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AV amp's in stereo?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Vection, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Vection

    Vection
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    I've noted with interest recently that AV amps don't seem to have got any better at plain old stereo.
    I've been for a quick dem of some of the newer AV kit around and it seems that it's just not any better that the kit of a few years ago.
    I began to wonder why this was. I first thought that it could only be that the companies were struggling to produce decent 2 channel sound with all the costs they had to cope with but then it occured to me that Arcam used an OEM board to produce the AVR100/200 which they tweeked to give the best 2 chan sound this side of £800.
    Ok so the AVR 200 sounds like an A75 but its better that most av amps.
    so why cant the other manufactuers do this?
    Or are we getting ripped off?:mad:
     
  2. wilber

    wilber
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    More cock up than conspiracy I think.

    How do you persuade "most People" to buy your latest and greatest piece of home cinema kit that they can afford

    by making it sound better in stereo?

    by adding new badges and toys?

    It's going to be the second for "most people" hence that's where the research goes and if all of thoseshiny toys make cds sound not so good, well never mind 'cos most people listen to cds on midi systems and they're happy.

    So those of us who want great sounding movies and great sounding cds who know that you can't have your cake and eat it("not really very many at all") are left to either compromise (even the Arcam is a compromise as it's a bit lacking in the movie department) or go for a two box solution.

    To me the two box solution makes perfect sense now - when I want a new hc amp that's all I have to worry about I won't have to think about compromise, I won't have to read marketing spin about how great their amp is with 2 ch music & how great 2 ch music sounds when you convert it artificially to 7 ch. With 2 ch stuff I have a good amp and cd player that nobody is trying hard to repace every six months.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think that wilber has a very good point there,and it's a shame that there are relatively few products that sound good in both departments(stereo and AV) and that most of these are somewhat expensive!

    If I want the best stereo out of my system I sometimes bypass the AV section completely and route the CD via a passive attenuator into the front power amps....depends on whether I can be bothered or not!
     
  4. mick23

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    i totally agree on this subject, there are plenty of av amps around at fairly modest prices new ie yammy £350 ,new 3803 seen this for £670 online, not heard or seen 3803 this has more gizmos etc than 3802 etc, but apparently has not improveded in 2 channel .

    i do agree with whaty hifi on the point they made a while back the av side of things is "cracked" sterio performance is lacking somewhat at the moment .


    i myself would proberbly be quite happy with modest av amp pl2,6.1 ability ,but would like half desent sterio.

    the other slightly annoying thing to me is, you purchase an av amp say £800-£900 one year,the manufacturer brings out another model, your amp becomes worth only say £500 if you wish to sell. i would rather they concentrate on a good all rounder, than new models each year.

    if a modest sterio only amp say rotel ra 01 cost £250 why cant the likes be incorperated in av amps+processing+powers at more modest costs, everything half descent in sterio seems to cost megabucks, new tag/arcam etc
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Presumably it could, but would people wanting seven channels of amplification be willing to put up with a box three and one half times the size of the stereo box and would they be willing to pay the proportionate increase in price too.

    As Wilber stated, it is the pursuit of bells and whistles at a low price that brings down quality. The marketing of AV amps is closer to the Dixons / Comet style of the more flashing lights the better rather than the less is more approach of traditional hifi.

    Whenever this subject has come up before I have stated my objection to paying for loads of additional facilities that I don't want or need that degrade the sound. My ideal design would be a modular approach based on a stripped down 5.1 amplifier. Anyone wanting the two extra rear chaneels could buy an extra module. Same with video processing. The purist approach would be to have no video processing at all but those that want it could pay the extra.
     
  6. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi folks
    Have to agree with ian about no bells and whistles thats why i like the nad receivers .You get hardly any dsp (2 i think)modes which usually sound crap anyway i also only need 5.1 so extra amps would go unused.I think thats why the nads t752 sounds so good as its spent the bells and whistles and extra channel money on a good quality 5.1 vannilla receiver imo.
    Cheers Gonzo.:smoke:
     
  7. daninthemix

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    Mine too. It's name is Theta Casablanca II ;)
     
  8. Vection

    Vection
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    I think a modular av reciver would be a great idea. Most hifi companies would point in the direction of pre/power setups tho, problem is that they always cost in excess of 1.5k .
    It seems to me that the first company to realise that there is a whole market out there waiting for a decent sounding amp with 'useful' facilities would make an absolute killing and probably produce the first classic av amp. I dont think there has been one that really stands out from the crowd yet.
     
  9. RossC

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    Absolutely spot on posting - worked out what I wanted from my set-up, and not sure it really exists right now. Basically want 5.1 for AV and decent 2 channel (Has to be at least as good as my 10yr old Audiolab in 2ch). Ideally in slim boxes that look fairly minimal, with good build quality. Basic high quality video switching would be useful to simplify control of the plasma screen. Oh and at a real world price.

    So what does that leave us with? Things I've listened too:

    Linn Movies - way too compromised (the new one may be better) but a very neat one box concept.

    Cyrus AV8 - needs 3 power amps to make a full 5.1 system, avoids video switching completely, very minimal feature set, sounds very good in 2channel, ok in 5.1, nearly £3k total.

    Primare SPA20 - minimal looks, fairly slim one box (5 amp channels), leaner sound than Cyrus, but very detailed, £2K

    Arcam AVR200 - poor in 2 channel (in my opinion), build quality is weak too.

    Rotel RSX-1055 - fairly good all rounder, 5 amp channels, £1200

    And the rest - either at high cost (Naim, TAG, Arcam et al) or loaded with gadgets (Japanese receivers mainly) and visually not pleasing. The best of this bunch for music seems to be the Harman Kardon AVR5550 at £850 but visualy it really is an aquired taste!

    Can't think of anything else right now!
     
  10. Andywilliams

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    Hi all
    Ive heard the harman kardon avr5550 and in my opinion the nad T752 sounds better in stereo.
    Gonzo.:p
     
  11. ag_pusscat

    ag_pusscat
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    RossC, I agree with gonzo's advice - at least try the NAD (I have the T762).

    But what is a real world price? A £500 AV amp has to do a lot more than a £500 stereo - more channels, more decoding (and the other stuff) .... At what price can we fairly start comparing an AV receiver to a £500 stereo? At least £1000 don't you think, if not more?
     
  12. nathan_silly

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    I've heard a £2500 AV amp, IMO still sounds bad (compared to my £700 integrated)

    Looking smug with a processor & integrated amp setup. :)
     
  13. ag_pusscat

    ag_pusscat
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    That's the second thing - modular stuff is available. But even if it wasn't expensive (a very relative term) the majority of people would still prefer to have as few boxes as possible.

    I couldn't afford a pre & pro, but I am sure I could have got better stereo sound from a separate stereo amp and a cheaper AV solution. It all just seems a bit of a pain though. (Call me lazy or crazy if you like). I've got to find somewhere to put all this stuff as it is!
     
  14. deckard

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    Tricky one this old chestnut.

    My interest started of as principally 2 channel Linn kit, so stereo performance for me is important. I bought a Yamaha pro-logic processor and subsequently upgraded that to the DSP-E800 to give me 5.1 stuff with the front channels sent to a tape loop on my hi-fi amps.

    The advantage of this is I retain a 'pure' 2 channel system with cd-->amp-->stereo speakers but I can switch in all the surround channels by selecting the tape input on the hi-fi amp and then controlling everything from the Yamaha.

    Sure the Yamaha's not the last word in 5.1 playback but it's a workable compromise for me that means I don't have two systems; just one with elements I can switch on or off according to what I'm listening to.
     

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