2 channel amp

Martyn35

Active Member
Hi

My current set up for listening to cd`s is

Marantz Ud7006 thru my Pioneer sc-lx83 bi-amped to my MA RS6 speakers,

But have been wondering over the last few months if by adding a 2 channel amp i would get better sound ?
Also which amps should i be looking at with a budget of £700 ?
Is there anything in the classifieds here thats worth a look at ?

Thanks in advance
Martyn
 

Nick1881

Well-known Member
Yes, I have been here myself.

On ebay there is an Arcam FMJ A22 for £500, but I'd say it's a bit expensive. Also A28 for £600.
 

jimfrench

Novice Member
Tread lightly... My search for just such an answer led me to spend nearly 3x what I could have for a 2 channel when my I interest crossed with a dealer trying to move a 5 channel and made an offer I couldn't refuse. However, once set up I haven't had any regrets. The AVR was Yamaha RX -A 2000, which now is mostly a pre amp. It does open the option of other zones. The speakers are MA RX6's and they are still great!
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
jimfrench said:
My search for just such an answer led me to spend nearly 3x what I could have for a 2 channel ...
That sounds about right but glad u found your nirvana.
Martyn, when u say better sound, better sound for what, music or films or both? What is it you are trying to achieve ?

You could add a power amp for increase grunt to the fronts which can do the trick where music is concerned. Or an integrated amp with ht bypass /unity gain control which will add more flexibility. Again will sort the music properly.
 
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Martyn35

Active Member
That sounds about right but glad u found your nirvana.
Martyn, when u say better sound, better sound for what, music or films or both? What is it you are trying to achieve ?

You could add a power amp for increase grunt to the fronts which can do the trick where music is concerned. Or an integrated amp with ht bypass /unity gain control which will add more flexibility. Again will sort the music properly.
This would be mainly for music, but also like the idea of an integrated amp for more flexability :) Which amps should i be looking at ?

Cheers
 

windhoek

Active Member
I used to use my Yamaha RX-V3800 AVR for music then after wondering whether a stereo amp would do a better job, bought a second hand Naim Nait 3 and haven't looked back since. The Naim amp does music so much better than my AVR and that's what matters most to me. I like good sound with films, but when it comes down to it, I want my music to sound as enjoyable as possible and the Naim does that in spades.

At first I incorporated the two with the aid of a speaker switch so that both amps were connected to the same pair of speakers. Recently however, I decided to connect my AVR directly to my Naim amp via it's pre-outs so that the Naim powers the front speakers in all cases. This has turned out to be one of the best things I've done because now everything that comes out of the front speakers sounds fantastic! Because I listen to multi-channel DVD-A and SACD discs, I still need to use an AVR to power the rear speakers, but now that my Naim powers the front, multi-channel audio has never sounded so good, at least not in my house.

If you want to incorporate an integrated amp into your setup you can either...
1) Buy an amp with a Unity Gain feature (this means there's no faffing about with volume knobs to get a balanced sound between your AVR and amp.
2) Buy an integrated amp without Unity Gain and set the amp's volume manually when you need to.
3) Buy a speaker switch and allow your AVR and amp to co-exist independently from one another (AVR does 5.1 and stereo amp does hifi).

The only thing to consider here is whether you live with a family who'll be able to understand how the method you choose works. Speaker switches and Unity Gain amps are family friendly and dare I say it, idiot proof. Option 2 however, might lead to problems because if someone forgets to turn the volume down and then you go to use it, IT'S REALLY LOUD BECAUSE SOMEONE FORGOT TO TURN THE VOLUME DOWN!

Incorporating an amp into an AV setup can be done with much success. It's just a matter of choosing the method that works for you (and your family). Fwiw, I use option B, but only because I live alone. As I'm the only person who uses it, I know I won't switch it on and find the amp's volume knob turned way up.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Tho the Arcams suggested are good ones, There's a whole world of amplifiers to choose from and anything i suggest will be my preference and not necessarily the right one for you. For instance i have a XTZ Class A100 D3 and a Marantz PM7001Ki amplifers driving Acoustic Energy Neo 3 Speakers. Both different sounding to each other, but i like them both equally. Both cracking good amps, but the XTZ is the superior amp and i suppose the one most would choose out of the two. However, they may not work well with your RS6's

MA are reputably known to be bright sounding but that may not necessarily be the case with RS6. It also depends on your music tastes.

I would advise you to head down to a hifi dealer which you can demo amps with your or similar speakers to your own. Get them to bring out a few amps across your price range and may be a little above and take it from there. Also if you want tone controls or not. This is important to some folks. One of my amps has them (Marantz), the other does not (XTZ). If i had my way, i would have it on both, but as said, i like them both equally.

HT bypass/Unity gain control. If this is something you want, its not that common a feature, but not uncommon either. For some amps, it is enabled by a mode/setting, push of a button or switch. For others it could be by removing links. i.e Marantz amps which have it are done with push of a button/switch. My XTZ amp is done by removing links.

What would make life easier, if you list your requirements from the amplifier so the list of amps can be narrowed down, then suitable suggestions can be made.

I currently use Option 3 of Windoek list with my XTZ and AVR and use a switch. I did use option 1 setup with the Marantz amp and avr but the bypass switch is at the back of the amp and not easy to get to, so bought a switch. For me Fantasic sound with both options.
 
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jonnboyy69

Novice Member
£700 will open up a nice variation of new amp choices, however it will buy an awful lot more second hand if ur careful and willing to do the amp research and take the time searching. As Don mentioned, it looks like an integrated amp may suit your needs, esp if you prefer everything hassle free in 1 box.

Ive enjoyed listening to my music via various 2 ch integrated amps for a few years now. They are linked to my 5.1ch yammy avr rxv667 via its pre-outs, they provide the flexibility for both home theatre or 2 ch music listening perfectly for me. In fact I can listen to both if desired at same time with the 667's zone 2!! (usually my xbox and 2ch music)

As mentioned in posts above, tread lightly as its easy to pay more than u need/should do, my experience of searching to buy second hand integrated's has been interesting to say the least. For example; Arcam Fmj integrated's were pretty much top of my recent upgrade wanted list. After watching closely, the second hand prices of one specific Fmj model (fmj a32) for over 3 months, I struggled to nail down its used price range. Identical models with same spec and condition were fluctuating at wildy variable price ranges between £450 and £850!, only reasons I can think that drove these crazy variances were supply + demand and how deep ur wallet is...

I currently use a second hand Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated (£350 used from a local hifi dealer), this has a "home theater" input, thus dispencing any annoying volume adjust issues and fiddly speaker switching between 5.1 and 2ch.

Good luck with the search, and remember to try and audition amps paired with same/similair speakers u own,so u can be satisfied with the sound! :smashin:
 

Martyn35

Active Member
Thanks for all the replys folks 8)

When i first thought about this, i was thinking that i would like them to work independently from each other so the 2 channel amp was powering my speakers for Hifi.
But i`m now liking the idea of unity gain, will this give more life to the sound when watching movies ?


I know i need to get out & audition some amps, but our seven oaks closed down, our richer sounds in MK dose`nt have a demo room 8( i think the closest place to me with one is avland in wellingborough.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Martyn35 said:
But i`m now liking the idea of unity gain, will this give more life to the sound when watching movies ?
Unity gain separates the pre amp stage from the power amp stage on a int amp. So ineffect, the int amp becomes a poweramp and the pre amp stage (volume, input selector etc ) becomes disabled. The avr will become the pre amp and control volume to all speakers, input selection, etc.

In itself, unity gain function does not give more life but the amp itself does, tho it does depend on the avr whether the difference is big, small or none at all for films. In Windhoek case it did. In my case not so much. My av is a 3.5 yr old Yamaha dspax763 and it rocks my house enough for me when film watching.

Having unity gain, as windhoek said, saves faffing about volume matching the two amps
 
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windhoek

Active Member
If you intend to use a speaker switch, I can highly recommend the Beresford TC-7220 because it's simple to setup and use and there doesn't seem to be any deterioration in SQ when in use.

If you intend to connect an integrated amp to your AVR via pre-outs (whether or not it has Unity Gain or HT Bypass as it's sometimes called), here is a useful video on how it works and how to connect the two amps properly.
 
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Martyn35

Active Member
Thanks guys,

Still not too sure which way i`m gonna go, might stick with original plan of working them independently

First thing is to go & audition some amps i think 8)
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Go for a new or old amp that can accept digital signals from your BDP. Worth searching the forums for "digital stereo amps with DAC inputs"
 

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