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Amp Conundrum

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by silverpines, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. silverpines

    silverpines
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    As a relative newbie to the whole Home Cinema scene, please excuse any naive comments I may make, but, once again, I am looking for help from the gathered glitterati and long amassed wisdom on this forum.

    I have recently purchased a 5.1 set of Gallo Nucleus Micros, care of Uncle Eric and need to sort out an amp to power them (I have a an old Pioneer DV717 as source which will have to do for now). Having originally planned on getting a set of KEF Eggs but being swerved to the Gallos by the superb reviews on the forum, I have severely overspent my budget. I was looking to get a good sounding amp/receiver for both DVDs and music and was recommended the Marantz SR6200. However, with the SR6300 coming out soon, and wanting to futureproof as much as possible for 6.1 discreet, I thought I would wait. I was originally told the SR6300 would be available on 23rd September. However, after a couple of calls to AVland and Hi-fi Junkies, I am now informed that this may well be November!! There is just no way I can wait for a couple of months with the Gallos sitting here doing nothing!

    I did think about dropping down to an SR5300 (which, might be available by the end of September, but who really knows) or possible consider the Sony STR1080. Alternatively I could, at a real push (and by concealing the cost from the other half) stretch to a Denon 3802, but wonder whether it is just a bit too complicated for a rank beginner to contemplate.

    Any opinions on what would be best? I really hope to get something in the very near future to start getting something out of my investement in the Gallos.
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi

    The Denon 3802 is no more complicated than any other amp/receiver. The onscreen setup menu´s are very easy to follow. You´ll get plenty of help in here if you get stuck with anything.:)

    My money would be on the Denon, but I´m a fan of their kit anyway. The Marantz range is also very good, as others will no doubt tell you, as is the Sony.

    Down to your personal preference really.:)
     
  3. StJonno

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    Dont forget the Denon 2802, slightly less powerful and not 7.1 but a great bit of kit and £150 cheaper than the 3802
     
  4. silverpines

    silverpines
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    St Jonno,

    Thanks for your input. My understanding of the 2802 is that it isn't nearly so good with music as the 3802, or the Marantz amps for that matter ( I have no rela idea about the Sony 1080). As music is fairly important to me, would prefer to try and squeeze the extra money out of the budget and stretch to the 3802 if I can't get something equally as musical as the Marantz range.

    Jase,

    Many thanks for your thoughts. If I do go for a 3802, which is certainly looking possible now, you can be sure that I will be back up with loads of questions if I run into problems with the set up! The temptation is to wonder what a forthcoming 3803 might add! No, I mustn't start thinking like that!!!!
     
  5. Jase

    Jase
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    Just to throw something else into the mix. If you aren´t fussed about the latest formats (DTS Discrete) or PL2 then there are the older flagship models available at decent prices. The Denon A10SE (five channel amp but with decoders for THX Surround EX) can be got for around 450-550 quid. If you want EX, then add the 2ch power amp POA T10.The A10SE is better musically and also superb for movies.

    Worth considering.:)
     
  6. silverpines

    silverpines
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    Hi Jase,

    I had thought about this, but as a family we tend to watch a fair bit of conventional TV as well as DVD's so PL2 is pretty much a pre-requisite.

    There is a matter of size to consider as well. We are not exactly bursting with space in our living room. After much juggling (and relegating our VCR to the loft - replaced by a Sky+ box) I reckon I can just about fit a standard sized AV amp (such as a 3802 or SR6300) on the stand beneath the TV. Flagship amps seemto be much larger and almost certainly wouldn't fit, I am afraid. Despite the potential sound improvemnets, WAF comes very much into the equation:)
     
  7. Jase

    Jase
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    Yes, the flagship amps do tend to be bigger, depthwise and usually taller, weigh a lot as well!:eek: If PL2 is a pre-requisite then I´d still be aiming towards the 3802.:)
     
  8. lungfish

    lungfish
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    Don't forget that the amp will put out quite a bit of heat and might not like being packed into a small space under a TV. I probably could cram my SR5200 onto my TV stand, but I don't think I'd risk it -- it's got all those vents on top of it for a reason, after all :)
     
  9. Jase

    Jase
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    Good point lungfish.

    Denon amps/receivers do tend to run quite hot and need at least 10cms space (preferably more) around them.
     
  10. silverpines

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    Now you re starting to worry me!

    There is certainly not 10cm clearance above the amp, but acres of space on either side and probably 10cm to the back. Is this going to be a big problem and if so, would it be less with a lower-powered amp? If Denon are particularly known for running hot, what about Marantz?

    This gets trickier and trickier by the minute!!
     
  11. Jase

    Jase
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    What sort of space size have you got? The Denon is about 6.7 inches high. Width is just over 17 inches and depth is just over 16 inches.
     
  12. silverpines

    silverpines
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    The space available is about 8" high (20cm) and 20" deep (50cm). The sides of the cabinet are open so air can freely circulate around the sidesand back.

    I suppose I should have thought of this before but it didn't occur to me. Doh! I see that Marantz amps are slightly smaller but not appreciably so.
     
  13. lungfish

    lungfish
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    My 5200 stays warm the whole time it's switched on, even if it's basically idle. The manual recommends 1m (!) clearance above and 20cm in other directions. That seems excessive, but having enough clearance above is pretty important for the long term health of the amp.
     
  14. silverpines

    silverpines
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    Lungfish,

    Thanks for your help. The problem here is that there is simply nowhere else I can fit an amp. Our living room is not big enough to take any more AV equipment let alone my wife accepting it anywhere else. The simple answer is that if I can't fit an amp under the TV, I can't have an amp! Not a good prospect, is it!

    I suspect that I am better off buying an amp and taking a chance on a shorter than normal life for it. Although this is our first separates system, we have had a pro-logic enabled TV set for a few years now and don't tend to play this very loud or for long periods of time. I am pretty sure the same would be the case with the amp. If it expires in the first couple of years I guess we would be covered by warranty. If we ever get round to building an extension to our living room (which has been on the cards for a couple of years now and may happen next year - if I don't keep blowing the cash on AV gear that is), I am sure the situation will be resolved. In the meantime it is just a case of Russian roulette.
     
  15. WSC

    WSC
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    I've got a Marantz SR5200 which I love. BUT I have seen Richer Sound advertise the Denon 1802 I believe for £199 in one of the mags (not what hi fi which is 250). If your room isn't that big are you really likely to go for 6.1 in the near future? Also although I prefer the Marantz it wasn't (IMHO) that much better than the Marantz.

    One other thing that you may want to consider - do you have a 2nd room you want to play music in? If so the SR7200 and Denon 3802 allow you to control speakers elsewhere (I bought the 5200 before moving and have had to go out and buy a new Hifi - had to be done, sob, sob).

    Can you change the tv stand? We have a wooden one with doors that even my wife is getting round to saying she thinks we ought to change.

    Choices, choices!
     
  16. silverpines

    silverpines
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    WSC

    The room is not enormous but not that small - 14 ft wide x 20 ft long, but we sit and look at the TV across the width not the length due to the layout making it impossible for any other arrangement. We hope to extend it in the foreseeable future - next year probably - making it much wider approx 20 to 22ft - so I don't want to buy an amp that will only be useful for a year or so.

    As to changing the TV cabinet, I fear this is a real no-no. The TV was only bought about 4 weeks ago and much arm twisting was needed to have a 32" screen and then only on the pre-condition that it had "a nice stand that matched the TV"! A non-matching stand would really be unnaceptable. (If it sounds like I am really under the thumb here, it isn't strictly true - I also want the room to look more like a living room more than a hifi store, but with the new AV setup being added to a separate music system also in the room but in a separate location it is increasingly going this way). Hopefully, when we extend, the separate 2 channel music set up (relatively good quality - Arcam amp and CD player, Thorens turntable, Castle Harlech Speakers) will get put into a newly created study and the AV system will then do all music duties in the living room. I did consider amalgamating the two systems now but it simply won't work due to layout logistics.

    When we extend I hope to go for a 6.1 (or even 7.1) set up, hence my desire to end up with as future proof amp as possible. As regards to 2nd room set up, my hi-fi amp already supplies sound to our dining room, although it will only play the same source as in the first.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     

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