What is the best integrated amp you've heard?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by fiddlefye, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Back when I first got into audio forty years ago I started out with a little Yamaha integrated and I've always had soft spot for them even though my main systems are all separates nowadays.

    I'm wondering what integrateds members have owned or heard that really stood out from the crowd for them. What made that particular unit special? For me designs with excellent phono stages go to the head of the line. All varieties, ages and output welcome.


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  2. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Addison, Il
    Onix Melody SP-3 if modern; Fisher KX-100 if vintage. Not surprising they are both tube-based with enough power to really deliver a full punch.
  3. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Caesar non supra grammati

    North of Eden
    When I was in the US military, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, in 1983, I bought a Luxman L-580. Best integrated solid-state amplifier I have ever heard. Still have it.


    The above is the Japan-only version. The L-580 sold for US use had different script writing for "Luxman" and also had LED power meters.
    jobrewer1983, jgscisum and DonC1965 like this.
  4. Daunia 70

    Daunia 70 Lunatic Member

    The best integrated amp I've ever heard would be the Sansui AU-X1.
    It sounds incredible with high quality interconnects and CDP... Just so much depth and detail with a real nice upfront,wide-open soundstage.
  5. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Wow, I've never seen one of those before. Cool.
  6. Hyperion

    Hyperion Roobarb & Custard Subscriber

    Hertfordshire, UK
    Sansui AU-D11 II, I'll be the first to admit it's close between it and the AU-919 I own, but it has something special.
    Natasha Bell likes this.


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  7. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Cleveland, Ohio
    In order of choice:
    1. Sansui AU-11000 / AU-9900 pretty much no difference as far as sound, just the 11000 is more powerful. The sweetest sounding integrated I have ever heard. I have one of each.
    2. Luxman L-100. Very similar sound to the above 2. If I had to choose between the Sansuis and the Luxman I would probably just do "eeny meenie miney moe."
    3. Kenwood 600 Supreme. Wonderful amp with very uncolored sound.
    4. Rotel RA-1412. Very similar to the Kenwood 600. Excellent build quality.
    5. Sansui AU-919, AU-717. Built like a tank, great, uncolored sound.
    6. Kenwood KA-4006. This is a sleeper amp with incredible sound. My daily driver on the bench.
    7. Sony TA-5650. VFET goodness. This should probably be up with #1 but it's been so many years since I owned mine I am not sure how it would compare. It's good, and I sold mine only because I got a good deal on something and I no longer needed the Sony.
    punprankster and Mojo Warrior like this.
  8. J English

    J English Super Member

    I do like my silver-face Kenwood KA-3500. Such a lot of oomph for such a little box. I need to hook it to a TT and listen critically sometime, but I bet the phono pre in there is pretty good, too.
    TomB19, Todd Dodds and alteclipsch like this.
  9. StuartB

    StuartB AK Subscriber Subscriber

    My favorite is my rebuilt Dynaco SCA-35.

    Certainly not a powerhouse, but those 17 EL84 watts are pretty darn spectacular to my ears.
  10. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Any more modern ones, folks? There seem to be some rather interesting designs out currently, though I can't say I have all of the names to hand.
  11. Northguy

    Northguy Active Member

    Northern Ontario Canada.
    I have got two favourite solid state integrated amps that I just love the way they sound. The Marantz 1090 and a Pioneer SA 7700, I own quite a few other solid state integrated amps and have owned quite a few solid state integrated amps but the Marantz and the Pioneer will never leave my flock because of to my ears they sound so damn good. Even though my main system is now separates I still love to play with the integrated amps once and a while and they never disappoint. Also I never stop looking for a great deal on my next favourite amp, the thrill of the chase.


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  12. crazy-in-az

    crazy-in-az All humans are vermin... Subscriber

    Kingman, Arizona
    I've probably heard several, but I've only owned three-

    Technics SU-G90
    JVX A-X3
    Kenwood KA-3500

    I think the Kenwood is the best, but I really like the Technics and JVC as well.
  13. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

    Sorry, fiddlefye, no new stuff, but my Sansui AU-G99X (currently getting a ground-up from Mattsd!!) while not AU-X1 quality, has always been my litmus for powerful, clean sound. LOVE that amp.
  14. jameslauffer

    jameslauffer Active Member

    Ligonier, Pa.
    The Harman Kardon A300 that I've owned for about three weeks.
  15. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    In case anyone is curious my little integrated brood of the moment has nothing amazing in it, but consists of the following: Accuphase E-202, Yamaha CA-1010, 810 and 610, Sansui AU-D607 and Teac A-X75 MkII. I've owned a few more over the years including a couple of 60s tube units and the Yamaha CA-400 and 410.

    Some of the current designs that use a tube preamp stage and SS output are pretty nice stuff, at least of those I've heard. Missing in most seems to be a phono stage, though I suspect we will see them creeping back in as turntables become a more common source again.
    stevo137 likes this.
  16. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    I have not heard it yet. :music:

    Leben CS-300F Integrated Amp


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  17. sony6060

    sony6060 Super Member

    New York, NY
    If a receiver counts, a solid-state Sony STR-6060FW. Not counting DIY tube, the upgraded Fisher tube products are amazing.
  18. Hifirob2

    Hifirob2 NEC and Klipsch rock!

    So Cal
    My best sounding integrated is a NEC A-10II from the mid 80s. Dual mono and a superb phono section. Kind of rare, though.
  19. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

    Oregon IL.
    I've owned an Onix SP3 and it's a great integrated for the money. I was always a bit disappointed that I sold it. Then I bought a Shuguang Classic S8MK and my disappointment went away. It is a KT88 based integrated that puts out about 45wpc. It sounds good enough to have put my Bel Canto mono blocks on the sidelines. It has plenty of juice to power my Sony SS-M7 speakers that are only around 86 db if memory serves correct. It's just a great sounding unit with no glaring weakness.

  20. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I have heard what I presume was a somewhat earlier version and I thought it was excellent even though it wasn't paired with speakers I would have thought optimum.

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