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.


You didn't mention if your principal source is a turntable or digital. If turntable, definitely make sure your phono stage is separate. I have an AB integrated with SS phono stage. I used to use the amp's phono stage and getting the separate one was a huge improvement, and supposedly the one in my integrated is excellent.

I agree with someone who said if your power requirements dictate mono blocks, get all separates, otherwise a similarly priced integrated versus separates should deliver better value all else being equal because of the cost savings of the parts and cables cut in 1/2..



my main source is a rega turbtable.  I would say i use that for all of my more serious listening.  i have a bluesound node streamer for when i just want something in the background while i'm cooking or doing other things.

currently the only "separate" component i hate is the phone stage which i recently added, and it definitely made a difference, which was what got me thinking of the possibility of separates to begin with, having only ever used integrated in the past.

Your query is not simple, and you have already received some fair advice for both approaches.  The foundation to base your decision on your path will likely depend on whether you have found your "forever" loudspeakers.  If so, then you can go either way with each approach having pros and cons.  

A well-conceived Integrated simplifies your system with fewer interconnects as "eric_squires" points out.  Choosing the right integrated is then the key.  For myself, I wouldn't settle on price alone as the sole criterion. 

Personally, my system is built around a pair of very fine mono blocks, located near my loudspeakers and a really fine preamplifier.  My preamplifier has a very low output impedance, so that it is very capable of driving quality single ended interconnects the distance required to the amps.  This keeps speaker cables short.  

As a sidebar, avoid placing your equipment between your loudspeakers.  If I had the disposable income, I would likely choose an Ypsilon Phaethon integrated and live happily ever after. Others have provided recommendations for some other less expensive and very good options as well.

Happy hunting & listening.

I barely heard a difference if any from.the Luxman L590 AXII vs M900u & C900u. Im sure there people convince themselves due to the price difference, its a pchyological thing.  Like a pre amp, heard a 10k vs a 1k one and I heard zero differences.