Integrated Amplifier for Polk R200

prozkater

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After tons of research, I have finally decided to build a new stereo system around the Polk R200 speakers (since the Wharfedale Denton 85th are no longer available).
So here goes:

Usage: Music playback through TV (optical out/external DAC) (youtube, youtube music, spotify, apple music only, no mp3 or flac) and Bluetooth streaming from a smartphone.
Listening Distance: About 4ft away from the TV and 5-6 ft away from the speakers)
Room Size/Acoustics: Zero room treatment, with lots of glass windows. Medium sized room, tiled floor with false ceiling.
Music Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie-Pop/Rock, Electro Pop, Dreampop, Post Rock, Progressive Metal, Instrumental, ZERO RAP/HIP HOP (although I also love good bass)

I am not fond of V shaped or U shaped sound, I prefer lush thick intimate vocals with great detail that does not sound bright or fatiguing.

Keeping in view the above scenario, what are my best options for an integrated amplifier to hook up with the Polk R200?

I have shortlisted few amps for consideration:

1. Audiolab 6000A ( sadly has no tone controls, however I can add in Schiit Loki+ in the future)
2. Denon PMA-800NE
3. Cambridge Audio AXR100
4. Onkyo TX-8250 network stereo receiver (supports streaming)
5. Marantz PM8006/PM7007N (will the PM6007 be too weak for the R200 since they are 4 ohm speakers)
6. Yamaha A-S801 (If I can find a good deal)

I am open to buying used items as long as they are fully functional, in fact I prefer pre-loved items over new ones if available with a good deal, especially the Audiolab 6000A and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary :)

Sub-out and USB input are a bonus if available.

Also, should I consider getting a dedicated streamer?
Will ifi ZEN DAC v2 (or Zen DAC AIR) / topping E30 be better than the inbuilt DACS on these amplifiers?

Kindly advise.
 

amrutmhatre90

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I have heard and used the Marantz PM8006 and currently own the Audiolab 6000A. Can give you some views on them.

Marantz PM8006
- Marantz house sound, warmish but needs careful speaker matching or lows can get into mids.
- None fatiguing, smooth sounding. Good vocals.
- Tone controls with Bass, Treble and even mids.
- Can connect 2 speakers
- 20 more watts than the Audiolab, but in a small room you won't require more power.

Audiolab 6000A
- Neutral, and very very good bass control. Mids are lovely.
- Loads of detail, dynamic and slightly bigger soundstage.
- Awesome DAC with Optical and SPIDF, you won't require to add anything, though I have a SMSL SU9, I still sometimes use the onboard Audiolab DAC connected from my TV or Android Setup box. Downside is it just plays 48khz but that is a limitation from Android side. But one can get away by not investing in a DAC. Found the DAC to be better than Topping D50s.
- Small form factor.

I am happy with the Audiolab, I too was keen between Marantz or the Audiolab but I prefer neutral sound. BTW I had these paired with the QA3050i. Happy to answer more questions if any.

What is your budget for the whole system?
 

SanVJ

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I am open to buying used items as long as they are fully functional, in fact I prefer pre-loved items over new ones if available with a good deal, especially the Audiolab 6000A and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary :)
I think there is one used Audiolab 6000a available for sale on Classifieds section.
 

prozkater

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I have heard and used the Marantz PM8006 and currently own the Audiolab 6000A. Can give you some views on them.

Marantz PM8006
- Marantz house sound, warmish but needs careful speaker matching or lows can get into mids.
- None fatiguing, smooth sounding. Good vocals.
- Tone controls with Bass, Treble and even mids.
- Can connect 2 speakers
- 20 more watts than the Audiolab, but in a small room you won't require more power.

Audiolab 6000A
- Neutral, and very very good bass control. Mids are lovely.
- Loads of detail, dynamic and slightly bigger soundstage.
- Awesome DAC with Optical and SPIDF, you won't require to add anything, though I have a SMSL SU9, I still sometimes use the onboard Audiolab DAC connected from my TV or Android Setup box. Downside is it just plays 48khz but that is a limitation from Android side. But one can get away by not investing in a DAC. Found the DAC to be better than Topping D50s.
- Small form factor.

I am happy with the Audiolab, I too was keen between Marantz or the Audiolab but I prefer neutral sound. BTW I had these paired with the QA3050i. Happy to answer more questions if any.

What is your budget for the whole system?
Thanks for the feedback, I am leaning heavily towards the Audiolab 6000A. For the speakers I am getting brand new, however, for the amplifier, I would prefer used ones for 50k-ish range. The cheaper the better so that I can invest in other things like better speaker cables, stands etc. If I have to buy a new amplifier, then around 80k but I would also need to save up a bit.

How is the bluetooth streaming on Audiolab 6000A? Does the sound quality drop significantly?
 

amrutmhatre90

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Thanks for the feedback, I am leaning heavily towards the Audiolab 6000A. For the speakers I am getting brand new, however, for the amplifier, I would prefer used ones for 50k-ish range. The cheaper the better so that I can invest in other things like better speaker cables, stands etc. If I have to buy a new amplifier, then around 80k but I would also need to save up a bit.

How is the bluetooth streaming on Audiolab 6000A? Does the sound quality drop significantly?
Makes sense getting used amp.
You won't be disappointed, the Audiolab packs lot of punch. People had advised me to look elsewhere as it was 50w but to be honest it is a little beast.

It uses AptX Bluetooth, if you use a Android phone you will be fine streaming. Streaming from TV or Setupbox is also good, get a android box with optical out and you have your own streamer, it will show up in spotify. You won't require to turn on the TV.
Bluetooth is a fallback solution, won't be as good as the wired ones but it is better than found on other IA's.
 

prozkater

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Makes sense getting used amp.
You won't be disappointed, the Audiolab packs lot of punch. People had advised me to look elsewhere as it was 50w but to be honest it is a little beast.

It uses AptX Bluetooth, if you use a Android phone you will be fine streaming. Streaming from TV or Setupbox is also good, get a android box with optical out and you have your own streamer, it will show up in spotify. You won't require to turn on the TV.
Bluetooth is a fallback solution, won't be as good as the wired ones but it is better than found on other IA's.
Thank you very much. Audiolab 6000A is on the top of my list now. I just need to find a really good deal now.
 

General_sound

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Marantz IAs have a warm ish sound signature which is never fatiguing,IMHO, keeping in view my experience with the 4xxx,5xxx &6xxx series of amps. Though they do run out of breath with demanding loads, they are reliable and will serve you for years. I have no experience with Audiolab. Having said that ,do audition all amps carefully and tnen take a decision.
 

prozkater

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Marantz IAs have a warm ish sound signature which is never fatiguing,IMHO, keeping in view my experience with the 4xxx,5xxx &6xxx series of amps. Though they do run out of breath with demanding loads, they are reliable and will serve you for years. I have no experience with Audiolab. Having said that ,do audition all amps carefully and tnen take a decision.
Unfortunately, where I am from, it is next to impossible to audition any amp as there are no stores that sell audiophile products, we only get logitech, altec lansing and the likes :C
 

General_sound

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V sorry to hear that. However am sure that u can go to a nearby town which has an audio shop, as taking a blind decision may cause disappointment later. All the best in ur selection. We are sure it will work out
 

prozkater

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V sorry to hear that. However am sure that u can go to a nearby town which has an audio shop, as taking a blind decision may cause disappointment later. All the best in ur selection. We are sure it will work out
Thanks, if my work schedule permits, I will definitely consider doing that.
 

SiR

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I have heard and used the Marantz PM8006 and currently own the Audiolab 6000A. Can give you some views on them.

Marantz PM8006
- Marantz house sound, warmish but needs careful speaker matching or lows can get into mids.
- None fatiguing, smooth sounding. Good vocals.
- Tone controls with Bass, Treble and even mids.
- Can connect 2 speakers
- 20 more watts than the Audiolab, but in a small room you won't require more power.

Audiolab 6000A
- Neutral, and very very good bass control. Mids are lovely.
- Loads of detail, dynamic and slightly bigger soundstage.
- Awesome DAC with Optical and SPIDF, you won't require to add anything, though I have a SMSL SU9, I still sometimes use the onboard Audiolab DAC connected from my TV or Android Setup box. Downside is it just plays 48khz but that is a limitation from Android side. But one can get away by not investing in a DAC. Found the DAC to be better than Topping D50s.
- Small form factor.

I am happy with the Audiolab, I too was keen between Marantz or the Audiolab but I prefer neutral sound. BTW I had these paired with the QA3050i. Happy to answer more questions if any.

What is your budget for the whole system?
- Marantz house sound, warmish but needs careful speaker matching or lows can get into mids.


Amrut, just to clarify, the Tone Controls in PM8006, where the lows can be adjusted [ Bass ] to ensure that they don't get into mids ?

Your clarification will be of immense help


TIA
 
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amrutmhatre90

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Amrut, just to clarify, the Tone Controls in PM8006, where the lows can be adjusted [ Bass ] to ensure that they don't get into mids ?

Your clarification will be of immense help
TIA

Yes, I think it can be done. I don't have the Marantz to test it, also my friend who owns this has some powered speakers which are bright so cannot test.

My point being, try to listen to speakers which are warm with this Amp before going ahead. I had tested my friends old wharfedale which are warm and felt it was getting mixed.

Now this can be due to my listening habits that I could point out, but a normal person wouldn't even notice this. The difference between mixing lows and mids was minimal but could feel it. It might be with the old speakers too.
This wasn't noticed when I connected QA.
 

SiR

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Yes, I think it can be done. I don't have the Marantz to test it, also my friend who owns this has some powered speakers which are bright so cannot test.

My point being, try to listen to speakers which are warm with this Amp before going ahead. I had tested my friends old wharfedale which are warm and felt it was getting mixed.

Now this can be due to my listening habits that I could point out, but a normal person wouldn't even notice this. The difference between mixing lows and mids was minimal but could feel it. It might be with the old speakers too.
This wasn't noticed when I connected QA.
Thanks for your Response Dear !!
 

prozkater

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Off topic; but seeing as the Magnat Transpuls 1000 are on sale right now, will it be a better buy for me than the Polk R200? Does anyone have experience with the magnat transpuls 1000 and polk r200? Space is not an issue btw
 

prozkater

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On further research, since I will be doing lots of streaming, is it advisable to go ahead with Powernode 2i for the polk r200?
Also, here is a sound demo comparison between
1. audiolab 6000a + wharfedale 12.2 (
)
and
2. audiolab 6000a + polk r200 (
)

In the sound demo above, I think the 12.2 sounds better than the r200 with the audiolab 6000a for my taste, especially the vocals.
The 12.2 sounds thicker/richer I feel, although this is just through youtube, so in real life I may have a different opinion.

Anyone who owns both or who have listened to both 12.2 and the R200 may please enlighten me on the sound please.
As for the amp, I really want to purchase the Audiolab 6000A, but is the Powernode 2i comparable since it has better streaming capabilities. Or I should just add a streamer with the Audiolab 6000A later on?
 

MNX

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On further research, since I will be doing lots of streaming, is it advisable to go ahead with Powernode 2i for the polk r200?
Also, here is a sound demo comparison between
1. audiolab 6000a + wharfedale 12.2 (
)
and
2. audiolab 6000a + polk r200 (
)

In the sound demo above, I think the 12.2 sounds better than the r200 with the audiolab 6000a for my taste, especially the vocals.
The 12.2 sounds thicker/richer I feel, although this is just through youtube, so in real life I may have a different opinion.

Anyone who owns both or who have listened to both 12.2 and the R200 may please enlighten me on the sound please.
As for the amp, I really want to purchase the Audiolab 6000A, but is the Powernode 2i comparable since it has better streaming capabilities. Or I should just add a streamer with the Audiolab 6000A later on?
In that case, why not look at the Audiolab 6000A Play? No idea about the local availability and pricing though.
 
Purchase the Audiolab 6000A Integrated Amplifier at a special offer price.
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