Help deciding on stereo amp

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by buns, May 25, 2002.

  1. buns

    buns
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    I have had enough of my current stereo amp and have been attempting to replace if for some time, but to no avail.

    I have tried naim, a favorite in the dem room, but i hated the sound when i got it home and listened for a while, it was brash and forward, the soundstage didnt appear to exist at all rather what sound it produced was just forced upon you. So no naims!

    Linn. I tried briefly, i cant complain as i did with naim, but i got the smooth laid back sound i was expecting, perfect i guess in a classical system, but i need something which can party too!

    I have done marantz......its bright and nasty so none of that either!

    Tried a rotel 991 with an audiolab 8000Q, it didnt seem too bad......but in the end of the day i felt it lacked excitement necessary to do a bit of partying!

    Then i go a bit crazy.......blame tnt audio for this.....

    Heard a Karan integrated......i have to say i thought it a very sweet deal. It was confident sounding, the imaging was excellent, the bass was very good but unusually so in that it took you by surprise! It wasnt necessarily apparent, but it was certainly there! But again......the ability to party I'm not entirely sure off......if someone knows of links to the reviews done on it by hifi+ i would appreciate if u could send them my way! I probably would go for the Karan (kai180) no more questions asked......except for the price......£3800!! ouch in the extreme!

    Basically all this leaves me lost!

    I am setting asside a figure of £2000......whether i spend it or not very much depends on how happy I am with the sound i can get! I'm looking for a detailed but not over analytical sound, i like the soundstage that seems to come only with more powerful amps (possibly because my speakers are not the easiest to drive......hence cant do valves). I need something that will have a bit of flair when driven hard yet still remain articulate. Most important of all, despite having to be able to party, none of the brash in you face'ness of naims!

    I am willing to go second hand if i can achieve more for my money!

    in case someone puts it to me.......krell is something i have heard to an extent, but i have always considered the sound a little bit cold......i know carlos has one (or had) for sale.......i would have looked this avenue, but given my reservation i wouldnt want to spend quite that much on krell.

    If i go pre power.......maybe a tag pre (the one on recon for £700)? Power amp wise.......I cant think of anything available here that appeals! There are some nice looking class A jobs from italian AM audio......but i havent heard one and it would top my budget by the time i added a pre.

    Integrated......well the karan but too costly.....sim audio perhaps?

    Any help greatly appreciated!

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  2. philmate

    philmate
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    Have you thought about Nad, the affordable 'Classic' series is good value sound for pound. I've got the intergrated C370, plenty of power, finesse and a fine midband to boot, for the money.The pre C160 and power C270 is probably a fine combination, wish I had got that now,...... dull to look at but I'm sure you realise when you listen to music you ain't looking at the those amps. If you do then take a look at the 'Silver Series' , not sure at the prices, very probably a sound upgrade, I've never listened to the Silver. Musical Fidelity is another option, with a good reputation for hi-fi, and they look tasty.

    Philmate.
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    NAD would be one which i would not consider......well i dont know about the silver series, i havent really heard anything about it. There does seem to be a fairly large difference between standard hifi and high end......which is where im trying to go! Basically I am attempting to buy an amp to last a long long time.

    thanks

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  4. Samir

    Samir
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    Buns how about the
    Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista Amp (£3500)
    Musical Fidelity A3.2 Amp
    or you could look at the Meridian 557 Power Amp £1400 with a matching Meridian pre amp not shaw of model number or price

    Hope this Helps
    Samir
     
  5. Guest

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    Buns

    You don't mention what speakers you are using. IMHO Synergy is all important.

    An integrated at c.£2K that I rate very highly is the Classe 150.

    It offers both power and finesse, is not cold and sterile like Naim etc. and creates a good soundstage.

    This premium Canadian brand is now distributed by B&w and works cery well with their speakers.

    Dealerships are being set up but I know Audio T in my town have it.
     
  6. buns

    buns
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    Samir,

    The MF's at that level are beyond me, £2k is something of a maximum for me! I havent ever heard meridian before, i was always of the impression that they were a very british kind of a sound, i guess i should attempt to get listening to something of theirs. The 557 or a pair of 505's maybe...dont know the pre's at all. My only reason for not really considering them was that my dealer persuaded me away.....i assumed because he knew the sound wouldmnt suit me. But i'll investigate.


    Airwise,

    I had taken quite an interest in a classe multi channel power and their surround processors seem to die for! Again I havent heard anything of theirs, mainly because NI isnt the best spot for diversity!

    My speakers are celestion A1's.......in themselves they have some warmth, they have soundstaging like few at the price can approach but are quite a tricky load at times.

    thanks

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  7. Samir

    Samir
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    Buns
    Sorry I knew that MF Nu-vista was out of your range but I just love the look and sound of this amp.
    As for the MF A3.2 I'm not shaw of the exact price but I don't think it's above £2000.
     
  8. Matt F

    Matt F
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    I'd definitely check out the Musical Fidelity A3CR pre and power amps - two grand for the pair.
     

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