2 channel help

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Hixs, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Evening forumites,

    As per title I'm looking into 2 channel options (again). Last year, around this time, I was dead set on getting a Yamaha AS-1100 paired with an Audiolab DAC+, but the GF moved in, and the price tag was hard to justify with the sudden lack of free time/space....you know how it goes! (bought an OLED instead :D)

    Now I'm in the market, but looking at going a fair bit cheaper, as it's easier to justify the cost vs usage.

    I'm sort of in a rut of how to proceed however (power vs quality?).

    I currently use my AVR, which is a Marantz 5010 for 2 channel. It outputs 100w/2 channels driven @ 8ohm

    My speakers are Focal 726v (older brother to the newer 726).

    8ohm
    220w
    3 way 6.5" drivers
    Sensitivity - 92db


    Budget wise, I'm looking to max out around 500€ (450 quid). A lot cheaper then before, but can't justify 2k+ for the few hours it'll get used.

    I've looked at the following (online)

    Marantz 5005 €300 (40w) this + cd player in budget
    Marantz 6006 €450 (45w) probably the highest rated here?
    Yamaha as-501 €300 (85w) cheap + power..
    Yamaha as-701 €480 (100w) sadly the 801 is 1k here
    Cambridge Audio SR10 €350 (85w) good saving for 15w less?
    Cambridge Audio SR20 €425 (100w) good pedigree and power
    Yamaha rn402 €320 (100w) newer versions are out of budget
    NAD C326BEE €480 (50w) oddball, no real research

    I've read nothing but good things about the Marantz 6006, but the power rating puts me off. I like to have a bit of volume with my music. Normal listening ranges from 20-30db up to 0db, so I need/want headroom. I'm currently thinking either the Yamaha AS-701 or the CA SR20. I'm open to ebay options @Paul7777x ;) if you get bored...

    @Rambles - Berhinger/Crown options? Not pretty, but you had some high praise for the price.

    this is just a bit of a ramble really, as I've been back and forwards for the last few weeks on how to proceed (I like researching before I buy!).
     
  2. softsorter

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    I have the Yamaha A-S500 is with Dali Zensor 3s Speakers and have no problems with lack of volume, the Amp is the same as the 501 less the inbuilt DAC, I can recommend that setup and if you shop about you could get both for your £450
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  3. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    Good speakers so they deserve a more potent amp than any in the list.

    I’d say check out second hand amps for your budget.

    This for instance will sell for around your budget and will whip them all comfortably...

    Musical Fidelity A3.2 Dual Mono Integrated amplifier.Excellent Condition. | eBay

    And another.

    MUSICAL FIDELITY A3 DUAL MONO MM/MC INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER | eBay

    And this...

    Arcam FMJ A28 High End Stereo Integrated Amplifier (in UK and ship to UK only) 5060133601470 | eBay

    And this too.

    Primare i22 Integrated Amplifier inc DAC - one owner, 12 months old Immaculate | eBay

    All of them a league, at least, above your list :thumbsup:

    Shipping to France is not at all expensive either.
     
  4. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Hi. Certainly nothing wrong with Behringer and Crown amps for power, but, unfortunately, they won't help with improving 2 channel music, as for that it is the pre-amp and DAC sections of the AVR that is the issue.

    Possibly with a switch, a pre-amp / DAC and a Behringer or Crown amp, you could rig up something that would enable you to share the front main speakers with your AVR for movies and then with a pre-amp / power amp combination for music. It might get a bit messy though, and blow the budget.

    I home demoed a few integrated amps and found the Yamaha A-S501 to be awful, sorry to say. Your experience may be different of course. The Marantz PM8005 was better, and the Musical Fidelity M3i better still.

    I now have an entirely different solution, which may also be an option for you. I use a Roksan K3 DAC for all of my musical inputs, and have that going through my Arcam AVR, which I put into direct mode, where it provides a volume control and power. It sounds fabulous, very warm and mellow with lots of detail and separation. It *might* work for you with your Marantz AVR, I never tried this with my Denon and Marantz AVR's, so I don't know how good they will perform in direct mode.

    The challenge is can you find one of these DACs at a the £400 discounted price from £1300, that will ship to France, and possibly offer a returns option if it's no good?

    The used options that Paul linked to also sound like excellent options, but it depends if you are happy taking the risk on used electronics?

    There is this one:

    ROKSAN KANDY K3 DAC CHARCOAL CONVERTITORE DAC NUOVO GARANZIA UFFICIALE | eBay

    Or, if you have someone in the UK that can forward parcels to you (or if there is a parcel forwarding service that you could use):

    Roksan Kandy K3 Charcoal Digital To Analogue Converter - DACs - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists
     
  5. Hixs

    Hixs
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  6. Rambles

    Rambles
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    That Arcam A38 does look good, with a recent service and 6 month warranty, it is less of a risk. I wonder if the bidding will mad at closing?
     
  7. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Well, I offered lower then asking and he countered with 50% off shipping, which brings the price in at 475£ or €528. Seems a good deal considering condition and service.
     
  8. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    It is indeed.

    If you can Afford it I’d snap it up.
     
  9. Hixs

    Hixs
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    I've accepted the counter, just emailed to see how we proceed. I've not bought of ebay since the days of 'dumb' phones.

    Done and dusted. :D

    Shame it's not black though. Will stand out a bit compared to the rest of my gear, but hey ho.

    Now on to the next step - how to integrate into the 5.1 setup. Obv no HT bypass (main selling point of the AS1100).
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  10. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Pretty sure the A38 does have HT bypass only Arcam call it processor mode.
     
  11. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Huh I read about that, but it never really clicked! That just made my day even better. :)
     
  12. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Are you abandoning your AV Receiver?

    As has been mentioned the Yamaha AS501 Integrated with DAC is a steal. In the UK it is between £250 and £275.

    If you want more features including Network Streaming, and more digital inputs consider the Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver. These run in the UK at about £330.

    Using Amazon-Germany we can estimate the price in Euros -

    https://www.amazon.de/Yamaha-S501-Stereo-Vollverstärker-Wandler-schwarz/dp/B00MYDLJ1K/

    https://www.amazon.de/Yamaha-S501-Stereo-Vollverstärker-Wandler-silber/dp/B00N23DOQO/

    I simply went with the first links that came up, if you shop around, you might be able to find better prices.

    Here is the Yamaha RN602 from Amazon-DE -

    https://www.amazon.de/Yamaha-AV-Receiver-mit-Bananenstecker-Stereo-R-N602/dp/B0161C8S0E/

    One step down from the RN602 would be the Yamaha RN402 -

    https://www.amazon.de/Yamaha-R-N402D-Black-MusicCast-Netzwerk/dp/B01KHHC3K0/

    Whether the RN602 is a consideration will depend on how important Network Streaming is to you. From Amazon-DE it is just a bit over budget, but probably worth it. And if you prefer the Yamaha AS501, you can always add Network Streaming later.

    https://www.amazon.de/Yamaha-WXAD-10-MusicCast-Adapter-Dunkelgrau/dp/B0713NRK5R/

    For what you want, your budget is a bit lean, but there are amps at or near that budget.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  13. Hixs

    Hixs
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    I bought an Arcam A38 off ebay earlier. :)

    Recent service from Arcam themselves and in near mint condition. Should be in the post tomorrow.
     
  14. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Exciting, let us know how it works out :smashin:
     
  15. Hixs

    Hixs
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    I've not told the gf yet... :D
     
  16. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    :laugh: Tell us first :smashin:
     
  17. muljao

    muljao
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    Just tell her it makes her look (even)more beautiful (it doesn't have to make sense)
     
  18. Hixs

    Hixs
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    If not around come Monday, she's had me knackers off with a butter knife. :rotfl:

    So - it's with parcel force. I just checked what the seller sells...I've no worries of being conned that's for sure. it's a true high-end shop lololol 750 quid kettle leads, 1.5k wooden grounding boxes, 2k for a 1m interconnect and many more high-end items :D:D:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  19. Hixs

    Hixs
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    So the arcam showed up.

    Hooking it all up is confusing me a little. The HT bypass section isn't marked as such. There is AV section which has the options of pre-out or power in. Now I'm assuming it's preout from the avr to power in on the amp?

    Should've bought another set of RCA for the sub as well. Dammit.

    Nevermind answered my own question with a search on here. i need another couples sets of RCA cables. Sucks when you can't play with your new toys staright away lol my own fault for not researching better. Thought I only needed a single set.

    Thread for any searchers in the future - FMJ A28 Processor Mode/HT Bypass
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  20. potshot

    potshot
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    I will be interested how you get on with a processor mode and how easy or hard it is to set up. I will be sometime next week setting up processor mode on my Arcam A49 and Anthem 510.
     
  21. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Well, I just remembered I had a manual (we men don't do manuals right??) and a quick look through suggests just a single pair of RCA from pre out into the amp will work just fine. I'll try that now before I blow 20 notes on more rca cables.

    edit - pic for you. Can't imagine it'll be any different on the a49
    IMG_20190111_154138[1].jpg
     
  22. potshot

    potshot
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    Thanks. Since I have had the A49 it has sat on top of the Anthem so I haven't been able to use the Anthem for over a year, I have a new rack coming soon what will allow me to separate them and start using the Anthem and my plain to set up processor mode. I think my manual is in the loft with the box so that was helpful.
     
  23. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    You only need the one pair going from processor to the A38. A second pair would only be needed if also bi-amping with a P38.
     
  24. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Yeah I worked that out in the end.

    I do have another question though. If I'm running spotify connect off my amp as my primary source of music, am I using the avrs amps or the a38?
     
  25. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Well your L/R speakers are connected to the A38 so you are using the Arcams power amp section no matter what but I assume Spotify is running on the AVR? If so you will not be benefiting from the improvement in stereo that the A38 pre-section may have offered.
     
  26. Hixs

    Hixs
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    Yeah spotify comes via avr. I figured that was the case, as it sounds no different to what the avr put out. So I need to buy a streamer of some description and plug that into the amp.

    I've been pondering going back to physical media. With a slow internet connection and multiple people in the house, spotify can be unusable at times.

    Chromecast via 3.5mm to RCA would work, or do I need a chromecast audio?

    As you can see, i didn't think this part out very well..
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  27. dollag

    dollag
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    a cca will work fine.
     
  28. Rambles

    Rambles
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    If your AVR has Zone 2 analog pre-outs, you could try using those into a spare input of the integrated amp, which would enable you to still use the streaming functions of the AVR. This is not ideal as you will be 'double pre-amping' that is the pre-amp of both the AVR and the integrated amp will be in use, plus the DAC in the AVR will be in use.

    But, it is free to try, if you have some spare RCA leads, so it might be interesting to see how it sounds. Otherwise a chromecast audio would be the best value streamer to add to the integrated amp, then the AVR can be powered off completely when listening to music.
     
  29. Hixs

    Hixs
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    I've got the zone2 pre-outs, but I'm more inclined to just buy a CCA. No point having the amp for stereo, if it don't use all of it. Surprised Amazon doesn't sell them? some sort of competition thing?
     
  30. Hixs

    Hixs
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    So,had a look around and the CCA isn't exactly cheap here like it is in the UK. Looking at €60. The Yamaha WXAD-10 can be had for €109. Will there be a big enough difference between the two to justify the extra cost?
     

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