1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Amp to go with Castle Compacts

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by hawk234, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. hawk234

    hawk234
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I'm in the process of upgrading an old surround system and consolidating my hi fi gear at the same time. I've pretty much decided on a set of Caslte Compacts (sound great and look good for the wife!) but am a bit lost when it comes to amplification. I'm going to use the set up equally for music/movies. I'll probably continue to use my Marantz CD63SE KI (still awesome in my view) but will loose an Audiolab 8000s amp (no enough space). My DVD player is a Sony DVP725.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for amps in the GBP500-600 range? I like a tight, bright, but also deep sound. BTW, I'm in Australia and can't get a Yammy 750SE, which seems to be exclusive for UK market.

    Thanks
     
  2. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    The obvious suggestion then would be a Yamaha.

    The RX-V750 can be found for <AUD1400.

    Also worth checking out a RX-V1500. You might be able to source one cheap here
    http://www.eastwoodhifi.com.au/THE_SHOP.HTM
    The blog on March 23, March 18 and March 14. Quotes 25 to 40% off RRP. At a minimum, it should come in under AUD1500.
     
  3. hawk234

    hawk234
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Why would the Yamaha be an "obvious" suggestion? Is this because it matches well with the speakers/other gear, offers the sound qualities I'm looking for or presents a similar sound to an Audiolab in stereo? Sorry, but confused...

    The only reason I mentioned Yamaha in my original post is that I knew it had attracted some +ve comments from UK punters and wanted to make it known that the RXV750 here is a different spec to the 750SE that they get.
     
  4. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    My view is that Yamaha amps are that they are on the bright side of neutral.

    Secondly, others will disagree; expecting to get the stereo ability in an AV amp/receiver of a dedicated stereo is just not possible. While they certainly are much better at than their early versions, there are still some short comings and a comparable reference is 2:1 (ie a $2000 AV amp is comparable to a $1000 stereo.

    Thirdly, in the sub $2000 bracket, I don’t think you can make a mistake with the offering from Yamaha, Pioneer, Marantz, Harman Kardon, & Denon. All comes down to personal preferences and prejudices. I personally, don’t like Yamaha, it is just a brand I have no desire to own, and it is probably my loss.

    Finally, prejudices aside, the RX-V1500 would make a very good “fit” to your requirements if it can be sourced inside your budget.

    PS. Another one of my prejudices is that sub/sat combo’s aren’t successful in stereo.
    As good as the Castles Compacts are, I would be inclined to change the fronts for some Richmond 3’s.
     
  5. hawk234

    hawk234
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Harry

    Anyone else got any views?

    I'm swinging towards something from Denon or Marantz at the moment, mainly becuase I'll be using it a lot for music. Also have a mate going to Hong Kong where you can pick both brands up very cheaply (compared to Oz anyway).
     
  6. Duffers0

    Duffers0
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have recently gone through the trauma of selling my dedicated CD based Hifi in favour of 2 channel music through a DVD based system.

    I have Castle Severns left over as fronts from the Hifi, a little refined I guess for home cinema but I like the sound for CD.

    Arcam CD72 replaced by Denon 2910 and Audiolab 8000c and 8000P (pre/power) replaced by Marantz SR8500.

    The resale value of the Arcam and Audiolab nearly paid for the DVD and receiver.

    After many years of trying to intergrate Hifi and HT (3 Yamaha Processors along the way) I am finally happy with the 2 channel reproduction.

    You have mentioned the marantz as a consideration, though there is little difference in Spec between the 7500 and 8500 the step up in amplification is worth the extra.

    The 'Pure direct mode' on the marantz is excellent. :smashin:

    i didn't manage to do a straight A/B comparison but playing familar CD tracks I would say the denon / marantz performance was 90-95% of the original Arcam / Audiolab. certainly good enough to sit up and take notice that this is Hifi not midfi!!

    Follow usual protocols, DVD player digital output off, video off and display off. marantz allows video mute and display off and pure direct as mentioned. Quality interconnects and away you go.

    The marantz is on the warm side, but taught and good midrange clarity. sparkle in the treble. Some might say to refined for HT but if music plays any part of your entertainment criteria, give it careful consideration.

    every other Receiver I have owned or auditioned has always sounded forward and brash / harsh for music, including Yamaha and Denon.

    Good Luck!!
     
  7. Upgrade King

    Upgrade King
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    Duffers,
    Do you mind giving me your thoughts on the sr8500 in movie use, have you compared it to other brands for HT?
     
  8. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Sony ES & Primare work very well with Castles in a hifi/stereo sense. If thats any help.

    Keep your eye out for a Sony TAV-777-ES. Seen these for the price bracket your in. You can also pick up a Sony TAV-9000-ES & TAF-9000-ES 5.1 Pre/Power combo at that price. A stunning piece of kit. Primare SP20 - if your lucky £900.
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    Sony amps can be a litle bright, but mine seems fine with Castle speakers which are a little laid back
     
  10. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Martin Sony ES amps aint bright IME. Im on my second stereo one, I think they have a valve like warmth when used with Castles. Not sure of the AV version, but the 9000 ES digital pre-powers has always interested me. There is a couple on Epay UK Hawk at present FWIW.

    Sony ES in Oz should be easy to pick up. IMHO.
     
  11. Duffers0

    Duffers0
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Upgrade king

    The SR8500 is the best steerage and control I have ever heard

    The ambient surround sound really means something and is clearly definable.

    I use master and commander for rear effects auditioning, the scene where they are all running around near the beginning after the first attack.


    You should be able to position the men above you, behind you directly as you see them positioned on the screen.


    I also find the LFE signal to the subs is dryer and much more controlled. Bass comes in thumps and then decays properly as it should.

    Much more detail in the midrange.

    I also find dialogue more precise easier to follow and hear softly in spoken passages.

    seems overall that this is the first amp I can truly believe has fully descreet 'seperate' amplification. Each channel sounds so pure yet intergrates so well.

    Oh and it goes loud :eek:
     
  12. MartinImber

    MartinImber
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Worcester
    Ratings:
    +21
    I was told they were a little bright but my setup sounds fine - even though it is only a mid market amp and mid range speakers
     
  13. Upgrade King

    Upgrade King
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    Duffers,
    Many thanks for a very descriptive review - think i'm sold, only trouble is i can't get hold of one until mid April and the money is burning a hole in my pocket! I have the castle compacts so i guess they will go well together.
     
  14. Duffers0

    Duffers0
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    You will have to pay full asking price i am afraid £999, unless you have seen cheaper. AVLand would not discount as they don't carry stock. So I went to NexNix as they are quite close to me in Horsham try the Shoot and Show website. Not all pages seem to up on their website but over the phone they confimed they could get one direct from marantz.

    I ordered on the 21st March arrived 30th march not bad with 2 bank holiday non working days in that!!

    Couldn't wait another day so went up and collected it myself. Though they were prepared to coourier FOC.

    marantz at that time certainly confirm stock of silver but not sure if you require black.

    Let me know if you need further info on NexNix (shoot and show website link below)

    http://www.shootandshow.co.uk/

    Good luck :smashin:
     
  15. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    IMHO, some of the amps suggested are overkill for a sub/sat package. I very good one, but still a sub/sat system. But if you can get any one of the recommended amps in your price range, you would be on a winner.

    I would be very reluctant to import one from HK (or anywhere) though.
     
  16. Upgrade King

    Upgrade King
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    Duffers,
    I've ordered one from Peter Tyson for £809, although Marantz cannot supply one to them until mid April due to stocks being currently in Germany.
     
  17. hawk234

    hawk234
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    HarrryT2, what's your thoughts on the HK thing - different products inside the box maybe??

    You can pick a Denon 3805 up there for A$1100 v $2100ish locally. Tempting to say the least.
     
  18. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    My reluctance is due to the fact you maybe subject to duty when it arrives. Whether that is carried on the plane or shipped back to Australia on your behave. Technically it should, but whether it is "selected" for duty is another thing. The inconvenience of collecting the amp from the "custom broker". Is the warranty transferable? Is the warranty null and void the minute you cut the cable and connect an Australian plug.

    Yes, it is very attractive. Just go into the deal with your eye open to what else you may need to pay.
     
  19. hawk234

    hawk234
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks Harry - sensible words.

    I think the main concern will be the warranty - even with duty and GST it's a 50% discount. But as you say, a faulty $1,100 amp with no warranty is worth approx $0 :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...