Integrated Amp recommendations for Monitor audio Gold Reference 20s

OliverBen5672

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2021
34
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Hi! I'm setting up my first hifi setup, so far I have a rega Planar 3 and a pair of MA GR20s. Initially I planned on getting the yamaha as501 amp, however many people on this and other forums have told me this amp will not only limit the sound quality but cause clipping (especially on dynamic tracks which is my kind of music) which can damage the speakers. Therefore I intend to save up a little while longer and look for a better amp - I will probably go second hand to get the most for my money.
Now, I know the best way to find a good amp is to audition it but that wont be possible until next month when lockdown lifts and my local shop will open. I'll link it here so you can see what they have but I also don't just want to limit myself to what one shop sells so am open to all ideas (https://www.sevenoakssoundandvision.co.uk/c-35-amplifiers.aspx#pgnum=1&sort=lowhigh).
The speakers are a tad bright and have a nominal impedance at 6 ohms. If the amp has anyway to stream directly from my phone that would be great, if not I'll likely invest in a Chromecast Audio. A side question here - as they run at 6 ohms do I have the amp running at 4 or 8?
So far I've been recommended many like the musical fidelity msi range, rega elex-r, many arcams, Naim Nait 5si and Roksan Caspian M2 which are all sold at my local shop but there are also others like the Quad Vena ii which I've heard good things about.
What are your recommendations, thoughts on the ones I've mentioned above, maybe you disagree and think the yamaha is a good option. I'm open to all ideas, although the amp will need a phono input as I plan on plugging my turntable directly into it. Budget wise I am uncertain, the yamaha would've cost me £350 new which was ideal. As shops wont open til next month I have a little bit of time to save, most of the ones I've mentioned above I can buy second hand or occasionally new for anywhere between £400 to £800. The lower the better but obviously you often get what you pay for.
 
Most amps give an output figure into an 8 ohm load, they don't have the facility to switch between 8 and 4 , so that saves you some worries. Also you can forget the Caspian M2 integrated as it does not have an internal phono stage.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
2,004
303
20,070
Hi! I'm setting up my first hifi setup, so far I have a rega Planar 3 and a pair of MA GR20s. Initially I planned on getting the yamaha as501 amp, however many people on this and other forums have told me this amp will not only limit the sound quality but cause clipping (especially on dynamic tracks which is my kind of music) which can damage the speakers. Therefore I intend to save up a little while longer and look for a better amp - I will probably go second hand to get the most for my money.
Now, I know the best way to find a good amp is to audition it but that wont be possible until next month when lockdown lifts and my local shop will open. I'll link it here so you can see what they have but I also don't just want to limit myself to what one shop sells so am open to all ideas (https://www.sevenoakssoundandvision.co.uk/c-35-amplifiers.aspx#pgnum=1&sort=lowhigh).
The speakers are a tad bright and have a nominal impedance at 6 ohms. If the amp has anyway to stream directly from my phone that would be great, if not I'll likely invest in a Chromecast Audio. A side question here - as they run at 6 ohms do I have the amp running at 4 or 8?
So far I've been recommended many like the musical fidelity msi range, rega elex-r, many arcams, Naim Nait 5si and Roksan Caspian M2 which are all sold at my local shop but there are also others like the Quad Vena ii which I've heard good things about.
What are your recommendations, thoughts on the ones I've mentioned above, maybe you disagree and think the yamaha is a good option. I'm open to all ideas, although the amp will need a phono input as I plan on plugging my turntable directly into it. Budget wise I am uncertain, the yamaha would've cost me £350 new which was ideal. As shops wont open til next month I have a little bit of time to save, most of the ones I've mentioned above I can buy second hand or occasionally new for anywhere between £400 to £800. The lower the better but obviously you often get what you pay for.
The Yamaha you are referring to has plenty of power, it's limitations is how it delivers the power. IME it won't the required quality.

If you can afford the Yamaha AS 2100, that'll have no issues with MA Gold 20. Also Arcam work beautifully with MAs, as does Creek, but the latter doesn't come with built-in phono stage. Roksan Kandy K2 or K3 would also work a treat as will the Leema Pulse. Both have very good built-in phono stages.
 
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amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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I will stick with my recommendation on your other thread.

Pick up an Arcam A39. 120w, with first 20w in class A. Save up if you haven't got enough currently. Also, a very good headphone stage and although I never tried it, apparently so is the phone stage.

The amp sounds seriously good!

But best of all, Arcam and MA were made for each other* and pair beautifully together.

*Metaphorically speaking before I get shot down 😁
 

Oldfart

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2020
53
32
70
Hi Oliver,

I bought their previous model, the Studio 20se, in 1995 and kept them for 20 years. Agree with others, they need plenty of head room to give their best. My Cyrus 2/PSX sounded bright and lacked bass. A Meridian pre/power proved much better and these are lovely speakers. WHat Hifi reference speakers back then. Did try them bi amped from a Marantz AV amp briefly at the end of my happy 20 years - terrible. Cannot recommend any of the suggested amps as have not heard them, but MF, Roksan generally have plenty of grunt.

top tip. Not sure about the facility on the GR20, but mine benefited by mass loading with kiln dried sand. Also worth tightening the Allen key bolts around each driver as they loosen a little over time. Carefully!
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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303
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Creek amplifiers have an optional phono module that may have been installed if you are buying second hand and would, in my opinion, be a good mat ch.
Indeed they do. It comes at quite a considerable cost, that's why I didn't choose the Evo2. For about £100 less the Leema had the phono stage and better sound quality.
 
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