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Amp selection - help with shortlist?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by M100, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. M100

    M100
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    Speakers mostly selected (B&W VM1 or Monitor Radius package, Canton CD2.22 as an outside chance) - now for the amp. I realise they should be viewed as a package - usual 50/50 DVD/music split. I tend to go for a balanced warm sound if possible, though still with as much detil as I can (dislike harsh treble). DVD player is the Limit 900SE.

    Can I get away with a cheaper amp - probably Yamaha 440, or would the likes of the 640SE produce a noticeable improvement with these speakers?

    Also been recomended to consider Onkyo - any thoughts - musicality??

    Or should I go up somewhat and consider the Denon 2803, HK 230, etc.?? :confused:

    Would prefer to keep it sub £300 if possible but can look in the £400-500 range.

    Still trying to arrange demos - but work away from home a lot so this complicates life somewhat - hence the queries.

    Any thoughts much appreciated.
     
  2. Rad

    Rad
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    My Marantz SR7200 is quality with both music and home cinema.
    It cost me £530 about 2 years ago and I'm selling it for £250 + £19p+p. (The reason I'm selling it is that I've just bought a TAG AV32r)

    It's for sale in the classifieds if you're interested.
    Rich.
     
  3. cameronl

    cameronl
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    I'm not a 100 percent sure on what you would call 'warm' but I would go so far as to say my Yamaha 630 is not warm or that musical in stereo (but for the price it is good with movies). I hear the marantz's are better for being musical.

    CaM
     
  4. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Denon owners call there sound warm. Try looking at the denon range.
     
  5. Rad

    Rad
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    I'd heard the Denons were a bit muddy ??
     
  6. Kazman

    Kazman
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    Try the Marantz SR7400, it has the benefit of DPL IIx, and 7.1 surround sound.

    As well as sounding quite warm. (Marantz and Denon are the same company).

    I finally finished setting mine up last night, and am very impressed with it so far.

    I've bought mine from AVland for £489 including delivery, unbeatable are doing it for a little cheaper but you have to pay £7.99 for delivery.

    Watch for a review in the next couple of days, will be testing it thoroughly tonight :)
     
  7. M100

    M100
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    Thanks for all the suggestions - looks like I may be heading towards the Denon/Marantz camp then..?

    HK stuff worth the extra? Probably the 230 I think, though have been offered a 5550 for £550 (though it's pushing the budget somewhat).

    Warm - er...sort of smooth, not too clinical, definitely not too bright (?) - sort of warm really I suppose...:confused:

    Anyone heard Onkyo stuff out of curiosity?

    Decisions, decisions (probably by Friday. Or Saturday...):rolleyes:
     
  8. Dfour

    Dfour
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    If you can push the HK stuff is very good. The cosmetics are a little old/industrial. They are very good in stereo and shift your movies arround without so much as a drop of sweat. If you can get the 5550 for £500 rip there arms off :)
     
  9. M100

    M100
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    And so to another conclusion (of sorts anyway) - trying to sort out the amp and speaker package finally.

    Off for a long walk in the rain to the demo: :mad:

    Speakers were either B&W VM1 or Monitor Radius - Def Tech (sadly) ruled out due to a problem with their blackness (aka lack of silver finish). Deciding factor is how they handle music - my home cinema ear has yet to develop properly.

    Onkyo amp with the VM1's to start off with (previous series amp I think - ~£450 mark) - not too bad and plenty of punch, maybe just a tad bright. Possible - esp as reduced to under £300.

    Yamaha 640SE - rather different - more laid back, fine to listen to but not sure it's quite what I was after.

    Denon 2803 - seemed a lot smoother for music to me (the £450 price tag also helped slightly). Had to crank it up a bit for volume though. Tried this one on the VM1s and Radius speakers. A lot. :D

    After said lot of time decided on VM1s - I like the Radius speaker and there's maybe more info in them but just found the VM1s easier to listen to for an extended session.

    HK 230 - (with both VM1 and radius) - that's what I was after now - bass sounds more to my preference and still with a good enough overall sound for me (without spending any more over budget than I've gone already).

    So HK 230 and VM1s ordered. I also added a Rel Quake sub instead of the AS1 (seemed to add a certain something when demoed late in the day).

    Just got the rest of the weekend to decide to change my mind before collecting next week. Maybe the HK5550 old style instead of the newer 230? Help! :eek:
     
  10. Dfour

    Dfour
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    the 5550 is the rough equivelent of the new 430. The 430 has the new cosmetics and a few refinements and upgrades on it. can u get a demo of the 5550??
     
  11. M100

    M100
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    It's a possibility - though only have 1 more shot at this (at most) - and it's another £50 for the 5550 (over the 230 - and already a tad over budget...).

    Trouble is - I'd go through the whole speaker option thing again if I started that again!:eek:

    Tried to check on the 5550 specs - anyone have a good link/info on this so I can see what the upgrades to the newer models are please? It'll be mainly 5.1 I'll be using - so it's more about sound quality (more ability for sudden effects?), processing (maybe?) and perhaps the added power reserve?

    Any info on this greatly appreciated.:eek:
     
  12. Dfour

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  13. M100

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    Dfour - many thanks for the offer- PM sent.

    Printing out bits of the manual - will collect kit (final selection) tomorrow...:eek:
     
  14. M100

    M100
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    And as usual things didn't quite go to plan...:eek:

    OK - been through a few more demos than entirely desirable but after deciding on a HK230 the list has (inevitably) gone back up slightly, thanks mainly to a brief demo of an Arcam AVR200 last week... I know you can get deals on these (~600?) and there's also a newer 300 model apearing though that one is a bit out of the price range so can at least stay off the list! Musicality (stereo) will be the main deciding issue, although a reasonable feature set would also be appreciated - looking to get at least 5 years out of this before upgrades (can always hope). I've demoed the HK and AVR200 through B&W VM1s (likely speaker choice - would like to hear Castle compact as a comparison).

    So we have (as usual apologies in advance for any daft questions):

    HK230 (maybe 330) - seems OK in stereo, punchy enough sound and has reasonable level of features/switching ability? A safe choice here and my original selected amp - a little cheaper than the others too.

    Arcam AVR200 - very smooth sounding for music - can listen to for a long time without getting fatigued. Slight concern re features aspect for the longer term - no ES or EX? How does it handle sub crossover points? Is it still dynamic enough for DVDs; are the video switching facilities adequate?

    NAD T763 - to be honest this was selected as an option largely from reviews - haven't seen much of their kit though trying to source demos (not hopeful). From what I can gather it seems to have a good reputation for musicality and seems to tick the features aspect for longer term use. Any thoughts?

    I realise you may have seen such questions too many times - but I'm (still) relatively new to this and looking to get an amp and speakers that will last me a good few years (kept the last hifi over 10 years). The budget's gone up quite a few times (self justification being that I can get 1 good system at the start and try and stick with it - hence the nervousness at the final decision). I'd be grateful for any thoughts on this lot - feedback re their good and bad points. I guess if I'm honest I'm looking for a comfort factor here in the decision process!

    Cheers,

    M100
     
  15. Bonce

    Bonce
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    I just swapped an Arcam AVR200 for a Harman Kardon AVR 507 LE and although I haven't had long to test it very thoroughly Dolby Digital and DTS stuff is *definitely* better. The jury is still out listening to stereo (I've only briefly listened to 1 CD) but it sounds great to my ears.
     
  16. M100

    M100
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    Many thanks - sounds interesting. Actually tried to get one but as usual was a bit late - so I'm guessing it's similar to the 330 now out (or maybe 230 if 7.1 not required)?

    Just been told NAD stuff maybe a bit slow to get, also similar(ish?) sound to HK?? Haven't heard a comparison (& not likely to as unavailable here for a bit!). Anyone heard them?

    Decisions, decisions...:eek:
     

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