Jump to content

twofires

Modest integrated amp for an "away from the inquisitive child" setup

Recommended Posts

So, imagine you're me. You have a turntable, floorstanders, and big integrated amp out in the living room with your TV and HTPC. This setup has worked perfectly for you for a while now.

 

Enter a very energetic and inquisitive 9 month old who is soon to be walking. At some point, your handsy child is going to find your turntable and try to figure out which bits come off when yanked. You need a bedroom setup, away from tiny, adorable destructo-hands. You also don't have a great deal of money, but might be able to scrape together a little over $1k before it's too late.

 

You were able able to secure a pair of 15 year old Monitor Audio Bronze B2 bookshelf speakers for all of $90, and now you need something to power them. Being a bedroom setup, you'd prefer something modern with auto-standby to avoid waking up on fire. You'd also prefer new for similar reasons.

 

Irrespective of whether new or second hand, you can see a couple of different directions amplification could take within the $500-$1200 range;

 

 

Option 1 - Marantz PM6006 or NOS PM6005

 

Pros:

  • You know that you like the sound of Marantz with Monitor Audio

 

Cons:

  • MM stage is useless to you, meaning an extra box in the bedroom to keep the MC cart

 

 

Option 2 - Yamaha A-S701

 

Pros:

  • A lot of power for the money

 

Cons:

  • Yammy might prefer a warmer speaker?
  • It's big
  • MM stage is useless to you

 

 

Option 3 - Rega Brio-R (likely second hand)

 

Pros:

  • You've heard these powering Dyna 2/6s and have no doubt the power rating is conservative. It also sounded very clean.
  • Everybody loves this thing
  • Compact

 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No DAC
  • No standby
  • You're not sure how much of the praise is just the Cult of Rega (no offense, but, you know)
  • MM stage is useless to you

 

 

Option 4 - Onkyo A-9070 (where still available)

 

Pros:

  • MC Phono!
  • 3 digital inputs
  • Decent power (75w p/c)
  • Old model so shops might do a deal

 

Cons:

  • Onkyo might sound a bit brittle if pushed
  • Outside your price range unless the deal is VERY good
  • Just how good could the phono stage be?
  • Huge

 

 

Option 5 - Onkyo A-9150

 

 

(basically the A-9070 with better components and half the power, for slightly less money)

 

 

 

Option 6 - Yamaha R-N803D

 

Pros:

  • Every mod-con you could possibly need
  • Everything said about the A-S701

 

Cons:

  • Too much going on in the one box?
  • Everything said about the AS701
  • Expensive

 

 

Thoughts? Bear in mind that $1500 would be the absolute ceiling. I know I'm losing the benefit of the MC cart by saddling it with mid-fi speakers and amps, but the idea is to move the turntable back to the main system once the little one is old enough to understand "don't touch that" (i.e. somewhere between 6 and 26 years). 😛 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in a similar situation, with turntable and exposed tubes glowing... raised TT on the wall, at chest height. Sorted that problem, but understand not every one can do that.

i swapped the valve amp for a rega elex and havnt looked back.

 

i dont think an amp without a DAC is a Con - i even like amps with no phono as if your half serious you have an external one (sounds like you are all over it already)

 

could the speakers be mounted on a wall? Ive done this for same reasons as you, the MAs are front ported from memory. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Andrews_melb said:

I was in a similar situation, with turntable and exposed tubes glowing... raised TT on the wall, at chest height. Sorted that problem, but understand not every one can do that.

i swapped the valve amp for a rega elex and havnt looked back.

 

i dont think an amp without a DAC is a Con - i even like amps with no phono as if your half serious you have an external one (sounds like you are all over it already)

 

could the speakers be mounted on a wall? Ive done this for same reasons as you, the MAs are front ported from memory. 

It's a thought, but the kid has given us some indication that they are going to be a climber, so I'd sooner remove the TT from view altogether. The speakers in the living room are KEF Q700 floorstanders, and can't really live anywhere else - I'm going to have to leave the grills on and hope for the best on that front. The MA B2s were picked up for the bedroom specifically, where the little one won't be a factor. They are front ported, thankfully, which will make positioning much easier. :)

 

I agree that ditching onboard extras can be better (leaves you to pick and choose better components to suit your tastes) but the truth is that space in the bedroom is at a premium, and compactness is going to trump fidelity to some degree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In that case what about a Bluesound Power node or similar, you can still put a TT in through the analogue input.

obviously not ideal, but would be a small little unit doing all of your digital and turntable needs with a hidden away phono stage?

i only know the bluesound product but im sure there are many similar.

also then you can add similar eco system speakers nodes ect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

There is a PS Audio Sprout in the classifieds, which like many you say, only has a MM, may be worth a think about.

 

 

JJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Andrews_melb said:

In that case what about a Bluesound Power node or similar, you can still put a TT in through the analogue input.

obviously not ideal, but would be a small little unit doing all of your digital and turntable needs with a hidden away phono stage?

i only know the bluesound product but im sure there are many similar.

also then you can add similar eco system speakers nodes ect

That's an interesting option I hadn't considered. I have no experience with Class D amps like that, but the form factor is certainly appealing. That said, the Yamaha R-N803D, while much bigger, does all that, with more power (Class AB) and had DAB+ as well. So it's a footprint vs. features question if I decide to go the 'feature-packed' route. Both seem great, truth be told.

 

Thank you for the suggestion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


1 hour ago, Janjuc said:

Hi,

 

There is a PS Audio Sprout in the classifieds, which like many you say, only has a MM, may be worth a think about.

 

 

JJ

Not a bad idea - although I've heard these really fall apart when you push them. I think I'd have to hear one in person to know if it's going to work for me.

 

Thank you for the heads up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, twofires said:

Not a bad idea - although I've heard these really fall apart when you push them. I think I'd have to hear one in person to know if it's going to work for me.

 

Thank you for the heads up!

Correct.

 

Fine if you like form over function and/or if you have very efficient speakers,but even then I wouldn't bother.

Edited by rantan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cyrus One????

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One annoying thing if using a powernode or similar would be that you’d need to open the app to select the TT and change volume. I think.

unless they have a way to set it as a button on the unit itself.

power wise with the MAs it would drive them fine, and has internet radio built in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of amp get a child protection fence and isolate one area of living room absolutely safe for a child. Not only hfi is dangerous, kitchen, bathroom, all electric equipment, stairs, doors, corridors, glass or any sharp object/furniture (BTW furniture needs to be fixed to the wall), corners needs to be cover with soft rubber.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Irek razor wire has been suggested in like situations in the past. Doesn’t work if carpets are light in colour.

 

Not the brio

 

Does a bedroom system require a TT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


3 hours ago, Batty said:

Cyrus One????

 

I hadn't even considered the little grey box company. Interesting. No DAC, but aptX Bluetooth. Interesting.

 

2 hours ago, Andrews_melb said:

One annoying thing if using a powernode or similar would be that you’d need to open the app to select the TT and change volume. I think.

unless they have a way to set it as a button on the unit itself.

power wise with the MAs it would drive them fine, and has internet radio built in

App control is actually a plus, as I'd likely be listening propped up in bed. Internet radio also a plus.

 

1 hour ago, Irek said:

Instead of amp get a child protection fence and isolate one area of living room absolutely safe for a child. Not only hfi is dangerous, kitchen, bathroom, all electric equipment, stairs, doors, corridors, glass or any sharp object/furniture (BTW furniture needs to be fixed to the wall), corners needs to be cover with soft rubber.  

This option has been considered to some extent, but ultimately the shape of the room makes that sort of solution difficult. As for fixing furniture to the wall, there's an extremely heavy 5x5 Kallax that I'll be doing that to shortly. It'd kill ME if it fell, let alone the baby.

 

38 minutes ago, djb said:

@Irek razor wire has been suggested in like situations in the past. Doesn’t work if carpets are light in colour.

 

Not the brio

 

Does a bedroom system require a TT?

This kid is likely to chew the pointy bits off and ask for seconds.

 

Any particular reasoning against the Brio (other than it doesn't have standby)?

 

And no, the bedroom doesn't require the TT, but the TT requires the safety of the bedroom. It's either the bedroom or pack it into a box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then I’d box it for a few years 3-4

brio is not very good sounded veiled and loow powered to my ears. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far the most surprising thing is that nobody has really said anything about the PM6006. I would have thought there'd be a few fans of Marantz integrated amps lurking about.

 

Also, any thoughts on Yamaha and MA together? I know there are fans of the A-S2100s here - does anything of the character of that amp trickle down to their lesser offerings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, djb said:

brio is not very good sounded veiled and loow powered to my ears. 

Out of curiosity, what was the rest of the setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I read correctly the B2 $90 Speakers are good but would not need a $1200 amp. There are many cheaper alternatives used and just as good depending how old an amp you are ok with like Audiolab 8000s, Roksan Kandy, Musical Fidelity, Arcam, Naim, Yamaha AS1100 etc all in the $300-$1000 Range.

 

Lookup Cafad’s SNA member posts on many reviews of integrated amps for ideas.

Edited by Al.M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Al.M said:

If I read correctly the B2 $90 Speakers are good but would not need a $1200 amp. There are many cheaper alternatives used and just as good depending how you are ok with like Audiolab 8000s, Roksan Kandy, Musical Fidelity, Arcam, Naim, Yamaha AS1100 etc all in the $300-$1000 Range.

 

Lookup Cafad’s SNA member posts on many reviews of integrated amps for ideas.

I take your point. If an A-S1100 came up in that price range (once I have my pennies together) I would not hesitate. I need some VU meters in my life. 🤩

 

If the bedroom setup worked for me in the long term I'd  probably upgrade the speakers down the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


8 minutes ago, rogersquared said:

 

I know, right? About 2 months too soon, otherwise perfect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brio set up was at CAV SO IT HAD TO COMPETE WITH THEIR DOGS.

A friend was auditioning a newly released Chord Hugo! Dac.

All in all SQ very poor

 

Edited by djb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×