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Thread: Integrated amp recommendations

  1. #51
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,074
    I'm Mike.

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    Enjoying this thread, thinking of changing over to an integrated myself, I really do not see the point of 2, 3, or if Naim 23 boxes! What source/s do you use David?
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amps - Quad 909/306/Croft micro 25. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  2. #52
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,407
    I'm Phil.

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    quite , it simplifies things
    these are some thoughts on the lavardin in situ at the moment . not as detailed as the a21se but enjoyable

    Due the kindness of a friend i have had a lavardin Is ref here to play with . We don`t hear a huge amount about this french brand . They are supposed to be `valve like` whatever your interpretation of that is and apparently have this memory distortion effect which according to the web site is this :

    Memory distortion is a new concept in distortion process analysis. Usual concepts of distortion are based on a very simple distortion model which does not tally with the real behaviour of electronic circuits. In the classic theoretical model of distortion, distortion of a non selective circuit results from its band limitations for linear distortion and from its non-linear transfer function for non-linear distortion. This model is a good approximation for audio circuits. But for highest quality audio it is too simplistic. It results from a tonal approach to circuits for design and measurement.

    The tonal approach is very important and can be done accurately, but it ignores time; and musical flow is a key issue. That means that the classic approach to distortion measurements are valid only for time independent systems. However, the main difference between noise and music IS organisation in time.

    Its a very light amp compared to some weighing around 6kg ish , pretty cool running and very silent in mode. it does make a slight pop in the tannoys [eaton legacy] on turning on and off . it has no remote as its an older model.

    Initially used with a very modest rotel 965bx as a transport into a teac dac and then used a marantz sa8005 sacd player . cabling is chord epic biwired .

    Not too long ago a sugden a21se was in its place and that was an exceptional amp which has been described elsewhere . The first time i used this with some impulse horns i can`t say it set me on fire with enthusiasm , preferring them with other amps .

    However the Tannoys are a different beast and using with the Rotel it was very musical and toe tapping . very fluid and engaging . Playing new dawn on the naim label
    https://www.discogs.com/Dominic-Mill...elease/4735254

    and Ian Boddy chiasmata which is ambient electronica

    https://din.org.uk/track/chiasmata-2

    it actually makes you really want to turn it up and keep on listening . Changing to the marantz and playing vincent belanger LA album the texture of the cello is very apparent .
    https://audionote.shop/audio-note-mu...nt-belanger-la

    There is more detail and focus with the marantz . quite an immersive listen and instruments are very natural indeed . it is not forensically detailed like some systems i have had but it has a delicacy and finesse that is quite compelling

    whether all you naim fans would like it i am not sure because it may not have quite the same slam and dynamic sound but it certainly plays music very well. I have been told it sounds similar to an audionote OTTO but i have never compared myself . Anyway its lovely to find an amp that you want to turn up and not want to turn down as it grates on your ears
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs, ice power amps /rotel cd/teac ud-ho1 bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]arcam a75 marantz sa8005 jolida modwright dac and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  3. #53
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Enjoying this thread, thinking of changing over to an integrated myself, I really do not see the point of 2, 3, or if Naim 23 boxes! What source/s do you use David?
    For practical reasons I've been conducting my recent amp comparisons using only streamed music - mainly from Tidal, all via a Raspberry Pi 4 (running Volumio) and through a Topping D10 DAC. I have other DACs and CD players but find this relatively inexpensive setup sounds surprisingly good. I normally listen to a lot of vinyl (Rega Planar 3 / Nagaoka MP110 / Schiit Mani pre-amp and Technics SL1200 MK5 / Denon DL103 / Sugden A21SE Stage Two pre-amp), but haven't bothered for these recent listening sessions. Speakers are Spendor S9e's.

    So, I just picked up a used Elex-R and have tried it for a few hours this evening, but am not as happy with it as I was when I heard it at at my local dealer, where I found it sounded better than my FMJ A39 and even an Elicit-R. I do need to spend some more time with the Elex-R, but for some reason I'm currently finding it sounds a little less full-bodied than I remember. It somehow manages to sound smooth and perhaps slightly recessed throughout the midrange (though I've never heard anyone else describe it as such) and extending into the (lower) higher frequencies, yet this is topped off with quite a bright sting to the highest frequencies, which I'm finding too much with some recordings but others sound fine. The A39 presents as more powerful in the mids and upper bass with a slightly more tamed top end (though not soft like my A19). In the demo at my dealers, my A39 sounded a tad too heavy in the bass and mids and also I thought I was hearing some hardness, whereas the Elex-R was just right....but so far I am finding my A39 to be the better sounding (to my personal taste) in my own home.

    But, as I said.....need to spend more time with the Elex-R....might need to get more accustomed to it and maybe the limited selection of music I've tried has so far has not played to it's strengths. Will report back after more listening and comparisons.

    @hifinutt - really wish I still had my A21SE.....I remember it fondly and would be interesting to compare to these amps I have now. The Lavardin sounds very interesting.

  4. #54
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,074
    I'm Mike.

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    Isn't the Sugden A21 rather limited in what speakers it can drive being only 25w?
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amps - Quad 909/306/Croft micro 25. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  5. #55
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,074
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yabadaba View Post
    For practical reasons I've been conducting my recent amp comparisons using only streamed music - mainly from Tidal, all via a Raspberry Pi 4 (running Volumio) and through a Topping D10 DAC. I have other DACs and CD players but find this relatively inexpensive setup sounds surprisingly good. I normally listen to a lot of vinyl (Rega Planar 3 / Nagaoka MP110 / Schiit Mani pre-amp and Technics SL1200 MK5 / Denon DL103 / Sugden A21SE Stage Two pre-amp), but haven't bothered for these recent listening sessions. Speakers are Spendor S9e's.

    So, I just picked up a used Elex-R and have tried it for a few hours this evening, but am not as happy with it as I was when I heard it at at my local dealer, where I found it sounded better than my FMJ A39 and even an Elicit-R. I do need to spend some more time with the Elex-R, but for some reason I'm currently finding it sounds a little less full-bodied than I remember. It somehow manages to sound smooth and perhaps slightly recessed throughout the midrange (though I've never heard anyone else describe it as such) and extending into the (lower) higher frequencies, yet this is topped off with quite a bright sting to the highest frequencies, which I'm finding too much with some recordings but others sound fine. The A39 presents as more powerful in the mids and upper bass with a slightly more tamed top end (though not soft like my A19). In the demo at my dealers, my A39 sounded a tad too heavy in the bass and mids and also I thought I was hearing some hardness, whereas the Elex-R was just right....but so far I am finding my A39 to be the better sounding (to my personal taste) in my own home.

    But, as I said.....need to spend more time with the Elex-R....might need to get more accustomed to it and maybe the limited selection of music I've tried has so far has not played to it's strengths. Will report back after more listening and comparisons.

    @hifinutt - really wish I still had my A21SE.....I remember it fondly and would be interesting to compare to these amps I have now. The Lavardin sounds very interesting.
    Try the Elex with some vinyl, I wouldn't dream of using streaming as a main source! I also use a Nag cart - the MP200, best damn 250 you'll ever spend!
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amps - Quad 909/306/Croft micro 25. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  6. #56
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Isn't the Sugden A21 rather limited in what speakers it can drive being only 25w?
    The A21SE is quoted at 30w (into 8 Ohms) I believe, but yes it's still relatively low powered. It did, however, seem to drive my S9e's well.

    I've been thinking about upgrading to the MP200 cart for some time now....I'll pull the trigger on one in the not too distant future. Might also need to consider moving away from the Schiit Mani too, as I am beginning to suspect it is compressing the sound a little.

  7. #57
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Brighton, UK.

    Posts: 1,074
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yabadaba View Post
    The A21SE is quoted at 30w (into 8 Ohms) I believe, but yes it's still relatively low powered. It did, however, seem to drive my S9e's well.

    I've been thinking about upgrading to the MP200 cart for some time now....I'll pull the trigger on one in the not too distant future. Might also need to consider moving away from the Schiit Mani too, as I am beginning to suspect it is compressing the sound a little.
    I buy my Nagaoka carts/styli from ebay sellers based in Japan, saves about 100, I've bought 3 and haven't been hit by customs yet. Replacement styli about 130 at the minute.
    Current system. NAS Interspace, Jelco 750, /Nagaoka MP 200/Graham Slee Era V. CDP - Mission PCM 7000. Amps - Quad 909/306/Croft micro 25. Chario Syntar 100 Tower. QED XT40 speaker cable/Straight wire interconnects.

  8. #58
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,407
    I'm Phil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    Isn't the Sugden A21 rather limited in what speakers it can drive being only 25w?
    It drove my 89db 8ohm tannoys beautifully , very powerful . fabulous amp . Its top of the list to return to service when finances allow
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs, ice power amps /rotel cd/teac ud-ho1 bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]arcam a75 marantz sa8005 jolida modwright dac and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  9. #59
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: South Wales

    Posts: 7,478
    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    Don't be put off by power output alone, for eg, i use a little 3 watt single ended [ directly coupled] valve intergrated in my workshop that i built many years ago now, and its currently running some jordan full range drivers in sealed boxes, which are around 84 db, and it will drive them to a decent listening level, my point being, its not just about power output, its more how the amp intergrates with the speaker load, and its varying impedance with frequency.
    Anyway, i guess what i am saying is; just try everything you can get your hands on, without prejudice, i think Jerry's methology is a very good example in that respect.
    A...
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla


    When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole... and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla, 1926
    We Send our kids to school to be Educated, not Medicated!

  10. #60
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 34
    I'm David.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeandvan View Post
    I buy my Nagaoka carts/styli from ebay sellers based in Japan, saves about 100, I've bought 3 and haven't been hit by customs yet. Replacement styli about 130 at the minute.
    Mike, any particular seller you'd recommend for the MP200? I've got a MP110 on my Rega 3 now, but fancy upgrading. Or, could even try it on my SL1200. Either way, I want one!

    NB: Elex-R better in general with a vinyl source, though I do still prefer the FMJ A39. I don't think it's my perfect amp, but best I have at the moment. Will stick with it for a while and put some money into better cartridge (MP200) and possibly improving my DAC.
    Last edited by yabadaba; 03-11-2019 at 14:38.

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