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Which >$1000 integrated solid state amps should we be looking at?

Blake Klondike

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#1
Since it looks as though no affordable integrated SS amps are thus far testing well enough to receive a solid recommendation, which amps would you all recommend for >$1000? Any thoughts on where the sweet spot is from $300-1000? I have been told by folks at my local hifi shop that something like the Rega Brio is competitively good and that noticeable differences start at about $2k. Given that the fundamental science for signal amplification seems to have been solidified 50+ years ago, it is hard to figure where to start looking. Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

Willem

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#5
And if you do not need the usb input there is the otherwise identical AS 701 with only optical and coaxial inputs or with slightly lower power output the AS 501. The latter sells for just 339 euro in Europe and would be a perfect budget amplifier for any small to medium size room.
These three amplifiers are the updated versions with digital inputs of their otherwise identical predecessors, the AS 700 and AS 500 that also measured very well:
https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/hi-fi/yamaha-a-s700-integrated-amplifier-393552
https://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/hi-fi/yamaha-a-s500-amplifier-review-test-395710
I am particularly impressed by their exemplary performance under a realistic speaker load. This means they are truly straight wires with gain under realistic conditions, and it suggests not only good design but also a generous power supply.
 
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BillG

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#7
I suspect that this would measure quite well, at least based on the manufacturer’s stated specifications. And it's rather reasonably priced at $600USD:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SMS...ower-Amplifier-DAC-Headphone/32834564523.html

Here's its little brother priced at $450USD:


https://m.aliexpress.com/item/32867...d=5625amp-l8WLfcNQ3jDKoIyd_T2Jpg1558423540410

Someone measured its DAC and headphone amp performance and found them to be quite good:


http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/08/measurements-smsl-a6-as-dac-part-ii.html
 
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#8

Matias

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#9
Since it looks as though no affordable integrated SS amps are thus far testing well enough to receive a solid recommendation, which amps would you all recommend for >$1000? Any thoughts on where the sweet spot is from $300-1000? I have been told by folks at my local hifi shop that something like the Rega Brio is competitively good and that noticeable differences start at about $2k. Given that the fundamental science for signal amplification seems to have been solidified 50+ years ago, it is hard to figure where to start looking. Any thoughts? Thanks!
https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/product-page/nord-one-int-tvcnc500-super-integrated
 

amirm

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#11

Matias

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#12
One of the amps I am testing is the Nord power amplifier.
I know, the NC500 based power amplifier. I have a similar one from Apollon.
I am very very curious to see the measurements difference between Sonic Imagery and Sparkos opamps, specially the harmonics! :)
 

LTig

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#13
Measurements of a Yamaha A-S801:

https://www.audioholics.com/amplifi...1-amplifier-review/yamaha-a-s801-measurements

Not endorsing this amp, just pointing out the measurements.
Well, the measurent results of the power amp are what you should be looking for: THD below 0.01% from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and some 70-80% more power at 4 ohm compared to at 8 Ohm, all values measured with both channels driven. Such an amplifier should be able to drive most speakers without problems.
 

amirm

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#15
PW-Amp, March Audio P252
I don't have the March yet but of course have the PW-Amp. There is a delay in me having to re-build my dummy load to more properly test power amplifiers. I will see if I can get it (dummy load) done tonight or tomorrow.....
 

Daverz

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#16
Well, the measurent results of the power amp are what you should be looking for: THD below 0.01% from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and some 70-80% more power at 4 ohm compared to at 8 Ohm, all values measured with both channels driven. Such an amplifier should be able to drive most speakers without problems.
But what if it has poor PRaT?
 
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