Question Help choosing a new amp

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by The Kraken, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    Recently bought some Bowers & Wilkins 685's, some Van Damme speaker cable and some decent quality interconnects for my cd player. The amp I'm currently running is an old Cambridge Audio A1 mk3 which really isn't up to the task of powering my new speakers so I need a new integrated amp and was hoping for some suggestions from the wise people on these forums.

    My budget is around £300 and am looking at something second hand as I know you get a lot more for your money. I need the amp to connect to my cd player and for now an aux cable. In future I plan to buy some kind of DAC but for now I just use an aux cable from my macbook (might consider an amp with a DAC inside). I have no plans to use a turntable and in future will be buying some headphones as am going to be in a student house so a good quality headphone output jack is important as I'm unsure if I'll bother buying a headphone amp in the future. If you need to know anything else about what I need the amp to do then please ask.
    Thanks for your help,
    Asher
     
  2. shaolin kid

    shaolin kid
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    Multi channel or 2?
     
  3. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    I only need it for a stereo setup as it's just for music so 2 channel. The ability to drive a sub would be a benefit so I had the option in future but my speakers aren't short of bass so it isn't a deal breaker if I can't use one.
     
  4. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    anyone got any advise?
    Thanks
     
  5. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    any 2 channel integrated amp will drive a subwoofer, either through l/r pre-outs, high level, and some may have a subwoofer output which is just l/r summed mono.
     
  6. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    Ah thanks, the one I have doesn't have either so I have no experience with that
    Thanks
     
  7. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Cambridge Audio A1 mk3 has speaker level outputs, so you could use that.

    Or if you buy a subwoofer with high level in/out, put the sub between the amp and speakers and use the subs high pass feature, to filter out low bass from your speakers. Not as good as putting high pass before the power amp though.

    Not many subs have high level high pass, the older SVS SB12+ does
     

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  8. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    That's interesting, like I say a sub would only be something I'd consider in the future but it's not to know. How would I use the speaker outputs with a sub if they're already going to the speakers?
     
  9. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    amp speaker outputs---->subwoofer speaker input----->subwoofer speaker outputs---->speaker

    http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/488955.gif

    Ignore the bose lol, but that is basically the same idea. I did something similar, but rather using speaker level, I used RCA so

    pre-out--->subwoofer input--->subwoofer output--->poweramp---->speakers

    That's if you want to keep the Cambridge, and stuck using high level. I know high passing frees up power but that's only prior to amp stage, I'm not sure if it frees up power high passing like that.
     
  10. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    I'm not looking at keeping the Cambridge amp for much longer but since there's so many options in the market it's easy to get lost in it all
     
  11. stephenbarnes

    stephenbarnes
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    Having high pass with standmounts is a good idea in a hifi system.

    I would recommend high pass prior to amp stage, not many integrated have it. Over in the USA you have the Outlaw, a couple of Parasounds, Emotiva XSP-1 has it.

    I use high pass, like this

    source
    DAC
    analogue pre-amp
    outlaw icbm-1
    power amp(s)
    Speakers.
    then outlaw icbm-1 sub out to sub

    If you're buying new, then it should have line level pre-outs so that makes it easier, make sure your pre/integrated has it. Also if buying a integrated you want pre-out/power amp in, so you can high pass it a bit like a tape deck with a tape loop (but variable level)
     
  12. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    I was looking for an amp that works well with the speakers I currently have so was wondering what people thought of any combinations as I know some companies don't match as well as others. Rotel, NAD and Arcam are 3 that I've heard match well as the 685's have quite a smooth sound to them and aren't very harsh.
     
  13. porscheman

    porscheman
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  14. The Kraken

    The Kraken
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    Are the DAC's built into some amps generally quite good? My headphone jack that I use an AUX cable with is starting to have problems and whilst it can double as a digital out on a mac I'm not sure if it would still function. The problem is the male headphone jack doesn't stay in very well and a small movement means the speakers stop playing my music. Would it be better to get a DAC in an amp and combine my budget that way or buy an amp and DAC separately?
     

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