Using a streamer to DAC to power amp, should I insert an integrated

Really hoping to get some guidance and opinions on my little mid-fi setup.

i have both a Pioneer and Marantz vintage receivers with JBL L112 speakers.  I’ve been streaming from my MacBook and iPad into a (really old, but wonderful) Burson DA-160 DAC.  It sounded very good, but, I was afraid I really wasn’t getting most out of the JBLs as I was only sporting 45 watts.  JBL recommends 300 watts, but of course also states they will work fine with 10 watts.  To make sure I wasn’t missing anything like “headroom availability”, I added a Rotel 140 watt power amp.  To free up the idevices, I purchased an Eversolo DMP-A8 streamer with a functional DAC, but not as good as the Burson in a few areas.  So I just ran the Eversolo USB digital out to the Burson and then into the Marantz (2230) and from there to the Rotel and speakers.  This was very good and allowed me the use of my coveted Loudness button.  Then I got to thinking, should I remove the receiver to get a more pure sound and forego the tone controls.  Especially since the Eversolo has DSP.  So I pulled the receiver out and lo and behold, it worked wonderfully once a added a smidge of bass to it.

Now, after reading many reviews and watching many videos, I am thinking about purchasing an Audiolab 9000a and taking out the Rotel amp.  In effect, I think, just replacing the Rotel amp for the Audiolab (100 watt) amp, along with its sound characteristics.  Is my logic flawed?


Sorry, but all your stuff is way dated.  Do yourself a favor and go listen to some equipment from this century.  Everything you’re thinking about is a sideways move so if you enjoy what you’re hearing just enjoy it for what it is unless you wanna commit to really better sound.  Commit to real improvements or just stick with what you got.  Don’t mean to be mean, but it is what it is.

Yes, I would replace the amplifier with a modern Integrated. 

What is budget?


I would agree that an integrated amplifier would be a good choice. If you are interested in very good sound quality then one with only an amp and preamp. An integrated all in one is unlikely to sound great unless it is something like a Linn.

Contemporary NAD and Rotel integrated amps are good cost effective brands… made to sound good instead of compete on features and functions you do not need.

Well, I kind of went in a different direction.  The Burson Dac was having issues with Hi Res Audio fed by the Eversolo.  Lot of popping and clicking.  So I decided to solve that problem first and bought a Denafrips Pontus II 12 Anniversary.  I figured it would have a similar R2R sound and it’s actually a little bit better.  More importantly, it handles the hi res music like a champ.

For power, I decided to try and get a significant wattage bump by going down the class D path with an Audiophonic’s HPA S400ET.  It will likely be transparent like the Rotel while providing more power, less weight and heat.

The Pontus II Dac is burning in now and Amplifier will be here in a week or so.  Next step is a Musicians Monoceros preamp or a Denafrips Hestia (I think they are both made by Denafrips).  Another R2R in the chain and a good way to bring in my Oppo SACD player while providing some volume protection in case the streamer resets to full volume (it happened once and luckily it didn’t blow anything on the JBL L112’s).

Well, budget on a preamp (which is all I have left to purchase) is in the $1500 range give or take.  I want to keep the R2R/class A like the Hestia or Hades.  I’ve read nothing but glowing reviews on the Hestia, except one where the reviewer said that the highs roll off.  I just want the preamp to remain faithful to source DAC, which as I’ve mentioned is the Denafrips Pontus II 12 anv.