Any thoughts about using an integrated amp as a preamp?

I haven’t owned Rogers monitors, but I have owned both Harbeth and Spendor monitors. All are BBC designs and BBC based monitors are as a class of loudspeaker not very efficient. I can’t even speculate about the preamp section of the Arcam Diva, I’ve never owned Arcam gear at all. But I can say from my experience with Harbeth and Spendor monitors the inherent inefficiency of that particular design benefits not a little, but a lot, from more clean power than your Arcam integrated delivers. Dollar for dollar (or pound?), I’d opt for upgrading to more (good quality, clean … can’t emphasize that enough) power. Try it and see what you think. I for one would be interested in knowing your impressions using your Rogers monitors with more power.

Thanks for your thoughts about this. I think the one step at time approach makes a lot of sense.

This is helpful. It’s good to know that this type of speaker should benefit substantially from more power.

Just to provide an update after all this time, I ended up replacing my Arcam integrated with a factory refurbished Cambridge Audio Azur 851A (120 watts per channel), which I bought on Cyber Monday. I had first replaced my speakers with KEF LS50’s, which are more revealing than the Rogers in the top end and have somewhat better imaging, but the difference in sound quality wasn’t as significant as I hoped. However, the difference with the more powerful amp was dramatic. The LS50’s now have bass and a presence that was missing with the Arcam.

Thanks to everyone for the great advice.


Can’t help with advice except next time, buy used. hifi is very much a fashion industry, so even great hardware generally depreciates faster than it degrades. scrapes listings from used equipment sellers all over the world, and you can usually buy stuff for 50-60% of the new price.

I once seriously looked at a second hand product on hifishark, made a serious offer and provided my contact details, after some very strange communication I decided to bail out, it turned out to be a bad scam.

Because Audio Shark advertisements are basically links to local eBay or like in my case a very crooked site, it is very anonymous and thus a safe haven for crooks to do their work.

It feels so bad and wrong, providing contact details and investing time in it. I will never ever consider looking at an advertisement from AudioShark or similar sites anymore.

Then if you look at most offers, it are old models while the asking price is still very high. You never really know what that equipment went through or whether some part has been grilled.

I recommend to but second hand from a trusted dealer or the very serious offers on this PS Audio forum.

On this PS Audio forum I feel you can trust most if not all advertisers, as the history of that gear is most likely documented here as well.

A black Stellar S300 would most likely match you budget, visually your ARCAM and might probably exceed your Sound Quality expectations.

For your budget, you could buy it new.

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With respect to Mr. Appel, I found my DSD and two pairs of JC-1 amps and a few wires over the years through hifishark and not had any issues. I think the key is to thoroughly vet the vendor or individual before buying from them, and always use a credit card that protects your purchase.
For example, items from Echo Audio are usually listed at hifishark, and they are a very reputable firm.

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Yes, certainly I was unlucky and perhaps it was an offer too good to be true. But nevertheless such experience left such a bad taste in my mouth that I don’t feel the need to ever try again. Luckily I did not loose any money.

I did so using a Wyred4Sound STI-500 integrated amp. I used the integrated amp channels and preamped out to a multichannel amp for six speaker stereo audio.

I’ll just make a general point from experience. Years ago I was using a Luxman integrated that had pre-outs and main in. I wanted more power and bought an American (Marantz) amp. I was naive then and hadn’t understood that back then British and Japanese amps tended to much more sensitive than American amps, so the low output of the Lux preamp wasn’t really sufficient to drive the Marantz. I replaced the integrated Luxman with a proper Luxman preamp which would output 7V and that loaded the Marantz just fine.

The power map section of the Arcam is very sensitive (250mv) so I wondered what sort of voltages the preouts were capable of. It seems they’re nominally about .5 volt but might reach 8volt. 0.5V is very low but 8V is fine so I wonder what in reality it’ll be.

Your speakers aren’t large so are unlikely to take lots of power so you’ll probably be ok but try to get a sensitive amp to be sure.