Best Integrated Amplifiers Below $3000
In our first collaboration video with Tarun, A British Audiophile, we picked our best budget integrated amplifiers priced under $1000.
But what if your budget can be stretched a little further?
We have listened to a wide range of amplifiers between $1000 and $3000 over the past 12 months and while a number of other integrated amplifiers in this range were very impressive including the Rotel A14MKII and Cambridge Audio CXA61 — we were quite smitten with the following.
Schiit Ragnarok 2
Can you drive the Magnepan LRS with the Ragnarok 2? Indeed you can but it doesn't really shine unless you raise the volume above conversation levels.
Does it work rather well with much easier loudspeaker loads? Beyond what one could expect for the asking price.
The switched stepped volume control makes noise. It's a sound that you start to ignore because the sound quality is so good. It's an amplifier that is both incisive and warm sounding and incredibly poised with all genres of music. It could use more control in the low end and the 60 Watts/channel stereo in 8 Ohms (100 Watts/channel into 4 Ohms) doesn't always feel as robust as it should.
The kicker is the balanced headphone amplifier that is better than anything in its price range and you have an American classic that is worth every penny.
Learn more at Schiit.com
With a focus on dynamics, scale, and tonal accuracy, the 2510 is an excellent component to build a system around. There is a touch of warmth in the midrange but it's a very detailed and natural sounding amplifier.
If your musical tastes lean towards jazz, classical, vocalists, and acoustic instruments — the Exposure 2510 is remarkable piece of kit that flies under the radar.
Price: £1595 (about $2100)
Learn more at ExposureHiFi.com
Croft Phono Integrated
The MM phono section is the real star of the show; Croft offers three phono stage models as well that are superb from the perspective of tonal balance, pacing, and presence.
The power rating is slightly deceptive because you can safely drive a pair of Quad ESLs with this amplifier but it finds its footing with speakers from Wharfedale, Spendor, Harbeth, KEF, ProAc, and Q Acoustics.
Learn more at CroftAcoustics.co.uk
Price: $1377 / £1020 / $1449 at Amazon
Learn more at Amazon.com