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Best AV for 2 channel stereo?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by jag1967, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. jag1967

    jag1967
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    Hi All

    I'm new to this forum and interested in buying an AV amp (max. £500) which performs really well in stereo. I would spend more time listening to CDs (jazz to dance music) than watching movies, but don't have the space or budget for separate dvd & hifi systems, or accumulate too many boxes.

    Ok, I know its wishful thinking but I'd like the best of both worlds without too much of a compromise.

    In general from what I've read, sadly all AV's in this price range are outdone by £200 dedicated hifi amps. (What HIFI S&V Jan review of the otherwise excellent Denon AVR1804 reiterated this general criticism)

    Though I've read positive things about the Harmon Kardon AVR range (eg 3550) for their audio ability?

    Any advice or experiences would be much appreciated.

    jag1967
     
  2. ditton15

    ditton15
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    pop over to the HiFi threads for more about this, or search on stereo. I have opted for the AVamp (DenonAVR2802) + StereoAmp (AudioLab8000S) solution. I bought each of them s/h some year ago, at a total cost of £600. I could have got a cheaper amp, at £200. Cheaper AVamp might not have the pre-outs that you need.
     
  3. Vection

    Vection
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    Hi there, if your willing to buy second hand or ex dem then I would recomend the Arcam AVR 200 or even the AVR100 which should be quite cheap by now.
    I have an avr100 and like you I spend more time listening to music. The avr200 is at least an equal for the Arcam A65 2 channel amp and does justice to raucus action films. It wont go to room shaking levels but certainly has a decent kick to it.

    When partnered with good speakers arcam kit should make jazz music sound excellent and is certainly good enough to make recording a fine listen experiance .

    I toyed with the idea of upgrading a few months back but after some lengthy auditions I came to the conclusion that I'd have to spend well over £1000 before I'd will make any meaningfull gains. At that point your well into processor/power amp terratory.

    Worthy of an audition if you can find one.

    Hope that helps.:)
     
  4. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Jag
    The nad t752 is very good with music and movies and will go very loud it has been tested at 90 watts per channel all channels driven.It will also drive speakers with low impedance 4 0hms which alot of amps around your budget find hard to do.Now the next model is due any time t753 so you may get a good deal .
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  5. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Try some of the Marantz amplifiers the SR5400 OSE is available now and the SR7400 should be available soon. Both will be worth listening to. Both priced under £500 @ unbeateable, but do have a listen first.
     
  6. jag1967

    jag1967
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    Thanx for all the advice so far. I will certainly go forth and check it out!

    cheers
    jag
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I don't suppose that you will find an AV amp that performs "really" well in stereo unless you pay considerably more.

    I have a Denon AVC10SE which cost £1,300 when new but is now available on the second hand market for between £450 and £550 which I think sounds good in stereo.
     
  8. Brox

    Brox
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    You are really limited to HK, Arcam, and Nad - I don't think the Denon's are as good as the others but i've only heard the 3803

    The marantz's are supposed to be good but my friend who was recently in the market for the same as you had a demo was not impressed at all - he bought a harman in the end.

    The Arcams are excellent though.
     
  9. jag1967

    jag1967
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    Brox, I agree with this assessment of the marantz, esp at this kind of budget.

    Ian J's advice is useful, as it's difficult to find good stereo at sub-1000 mark; even though I'm roughly trying to get an AV which would be equivalent to the best £300 budget hifi amp. But hey, I would love to get hold of a denon avc10se, but they are seriously hard to find?

    At least I'm starting to narrow things down with everyone's contributions. Much appreciated
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    People often say that yet when one comes up for sale no-one wants it as it doesn't have Pro Logic 2. It seems that many people attach more importance to bells and whistles than they do to overall sonic performance.

    I sold my Marantz with Pro Logic 2 and amplification for an extra 10,000 pairs of speakers that I will never use, to buy something with less flashing lights but far better sound reproduction.
     
  11. ditton15

    ditton15
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    I agree with your general point but would include Pro Logic 2 as among the desirable features, especially if telly watching is more than occasional - films in particular. Its so much better than the standard pro logic.
     
  12. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Ditton
    I found on the nad t752 that there own ears surround mode sounded better than prologic 2 better dynamics.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  13. ditton15

    ditton15
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    that's new to me. does it 'manufacture' a 5.1 effect from a stereo analogue signal then?
     
  14. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    PLII is well worth having if you can get it.

    My Harmon AVR8500 is a great performer for 2 channel duties.
    I assume that the lesser models will have a familiar sound, so might be worth investigating.

    I used to have a Denon AVC10SE : nice machine:cool:

    Adz
     
  15. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    You can always buy an older Marantz surround amp, and pick up a couple of second hand Marantz Mono-block amps (MA500, MA700 or MA6100) to bi Amp for stereo IMO sounds great (I have friend with Arcam alpha Bi-Amp set-up he rate's it on a par) but not exactly a one box solution.
     
  16. jag1967

    jag1967
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    I'm trying to stick with the one box solution.

    Recently, I've heard good things about the HK507 (on another thread) which is almost the same spec as the HK4550.

    It would be interesting to hear from anyone who would know how the HK would compare with an Arcam AVR-200 in relation to stereo performance. (At S/H, the prices between them both are similar)
    The HK offers more in terms of HT, but I would be mainly concerned with music perfomance. Are both the receivers roughly the same, or does the arcam have the edge?

    cheers
     
  17. bluesfan

    bluesfan
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    h/k is much brighter. New models are better technically, preouts, component,etc but looks are not to everyone's taste. Arcam is smoother. I don't rate the build or look of Arcam. The front seems to pick up a dirty look when I saw it.
     
  18. gvh

    gvh
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    As an Arcam AVR100 owner I definitely recommend it and the 200 as they have proper analogue inputs that bypass any processing. The 200 is just a tweaked 100 with more inputs and a tiddle more power
     
  19. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi,

    I had best not comment on performance of AVR200 as I am clearly biased. However I can tell you that the difference between the 100 and 200 are; The 200 has the following extra features.

    More digital inputs.

    Improved base management (although latter 100s had this)

    Dolby ProLogic II Movie and Music modes with full control of music mode setup.

    Improved internal grounding which cleans up the sound quality detail a bit.

    The very latest of the AV200s also have reasignable digital inputs. (However this is not available as an upgrade)

    Improved multiroom support with trigger ouput.

    Latter 200s have normal binding posts rather than BFA types.

    Regards,
    Andrew
     
  20. DeeeKaaY

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    Have you considered a stereo amp and a multichannel? I found a massive improvement by running a dedicated amp for my fronts. The arcam a65+ and a75+ can be a very cheap addition to a surround amp if you shop around and they will beat most surround amps under £1000 i.m.o.
     

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