Amplifier Decisions

indiegirl

Standard Member
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice/guidance/recommendations

I have a budget of around £350-400, so relatively low-end territory, and I'm looking for an amplifier with the following:

built-in phono stage (or a lower budget amp + phono stage)
bluetooth

I've identified the following:
Denon PMA-600NE
Yamaha RN-602

Richer Sounds then told me that the Denon was too bright and I'd be better with a Cambridge Audio (now read elsewhere that RS push Cambridge Audio all the time), but that added the CA AXR-85 into the list.

Have any of you had to make this choice, and which did you choose (and why?). Are there any others to consider (Marantz 6006?)

I'll be connecting it to a Pro-ject Debut Carbon Evo.

I've had an appalling experience with an Onkyo A9010 which has been rejected and returned, so I am looking for something that's an upgrade and a slightly warmer sound. How "crisp" is the Denon in comparison to the other two, does anyone know?

My room is pretty big although I'm only connecting to a small set of Mordaunt Shorts at the moment until I get the right position of the equipment.

Thanks in advance.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Which Mortaunt Shorts speakers do you own?

I would say that if you do need the networking features, then the Yamaha A-S501 might be a good alternative to both the Yamaha R-N602 and the Denon PMA-600NE. As you have Mortaunt Shorts speakers the Marantz PM6007 could be the best partnership depending upon the size of them as Marantz is the most musical. Sadly its also the most expensive to as you would expect.

Which do I feel will be best musically with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo. My suggestion would be Marantz, Yamaha A-S501, and a close match between the Denon and remaining Yamaha with features edging the Yamaha in front in my own opinion. But I'm glad you know your own mind where sound is a concern as its seems you do not like the Onkyo (which tend to be a brighter sounding product). The Yamaha is a safe musical sounding product with Marantz offering a more dynamic experience.

At this level, each has its place, but how distinctive they will be determined upon your room, speaker size and most of all your expectation
 

indiegirl

Standard Member
Which Mortaunt Shorts speakers do you own?

I would say that if you do need the networking features, then the Yamaha A-S501 might be a good alternative to both the Yamaha R-N602 and the Denon PMA-600NE. As you have Mortaunt Shorts speakers the Marantz PM6007 could be the best partnership depending upon the size of them as Marantz is the most musical. Sadly its also the most expensive to as you would expect.

Which do I feel will be best musically with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo. My suggestion would be Marantz, Yamaha A-S501, and a close match between the Denon and remaining Yamaha with features edging the Yamaha in front in my own opinion. But I'm glad you know your own mind where sound is a concern as its seems you do not like the Onkyo (which tend to be a brighter sounding product). The Yamaha is a safe musical sounding product with Marantz offering a more dynamic experience.

At this level, each has its place, but how distinctive they will be determined upon your room, speaker size and most of all your expectation
Thanks for the detailed reply. This is very helpful...

They're small Mordaunt Shorts (10s? I think).

The main reason I didn't like the Onkyo was because of a failure in their equipment, and a failure of their customer service (Has anyone else struggled with Onkyo repairs?)... but I think a warmer sound would suit the room once I've got the equipment in the right place (it's a long lounge/diner).

I hadn't seen the Yamaha A-S501 in my searches so will go and look at that now; I assume that will need a phono stage?
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I hadn't seen the Yamaha A-S501 in my searches so will go and look at that now; I assume that will need a phono stage?
It has a standard MM cartridge built in, so no you will not need to buy one :)

I will add that if they are the baby M10's then you really will need to add a better pair of speakers to fully appreciate any of the above amps in question :smashin:
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’d agree that the MS10s are not going to show anything you have at their best. To say the least.

But as the question is about amps... certainly consider the CA. They are very good amplifiers.

Cambridge have a first class reputation and have had for years.

The best thing about their amps is the available current supply. That is, they have no problems at all getting the best out of any price compatible speakers.

CA also make rather top class seperate phono amps, so you can expect the one in the 85 to be very good too.
 

indiegirl

Standard Member
Thanks both... the MS10s are very juvenile, but as I say are a holding piece for now until I a) have enough money to buy better, and b) have the room setup properly.

I'd heard about build / reliability issues with the CA kit - I don't know how true this is but it did put me off a little, plus Richer Sounds were only pushing that amp and nothing else, hence I thought I'd ask for a balance.

I know I need to demo everything before choosing; but my problem was knowing what to demo... the advice here is v helpful, thank you
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
The only reason I didn't comment about the CA as I've not heard it and it would be wrong of me to comment :smashin:
 

Cribbster

Active Member
For me, my recent experiences are that I don't really like the Denon amps. There's something not quite right or natural about the sound. Feels like there's something missing and the detail isn't all there. Although it is a bit above the budget I would also consider looking at the Rotel A11 Tribute. That also has a phono input so no need for anything else. To me, they are great, no nonsense amps with a good neutral sound and the A11 Tribute has had some very good reviews.
 

muljao

Well-known Member

I'd definitely look at this, should be a step up from the amps mentioned, I've no affiliation.

If you added something like this to it you'd have all angles covered.


There are however excellent bluetooth receivers much less expensive. The arcam will allow a good selection of speaker upgrade options when you decide to do so
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
That D30 looks to be something of a bargain...

 

muljao

Well-known Member
That D30 looks to be something of a bargain...

I've read a lot of good things and few interesting vids on the tube but I'm at a stage where I should just stop looking and sell half the junk I have 🙂🙂
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I've read a lot of good things and few interesting vids on the tube but I'm at a stage where I should just stop looking and sell half the junk I have 🙂🙂

I know what you mean.

I’ve just done exactly that. Some speakers and a couple of older Cambridge amps. I’ve got a couple of Bluetooth receivers that should go too, but I’ll probably just lob them in a drawer somewhere.

Just an unused Anthem MRX to go.
 

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