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Replacing my Yamaha DSP A1

Discussion in 'Integrated Amplifiers & Receivers' started by essjay, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. essjay

    essjay Member

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    I'm looking to replace my ageing DSP A1.

    My budget is around £1000, I take it most amps at this level will have some sort of video processing/up conversion and will be able to decode dolby true HD and DTS master audio.

    The rest of the system is as follows:

    B&W CC6 centre, 604 s2, ASW 500 sub and TDL RTL3se rears.
    Marantz CD63 II se
    Pioneer DVD 656
    PS3
    Media PC
    Sony HXD 870 DVD recorder
    Virgin V+ STB
    Wii
    Sony KDL40w2000 TV

    The TV is going to be replaced with a KDL46w4500 and I will be adding a sony BD550

    Thanks for your help
  2. Phlog

    Phlog Member

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    Quite a few other people have posted rather similar messages, about replacing A1s. I think everyone I've read has remarked subsequently that although the new amplifier had a lot more up-to-date features, it sounded worse.

    I suspect that for £1k you're going to find it difficult to both get the new features you need and retain the sound quality of the A1.
  3. MrGrumpie

    MrGrumpie Active Member

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    Are you looking at buying 2nd hand or new?
  4. essjay

    essjay Member

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    new
  5. essjay

    essjay Member

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    So how much more do I need to spend ?

    I have seen the Denon 3808 usually £1299 advertised online for £999 or should I be looking for somthing else.
  6. Buckster

    Buckster Moderator

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    Pioneer SC-LX71 :smashin:
  7. Dav1dF

    Dav1dF Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Your ideal replacement is going to be the Yamaha DSPZ7. There's no amp on the market that's going to replace the A1 at £1500 or below. There will be improvements due to the HD sound formats, but producing straight Dolby Digital and DTS (even though this decoding will now be better) will be more of a test. The reason I say this is that DTS-HD and True HD etc tend to sound good even if not greatly mastered, whereas there are a lot of DTS and in particular DD soundtracks that lack energy and life, which is helped by an amp with better amplification. I don't think I've made that clear, but I know what I mean :D
  8. TH3DOCTOR

    TH3DOCTOR Member

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    Hello there guys. I have been a lurker for quite some time:rolleyes: and when I saw this post I had to put my 2 pennies worth in. I have just replaced my own DSP A1 that I bought new back in 98’ I think. At the time, many magazines rated it as not just the best-integrated amp Yamaha had made but the best integrated amp full stop unless you wanted to pay thousands more on separates.

    So when replacing my old flagship I like you looked at the sub £1000 amplifiers from Onkyo, Pioneer, Denon my only prerequisite was that it had to be able to drive THX certified speakers at 4ohms, must be at least 7.1 and less importantly must be aesthetically pleasing (as you will have to look at it every day maybe for another 10 years) and before everyone goes mad saying “well the DSP A1 aint got a THX badge” I know but it was very close to THX standards and drove the speakers perfectly.

    It was not long before I realized that “the world had moved on” amplifiers that were £1500 flagships back in 98’ would need in excess of £4500 to replace with the modern day flagship equivalents and that said an £800 Onkyo just would not cut it (I know this as I was able to demo a few from a very understanding local dealer that let me take a couple home to try on my system). Results: Onkyo not bad but not as good = no point replacing Denon very good and very well build (unlike the onkyo) but still not as sweet as the A1= spend £2000 on a denon and I am sure it will sound better any less forget it.
    Pioneer: Plastic fascia? = Stick to making televisions.

    All was lost then I spotted an ex-demo clear top THX certified Yamaha DSP Z9 in a display case at the side of the store. I said nothing and went home to do some research. At last a flagship!! (now replaced by the Z11) Absolutely glowing 5 star reviews. Now I know what you all will say. Yes it is a bit more than £1000 as it was about £4000 when it came out and still sells for around the £2500 mark (see link PurelyGadgets.co.uk - Amplifiers - Yamaha DSP Z9). But I got mine for – wait for it… £850:clap::clap: all in boxed, remotes, mic and manual. Took it home to try and oh my god what a sound as Dav1dF states dts and DD need help from first class decoders (Burr-Brown 192-kHz/24-bit digital-to-analogue converters for all 11 channels in this case). Build and GUI all top notch and what a saving not to mention it also has i.link that when linked to my DVD blew even the A1 away.

    So in closing please don’t rule out second hand or ex-demo purchases as real bargains can be found (ebay, TCR, Dealers, online) as long as you can try before you buy you cant lose.

    Hope this helps, now I’m off to watch Indi 4 in THX:smashin:
  9. Buckster

    Buckster Moderator

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    sounds good

    I'm tempted similary - found 2 AX10i/AIs today ex-dem for 999 a piece

    half tempting I have to say - both had full warranty too
  10. samhain

    samhain Active Member

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    Where did you source for £850, if you don't mind me asking
  11. TH3DOCTOR

    TH3DOCTOR Member

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    Not at all - ebay. I had to go and collect it myself, (bit of a trek) but I have diesel and sat nav so it did not take very long and did not cost very much to pick up (fantastically heavy though:eek:). He had one in the shop that I borrowed the other amps from but it was well out of my price range:( So I had a quick look on the web and hey presto! It just shows even on ebay you can get a bargain:smashin:.
  12. Dav1dF

    Dav1dF Active Member Assured Advertiser

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  13. samhain

    samhain Active Member

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    Thanks David,

    Let me know how this thing performs with the 150's. I have S85's which are power hungry too to get the most out of them. Could this be the HDMI one amp 4 ohm box of tricks I have been waiting for................:)
  14. morksbeanbag

    morksbeanbag Member

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    Pretty much the same price I got my Z9 for :)

    I had the AX1 and AZ1 before but the Z9 is a step up all round. If you use the pure direct inputs with a quality source it's amazingly musical too.

    Unless you really do want the latest decoding/video features etc. I'd recommend a previous flagship.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  15. RoughRider

    RoughRider Member

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    I don't need to hear this :rolleyes: I am still hanging on to my AX1 - which I got for £1,000 instead of £2,000 - but I do want the latest codecs whatever they're called. When I bought that I think I just missed out on DPLII - oh no - but I still got 6.1. Now I want the HD soundtracks and 7.1 (where it exists) though, and the HDMI switching, and the media player, and I don't want to apy £5k for it. Guess I'm out of luck?

    Pinning my hope sont he Z7 anyway
  16. evenless

    evenless Member

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    I am also looking for replacement of my DSP-A1, Yamaha's Top model around 10 to 8 years ago.

    The Yamaha Top model nowadays, the DSP-Z11, is simply too expensive. I also really don't need an 11 channel HT-system. Of course it will sound great, but where the heck will I place 11 speakers??? :eek:

    The RX-V3900 is more affordable, but I simply think this would be quite a step backwards, especially on 2 channel stereo. (I actually listen to old fashioned CD's quite a bit)

    Therefore I am quite happy that Yamaha now launched the DSP-Z7. You can see it as a stripped Z11. Not 11 channels, but "only" 7. Also only about half of the price of the Z11 and only about 1000 euro's more expensive than the RX-V3900. Seems like the logical way to go no?

    Here's an interesting link that will give you some more details on the differences between the RX-V3900 and the DSP-Z7. Many people wonder what these differences are, because the great similarities, even is size and weight: YouTube - Yamaha Electronics and EMP Speakers Interview at Audioholics 2008

    Any recommandations are welcome! :thumbsup:
  17. Buckster

    Buckster Moderator

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    Interesting video - just watched it

    IF the Z7 is a 7 channel version of the Z11 it is indeed a genuine bargain :thumbsup:

    but if that was the case - I'd hope the

    pre-amp stage is the same, so LM4562 Op-amps (high end) and BB 1796 DACs, both in the Z11

    did any one else get the impression he was slightly stumbling on explaining what had been passed down from the Z11 ? I'm not trying to criticise - just understand - if the Z7 was a cutdown Z11 I'd save up and get one sometime next - year I'm just waiting to be convinced
  18. evenless

    evenless Member

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    I completely agree! Just wondering if the Z7 is a more of a downgraded Z11,rather than an upgraded RX-V3900... :confused:

    Anyhow, the price is just about €1000,00 more than for the 3900, but only half !!! the price of the Z11. :D
  19. dontcare

    dontcare Member

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    Hello this is my first time on here, so here goes, I too have an AX1 which I am very pleased with but I am considering a newer amp for the audio formats, I have been looking at the RXV3900, Pioneer LX81 and possibly the Z7...funds permitting. Any opinions would be welcomed, because as I have read before upgrading from a former flagship to something around the £1K mark may not be such a good move.

    HDMI switching is not really an issue for me because my TV has two inputs and at present everything is controlled from my AX1 handset.

    Cheers.
  20. Cliff

    Cliff Active Member

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    "HDMI switching is not really an issue for me because my TV has two inputs"
    Remember you will need HDMI to pass through the amplifier to get the HD sound off.
  21. dontcare

    dontcare Member

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    "HDMI switching is not really an issue for me because my TV has two inputs"
    Remember you will need HDMI to pass through the amplifier to get the HD sound off.


    Sorry I should have said that at present both sky and blu ray go direct to the tv using hdmi, with optical going to the amp, obviously when/if I change my amp I will leave sky as it is but feed the blu ray into the amp using hdmi and then on to the tv's second hdmi input. That's why I am not concerned about switching various sources. I am just after thoughts on which amp may be the way to go as there seems to be quite a lot of mixed views regarding the Pioneers and the Yammy's ( I see the lx-71 is available for under £1K now )

    Cheers

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