Be aware! Stepping into the Audiophile territory. That’s right, in this write-up we are going to recommend some of the best and most expensive (under $3000) stereo integrated amps available on the market.
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 110w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth – Depends on chosen inclusions, WiFi – No Inputs: 5x Line level RCA, 1x Balanced XLR, (Optional Ruby DAC Inputs: 1x USB, 1x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Bluetooth, FM Tuner), (Optional Sequel Mk2 phono stage) Outputs: 2x L/R Speaker terminal sets
What we like: Large OLED display, Truly unbiased sound, The most reasonably priced Creek amplifier
Not so much: Certain inclusions cost extra, No networking capability
The goal for high fidelity listening is to get a sound that comes out as close to the recording as possible and we believe that the Creek Audio Evolution 100A is one of the best on the market at doing this and is why it is our top pick for the audiophile-level integrated amplifiers.
The controls on this unit are smooth and incredibly user friendly especially when paired with its easy to read OLED display. The case of the Evolution 100A is slim and looks great but leads to one of the only downfalls of this amplifier. You will have to choose the inclusions that you would like to have in the upgrade port of the 100A and there is only space for one.
You can choose the Ruby DAC for digital music inputs, Bluetooth, and an FM tuner. You could choose the Sequel Mk2 phono stage or a simple AM/FM tuner. Unfortunately because of this, you may have to use an external DAC or compatible phono input.
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 50w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth – No, WiFi – No Inputs: 2x Line level RCA, 1x MM Phono RCA, 2x Optical, 2x Coaxial, 1 USB B Outputs: 1x L/R speaker terminal set, 1x RCA Sub/Pre out
What we like: Subtle and smooth tones, Great dynamics, Stunning timing
Not so much: Some user might prefer a presentation that is bolder
The audio company Moon is known for its high fidelity amplifiers and believe it or not at just over $2000 the 240i is their entry-level unit. That is because they refuse to compromise on audio and build quality so you will find many of the same high spec parts as their even more expensive amplifiers in the 240i.
Some of the inclusions that are incorporated into 240i are a DSD256 capable DAC that can also decode PCM files at a rate of 32bit/384kHz through the USB port.
The sound from this amplifier is delectable with a smooth presentation that remains detailed throughout a range of volumes. When you crank the volume up you won’t get blasted by bass nor will it diminish at low volumes making for an easy listening experience.
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 500w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth -No, WiFi – No Inputs: 2x Line level RCA, 1x MM Phono RCA, 1x Coaxial, 2x Optical, 1x USB A, 1x USB B Outputs: 1x L/R Speaker terminal sets, 1x Preamp RCA
What we like: Discrete headphone amplifier, DyNEC iOS input for easy streaming from Apple products, Huge power stage
Not so much: No screen, Could be hard to match speakers
This offering from Peachtree Audio is the safest bet if you are after an absolute powerhouse of an amplifier with its massive 500w power stage when powering 8ohm speakers you will never be short of volume capacity when you need it.
The Nova 500 comes with a high-quality onboard DAC that is compatible with DSD and has a range of digital and analog inputs to make sure you have all the connections you need to power your HiFi.
Unfortunately, with great power comes great responsibility when pairing speakers so this amp could be a little more difficult to pair than others in our top picks. When paired nicely though, you will find the sound to be full and rich with surprising subtlety when needed.
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 220w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth – No, WiFi – No Inputs: 4x Line level RCA, 1x Switchable phono RCA, 1x XLR, 1x USB B Outputs: 1x L/R Speaker terminal set, 1x Preamp out
What we like: Extremely sturdy build, Refined and spacious soundscape, Well equipped
Not so much: The sides are heatsinks, No screen
The Musical Fidelity M6si is an extremely beefy unit in terms of its size and weight due to its construction being of heavier metals than most other amplifiers.
Using these metals means that the case is extremely sturdy but they had to include heat sinks all down the side of the amplifier this could appeal to your taste but we think it makes it look a little unfinished.
The sound from this amplifier is very spacious, leaving room for individual instrumentation is a busy piece of music and maintaining a presentation that is easy to listen to without drawing your attention away from the totality of the song.
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 90w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth – No, WiFi – No Inputs: 3x Line level RCA, 1x Switchable phono RCA Outputs: 2x L/R Speaker terminal sets, 2x Preamp RCA
What we like: Old school analog level meters, Pure natural tones, Agile response
Not so much: No digital inputs
You will get extremely pure and natural tones from this amplifier from Yamaha. The sound also has an especially agile nature with no audible distortion or tonal imbalance from across all volume levels.
There is a particularly energetic dynamic response from this amplifier which may not suit all listeners but makes for great listening for others. This is a purely analog amplifier though and as such is lacking digital inputs and an onboard DAC that are present in some others in our top list.
The build is very strong with symmetrical components inside to create the clearest stereo experience possible. The controls are also smooth and easy to use and we can’t help but get excited about the level meters on the front of the unit, however, this does mean it is missing any kind of LED display or similar.
Quad Artera Solus
Watts RMS per Channel @8ohms: 75w Digital Music Features: Bluetooth -YES, WiFi – No Inputs: 2x Line level RCA, 3x Coaxial, 3x Optical, 1x USB B Outputs: 1x L/R speaker terminal set, 1x Preamp RCA, 1x Preamp XLR
What we like: Good variety of outputs, Built-in CD transport, Digital filter settings for the DAC
Not so much: Reliant on the remote control
Out of the box, CD and Bluetooth compatibility seem to be a rarity at this price point so if you don’t want to purchase an extra device for Bluetooth or a CD player then the Quad Artera Solus could be the choice for you. The CD transport buffers data before playback through the DAC to reduce jitter.
To accompany the analog inputs on Quad Artera Solus, you have a very capable and DSD compatible DAC with 7 inputs in total. This DAC also has an interesting feature which is settings for the digital filter. This allows you to choose between wide, narrow, fast, and smooth to suit your taste or your particular listening needs.
Last update on 2021-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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