Question Best amplifier under £2k? Either Vintage or Contemporary.

tornpower

Novice Member
:thumbsdowIf its vintage i'm assuming that it is brand new or fully refurbed. Im looking for the absolute best sound. Listening mostly to reggae on vinyl.

Total noob but have started saving. Advice on speakers wouldn't go a miss either to be honets but plan to post a separate thread.

:clap:
Thanks for hearing me out. Would be stoked to hear any advise.

Yours,

:DArthur
 

indus

Well-known Member
:thumbsdowIf its vintage i'm assuming that it is brand new or fully refurbed. Im looking for the absolute best sound. Listening mostly to reggae on vinyl.

Total noob but have started saving. Advice on speakers wouldn't go a miss either to be honets but plan to post a separate thread.

:clap:
Thanks for hearing me out. Would be stoked to hear any advise.

Yours,

:DArthur

The speakers are the most important component in a chain. I wouldn't spend £2k on an amp unless you are intending to spend about £5k on speakers
 

tornpower

Novice Member
fair enough. Then I guess what would be the best 2k amp for 5k speakers. Could you recommend some speakers around that price? Thanks
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Don't really think you have to spend £5k with a £2k amp. I'd love to mind you. Somebody please gift me a pair of KEF Reference 1s. I have a Rega Elicit-R, £1760 and to my ears and with my £1000 (then) pair of KEF R300s that amp easily outperformed a £2100 Naim Nait XS2.

Speakers are very important certainly, probably the number one consideration in audio. Number two would be the room. Put good speakers in a bad room and no matter what amp you throw at them it could be a disaster.

If you get a pair of £5k floorstanders and tuck them away in a corner in a room full of hard reflective surfaces then that is money not well spent. Likewise put the wrong combination of amp and speakers together...….
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The wife has actually given me the go ahead to get Reference 1s. I just haven't got the guts to tell her how much they are. I think she may just change her mind.:love:
 

dollag

Well-known Member
The wife has actually given me the go ahead to get Reference 1s. I just haven't got the guts to tell her how much they are. I think she may just change her mind.:love:
that's amazing!!!!!
 

Paul7777x

Well-known Member
The wife has actually given me the go ahead to get Reference 1s. I just haven't got the guts to tell her how much they are. I think she may just change her mind.:love:
Awesome... quickly sir, quickly...

A bird in the hand is better than a sold wife :smashin:
 

SickSquirrel

Active Member
fair enough. Then I guess what would be the best 2k amp for 5k speakers. Could you recommend some speakers around that price? Thanks
You don't need £5k speakers, a budget of around £2k per component will give you a phenomenal system.

For speakers look at ATC and amps Simaudio...
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Reggae is very bass-heavy, so I presume you're looking for something that goes low?

Personally, I think you listen to music through speakers and they should be your number one priority. Yes, amplification and a good record deck are also important, but your speakers will have the final say over the sound.

If you get bookshelf speakers, then you'll also need a capable Subwoofer for your bass needs. If you go Floorstanders, then that should be all you'll require.

It's hard to beat PMC speakers at any price level for bass reproduction thanks to their use of the Transmission Line:

ATL - Advanced Transmission Line | PMC Loudspeakers

As an aside, what's interesting about Reggae as a musical genre is that it's not always perfectly timed nor note perfect; it's all about the feel and the groove of the music, so you'll want speakers that are less an analytical tool and more about joy.

Good luck!
 

Ugg10

Well-known Member

Paul7777x

Well-known Member
You don't need £5k speakers, a budget of around £2k per component will give you a phenomenal system.

For speakers look at ATC and amps Simaudio...
True enough, no one ‘needs’ five grand speakers.

But that a good pair of £5000 speakers (to taste) will be superior to a £2000 pair whilst not a given, is certainly a legitimate expectation.

And if you do decide to listen to ATC I’d listen carefully. Incoherent screamers if ever I heard any.
 

Hoku

Active Member
Although setting a budget is practical and sensible, sometimes you can end up funnelling your choices into a narrow band of products simply because of the budget. You almost feel you have to justify your choices by maxing out your budget.

It’s an interesting process going to a hifi show or a dealer with a lot of options. I’ve been to two Bristol Sound & Vision shows at the Marriot and one or two others in the past.

Each time the products that have really impressed me in terms of outright capability, not just capability at a certain price point, were products quite well down the food chain. And some very expensive equipment was pretty underwhelming. Once you get beyond a certain price point, you tend to pay a lot for exotic materials or aesthetics that may not add all that much outright musical value at all.

My point is, although you have a budget that many would consider healthy, don’t write off options that are cheaper, simply because they are.

Some products have a way of making music sound just right. And some quite inexpensive options have that capability.

In your situation, with your musical tastes, I’d check out the Dali Callisto active speakers with streamer / pre-amp module. They were among the products I’ve heard that just sounded right, natural tonally and with well-controlled genuinely musical bass. Also take a look at Quad Z series speakers and Quad amps and anything Neat makes. IMO, they all have the ability to sound real, not like hifi at all, tap into the musical rhythm in a way that really engages you, as indeed it should.

One other point: I wouldn’t get too hooked up on how low down the frequency range speakers might claim to go. I’ll take quality fast, punchy, tonally accurate bass any day over lower bass that’s also lethargic, one-note and swamps everything else in the mix. And I think this is just as valid whether you’re talking about reggae as someone playing the double bass in dinner jazz.
 

SickSquirrel

Active Member
True enough, no one ‘needs’ five grand speakers.

But that a good pair of £5000 speakers (to taste) will be superior to a £2000 pair whilst not a given, is certainly a legitimate expectation.

And if you do decide to listen to ATC I’d listen carefully. Incoherent screamers if ever I heard any.
So Mark Knopfler's favourite speakers are "Incoherent screamers", well what does he know :rotfl:

I doubt you have ever heard any mate...
 

indus

Well-known Member
You don't need £5k speakers, a budget of around £2k per component will give you a phenomenal system.

For speakers look at ATC and amps Simaudio...

Personally speaking I think £2k speakers with a £2k amp is a mismatch. You don't need to spend anywhere near £2000 to get a very good power amp that will easily do justice to speakers worth many times more. I'm assuming that we are talking about a pure power amp, not integrated.

I've driven £5k speakers with a variety of amps ranging from £500 (SH) and they've sounded great.

If I had £5k to spend in total I'd use £4k for speakers and £1k for a SH amp. For £1k there are loads of fantastic amps in the SH/ex dem market.
I might be upgrading my MA PL300 speakers to PL500. These retail at £15k. I'll run them on amps I bought for £2.5k SH.

Strangely enough you've suggested simaudio, I think you would probably struggle to find anything by simaudio at £2k on the SH market.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Though perhaps not helpful, there is no Best Amp, there is only the best Amp for YOU. What you choose will hinge on what you want and need from the amp - what features, what power, and so on.

I would say the same with speakers. Speakers do not exist in a vacuum, they are very much tied to your personal taste and to the size of your room, and to some extent to the other equipment you have.

So, if you are serious about buying an amp, think about what you need from the amp. Tone Controls? Digital Inputs? Phone-In, Sub-Out, Network Streaming, and so on. Now many of these can be added as separate external items, but with a fixed budget, if you need external Streaming, that is either a bigger budget, or less money for the amp.

If you want us to point you toward specific amps, then you need to give us specific requirements for that amp.

If you want to pull all the stops in terms of features and very good build quality then at least consider this -

Rotel RA-1592, 200w/ch, DAC - £2095 -


Rotel RA1592 Amplifier

But ...again... what is it that you want the amp to do in terms of Power and Features?

In Speakers, how big is the room? How is the room laid out? Where will the speakers be placed in that room? What is your seating distance from the speakers? And so on....

Steve/bluewizard

Steve/bluewizard
 

daddy999

Novice Member
£2k for amps need £5k speakers? Utter nonsense!! You set up the best source, amp and speakers you can afford and that you like the look and sound of, and buy having listened with your own ears.

I’ve just put together my own new system consisting of a Clearaudio concept mm turntable, Yamaha as2100 amp and MA gold 100 speakers and stands, the cost of each item was irrelevant. I am lucky enough to be able to have afforded 3 times more than I actually spent, but, I loved what I heard with this combination.
 

SickSquirrel

Active Member
£2k for amps need £5k speakers? Utter nonsense!! You set up the best source, amp and speakers you can afford and that you like the look and sound of, and buy having listened with your own ears.

I’ve just put together my own new system consisting of a Clearaudio concept mm turntable, Yamaha as2100 amp and MA gold 100 speakers and stands, the cost of each item was irrelevant. I am lucky enough to be able to have afforded 3 times more than I actually spent, but, I loved what I heard with this combination.
Totally agree, I could easily afford to dump £20k+ into a system but what I have works for me and my listening space, it's about system synergy not one's bank balance!

FWIW I had the AS2100 and a Clearaudio turntable not so long ago, you are in for a real treat once you have 300> hours on that amp, a great front end :D
 

daddy999

Novice Member
Totally agree, I could easily afford to dump £20k+ into a system but what I have works for me and my listening space, it's about system synergy not one's bank balance!

FWIW I had the AS2100 and a Clearaudio turntable not so long ago, you are in for a real treat once you have 300> hours on that amp, a great front end :D
I am working on the 300 hours, think the wife is getting bored now though!
 

Lerkst

Active Member
The speakers are the most important component in a chain. I wouldn't spend £2k on an amp unless you are intending to spend about £5k on speakers
Yeah, just spend £250 on the amp. Provided your speakers are really expensive it'll all be alright on the night....
 

Lerkst

Active Member
I just love a good bit of THD me. 10% or nothing.:smashin:
An excellent point: make it an underpowered amp if at all possible. If the speakers are really good they will sort everything else out.

Why not save £250 and find an old transistor radio and use that. £7k on speakers should do nicely.
 

Lerkst

Active Member
Somebody please gift me a pair of KEF Reference 1s.
Friend of mine in Holland has just bought some. Am flying over soon and will of course have a listen. Always wonder if it is a good idea to listen to other people's setups.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
£2k for amps need £5k speakers? Utter nonsense!! ....
While I don't dispute your central point, it is not utter nonsense, it is a common guideline used to establish perspective. Once a buyer has that perspective, they are free to deviate based on their personal priorities and the equipment they find.

In my case, I have £1000/pr speaker and a £1400 Amp, but just prior to this setup, I had a £500 Amp and £1000/pr speakers. I upgraded my amp for about the 7th time, and now my speaker are lagging behind, though without a doubt my speakers sound very good. Good enough to sustain me until such time as I have a windfall (lottery) of cash.

But it seems a bit odd to buy a £1000 amp only to put £500/pr speakers on it. Though a person is certainly free to do that. But a £750 amp and £750 Speaker seems a better balance, and a £500 amp and £1000 makes even more sense.

However, each individual is free to do as they please - £2000 Amp and £250/pr Speaker if that is what floats your boat. That's possible, but other components and the component balance make a bit more sense.

So, you are not wrong, you are just not completely right .... in my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

SickSquirrel

Active Member
While I don't dispute your central point, it is not utter nonsense, it is a common guideline used to establish perspective. Once a buyer has that perspective, they are free to deviate based on their personal priorities and the equipment they find.

In my case, I have £1000/pr speaker and a £1400 Amp, but just prior to this setup, I had a £500 Amp and £1000/pr speakers. I upgraded my amp for about the 7th time, and now my speaker are lagging behind, though without a doubt my speakers sound very good. Good enough to sustain me until such time as I have a windfall (lottery) of cash.

But it seems a bit odd to buy a £1000 amp only to put £500/pr speakers on it. Though a person is certainly free to do that. But a £750 amp and £750 Speaker seems a better balance, and a £500 amp and £1000 makes even more sense.

However, each individual is free to do as they please - £2000 Amp and £250/pr Speaker if that is what floats your boat. That's possible, but other components and the component balance make a bit more sense.

So, you are not wrong, you are just not completely right .... in my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
What system are you running now Steve?
 

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