I’m amp shopping …

I have a pair of Dynaudio Contour 3.3 floor-standing speakers that are underpowered by my current NAD amp. I listen to two sources: my digital library via Roon and a turntable.

I’d like a simple, integrated solution. A built-in DAC would be nice. I have a phono preamp. We listen to music about 20 hours a week.

I’ve been eyeing Hegel stuff, but haven’t been able to audition one yet. What else should I consider?

My budget varies by the day. Some days, $2k. Others, $4k. Thanks!

If your budget can stretch a wee bit to maybe $5k I can highly recommend the Mark Levinson ML585.

200 wpc at 8ohms doubling down at 4ohms.
Very capable 24/192 dac onboard.
Plenty of analog and digital inputs.
Pre outs if you need it.( Sub or tape).
Built like a tank as one would expect from Mark Levinson.

Been through numerous integrated amps from the likes of Hegel, Lyngdorf, BAT, Classe, Parasound, McIntosh etc.

I think I found my endgame integrated with the ML.

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Judging by this thread, many Hegel owners regret their purchase.

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The Roon Ready debacle has definitely slowed my purchase. That said, my current amp isn’t Roon Ready (I just use it as a USB endpoint) and that’s fine.

Thanks! I’ve heard of the brand but they weren’t on my list to check out.

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Try to get your hands on a second hand Devialet Expert Pro with CI board. All the features you need. Due to the implementation of Speaker Active Matching you will never feel short of power and get deeper bass than with any other amp. They now also have ‘Sweet Room’, which is more or less a graphic equaliser and with that you can make you amp either adjust for room modes or you could use it to adjust the sound signature to your liking.All that comes with a very clean, clear, un-distorted and open sound. You really can’t go wrong. Then there’s the best remote in the business as a bonus…

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BTW, I run my Dynaudio C1 with Devialet.

I concur with @Pim about the Devialet platform as an excellent choice. Because I like to tinker, I recently sold my Devialet Expert 220 Pro with CI board and moved to a Kinki Studio EX-M7 amp. That’s another amp you might consider. It’s 2598USD including shipping from China. It doesn’t have a DAC, though, which the Devialet does have. The unit received a Blue Moon award from 6 Moons (link here) and has been compared to Swiss amps costing much more money.

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I concur… everything’s built-in, wifi, Roon Ready, a great remote… looks good and sounds better!

The Devialet stuff looks nice, but probably outside my budget at the prices I saw. I was also turned off that it would digitize the analog sources.

I also own a Devialet 220 expert pro and my turntable is 50% used as source. The other 50% is streaming both local or Qobuz. I don’t hear that the analog sounds digital. I even prefer it above streams. In Europe you’ll find a used 220 for around 4500€.

What current NAD Amp? You have 4 ohm speakers which, in my super limited experience, I find most integrateds struggle with. I’d stay away from anything Class D unless specifically spec’d to handle 4 ohm loads.

Also, don’t rule out Naim. Good luck.

Hegel and Dynaudio are made for each other. I have Contour 30s and an H390 - with 490 wpc into 4 ohms the Hegel really gets the Dynaudios’ attention! Entirely neutral with excellent clarity, but with very tight grip on the bass, and the built in DAC is also very high quality (although I don’t use it). To me, one of the great value pieces of audio gear.

It is a D3020. I used it with my bookshelf system, then lucked into these big Dynaudios right after we moved into our new place.

I am listening to my new Class-D based Apollon Audio amplifiers.
These are replacing my Ayre MX-R poweramps, because these were just too hot in summertime.
To my big surprise and satisfaction, the Apollon’s are bettering the Ayre MX-R’s with ease, with my 4 Ohm speakers (Magico V3).
I should have run far earlier/faster to Class-D amps.

Dirk

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Dirk, may I ask which Apollon you are using? I am planning on a new Class D amplifier and am looking into a Purifi based Apollon. Thank you!

Hi Andreas

I first tested the MolaMola Kaluga amplifiers via my local audio dealer. That was an immediate no-go since they sound very agressive, especially with cymbals (drums).

Then I decided to try Apollon Audio, because I was sure that I could return them and get my money back.
Tibor recommendedme to go for an amplifier, taking into account my speakers, based upon hypex NC1200 module.
He recommended to go for the PNC1200 amplifier (I needed monoblocks), but I felt uncomfortable to order this expensive model, as I was pretty sure I was going to send them back.
So I ordered the NC1200SLM amplifiers.
So to my surprise, they sounded really good, with no signs of harshness at all.
As Tibor was saying that if I liked the NC1200SLM’s , I would really love the PNC1200’s and I really should update.
And that is what I did, so I am now the happy owner of the PNC1200 aplifiers, and these are extremely good.
Complete in control, and completely unstressed at the same time. Very detailled, but sounding beatiful and sweet. And the soundstage and placement of instruments is 1st class as well.
I was not aware/convinced that a poweramp could deliver that much extra quality in an audio chain.
Dirk

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Thank you! That’s good to hear. These amps measure well and user experience is throughout positive. I am living in a place with hot climate, so need a cool-running and efficient amplifier. Apollon is on my shortlist.

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I don’t know what power you think you need, but you indicated that you are looking at Purify based amp.
There is a new Purify poweramp module to be released in the coming months, with the same power as the hypex nc1200.
No price details known yet, and of course I do not know the plans of Apollon Audio with this new module .
https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/61277-purifi-class-d/?do=findComment&comment=1155396
Dirk

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If I had up to $4k to spend, I’d buy the Benchmark ABH2 power amp and pair it with the Topping Pre90/Ext90 analog preamp. Depending on cable choice, the combo can just squeak in under $4k, ignoring shipping and tax.

I have the Topping already. By far, the most transparent preamp I’ve heard. By the numbers, the ABH2 is the amp that’s closest in performance, so they should pare beautifully. Someday, perhaps…