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$500 amplifiers to test and review?

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My SMSL A8 has arrived and been tried for couple of weeks. I use them to drive my KEF LS50 in the Studio. This is a phenomenon DAC+amp combo for the price - bass is much more punchy than most class A amps with that power and distortion sounds quite low, no "sweet mid" type of BS, just accurate like my Hypex amps. Accurate and punchy sound generally. I can't measure it but I've always hated coloured sound and I do have sensitive ears so, I believe "sounds good to me" is a good start of an accurate equipment.

I haven't tested it in my main system yet but I did a comparison of its DAC part to my Logitech Transporter ------ It's been replaced by the A8 now, I use a Pi3 running moode and that goes into A8. The DAC part has an audible difference to LT--- the Transporter does produce a slightly darker sound, or more specifically, I think the high has rolled off slightly compared to the SMSL. I cannot tell where the difference stems from since Logitech Transporter does also have an extremely low THD measurement (0.003%) according to its manual --- although it was a 14 years old device, so I don't expect the FR to differ much from SMSL. However the difference does exist in my ear, and I did not have any preference between the 2 units. A test would be great to have!

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SMSL A8 seems to be a good one. I just purchased one. Although I haven't listened to it yet it had gained some good reputation on Chinese websites and forums. Would be great to measure it. It is about $540USD but I'm sure you can find better deal.
Oh and it's actually an DAC + Amp... using ICEPOWER outputting 125w x 2. It's actually quite a lot of bang for buck :) I borrowed a Bluesound Powernode 2i to test with my speakers and this one only output 60w x 2. Not even enough for bookshelves in a small room. If SMSL A8 can handle my secondary system well it would be a great bargain.
 
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..another vote for Rupert Neve Designs RNHP Precision Headphone Amp

For future - they also have a new DAC and headphone amp (seen @ CanJamLondon 2019). I bet these however are > $500.

Rupert Neve Designs Introduces Fidelice™ Line of High-Fidelity Products
 
SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase sztereó erősítő teszt

[Hungarian] https://www.av-online.hu/hifi/svs-prime-wireless-soundbase-sztereo-erosito-teszt_2626

to English: https://translate.google.com/transl...wireless-soundbase-sztereo-erosito-teszt_2626

SVS-Prime-Wireless-SoundBase-inside.jpg
 
Any possibility to get your hands on and check Garage1217's Project Polaris? Can be acquired as DIY kit or have it built by them. Price starting from 215USD.

Project Polaris
 
Picked up a DA-8 for a little under $250 and I've been very happy with it compared to the Klipsch PowerGate. It's not nearly as powerful, but I'm not trying to get above 90 dB in any situation so this thing provides plenty of power for me.
 
Maybe some integrated amps? Marantz PM5005 and Music Hall A15.3?
Also, Arcam SA20. Well above the $500 mark but considering it has ESS Sabre DAC and phono stage the price does not seem too out of line.
 
I feel like the $249 Emotiva BasX A-100 is the most glaring omission from the current collection of tested budget amps. The $419 A-300 would also be very interesting since it is 3x more powerful and has a 10dB higher specified SNR. According to their website sorting algorithm these are their two best-selling amplifiers, and that is easy to believe based on how many people seem to love them in the wild. (94% 5 star reviews on Amazon for the A-100)

Sorry if I sound like a shill, especially since this is my first post, but I was actually interested in buying one of these (or perhaps even the A-150 since it has mostly identical listed specs to the A-300 save for the power rating and the A-300 has many complaints of squealing fan noise when they're not even moving).
 
My problem with buying more stuff is that I can't test the mountain of gear that is already here, including some amps I have bought. So can't justify buying the Emotiva. If someone wants to buy it and drop ship it to me, I can test it.
 
The Onkyo tx-rz820. On Amazon now for $399. Used as a stereo 2-channel amp . (Bi-amp would also be nice..) .Including DAC as well as line inputs. Forget the HDMI crap, etc.

Does it have nanny circuits like the Pioneer?
 
My problem with buying more stuff is that I can't test the mountain of gear that is already here, including some amps I have bought. So can't justify buying the Emotiva. If someone wants to buy it and drop ship it to me, I can test it.

You should just put up an e-waste dumpster bin somewhere and test what shows up.
 
You should just put up an e-waste dumpster bin somewhere and test what shows up.

Given the high cost of disposal for electronics that might interesting. The township waste hauling service I use wants about $100 per box not to weigh more than 20 lbs. They provide the box. I can't remember the dimensions but, no flat screen TV would fit!
 
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I think the best strategy for choosing gear to measure is to think of it as a sampling exercise. There is simply too much on the market, so focus on typical examples of particular categories like budget 2x100 watt or so integrated amplifiers, modern stereo receivers, affordable 2x250+watt power amplifiers, dsp room eq gear, some classics like the Quad 606-909 power amps or big power Japanse stuff from the last century, and whenever possible the occasional super expensive boutique gear. This should give an idea of where in the market one does not need to worry, and where one does.
 
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And one or more tests that I would like to see would be of the Yamaha AS501/701/801 amplifiers, with their beefy traditional construction, plus modern digital inputs. They have been measured in various places, and seem to be about as good as it gets for an only modest outlay. The AS501 sells in the Netherlands for about 350 euro (about $385) and the AS 701 for 550 euro (about $600).
 
And one or more tests that I would like to see would be of the Yamaha AS501/701/801 amplifiers, with their beefy traditional construction, plus modern digital inputs. They have been measured in various places, and seem to be about as good as it gets for an only modest outlay. The AS501 sells in the Netherlands for about 350 euro (about $385) and the AS 701 for 550 euro (about $600).

I do have the AS701 and is as good as Audioholics guys said and measured. On CD-Direct there is no audible noise, even 1m in front of speakers. Enough power for the living room.
 
I would also be interested in seeing a test of one of the new Yamaha PX series pro audio power amps. Their Pxx00s predecessors measured very well and were a real bargain. Perhaps they are an alternative to the disappointing Crown amp that Amir tested.
 
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