wadsy

"bang for buck" amps?

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I've asked 'which amp' before!...but I'm struggling to decide if it's worth spending in a higher price range, so I thought I'd ask which amps offer the best "bang for buck" in two price ranges; sub £500 and sub £1000 and then if the price step up is reflected in performance, eg. Roksan Kandy K2, approx £4/450 second-hand Vs a s/h Caspian M2?...I'm willing to spend in the higher bracket if the SQ would be noticeably better.

I'll also add in a couple of new options to the mix!

I'd be adding the amp to an Audio Analogue Maestro CD player, Neat Iota Alphas and plan to add a network player/streamer at some point (BS Node 2i, Aries Mini, Linn Sneaky) and I'd like a remote and head-phone socket if poss.

Demo's are difficult for me, for two reasons; ill health and looking at second-hand stuff!...I may have to buy to try!

Also, looking, as I am at a lot of secondhand kit, service/repair support would be good to have just in case.

 

My thoughts so far...

Sub £500...

Exposure 2010 - seem to go for about £250 s/h
Cambridge CXA60 - £300 s/h or £399 new
Musical Fidelity A3 - £350 s/h
Roksan Kandy K2
Rega Brio - £500 s/h or £599 new

Sub £1000...

Sugden A21aL - £650 ish
Nait 5Si - £6/700 ish
Caspian M2 - £800 ish

New...

I've been offered a good deal on a new Elex-R at around £800

I've also recently become aware of the Abrahamsen V2.0 at £799 or the V2.0 UP at £999 which appear to have received good reviews.

Thoughts as ever very much appreciated thanks chaps :)

Cheers
 

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Super Wammer

In your upper bracket you also have:

Quad Venna II £800 new

Arcam A39 circa £800 used. 

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Croft imo better than Exposure/Rega, Prima Luna Prologue Two would be my choice, Caspian I rate much better than Kandy. MF A308, A300, A3.2cr, A1001, A1008 is a monster rioter and huge fun, i don't rate A3.5, m3 & A5. Electrocompaniet eci4 is older, expensive when new and top of budget but on another level. Pathos. 

Naim i'm a fan but Nait's in the bottom rung and poor value for money v previous suggestions.

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37 minutes ago, Lurch said:

Arcam A39 circa £800 used. 

Not quite right...

These can be picked up currently for £599 brand new, which I think is an absolute bargain as they were £1500 when released. 

I own this amp. It's really very good indeed. 

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1 hour ago, wadsy said:

I've also recently become aware of the Abrahamsen V2.0 at £799 or the V2.0 UP at £999 which appear to have received good reviews 

Can you please PM me the link from where... this is an amp on "my itch I've got to scratch" list...

I didn't realise there were any UK dealers (?), and assumed I'd have to import it, which is why I've not done it as I'd assumed during transport inevitably someone would play tennis with it, which put me off... 

If there is a UK distributor, I will probably give one a try later in the year.

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Super Wammer

If you can find a Job 225 (power amp), for under a grand, you must give it an audition, amazing amp for the money.

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2 minutes ago, VanZapp said:

Have a listen to a Cyrus 8vs if you can.  Very good amp on its own and can be upgraded with the Cyrus PSXR later for even better performance.

Caution though.... needs incredibly careful pairing with speakers or it just sounds thin and crap.

I've had one grace my front room briefly in the past 18 months or so. Personally I didn't like it. Very detailed but just lacking something (to me).

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I spotted an Audio Innovations Series 500 Valve Amplifier for sale last week. I'm very pleased with mine! 😎👍

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28 minutes ago, Amormusic said:

Not quite right...

These can be picked up currently for £599 brand new, which I think is an absolute bargain as they were £1500 when released. 

I own this amp. It's really very good indeed. 

I just had a quick look out of curiosity but can't find one available this cheaply. Where have you seen this?

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16 minutes ago, MartinC said:

I just had a quick look out of curiosity but can't find one available this cheaply. Where have you seen this?

I've just done a quick search... I now cant find it either so they must have sold out, which is unsurprising as it was frankly a steal at that price...

think it was on the Arcam thread where this was recently being discussed if you want to know who (however they appear to have now sold out). FWIW, I did look about a week ago as I was suggesting to a friend that it was a solid buy at that price and it was still available then. However, a quick google search now returns nada.

Therefore its now dud info, sorry peeps.

However, the 2nd hand going rate value of £800 is too high. More like 600 tops... I bought mine recently for 425 (which was very cheap for 2nd hand).

Edited by Amormusic
Bloody autocorrect

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Another vote for Prima Luna. I’ve just picked up a Dialogue 2 for £750 and I’m a bit blown away by it. 

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Super Wammer

Too many to list (but none that were on the list of asked about) - Musical Fidelity A3 integrated and other Musical Fidelity Offerings, Sugden A48, a variety of Arcam amps, a number of old classics (Denon PMA850, Magnum, Myst TMA3, Lentek, Era Evolution, Meridian 101/105 or 103 or 103D, Quad 405 405/2 with any Quad preamp of your choice, the list goes on and on)  there are the more recent Rotels and NADs, and a whole host of others .. Ya use yer ears ya pays yer makes yer choice and you part wiv your readies - simples
 

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3 hours ago, VanZapp said:

Have a listen to a Cyrus 8vs if you can.  Very good amp on its own and can be upgraded with the Cyrus PSXR later for even better performance.

I just came upon this thread, and was about to state the same as above. I've owned more amplifiers over the last 10-15 years than I care to remember but have had my 8vs (with the PSXR) for nigh on 4 years now. Yes, it needs pairing carefully with partnering equipment but is so utterly neutral (imho it has no real 'sound' of its own) and revealing it just gets on with the job of being that wire-with-gain. I have no desire to change. :^

A very good 8vs will rush you approx £250-300. PSXR another £250 or so.

Edited by Gromit

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