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Help me find an amp (with a precise list of specifications)

Discussion in 'audio' started by ex brickie, Jan 29, 2023.

  1. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Some of you will have seen my thread about a replacement to my all in one ATC SIACD. It will be going back to the ATC doctors soon as the input selections are temperamental.

    I will probably sell it on and replace because it doesn't have a tape out facility.

    Whilst boxing it up to send off I borrowed a Meridian 551 integrated amp as a back-up. On the plus side it drove my Boenicke speakers (4ohms and drop to 2 ohms) without breaking into a sweat (my ATC runs very warm). However, the sound from the 551 was not as refined as the ATC , nor as detailed (no surprise as it would have been a cheaper amp). In particular it is a bit splashy/tizzy in the treble - which is not like any Meridian tuners and CD players I've owned which tend to be on the warm side. It is also less detailed than the ATC

    I've given up on finding an all-in-one that meets all my needs so I want an integrated amp that is as good as the ATC but MUST have ALL the following:

    at least 3 RCA inputs (I use a tuner and CD)
    at least 2 digital inputs (ideally a coax and a Toslink but two of the same can be made to work)
    a tape out function (RCA)
    ability to drive greedy speakers (Boenickes) but only to very moderate levels in a 14 x 12 room

    Doesn't particularly need a phono stage but it would be a bonus

    Please don't recommend anything that doesn't have ALL of the above. I've seen loads with tape out. And loads with digital in. Few with both. Often they are lower in the range amps - I want the same quality as the ATC - and if anything on the neutral to warm side

    Ex-dem or secondhand absolutely fine. Assuming I sell or part-ex the ATC I could spend a total of £1500 to £2000. I don't mind something a few years old provided it is a brand strong on reliability

    I like Rega amps but havent seen one that meets all the needs (and some of the marketing blurb says only for speakers at 6-8 ohms?). I've owned a Moon CD but not an amp so no idea whether they fit the brief.
    Naim in dem rooms have always been to forward for my taste

    Suggestions please
  2. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    A JVC AX Z1010 would meet all of those needs but obviously quite old now. No USB for digital if that’s a need.
    Dan K likes this.
  3. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    Linn Majik DSM/3 (the previous model). It should be able to drive your speakers fine, has all the features you desire plus a very good streamer and room correction, sounds very good… as always, if you can try before you buy, then do.

    If it weren’t for your I/O requirements, a Hegel would have been idea too.
  4. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Exposure 3010S2D with the optional DAC board would work.

  5. Jezzer

    Jezzer Unspecified

    Typically you will find that Japanese amps have all the inputs/outputs you need. Such as a Denon PMA-A110.

    You might find a used Parasound Hint 6 within budget…
    booja30 likes this.
  6. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    Supernait 1
  7. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Thanks all. My thoughts so far.....

    Linn amps I've owned have always been thin sounding and far from warm. Have they changed?

    I've had an old Exposure pre + 2 monos before (this was several years ago and the amps were a few years old then) - found it all a bit dull and lacking detail. Again - have they improved? What's their house sound?

    I agree re Japanese amps having bells and whistles but I don't know of any recent models with the SQ of ATC, Rega etc

    As I've already said, I've never heard a Naim amp that isn't too forward for me (last time I heard one was 4 years ago). Again, have they changed?
  8. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    One of the Yamaha smart receivers? Available from Richer Sounds, lots of fans on here. They have a built in Dac so would just need a CD transport.
    booja30 likes this.
  9. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Folks - I have no idea about the Yamaha or other amps available in high street retailers but can suggestions please ensure they capture my needs for something with sound quality equal to the ATC - not just any amps which have loads of sockets? And with the grunt ability to drive low efficiency speakers

  10. Jezzer

    Jezzer Unspecified

    booja30 and Hoopsontoast like this.
  11. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    The Hegel 390 first the bill by the look of it but way too expensive

    On the older Hegel 160 there’s an oddly named RCA input called ‘Home theatre max level input’. What’s that about? Does it do the same as a standard analogue RCA input? If so, I might be able to make do with 2 analogue inputs. It seems to have a fixed output that can be used as a tape function?
  12. Hoopsontoast

    Hoopsontoast pfm Member

  13. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Just read a 160 review and it says the Theatre input bypasses the volume control. What are they doing?! So that option falls by the wayside …..
  14. Jezzer

    Jezzer Unspecified

    This is a normal feature of many amps as it allows you to control volume via the AV amp…
    booja30 likes this.
  15. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Okey doke - my lack of knowledge. Doesn’t fir my needs though….. (shame)
  16. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    I think the Musical Fidelity Encore 225 ticks the boxes - but no idea what it’s SQ is like. I’ve heard a Nu Vista 800 which was very smooth, detailed and textured but that is a different league and price point
  17. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

    Some of the current Marantz range of amplifiers will drive your Boenicke’s and they also have tape out. I’m using the KI-Ruby which does 100w into 8 ohms and doubles into 4. My speakers are the Boenicke W5se.
  18. ex brickie

    ex brickie pfm Member

    Just had a look at the online manual for the Marantz and couldn’t see any digital input sockets on the back panel?
  19. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

  20. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Mm, could just do your own research. Seeing as someone on here replaced a high end Naim system with one you should perhaps lose the attitude?
    naimplayer, AndyCC72, w00fer and 3 others like this.

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