Looking to buy a quality integrated $10,000 budget.

I’m at the point now I’m happy with my speakers, Klipsch La Scala AL5 at 105db sensitivity or there about and 8ohm load. I really don’t need big power. Unfortunately many integrated, as you go up the companies lines, keep adding power and not much else I’m not really into paying for something I’ll never use.

I do not need a DAC built in, I do not need a phono stage built in but I would not count them out if they were good quality and I could reduce the box load. So if I replace them I would need something as good inside the integrated as the Gold Note PH10 phono stage and Schiit Gungnir multi bit DAC that I currently use.

Sources are; Garrard 301 table set up with Jelco 12"arm and Van Den Hull Cart (and a Soundsmith MI), PC based streamer, multi disc player and Apple TV 4K (all the digital goes into the DAC) and a tuner (I like the Seattle NPR radio, Jazz 24).

I’m so far considering in Tube or SS class A (preferably but wont rule others out):

- Luxman 590axii, class A 30wpc. this is a top choice for me right now. change my mind?
- Luxman Tube integrated like the LX 380
- Accuphase E 650 (used-older as USA prices are overpriced mind you I can get it cheaper in Canada so may not be an issue),
- McIntosh MAC 7200, more power then I’ll ever need but many features like a tuner, phono stage etc. so could go to one box but what’s the compromise with all that inside?
- BAT VK801 and others never heard a BAT (recommended from a friend) so not sure, I don’t have anywhere near me to listen so don’t say go listen.
- Sungden but I have to admit I find them homely and a little basic looking.
- Triode Labs and Finale Audio (great gear by the way) I’ve considered (again) but I really want a remote and need more then 3 inputs.
- Pass labs class A if I can find one used and in my budget.
- Decware and the other smaller tube amps are also in the back of my head.
- what am I forgetting or don’t know that’s the question?

Sound is paramount but it has to appeal to me looks-function wise as well, I just can not look at a homely integrated regardless of the sound. Also I really want a remote this time around! If I kept both DAC and Phono stages I could go (partially) balanced but my tuner is single ended so its not important to me. Also I would like to stay away from Chinese production for now. Recently used ( newer then 10 years) or New is what I’m thinking.

I’m kind of trending away from tubes just tired of replacing them, 300b’s no way ever again. I Live in an open concept Loft so my main system does everything TV-movies-music. I also tend to have my system on playing from 4pm to midnight through the week and all day and night weekends (when I’m home of course) so my system gets lots of use this is why I’m thinking tubes may be done in my audio life maybe we will see.

I do not like the looks of Mac’s sloped front integrated tube amps similar to AudioNotes new integrated I find that sloped face not to my tastes. AudioNote in general I find over priced for what you get. yes I’ve owned some.

I have listen to some Moon gear wasn’t for me. And Rega’s new stuff again not for me. Naim, Linn pass not for me, been there done that not my cup of tea. Vintage is for my bedroom so not here.

looking for;
Dynamics, good bass control but good separation of notes, sweet top end that’s not edgy or overly bright, midrange that’s involving, huge soundstage maybe the word musical comes to mind. I tend to a slightly warmer side of neutral but not too much. All types of music except classical. I don’t listen above 85db.

ok I think I’ve put enough in here for a reasonable response.

What amps should I consider in this price range new or used? one last thing I live in western Canada.


I've reached out to LTA for more information defiantly a top choice from what I've read. thanks for that suggestion. 

Diablo 300 way too much power but the diablo 120 is interesting. I've never had the experience to see let alone hear anything from Gryphon though and I doubt there will be anywhere close to listen. Maybe in Seattle or Vancouver those are the two largest places that are reasonable distance to me that I will travel for this perches if i don't buy used that is.

 I'm not apposed to buying unseen as they say if I know the reputation of the company and have many reviews to help judge. But listening touching is ideal of course. Many good suggestions I had not considered thank you all. 

Chorus, I did not see any Integrated amps on Merrill's site. coming soon though. 

I'll not be looking at Krell, levenson or moon not to my taste but thanks for the suggestion. 

Looks like i have a good start to do some thinking and research - listening if I can find a place. 

My Plan is to get off this merry-go-round of audio equipment and settle down and just enjoy into retirement.  

Thanks again everyone for the excellent feedback and suggestions. 


if u are sticking to your super efficient super easy to drive la scala’s and love their sound, and don’t have a huge room, there are so so many low wattage fine, fine amps you can choose from -- 10 grand can be very well spent on some great ones but you certainly don’t need to spend 10k to get some serious magic goin' on...

your list seems to weighed towards much higher wattage units, that will not sound as sweet nor as organic as the super pure se tube amps - i think that is entirely the wrong direction if you are committed to the la scala's

i for one still have some great low wattage amps from years ago, but i just could not live with the various high efficiency/horn/paper cone speakers i have tried over time that they could drive properly - but i haven’t given up, and still keep my cary 300b sei and my wavelength cardinals for that day the right super hi-eff speakers come along...

Take a look at a few years old T+A PA3000HV. 


With a bit of patience you should be able to land one for about $6k. Original MSRP was ~17K.