Experince with adding 2ch amp (i.e. A80) to AV amp

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by Matthew J Taylo, Feb 1, 2005.

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  1. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Hi All,

    I'm thinking of adding the A80 to my Pio amp to improve the 2ch stereo performance.

    I home demo'd the CD192 last night & it was very good via the "source direct" option on my Pio AX5i but I've been told if I connect via pre-outs to the A80 it will be even better.

    Anyone had experience of this kind of thing?

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  2. norks27

    norks27
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    Don't know if this helps, but I originally added a A75/P75 to my Sony AV Amp using the preouts but also being able to maintain music performance through the Arcam Amps. The results IMHO were outstanding, much greater front soundstage and musical passages on films were excellent, far better than if the Sony Amp had done the job on the front speakers.

    At present I use another Sony Amp and use the preouts to connect to an A32/P35 combination, again an audible improvement not only in 2 channel stereo but also in 5.1 mode.

    You'll end up taking it to the logical conclusion of a seperate power amps and a seperate pre amp/processor.

    Richard
     
  3. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    HI Norks,

    Thanks for the comments & somehow I think you're right, I will end up with a processor & power amp set up.

    The problem I have is that I've only just purchased the Pio Ax5i which, in it's self has been an upgrade so I may need to wait a little longer.

    You mentioned that you hooked your A75 up with some extra juice (P75) & was wondering if this was so you could bi-amp your fronts or because this better matched the power of the Sony in 5.1 mode?

    I've seen this & other combo's on ebay so maybe it doesn't have to be too expensive.

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  4. norks27

    norks27
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    Hi Matt,

    when I set up the system my priority was to ensure decent stereo performance for the cd player and using a bi amped combination for 2ch stereo was the solution to the Sony's dreadful music performance, never had a problem with the Sony's home cinema but it lacked finesse on the music front. I then figured that a large portion of a 5.1 soundtrack is through the left and right channel and the arcams are relatively neutral so did not upset the balance of the other channels powered by the Sony.

    The pioneer I'm not familiar with but it looks the business and is far better specked than my Sony so the improvement is less likely to be impressive but I would still argue that it is beneficial. The Pioneer wont have to be driven so hard as two of its amps are redundant giving the arcam the 2ch duties.

    If, like me, you have to combine your hi-fi and home cinema set up in the one room then the addition of a hi-fi amp is definitely beneficial. The Arcam's as you probably know are so easy to integrate given there neutrality and also the processor mode which fixes the gain of the amp allowing easy set-up. It was one of the reasons I choose the Arcam, also they are bloody good amps.

    I've been hit with upgradeitis and got another power amp with three channels so that all channels benefit from superior amplification to that which the sony can offer. The centre and rears will be powered (haven't got the amp yet) by the P35/3 and the fronts powered by the A32/P35 bi amped combination ensuring that the stereo performance is excellent.
    and 5.1 improves.

    The internal amps in the Pioneer are without doubt superior to the Sony so I would be far less concerned with the amplification of the centre and rears but still reckon an Arcam amp will be beneficial and perhaps at a later date add a matching power amp so that the fronts will benefit from bi-amplification which will further improve your stereo and home cinema performance.

    Excuse the rambling and I hope that helps, personally I would be incredibly happy with your set up particularly if you add the arcam amp. Enjoy.

    Regards,
    Richard
     
  5. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Hi Norks et al,

    I've had an interesting weekend as I've managed to get my hands on two sets of leading 2 ch amps & cd players to see which combination made the biggest difference to 2ch stereo & 6.1 sound. many thanks to Sevenoaks & Audio-T in Nth London.

    Cyrus CD6 & 6vs Amp

    The Amp/CD combo Needed quite sometime to "warm up" & was quite lumpy on initial play. Once it had warmed up though it was very nice but a little overblown, i.e. some loss of detail for sheer power & a little boom (not quite as tight as I like my bass).

    I did notice an increased level of detail when playing the CD6 directly into my pio Ax5i av amp (via direct) but on balance I didn't think it was enough to replace my Rotel RCD-02.

    Outcome - more impressed with the cyrus 6vs amp than the CD6.

    Arcam A80 & CD192

    I've home demo'd the 192 before & once again I was very impressed with the level of detail this cd player pulls out. Not only very impressive detail, it's combined with power & good grip of bass, excellent (it made me smile whilst playing disc's).

    Not so impressive was the A80. It was fine when directly hooked up to the 192 but the 192 was actually better conected to my Pio Ax5i in direct mode - SHOCK - AV Amp better than dedicated 2 ch amp!! Of Course this is just my opinion but the good wife, whilst not entirely interested did back this up.

    The A80 does have the neat processor mode which makes it easier to live with when in 5,6.1, i.e. not having to re-adjust volume's to match processor's gain (volume) & this was quite easy to set up.

    I just don't think the amp has enough clout/power (65 watts) when integrated with my Pio Ax5i (105 watts).

    Overall

    the Arcam Cd192 is a cracker & IMO worth the £850. My Pio Ax5i is better than expected in 2ch stereo when partnered with a quality cd player.

    Adding a £600 2channel stereo amp to my Pio Ax5i didn't actually achieve any signifcant improvements in sound, in both 2ch & 5,6.1 & IMO - not worth additional the money.

    Maybe I will look into a 2nd hand A85 as these have more power or even a secondhand FMJ A32 but I think at the moment, my money's going into a quality CD player - may also have to home demo the Cyrus CD8x.

    Thanks to all who have posted on this thread.

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  6. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Interesting post – I’d like to know how you get on with Cyrus CD8x v Arcam CD192. I was thinking of the CD192, but am also considering the Cyrus 8 plus PSX-R power supply.

    Let us know how you get on :thumbsup:
     
  7. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Tejstar,

    I will have a chat to the guy at Audio-T tomorrow when returning the cyrus kit (CD6 & 6vs).

    He's already said to me that they're very similar, the only sign diff being the price, i.e. 850 for the Arcam vs 1000 for the 8x.

    He did say that the Cyrus bettered the Arcam with the addition of the PSX-R power supply but we're now talking £1,300 quid Vs £850.

    I may look to buy an original 8 on ebay (around £600) & upgrade (£250)?

    You can also pick up the PSX-R on ebay for 280 ish.

    I will let you know how I get on soon

    Matt
     
  8. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Matt – I see you’ve just purchased an Arcam CD192 for a bargain price of £600. I had my eye on it too and was planning on bidding last minute, unfortunately I forgot when it was ending :(

    Let us know how you get on, you got a fantastic bargain!
     
  9. Shaka

    Shaka
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    Have you tried adding a power amp, rather than an integrated amp, to your AV setup? I maybe wrong, but I'd have thought that a power amp added to your AV amp, combined with the CD192, would give you the improvements you're looking for (or listening for).

    I myself am considering a power amp to my AVR300 sometime in the future, even though I'm already extremely satisfied with the stereo and multichannel performance I'm getting with my current system.
     
  10. David-Bel

    David-Bel
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    No kidding!!! :eek:
    Yes Matthew, let us know!
     
  11. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    I will let all you know how I get on

    Very excited, perhaps not as much as Kazman & his new 7500, but excited non the less.

    Just need to get the kit to my house now

    Matt :beer: :beer: :beer:
     
  12. Matthew J Taylo

    Matthew J Taylo
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    Shaka,

    What power amp would you recomend?

    I was thinking about a 3 channel P90, this way I could add a bit extra juice to the centre?

    How do you hook this up though, via my Pioneers Pre-outs?

    Would I then biam the speakers?

    I'm a bit slow

    Matt
     

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