Looking for an AV amp that will best my stereo amp...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by MikeD, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. MikeD

    MikeD Militant Nutter

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    Hey guys, been a while since I've posted around here :p

    I'm finding myself watching more films, and playing more games, than listening to music these days, so I'm looking to make the move to a surround setup.

    Current setup is a Marantz PM6010 Ki feeding a pair of Rega Elas.

    I'd like some ideas of AV amps to demo that may best my Ki with music. I'd be hooking the Elas up to the B output, for music, so there's no need to worry about the rest of the speakers (I haven't even begun to think about them yet).

    Budget is up to £600.

    Any recommendations are appreciated, though scope for demos is pretty limited around these parts.
     
    MikeD, Sep 3, 2008
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  2. MikeD

    D Louth 77

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    Hi MikeD

    Difficult one . The problem with AV amps is they try to do so much other than amplify ,just 2 channels . Its a very bad enviroment for the delicate signal of music . However if you are not after the latest flashing lights you can buy a S/H AV amp say one that sold new for a couple of grand or more for around your budget . The reason for doing this is you can get a great bargain as AV doesn't hold their value . And it is only IMHE that when you get to these prices that AV amps start to sound any good on music. While your amp was not very expensive it will still out perform all £600 current AV amps IMHO.

    I would look for Yamaha or Denon and i would nod towards Denon as the sound has more scale and warmth ,Yamaha is a bit lighter (but not bright). I would not look at Sony,Pioneer or Onkyo or even Marantz as i don't think these brands are as good overall as the ones i suggest.

    Of course if you need HDMI,HD Sound etc then you will not be able to buy S/H and you will have to go current . Again i would opt for Denon and Yamaha (forget Onkyo ,despite what What Hi-Fi says. Onkyo only doing well because Yamaha would not allow What Hi-fi to review their products . Onkyo filled the gap. They are not bad but they use Din for power ratings and not RMS. So power figures are a cheat)

    If you buy new you will need to keep your amp and if it has an Ht input you could combine your amp and a new AV amp (your Hi-Fi amp runs the front and AV amp runs rears and centre).

    At £600 any AV amp will be a big compromise in terms of sound. You could of course(space permiting run two systems) ,something i do.

    Regards D Louth
     
    D Louth 77, Sep 4, 2008
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  3. MikeD

    shrink

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    get yourself a second hand older top of the range amp.

    You could do a LOT LOT worse than getting a yamaha DSP-A1

    the old flagship from the late 90's. Does Dolby and DTS, has a full set of 6 channel ins for future expansion, and is built like a brick outhouse.

    Heres its real benefit though. The A1 can hold a tune pretty well, it has amazingly good quality amplifiers built in, and via analogue inputs, or even using its own DAC, its a very musical amp.

    I used it with a pair of mission 782 SE's which are a £900 pair of floorstanders, and it all sounded very good, clean open, crisp and with great authority.

    Obviously in the day £1700 would get you a much much better amp for 2 channel, but at about £250 second hand now, i doubt you will find something that will do your music more justice.

    more modern yamahas and denon's dont take the music thing quite so seriously, and dont pull of quite as good a job of it. but the A1 (or if you want 6.1 get the A1X) is one of the best sounding AV amps ive ever used.
     
    shrink, Sep 5, 2008
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  4. MikeD

    mr cat Member of the month

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    mr cat, Sep 5, 2008
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  5. MikeD

    shrink

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    problem with the E800 is it means you have to constantly balance the volume control on your main amp, to a known setting before you can listen. However a lot of modern integrateds (arcam, meridian, cyrus etc) have fixed gain inputs designed specifically for home cinema use.
     
    shrink, Sep 5, 2008
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  6. MikeD

    MikeD Militant Nutter

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    Thanks for the input guys :)

    I remember swooning over the A1 back in the day, so it might be worth a punt.

    Space isn't an issue, so it looks like I may just keep the stereo setup as it is and have the two systems separate.
     
    MikeD, Sep 5, 2008
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  7. MikeD

    ditton happy old soul

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    yes, keep the naked stereo amp for music purposes, and use the pre-outs from the AV amp
     
    ditton, Sep 6, 2008
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