I am currently shopping for an integrated amplifier and am considering Bryston, Musical Fidelity, and NAD. Do you have any firsthand experience with these? Are there any other brands I should be looking at? Your guidance is appreciated.
I don't think you can go wrong with any of these brands. I recently toured Bryston's Canadian factory, and can attest to the care and expertise that they lavish on their products. Their 20-year warranty is, I believe, the longest in the industry. While their older lines had a slightly cool sound to them (think Krell), their newest lines are supposed to be pretty neutral, and objectively very, very good. I recently reviewed two Musical Fidelity products, the M1DAC and M6 500i integrated amp. I found both to be pretty good, especially the integrated. I can't be sure of your price range, but if you like warmer-sounding gear that provides a good deal of ambience to a recording, you can't go wrong with their well-built products. As for NAD, Sathyan Sundaram recently reviewed their C 375DAC integrated amplifier-DAC. Based on his detailed review, my suggestion would be to try and listen to the NAD if at all possible, since it is likely the least expensive, yet most fully-featured integrated amplifier you could by from any of these three companies. If that doesn't strike your fancy, I'd then suggest Bryston's B135 integrated, or Musical Fidelity's M6i. . . . Hans Wetzel