Suggestions for (integrated, "digital") amp


#1

I won’t bore everyone with the whys and wherefores, but I want a solid state integrated, definitely with a decent on-board DAC that includes sensible USB inputs, potentially that can handle the HDMI ARC from a television.

Integration with online services like Spotify or Tidal would be nice, but realistically most things will probably be coming through Sonos because of its user interface.

Budget is probably around the £2k mark.

So far my shopping list with random whims goes as far as

  • Linn Majik DSM 3 - does HDMI, err, it’s Linn
  • Naim Uniti Atom - HDMI is an option, Naim were rude to me at Munich
  • Hegel Rost - no HDMI, everyone likes it
  • Hegel H90 - cheaper, less powerful version of the Rost, liked this a lot at Munich
  • Moon Neo ACE - liked this a lot at a show last year, Tidal but no Spotify, Moon prices
  • NAD M32 - HDMI is an option, not a looker

Any other suggestions or opinions (that don’t involve vinyl, valves or horns) please?

Thanks.


#2

No. :joy:


#3

Hegel stuff sounds great.


#4

A Gato DIA250 should be on that list. OK it doesn’t have the HDMI, but it’ll run rings around most of the amps on that list. I miss the one I traded to @horace . Don’t let the class D bit put you off, it is a superb bit of kit.


#5

Yes, it was on the list, I just forgot it when I was typing stuff up. Again, I very much liked the Gato kit at Munich a couple of years ago, and this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gato-Audio-DIA-250S-Integrated-Amplifier-Walnut-Ex-Demo/253095061210?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

is on my eBay watch list right now.


#6

That has the bluetooth etc which I don’t care about much. The DIA250 should really be somewhere between £1500 and £1750 second hand in clean nick with all accessories.


#7

Even better.


#8

This one is new and sealed. Silly offer of £2200?


#9

The seller is in Dublin. I shall dispatch the mother-in-law aboard the Enterprise

to make him an offer he can’t refuse.


#10

I’ll be going over there in the next few weeks so happy to clean up the debris after your M-i-L is finished with the seller…


#11

http://www.audioemotion.co.uk/gato-dia-400-integrated-amplifier-10904-p.asp


#12

Zing!

Nice price too.

I am / was almost decided on the Moon Neo ACE.

However TBH do I need its streaming capabilities? I’m really just going to use the amp & DAC elements.

I’m also waiting for the end of this month, for when a company in which I hold shares might declare a dividend.

OK, I hold the only share, and have substantial input into dividend decisions. You get the picture.


#13

If you don’t need a built in streamer then I’d look at a Nuprime IDA-16. Can normally find them for around £1500-1700.


#14

I used a Moon MiND 180 into the Gato DIA250 I had for a while. Really nice solution as (i) the MiND is tiny and can be hidden out of sight (ii) the MiND app for IOS is very good and (iii) the DAC in the Gato is excellent.

I’m tempted myself. The dealer has a pair of the matching Gato standmount speakers which are also excellent, even if they visually are a bit too ‘Cheshire’ for my tastes.


#15

Allegedly…


#16

Many thanks to @htm_1968 for pointing this one out.

After short bout of stupidity on my part and a flat battery in the remote, first impressions are very favourable.


#17

Don’t blame me mate! :angry:

Looks really good though. What speakers are you driving, not that it should matter too much with 400W on tap?

:heart_eyes:


#18

Wilson Benesch Arcs.

I’ve been trying to change them for about 10 years because reasons, but the wifelet likes them.

There’s a whole lot of veils being lifted, new instruments I’d never noticed before etc., but I’m pretty certain that I need a very expensive mains cable to make the best of it.


#19

I’d be interested to know how you rate this, especially as you use Sonos. Have you tried tidal through the Sonos etc? I really like the interface, especially as the rest of the family have got used to it to. Be good to know how you rate the dac in the gato too.


#20

The actual amp, I’m very pleased with.

Having heard the Gato kit in the past I was pretty confident of how it would turn out.

My household is very much wedded to Sonos and Spotify, having bought into each system shortly after it came out. Sorry, but I’ve never tried Tidal.

The DAC in the Gato is, err, adequate. I’m not someone who can / claims that he can hear big differences between DACs. I just view the Sonos as being a means of delivering 44.1 to the amp, while having a good UI and being pretty reliable. The amp itself makes far more difference to the sound than a DAC ever would. Then again the amp’s contribution is dwarfed by that of the speakers and/or room.

The Sonos / Spotify integration is OK, although I prefer the native interface on PCs and phones.