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Adding a processor

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Tracey, Jan 30, 2001.

  1. Tracey

    Tracey
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    I have recently had a good bonus at work and I'm now seriously thinking about upgrading my home cinema. At the moment I have as follows:

    Arcam Alpha 9 integrated amp
    Arcam Alpha 10 power amp
    Sony DVPS 525 DVD player
    Sony STR-DB830 AV receiver
    Mission 781 (front speakers)
    Mission 78c (centre)
    Eltax HT2 Bipolar (rears)
    Pardigm PDR10 sub

    I have got about £2,000 to spend and my intention is to replace the Sony 830 AV receiver with a processer. My problem is this, I don't want to change my Arcam amps as I'm quite happy with my set up in stereo, so I thought I could add a processor to replace the Sony receiver, however, I just assumed that a £2,000 processor would have amplification for the extra 3 channels and the sub, but it seems that only the cheap processors, like the Yamaha DSP E800 actually have amplification. I really want a home cinema that will be awesome and a BIG improvment on my Sony, is there any way I can do it without having to add an extra power amp as well as a processor? I was considering the Cyrus but I would need the processor plus 2 power amps.

    I'm totally confused but eager to spend some money!!

    Tracey
     
  2. russraff

    russraff
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    Hi Tracey,

    This is what I'd do:

    You can add an extra channel to your Alpha 10, which would give you your front three channels of amplification. You will need to get a dealer to do this for you. You can use the same dealer that will fit this extra stage to access the internal switch in your Alpha 9 integrated. This is used to turn it into a pseudo Alpha 9 poweramp, giving a fixed volume identical to a real Alpha 9 Poweramp.

    If I am not mistaken, you already have an active sub with the PDR10, so you need no amplification for that. Simply use the Sub out on the processor and connect to the sub.

    As for the processor, you could do a LOT worse than the Rotel 985 processor costing about £1400 - £1500 if you shop around. This will leave the money needed from the £2000 for the extra channel in your Alpha 10. Don't think that you are in any way getting an inferior processor. The Rotel is great, much better than the cheaper 966, and will make a considerable improvement to your Sony.

    Hope this helps - Russell


    [This message has been edited by russraff (edited 30-01-2001).]
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Alternatively replace the Arcam 9 (sell it or trade in) with an Alpha 10 + DAVE and at another power amp to the 10P (which then becomes 10P3).
    This will maintain a complete Arcam setup and hence give a perfect tonal match for all channels.

    Perhaps you could even keep the 9, convert it into a power amp like russraff suggests and use it to bi-amp the front speakers (if possible).

    ------------------
    If I can't eat it, drink it or fudge it, I ain't interested.
     
  4. Tracey

    Tracey
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    Thanks for the help but what will be used to power the rear channels?
     
  5. russraff

    russraff
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    Clean forgot about the Arcam DAVE route. Now that I am reminded of the DAVE route, I would go for that option. Should the trade in on the Alpha 9 not be worth it (the Alpha line is coming down in price where I am), then the Rotel processor I mentioned has the processing (I think) and so may offer similar performance. Listen and see.

    In the admittedly superior "Reiner Choice" the Alpha 10 (you have traded in your Alpha 9 for), will drive the front two and carry the "DAVE" processing. The Alpha 10P will drive centre and rear channels after you have added the extra channel

    As a matter of interest, Sevenoaks were advertising the Alpha10/DAVE combo in their sale for £1700. Your local branch should pricematch this (if the sale is still going). If you get it you could use your existing Alpha 10P to, as Reiner said, bi-amp your fronts. Just another suggestion.

    Russell
     
  6. dood

    dood
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    do the DAVE and rotels offer DTS ES, DD EX etc? I don't think so. What you could do is go for a top of the range receiver eg yamaha AX1 or denon, add it to your existing setup using the arcams to power your fronts, all other amplification and processing will be provided by the receiver. Music will not be affected by the receiver as your cd will go straight into the arcams.
     
  7. Tracey

    Tracey
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    I've decided to add an extra channel to my Alpha 10P and use that to power my centre speaker, My Sony 830 AV receiver has a
    pre-amp output for the centre speaker, I'll see how that sounds, then I'm thinking of getting the Cyrus AV5 processor plus the Cyrus XPA 50w 2 channel amp to power the rears, that way I won't need any more shelves because the Cyrus amp and processor can both fit on one shelf. I've heard some good reviews about the Cyrus processor, so once I've got my 10p upgraded I can hopefully get one on loan along with the amp and decide whether or not it sounds good, I don't want to be forking out £1,350 if it doesn't sound much better than my Sony.
     
  8. Stupot43

    Stupot43
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    Hi Tracey,

    It seems that you & I have had similar problems. You posted a reply on the Arcam AVr100 v Denon 3801 to Stupot43. I have posted a new topic on the Cyrus AV5 asking if anyone has experinced problems with it. I had heard that there were some problems even though I had only read good reports about it. If you go back to the topic you will see that I have replied.

    Stupot

    Why didn`t you go for the Arcam 10 with DAVE module? All the reports that I have read say that it is great for music and very good for movies. The only thing I have against it is that it would be difficult to upgrade but if you are in my position I haven`t got room for any more speakers at the rear or sides of the room and because my listening room is narrow (10ft * 23ft) I don`t think I would need them? You can pick up ex-dem Alpha 10`s for £600 & used for £400 and then have the DAVE module added by your dealer or Arcam. At a later date you could get another 10p power amp and bi-amp the front end.

    You know I think I`ve just answered my own problem.

    [This message has been edited by Stupot43 (edited 12-02-2001).]
     

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