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Add power amp or upgrade receiver?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by AlexMC, May 22, 2001.

  1. AlexMC

    AlexMC
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    Hi

    I'm running a Yammie 595 (budget 70w/ch AV amp) into a Rotel RB971 (2 ch power amp) for the front floorstanding speakers, and using the internal amplification for the 'small' center and rear speakers.

    I want more 'bang' and dynamics, and an improvement to stereo listening. Given a budget of £600, would you :

    a) Sell the Yammie and Rotel and buy a new integrated amp, for example Denon 3801.

    b) Trade the Rotel for a 5-channel power amp, for example the Rotel RB985 mkII (100w x 5, high current). Save a bit more and upgrade the Yammie to a processor when funds allow.

    c) Something else?

    Cheers
    AlexMC
     
  2. guyb

    guyb
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    I'd buy the Denon 3801
     
  3. guyb

    guyb
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    I'd buy the Denon 3801. You get 7 x 105 watt per channel and a whole host of features: DD, DD Ex, DTS Es, DTS Es 6.1, DTS Neo:6, Widescreen, 5 ch stereo, 7 ch stereo plus lots more.
     
  4. AlexMC

    AlexMC
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    I just had another thought:

    Buy the Rotel 985mkII, bi-amp my main speakers for 200w/ch, use the 5th channel to run the center speaker and my existing RB971 to run the rears.

    How does bi-amped 200w/ch sound for stereo? Both stereo and the rears would benefit from increased power and I wouldn't have to sell anything...

    I'd also have 7 channels of power amp rather than 5...
     
  5. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Strange that you are not happy with the stereo sound while using an external power amp.
    Though I am not familiar with Rotel I have heard only good things about them and wonder if replacing the whole lot with an intergrated solution would be any benefit for you, especially if it comes to stereo performance (most AV amps are still lacking there a bit).
    Only thing I can think off is to replace the Rotel then, perhaps with a more powerfull amp of different brand even if you don't like the sound, let it be 2 or 5 channel, depending on your budget.
     
  6. AlexMC

    AlexMC
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    Thanks for your reply, Reiner. I do like the neutral sound of Rotel power amps, but I feel that dynamics, bass weight and detail would be improved by a little more power.

    The speakers I am using are floorstanding 5-way MS208s (Mordaunt Short), with power handling of 400w. I'm feeding them 70w in a fairly big room, and I think that maybe bi-amped at 200w/ch may 'bring them to life'.

    Plus then I would have another 3 channels of power amplifier for my rears and center, and the pre/pro and power stages would be completely separate for all channels.

    I have another question for you; how much does the pre-amp contribute towards the sound in a CD-pre-power-speaker chain?

    Cheers
    AlexMC
     
  7. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Though the Watt rating is not a direct measure of the load I have the feeling the speakers demand a bit more than that 70 Watt.
    Actually impedance and sensitivity are the important criterias to consider here.

    So I guess you need something more powerfull, either a new, bigger and bolder, power amp or to go the bi-amping route as you suggested.

    As for the pre-amp I could not say to what degree (in % or so) it influences the sound though it certainly does, therefore bypassing it would be an advantage - but perhaps more in terms of sound quality than dynamics or bass weight.

    Try to borrow someones pre-amp and try it out, and 'harras' your dealer to give you some power amps for auditioning and testing at your house.

    And don't forget to let us know how it went and what you decided for ... ;)

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  8. AlexMC

    AlexMC
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    Thanks again, Reiner

    The MS208s have a nominal impedance of 6ohms, and the rated sensitivity is 91dB/w/m.

    My interpretation of that is although they go loud, they need a high current amp with plenty of headroom.

    I'm gonna ask for a 'trial period' with a 5ch power amp to see how I go, and keep the rest of my kit until 6.1 processors come down in price.
     
  9. Guest

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    I bi-amp my main left and right speakers with 200 watts a side (with the Rotel 985) which contain 4x15"drivers, 4x6"mids, "4x1"horn loaded compression driver, 4 Ohms, sens' 105db and Wow! While the amp isn't as "good" as the larger ones (991, 1095 etc) it made a terrific difference, for £650 ish you can't go wrong, Rotel might not be up there with Tag etc but only a fool would say their performance (for the money) is never less that "solid" and reliable" Ever hear anyone complaining about them?...... just like Rel

    Regards

    SteveEX
     
  10. AlexMC

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    Thanks for the reply SteveEX. Can I ask how easy it is to biamp using the 985?

    I only have single preouts from my preamp so how do you drive two power amp channels from the one preamp?
     
  11. Guest

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    Simply via a "Y" adapter, 1 male plug to 2 female sockets. I personally would go for the solid bodied type of which you can pay as much as you want (as per usual). There are Pre wired versions i believe Tandy do a male phono to 2 female sockets on 6" tails if that is you're bag.
    As good as the 3801 is (i have one) i'll bet you stay with the Rotel a lot longer. I have 3 Rotel power amps (and one Denon mono-block an absolute monster and in a class of it's own IMHO) a 985 mk1, a 985 mk2 and a 971 and i would only consider replacing them with something like the Tag or Bryston. I've had them a couple of years now and i would buy them again tomorrow if that was my budget/plan. Utterly solid and reliable how many 2nd hand do you see being sold? next to none
    Buy with confidence

    Regards

    SteveEX
     

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