Integrated Amp recommendation for $300 that will balance well with Vandersteen and NAD

I’m looking for a new/used integrated amp that will mate well and balance with my Vandersteen 2C speakers and NAD C542 CD player. My speakers cables and Interconnects are Mogami by 10-Audio.


Some Background:

I recently sold my NAD C370 integrated amp. I liked the sound, but it was a bit dark and veiled when I happen to compare it one day to my buddy’s Denon DRA-625 receiver. Granted, the Denon was more “analytical” sounding, but it was noticeably more open, airy when compared to the C370. Also, it seemed to have better (deeper) bass response. Keep in mind, this is what I heard on my system.

In looking for a new/used integrated, I’m thinking I need something that is bright (brighter) but not harsh that will then balance the Vandersteen’s and mate well with the C542 cd player. My budget for this is $300 max. I was reading about the Acurus DIA-100 and thought this might be a good possibility?

Any other recommendations? Also, my room size is 12x12, and the 2C’s are a pretty consistent 8 ohm speaker. Specs indicate they require 40-160 wpc, so I’m wondering too if some of the 30-40 wpc integrateds would work? The Creek 4040s2 or 4330 come to mind. The C370 was 120wpc and it did crank, but so does the Denon… which is 60wpc. I never listen loud anyway. The room is 12x12, so I don’t need much to get it too loud.

Some other integrateds I’m curious about include: Sony TA-F555ES, Yamaha A-S500, Onkyo A-9050, etc. The Sony TA-F555ES is available locally. Anyone have any experience with the Acurus, or any of these integrated amps? 

Sincerely, JSB

Yes, $300 is tough, personally, id recommend to try to save to more like $500 and look at the likes of an Audio Refinement or a Myriad,  both can be had at that price and both are clearly Audiophile material... If not,  Teac makes a sumpin sumpin 301 that's decent... that will run $300 to $400.  If you don't care about a remote, there are several Chinese integrates that are tubes or hybrids that are pretty good too.
I hope this helps,
The NAD C317 is the best integrated that NAD has ever made up until that point. You should be able to pick one up for a few hundred bucks. My son uses mine (thankfully) so i know it's in good hands. A true classic.
I picked up a Marantz PM8004 for $425 and could not be happier with its detail, extension and dynamic range.

I agree you should stretch your budget a bit.