In my quest for the perfect Amp below $800....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chester0711, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Forgive my newbieness, but I am a learning a bit here....

    So it has come to my attention that just about every piece of the “chain” has its own personality or sound profile....what might be a common or across the board assessment of the following brands in the sub $800 level.....(in other words, Something like , Xyz amps are know for a bass or low end sound, almost muddy to some, and abc amps are known for a bright lively sound...etc.....)

    So the brands and their personalities I am curious about are:


    Okay have at it.....
    CrazyCatz likes this.
  2. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    What speakers is the amp for? That's a critical part of the equation.
    CrazyCatz likes this.
  3. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I don't think that you will get any useful information from that question, other than myself and others pointing out that such generalizations are meaningless at best and misleading at their worst. Amps will sound different in different systems, but it is about the interaction of a specific amp with a specific speaker, not about brands. All of the brands that you list have a number of different amplifiers, receivers, preamps, power amps, etc as as such, each brand has a variety of quality levels which will have their own pluses and minuses. The only useful advice that I can give you here concerning these brands is to not buy the cheapest thing that they offer.
    Manimal, Tullman, sturgus and 2 others like this.
  4. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Okay, Elac B6 Debut is what you would be pairing them with....
    CrazyCatz likes this.
  5. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    easily a LM3875 gainclone DIY amp
    KT88 likes this.
  6. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    The ELAC's are an incredible value from everything I've read. I spoke with Andrew Jones about them for a good 30 minutes and it was fascinating.

    I would try to find something with at least 100 exp as I've heard they need some juice, but are not a real difficult load to drive. ELAC makes an 80 wpc that I would assume would work.
    AmericanHIFI likes this.
  7. Robert C

    Robert C Sound Archivist

    London, UK
    I'd get the Yamaha 701 or 801 based on the Audioholics review!
  8. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    I've not heard those speakers but had Wharfedale Denton's for a short time and while they sounded very good they also needed an amp with a loudness for bass boost to keep a balanced sound at low volumes. I paired them with a Rogue Sphinx and an older NAD receiver and at low levels driven by the receiver with loudness engaged they were much better. I think the Yamahas still have their variable loudness which always worked well on past units I've had. Something to consider.
    Manimal likes this.
  9. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident


    Get two of them for $400 each.
  10. Chiliarches

    Chiliarches Well-Known Member

    Chicago Suburbs
    From what I have seen...for new gear at retail prices...below $800...Emotiva separates and Yamaha integrateds are both well regarded product lines that can put out some juice. You might be able to get a new Marantz at discount from a place like Accessories4Less also.

    That being said, why would you try to have an $800 amplifier budget for $250 speakers?
  11. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    There's a PS Audio HCA in the Forum Classifieds that would be my choice for an $800 power amp.
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    If you have something that you can use as an Audio switcher with a volume level control, we are talking about a straight power amp.

    I will give you a couple examples of power amplifier's, that are priced under $800.00

    You could get a NuForce STA200 160-watt Stereo Power-Amplifier, GOLMUND Swiss-design! from Amazon for $499.

    This amp is rated at 80-WPC.

    If you require some sort of volume control you could use a Nobsound Mini Fully Balanced Passive Preamp HiFi Pre-Amplifier XLR/RCA Volume Controller, available through Amazon for $56. This would go between your source and the above power amp, and is used to control the volume level feeding into your power amplifier.


    Another recommendation would be a tube power amplifier. Upscale Audio is offering some discontinued PrimaLuna EL34 tube amplifier's at close-out pricing.

    The PrimaLuna Prologue Four is only $899, previously it sold for $1,399. These are new, in box, with full manufacturer's warranty.

    I have a Prologue Five, which is KT88 based and costs, at closeout, $200 more.
  13. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies guys. I have a Yamaha A-S501 on order that I got cheap. I will post back my thoughts after a break in period.

    I will say, there is no one way to skin a cat....
    SirMarc, Nephrodoc, Helom and 2 others like this.
  14. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    That's going to be a good match, and a beautiful amp.
    Chester0711 and Manimal like this.
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum Resident

    Columbus, OH

    I was going to say something DIY, but a gainclone will do
  16. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    I love my gainclone. honestly all the amp I need. sold my Sony ta 707es as both sound very similar and i feel the gainclone works best with my warm BBC speakers.
    it only lacks the last holographic soundstage of tube, but a gainclone lm3875 smoke every class d amp i have ( i have a good couple of very well reputed class d amps too)
  17. sturgus

    sturgus Forum Resident

    St. Louis Mo
    A sleeper but a very nice amp. You can get them used for around $500. Sometimes you can get one from them for a good price. Well worth looking at.
    D-75D Power Amplifier
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    bluemooze likes this.
  18. Fedot L

    Fedot L Forum Resident

    Some integrateds have both “monitor” internal circuit and “phono stage” “on board”.
    Some have “monitor” internal circuit, but no “phono stage” “on board”.
    Some have “phono stage” “on board”, but no “monitor” internal circuit.

    So your question lacks parameters you could need that may be crucial for to have a complete system. Especially the “monitor” internal circuit, making possible the insertion of any “sound processor” and the monitoring of its effect! A “phono stage” can be bought and connected “extra”.

    Would you first expose your needs in those aspects?

    Then the aspects of excellent THDs, damping factor, capability to work simultaneously with two pairs of LSs of given impedance etc. etc. will come…
  19. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Mystic valley, Tn.
    In my quest for the perfect stereo for free. So far I have struck out...
  20. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Outlaw’s RR2160 is on the cover of Stereophile this month and is reviewed to be a bargain at only $799 retail. “Accurate tone, taut bass, scrumptious detail, and satisfying dynamics.” “Highly recommended.”
    head_unit and bluemooze like this.
  21. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
    I second the NuForce above.
  22. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    My 2 cents. If you spend $200 more ($1000) you can get the best amp available for under $2,500 (Parasound A23).
  23. krisjay

    krisjay Psychedelic Wanderer

  24. TimM

    TimM Forum Resident

    Dayton Ohio
    I own the Outlaw 2150 and it actually ended up replacing an amp that cost twice as much. I am giving serious consideration to the 2160 because it does include several modern upgrades.
    BDC likes this.

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