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Best budget Integrated Amplifier

Hi there im looking to buy my first intergrated amplifier for around £250

My favorite two are

Marantz PM6003 Creek A50ir

Does any one have any advice on these amplifiers,

 I know the creek is alot older than the marantz so is a new budget amplifier better than an older bargain creek amp???  

Does any1 have any other suggestions?

Many thanks Mark

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier


I'd take the Creek, no contest (provided you don't need any of the functionality that the Marantz offers which the Creek does not, such as tone controls, phono stage out of the box, blue lights...). And yes, you can get very good value second hand - my old Primare cost me £315, and was much better than anything you could buy new at that price...

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

Personally I'd take the Marantz. The PM6003 is a superb piece of kit - endlessly involving and dynamic with a superbly natural sound, particularly if partnered with a pair of Dali or Mordaunt-Short speakers.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rotel RCD965BX - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

For £250 I'd search for a good cond used NAD C352. You'll have the electronic equivalent of a faithful labrador, and some change to buy a tump of new CDs.

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier
lippo:

Hi there im looking to buy my first intergrated amplifier for around £250


My favorite two are



Marantz PM6003
Creek A50ir

Does any one have any advice on these amplifiers,


 I know the creek is alot older than the marantz so is a new budget amplifier better than an older bargain creek amp???  


Does any1 have any other suggestions?


Many thanks Mark



Another vote for Creek. Also Arcam DIVA A65 Plus is very good value for £150 or A85 £300.


Regards new amps definitely Rotel RA-04SE. The Marantz Matthewpiano mention are very good but, for me, Rotel all the way.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

Anonymous
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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

+1 for the Arcam A85, and you could even get it a bit cheaper if I remember correctly what I saw on Ebay today.

 Hedgehog 

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

From your choice, I'd lean more on the 6003. And, outside your choice, its the CA 650A.

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

IF it was just down to the two you'd chosen, I'd also go with the 6003.

However, casting the net wider, I'd definitely plump for the A85...

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

For me it has to be one of the main 3 - NAD C326BEE, Marantz PM6003 or the Rotel RA04

If you wanted to save some money then have a look on eBay and the likes for the NAD C320BEE. Superb amp and won numerous awards

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

There's pros and cons for both - though just wondering why you narrowed down to the two you did?

No quibbles with Marantz from me; great brand, great pedigree, great sound, but I like that presentation. Of the others, there's a bunch up to £250 you can choose from. I'd also add the Harman Kardon HK980 amplifier. If you can forgive thae, frankly, daft volume knob (cosmetic flim flam that lights up when the amp's on to give a kind of moonglow effect, or something), I heard the much bigger (physically and design-wise) HK990 and can only report good things. If the 980 is half the amp, for £250 you won't go wrong.

If you opt for the used route, there's the usual pros and cons - better kit for less money, as JD mentioned, you'd be hard pressed to clap hands on a new Primare amp for much less than a £1k sum, never mind a whisker over £300.

My tips - Technics SU-V6: hugely underrated, massive build, very very clean sounding amp and very easy sound to live with.

NAD - C370 or the earlier 319 which both picked up good reviews, especially the former (I think Stereophile still have an online one you can check out).

Lastly, there's my one which is simply the best amp I've heard - Sansui's AU-717. Internal build to die for. Mine cost me £200 delivered, allow £75-100 for a good service to replace corroded capacitors (mine had a load of smaller ones needing replacing, but it still sounded good beforehand!) and you're in for £300 or so. Difficulty is i) finding one and ii) accepting - as you have to with any older bit of kit - the need for a bit more TLC. Once all that's done though, you've got a class leader.

I tried out a Harman Kardon HK990 and a Leema Pulse a few weeks ago while my 717 was in for repair, had the Pulse at home for a week and though both were very good, excellent in fact, when the Sansui came back and was now fully fixed, there was only one winner. The effortless ease that comes with any music you play with one of these is hard to describe, you just forget there's any gear there at all and enjoy the music, but enjoy it in a way that makes it sound more real and more lifelike.

Whatever you decide on though, enjoy it and happy hunting!

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

£69.00 Cambridge A1. no contest.

Anonymous
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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

Richer sounds are doing the nad C355 just now for £250. Nothing comes close at that money imo.You can also get a 5 year warranty and a level of guts and drive in an amp that is hard to match.That's what i would get.

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

I think the Nad's £299.95

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

and they only have a few left, apparently.

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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier
johnnyblue:I think the Nad's £299.95



If you show them the WHF ad, you get it for the £249 price.

Anonymous
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Re: Best budget Integrated Amplifier

There is an ad in WHF that has it for £250.As record spot says, if you take it in you get it for £250 and at that price there is nothing to touch that amp.

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