Integrated amp: Component weight

I'm an older guy with a bad back looking to spend $5-10K on an integrated amp.  Before I get into functionality, connectivity, or even sound quality, my threshold considerations are price, power, and weight.  My 86dB-sensitivity Harbeths do best with the equivalent of a 200-300wpc solid-state unit, I need to drive a variety of analog & digital sources, hope to keep weight under 40lbs, and want to stay away from "classic" Class D designs.  Been there, done that, D simply didn't work in my system.

My question: Does anybody know of any published listing of amplifiers that compares products by weight or size?

So far, I've only found a few 15-35lb models that meet this initial filter, from sellers like Ayre, Devialet, & Bryston, and, surprisingly, even ARC.  However, there are connectivity & functionality issues that make these otherwise-terrific options a poor fit.

Any suggestions?


So far, I've only found a few 15-35lb models that meet this initial filter, from sellers like Ayre, Devialet, & Bryston, and, surprisingly, even ARC.  However, there are connectivity & functionality issues that make these otherwise-terrific options a poor fit.

It’d be helpful to know what those connectivity and functionality issues are. 

If weight was not an issue I would suggest the Coda CSIB, It is class AB and can be biased to 3 different power outputs. 

Musical Fidelity M6si integrated amp

220 wpc, about 35 pounds and sounds wonderful on my PMC speakers. Class AB and should sound terrific with your Harbeth speakers. Its design is dual mono. I was so impressed with their sound quality, I purchased 2 of them.

See Upscale audio review of this amp link below

”Internally, the M6si is configured as 2 independent monobloc power amps with a separate pre amp. It is, in fact, a pre amp with 2 monobloc power amps that just happen to share the same casework.

The M6si has 220wpc. It has very low distortion, outstanding noise ratio and extremely flat frequency response. Its inputs are phono (MM/MC), 4 line level, 1 balanced XLR and 1 USB ‘B’ up to 24bit 96kHz asynchronous.

The M6 combination of high power, high current and extraordinary stability means that it can drive any loudspeaker with ease.”

@soix: Thanks for a coherent respone. I need to handle:

- 3 or 4 analog sources

- drive 20ohm headphones (with or without an external HP amp

- drive an active or passive sub

- provide an HT-bypass input, preferably balanced

- deliver SQ in a class with Hegel, Ayre, etc., models in the same price range. A step above the HiFi Rose / Musical Fidelity MSx realm


@elliottbnewcombjr Uh, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I asked a completely different question -- are you in the right conversation?


Re: Coda, I have a lot of respect for the old Continuum product line, but it doesn’t look like the CSIB is a contender here, for more than one of the reasons already mentioned. Too bad, b/c it’s a nice box for the money.



Hegel H390 should fit the bill perfectly. Does all you want to do with the exception of HPs  isn’t TOO heavy and hits the power needs with no issue.

The Marantz PM 10S1 would fit your requirements. It weighs about 42 pounds And has 200 watts into 8ohms and 400 into 4ohms.  S/N ratio is 106db on lone has MC/MM phono stage, dua mono design, toroidal transformer, 5 RCA audio inputs plus 2 balanced XLR inputs. Can also be bi-amped. It’s also fully balanced. 
The price is about $5,000 

I do not have one, but saw one being used as a reference amp in a Magnolia hifi store and. It was easily able to power everthing from Magnaplans to big  B & W’s without breaking up. It is also a class AB amp. I wish you well in your search for the proper “power to weight” ratio as I recently purchased a 65 pound MICHI X3 to power my B&W 702 S2 Signatures with ease. A great tank of an integrated amp but to me a class A, AB unit should have sufficient heft t


@cundare2 - I'm in the same camp; bad back and can't lift heavy equipment up steps.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm driving 86 dB sensitivity Bryston Mini T's with my McIntosh MA5300 integrated amp.  Here are some specs:

38 pounds unboxed.

Preamp out and Power Amp in jacks / home theater passthrough

6 analog inputs including MM phono and 1 pair of XLR balanced inputs

Class AB amplifier design

Built in "DA1" DAC with 6 digital inputs that can be upgraded/swapped out to McIntosh's DA2 since the onboard DAC is a module.

Headphone impedance is listed as 100 to 600 ohms.

$6,000 sticker, but you can buy them for less at dealers in person.

McIntosh MA5300

A drawback based on your requirements is that it's 160 watts at 4 ohms.

You can get nearly everything you desire in a set of stacking separates


the naim nac 272 has a fantastic dac streamer headphone amp numerous analog and digital inputs.

combined with the high current naim nap250 it is 80 watts but very high current an drives Harbeths beautifully Naim’s punchy dynamic sound makes the Harbeths come alive.


and considering these pieces are separates the weight of each piece is manageable


and with  the newer naim 200 series dealers have this combo on sale for a liot less them what newer 200 series sells for.


Dave and Troy

audio intellect NJ

Naim dealers 


200-300 wpc, 40lbs, SS, not Class D

Mono-blocks will divide the gross weight, but, it’s a near impossible ask.

That is why I said: sell those speakers (the source of the extra weight needed), get efficient speakers (which get moved once) and need much less power (smaller/lighter/less heat/less cost/more placement options).

that's why I called it a 'lifetime solution'. we get older, back/knees/shoulders fall apart.

Efficient enough, you could then try tubes. Mono-blocks probably to reduce weight.

Maybe I missed it, but which Harbeth's?

Lot's of opinions about amps that will sound great with your Harbeth's, without knowing the model, or perhaps an assumption you have a version of the 40's given the stated power requirement of 200-300 wpc.


Harbeth shows with Hegel and vice versa, for whatever that’s worth.

The H390 weighs 44 lbs. 

FYI, I have back issues, too. 

@stuartk Yes, the Hegel is a contender, although I'm looking for something more along the lines of an H590 than a 390, in terms of SQ.  Which gets me back into the 50lb range

@elliottbnewcombjr  Well, I have to respectfully disagree.  Ayre makes a great-sounding 24lb $10K 300wpc integrated that boasts an enormous feature set.  In that same SQ-class, $6-11K 150-250wpc Devialet & Bryston integrateds come in at  13lbs & 26lbs respectively.  Bryston is Class AB & Devialet apparently uses a very different type of D topology that incorporates a Class A output stage.  So good-sounding lightweight integrateds are are out there.  Even if they're outliers.

FYI there is a review on Soundstage that found there’s not much difference in sound quality between the 390 and 590, especially considering the huge price difference.  You’ll be fine with the 390.

Marantz: This model is closer to 50 pounds and doesn’t have any preamp or sub outputs. So unfortunately not a good fit.

McIntosh: A buddy of mine who is a lifelong Mac fan steered me away from this model. I’m looking for a higher-end upgrade and he felt that the output-stage design, which omits some important feature of higher-end Mac amps (I dunno, I trust this guy & you could look it up), would not make it a good match for what I was trying to do. Also, he strongly recommended upgrading to the DAC2 module, which he says is a major upgrade, but that costs a few thousand dollars and can’t be done at home by an owner. The more expensive Mac integrateds, don’t have these constraints, but they’re probably too heavy for me. So regretfully, I had to rule out a Mac solution.

Somebody asked for a reference point: I’m willing to shell out $10K for an integrated, even if that means another couple thousand for an outboard DAC/streamer. So that’s why I originally looked at products like the Ayre EX-8, Devialet Expert Pro 220, & Hegel H590 or H600.

The suggestion to go with separates is a good one. The only reason I’m just starting to investigate that strategy is b/c, given my other constraints, things start to get really complicated. Sometimes I think I should just simplify things & go for the 80/20 rule: Buy a suite of matched products from the same mfr & not obsess too much about sound quality. HiFi Rose & Bryston come immediately to mind as providing all-in-one solutions, and although neither is quite in the class with the alternatives I’ve been struggling with, they’re both reputed to be not that far off.


Any interest in Benchmark LA4 Line Amplifier and the Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier (12.5 pounds)? The amp can be bridged if you need more power.

Please see this mfg link

From their web site “Benchmark products are designed and built by audio enthusiasts. We are musicians, audiophiles and audio professionals who are passionate about audio quality. We also are passionate about the durability and build quality of our products. Most of our products are designed, assembled, tested, and shipped worldwide from our headquarters in Syracuse, NY, USA, where we have been located since 1985”.


@hgeifman   Yes, I was looking at Benchmark & teh LA4 looks like a great little box.  I'd need to add a digital front end, though, and I haven't dug deep enough into that strategy.  But that's a good suggestion.  I don't know much about the AHB2 at this point, but I understand that both components have excellent reputations.


@soix: I’ll see if I can find that Soundstage review. On Audiogon, though, other Hegel owners have told me that there’s a big difference between the analog sections of the 390 & the 590, and there’s a big difference between the DACs of the 590 & 600. Opinions diverge a lot about everything else, and I understand that context (as in associated equipment, power, and room) makes a huge difference, but those two comments have been pretty consistent.

And I could be wrong, but I think the first time I compared the 390 & 590, I found that the 390 did not have all the 590's connectivity options.  (Surprisingly, the same is true of the H600, which is supposed to be a 590 upgrade!)  But I’ll go back & take another look, b/c I'm not sure about that at this point.

@cundare2 I was not going to comment because you asked for an integrated. However, since you are open to the Benchmark stack, I was also going to say that would work nicely with the Harbeth’s.

I hear the Harbeths as a bit warm and the Benchmark gear is as neutral as can get. On a warm speaker the synergy could be good. I have a warmish Yamaha NS5000 speaker, and I got the Benchmark AHB2 to try with it. I really wanted to make it work because I like the AHB2 sound. However, I found my CODA #16 better. Surprisingly the bass on a single AHB2 was as good as the CODA #16 (a bass monster) on my speakers. That is not the case with the AHB2 and other more demanding speakers.

I use my Benchmark DAC3B stacked on top of my Benchmark LA4 preamp. The form factor is smaller than most integrated amps. On my warmish speakers this is a winning combination. On a less warm speaker I would change the DAC, but I would use it with the Harbeth.

For your Harbeths, a pair of mono AHB2’s would be the better choice over the single stereo. I am putting mine up for sale later today. However, Benchmark will offer you a 30-day home trial, which is a better choice than buying a used unit blind.


The Hegel 390 is the integrated I would look at pairing with the Harbeth, though the Benchmark DAC3B and LA4 pre are better to my ears. Smaller form factor than the Hegel. You can safely stack all 3 Benchmark components,




Hey, new complication.  I just got off the phone with Devialet support, and the rep assured me that the Expert Pro 220 can be configured with HT bypass.  It's not well-documented (like everything else Devialet), but is supported.

He's still trying to figure out how to add headphone & sub outs, though.


Check out Simaudio Moon. I’m not familiar with their integrated amps but I had the 330A stereo amp in my system and it was excellent. Drove my 4ohm 87db speakers without any problems.

The Sim 340 would be a little under powered for the Harbeths. The new North Collection integrated would be a great option. The H390 sounds great and has pretty much the same overall connectivity as the H590. I’ve owned both. The 590 is currently my main comp. I bought the 590 as it does have a bit more grunt for my hard to drive Alexia’s. The 390 though did fine overall. The 390 is Hegel’s sweet spot for sure. I wouldn’t hesitate on the 390 given your weight requirements. Having said that, the 590 isn’t THAT  much heavier. The Benchmark gear mentioned is fantastic too for its size. They have great DAC options as well as a tiny overall form factor.


cundare2 OP

In the words of Steve Martin, "EXCUSSSSE Me"

I am not advocating anything for you specifically, I simply presented an alternate way of solving it, i.e. step outside, look back in, especially for other people following along.

I don't know a damn thing about modern SS, I'm tubes for life. Thus I recommend that people looking for speakers ONLY consider efficient ones, don't even look sideways at inefficient ones. Your Harbeth's, 86db are exactly what I would avoid!

You love them, they aren't going anywhere, you have the funds, and are willing to consider modern lightweight power, off you go, 

Take an integrated; drop it from a 10 story building, bust it into pieces:

Outboard Power Supplies

Separate Preamp (I say old school features)

Mono Blocks

Separate Power Supplies.

Cables, cables and more cables.

Why don't you just get someone to help you lift the thing into place and forget it instead of compromising

btw, not for OP

the reason I advocate efficient speakers ONLY, it to save WEIGHT/size/heat/cost while increasing placement options (remote beams),

AND easier to try tubes,

AND lower power needs keeps you in a very plentiful and competitive place. Especially probability of finding a great deal on a used item, lower power amps more plentiful, many tube amp options if power needs are reduced. 

Not sure what my STR weighs, but i don't think it's more than 35 and it is superb.

+1, How about a Benchmark stack consisting of Benchmark LA4 Line Amplifier, the Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier and the Benchmark DAC3 HGC? If you need more power, you can always purchase a 2nd amp

I own the Benchmark DAC3 HGC and like it very much.

I suggest you call Benchmark Media and discuss your requirements and options


I'm impressed with the amount of helpful, educated information I got in response to my question.  My short list is not quite as short now: Bryston, Benchmark, Simaudio, Devialet, Naim, Hegel, Ayre.  Maybe STR (which I'm unfamiliar with).

I have a blank Excel spreadsheet waiting to be filled in.

And, no, even if letting electronics determine which speakers you own made sense, I'm not opening a barrel of worms by even thinking about replacing my 14-lb Harbeths. As a former long-time Quad ESL-57 owner, I'm impressed with how close they come to emulating some of the ESL's best qualities.  They're remarkably accurate from 40-50Hz up and -- one reason why I was originally interested in the Devialet -- are said to extended down well into subwoofer territory when playing Devialet-SAM-enhanced content.  Also, I live in an area where finding a house with even a 15'x20' room for under $2M is tough.  So "small & light" applies to speakers, too.  So that's what I have to work with.

Also, with no friends or family within thousands of miles, finding someone to help me move audio gear around is as impossible as flying all day to visit a dealer or trade show.

Anyway, thanks again for everyone's help, regardless of whether a recommendation made it onto my list. 

And I'm still open to more suggestions.





How about the Rotel RA-1592MKII integrated amp at 38.8 pounds?  The RA-1592MKII delivers 200 Watts of Class AB output into 8 ohm speakers supporting your favorite analog, digital, XLR, aptXTM and AAC Bluetooth, PC-USB with MQA and Moving Magnet Phono stage inputs. The audiophile grade 32-bit/384kHz DAC and precisely tuned circuits delivers an unprecedented sound stage with exacting positioning.

Click here for MFG info:

Rotel?  That's new.  I'll add it to the spreadsheet, although I've never heard a Rotel product.

Another missing entry is Gold Note.  The IS-1000 has been reviewed quite favorably, but I see that the company has a new IS-10 integrated that clocks in at around 9 pounds (!), ~120wpc into 6 ohms.  Maybe I'll add both to the list.

And this short list is sure starting to get long!  The gods destroy you by granting you your fondest wishes...


Devialet update:

The Expert Pro integrateds can be configured to provide HT bypass and either fixed or variable-level line output, by cannibalizing other connections.

So that would take care of any bypass & headphone requirements.

As for the subwoofer, I guess I can always wire up an active sub in parallel with my main loudspeakers.  That's something I haven't done in a very long time -- but assuming that Devialet's unusual Class "AD" output stage doesn't t have some sort of histrionic reaction, maybe that puts it back in the running.

I have a tech question on this issue for Devialet support, but I'd be surprised if that didn't work.

Still gonna build the spreadsheet b/c the integrated choice is only half the issue.  I still need to figure out if I'll need an analog preamp/switcher in front of it, and will need to add some sort of streamer or DAC/streamer.

Slowly inching closer, slowly, slowly, slowly, one step forward...  It's like the pace of "Oak Island."


No need to complicate your setup with switchers and what not. Any device you put in the signal path has the possibly (likely hood) of degrading your overall sound. Keep it simple. Plenty of great options without all the goofy stuff.

If you wire subs in parallel that aren’t designed to take a “high level” input, you will double your impedance and have a full frequency signal going to your sub, there are ways to solve these issues, but it’s clunky and won’t give you your best sound. Any amp with a pre out generally will work, or get a sub like a REL that has options for either connection type.

If anyone is interested in Devialet’s unique amplifier tech -- a new spin on other companies' less-than-perfect approach to Class AD -- here’s one of Devialet's key patents, forwarded to me by a very helpful Devialet rep.

<search for patent #US7545212B2 on Google Patents>




Thanks for bringing up those points, but I have an engineering background, so I’m well aware. By "switcher," I was referring to placing a higher-end analog preamp in front of the Devialet, primarly to handle (or "switch") my analog sources, since a Devialet would have only one analog input in my system. The pre-amp might, e.g., be something like a Benchmark or Pass Labs. Since the Devialet digitizes all analog signals, and since any line-level analog input will have to be amplified at some point in the pre-Devialet signal path, I’m not concerned about degradation when we’re talking about a context like this. Hardly "goofy."

As for running the speakers in parallel, jeez, of course, I’d be using my sub’s high-impedance input, orders of magnitude higher than that of my loudspeakers.

The bigger issue with running two sets of speakers from the Devialet’s single set of amplified outputs is that both speakers will be playing signals that have been processed by Devialet’s SAM function. That may extend my Harbeth’s low end down an octave (I wish, but maybe) but would also alter the phase and EQ of the signal sent to my sub. What makes this a credible solution is the fact that my sub incorporates DSP-based room-correction, which Devialet believes would handle a SAM-enhanced signal as easily as one that was not. And who knows, the sub might even sound better with the Devialet’s bottom-boosted, phase-compensated output as a starting point!

But don’t get me wrong. I’m still not married to Devialet. It would be nicer, as you imply, to have a less-complicated, maybe less-expensive, one-box solution from the likes of Ayre or Hegel.

Working on my spreadsheet tonight, and what'll pop out when I can review the numbers on one page, I have no idea.


If I were in your shoes, I'd look at: Ayre EX-8 (24 pounds), Aavik I-180 or I-280 (20 pounds), Hegel H390 (40 pounds), or CODA CSiB....but that is definitely pushing it at 50 pounds.

Several people above have suggested class D amps because of their light weight.  I have owned several class D amps and do not like their sound quality.  I suggest you audition any class D amps on your list before you purchase them. 


I'm very familiar with the sonic shortcomings of most Class D electronics.  In fact, that's one of the big motivators for my current upgrade: my current amplifiers are all Class D.  But don't make the mistake of thinking that, because the Devialet technically incorporates elements of Class D design, that it's what we typically think of as "Class D," or even as amps identified as "Class AD."  This circuit design, as the patent describes in detail, is something new, combining a PWM digital signal fed into a Class A output stage.  The split is also more along the lines of current amplification and voltage amplification stages, which is quite different than the Class D we've all grown to know and hate.

If you have the technical background to understand it, I'd suggest taking a look at that patent -- and the other patents that Devialet has filed re: this architecture.





I am not familiar with Devialet equipment but their integrated amp looks interesting. Will this amp work for you?     

I’m thinking of buying one from a dealer who has a 30-day return policy. It’s such an unusual piece of gear (and so lightly documented) that I might have to have one inhouse to even figure out if I can use it. This is the first amp I’ve seen that requires users to run a configuration program on a computer, store the config on an SD card, and then have the card inserted into the amp every time it boots up. It digitizes all incoming signals and subjects them to very heavy duty, system-specific, DSP in order to match its output to specific speakers systems and phono cartridges. So from a tech/gizmo perspective, it’s pretty fascinating.

How this will translate into sonics, especially on my system, I have no friggin’ idea. But reviews in the Stereophile/TAS mags give its sound quality extraordinary praise, at least among components in the $10K range.

OTOH, I’m just as likely at this point to KISS & go with one of the alternatives suggested in this thread (and enumerated a few messages above). Configuring the Devialet into my multi-channel, 50% analog-source, system, may be too complicated -- or even impossible.

Ya gotta love this hobby.


+1 to many suggestions for Ayre EX-8 v2.  I have this with the streamer/dac cards installed and it is ~24lb one-box solution that does streaming, DAC, preamp, and amp.  It sounds fantastic with my Sonus Faber speakers.

@deone Yes, the EX-8 V2 is a monster, beautifully and innovatively designed, with boatloads of connectivity. And it’s incredibly light for a 300wpc Class AB amp, thanks to the late Charlie Hansen’s "diamond" output-stage topology. I’m very impressed & agree with you 100%.

The EX-8 would have easily addressed all my requirements and even includes a terrific DAC that is heads & shoulders above any integrated DAC I've seen in a $10-15K integrated -- and probably most $2-3K standalone DACs. (I can't speak to that from first-hand experience, though.)

Unfortunately, there are non-technical reasons I didn’t go for it from Day One, which I’m not at liberty to discuss here. So I’m not considering an Ayre purchase just this second, despite the fact that I’d love to have one inhouse.  If a few things resolve at some point, however, I'm sure that I'd be happy for a long time with an EX-8.




I would not worry about the weight as you probably won’t move much-find some one to help lift and place it.

Hello @cundare2 !

You have some nice options and seem headed on the right track with Ayre, the older on newer Naim 200 series and Coda.  I have heard two others that I like.

The Audionet Watt weighs 55 pounds but is very very good.  It checks all the other requirements. I have heard this in my system and it takes a lot of money and weight to top it.  At their rating of 167w @ 8 ohms I would not worry about power.  GTT Audio often has a show demo of this model.

The other are the Soulnote A2 and A3.  the A3 is too heavy at 66 lb but super nice. I own the A2, and even rated at 100 watts it punches well above that.  My speakers are more efficient though.   But very sweet sounding SS integrateds.  I got my A2 barely used for 4k.  I see them very occasionally for 5k. 

Good Luck!  Fun!

@fastfreight Thanks for the suggestions.  But again, I'm looking for something lighter, 20-30 pounds would be ideal 15lbs even better.  Things are getting worse for my back and as of yesterday, I'm looking at major surgery, with uncertain results.  So the last thing I need to do is buy a 50-70-lb block of expensive metal.  There's no one here who could help me move the unit and a box that heavy would make my racking system unmanageable.  So the weight limitation, unfortunately, is not negotiable.

The most tempting exceptions are the 49lb Hegel H590 & H600, which are such a perfect fit that I WANT to make an exception.  But even in that case, I'm still sticking to my guns and trying as hard as I can to select something lighter, even if that means compromising on sound or functionality.  It's frustrating, but that's the hand I've been dealt.  I'm not gonna whine, I'm gonna just do the best with what I've got to work with.

Still working on this spreadsheet, but right now (I'm going in alphabetic order) Benchmark & Bryston separates look like contenders.  We'll see.

@cundare2 I totally get it!  I had my second back surgery 11 days ago.  My first back surgery 20 months ago.

Music Is my nervana and when I came home I was so glad to have it!  don't compromise too much on sound for the weight; you will regret it!  You 
CAN do amazing things with lighter separates;  the naim combo is an example, small monoblocks (Audionet Amps) and a light preamp.  Or just figure out how to get help.  In the end, you will (perhaps) be happier with amazing sound,  Not the Benchmarks...(my opinion).  My amps and preamp are so heavy that I will never even try to move them...maybe that is a smart way to go ha ha!

@fastfreight What is recovery from back surgery like? I’m wondering how long it will be until I can even traverse the stairs to my home theater.

How come you don’t like the Benchmarks? I’ve never heard them, but they seem to be pretty popular in this thread. I’m open to any first-hand comments about a candidate component’s performance in a particular system configuration.

Oh, and by "compromise," I’m thinking more like Bryston instead of Hegel, or a HiFi Rose streamer instead of an Aurender.  I have $6000 Harbeths, not Chronosonics, so my goal is that my amplification won't any longer be the weakest link.



Just curious, where did you see the EX8 is 300wpc? It’s rated at 100wpc into 8ohm and 175 (tested it clipped at 170) into 4 which suggests a fairly lightweight current delivery that would get shaky into lower ohm loads. Do your Harbeths have difficult load requirements? That could shape (narrow) your search significantly.