Av or stereo amp?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Hjm80, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Hjm80

    Hjm80
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    Am looking to buy an amp purely for music. I have a set of q-accoustic 2020, a cd player and a pure digital radio deck. I want to buy a amp, poss a second hand one as I would get more for my money. Willing to pay up to about £250-£300. Want to also be able to connect and control my iPod from it even if via a dock. And if possible Internet radio. I can't seem to find a suitable powerful stereo amp, and was wondering if I might pick up a bargain av amp as there are alot on the second hand market due to new 3d technology. I would also be able to bi amp and also use the amp to power a extra set of speakers in my through kitchen.
    Was thinking of maybe the onkyo tx nr807
    I guess I'm asking can a av amp sound as good as a stereo amp, if not which stereo amp would be best for me. Would really appreciate some advice.!
     
  2. BlueWizard

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    To get an Surround Sound system that equals a stereo, you have to spend about 3 times more. Though the Onkyo 807 and similar are pretty good amps. But if you break down the price per amp channel, and per speakers, you will find that you are not getting much for either a speaker or an amp channel.

    In an odd way, the more you buy, the less you get.

    Now, you say this is for a music system, but is there a TV in the same room? Because if there is, it seems something of a waste not to run the TV through the audio system.

    Myself, in a modest room I have a stereo system with two pair of large speakers run by two separate amps. Trust me, I'm not lacking anything for power, weight, and clarity when it comes to movie watching.

    Next, exactly what is the £250 to £300 budget suppose to buy you? Just an amp? Or Speakers and an amp?

    There are several nice stereo amps in your price range.

    £200 = Yamaha AS300, 60w/ch
    £250 = Yamaha AS500, 85w/ch
    £250 = Harman Kardon HK 3390, AM/FM, 80w/ch
    £260 = Marantz PM6004, 45w/ch
    £300 = NAD C326BEE, 50w/ch

    Just to name a few.

    But before you rush out and buy a stereo amp, if there is even a remote chance that you might connect it to your TV, then first determine if your TV has analog AUDIO OUT connections.

    As to an iPod Dock, those run between £15 and £50, and there are many to choose from.

    An new Onkyo TX-NR807 is going to run a minimum of £450, and the newer and latest model Onkyo TX-NR809 is going to run £700. That seem in conflict with your stated budget.

    Is an AV amp as good as a stereo amp? Well let's figure it out. If an stereo amp cost £500, the it cost £250 per amp channel. If a 7.1 AV amp cost £500, then it cost £72 per amp. But there is a lot of extra electronics in an AV amp that is not in a stereo amp, if we count the extra electronics as an additional channel simply to aid in cost analysis, the the per amp channel value is £62.50. Which do you think sounds better, a £250 amp or a £62.50 amp?

    You can break down the speakers the same way, you can get a pair of good speakers, or you can get a whole lot of very cheap speaker for the same price, which do you imagine sound better.

    In my case, I have two pair of speakers and two stereo amps. The first Master amp feed the second amp with its Pre-Amp outputs, effectively making them one large amp. For music, I play my main tower/floorstanding speakers. For movies I add my second set of 12 inch 3-way speakers.

    With my limited budget, which is 4 figures, I simply can't see diluting my equipment down by getting a Surround Sound system. I'm very happy for stereo for movies, but I also have a somewhat unusual stereo system. And I have specifically chosen my TV to maker sure it has easily accessible Stereo Analog Audio Outs.

    Keep in mind, I'm just expressing my opinion, which consistently leans toward Stereo and big speakers. Other may have different views, and they are welcome to them. But myself, I'll stick with stereo.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. Hjm80

    Hjm80
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    Thabkyou so much for taking the time to reply in such detail. Very helpful. The money would be used just for the amp as I already have the speakers. The advantage I thought would be that I could bi wire the speakers from the av amp and get twice the power especially when just using it in stereo mode, it is reported at 135watt x7 at 8 ohms. How much is fact not sure but bi wired would surly be substantial. The other thing is I would live to directly connect my iPod and external harddrive using a USB, do you know if those amps do this? I can also stream net radio which not sure how useful as yet that might be, but might use it. Havnt really looked to hard in to stereo amps, not sure of the limitations. Also if I wanted to power a separate joined room. I have seen the 807 for sale, might be able to get it down to £250 odd second hand. From £800 when new. Can you tell me if I can get a stereo amp that does the extras? Many thanks
     
  4. peritus

    peritus
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    Your Q Acoustic 2020's sound hell of a lot better when single wired than when bi-wired

    If you were to bi-amp then that would make a difference; biwiring them really isnt worth it

    IMO go 2nd hand and get a decent 2nd hand integrated amplifier; there is a NAD C352 on eBay currently; well within your budget and would suit the 2020's down to a tee

    Other amps to consider IMO would be the Arcam Alpha 9 or 10, NAD C320BEE or a C355BEE (if you can find one) and a Musical Fidelity XA100, XA1, XA2 - Most of these can be seen on eBay currently as well.

    Have a nosey through the classifieds on here also as some gems do crop up :)
     
  5. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    If its purely for a music, i would not look at a av but i understand that a stereo amp will most probably not have all that you require. There are some with usb but not internet radio. Namely the new CA 651 which is new and around £500 so that's not an option.

    Ok, i'm going put a twist on this. How about a Marantz MCR603

    It is an all in one with usb, internet radio, 60wpc and from i understand a bit of a humdinger. It can also support 2 sets of speakers. It has a cdp which i know is not needed but you get it anyway. At £380 it is abit more than you want to spend, but to have all that you want, you will probably spend that much or more anyway. It will probably sound as powerful or more than the 807 and dare i say better ( Onkyo av's are not really known for their musical prowness but they are getting better at it).

    Denon also do something very similar.

    As for the reported 135wpc of the 807, i'll take that with a pinch or bucket of salt. If you had a Stereo amp at 135wpc and the 807's 135wpc, they will sound like 2 entirely different beasts with the 807 sorely lacking.

    Just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  6. Hjm80

    Hjm80
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    That was my original idea, but wasn't sure if it would be powerful enough. And is over budget. But I may go for the idea,
    thanks
    Hywel
     
  7. peritus

    peritus
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    Theres an MCR603 here currently: Marantz Melody media M-CR603 CD reciver | eBay

    IMO well worth offering as they're currently £350 brand new in shops!

    I absolutely love mine; it was a fantastic option when I wanted to downsize my system and it works superbly with my BX5's. Even tried it with my M/A GX100's yesterday and it drove them superbly!
     
  8. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    The MCR603 will be more than enough for q-accoustic 2020 unless you have other speakers in mind that you have not mentioned or i missed.
     
  9. Hjm80

    Hjm80
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    Ok I will deffinetly check that out. I bought a set of kef iq10's yest not sure which would be better the kef's or the q-accoustic 2020
     

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