|Overall||Amplifier||Audio features||Control||Extensive connection|
|Yamaha A-S801||9.5||10||9||10||9||See price|
|Cambridge Audio Azur 851A||8||9||8||8||7||See price|
|Marantz PM8006||8||9||7||10||6||See price|
|Audiolab 6000A||6.7||10||6||3||8||See price|
|Peachtree Audio nova150||6.6||10||6||0||8||See price|
|Marantz HD-AMP1||6||7||6||3||8||See price|
|Rega Brio||4.7||8||4||3||4||See price|
It is the integrated amplifiers that often become the hearts of Hi-Fi class home audio systems, rocking the sound of the speakers and allowing them to play at full strength, revealing all the colors of your favorite compositions. That’s why it is crucial to choose the best integrated amplifier under 2000.
But how to do this? Here we have a comprehensive review of mid-range devices that boast a good combination of price/quality.
The Marantz PM8006 integrated amplifier is made in corporate design with a curly aluminum front panel, on which there are all controls arranged symmetrically relative to the vertical axis. In addition to the usual input selector and volume control, there are also tone controls for low, medium, and high frequencies, as well as buttons for selecting operating modes. Among them is a selector of two pairs of connected speakers and “direct” audio supply modes bypassing auxiliary circuits, as well as turning on the input of the power amplifier. The amplifier is made on a three-layer chassis, eliminating the impact of any external vibrations on it.
The Marantz PM8006 is equipped with an upscale built-in phono equalizer, the circuit of which has been completely redesigned by the company's engineers to exactly match today's current requirements for vinyl reproduction. The amplifier also uses proprietary HDAM modules that have proven themselves in the Marantz technique. This fact makes it standing here, and who knows it may be the best integrated amp under 2000 for your needs.
The device circuit is built on discrete elements and is covered by current feedback, which allowed to obtain a linear operating characteristic, a wide dynamic range, and minimizes noise and distortion. In addition, such circuitry provides the necessary stability of the amplifier when working with speakers with a complex impedance characteristic. The amplifier volume control is built according to a new scheme to achieve the most smooth and accurate tune of the signal level without audible noise. The Marantz PM8006 power supply is built on the basis of a powerful toroidal transformer with a double screen to eliminate interference to sensitive audio circuits completely. It provides 70W at 8 Ohms.
The manufacturer is especially proud of the built-in MM phono. During the process, according to this connection scheme, HDAM modules collide with JFET transistors, which lead to an increase in impedance and must ensure the elimination of connecting capacitors. Since the signal is amplified using a Class A operational amplifier, each component must be carefully thought out and optimized for a clean signal path. The front panel of the Marantz PM8006 is equipped with a convenient headphone output and three convenient tone controls for fine-tuning the low, mid, and high frequencies. Behind the analog volume control is a microprocessor for electronic adjustment.
On the rear panel of the amplifier are gold-plated RCA sockets for six signal sources, adjustable and unregulated outputs, as well as a direct input for supplying a signal to the terminal. There are also two pairs of proprietary speaker terminals and a D-Bus system bus connector.
The Marantz PM8006 has a distinctive signature sound with smooth mid frequencies, focused and deep bass, and beautiful, airy highs.
The Cambridge Audio AZUR 851A silver integrated stereo amplifier is assembled on the basis of the proprietary Class XD technology, which provides unsurpassed sound fidelity, as well as good compatibility with various speaker models. This technology allows you to almost completely eliminate the distortion of the audio signal type "step", and significantly improve the sound quality at low listening volume.
Cambridge Audio on its website describes the Azur 851A as their “Flagship Class XD Integrated Amplifier”. Class XD is Cambridge's proprietary amp circuit design that they say delivers incredible sound quality compared to existing amp configurations.
Class XD, in other words, is a dynamic shift zone bias that provides Class A operation at low levels and eliminates distortion associated with the usual Class B operation when a weak audio signal passes through the zero point from the transistor to the transistor. The result is smooth and linear signal transmission between two operating modes, classes A and B.
Azur 851A develops 60W of output power (8 Ohms), and two toroidal network transformers are installed in its power supply. On one of them is built a source for signal pre-amplification circuits, and the other provides output stages with energy. Separate transformer windings are used to power the stereo channels, and thus, the “double mono” concept was implemented in the device circuitry. To adjust the volume in this model, a custom balanced design potentiometer is used that provides high accuracy and smoothness of sound level changes in 1 dB steps, with a minimum of noise and distortion.
The amplifier is equipped with unbalanced and balanced input connectors and thus will be an ideal partner for a firm's CD player with XLR outputs. In total, seven-line inputs are provided, an input/output for connecting a recording device, and an adjustable output from the preamplifier. The amplifier is equipped with high-quality screw terminals for connecting two pairs of speakers.
The most attention on the front panel of the Azur 851A is attracted by an attractive blue display with adjustable brightness. In addition to the tone adjustment, which can be turned off, there is a headphone jack on the front panel, seven buttons that correspond to various sources, and the user can rename them at his discretion, smooth volume control and the “Mode” button, which allows you to switch between Volume modes, Balance and Program. In Program mode, the gain level can be limited for the selected signal sources, which allows the user to use the maximum signal level for each source.
It is assembled on an anti-vibration chassis with a reinforced structure. The output transistors are placed on a massive milled heat sink placed horizontally under the top cover. Due to this, uniform heat dissipation is achieved due to natural air convection, and additional forced ventilation is not required. It is equipped with a universal remote control, from which you can also control the iPod / iPhone, installed in the corporate dock iD100.
With its impressive 300W per channel (8 Ohms), the Peachtree nova300 can take on demanding speakers and demanding rooms and serve up the bright, dynamic sound. This elegant integrated stereo amplifier under $2000 can accommodate nearly any audio source you can think of. For example, from a turntable to an iPad. It even has a discrete amplifier for listening via headphones. Manufactured by a team of world-class engineers and designed right in North America, this stylish unit continues Peachtree's tradition of making devices that sound every bit as good as they look.
The company implemented a new ICEpower amplifier for lower distortion, less noise, and overall simplified design. Dynamic and musical, this powerful amplifier can drive just about any set of speakers, since it puts out 300W per channel and handles impedances down to 2.5 ohms. Its built-in ES9018K2M Sabre32 Reference DAC delivers precisely detailed sound with a wide range of digital audio signals, up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and 5.6MHz DSD.
For digital music sources, the reviewed amp offers an asynchronous USB input for a computer, along with two optical inputs and a coaxial input that accommodate signals up to 24-bit/192kHz. There is even a dedicated asynchronous USB input for direct digital wired connection to Apple Lightning devices. Use the cable that came with your iPad to connect your device and listen to music and applications with excellent processing and sound quality. The included remote control lets you control playback and skip tracks in any compatible application. You also get analog connections for old music sources. For lovers of vinyl, there is a phonograph with a moving magnet (MM) for the direct connection of the player.
The Nova300 has the popular Peachtree Bypass (HTB) home theater feature for easy integration with a multi-channel preamplifier/processor or A / V receiver. Thanks to the HTB, the nova300 power amplifier controls the front left and right speakers of your home theater. This frees up your receiver to work more effectively with center speakers and surround speakers while improving the sound quality for your front speakers. The volume control bypass function puts the Nova300 in “power amplifier” mode, allowing you to adjust the volume using the knob or slider on your favorite device or application.
The Nova300 has a discrete low-impedance headphone amplifier that delivers great sound for just about any headphone. The speakers and preamp outputs are automatically muted when headphones are connected, and the volume control becomes the headphone volume control. The system will return to the built-in amplifier as soon as you unplug the headphones.