Class A integrated amp recommendations


Greetings 'goners after a prolonged absence from posting here but  eavesdropping on your conversations in the interim! I was hoping to get some feedback on your experiences with class A integrated amps. My audio journey thus far provides some context.

The core of my system, Sim Audio Moon I5 integrated, Joseph Audio RM7si Signature on 20” Sound Anchor stands has remained unchanged for about 20 years. Sources are Sim Audio Moon Nova and Rega Jupiter2000 CD players, Sim Audio Moon LP3 phono for my AR ES-1 turntable with Audio-Technica AT-VM95SH cartridge. Cables are Zu Audio.

Primary music interests are acoustic jazz, small scale classical, classical/crossover, some orchestral; but I can, and do, veer all over the map when a bout of nostalgia hits: classic and prog rock, punk, grunge, reggae, singer/songwriter. For me, it’s always been about the music. The stereo is only a tool. It is not the work. During that time I’ve not felt the need or urge to chase gear. I enjoy music.

Until about 6 months ago when I acquired a new turntable: Technics SL-1210GR with Audio Technica AT33PTG/II and Ortofon 2M Black cartridges. Then a PS Audio Stellar phono. And now, as I’m about to retire, I feel like a kid! Those Blue Note reissues have awakened some kind of Mr. Hyde in me that wants to try new stuff!

Hence this post. Your experiences with Class A integrateds feeding speakers similar to mine would be greatly appreciated. I'm intrigued by, but have not heard, gear from Pass Labs, Sugden, and Luxman. Of course, cost is a concern as the law of diminishing returns keeps me away from the insanity of uber-pricing.

Kind Regards

jlamb

@jlamb

you have quite a good system already, joseph rm7 sigs are an excellent standmount monitor

my suggestions to improve your sonics would be

a) add one or a pair of rel subs t7i/x or t9i/x -- the sonic benefit will be substantial, even using your current i-5 amp

b) amp wise, i suggest a pass int60 (int25 may not be enough juice) or a hegel h390 or 590 (not class a, but sounds as good/better)

have fun, enjoy!

Your speakers are tube friendly

https://www.stereophile.com/content/joseph-audio-rm7si-loudspeaker-signature-measurements

You might consider a Jadis integrated amp, Orchestra, I 35 or I 50, they are all within your budget, used, if you decide on bigger model. The tubes for them (El 34, KT 88 or 6550) are not expensive and are still available from european or chinese producers. Point to point wiring, made to last lifetime and nothing but praise from people who have them. With music that you listen, that might be a winner. Try to hear it somewhere

I would jump on used pulsars at that price but the lowest price I’ve seen is $5k. Were that the case I’d wait on a new amp having spent this allocation on the speaker upgrade!

I’’m guessing those are Pulsar 2s at $5k, and my impression is the upgrade from the initial version of the Pulsars isn’t as significant as it is with the Perspectives. You already have a very good integrated, and if I’m you I’d absolutely wait for an original pair of Pulsars to come available — and they do occasionally show up for $3k-$3.5k — as I think that’d make for a MUCH bigger upgrade in absolute terms than upgrading the amp for your RM7s. This one’s a no brainer to me. Again, FWIW.

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