HELP: Newby Selecting S/H Amp for Kef RDM 2's

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by archy121, May 1, 2007.

  1. archy121

    Standard Member

    Aug 25, 2004
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    I have a pair of Kef RDM 2's & Ecosse ES/CS combo speaker cable that are in dire need of decent 2CH AMP. I will be playing my music using my Denon 3910 DVD player which I believe is pretty good for CD playback & I really don't have the space for additional CD player.

    The Kef RDM's are fairly small bookshelf monitor speakers.

    I have mine stand mounted. They are fantastic speakers but can be little lacking at low bass levels because of there size so I have a REL Sub to help out. These speakers also form the front speakers of my cinema 5.1 setup. Till now i have been using my AVR for music listening as well as film soundtracks but now i feel i need to do the speakers some justice.

    Can someone please help out match a decent 2ch amp for my setup.
    The other thing i should point out is I like to listen to varied music from rock to Jazz & soul to classical so i need an all rounder. Leaning slightly more to the rock (dire straits/u2/pink floyd) side than classical.

    I would prefer to go second hand & buy a top classic amp from yesterday at a bargain price rather than today's brand new one.

    My budget was limited to about £200-225 when i was thinking of Audiolab 8000S but recently i have been getting little carried away & considering pushing it around the £300 mark so i can look at buying something better that will allow me to enjoy true audiophile music for long time to come. After a little research i got the impression the Audiolab 8000s is just a good amp - maybe little too neutral where as i am after something more musical with character that will have me tapping my feet.

    One of the amps that on top of my list is the Musical Fidelity A3. These go for about £350 on ebay which is really going over budget but i am under the impression this is a top amp from yesteryear & maybe i should save up little more & go for this. Would this suite my speakers & cable ? Also would i be able to drive the REL Sub at the same time as this is essential complement for the Kef speakers.

    Other contenders include Arcam A80 & Roksan Candy mkIII which i think can be had for about the same price as the Muscical Fidelity A3.
    Again i have no idea how these will match up to my setup (with REL) & music taste.

    To be honest I really don't want to spend this much on the amp & would love for someone to suggest an alternative cheaper amp that will meet my needs. Maybe a NAD/Arcam Alpha/Musical Fidelity A120/A1/Rotel 970BX/Cambrideg Audio OR maybe i should stick to buying the Audiolab as its at a bargain price compared to how much it used to cost(£700). Or even better look at getting a Tag Mclaren 60i which i hear is better than the Audiolab 8000S and can be had £200-250.

    Also by increasing my budget from the £200-250 mark to the £300-350 can i expect to see a justified improvement or am i wasting money ??

    Do I need to go into £400 range to see a real improvement over S/H amps at the £225-£250 range ? ?

    Please help me decide as i am really lost at the moment but desperate to rush & buy something. I really don't ant to make the wrong choice & end up with an amp thats going to give me marginal sound improvement over my AVR.

    I really am a newby to all this & all advice & tips will be very appreciated.


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