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amp advice

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by evilSimon, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. evilSimon

    evilSimon
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    System:
    Marantz CD-67SE
    Marantz PM66SE Amp
    Monitor Audio Silver 5i
    Cable Talk interconnects, Talk Talk 4.1 speaker wire (not biwired)
    Room approx. 4m X 4m

    Musical interests: from Radiohead to Rachmaninov, passing Roni Size and Autchre along the way..


    Hi there, I hope you can advise me a bit!

    I bought the two Marantz three or four years ago now, and at the time partnered them with two standmounted Mission 771's, which were great. Then at the end of last year I bought the Monitor Audios, which brought about a substantial improvement. I am currently very happy with the sound, except for one small quibble, which is that sometimes I feel the bass is just a little slow, lacking punch on some recordings (e.g. Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth). The amp however has developed a strange faint buzzing in the right channel, which although hasn't brought about any noticable detriment to the sound, it's annoying to know that it's there. However, as I perceive the amp to be the weakest part of the system (the CD-67SE is still a pretty good disc spinner these days), and I have the money to do it, I'm thinking about upgrading the amplifier. Budget isn't too much of a problem - I can afford up to £1000 - so basically I'm not sure how much I should spend. Your recommended amps in the £500+ bracket - Arcam Diva A85, Cyrus 7, Roksan Caspian MKII - all look like fine buys, but at near the £1000 level would I be spending too much ? I also want to bear in mind a future CD upgrade, so what kind of price range would you recommend I start auditioning at, and which amps do you think would work well with the CD-67SE and 5i's?

    Another problem is auditioning, because since the CD-67SE is long gone, I may not be able to listen to a like-sounding player in the dealer shop. This means that without an audition in my flat, I may not be 100% sure that, what may seem like a good match between the amp I'm auditioning and the closest CD player they have in the shop to the CD67-SE, will translate to an equally good match when I get it back home!

    I am planning to try biwiring when I get the new amp, which gives another dilemma about which cables to consider. Also would biamping be a good possibility at the sub-£1000 price level and bring a benefit worth the cost?

    any advise extremely welcome..:)

    SH
     
  2. evilSimon

    evilSimon
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    any thoughts at all, chaps..?
     
  3. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi

    Could you not take your cd player along to the shop to demo the various amps??

    My money would be on the Arcam A85 or the older A75 and its partnering power amp then you could bi-amp your speakers.

    For speaker cables its worth having a look at:

    www.chord.co.uk

    www.qed.co.uk

    www.hificables.co.uk

    The people at Chord are very helpful if you want to ask them anything.:)

    Short of all that just trundle along and demo all the amps that take your fancy and then buy the one you like the sound of.:)
     
  4. Sozzled

    Sozzled
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    I think the first thing to do is find yourself a good hifi shop. I use Audio Designs in East Grinstead as when I want to upgrade I just take my system to them, they set it up in the dem room, and I know how the system should sound at home once my new equipment is added.

    They will also dem items on a possible equipment upgrade path so I can plan ahead knowing I`ve made the right choice.

    There are a number of dealers around offering this type of service, Jeffries on the south coast being another. They may not be the cheapest but the service they provide is second to none.

    Can`t help with the choice of amp as I`ve had my Naim 42.5/110 combination for about 16 years now, but again a good dealer can help you decide and may even convince you that it may not be the amp you need to change

    Best of luck, and remeber let your own ears decide.
     
  5. karkus30

    karkus30
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    That was a good reply from sozzled, I used to spend ages reading reviews from all the mags and getting the latest best buys and was never happy with the results.
    It was by chance I walked into a used hifi shop to try and off load my previous purchase. It was at this point he lent me a pair of speakers to try out, to improve my system, they were small stand mounters and had never had a review. At the same time the local specialist dealer was coming to my house to demo the latest from Mission etc ( all 5 star reviews ), none of these large floor mount speakers sounded very good and I was advised that I would need a massive set of speakers. Meanwhile the small bookshelf speakers languished in a corner, in an act of desperation I wired them up and guess what .........musical nirvana. From then on I ignored the reviews and bought with my ears, its suprising how synergy plays a major part in a system, its suprising how old outdated and poorly reviewed components can come together and sound brilliant, while all the award items can sound terrible.
    For your info, I now use Naim 72/140, Neat critique speakers, Marantz cd17 and an oracle turtable.
    Dont underestimate the sound difference cables and stands make, I once tried blue heaven at 600 pounds a shot, but it was far too revealing in the system, whereas flatline gold just sounded right.
     
  6. Gambit

    Gambit
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    To go with the Marantz, a Cyrus 7 would be good, and with the rest of your money you could but a PSX (which DO make a big difference to Cyrus gear). The Cyrus has two sets of speaker outs so you can use bi-wire cable (not the same benefits as bi-amping but makes a small difference). But any good dealer should let you take your cd player down for a demo woth some new kit.
     
  7. petrobas

    petrobas
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    I auditioned amps from a lot of makes but ended up with a Cyrus 7 /PSX-R , killer bass , extremely detailed & look bloody fantastic to boot , albeit in black , silver is horrible.
     

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