Amplifier upgrade - questions & suggestions

evtrados

Member
Hello all,

It's my first post and I'm really excited that I'll be sharing my thoughts, experience and love for music and sound with you all.

As the title suggests, I really think it's time to upgrade my integrated amp. Currently I have an Onkyo A-9010, which sounds OK for what I wanted to have in the past 7 years (including the fact that small kids and more expensive equipment is not really a good idea).
Some context first and some information about my current setup:

  1. Speakers: Yamaha NS-777
    • Power: 100W RMS
    • Sensitivity: 89 dB/2.83 V/1 m
    • Impedance: 6 Ohms
  2. Sources:
    • Turntable: Had an old Stanton T52 since my university days, but last month I bought a Pro-Ject X1. This is my main source of playing music, but since we of course live in the digital age I've also hooked up a bluetooth receiver to the Onkyo to play music from my phone/tablet.
    • TV: I have connected my smart TV to the Onkyo using an optical cable, which works fine, since I can simultaneously use the TV's internal speaker together with the optical connection for a better movie enjoyment.
    • Laptop: I either connect it to the TV via HDMI and then let the TV output the sound to the Onkyo via the optical connection, or I use an AUX to RCA cable whenever I don't need the TV
    • Phone/tablet: As mentioned above, I have also connected an old bluetooth receiver to the Onkyo, so that I can stream music through my phone.
On December a friend of mine gave me his old separates system for me to try it out which consisted of a HEA Artephonos tube preamp (Hay-End Audio: eigenwijze audioproducten, uw concertpodium thuis) (around 2K Euros) + two Conrad KD-269 (Conrad KD-269), each of which was connected to one of the Yamaha speakers. Needless to say that I was amazed with the difference in sound quality and sound stage that I would get.
As a result, I decided to gradually upgrade my whole setup. I started with getting the Pro-Ject X1, in order to get the most out of my vinyl records and now I want to upgrade my amplifier. As much as I would like to go with separates, they really take too much space, especially if I later decide to get a DAC, phono preamp or something like the Bluesound node to have multiroom audio. Hence, I'm considering an integrated amp (new or used) at around 3K Euros.
The speakers is the last part of my system that I would like to change, since they were a wedding present, so I really want to keep them for at least 5 years more.

So, I did my research in integrated amps and limited my choices to the following:
  • Yamaha A-S2100/2200 or A-S1100/1200, or even A-S3000 if I find a sweet deal
  • Musical Fidelity M6si or the older M6i
  • Hegel H360 or H160/190 (there are some used H360's at a good price)
  • Technics SU-G700
  • Rotel RA-1592
  • Atoll IN200 Signature or IN300
  • Denon PMA A110 (there are some sweet deals here and there), and last but definitely not least
  • Anthem STR Integrated (if I stretch my budget and find a nice deal)
Now to my questions to you guys:
  1. Will those amps be an overkill for my speakers? Is it possible that I won't be getting the full potential that the amps were designed to deliver and, thus, won't get the best clarity or tonality that I could be getting with more expensive speakers?
  2. Should I limit my choices to analog-only amplifiers and then add an external DAC that will also have HDMI ARC (even though Hegel's DAC is supposed to be impressive)?
  3. Since my main source will be vinyl, should I be only considering amps that supposedly have a very good phono stage (e.g., the Yamaha's, Musical Fidelity and the Anthem)? My main reasoning here is that I don't want to buy and amp with an 'OK' phono stage and then also have to pay a few hundred bucks extra to get a good phono preamp.
Thanks in advance for your responses! :)
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi. I have an X1. Have you changed the cart that it comes with? In my experience, the easiest way to upgrade your sound, if you have a Project TT, is to ditch the Ortofon 2m cart that it comes with and replace it with any number of better, more "vinyly" sounding ones.

In response to your amp question, have you considered a Lyngdorf TDAI-1120?
 

evtrados

Member
Hi @acgingersnaps and thanks for your response!

No, I have not yet updated the cartridge on my X1, that is one of the things I'd like to do in the near future indeed.
Regarding Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, I had considered it, but because I will at some point (after 5 years or so) upgrade my speakers as well, it seemed to me that the Lyngdorf might not be a good option in case the new speakers would demand more power.
In general, I'd like to keep the new amp for 10+ years, so I'd prefer to get something that will tick all the boxes.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Regarding Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, I had considered it, but because I will at some point (after 5 years or so) upgrade my speakers as well, it seemed to me that the Lyngdorf might not be a good option in case the new speakers would demand more power.
I wouldn't get to caught up in a WPC contest. 60 into 8 ohms, doubling to 120 into 4, is plenty for the majority of speakers in normal sized rooms. Especially when you take into account the current it can generate.
That's before you add Room Perfect, which is amazing if you have a tricky room.
 

evtrados

Member
Yes, I also agree with the fact that 60W will be enough for the majority of the speakers unless someone really likes to listen at really high volume at all times.
Oh indeed I see that it has this Room Perfect functionality, which will definitely be helpful in my room.
Thanks, I'll add the Lyngdorf to my list then.
 

andybebbs

Active Member
I would also 2nd a lyngdorf 1120 cracking amp for the money
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The 1120. With no caveats.

It will happily drive any speakers you are likely to get and Room Perfect is worth it alone; add the excellent and comprehensive streamer and the prowess of the amplifier and it’s the best bargain I’ve ever bought.
 

bay73

Active Member
Here comes another vote for Lyngdorf. I own a TDAI-1120 and for the money I cannot see what would be a more versatile amp.

It has a good phono stage, buckets of power and the icing on the cake - RoomPerfect.

If you are worried about power and as indicated are happy to go secondhand, then TDAI-3400 could be an option?

I do not believe it has Airplay 2 (if that sort of thing is important to you).

Suggest getting a home demo to see what RoomPerfect can do in your own room.
 

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