user poll on seperates vs integrated

Hey guys, I wanted to try and crowd-source some (likely very opinionated, unscientific) knowledge.  I've read about the benefits of separates (have only ever used integrated myself), and I'm wondering how those benefits compare to the benefits of higher end parts/assembly, when controlled for cost.


To put it more plainly, would you likely get better overall results from a $5000 preamp and $5000 amp, or from a $10,000 integrated, given the likely quality/components used in equipment in those price ranges.


If you're experienced both separates, and integrated amps that cost the equivalent of those separate parts added together, can you speak to which you preferred?


Thanks for weighing in.


Music lover who went integrated amplifier, finally go to enter the separated amplifier, as the play period is way longer than  we think when we start. So to save money,go separated at first step.

For $10k you can purchase a tube preamp, monoblocks, speakers, and a turntable. You simply have to buy them used. I’ve done it. The most expensive item were $9.5k speakers for $3300.

I own Primaluna KT88 mono’s that also accept EL34’s. My preamp is an Inspire LP3.1, that allows me to swap a multitude of different tubes. My speakers are Martin Logan Spires.

So yeah, $10k can still go a long way.

To your question on integrated’s: if it’s a tube integrated, absolutely great. I don’t feel the necessity for separates. People who feel that way likely haven’t owned a solid integrated.

In my opinion, regardless of whether it's an integrated, or separates, it all starts with the power supply. Assuming it's overbuilt and done well, separates have their own discrete power supplies, with mono amps or true dual mono designs being the best. At the end of the day, how good a piece of gear sounds is directly related to its power supply. Same goes for digital. However, IF this same philosophy is applied to the design of an integrated amp, including those with onboard DACs, very good sound quality should be expected. If you go back to the early days of the high end when Levinson was really Mark Levinson, one reason those amps and preamps sounded so good (and many still do) is because their respective power supplies were way overbuilt. That has not changed. Just saying.....

Several years ago, I had to move from a very large listening space, to a smaller listening space.  In the smaller room, I determined that, even though I still held on to my large, full range speakers, that space consuming separates were no longer an option.  My speakers are pretty inefficient and I need a high powered and high current amp to drive them properly.  I ended up going with the incredible Hegel H590 integrated amp.  With the H590, I can honestly say that I don't miss separates at all.  The Hegel H590 is an absolute beast!!!           

For us that are fans of tube pre with ss amps (not class D) there aren’t a whole lot of options out there in the integrated world. Once you decide that a particular pre tube is the sound you’re looking for your options become even less. Definitely seperates for me