH Scott system died. This difference in resulting sound in my case was enormous!

    Problem is my AR floor speakers had no controls and my family is paneled, so the sound has always been way too bright. So I bought a Sherwood unit that has 4 full range amps in a single box and then I bi-amped. This way I control via remote the power going into each speaker half independently.

    The additional control I just love and often will vary upon changing source. My total outlay for this big "improvement" was $160. On the other hand, I don't want or need anything other than an amp as I get sound from my satellite receiver or two CD players.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  15. Head Tech

    Head Tech New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Hi. I am in the market for an intergrated. I have been doing some extensive research. I landed on the Yamaha as801. I like this model due to its features and the build quality. However surfing through some audio phile message boards, I find that maybe I can find a unit of similar build and features with higher end sound. Cost is a factor. I am considering the marantz m8005/6. They're available for a few bucks more. Do you think the soundstage and Dynamics are better in a Marantz vs a Yamaha below the a s1100 model? If you or anyone else on this thread can shed some light I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks John
     
  16. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,084
    Location:
    west Texas
    If you can find a MA series Mac that has been restored with in your budget, you will be way ahead.
     
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  17. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    NAD is my go-to brand when people ask about a new integrated for $1k. I agree about keeping the DAC and streaming sources separate from the amplifier; much easier to upgrade as money and new features allow.
     
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  18. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,990
    Location:
    Norman OK
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  19. Gerres26

    Gerres26 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North East, MD
    I would have to say a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated would be hard to beat under $1000. It will be very close to the 1k mark used, but at 250@8 ohms and 400@4 ohms it has a ton of power and it is very musical. Also has a wonderful phono pre built into it.
     
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  20. Head Tech

    Head Tech New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Wow...that A5 is a beast. Handsome amp too.
    250 wpc is too much for my needs. I live in an apartment. I'm currently using my vintage 100 wpc Sansui. With my external phono preamp set at 46 db, and the Sansui with a volume dial of 30. I rarely put it as high as 5.
    That being said, there are some good deals on the musical fidelity m2si. It's 76 wpc. Has preamp output in case things change down the road. Do you have any thoughts on this amp?
     
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