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Overall Best Bang for Bucks Amp under 1000 ?

Listener_

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to Hifi and I would like to know your recommendations for the "best bang for bucks" amplifier under 1000.
I'm using an old pair of speakers (Focal Chorus 714s) that I currently use with an old Yamaha AVR (Rx-V450).
While, I find it very good for my home theatre use, i know i'm missing when it comes to musicality.
That's why i'm looking for the best integrated amp to match these nice focal speakers.
My room is 20m2 and I listen to all kind of music (let me add that I really appreciate good vocals !).

After all my research, those are the amps that are being spotlighted (some) : Loxjie A30, SMSL Da-9, Sony, STR DH190, Marantz PM6007, Rega Brio or even Cambridge CXA61. In other words, will the huge price difference between an entry "chinese" amp and a more expensive one be worth it (according to my focal speakers). What about inexpensive "tube amps".
I plan to pair the amp which a Chromecast audio to stream my music.

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions . I'm of course open to other amps and recommendations !!

Thanking you in advance !!
 

DWPress

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As already mentioned, Hypex is probably your best bet - check out some of the offerings from @Buckeye Amps which have been reviewed here on ASR if you are in the US.
 

Shanman

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Intergrated? I would take a look at a Denon AVR-X3*** or higher that is last years model etc that is in the budget. Run it 2.1 with a sub and have bass management, Audyssey room EQ, and streaming all at your fingertips. Or, check out an Outlaw RR 2160II. A nice stereo integrated with bass management and streaming built in as well.
 

Chrise36

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Yamaha RN 803. Topping pre and audiophonics stereo ncore amps.
 

UniPolar

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Guess you need an integrated amp to connect your chromecast audio.. I forget how mine was connected, but I think it was via SP/DIF (toslink) to the amp ..
Anyway, it worked very well..

The 'overall best bang for the buck' changes over time. But IF you buy used, there are many amps to be had at bargain prices.

How do you know you are missing some 'musicality' with your current setup ?
will the huge price difference between an entry "chinese" amp and a more expensive one be worth it ?

If you've been reading test results on ASR, you have likely seen that price and performance are not necessary related...

Anyway, to provide an answer, all things being equal, I'd pick an amp based on the best customer service and warranty...
 

jtgofish

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Best value is second hand.Something like an Exposure or Naim or Creek or Musical Fidelity integrated which might only be about 5 years old.The Rega Brio might struugle to drive your speakers.Or a much older Accuphase like an E205 which has beautiful build quality and sound. Give the Chinese no-names a miss.They have no track record of reliability or parts support.
 

Doodski

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Best value is second hand.Something like an Exposure or Naim or Creek or Musical Fidelity integrated which might only be about 5 years old.The Rega Brio might struugle to drive your speakers.Or a much older Accuphase like an E205 which has beautiful build quality and sound. Give the Chinese no-names a miss.They have no track record of reliability or parts support.
What kind of power output are those brands going to have with used product? I thought Naim, Creek and Musical Fidelity are low wattage output for the money.
 

jtgofish

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What kind of power output are those brands going to have with used product? I thought Naim, Creek and Musical Fidelity are low wattage output for the money.

The Focals are quite efficient speakers.You do not need much power to drive them well.Around 50 watts into 8 ohms/80 watts into 4 ohms should be plenty .Better off with more quality and less quantity.The amps I suggested also have proper active preamp sections which can make a big difference.
 

Doodski

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The amps I suggested also have proper active preamp sections which can make a big difference.
I don't get it. Active preamps means it amplifies the input and then send that to the amp section. Are you suggesting other amps are passive and not active?
 

Phorize

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Best value is second hand.Something like an Exposure or Naim or Creek or Musical Fidelity integrated which might only be about 5 years old.The Rega Brio might struugle to drive your speakers.Or a much older Accuphase like an E205 which has beautiful build quality and sound. Give the Chinese no-names a miss.They have no track record of reliability or parts support.

The OP is concerned about value for money, a new Yamaha 701 or some of the other suggestions. As an ex accuphase e202 owner I can attest to the fact that they are wonderful, but it will need servicing to operate at factory spec which can get expensive.
 

Phorize

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The Focals are quite efficient speakers.You do not need much power to drive them well.Around 50 watts into 8 ohms/80 watts into 4 ohms should be plenty .Better off with more quality and less quantity.The amps I suggested also have proper active preamp sections which can make a big difference.

The OP may change the speakers at some point though, and most new speakers are pretty inefficient. The difference that active/passive pre stages make depends on the use case. As demonstrated in Amir’s testing of the Schitt Freya, a passive stage can have higher SINAD the a well engineered active. Audibility is another question.
 

nemanja_t

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Stereo Yamaha R-N803, AV Denon 3700H. I am using Yamaha with 906s, it has enough punch to drive them. Denon is a bit stronger, but also a bit more expensive.
 

RoA

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What kind of power output are those brands going to have with used product? I thought Naim, Creek and Musical Fidelity are low wattage output for the money.

Power is not the be and end all. Synergy, a good room and personal preferences is where it's at.

Heard an amazing pairing of an Audiolab 6000A and a pair of tiny Rogers LS35A's. I thought it was Magic. Who'd have thought?

Some of these cheap Chinese chip amplifiers sound crude and I don't think they hold up to something from Rega, Audiolab, CA etc.

They may look 'reasonable' on a graph but when it comes to playing music ...

Having said that, I still have a Topping MX3 which was a quick in-between solution. Once I added a tube buffer and swapped for some Mullard's it sounded perfectly acceptable (I think the MX3 measures cr*** ... perhaps that's why). Musical but still not Hifi.

My vote for best amplifier under a grand goes to the Audiolab 6000a Play or Quad Vena Play.

Pair with some Quad S2's and you have a lovely, unpretentious but well featured little system that would keep many happy for years imho.
 
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Daverz

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Where did anyone recommend "cheap Chinese chip amplifiers" or "Chinese no-names"? Hypex was the most mentioned. These use standard modules, so you just choose an assembler with a good track record or assemble the amp yourself.
 

Doodski

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Power is not the be and end all. Synergy, a good room and personal preferences is where it's at.

Heard an amazing pairing of an Audiolab 6000A and a pair of tiny Rogers LS35A's. I thought it was Magic. Who'd have thought?

Some of these cheap Chinese chip amplifiers sound crude and I don't think they hold up to something from Rega, Audiolab, CA etc.

They may look 'reasonable' on a graph but when it comes to playing music ...

Having said that, I still have a Topping MX3 which was a quick in-between solution. Once I added a tube buffer and swapped for some Mullard's it sounded perfectly acceptable (I think the MX3 measures cr*** ... perhaps that's why). Musical but still not Hifi.

My vote for best amplifier under a grand goes to the Audiolab 6000a Play or Quad Vena Play.

Pair with some Quad S2's and you have a lovely, unpretentious but well featured little system that would keep many happy for years imho.
Adding a tube buffer just adds distortion and fuzz.
The Quad Vena II/Quad Vena Play has IC outputs. (chip amps as you call them)
quad vena-II-inside-image-11.jpg
 

Plcamp

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I will note that used power amps can be great value. I’ve (four times) obtained old Hafler and Adcom power amps at about $200 Canadian, with a cleanup and test they are like new performance. Paired with an e30 DAC it’s just great.
 
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