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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
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Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
Looking for a new integrated that would be an upgrade from my Yamaha A-S801. I'd like to keep it under $1,500, new or used. I'd ultimately like something very smooth and musical that can pair well with a number of speakers as I enjoy changing/rotating speakers often rather than looking for perfect "system synergy". Also, aesthetics are a big factor here as the system is in my main living area so silver components are definitely preferred (better suits our mid-century modern home). I also like the idea of a volume display but it's not a deal breaker.

What would be your picks? I've seen some nice options like the Sony TA-A1ES, Krell S300i and NuPrime IDA-8 in that price range.

Components are Technics ST-C700 media player and Marantz SA8001 SACD player. No vinyl, I mostly stream hi-res from Tidal. Speakers (at the moment) vary from Kef LS50's, LSA 1's, Usher N6300's to Wharfedale Denton 80th's.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:27 am 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
For an integrated that is good with a variety of speakers I would look at Hegel H80 and Exposure 3010 S2. The Rogue Audio Sphinx II and YBA DT are solid performers but might not be for everyone.

BTW your Yamaha integrated sounds good for the price point.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:40 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
You have a great little amplifier there.My suggestion is look at the same amps up the line like the A-S1100 , A-S2100 or if you have the means ,the big beautiful A-S3000. Good luck whatever you choose.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:49 pm
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Location: Brantford, ON, CA
I had the A-S801 as my main amp for well over a year. Enjoyed it very much. Went to a Hegel H160 ... quite an improvement.

I’ve heard the A-S2100 paired with the matching CD-S2100 player at a store playing through a pair of Totems - forest (cannot 100% recall if this was the model). Sounded phenomenal with a computer USB in to the CD player.

Both the Hegel H160 and A-S2100 will be a step up from the A-S801 and priced similar to each other.

Depending on your source ... the Hegel is more complete (includes Dac, AirPlay, etc...) ... don’t need to add too much more to improve. Getting outside of the $1500 budget here though.

Good Luck ... Happy Listening.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Location: Quebec, QC, CA
tedstriker74 wrote:
I had the A-S801 as my main amp for well over a year. Enjoyed it very much. Went to a Hegel H160 ... quite an improvement.

I’ve heard the A-S2100 paired with the matching CD-S2100 player at a store playing through a pair of Totems - forest (cannot 100% recall if this was the model). Sounded phenomenal with a computer USB in to the CD player.

Both the Hegel H160 and A-S2100 will be a step up from the A-S801 and priced similar to each other.

Depending on your source ... the Hegel is more complete (includes Dac, AirPlay, etc...) ... don’t need to add too much more to improve. Getting outside of the $1500 budget here though.

Good Luck ... Happy Listening.


Given the upgraditis nature of our hobby, I would personnaly not get an integrated with a built-in Dac. Keep it strickly amplification, and get an outboard dac.

In case you wish to sell down the road for whatever reason, today's trendy Hegel with built-in dac will (quickly) become tomorrow's obsolete technology, at least on the dac side.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Location: Brantford, ON, CA
Not wanting to hijack this thread any further.

My experience with the Yamaha A-S801 was good for an integrated. Dac no.

My upgraditis lead me to purchase one of these ...

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... egel-h160/

Upon switching I especially noticed the Bass response of the H160 excelled that of the A-S801 ... more smooth and controlled.

+ Excellent sounding (very smooth and musical that can pair well with a number of speakers)
+ Has a volume display
+ Great Looking (Aesthetics)
+ Wife can easily stream Music from Tablet via AirPlay.

- Over $1500.
- Not Silver.

I found the Dac in the H160 better than the Dac in the Oppo 105D.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:09 am
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
Warm and musical.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... amplifier/

No affiliation of course.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
During my time with the H80 and H360 I didn't utilize the internal DAC very often but when I did it was a cohesive presentation. As stand alone integrated amps they are tops for used value and the sound is neutral. The H80 did a fine job with Martin Logan Renaissance ESL 15A's and Marten Miles 5's.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
In that price range I now like Musical Fidelity. I was so impressed with a recent M5si I heard of theirs.
Hegel 80, not so much. I found it to be a bit of blaster amp. No finesse. Did not like the DAC.
Prefer external dacs for obsolescence reasons stated above.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I wouldn't shy away from the built in dac option on many models. You would likely find better value now in an all in one unit then splitting the $1500 between the 2. The dac won't remain current but as long as it continues to meet your needs then it doesn't matter.
I have owned several such units, currently enjoying a Synthesis Roma, and the simplicity of it can be handy for other family members. You stated this is in your living room.
I also auditioned your model against a few other options for my streaming set up. I am now on my 7th change over and wonder if that would be the case had I gone with the Yamaha initially given I purchased a S2100 for the other set up and have found peace.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Location: saskatoon, SK, CA
the 2 primalunas were a crazy deal but I see both are already gone.


whoops - my bad... the premium is still listed.

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Last edited by BinkyTheCat on Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:31 pm
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Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
Thanks for all the great feedback so far!

Since Digital Don brought up Musical Fidelity how would you rate the older A3.5?
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... elity-a35/


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:44 pm 
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Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
BinkyTheCat wrote:
the 2 primalunas were a crazy deal but I see both are already gone.


whoops - my bad... the premium is still listed.


Interesting choice, I'll have to read up on them a little. Is there usable power in these for a variety of speakers?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:53 am 
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Location: St. Albert, AB, CA
So I've taken the comments into consideration and am now considering mainly amps with no DAC, makes sense from a future-proofing and value-retention standpoint. All of my source components have decent DAC's and I can always add a standalone later as well. A few options I'm considering:

Rega Elex-R
Rogue Audio Sphinx II
Krell S300i
Sony TA-A1ES
Primaluna Prologue Premium
Musical Fidelity A3.5

Thoughts on any of these?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:45 am
Posts: 54
Location: chute a blondeau, ON, CA
edge42 wrote:
So I've taken the comments into consideration and am now considering mainly amps with no DAC, makes sense from a future-proofing and value-retention standpoint. All of my source components have decent DAC's and I can always add a standalone later as well. A few options I'm considering:

Rega Elex-R
Rogue Audio Sphinx II
Krell S300i
Sony TA-A1ES
Primaluna Prologue Premium
Musical Fidelity A3.5

Thoughts on any of these?




I might be wrong but, is it a notable step up from the A-S801 to the Sony TA-A1ES?


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