Amplifier upgrade advice

helipilot

Active Member
I am now in a position where I feel it is time to upgrade amplification on my audio system. I have a home theatre room which measures 12ft by 8ft. The picture side of things is great with a NEC 7" crt running a scaled 1280 x 720 image with a 7 foot wide screen. I now want to create a better audio experience around what I consider to be a pretty high end image.

My current Audio system is as follows :-

Sony STR-DB930 Receiver
Kef Q35 floorstanding front speakers
Kef Model 100 Reference Series Centre
Mission 760 rear speakers (on stands)
Anthony Gallo MPS-150 Subwoofer

The Centre and Sub are recent upgrades and were a significant improvement over their predecessors (a Mission 73c and a Yamaha YST50).

OK, thats the background where do I go from here. I should state that I am a great believer in spending enough to achieve great results, but I am not convinced that spending double or triple your budget is worthwhile to achieve a 5% improvement. What I am saying saying I do not mind spending more provided it is genuinely justified.

My thoughts at present :-

I would like a TAG AV32R with a Rotel 1075 Power Amp. At present my budget is about a third of the cost of this combination. However if this is the way forward I am prepared to wait while I save up !

Question 1

If this is the way forward, as an intermediate step should I buy the 1075 now and use it with my Sony as processor.
or
Save a little longer and buy the Tag first and use it with the Sony providing amplification.

Question 2

Is the above combination so far in advance of the rest of my system for it to be overkill?

Question 3

If the answer to question 2 is yes, would something like a Denon 3802 or the Rotel 1055 Receiver be a better bet?

Question 4

If my current Sony Amp rates 3/10 and the Tag/Rotel combination rates 9/10 what does a single box solution like the Denon 3802 rate?

Any advice would be appreciated. I am really at a bit of a loss as to the way forward. I do not want to end up spending around £3000 (this represents a very substancial investment to me) then trying to justify it to myself.


thanks in advance
 
R

ricdiggle

Guest
I just bout a Tag AV32R and a Rotel 1075. This is about 15% of my yearly income and I have not once asked myself if I should have purchased them.
I had to sell my to get it but by god it's worth it.

If you buy something like a Denon 3802 or a Sony 555ES you will always be asking yourself what the tag would have sounded like.

Save up mate, you will not regret it.
 

P Adams

Active Member
I also bought a TAG AV32r 7.1 EX with a Rotel RMB 1075.

This was to replace a Yamaha 2070 pro logic amp. I was originally going to buy a Denon 3802, then a Denon AV1SR or a Pioneer AX10. Quite a jump!

After listening to the TAG/Rotel set-up against the Denon, even my wife said "buy the TAG"!

If you can afford them the TAG and Rotel combination is a great way to step on the ladder of high-end equipment which can be upgraded if you feel the need in years to come.

But for now, what a sound!!!

PA
 

Guest
It's the great 'all-in-one' V processor/power amp debate:)

The TAG/Rotel combination you propose, sounds like a nice upgrade from where i'm sitting. Put that combination up against a Denon 3802 and the TAG/Rotel will beat it. (as it should do)
TAG's superior sound decoding & Rotels muscular amplification will ensure that. I'm not overly famailiar with your current Sony Amp.
If you've got the facility (and connections) to attach a power amp to the Sony receiver, then that would be a pretty good interim measure, allowing your Sony to deal with the signal processing, while the Rotel deals with the power...I think you'd notice a difference here:)

Chosing a processor is one of the more difficult purchases to make (and often the more expensive:eek: )

Adzman
 

helipilot

Active Member
Thanks for the info guys,

Over the past weekend I have spent many hours with a Tag av32r, a Rotel 1075, and my Sony STR-DB930 trying to decide which way to go.

Others may find the results interesting if they are considering a similar upgrade path.




From best to worst the the results were :-

Processing / Amplification

1. Tag av32r / Rotel 1075 no surprise there!

2. Sony STR-DB930 / Rotel 1075

3. Tag av32r / Sony STR-DB930

4. Sony STR-DB930 / Sony STR-DB930

I initially listened to Stereo only with CD as the source. I then switched to music DVD's and finally films on DVD. The pecking order was the same regardless of source material used.

Unfortunately the one thing it did prove to me was that to get the sound quality I wanted, I would really have to buy both the TAG and the Rotel. These auditions actually ended up telling me more about the Sony than it did about the TAG or the Rotel! It would appear that the processing on the Sony is reasonable but the amplification is really struggling. The Sony basically sounds flat with the sound becoming more three dimensional as the system was improved.


I hope this information may be useful to some, Ah well time to save some more !
 
R

ricdiggle

Guest
What speakers were you using if you don't mind my asking.
My Kef Q3s are really struggling to cope with the Tag's abilities.

Richard
 

helipilot

Active Member
I was using my own speakers as I was fortunate enough to be able to demo the Tag and Rotel at home.

Speakers used :-

Kef Q35 floorstanding fronts
Kef Model 100 Reference Series Centre
Mission 760 rears
Anthony Gallo MPS-150 Subwoofer

I suspect my Q35's are not terribly different from your Q3's.

In quality terms the centre speaker is a couple of notches up on my fronts. With the processing / amplification upgraded to the extent it will be when I finally get the Tag/Rotel combination, I also suspect my Q35's might be a liitle outclassed. I have no intention of upgrading them before I get the Tag / Rotel however.
 

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