Confused with my new very cheap amp

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by amazingtrade, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. amazingtrade

    amazingtrade Mad Madchestoh fan

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    I was in Richers last week and bought a a Tangent AMP 100 (Eltax's high end brand).

    My old Marantz PM6010 has lots of faults including soldering problems, failing caps etc.

    The sales man was going through all the options and reckoned this £100 amp was a real bargain and sounded a lot better than you would expect.

    He said I could bring it back if I don't like the sound.

    I got it back given it a few days to warm in, and it sounds very good. It does many things better than my marantz, the timing is a lot better and it is very musical.

    However the vocals sound a bit restrained, I am not convinced the soundstage is that great. My question is what do I need to spend to make a big improvement on it? These Tangent sounds very very good.

    But I am wondering I was so spend £250 on a Cambridge Azur 540 V2 if the improvement would be worth the extra £150.

    I want something new as I have have been unlucky second hand and just love that new feeling. The tangent can easily be returned.

    Just wanted a bit of advice. What I will say is I have had lots of budget amps and this Tangent souinds a lot better than my parents Marantz PM4000.

    Edit I think I get what the problem is, its the midrange it just dosn't sound as clean as I am used to. The Zuton's new album for example sounds very very good on it but something like Simon and Garfunkel or Johnny Cash lacks that mid range sparke. Its same with Roy Orbision.

    Basicaly this amp is cracking for punk/indie but not much else.

    So do any amps exist with smooth midrange but plenty of sparkle else where?

    I reckon its going to be between the NAD BEE or the Azure 540 V2 whch is more expensive.
     
    amazingtrade, Dec 19, 2006
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  2. amazingtrade

    Bob McC living the life of Riley

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    stop buying rubbish.
     
    Bob McC, Dec 20, 2006
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  3. amazingtrade

    amazingtrade Mad Madchestoh fan

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    I have been unlucky with my Marantz kit :( I am getting my Marantz CD6000 OS LE serviced though as I an not convinced listening to some CDPs in shops I can get better than that.

    I am going to treat myself anyway as I have worked hard this year (currently working 50 hours a week with my part time job at Curry's.Digital - don't laugh).

    I guess the Tangent is perfect kit for a first timer but when I have a good a budget mid range CDP its stupid having a basic amp.

    The problem is I am not sure the sound I am after exists for my sort of money. I want something that sounds very lively but warm at the same time. My music ranges from anything to 70's British punk, folk, indie, country to pop and the very odd bit of dance.

    Edit the only other option would be to keep the Tangent and get a head phone amp as I use the headphones 80% of the time anyway. The tangent does sound good but as I have a bit of money I don't need to settle for good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2006
    amazingtrade, Dec 20, 2006
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  4. amazingtrade

    Tenson Moderator

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    Seriously, go second hand. The 'new' feeling doesn't last for more than a few days, but the amp will be better for all the time you own it. I love the Cyrus 3 (not the 3i) if you can find one.

    Or for something new but still good how about an amp kit from 41Hz? The Amp4 would be good and a simple passive pre-amp on the front. I think you can buy the 41Hz stuff assembled too.
     
    Tenson, Dec 20, 2006
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  5. amazingtrade

    zanash

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    Most people buy kit at a price point to suit there living standards ...so to say "stop buying rubish" is to belittle the level of dispoable income and therefore the socioeconomic status of the owner.

    What ever gear is bought at what ever price ..there will be someone who can afford more and if they are particularly insensitive will pass such a comment as posted above.

    The amp will benifit from good cables ....both speaker and Ic..

    if you look on the DIY section I've posted recipies that will make cables that will be far superior to the freebies supplied.

    On of the biggest limiting factor in any low cost amp is the volume pot. Once out of warrenty I'd see what was fitted and then get a better one like an alps blue or a stepped attenuator.
     
    zanash, Dec 20, 2006
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  6. amazingtrade

    Snoo

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    I know you said you don't want to buy second hand, but for 100 to 150 you could buy an Audiolab 8000A.

    There are loads of them about so you can take your time finding the right one. Buy the latest model you can afford, athough they are very reliable the RCA connections on the back can get damaged with lots of plugging unplugging. But they have so many inputs that if say the CD input breaks you can use one of the Tape or Video in's.

    You can also then use this as a pre amp if you wish to add a power amp at some stage.

    I've owned one for several years now and love it.
     
    Snoo, Dec 20, 2006
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  7. amazingtrade

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    I'd reccomend used aswell.

    Rotel make brilliant stuff in your price bracket.

    There's always loads on ebay.

    I nearly bought this one myself, there's every chance its working fine (or it might need a repair), but the description of it is giving it a give-away price.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-X-ROTEL-AMP...48QQihZ012QQcategoryZ3280QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Personally I think 8000a's can be bettered, but would go along with a cyrus as being a decent recc.


    ...or how about a big arsed studio amp for a bit of fun?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Studiomaster-...8QQihZ012QQcategoryZ68247QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
    bottleneck, Dec 20, 2006
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  8. amazingtrade

    early

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    If I was working to a £ 100 - £ 150 budget , I'd be looking
    at a mk1 Rega Brio ( the clamshell model ) , they pop up on ebay
    quite often . they are a class act for the money .
     
    early, Dec 20, 2006
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  9. amazingtrade

    lordsummit moderate mod

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    The Rotel looks a bargain. Mind you now you're locked into the Richer sounds loop....

    You can pick up a Cambridge 540A for £200 online, a much better bit of kit.

    Second hand gets you much more though.
     
    lordsummit, Dec 20, 2006
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  10. amazingtrade

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Rotel's RA-971 (and mk II) were total bargains. With a fancier active pre-amp stage, remote and phono stage they became the 1062, but the 971 sold for £250 vs £650. I would sell you mine, but I already sold the S300...

    Also, NAD make superb amps in the price range. Having looked under the lid of a fair few budget amps I'd always go NAD or Rotel over marantz (I had a PM66SE before the RA971mkII) or others.

    For example, compare the PM6000 to the NAD C320BEE or Rotel RA01... The NAD and Rotel have nasty plastic knobs and buttons, functional but not amazing casework, etc. The PM6000 has beautiful, weighted aluminium knobs, etc. The money paid for those has come out of the power supply and circuit components.
     
    I-S, Dec 20, 2006
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  11. amazingtrade

    T-bone Sanchez

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    I had a Marantz 6010KI, it was fine for the money and its still doing sterling service in a mates second system. Im sure you could pick one of those up for reasonable money
     
    T-bone Sanchez, Dec 20, 2006
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  12. amazingtrade

    Bob McC living the life of Riley

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    Zanash
    Lighten up and learn to spell.
     
    Bob McC, Dec 20, 2006
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  13. amazingtrade

    garyi Wish I had a Large Member

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    AT Stop buying rubbish.

    Its not an amount of cash thing its what you do with it. In a local hifi shop here an nait 3 was sold for 90 quid.
     
    garyi, Dec 20, 2006
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  14. amazingtrade

    Dev Moderator

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    A contradiction or what? :D.

    Sorry Gary, only kidding.
     
    Dev, Dec 20, 2006
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  15. amazingtrade

    mr cat Member of the month

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    is there anything hi-end about Eltax..?
    RS will always push this brand as well as Gale, cambridge audio etc as they're the sole sellers of them...
     
    mr cat, Dec 20, 2006
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  16. amazingtrade

    Snoo

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    Well. Yes.

    Though, I once had an original pair of Symphony 6's that were a damn fine pair of speakers. I'm sure views on RS have been run around again and again. Though they did help me get my foot on the hifi ladder years ago. But they were a lot different back then and you rally could get some bargains. The RS of today is a long way from that however.
     
    Snoo, Dec 20, 2006
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  17. amazingtrade

    mr cat Member of the month

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    yeah, I bought a lot of stuff from there in my early days of hifi...including a pair of symphony 6.2 speakers - they were ok too - but I upgraded to a pair of kefs and they had a lot more clarity...
     
    mr cat, Dec 20, 2006
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  18. amazingtrade

    Snoo

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    They used to have a wider range. I guess that manufacturers clamped down on them. They allowed me to put together using stuff like Tannoy, Marantz and Arcam for a really good price. I wouln't point anyone there these days though. It seems the norm to send 'starters' second hand.
     
    Snoo, Dec 20, 2006
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  19. amazingtrade

    titian

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    Amazingtrade,
    I would seriously go for second hand.
    Also do not rush your buy. I would even wait half a year more and keep saving. During this time go around and find out really which sound you would like to have. Even if the prices are high, listen to the stuff and make a preference list. These items are sometimes to be found in the second hand market for less than a tenth of their price. You just have to wait. Try to calm down your instinct of wanting to buy something now. Also discuss with friends who have systems about your tastes and sound preferences also listen to their experience. This might open your perspectives.
     
    titian, Dec 20, 2006
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  20. amazingtrade

    domfjbrown live & breathe psy-trance

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    HOW!? I'd consider going back to one of those and getting rid of pre/power/psu now I'm back on my Rega Elas in the main rig ;) Could make myself ~£800 and thus pay off my overdraft!

    AT - ignore all the dissing of Audiolab 8000As - if you get a later (non-DIN) model they're pretty good. I miss my Mk2 (but I let my mate keep it, so still get visitation rights ;))
     
    domfjbrown, Dec 20, 2006
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