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Do I need a different amp for music?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by (GTV)Chris, May 2, 2003.

  1. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    Hi Peeps

    I own a Yamaha DSP A5 dolby Digital Home cinema amp, running B&W speakers.
    It sounds great for movies but it lacks something for cd music.
    Now then..I haven't got a great deal of money to spend, so will spending £150 on a seperate music amp sound any better???
    I have heard good things about Cambridge Audio.

    If there will be no noticeable difference then I'll stick with the Yamaha.

    Cheers


    Chris
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Hard to say - depends on several things, like which CD player you are using, which B&W speakers, how loud you like to listen etc etc, and last but not least, what you feel is lacking!

    If you are stuck on a budget, have you considered secondhand.
    While there are some dreamers about - there are also some genuine bargains to be had if you are patient!

    Have a look on the Loot site, and search for names like Arcam, Creek, Rotel etc.
     
  3. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    I know....there was an Arcam for sale on this forum but I missed out :(
    I have the 601's and an average sony cd player.
    When I bought my amp and speakers I thought it sounded ok for music. Not very detailed, a little flat and un moving...so I got the salesman to put the same disk through an Arcam alpha series amp using my speakers...I almost cried, the detail and depth, the clarity the warmth, but oh, the price.

    I think you are right, I may keep searching the classifieds.

    Cheers

    Chris
     
  4. wookie

    wookie
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    with your budget, I would go to Richer Sounds and buy a NAD C320 or C350.
    You may even be able to tap the Yamaha into this for improved HC IF IT HAS PRE OUTS.

    I added a C370 to my DSPAX620 and the improvement is huge.
    For Music I use C370 as an integrated & HC I use C370 as a power amp.
    A quality switch box lies between Pre outs, Pre amp outs and main power amp in.

    Doing this also increases Dynamic power by some 20% as the Yamaha is only driving Centre and rears.

    Cambridge are OK but the NAD's are the NAD'S! :laugh:
     
  5. mick23

    mick23
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    chris
    i had the yam a5 and the yam ax592, as you say the a5 is not good for music, so i so used 592 driving fronts which improved things, you could proberbly pick up 2nd hand ax592 for about £100, or try nad,but you will need to set 2 volume controls for av use.
     
  6. wookie

    wookie
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    You switch the inputs to Main in from AV amp pre outs and Integrated pre outs with a switch box.
    Turn a switch and voila.
    Two volume controlls suck.
    I used -10dB attenuators to give a perfect gain match.
     
  7. sceptic

    sceptic
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    Hi wookie
    What switch box do you use?
     
  8. martian1

    martian1
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    I have been in the same situation, took a guys advice on these forums and managed to get a Audiolab 8000A [now Tag] for £250.
    It is a fantastic transformation to my system , blew me and my mates away.
    Get one 2nd hand from ebay or mybe post on the forums thats how i got mine.
    TIP.
    The 8000c is even better but i doubt i would notice the difference as mine is brilliant anyway. You might not like the idea of buying a aging amp but it has made me consider dumping my Marantz 6200 as is now sounds crap for both music and movies. Wish i could afford a Tag Home cinama amp!!!
     
  9. nathan_silly

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    Martian1, the 8000C is a pre-amp only.

    A good integrated amp is the Audiolab 8000LX (this is the newer model of the old 8000A) The 8000S is even better- it's got the poweramp in feature - you won't need to mess around with two volume controls.

    I upgraded from a Yamaha DSP-A590 to a 8000S and the improvement was MASSIVE. The Yamaha sounds dull and flat.

    If you think the 8000A sounds good, just wait until you try out a 8000S!:devil:
     
  10. rob_w

    rob_w
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    I've got 2 8000a's next to me, and both have a pair of phonos marked power amp in on them. I think you may have to open up the case and change something though.......

    Rob
     
  11. mbbx0bbr

    mbbx0bbr
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    I am also wondering wwhat switch box wookie uses.

    My setup is similar, a NAD C370 but with a Yamaha DSP A3090 (for HC).

    My mane problem bening that when I have the C370 pre-outs into say Auxilary channel on NAD, then I have to start fiddling with volume nobs, but if I use the C370 as a power amp this problem is overcome. Hence a switch box would allow the NAD to be either intergrated stereo amp and power amp!

    Just wondered what make the Switch box is and also the make of ur interconnects used for this switch box?

    I thought using more interconnects and using a switch box would degrade the (pre) siganl (source) before it's amplified. Is this correct?

    Bob
     
  12. ronsealdeath

    ronsealdeath
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    forget all the jargon the rest of the guys posted, a home cinema amp wont do music, spend £150 on a cyrus 2 off ebay and you wont be dissapointed guaranteed. Why you ask? bcos it is basically the best value amp of all time, it beats a lot of amps these days for timing and punch and is available. Be a man and take a risk, buy one to enjoy music.

    ps beware the term audiophile, it means "i listen to music but dont enjoy it"!.

    take it easy man
     
  13. ditton15

    ditton15
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    message is the same:

    1. AVamps are for AV, so add a stereo amp for amplifying the (analogue) output from a CDplayer. You will notice the difference - I took that advice from others on these Forums and benefited enormously.

    2. second-hand stereo amps represent good value.

    3. you need pre-outs on your AVamp to use a stereo amp for sound output from the DVDplayer.

    4. if you can switch the stereo amp to the 'power amp' setting you can by-pass the pre-amp for DVD purposes, but it is conventional to use an integrated (pre-amp + power amp) stereo amp for CD purposes.

    hope this helps

    ditton
     
  14. ditton15

    ditton15
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    robwells,

    you say that you have 2 AudioLab 8000a 's. As default each of these is 'intergrated', but it is possible to make one the pre-amp and the other the power amp. Whether you would want to do that is another matter.

    Might be better to sell one on, to a lucky buyer, and use the cash on upgrading some other aspect of the HiFi/AV set-up.

    I initially bought a s/h AudioLab 8000A as the add-on stereo amp, and heard the improvement. I paid £200 (i've seen prices between £190 and £270). I then got the upgrade bug, and bought a s/h 8000S, selling on the 8000A to a friend: now he's happy too.

    ditton
     
  15. rob_w

    rob_w
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    Ditton,

    They're part of a quad amp setup - if I lose 1 I'd have to use the other into 4 ohms. I need both.

    wookie,

    Your solution seems fine as long as the intergrated has pre out/pre ins with a link that you can insert the switch into. Not all do.

    ronsealdeath ,

    I've owned the cyrus2 with a psx, and it'll only match the audiolab if you use the psx - this makes it more expensive than the audiolab. Also, it's a bit rude to dismiss everybody elses advice.
     
  16. wookie

    wookie
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    I use a rotary switch box that I bought in Maplin electronics for about £20.
    It has gold plated sockets. QED make some nice switch boxes and Richer Sounds sell the same one as My Maplin box but @ about £5 more.
    Pre amp from NAD into input 1, Pre outs from Yam into input 2, amp out to NAD main in.
    I have also used rockwell in line attenuators -10 db and have a perfect gain match.
    You can set main to -10db on Yamaha but the noisfloor does not reduce.

    I use my own OFC interconnects.

    I have conducted many listening tests with the switch box vs NAD links and can detect no degradation in sound with the switch box in circuit.
    It is even silent when I select inputs 1, 2, 3, 4, etc with amps on!

    For 2 chan I simply select number 1 and use NAD C370 volume control.
    For AV, simply select number 2 and use Yamaha volume control.

    Gain is the same with both amps.
    Messing about with 2 volume controls sucks.
    I tried it for a while but decided that a switchbox was the only way.

    Use the C370 as a power amp for HC.
    AV amps pre amp stages are nowhere near as "clean" as those used in Integrated amps.
     
  17. mudan

    mudan
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    I have a NAD C370 for sale in the classifieds section, which may suit your needs.
     
  18. mbbx0bbr

    mbbx0bbr
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    can i ask another question about the NAD C370.

    my Mission M74i's are connected into the NAD. I have found that when i play Cd direct through NAD that i hardly have any movement in the volume nob. i.e. a few degrees turn and it is very load. I would like to have more movement available. I have tried changing the gain nob on the back but find that if i turn it right down then it effects quality (is this a fault?).

    also if i have the gain on full (no switch box here, just NAD links). then if i set the volume off, i can still here my cd (albiet quite) through my speakers!! is this right.

    Also if i select another source and turn the volume nob up i can here another source, is this because the amp is not top notch is is it a common prob with amps in this price range.

    Also i have a slight hum through my amp, is this normal for C370?

    Any advice would be welcoome, unless I have baffled u, post and i'll clear up what i mean.

    Bob.
     
  19. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I had a Rotel RA1060 which also exhibited this behaviour, as did my NAD C320.

    Vikki
     
  20. wookie

    wookie
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    Yeah, the C370 does have savage gain.
    You can hardly control it @ low volumes with the remote.
    This is why I use the Rockwell in line attenuators.
    They reduce the gain by -10db.
    This gives me a perfect 0dB match with the Yamaha + reduces any noisefloor + makes the amp sound better.
    I can also use the remote to adjust the volume now!

    The Attenuators cost me about £38.
    A bit of PSU hum is normal with the C370 as it uses a HUGE TORID.

    I would highly recomend these attenuators & switchbox.
    The C370 is a great amp and can be tweaked inside.
    Idle current, rail voltage etc.
    If your's is still under warranty, NAD can calibrate or at least test it.
    If not UNDER WARRANTY, I have the service manual!
     
  21. wookie

    wookie
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    Sound leakage is normally due to all inputs sharing a ground!
    The attanuators (No I do not work for them) reduce all low level noise below hearing level.
    My Yamaha gave a low hiss through the NAD when set to MAIN -10db.
    I set main to normal and pluged these attenuators in line with switchbox out and voila silence.
    "An inky black background from which the music/film emerges".

    NADC370 is a High performance bargain.
     
  22. mbbx0bbr

    mbbx0bbr
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    Can u clear up what an attenuators actually is. I'm technically minded, from what i've fouhnd out they are Capacitors?

    I'm intrested in making my Nad sound better. where did u buy ur rockwell in line attenuators ? (maplin?).

    Is there any information anywhere so i can find out more?

    Also what items did u use to make ur interconnectors? (maplin?)

    I've seen pages abt making DIY cables, but if u use solder for the wire and the plug, wont that create a poor connection?

    Bob

    Also did u downlaod the service manual online, (i.e. PDF format)? if so caould u post it me? if not is there any usefull info inside?
     
  23. alexs2

    alexs2
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    An attenuator is a device to reduce the output of a piece of equipment(a resistor network basically)and does not involve capacitors.
    As well as the Rockwell attenuators,you could look at www.russandrews.com for similar attenuated leads,and also you will find info there regarding attenuators and CD inputs on amps.
     
  24. wookie

    wookie
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    You could always use the adjustable pre outs on the NAD (for 2 chan).
    Simply swap the links for main in and pre out 2 (has a small potentiometer next to it) up to -12dB.

    An attenuator is known as an "L Pad" two resistors = voltage divider.

    I got my attenuators direct from Rockwell (can't find the website now) but they were advertising in WhatHiFi? recently.

    I got my Service manual from a friend who works for a well known Audio company!:D
    lesson:
    You can make your own attenuators if you like.

    use 2 10k resistors in an "L Pad" one from phono+ to phono pin and another from phono + to outer shield.

    Do a search for attenuation and you will find a handy spreadsheet giving db - Resistor ratios.:hiya:
     
  25. wookie

    wookie
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  26. mbbx0bbr

    mbbx0bbr
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    well i eventually put my head in gear..;_0

    I dug out my remote for my CD player and found it has (always had) a volume control on it, it alows me to reduce the analouge out-put by -12db.

    This has answered my problem of the gain for cd playback.

    but on the Attenuators:

    I underdstand that putting a resistive load in can reduce the db, but can a resistive load actually be clean, i.e what come in is EXACTLY what comes out but at a lower amplification? (the resistive load being the Attenuators).

    I gues any interconnect produces some resistance, the less resisatnce produces the better cable?

    so as my cd player has this 0 to -12db I can still use really expensive cables, and feel that the money sounds betteR?

    bob

    By the way, my CD player is a Denon DCD-685 , not really anything special.
     

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