Ok, now, <sips tea> my Mission 753 always ate most mid range amps for breakfast - '25 to 150w' amplifiers recommended. These were a big seller in their day and for good reason, if you are into electronic music, they are perfect. Now ramblings aside, there was a magazine article many moons ago that found the original 753 worked better with amplifiers of 150 to 300 watts...
The Aura that I have is around 90w (from memory) and takes my Missions, puts them over its knee and spanks them.
So in short,m it wasnt hype, I'd have this over an Audiolab 8000A any day etc etc...
Mmm, the Audiolab. I auditioned one donkeys ago when looking to replace my lightly modded A60. I came away from the dealer with my A60 under my arm and my credit card intact quite underwhelmed.
I guess I may be biased from looking at pics of the inside of the Aura and finding it looking very ordinary indeed - but that's just the geek in me and an ordinary looking naked pic doesn't necessarily have a bearing on sound quality.
TBH, I will probably not change my Arcam 9 for anything 'integrated' as all integrated amplifiers are compromised. If I ever get the time, I'll probably build a couple of class A monoblocks and pop one at the foot of each speaker. I don't have need for preamplification other than my home brewed RIAA stage, which sits next to my deck.
I've been looking for an 'active speaker' conversion project, but will probably shelve that now I seem to have settled on these Celestion 44s. I just can't see me improving them, so lovely is the midband.
"Two very small men cutting steps in the roof of the world"