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Thread: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Hi all,
    I've ordered a pair of Sierra-2s last week- really excited to get them. I'm very much a beginner in this audiophile world, but I've been reading a lot and listening to different setups whenever I get a chance. But I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. To describe my level of novice: my current setup is a PS Audio Sprout, KEF Q100s, a Rega P1 turntable, and a Sonos Connect unit for streaming digital. The room is 8x15 (I live in an open floor plan rowhouse). I have the Sierra-2s on order, as I mentioned, as well as a completely overhauled Thorens TD-160 Super turntable from Vinyl Nirvana. I do not expect to use this system for anything but vinyl or digital streaming- likely as a 2.0 system with the potential for adding a sub down the road.

    While I love the Sprout, I'm a little worried it's going to be underpowered to handle the Sierra-2s and have been researching potential replacements. While I've read lots about the benefits of using separate components, but I'm pretty set on an integrated. In particular, an integrated amp with a nice phono stage. A DAC would be nice as well, but it's not imperative- I can use the built-in DAC on the Sonos. The benefit is that this limits my options, but I still feel a little bit lost. I've read about the options offered from Rogue, Peachtree, Roksan, Parasound, Rotel, Croft, and Creek among many others. I'm most intrigued by the new Peachtree Nova150 and Rogue Audio Sphinx V2 at the moment, but I'm open to all options.

    I've tried to make my way through the Sierra-2 forum and looked for other thoughts online, but I haven't seem much on integrated amplifier recommendations for the Sierra-2s.

    My top end budget is around $2k (but hopefully a fair amount less). And I'm perfectly fine with pre-owned, demos, and b-stock. Does anybody have any suggestions? Or experience with any of the models I mentioned above?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have. And happy new year!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    134

    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    I don't own / haven't owned any of the brands you mention, but have read good things about Rogue, Parasound and Creek Gear.

    I have S2's and am using a Plinius 9100 to drive them. Very highly rated in the day, and I got a good deal on a pristine used model.

    While there are pros/cons to separates vs. integrated amps, I feel the latter is less fuss in terms of hookup, matching of gear, etc.

    Previously had a Yamaha integrated, and it sounded pretty good. You may want to hold off on new gear purchase, as you might be pretty happy with the sound you get from your current set up. The S2's are a huge step up in sound quality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Thanks Jaybeez- really appreciate your comments. And glad to hear others in the same space as me with separates v integrated. And thanks for the reminder that I won't know until I hear the speakers in my system. I can't wait to get t he S-2s and test them out with the Sprout.

    The one thing I forgot to add in my original post was that I also have a pair of Hifiman HE-400i headphones that I like to use at night. I'd say the headphone amp is probably the weakest part of the Sprout- clear, but not very musical. So, that will be a consideration- if the S-2s sound good with the Sprout, I may get a decent Headphone amp to hold me over.

    Any other thoughts on Integrateds welcome! I went down a rabbit hole looking at reviews of the Roksan K3 last night- it looks really interesting. Will look at reviews of the Plinius as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Grand Haven, MI
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    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    I would check this out: http://schiit.com/products/ragnarok
    -Ben

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Thanks for the suggestion, Ben. I really like the looks of Schiit stuff, but the lack of phono stage in the Ragnarok is a deal breaker for me. After some additional reading, I also think am partial to Class D Amplification, mostly for the efficiency and lack of heat- and since Class D sound has apparently improved immensely over the years, I feel comfortable with the trade-off. So, refining and simplifying a bit, my request:

    Recommendations for Class D Integrated amplifier with quality phono and headphone stages that can sufficiently power the Sierra-2s and take advantage of the RAAL tweeter for under $2k.


    Thanks again for your responses!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Parasound Halo Integrated will cover all your requirements. Very good phono stage, very good quality DAC, a lot of power and incredible analog bass management. I have a Parasound Halo P5 + Emotiva XPA-3 that I use only for 2.1 music listening and it sounds awesome.

    http://www.parasound.com/hint.php

    hint_black_front.jpg

    hint_black_back.jpg
    Last edited by enricoclaudio; 12-30-2016 at 12:39 PM.
    Enrico Castagnetti @ Rythmik Audio
    Media Room: Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers w/ RAAL, Horizon w/ RAAL, Sierra 2s & Lunas | Rythmik F12SE (x2) | Emotiva XMC-1 | Emotiva XPA-3 & XPA-200 | Oppo 105D | Bluesound Node 2 | Sony HW40ES |
    Desktop: Dynaudio BM5 mkIII | Rythmik L22 | Apogee Quartet | 27" iMac|
    Bedroom: B&W 685 S2 | Rythmik LVX12 | Marantz NR1606 | Emotiva XPA-200 Gen 2 | Samsung UN50JU6500 |

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Grand Haven, MI
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    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    You could always go with this thing:

    https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SX-N3...EBK6VZTM6TJNPQ

    And get for your Preamp for phono here:

    http://schiit.com/products/mani

    Puts you well under 2k and the Pioneer has good reviews.

    Or do what Enrico did with the P5 and the XPA. That would be a killer combo.
    -Ben

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    5

    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Hi all and happy new years eve!
    I am pretty focused on class d now, so it appears the Parasound is out for me, being (I think) an AB amp. The Pioneer looks interesting. I didn't realize they were building class d amps/receivers. Searching around there site, I found a fully integrated receiver with phono and dac for $1000:
    https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-LX...words=SC-LX501

    It has many more features than I need, and I can't find any info about the phono stage, but I'm intrigued. Given my focus on Class D, I've narrowed my choices (for now) down to Rogue (Sphinx, or if I can get some kind of lucky deal, Pharoah), Peachtree (Nova150), or that Pioneer. Anyone have any experience with these? I know Rogue has a great reputation for phono stages, but not sure about the Peachtree or the Pioneer.

    Thanks again for everyone's suggestions. It's been really helpful to hear from folks using the S-2s!

  9. #9
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    Oct 2013
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    Grand Haven, MI
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    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    Hey man,

    Well, if you are personally interested in the Pioneer Elite, I can assure you, it is a great receiver. I have the SC-65 from a couple years ago. I love it. Took some time to get the MCACC to my liking (run MCACC with the FRONT ALIGN setting). But, after some tweaks, my CBM-170's and Rhythmik F12 sound amazing. I recommend the Elite you are thinking about. Mine, like I said, has been working well over the last 4 years on a daily basis.

    Hope this helps.
    -Ben

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    242

    Default Re: Integrated Amp Recommendations for Sierra-2

    I remember listening to a Home Theater Geeks episode about this amplifier.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AZw-PZFpcxw

    Performance-wise I think this amplifier might be though to beat. I really sounds similar to what Rythmik is trying to do with their subwoofers, but in a completely different way. How much of this is audible I have no idea. It is also over budget. But, if I were looking to control heat, have as much efficiency as possible and yet still have the goal of a class A sound, this is what I would be looking closely at.

    https://benchmarkmedia.com/products/...ower-amplifier
    Last edited by N Boros; 12-31-2016 at 05:49 PM.

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