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Thread: Do integrated amps get a bad rap or is it justified?

  1. #1

    Do integrated amps get a bad rap or is it justified?

    At what point is it better to have separate components vs. integrated amps, and cd players vs. a cd transport and DAC? It would seem to me that due to the fact that the chassis of a component tends to be one of the most expensive parts of it and that with every component comes cables, rack space, outlet space and sometimes floor space, often times the money saved with using integrated components would mean that you could go with a higher performance integrated than separates of equal value, especially when you factor in shelves, cables and the like. I guess what I'm getting at is would you get better sounds with say a Nagra, Ypsilon or D'agastino integrated than with separates of equal power, but from a presumably lesser brand or from say an Esoteric K-01 vs. the new P-05 and D-05 separates that cost the same? I don't see integrated's pushed much except at the lower end, so at what point do separates really become worth it?

  2. #2
    Dan D'Agostino told the camera that his integrated sounded better than his separates. He said "no outside cabling" between the units (pre/powers amps) was a primary benefit.
    Founder: AVShowrooms- over 15,000,000 video views! featuring video reports of audio shows, company tours and reviews. Resume' includes; the absolute sound, Stereophile, Listener Magazine, founder Philadelphia Audio Society. Top articles: Lamm ML3- TAS, YG Anat III Signatures- TAS, Ayon- TAS, Kronos Ltd. video review- AVS, Audionet- AVS, Single Ended Survey- TAS, Fisher 500c- Stereophile, Bozak CGs- Stereophile, Box Sets- Listener, Dynaco ST70-Listener. Best catch phrase: Bugatti of Audio.

  3. #3
    I agree that eliminating the need for outside cabling between amp and pre could make a significant improvement. I simply like the flexibility of mixing and matching such as ss amp with tube preamp. The possibilities are endless if you can afford it.

    On the other hand, if you find an integrated you like - and I believe each integrated should be judged on an individual basis - why not just kick back and enjoy the music. Swapping out gear can be very tiring at times and expensive as well.

    Sue Kraft
    Reviewer, The Audio Beat

  4. #4
    Thanks! It is a tough choice between the flexibility of mixing and matching and saving space. I started off thinking of building a system of all separate components, but now think that I'd rather keep it small and sleek as I live in urban dwellings and should probably think small in stature, but large in depth and detail. I'm reading good things about the Boulder 865, especially that it's uber transparent and from what I can tell from videos anyway, that seems to be the case. I have a local dealer, so I might have to audition one when the time comes to finally get my speakers and amp(s) together.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by peteravshow View Post
    Dan D'Agostino told the camera that his integrated sounded better than his separates. He said "no outside cabling" between the units (pre/powers amps) was a primary benefit.
    Dan D'Agostino along with Kevin Hayes and Nelson Pass have got to be my big three in that department :-) The 2 great new videos with the Carmel 2's from the C.A.F demonstrate what I'm talking about; not that the Mola-Mola's take up a lot of space compared to the Audionet WATT , but still, every shelf and interconnect adds up, plus with one source and an INT you can plug directly into the wall, so you don't need a power strip or necessarily need a conditioner.

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