Good Secondhand AV Amp Choices - UK?

bigalxyz

Member
Looking for suggestions:
  • Good stereo music ability is important
  • Needed for TV (Sky HD), music & films (via Apple TV), not gaming
  • 5.1 is fine (fairly small room), don't need 7.1 etc.
  • Would like multichannel PCM via HDMI + all the usual DD/DTS formats etc.
  • Don't need lots of HDMI inputs (2 or 3 would be enough)
  • Don't need 4K etc.
  • Not interested in tacky surround processing to make stuff sound like the inside of a cathedral
  • Doesn't bother me if it's 10+ years old if it's well built from a good manufacturer
  • Budget...up to £250...ish (will look in the usual places - eBay etc.)
Does such a thing exist?

Looking for a replacement for an ancient Yamaha DSP-A1. This is a very nice amp and has served me well, but starting to have age-related trouble + of course doesn't support HDMI.

I did once hear that the Denon 3808 might be a good choice. Also perhaps an Arcam AVR400, although Arcam AV amps seem to have a patchy reputation for reliability (shame, since I'm a huge fan of their hi fi amps).

Current speaker setup (if that helps): Mission 752 fronts, Mission 751 rears, single Mission 751 centre (used to have a Mission 75C but I didn't like it), Paradigm sub. None of the Missions are of the "freedom" variety - I wasn't keen on those - treble too polite for my taste.

Grateful for any advice, suggestions, etc.

Thank you.
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
Condition is going to be your best friend within your budget. Prices of the secondary market have risen due to the shortage of new units and those under your budget are likely to be quite old and perhaps more than a little iffy.

For stereo music then you have to look at Arcam, NAD, Anthem, Yamaha, Marantz, Sony and Denon in that order. Some of the old Denon fridge sized AV amps were very good and passable with stereo music but some do not have HDMI let alone HD audio ability. Other than the high end Denons I wouldn't expect very much from them music wise and I speak as a modern Denon owner.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
I would add the following Yamahas from 2008-2010 to your shortlist - RX-V1800, RX-V1900, RX-V3800, RX-V3900, RX-A2010, RX-A3010. These were all high end models, were built like tanks with strong amp/PSU sections and have above average reliability. I’ve had an RX-V3900 in my 7.2 system since 2010 and it’s never skipped a beat.

Also any mid to high end Denon AVR that was “Made in Japan” in the same era were similar - 3808, 4308 and 4310 were all very well regarded although I suspect they may trail Yamaha slightly in outright reliability.
 

bigalxyz

Member
I would add the following Yamahas from 2008-2010 to your shortlist - RX-V1800, RX-V1900, RX-V3800, RX-V3900, RX-A2010, RX-A3010. These were all high end models, were built like tanks with strong amp/PSU sections and have above average reliability. I’ve had an RX-V3900 in my 7.2 system since 2010 and it’s never skipped a beat.

Also any mid to high end Denon AVR that was “Made in Japan” in the same era were similar - 3808, 4308 and 4310 were all very well regarded although I suspect they may trail Yamaha slightly in outright reliability.
Thank you. I'll definitely do some research into those specific Yamaha models. I like Yamaha AV stuff - I trust the brand.
 

bigalxyz

Member
Does anyone have a rough idea of a fair market price for a Yamaha RX-V3800? I've seen one for sale on eBay which looks promising, but I (obviously) don't want to overpay.

Thank you
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
It’s a funny time at the moment as used AVR prices have all been bumped by higher new AVR prices. I keep an eye on used RX-V3900 (successor model) prices as I have one and they tend to go for between £250 and £350 if they’re in excellent condition. These models cost about £1,500 new when they were released.
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Well done! Assuming it all works properly that’s an absolute bargain.

eBay can still be amazing for AVR deals if you get lucky. For example, I bought a boxed, mint condition Denon AVR-3312 in 2017 (then a 5 year old model that cost £1k new at launch) off eBay for £165 delivered and it’s been perfect with daily use running 6.1 in my lounge system ever since.
 

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