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Advice on new Stereo Integrated Amp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Sunday Ironfoot, May 28, 2003.

  1. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    I'm looking at upgrade my current Arcam A65+ stereo amp (currently connected on Mission M51's and Marantz CD6000KI) to a much better, more powerful amp. My budget is around £800.

    I've currently set my eye on the Arcam A85 as I like the way Arcam amps sound (or maybe I've got used to it). The reason I'm upgrading is because I plan to upgrade my speakers at some point in the future to something like Quad XXL, B&W CMX, or Mission 78X ranges which my current 40 Watt amp may struggle with. Also I was going to add an Arcam P75 poweramp to my A65+, but people on these forums have suggest that simply buying a better amp will yield bigger improvements than adding a power amp, so I've opted for this option.

    So any recommendations for a new amp for around £800 as a point of reference to go and demo with. Or has anyone had any experience with the A85 and what did they think of it? I have a wide range of musical tastes so something that suites everything. Cheers!
     
  2. Ian Cox

    Ian Cox
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    I have had the A85 for about six months now and it is one of the best pieces of Hi-Fi/HC equipment I have ever purchased. It can handle a wide range of music and I never get tired of listening to CD's which was not the case with previous amplifiers as they always seem to make music not sound musical enough for me - if that makes any sense:confused: Also if you want to integrate the A85 into a HC setup then it is easily done with the processor mode.

    Other amps to listen to are the Cyrus 8 and the Naim NAIT 5 and I am sure many others here will give you loads more suggestions.

    As always though go and demo but I am very happy with the A85 and would thoroughly recommend it.
     
  3. bjd

    bjd
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  4. Godfather

    Godfather
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    With that budget you'll be able to get a second hand Arcam FMJ A22 (or A32), which would be even better than the A85. I've just bought a mint A22 on eBay and it sounds wonderful.
     
  5. Dazed

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    A friend of mine has a Roksan Caspian - very impressed with that. Maybe one to consider.
     
  6. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    At that price range (new) i personally think the arcam a85 is the best amp around. It was an amp i used for a while before i upgraded a few levels.
    It sounds great but it does lack a bit of power when powering some speakers and i oftern found myself wanting to crank up the volume but not being able to cause the amp was already at full stretch.
     
  7. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Thanks for the suggestions. What about the Cyrus 8?
     
  8. Tee Tee

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    I have a Cyrus 8 and can thoroughly recommend it (but I would say that wouldn't I?). Seriously though, I auditioned this against the Arcam A85 and while the Arcam was tremendously impressive, the Cyrus edged it in terms of detail and 'slam', but not at the expense of musicality. Previous Cyrus amps have tended to sound slightly lightweight (but with superb insight and detail), the C8, however, is in a different league - all the oomph you could want is there. Something to bear in mind is that the C8 is easily upgradeable with a PSX-R power supply which takes it's performance onto a whole new level (I think the PSX-R powers the pre-amp section in this configuration). Have a listen to as many of the alternatives as you can - the differences are easily audible in a well sorted system - see what you think.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. wookie

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    You could buy the above and drive anything.
    ROKSAN Kandy/caspian.... also v nice:D
     
  10. MuFu

    MuFu
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    Yeah get two C370s and bi-amp, or bridge for 300Wpc. You'll have £150 over to put towards speakers. :)

    MuFu.
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
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    One thing to consider with the Arcam over the Cyrus or Roksan is the processor facility - a fixed level input to attache the front of your AV amp to. With most other amps you have to remember a point on the volume control each time.

    The C370's you can do similar with an QED line level switch or similar.
     
  12. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    I've heard many people say that you're better off just buying a better amp than bi-amping. Otherwise I would just bi-amp my current Arcam A65+ with a P75 power.
     
  13. wookie

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    Even better bi-amping with two good amps!!
     
  14. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Yes, and I can dream of winning the lottery. :p
     
  15. cmrayer

    cmrayer
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    With Cyrus amps, you do have a processor mode if you use a cyrus av preamp
     
  16. Nutty

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    don't forget to add the Unison Research Unico, Primare A10, Tag McLaren Audio 60i, Audio Analogue Puccini and the Monrio Asty. The Unico is particularly excellent in my opinion, and such performance can rarely be found for less than £1000.
     
  17. sounddog

    sounddog
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    If you're putting the Tag 60i on your list ... I have to say that I felt both the NAD C370 and the Rotel RA02, let alone the RA1060 are superior to it ... but let your ears be the judge.
     
  18. nathan_silly

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    Try out the Tag 60iRV (update of the Audiolab 8000S) as they bother have the direct poweramp input.

    Audiolab/Tag sound is forward, you might not like it but excellent if you like lots of detail & attack. Need to be matched carefully but once sorted blows away Rotel & NAD.
     
  19. Nutty

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    Actually I don't think that Tag really sound too much like Audiolab, I personally think Tag lost the old Audiolab sound which I prefered. Oh and some advice from personal experience, don't pair Tag or Audiolab kit with overly bright electronics or the brighter Mission speakers, can create some ear bleeding trebble.
     
  20. Godfather

    Godfather
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    There's an Arcam FMJ A22 on eBay at the moment with a 'Buy it now' price of £529 and one year warranty remaining. Seems like a very good price to me.
     
  21. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Awww...I'm so tempted by that...if only I had the money now. What's the difference between the A22 and the new A32?
     
  22. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Slight difference in sound ... though many would say hardly any difference in sound quality.

    The A22 can be upgraded with the DAVE (HC) module plus the MARC (multi room) module. The A32 takes neither, but does hava a multi-channel module due soon.

    Vikki

    btw - if you didn't know ... TonyWhitfield on ebay is Witters here.
     
  23. Nutty

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    That is a very good deal, better sell a kidney and grab it while you can :) you may want to think about looking at some second hand stuff aswell, Naim equipment offten pops up around you price range as does the odd bit of Meridian and Quad kit.
     

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