Best Integrated £800 ish?

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I will be upgrading my Arcam A75+ in the next few weeks/months and will be using it with my hc set up so would like an amp with av in. It will be coupled with my newly aquired Naim CD5i cdp and Linn Ninka's.
I have looked high and low for a P75+ but to no avail without paying silly money. I'm now of the opinion that I'd probably just be better off getting a more powerfull integrated than adding a power amp (unless someone can convince me otherwise:))
What are my options around the £800 mark. How do you rate the Naim Nait5i would this be a marked improvement over the A75+ or more a sideways step?
Is the A85+ a good integrated and will it be a substantial improvement over the A75+?
Is it easy to judge the difference when auditioning amps when the source and speakers are the same(the source and speakers affect overall sound the most surely)? Do amps add there own character to the sound (i always tend to use direct mode on the a75+) or is it a matter of power and delivery.
Is there an amp that would allow me to bi-amp my Ninka's with just a one box solution?

I'm babbling now:blush:

any advice or help much apreciated
 

337GUS

Active Member
I would think the Nait5i would be the obvious choice, it has a unity-gain for AV and I would expect it to comfortably see off the A75+. The Naits and Linn should be a quality combo.

The A85 is a fine amp, I bought one Christmas 2002 to improve the stereo sound of my AV receiver. I auditioned quite a few but the fact it worked very well with my B&W 603's at the time and the AV unity-gain function swung it for me. A used A85 and P85 would be a good combo around £750-800.

Alternatively the A85 for around £450 with your A75+ used as a power amp may be a very cost effective way to go.

Probably well out of budget but a used MF A308 would be a superb amp to try and hear.

MF are bringing out 2 new amps very soon the £599 X80 and £799 X150, a new X series CDP is due out as well. Have a pdf if you want more info - pm me with your email address.

I find the amp has quite an effect on the sound, moving from an integrated to a pre/power and then further up the scale to biamping it was easy for me to hear the difference at each stage, and well worth the cost involved.

Gus
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
If you like Arcam, I have an arcam 10/DAVE/10P setup, which I am about to sell. No PrologicII but a far more musical sound than Japanese Pre/Pros
Is this of interest

Peter
 

mick23

Standard Member
hawklord must admit i have not heard any naim gear but not sure how you would use your turntable with say nait 5i or if you would need to add outbord phono stage???


seeing you have linn speakers have you considered all linn set up

not sure if linn has any unity gain /or av mode option.

moorgate accoustics have some exdem or second hand linns on there website they will allow you 10day home trial postage approx £12 but you have to pay upfront and return postage.
 

cameronl

Active Member
I too have the A75+ and have not been able to find a cheap P75+. What about looking for a cheap P85 or P90 (or even higher?) to go with the A75+ as they all have the same gain.

CaM
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
If I was to go the pre-pro route what are the benefits over an integrated?
Could someone explain to me what the pre stage involves (in laymans terms) and why they vary in price so much? I understand that quality components cost more money but if they are essentially doing the same job why the difference?(ie what do you pay for).
I'm assuming if you buy a good pre amp you can add as many power amps in a chain as you require. I'd need three to tri-amp my Ninka's and would have to fit cross over cards in them to make them active.(is this right?). How much do cross over cards generally cost and are they easy to get fitted in power amps?

thanks for your time:)
 

ads1

Active Member
Aren't the aktiv cards already present on the ninka's? You just have to rearrange the crossover configuration link boards.

Andy
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
"The Ninka can be as easily configured as a passive or an active loudspeaker. The input terminals on the rear of the Ninka enable simple fast configuration either as a single-wired passive loudspeaker, a bi-wired passive loudspeaker, a bi-amped active loudspeaker, or as a tri-amped active loudspeaker. For passive playback, the Ninka’s inputs connect to the crossover and for active playback additional inputs connect directly to the Ninka’s drive units. Two removable, reversible-link connection boards (patent pending) on the rear of the Ninka identify and configure the appropriate input links for passive or active playback requirements."

does that mean I just need three power amps to actively drive them I'm confused:confused: or does making them active bipass the internal crossovers making you have to have external crossover cards?
 

337GUS

Active Member
Originally posted by Hawklord
Could someone explain to me what the pre stage involves (in laymans terms) and why they vary in price so much? I understand that quality components cost more money but if they are essentially doing the same job why the difference?(ie what do you pay for).

A preamp has all the sources connected to it and basically controls the signal before passing it on (sometimes in the case of a vinyl source for example with gain and equalistaion) to the power amp where it is boosted so that the speakers can go loud enough. You pay for quality, flexibility, low noise floor(less hiss) and low distortion.

Originally posted by Hawklord
If I was to go the pre-pro route what are the benefits over an integrated?

Seperate dedicated power supplies, more room to arrange cabling and components for short signal paths, rejection of interference.

Better quality components are usually used as people are prepared to pay more for pre/power in general than an integrated, probably a historical thing as there are now many superb integrateds available.

Pre and power are isolated from each other leading to less feedback.

Flexibility - mix and match, bi/tri even 6 pack a la Naim power amps.

Integrateds benefit from not having to use extra interconnects and a shorter signal path but are at the risk of the power section sending interference into the more delicate preamp section.

HTH

Gus
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I have found a source that is selling the P80 for £320. If I was to buy this and bi-amp my ninka's with the combination of my a75+ and the p80 would there be a marked improvement iyo over just bi-wiring as I currently have?
This appears to be easyist and most cost effective way of upgrading if it will give me a good result.
The combination of Naim CD5i CDP, Arcam A75+ and Linn Ninka's seems a good match (to my ear at least )but I really would like to get the most from my set up and this seems the logical next step.
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member

Hawklord

Well-known Member
I've just bit the bullet and ordered a P80 for £320 brand new. The site I found had the wrong price on but will honour the deal (should be £420). I should get next week and will have a go at bi-amping my Ninka's. I'll post my observations:)
 

cameronl

Active Member
hi there, I currently have the A75+ as my stereo amp attached to my Yam 630 AV amp.

Now if I add a poweramp to this equation will I have enough preouts spare?

i.e. I already use my A75+ preout to go 'cd in' on the AV amp

thanks

CaM
 

337GUS

Active Member
Originally posted by Hawklord
I've just bit the bullet and ordered a P80 for £320 brand new. The site I found had the wrong price on but will honour the deal (should be £420). I should get next week and will have a go at bi-amping my Ninka's. I'll post my observations:)

Nice one, that's a great price for a new A80. Let us know how it improves the sound.
 

ads1

Active Member
"Now if I add a poweramp to this equation will I have enough preouts spare?"

I think the arcams power amps have line outs as well, so you can daisy chain them.

Andy
 

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