New SS integrated choice....Rotel 1572Mk2, Audiolab 7000A, Exposure 2510

OK, got sick for awhile and off course on buying a new integrated to replace Marantz PM8005 to be moved to office. Looking to upgrade my sound quality overall.  (Was looking at Belles Aria but got off the record feedback units have been having some higher than average issue rates so I am moving onto other options.) Reviews online got me focused on 3 in particular, none of which I have heard before namely Rotel 1572MK2, Audiolab 7000a or 9000a and Exposure 2510. First two are readily available and I can get shipped to Hawaii free which is attractive as it saves $150-200. I want new because it ups odds of satisfaction especially as no techs in HI. Will drive Kef R300s or Ohm Walsh 2-100s in 14 x14 LR with arched 9 ft ceilings rising to 20 feet. Looking to keep costs below $3k new. I dont know what the "British" sound really means...only have heard Rega Brio which was fine but sideways move. Interested in feedback from anyone familiar with these brands, sound characteristics, reliability, etc. Aloha.


British Sound’ represents audio in its purest form.

ergo, an unadulterated and true representation of what the artists intended when they first plugged in their gear at the recording studio. For want of a better phrase,Brit OEM’s don’t like to ’muck about’ with the sound at all.

IMO, they also have a class leading exceptional midrange reproduction and a flat frequency curve. Ditto for their speakers .

“ …. If you get the midrange”right”, everything falls into place, But, if you get it “wrong”…then, All the king’s horses, and all the king’s men ,,,,”

(1);My top vote of your limited three integrated amp choices listed.EXPOSURE….full stop.

(2) (Note: if your budget permits a boost, then think REGA OSIRIS for a whole massive audio performance …fwiw,)


Chhose wisely.

Looking to upgrade my sound quality overall.

This is far too vague to make a meaningful recommendation so can you be more specific?  What improvements are you looking for?  .

I guess more detail, clarity and separation of instruments, more realistic sound of music.  That's about the best I can describe as since I have had only limited exposure to other Amps. My old SAE separates seemed to deliver that detail and separated instruments. My prior upgraded McIntosh mc250 sounds warmer but is less detailed but sounds real to my ears. I know I'm not articulating this well but I don't know that I can truly describe it in audiophile terms. I've seen the terms but I don't know that I truly know what the are if I have heard them. The current amp is clean but not as real sounding. It's a little warm to my ears but doesn't seem to separate instruments  out in a Soundstage with placement. My SAE did do that.

If possible, you should go to a local dealer and listen. Hopefully you will recognize what you like when you hear it. Don’t worry about price. Just listen for sonic quality that resonates with you. Then when you found it (hopefully) you can either justify the price or work on finding something similar for less money. It’s good to set a responsible budget , but sometimes when you hear something that’s truly superior, meaning it sounds great to you, the budget may be adjusted accordingly. Nothing wrong with asking for opinions here, but listening is better. Even better than a home demo of one item because you can compare multiple components in the same system. Example- I was sure I needed a new amp, which the dealer could have sold me, but the dealer showed me that the sonic upgrade I was looking for was better served with an upgraded preamp in the same system and I was shocked at how much more the preamp brought than changing the amp. I know that the internet is the modern way to buy, but I still believe the dealer demo route is more effective when you’re trying to figure things out. Good luck.

I live in Hawaii. No local audio dealers anymore, not for years.Thats the issue. No techs either. The few other friends  I had who were into audio were older and passed or stopped upgrading just due to age.  I usually  heard stuff during  travels or that they bought but been unable to  do much recently. I did lots of listening the last time I bought stuff 6 or 7 years ago and I have been happy with that gear but between the pandemic and current travel costs just been rooted. Not the ideal approach but kind of the way we live out here. Amazon and the internet is kind of a lifeline. Appreciate the input.

I recommend contacting Gene Rubin in California. He deals with a lot of the British brands and could probably help you sort things out. Excellent customer service as well. You won’t see a bad word about him anywhere. 

Honolulu audio dealer has ROTEL, BRYSTON, and CLASSE

High End Audio & Home Theater at 851 Pohukaina Street, Honolulu, HI 96814.

Call (808) 595-8066


think BRYSTON B-135 integrated amp for a great high-end choice !



Audiolab is unfortunately more real on the internet than in the real physical world. Tom the owner, is focused on home theatre not stereo. He is not open most of the time during his stated hours. He is listed as representing multiple brands but if you are able to get into his shop when its open he rarely has anything to hear. The list of brands he reps changes constantly. I have tried to do business with him but it is actually hard as hell. I bought a pair of Gallo 3.1s from him years ago for a friend on Kauai then went back to buy an amp to go with them. He only had Audio Space and pushed that and acted like I was a fool for not linking it. I wasnt looking for tubes. My friend was 65 with cancer on an island with zero tech support. He needed something reliable, SS and good sounding.  Tom supposedly represented other brands but had nothing to hear other than AS.  Later on I tried to buy a pair of Gallo 3.5s from him for myself...FOR A YEAR! He never had them...they were on loan...he sold them and Gallo had not responded to his orders...blah blah. I called Gallo directly and they laughed and gave me other dealers in CA to call. Same thing when I wanted a pair of Special Edition Totem Sig Ones instead....he never responded. I heard them in his store and asked him to order a pair for me....crickets. It is hard when you are trying to support a local shop and they dont seem to care. (His one solid employee Shawn, who was pretty good (he sold me the Gallos for my friend) eventually left and formed his own shop because he was frustrated. His business died during the pandemic. I got one thing from him and it only took a phone call.) So, Audiolab supposedly exists but not really. Tom is a nice enough guy when you talk to him but I think its a hobby business. I stopped trying to work with the company after too much frustration and lack of response. I have been told by others of similar experiences so its not me.

Ah paradise comes at a price. I’ll throw in the Hegel H120 as another good option as long as you’re using a separate DAC because its USB input is limited in resolution. Hegel products have a good overall reputation for reliability as well.  Here’s a review just fyi…

Go and check out the Technics Su-G700M2 at BestBuy in Honolulu. The price is right and the return policy is great as well as the warranty. 

I have it and wouldn't part with it unless I won the lottery. Don't be turned off by the fact that it's sold at BestBuy or that it's not an audiophile approved make. Anyone who turns their nose up because of that is a fool as it'll smoke most choices out there in and above that price. 

All the best,

@soix +1. Out of the ones listed by the OP the Exposure is the best but the Hegel beats then all. Then again you could consider tubes.

The BB store idea is one I hadn't thought of. The last time I was in the store they were blasting some Mac amp with cheap speakers. But, who knows its only about 45 minutes from my place and I need to go to town anyway. Will have to read about the amp. I actually owned a Technics receiver decades ago and it wasn't bad. The Hegel review is interesting too though I havent heard their gear  in awhile. But I think Overture in DE carries them and my in laws live near there so I will be there in Q4. Longer than I was planning to get an amp but it would enable  me to hear stuff and buy up too. In the interim I'll check out Gene Rubin. Thx for all input.

I have two Rotel items bought with good discounts:

Michi X3 series 1 - (I use an external dac) awesome tonality power control and drive

1590 MKII - preamp, very nice clean sound used with thrills to supply a pair of large PMC MB2SE via an Audio Research D240 MKII power amp

Current Rotel offerings like these are quite fulfilling.

I'd 2nd the suggestion of the Technics.  They seem to get glowing reviews and they look great, to boot.  

I have the predecessor to the Rotel 1572, the 1570 that I bought as a stop-gap when I sold my McIntosh integrated.  I bought it used, locally and I actually preferred it's sound to the McIntosh.  It really does everything well.....except for having meters!   

I have a Sugden A21 (class A) which is superb and has a MM phono stage---I'd say it's pretty close or equal to the Exposure. IMO, you can go wrong with British audio equipment. That being said, I also have a Belles Aria integrated which is also an awesome piece. Haven't had any issues. May I ask what issues did you hear about?

The feedback I got was that the number of issues/failures on the Belles amps had risen materially in the last few years unlike ever before experience. This was stated by 2 different dealers OTR. Both said they were concerned about this and so while the line had good sound, given where I live and the concerns over reliability, they would suggest I try other brands. The fact it came up 2x concerned me. To be fair, in both conversations I directly questioned what brands were most reliable as well as sounding good and Belles was not the only one that came up. All mentions were about smaller manufacturers which frankly leads me to believe that its a QC issue in smaller shops. I was frankly discouraged because it was the one amp I had heard and really liked. I have spent hours researching other amps as a result and had found numerous reviews which helped generate the 3 I focused in on. Over the last day I have also read quite a bit about Musical Fidelity MS5i and am adding that to the list as well as the Hegel a member suggested. I was actually thinking last night maybe I would fly to the West Coast and hit a couple of dealers. But, it is sort of foolish to spend $3-5k to then buy a $3k item....unless I can somehow add in some other "must dos" and justify the whole thing. My wifes comment was just buy something higher priced  that ups the odds of being satisfied....i.e. spend the trip money on a new piece in say the $5-6k range. I may just go that way to get this whole thing done. I really just want to be able to enjoy my music not my gear.

Read the review referenced in the thread about the Hegel 120 as well as a few others. Curious about what those who might own this unit or others from Hegel can offer about 1) character of sound (I have read comments about "dark"...not sure what that means?), 2) reliability as owners. I checked in with a friend in AZ and he said he has a dealer near him that sells it. He is going to go in and check it out for me, see how it sounds, etc.

I guess more detail, clarity and separation of instruments, more realistic sound of music.

At your higher budget level you should take a hard look at the Hegel H390 as it will give you what you’re looking for in spades.  Here’s a good review in case it’s helpful…

Thanks SOIX for all your input. I am going to wait until I go back to the Mainland and check out the HEGEL amps. It means I will end up waiting a bit or will get an interim unit that can later function as a backup in its box in the closet. I was listening to one of my systems last night had the thought of "what would be good separates"....almost forgot that this is driven in part by my wife wanting "less crap" in the living room.....

Add the “Advance Paris” A10 Classic to your list to investigate.  Company has a lot of history in Europe and now in the American Market.  Listened to this amp at length at the recent Florida Audio Expo.  Price was excellent for the quality and the options included.  It combines an ECC81/12AT7 tube preamplifier with a 2x130W class AB push-pull amplifier that has a high bias switch to provide a few extra class A watts when employed.  MM phono, DAC, Tape Loop, Sub outs, and an optional wireless input/blue tooth input.  All for under your stated cost range new.