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Help me pick an integrated!!! (1 Viewer)

Tim Hoover

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May 27, 2001
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Basically, I've got my choice narrowed down to three contenders based on price and features. They are the Rotel RA-02, NAD C320BEE, and Cambridge Audio A-300. Only the Rotel is available for local audition, so I thought I'd turn here for more advice.

The listening room will be 14x12. High volume isn't a priority, since I have a larger system in my great room. The integrated will be matched with a pair of Alesis Monitor Ones, and CD player and turntable (probably a Music Hall MMF 2.1) to be determined later. No sub in this system, although I may add one later. My Grado SR-60 headphones will also see plenty of action.

I prefer a warmer sound, however, bass needs to be very controlled and tight. I'm looking for good detail, soundstaging, and all that other stuff:) Does anyone have any experience with any of these models, or other suggestions?
 

Tim Hoover

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The Nait 5 is WAAY out of my price range. At $1600 retail, it's more than triple the cost of any of my above-mentioned choices...
 

chung_sotheby

Supporting Actor
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Apr 8, 2002
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Try to find a used Musical Fidelity a3 or a300. They usually go around the 800-950 range, but extra money spent will be well worth it. I felt the a300 was a better unit than either the Plinius 8100 or Krell KAV300il. However, if your budget is absolutely no higher than $600 or so, I would check out used Arcam or Anthem models. Good luck
 

Ian Lascell

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Jan 10, 2003
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The NAD 320 BEE is highly regarded and was chosen as a product of the year for 2002 by What Hi Fi. I plan on getting one of these myself for the office. I believe What Hi Fi also thought highly of the Rotel 02, but didn't quite think it represented the same outstanding value. I'm not familiar with Cambridge products. I find What Hi Fi to be very accurate in their reviews and they have not steered me wrong yet, but they do tend to concentrate on British companies so if you prefer American products it will be harder to find reviews of some of those. I'm not sure if they ever tested the NAD and the Rotel head-to-head. I'll check my back issues and if they did, I'll post what they thought.
 

Scott Oliver

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Aug 30, 2000
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IF you can only listen to one in person, the why not consider buying used. That way if you get it and decide it is not to your liking you could put it right back on the market and recoup your losses. Plus going used of course can give you better value.
The following are all posted on Audiogon right now for rigth around $600

Audio Refinement Complete

Primare A-10

Arcam A-65

Cary SLI-30

Antique Sound Labs AQ-1003 DT

Anthem Integrated 2
 

Rich Wenzel

Supporting Actor
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Aug 9, 2002
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also if you can find a rotel ra-01 its the same as the 02 without the remote and cheaper.

not sure what the arcams go for, but i would think they are in that range..

Rich
 

Ian Lascell

Agent
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Jan 10, 2003
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42
As Rich said, the Rotel 01 is the same as the 02, but without the remote. The 01 is the same price as the NAD 320BEE. The 02 is considered to be in a higher price bracket than the NAD, as are most of the other suggestions here. I checked What HI Fi and they gave both the Rotel 01 and 02 as well as the NAD 5 stars. They highly recommend all 3.
 

Tim Hoover

Screenwriter
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May 27, 2001
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Thanks for the additional suggestions. I've run across the Audio Refinement Complete before and every review I've seen gives it high marks. I'll be sure to check out the Rotel 01, as remote won't be necessary.

I'm also considering the used market, but that'll be touch and go when I'm ready to pull the trigger...
 

Ted Kim

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Apr 11, 2002
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Tim Hoover

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May 27, 2001
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Ted, you are correct about the Monitor Ones - 4 ohm impedance, 88dB sensitivity.

Thanks for the link. I am DIY inclined, but I don't have the time. I'll peruse it for future reference, though...
 

Tim Hoover

Screenwriter
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May 27, 2001
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Craig and Khoa, I was wondering if you could describe the sound of the 320BEE, as well as anything about that integrated that annoys you operationally?

Rotel's website indicates that the RA-01 is a European-only model. How are you New Yorkers (Rich and Ian)able to obtain it? PM me if necessary...
 

Khoa Tran

Supporting Actor
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Oct 23, 2002
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i would think the NAD sound is very warm and musical, the sound seems extremely realistic it isn't as detailed and bright as others but that's how i prefer it....and for things that annoyy me about it...you can only turn the amp into standby mode by the remote not by the button on the actually unit which kinda bothers me because i don't want it to turn off all the way because i like it being warmed up before i listen to it(although i can't tell the difference, i just like the idea that it's warmed up) and i'm not always using the remote as the system is in my bedroom and it's a pain in the ass to walk across the room to get the remote =) i'm just lazy....other then that i love it...although i hope it would have came with a phono section....
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
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Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
In a recent What HiFi group test, they rated the RA-01 just slightly ahead of the 320BEE (both were well ahead of a Denon and a Sony).

The RA-02 is absolutely identical to the RA01 aside from having a remote.
 

Craig Morris

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Oct 10, 1998
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In Canada, it's not even fair to compare the NAD and the Rotel. If I'm not mistaken, the Rotel lists for $750 and the NAD is $500.
 

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