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?


See mfg link

What about the Parasound Halo HINT 6 Stereo Integrated Amplifier? It weighs 33 pounds.

160 Watts x 2 @ 8 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven) 240 Watts x 2 @ 4 Ohms (RMS, both channels driven) Power amp circuit topology designed by legendary John Curl Direct amplifier input to bypass preamp section High bias class A/AB operation Oversized shielded toroid power transformer.

Coax and optical inputs accept PCM up to 192kHz/24-bit Analog bass management with high & low pass crossovers Home theater bypass input for surround sound integration Front panel subwoofer level control Dedicated high current headphone amplifier (TI TPA6120).

See link for review

@cundare2 The new KRELL that is represented by the Duo XD lineup is buttery smooth, very powerful, and decently detailed. It is the most relaxing gear I have owned or heard. Do some searches on A’gon on the Duo XD. Read the Stereophile review of the K-300i. those guys can give a better sonic description. Normally I do not like this type of sound, but I remember how much I enjoyed listening to the K-300i and then later the Duo 175XD amp.

For me the Luxman c900u | m90u | Luxman DAC | Harbeth was incredibly lush sounding. The Luxman 509x integrated amp on the same speakers and DAC was not as good nor as lush.

I used the AHB2 monos with the following speakers:

  • Thiel CS3.7 (not a good match since speaker is hard to drive)
  • KEF LS50 (great match)
  • KEF LS50 Meta (great match)
  • Audience 1+1 v3 (good but the room was bad)
  • Yamaha NS5000 (best speaker I have owned. There is a touch of hardness on top)

I also demoed it with the Magico A3 speaker. It was awful with that speaker. Not enough power as a stereo amp (not mono).

@cundare2 I guess the Aestheix Mimas with its tube preamp and balanced bridged solid state output might be too heavy at 50lbs? You might want to read Neil Gader’s review in the Absolute Sound. FYI I drive my power hungry little Dynaudio Heritage Specials with the Mimas with great success!

@hgeifman At one time, I lusted over anything that John Curl designed and the Hint6 was a bit of a dream purchase.  Now that I have greater financial means, I'm looking at higher-quality gear, more like Ayre & Hegel.  But at their price points, all the Halos seem to be great choices.

@yyzsantabarbara Thanks for the details.  Interesting comments, especially your comments about the KEF + Benchmark combo.  The LS50s don't have the Harbeth's LS3/5A heritage, but they do seem to have a lot in common.

@axeis1  Yeah, I had to eliminate great-sounding components like the Aesthetix & PrimaLuna tubed gear for the reasons you mention.  I read every TAS cover to cover, so I remember Neil's review.

Still working on that spreadsheet. Boy, it's complicated sorting through everything -- I love the way Benchmark sometims lists 2 inputs as being 4 in its spreadsheets -- counting the # of jacks, not channels!  It takes time to double-check everything.

Regardless, this is turning into a very interesting discussion.




Here’s one reason why it’s been tricky to figure out if the Devialet Expert Pro can be configured into my multi-channel system.

Fixed inputs: 1 USB,1 opt; 1 digital XLR

Configurable inputs:
1 line-in/phono;
2 coax dig-in/1 line-in;
1 mono sub/coax dig in;
1 coax dig-in/dig-out;
1 mini-opt in/RS-232

And all inputs (not sure if that includes both analog & digital) can be configured as home theater bypasses.

I need simultaneous HT bypass, sub out, output for headphones (or a headphone amp) out, & inputs for 2-4 analog sources & an outboard streamer.

Oh and just for icing, the Devialet product literature is so terse as to be unhelpful. The company seems to want people to figure out if the amp works for them by running a Configurator program that stores connection-setups on an SD card that you insert into the amp.

So before you can even figure out if the amp will handle all your other components, you have to go online, learn how to use a configuration application, and proceed by trial-and-error. And when I tried to use the configurator, it had a simple interface, simple in both the best and worst ways: easy to make changes but short on explanations about what those changes do, or why certain combinations are not allowed.

Absolute Sound dinged the product for its complicated setup, but I don’t think that tells half the story.


My head hurts.