Integrated suggestions

Hi all,  for personal reasons I need to sell my $17k tube integrated & would have to replace it with something much cheaper - around $4k, maybe $5k...

I only mention the price of my current amp so you're familiar with the level of performance to which I am accustomed. 

It would need to have at least one balanced input, line only is fine, at least 30W PC, any class is OK as long as it offers exceptional performance for its price point! Tube or SS. Capability to run 4ohm speakers.

Any suggestions...?

I know there are many but you guys may suggest something I may not consider.



The one integrated in that price range that I find interesting is the Gato Audio Amp 150.  I have no personal experience.  The reviews have been positive and the sonic trait’s described in the reviews align with my values of reproduction.

Decware ZMA for tubed although slightly above your budget. 2 yr wait but i know where to find one on the secondary market.

Kinki Studio EX-M1+ for SS.  I have this amp and it is the closest to tube sound I've heard.


If you prefer a more neutral sound this Octave V40SE is very highly regarded and well worth a look…,V%2040%20SE%20highly%20enough.&text=Price%3A%20%244900%20USD.

If you’re looking for maybe a little more tube goodness and are open to buying used I think this Audio Hungary X200 could also be great, and I believe the seller offers an in-home trial period that’s really great to have…

Hope this helps, and best of luck.

I own the Musical Fidelity M-6Si integrated amp. I am VERY surprised it sounds this good.

The Musical Fidelity M6si offers excellent performance, facilities, and power. As per the Musical Fidelity web site “Internally, the M6si is configured as 2 independent monobloc power amps with a separate preamp. It is, in fact, a preamp 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”. I am very happy with my Musical Fidelity M-6Si integrated amp since this amplifier deliveries the sound quality I am looking for.

Musical Fidelity M6Si amp link:

M6si In Brief

  • 220WPC
  • Excellent technical performance
  • Amazing load driving ability, unconditional stability will drive any loudspeaker
  • Wide range of useful inputs including asynchronous USB and switchable MM / MC Phono
  • Preamp output
  • Internally it is a separate preamp with two independent monobloc power amps; effectively a separates system in a box
  • Excellent, hunky build quality
  • One XLR Balanced in line

This may have gone up in price to 6-7K and is not tube, but sounds extremely smooth. The KRELL K-300i (new XD model)

soix are nice recommendations, I owned the Octave and then Audio Hungary 20 watt class a amp both were very nice. Only reason I let Audio Hungary go was their US audio repair center was closing down and I would have to ship it to Hungary there and back at my expense if repairs were needed. It may be different now. I settled on Conrad Johnson CAV 45 S2 running it with Mullard xf2 tubes which make a fairly large improvement over some of other new production and NOS power tubes I tried. There is a lot of fairly nice 4 to $5000 intergraded amps out there it can get a little confusing, good luck in your search.

@mboldda1  UK

The Gato & Audio Hungary look interesting. I'm aware of both brands but know little about them.

Russ Andrews offer an upgrade service to the M6si so considering its low cost on the used market it's a tempting option. 

@soix  Funny you should mention Octave as I currently own one of their amps & have owned 2 others in the past! As I'm familiar with the performance of this amp I think a regression within the line would be more noticeable than other manufacturers...if that makes sense!

Decware is too expensive with the options I need & that VAC would require a voltage there's no balanced input. 

Thanks all so far.

Funny you should mention Octave as I currently own one of their amps & have owned 2 others in the past! As I'm familiar with the performance of this amp I think a regression within the line would be more noticeable than other manufacturers...if that makes sense!

Ha.  I was a quantitative analyst/market strategist on Wall Street and did quite a bit of multiple regression analysis so yes, it makes perfect sense to me.  Just make sure you account for autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity 😉.  Seriously though, what Octave amps have you had and what do you think of them, and what did you end up replacing them with and why?  They’ve always been high on my radar so I’m very interested in your thoughts, impressions, and comparisons if you’re willing to share.

I am going to 1+ the Musical Fidelity recommendation. I have the M6500i and it is fantastic. It drives my speakers with such ease they sound like different speakers. MF really is about refinement and ease of effort. If you can get your hands on a dual mono design like mine, go for it.

My second choice would be a tube integrated from Line Magnetic. They offer a very good product for the money and undercut many US integrated tube companies.

I have a LM Audio as well.

I'd certainly be tempted by the Willsenton R800i, which would leave you with $1000-2000 to upgrade the tubes to your liking.

Also, maybe you could get a deal on a Synthesis A40.Virtus. I have its big brother the A100, which I prefer to any amp I've ever owned.

Good luck finding something you will enjoy for a long time.

The Parasound Hint has everything you mentioned and is a Stereophile class A piece of equipment

+1 on the Octave. Never owned one but I spent some time and their room at the RMAF with Dynaudio speakers and it was impressive. A modest display that sound everything but modest.


If you are open minded you might check out the Rogue Audio Pharaoh II. Tube/Hypex hybrid. Good bang for your buck gear with solid service and support, in my experience. No experience with this particular product but I have ran tube pre’s with class D amps with good success.

Also audition a Hegel Rost in my rig that was impressive.  Would considered their integrated products anytime. 

@soix  I'm currently using the V70 Class A (KT150) with the Super Black Box & Telefunken driver tubes. It's very revealing with speed & impact, plenty of midrange punch. I'm a musician so another way I would describe it is very much like an excellent tube guitar amp! 

I'll be sad to see it go but as I mentioned personal circumstances are a factor. 

I've previously owned the HP700 pre & the V110SE. Years ago I was in a position to purchase the MRE 220 but I hesitated & life moved on. I wish I had as they're way more expensive now. 

Prior to the V70 Class A purchase I considered the V80SE but really wanted full class A (V80SE is A/B) & at the time found auto bias appealing. 

If you need any more info just message.


@stringreen  yes you're right, it's a very depressing!

Don't know much about Line Magnetic apart from the name. The Belles Aria Signature seems to be a contender.

@waltersalas  Thank you!

No balanced input on the Moonriver...Hegel is interesting although they don't look very nice!


Thanks for all the good info, and again, best of luck in finding a happy — if a little smaller — landing place with your new amp.  If you could, please let us know what you ultimately choose as I’m sure more than a few of us here are interested.

I continue to have not the slightest inclination to trade in my Primaluna Integrated. It delivers beautiful sound. When the knobs get glitchy I open the thing up and spray Deoxit on the contact points.

A friend has one of those gigantic Vincent things that sounds pretty good, and has tubes! For about what a good integrated costs you can use what I use...the well regarded Schiit Freya, an astonishingly great sounding preamp with 2 balanced inputs (and others) for your enjoyment along with other amazing features, and that thing runs to a Pass XA-25 (one of the top 5 amps anywhere for any price) a little over 6 grand for those, and Class A for days. More fun than an integrated including the Pass INT-25 which is 7600 bucks with 3 inputs, none balanced. Do like me...come on...*sniff*...

@edcyn  If you read my initial post you'll see the reason i am selling my current integrated is not because "I fancy a change..."

I own/run an Octave V80SE integrated with a super black box. I’ve not personally heard the Lab12 Integrat4 from Greece, but it’s reviews have been stellar and it retails for about $5k. I was going to give this one a serious look for a secondary system. 

@njkrebs  Good call, I'd forgotten about Lab12. This is probably the direct competition to the X200. I'd certainly like to hear both...

The Belles virtuoso may be out of your price range, but it’s got a balanced input, and it’s 400 w per into 4 ohms. Over 16a per ch peak amps. This amp sounds amazing 

+1 on Lab12 and Audio Hungary Qualiton, have heard both manufacturers' top integrateds (and some of their separates), excellent price/value ratio. I own a Qualiton C200 preamp which I just recently purchased for a second system, big bold soulful sound is how I'd generally characterize these manufacturers' sonic signatures. Agree however that it isn't clear what exactly the warranty repair service is like IN REALITY in North America.

I really feel like ModWright is often overlooked. Their current model pre is out of your price range, even used, but there's one of their older for sale on the other site. I've been. Extremely happy with my LS100 preamp from them. Truly boutique product, excellent build quality, and more than any of that, sounds amazing.

I (and a few other A'goners) have been quite happy with the (Polish) Circle Labs A200. It is a hybrid amp, but the two Siemens ECC8100 tubes last for ~10 years with normal usage, and require no biasing. You can read users' impressions here:

Circle Labs A200 

Also, a small note on the GATO Amp-150, which was recommended above. I owned one for a couple of years, and found it to be excellent. However, it features an active cooling system (i.e. a small fan), and while it was rarely needed, I did not like the added noise.

For ~$5k the Simaudio Moon 340 is an excellent integrated.  You can get the onboard DAC and phono stage, which are both very good.  For the price, it’s hard to beat.



I think the Moon 340iX is quite a lot of amp for the's SS amp and at the top end of your range.  

If you can give it a listen, I'd highly encourage you to audition it.

Not sure what your speakers are but Hegel has a warm sound. Plenty of power for your 4ohm speakers. I would look at the H190 in that price range. Also, you may consider the all analogue Naim NAIT XS3. Great looking slim line integrated amplifier that at 70 watts/channel of class AB is impressive . I have a pair of 4ohm Monitor Audio Gold 100 5g that sound great with both amps. Good luck on your search!

+1 on the Krell K300i (XD).   This is my integrated and it replaced my PrimaLuna HP Dialog.   I liked both, but the Krell is much better sounding in my system driving Exstatic electrostatic speakers.   It has all the input options you are looking for.   It should be in that $5-$6k range for a nice used one.

Accuphase E280


IMO nothing come close in this price range 

Such a beautifully sounding integrated, and powerful enough for you


@rmdmoore  I have the PH9.0X with Tesla tubes & silver umbilical. Fantastic phono stage & i suspect my last.

@lak Which one falls within the budget...?

Never heard of Circle Labs before. Not considered McIntosh or Accuphase. Still not sure about Hegel; has modules I don't need & as I've mentioned before they don't look appealing!

Thank you all, there are plenty of viable options. I suppose the next step is a shortlist but even then it's impossible to try all the ones of interest at home. 

Current owner of both Hegel H390 and 590. One is going down the road. Both are fantastic and in your price range. Short list of replacements I plan on trying include Modwright 225, LTA Z40, Jeff Rowland continum, Gato. Currently switching between Magnepan.7 and Harbeth super HL5. Really happy with what I’ve got, but still have an itch I need to scratch. 

+1 for either the Coda CSiB or the Krell 300i.  I have had both and both are outstanding integrated amps. Which you would prefer would be personal preference.  Also has the Primaluma Evo 400 integrated, really nice but not quite the same level as the Coda or Krell.  CSiB had a great Pre using the XLR outs.  Great buy if you can find one used. 

"Sugden, Moonriver or Hegel depending on your room and speakers." 

As someone mentioned, the Moonriver doesn't have an XLR input.  Neither does the Sugden (at least the A21 series).  I would consider the Norma IPA140, made in Italy, to very high standards.

I just traded in my Esoteric F-07 for the new Michi x3, Series 2 that includes their new 8-Channel ESS SABRE ES9028PRO DAC (you can still use an external DAC).


I have had several previous integrated SS (Musical Fidelity, Rotel, McIntosh hybrid), Class D (Primare), and Tube amps (Prima Luna, Modwright, Cary) and this by far has been the best sounding paired with my B&W 805s.  The bass is so much more prevalent that I no longer use my REL sub.

Build solid, almost Apple like in its appearance and packaging, and seems to weigh more than its 64 lbs.  Pricing is about $5,700 which I would say is under priced compared to integrates of similar quality and specs.


Some models from Wilsenton, Pathos, and Prima Luna would fit your needs. However I have not personal usage in my system, so going off of reputation and specs alone

If you can find one used my recommendation would be a Jeff Rowland Continuun S2. I still have my tube separates which were over $30K 15 years ago but nowadays enjoy the Rowland. Very smooth and musical with lots of detail and with a very low noise floor. 


Very nice- CJ CAV 45 S2. I am hoping that the company will build an Integrated with more Power. Sweet "control" Amp.


Happy Listening!


I concur, the price is a good guideline while providing more build-quality information.

Big step down $17K tube integrated to $4-5 range. Still, there are plenty of excellent contenders to discover.


Happy Listening!