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Improving 2 channel Stereo

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by tonytiger, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. tonytiger

    tonytiger
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    I have a Marantz sr6200 bi-wired (Qed Silver)to Mission 773e and i am quite happy with this.But my ears tell me 2 channel stereo is not that 'great' as a dedicated 2ch amp in the same price bracket.I am using a sony ns900v as my source ( i have a dac20 on order)

    I still own and old Music fidelity B1 intergrated amp (from my old setup).Is there anyway i can use this with my current setup?I can't see any pre- out connections on it so i can't just connect it to the pre-outs on the sr6200.

    Or i might invest in a new 2 channel amp (under 500 quid) maybe a nad C370.Any suggestions on a new amp?I will be buying online to save money so i may not be able to audition this.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. petrobas

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    Cyrus 5 (£500 new ) or better still a 2nd hand / ex-dem Cyrus 7 ( £400-£500 ) , you can add a Psx-r later on if funds allow.
    Fantastic amps for 2 channel stereo.
     
  3. ads1

    ads1
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    Tony

    Take the front l/r pre outs from the marantz into a spare line input on the MF. For av mode, set the MF volume level at a fixed point (say 9 o'clock) then use the test tone to balance all channels. You can then use the volume control on the marantz to set volume level overall when listening to av. Only fly in the ointment is if both amps use RC5 IR codes (can't remember if the MF has a remote.)

    Andy
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Andy


    First the bad news, the pre-amplifier in most AV 5.1 amps (under £1000 IMHO) is not really up to decent stereo reproduction, you can only really use a stereo amp (properly) in conjunction with a 5.1 AV set up when you use something like a Dolby Digital/DTS processor like the Yamaha ES-800 which feeds the rears & centre & sub via pre outs from your stereo amp, this in any case will not help you with your current set up as your coming at the problem from an AV amp.

    Andys idea will work but you will be constantly adjusting volume (even if you set a standard volume setting I believe) during playback of DVDs AFAICT, It may be worth experimenting with your current MF amp, but one thing is for certain you wont get decent stereo amplification from your 6200 to do justice to a DAC 20 unless you hook it up to a Stereo Amp IMHO.

    The Cyrus 5 is a good mention at the NEW £500 mark as are : Musical Fidelity X-A2, Rotel 1060.

    Have you thought about the second hand market :

    You should be able to pick up a Primare A20 for below £500 EX-Dem from a dealers,
    Primare A20, Ex-dem, 699.99, 549.00, Bristol http://www.audio-excellence.co.uk/bargains.txt

    Stretch a little more and you could pick up an Arcam A22 for £650 from this guy over at the HFC website, this amp is a stormer IMO. http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=136

    FWIW I would be spending my £500 on a dealers ED unit or a well cared for Amp like the one above rather than spending £500 at a dealers. You can always sell it on if you dont like it.

    HTHs
     
  5. tonytiger

    tonytiger
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    Thanks for the replies again.If i do buy a new amp (or second hand) will i be able to connect it to the pre-outs on the sr6200?

    Would this then bring out the most from the dvd-v + dac20?
     
  6. mick23

    mick23
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    you could disconnect front speakers from av amp, link to your old sterio amp and see what the differance in 2 channel sterio is between dedicated amp and avamp, also the fact that your using your dvd player for playing music cds may be a factor rather than dedicated cd player
     
  7. tonytiger

    tonytiger
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    Already done this .The sound has a lot more bass then before but not a massive improvement .The MF B1 is old and i brought it second hand about 5 years ago!I actually thought the marantz sounded better!Anyway i shall see what the dac20 does first then maybe buy one of amps recommened by CJross.The Rotel Ra-1060 is 599 new from avland i might get that one.
     
  8. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Pre-In & Pre-Outs what a conundrum dude.


    “If i do buy a new amp (or second hand) will i be able to connect it to the pre-outs on the sr6200? ………….. Yup feeding the pre-ins on a stereo amp, but these are quite rare, ie pre-ins that is, you generally get pre-outs for feeding offboard power amp on stereo amps dude.

    Andy using the pre outs on the 6200 I assume this is only for feeding the L&R fronts during AV use, you need pre-outs (on the 6200) for better stereo perfromance fed to the pre-ins on a stereo amp but you will need them in this order quite strictly, if you imagine that the pre-outs on your 6200 (does it have any BTW ?) going to another set of pre-ins are in fact volume controlled outputs hence you wont getting any fannying about as mentioned above with regard to volume control. So your search now (assuming that the 6200 has pre-outs) is to find a suitable stereo amp with pre ins. Again I think Primares have this facility, ICBM though it could just be pre-outs in that case, you will probably find the only Amps available with pre-ins are in fact standalone stereo power amplifiers which do not have a dedicated stereo pre-amplifier on board, ie just a power amp section being fed via the 6200 pre-outs will mean your listening to its pre-amplifier not a good upgrade IMHO.

    The long & short of it Im afraid is that if you want the best performance from stereo you have to use a stereo amp, you will still notice an improvement using the DAC 20 via your DVD for CD playback but your set up will hinder stereo playback due to its AV roots.

    Hope that was’nt too much jibberish Tone !!

    Edit : FWIW Tony I think if you going to buy the Rotel for £599 that Arcam above will slaughter it IMHO, I know the guy selling it he rates it very highly & only bought it after extensive trials & problems with a few amplifiers.
     
  9. tonytiger

    tonytiger
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    The SR6200 has 5.1 pre-outs so no problem there.I will look at the Arcam if thats the best option.

    Thanks for the advice again this forum is very usefull.
     
  10. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Tony

    Ive just read this in the latest HFN review of the Musical Fidelity A308 Dual Mono Intergrated Amplifier :

    ……. And a “home cinema bypass” which allows one to use the A308 as 2 power channels withing a cinema system. This leaves the A308 for optimised stereo listening, with the ability to switch to external 5.1 processing utilising the A308 amplifier section and its speakers for front/left right. ……

    This Home Cinema Bypass is basically a Pre-in as Im describing above the only problem I can find is that the MF A308 costs a tad over budget £1999. But that is essentially what your looking for in a stereo amp, pre-ins for looping F&L from the 5.1 F&L pre-outs of the 6200.

    I think we will start seeing more stereo amps with this facility in future due to the increasing number of AV fans unhappy with stereo playback.
     
  11. ads1

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    All the Arcam Diva integrated amps have the ability to take a line input and work at fixed gain i.e as a power amp (as CJ is describing for the MF). The A75 has a defined panel switch and the A85 has a software option for configuring the tape input. The A65+ is claimed to have the same ability but I haven't tested it.

    Andy
     
  12. tonytiger

    tonytiger
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    £1999 is to rich for me i'm afraid.I think i will stick with the marantz sr6200 it does sound ok to me with source direct on and when i orginally listen to this model against denon ,yamaha ,sony etc on the same price point i thought is sounded better in 2ch music.I know a good sub 700 quid stero amp will be better but i have spent my budget now.Just spent 399 on a dac20 (was set aside for a cd player )which will be coming on Friday 16th August -i wish it was this friday though.


    I will have to play with my old amp and see what happens thanks for the advice everyone.
     
  13. dave48

    dave48
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    I have a Primare A30.1 stereo amp and a Denon 3802 AV amp. I send the front pre-outs from the Denon through the Primare to power my main speakers.

    I've connected my Primare D20 CD player analogue output to the A30.1 (i.e. bypassing the 3802 completely) and I've connected the digital out of the D20 to the coax digital in of the Denon - which then effectively uses the Primare as a power amp.

    The result?

    The analogue Primare-only solution sounds vastly better than the digital out via the Denon. Anyone who says the D to A converters in AV amps are better than in a reasonable CD player is talking ********.

    Not the prime theme of this thread - but the separate stereo amp is definitely the way to go if you want better sound.

    Dave48
     

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