Integrated amp options under $2k (lower the better)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ngower, May 27, 2023.

  1. ngower

    ngower Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Mostly my aversion to Yamaha is folks I know and trust all seem to really dislike its sound. So it’s just something I’m skeptical to buy without auditioning (and sadly that’s not an option).

    Right now the Elex MK4 and the Model 40n are leading the pack. I’m gonna try to scout out either on sale come Black Friday time.
     
  2. Vinyl Richie

    Vinyl Richie Forum Resident

    I got mine shipped on a new - open box sale for $1600 out the door. This was maybe March 2023??
     
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  3. Vinyl Richie

    Vinyl Richie Forum Resident

    I have my Yamaha as 1200 powering a pair of wharfedale diamond towers and it sounds amazing.
     
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  4. ngower

    ngower Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    I think if I found one closer to the price above I’d be less hesitant but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one (new/open box) less than$2500
     
  5. Vibrolux_Reverb

    Vibrolux_Reverb Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Hi fi heaven has some used ones for $1999.99. You could call and inquire about those. They may simply be like new open box units.
     
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  6. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    The aforementioned Arcam SA20 is also a good recommendation. It has a neutral tonality and good drive. A safe bet for most.
     
    adamos likes this.
  7. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Here's one I was looking at: Yamaha A-S2100 Free Shipping
    It's about 45 minutes from me. I'm thinking of having a look at it.
     
  8. Vinyl Richie

    Vinyl Richie Forum Resident

    Man, if you can look at it to confirm everything is okay, this is an incredible deal.
     
    MikeJedi, timind and Classic Car Guy like this.
  9. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA

    [​IMG]Seems like a respective 100 watt Mosfet with a built in phono circuit. That's a lot of amp for the money if everything is working great! The silverface is a killer bonus too!

    Yamaha A-S2100 Discontinued

    This high-grade integrated amplifier has inherited the natural sound of Yamaha in the pursuit of rich musicality. Advanced original amplifier circuitry and elimination of signal loss has resulted in a truly dynamic, affecting sound.

    • Floating and balanced power amplifier with MOSFETs
    • All-stage fully discrete construction, balanced transmission and low impedance design
    • Superior quality electronic volume control for optimum sound
    • Large capacity power supply unit delivers energetic, dynamic sound with fast response
    • Symmetrical design in pursuit of ideal stereo reproduction
    • Discretely configured phono amp
    • Headphone amp with fully discrete configuration
    • Level meters visually reflect the dynamics in the music
    • Elegant design with luxurious real wood panels
    • Original speaker terminals combine ease of use and beauty with high sound quality
    Receiver / Integrated Amplifier
    Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe)
    High Dynamic Power / Channel (8 / 6 / 4 / 2 ohms)
    Damping Factor
    Frequency Response
    RIAA Equalization Deviation
    Total Harmonic Distortion (CD to Sp Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD)
    Input Sensitivity (CD)
    Dimensions (W x H x D)
    Weight
    A-S2100
    Receiver / Integrated Amplifier
    Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe)
    160 W + 160 W
    High Dynamic Power / Channel (8 / 6 / 4 / 2 ohms) 105 / 135 / 190 / 220 W
    Damping Factor 250
    Frequency Response 5 Hz -100 kHz (+0 dB / -3 dB)
    RIAA Equalization Deviation 20 Hz-20 kHz (+ / -0.5 dB)
    Total Harmonic Distortion (CD to Sp Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz) 0.025%
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD) 103 dB (S: 200 mV)
    Input Sensitivity (CD) 200 mV / 47k ohms
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 6-1/8” x 18-1/4”
    Weight 51.6 lbs.
     
    MikeJedi likes this.
  10. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    A lot of good deals can be had on the Marantz 30. Not everybody's cup of tea as there's no distortion and distortion can be great (I'm not being tongue in cheek here at all), but I loved mine and consider it amazing for the used/refurb price.
     
  11. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I wonder what Yamaha integrated amps these folks listened to? For the most part members here have positive thoughts on Yamaha integrated amps especially the A-S1100, 1200, 2100 and 2200.
    It's definitely worth taking a look at it and if in good condition make an offer ($1300-$1400). Not having the original box and packing is a negative. Being refurbished and not knowing the ownership history is also a negative.

    I'm very happy with the A-S1100 and think Yamaha's integrated amps are a great value especially used in good condition.
     
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  12. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    If I was in the market for an amp, I'd contact the guy. Save the hassle and cost of shipping is definitely worth a couple hundred; at least it would be to me.
     
    jonwoody, MikeJedi, missan and 2 others like this.
  13. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Unison Research makes wonderfully musical amps. They make some really high end stuff, but they also make some relatively affordable stuff, all hand-made in Italy. And it starts with this one, the Primo, a tube/solid-state hybrid. $1999 retail.

    Unison Research Unico Primo Integrated Amplifier .
     
  14. jameskg

    jameskg Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    the Denon PMA series doesn't get enough love.

    High current amps with pure analog modes you can switch in, pretty good phono pre-amp and subwoofer line out driven by main volume (both depending on model). Plenty inputs, analog / digital

    If you have high efficiency speakers like Klipsch heritage models, this amp works great to make them sing - price range $500 - $2000.

    PMA-600NE - 2 Ch. 70W Integrated Amplifier | Denon - US
    scroll way down for plenty specs and info with model comparisons
     
  15. mcbrion

    mcbrion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Agreed. And the 3050 is even better, if only it didn't have just one input on it. That said, sonically, it is quite a jump from the older NAD integrated, which I've either owned or given to friends (as presents). I still have a 325, 326 and 356, but the newer units have far better upper octaves (NAD's only real failing) and far more defined upper - and midbass - frequencies.
     
    Agitater likes this.
  16. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi Guys!

    Hm, I doubt that you will be happy with the Marantz Model 40n, if you did not like the PM8006 at all.

    What exactly didn't you like about the PM8006? What had the (defective) NAD that the Marantz did not have?

    Also, as you are planning to upgrade your speakers also, I would start there first.

    Maybe you do not need to spend 2,000+ for a new amp, and a Marantz PM6007 (my girlfriend has one, I do have a Marantz PM6006) would fit your needs?

    I'm also in for an upgrade, but I will most likely buy the Sonus Faber Sonetto II - and after that will maybe test out the Marantz Model 40n.

    You room is small - how loud are you listening to music?

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
    John3655 likes this.
  17. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I had a chance to hear the Sonnetto monitors at a SF dealer last year and they didn't do too much for me. I thought they were merely pleasant. On the other hand, I thought the Amator at the same dealer was great - more alive and vivid. They cost more, of course, but I was left puzzled as to why the Sonnettos didn't seem to have a taste of that vividness. Maybe it wasn't mated with an amp well.

    At the time, I was both audition speakers as well as the McIntosh 252 hybrid integrated. The latter was dull. Even the owner wasn't all that fond of that particular model.
     
    timind likes this.
  18. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi Guys!

    That's intersting.

    Here is the discussion I started concerning the Sonus Faber Sonetto II:

    Sonus Faber Sonetto II or Dali Rubicon 2?

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
  19. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    It’s pretty easy actually… you spec components that are rated for high-temperature operation.

    They’ve done this for the new one, if the interview with its designer that I read is at all accurate.

    The problem with the old one is that they apparently cheaped out at some point, and spec’d parts that weren’t rated for a high enough temperature. :sigh:

    I guess I got one of the good (old) ones.

    .
     
    timind likes this.
  20. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I would just say that the Sonneto sounded polite to me.

    What I might suggest is to listen to the Amator to see if that sound excites you more. In fact, listen to a number of more upmarket speakers to listen for qualities that you like (with the music you like).

    And then see which speakers closer to your price range have the most essential qualities. Obviously as you go down in price, there are going to be more compromises. But I think one can get an education by listening to better stuff to get a sense of what's important.

    You might just end up making a different choice if you do. Or it will confirm that the Sonneto is the right one.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  21. ngower

    ngower Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    The 1700ne is on my radar if it drops during BF sales.
     
  22. ngower

    ngower Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Wanted to give the Marantz a little more time before answering this.

    Volume is usually 60-70db range.

    The NAD got out of the way and presented music with impact, detail and clear separation. The only complaint could be a bit of exaggerated low end, often requiring tone controls to neuter the bass a little.

    I’ll add the Rotel offered a somewhat similar sound to the NAD, with clarity, detail and punch all major highlights of its sonic signature.

    With the Marantz, it feels like it does well with strings and classical but any type of rock or jazz sounds fairly constrained and unexciting. For example, the Pixies “Rock Music” is an energetic wall of sound and on the other amps you had a fairly clear bit of space for everything to play well together. Through the Marantz it all sort of compresses into a singular image with Kim Deal’s bass nearly impossible to locate, percussion softened and the overall song just kind of compact in a way that is surprising even for a lofi sound like the pixies

    When listening to Sade, the groove of her rhythms is lost as it loses a ton of heft and weight on the Marantz, sounding much smoother or softer than I’m accustomed to.

    I find the Marantz sounds good with ambient and classical and can see how it appeals to some listeners, but for the genres I listen to most, it just kills the fun. It’s warm to a fault, inasmuch as things are rounded and maybe a tad rolled off. I don’t favor a bright or forward sound but I certainly want something with more attack/impact in things like snare drums, cymbals, etc. I tend to favor sound signatures that aren’t super low end heavy but this thing takes a ton of it away. More than anything, it’s the loss of detail that really puts the nail in the coffin for the 8006. It just feels like it’s staring out a window through a sheer linen curtain—everything is very soft.

    I know my speakers are a limiting factor but I’ve also heard them for years and know what they are capable of. I’ve heard other speakers on my amps as well and know what they’re capable of. I’m going to hold onto the Marantz while I wait for the rotel to get repaired but I am almost certainly sending it back barring a radical change in sound.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  23. ngower

    ngower Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Update: found a Denon PMA-1700NE for 1400 so going that route. I was close to getting it before I tried the Marantz. I have a lot of hope in it based on the reviews I’ve read here and elsewhere.
     
  24. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi Guys!

    Thanks for your very detailed insights.

    I have owned many different amps (up to 1,500€) in my hifi journey, but I have never noticed so much subtle differences than you did.

    Maybe my hearing is not as good as yours (I can only hear up to 14kHz) or my brain quicker adapted to the new amp sound. I don't say I can't hear a difference in amps, I can, but non of the amps I had was bad, it was only slightly different.

    Especially as you are listening to modest levels (60 to 70 dB), without loudness, I doubt I could hear much of a difference.

    So I'm very interested to see what you will finally choose...

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
    timind likes this.
  25. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Always a pleasure never a chore

    Location:
    England
    Those Denons are supposed to be very, very good- enjoy!
     

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