Good starter amp...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by datickner, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. datickner

    datickner
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    Hi all,

    I currently have an all in one LG upscaling DVD player home cinema system, with subwoofer and 4 tower speakers (also a center speaker, but doesnt work).

    I now have too many applications and need a decent first amp to plug everything into :)

    I have the following -

    - Dvd player
    - Sky Plus (possible Sky HD soon)
    - Wii
    - Xbox 360
    - 32" LCD LG HD Ready tv

    So I currently have the wii to tv via component and to home cinema with av component.
    The sky plus to tv via scart and to home cinema with av phono.
    The xbox 360 to tv via hdmi - (not using home cinema with sound, but want to!!)
    And the dvd player is the all in one, so works alone, no inputs.

    So i think I will need something with possibly 2/3 HDMI inputs (xbox 360, dvd player)

    a couple of optical inputs (xbox 360 sound, possible sky hd)

    Can anyone give me any ideas as to a good model to start with?

    Dont really want to spend more than £200, but am flexible.

    Also, is it best to plug things like the sky, dvd player etc into the tv for picture, or everything into the amp and then one HDMI to the tv for everything.

    I was planning on putting as much picture inputs into the tv and then sound inputs to the amp.

    Sorry for confusion, really appreciate your help!
     
  2. roostaar

    roostaar
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    I have just bought my first AV amp after having an all-in-one Philips 5.1 DVD/AV amp.

    I went for the Sony STR-DA2400ES at RS for £380.

    4xHDMI, 1080p upscaling, 110W per channel, 5/6/7.1, decodes every HD audio format, looks great, easy to use.

    I don't know if you will get much for £200 though.

    The cheaper Sony 820 is only £230 from RS and I probably would have bought this, or the Denon 1909 (£300) or Yamaha AX-763 (£280) if they had been in stock.

    I must admit, now that I have the more expensive model, I am glad. It has a lot more oomph than the others and a bit more 'future-proof' (if there is such a thing) with more HDMI's and power than I currently need/can handle.

    I have XBOX 360 (component), sky+HD (HDMI) and a HD media center PC (HDMI).

    All look, and sound, amazing.

    I haven't yet upgraded my speaker package either! I'm just using an average pair of Sony fronts, the old Philips fronts as rear surrounds, the Philips centre and the Philips sub.

    It still shakes the walls mind!

    I'll probably plump about £500 on speakers in six months or so...

    Good luck!

    Edit:
    Whatever amp you get, make sure it decodes all HD audio formats and has more inputs (esp. HDMI) than you need.
    Spending a little extra now can save you having to upgrade a few years earlier than you need too!
    All the amps I mention above do all HD audio but only the Denon upscales. Not a problem if you let your TV do the upscaling though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  3. datickner

    datickner
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    Brilliant, thanks for the reply... bit more than I wanted to spend, but I might have to change the budget...

    The speakers I am currently using came with speaker wire, where the naked copper wire is 'clamped' into the red and black connectors under the speaker and into the back of the all in one home cinema.

    If i buy a new amp, will i be able to connect these speakers to it?
     
  4. datickner

    datickner
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    Does anyone else have any recommendations for a good first time amp please?
     
  5. roostaar

    roostaar
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    Yes, u can use these speakers.

    Obviously, u will also need to upgrade these too eventually, but they will do fir now, as mine do!

    Any of the amps I suggested will make a massive improvement on your current amp, even with the same speakers.
     
  6. roostaar

    roostaar
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    Onkyo 506/606?

    These are both in the same budget ballpark.

    Onkyos have a reputation for awesome power.

    Yamahas are refined

    Sony are musical and good at 2.0 too

    Denon are very popular, dynamic sound

    If money is tight, the Sony DG820 is your amp. All the amps i listed get 5* what hifi
     
  7. datickner

    datickner
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    Brill, thanks again mate
     
  8. Robsk1

    Robsk1
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    Not sure where you live but Richer Sounds have a handful of 605's left for £150 which is a steal. Why not give your local one a call to see if they have any.

    Only 2 HDMI's but up conversion only but most TV's have HDMI too and your TV will upscale as good as a budget amp.
     
  9. binkobonko

    binkobonko
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    Or you could buy my Yamaha RX-V2500 from me, asking price £200, which I bought as a starter amp, and has done me proud.

    No HDMI, but then, who cares? Why would you want to spend lots more money just because you can't be bothered to press another button on your remote? That's my view, anyway.

    Titanium finish, everything with it, original box, and very good condition. It sounds great, but the monkey on my back says upgrade to Arcam, because the Yammy has so many bells and whistles I'll never get to the bottom of them.

    Just my two pennorth.

    (Apologies, mod, if I shouldn't have mentioned this here. I'm kind of on the cusp of advertising, if you know what I mean, and the thread title kind of pulled me in; it is a genuinely good starter amp, after all)
     
  10. binkobonko

    binkobonko
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    And personally, I tend to think, the TV should handle the picture, and the AV the sound. Never the twain need meet. Again, just my view..
     
  11. datickner

    datickner
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    Well thats what i was going to say, i would run the picture thro the tv, and the dvd etc and the sound inputs through the amp... but guess it depends how many inputs you have...

    Thanks though, i will look at those amps and have a think :)
     
  12. datickner

    datickner
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    Hi all,

    Just had a thought re. speakers and subwoofer... All my speakers and sub are connected, as mentioned, with speaker wire into the clamp red and black connectors.

    I have looked at pictures of the back of the Sony 820 for example, and the subwoofer input/output appears to be a socket for a connector, and not a wire clamp as with the speakers.

    Does this mean I wont be able to connect my current sub to the Sony if i bought it?

    How do people get around this?
     

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