Do seperate av amps need a "service" every couple of years?

Racy Jace

Active Member
Hi. I was doing some research into getting a seperate av amp and use my av receiver as a pre out when I noticed a repeating pattern. I've seen two threads so far that state that the amps over time can sound flat and rubbish so will need sending away to be fixed. The one had his recapped by a guy called Kevin and the other sent his back to Arcam for £400+ pounds where not much was done except for the bias. What ever that is.

Is this normal for these expensive amps to need to be serviced? I am just worried about making a second hand purchase then needing to spend more money. Especially when the wife went nuts when she found out why I'd cleared a shelf off on the av rack!

It just makes me wonder if I bought an amp for £600 what are the odds I would need to spend another £400+? Are there certain makes that last longer?
 

JUS

Well-known Member
I bought a second hand Bryston power amp last year. It did cost me £1.2k. Bryston provide a 20 year warranty on their power amps, but mine was 22 years old when I bought it! The model I bought has 5 amps. Two stopped working. Bryston are modular so I slid out and shipped the two broken amps back to PMC (UK distributers for Bryston, out of interest PMC offer 20 year warranty on their speakers too) and they fixed them for a few hundred quid while I carried on using the three working amps.

So what I've learnt from that experience is it is a risk buying second hand but if you buy a good make that continues to support their products it's a pretty good buy. I could never justify buying a new version of my amp, at around £6.7k!
 
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simonb3665

Active Member
7 channel power amps start off at around 1100 for the iota rrp. There are some cheaper Emotiva but they aren't going to be much better than your Yamaha, which has good power for a receiver. Where it will struggle is driving all 9 of your speakers, your 7se fronts would probably benefit from a bit more power too.
The downside of power amps, in my experience, is they can introduce extra hums and buzzes and can introduce a bit of noise floor if you have gain issues etc. They are normally quite deep to fit into a cabinet and the extra wiring of course.
If you can get a fully working amp like a p7 for 500 and it lasts 5 years without issue then you have done really well. No guarantees though but you just have to make a judgment call. There nothing to say a brand new amp will not die a few months outside of warranty though and that's happened to me more than once.
Another way is a stereo amp to take the burden off the Yamaha and provide good power to the fronts. As Rambles suggests there are some very good pa solutions to provide reliable, clean power for not a lot of money. That's probably another discussion though.
Out of the options you listed the JBL I think is very good, I was considering that myself. My stereo setup has the same hypex modules and they do the job nicely. I appreciate it's more than you want to spend though. 700 is a bit much for a p7, I have looked at a few in the past for 500. If its in good condition and close enough for you to go view and check out maybe it will be ok.
 
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simonb3665

Active Member
I do admit I have always fancied a Bryson partly because of the guarantee. Spec to rrp is crazy but you do feel like you are buying a product for life. Good to know they have such good aftercare.
Arcam used to be very good at looking after their power amp customers but from other people's forum comments it sounds like that isn't the case since their takeover and costs have increased considerably.
 
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JUS

Well-known Member
I do admit I have always fancied a Bryson partly because of the guarantee. Spec to rrp is crazy but you do feel like you are buying a product for life. Good to know they have such good aftercare.
Arcam used to be very good at looking after their power amp customers but from other people's forum comments it sounds like that isn't the case since their takeover and costs have increased considerably.
Yes, I was a big fan of Arcam and their sound. After experiencing the buggy AVR600, £3.5k I think that cost me and it couldn't manage a hdmi handshake properly, and seeing the problems people are having with their new products too I'm sorry to say I wouldn't go anywhere near them now.

PMC always pair their speakers with Bryston at shows and they sound exceptional. I have PMC so I've always fancied Bryston for that reason.
 
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UTT

Standard Member
True. I think the issue is I'm a long term Honda owner so I only expect to pay for fuel and oil. I suppose I'm expecting amps to be as reliable which is just my lack of experience in this field. Now as a BMW, Audi Alfa Romeo owner you tend to not want to own them due there their poor reliability and change every 3 years. The nicer cars do come at a higher price. I guess the same is for high end electronics.

I'd trust a 15+ year old Honda a good deal more than a BMW/Audi or (especially) Alfa of the same age, but I wouldn't expect it to be maintenance free! We replaced our last Honda when it reached 15 years old as the repair bills each MOT were getting uneconomical.

That said, like you I'm in the camp of buying second hand but higher end than I could afford new, and accepting the gamble. Time will tell whether it was a wise choice! I have a (well cared for) Rotel amp which is now ~30 year old and works perfectly. I've also had a similar era Rotel that I had from new lose a channel at less than half that, and an NAD HT receiver lose channels over a number of years from around 7 years old. Both of those had possibly been driven a little hard 😏
 
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Racy Jace

Active Member
After seeing a few Arcam p7s failing I'm a little nervous about buying one considering it will cost £400 to fix. To me that makes a faulty amp worth £200.

I'm now thinking of putting in an offer on tag amp but waiting for some repair quotes incase there's and issue.

I had a bloke do a U turn on me and write my wife's car off 2 weeks ago. The legal team from the other side contacted me direct to tell me I'm automatically entitled to compo and I should go direct with them which I refused so I may be able to up my budget a little now.

Is the tag 100x5 any good? Especially with my yamaha and b&w speakers?

What about the IOTA AVXP1?
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
After seeing a few Arcam p7s failing I'm a little nervous about buying one considering it will cost £400 to fix. To me that makes a faulty amp worth £200.

I'm now thinking of putting in an offer on tag amp but waiting for some repair quotes incase there's and issue.

I had a bloke do a U turn on me and write my wife's car off 2 weeks ago. The legal team from the other side contacted me direct to tell me I'm automatically entitled to compo and I should go direct with them which I refused so I may be able to up my budget a little now.

Is the tag 100x5 any good? Especially with my yamaha and b&w speakers?

What about the IOTA AVXP1?

Since you have a Yamaha, check your Yamaha meets the Poweramp voltage.


Ie you want a pre amp that can do 1.6v so your power amp input sensivity is 1.6v for full power.


What you don't want is a pre that that outputs 1v max, and the Poweramp us 2.5v for full power
 
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Racy Jace

Active Member
Is my rx-a3050 a 1v pre out and I need an a power amp with 1v input?

I think the tag 10x5r is a 1v input so would be fine?

The emotiva xpa5 is a 1.6v input but 250rms. It's also a hell of a lot more to buy. There's one up for sale but it's £1200 compared to £500 of the tag. Is the emotiva really worth the extra?

Screenshot_20210317-191141_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
The tag is power voltage input so you'll be able to use all its power.

However with the emotiva you won't, but you may find at the Yamaha 1v max output it'll be very loud anyway, so you'll be under the max power output. Ie I could use your Yamaha 1v with my ATI 1.6v but it will still be loud at -15db. I might find at my loudest level I listen to it could be 900mv from your Yamaha so it's still ok

However if I replace your Yamaha avr with another avr with one that can output 1.6v it means getting full power.

But you could replace the yamaha later.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
The tag amp is quite old is say it would need a look over.

If you bought a new emotiva at least it's new. I'd probably say tag is higher quality though


I think they had one that was monobloc diagn with multiple power supplies, also audiolab did a cheap one that wasn't great.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
The emotiva are good price, I think the 11ch has some regular power modules and fee are lower. Still for 11ch not bad. I do like the modular aspect you could but a two channel then but extra modules as needed.

Wheras with my ATI I'm pretty stuck, cost of shipping back wouldn't be worthwhile to get extra channels fitted new back panel and replacement larger power supplies with more split off cables


Not that I would need 200w for Atmos anyway...I'd probably just get second hand ATI 1804 or just re use my audiolab 8000sx amps
 
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Racy Jace

Active Member
That's what I thought. My speakers are only 120w and 150w. I would of thought I only need 150w rms of clean power so the emotiva would be fine as it probably only get to -20db on the amp anyway. It's a shame that is £1200 and way over budget. I'm thinking of putting in an offer on the tag but there's no guarantee on damage with postage as I believe amplifiers aren't covered.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
That's what I thought. My speakers are only 120w and 150w. I would of thought I only need 150w rms of clean power so the emotiva would be fine as it probably only get to -20db on the amp anyway. It's a shame that is £1200 and way over budget. I'm thinking of putting in an offer on the tag but there's no guarantee on damage with postage as I believe amplifiers aren't covered.

You can use a more powerful amplifier than your speakers.

I connected my ATI 200w amp into didst wharedalr diamond 9.0. Worked fine.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Also by getting a poweramp, if you have cheapy speakers you probably want to upgrade them.

No point using £3000 power amplifier on some Eltax speaker shared objects.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
There was a ATI 1805 for sale, if it was.me I'd get that. It's still pretty new as that model isn't that old.

Certainly better than the emotiva.
 
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