Tried asking this elsewhere, to no avail. Maybe this thread is a more fitting place ? Apologies if not.
I use my pair of Dali Zensor 1 (bought, as mentionned, on the strength of the Stereophile review), with a Nuforce Icon HDP hooked to a cheapish Onkyo mini-system (a CR-525). Both DAC and speakers sound good as is, but I've been told using a dedicated amp could do wonders (some of the things I listen to do sound a little dry, not shrill or harsh but thin). I don't intend to pump up the volume (as they said "back in the day"), and mainly listen to chamber-music-like, speculative stuff in a smallish, untreated room. A few of my favorite albums are Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch !, Gastr del Sol's Upgrade & Afterlife, Jim O'Rourke's Bad Timing, Josquin Desprez'sMissa Pange Lingua (by Marcel Pérès and the Clément Janequin ensemble), Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle, the Beach Boys'SMiLE, Roy Harper's Stormcock and Gustav Leonhardt's solo Bach recordings. This said to set the stage.
I've looked at the following amps, mostly usual suspects I imagine. I'd be, of course, open to further suggestions, if said suggestions are available in France (no Emotiva, for instance) :
- the Yamaha AS-500 (if the AS-300 is unsuitable ?), though the What-hifi review has me worried ("Doesn't like harsh partnering kit").
- the Marantz PM5004 (I could consider the PM6003, as it's in clearance at my local Hifi shop, but not the 6004). Not very neutral, is it ?
- the Atoll IN30 (Made in France !). I don't suppose this has been heard much.
I do intend to give each of these a listen, but would rather "clear the air" somewhat before I do. There's no way, for instance, I'll be able to check these out with a HDP.
I should add that I don't have a turntable and that I don't plan to add a sub, meaning a phono-stage or subwoofer out are not priorities. I'll be using the HDP as headphone amp, so I don't need a headphone-out either. Finally, as both amp and DAC will be sitting at arm's reach, a remote control is not necessary.
Subsidiary question : would it be allright to put one of these incredibly huge amps under my monitor (which is lighter, I'm sure, than the CD players these amps are usually used with / stuck under) ?
Thanks for your help in any case.
Edited by Mrtn77 - 8/23/12 at 11:52am