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Have recent Integrated Amplifiers gained an honest respect in high-end audio......

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  • Have recent Integrated Amplifiers gained an honest respect in high-end audio......

    ...or will they always play second fiddle simply because they are an integrated component?



    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

  • #2
    they will always play second fiddle because they ARE integrated. As such, it removes the possibility of upgrading just the preamp OR the power amp sections. ( unless you have pre out and main in jacks, but even then, that leads to inefficient wasted unused component sections).
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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    • Asamel
      Asamel commented
      Editing a comment
      That attribute does not make them second anything. It's a small part of their profile.

  • #3
    What about sound? Do they always take a back seat?
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

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    • #4
      IMO integrated amplifiers do not take a back seat in sound quality, given comparison to equivalent amplifiers and preamplifiers. One thing to note is that where integrated amplifiers stop, separates keep on going in price and sophistication.

      Past a certain price point and considering the enthusiast market, separates make more sense so like the Johnny Cash Cadillac you can do it one piece at a time.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Rust;n25860[B
        ]IMO integrated amplifiers do not take a back seat in sound quality, given comparison to equivalent amplifiers and preamplifiers[/B]. One thing to note is that where integrated amplifiers stop, separates keep on going in price and sophistication.

        Past a certain price point and considering the enthusiast market, separates make more sense so like the Johnny Cash Cadillac you can do it one piece at a time.
        I agree.
        Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

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        • #6
          some high end mfgrs are taking integrateds further than ever in terms of sophistication, price, and sound quality. So I would say they no longer are back seat in sound quality. But for the price they are asking, you can buy nice separates.
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
            some high end mfgrs are taking integrateds further than ever in terms of sophistication, price, and sound quality. So I would say they no longer are back seat in sound quality.
            Agreed as well and kind of my reason for starting this thread. I think it's a wonderful development and has the potential of bringing more people into the audio club, so to speak.
            Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

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            • #8
              As far as getting into the audio club goes, price is perhaps the major consideration for a beginner. Or for anyone with a limited budget. Decent equipment can be had for not a lot of money. One problem is that virtually no bricks and mortar store carries any low cost equipment as there is not enough profit even at standard margins. Years back it was different but the big box stores killed the segment. But now days it all seems to be direct marketed or special order from a big box.

              This is why I believe it is important to cover quality low cost gear with the same attention to detail as mega bucks gear and in the same venue, not just relegate it to a lesser publication/site with a couple of paragraphs of what sounds like advertising copy. If the "big dogs" take it seriously then the beginners are more likely to sit up and take notice.

              And by the way, I think that RMAF setting up low price point rooms starting at $500 is brilliant.

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              • #9
                The offerings from Vitus and Audionet that I've heard are up there with seperates in the same price range.
                SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
                DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
                PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
                PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
                AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
                SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
                CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

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                • #10
                  IMHO, the ASR Emitter is a among the best regardless of cost, whether they're separates, tubes/SS (its an integrated!).
                  TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

                  "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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                  • #11
                    I have trouble with the philosophical concept of a line-level preamp, it's an extra gain stage which could just as easily be built into the power amplifier or skipped altogether. Despite that, it's clear that many existing power amps sound better driven by a line-level preamp than dirctly from a source component. The fact that not all do leads me to consider the possibility that many manufacturers design their amps this way in order to sell preamps also?
                    Tascam BR-20
                    Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS
                    Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS
                    MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out)
                    Pass Labs INT60
                    Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
                    REL S3 (Kimber Kable connection)
                    Daedalus/Wywires, Audioquest, Acoustic Zen, DH cables
                    Torus IS5
                    Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by rbbert View Post
                      I have trouble with the philosophical concept of a line-level preamp, it's an extra gain stage which could just as easily be built into the power amplifier or skipped altogether. Despite that, it's clear that many existing power amps sound better driven by a line-level preamp than dirctly from a source component. The fact that not all do leads me to consider the possibility that many manufacturers design their amps this way in order to sell preamps also?
                      I think the situation is that in some cases preamps are designed to drive power amp inputs better than source components are designed to drive power amp inputs.
                      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                      Comment


                      • rbbert
                        rbbert commented
                        Editing a comment
                        But there is probably no good engineering reason for that to be so, IMHO. For one thing, many newer audiophile integrated amps don't include an extra gain stage, just a volume control and a selector switch with impedance matching. On the other hand, I may be unreasonably cynical on this point.

                    • #13
                      Johnny-Have you been hanging around Caesar Appleseed lately? This sounds like a post he would have started. Like everything in this hobby, there is a place for everything including integrated amps and customers for them. There is no reason they can't sound fantastic. Who cares what everyone else thinks? If you find an integrated that makes your socks roll up and down at a price that is attractive for you, go for it.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • Johnny Vinyl
                        Johnny Vinyl commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ouch! Low blow!

                    • #14
                      In a conversation with my favorite amp designer, Gilbert Yeung of Blue Circle, he told me that dollar for dollar you'll get more out of an integrated. In other words a $10,000 integrated will probably be as good as $14,000 in separates if made by the same company. I imagine there's more to it than that, but it seems logical enough.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Jtycho View Post
                        In a conversation with my favorite amp designer, Gilbert Yeung of Blue Circle, he told me that dollar for dollar you'll get more out of an integrated. In other words a $10,000 integrated will probably be as good as $14,000 in separates if made by the same company. I imagine there's more to it than that, but it seems logical enough.
                        That certainly makes sense. With seperates, you have two chassis and two power supplies, with an integrated, you only need one of each. There may be other parts that can be eliminated too.
                        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                        Comment


                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          But is having only one power supply and transformer an advantage or disadvantage? Me think the latter. Especially when we can make the argument that monoblocks that don't share the same power supply and have the bass from both channels drawing on the PS sound better.

                        • JCOConnell
                          JCOConnell commented
                          Editing a comment
                          If nothing else, its cheaper
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