Question Advice on used amp

tenohfive

Active Member
I'm looking for a budget amp to drive two sets of speakers. The first will be a pair of Dali Spektor 2's for one room, the second set will be something small that'll be either wall mounted or tucked out of the way. Best case something like a pair of Minx's, but more likely something cheaper as I'm less fussed about the sound quality on that room - it's just filling a gap in a multiroom setup. It'll be used at low-moderate volumes only.

The audio source will probably be a CCA so I don't need a pre-out etc (but I'll take what I can get.)

I was initially looking at something like a cheap AVR but I'm starting to think a dedicated stereo amp isn't a bad thing to have in case I chop and change my existing setup at some point. And to try and get my money's worth I'm aiming to look used on the classifieds and the Bay etc.

Can anyone recommend a couple of amps that'll do what I need for around the £100 mark, or pointers regarding W/ch / impedence etc with the speakers I'll be using?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Interesting you should pick the 320bee, just read this comparing that and the RA-02 I posted.

Listening #7 Page 2
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
Interesting you should pick the 320bee, just read this comparing that and the RA-02 I posted.

Listening #7 Page 2
Interesting read. I agree with the comments about the NAD. Remember the NAD was always a “budget” amp so this level of performance is why it is rated so highly. To be honest, you couldn’t go wrong with either of these two for £100.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Only issue with the Nad is that it only has one set of speaker posts whereas the rotel has two and can be chosen as a, b or a+b.
 

tenohfive

Active Member
All very interesting, thanks. So far the Rotel RA-02 is firmly on the list.
Any view on some of the Marantz offerings - PM5003/5004 etc? Don't think I'll see any of the 600x in budget.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Tenohfive...
Back to my standard response. You cannot beat a 10 year old premium AVR for power value for money etc. Look at the premium brands. Sony, Yamaha , Marantz. , Harman Kardon etc . Any one with a 24 but 96"k DAC and preferably a few optical or and coax inputs will have all the power you need ,and at a fraction of the cost of new kit. By preference get the last ones before HDMI ports became popular, because these are even at a better discount. You don't need to be driving all 5 or 7 channels but the fact that the power supply was designed to drive them means it is dawling with only two channels.
They are built like tanks. ..and may weight as much,but tthe are sturdy
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Tenohfive...
Back to my standard response. You cannot beat a 10 year old premium AVR for power value for money etc. Look at the premium brands. Sony, Yamaha , Marantz. , Harman Kardon etc . Any one with a 24 but 96"k DAC and preferably a few optical or and coax inputs will have all the power you need ,and at a fraction of the cost of new kit. By preference get the last ones before HDMI ports became popular, because these are even at a better discount. You don't need to be driving all 5 or 7 channels but the fact that the power supply was designed to drive them means it is dawling with only two channels.
They are built like tanks. ..and may weight as much,but tthe are sturdy
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Is anything lost either musically or through ease of zone control with an AVR?
Zone control is probably easier with an AVR.
Musically?. That is another question and makes the cable wars or the CD Vinyl debates seem like childs play ,so entrenched are the attitudes. My opinion, and I have put my money where my mouth is on 4 occasions is NO. Every bit as accurate, .with quality AVRs.
Standby for incoming flack.
A brand new 800 quid stereo amplifier is probably better than a brand new 800 quid AVR. . But a 10 year old AVR which would have cost an equivalent price back in the day ,could be purchased at 150 quid,and will knock the socks off a 250 quid new stereo amplifier. A new AVR will have more bells and whistles, maybe 9 or 11 channels and more digital processing modes,but the core amplification function will not be significantly improved.. and there is little reason to think that they will wearout .
 
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Deleted member 824153

Guest
I don’t have any experience with receivers as I’ve only had 2 channel hifi and have thus only used dedicated music amps. People do speak highly of them as they are versatile and have loads of power.

This might be an option

Yamaha A-S500 Stereo Integrated Amplifier for sale online | eBay

What Hifi 5* product (if that means anything to you), terminals for 2 pairs of speakers and 120W of power. Yamaha make good amplifiers.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
There's an Arcam avr250 going in the classifieds here for 140 ( no affiliation). I'm not sure if you can run 2 sets off them but one set can be used for bi amping so maybe... I believe this was a highly rated avr even for music and has loads of inputs
 

vinceledge

Standard Member
I had an Arcam AVR 250 until just recently when I sold it to a friend, makes a great stereo amplifier, plenty of power, versatile and has a stereo sound setting.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Rotel RA02 linked above has been reduced by £10 for info.
 

tenohfive

Active Member
Thanks for letting me know about the price drop. I'm potentially going to have to shell out for something else which could push the purchase back a month, but I'd be tempted to stick in a low offer on some of the links being sent my way.

I'm sorely tempted by that RA02 - it looks a bit dated (especially in silver, and surrounded by two black ash bookshelf speakers) but I've no doubt the sound will make it worthwhile. There are a lot of Rotel amps for sale, are there any successors that may be more common? I don't mind hunting for the RA02 but don't know how their model lines run.

The Yamaha also looks like a good contender. I think I'd be happy with either the A-S500 or RA02.

I know I'm being picky here and that it's likely to make no discernible difference to my listening experience as this room is less than ideal - but I've always got the impression that Arcam tend to be missing 'something,' musically - every Arcam review has put a slight downer for music use.

I'm not averse to an AVR - I do maybe 30% of my listening using a pair of Q3010i's running from a currently unused channel of my X2400H. But I'm dabbling with this audiophile stuff, and wouldn't mind having a 'proper' stereo amp in the house to get a feel for the differences and make my own mind up in the event I get upgraditis.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Rotel have a fairly (ish) well structured number system -

RA - Integrated amp, RC - Preamp, RB - Power amp, RMB - multi channel power amp, RSP - AV processor

For the RA the older ones are RA-8xx, then RA-9xx then they went through RA-10xx for their upper range and then RA-0x for the lower range.

However, between generation of amp there are differences and some are better than others - the RA02 seemed to hit the spot whereas the later RA03/4/5 were not as well regarded (I think they are now up to RA-14 ?). This is similar to the Arcam A32 which is very good but the later RA38 is less good. So worth reading through the reviews. The same can be said for the RA-8xx and RA-9xx there are some that are good and some not so.
 

tenohfive

Active Member
Rotel have a fairly (ish) well structured number system -

RA - Integrated amp, RC - Preamp, RB - Power amp, RMB - multi channel power amp, RSP - AV processor

For the RA the older ones are RA-8xx, then RA-9xx then they went through RA-10xx for their upper range and then RA-0x for the lower range.

However, between generation of amp there are differences and some are better than others - the RA02 seemed to hit the spot whereas the later RA03/4/5 were not as well regarded (I think they are now up to RA-14 ?). This is similar to the Arcam A32 which is very good but the later RA38 is less good. So worth reading through the reviews. The same can be said for the RA-8xx and RA-9xx there are some that are good and some not so.

That's great, thanks for explaining that. I'm 70% of the way towards going for the Rotel, with the Yamaha close behind.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
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Deleted member 824153

Guest
The Rotel is a great little amp. I’d make a cheeky offer on it. I wouldn’t worry about the look of it. If it’s any consolation, they’re even uglier in black
 

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