Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs

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dakulis

Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« on: 11 Feb 2011, 12:34 am »
Hello All,

I am looking down the road in the near future to upgrading my integrated amp.  I am currently using an Unison Research Unico, 80 wpc into 8 Ohms driving the HT2-TLs (an Arcam CD-Diva 92 as source) and it sounds very nice, has a good soundstage, decent PRaT, is easy to listen to (no listener fatigue) but I can tell that I'm missing some music.  (I've been to enough live venues to know I'm not getting a truly "live" type performance although I recognize in some cases it can be the recording.)

I have no decent audio stores in Spokane so I can't really audition a bunch of options and I can't really take the speakers on the road.  I am likely looking at used gear on Audiogon and I've narrowed the choices to Pass Labs, Conrad Johnson, Classe, Plinius, and McIntosh because I've read a number of reviews and I'm confident that they won't lead my relatively neutral set-up into a really bright and difficult to listen to mess.

Also, I would consider Audio by VanAlstine's integrated but I am worried that it isn't a big enough bump over my current 80 wpc and I've also considered the Wyred 4 Sound integrated but I'm a little concerned about the whole "D" class amp sound and presentation.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Dave

Randy

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #1 on: 11 Feb 2011, 12:52 am »
Check into a PS Audio GCC - 250. I have the GCC-100 and it is a glorious amp, once Class A at Stereophile. (Its predecessors came from Bryston, Classe, Musical Fidelity, Odyssey, all great amps, but I like the simplicity of a  integrated.) The GCC-250 turns up at Audiogon with regularity. For the ultimate in performance, you might consider the Cullen Circuits upgrade. Cullen was the designer of that line of PS audio amps.

dakulis

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #2 on: 11 Feb 2011, 04:12 am »
Randy,

I'll take a look.  I haven't heard of it.  What did you like about the PS Audio over some of the others that I've listed?  Which of the listed amp did you audition?  Thanks, Dve

Art_Chicago

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #3 on: 11 Feb 2011, 04:25 am »
there are used separates on the market that you could get from the brands you listed. Your HT2-TL's will shine  :thumb:

RPM123

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #4 on: 11 Feb 2011, 05:07 am »
I don't know what your budget is or your room size, but I would suggest checking out the Aaron No. 1a. It is stable down to one ohm!  I have owned one for about a year and I think that it's a wonderful sounding amp. It replaced some highly respected separates and sounds quite a bit better! There is one for sale on AudiogoN at a very fair price... if not a downright steal I use the amp to drive (very well) Dali Helicon 400s, which at least on paper present a similar load to the Salks. The only "caveat" is the thump through the speakers, when you power the amp on and off. It bothered me a bit at first, but I've become accustomed to it and it has not affected my speakers. I think the lack of protective circuitry accounts for a least a portion of the excellent sound. The amp is not well known in this country, but has received some very favorable reviews.

Glenn

Nuance

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #5 on: 11 Feb 2011, 06:39 pm »
http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/M6-Series/M6i/M6i.asp

You should be able to find the 5 series stuff used as well.

clipped

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #6 on: 12 Feb 2011, 06:24 pm »
Hello All,

I am looking down the road in the near future to upgrading my integrated amp.  I am currently using an Unison Research Unico, 80 wpc into 8 Ohms driving the HT2-TLs (an Arcam CD-Diva 92 as source) and it sounds very nice, has a good soundstage, decent PRaT, is easy to listen to (no listener fatigue) but I can tell that I'm missing some music.  (I've been to enough live venues to know I'm not getting a truly "live" type performance although I recognize in some cases it can be the recording.)

I have no decent audio stores in Spokane so I can't really audition a bunch of options and I can't really take the speakers on the road.  I am likely looking at used gear on Audiogon and I've narrowed the choices to Pass Labs, Conrad Johnson, Classe, Plinius, and McIntosh because I've read a number of reviews and I'm confident that they won't lead my relatively neutral set-up into a really bright and difficult to listen to mess.

Also, I would consider Audio by VanAlstine's integrated but I am worried that it isn't a big enough bump over my current 80 wpc and I've also considered the Wyred 4 Sound integrated but I'm a little concerned about the whole "D" class amp sound and presentation.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Dave

I use AVA's integrated, I think it is 90 wpc, driving a pair of Songtowers. the sound is incredible, I have no issues. Perhaps talk to Jim and Frank and hear their thoughts on that combination.
Happy listening  :thumb:

avahifi

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #7 on: 12 Feb 2011, 07:23 pm »
I think Jim has an AVA Integrated amp at his shop or home.  Ask him how well it does on HT2s.

Regards,

Frank Van Alstine

revrob

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #8 on: 12 Feb 2011, 07:49 pm »
The LSA Signature Integrated amplifier is one of the best I have listen to and owned. I had it paired with my HT3s but it was not enough power but should be plenty for the HT2-TL at 150 watts per channel. It is one of the most romantic sounding amps out there, if you like your music that way. Great bass, amazing mids and sweet highs. Plenty of write-ups on the web if you Google.

A little expensive but you should be able to find a used one on Agon from time to time. You will not be disappointed. If the HT3 were not so inefficient I would never had sold it. I actually bought and sold it twice.

Great amp but I am sure the people on this board will offer great advice as they always do. 

Good luck.

Will2

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #9 on: 12 Feb 2011, 09:08 pm »
The LSA Signature Integrated amplifier is one of the best I have listen to and owned. I had it paired with my HT3s but it was not enough power but should be plenty for the HT2-TL at 150 watts per channel. It is one of the most romantic sounding amps out there, if you like your music that way. Great bass, amazing mids and sweet highs. Plenty of write-ups on the web if you Google.

A little expensive but you should be able to find a used one on Agon from time to time. You will not be disappointed. If the HT3 were not so inefficient I would never had sold it. I actually bought and sold it twice.

Great amp but I am sure the people on this board will offer great advice as they always do. 

Good luck.

I saw this on AudiogoN the other day - http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1302176192&/Lsa-Statement-Hybrid-with-Late a step up from the Signature I'm guessing, but at used prices.  Just thought I would pass it on - I don't know the product or the seller at all.

newzooreview

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #10 on: 12 Feb 2011, 10:53 pm »
Check into a PS Audio GCC - 250. I have the GCC-100 and it is a glorious amp, once Class A at Stereophile. (Its predecessors came from Bryston, Classe, Musical Fidelity, Odyssey, all great amps, but I like the simplicity of a  integrated.) The GCC-250 turns up at Audiogon with regularity. For the ultimate in performance, you might consider the Cullen Circuits upgrade. Cullen was the designer of that line of PS audio amps.

The Wyred4Sound integrated amps are excellent. They are much more fully featured than the AVA amps (the remote controls more than volume; you can upgrade the power cord if you choose, among other things), they have much more power available than some of the others suggested here, and in my own experience the only thing that I found better was the Wyred4Sound separates.

I compared AVA separates to my Wyred4Sound separates, and the AVA amps had an etched upper midrange that was fatiguing to me. They also bleached the timbre, lacking in the natural distinctions between the sounds of instruments compared to the Wyred4Sound. Detail and bass control were on par, although the Wyred4Sound amps have a smoother sound so although the level of detail is the same the quality of it is more natural--combined with the excellent tonality the overall sound is better to my ears.

I own the HT1-TLs, by the way, and the STI-1000 was more than enough for them. For HT2-TLs you would likely find the 250W per channel STI-500 to provide all the headroom you need.

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=362236&b_id=&find_groupid=18158

JLM

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #11 on: 13 Feb 2011, 01:04 am »
Dave,

What do you feel you are missing?  How big is your room and how loud do you listen?

Yes, a significant power upgrade would require at least 200 wpc (even that is only 4 dB of gain).  Anything with more power gets rare (and it'd be much easier to shop for separates).  Perhaps what you really want is a more dynamic amp.

Checking Agon will also tell you what to avoid (newer stuff showing up in high numbers or the same pieces showing up at surprisingly low prices).

revrob

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #12 on: 13 Feb 2011, 01:56 am »
I have the Wyred SX-1000 mono blocks powering my HT3 after using the LSA integrated. I have it paired with a Joule LA-150 MKII preamp. The Wyred gives you all the power you need but this combination is not seductive as the LSA was. I like, not love, the Wyred. I still may replace the Wyred with a Pass 250.5 in the near future.

It all comes down to personal taste and what you are looking for and what you can afford to spend. It takes trial and error to get exactly what you looking for, if ever.

Happy hunting.

Tone Depth

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #13 on: 14 Feb 2011, 01:25 am »
NZR, did you ever tame that upper midrange problem in your source that was exposed during your "demo" of the highly resolving AVA gear?  I noticed you subsequently kept tweaking your Mac mini and then changed out your DAC, apparently before you got your W4S separates to replace your integrated.

I compared AVA separates to my Wyred4Sound separates, and the AVA amps had an etched upper midrange that was fatiguing to me. They also bleached the timbre, lacking in the natural distinctions between the sounds of instruments compared to the Wyred4Sound. Detail and bass control were on par, although the Wyred4Sound amps have a smoother sound so although the level of detail is the same the quality of it is more natural--combined with the excellent tonality the overall sound is better to my ears.

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/site/74030/117839/shopping/shopping-view.html?pid=362236&b_id=&find_groupid=18158

Cheeseboy

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #14 on: 18 Feb 2011, 10:49 pm »
I really like this integrated.  100 Watt Class A Dual Mono Integrated Amp.  It sounds lush and powerful.  The people at Grant Fidelity are really easy to do business with.  Ask for Ian.  I believe that they still ship out of a warehouse in the US.  It's only $2900. 

Jungson has made a name for themselves with an 80 watt Class A Integrated version with a phone Pre built in.  The JA 88. 

http://grantfidelity.com/site/Jungson_JA-99D_Class_A_Amplifier

dakulis

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #15 on: 28 Feb 2011, 06:27 am »
Well guys, thanks for the many suggestions.  In the last month, I made an offer on a Conrad Johnson 200 and lost out on it.  I got very intrigued with the new LFD integrated and talked with the retailer in California but I was very concerned that a 60 wpc amp simply couldn't drive the HT2-TLs.

After reading the various posts and reading a ton of reviews, I ordered the Wyred 4 Sound STI-500 and had them upgrade the fuses to PS Audio fuses and added the WBT bindings.  I will be looking for a decent power cord, probably one of the MACs, and I think I'll sit back, give it 300 hours or so and let you know how it all sounds.  Unfortunately, Wyred is out of the Ice packs at the moment so it will be about 4 weeks or more before the amp arrives.  I'll give a brief review once it arrives.  I'm going to keep the Unico that long to A/B them and see what improvement I've got.  Dave

Mudslide

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #16 on: 6 Mar 2011, 06:31 am »
This thread was a little old, so I didn't think you'd mind me going off topic a bit and showing off my wife's and my different 'integrated' amps.  Whatcha think?   :lol:


ccotenj

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Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #17 on: 6 Mar 2011, 02:43 pm »
^^^

LOL!  i like it! 

although i showed swmbo the pic, and she said that in her experience, it's ME who wants more buttons and knobs...   :duh:

funkmonkey

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #18 on: 6 Mar 2011, 05:57 pm »
This thread was a little old, so I didn't think you'd mind me going off topic a bit and showing off my wife's and my different 'integrated' amps.  Whatcha think?   :lol:



 :thumb: :lol:
That's great RJ, thanks for the laugh

I didn't read through this thread but I do know that Dan Wright is working on an integrated that would perform top-of-the-line, which is saying a lot for Modwright.  Might be worth looking into if you are still looking.

Nuance

Re: Integrated Amp for HT2-TLs
« Reply #19 on: 6 Mar 2011, 09:04 pm »
This thread was a little old, so I didn't think you'd mind me going off topic a bit and showing off my wife's and my different 'integrated' amps.  Whatcha think?   :lol:



LOL!  I love it! :lol: