Amps...NAD, Music Fidelity, Arcam???
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stuartr

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Does anyone have any recommendations on amps? I am looking to get an integrated amp, and I am willing to spend up to about 2000 dollars, but if it is less, that is great. I was thinking the MF A3, the NAD S-300, the Arcam A75 and perhaps one of McIntosh's integrated amps or a conrad-johnson amp.
I like the tubey sound (I think anyway). I am going to try to listen to all these, but they might not all be in my area. If anyone has any recommendations, I would love to hear them.
Thanks,
Stu

BTW, I will have an in-home test of the Arcam and likely a conrad johnson cav50 this weekend.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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I am particularly fond of Musical Fidelity, and they most probably will have something within your budget, whatever that budget is.

But the Manley Stingray is the best. Unfortunately, its tube complement is rather high.

I can't imagine you going wrong with Conrad Johnson, neither.
 
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aeberbach

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You're looking at the Arcam Diva range there with the A75. You should try to hear the A32. I have an A22 and have been very happy with it, even the headphone output. I've given it to my father now since I use a receiver for the computer and monoblocks for the headphones, but it's good.
 
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nebuchadnezzar

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have a look at Classe's line, too...as well as ASL

I have a pair of Classe' CAM-200s and an SSP-30 that I'm very happy with..DEFINETLY NOT TUBEY.. their intergrated amps should be well worth a listen!!!

also....check out Audiogon frequntly...alot of great deals!
 
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yage

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I'd also look at the Sim Audio i-5, Plinius 8100, Perreaux E160i and the Rogue Audio Tempest (for a tube comparison). Might as well throw in the Portal Panache for good measure...

You can find them on the used market for a couple hundred less than $2000...
 
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KurtW

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I had auditioned the MF A3 at home and didn't care for it. To me it was the opposite of the tube sound, verging on brightness. Its been replaced by the A3.2 now. I ended up with the Rega Mira, a nice sounding amp for under $1k. The volume control is a bit wacky, but the remote control is fine. It is Stereophile class B if that means anything, along with the Stingray and Arcam A85 and A22. They like the Creek 5350SE at $1500, which also has a headphone output...I don't know how good.
 
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rtsy

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First, what's the rest of the system. Suggestions will be better focused in light of the system context.

For what it's worth, I went around looking for integrated amps in the sub US$2k category here in Manila, Philippines a few months back when I helped a friend put together a system based on the JMReynaud Twins mkII.

If you like the traditional S/S virtues of control of the fequency extremes, you'll like the Arcam A85 (didn't hear the A75/65). This is one clean-sounding, highly resolving, well-controlled amp. My ears though looked for something sweeter, something more exciting.

The Musical Fidelity A3 and the Rotels (less refined than MF though) got me closer to the warmer, more involving sound I was looking for. But it was still not as warm as say the NAD 304 I used to own (didn't get to audition any of the more current NADs).

We ended up with the Audio Analogue Puccini. If you're looking for a near-tube S/S, this gets you on the lush, smooth direction.

Recently, someone lent me a Classe CAP100. With my Sonus Faber Concertino (pre-Home), it was rather dark and slow. I have it on good word that Classes work very well with Dynaudios. Another friend lent me a Hafler XL280 (and an Alps passive volume pot) w/c I found rather grainy yet very, very powerful. The Puccini is the best amp I heard on my Concertinos (haven't tried Plinius & CJ w/c come highly recommended) followed by a circa 1960s Scott 299!

I've read good things but haven't heard the Plinius 8100 or a used 8150/8200. The Electrocompaniet ECI3 is another contender. At sub US$2k, you also may want to check out pre-owned Conrad Johnson CAV 50 or MV55 (now the 60 w/c I read is more neutral) with a passive volume pot (if single source) or passive pre-amp.

Hope this helps!
 
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stuartr

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Thanks for all the responses guys.
As for my other equipment, the source is a California Audio Labs Icon Mk II cd player and some finely aged a/d/s CM7 speakers (this was before a/d/s was bought by clarion, and they are much better than the current product...high quality components. They weigh a ton... As my dad always used to say "don't touch that! It's heavy...heavy means expensive." (Usually in reference to me playing with his canon T90 or some zeiss lens...)
This weekend I should be able to audition a used conrad-johnson CAV 50, a Linn Majik (does anyone have an opinion on this?), the arcam A-65 (they don't have the 75 in stock) and the NAD C370, so I am sure I will have plenty to choose from. I would really like to hear the MF A3, but I think I would have to go down to L.A. to hear it...I am in Santa Barbara, and it is about a 2 hour drive...I am pretty busy too...
 
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You mentioned the NAD S300 in the original post... I have one. It is one of the best integrated amps I've ever heard, at any price point. Extremely fast, controlled and with a forward sound presentation that immerses the listener into the music.

It is specially suited to drive difficult speakers... low sensitivity speakers under 89db (mine are 84db) will shine with the S300.

It is also known that the S300 is a Nad rebadge of the Gryphon Tabu Century, considered by many as the best integrated amp ever made.
 
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4N6

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Cary SLI-80. This is a terrific integrated amp with a VERY good headphone output. 80W ultralinear/40W triode. There are a few of them being sold on Audiogon for less than $2000. I have been using mine as a dedicated headphone amp for about a year now and love it. If you are in the SoCal area, Upscale Audio in Upland carries the brand and is one of the United States top Cary dealers.
 
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[size=xx-large]Holy Thread Bumps Batman![/size]


 
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