Sprout100 - competitors?

For those of you who have bought (or are considering) a Sprout100, what did you compare it with?

There are plenty of small-format integrateds out there, but what would be the Sprout100’s closest competitor?

Here’s what I’ve found (there are lots that are waaaay more expensive, so I was limiting my search to the sprout’s $700 price point):

Yamaha WXA-50 ($499).
55 wpc into 8ohms.
DAC, Airplay, bluetooth, no phono stage tho. Looks like USB port only for a thumb drive or phone, not computer.

Marantz HD-AMP1 (Discontinued, but still around for $750).
35W/8, 70W/4.
DAC, but no Airplay/Bluetooth. No phono stage. USB works with a computer. A little bigger, but still compact.

NAD 3045 ($750).
DAC, phono stage, airplay, bluetooth. USB for computer. Probably the Sprout’s closest competitor.

Denon CEOL RCD-N10 ($499).
DAC, airplay, bluetooth. No phono, no computer USB.

The Yamaha looks like a knock off of the Sprout, interesting. The Marantz is a great, all in one unit. I had one for a few years and has a great headphone stage and a DSD capable DAC.

It is also cute.

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Interesting question. As the Sprout has gone up to $700 now, it’s going to have competition. I didn’t compare before I bought mine, but I was amazed at the difference in depth and soundstage when I replaced my Denon AV reciever with the Sprout100. Absolutely no comparision, night and day difference. Moved on since (SGCD, monoblocks) , but Sprout still running in my den. It’s a great piece of kit. interesting to see how it compares to others. That NAD looks interesting…even has a trigger on the back.

That Keces E40 is interesting. $599.
Phono stage, and USB for computer, but no other digital inputs. (No Optical/Coax)

Another valid option. A little more than the Sprout100, but pretty attractive:

Peachtree Decco125 ($899… $999 with streaming functionality)
Phono stage, USB, digital inputs, Airplay.

I have the Peachtree’s bigger brother and loved it. The 220SE (which is older but Wally at Underwood still sells them) Is a great little box.

TEAC AI-301 ($450)
60wpc into 4ohms
DAC, USB, Optical/Coax. Bluetooth but no airplay.
No phono stage

I bought the NAD 3020 integrated amplifier on Steve Guttenberg’s review on CNET and YouTube, but I sent it back and bought a Sprout because:

  1. SG said the USB port was connected to the DAC and it isn’t. It’s just for firmware upgrades.
  2. The NAD goes to sleep in about ten minutes and doesn’t auto-wake. I have to fumble for the remote, press ON, and wait ten seconds (no exaggeration) for the sound to come on.
  3. I use my Sprout with Klipsch RP-500M speakers with a 10" Klipsch subwoofer. My media computer drives the Sprout via USB and I listen to digital music, turntable, and Internet via the Sprout. I even use Bluetooth sometimes from my Android phone. I use the subwoofer output.

How would you compare the sound quality between the two?

Somewhat difficult, as I swapped NAD for Sprout at the same time I got the subwoofer, but if I recall it sounded good, but I am barely an audiophile. I would say “comparable” on my budget Klipsch speakers.

I have only done intensive listening to forty year old recordings that I have memorized on the Sprout. Here is a data point:
I love the original mix of Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats from 1969. He remixed it in 1987 and I resented the changes to Gumbo Variations. But I gave the 1987 remix a listen on my new setup and I heard things that I never heard before. I am happy about my new sound quality and I am beginning to respect why FZ remixed Hot Rats after all those years of loving the original album.

How’s that?


Odd! I have the D7050, which is similar, and the USB does connect to the DAC on that one. And the 3020 manual says the USB interfaces with the dac.

I know it’s too-little-too-late for more screenshots, but you can enable/disable auto-standby and auto-sense.

Quad Vena 2 - 45w/8 ohms, great DAC, not DSD, with MM phono amp. 5 digital inputs, 2 analogue, 2 digital out and pre-out, plus bluetooth. - £650

Audiolab M-One - 50w/8 ohms, better DAC than Vena, also DSD, no pre-outs. No phono but 2 analogue in. £800 - same price as the Sprout 100.


Bluesound Powernode 2i - 40w/8 ohms, full streaming and brilliant app, including Amazon HD. really for streaming, analogue limited to two 3.5mm jacks - £800.



yeah, that Quad Vena 2 does look nice. I considered it but I left it out of the mix as it’s twice the cost of the Sprout.

Would love to compare that with the Decco125 tho!

And yes, oooh, the Audiolab. :heart_eyes:

In the UK these are all about the same price as the Sprout 100. I have the Audiolab, but bought the Bluesound for the streaming. The Audiolab was used with an Aries Mini which my son now has, one of the kids will end up with the Audiolab if I don’t sell it. Quad and Audiolabb are both IAG and made in the made factory and very high build quality/reliability.

the other small-form integrated that’s intriguing is the Bel Canto C5i. 60w/8, 120w/4. DAC, phono stage, USB in, coax/optical… but no bluetooth or airplay.

Although, at $2,000, it’s really not a competitor.

But it’s dead sexy.

That’s not right. The USB went through the DAC. I played my iPhone through USB every day. I still have the D3020 because it’s a nice little integrated for, say, my desk at work.

That Quad is a sweet looking unit!

(I bet Paul loves this thread…)

I didn’t upgrade to the Sprout, upgraded to Steller stack when I bought new speakers but used 2 of these as trade… I feel they are Sprout competitors. $850.

I loved them for the time they served my Infinity Kappa 8.1’s because two Rialto’s can be bridged to make 400 watt mono’s. Plus lots of input options. I have two more to trade in for something compelling… :slight_smile: AudioControl Rialto 600