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Integrated Amp Advice

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi all, my first post so high end people look away :)
I have a Yaqin MC10 valve amp which is my main amp, i use cd and vinyl.
I need a second amp for when i only have time for a quick listen so dont want to warm up the valves.
Unfortunatley i am on a real budget, so am wondering what to do. Looking at used items in the £250 range may get the likes of Quad77, Meridian 561(i think this is an intergrated amp) Audiolab 8000a, Musical Fidelity etc etc but these will be like 25 30yrs old i guess. I am looking for a very warm rich sound with good bass.
So first real question would a modern budget £250 amp now be better sonically compared to a 25year old 250 used mid end amps, have design and components progressed enough ?
 
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Costello

Active Member
Hi there. I’m not going to open up a new vs old debate here 😉
There’s nothing to suggest a new amp is better than a used one just because it’s new. What you will get is, probably, more connections and features, as well as a warranty. The best sub £300 new amplifier at the moment is probably the Marantz PM6006UKSE which you can get for £299 at the moment and will give you the warm sound with good bass you’re after.
If you’re rigid at £250, then you may find a nearly new or used earlier incarnation of the same amp.
Now, if you’re looking at the used market, yes, you may well pick up an amplifier that was £600-£700 when new for your money. Yes, you’d like to think it will sound better than a £300 new amp but only your ears can decide that. What you take chance with is reliability and cosmetic condition. Only you can decide if that’s what you want to do. The older the unit, the higher the chance of issues arising. I’m not saying you won’t pick up a fantastic and reliable amp that’s 25 years old, just be aware.
Personally, I think you can find a nearly new PM6006 for your money which I don’t think will disappoint. If you want to go a little older and get a unit that cost more new, then maybe amplifiers from Arcam are worth looking at, an A75 or maybe an A85. Arcam’s house sound is usually on the warmer sound than others.
Just some opening thoughts for you. I’m sure others will have lots of recommendations for you.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi thanks for taking the time to reply and your suggestion. The 250 is not fully rigid just means i wait a bit longer.
 

Costello

Active Member
You’re welcome. Just to kick-start things, here are some used options

Not an exhaustive list, but a starting point
 

DIBSTER

Active Member
I wouldn't discount the Pioneer A-40AE ex demo/display available from Sevenoaks at half price with full warranty etc. Certainly a match for the Marantz and a good deal cheaper.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi thanks for the suggestions. Good old ebay, got my eye on an arcam FMJ A19 to see what it goes for. Thought the audiolab sound would be too open possibly thin and not enough warmth n depth. Dont know havent heard one tbh. But then thats the joynoof buying used. I also need the amp to be able to push out warmth and depth at low volume as well. Dont know if this makes a diff to make?
 

gav_sw20

Active Member
Bit off topic but how you do you find the YAQIN please ?

I really want to dip my toe in the world of tubes but amps seem to either be cheap and cheerful or ridiculously overpriced. However the YAQIN models look well priced and good value for money. Am looking to spend about £500 ~ £750 and currently looking at either the MS-300C or the lesser priced MS-30L.

Did you purchase from tubestein168 on eBay? I'm just wondering what the shipping is like and how much I'd likely get stung for import duties.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi i have been very pleased and had no problems with mine and would not change it. Cant remember whom i got it from but was ebay, but already in the uk so i did not pay import tax. There are some reviews on youtube. The only down sides are no phono stage, also as with all valves (in my opinion) they dont like to be turned on then off over a short time period. Hence why i am looking for a solid state amp for those quick listening half hours etc.I would not be put off buying another. Also it is very heavy like 20kg.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
You’re welcome. Just to kick-start things, here are some used options

Not an exhaustive list, but a starting point
Hi so i have decided not to go used and opt for the marantz uk edition to try and get a warm sound and also a waranty. The pm6006 pushes 45 / 60 w so if i wanted to upgraded my speakers later would it be able to drive 8ohm ones ok at low volume or would i need to add a power amp as well or does thatbdepend on what particular speaker?
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Theoretically it'll drive any 4/8ohm speaker. How well it does it will depend on what speakers you upgrade to.
 

Jules Tohpipi

Active Member
Hi all, my first post so high end people look away :)
I have a Yaqin MC10 valve amp which is my main amp, i use cd and vinyl.
I need a second amp for when i only have time for a quick listen so dont want to warm up the valves.
Unfortunatley i am on a real budget, so am wondering what to do. Looking at used items in the £250 range may get the likes of Quad77, Meridian 561(i think this is an intergrated amp) Audiolab 8000a, Musical Fidelity etc etc but these will be like 25 30yrs old i guess. I am looking for a very warm rich sound with good bass.
So first real question would a modern budget £250 amp now be better sonically compared to a 25year old 250 used mid end amps, have design and components progressed enough ?

If you don't mind old, have a budget of £250, and want a warm rich sound then sounds like a job for the Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier. There's a couple of serviced ones on eBay now. If you're not au fait with the A1 then have a Google. In some regards there's nothing else quite like it at the price and should appeal to a valve enthusiast.
 

gav_sw20

Active Member
Apologies I thought I’d replied.

Thanks for the response, the Yaqin models do look good and get good Yt reviews, I just worry if there is ever an issue and I need to ship it back to China.

I spent the weekend researching and have gone for a Musical Paradise MP-301 as a soft intro to tubes. It’s well liked in the states and good value at £330 shipped.

I may be brave at some point and go for a Yaqin as if anything they look amazing especially the MC300C.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Theoretically it'll drive any 4/8ohm speaker. How well it does it will depend on what speakers you upgrade to.
Hi Speaker change is perhaps in a years time but i was thinking on the lines of floorstanding MAudio 300, MAudio Bronze 6 or if i can stretch maybe Kef Q550 that kind of thing
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Ok my Cd63se also decided to show its age, so I am definately going to purchase the Marantz Cd6006 uk edition. HOWEVER i am still debating amp choice.I have been youtubing and ok yes i know i am not listening directly to the equipment but i am leaning to the sound of Tannoy XT6 or XT8 floorstanding speakers, sorry about all the buts But would the MarantzPm6006 uk match these speakers? Or am i really looking at saving and going for a much more expensive amp? My only conern with more expensive ones is lack of balance and tone controls, which i find useful as i listen to a vast range of music.
 
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Costello

Active Member
Budget? I had very good results with the PM6006UK - 45 wpc should drive most speakers. I had outstanding results with a Rega Brio. 50 wpc but no tone controls. Don’t need them with a Brio; it sounds great with all music. Will drive the Tannoys without a problem. The CD6006UK will hold its own with high quality equipment.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
What about a Yamaha as801
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Budget, well as i am getting the cd player this month I could get the Marantz PM6006 towards the end of November or I could wait say till Spring and go for a £1000 - £1200 Roksan K3 area with luck. Do you think that would make a big difference against say the Marantz pm6006 and perhaps adding a power amp to it later?
 

Costello

Active Member
If you’re just planning a stop-gap, save your money for a better amp. The Tannoys deserve a better amp. If you desperately need one in the interim, perhaps secondhand
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
There is a marantz ki signature amp going in the classifieds at the minute. That would be a good stop gap.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I am looking for a very warm rich sound with good bass.
We can't really know if the tonal balance of the sound you seek is accurate. I've often had the impression that some posters on these forums seek a sound quality that's a bit different. Nothing wrong with that, it's down to personal preferences.

Maybe you're not after a tonally balanced sound and want something 'richer' than neutral/accurate? This could be an issue because the equipment mentioned above doesn't deviate far from neutral, if at all. You really need to demo equipment - speakers in particular as they usually have the biggest impact on audio quality.
 

daddy999

Active Member
Ok my Cd63se also decided to show its age, so I am definately going to purchase the Marantz Cd6006 uk edition. HOWEVER i am still debating amp choice.I have been youtubing and ok yes i know i am not listening directly to the equipment but i am leaning to the sound of Tannoy XT6 or XT8 floorstanding speakers, sorry about all the buts But would the MarantzPm6006 uk match these speakers? Or am i really looking at saving and going for a much more expensive amp? My only conern with more expensive ones is lack of balance and tone controls, which i find useful as i listen to a vast range of music.
I picked up a yamaha AS2100 amp a couple of months ago and, imo, it sounds fantastic. If the budget is tight the 1100 might be an option. both have tone controls, built like a tank and they have VU meters (which probably serve no particular purpose other than looking cool) 😂.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Buying the 1100 makes more sense anyway unless you need the extras the 2100 offers.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi There, Marantz CD 6006 purchased.:) I thought (have not listened too) Yamaha's were very neutral bright sound which if matched with Tannoy Xt6 or 8 Floorstanders would be harsh in the top end ? Yes i know i should go listen but i dont like sales pressure and often they do not have everything you want to compare and I also feel very uncomfortable to go listen knowing i wont necessarily buy from them etc etc.
 

daddy999

Active Member
Hiya, totally get the sales pressure thing, sadly too many hifi shops try that on with me, telling me, what I like, don’t like, this is crap, why do you want to buy that.....blah, blah, to be candid, most of them in these shops talk nonsense and have clearly never done real sales job. I’ve been a salesman for over 35 years so I simply smile and advise them at the beginning, “I am in the market, I have the money, but, no matter what, I will not be buying today, I always go home and consider before I buy. if they are happy to proceed great, if not, I walk away.

I did this only recently, in the end a really helpful sales rep at a company not really known for hifi (strangely enough) that I’d wondered in purely by chance on holiday, won my order for £4,500 (which included £900 discount off retail) for simply listening to what I wanted, and being helpful. Buying hifi should be fun......Right?

I tried god knows how many amps with way too many speakers over a 6 month period at various hifi outlets across the country, (London, Rayleigh, Brighton, wadebridge, St Albans, Penzance, Truro,) it would be fair to say, some were most definitely more helpful than others!

Anyways, I can most definitely confirm, Yamaha amps are not “bright“, I would say quite the opposite, I tried the 801, 1100 and 2100 with various B&W, Kef, MA, Dali’s etc in the same session. FYI, The Cyrus one hd was also in the running, had a nice open, expansive and powerful sound, I also tried Roksan K3 which again had a really nice warm sound, but in the end what swung if for me was the old school looks of the Yamaha (yes to VU meters), the build quality on both the Roksan and Cyrus, isn’t a touch on the Yammie,.....oh and the warm sound 👍
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi Thank you for your post. Yes to VU meters ! interesting what you say about Yamaha having warmth which is what i am after good open sound stage but also warmth and not harshness. So Yamaha with Tannoy XT6 / 8 would match ok ?and what do you think of the Yamaha at low evening / night volumes? I have heard albeit via youtube Roksan K3 with Tannoys Xt8 and it sounded open detailed and nice bass so warmth seems to come through without sounding boxy.
 
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daddy999

Active Member
Hi Thank you for your post. Yes to VU meters ! interesting what you say about Yamaha having warmth which is what i am after good open sound stage but also warmth and not harshness. So Yamaha with Tannoy XT6 / 8 would match ok ? I have heard albeit via youtube Roksan K3 and Tannoys Xt8 and it sounded open detailed and nice bass so warmth does come through.
Hi,

In terms of the Yamaha amp & Tannoy 6/8 match, I don’t honestly know as I’ve not heard the Tannoys speakers, I can see obvious reason why they would sound bright when paired up, that’s not my experience of listening to Yamaha Amps. Ultimately though, what I hear and what you hear will be different.

I would ring some dealers, tell them what YOU are looking for and how YOU want to carry out a demo, maybe take the speakers along and plug them into a couple Yamaha and other amps you like the look of and have a listen.

No specification sheet or review can replace your own ears at the end of the day. and, if the shop is not willing to assist, IMO, you have the wrong shop and I wouldn‘t give them my money.
 

Costello

Active Member
Yamaha amps are not considered bright. I had an AS501 and it had a lovely, airy neutral tone. I haven’t heard the Tannoys but can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t work well. They have lots of power, too.
The Roksan K3 series have a lovely warm, open and civilised sound. You can achieve this with their K3 DAC which you can find for sale for £399 instead of £1299.
 

Noggindoo

Novice Member
Hi If i were to go for used stop gap looking around i see some Yamaha CA 410 for around £130 Vintage amp so could you use the aux tape or tuner inputs for CD?
 

Costello

Active Member
The Yamaha is a beautiful looking retro amp
1570805621037.png

I could look at it all day and, theoretically, it should connect through the aux output but it is a pre-digital amplifier.
Sadly, I don't think it will do the rest of your system justice. i think you need to be looking at something a little more recent.
 
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dogfonos

Well-known Member
Noggindoo, a question if I may...

Why have you settled on the Tannoy XT6 or XT8 speakers? Have you heard them and enjoyed their sound? Or have you read positive reviews? Or has someone recommended them to you?
 

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