Amp with 2 speaker outputs

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by waitswonder, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    Hi,

    Getting upgradeitis after spending too long reading here.

    I currently have a very old nad amp that handles 2 sets of speakers - kitchen and main room. I can switch one off if needs be.

    But as i look around i dont see many options for this in my price range. Looking to spend £5-700.

    I read the reviews of the rotels but cant find any showrooms that stock them (I live near slough).

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I think you will find most amps do have TWO speaker outputs, that is two PAIR of speakers; Speaker-A and Speaker-B as they are frequently called.

    Now you say a budget of £500 to £700, is that for the amp only, and do you have any other requirements or preferences?

    All but the smallest new NAD amps have outputs for two pair of speakers. The NAD C356BEE with 80w/ch is about £540. There is apparently a NAD C356BEE DAC, the same amp but with a built-in DAC module of about £600.

    C 356BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifier - NAD Electronics

    C 356BEE DAC Stereo Integrated Amplifier - NAD Electronics

    The Rotel RA-06SE (if still available) and the Rotel RA-1520 (60w/ch). The RA-1520 is about £695. The RA-60SE is about £599 with about 70w/ch. The newly introduced Rotel RA12 has 60w/ch but also has a USB Input and a built-in DAC, priced at about £599.

    Home Theater System Surround Sound Amplifier DVD Player - Rotel PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

    Home Theater System Surround Sound Amplifier DVD Player - Rotel PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

    Superfi - ROTEL RA06 SE AMPLIFIER


    Alternatives to the above fine amps, consider the -

    Marantz PM7004 with 70w/ch (£499)-

    Superfi - MARANTZ PM7004 AMPLIFIER

    The Marantz PM-KI Pearl Lite (70w/ch, £699) -

    Superfi - MARANTZ PM-KI PEARL LITE INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER


    As another alternative, consider Cambridge Audio -

    Cambridge Audio 651A, 75w/ch, USB DAC, £449 -

    Cambridge Audio AZUR 651A Silver | Stereo Amplifier | Richer Sounds

    All of the amps should accommodate two pair of speakers. This can be confirmed by looking at photos or at the owner's manual available on-line.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    Thanks Steve/bluewizard,

    Plenty to look at there. Hope i can get to demo them.

    I'm hoping to spend the £500+ on the amp. I'm hoping the speakers will last a while longer. They're about 10yrs old, the amp nearer 20. Is that sensible?

    W.
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Start from where you are at, and keep going until you get where you need to go. We are all in a gradual process of upgrading our systems piece by piece, and doing so on limited budgets. So, certainly, amp now, speakers later.

    But, give long consideration to what your needs are in the modern world of HiFi. Today, everything is moving to Digital Files. Today, many with a stereo are also using that stereo as the sound system for watching movies (raises hand). Many want to interface a computer with a good sound system for, among other things, Internet Radio.

    While SACD hasn't really take off, if you tastes run beyond modern POP, then there is quite a selection out there to choose from.

    If you haven't gone overboard on CD, and are still spinning stacks of hot wax (vinyl albums), then it is probably important to get an amp that can support a turntable.

    Another aspects is Tone Controls or NO Tone Controls. I like having them, other don't feel they need them.

    So, my point is, give some thought to what your Real Current needs are in an amp. Does the addition of an Internal DAC have any value for you? Are you more interested in High (more or less) power, or lower power but higher quality?

    How do you feel about your previous NAD amp? (NAD ... right?) If you like NAD then the C356BEE or C356BEE-DAC are close to what you wanted to pay.

    Another very worthy amp, is the XTZ A100 D3, but this is a beast of an amp, BIG and Powerful. Built-in DAC, Massive Power supply, Solid 110w/ch in Class A/B, and has pure Class A mode as well, no tone controls though. Price at a very reasonable £650, when you consider what you are getting.

    XTZ Class A-100 D3 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Silver and Black | Integrated Amplifiers | Amplifiers | Audio Sanctum

    Class A100 D3 Svart/Silver

    It has ONE Optical and FOUR Coaxial, and no USB inputs feeding the internal DAC. Available in Black only, Silver only, and Black and Silver as shown. XTZ also makes some pretty impressive speakers.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  5. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    Yes plenty to chew over.

    Music is on iPod wired into amp via cheap iPod doc (pure). Not sure if the iPod can use another dac. But I can see how they're useful and that more and more amps contain them.

    I have the amp 20 years (maybe I shouldn't be saying that) so yes quite happy with nad. But when I read reviews (what hifi etc) doesn't seem to top the list these days so I'll be interested to hear some others.

    If I get to hear them. Struggling to find nad and rotel suppliers down this way. If i cant demo I may need to take a risk - how similar are the sounds of the other amps listed above to a nad amp from the 90s?

    W
     
  6. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    Oh and I shoul add power is not an issue really

    My tastes have changed - it's rare to crank it up these days.

    And tone controls - the nad has them but I use them about once a year so loosing themselves not an issue

    Thanks again Steve
     
  7. daytona600

    daytona600
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    why don,t you get a integrated amp with a pre-amp out section ( split pre/power section )
    then a small power amp / T amp ideal to drive the kitchen speakers or a set of small active/powered speakers for the kitchen or the cheap option just turn up your main system so you can hear it in the kitchen
     
  8. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    interesting idea. not thought of that.
     
  9. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    Something that doesn't appear to have been considered in the amps mentioned above with two speaker outputs.
    Do you need to be able to control the volume of them independently? Or are you happy just having a master volume and then switching either pair of speakers on and off?

    The type with independent volume controls is far less common, and if you want to do that, then you'd probably be better off getting an amp with pre-out, and then another amp as suggested in post #7.
     
  10. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    Actually, another option is to get an amp that just has one volume control. Then get an inline control for the second room. This is a device that sits on the speaker cable between amp and speakers, and passively attenuates the volume (so the maximum level is set by the amp's main control). This would give you the bonus of a physical volume control in the room where your other speakers are.
     
  11. waitswonder

    waitswonder
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    Audioenthusiast

    I like that idea a lot. That opens up quite a few more options. Do you know names of products/producers that can do that?

    W
     
  12. daytona600

    daytona600
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    I Use a lovely little amp dared EF-99 valve headphone amp /Dac pre amp & 1watt amp
    ideal with small speakers or with small actives takes Usb input 2 line input bluetooth
    buy 2off one living room & one in kitchen or use the separate pre - out to drive another power amp in kitchen
    bargain for £250 Welcome To Dared.
     
  13. lindsayt

    lindsayt
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    You could always get a battleship amp like a Sansui Au-9500 or Au-999. Seriously good engineering, within budget and 3 pairs of speaker terminals.
     

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