Integrated amplifier for Wharfedale Diamond 12.2

marchukish

Active member
May 29, 2022
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Hey guys,

I'm looking for some recommendations to drive Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 speakers I recently ordered (still waiting for them to arrive). I was looking for some audio setup for some time already and saw those speakers under 300 EUR and I couldn't stop myself from grabbing them. Now I'm having some struggle to figure out which amplifier to use together with them.

Those speakers will be placed in ~12 square meter room (from couch to speakers there would be ~ 2.5 meters), so the room itself is quite small, and don't plan to listen to them very loud in general as I don't want my neighbors to hate me. As the first version potentially I'm going to listen to them using my iPad directly connected and then at some point in time plan to buy some streamer so that would have spotify/tidal connection options as well as airplay. And also thinking about Rega vinyl turntable in the future as well.

Currently, I'm thinking about something from Cambridge Audio, like AXA35 or AXR85 (but not sure if I really need a receiver). Another tempting option now is POWERNODE 2i as basically it would also include everything I want in one nice looking box, but the price for that is a bit more than I would like to pay. Generally speaking for amp alone I'm considering around 500 EUR. If there is some nice receiver pairing including some of those streaming options, the budget for sure could be increased. So I'm up for any suggestions to drive those lovely speakers.

To sum up, at this point I have in mind those options:
- Cambridge Audio AXA35, AXR85 (new units)
- Yamaha A-S501 (used unit for like 250 EUR)
- Denon PMA-600NE (new unit)
- IOTAVX SA3 (new unit + Bluetooth adapter most probably)
- NAD C338 (saw some new units around 599 EUR)


P.S. In terms of usage for this setup - mainly music listening experience with a really wide range of songs and really enjoying warm sound with some nice punchy bass in it, but without losing midrange and treble completely.

Will appreciate any suggestions for amp pairing for those use cases.

Thank you!
 
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gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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I bought my Yamaha A-S301 for less than any of the mentioned amps.

It sounds good and have alot of power

You would want something that don't sound to much in your face the higher midrange,lower tweeter
 

marchukish

Active member
May 29, 2022
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Actually that NAD seems quite balanced according to the reviews and those streamer features look quite tempting, but not sure if that really justifies that price point. New Yamaha A-S301 costs here around 370 EUR, in that case, that used A-S501 would be a better deal IMO, but need to dig into the info on what needs to be checked when buying a used amp.

In multiple reviews have seen Cambridge Audio being prised for having an overall really good soundstage which makes the listening experience really pleasant for people who overall just enjoy listening to music and are quite new to HiFi.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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A Nad C328 basically has the same amp as the Nad C338 and it's just okay

Mabye looke for a used Nad C368 instead of a new Nad C338

Reviews say the diamonds could need a little warmth, how about a tube amp or hybrid amp
 
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marchukish

Active member
May 29, 2022
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In the place where I come from, used amp market is really poor, usually some really old onkyo, JVC, denon units from the previous century for which it is hard to find any reviews and also they don't have any digital inputs (could be useful). So that used Yamaha in nearby area was already a surprise for me. :D

Budget Yamaha is a good shout. I would also look at used Naim Nait 5i.

Not sure about modern NADs. Older models were very warm, not ideal for a balanced presentation.
NAD C328 actually seems to be coming around the same price or the price difference is so small, that I would just in that case take C338 as it has more features. I checked used C368 on Germany eBay and they cost there around 800 EUR for a used unit which seems a bit too much I would like to pay in general for those bookshelf speakers. And yeah, those reviews about mentioning that they go well with warmer amps always lead back m to Cambridge Audio.

Haven't really dug into tube amps and not sure if at that price point there could be something decent found and in general for those haven't seen so many reviews like for those massive consumer amps.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
In the place where I come from, used amp market is really poor, usually some really old onkyo, JVC, denon units from the previous century for which it is hard to find any reviews and also they don't have any digital inputs (could be useful). So that used Yamaha in nearby area was already a surprise for me. :D



NAD C328 actually seems to be coming around the same price or the price difference is so small, that I would just in that case take C338 as it has more features. I checked used C368 on Germany eBay and they cost there around 800 EUR for a used unit which seems a bit too much I would like to pay in general for those bookshelf speakers. And yeah, those reviews about mentioning that they go well with warmer amps always lead back m to Cambridge Audio.

Haven't really dug into tube amps and not sure if at that price point there could be something decent found and in general for those haven't seen so many reviews like for those massive consumer amps.
Most of diamonds I've heard they've needed a punchy amp, hence why I recommended the Naim.... something I don't normally do as Naim can be picky with speakers. But with the Wharfedales they should work a treat.
 

Basso

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Nov 13, 2021
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I would consider a Marantz amp. Any of the 6000 range. If you are going to listen at lower volumes then the addition of a loudness function might be useful for you.
 

marchukish

Active member
May 29, 2022
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Thanks, will take a look on Naim Nait 5i. I see that its newest brother is quite expensive, but this particular 5i in aftermarket seems to go under 300 EUR (used)

Regarding Marantz - actually totally forgot about those and that same Marantz PM6007 is going around the same price as NADs. It has a less features and not a fan of those round corners tho, but could try to find some used one for good price on ebay.
 

marchukish

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May 29, 2022
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Also noticed that I can get fresh new Cambridge audio AXR85 for ~400 EUR or AXR100 for ~500EUR which seems to be a decent deal considering the fact that there is Bluetooth (so could start my listening experience with that).
 

Jimbodinho

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May 30, 2022
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My personal choice would be the Yamaha A-S501, not because you need it for the Diamond 12.2's, but because it'll last you a couple of speaker upgrades down the line - stacks of power - and because it's a bargain at that price.

I used to own a Nait 5i. Fine amps, but I wouldn't suggest one for a small room because if you're putting speakers close to walls (back and/or side) you get a lot of boundary gain in the bass frequencies. Tone controls are the easiest way of correcting this and the Nait 5i doesn't have any.
 
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gasolin

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You could also try watching youtube videos to see what people use with the 12..

I think the yamaha A-S501 only has more power (not necessarily sound better), which you mostly don't need but the electrolyt capacitors are almost twice the value of the 301 even when power is max 2 db higher.

the 301 has 100/120/140/150 watt peaker power in 8/6/4/2 ohm, the speakers like mission is going down to 4 ohm so theres pleanty of power, don't buy the amp based on wattage


Have you noticed the realtion to Mission Lx MK I ?



 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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You could also try watching youtube videos to see what people use with the 12..

I think the yamaha A-S501 only has more power (not necessarily sound better), which you mostly don't need but the electrolyt capacitors are almost twice the value of the 301 even when power is max 2 db higher.

the 301 has 100/120/140/150 watt peaker power in 8/6/4/2 ohm, the speakers like mission is going down to 4 ohm so theres pleanty of power, don't buy the amp based on wattage


Have you noticed the realtion to Mission Lx MK I ?



They look completely different...different drivers entirely.....🤔
 
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marchukish

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May 29, 2022
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Based on many reviews and my preferences on the sounds, I pulled a trigger and ordered Cambridge Audio AXR100. Got it under 500 EUR and placed an order through a local store, so in case of some warranty, it would be much easier to manage.

Now need to place some amazon order for the Wiim mini streamer, cables, plugs and some other small things. :D

Also finally received my speakers (picture is only informative, they will not stay there, most probably about to order Kanto SP stands):
IMG_3424.jpg

And thanks to everyone who suggested some options. It made me look through a lot of information and learn additionally some new things and was a useful experience in general.
 
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