Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?

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rebbi

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Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« on: 25 Oct 2017, 05:19 pm »
Hi there!

Based upon some eye-opening experiences testing a friend's Krell integrated with my M3 Turbo S, I'm considering switching from a 300 B SET amp to something beefier, either solid-state or tube.

Give me recommendations based upon your M3 experiences, please. Budget is $1500 to $2000, new or used. Thanks!!

SFDude

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #1 on: 25 Oct 2017, 05:26 pm »
I have a Line Magnetic 216ia integrated amp that uses KT-88s in triode/ultralinear mode. Very punchy and not necessarily traditional rich tube "bloom" in sound, but quite smooth in any case. 22WPC in triode mode (which is what I exclusively run in) and satisfying with the M3TS.

I also tried my Welborne Labs DRD (45-based) monoblocks and they do not have enough power to drive the bottom end to any degree of satisfaction.

-dave

md92468

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #2 on: 25 Oct 2017, 06:25 pm »
Rebbi - don't discount the Yamaha integrateds...the AS1100 sounds wonderful with the Spacials. It's $2.5K new, but you can probably score a demo or used model for less. Built like a tank and smooth as silk, with power and grip to spare...the first SS integrated I can recall hearing that hasn't left me yearning to go back to tubes a month later. YMMV, of course, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

rebbi

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #3 on: 25 Oct 2017, 07:05 pm »
Rebbi - don't discount the Yamaha integrateds...the AS1100 sounds wonderful with the Spacials. It's $2.5K new, but you can probably score a demo or used model for less. Built like a tank and smooth as silk, with power and grip to spare...the first SS integrated I can recall hearing that hasn't left me yearning to go back to tubes a month later. YMMV, of course, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

Interesting suggestion, thank you. By the way, I never really understood what people met when they talk about "grip" of an amplifier on a speaker, but that's what I really heard with this Krell  integrated. Just a kind of musicality and control and clarity that I hadn't heard before. It was startling!

Wind Chaser

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #4 on: 25 Oct 2017, 08:12 pm »
Based upon some eye-opening experiences testing a friend's Krell integrated with my M3 Turbo S, I'm considering switching from a 300 B SET amp to something beefier, either solid-state or tube.

Give me recommendations based upon your M3 experiences, please. Budget is $1500 to $2000, new or used. Thanks!!

I went through the same thing. I thought my killer Coincident Dynamo would be the last amp I ever owned, I could say a lot more but time doesn't permit.

As for a solid (very solid) recommendation with respect to your budget, based on my 4 week experience, you cannot not go wrong with the Nuprime IDA-8. I am confident it will be more resolving than the Krell. The IDA-8 is not only very resolving, it is tight and controlled from top to bottom. I say that as an owner of the same speakers you have. It truly is a bargain for at $1000 USD. Fresh out of the box it sounds okay, but it will greatly benefit from 100 hours of operation time.

rebbi

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #5 on: 25 Oct 2017, 08:57 pm »
I went through the same thing. I thought my killer Coincident Dynamo would be the last amp I ever owned, I could say a lot more but time doesn't permit.

As for a solid (very solid) recommendation with respect to your budget, based on my 4 week experience, you cannot not go wrong with the Nuprime IDA-8. I am confident it will be more resolving than the Krell. The IDA-8 is not only very resolving, it is tight and controlled from top to bottom. I say that as an owner of the same speakers you have. It truly is a bargain for at $1000 USD. Fresh out of the box it sounds okay, but it will greatly benefit from 100 hours of operation time.

So interesting! I had originally considered the Coincident amp, but in the end didn't like the idea of only having one input and having to swap cables to go from analog to digital sources, so I ended up building my own from an Audio Note Kit. But, as I mentioned earlier, I was absolutely SHOCKED at how much better that Krell amp sounds. I, also, by the way, thought that my "Kit 1" was going to be my forever, end game amp….  :lol:

Anyway, the owner of the Krell wasn't using it, and is willing to sell it to me for $1200, which seems to be the going rate – I checked the Audiogon blue book. However, I'm not at all familiar with the amplifier that you mentioned and I will do some research. The Krell sounds tremendous, so if yours is actually more resolving, that would really be saying something.

Thanks again for the post!

md92468

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #6 on: 25 Oct 2017, 09:31 pm »
FWIW, the IDA8 is a wonderful little amp and a screaming bargain, particularly with a quality DAC on board. It sounds great with the Spatials, which isn't surprising considering Clayton often shows his gear with Class D amps. But if you can stretch the budget and don't mind the size, the Yamaha I mentioned earlier is sonically in another class altogether, has a decent phono stage and a more than decent headphone section. But you can't go wrong with the Nuprime, especially for the price.

rebbi

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #7 on: 25 Oct 2017, 10:03 pm »
FWIW, the IDA8 is a wonderful little amp and a screaming bargain, particularly with a quality DAC on board. It sounds great with the Spatials, which isn't surprising considering Clayton often shows his gear with Class D amps. But if you can stretch the budget and don't mind the size, the Yamaha I mentioned earlier is sonically in another class altogether, has a decent phono stage and a more than decent headphone section. But you can't go wrong with the Nuprime, especially for the price.

Thank you, again, for posting. The reviews of the Nuprime unit  (I am already on the prowl on the Internet for reviews) are tremendous. Only real disadvantage for me is that there is only one analog input, and I have both a digital and an analog front-end. Pity, because it does sound like an absolute screaming bargain.

Dadbeh

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #8 on: 25 Oct 2017, 11:53 pm »
I went through the same thing. I thought my killer Coincident Dynamo would be the last amp I ever owned, I could say a lot more but time doesn't permit.

As for a solid (very solid) recommendation with respect to your budget, based on my 4 week experience, you cannot not go wrong with the Nuprime IDA-8. I am confident it will be more resolving than the Krell. The IDA-8 is not only very resolving, it is tight and controlled from top to bottom. I say that as an owner of the same speakers you have. It truly is a bargain for at $1000 USD. Fresh out of the box it sounds okay, but it will greatly benefit from 100 hours of operation time.

I have IDA-8 very good for under 1k specially with the DAC. it shines as integrated and is not really the best as a power amp. every time i use the analog inputs i am a little disappointed. if u already have a good dac + pre then there could be better options out there mostly used class AB options for a little over 1k to get better sound than what IDA-8 offers. you can find Hegel, Krell.

a step up would be Odyssey integrated

and another step up would be Ayre

all 3 sound wonderful with spatials.

Dadbeh

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #9 on: 26 Oct 2017, 12:02 am »
I have IDA-8 very good for under 1k specially with the DAC. it shines as integrated and is not really the best as a power amp. every time i use the analog inputs i am a little disappointed. if u already have a good dac + pre then there could be better options out there mostly used class AB options for a little over 1k to get better sound than what IDA-8 offers. you can find Hegel, Krell.

a step up would be Odyssey integrated

and another step up would be Ayre

all 3 sound wonderful with spatials.

you might even find Bryston power amp for around the price of IDA-8. again if you already have dac + pre that is.

rebbi

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #10 on: 26 Oct 2017, 12:25 am »
you might even find Bryston power amp for around the price of IDA-8. again if you already have dac + pre that is.

Thank you so much for responding and for the interesting suggestions. Unfortunately, I do not have a preamplifier although I do have an external DAC. So a separate power amp is out of the picture.

avta

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #11 on: 26 Oct 2017, 01:25 am »
I wouldn’t give up on the idea of separates. You can get a new Schiit Vidar for $700 along with one of their preamps and be well within your budget. I have not heard these myself but I’d guess they would best the integrateds you’re considering.

rebbi

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #12 on: 26 Oct 2017, 01:29 am »
I wouldn’t give up on the idea of separates. You can get a new Schiit Vidar for $700 along with one of their preamps and be well within your budget. I have not heard these myself but I’d guess they would best the integrateds you’re considering.

I haven't looked into Schiit but it's an interesting idea. If I had seven or eight thousand dollars sitting around I might buy one of those Vinnie Rossi LIO units with some upgrades, but from a budgetary standpoint that's not going to happen anytime soon.  :duh:

ACBobert

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #13 on: 26 Oct 2017, 03:04 am »
Take the Krell!

1)  You already know you like it.   
2)  A class D amp will not "Grip" your speakers like a well built AB amp.

YMMV, but you asked.


ric

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #14 on: 26 Oct 2017, 02:36 pm »
Sounds like you're leaning towards SS, but if you can find one, I have been using a VAC Avatar (original, not upgraded). I can't compare with other amps, but you get an integrated with 30 watts, switchable ultralinear/triode, phono stage, and a home theater bypass to allow for use with, well, home theater. I believe you can also bypass the El34's and use a separate (SS?) power amp.
I've had mine for many years and had the good fortune of getting it on EBay for $1500. With the volume knob starting in the 7 o'clock position, I average about 10 o'clock for cd's and around 11 o'clock for vinyl.
The M3's made me upgrade my power cords and speaker cable since they are easily heard.
I LOVE the sound, soundstaging, etc. and am considering upgrading to the newest Triode version, but am waiting for reviews here. If not, I will happily live with these. Good luck!

dburna

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #15 on: 26 Oct 2017, 03:09 pm »
Sounds like you're leaning towards SS, but if you can find one, I have been using a VAC Avatar (original, not upgraded).

+1 on this.  I had one of these many moons ago, and after many changes (and lots of $$$$ spent) since I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't have been better off back where I started.

-dB

Wind Chaser

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #16 on: 26 Oct 2017, 05:50 pm »
  2)  A class D amp will not "Grip" your speakers like a well built AB amp.

I beg to differ.

CSI

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #17 on: 26 Oct 2017, 06:08 pm »
Which Class D amp? My Red Dragon Class D has tremendous grip with my Spatials. So does my VR LIO amp section (AB) and my First Watt F7 (Class A). All sound different. All sound great. No lack of "grip" with any of them.

roscoe65

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Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #18 on: 26 Oct 2017, 06:19 pm »
I haven't looked into Schiit but it's an interesting idea. If I had seven or eight thousand dollars sitting around I might buy one of those Vinnie Rossi LIO units with some upgrades, but from a budgetary standpoint that's not going to happen anytime soon.  :duh:

I feel your pain.  But there are alternatives.  I bought a secondhand Red Wine Audio Signature 16 (hybrid, 16 Class A/B wpc into 8 ohms, double into 4 ohms).  You're probably looking at around $1,000.  If you contact Vinnie he can retrofit the battery with his ultracapacitor power supply (I seem to recall he quoted around $1,200 to 1,500).  I personally don't feel the need to make the switch.

One added benefit to the Signature 16 is its simplicity.  I'm using it in a second system in my living room alongside my HT.  It drives everything I own.  I have it configured in a total DC system at the moment (LG G5 -> Chord Mojo -> RWA Sig16 -> Omega Super 3HO or SAM monitors.  When Chord releases their Poly module, I will have a complete Roon endpoint from Chord.

All of that being said, if I wanted to move to SS at this point I would probably strongly consider Firstwatt (or a quality Firstwatt clone).  It is the amp that SET people all seem to rave about.  If I were to get rid of one or two of my six amps I would definitely consider it.

Dadbeh

Re: Integrated amp recommendations for M3 Turbo S?
« Reply #19 on: 26 Oct 2017, 06:58 pm »
I feel your pain.  But there are alternatives.  I bought a secondhand Red Wine Audio Signature 16 (hybrid, 16 Class A/B wpc into 8 ohms, double into 4 ohms).  You're probably looking at around $1,000.  If you contact Vinnie he can retrofit the battery with his ultracapacitor power supply (I seem to recall he quoted around $1,200 to 1,500).  I personally don't feel the need to make the switch.

One added benefit to the Signature 16 is its simplicity.  I'm using it in a second system in my living room alongside my HT.  It drives everything I own.  I have it configured in a total DC system at the moment (LG G5 -> Chord Mojo -> RWA Sig16 -> Omega Super 3HO or SAM monitors.  When Chord releases their Poly module, I will have a complete Roon endpoint from Chord.

All of that being said, if I wanted to move to SS at this point I would probably strongly consider Firstwatt (or a quality Firstwatt clone).  It is the amp that SET people all seem to rave about.  If I were to get rid of one or two of my six amps I would definitely consider it.


per the designer and also a lot of user's opinion, spatial speakers match best with higher wattage amps a 16 watt RWA in not ideal for spatial open baffles.
thhats why i recommended Nuprime, oddyssey and ayre