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adding 2 channel stereo AMP to Pio AX5i - Questions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Matthew J Taylo, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Hi All,

    I recently purchased some MA S6's floorstanding speakers & have finally broken them in & I'm starting to enjoy some lovely music.

    The problem I have now is that most of the music I'm enjoying is from the DVD player (Pio 868avi) with SACD, DVD-A + music DVDs & not in two channel stereo. I have noticed a difference via direct mode connected to my Rotel RCD-02 with the new speakers but I know there's alot more available in 2ch stereo.

    Yesturday I home demo'd x2 new award winning CD players (Arcam's new CD192 & the Roksan Kandy) to what improvements this would make & was very happy, especially the Arcam, wow!!

    The problem is though I'm still finding that my Amp is muddling through the difficult/rich music, i.e. Muse, Elbow.

    It's been suggested that I add an Arcam A80 amp (or similar) & connect this to my Pioneer amp, via the L/R pre-outs. This would mean that for 2 channel stereo I would be listening to a dedicated 2 channel system and would also have an excellent AV system.

    The Questions
    1. How common is this & have you any experience with this kit?
    2. if I just purchased a Rotel amp & kept the RCD-02 would this be ok?
    3. How does the volume control work (it's been mentioned to me that you keep the 2 channel amp volume at 12 o'clock?)

    Any tips on how to do this.

    I don't really want to spend another grand on top of spending £900 on the Pio amp in the 1st place but after hearing the Arcam 192 I do want better two channel stereo?

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  2. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    I need to get better at this?

    Anyone have anything to add

    I would appreciate some advice on this

    Does anyone know if the older model Arcam A85 has the same AV function so you can control the volume when connected to an av amp?

    I've just seen one on ebay for about £170

    Cheers
    Matt :lease:
     
  3. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Something that MarkE19 posted earlier may help...

     
  4. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Thanks Tejstar,

    Do you know of any other amp's that have the AV volume control option similar to that of the arcam? I think I read something about the Marantz & maybe the cyrus?

    I just want to ensure I've looking into all options before purchasing a A80 amp.

    Anymore information would be appreciated


    Kind Regards


    Matt
     
  5. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    The Arcam amps are great for that function.

    If I was you i would hunt for a secondhand FMJ A22 a year ago they were going for around £400 - £450 might be even cheaper now and they sound great.

    Musical Fidelity A308 has the same function a few more amps have it but call it different names. I think they Cyrus 8 amp might do it with a combo of pressing a couple of buttons but check for yourself before you buy one :)

    In the long run if you are going to have a stereo amp sitting on the front of your A/V amp I would say go for one with this facility otherwise it's all manual, which is fine if you enjoy that but it's a bit "fussy" at times having to do it all manually.

    I used to do this with an Arcam A22 as the front stereo amp when I ran Marantz A/V Amps, but now i've got the Rotel setup I don't feel I need a seperate stereo amp.

    Steff
     
  6. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Booktrunk / Steff,

    Thanks V much for your reply, this is all kinda new to me but since upgrading my front speakers to Sliver Ref Monitor Audio's I really do want to upgrade my stereo.

    I've been looking into the rotel RA 1062 as this is about the same money as the A80 & beat it in a group test in Hi Fi Choice. It didn't mention anything about the volume synching with an AV amp, do you know if this is possibe? I agree that if I'm do to this I want to make this as easy as possible.

    How much did your Rotel set up cost to put together?

    Are you happy with the sound for both music & movies?
     
  7. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    Hiya, :)

    The RA-1062 doesn't have this function :( I used to have the 1060 and loved it but sold it because I got fedup with changing it all around :)

    That is when I got my first Rotel Processor the 1066, which was good but the 1068 is a lot nicer in stereo.

    If you are going to go for a Stereo amp then i'd suggest the A90 or a secondhand FMJ Amp.

    My setup well 10% off the processor so that was £895. My 5 channel amp secondhand for £300, and the two x RB-1070s to bi-amp the front were secondhand but from a dealer and under six months old and they cost around the RRP of one of them. So all in all not toooo expensive :)

    Go to Leicester Hi-Fi :) 10% off with any hassles. So around £1665 for a new 1075 n 1068 from them.

    Steff
     
  8. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Hi Steff,

    Thanks for note & not too expensive if I look at the 2nd hand route.

    Maybe I will add power amps as I go & then sell my Pio Ax5i for a decent processor?

    It seems quite ironic that the 5 channel power amp is £300 & the processor is £895 as you'd think the power would cost more. Do you really notice the difference in 5,6,7.1 & stereo Vs a dedicated powered AV amp?

    I'm just need some time to get over the fact that this processor could cost me the same as the Pio Ax5i.

    I guess thats the price of quality, Damm I wish this AV bug would go away!!

    Matt
     
  9. Lostinapc

    Lostinapc
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    hey, i'm interested in doing the same thing with my denon, adding a separate stereo amp, is there anything cheaper than £400 that can offer the gain feature though? that would be a must.
    Thanks,
    Robert
     
  10. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    Matthew,

    I know it's hard to get my head around the fact the processor costs that amount. But it is seriously nice. The stereo side is something that just seems to me to be way better than an intergrated, and the Movies side of it is bloody great. To be honest i've not heard an AX5 or similar i'd love to hear one to just compare what they sound like with the same speakers, anyone in Loughborough want to bring one around for a test :)

    What surprised me is that my processor actually gets hotter than my power amps, even when I think i'm driving the amps hard they just take it all in their stride.

    I watched LotR all 3 extended editions, at rather high levels over Christmas, straight after each other, and the system didn't batter an eyelid and was perfect for all 11+ hours. I've read that some intergrated start to get a bit hotwhen doing this sort of thing.

    Lostinapc.. hunt out for second hand ones, maybe put a wanted add in the AVForums relevent section. Saying the amp specifically needs to have this function?

    Steff
     
  11. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Steff, me again!!

    I'm hunting around the forums & ebay to start pricing this up on a 2nd hand basis. I'm also playing the ebay game on an A85 + P85 & maybe be able to pick this up @ 600 for the 2 which I'm thinking is not bad?

    I'm testing some 2ch kit on the weekend (arcam A80 set up with thier 192 cd player & a cyrus CD6 + 6vs amp).

    This will give me an idea about the sort of performance I can get.

    Would love a demo of your kit Vs my PioAX5i but as with you I've about 6-7 piece's of kit connected & installed in my cabinet that it would be a bit of an arse to take it out. I also live in London for my sins.

    I'll let you know how I go

    Cheers

    Matt :laugh:
     

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