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Which integrated amplifier under 600 ?

The French

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Good Evening or morning, :)

I do have a pair of 20yo bookshelf speakers (Boston VR-M50), a Klipsch subwoofer, and a 12 years old Denon Ceol all in one amplifier.

As I'll be moving in a much bigger house soon, I want to change the amplifier. to get more power, and a nice piece of equipment.
I would have probably kept my Denon amplifier it the sun hasn't turned it half yellow (it was originally white, and made of plastic)

As new house means new credit, I won't spend more than 600€/ $600 max

As a headphones guy, ASR is my reference. It's been some time since I haven't buy something without the "approval" of a good measurement.
And ASR has never failed me.


But for a speaker amplifier, the equation seems more complex. Everybody doesn't have a dedicated room to listen to music, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one looking for a kinda classy amplifier.
If a Topping combo may looks good on a desk, it's not that sexy in a living room, a territory shared with wife and kids.

So my new amp should have/be :
Integrated (with a DAC)
At least 40W under 8 Ohms (the room is 40m2)
A subwoofer output (or a preout so it can feed the Sub)
An optical input
Ideally silver (don't ask me...)

And here is my final list (necessarly second hand) :

Yamaha RN803D : measured by Amir, not fantastic but recommanded, with many differents features but Room EQ means noise floor which is a bummer. As Bulky as an AVR.
Rotel A12 : not measured, seems to have everything I need, not as tall as the Yamaha which is great (not as powerfull either).
Nuprime IDA8 : not measured, but I bet it would probably be the best measured of this list. But It also looks like a toy, not very sexy (to me).
Cambridge CXA60 : not measured (the CXA81 has, nothing special but an issue when the USB input is plugged), several hifi award, very sexy to me in silver, but several reports of electronic issues.
Denon PMA600NE : not measured, looks nice, not that expensive, but it leaves me totally cold.


I'm maybe too old to give up my need for a nice amplifier, and it seems there is still a huge gap between the newer cheap Class D amplifier, and the ancient world, where higher price will make the reputation.
In other word, when will the Chinese make an affordable, reliable metal made amplifier ? (unless they already do)
I'm pretty sure I'll be very happy with either 1 of the 5 listed above, but I would have loved to get that satisfaction of having a well measured device.

If you've got recommandation based on my criterias... ;)
 
Last edited:

ftv

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Good Evening or morning, :)

I do have a pair of 20yo bookshelf speakers (Boston VR-M50), a Klipsch subwoofer, and a 12 years old Denon Ceol all in one amplifier.

As I'll be moving in a much bigger house soon, I want to change the amplifier. to get more power, and a nice piece of equipment.
I would have probably kept my Denon amplifier it the sun hasn't turned it half yellow (it was originally white, and made of plastic)

As new house means new credit, I won't spend more than 600€/ $600 max

As a headphones guy, ASR is my reference. It's been some time since I haven't buy something without the "approval" of a good measurement.
And ASR has never failed me.


But for a speaker amplifier, the equation seems more complex. Everybody doesn't have a dedicated room to listen to music, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one looking for a kinda classy amplifier.
If a Topping combo may looks good on a desk, it's not that sexy in a living room, a territory shared with wife and kids.

So my new amp should have/be :
Integrated (with a DAC)
At least 40W under 8 Ohms (the room is 40m2)
A subwoofer output (or a preout so it can feed the Sub)
An optical input
Ideally silver (don't ask me...)

And here is my final list (necessarly second hand) :

Yamaha RN803D : measured by Amir, not fantastic but recommanded, with many differents features but Room EQ means noise floor which is a bummer. As Bulky as an AVR.
Rotel A12 : not measured, seems to have everything I need, not as tall as the Yamaha which is great (not as powerfull either).
Nuprime IDA8 : not measured, but I bet it would probably be the best measured of this list. But It also looks like a toy, not very sexy (to me).
Cambridge CXA60 : not measured (the CXA81 has, nothing special but an issue when the USB input is plugged), several hifi award, very sexy to me in silver, but several reports of electronic issues.
Denon PMA600NE : not measured, looks nice, not that expensive, but it leaves me totally cold.


I'm maybe too old to give up my need for a nice amplifier, and it seems there is still a huge gap between the newer cheap Class D amplifier, and the ancient world, where higher price will make the reputation.
In other word, when will the Chinese make an affordable, reliable metal made amplifier ? (unless they already do)
I'm pretty sure I'll be very happy with either 1 of the 5 listed above, but I would have loved to get that satisfaction of having a well measured device.

If you've got recommandation based on my criterias... ;)
Based on your narratives for the amps in contention I'd say the Rotel is your preferred choice. Re: measurements, short of some fundamental design flaw they are overrated unless you really push the equipment :)eek: I know some here may disagree), and honestly at this price point I would not expect miracles. Having had multiple amps/receivers over the years I'd say decide on ease of use and sound (assuming you can audition them).
 

phoenixdogfan

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You might want to check out if Aiyima has an integrated with a DAC. Alternatively, if you can relax the requirement of having the DAC and amp in the same box, you could do something like a Topping D10 for $109 and pair it with the Aiyima A07 for $79, and have a complete system for $188. And, yes, the Aiyima will sound as good as a Rotel or any of those other budget amps and deliver around 50 wpc.
 

Zek

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The A-S301 is also very solid and even cheaper, but no silver option, to my knowledge.
Ta daaaaa
DXkRGzQubs5Bx9YfN9DMwQ.jpg
 
OP
The French

The French

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Pretty sure this checks all your boxes:


The A-S301 is also very solid and even cheaper, but no silver option, to my knowledge. (I've had one for about 5 years and it's been excellent.)

Thanks !
The A-S301 seems to be available in silver as well.
I've been able to see the N803 today, not as bulky as I thought it would be, but if it does have the vintage look, the quality of the volume knob is questionnable. :(
I probably shouldn't expect top notch quality at that price. I will have to see the S501 or S301 in person,
 
OP
The French

The French

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You might want to check out if Aiyima has an integrated with a DAC. Alternatively, if you can relax the requirement of having the DAC and amp in the same box, you could do something like a Topping D10 for $109 and pair it with the Aiyima A07 for $79, and have a complete system for $188. And, yes, the Aiyima will sound as good as a Rotel or any of those other budget amps and deliver around 50 wpc.

The problem with those tiny devices, is their look. In my living room, they won't "fit' my wife's requirements.
And I need a subwoofer output.
Plus, I've seen very concerning reviews regarding some Aiyima's amps.
One example :
I know there are also a lot of defective Topping products (I've had two, replaced by the seller).
But surely, such a combo will probably be as good as the amps i've listed.
 

REK2575

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I probably shouldn't expect top notch quality at that price. I will have to see the S501 or S301 in person,

I actually think the A-S301 is an outstanding value at $350. Sure, it's not top of the line equipment, but it gives you a lot for that pricepoint -- solid performance @60WPC, sturdy and reliable, and pretty good functionality given its onboard DAC.

A few months ago I had the exact opposite experience with the Topping PA-5. I opened it and immediately thought, 'I paid $350 for this?' I returned it not long afterward.
 
OP
The French

The French

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A few months ago I had the exact opposite experience with the Topping PA-5. I opened it and immediately thought, 'I paid $350 for this?' I returned it not long afterward.

Yeah, that's something Topping has to work on : being more sexy.
The PA5 in a bigger metal box, would be much more "audiophile" compatible. And they'll need to change their brand name too. :cool:

I'll try to find a store with a Yamaha 301 to hear it. Looks like a good Q/P product.
 

REK2575

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The PA-5 should at least have an integrated power supply at that pricepoint. Same goes for the LA90. Not to mention that there are serious questions about the PA-5's reliability; there's a whole thread on that, but I don't want to derail this thread. Suffice it to say, Topping amps have not impressed me, but Yamaha amps certainly have. Rotel too. I have a Rotel RB-1552 power (not integrated) amp, and the thing's a beast. I know you mentioned the Rotel A12 above. It would certainly be worth checking it out if you haven't already.
 

steve59

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that yamaha is under $600?
look up Anthem 225I and make me an offer.
 
OP
The French

The French

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that yamaha is under $600?
look up Anthem 225I and make me an offer.

If you're talking about the 803, it's more than $600 brand new, but there are plenty of used at around 600.
Anthem 225l doesn't have an optical input right ? (mandatory to me as my main/only source is a Chromecast audio)
 

MarcosCh

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+1 for Yamaha AS when it comes to classy looks for cheap price.
Chunky, nice finish, no screen, nice motorized volume knob and still does not look "old"
 

SKBubba

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What are your sources? Sonos Amp might be a solution.
 
OP
The French

The French

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What are your sources? Sonos Amp might be a solution.
My source is a Chromecast Audio, which has not a great DAC, but which does have an optical output. :(
So I need the optical intput (and a dac).
 

ceausuc

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how about smsl a300? it looks quite nice, just add a dac (SU-6 ?):

 
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