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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    Western New York
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    Small Integrated Amp Recommendation?

    OK, so this question doesn't belong in general, but where? Maybe it doesn't even belong on this forum, but hey, it's for my SB systems, so here goes.

    Home is where my full kit resides, but a few years back I bought a small "seasonal" cabin. I have ISP/DSL access so can stream audio and video. I wanted to keep things simple, so I started out with a Boom and a small TV. I still enjoy the boom and his sound to this day. I wanted to improve the video sound, so I bought a cheap Yamaha soundbar, and decided to also bring an extra Touch from home to run through the soundbar. A slight improvement over the boom (which actually says alot for the boom).

    But, it's really not cutting it, not bad, but I miss the sound from my gear at home.

    I made a change to one of my systems at home that freed up a nice pair of Klipsch KG 1.5 bookshelf speakers (the old ones, not the gold cone ones). I plan on bringing them to the cabin, but, how to drive them? This is where my SB friends come in, your advice.

    I have a couple of old Rotel integrated amps (late 70's) at home but they are too big and bulky. I have a Arcam A65 amp in one of my systems at home, which would be perfect, but I don't want to disassemble that system.

    So I am looking for some suggestions, especially something I might find used, or relatively inexpensive, do drive the bookshelf. The speakers are very efficient, and I don't plan on playing anything loud, so low powered but clean, small footprint, would be ideal.

    One last thing. I would really like if the amp could be controlled by a remote to integrate it into the harmony I have. Also, if it had a digital input and a nice DAC, then that would be ideal for the touch, otherwise, I would use analog.

    Thanks for any suggestions...
    Jim

  2. #2
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    Feb 2011
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    Don’t know about Harmony for sure but I recently got my hands on a second hand Denon CEOL RCDN7. It surprised me.
    It has optical and also has Airplay and works with Phillipe’s Plugin perfectly.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  3. #3
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    Oct 2009
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    Western New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    Don’t know about Harmony for sure but I recently got my hands on a second hand Denon CEOL RCDN7. It surprised me.
    It has optical and also has Airplay and works with Phillipe’s Plugin perfectly.
    Thank you, this is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. Even though there is no need for a CD player, it's nice and compact, and in the right quality/cost bracket (i.e. Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, NAD, etc).

    My comment on Harmony is the I use a cheap Harmony 650 universal remote for "play music" "stream TV" etc all in one commands for simplicity for users other than I (wife and guests). I would like it if the amp would just receive IR commands for power on/off, volume, input, etc. Some of the desktop amps, like the Audio Engine one, do not.

    Regarding your comment on Airplay, and Phillipe's plug in, I am not familiar...what would/could, that do for me over the planned Touch->amp->speakers (control via touch, or android app)?

    Jim

  4. #4
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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrum View Post
    Thank you, this is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. Even though there is no need for a CD player, it's nice and compact, and in the right quality/cost bracket (i.e. Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, NAD, etc).

    My comment on Harmony is the I use a cheap Harmony 650 universal remote for "play music" "stream TV" etc all in one commands for simplicity for users other than I (wife and guests). I would like it if the amp would just receive IR commands for power on/off, volume, input, etc. Some of the desktop amps, like the Audio Engine one, do not.

    Regarding your comment on Airplay, and Phillipe's plug in, I am not familiar...what would/could, that do for me over the planned Touch->amp->speakers (control via touch, or android app)?

    Jim
    Harmony. The Denon has a standard IR Remote so I’d expect it to work without issue.

    Airplay Plugin. Limited to 16/44.1 but means that it could be used without any SB player attached at all. I use mine with a Pi plus USB DAC but I also experimented with Airplay Plugin and it works perfectly although needs a smartphone controller or similar.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  5. #5
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    Utah, USA
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    I'm in a similar situation and ended up with a Onkyo DR-UN7. I had to get a converter to change the component video out to HDMI. It will not play BlueRay, only regular DVD's and CD's. The Onkyo by itself will only run the front speakers, to run the rest of a 5.1 surround would require a separate power amp, but we don't need surround and I can't remember the last time we actually watched a DVD at the cabin anyway. I built a PiCore player with hifiberry DAC+ with analog out to the Onkyo driving small Bose AM3's. For a pretty small system both my wife and I are very happy with the sound. I have a full copy of my home library on my laptop and run LMS on the laptop when I'm at the cabin.
    Main system - Rock Solid with LMS 7.9.1 Official on WHS 2011 - 2 Duets and Squeeseslave
    Cabin system - Rock solid with LMS 7.9.1 Official on Win10 Pro - 1 RPi 3 Model B/Hifiberry DAC+ Pro/PiCorePlayer and Squeezeslave

  6. #6
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    Oct 2009
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    Western New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by w3wilkes View Post
    I'm in a similar situation and ended up with a Onkyo DR-UN7. I had to get a converter to change the component video out to HDMI. It will not play BlueRay, only regular DVD's and CD's. The Onkyo by itself will only run the front speakers, to run the rest of a 5.1 surround would require a separate power amp, but we don't need surround and I can't remember the last time we actually watched a DVD at the cabin anyway. I built a PiCore player with hifiberry DAC+ with analog out to the Onkyo driving small Bose AM3's. For a pretty small system both my wife and I are very happy with the sound. I have a full copy of my home library on my laptop and run LMS on the laptop when I'm at the cabin.
    Thanks for sharing. There are a whole lot of features on your Onkyo that I don't need, but the footprint/form factor is similar to what I was thinking - something that would fit on a shelf with a touch next to it. I see them second hand for about a buck and a half $USD.

    I also built a piCore for the cabin (and one at home as well), but using it as a server, not a player, I put it in an enclosure with a 2TB USB HDD and installed it in the loft with my modem and router. Where you use your laptop for your library, I use a thumb drive and Samba to keep my libraries in sync. I'm thinking of in the future maybe another "travelling" HDD to simplify the sync by just mirroring the drives.

    What's nice about this arrangement (at least in my brain) is I keep a copy of all of my files that need redundant backup (photos, etc) on both HDD's as well as my home PC and the cabin HDD serves as my "off the premises backup"

    I appreciate your input, and d6jg's as well. You can find small amps/equipment out there, with prices all over the place, but it's nice to hear from our community "what sounds good".

    Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2009
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    154
    NAD D 3020. We use it in our living room to drive two B&W Nautilus 805 speakers and a B&W subwoofer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Cheshire, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by w3wilkes View Post
    I'm in a similar situation and ended up with a Onkyo DR-UN7. I had to get a converter to change the component video out to HDMI. It will not play BlueRay, only regular DVD's and CD's. The Onkyo by itself will only run the front speakers, to run the rest of a 5.1 surround would require a separate power amp, but we don't need surround and I can't remember the last time we actually watched a DVD at the cabin anyway. I built a PiCore player with hifiberry DAC+ with analog out to the Onkyo driving small Bose AM3's. For a pretty small system both my wife and I are very happy with the sound. I have a full copy of my home library on my laptop and run LMS on the laptop when I'm at the cabin.
    I also have a small Onkyo but not that one. Mine has CD, Tuner, digital inputs and LAN but in the latter respect it’s poor as it’s DLNA implementation doesn’t do gapless and it doesn’t have AirPlay. I’ve used it with an SB3 via optical and a Pi+ HAT and both were fine. It has a smaller footprint than the Denon.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  9. #9
    Senior Member Browny's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    185

    Simple Little Amp

    Something like this....

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/LEPY-2024A-.../dp/B00SATAEEA

    Simple, Cheap and very surprisingly effective. I have even paired one with a pair of Mission LX-2s in a second system and it holds its own very very well. For the money you can't go wrong

  10. #10
    This is a tiny setup that I put together for my office. It used an Amptastic amplifier.

    Now I use a Raspberry Pi with touch screen and DAC and amplifier cards feeding the speakers. Both systems are pretty small footprint.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/piCoreplayer/LMS7.9.2 with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    PiCorePlayer(Pi2) with IQAudIO DAC+>Sennheisers
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), spare Pi2/piCorePlayer
    Office: LMS7.9.2 running on WiFi MyPassport drive > piCorePlayer(PiB)/HiFiBerryDAC > Amptastic Amplifier
    SqueezePad, iPeng as controllers

    last.fm/user/GrumpyBob

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