Integrated amp advice needed...

Hi Guys, considering new integrated. Here's my list of suspects, the new Musical Fidelity A5, Krell KAV 400xi., Bel Canto EVO II and new Bryston B100SST. I'm aware the the Bryston and Musical Fidelity are very new and not hot topics yet. I just want to get some info while doing my research and listening. I currently have a Marantz DV9500 and Mirage OM5 ( up for sale) too big for my new smaller digs. I'd like to latch onto the Gallo Reference III's or Thiel 1.6's. As always, input appreciated.
What kind of music do you listen to most?
How big is your room?

I have alway thought Krell, Musical Fidelity and Bryston made soild gear but, none of them ever did much for me. I have not heard any of the Bel gear so, can't comment on that . If I had to choose one it would be the MF.

You might look and the Sim Audio I-5 or the Ayre AX-7 if you haven't already.

Good luck.
This post is almost just like yours:

Put the Portal Panache on your list if you don't mind being without a remote. I'm auditioning one right now and I am pretty darn impressed, and I am a tried and true tube guy, so that is saying alot for this SS integrated. There have been four or five rave reviews in the Audio rags, most of which are linked from the website . I've read all of the comments there and you can get a pretty good idea of the strengths of this amp by reading the reviews. I have not read the TAS review but it supposed to be very positive as well. The highlights of this amp for me, so far are unexpected in my experience with SS amps: Lucious midrange and soaring, seamless, grain-free highs. Soundstaging depth like I've never heard from SS. The Pass Aleph 5 I had did demonstrate the first two qualities, but not the 3-d imaging...soundstaging was wide, but not deep. In addition, what I find one of the very strong suits of the Panache is the clarity of detail (which is a typical strength of a good SS amp), and here this works in its favor over any tube amplification I've heard where detail inevitably seems to be somewhat 'softened' out at the edges. I've been noticing occasional vocal phrases in lyrics of songs which I had not understood before, to now be crystal clear on the Panache. Dynamics are also remarkable. Am I an SS convert? Definitely my preference is still with SET tube amplification, but I'll tell you, for casual listening, and for more dynamic and textured music, this amp is really engaging and fun, and yet still very impressive to sit down in the sweet spot and take it all in. I think I can probably pin it down to one very critical factor for me that keeps tubes holding my heart: presence. There is something about tubes that comes closer for me to recreating a realistic holographic image of a performance in space. As good as this amp is, and it is very good indeed, it still strikes me as 'ampified music' rather than a live performance. My SET system is startilingly live sounding to my ears. It does not, however, posess the hyper-detailed quality, nor the ability to image tremendously complex and layered performances as this amp does. There is a roundness to the sound of tubes, for lack of a better description, that makes it occur to me as more realistic. I've not done any head-to-head comparisons with this amp yet, but it does consistently engage me in the music, and makes for long-term listening pleasure without fatigue. The only reason I'm bringing this piece up to you is that you seem to be looking at all SS components, and I do feel this is a great one, and a steal for the price. The Panache has an excellent headphone section as well. It did not best my Micro-Zotl by any means, again, with that rounder more 'real' tube vocal/midrange taking the cake, but regardless, it is a wonderful, musical and detialed head-amp as well with my Sony cans. Portal offers a 60-day home trial. If you don't like it, send it back and you are just out the shipping. Joe sells demo versions here for $1295 ($500 less than a new one). No association with Portal or Joe Abrams whatsoever. A damn fine integrated IMO. The jury is still out for me personally, but I can recommend it without any reservations as a very worthy contender among integrated amps.

Great input guys. I've owned Mac before, great stuff. My listening tastes are electric blues mostly, a healthy dose of classic rock(Tull, Deep Purple) and some occasional big band swing. I thought about Panache, darned if it isn't pedestrian looking though.

Have you considered the Prima Luna Prologue Two ? The Prologue 2 is a 40 wpc tube integrated that has been well reviewed by just about every hifi magazine. I purchased one about 6 weeks ago and have been very impressed with it ... so much so, that I have been have considering buying another for my main system and selling off the other equipment that I have. Its 40 tube wpc literally play like a 100 solid state wpc. I wrote a review of the Prologue Two here .

Regards, Rich
I have been a Yba fan for years. Started with their Integre DT. 50 of the best SS watts these tympanics ever heard. I gave up my Integre, after 6 years, for another Passion. The Yba Passion Integre is one sweet sounding piece of SS integrated wattage. Put that on your list. Beautifully built inside and out. Hard to find used, but worth the $5k, brand spanking new. I preferred it over many of the big boys out there, including, at the time, the JRDG Concentra II. I love it...peace, warren
Accuphase E530.
Sugden Masterclass.
Your making a mistake if you don't listen to these two integrateds.
Both are Class A and need lots of ventilation though.
What ever you do,stay away from a Chord.For some reason they have the speaker posts right by an IEC socket.What were they thinking? We all use zipcord??Maybe its just me.Let me know when you get time...lots of good choices posted above...beware the ides of March...Bob
Levinson offered a nice integrated and should be available used from time to time.

I'd second the Accuphase suggestion; impeccable build quality and great sound. If I did not do tubes only Accuphase would be at the top of my list.
Lots of good stuff guys, thanks. Ever hear of DK Design? What about Classe? hew, lots of options.
Oh, I've never gone the tube route. Issues for me are reliability and lack of power. My current OM5's like their power.
Classe 151 and McIntosh MA6900 would be at the top of my list. I auditioned the DK VS-1 a couple times but it wasn't very memorable - same goes for the Levinson 383 IMO. Arthur