Question Integrated Stereo Amp to drive Tannoy Definitions?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Dr Evilest, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Dr Evilest

    Dr Evilest
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    Hello fellow AVFers,
    Last year I bought a pair of Tannoy Definition DC10Ti's. Great speakers, but somewhat underused at the moment as a zone 2 driven by a Yamaha RXA-2010 AV amp.
    Now I'm in a position to buy a dedicated stereo amp and plan to use it with an Oppo bdp105 to feed the Tannoys.
    My question is should I be looking around the 2k mark, eg Arcam FMJ39, Muscial Fidelity M6si or perhaps one of the Naim products.
    OR do these Tannoys (quite bassey, peak 500w speakers) deserve more and should I be saving up for something along the lines of an Arcam FMJ 49, Musical Fidelity M6 500i, or one of the many other integrated amps around the 4K mark?

    Your advice would be appreciated before I start the ball rolling with trying to arrange demos.
    Thanks.
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    £2000 for the amp? Adequate, but not ideal.

    The speakers are about £6000/pr -

    Tannoy Definition DC10 Ti High Gloss Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Tannoy - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    With 2x10" Bass drivers.

    That implies the general area for an amp in the £3000 range.

    I would be inclined to recommend the Parasound Halo Integrated (160w/ch) or the Parasound P5 Pre-Amp and Parasound A21 Power amp (250w/ch) combination.

    But they are considerably over £2000 -

    Parasound Halo Integrated Amp, 160w/ch, DAC, Bass Management - £2700 -

    Parasound Halo Integrated 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier

    Parasound Halo P5 Pre-Amp, DAC, Bass Management - £1050 to £1200 -

    Parasound HALO P5 Preamplifier

    Parasound Halo A21 250w/ch Stereo Power Amp - £2600 -

    Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

    I like these because of high quality, highly rated sound, lots of features, and a range of control options.

    Hard to fault the Music Fidelity M6si with 220w/ch, but limited features and controls. That's fine for some who prefer minimalist amps. Just a personal choice, but I prefer more features and controls.

    Musical Fidelity M6si, 220w/ch, USB DAC - £2500 -


    Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier

    While I don't necessarily think these are power hungry speakers, I would still drive them with some significant power, nothing less than 100w/ch, and preferably more.

    As to the feature set, that depends on your personal needs and personal preferences. The Parasound have Tone Controls (a plus for me) and they have full electronic Bass Management of the Front and Sub speakers.

    [​IMG]

    I think you best look at amps in the 150w/ch to 250w/ch range for best results.

    Rotel has a new amp out, though harder to find. The Rotel RA-1592 with many improvement over the older RA-1570 -

    Rotel RA-1592, 200w/ch, DAC w/ Optical/Coaxial/USB-PC - £1900 -


    Rotel RA-1592 - Trade in Available - Nintronics.co.uk

    There is one aspect of this amp that is not clear. It has a Network LAN Connection, but it seems to be for a Control App. That is, you can use your Phone as a Remote Control. But it doesn't not appear to have Network Streaming. They are very unclear about this feature.

    The Amp appears to have 3xOptical, 3xCoaxial, 1xUSB-PC, and 1xLAN, plus Bluetooth, Phono In, Pre-Amp Outs, and Balanced Inputs.

    Myself, though thoroughly reflecting my own bias, I would love to have either the Parasound Integrated or the P5 Pre-Amp/A21 Power Amp combination. The Parasound Integrated is a newer products and does have upgraded DACs, but the P5 Pre-Amp also has pretty good DACs, just not the equal of the of the newer Intergrated. And, if you have remote thoughts of possibly adding a Subwoofer, the Parasound do have full electronic Bass Management.

    Those would reflect my personal favorites.

    The Arcam FMJ-A39 runs a modest £1600 and has 120w/ch, though that is probably enough.

    Arcam FMJ-A39, 120w/ch, Phono, no dac, no streaming, no tone - £1600 -


    Arcam FMJ A39 Amplifier Black

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  3. Dr Evilest

    Dr Evilest
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    As always, thanks for your helpful and detailed response, bluewizard, it's much appreciated.
    The parasound halo does look interesting, although isn't readily available so arranging a demo may be a problem. I have heard of some reliability issues, not sure what their warranties are like.
    Bass management would be a nice but not an essential feature. The onboard DAC sounds impressive too, but wouldn't be necessary with the Oppo 105.
    I agree though, I think the speakers need at least 150w to get the most out of them.
    Have you had much experience with any of the higher end Yamaha stereo amps, I'm definitely a fan of their AV receivers.
    Dr E.
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I do what I can.

    As far as I know, Stone Audio is the only place that has Parasound Amps. They are located is DORSET. Not sure where that is relative to you.

    You can check on-line reviews of the Parasound and I think you will find they are very positive. They have also won Best of the Year, Recommended Products, and Best Amp under (a specific price that I don't recall).

    Though a minor point, I think the DAC in the Amp is a bit more convenient than an external DAC or your BluRay Player. But, as I said, that's a minor point.

    On the higher end, say £1000 and upward, the Yamaha move into a new class, and their new flagship models have gotten some pretty good press. I would certainly be willing to give them a listen. But, I think the thing holding Yamaha back is that people somewhat balk at paying premium prices for an amp whose major reputation is in consumer grade equipment.

    Here is a guy with large Tannoy speakers and a Yamaha A-S2000 amp and CD-S2000 CD Player. Because this is a YouTube, you might not be able to say it sounds good, but you can most surely say that it does not sound bad.

    Tannoy Monitor Gold 15" - 1968 Vintage...


    Though I suspect we have to give the bulk of the sound quality to the speakers, but the amps don't seem to be holding them back.

    One of the keys to getting a decent sounding YouTube video is to keep the volume down to a reasonable level. Notice you can hear the guy moving around the room, so the volume isn't so loud as to drown out his movements.

    The Yamaha AS1100 (£1250 to £1400) is a modest 90w/ch to 8 ohms.

    The Yamaha AS2100 (£1700 to £2100) is the same power. Keeping in mind the quality of a product is not all in the power.

    The extremely expensive Yamaha AS3000 (£4200) is still only 100w/ch to 8ohms.

    Here is a link to the Parasound Website and the products in question -

    Products « Parasound

    Parasound's general warranty is 5 years on the HALO products.

    Model Halo Integrated « Parasound

    Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

    Model Halo A 23 « Parasound

    Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

    I've included the Parasound Halo A23 which is a 125w/ch to 8 ohms. These run around £1199, so that combined with the Parasound P5 Pre-amp would run about £2250 to £2400 depending on whether you buy Silver or Black. The Black Pre-Amp is £1200, but the Silver P5 are £1050.

    For me, the appeal is having Tone Controls, which is more rare on higher end amps, the DACs built-in, and the Bass Management. Plus outstanding reviews in their price class.

    If none of those features has any value for you, then certainly amps like the Music Fidelity M6si are worth looking into. I can't imagine anyone criticizing the sound quality of Musical Fidelity.

    I have a Rotel RA-1570, which I like, so the Rotel RA-1592 would certainly be of interest to me, and the price seem pretty reasonable (£1900) for a 200w/ch amp.

    But that said, despite liking my Rotel RA-1570, I regret not buying the Parasound P5 and the A23 Power amp. It would have cost me more money, but that is the amp I really wanted. The Rotel RA-1570 is the amp I settled for. But in truth, at my current income level, I can't afford either one. Bough the RA-1570 impulse.

    In quality amps with serious power, I'm not sure what else to recommend. There are many higher quality amps, but the generally do not have this level of power. I' biased toward amps with Tone Controls, though on the higher end you are more likely to find minimalist amps like the Musical Fidelity.

    There is another option from ARCAM, the Arcam AS250 (£2500), which is in essence a 2.1 channel AV Receiver with 120w/ch. It has HDMI inputs. An unusual product, but I think there is a market niche for it.

    Arcam SR250 Stereo Receiver available from Hifi Gear

    For me the HDMI really doesn't have much value, and the Parasound will give me bass management which is as close to an AVR as I could ever need.

    Products like NAIM tend to be exceptionally high quality, but relative to this price range, they tend to be modest power. The two models I saw in this price range were 70w/ch. But in a NAIM, 70w/ch drives pretty strongly.

    If the +£2000 price tags put you off, the £1200 Rotel RA-1570 (120w/ch) is a nice and about half the cost of the other amps being considered.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/Bluewizard
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Don't know how much value it is to you, but here is a discussion in another forum about the Parasound Halo Integrated amps. The discussion was started when the Amp was introduced, but wasn't on the market yet. About 300 total posts. I suspect you will get both side of the issue in depth.

    Parasound Halo integrated amp - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

    It is been a while since I was in that discussion, so I'm not sure what you will find.

    Parasound Halo Integrated Amp Review - Stereophile Magazine -

    Parasound Halo Integrated integrated amplifier

    "The Halo Integrated drove both the 4-ohm Magnepans and the 600-ohm Beyerdynamics with such eager and joyful finesse that I am forced to declare: This trio of reasonably priced hi-fi products might comprise one of the best-ever audiophile systems for under $5000. "

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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