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Thread: Integrated amp recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

    Default Integrated amp recommendations

    Hi, I recently picked up a nice condition Arcam FMJ A19 off eBay, which I bought based on what I imagined it might sound like from the reviews I read, but (having listened to it yesterday for a few hours), my initial impressions are that I don't think it has the sound signature that I'm after. Compared to my old NAD 3155, it sounds a little too plain/neutral, to the point that I kept edging up the volume, thinking the presentation might get a little more exciting....but the signature remains the same regardless of volume....which is probably a good sign, as long as that signature is to your liking.

    I absolutely do not like bright or hard sounding equipment, but do like what I guess might be described as a rich and full sound with a strong/heavy bottom end, smooth mids and clear, though definitely not shrill/piercing highs. The NAD sort of has this signature but also a coarseness (lack of resolution) that I don't like and it also sounds a bit compressed. Don't get me wrong, the A19 is clearly very good and much more refined/controlled than the NAD, but in my setup it does sound a bit 'boring' and doesn't engage me enough.

    I'm wondering whether a newer/better NAD or Rega or Marantz might suit better? As regards cost, I'm looking at an upper limit of circa £700 to £800, but would prefer to buy used so I can pick up something higher level and quite recent, but at around half the new cost. Hence me picking up the A19 for £325 instead of an SA10 at £700. Speakers are Spendor S9e's and main sources are a Rega Planar 3 (90's version) and Technics SL1200 mk5 for vinyl and streaming via a RP4 for my FLAC files and for Tidal/Spotify. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Rotherham

    Posts: 434
    I'm steve.

    Default

    If youíre wanting a warm sound then the new Rega Brio would be the best bet and itís in your budget.
    The Audiolab 6000A would be another one to look at, a friend of mine has one and loves it.
    Iíd also recommend the amp I use, the Cambridge CXA60 but itís probably a little to clean for your taste from what youíve said.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 26,395
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Can't see Arcam being a good march for Spendors, both are bit warm sounding. if you had Monitor Audio speakers - or similar - you'd probably find the Arcam perfect.

    With £700 to spend I'd go second-hand and get the most bang for buck. You want to find something that used to be top of the line. I'd look at Sony, Technics or Harmon Kardon, none of them sound warm so should be better match for the speakers and get some of the interest factor back. Rega amps hold their value quite well second hand so tend to be overpriced for what they are.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 26,395
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    How about an Accuphase or a Luxman?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ACCUPHASE...gAAOSwLtBcYEvs

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LUXMAN-L-...YAAOSwyTtdPtdA

    although the Luxman is collection only from Glasgow.

    That's the sort of thing I'd be looking at anyway.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steve-z View Post
    If you’re wanting a warm sound then the new Rega Brio would be the best bet and it’s in your budget.
    The Audiolab 6000A would be another one to look at, a friend of mine has one and loves it.
    I’d also recommend the amp I use, the Cambridge CXA60 but it’s probably a little to clean for your taste from what you’ve said.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Thanks Steve, I was already thinking the Brio, (or even an Elex-R if I could find used for the right price), might be more to my liking, but had never really come across the Audiolab before...used to hear of them a lot back in the 80's. I'll look into the 6000A.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    How about an Accuphase or a Luxman?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ACCUPHASE...gAAOSwLtBcYEvs

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LUXMAN-L-...YAAOSwyTtdPtdA

    although the Luxman is collection only from Glasgow.

    That's the sort of thing I'd be looking at anyway.
    Interesting Macca, thanks. Will research these. The good thing is, I don't think I'll have any trouble getting my money back on the Arcam, as it's in great condition and I'm sure will suit plenty of people out there.

    Update - Wow that Luxman looks like a work of art to me....wonder how they sound. It would be taking me down a different (more vintage) path, but very tempting.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 26,395
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    £700 buys you a lot of second-hand amplification these days, you should be able to get something really top notch with a bit of searching and patience. Personally I don't think that is Rega or Audiolab, but that's your decision.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Sony SCD XB790QS* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Posts: 591
    I'm Ian.

    Default

    Have a look for a Rogue Audio Sphinx - valve pre, solid state power, mm phono stage, tons of power and real grip on the speakers.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 60,442
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    had an arcam(modern) and it wasnt warm.anything but.
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Rotherham

    Posts: 434
    I'm steve.

    Default

    If you can find one the AVI Lab Series Integrated is a fabulous amp.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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