My last Integrated Amp: $5-10,000?


I would like to hear recommendations regarding integrated amplifiers costing between $5-10,000. This will be my last amplifier for quite a while. I prefer to buy used when I can but also prefer no older that 2-3 years.  My speakers are likely to change every couple of years and I may keep more than one pair.

I like a detailed and transparent sound with air and the ability to easily to pick out the location of the instruments/singers.   I have liked the class A that I’ve heard and I’ve liked the tubes that I’ve heard but I don’t want to mess with tubes.  Also, I do not want a streaming device and I’d rather not have a built in DAC but I can live with it. 

My music preferences are vocals and 70-90s rock. 
So far I have identified the following possibilities that are available.
Mark Levinson: No 585 at $8400 and ML-5805 at $6550.  The latter is a new model and I have read that there have been teething problems. I don’t know if ML have corrected this situation. 
Luxman L-590AXII $7250  has a good reputation and longevity but is relatively low powered.

McIntosh MA5300, Coda CISB, and Gryphon Diablo 120 are also possibilities if available.

chinook9

You’ve got a great list and choices that have been presented.  So much will depend on your personal preference and set / speakers.  
 

Based on the list and comments that you like tubes but don’t want to fuss with them, the class A options are likely the best place to start.  I’ve had and compared the Coda CSiB, the Krell 300i, the PrimaLuna 400 integrated (tube).  Compared these to Krell 300xd and Parasound A21.  
 

All 3 are fantastic products, integrated amps.  If you really like tubes, Primaluna is about as fuss free as you can get, autobias, easier on tubes and you can tube roll a ton of tubes to tailor the sound.  Powerful for a Tube amp but if you have harder to drive speakers might run out of oomph if you need it.  Built like a tank.

Coda was simply awesome - built like a tank, you can reach the owners / designers who are really open about the build and comparison to other products they make.  
 

Krell - there is something magical about the Krell - too my ears we the best of the bunch and I wanted to like the Coda better…. If you read reviews on the Krell, there are a lot, there are plenty of people with a love affair with this unit.  You can find one used, saw one under 5 grand without the DAC.

Now - when I compared all the integrated amps to the stand alone Krell 300xd - well, ended up with the 300xd - was another level above the integrated amps.  BTW - CSiB had a great pre, worked well just as a pre.  
 

I’d stretch a bit if it was me, look for the Gryphon 300 Diablo - without a DAC used you might come close to 10 grand - there is one listed with the DAC for 13.5 grand.

i think everyone on your list is a great option - I’d add Krell for sure - talked to quite a few people that compared quite a few integrated amps and landed on the Krell.

Enjoy the journey! 

let me chime in add kudos for krell

over the years i have had excellent and then terrible experiences with krell amps and integrateds... recently, very good experiences again

as a general rule i think the ’ksa’ series, fpb, evo of class a/ab amps are excellent

if good sound (as well as awesome power) is the priority, i would steer clear of any ’kav’ series (there are many of them)... they sound hard and strident (maybe fine for sizzle boom home theater but not for natural 2 channel imo)

since the s series (s-300i s-550i) to the newer ’k’ series, i think the best of krell is back and these are absolutely in the same class as other top players in this class - nuanced sound, delicacy with power, natural timbres, a touch of warmth, ultra refined treble, excellent spatial re-creation...

among these, the s series are the best buys of the bunch, they were excellent designs but assembled in china, so some will poo-poo that (100% their loss if they feel this way) -- i picked up an s-550i locally and it is simply superb and a wonderful value in the used market... tremendously satisfying, simply lovely with my big maggies...