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Small amp recommendation (NAD Amp1 - Wiim Amp - Yamaha WXA-50 - Argon Sa1 - others?)

A777

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Hello fine forum members!

This is my first post, so be kind ;) I hope i found the right forum to place this thread in.

I need a small desktop amplifier, not much physically bigger than the amps below. I've been reading the forum reviews of the amps, except i couldn't find one for the Nad. I need help deciding on one of them, or maybe you have another suggestion entirely, in the same price range?

The amp will be used mainly for near field listening on a pair of System Audio Talent speakers (already owned), with audio input from a pc. If i cannot find an option with built in dac, i will be buying a seperate dac, probably an ifi zen 2 or similar price ranged one.

I prefer a warm-ish sound more than clinically clean. And preferably not aliexpress/amazon cheapish amps. Must be for sale in Europe.

Here are my very non-scientific thoughts about the options:

Wiim Amp
- A bit more powerful than the Amp1/Sa1 - on the specsheet at least.
- Better reviewed than the Nad Amp1 and Argon Sa1 ?
- Lots of streaming options. Will probably save me the purchase of a seperate streaming unit.
- Middle of the price range

NAD Amp1
- Known brand
- Decent reviews around the internet, but if it's comparable to Argon Sa1, then maybe same downsides?
- Most expensive

Argon Sa1
- Same as Nad Amp1? Or at least based on the Nad. Worse components maybe?
- Review on this forum was not good: Bad analog input.
- Cheapest of the bunch, but not by much.

Yamaha WXA-50

- More clinically sounding, maybe? At least from my experience with the built in icepower-module's sound
- Outdated streaming options
- A bit, but not much, cheaper than the Nad Amp1


Other amps to consider? What are your thoughts?

Thank you very much for your thoughts and suggestions.
 

JeremyFife

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Hi, welcome to the forum

Of the Amps you list, the WiiM is well reviewed and has all the features that you want. Crucially, given that you are looking for a 'warm' sound, it also has PEQ which will let you adjust the sound.

It would be helpful if you could say a bit more about your speakers though. I don't know them but they sound quite specialised. Reading between the lines it sounds like they don't go low (and so may struggle to provide 'warmth').

You may get more comments saying; #1 electronics don't add warmth (unless they are broken, or tubes) #2 get a sub to help your speakers out and #3 consider changing your speakers (#3.1 consider active speakers like e.g. Kali UNF and a WiiM Pro Plus)
Don't dismiss those suggestions, all worth thinking about.

Good luck, enjoy the music :)
 
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A

A777

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Hi JeremyFife, thank you very much for the welcome and thorough reply :)

The Wiim PEQ looks smart, i will read up on that. I'm currently leaning towards the Wiim Amp too, but if there was arguments against it, and for one of the others, i would love to hear them.

The SA Talent speakers don't go to the deepest frequencies, but i'm not a basshead, and have been happy with smaller System Audio speakers before. I choose them partly because of the sleek, desk friendly design. I also live in an apartment building nearly a century old, meaning neighbours wouldn't be pleased with any kind of subwoofer :D

The specifications on the System Audio Talent are:
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) cm 21 x 33 x 12.
  • Load capacity 80 Watt.
  • Frequency range 50-40.000 Hz +/- 3 dB.
  • Impedance 8 ohms.
  • Sensitivity 86db
You can read more about them here: https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/system-audio/sa-talent.shtml
Manufacturers page: https://system-audio.com/en/product/sa-talent-2/

And here's what they look like:

SA-talent-7.jpg
 
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