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I have all my music in digital format on a Mac mini/external hard drive and, until now have used a Naim Supernait with Hi-cap2 into a pair of Neat Mystique speakers.

After many years of using Naim gear, and feeling vaguely dissatisfied with its reproduction of orchestral pieces, I have decided to jump ship. While I have enjoyed the way this brand handles rock/electric/jazz music, I do feel that it gives an unnatural presentation of classical stringed instruments which results in a very forward, steely tone.

I am looking for an alternative which will give me a less forward presentation, an open soundstage with natural sounding tone and sweeter treble.

Currently, I am tempted by the new Hegel 160 and wonder if anyone has any experience of this amplifier. Alternatively, does anyone have any recommendations which I could follow up?

Thanks for your help

Barnaby
This is a three-year-old thread but perhaps worth commenting on anyway... The above are a few of the reasons why some listeners have switched from their expensive, 'clean and transparent,' solid-state amps for tube or hybrid/tube amps, though I'm sure someone will suggest a few dozen artificial hoops that one can jump through to simulate the effects of tube equipment without giving up the convenience of their s-s equipment... More open soundstage, more natural sound, a less steely tone with a sweeter treble register are some of the virtues of quality tube equipment. But it's very much a different world, because tubes can sound very much alive and magical, and there's a learning curve. Analog equipment, starting with a very good hybrid/tube headphone amp, is where a great many listeners have experienced and experimented with the virtues of tubes, especially noticeable if one has their library on a computer hard drive and can easily hook up such an amp.
 

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This is a three-year-old thread but perhaps worth commenting on anyway... The above are a few of the reasons why some listeners have switched from their expensive, 'clean and transparent,' solid-state amps for tube or hybrid/tube amps, though I'm sure someone will suggest a few dozen artificial hoops that one can jump through to simulate the effects of tube equipment without give up the convenience of their s-s equipment... More open soundstage, more natural sound, a less steely tone with a sweeter treble register are some of the virtues of quality tube equipment. But it's very much a different world, because tubes can sound very much alive and magical, and there's a learning curve. Analog equipment, starting with a very good hybrid/tube headphone amp is where a great many listeners have experienced the virtures of tubes.
OH NO! I can see what's coming next:

 

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trouble with amplifier

Hello people. I've been really off the forum and today I wanted to search the right thread to talk about my problem, but apparently I have forgotten the codes, or search:talkclassical.com on google doesn't work anymore.

I've been using a Fiio A1 (50€) for a long time. 10 days ago, it started to create an annoying "digital" noise bed that ruined the experience whenever quiet passages happened in classical music, or when no music was playing. I've tried plugging on an off bluetooth, changing the charging wire and today, I replaced the audio jack with a new one from the fiio brand. And it's still useless.

I plug the amplifier to my laptop. It hasn't shown this for a long time but the old jack had more and more trouble to stay locked in the laptop's plug (it slips from time to time). I've been using my headphones without amplifier for three days and while the sound is grayer, the noise bed doesn't show up.

I've now tried plugging the amplifier to my old laptop. And none of the two things happen: the jack plugs firmly and there is no noise bed. I've noticed that my current laptop audio female is much looser than the microphone one. Is it possible to replace the female audio jack with a new piece?

I'm unable to find the reason behind this problem. Did any of you have an experience like this before?
 
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