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Amp suggestions?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Butter Wizard, May 30, 2002.

  1. Butter Wizard

    Butter Wizard
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    Hi all,

    I've just bought the scan-sc2500 dvd player and as it has a built in 5.1/dts decoder I was wondering if there is an amplifier out there without onboard decoding, hoping that this will save me cash.

    My last stereo was 150Wrms per channel and that never went past 3 on the dial! I would hope that I can find a good quality amp with all the necessary inputs/outputs and good sound quality without blasting my eardrums (or my wallet).

    Any info or suggestions are appreciated.

    :confused:
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Sony strde375 from RS at £119 a t the bottom end or any amp with 5.1 inputs, Most £250+ amps
     
  3. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    If you can find any, try some of the old top of the range Pro-logic amps/recievers.
    The Harman Kardon AVR80 for example had 5.1 channel inputs and THX certification (if that is your sort of thing), and can probably now be picked up for relatively little money.

    Paul.
     
  4. Patrick vdb

    Patrick vdb
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    Why saving cash on the onboard decoders? Purchasing a good amp or receiver with onboard decoders for DD and DTS will also give you a better performance compared to the decoders built in the dvd-players because the DAC's used in the amp are of a far more better quality then the one's used in the most dvd-players.


    Patrick
     
  5. Paul Smith

    Paul Smith
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    While of course it is almost certainly true that the onboard digital decoding of most AV recievers/amps will be superior to that on a DVD player (even with budget amps), however I found that when I made the change to DVD most of my watching/listening was still very firmly done with music, video and TV and it took some time for my DVD collection to grow to a point where I felt I needed to take a further plunge.
    But during that time technology moved on, performace increased and in the end I felt that I got a lot more for my money.

    In my case it made sense to start at the cheap option but it's all about your particular requirements/needs at the time.

    Just for your interest there's a Harman AVI250 (5.1 channel input, THX certified, originally £1250) on Ebay at the moment for £130 from Germany (which is still possibly a fair price).

    Paul.
     
  6. Patrick vdb

    Patrick vdb
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    Surely one's need must be the only factor when considering to purchase an Amp. If one doen't want or need the decoders then don't buy an Amp with decoders. But still I think that the effort and costs of buying an Amp with or without decoders is very little (I compare both products in the AV-market in Holland as I do not know the prices over there) and therefor buying an Amp with decoders will save you money in the longer term.

    Best regards

    Patrick
     
  7. Butter Wizard

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    Thanks all. Having read all your suggestions and read up a bit more on the stuff that's around at the moment, I've realised that if I buy an amp without decoding then I won't be able to get prologic through my speaker system when connected to my cable set-top box - wish I'd thought of it sooner.

    I also want my home cinema set up to replace my CD player so I'll be listening in stereo a lot too.

    I've been into a few Hi-Fi shops; one said that a combined sub-sat system would be good, the other said that I was better off to build my system up slowly. When I've heard a few sub-sat systems demoed with music, they don't seem to have the midrange of a stereo speaker pair.

    What to do! I've seen the Marantz sr5200 and like the reviews, but I don't want to buy something that is unnecessary with my £130 DVD player. Are there any decent 5.1/Stereo amp and speaker packages around, and what sort of price range would give me a capable sound.

    If not, does anybody have any personal amp and speaker favourites - I realise that all this is subjective but I need as much info as possible before splashing out on hundreds of £'s of kit!

    Thanks again
     
  8. MikeK

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    Nearly every multichannel integrated amplifier or receiver will feature at least ProLogic, so I wouldn't worry too much on that score.

    It depends on how much you want to spend in total, as to what advice you'll get.

    The Sony STRDE375 has ProLogic and a six channel input, and is available for just £100 from Richer Sounds in black (£120 in silver).
    Inputs on these basic models will be a bit sparse, but if you only need a few, then no problem.
    The Yamaha RXV396 is £140, and is similar, but also features Dolby Digital.

    If you can affored a bit more, then more recent (brand new in fact) and up to date receivers are available for around the £200 mark, which all feature DD, DTS and Prologic2.
    The Kenwood KRFV5060 and the Pioneer VSXD511 are two, and the Yamaha RXV430 is just £30 more, at £230.
    Personally I think one of these would be a better investment, but it does depend your budget.

    You'll also need speakers of course - depending on exactly what it is you are looking for (colour, size etc), you can get fixed up with something decent for around £250 including subwoofer if you want small speakers, or without if you'd prefer floorstanding front speakers. You won't get the highest of fi, so only you could really decide if it's good enough - would be decent though.


    So to give you some idea of budget systems

    Bare bones
    Sony STRDE375 (black) and Gale Moviestar package (Cherry) from Richer Sounds, around £220 foe both, + cables (say 25m of XL189 at £1/m) - around £250 all in.

    Decent budget
    Yamaha DSPAX620 - £199 from Richer Sounds (web site says it's still in stock)
    Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 package - £262 from QED.

    While the 620 is a better amp, it doesn't have ProLogic2 or a radio tuner, so if you want those features, substitute the 620 for either a Pioneer VSXD511 or Kenwood KRFV5060, bothe around £200 from QED, or the RXV430 at £230.
    With speaker cable, you'd be looking at a shade over £500, but you'd be getting a better system - this is the type of option I'd go for and is what I'd advise anyone else to do as well if they had £500 max to spend.

    If you want smaller speakers, then something like two pairs of Kef Cresta Ones, a Cresta Centre and a Paradigm PDR10 would set you back around £300.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.
     

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