Help with choosing a new amp to stream

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by moo2samy, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Hello folks,

    Wonder if i could pick your expert brains :)

    So I out on the hunt for some speakers and amp/AV receiver which I want to play sound from my TV and also music from Spotify/Tidal. Not really interested in surround sound, just a couple of floorstanders will do the job.

    Speakers wise I'm eyeing up either the old Kef R700/R900, was initially looking at the Denon AVR-X3500 but as I don't need a multitude of speakers, I am now looking at the Yamaha-R-N803D as it has the streaming facilities built in.

    So my question is, if I have a budget of around £600, is the Yamaha my best bet to power the Kefs?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  2. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Looks like you are in London, loads of hifi shops to go and have an audition.

    So, get a list of three amps and maybe two speakers and spend an hour listening to some music you know well. If you are using tv/Spotify you need an amp with a decent dac (Spotify through smart tv or add a £30 chrome cast audio).

    Definitely do not go for an av receiver over a stereo amp if you are only listening to music. Also, depending on the size of your room the r700 may be too big.

    Based on you request I would have the following

    Kef r500, Kef r700, ma silver 10 (all on sale at Peter Tyson for around £1000-1100 - you will have to be quick on the Kefs as they have been replaced and so any stock will be the last, Peter Tyson seems to be the most likely stockist.
    Yamaha RN803, Audiolab 6000a, possibly the Yamaha as801 all around the £600 mark.

    Finally, if you budget is around £1600 it is often better to buy a bundle from on ofvthe hifi dealers, look at Tyson, seven oaks, creative audio etc. For example creative have the Audiolab 6000a and Dali option 6 for £1378, you may be able to go up a step on speaker or amp for your money this way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  3. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks Ugg10, appreciate the advice.

    I have an open plan living room and kitchen, its 13m x 7m so hopefully the R700 or 900 will ok..

    So I went down to Sevenoaks audio earlier today and spend a good couple of hours listening to some Kef Q series with a Denon 3500 then an Arcam Sa20 with a Node 2i which was well over my budget but gave me an idea of how much better the sound quality was compared to the Denon. Unfortunately they didn't have a Yamaha RN803 in stock but will have a hunt around for a local vendor so i can demo..

    Actually called Peter Tyson (very helpful bunch!) today and they recommended the Yamaha RN803 too.
     
  4. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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  5. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Yeah that is a really good price.

    Reckon the Yamaha RN803 will be ok to power the R700/900?
     
  6. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    The Kefs are moderately sensitive at 89 dB/m/w but ther impedance does drop to 3.2 ohm so as other have found they do like a more powerful amp with a high damping figure and decent power supply.
     
  7. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Ugg10, out of the 3 amps you suggested, which one would you lean towards?
     
  8. muljao

    muljao
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  9. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Without an audition, preferably at home, I would not know.

    Variable that affect the sound, in order if most to least imo are -

    Room size/furnishing, speaker placement, speaker, source, amp, cables.
     
  10. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks Ugg10.

    Muljao, appreciate the recommendation, the Teufal connector looks good, have you used it?
     
  11. muljao

    muljao
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    I have 2 of them. In my opinion the best bargain in hifi today (maybe a tie with the chromecast audio). If you buy one of these you have 8 week trial period, so you can't really go wrong.

    That yamaha I recommend (I have not heard it) has been on my radar a while, it practically gets universally applauded at 1000 pounds. It has a very high quality dac built in. If you are not happy with the sound directly from the teufal connector you could go digitally from it to the yamaha and then the yamaha dictates the sound. At approx your budget it's imo definitely worth considering
     
  12. dollag

    dollag
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    I agree, i am not a fan of the RN range personally but that's just me. Everytime I have heard them they just seem congested.

    to throw another spanner in the works

    Emotiva BasX A-300 2 Channel Power Amplifier

    Yamaha MusicCast WXC50 Networked Pre Amplifier - Superfi

    I know it's a tad over budget but For the money I do not think you can come close. You have a very large room and from experience, The R series like a lot of good clean power when their impedance drops to sound at their best.
     
  13. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks Dollag, will take a look at these 2. Havent heard of Emotiva, but will check them out
     
  14. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Emotiva have got some really good reviews, thanks for the recommendation. I've never had a pre and power amp. Is it simple to set up & use?
     
  15. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Yes, just one extra wire (stereo rca) from the preamp output to the power amp input. Everything else is the same as an integrated but just in two boxes.
     
  16. dollag

    dollag
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    as @Ugg10 its very simple just a pair of rca's and your away.

    I went through 10 or so amplifiers on my r300's and r500's and the best i had them sounding was with a pre/power combo with some powerful mono block amplifiers (400w of clean power) I had a naim supernait 2, creek evo and a top of the line marantz avr prior to name a few and none could compare. I am not saying the yammy pre and emotiva are better than a 3k amp but the combo imo will be the best value and get close to or even the best out of the r series.
     
  17. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks so much for the advice @dollag , hadn't considered a pre & power amp combo. Seriously considering this over a mono block amp now.

    Would you recommend this combo if my budget increased slightly to say 1k for the amp?
     
  18. dollag

    dollag
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    To be honest I do not think so.

    There are a lot of good amplifiers at that price point

    Rega elex-r or Yamaha as-1100 to name a couple.

    If your open to second hand then that list increases.

    It’s very subjective so your ears will tell you; however for under £800, the wxc-50 and emotiva combo is hard to beat imo.
     
  19. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks dollag, will have a good read on these 2 bits of kit. Im hoping to take the plunge next week. Will let you guys know what i decided on.
     
  20. xmb

    xmb
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    You may want to take a look at the Onkyo TX-8270 as it has HDMI connections for connection to your TV (with auto power on/off) and good power output. It also supports all the streaming methods you could want.
     
  21. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks for the recommendation XMB, will do some research on this amp.
     
  22. dollag

    dollag
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    94225791-DDD2-4A23-A310-AED1D073FBBA.png

    I personally would not reccomend that receiver for the kefs.

    It have very low damping factor and at 6ohms distortion figures rise very high
     
  23. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Nice one Dollag.
     
  24. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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  25. dollag

    dollag
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    It is a shame as it’s a nice preamp with a good turntable preamp built in.

    You could always add a chrome cast but that’s kind of going away from an amp with streaming capabilities.

    The wxc-50 is a great preamp for the price so do not be put off it’s punching above it’s price
     
  26. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    ok cool, I'm ok with with using Chromecast if it means i get better performance.

    So you reckon stick with the Wxc-50 over a Emotiva PT-100 and a chromecast?
     
  27. dollag

    dollag
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    I haven’t heard the emotiva preamp so cannot comment if it’s better I’m afraid. Try to get some demos if you can.

    A lot of places do returns so worst case you can always send it back
     
  28. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    ok thanks Dollag.
     
  29. IvanDobskey

    IvanDobskey
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    I have the rn803 and think it's fantastic :)

    Great bit of kit.
     
  30. moo2samy

    moo2samy
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    Thanks IvanDobskey. Did more reading on this amp yesterday and it looks like an awesome amp. Wonder if it pairs well with the R700/900?
     

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