Best used stereo amp around £300

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by whos mother, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. whos mother

    whos mother
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    I am getting more into my music as opposed to films and am thinking of swapping from my onkyo 806 av receiver to a used stereo amp(in the hopes of getting better quality for sensible money)

    For speakers I will be using the fronts from my current set up roth oli50 Roth OLi 50 review | Hi-fi and av speakers Reviews | TechRadar

    what are the best sounding second hand stereo amps around the 300 quid mark,as long as there are about 4 inputs or so I am happy
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I'm curious why it has to be a used amp? Three are many nice NEW amps available in your price range. Certainly you will get more value for you money in used, but you also get more risk.

    As to used amps, the field is wide open. Though you are limited to what is available at the moment. Stick with brands you know and trust. Arcam and Rotel, as well as NAD, might be good choices. Though there are certainly many more.

    In new, consider these -

    Yamaha AS500, 85w/ch, Phono, Sub out, £239 -
    Yamaha AS500 - Google Search

    Harman Kardon HK3490, AM/FM, 120w/ch, Digital IN, DAC, Phono, £279 -
    Harman Kardon HK3490 - Google Search

    Harman Kardon HK980, 80w/ch, £287 -
    Harman Kardon HK980 - Google Search

    Onkyo TX-8050, ~100w/ch, AM/FM, Digital IN, DAC, Network Streaming, £349 -
    Onkyo TX 8050 - Google Search


    That's just a small cross section of the possibilities.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. whos mother

    whos mother
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    I was thinking used simply in terms of a potential bargain you know picking up a once £1000 amp for 300 or so:D

    my thinking was unlike av receivers and features a stereo amp dosent really date and quality is quality(I could be wrong)

    one thing I would like to think about is with my onkyo my speakers are a bit on the bright side for my tastes which brand of amp would tone them down a bit
     
  4. steveledzep

    steveledzep
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    Musical Fidelity A3, might get one of those for £300ish. Super amp !
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I also found Onkyo amps just a trace on the bright side, though in stereo amp, not excessively so.

    If you want something a little warmer, try NAD amps. You should be able to get an older version of the NAD C356 or the C375 for that price. In the NAD amps, one model back of the C356 would be the C355, prior to that C354, etc... The current new prices on the NAD C356 is about £600 (80w/ch) and the NAD C375 (150w/ch) is just under £1000.

    There are still a couple of places that have NEW NAD C355 for about £400 -

    NAD C355 - Google Search

    I think what you might do is find current amplifiers priced in the £600 to £800 range, then try and find one model back. That should give you a relatively new amp, at close to the price you are seeking. To get more expensive amps for your budget, you are going to have to move to older amps.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  6. whos mother

    whos mother
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    looking at those amps is 80w/ch powerful enough I have to admit I do like to rock out a fair bit and really fill the room with music.

    I havent had a stereo amp for a long time and cant remember whats what,my onkyo 806 is about 140 w/ch and that is way loud enough for me is 80w on a stereo amp different to 140 quoted on a av receiver?
     
  7. steveledzep

    steveledzep
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    Wouldn't worry about watts per channel too much. Current delivery to your speakers is the key. That's why I mentioned the MF A3, beats the pants off the other amps mentioned here. Yes it's older, but a good example is well worth having. Very impressive looking speakers btw !!
     
  8. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    AV Receivers, with the exception of a few, tend to fudge the power ratings. HiFi Receivers/Amp are held to a high standard when it come to power ratings.

    The Power rating on the Onkyo 806 range from 130w/ch to 180w/ch, but those are generally unqualified. We don't know the load impedance, we don't know how many channels are being driven, we don't know the frequency range, and we don't know the distortion levels. Plus, the power output is limited by the power supply. The total power, all channels driven, can never exceed the total Power Supply rating.

    In the Owner's Manual it indicate the amp put out 130w/ch to 8 ohms 20hz to 20khz at 0.08% THD.

    The power supply is 740w which means the maximum the amp can output with all channels driven is 105w/ch. Though likely a degree of the power is lost in running the circuitry of the amp, so about 100w/ch.

    Next, to get a slight but noticeable increase in volume, you have to DOUBLE the power. 80w vs 100w is insignificant relative to volume. Especially when you consider that a Stereo amp will drive a lot harder than an AV amp. It gets down to the power supply. A stereo amp of say 50w/ch will have a 150w power supply. But an AV amp rated as high as 180w/ch (1260w total) will only have a 740w power supply.

    In a stereo amps, 60w to 80w is more than enough for all but the most difficult speaker loads. NAD are known for the capability to drive very low impedance loads, and if any amp can handle a difficult load it is a NAD.

    You haven't told us what speakers you have, but assuming they are pretty straight forward consumer speakers, I think any amp I listed will drive them with ease.

    EDITED: OK, I just noticed you did tell us what speakers you have - Roth OLi 50 (£720/pr).

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Just so we are clear, Musical Fidelity amps = superb amps.


    But, you want to look at the feature set. These tend to be minimalist amps with pretty much just a input selector and a volume control. If that works for you, then fine.

    Here is the current "3" series Amp -

    Musical Fidelity M3i integrated amplifier available in a black or silver finish, with free UK delivery from Hifi Gear

    And the "6" series amp -

    Musical Fidelity M6i integrated amplifier available in a black or silver finish, with free UK delivery from Hifi Gear

    Sweet amps.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. robertseymour

    robertseymour
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    A big Sony ES integrated like the TA-F670ES, TA-F770ES or TA-FA5ES can all be had under £300, and very very good value, only stopped on my ever bigger Sony ES journey as I have gone over to Valves again.
     
  11. tolmie

    tolmie
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    Dared VP16 Valve Amp
     
  12. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    Along the similar lines to the Nads are Marantz PM amps
    You could probably pick up a Marantz PM7001KI Signature for around £300 or even the PM7003. Haven't seen many for sale though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  13. craigizmo2k2

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    Sony's amps from the 70s/80s/90s. The ES range amplifiers available on eBay are real giant killers.

    I've got a TA-F55 coming next week some time which although isn't an ES amplifier will be marvellous.

    If you go for something of that vintage you won't have to spend even £300.00 if you don't want to. Just be aware of possibly having to replace capacitors. Even if it is only 10 years old, it is something you'd need to take in to consideration. They will work well without being replaced, but it will bring the amplifier back to the state it left the factory in.*

    *The capacitors, at least. :D
     
  14. ozzzy189

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    Linn lk140, 300 quid should get you one about 8 years old. They're pretty bomb proof, and very musical. They were around £850 new.
    Should be a decent option.
     
  15. lindsayt

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    I think that hoping to pick up a £1000 amp for £300 is rather unambitious. It's possible to pick up £3000 to £5000 amps for £300.

    The aforementioned Sony ES amps are a great choice. Lots of other candidates from other Japanese manufacturers such as Onkyo Integra range, Sansui Au 9500, Nakamichi, Kenwood, Pioneer, JVC etc etc etc

    If you fancy a real power house amp with vice like grip on your bass cones and good midrange clarity one of the better vintage PA amps from the likes of Crown or Urei are great value for money. The more powerful ones have noisy cooling fans - which is bad if you want your amp in the same room as your speakers.

    Based on the vintage amps I've heard, there's nothing wrong with their sound quality - if you pick a good one. Which tends to be the battleship ones.
     
  16. lindsayt

    lindsayt
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    Some types of capacitor last much longer than others. Some vintage amps will benefit from capacitor replacement, others will be fine with the original caps.
     
  17. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I will mention this amp again.

    - Massive amounts of Power (120w/ch)
    - Massive Power Supplies (45 Amp, short term reserve)
    - Optical/Coaxial Digital Inputs
    - Built-IN DAC
    - Phono Input (MM)
    - AM/FM
    - Pre-Amp out + Main Amp Inputs
    - Subwoofer outs (no electronic Subwoofer management though)
    - NEW
    - FULL Dealer Support and Manufacturer's Warranty
    - etc...

    Superfi - HARMAN KARDON HK3490 RECEIVER

    HK 3490 - Harman Kardon

    No this isn't a premium high end amp, but it is good consumer quality, and that is a lot of amp for not much money.

    Yes, if you can find a bargain on a Premium Quality Amp, and if you can trust the Seller, and if the amp is not on its last leg, and if it doesn't crap out a month later, then you can certainly do well for yourself.

    Your choice.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  18. whos mother

    whos mother
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    thanks guys a lot of food for thought.

    I do like the look of the sony es the wooden sided ones would the Sony TA-F770ES be musically a step up from my onkyo 806?

    I used to have a marantz amp and while it sounded nice it was a bit subtle I want an amp that can really punch out when needed
     
  19. Richy1984

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    Rega Brio-r? Dunno how they'll match your speakers but you might be able to find one for £300-£350 used and they are a very good stereo amp for thre money.
     
  20. robertseymour

    robertseymour
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    The Sony TA-F770ES is a stonking amp IME, really rocked without being harsh, oodles of power and control. Gets a little warm though.
    Only thing the Sonys dont seem to do (and it really depends on your presentation style) is soundstage. Its big but not that well defined, I am comparing that to the Decware and Audion valve amps though, which is sort of their forte
    The 806 is a 5.1 amp yes? Well I would have thought it would beat that.
     
  21. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Sony ES do some research...............
     
  22. craigizmo2k2

    craigizmo2k2
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    Anything with an ES badge will generally drive any speakers you throw at them.

    The 770 you mentioned would beat the living day lights out of your current amp. :D
     

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