I have been following the reviews of hi-end integrateds in TAS since NG's review of the Plinius 8100 many years ago.
I am finally ready to make the jump and I wanted to compile a short list of integrateds based on your experience.
My priorities are probably best summarized by JV in his review of the Gamut DI-150 (TAS 176):
"...the kind of listener that prizes detail, speed , power, and neutrality above all else..."
I almost pulled the trigger on the cj CA200, but I discovered that it is SE (my best cables are balanced/XLR!)
I have read reviews of the PASS INT-150, the BAT VK-300x, the newer ACCUPHASE, the Plinius 9200 and the Goldmund 330, and all these sound like good candidates. Problem is I live in an audio-challenged city (Houston), and can't bop down to the local hi-fi shop and give any of these a spin.
In your opinion(s) which of these integrateds come closer to the Gamut in terms of realism? I can certainly change cables, but in my experience I have definitely heard the benefits of balanced circuitry (from ATC, Muse, etc)
Naturally I plan on audioning before I make the decision, but it would be helpful to winnow the list down some before I go traipsing about country.