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Any suggestions for new amp to partner my existing kit?

beatsdonstop

Standard Member
Since I've found AVForum members such a helpful bunch, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as too a new amp that would be a good partner for my existing setup & worth putting on my shortlist.

Currently I have an Audiolab 8000A, it's good but quite old now and I guess things have moved on. So thinking of an upgrade to go with: Quad 21L speakers (QED Silver Anniversary bi-wire), Cambridge Audio 640C CD player (Cambridge Audio 'reference series' interconnect) and a Project Debut III turntable.

I've not really thought too much about price yet, but I guess I'm looking at the £500 mark?

Any helpful suggestions would be most welcome, thanks in advance!
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The current AudioLabs 8000S Integrated amp with 60w/ch sells for £386.

So, are you trying to go for higher power, or equal or higher quality?

Is your existing amp some how failing you, and if so, how?

Marantz PM7003 with 70w/ch for £450.

NAD C355 w/ 80w/ch for £450.

Rotel RA-05SE w/ 40w/ch for £480.

Rotel RA-06 w/ 70w/ch for £600.

I don't think you need to worry about matching your other equipment to your amps. I think is primarily the amp & speakers match that matters.

I've not heard a lot about the particular character of Quad speakers, so I'm assuming they are pretty neutral, which implies that just about any quality amp will work.

I think it is a matter of shopping around and seeing what appeals to you.

I would say Rotel is probably the next step up in quality, and the next step beyond that would be Arcam, though Arcam is out of your budget range. Rotel, on the other hands, is only slightly over your budget if you want to boost quality as well as power.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

beatsdonstop

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply Steve and the pointer towards Rotel. Apart form the power output, is there much to separate these?
I don't have any real issues with the amp I guess (other than it takes a while to warm up before it sounds it's best), more a case of wondering what overall improvements may be achievable. Power is not an issue, the Audiolab has plenty on tap for the Quads.
Though I don't have anything to compare against, I believe the Quads to be pretty neutral sounding yes. I already had the amp when I bought the Quads and got huge step up in sound quality from my previous speakers (some quite cheap Eltax floor standers). So I'm really wondering if a more modern amp would deliver another decent improvement, the Quads should be able to keep up.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I think the only thing you can do is test out amps until you find one that has a voicing that appeals to you.

The price range of amps goes up to massive level. You can spend £100,000 for stereo amps.

Rotel, in general are considered a step up, but that doesn't mean you are guaranteed to like them.

Arcam are a massive step up, but the amp that appeals to me, the Arcam FMJ A38 is £1449 for 100w/ch. The next amp down is the MFJ A28 which is £895 for 75w/ch. Though, for a mere 25w less, the A28 seems like a bargain.

You can take a step down in power, but a step up in quality, by considering the Arcam FMJ A18 with 50w/ch for a mere £595.

It all gets down to how much you want to spend, and whether the sound of the new amp appeals to you.

I don't think modern amps are specifically better, only better amps are better. But, 'better' is subjective. In the end, there are only amps that appeal to you, and amps that don't.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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