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  1. Item: One JLTI EL34 Integrated amp. Location: Bowen Price: $1100 ono. Item Condition: Excellent, 40 to 50 hours on the tubes. Reason for selling: I just can't keep everything I want to keep so it is time to move a few amps on. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Extra Info: This is the integrated version of Joe Rassmussens current JLTI power amp. Check out http://www.customanalogue.com/jlti_el34.htm for more details. This amp is rated at 25 watts. Pictures: The green and black thing that can be seen reflected in the finish of the amp in pretty much every pic is the gorilla pod that my camera was mounted on.
  2. I've contracted a really stupid hobby. Stupid in that it costs me far too much, but I do enjoy it a hell of a lot. I buy Integrated amps, listen to them, rate them according to the other integrated amps I've heard (specifically against my favourite amp at the time) and then stick them on a shelf and buy another one. So far I've gone through amps from Tonewinner, Consonance, Perreaux, Burson, Cambridge, Dussun, a T-amp, a Hlly gainclone, Marantz, Onkyo, Thule and probably one or two others I can't remember right now. I have a Rotel RA1520 in transit, so that's next on my list. My question is what should I target next? Anyone got any suggestions? Anything I can get second hand for under 2k is a fair target, I do buy new but only if I can get it under 2K as well. Also, if anyone is interested in buying a second hand integrated amp PM me and I will let you know what I have on hand at the time and my personal opinion of the performance of those amps. Cheers!
  3. Item: Cambridge 840A V2 Integrated Amp rated at 130W x2 in original box with remote, manual and power cord. Location: Bowen Qld 4805 Price: $700 (which includes a $50 donation to SNA which will be made by myself upon receipt of funds) Item Condition: Mint, with the exception of a rust flake and some paint bubbles on the top panel (see photos). Only used for aprox 200 hours. Reason for selling: Bought it, heard it, (liked it, listened to it again just to be sure) and now I'm passing it on. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Extra Info: A nice powerful little amp with a rich, warm sound that is very smooth. If a vinyl fan was to move to cd this would be a good amp for them. Pictures:
  4. Item: Cyrus 8vs2 Integrated Amp. Location: Bowen Nth Qld Price: $800 (includes postage) Item Condition: Very good to excellent. Reason for selling: Cyrus gear does not gell well with Osborn speakers, the combo is far too bright and hazy, for me anyway. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Extra Info: Comes in original box with speaker post adapters. Pictures:
  5. Well my tax return has yet to show up so I am looking to move an amp or two on prior to the arrival of another one next week. A few of these are for sale on this forum already but the price here is lower, and I am only looking to move on 2 of the 4 so if you want one get in quick. Once 2 are sold I'll reign the other 2 back in. I will pay postage up to $50 with the remainder to be met by the seller. Item 1: Consonance C1 Location: Bowen Price: $500 Item Condition: Very good, no marks or blemishes. Reason for selling: Need space and $$. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Remote works but battery holder is cracked, comes in orriginal box with manual. Pictures: Item 2: Plessis S1 Location: Bowen Price: $450 Item Condition: Very good, no marks or blemishes. Reason for selling: Need space and $$. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Remote and manual included, this amp may have a noisy volume pot there is a slight buzzing that comes through the speakers. Pictures: to be added later, don't have any just at the moment. Item 3: Cyryus 8 vs2 Location: Bowen Price: Sold Item Condition: Very good, no marks or blemishes. Reason for selling: Need space and $$. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Remote included. Pictures: Item 4: Cambridge 840A v2 Location: Bowen Price: Sold Item Condition: Very good, one small rust spec on the top plate (if you would like me to turn the top plate upside down prior to sending just ask, that way no one need know). Reason for selling: Need space and $$. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Remote included. Pictures: Mods please move to the Sold section.
  6. I need to make a little space so 4 of the oldies have to go, scroll down for pics. 1. Item: Emotiva Mini X Integrated Amp. Location: Bowen Price: Sold Item Condition: near new, about 150 hours use. Reason for selling: Need more space to put other integrated amps in. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Extra Info: Have original box and receipt. 2. Item: Perreaux E160i Integrated Amp. Location: Bowen Price: Sold Item Condition: Beaten up a little but fully functional, comes with remote. Reason for selling: As above. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Extra Info: No box or reciepts, picked up over ebay. 3. Item: Rotel RA1520 Integrated Amp Location: Bowen Price: Sold Item Condition: near new, about 200 hours use. Reason for selling: As above. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Extra Info: Comes with remote and reciept in original box. Purchased from Trevor Lees in Vic. 4. Item: Consonance C1 Integrated Amp. Location: Bowen Price: Withdrawn from sale (too much fun to tinker with!) Item Condition: Very good for a 10 year old amp, no noticable marks on casing. Fully functional. Reason for selling: As above. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Extra Info: Comes with remote (only semi functional, plastic battery holder has cracked) in (old and dusty) original box. A quick word of explanation regarding the price on the emotiva, RRP is $175 at the moment but it is $150 freight to OZ so getting it for $150 plus freight (within OZ) should still work out to a fair discount relative to buying new, under $200 versus $325 or so. update with pics of the Perreaux, the faceplate really doesn't photograph well instead of the little gouges out of the top of the faceplate all you can really see is a reflection of my shirt and my leg in one and my recliner in the other. I guess you can't win them all. Edit: price drop. Edit again to add requested pics of C1.
  7. Item: Perreaux E160i Integrated Amp rated at 160W x2 and remote for same. Location: Bowen Qld 4805, will post to anywhere at buyers expense. Price: $600 (includes a $50 donation to SNA which I will make upon receiving funds) Item Condition: Internally fine, externally a few scratches on the faceplate and top panel and a few small dents on the top, left hand side of the front panel. Reason for selling: Bought it to hear it, heard it, now passing it on. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal. Extra Info: Up for sale is one slightly beaten up Perreaux. I got it from ebay as is, works fine but looks second rate. Would be a good amp for a garage or shed system. The amp it is sitting on top of is listed for sale in a different post. I forgot to take a pic of the remote but fear not, it does exist. A pic of the serial number can be supplied on request (some people seem to like to know this). A very rythmic amp, high foot tapping factor. Not as tight in the highs and bass as I had hoped but still pretty good. Sounds similar to the little Perreaux SX25i but with more throat and a slightly smoother sound in the bass and mids. I think the SX25i had slightly better highs though. Pictures:
  8. Further to my posts on Integrated amps I thought I would put an idea out there and see if anyone was interested. I have 3 Integrated amps on hand at the moment that I am willing to swap for another integrated amp of similar quality/value/pedigree. My 3 on offer are: One Cambridge 840A V2 "class XD" An enhanced class A type amp. One Perreaux E160i in slightly worse for wear condition. One Rotel RA1520. The first 2 are listed in the for sale thread so if you would like pics have a look in there before asking please. If you want my opinion on any of the amps themselves they are all in my previous posts so anyone who wants to swap should have a fair idea of what to expect from the amp they want to swap for. As for any other questions, ask away! I am not going to suggest this process work any particular way (PM me if you want to keep things private or reply to this post if you want to garner some other opinions as well, either way works fine for me), I am just asking to see if I get any interested takers. And if one of our amps is more expensive than the other I'm sure we could work something out. Cheers, and happy listening! Update as of 4th June. Additional gear and links as requested: One Burson PRE-160 http://bursonaudio.com/burson_pre160.htm Cambridge link http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/42143-cambridge-840a-v2-for-sale/page__hl__cambridge__fromsearch__1 Perreaux link http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/42141-beaten-up-perreaux-e160i/page__hl__perreaux__fromsearch__1 I haven't listed the Rotel yet.
  9. Integrated Amp Comparison. Last year, I went a bit nuts, I was interested in finding out if the amps that were freely available over the net, and from ebay, for a fairly reasonable price were actually a worthwhile buy. Could these little bargain basement pieces of gear play in the big leagues? Or at least in the same league as the mainstream brands? The results were pretty surprising, price is in no way directly proportional to quality in the audio field. The contestants are a pretty mixed bunch, I just bought whatever I could get my hands on provided it was available at a steep discount to RRP. I am going to start with the amps I liked the least and work up to my favorites. Tonewinner AD-3. A massive amp that is so heavy you would swear it was made from recycled battleships. No extras on it, with one exception, it just has inputs for 3 sources plus balanced in. One massive 700VA toroidal transformer and a not-very-well-put-together remote to control volume and input selection. One thing this amp does have going for it is the ability to switch from class A (40W) to class AB (150W), however it always starts in A, you have to change it to AB. In class A it puts out a lot of heat (not much of a surprise) in AB it is not too bad for heat. Available via china for $1200-1300 AUD plus postage. Tonewinner are the OEM for Emotiva, though I am not sure that means anything when talking about their own models. Sound. Very deep, though not very clean, bass and lots of it. A great home theatre amp in either A or AB but not that good with music. It has a very deep and dark sound stage that only just allows the high and mid frequencies to escape from it. I had high hopes for this amp but it did not meet any of them. All of the other amps I listened to sounded so much better than this amp I am forced to conclude that this is a substandard piece. Consonance C1. My standard listening amp for about 5 years, a nice simple integrated that garnered several good reviews when it came out, 3 models old now but about $1500 AUD when new. A 120W rated amp though many people feel it is actually closer to 150W. Sound. The C1 is head and shoulders above the Tonewinner, it still has a deep and dark sound stage but it actually lets the high and mid frequencies out to play. Very nice bass performance but lacking in the mids and highs when compared to most of the other amps on offer. Does not let the edge of electric guitar come through well enough imo but in most aspects it is a well made amp that will play rock and metal fairly well but is not going to be anyones choice for classical listening. I was surprised when it ranked so low on my list, I had really enjoyed listening to it for all these years. It is now up for sale. Hlly T-90 A tripath amp available over the net from china for about $300 (plus postage). Rated at 90W into 4ohms (or 40W into 8 ohms, I would call this a 40W amp, but then I am not in marketing) it would seem to be a high output version of the amps that so many people have been raving about for the last decade or so. It only has one input and no remote but so what, at the price and with the reputation I am expecting a very nice audition. Sound. Nice highs, good mids and no bass whatsoever. I was very disappointed with this amp, it may be good for classical listening and female vocals but it will never work with rock, pop or metal. I found I just could not listen to a performance which completely left out the bass segment of any music (and I have never thought of myself as that much of a bass fan). Also up for sale. Krell KAV 300IL With the name and rep associated with Krell I expect this amp to kick the butt of everything I compared it to. With 200W on tap it is the most powerful of the entire group, and at circa $5000 new it jolly well should be too. Purchased over ebay for $2300 AUD. Sound. Almost bland, very cool and clear but it seems to underemphasize everything to the point where the music loses any character. The music just does not grab the listener at all. Bass is rather thin, heaps of power but it doesn’t seem to actually use it. Smoothes off the edge of electric guitars, no real enjoyment to be had from this amp. The sound does improve as the volume in increased but you just can’t run it that loud for everyday use. I have heard that some owners have changed the sound of this amp by replacing the fuses in the speaker lines, I have some on order to try. Currently up for sale, may change depending on the results of a fuse swap. Onkyo A9555 This is the point where I really start enjoying myself. One thing I have to mention here is that the build quality on the Onkyo is pretty shocking, the bass and treble control knobs point to 11:30 rather than 12:00 when in neutral and the chassis just feels thin and weak compared to every other amp listed. Also the selection and volume knobs have a “loose” feel to their movement, none of this affects the sound but it really did stand out to me as proof that ‘made in Japan’ does not seem to mean all that it once did. Sound. The Onkyo puts on a very nice performance, it is engaging and pleasant to listen to. It has bass and mids that, while they are not quite as good as the Perreaux or the Burson, are not exactly lacking. The highs are a little airy, maybe a bit too airy for some but not for me. The bass is a little underemphasized when compared to the highs and mids and the amp has a slightly warm and airy sound throughout (which I believe is the signature Onkyo sound). There is nothing in the Onkyo’s performance that offends, it just doesn’t sound quite as good as some others. Retails for about $1000 AUD, could be had for $700-800 over ebay. Marantz KI Pearl Lite I was expecting big things from the Marantz, and it only disappointed slightly. A very nice unit with as much connectivity as you would ever need (as do the Onkyo and the Krell). One thing that confuses me though is that the speaker binding posts do not seem to accept banana plugs, very annoying! I tried pulling out the centers of the speaker posts (as I had to on the Onkyo) but they simply would not move and I was not game to get too brutal with something that I had yet to turn on. Sound. A lighter touch than the Onkyo with just as engaging a soundstage. I listened to the Lite for a long time, over a week and as I listened I started to notice a warmth to the sound in the mids and highs. Far less obvious than the Onkyo and yet somehow far less pleasant. Once I had noticed this warm sound I could not ignore it and it started to drive me crazy. I have rated the Marantz better than the Onkyo due to its slightly better performance in the highs and mids but if I had to go back to one of them it would be the Onkyo. The bass was slightly better than the Onkyo. A RRP of $2400 AUD this amp can be had over ebay for $1300. Dussun V6i An amp that just oozes power. It may have 150W on tap but it sounds like 250W and that power is obvious right from about 0.2 on the volume dial. What’s that Spinal Tap, your amp goes to 11, well this one goes to 12! I’m not kidding either, the volume dial is marked from 0 to 12, I never took it above 3.5. Some may argue that this amp should not rate this well, to them I say, you need to experience the performance for yourself. Sound. I seem to have lost my notes on this amp, and I no longer have it on hand so I will just say that the performance is so grand that you do not have a soundstage in front of you, you have a soundstage that reaches out and envelopes you. It displays a fairly light touch when necessary but in general it just blasts the music out to you and makes you love every second of it. A great amp to test, tons of fun, but I’m not sure I could live with it full time. I would definitely give it a try though. Prices vary wildly but it can generally be had for under $1000 AUD over the net or ebay. Hlly M1 Gainclone This tiny little amp is a standout star, no remote and only one input but by far the cheapest amp I have ever owned at just $165 AUD. It is advertised as having 40W (into 4 ohms) but into 8 ohms it is 25W. And it sounds just brilliant, but I am getting ahead of myself. Sound. Just brilliant. Beautiful highs and mids and just a tiny bit lacking on the bass. The 25W on tap ran my floorstanders up to the point where the roof shook. This is the quality of sound I had hoped for from the tripath amp. However my floorstanders are 93db and a min of 5.8ohms, I have tried this amp on a pair of bookshelfs that were 88db and nominal 4ohms and it struggled hard. If you have high efficiency speakers then a cheap gainclone amp is simply something you must try. Perreaux SX25i A great little miniature integrated amp, beats out the Hlly on both looks and build quality but is also way ahead on price. $1200 RRP, it can be found on ebay (very rarely) for $600 to $800. Sound. Even better than the Hlly, but not by much. It took 2 days of on-again off-again comparison for me to reach a decision that the Perreaux was definitely better so there isn’t a lot in it but yes, it is better. I have heard that the NuForce Icons are meant to be better again, difficult to believe when the Perreaux is this good. I no longer have the Perreaux, I gave it to an old friend of mine as a birthday present. Burson PI-160 The best integrated amp I have ever heard. By the time I had got hold of all these other amps I realized I had China and Japan heavily represented and the USA and New Zealand with one entry each but no Australian amp, I was also a bit short on cash. The 160 series is fairly new and so there are no second hand examples to be had but when I emailed the Burson fellows and asked if there were any demo amps available they kindly offered me one that had just returned from the Singapore Audio Show at a very reasonable discount. Thank you gents, your gear absolutely rocks! The Burson is a minimalist amp with only 3 inputs and a volume control so it will not suit everyones needs but it sounds just superb. 70W per channel and $2300 AUD. Sound. Clean extended highs with just the right amount of air, crisp mids and vocals and just the right amount of bass which is controlled with a velvet glove covering an iron fist. The bass control and the airy highs are the only distinct advantages it has over the Perreaux, that and the extra watts of course. I still have the Burson and it is not for sale. So there you have it, the story of how I spent far too much money in search of an audio unicorn. There are also a Thule Spirit A100 and a Linx Nebula amp that I have not yet evaluated, but I will get to them in time. I would also dearly like to add Perreaux's Audiant to the mix, but I am not going to buy one (I did finally recover from my spending spree) and I don't know of anyone who would be willing to lend me one, maybe one day. Cheers, Cafad.
  10. In a previous post I reviewed 10 amps, one of those 10 was a Dussun V6i and it ranked quite well. I later got to thinking about this “enhanced class A” trend that a few manufacturers have embraced and it seemed like a fair idea to compare them directly with each other. So what the heck, I gave it a go. Only 3 companies make an “enhanced class A” integrated amp (that I am aware of), they are: Opera Consonance who call their version “cool running class A”. Cambridge Audio with their “class XD”, the 840A being the only example in their line up. Dussun with the V6, V8 and R30 “hyper class A” amps. Unfortunately I could not find (or borrow) an Opera Consonance amp at the right price so I had to make do with a Dussun V6i and a Cambridge 840A V2. I hooked up the 840A and ran it in for 50 hours or so, right away I was struck by how rich and warm it sounded. It was also very smooth. The warmth settled with burn in but the rich, smooth sound stayed. The 840A has plenty of power at 130W and it always gave the impression that it had a large power reserve as well. I really liked the performance of the 840A, it never missed a beat and gave a very even presentation with that nice smoothness, richness and fullness to the entire soundstage permeating from the highs all the way through to the lows. A very pleasing performance! I should mention too that, if you take the top plate off the 840A its insides are a thing of beauty indeed. The PCB’s shine blue with white “Cambridge Audio” script standing out a mile and a pair of massive 15000uF capacitors per channel of power filtration/supply. A massive toroidal transformer surrounded by 2 crescent moon shaped heat sinks finishes off the picture. If there were an award for the sexiest integrated amp interior design of all time then this would definitely be a finalist. It is worth noting at this point that I had not heard the V6i for several months prior to this comparo, since it was already run in I had no real need to, I remembered it as being a fine amp at about the same level as the 840A. I was looking forward to the competition that the 840A would give it since both seemed to be very good examples of integrated amps. Quite a bit clearer than the 840A with a much more forward soundstage and an edge to the sound that I could only really refer to as “Def Leppard-ish”, distortion used in a “pump your fist in the air” kind of way. The edgy sound that the V6i lends to an electric guitar just has to be heard to be believed and as for power reserves, I’m afraid the word ample is just not big enough to be used here, no integrated I have yet heard has come close to matching the sheer awesome power that the V6i has on tap. An excellent amp, but that edginess that is such a large aspect of its sonic signature gets very hard to take at high volume, and by high volume I mean anything over 3.5 on the dial, which maxes out at 12. I can only imagine how powerful the V8i sounds! You would never mistake one amp for the other, they sound markedly different, but which one sounds better? I have to give the nod to the Dussun, it is quite likely that any vinyl lovers would choose the Cambridge in a heartbeat but I’m not one of them, the Dussun has the edge in power and clarity. As for other differences there are a few, the Cambridge can be turned on and off (or into standby) via the remote where the Dussun cannot, it has no standby function and has to be turned on and off at the power button on the amp itself. Both amps start themselves up at zero volume but only the Cambridge ramps itself back up to its previous set volume a few seconds after startup. The Dussun just sits at zero and waits for you to turn the volume up, any previous settings have to be remembered by the user or they are lost for good. One interesting point, which I will address in more depth in the next paragraph, is that the Dussun pre and power stages are not connected internally, the signal from pre to power travels via jumpers bridging the pre out and power in plugs on the rear of the amp. While the Cambridge has a pre out, it does not have a power in. The Cambridge also has balanced in, 12v trigger connections and a network port, which the Dussun does not have. I have mentioned the Cambridge interior design above and I have to say that the Dussun is indeed very different. For a start it is about twice the size of the Cambridge with 2 toroidal transformers (one for each channel) mounted in separate enclosures. The power filtration capacitors are mounted in between the transformers, with 4 8500uF caps per channel, more than the 840A certainly, but not a lot more. The PCB’s are all separated by a fair amount of space, preamp board at the back and power board along each side. The Dussun also makes use of a copper interior chassis, similar to the higher end Marantz designs, which looks very classy and probably helps with heat dissipation. Both amps get quite warm, I would not put either of them in an enclosed cabinet and I certainly would not place anything on top of them, but not seriously hot. After I had finished with my comparo, I remembered reading somewhere that the Dussun sounds better if the stock jumpers (pre out to power in) are replaced, so, just for kicks, I pulled them out and replaced them with a standard interconnect. The result was quite remarkable, that edge that was so hard to take at high volume was reduced, the very forward presentation that the amp was responsible for earlier was pulled back to a slightly forward presentation and yet that edge was still present where it should be, on the electric guitar. I would not have thought it possible but the entire sound range became much more level and listen-able. In short the Dussun became a 15% better amp for the cost of a $25 cable, now that is what I call value for money. And thinking of money, the Cambridge retails for 2K, the Dussun for 3K (supposedly) in Oz. Realistically the Cambridge can be purchased for 1 to 1.1K over ebay and the Dussun can be had for $1400 from Eastwood HiFi or for about 1K plus postage over ebay. So at the moment the Dussun, which is a more powerful amp that sounds cooler and clearer, is available cheaper than the Cambridge. At some point I am going to have to listen to the V8i. Last weekend I had the V6i blasting out 98db rock music at a setting of about 4.25 on the volume dial, do I need more power than that, hell no, but I want it! Cheers!
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