Amp recommendations wanted - Simple, budget stereo amp

tduebber

Novice Member
Hey AVF. Recently aquired a pair of Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers and I am currently searching for the right amp to make 'em go. I wanted to get either the Cambridge Audio A1v3 or a5 but all the good deals are in the UK (and shipping is crazy expensive). Should I be patient and wait for a Cambridge to appear or is there another good option that can be had for less than $150?

Needs to have a phono input and maybe three others for tuners etc. Simple- no bells and whistles. Thanks!
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I think you should look at what suitable amps are you you to avoid expensive shipping costs.

Those A1 and A5 amps are relatively simple but don't have the overload protection in the Azur amps. Still, one less thing to go wrong. I. Would pick the A1 v3 over the A5 as it sounds sweeter. The treble is a little harsher on the A5 imo.
 
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tazzo1

Active Member
Why not try eBay or do a Google search for second hand hifi dealers in the USA?

Be sure that they get good reviews though or are well established.
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Denon, Marantz, Yamaha. Are the one of the more popular options in the budget range.

Am amusing you don’t need the Hegel H190😊
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Buying used online, might also be an option. You don’t mention any budget.

There are so many to chose from. Roksan, Cyrus, Rotel. I’d google amplifier in your price class.

Check if they have all the RCA inputs you need. Most amplifiers have 4-5 inputs. Turntable also.
 
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FootHealer

Active Member
Hi...

Those look like interesting little speakers. I have a soft spot for three way designs.

The Cambridge A1s and A5s are a bit old now. How long do those capacitors last? Its always good to bear that in mind. I have seen people in UK recapping them and selling them for about £120 on Ebay. I would keep an eye open for a used Cambridge Topaz SR10. These are newer and seem to sell for next to nothing on Ebay if you can find one (I got mine for £70 used...RRP was £300). They have 85watts and can drive those speakers easily. I used to own one and, while it is not the last word in sound quality, for the cost on the used market, you can hardly go wrong.

I would stick to finding an amp in the US, otherwise shipping will eat massively into your budget. Isn't there a US AVForums? Perhaps they have a classified ads page?

Also consider a little Chinese brand Class D Amp, such as the Loxjie A30. Some of them can be pretty good and cost is pretty low. The Audio Science Review website seems to review a lot of these kinds of items. Maybe have a look. Only issue is lack of connections. Perhaps think it over.

Good luck :)
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
Those A1 and A5 may be old but they sound as good as when they came out the factory. They're relatively cheap and easy to fix. Any competent amp repairer can very easily fix them. The newer amps are more complex and have more to go wrong.

I would go for any of the Azur amps over the cheap and cheerful Topaz range.
 
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FootHealer

Active Member
Those A1 and A5 may be old but they sound as good as when they came out the factory. They're relatively cheap and easy to fix. Any competent amp repairer can very easily fix them. The newer amps are more complex and have more to go wrong.

I would go for any of the Azur amps over the cheap and cheerful Topaz range.
I agree...but personally I'd go with a recapped model or find someone who can recap them and budget this into the price. The Topaz SR10 is actually quite a simple amp. Its basically an amp with a phono pre-amp and an AM/FM radio built in. No DAC, no bluetooth, etc. My experience with these amps is that the most likely thing to go is the volume control, which may be digital. Other than that, they seem okay. Personally, given the choice, I would get a recapped A1mk3 or something similar. Just wanted the OP to know he has other options.
 
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tduebber

Novice Member
will definently keep those models in mind. the current shortlist is cambridge a1v3, a5, nad 3020, adcom gfa 535, rotel a10. across the board availablity seems strangely low, but i'll be patient. search alerts save the day.
 
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FootHealer

Active Member
will definently keep those models in mind. the current shortlist is cambridge a1v3, a5, nad 3020, adcom gfa 535, rotel a10. across the board availablity seems strangely low, but i'll be patient. search alerts save the day.
The Rotel A10 be my choice of the ones you listed. Good luck with your bargain hunting :)
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
🤔No experience with the Sony speakers. I have owned few mini hifi sets from them. Not bad sounding. Not proper hifi. Still they were good at time. Oh, the glory days. Not hunting after the perfect sound all the time.

Back to topic.

Sony in the last 90’ were famous for making top of the notch amplifiers. Really expensive stuff! Am not sure, could be mistaken.

Google late Sony amplifiers from the 90’s. Perhaps not helpful at all. I can’t remember the model number. As, es...


Try and google it. Forum members might help me on the right track. If you can find one in good condition, I wouldn’t pass the chance of buying it.
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Sony ES! The top of the line stuff Sony ever made.
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
Also the A1 mark 3 special edition, although I don't know if they were UK only.

Other amps to look for are:

A5 version 2

A500

C500 and P500 (basically the A500 in two boxes, pre amp and power amp)

A4i

A300

Sony ES! The top of the line stuff Sony ever made.
Wont be cheap if fully working in good condition.
 
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moujik

Member
I certainly got an impression sony started sponsoring what hi-fi? some 20 years ago :) You could always find a sony product squeezed into top 5 among reputable brands..
 
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Khazul

Well-known Member
Sony in the last 90’ were famous for making top of the notch amplifiers

In the past (80s/90s) they used to make a lot of good gear - these days I put them firmly in the land fill fodder camp. Shame they still think they are a premium brand still and charge accordingly.
 
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gava

Well-known Member
Hey AVF. Recently aquired a pair of Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers and I am currently searching for the right amp to make 'em go. I wanted to get either the Cambridge Audio A1v3 or a5 but all the good deals are in the UK (and shipping is crazy expensive). Should I be patient and wait for a Cambridge to appear or is there another good option that can be had for less than $150?

Needs to have a phono input and maybe three others for tuners etc. Simple- no bells and whistles. Thanks!

One of these??

 
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Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
I certainly got an impression sony started sponsoring what hi-fi? some 20 years ago :) You could always find a sony product squeezed into top 5 among reputable brands..
Yep - Late 90's maybe up to mid 00's ? there was a "Sony Centre" in my local shopping centre, always had quality kit..
 
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FootHealer

Active Member
Yep - Late 90's maybe up to mid 00's ? there was a "Sony Centre" in my local shopping centre, always had quality kit..
Yeah, we had a 90s Sony HiFi when I was a teenager (no idea about which model), and it was very well built and sounded great. We sold it before moving, but I bet that setup is still working and playing music somewhere.
 
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