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Thread: Amp upgrade from Rotel integrated for Compact 7ES3

  1. #1
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    Default Amp upgrade from Rotel integrated for Compact 7ES3

    Hi

    I am using a 7 year old Rotel RA 1070 Integrated (100W x 2) with my Compact 7ES3. I am looking to upgrade the amplifier and was looking at options for an integrated which would be a fairly noticeable step up from the Rotel but does not quite burn a hole in my pocket.... I have narrowed down my options to a Naim 5i or XS, Luxman 505u, used Accuphase E-200 models and used McIntosh MA6900...

    None of these above brands are represented in India and while the Accuphase and McIntosh used models would be quite expensive, I wanted to know if the Naim 5i or XS as well as a Luxman would be a significant step up from the Rotel Integrated or not. If the difference in sound is substantial, then I would choose between either else I will have to save more for a used Accuphase or McIntosh...

    I listen to jazz, ambient electronica and other instrumental music primarily...

    Thanks in advance for all the opinions....

    Warm regards
    Rahul Pandit

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by panditr View Post
    Hi

    I am using a 7 year old Rotel RA 1070 Integrated (100W x 2) with my Compact 7ES3. I am looking to upgrade the amplifier and was looking at options for an integrated which would be a fairly noticeable step up from the Rotel but does not quite burn a hole in my pocket.... I have narrowed down my options to a Naim 5i or XS, Luxman 505u, used Accuphase E-200 models and used McIntosh MA6900...

    None of these above brands are represented in India and while the Accuphase and McIntosh used models would be quite expensive, I wanted to know if the Naim 5i or XS as well as a Luxman would be a significant step up from the Rotel Integrated or not. If the difference in sound is substantial, then I would choose between either else I will have to save more for a used Accuphase or McIntosh...

    I listen to jazz, ambient electronica and other instrumental music primarily...

    Thanks in advance for all the opinions....

    Warm regards
    Rahul Pandit
    If you want a warmer sound signature and have possibly a game-ender in terms of gear acquisition syndrome, I'd vouch for the Class A Luxman and Accuphase amps. I have the Luxman L-550 AII, and its a very good Class A integrated. "Only" 20wpc but can drive my Compact 7s with ease. Comes with the old skool VU meters + loudness + tone controls + phono MM/MC. All in one . . .

  3. #3
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    Hi Pandit,

    Of all the amps you mentioned in the list, i'd personally go for the Naim XS. Not to confuse you, but i'd also like to recommend LFD LE IV or LE III if you can get one used. Though the Japanese & American battleship amps may offer more in terms of flexibility, aesthetics, resale value, pride of ownership or perhaps driving power, but i personally feel that the 'simple is best' approach taken by the british may offer a wee bit more in terms of musicality. In addition, Harbeths don't require battleship amps to drive them. But that's only me. Frankly speaking, the blue VU meters on a Mcintosh or the more conventional VU meters on Luxman or Accuphase can be rather enticing.

  4. #4
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    To be frank, the VU meters more than the sound is making me want the McIntosh/Accuphase/Luxman......I did hear the Accuphase E-460 with my Compact 7s and they were sounding good but not worth the extra money I have to plonk on them......

    So my revised question would be how much of a noticeable difference would the Naim XS or even the 5i, used LFD integrateds or a used Luxman 505u bring bring over a Rotel Integrated 100 Watter amp? As and when I do buy an amplifier, it will be for keeps unless I win a lottery or the amp stops working......

    Will there be a sunstantial difference or minimal difference if I change the amp to the above mentioned. Then I can decide if the change is worth the extra money or not....

    Thanks for your opinions in advance....

  5. #5
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    I reckon the only way to find out is to pit your Rotel directly against the above mentioned amps, if that is possible at all. Btw, if you are enjoying what the Rotel brings to the table, why even consider upgrading it? In addition, since you heard the Accuphase driving the C7s, you should roughly know whether to upgrade or not.

  6. #6
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    I cant do any comparison here..... I did hear the Accuphase and it certainly did not seem VFM when I checked the price of the E-460....Which is why I wanted opinions on the Naim 5i or XS as well as the Luxman 505u.... If someone has heard the mentioned amps with their harbeths, I could gain a lot of insight and decide accordingly since I will have to buy blind..

  7. #7
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    I've heard 4 or 5 assorted Accuphase amps over the past couple of years and whilst I would agree that the build quality is examplary and the meters are fascinating to watch, the sound quality was so,so. In fact, on two occasions, I swopped over to a much less expensive amp to get a better sound, which the customers were impressed/upset with.

    OK, I know that's not considered the thing to say on this forum but I'm a big boy now and have been doing this for 40 years, so I know what I'm doing.

    You have to consider that with most of these megabuck products, the majority of the cost goes on the casework, packaging and marketing but with some of the simple UK products, more is spent on the internals. I would suggest the Naim XS is not much different in sound quality to the Accuphase I have heard, for a fraction of the cost and it can be upgraded with a separate power supply. Also well worth a listen is the LFD Mk4 integrated and even the little Rega Brio-R. I doubt that Croft is available where you are but that would also be on my hit list.

    Listen to a few before parting with your hard earned cash.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Dave for your opinion.....I concur with your opinion about the Accuphase and it's the looks which was/is attracting me to the Accuphase and McIntosh...I did hear a pre-power Naim with ATCs last year in London which seemed good and am willing to take a risk with the Naim XS.....I have not heard of Croft and cannot take a risk but have heard only good things about the LFD amplifiers.....So I think I will narrow down my choices to the Naim XS and an LFD integrated...

    Although I still want to know if someone has used a Luxman basic Class AB amp with the Harbeths and their opinion....

  9. #9
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    Some years back i actually bought an Accuphase E-203 just to see what the fuss was all about. Just as hifi dave mentioned above...exemplary build quality. But it only lasted 2 tracks on my setup & off it went. Perhaps it was just not my cup of tea. I thought the inexpensive Arcam delta 290 i had at that time was more natural & musical.

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