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Advice needed on choice of cheap amp

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by The Belgain, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. The Belgain

    The Belgain
    Standard Member

    Sep 4, 2003
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    Right, first of all let me say hello to all the people here and this is my first post in this forum. Also I apologise for cross-posting across forums, this has already been posted on OcUK forums.

    I'd like to get a reasonably nice home cinema setup, but for not too too much money. I'm pretty sorted on the video side so far (everything going from the PC to a Barcographics 800 Projector with a nice screen), but need help on the audio side.

    A couple of my mates have cheap 5.1 compter speakers (Creative 5300, Creative 6700...) but am not massively impressed with them (great value though). At the moment I have a hifi with two fairly decentish speakers (we're not talking audiophile quality here, but still much better than computer speakers) rated at 80W each. I also have a pair of pretty good stereo speakers (can't remember what make, but the kind that people use in nice hifi setups which they spend loads of money on).

    I was looking at getting a surround amp and running a quadro setup off it using the good pair as fronts and the hifi speakers as rears. Would this be a good idea of would I end up having a too unbalanced setup?

    How much money would I be looking at for the amp? I want to spend as little as possible, but would really like an amp that has DPLII, Dolby Digital, DTS decoders and which I could keep later in a reasonably good setup (though not a crazily pricey one). Also, I'd really ideally like an amp that had 6-channel analogue inputs as well as digital and optical ones for futureproofing purposes.

    I don't want recommendations for really expensive amps, or people saying "that setup will suck, you could get a much better one for only £10,000". I'd really be looking at a budget nearer £100 than £200 to give you guys a rough idea.

    Thanks in advance.

    I forgot to mention, I also have a pair of PC speakers with a sub (Altec ATP3). Could I maybe use these in the setup as well? Either using them both as a single centre speaker and the sub, or as surrounds, with the .1 channel sent to them, or something like that?

    So far I'm looking at the Marantz SR4200/4300 (what is the difference?), Pioneer VSXC300 (though no analog inputs) and possibly Yamaha RXV430RDS. I'd really like to keep the price down as much as possible though. Any suggestions? Also, would this end up being a reasonable setup or not?

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