Integrated Amps: Arcam & Audio Refinement

Those are the two choices I've given myself after a lot of searching.

Price range - around $1000 - $1200

Speakers - Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Reference Monitors
Unless you plan on buying new, you can find the Audio Refinement for between 5-600 dollars. Or maybe less if you are lucky. I've owned one four different times. I've since moved on, but was always very happy with it's performance and am convinced that for the money, there is nothing better for my tastes.

If you are willing to spend up to 1200 dollars and not dead set on intgrated amps (I am) I would look at the Parasound P3 and also A23 amplifier. Excellent build quality, and looks, as well as sound.
For less than $1200 you can also get a nice used Plinius Integrated. Heck, for $1295 you can get a demo Portal Panache too.

I've owned several Arcams and they are very good for their used prices, but if I were ready and willing to spend about $1200, I'd step up to the next level. At about $500 used, the Arcam Alpha 10 is a really good integrated, but suffers from inexpensive cosmetics. It sounds better than it looks!


I think both people above said it best, both of these units are nice good sounding Equipment they will get you excellent Performance to Money Ratio. But you don't have to Spend $1200 to get them, I would say Audio Refinement used is running $400-$600 bucks. Not sure on the Arcam I have listened to both and liked them. Arcam stuff has been getting alot of Press lately mainly because of there new DVD's DV87,88 and FMJ. But Audio Refinment is the younger brother to YBA, and it does sound nice very musical never tiring. Close your eyes listen to both, if you can't tell the diff. then buy the cheaper of the 2, and expend your CD collections with the money left over.
Like S7horton I also owned the Audio Refinement more than once. Would not hesitate to purchase another if circumstances required. The amp has an exquisite feel (for the price) and sounds great to boot. Haven't had the pleasure of owning an Arcam integrated.
I like my Arcam A85 but
1. It doesn't have enough power for my speakers. It does have a switch to output to a power amp. So I output it to a B&K at 100 watts/ch
2. It does sound good, rather laid back, but I often need to turn the bass way up to get a fuller sound, as to really hear the inside of a good piano. Any suggestion?

precisely. Arcam makes nice processors,  not, power amps (including integrated). Lack of Bass response and overall power is their deficiency. Seek out another brand that mates well with your speakers.

Happy Listening!
I've owned both... I found the Arcam to be a bit less vailed or clear in some way, hard to describe.  Yet,  overall,  I really preferred to listen to the Audio Refinement.  It just played music.  I'd buy another.