Arcam power amp

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by maffyboy1, Jul 12, 2015.

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  1. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    I'm new to this, so hi everyone! I'm currently running an Arcam Alpha 8 integrated amp to drive the tweeters on my MA RX6's and an Arcam Alpha power amp for the bass drivers. My question is, can I use another Alpha 8p for the tweeters instead of the integrated amp and use the integrated amp to run both power amps?
     
  2. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    If you add another 8P, you'll have 6 channels of amplification, and only need 4. So you can use the 8 integrated as a pre-amp only.

    If the Arcam integrated only has one set of pre-outs you may have a problem with not enough preout jacks, but do the 8p allow you to daisy chain them? I remember they have a mono link feature which converts both channels to mono.
     
  3. Jampot90

    Jampot90
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    I use an Alpha 9P to bi-amp the centre channel.
    As Stephen says, if you use the mono strap on the 8Ps then feed left from one and right from the other you should have a good solution. By driving one woofer and one tweeter from the same amp the load on the amp's power supplies is even.
    Sharing the load is definitely the way to go imho:thumbsup:
    I think the arrangement you have now (one amp to tweeters and one to woofers) is known as horizontal bi-amping where as what I suggest is known as vertical bi-amping, but I could have that mixed up!
     
  4. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Thank you for your reply guys. So, to get this clear, if I link two 8P's together, one drives the left speaker and one drives the right and they're both connected to the integrated amp? Will this be more beneficial to what I've got now?
     
  5. dante01

    dante01
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    There's a move away from bi-amping these days. It was a fad instigated by the mainstream speaker manufacturers making their lower end speakers bi-wirable in the 90s. IT was more a high end audiophile practice prior to this. . THe issue is that to bi-amp correctly you need to be using a separate active crossover as opposed to using speakers with an integral passive crossover within the speaker. There are still some advantages to having seperate powwr sources for both the high and the low frequency drive units, mainly in relation to the upper frequencies and the headroom you'll get by not allowing the lower frequency driver or drivers to sap the tweeters of power during extracts of audio including deep bass.

    BiAmp (Bi-Amplification - Not Quite Magic, But Close) - Part 1
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  6. Jampot90

    Jampot90
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    As usual, 'it depends'. Did you find a useful improvement when you added the existing 8P? Adding a second will (probably) be subject to the law of diminishing returns but the only way to be sure is to try it.
    Dante's arguments are sound but active crossovers are a whole new level of complexity - and cost!
    I found it worth while in my case - the AV amp offers biamping of the front left and right if the rear surrounds aren't in use, but for stereo I use vintage speakers which don't have the facility but ARE a difficult load for the amp. Using the 9P for the centre relieves the power supply of some duty.
    Can you borrow something from a friend to try?
    Jim
     
  7. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Hi Jim, yea, I did hear a marked improvement when I added the 8p. I think I'm going to try it, but do you know how I'd wire it all up?
     
  8. dante01

    dante01
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    The Alpha 9's manual should cover how to configure your setup if using the mono link switch? This effectivelly make the 9P into a one channel mono block as opposed to a two channel stereo power amp. The power associated with two channels is combined into one channel and output via the two pairs of speaker terminals. You'd connect one of the 9P amps to the left pre out of the Alpha 8 via the left input on the power amp. You'd use both pairs of speaker terminals to connect the left speaker's two pairs of terminals. You'd then repeat this with the right speaker, but obviously using the right pre output and right input plus right speaker.

    This results in you Alpha 8 being used as a pre amp and an 8P for each of the two speakers.

    This is effectively bi-wiring and not bi-amping. You'd need four mono blocks to bi-amp with (2 mono blocks per speaker) if not using the Alpha 8's own internal amps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    Looking at it further, you'd be better off using the Link in and Link out connections on the 9P amps as opposed to the Mono Link feature? Connect one 9p to the Alpha 8's pre outs and then connect its left speaker terminals to the left speaker's lower pair of terminals and the righ pair of outputs to the right speaker's lower terminals. Now connect the 8P's link cable to the other 8P's link input. Connect the second 8P's left terminals to the left speaker's upper terminals and the right speaker outputs on the amp to the right speaker's upper terminals.

    Look at the diagram and explanation for for Daisy Chaining within the manual.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  10. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Thank you Jim, and to everyone, you've made it understandable. I'll report back when I've got the other amp!
     
  11. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    The Arcam link doesn't convert it to a one channel monobloc. It's not bridging. It's just duplicating the signal from one channel to the other.

    Useful if you're biamping a single speaker, ie center. I use a 8000PX and used similar method (out from load into input) I've owned a couple of Arcam 8P's as well.

    There is no increase in power with the Arcam/Audiolab, ala bridging.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  12. dante01

    dante01
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    Thanks. That's the bit that wasn't made clear in the manual. They do call it "Mono Link" though?
     
  13. Jampot90

    Jampot90
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    Whoa!
    Dante's penultimate post describes what I believe you need. The plan is to use one 8P for left and one for right. You don't want bridging OR monoblock operation. Although the Arcam manual refers to 'mono' it isn't a monoblock ( stephen is right again) - it's still 2 seperate channels of amplification. What it does do is feed the same pre amp signal (left or right) to both amp channels. If you need more guidance PM me for a discussion off line.
    Jim
     
  14. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Hi Jim, I'm a new member so I can't PM yet! However, my concern is, is all I'm doing is replacing the 8r with an 8p and then the 8r would be a pre amp. I'm not gaining any additional power, so is it worth it?
     
  15. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    I would say no, as you already have the 8 integrated. Just means you're going from integrated (using internal) and 8P, to integrated acting as pre only, with two 8p's

    If you bought two 9P or 10P, and/or replace the 8 integrated with a higher quality pre, I'd say so.

    Actually if the 8 integrated has the same dodgy input selector as the 9 I'd get rid of it. I have 9 integrated which has faulty input switch.
     
  16. Jampot90

    Jampot90
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    The output of the integrated and the power amp may well be rated the same. Any benefit is derived from the reduced demand on the power supplies within each box.
    What you have now is probably optimum VFM.
    Jim
     
  17. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Those dodgy volume/input selectors will get him in the end if they do suffer like the 9's! However, if the 8 has 'processor mode' he could still use it just as a power amp and get a new pre when the time comes. I've never owned any 8 series as far as I remember but I'm wondering if a better solution would be to scrap everything and look at an alpha 10 integrated to replace the lot.
     
  18. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Hi Timmy. Bizarrley, that's exactly what I've chosen to do! The 8 and 8p are on eBay now! However, the Alpha 10 is a step up in terms of cost. Is it as good as the pair of 8's?
    Matt
     
  19. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Does the 10 suffer from same problems?

    Personally I prefer Audiolab pre sound quality over the Arcams
     
  20. maffyboy1

    maffyboy1
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    Hi Stephen, Audiolab 8200A any good then? Better than Arcam 10?
    Matt.
     
  21. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    I use a 8000Q myself. You may want to get hold of a Tag Mclaren PA20R
     
  22. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    No the 10 uses an entirely different volume control and input selectors. The 10 is pretty much the same as the later FMJ A22 only in a casing that matches the the Alpha range. I still use a 10 on my bedroom set up and it's never put a foot wrong.

    Maffyboy I've never owned the 8's but I'm willing to bet that due to the improvement in the pre amp stage you'll notice worthwhile improvements with a 10. Of course you could always then add a 9p or 10p at a later date too if you felt it needed it.

    Could be worth keeping an eye on...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Arcam-Alp...641?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a542a4879
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  23. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    I wonder if we should have a class suit against arcam for faulty amps..£500 Arcam that is a door stop. Not happy.
     
  24. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Can we include CD players in that? My faulty list includes, 2x Delta 290 amps, Alpha 9c pre amp, P35 power amp, P25 power amp, DV27A DVD player, Delta 270 cd transport, 3 x Alpha 9 cd players, cd22 CD player....possibly more!

    The Delta 290 was basically an Alpha 9 in a previous nicer looking casing and suffered from the same problem as the Alpha 9's so it's shocking they released that Alpha range knowing there was a problem. As mentioned though the 10 is still a safe bet as it was designed at a later date as is entirely different.

    Edit: Thanks to the 'processor mode' you can at least still use the amps with faulty volume/input switches as power amps at the flick of a switch of course so all is not lost but that's besides the point!
     

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