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Amplifier for Wharfedale Linton, budget $ 1,300

kaffe

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Howdy

Having finally settled on a choice of speakers, I would appreciate some further advice on which amplifier to pick to go along with them.

I'm going for a pair of Linton speakers from Wharfedale, so the amplifier will need sufficient juice to run them at reasonable volumes, i.e. volumes that won't damage your hearing (sitting distance from the speakers are approximately 2-3 meters (~7-9 feet).

I don't need any analog inputs as I will only be streaming music.
My budget maximum is around $ 1,300 (streaming capabilities included).

So far I have considered a bunch of amplifiers, including i.a.:
Experience has shown me that I will be needing a volume knob - adjusting volume solely by remote and/or phone might need be enough for me. For instance, when I used an iPhone and/or WiiM remote to adjust the volume on a WiiM Amp, the volume would be either too loud or too low - I couldn't adjust the volume properly. Thus, I could go for a power amplifier, but I would need a volume knob on the preamp/DAC then.

To get streaming capabilities, I need to buy a streamer in addition to the amplifier (unless included, of course). I am thinking some sort of WiiM would do the job fine, the choice of a particular model depending on whether it will act as a DAC as well.

As seen, the amplifiers I have listed come at different prices.
The Leak has HDMI ARC which I would definitely be using. It is, however, not a dealbreaker for me.

Obviously I would like as much performance as possible within the budget range, while keeping an eye to the quality/longevity of the components.

Which amplifier/combination would you recommend considering these factors?
 
D

Deleted member 48726

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ANOTHER ONE?

;)

I'll suggest something different than the Yamaha A-S501 this time then. Namely this one-->

 

Fontie

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OP
K

kaffe

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I'm not sure what this in dollars at the moment, but notice it's been significantly reduced in the UK: https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/row/en/products/evo/evo-75
It sells for what corresponds to around $ 1,700 here so quite pricey.

ANOTHER ONE?

;)

I'll suggest something different than the Yamaha A-S501 this time then. Namely this one-->


Ha, sorry. Figured I could use a more matching topic description since I have settled on the Lintons.

i have the Lintons with this and the miniDSP flex...works a dream

I am considering going for the miniDSP Flex as well. You can even get one with HDMI if you care to pay the extra.

Would have to limit myself to another amplifier, though. Probably one of these?

Very similarly priced. The MPA-S250NC XLR has a SINAD of 96: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/audiophonics-mpa-s250nc-amp-review.45306/
The AP300-S2503E contains 3e Audio PFFB amplifier module. As such it hasn't been tested yet as far as I know, but the chip itself has been. Test indicate a SINAD of 102: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tpa3255-amplifier-kit-480-1-29a-review.50283/
 

djb

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Looking forward to further replies. I have been considering a Emotiva Basix A2 to replace my 15 YO Dennon.
 

Miniyouuuu

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Did you try Class D and Class AB?
I tried a Cambridge Audio Evo 150 and was nice, but I felt more confortable with Class AB amps. Plenty of power but less character.

Class AB you can try Yamaha R-N800/E-N1000, audiolab 7000A (more neutral than warm Leak 230), Technics GX70, Arcam A25, marantz stereo 70, Cambridge Audio CXA81, Musical Fidelity M3SI, Rega Elex…

I chosed the Audiolab 9000 but its costlier. Audiolab 7000 and Rega Elex would be my choices. Audiolab is very neutral, rega feels punchier.
 

mglobe

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If you decide you want to go down the MiniDSP route I’d advise that you get a power amp and skip the integrated amplifier. The Flex can act as your pre unless you decide to go down the vinyl route, and even if you do, you there are ways to run the vinyl signal through the DSP.
 

DSJR

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Whatever you like the facilities and look of that offers 100WPC or so at 8 ohms with low distortion and which is in your price range...
 
D

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warm Leak 230

On what basis do you deem the Leak 230 to be "warm"?


Jim
 

Count Arthur

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On what basis do you deem the Leak 230 to be "warm"?


Jim
That 0.2 dB roll off at 20k. :p

1703971538650.jpeg
 

Miniyouuuu

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Ok, stereophile said “Its tonal balance tended more toward sweet than warm”.
Comparing the Leak to the Audiolab, which I have heard both at the same space with the same speaker, Audiolab tended more neutral, Leak more “sweet”. Considering Lintons are also “sweet”, the match with Audiolab remains neutral, but Linton+Leak is honey.
 

Short38

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You will likely enjoy any of the combinations recommended and discussed above. A power amp and dac should also work well. See mglobe post above. You might consider a Marantz 2 power channel amp.
 

terryforsythe

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Amir recently gave the Hypex Nilai500DIY a great review. That one was mono, but there also is a stereo version, the Hypex Nilai500DIY stereo. I have my eye on that one.

Combine that with a MiniDSP Flex, and it will be awesome, but over budget. Pairing it with a WiiM Pro or WiiM Pro Plus will keep it closer to your budget.

It comes as a kit, but does not look like it is overly complicated. For the most part, just screw the modules into the chassis and plug in some cables. There is even a YouTube video showing how to do it.

 

Chrispy

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Back to the WiiM amp volume experience, just what sort of dB increments were available in the amp/devices? Hard to imagine not finding combo there that would work....

Most subjective comments at stereophile hard to take seriously.
 
D

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Ok, stereophile said “Its tonal balance tended more toward sweet than warm”.
Comparing the Leak to the Audiolab, which I have heard both at the same space with the same speaker, Audiolab tended more neutral, Leak more “sweet”. Considering Lintons are also “sweet”, the match with Audiolab remains neutral, but Linton+Leak is honey.

Those are subjective descriptions, not correlated to anything measurable. They are misleading and 100% worthless.

An amp that measures flat (neutral) and has the capacity to handle the reactive characteristics of the speaker that it is driving without clipping has no audible characteristics. IOW, it has no "sound". None. What comes out of the amplifier is what went in, with the addition of gain only. Those amps are what I call "competent designs".

There are amps that are either accidentally (the minority) or deliberately (the majority) designed to have a "sound". Tube amps and a few solid state amps are this way. I call these amps "incompetent designs". The raison d'etre is simple: marketing. If an amp truly has a "sound", then the salesperson can point to the affected amp and claim that it's "better".

Not only that, but there are other factors at play. Any demonstration that is not critically balanced as to power will favor the louder element. Some DACs, some preamps and some amps have differing input/output levels and/or sensitivities. Those can be manipulated to fool the listener.

To make things worse, the power of suggestion can be used to lead a listener to hear differences where none exist. Biases can be powerful, and they can be nurtured. Here is a list of biases:


If you think your ears (or actually, your brain) is difficult to fool, think again. This is just the tip of the iceberg:


And if you want to know how to compare two items accurately, here is the method:


So ... basically, subjective descriptions are deceptive (misleading) and worthless. Scientific tests and measurements, designed to control or eliminate bias and emotion, are
what are dependable, reproducible and accurate beyond the capacity of the human senses.
It's not that subjectivity has no place in the human experience. It does. It is the final arbiter of personal choice, but that's all. Nothing more. :)

Jim
 
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kaffe

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Back to the WiiM amp volume experience, just what sort of dB increments were available in the amp/devices? Hard to imagine not finding combo there that would work....

Most subjective comments at stereophile hard to take seriously.
Mind you I only used the WiiM for an hour or so, but I am pretty sure no combinations were actually possible. If I hit volume up once on the device via the remote, I could see the volume on my phone go up correspondingly. I was using Airplay streaming.
 

Miniyouuuu

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Those are subjective descriptions, not correlated to anything measurable. They are misleading and 100% worthless.

An amp that measures flat (neutral) and has the capacity to handle the reactive characteristics of the speaker that it is driving without clipping has no audible characteristics. IOW, it has no "sound". None. What comes out of the amplifier is what went in, with the addition of gain only. Those amps are what I call "competent designs".

There are amps that are either accidentally (the minority) or deliberately (the majority) designed to have a "sound". Tube amps and a few solid state amps are this way. I call these amps "incompetent designs". The raison d'etre is simple: marketing. If an amp truly has a "sound", then the salesperson can point to the affected amp and claim that it's "better".

Not only that, but there are other factors at play. Any demonstration that is not critically balanced as to power will favor the louder element. Some DACs, some preamps and some amps have differing input/output levels and/or sensitivities. Those can be used to fool the listener.

To make things worse, the power of suggestion can be used to lead a listener to hear differences where none exist. Biases can be powerful, and they can be nurtured. Here is a list of biases:


If you think your ears (or actually, your brain) is difficult to fool, think again. This is just the tip of the iceberg:


And if you want to know how to compare two items accurately, here is the method:


So ... basically, subjective descriptions are deceptive (misleading) and worthless. Scientific tests and measurements, designed to control or eliminate bias and emotion, are
what are dependable, reproducible and accurate beyond the capacity of the human senses.
It's not that subjectivity has no place in the human experience. It does. It is the final arbiter of personal choice, but that's all. Nothing more. :)

Jim
I agree. Sometimes there is a fact that explains our feelings, and usually “HIFi feelings” tend to have biases.

Would you prefer a medical examination without any doctor presence, only based on 3 graphs? I don’t. Would you buy a car without seating on it and have a ride? I don’t. Maybe ferrari facts are wonderfull for tracks, but your city has potholes.

The amount of data you require to ensure you are not biased is high. I like to hear gear and read their facts. I wouldn’t buy anything without trying it before, and I wouldn’t try anything with terrible facts.

In my case I tried these amps with that speaker. It’s 100% worthless for you, ok. I wanted to give others some extra information about these amps.

Some hate the Lintons, some love them. Erin discovered they are preatty neutral, with a bit of roll of on highs.

Evo 150 and many class D are technically perfectly suitable for Lintons. I really liked it for electronic music. No distorsion, plenty of power.

Evo failed to me when I played 60/70 pop or rock. Leonard Cohen sounds better on Rega. Music with distortion included in the mix is hard to reproduce on detailed amps/dacs/speakers.

Audiolab (same Wharfedale group) was a perfect match: not as clear as Class D Evo, not as “vintage” as Rega. And Leak (also Wharfedale Group was closer to Rega.
 

DanielT

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One thing you can't get around is the Linton + Leak Stereo 230 is a killer in terms of looks.:D Among the best-looking amp-speaker combination I've seen in a long time. And the Leak Stereo 230 is what Jim Taylor calls competent designs. So it's a good amp.

Is it worth spending twice as much on an amp, if we compare the Leak Stereo 230 with the Yamaha A-S501(also a competent design)
, if you don't hear any difference between them? Maybe it is, what do I know. Or rather, only the OP knows. Both amps have about the same amount of power, basically the same features so is it worth spending that extra $550 to buy a Leak Stereo 230?

But it again the looks:
maxresdefault.jpgimage-2.1280x1280.jpg

I also think that the Yamaha A-S501 has a nice classic Yamaha look, so it is not ashamed of itself in terms of the looks.:)
 
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