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AV amp alternative

JamesMason

Standard Member
Hello

I'm in a position where I'd like to purchase an AV amp and some speakers. I've done the obligatory trawl of the forums and around the net to try and find something that fits my needs and the best conclusion I can draw is I'm not much closer to finding what I want than I was before.

I've got an initial budget of around £600 - this has to cover the AV amp and either a set of 5.1 speakers or, more likely, a pair of speakers that I would add to 6 months or so down the line. Ideally cables and speak stands (if needed) would be within the budget also.

The best amp (as far as I can tell), that would fit my needs is the Yamaha RX-V671. Everyone in the threads on here and on other sites seem to have a universally high opinion of it. The unfortunate thing is it seems to be hard to find and from being priced at a very reasonable £300 quoted a few months ago, the ones that I've seen advertised are £350 and up.

So to stop a long thread becoming any longer, I guess my question is what amps are there out there that would provide at least 5.1 channels of sound, leave room for a pair of speakers to do it justice and keep within the £600 budget and preferably have an ethernet port.

Other potentially useful details

Music I listen to: Pink Floyd, classical, singer song writers, rock/metal.

Films I watch: Anything from arthouse to action.

Size of room: 3m x 5m aprox

Speakers to go against a wall


Thank you in advance

James
 

Fiearce

Active Member
You'll have a better system if you build bit by bit than buy an all in one. In all in ones, the manufacture likes to cram small satellites plus a low performing subwoofer to make an affordable package, so it's not nearly as good as a pair of quality separates.

The Yamaha RX-V671 is the best bang for buck at £330 on eBay. If we choose £400 speakers, it pushes us slightly over budget. However, this is the best route as costly speakers will yield better sound than any amp can.

The clean sounding Monitor Audio RX1's are well worth a look too. They can reveal a lot of detail while digging deep. For the size, they can push out a lot of bass and churn out an accurate sound but not at the expense of volume increase. The Yamaha will have plenty of drive for the speakers.
In addition, the speakers work best if sat a little away from the wall. If up against a wall, the speakers will still perform well, it's just you'll notice an increase of base in contrast.

Yamaha is known to pair well with MA's. A lot of people here use Yamaha's with MA's. The relaxed Yamaha's favour body over precision and complement the warm sound of MA.

Hope it's of help to you.

P.S Audition before you buy since an opinion will only tell half of the story. Take views as a guidance, but use ears to assess the actual sound.
 
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PSM1

Distinguished Member
The RX1 may not be the best option for the OP considering the speakers are going to be next to a wall as they are a little fussy in placement. There are quite a few threads on here about the RX1 sounding very boomy when next to a wall.
To the OP:- how close is against? No speaker is going to like being right up against a wall as it will interact with it and cause boomy bass. Also a lot of speaker are rear ported which again are not going to like being right next to the wall. Why do the speakers need to be so close to the wall? Can you place them anywhere else? If you have to have them in that position then I would look at on wall speakers like the Monitor Audio Radius/Apex/Shadow ranges or Kef T series. For the same money they will not be as good as a conventional speaker (that is correctly positioned) but should give better sound quality given your requirment of 'against a wall'.
 

JamesMason

Standard Member
Thanks for the prompt replies. I especially appreciate any advice on speaker/amp pairing.

Regarding the speakers being against the wall, I should probably qualify and say they will be near the wall, not in the middle of the room. How close to a wall is 'too close'?

Regards

James
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
How close you can place a speaker to walls varies from speaker to speaker. Floorstanding speakers generally need more room to breath than bookshelf cabinet speakers and rear ported speakers generally need more space behind them than closed cabinet speakers. You can get speakers specifically designed to hang on walls though and you can even get speakers that you embed into the wall itself.

As a guide, I'd suggest you allow for 30 - 50cm between the speaker and the wall behind it if considering floorstanding speakers and 10 - 30cm for bookshelf speakers.
 
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JamesMason

Standard Member
Thanks for the clarification. I was imagining I was going to have to leave a metre. There will be no issue with me setting them forward up to 50cm or so.

with reference to speaker choice, would I be better investing in floor standers or going for a pair of bookshelf speakers? Would there be any advantage to purchasing a pair of book shelves now and swapping them out for floor standers at a later date (then using the bookshelf speakers as rears)

Also, would it be an idea to invest in a centre speaker off the bat?

Thank you for your continued patience

James
 

Fiearce

Active Member
Thanks for the clarification. I was imagining I was going to have to leave a metre. There will be no issue with me setting them forward up to 50cm or so.

with reference to speaker choice, would I be better investing in floor standers or going for a pair of bookshelf speakers? Would there be any advantage to purchasing a pair of book shelves now and swapping them out for floor standers at a later date (then using the bookshelf speakers as rears)

Also, would it be an idea to invest in a centre speaker off the bat?

Thank you for your continued patience

James

The bass response of a floorstander will be better than a similar in price bookshelf speaker due to the enclosure size. Floorstanders include 6 drive units (a woofer for bass, a midrange and a tweeter for high frequencies). In addition, floorstanders fill up the room with more sound and play louder.

On the other hand, a bookshelf has 3 drivers. As a bookshelf costs far less than a floorstander, you get more value for your money. In contrast, a bookshelf speaker sounds more accurate. If you find a bookshelf speaker to lack in bass, you can always add a sub.

In regards to a centre speaker, see if you like the dialogue sound of the speaker you choose. If you don't, you still have the option of buying a centre speaker later on.

P.S Floorstanders need more room to breathe.
 
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JamesMason

Standard Member
Thanks for the info Fiearce

It all seems like a bit of a minefield. This is probably why I never get anything done, too much choice leads to inaction.

I really need to keep my costs within the £600 bracket, it's all too easy to go down the route of "Well, if I just spend another £100 I could get something better". I guess I'm just after that sweet spot of spending enough to make it really worthwhile, without straying too far in to the land of diminishing returns.

James
 

Fiearce

Active Member
Thanks for the info Fiearce

It all seems like a bit of a minefield. This is probably why I never get anything done, too much choice leads to inaction.

I really need to keep my costs within the £600 bracket, it's all too easy to go down the route of "Well, if I just spend another £100 I could get something better". I guess I'm just after that sweet spot of spending enough to make it really worthwhile, without straying too far in to the land of diminishing returns.

James

My earlier post of the Yamaha to Monitor Audio is a good combination for the money, it's almost within your budget as well. Both will cost you around £630, which isn't that far off. Plus, it'll be more than enough for you.

It's up to you with what you part your cash for.
 
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