I am trying do decide on cost /benefit of two options to upgrade from my current integrated amp. Presently, I am using a Marantz PM-8005 (70w@8ohm / 100w @4 ohm) IA to drive a pair of Focal 836V speakers which are rated at 91.5db @8 ohm, but dip down to a 3.3 ohm load at around 100 hz. Room is medium sized with no treatments other than wall to wall carpet and upholstered furniture, and music is mostly classic rock, blues, jazz and female vocals. I listen primarily through a Music Hall MMF 9.1 TT with a Dynavector 10x5 cart. I also listen 20% of the time through a Marantz Sa-8004 SACD player.
I plan to sell the 8005 to offset cost of the replacement IA. Cost below represent my cost net of selling the 8005. I have two used options ( both in excellent condition) available in my area:
Hegel H100 ( 120w@8 ohm / 22w@4ohm) plus Musical Surroundings Nova Phenomena phono amp - this is a $1,200 option
Marantz PM-11s3 (110w@8ohm / 220w@4 ohm) (built in phono amp) - this is a $2,200 option
Simple question - is the Marantz worth $1,000 more than the Hegel in terms of improvement to SQ, or am I at the point of diminishing returns. I have already spent more than I planned a year ago when I first decided to put a system together, but I have learned a lot since then, so see the value in some upgrade My hope is that either of these can compensate for the 100hz dip when I want to listen at lower volume levels. I know I like the Marantz sound with the Focals, I am considering the Hegel because so many recommend the brand in combination with Focal speakers. I do not plan on running a sub or replacing speakers in the near future. The next big move would be a major upgrade of all components and that is not in the cards for now..