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So, I've decided on the spreakers. But what amp?

JoelOman

Active member
Mar 27, 2020
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2
25
Hiya all!

I've been dwelling back and forth between what bookshelf speakers I want to get for a new "budget system from scratch" to my 25kvm (~269sqft) living room and the choice fell on the ELAC Debut B5.2. Now all I need is an amplifier to get things going. It needs to have a built in DAC since I own a 4K Smart TV that only has an Optical output. So the final contestents are:

Onkyo A-9130 (nicest looking of the bunch, love the square-isch shape. Also Class AB) --- 3265SEK (~324USD)
Marantz PM-6006 (Ugliest and most expensive, but best sounding?) --- 4490SEK (~446USD)
Pioneer A-40AE (Cheapest, never really liked Pioneer amps in the past, about to change?) --- 2990SEK (~297USD)
Argon Audio SA-1 (Smallest and weakest but has Bluetooth. Not necessary, but welcome) --- 3498SEK (~347USD)

Problem is, as of Covid-19 and everything happening right now, I wont have the opportunity to listen to them all. But also 'cause of Covid-19 I would like to have something to pass time whilst at home and what could be better than using home-time to listen to sweet music?

If someone has useful information regarding their listening experince of any or all of these amplifiers, please feel free to reply!

Many thanks in advance!
/sincerely

Joel Öman
 

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Al ears

Moderator
Only heard two. I happen to like marantz looks but I'd take the onkyo as I found it more 'neutral'.
Don't know anything about the others listed.
If you can I'd be looking at an amp and separate DAC.
You might also look at Denon PMA 800NE which is probably better than the Onkyo.
Note: the Onkyo seems to be out of stock in a lot of places
 
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SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
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For me, this is easy. The Marantz all the way. It is by far the most musical amp of them all with a first class DAC. I don’t understand why you don’t like its looks but that’s up to you. Build quality is superb.
 
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JoelOman

Active member
Mar 27, 2020
11
2
25
Only heard two. I happen to like marantz looks but I'd take the onkyo as I found it more 'neutral'.
Don't know anything about the others listed.
If you can I'd be looking at an amp and separate DAC.
You might also look at Denon PMA 800NE which is probably better than the Onkyo.
Note: the Onkyo seems to be out of stock in a lot of places
Yes, I've seen that it is somewhat hard to find, probably 'cause of Covid-19... :( But, I'll check out the Denon as well, thanks!
 

JoelOman

Active member
Mar 27, 2020
11
2
25
For me, this is easy. The Marantz all the way. It is by far the most musical amp of them all with a first class DAC. I don’t understand why you don’t like its looks but that’s up to you. Build quality is superb.
Hehe, yes, well, looks are also important (I have a particular style, modern, square-isch). ;)
But I've also heard that the DAC in the Marantz is supposed to be excellent, which is also why it's on my list...
 

JoelOman

Active member
Mar 27, 2020
11
2
25
Only heard two. I happen to like marantz looks but I'd take the onkyo as I found it more 'neutral'.
Don't know anything about the others listed.
If you can I'd be looking at an amp and separate DAC.
You might also look at Denon PMA 800NE which is probably better than the Onkyo.
Note: the Onkyo seems to be out of stock in a lot of places
It's way more expensive though... (The Denon) They do have a PM-600NE which also has Bluetooth, consideration?
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
57
36
70
Hehe, yes, well, looks are also important (I have a particular style, modern, square-isch). ;)
But I've also heard that the DAC in the Marantz is supposed to be excellent, which is also why it's on my list...
Only you can decide upon the balance of performance to aesthetics. The DAC in the Marantz is the same as in the CD60006, which is outstanding.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Hmm, in Sweden it's 5298SEK (~545USD)... That's the Denon PMA-800NE, that is.
Apologies, I was quoting UK prices.
Without knowing where in the world you are it is often difficult to comment because of these pricing differences, plus I should have read your post more carefully.
It is odd the Denon is so much more expensive
 
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Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
For me, this is easy. The Marantz all the way. It is by far the most musical amp of them all with a first class DAC. I don’t understand why you don’t like its looks but that’s up to you. Build quality is superb.
Build quality is super cheap I think , tacky casings and the poorest of finish. It is what is inside of course but it looks cheap. So do most hi fi products now.
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
57
36
70
Build quality is super cheap I think , tacky casings and the poorest of finish. It is what is inside of course but it looks cheap. So do most hi fi products now.
I would disagree but would perhaps add the caveat of “at that price”.
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
57
36
70
But he cannot audition, that's the point of his question
I know. But only he can decide if he’s going to make this decision based on looks or what he researches about performance. My point is that I believe, sonically, the Marantz is the best of that bunch. If he has a particular style he is after, and that is going to influence his decision, that is entirely his decision.
 
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SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
57
36
70
Perhaps if a more “square” style is favoured, you could look at a Yamaha AS501. Lots of power, very neutral “airy” sound and a very good DAC
 

Al ears

Moderator
I know. But only he can decide if he’s going to make this decision based on looks or what he researches about performance. My point is that I believe, sonically, the Marantz is the best of that bunch. If he has a particular style he is after, and that is going to influence his decision, that is entirely his decision.
Marantz better in your opinion and he has to pick based on performance etc.
Just how many of these amps have you heard?
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
57
36
70
Marantz better in your opinion and he has to pick based on performance etc.
Just how many of these amps have you heard?
All apart from the Argon. As I’ve said, all I - or anybody - can do is express an opinion based on what we know. Some will agree and some won’t. What the OP does with that is entirely their decision. I would never dream of telling anybody what they should like nor how to spend their money. (y)
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
451
181
19,070
Go on YouTube and see professional tests on the speaker (They tend to be common on the full speaker range) and what amp they are using, also have a look at the manufactures website as they normally show what type of amps they use with their speakers in the marketing material.

NOTE: This doesn’t guarantee that the one they choose will please your ears, but at least it should narrow it down, plus with an online sale you can send it back if it is not fit for your purpose. (Either that or wait until the lockdown is lifted)

Bill
 

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