Good intergrated amp for Totem Rainmakers (500 usd)


New member
Username: Almaric

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-05
Just got my totem rainmakers. I just running them off a cheap receiver. Now its time to upgrade and I want to get some recommendation on a good integrated ampliflier for around 500 usd. I want something that matches well with the rainmakers more than anything. Should I go SS or Hybrid or all tubes. These are some of the models I got told.

Nad c320bee, C720bee
Jolida hybrid

Does anyone recommend one over the others? thanks

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1085
Registered: Sep-04
Forget the C320BEE and C720BEE, not enough grunt to do the Rainmakers justice. The 720 has the same output stage as the 320. Look instead at the C352 or C372. They have far more reserve power giving better control and grip.

The Rega amps are lovely but you're looking at a minimum of a Mira which is probably more than you want to spend.

The minimum Rotel I would be looking at is the new RA-03. You may be able to find 1062s going cheap(haven't sold well). This is a very good amp which is under-valued in the market in my view.

I don't know the Jolida.

I would steer clear of tubes in the output stage if I were you. The Totems aren't particularly easy to drive so it's not a natural combination (though there may be one of course).


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A65 Arcam

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I will have to concur with most of what Frank has written down. I have personally ran Totem gear with the 320 BEE and never found it to be a good combination. This had less to do with power and more to do with sonics. I found the 370 (older varient) to be a great match with Totem's sub 1500k products.

Stay clear of Rega. Unless you are looking to find a cheap way to get the HAWK to sound good, Rega is a horrid match with Totem.

The same really goes for Jolida, sans maybe the J-502 integrated.

The Rotel 1062 integrated mated with the 1072 cd player forms an awesome combination that would make the Rainmakers happy.

The best combination I've heard with Totem that will fit your budget is a used Monarchy Audio SM-70 PRO amplifier mated with a new passive Monarchy pre (you will have to contact Monarchy as this piece is not listed on their site). Zero Feedback class A circuitry and amplification that will treat your Rainmakers VERY well.

Another option is a tougher sell, but perhaps one of the best low powered amplifiers I've heard that could be considered affordable. For $499 you could get a red wine audio clari-t amplifier. The downside is, its only 6 watts per channel. Those 6 watts are enormous and should do for a smaller to medium sized room with every genre of music except full scale symphony or ochestra. The upside is, it sounds absolutely brilliant, I may even go so far as to say better than all listed above. Its worth at least looking at.

There are many combinations available in todays market and I am certain the suggestions may be endless. What I've said above is simply based off of my own personal experiences. Your mileage may vary. The only real advice I could give is to stay clear of tubes at this price point. Unless you can score yourself a near mint condition Dynakit ST-35 or ST-70... cheap tubes are cheap tubes.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 1093
Registered: Sep-04

I disagree that Rega and Totem are a bad match. I find they are a good match provided you've been sympathetic to the amp. That done, the combination can be quite wonderfully musical.

As for driving the Rainmaker with a 6w (10w) battery powered amp, I'd be impressed if it worked for more than 30 minutes at a time...

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