Amplifier upgrade advice- Little Dot MkIII Tube pre +new power amp or new integrated?


Novice Member

This is probably a bit of a specific question but hopefully you guys can offer some good advice on potential upgrades. Sorry for the lengthy post buy want to give a full picture.

Here's my current kit:

Sources: Pro-Ject Debut II + Pro-ject Phonobox for vinyl / Hacked O2 Joggler running Squeezeplayer through USB into a MF V-DAC for digital

Currently this is used with a Little Dot MkIII Tube amp (with rolled tubes) either into Grado SR325is headphones (rarely), or more often through the Little Dot's pre-outs into my Denon 1909 AVR connected to Kef 2005.2's.

Basically I want to upgrade the stereo capabilities of this setup as I know the amp/speakers aren't great for music and I feel they are lacking. I think I'm set on getting a pair of Dali Zensor 1's for stereo speakers as they get excellent reviews and meet my space requirements. So far I see two options for the amp part though:

1) Keep the Little Dot as a pre-amp and buy a power amp to drive the new speakers. I'm thinking something like an Arcam Alpha 8/9 power amp second hand. I love the tube sound/look from the Little Dot so it would keep that aspect.

2) Sell the Little Dot and buy an integrated amp. Not really sure what I'd want here but again no problem buying second hand.

Can anyone offer any advice on the best route to take? I like the tube sound so like things on the warmer side tonally. I don't listen at ear-splitting volume and the living room is pretty small so all-out power isn't really a concern. Most of the time I'm listening to older rocky type stuff - CCR/Neil Young etc. plus newer indie stuff - guitar-led music basically.

My budget would be £200ish for the power-amp idea or £300ish for the new integrated option, and like I say happy with either new or second hand.

Any help would be great :thumbsup:. Cheers!
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