I have a budget of about $2000 to spend on my amp and preamp. Should I get separates or an integrated amplifier?
Ten years ago, separates would have been the only way to go, as integrateds were somewhat frowned upon in the high-end-audio scene. Having two chassis has its benefits, as separating the amplifier section from the preamplifier section can cut down on electromagnetic noise. Integrateds are much more common these days, however, and often very good. The fact that some integrateds come with a built-in digital-to-analog converter makes them even more compelling.
I can't be sure of what exactly you're looking for with regards to your system, but I would probably suggest going with an integrated because of the simplicity and requiring less cabling to get quality sound. There are a variety of companies that make highly competent designs that fit a variety of needs. Without more information, I would suggest starting your search with Creek, Musical Fidelity, NAD, Peachtree Audio and Wyred 4 Sound. These are just a few, however. Let us know if we can be of more assistance. . . . Hans Wetzel