Advice for Upgrading Integrated Amp & Speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ewellinger, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. ewellinger

    ewellinger Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    As a bit of background I just recently made the jump to a Rega Planar 6 with Exact cartridge and a Rega Fono MM phono preamp and am absolutely loving it. I have that paired with a pair of KEF Q350 bookshelf speakers on stands powered by a fairly old but capable Denon DRA 697CI stereo. Right now that is in a moderately sized living room on our main floor.

    I also have a pair of Klipsch RF-82 II floorstanding speakers in the basement paired with a surround sound setup (Denon AVR, but that and the Klipsch center channel speaker is owned by my roommate).

    I bought the Klipsch speakers a few years back and, while I thought they sounded pretty good at first, they definitely are pretty harsh on the high-ends and have a sound that is more geared toward a home theater setup. This became much more clear when I got the KEF speakers that sound much better IMO.

    I'm currently living with roommates and the Denon AVR in the basement likely won't be coming with me when our lease is up later this year. I was thinking about selling the RF-82's to my roommate to round out his setup and invest in a pair of higher end speakers (somewhere in the 1.5-3k range). I was thinking these would be floorstanding speakers but I wouldn't be opposed to considering some bookshelf's either. I do have a pretty cheap Monoprice sub as well that could boost low end to some bookshelfs if need be.

    As for an upgrade to the amplifier, I've been looking at integrated amplifiers that support HT bypass. I figure this will support an upgrade path to building out a home theater setup down the line where the integrated can power the stereo speakers. Something that has a decent DAC would be pretty nice as well. This far I've been looking at the Parasound HINT 6 or the Peachtree Nova150.

    A tube based integrated amplifier also seems super appealing and I've considered the PrimaLuna ProLogue and DiaLogue integrated amplifiers. These obviously throw the inclusion of a DAC out the window but these have also gotten glowing reviews from what I've seen. If I went the route of getting a PrimaLuna, would pairing that down the line with an AVR in a home theater set up be a bad idea?

    Would the ProLogue have a tough time driving the Q350's? And if I went the PrimaLuna route, is the extra $1k for the jump from the ProLogue to the DiaLogue worth it?

    While the inclusion of a DAC would be nice, I currently just have my Rega and a Raspberry Pi with a DAC-hat hooked up to the stereo. I could probably make due with that and add on a separate DAC down the line if need be.

    I've read a bunch that synergy is super important but I don't know what to prioritize. Would you look to plan for getting a pair of speakers and integrated amp that are known to work well together and then get one and then the other (and in which order?). Or just save up and get both at once?

    Any and all recommendations are much appreciated! Any purchases w.r.t. new speakers or amps are probably a ways down the road. Although if the consensus is that the PrimaLuna is worthwhile, I may try pulling the trigger earlier considering the new line of amps just dropped with a much larger price tag.
     
  2. ewellinger

    ewellinger Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO, USA
    I think I'm leaning toward upgrading my amplifier before my current speakers at the moment. Considering I'll likely want to integrate this amplifier with a AVR down the road in a home theater set up, would anyone recommend one of these over another?
    • Peachtree Nova 150
    • Parasound HINT 6
    • PrimaLuna ProLogue/DiaLogue
    Whichever one I go with would be paired with a pair of KEF Q350 speakers (at least at first). I know a local dealer that for sure Peachtree, but less sure if there are Parasound or PrimaLuna dealers in the area.
     

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