Complete System overhaul

bass007

Active Member
Due to the sheer number of boxes my system consists of I am seriously thinking of of scaling down the the entire system in order to gain space but also to improve the audio side for Home Theater and Analogue Audio ( Turntable ). Ideally I would like a good processor 7 channel power amp for both 2 channel and HT duties so I can reduce my system by 8 boxes.

My system:

Pioneer LX87 ( used as processor )
3 x Sets of Musical Fidelity Nu vista 300 Power amps driving all speakers
Musical Fidelity M8 Pre with HT Bypass for HT Use
Stello DA220 Mk 2 Dac
B&W HTM2 D2 centre channel ( Bi amped )
ART Deco 8 Stereo Speakers
MK Sound S150T Tripole
Sony Projector 55ES
Apple TV
Sonos
AVID Acutus Turntable
Velodyne DD12 & DD10

I want a decent upgrade across the board, both 2 channel Audio and HT. I know by changing the Pioneer to say an Anthem/Arcam/Marantz/Emotiva will give me a significant improvement for HT, but I am not convinced on the 2 Channel Audio side of things. My system is in my living and is not a dedicated room.

Although my Nu vista power amps sound absolutely superb they are taking 6 standard spaces in a rack, so I'm looking for a 7 channel Amp that would be an improvement or on par in terms of sound quality.

I've looked at the Lyngdorff MP-40 & perhaps the Trinov 16 but I don't think it has any analogue inputs. For the power amp I'm completely stuck, looked at the McIntosh MC257, Anthem P5 & P2, Arcam PA720. I haven't heard any of these so I cannot comment and I suspect I would have to try and arrange a home demo, as I don't fancy lugging 3 sets of power amps and a pre with me.

I would appreciate any advice, input or suggestions as I've been out of the game for a while now.
 

barnitto

Active Member
Trinnov has analogue inputs both XLR and RCA, the Lyngdorf has no analogue inputs. If you wanting to maintain a proper analogue system and reduce boxes then the Trinnov is your only option and they have power amps to match but you are looking at around £20k+ for that package. There isn’t many multi channel amps that will have the power of your Nu Vista’s. A lot depends on how much you want to spend.

I find myself wrangling with the same issues as you, as I have a similar set up, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that it’s not easy to have everything unless you are willing to spend big.
 

bass007

Active Member
Yeah so frustrating, £20k+ is lot of money. I'd definitely be looking for used or ex demo.

I will have to try and get a home demo and perhaps do this in stages. Until I hear these power amps its very hard to draw an conclusions, however my gut instinct is telling I'd be very hard pressed to find anything that would better the Nu Vista Power amps.

I may contact the nearest Trinnov dealer and have a chat with them.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The MX170 (or MX123) McIntosh processor will fulfil your analogue and HT requirements. You've already mentioned the MC257. However, if your Acutus TT has been fitted with an MC cartridge, you'll still need an external phono amp, as the McIntosh only has MM support built in.
 

bass007

Active Member
@Mark.Yudkin I did look at the McIntosh Processors whilst the MX170 fulfils my needs on paper for analogue and HT its £20k just for the processor alone which is out of my budget. The MX170 & MC257 would be ideal room perfect would be great whilst the MX123 uses Audyssey and to be honest I did dismiss it because it didn't have room Perfect, I guess I should not judge until i've actually heard one so I will put the MX123 on my short list for a demo/home demo, thanks.
 

Conrad

Moderator
I have Classe CT-5300 power amps which match the MF in output power and, I would guess, sound quality too. They run about £4k used but they don't come up that often. Only 5 channels though.

They pair well with a Trinnov too ;)

If you're ok with Class D I've been looking at these: Icepower 1200AS2 Based Class D Multichannel Amplifier 8 Channel AS-4800 | Hypex Based Class D Digital Handbuilt Amplifiers Only Using Highest Quality Material. 8 x 620 with a huge damping factor to drive even the hardest speakers.
 

bass007

Active Member
Yes I did look at the Classe CA-5300, I've actually seen one recently.

Regarding Class D amps I will need to hear one in my system at home first to give it a chance, I will do some research on the Apollon Audio ICE Amps, thanks.
 

337GUS

Active Member
You can use a Phono Stage with built in ADC - PS Audio/Leema do them or a standalone ADC like Thomann/RME/Mytek fed from your current stage to bring a Lyngdorf into the picture. There is a Lyngdorf 8 channel power amp on the horizon.

I have a split AV and HiFi system at present in the same room, MA on walls 7.1 for AV and Martin Logan ESL11a for separate HiFi. I am considering going back to an integrated system for both, I have not had a satisfactory system since I had a Meridian 568 based one 20 or so years ago so have run them totally separate for the last 10 years. Having TTs means I've been looking at the ADC options into a Pre/Proc like the MP40/60.
 

Baggy

Well-known Member
I have Classe CT-5300 power amps which match the MF in output power and, I would guess, sound quality too. They run about £4k used but they don't come up that often. Only 5 channels though.

They pair well with a Trinnov too ;)

If you're ok with Class D I've been looking at these: Icepower 1200AS2 Based Class D Multichannel Amplifier 8 Channel AS-4800 | Hypex Based Class D Digital Handbuilt Amplifiers Only Using Highest Quality Material. 8 x 620 with a huge damping factor to drive even the hardest speakers.
That Apollon looks interesting
 

Furnace Inferno

Well-known Member
I have Classe CT-5300 power amps which match the MF in output power and, I would guess, sound quality too. They run about £4k used but they don't come up that often. Only 5 channels though.

They pair well with a Trinnov too ;)

If you're ok with Class D I've been looking at these: Icepower 1200AS2 Based Class D Multichannel Amplifier 8 Channel AS-4800 | Hypex Based Class D Digital Handbuilt Amplifiers Only Using Highest Quality Material. 8 x 620 with a huge damping factor to drive even the hardest speakers.
You’ve linked the Icepower model which is both inferior and strangely more expensive when I checked! I’ve been eyeing the hypex and purifi stuff from Nord as it’s built in the UK as it’s the same thing as these high end class D amps are based on, not entirely decided yet though.
 

Conrad

Moderator
You’ve linked the Icepower model which is both inferior and strangely more expensive when I checked! I’ve been eyeing the hypex and purifi stuff from Nord as it’s built in the UK as it’s the same thing as these high end class D amps are based on, not entirely decided yet though.
The linking was intentional. The IcePower is the one I'm interested in.

Apollon also do the Hypex ones and they do 8 channels of the 502 which is something that Nord don't do.
 

barnitto

Active Member
Apollon also do up to 12 channels of Purifi in a single amp...They seem to do a great range of products, I just think they look a bit ugly. Don’t really know why they are just black boxes. Very irrational.
 

Conrad

Moderator
Have a look at Rouge as well (be careful, not Rogue audio who are someone else). They do a similar set of kit but the boxes look a little different.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
@Mark.Yudkin I did look at the McIntosh Processors whilst the MX170 fulfils my needs on paper for analogue and HT its £20k just for the processor alone which is out of my budget. The MX170 & MC257 would be ideal room perfect would be great whilst the MX123 uses Audyssey and to be honest I did dismiss it because it didn't have room Perfect, I guess I should not judge until i've actually heard one so I will put the MX123 on my short list for a demo/home demo, thanks.
I don't think you're going to get away with replacing the current boxes with equivalent performance in new equipment at a cost that is lower than the inflation-corrected new price of the old collection.

I agree with the disappointment of having the MX123 use Audyssey. The MX170 is out of my price range too (I don't need fully balanced). The lack of RoomPerfect is the main thing that has held me back.

The Trinnov Altitude32 is no cheaper and has neither RoomPerfect nor Audyssey.
 
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Furnace Inferno

Well-known Member
The linking was intentional. The IcePower is the one I'm interested in.

Apollon also do the Hypex ones and they do 8 channels of the 502 which is something that Nord don't do.
Oh ok, I was just confused as you put hypex in the link but I see now that was a separate section :smashin:.
 

Conrad

Moderator
Oh ok, I was just confused as you put hypex in the link but I see now that was a separate section :smashin:.
I think the forum grabs the title of the target page and uses that for the text. Wasn't me guv :)

Either way, they do a nice selection of hypex, ice, and purifi stuff. I've heard the icepower stuff and it's very good. I guess it's operating so far inside it's capability in most cases that distortion isn't an issue.

I haven't heard the NCore stuff. But then I struggle to hear the difference between amps so maybe I'm not the best judge. I know that, in my system with my thirsty speakers, I need high current and damping factor. Once an amp gets to a certain baseline capability, the differences are negligible to me. I can certainly hear it when an amp is underpowered and struggling though.
 

shug4476

Active Member
There is no way to rationalise that system without compromising music performance. No multichannel kit is likely to match your MF pre/power in stereo.

I recently purchased an Anthem D2V which is the only processor I have yet encountered which significantly outperforms my Arcam AV9 for both movies and music. It also stands its ground well against my Arcam C31 dedicated two-channel pre when playing music. With movies there is just no contest.

Of the power amps you list, the Anthem P5 is an absolute monster but it is "only" 5 channel. If you need 7, you'd need yet another box.

Parasound are the best name at the sensible end of the power amp market. An old Lexicon or Arcam would serve you well too, and both can easily be serviced.

Have you thought about an integrated AV receiver for surround duties supplemented by an integrated stereo amp for music listening? That is probably the most efficient way to achieve what you are after.
 

bass007

Active Member
@shug4476 Thanks for that, I have thought about getting the Nu Vista 800 Integrated and Perhaps an Anthem MRX 740.

I suspect that if I tried the Anthem P5 on its own I'd be happy, but I have to put it up against the Nu Vista's because I'm just too curious wanting to get the best sound I can afford within reason. I'll have to visit a few dealers to first get an initial idea on how they sound ( The Anthem Mainly ) and then try to arrange a home demo.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
I would look at 10 year old 7 channel power amps or even a 5 and 2 from one manufacturer, then add a processor that will work with your MF pre-amp so you do upgrade both. I know some like the size, efficiency and specs that class D has to offer but outside of sub amplification I have never wanted to take one home (But havent heard them all by any means to be fair)

I'm actually not totally convinced there is a processor that will compete with a very good 2 channel pre amp. Ive heard Trinnov, Storm, Lyngdorf and others and playing 2 channel they are okay, even good but not wow. I have gone back to using an older processor in analogue mode and a 2 channel pre that integrates with this. This replaced an Acurus ACT4, or rather the ACT4 did not ultimately replace this
 
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shug4476

Active Member
@shug4476 Thanks for that, I have thought about getting the Nu Vista 800 Integrated and Perhaps an Anthem MRX 740.

I suspect that if I tried the Anthem P5 on its own I'd be happy, but I have to put it up against the Nu Vista's because I'm just too curious wanting to get the best sound I can afford within reason. I'll have to visit a few dealers to first get an initial idea on how they sound ( The Anthem Mainly ) and then try to arrange a home demo.

Yep those would be good choices. The P5 is good, but probably not on a level with your MF amps at present.

The Parasound A21/A51 are fantastic amps available at good prices on the used market.
 

Conrad

Moderator
@shug4476, any idea how the parasound would compare to the Classé I mentioned? I'm very happy with my one but I'm always interested in alternatives.
 

shug4476

Active Member
@shug4476, any idea how the parasound would compare to the Classé I mentioned? I'm very happy with my one but I'm always interested in alternatives.

I'm not familiar with the Classé.

The A21 is a monster that holds up well against most stereo kit in the sub £5k category. The A51 is conceptually similar but slimmed down somewhat to allow for the multichannel design in the same basic chassis.

I wouldn't part with your Classé unless it broke, were I you!
 

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