Help required with integrated amp choose - Begginer


New member
Username: Javierart

Asturias Spain

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-10
I am pretty much a begginer in HiFi, please forgive me if I don't provide the right info for you to help me. I'm glad to provide any missing detail you may need.
Time ago I bought my current system, and as budget was really limited at that time, this was my main driver in taking the decision. I listened to what was available at a local dealer and bought the system I liked more at the audition for the prize I was able to pay.
After some years living abroad and moving frequently I have just settled down nad now time has come for me to start building a HiFi system.
This is the system I currently have (not even the one I started with, and yes it's embarrasing but it's the truth...):
- Amp - Marantz PM 66 SE
- CDP - NAD C 542
- Speakers - Tannoy Mercury M3
- Turntable - Akijama DJ 2000
My intention is to start building my new system for the new house. Unfortunately I have no choice of what component to start with as just recently my amp gave up. Not confirmed yet but it seems it cannot be fixed.
I've been digging a bit what may be available near here within the price range I can afford now (around 800 EUR).
I have received an offer for a Rega Mira 3 (about 750 EUR). Other options I have seen are Rotel RA 06 SE, Marantz PM8003, and a bit more expensive (1000 EUR+) Cyrus 6XP and Roksan Kandy K2.
Of course, I know they won't make any better the rest of my current components that will still limit the sound I'm able to get. My only option is to buy something to build my system around it later on or to buy a cheaper amp to match my current system and save the rest of this money for a proper upgrade of all components together in the future.
Can you please help me deciding what to do?
If I were to buy one of these entry level Hi-Fi amps I listed above, which one would you choose? Other options in that price range are welcome.
Thanks a lot for your time.

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 825
Registered: Jul-07
Javier, what brands do you have to opportunity to audition ? Are there any audio stores within a reasonable drive from where you live ?

I wouldn't be the least bit embarrassed about your current components. You could do much worse.

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 12155
Registered: Feb-05
I agree with Chris, no reason for embarrassment.

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14595
Registered: Dec-04
Javi, if you saw my starter system, you would walk proud!

Find a dealer to vist, bring some of your music, and be prepared to spend some time listening around. Do not rush, the music will always be there.

New member
Username: Javierart

Asturias Spain

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-10
Thanks guys for your kind replies.
At driving distance there's a dealer I have good references about. I am not totally sure about this list but I think (in this price range) they sell integrated amps from NAD, Naim, Marantz, Rotel, Cambridge Audio and possibly some more. I just spoked on the phone to them and they asked me, obviously, to visit them. I will do it next week.
I received an offer from a dealer a friend buys from for a Rega Mira 3 for 600 EUR (which I think is a very good price for Spain). Obviously there's the distance issue. I'd prefer to buy from a local dealer, because in the future I will be upgrading the rest of the components.
Before visiting this dealer, I'd like to have some advise on a number of amps I should be focusing on and also on how should I listen to them.
Should I try some configurations they recommend that has nothing to do with my current system but the one I'm aiming to have in the future and create a "goal" system and start buying them as I can? is there a better way to choose the amp?
Thanks again, really appreciate your time and knowledge sharing.

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 828
Registered: Jul-07
The "whole system" approach is good for a bunch of reasons. It should give you a sense of what components play well together. Listening to different setups will also allow you to see what house sound is most appealing to you. Naim is very different from Nad, which is very different from Rotel, etc. Chances are one of these will be more appealing to you than the others.

If the Naim sound tickles your fancy, you can be pretty comfortable that their cd player will plug in very nicely. Listen to different speakers while your there so you'll have a sense of which speaker mates best with your choice of amplifier. The dealer should have some guidance as to what pieces play well together, so you can start there. Once they know what sounds good to you, they can be even more helpful.

I wouldn't buy the Rega until you've had a chance to listen to some other options. It's a nice enough amp, but you may prefer some of the other brands once you've heard them. Why take a flier if you don't have to ?

Silver Member
Username: Longbluesquid

Post Number: 219
Registered: May-06
Nad is a very good for starters. Check out the C326Bee.

New member
Username: Javierart

Asturias Spain

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-10
Just to say thanks... I took your advice Chris and I've been a couple of times listening different things at the dealer's room.
I didn't make my mind yet, but most likely I'm going the Naim way... I've really enjoyed the Nait 5i. I've listened it with different combinations of CDPs and speakers: the Naim CD 5i and the Rega Apollo, Neat Motive 2 and Dynaudio Excite X12 and X32. Also with a pair of ProAc Studio 110.
I will visit again the dealer this weekend and decide what to buy.

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 858
Registered: Jul-07
That's great Javier. A lot of people really like the Naim sound. Take your time with the decision, as it's a big investment. If you chose wisely you'll have a component you'll get many years of enjoyment out of.
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