Seeking a "high end" integrated amplifier


I have gone totally 2 channel and am replacing my multichannel EAD PM2K amp and EAD Signature with an integrated stereo amplifier. I'd love to stay under $5000 (used) but could be convinced to go more if there is really good reason. Though not as high as the 4 box ASR!

I listen to all kinds of music from jazz to classical to rock (from Miles to Billie H., from Bach to Stravinsky, from Van Morrison & Steely Dan to female vocals like Anna Nalick) but typically don't play at too loud a volume.

My speakers are the Amati Homage, the CD player is the Electrocompaniet ECD1 UP and I'm currently using a Goldmund integrated now that I've taken the EAD out of the picture. I like the Goldmund quite a bit but I'm using it currently after moving it from my second system and need a new one anyway. I am tempted by, for example, the Rowland Continuum but am completely open to input.

I don't know all that much about integrated amps and have read many of the posts about integrated amps. So I have looked at the lengthy list. What I was looking for help was with as SPECIFIC as possible recommendations given the rest of my equipment and musical taste.

Thanks in advance!
I have had good luck with Rega and Mcintosh on my Merlins and Missions.Good luck,Bob
give a listen to: Aronov 960 intergrated, won't break the bank. Spend the rest on music. Also Unison makes a sweet int. amp. By the way I'm partial to tubes

Former Amati Homage owner. I like tubes on Amati, so I will look for at least some tubes in the pre amp section of your next integrated. Musical Fidelity Trivista, BAT VK-300SE, and larger Pathos come to mind. my all time favorite amp on the Amati is BAT 75SE with 6H30 tubes, so you should seriously consider BAT integrated if it retains most of the BAT sound.
Have you seen the April's Issue of Stereophile Magazine on the Vincent Audio TubeLine sv-236MK The reviewer, Michael Fremer said..."GO head and compare it against any integrated or combo pre-amp and amp..AT ANY PRICE"! Look on page 133 Call this number for more 1-866-984-0677
Check out a Blue Circle FtTh - awesome amp!!
There are so many great integrateds now that it will come down to what makes the Amatis sound their best to you. Home auditions are next to impossible in the used market but that would be the ideal situation. Your recommendations are all over the place. With $5k+ I would have to at least consider companies that specialize in integrateds like Accuphase, and Luxman.

I did an extensive search to find a best integrated so I could build a system that was minimal in footprint but no compromise in sound. I did audition the ASR 4 box, and more, but bought the APL-Hifi UA-S1 which is the best amp I have heard including many more expensive pre/amp combos.
Its dead quiet and very musical. It just presents the music in a very effortless and natural way. My search for amps has come to an end.
Luxman! I own the L590A that runs Class A but you can get into the lowest priced Luxman new at $3500. Everyone that has laid their hands on these integrateds to review them has just loved them. The latest Stereophile has a brief mention of the $3500 model and the reviewer just sings the praises. And the meters...just love having meters again.
I second the vote on the Pass Labs INT 150 and I am not a dealer. Redefines the integrated amp to levels not thought possible.
Over at they have both Pass Labs INT-150 and Luxman L590a mk2 and they say the Luxman L590a mk2 is the best that they have heard.....
Hi Seldon,

For your budget, there are some great options. CJ CA200...I have heard the 350amp and it was a musical amp (not quite the purity of tone of a good tube) but good. Depends on your front-end and your own ears.

If you are persistent, Gryphon have some pretty incredible integrateds that you might in your range. I currently run my strads with the Gryphon Antileon and am very pleased. It replaced a CJ tube amp which was a wonderful amp for 9 years. The gryphon just bettered its purity of tone and added an unbelievable level of dynamics and power, the true limit of which, I have not yet found. Hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy the search!
There are so many to choose from. You will have to analyze your style of listening and what additional touchpoints you need for your choice.
More power can drive difficult speaker loads. Sometimes you want to be able to crank up the volume and still have a relaxed, open sound. Do you want the Int. amp to be a visual centerpiece in your room? Do you want it to be noticeable? Will you need a remote (I couldn't live without one). Does heat need to be considered (tubes are hot).

For my ears I have heard great sound from the Pass integrated amp and the BAT int. amp. I don't know the sound of the Accuphase or the MBL but I know their other products and would consider those. I owned a Plinius int. amp and it did nothing for me; the sound was clinical, almost dead. I also curently am listening to a KRell EVO 402 amp and loving it but the Krell 400xi int. amp I owned for work was also not musical to my ears.

just my two cents.
04-10-09: Argyro
Gryphon Diablo used.

I'm not sure you could get one for the kind of budget allocated here but if you could it would certainly be a great contender. I recently auditioned the Gryphon and i really liked it. See

for my experience.

Thank you so much for this variety of suggestions. Nothing is ever easy, is it? But that is part of the fun here.

BTW, that was SOME review Kiwi! Well done.

The Pass and Luxman recos have me most interested. I'm "nervous" about Class D (despite some strong protestations from the Rowland folk) and have to try and go audition them soon.

I'll end by again thanking you all for your suggestions. I will follow up once I've made a purchase and listened to it some.
My search is over. I bought an amp that was not recommended on this thread but was in a different thread. (Thanks Frankpiet). I bought a Vitus SS-010 "integrated" (it can also be used as a power amp) and I remain absolutely stunned by it. I have been listening for about 10 days and I have never heard better, more involving, music in my home.
My congratulations to you Seldon. I guess you didn't manage to stay under the $5k (used) target?

What else did you audition before you pulled the trigger on the Vitus?
True. I did not manage to stay under that target! :)

I listened to the Pass (which was very good) but not the Jeff Rowland. I also listened to Rega (just ok) but I was not able to listen to the Luxman or the Gryphon. But this Vitus - my vocabulary is not good enough to describe it. All I'll say is that I'm really happy.
Seldon, congrats on the Vitus, I think thats a nice machine, it got very good response couple of years ago when it arrived on the scene and they redid the preamp since then so im sure it got even better.
I concur with the positive feedback on Vitus. I know very, very experienced people whose ears i trust and can calibrate to my own having shared listening and auditioning sessions with them. Vitus is one pretty incredible amp. Built like a supertank with off the charts specs and (owning a Gryphon myself, another Danish design), i am confident based on my friends opinion of Vitus it is a pretty incredible sound.

I own the SF strads and have a Zanden DAC, so our sounds are probably fairly similar in that respect, having heard the Electrocompaniet which is an excellent and natural player. congrats...must be incredible sound! enjoy!
Very partial to my Unison Research Secondo. Tubed preampe section and SS amp. 100W into 8 ohms and 180W into 4 ohms and basically flat output from 10 hertz to some absurd multiple of 20000 hertz.

Onsale from a store in the bay area that sells online.
I recently auditioned Verity Audio Finn speakers driven by a Luxman 20 wpc pure class A amplifier. Very musically satisfying indeed! Even at 20wpc, the amplifier was barely breaking a sweat.

The fit and finish and interior construction of these Luxman components is impecable.

Luxman makes 4 different SS integrated amps, 2 of which are pure Class A:

Luxman L-550AII (20 wpc)

Luxman L-590AII (30 wpc).