Hopelessly Confused

It is impossible for me to audition every amp I'm researching let alone with my speakers (B&W CM5 w/ SVS SB-1000 subwoofer). Therefore I'm reliant on research, word of mouth and attempting to decipher amplifier speak. Currently I'm using my Yamaha AVR as a preamp to an 80w Adcom GFA-5300. It sounds good, especially when I put the Yamaha in direct mode bypassing circuitry sending the signal to the Adcom. My room is 10x14. I typically listen to music in the 80 dB to 90dB range. My musical tastes are all over the place. Jazz, blues, reggae, Knopfler stuff, classical etc. 

I bought a 150w Parasound 2125 v.2 amp to replace the Adcom thinking more watts will equal more accuracy/detail in musical fidelity. At the last minute I posed a question on Reddit asking if more watts will achieve my goal. The answers were almost a unanimous no. When the UPS guy came to deliver my amp I panicked and refused delivery so I could rethink my next move. Indecisiveness is not my best quality.

For the time being the speakers stay. The Yamaha AVR stays for cinema. I'm using a different pair of B&W's for that purpose. The one subwoofer stays as is. I need my subwoofer to dual purpose with whatever 2 channel listening solution I arrive at. Looking at the 110w Parasound NewClassic 200 Integrated amp w/DAC $1195 it would check off a lot of boxes. 1) a little more power 2) preamp outputs for the Yamaha 3) 4K pass through 4) subwoofer output 5) bass management w/ crossover capability. Lots of bells and whistles but at the end of the day all I really want is to eek out as much sonic bliss from my speakers as possible. 

Am I on the right track or have I missed the boat again?

Not familiar with that amp but it has all the features you want. Places like crutchfield allow returns and if you wanted to could get something in to evaluate in your home and send it back if you don’t like it. Around the same price and same features (pre-out, sub out) is the well reviewed Cambridge CXA81. I can’t think of many other 2 channel amps with both these features.
I support your decision to go with an integrated amplifier. As Moto stated, the Parasound has the features you require, so makes for one option. There are others, such as the CXA81.I am not familiar with either.

I have driven the CM5s with a Yamaha AS-701 (100wpc) and a NAD 356BEE (80wpc). That amount of power worked fine in a larger space than your 10x14 room. I enjoyed the CM5s. 

Other options in your price range are the Marantz 8006 or the Vincent SV-500. 

Good luck in your quest and let us know what you decide.

You cannot just drop an amp with a lot more power in and get the sound quality you were looking for, doesn't work that way there are to many factors in the equation.
Power plays it part, my B&Ws don't fully come alive until they get some power going to them. You also have to look at all the other components.

Look at this thread this is a Audiogon member that reviews them, this should tell you everything you need to know about amps. I was unsure what to get to replace my current amp and this have given me what I need to know.
These may be higher end then what you are looking for but it should point you in the right direction.


Put on a pot of coffee or Red Bull up, it's going to take awhile to get through...

Bells and whistles and sonic sophistication are more often than not mutually exclusive.
Look at the offerings at Music Direct, Audio Advisor, and Crutchfield, find the ones that have the connectivity you need and which fall within your budget, and come back with a shortlist.  Hopefully, Vincent might have a model that fulfils your needs.
The Vincent Audio SV 500 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier fits my budget. No familiarity with this brand. One concern is bass management. Having only 1 sub it needs to serve dual purpose between 2 channel listening and cinema. One of the features on the Parasound is it has 4K pass through and crossover capability. It’s hard to imagine getting into a situation where I can’t manage the bass on my CM 5’s. Truth be told I often listen without a sub but my room also has bass trap issues which I’m not prepared to address at the moment. A step further it actually may not be the room as much as placement of the CM’s as with my B&W DM602’s I had zero bass issues. Anyway the other can of worms is how to manage the sub with 2 amps. Currently I’m using my Yamaha AVR as a preamp to an Adcom power amp and the Yamaha handles bass. I gotta tell you that situation is often quite sonically sublime. Can’t help thinking though if an old AV receiver and an old middle of the road amp deliver the airy soundstage I get now how much further can I take this with my current speakers and the new Yamaha CD player I just bought. CD source is pretty damn good.
OK, you might be more comfortable with a Parasound Halo Hint 6 integrated.  3K list but you can surely find discounts.
Is the $1195 mentioned in your original post the high limit of what you want to spend?  That would be helpful to give you more guidance.  I don't think I'm the one to do that, however.  I just don't know that area all that well to give you recommendations.  I have an Anthem MRX 710 in my family room that powers a surround system.  I have Paradigm Studio 20 V2 speakers as the mains and smaller Paradigms for the rear channels, center channel, and sub.  The sub was part of my original surround system and has served us well for about 19 years.  Other speakers were bought used on the audio sites as our first pairs of Atoms crapped out.  My wife likes it OK.  She doesn't get too excited about the sound--much more interested in the picture.  My good system is in a dedicated room in the basement.  There is a big difference between the 2 systems.  Most likely, others will be able to give you more help--at least, a few components to check out.  

There IS a super set of speakers you could get for under $1000 on a couple of the sites.  If you have any interest in a pair of speakers you may never have the urge to upgrade, PM me.  I've heard these personally at the maker's house and they are the real deal if you like detailed sound, very good bass, and a near live experience, if desired.  They will not break up at VERY LOUD levels and have zero listener fatigue.  They have the dynamics of a horn speaker, but the tone, and clarity of pretty much any speaker you'd like to name.  NO NEED for a sub either.  They would pretty much scare the hell out of you in those places of a scary or tense sudden dynamic shift during a movie scene.  

Vincent sv500 is a decent integrated with very good bass performance at a good price (made in China) . I've owned it. Made my klipsch forte iiis sound like dual subwoofers.  It started to sound a lot better with an expensive power conditioner in front, though, so take that into consideration when budgeting. 

I was in your exact same situation, looked at the Parasound Classic, but didn’t need the included phono stage or DAC, so purchased the ZPre3 preamp. Am extremely happy with it, and cheaper than the Classic without the above. It does have HT bypass, so the Yammy is only used in 5.1 for TV, and gets passed through the Parasound to my amp (driving my mains) in HT mode. All 2 channel sources goes through the Parasound ZPre3 

My music sounds so much better not using the Yamaha as the pre. You won’t believe the difference, in a good way. I didn’t want to believe it would make the difference it has, but it did.
More power doesn’t mean more clarity. The first few watts count for a lot more than do the last few watts.
Golly. I’d find the prospect of reading that ultra-long thread daunting. I’m not saying that it doesn’t have value and that you won’t learn from it, but when I started reading it I began to have many questions. Frankly, I found the number of amplifiers swapped in and out incredible. It made me wonder about the conclusions that are thrown out in that thead. In my 66 years of experience there are often caveats and nuances that are hard to convey.

I suggest you start with some fundamental research - there’s a wonderful, easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand white paper on the SandersSoundSystems website titled something like "tubes vs. solid state". I encourage you to read it. There are many factors that determine how a piece of equipment will sound and one of the most essential elements is the synergy of the system into which it is placed. A second factor that should not be overlooked is *expectation*. It is possible to COMPLETELY ENJOY what you have and not upgrade anything. It is also possible to upgrade a piece of equipment, or multiple pieces of equipment in a system - all to highly rated, highly regarded stuff - and find yourself so anxious about the process and anxious about the stuff that you can’t even relax. Your worry ends up robbing you of perceiving whatever the equipment is able to convey.

Chasing better sound can be fun. It can be expensive. It can be frustrating. Patience, a willingness to disregard the conventional wisdom and "authoritative reviews" or the paid reviewers can be helpful. Also, a humble willingness to learn is helpful.

One thing I have learned is that a high quality preamp an make a huge difference.

Good luck in your efforts! and Best Wishes!
Lots of bells and whistles but at the end of the day all I really want is to eek out as much sonic bliss from my speakers as possible.

Am I on the right track or have I missed the boat again? 
Missed the boat. Bells and whistles and sonic bliss are mutually exclusive. That's why your AVR sounds nowhere near as good as your integrated- too many bells and whistles. I went through this years ago trying to combine music and movies. The solution it turns out is remarkably simple and darn near devoid of bells and whistles.

My next amp however will have a two-button remote: volume up, volume down. What more do you need?
I'll agree with @zavato ....the bulk of ones' listening, unless you've a tendency to loosen sheetrock screws, is done at less than 1 wrms.  It's only the peaks and lower bass that demand the power of higher wattage...

Mho, handing the lower bass off to a sub allows the main amp to 'be more subtle' with the reserve wattage.  Taking this into consideration with ones' selection allows for future growth....if perhaps that meshes with any long-range goals....
I went from an Adcom pre-power (GTP 502/pre, GFA 5300/power), Marantz 5 disc carousel, and Mission 781’s...
Next was a Plinius 8200, still the Marantz, and a pair of Kef Q300’s.
Then, a Coda CSiB integrated, an OPPO UDP 205, and a pair of Buchardt S400’s...(and a 10” lower end Kef sub)...
would I ever go back to the Adcom? NO..
I love the sound the system has now...
But, I’m looking into a pair of REL subs now...
One thing I have learned is that a high quality preamp an make a huge difference.

So can a high quality integrated... And a better keyboard. 
Thank you all for your time, sharing your experiences, knowledge and thoughtfulness.
For the best sound quality you need to stop using the Yamaha as a preamp and buy an audio only preamp that has home theatre bypass for your Yamaha. All of your sources plug directly onto the new preamp including the front left and right amp outs from the Yamaha. When the input of the Yamaha is selected and HT bypass is on the Yammy takes over control of the preamp so you surround content levels match. 
This is the only way to have an audiophile system that integrates with hoke theatre. 
markusthenaimnut, and Brian,

When I referenced this thread I should have added; Focus on his original post. The information and descriptions alone of the various amps was enough to narrow it down for me, I have a starting point.


Knowing that a specific amp has certain characteristic like; warm, or hollow sounding will help determine if it will pair nicely with my current speakers or what speakers I need to look at.

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Agreed on eliminating the Yamaha as a source. I'm leaning toward an Arcam SA-20 at the moment for its description as lush. I have heard Arcams with B&W's and was immersed in the sound. Parasound is still an option as it has full bass management and HT pass through.
Synergy is everything when it comes to speakers and amp pairings. Since you are going to rely on hearsay, start another post with B&W CM5 in the title and ask Agoner's experience with their amp, as a baseline. Also search for prior posts of CM5 and see what worked well with them. You can learn a lot from others experience, both good and bad.
I agree. Hit the buy button on an Arcam SA-20 integrated amp. Almost got a Musical Fidelity A5 but it was a little too old. Anyway the hard part is over and I believe Arcam and B&W enjoy great synergy together. My gut tells me I made the right choice. We'll soon find out.
I have heard B&W speaker on various occasion and have never liked their sharp bouncy sound. I never considered them musical but they make great looking speaker cabinets. I would think they would be OK for cinema though. Possibly a tube amp to calm them down??
If you are searching for a more lush sound just get a 6sn7 tube preamp with home theater bypass and keep using the adcom, avr's don't make very good preamps for music.
This raises a question in my mind--how do you have a subwoofer dual purpose in a home theater system with a 2 channel system? If you use home theater bypass from the AVR to a good integrated, the sub for home theater needs to be connected to the AVR correct? How can it serve the 2 channel system which is on the integrated amplifier?
invalid...yes. My AVR is the weak link thus my journey to elevate 2 channel listening. The Arcam I purchased is an integrated amp with HT bypass.
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dprazze....Typically you would use the AVR's bass management and I do but you may also have to dial in the sub itself manually to accommodate the probable lack of crossover capability on the 2 channel amp. Some amps like Parasound do have bass management and crossover options but those are few and far between. There are crossover controllers but I'm not sure if it can be integrated with a 2 channel amp and an AVR.
Need a tube amp for 2 channel. Try an Inspire Firebottle KT88. They’re available used for your target price. The Inspires 12 tube watts is far and away enough to drive your speakers. Keep home video viewing separate, and use your receiver for that. I use an Inspire LP2 preamp for 2 channel listening. Used I paid $1400 for this Inspire amp and preamp. I don’t know why more people don’t do the same.