Finally upgrading my amp

My budget is $2500.

My system currently consists of a pair of B&W 630's, an old Denon 50 watt reciever (DRA-550) from the mid 80's,  and a Marantz 5004 cd player.  And a technics 1500c Turntable.

Is integrated the way to go with my budget?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Not necessarily,  You could get good use separates for  that $2.5K

Rogue RP-1 ~$1K.

PS Audio S300 or parasound a23 power amp can be had for around $1.5K 

Ditch the B&W's first...a quality pair of speakers are what you need to build the system around.

@jjbeason14 , if you love your current speakers (in this case your B&Ws) putting some better electronics in front of them will make you love them even more.

I have an ancient (30 year old) pair of B&W 805s (Matrix’s) and I have played around with the electronics in front of them a few times, and every time I have heard a difference.

I have never done integrated since way back in the late ’80s (rack system) but I would think for $2500 you could probably get a decent integrated, especially if you were willing to consider a preowned unit.

Awhile back  I brought my B&W's to a HI FI store and the sales person said they sounded alot better than he expected.



There are so many good options out there both used and new, are you near any dealers? Getting out and listening to some gear is the best thing you can do.

You also might takea look on Music Direct and plug in "integrated" into the search box (as I just did) and see if anything comes up in your price range that piques your interest.  The beauty of MD is that they have a 60 day audition period, but I am pretty sure you would have to pay for return shipping.

As I typed previously, I don't have any experience with the recent integrated gear, and I am pretty much a tube guy (and I do not see new tube stuff in the price range you listed) but here on MD is a "open box" Icon Audio integrated for about 2k.  I don't know anything about Icon, nor do I know anything about the B&W 630s, so 30 wpc might be a problem.  But tube wpc isn't quite the same as SS wpc, so I'd be kind of curious how that might work out (if your B&Ws aren't real hungry for wpc).


@jjbeason14  , I think this is actually the same integreated, but new, from MD for $2300; and looking at the specs section (which does not look the same when I click on "specs" of the "open box") it says it is 60 wpc, not 30 wpc.


. . . for " a few dollars more" ($3200) here is a EL84 based Luxman (less power) from MD, and it has a phono stage!


and for the SET experience (which I admit that although I am intrigued by it I have never experienced it) , again from MD, for about 3k, another Icon.


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For the life of me, I do not know what happens on this site when I try and fail to paste a link (I am not at all computer literate) but here is the other link I tryed to paste above:


Agreed, your electronics could use a refresh. The Denon looks cool as a vintage piece, but you can get significant better performance. This can be had for $2,500 used as The Music Room deals. It is high end kit. Looks really nice in two tone. There are less expensive solutions, just from my expience this is the good stuff. Unfortunately, no phone stage so not sure if it meets your needs. Llikely excelent more cost effective solutions, but it is great to do it once and do it right. Once you get the integrated sorted, I would stick with Marantz and save up for a decent DAC and then use the Marantz as a transport. PS Audio Directstream DAC are going for a super reasonable price. I see one listed for $1,150 just using as an example. Good DAC and the performance/$ is crazy good, as there were so many sold and folks are going to the MK2 and other solutions. There is an upgrade path with the APS nickle transformer mod can run with the best out there, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Sounds like a fun journey. Go slow, and enjoy the process. I like going used from quality well established sellers.  

Sounds like you are in for a fun journey.

I'll second a used Hegel integrated.  The highest up the chain you can afford.  Hard to beat IMO. But, I am biased, I own the H360.  If you can up your budget just a little.......


Check Hifishark, there are several available right now close to your budget. 

Good luck!


You could get used Peachtree Gan400 and the PreDac (preamp) used for around 2k and be done. 

The PeachTree GAN400 is rather good for the $1000ish used price. I had it 2 times on my Magnepan LRS+ until I finally found the Sanders Magtech amp which is better for much more money.

I used to own the older PEachTree NOVA 150 and found out via some testing that the amp section was good, and the preamp section was lacking. Not sure if the new preamps from PeachTree are better.

Those Hegel integrates mention above are also pretty good.





I don't know anything about Peachtree or Class D amps


I found this Peachtree Unit for Sale. Comments?

Powerful Class D amp: what about Class D?

Peachtree Audio X-1 (FLAGSHIP) Grand Integrated Amp/DAC/Tube preamp




6 Moons Review


I do believe an integrated amplifier is the way to go at your budget.

I assume you are using the phonostage within the Denon receiver and the CD player as a stand alone.  If this is true you will need a new phonostage as well. Also, if the CD player is working well you might want to consider the purchase of a new DAC and use the CD player as a transport via the coax digital output on the player.  

One consideration is that Integrated amplifiers can be purchased as line level (amplification only) or with either an internal DAC and phonostage, or with both.

Another consideration is how much power you feel you need. Does the 50wpc Denon suffice? 

Your thoughts on the above would help us help you.





Great suggestions here: Rogue, Peachtree, Hegel.

Shopping at The Music Room will net you a great, checked out piece. Here's a search result with a bunch of good options selected.

Here's the  CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED list I chose from what is currently available:

  • Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL MZ3 Tube Headphone Amplifier; Integrated; LPS+ $2,549.00 
  • Hegel H120 Stereo Integrated Amplifier (1/2) $2,249.00 
  • Hegel H120 Stereo Integrated Amplifier (1/3) $2,099.00 
  • Hegel H120 Stereo Integrated Amplifier $1,979.01 
  • Cary Audio CAD-300 SEI Stereo Tube Integrated Amplifier $3,999.00 
  • Jolida Audio DJ1000 RC Stereo Tube Integrated Amplifier $1,175.14 
  • Peachtree Carina GaN Stereo Integrated Amplifier; Gloss Mocha; MM Phono (Unused) $2,771.01 
  • Peachtree Nova 300 Stereo Integrated Amplifier; MM Phono $1,066.36 
  • Cary Audio AiOS Wireless Stereo Integrated Amplifier; Roon Ready; BT $1,425.54 
  • Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 Stereo Integrated Amplifier $2,823.50 
  • PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium Stereo Tube Integrated Amplifier; (No Remote) $1,551.51 
  • PrimaLuna EVO 100 Stereo Tube Integrated Amplifier; EVO100 (No Phono) $1,835.10 

I support all the suggestions so far. Used gear is the way to go unless you have a big wallet or want the security of "New". In addition, the amount of functioning used gear is almost unlimited. If you enjoy the hunt, CL and MPlace in your area is a great place to start. No shipping and prices can be amazingly low and most sellers are not getting enough traffic that they eventually just want it out of the house. Upgrading your current Denon to newer main stream brands like Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer etc can be rewarding and may meet your desired enjoyment needs. Then you can continue to swap for better and better gear. Add a Streamer like a $219 "Wiim Pro Plus" so you can evaluate your next upgrades and features that you would like to add to you system. As you can tell I am frugal because I have to be but the system I have put together on a frugal budget that provides me with enjoyment that I believe is an audiophile experience. Good luck hunting and have fun!!!!

Hegel 190. Preowned within your budget. Or up your budget to 3500 and get the Hegel 390 used. 

There are lots of great options, I would probably go with the Hegel H190 if I were in that range.....2 x 150 WPC 8 ohms/2 x 250 WPC 4 ohms, stable to 2 ohms, good built in DAC, built in streamer, well built, excellent reviews and very well thought of; and shouldn't have a problem driving your speakers

Heads up on the Linear Tube Audio MZ2...

Its power section puts out less than I watt into an 8 ohm load.




+1 @ jbuhl . The Rogue RP-1 is a great platform for your needs. You are free to go SS, tubes, or class D. Some great suggestions here, but make sure you have enough wattage. If you go with any of the Rogue items mentioned you should budget for some NOS driver tubes. I can’t recommend a pair of Telefunkens enough. It’s a night and day difference. Recently I tried a modded Akitika amp with the Rogue, replacing my tube amp. At 60 wpc the little guy really sings ( read the reviews). You could buy the Rogue used, build the kit and get Tekefunkens for $2K. Use the $500 for interconnects and a power cord. Or get the amps jbuhl suggested. Happy Hunting, Mike B. 

Rogue Audio, Schiit and Van Alstine are high value companies offering great price/performance.

Odyssey amps are sonic bargains.

+1 @hilde45 list of good options

buying used greatly increases good options


See if you can find a used Hegel H190. It has plenty of power for your speakers and it even has a DAC and Streamer in it.

All the best.

@jjbeason14 that receiver/speaker combination you have is really good.  i've heard a very similar combo and it was one of the best I've ever heard, beating out separates from parasound.  of course, this was a long time ago.  but still, glorious sound. 

Thanks sdog!

I sort of feel the same way. Though I Would like to have a DAC and Streamer.

Anyone have good recommendations?

I would buy a dog if you don't mind walking him every night.

No need to buy one, @emergingsoul  , the shelters are full of good dogs (and cats) available for a small adoption fee.

At this price, maybe a used Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III. 
It’s tube but with a ton of power. Will pair nicely with B&Ws. 

We suggest a miniDSP SHD with a pair of Hypex NCx500 monoblocks:

Deer Creek Audio is an authorized miniDSP and Hypex dealer

You might look at the Peachtree Carina 300. It has a dual parallel DAC (ESS Sabre 9038-type) and 300W and a phono stage. For a little over your budget is the Carina GaN, with a GanFET design. Both have a headphone amp included.

For about $1700 is the Musical Fidelity A1 re-issue class-A integrated. It has been well reviewed with a setup similar to yours. No DAC, though, but it does have a phono stage. Class-A is warm, in sound and temperature.

The Yamaha A-S2200 integrated can be had online at about $3000, a little over your budget, but excellent construction and performance, and sonically excellent. 90W.

The JBL SA750 has 130W into 8R is a class-G design (dual rail) with a WiFi streamer, a DAC, a headphone amplifier and a phono section with very attractive casework, if you favor the silverface and wood aesthetic.

Sugden's A21 SE Signature is a reach over your budget, class A, but retro in that no DAC, no headphone amp or phono stage, but lovely sound.


Separates from Schiit are in your budget: Freya with tube option, one or two aegir or vidar, depending on your speakers, modi multibit for streaming, mani for phono.