High quality stereo amplifier with network player

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mihai0711
Neuling
#1 erstellt: 07. Dez 2018, 12:23
Here's a puzzle for you, Hi-Fi gear experts.

I would like an integrated amplifier or a power amplifier + network player combo that..

has the following:
- is a 2-channel Class AB amplifier
- delivers at least 100W into 8 ohms at THD+N < 0.05%
- preferably delivers at least 200W into 8 ohms at THD+N < 0.01%
- can dive down to 2 ohms for musical transients (my Canton Reference 5K speakers go down to 3 ohms)
- can play 192k FLAC files from a DLNA server or USB Hard Drive (DSD and MQA playback are a plus)
- can be controlled via a remote and a mobile app
- MSRP is below $5000 (the less, the better - I am also open to buy used)
- no need to mention I am looking for the best sound quality I can get

doesn't necessarly need to have the following:
- tone controls
- Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster, etc.
- FM Radio
- internet radio
- a ton of digital and analogue inputs and outputs
- subwoofer out
- Headphones amplifier
- multiroom
- Bluetooth
- other extra features besides the ones listed above

Here are some candidates I already identified in the marketplace - with their downsides:
- The combo Cambridge Audio Azur 851N+851W: no real downsides, but I am convinced I can get better amp performance in this price range :)
- Yamaha R-N803D: has a lot of extra features I don't need and only delivers 100W at 0.019% THD; but is quite cheap @ $800
- Hegel H360: not very clear if the DLNA functionality works only with a network storage - seems that it needs an uPnP-capable media player. Price is quite high (around $6000 new; however on the used market dives down to $3000)
- Rotel RT-1570 + RB-1582 MKII: streamer is entry-level, amp doesn't have very good reviews
- NAD M32 + BluOS v2: is a class D amplifier
- Musical Fidelity M6 Encore 225: has a lot of extra features I don't need (CD Player, ripper)

Notes:
- I use Canton Reference 5K speakers (https://www.canton.de/en/reference-k/reference-5-k) and I mostly listen to Jazz and Classical music with a dash of Pop from time to time.
- I would, of course, preffer a one-box solution to my puzzle :)

If you have other recommendations, please enlighten me!

Thank you very much in advance!


[Beitrag von mihai0711 am 07. Dez 2018, 12:24 bearbeitet]
Erik030474
Inventar
#2 erstellt: 07. Dez 2018, 13:25

mihai0711 (Beitrag #1) schrieb:

- is a 2-channel Class AB amplifier


What for? You won't hear the difference to Class-D!



- delivers at least 100W into 8 ohms at THD+N < 0.05%
- preferably delivers at least 200W into 8 ohms at THD+N < 0.01%


You copied this from where?



- can dive down to 2 ohms for musical transients (my Canton Reference 5K speakers go down to 3 ohms)


If your speakers are that critical, I would recommend a GLOCKENKLANG BUGATTI 400.



- can play 192k FLAC files from a DLNA server or USB Hard Drive (DSD and MQA playback are a plus)
- can be controlled via a remote and a mobile app
- MSRP is below $5000 (the less, the better - I am also open to buy used)
- no need to mention I am looking for the best sound quality I can get


Have a look at LINN, HIFIAKADEMIE and a lot of others!
mihai0711
Neuling
#3 erstellt: 08. Mai 2019, 09:49
Just as a follow-up, for anyone interested:

My answer to the puzzle is Hegel H590 (ex-demo a bit above the 5000 price-point) + Canton Reference 3K speakers.
mihai0711
Neuling
#4 erstellt: 18. Jun 2019, 11:48
To whom landed here from Google searches and might have a simmilar dillema - some explanations below.

First, my rationale: I wanted clear, articluate, punchy bass. Therefore, I went for a floor-stander that goes down to 20Hz. Or at least to 25Hz. And I don't mean the 25Hz written in the spec sheet (-10dB/1m), but the one in tests, with room response at -6dB/2.5m.

Further on, I looked for an amp that can sustain and control that bass. That is - at least 200W into 8 ohms which must double into 4 ohms.

Also, for crystal-clear vocals and sparklinkg instruments (piano, violin, guitar), one must go for the best mid-range there is (usually only found in the reference series of speakers).

Therefore, for top-notch sound in the bass and mid-range, you'd want a "flagship", "higher-end", "signature", "reference", "top of the line" amplifier and speakers, plus cabling, room treatment and good speaker positioning.

Here are the finalists - partially extracted from StereoPlay's latest rank (June 2019) combined with my personal research.
https://www.connect....ereoplay-2019-06.pdf

Reference class A/B amps with DAC and at least 200W/8 ohm which doubles into 4 ohms (approximate MSRP prices):
- Gryphon Diablo 300 (18k with DAC)
- Mark Levinson Nº 585 (14k)
- McIntosh MA9000 (13k)
- Hegel H590 (10k)
- Maranz PM10 (Class D, 10k)
- Audionet DNA (10k)
- Perreaux 255i (8k)
- Krell Digital Vanguard (7.8k)
- Anthem STR (6k)
- Hegel H390 (6k)

Reference Speakers that in-room go below 30Hz at -6dB/2.5m (approximate MSRP prices):
- KEF Blade Two (25k)
- Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3 (22k)
- Canton Reference 1K (20k)
- Monitor Audio Platinum PL500 II (20k)
- Focal Sopra No. 3 (20k)
- Audio Physic Avantera III (20k)
- Dynaudio Confidence 30 (20k)
- KEF Reference 5 (19k)
- Sonus Faber Amati Tradition (18k)
- Bowers & Wilkins 803 D3 (17k)
- Wilson Audio Sabrina (16k)
- Focal Sopra No. 2 (14k)
- Focal Kanta No. 3 (13k)
- Canton Reference 3K (10k)
- Dynaudio Contour 60 (10k)
- Nubert nuVero 170 (9k)
- Bowers & Wilkins 804 D3 (9k)


I got (May 2019) a Hegel H590 + Canton Reference 3K combo for ~9k euro (MSRP 20k) and they sound heavenly

The Canton Reference 3K in-room goes just a bit below 30Hz - but for lower bass I had to spend more - much more

The Hegel H590 best matched what I was searching for because of its detailed, neutral, crystal-clear DAC/amp and bass control. Also the lack of phono amp, headphone amp, tone controls, fancy/gloomy aesthetics and other features that I don't use/need - instead, the H590 focuses only on the things that matter to me the most: detailed sound, musicality, bass control, dynamics (it can deliver up to 2.2kW per channel into 1 ohm!), noise floor, quality DAC, basic streamer, minimal design etc.

Note that I listen mostly to acoustic music - jazz, ambient, chill-out, piano, instrumental and classical in a 25 square meter room.

Cheers!
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