Another "Best" amplifier Question.

Hope I'm not beating on the old horse too hard. I had originally intended to buy The now discontinued KEF r3s but ended up with the new Meta instead. Very pleased so far but still in burn-in mode on days wife not working from home. 

Given my age, I intend for this to be my end game system (yea right). As per my previous post, system is the new R3 Metas, Bluesond Node, Technics SL-1200 MK2 with Ortofon Red, Sony UBP-X800M2 Blueray/CD and a Sony 55" XBR. No home theater set-up just seeking better audio from TV. Also Have an HSU VT1 sub. All feeding from a Yamaha R-N500 Receiver. System is hooked up to gigabit internet sevice  and I listen mainly to Amazon Ultra HD music. All in all, not a high end system but somewhat better than box store IMHO.

I feel I need to replace the receiver as it not the best power choice for the KEFs. In researching, I've hit that deer in the headlights point where I'm frozen and overwhelmed by choices. Right up front I need to establish that my budget is around $2k. Only local dealer I consider audiophile carries Lyngdorf, Atoll, Marantz, NAD and Boulder. He is really pushing The Atoll IN-100 but says the Lyngforf doesn't have enough grunt. Did not even discuss Marantz or NAD and Boulder is in another universe. Atoll lacks phono but can be added at extra cost.

Online choices that intrigue me most: Emotive BASX A2/PT2 combo. Lots of features and power. Can be had (w/ first time buyer discount) for about $1100. Yamaha A-S1200 or Marantz 30 are available open box or refurb for my price range as is a JBLSA750. The JBL has a strong amp and interesting feature set including room correction. I'm probably missing many choices but I'm interested in a high currebt and from communicating with KEF, best to have something thats comfortable driving up to 150 watts into 4 ohms.

Lots of knowledge laden people so I'm looking forward to some solid advice. Thanks in advance.


Those have all been on my radar. I've been obsessing and researching this for over a month now. The 1582 MK2 looks interesting. As far as NAD, I may be wrong here but I was bothered by the number of negative comments about their reliability and build quality. As far as Yamaha, despite my 44 year relationship with them, I'm not wedded to the idea of staying with them. Still wondering if anyone has experience or thoughts about the Emotiva route. For just over $1k I ca assemble a pre/power amp that checks all my boxes and more.

I'd say the Emotiva is the way to go, especially since it's under budget. If that was sold in a retail store it would be quite a bit more so you're getting a great amp at a reasonable price.

Schiit Vidar 2 amp ($799) and a Schiit Freya S preamp ($599).  I used the older model Vidar with a Schiit Freya+ preamp for my KEF LS50 Metas.  Sounded fantastic and is well within your budget.  If you want an integrated amp, the Schiit Ragnarok is $1499.  The other great option for a little more money is a Belles Aria Integrated.  Happy shopping!

The R8 doesn’t require much maintenance. Its super easy to adjust bias, fun even, and will hold its bias for months on end. I’ve been getting bored waiting for the tubes to burn out or fail. I have an entire replacement set collecting dust. The power tubes can last 2500+ hours and the pre tubes 2x that or more. If that seems too intimidating go with the Yamaha, it’s a solid unit. I use a Yamaha for movies/TV and love it but not for music. Their integrated amps are probably different though. Honestly it’s hard to recommend SS integrated amps at this price point, most lack character. The really good ones I like tend to be class A and much pricier. My favorite below 2k outside of tubes is the Linn Classik but that’s way below your budget. It’s a bouncy, spunky performer with a dollop a sparkle up top and very smooth. Lots of character.