Integrated Amplifier reccomendations

First time posting here!

Unfortunately the Denon PMA-500V, which was gifted to me, has died. A series of faults and now a faulty phono output have rendered it too unreliable.

My current components are as follows:

I’m looking for an integrated amplifier that will be more permanent and pairs well with the above components (mainly the Planar 1, I am considering replacing the speakers at some stage). It should also feature an inbuilt pre-amp, great sound stage, and put out around 80w per channel. Digital inputs are optional, however if they are there need to work really well. My budget is $AUD2000.

What I’m considering at the moment:

My music preferences are along the alternative/rock/heavy metal line with some rap thrown in. The amp will need to be versatile.

Does anyone have any recommendations based on the above? Any personal experiences? Recommendations on how to select an amp are also very welcome.

The Denon PMA-800NE or ps audio sprout100 are great integrateds and sound really good with plenty of features. Plenty of power too imo

Great recommendations, are there any disadvantages when buying compact units?

It depends but if it’s actually a quality amp the size of the physical unit shouldn’t make that big of an issue. There are smaller amps that are not that great, but the ones I mentioned are pretty high quality

And also I can vouch for the a-s701 and the elex r, great amps too

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Excellent, great tips. I’m leaning towards the PMA800 or Elex.
One more question - how would you usually go about selecting an Amp?
Reviews? Feature lists and Specs?
There are so many to choose from.

Well finding something that fits your budget, space requirements, has good power output for your use case, has the feature you want, and then actually sounds good is part of the process. Also finding something that has a good warranty in case something goes wrong helps too

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Thanks heaps, really appreciate the responses. Seems like this is an ongoing quest haha.

I actually tested all three of the amplifiers.
Originally I had a Yamaha AS-700 which I then replaced by the much better Rega Elex-R.
The Musical Fidelity devices are more show than good products. They sound very sharp and are made cheaply, even if the case suggests otherwise.
The Elex-R is one of my absolute favorite amps, though I own a used Audionet Sam, which had a sticker price of around 6000USD.
The Elex-R has a detailed treble, the wonderfully warm and raised Rega mids and good control in the bass. A really good amplifier for warm English sound, which I can imagine very well with your Mordount shorts. At the risk of being murdered in this forum, I still recommend not to use speaker cables with silver on the Elex-R for a pleasant treble.
The best thing about the Elex-R is its superior workmanship and indestructible construction. I would drive my car without hesitation over the amplifier.
Somewhat hard to get used to is the light bang when switching on. Also, the amplifier needs 30 minutes to warm up to reach its full potential sound.
The installed Phono stage is Rega typically far better than the competition. As an upgrade, I would mount an Ortophon 2M Blue on the P1 and raise the tonearm 3mm with the Rega spacers.
In general, I would say that the Elex-R plays well beyond its price range.

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Musical Fidelity is really hit or miss sometimes

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I can not really complain about musical fidelity my V90 DAC from 2013 still works well. But the V90 LPS Phono Stage is one of the worst I’ve ever heard.
I think there are just better alternatives … the M2si and M3si do not sound good at all and I just do not like them. Very thin and sharp, I would choose an Exposure 1010 over both.
If you want to have a very neutral sound and good workmanship, you are better advised to use Exposure.
Exposure 3010 eats the M5si for breakfast. Besides, Exposure does not manufacture in China like Musical Fidelity.
Maybe there are systems where a MF amplifier is a good combination, but I have not heard one yet. That’s why I would generally simply recommend for a neutral and Dynamic sound profile Exposure oder Audionet (if you can afford or find a used one).

Anyway, a Yamaha will be too bright on the speakers.
And the Rega should be able to fill the hole in the mids created by the MS speakers. Also, the musical and relaxed Rega sound is actually very universal in many styles of music. I do not like rap or older rock recordings on super neutral amps.

A Rega Brio should also be enough for your speakers. But the Elex-R is of course better if you want to buy better speakers in the future. Remember, with the amp selection, you also decide which next loudspeakers to buy, so they fit the amp.

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Thanks everyone for responding to my questions, you’ve all been super helpful.

I decided to go for the Rega Elex-R for a number of reasons:

  • Build quality
  • Warm neutral sound, and raised mids sounded super appealing to me (Thanks @German_Power for this detail, I wasn’t able to find it anywhere else on the net)
  • Price point (I found it on sale for $200 off retail)
  • Upgrade options (I’m going to buy speakers to match).

The new Rega Elex-R and it’s on the way as of right now! Now, if anyone has any advice on speaker pairings… That would also be useful :wink:… Although that did blow my budget for the time being.

It often depends on personal taste in loudspeakers.

I would first clarify the basics …

  1. Stand or bookshelf speaker
  2. price range
  3. Type of tweeter

I’m currently also looking for new speakers for the living room on my Elex-R. I only have my Dynaudio bookshelf 1.3mkII with the Audionet SAM in the home office. The Rega does not particularly suit speakers designed for linearity, resolution and extreme transparency. Although I often dream of Contour 20 or 30, my 1.3s are already so brutally transparent that the investment in adequate sources would be galactic. I do not mean that bad recordings are inaudible (except bad digital files) but the smallest changes on the turntable are clearly shown.
The Focus in the living room is more about fun and warmth and there will be only using my old sources equipment from the home office.
For my big living room, I think of efficient speakers with some character and fun like: Regas own RX-5, L100 Classic by JBL or Tannoy Legacy Eaton (but unfortunately very expensive).

In smaller spaces I can imagine the Elex-R well with Rega RX-1 for very relaxed and musical sound at very good price/performance.

Dynaudio Special Fortys (even if they are not the most efficient) for a very dynamic and balanced sound as well as superior tweeters.

Booklet S400 for a bit more brilliance and live feeling in a compact size.

I personally dont like Klipsch and KEF at all but they could fit the amp well with their high efficiency. Harbeth may also have something but I do not have any listening experience with the brand.

Of course, do not forget the sources! The P1 is very good, but a Nagaoka MP-150 or a 2M Blue would be a great Upgrade. Of course, do not forget to raise the tonearm. I also heard of good experiences with the Rega MM preamps and the Hana EL high output. If I have too much time next week I will write a guide about Rega turntables and all the cheap modifications and tips for better Sound…
Don’t forget a good speaker stand with bookshelves to get punchy bass. And even by investing small money you can achieve great improvement by optimizing the room acoustics.

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