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A85 ... what do people think ...

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by sounddog, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. sounddog

    sounddog
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    As you may know (I've meantioned it enough) just before Xmas I bought a Rotel RA1060. At the time, and for the money, I felt this was the best amp ... in fact I still think it's the best for under £600 that was my limit to spend.

    Since then, the opportunity has arose for me to sell a few things (unused NAD kit amonst other things) and now I'm considering upgrading to the Arcam A85 ... especially if I could get a well priced ex-dem or (newish) second hand one.

    Apart from the obvious thing of having the Processor switch, I also like the idea of the input level trimming to compensate for different output levels of different devices and the general control you have over the inputs.

    Longer term ... I'm looking at replacing my Marantz AV amp with either a Rotel RSP1066 or possibly looking to stretch to a S/H TAG AVR32 - yes the AV8 would be nice but that really is **too** far beyond the relms of budgetry. If I got the TAG would this outperform the A85 in stereo or would it still be worth keeping the A85 plumbed in as a stereo Amp running the front 2 channels?

    The decision boils down to (in the long term) ...
    A85 + Rotel 1066 + poweramps
    S/H TAG AV32 + poweramps
    A85 + S/H TAG + poweramps
    any other options ending up costing around £1800 (excl poweramps)

    Victoria
     
  2. sr78

    sr78
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    I use the A85 driving the fronts with a Marantz SR4200 doing processing and surround/center amplification.

    When I've paid my taxes I can start saving for the P85/3. And when I've bought the P85/3, I hope Arcam will have released a DiVA version of the AV8 :)

    If they don't, I'll be giving the Rotel a long hard look.
     
  3. sounddog

    sounddog
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    So do we!!

    The Diva version of the AV8 that is ;-)

    Steff and Vikki
     
  4. Ian Cox

    Ian Cox
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    I purchased my A85 just before Christmas as I was never happy with the stereo performance of my Denon 2802 as it made music sound smooth and the bass was a bit boomy. The A85 has made a massive improvement in the stereo department, it just sounds so musical with plenty of drive and attack and I am very happy with it. :D

    Don't know if the Tag would outperform the A85 in stereo but if it does it would probably not be by a great margin and you can always bi-amp the A85 for even better stereo performance. So I would probably go for the A85 but of course you will not know until you demo both. I also want to add the P85/3 at a later date and then a processor but that is a few years away yet. :(
     
  5. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Sounddog

    If it were me (and it aint) I would be aiming for a A22 or A32 over a A85, an A85 to what you have already is a sideways move, I know a few dudes over at the HFC Forum went from the A85 to the A22/A32 as it was a much more refined amplifier, that is the general advice from ex A85 owners on that forum (there are a few BTW). I saw a couple for sale a couple of A22s IIRC months back for £600 2H, have you considered alternatives to the A85 for example how about a Unison Research Unico @ £800 this would be my first choice in the current market, it offers a very good alternative to the A85 IMHO.

    Do you know that TAG are currently selling off a few AV32Rs on the factory refurb section with warranties etc ?

    HTHs
     
  6. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Have seen them ... but most seam to be the very basic (5.1, no multi-channel input and often without ProLogic 2).

    Does anyone know how much is would cost to upgrade? I really want one with 7.1 and PLII.

    I'm in the throws at the moment of deciding weather to keep the Rotel 1060, and buy the processor, sell the Rotel and buy a new stereo amp, or sell the 1060, and buy the processor, seeing how it is for music and saving for a replacement amp later.

    As an aside ... what are the differences between an A22 (which I could afford second hand) and an A85 (which I couldn't!!)
     
  7. sr78

    sr78
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    I demoed the A22 against the A85 extensively. The A22 was a little more refined, no doubt about it. However, it was a demomodel (and showing it), and still more expensive than a brand new A85, so I went for that.
     
  8. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Soundy, I cant find any info on the A22 on the Arcam site (Discontinued ???) Im sure it had slighlty more power than the A85 (not much BTW) reading the technical specs below the difference in DIVA/FMJ ranges apart from power rating also looks to be THD which will also have a say in how each amp sounds.

    http://www.arcam.co.uk/diva/hifi/a85.html
    http://www.arcam.co.uk/fmj/products/a32amp.html

    BTW here is an ad from HFW this month that may interest you : ARCAM A85 amp black, 12 months old, remote, headphone socket, bass & treble, boxed, mint (£750) £499. Arcam FMJ22 amp, silver, 2 months old, boxed, mint, balance of 2 years warranty (£1000) £749. Mission 754P floorstanding speakers, oak, bi-wire, boxed (£1400) £499. Tel: 0115 960 3934

    Edit :


    http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=1040&highlight=arcam A32 Now sold
    http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=2694&highlight=arcam A22 £550

    Another A22 sold for £600 IIRC.
     
  9. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Hi ... don't suppose anyone knows where I might be able to download manuals for either the Diva A85 or FMJ A22 do they ... in English preferably (Arcam only have Dutch to download)
     
  10. sr78

    sr78
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    Since I'm Dutch and an A85 owner I might be able to help. Just as long as you don't ask me to translate the entire manual for you ;)
     
  11. mick23

    mick23
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    why not have demo of 1066 with rotel amplification, and see if the1066 is any better than your 1060 for sterio, if it suites your needs you could go for ex dem 1066+ something like rb985 5 channel amp which are in the region of £300 2nd hand, and use the rotel amps you have to make into 7 channel.

    i demoed nad370 and a85 thought the a85 slightly better than the nad also swayed by the a85 apperance over the 370.

    im not so sure the a85 is going to be a chalk and cheese over your 1060 though, my mate has same speakers as you and actually thought the £250 rotel o2 sounded just as good if not better than the a85
     
  12. sounddog

    sounddog
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    We are thinking just the same.

    We are going to phone up and arrange for a listen to a rsp1066 soetime next week :D

    Steff
     

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