Integrated ampli needed, advice please


New member
Username: Yusufsupardi

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-10
Hello all, my name is Yusuf and I'm new here. I may need some help here. I now have the OPPO BDP-83 SE. I'm planning to buy an integrated ampli and a pair of speaker. I've already read reviews of them, here are some choices:
For integrated ampli:
krell s300i
marantz pm8003
roksan caspian M series 1
cary audio CAI-1
arcam FMJ A38
For the speakers:
Vienna Grand Haydn
Harberth P3ESR
The problem is, I cannot make an audition for that combination because they are coming from different stores. So I think I'll choose the speaker first then decide what ampli that suites best for the OPPO and the speaker. Any suggestion which speaker and which ampli are good pair? Thanks.

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15137
Registered: Dec-04
Welcome Yusuf.

What is the size of your listening area?
What kind of music do you listen to?
What volumes do you expect from the system in your room?

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 961
Registered: Jul-07
Recommended reading....

There is another thread somewhere on here that is a very good read in relationship to the interaction between speaker and amp, but I couldn't find it. Noone here can tell you which combination you'll enjoy the most, but I would recommend you think about both amp and speaker when making either choice. If you pick the speaker first, you may limit your amp options. Happens a lot. Even if you can only afford to but one now, try to select them in combination so you know where you're headed when you have the funds.

The speakers you list above are all very good, but very different. You should at minimum go listen to as many of them as you can and decide what house sound you prefer.

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3875
Registered: May-05
Your choices seem like good gear. I like some better than others, but that's a matter of taste and not which is best.

If you're thinking about the ATCs, you're going to need a lot of power. They don't sound like they should with lower powered amps, and they need to be driven a little louder than usual in order to sound right. When they do, they're phenominal. When they don't, they're average sounding at best.

If those are the top choice for speakers (they'd be my top choice), pay close attention to what amp is driving them during the audition.

New member
Username: Yusufsupardi

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-10
Hello Nuck, Chris and Stu. Thanks for the attentions. My listening are is about 5m x 5m, but it's an open space. I like pop, jazz, vocal etc, but not classics. Volume is average, not too loud. But I expect the details of the music. I know I should do an audition, but it's rather difficult because many stores in my area sell only several brands. I just hope maybe you can share your impression of the characters of the individual ampli/speakers. Thanks, thank you.

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15142
Registered: Dec-04
jazz, pop, vocal...this reads like a Harbeth ad to me.
Harbeth speakers, generally, are easy to drive, and in true BBC fashion, sport a very low sensitivity.
This means that the speaker can deliver 90db, which some people consider adequate, with 40W at 5 meters.

Yusuf, if you intend on having more than voice-level volume, you will need a larger amplifier, or different, more sensitive speaker.

New member
Username: Yusufsupardi

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jul-10
Hi Nuck, thanks. Krell s300i can deliver up to 150W into 8ohms. By "a larger amplifier" do you mean 200W (8 ohms)? How about the combination of this Krell with ATC SCM11? Curious to know your experience. Thanks

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 12903
Registered: Feb-05
Harbeth's are not efficient but they are also not difficult to drive. Look into Naim XS, Sonneteer Alabaster, Creek Destiny or LFD amps. All sound great and would match up well with the Harbeth's, and your stated listening preference.

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3882
Registered: May-05
Harbeths struggle a bit with louder volumes. Even if you're not listening at a high perceived level, an open room may need more volume to sound loud enough.

Harbeths are excellent speakers. Just like everything else, they have their limitations. I'm not saying they won't go loud enough without compressing and distorting, but I'm not sure they how they'll be. They're not a big speaker.

I'm not fond of Krell gear. It seems cold, sterile, and etched to my ears. The ATCs are very revealing and won't hide any of this. Some people love the Krell sound. I think it may have just enough power to get the ATCs to open up, but if the room is a wide open space, maybe not. ATCs actually perfer a bit of room to breathe even though they seem small.

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 1307
Registered: Oct-07
The difference between 150 watts and 200 watts is negligible.
Doubling the power is more like it and really starts to cost a lot of $$$.
300watt and 400watt per side integrateds are few in number and can be costly. Off-hand, I can't think of any.

On the other hand, Increasing speaker sensitivity is a cheap way to appear to have more power. 3db of sensitivity increase is basically equal to doubling amp power. The proviso is the 'ease' of the load. While the Harbeths are of low sensitivity, they are considered tube-friendly. Some higher sensitivity speakers are awful loads which require capable amps.

Research and auditions are indicated.
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