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Naim AV2 vs. Tag DP update...

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by targetrich, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. targetrich

    targetrich
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    Having read the last thread, it's clear that both are very highly thought of. I now have a NAP 250.2 and NAP 175, so that's the power amp side of things done (both bought on ebay, incidentally). My source is still the Tag DVD32R, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I've also just bought Naim speaker cable and have a Proac CC1 in my sights to go with my Proac D15's.

    So The weak link I reckon is the Tag AV32R, which hasn't been upgraded at all. What I'm minded to do, subject to any suggestions, is get a Naim AV2 and separate preamp (the best I can afford, maybe a NAC 202 or even a NAC 282). What worries me is firstly the cost, as the preamps need at least one additional power supply (is this right?). The second thing is the space they will all take. I only have 5 tiers, one for the LP12, one for the DVD32R, one for the processor and the remainder for the power supplies (including a phono stage, flatcap to power the phono stage, and the Linn Lingo!). HiFi is taking over my living room!! The final worry is compatability, the DVD32R to the AV2, and the AV2 to a Naim preamp.

    Any ideas? :lease:
     
  2. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Go active speakers.

    I did and in one fell swoop binned a lot of big, heavy and hot! boxes.
     
  3. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Or.....go american.

    Long interconnects to the power amps, located near their relevant speakers hence saving rack space.
     
  4. jayjay

    jayjay
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    A 202 or 282 will need a powersupply. That can either be a separate power supply or a compatible power amp. The 250.2 can't power a pre, I know that for certain. The 175 I am not so sure about but as it's designed to power centre and rears I would suspect not.

    So I think you're going to need a flatcap, flatcap2, hicap or supercap. Any will work so it's budget dependent. A flatcap would be quite cheap so that could be a good way to get you started.

    J
     
  5. targetrich

    targetrich
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  6. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    :D :D :D

    Been there. Burnt the same cash. Came out the other end with my set up, but poorer than a man that has been mugged, his bank accounts emptied, then mugged again!

    But it'll be worth it in the end.................................. :suicide: :)
     
  7. damenace

    damenace
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    Well, have you tried the AV2's preamp capabilities for stereo yet?
    Of course use "direct" mode and not "stereo", but have you?
    I could imagine it being a step up from your current preamp and maybe you would be happy with that, at least for the time being.
    Space is an issue only you can resolve. I don't think you will be able to get past this unless you use the av2 as a hifi-preamp also.

    And if I may say so, if you have the chance, think about the Naim Axess centre. I owned the ProAc CC1 and used it with my Pioneer VSX-D2011 and the CC1 was simply not good enough. Not musical, lacked grunt, sonic-depth and was not really too good on vocals. I bit the bullit and upgraded to an Axess and the difference was enormous. Well worth it's money! A definite must-have in my opinion. Make sure you compare the two!

    I don't really see the advantage in going active so much. Of course you save space, but you are stuck with whatever poweramp is built into your speakers and can never upgrade the poweramps or the speakers without having to spend big money. I personally like to have everything separate, just like pre-power instead of integrated, so at any stage you can upgrade freely.
     
  8. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    How much power do you need?

    Well as many of you know I have been looking for a long time for a new amplifier. I have posted questions both here and elsewhere, as well as quizzing many shops who are trying to sell me the amplifiers. What has become apparent is how few people know how much power is needed. I am fed up with people telling me I should buy a Rotel as it has good current capability. To be brutally frank these people don't understand how amplifiers work or more to the point how the amplifier / speaker interactions work. So I decided to write on how to work out how you pick 'what you need' and then you can compare it with what you have. Many may then be surprized just how far 'from the mark' they are. This is the main reason for the differences people hear between amplifiers as distortions rise with output power as the amplifier approaches it's maximum output. I am not really talking about continuous output here as this is relatively low but more the very large peaks (that get distorted if you have too
    little power). If people want to see more info on this I can add it a later stage.

    So what matters:

    1 Amplifier output (in Watts)
    2 Speaker sensitivity (in dB for 1W input at 1 m)
    3 The room or more importantly how far you sit from the speaker?
    4 Do you use equilization?
    5 Do you use a subwoofer?
    6 How loud do you listen to music?

    Not once have I been asked 3 - 6 in the shop, and only about one time in two am I asked about point 2!

    A watt is a watt. This may sound daft but a watt from a SE Triode amplifier is EXACTLY THE SAME as a watt from a Krell or a Bryston or a Tag (substitute your favourite here). The ability to drive a low impedance may be different for valves and transistors but it not down to power per se but more the stiffness of the power supply used. Don’t forget sensitive speakers are not always easy to drive. Kef Q series have always been real buggers to drive well due to low impedance swings in the bass region.

    Speakers are just 'dumb' devices and don't know what they are doing. Give them a watt and they produce an acoustic output according to their sensitivity but it is hard to correlate amplifier power in watts with acoustic output. We
    need to specify amplifier output in dBW so look at this table for a few common ones (and the odd extreme)

    10W 10dBW
    20W 13dBW
    50W 17dBW
    100W 20dBW
    200W 23dBW
    250W 24dBW
    400W 26dBW
    1000W 30dBW

    every doubling of power gives another 3 dB of acoustic output.

    Right for the important bit. A decent system should be able to produce 100dB of sound, an ‘enthusiasts’ system really should be looking at 105dB and the anal retentive should aim for 110 dB (). This will allow any music to be reproduced comfortably. 9 This is why nominally the same quality amplifies (say Bryston SST range) sound different (better) with the increase in power. The amplifier is actually the same quality but it is not driven into the peak clipping range. Look inside the 120w, 300w and 600w Brystons and you will see the same quality components, only the power is different.

    Right, do you remember loudspeaker sensitivity being rate at 1m distance? Well I suspect that few of you will listen at more than 1m from your speakers and you therefore have to ‘correct’ for this. In theory there is a 6 dB loss for each additional 1m from the speaker. In ‘practice’ 5 dB is a better figure to use (as we don’t live in anaechoic chambers).

    Right armed with all this information it is easy to calculate the peak capability of a system. Take the loudspeaker efficiency, add the dBW figure for the amplifier and deduce the additional loss from a more distant listening position.

    So for

    Speaker 87 dB/ 1m
    100w amplifier (20dBW)
    3m from speaker ((3m –1m ) * 5 dB =10dB

    we have 87 + 20 – 10 = 97 dB

    actually well below my minimum (WAF) 100dB specification quoted earlier and miles away from the anal retentive 110dB despite the fact we are talking some very ordinary everyday figures here.

    So in my case with 92dB speakers, at 3 m listening, wanting 110dB peak I need an amplifier of

    110 – 92 + (2 *5) = 28dBW

    This equates to just over 500w, say 600w approx. Now my speakers can just about handle this sort of power but most can’t. I also have one of the more efficient speakers available, for most people, this will be MUCH worse (ie even more power) and now you know why amplifiers sound different.

    A few things to consider.

    Using a sub woofer will greatly ease the situation as most of the ‘power’ is required at low frequencies. Equilization may or may not effect power requirements as well. The louder you listen to music, the potentially the worse it sounds Finally if you bi amp your speaker you may be able to gain an additional 4 dB head room so this may actually be VERY beneficial, perhaps even more so than a nominally bigger amp?

    So the bottom line is I think a 600w amp is what people really should be aiming at for normal speakers / room. This is ‘wide’ of the current mark. Why are we so wrong?

    Still so sure your amp is fine at driving your speaker?



    Lifted from a certain thread mentioned elsewhere. This was a major influence in why to go active.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    :rolleyes: hey that looks good stuff :rolleyes:
     
  10. liam_b

    liam_b
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    That mostly looks good except for the section on SPL and distance. What you need to use in the 'Inverse Square Law' which (basically) says that doubling the distance from the source reduces the Sound Pressure Level by 6dB.

    if 87dB at 1M, then 81dB @2M, 75dB@4M, 69dB@8M and so on.
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    you may be right on that, I seem to remember doing this for 1m and adding the last bit late one night for people with big rooms :) I think it was corrected in the text on the original thread from memory. However my 5dB value was much more 'real world experience' as opposed to theory, which generally only rings true for Anachoic chambers. My 10dB value is little different from the value you are expecting for 3m. though the description needed to tightened up I agree. The conclusions are the same.

    Re going active, saved me pots of cash :)
     
  12. targetrich

    targetrich
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    um....thanks.

    So, just so it's clear, I should sell my entire hifi and spend all the money on an america super-amplifier. Or something.

    I'll wait either for a cheap second hand AV2 or Tag DP to reach Ebay. Let fate make the choice for me.
     
  13. damenace

    damenace
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    Best of luck with the current AV2 on eBay then.
    I guess you are referring to that one. If I may say so, do remember that the one on eBay will need a chip upgrade. It was free of charge in October, but I do not know whether it still is.
    Anyhow, you need a chip upgrade, which used to be free, and a software update, which they will do for free.

    Good luck, should you be bidding.
     
  14. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    5 mins to go.
     
  15. damenace

    damenace
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    Is anybody here hrdc99? The winner of the auction?
    If so, we both paid more or less the same price (mine was 15€ extra, but it was upgraded already).

    I think the dvd5 should be up for auction more often :D maybe one could grab a bargain then :cool:
     
  16. Henry

    Henry
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    That'd be me!!! Small world, eh? Just put my AVR300 up for sale on this forum and am now looking at the power amps for the AV2! Any suggestions welcome!
     
  17. damenace

    damenace
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    Hmm. Depends. Are you looking to buy Naim poweramps? If so, I would recommend maybe skipping the 150x and going straight for 200 plus a 175 or better.
     
  18. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Yup a 175 and 200 should be ideal really... :) But don't underestimate the 150 as they are very competent and will go far louder than the figures suggest!
     
  19. Henry

    Henry
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    Got a 180 and a 202 already with flatcap and NAPSC. :) So I was going to stick with the 180 for the moment and add a 3 channel amp. Any ideas as to where to get hold of a reasonably priced 175. Not sure I can run to anything beyond that at the moment! :rolleyes:
     
  20. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    Err not sure how great a deal that is, but you still get the 3 yr warranty etc and they will ship to a nearby dealer... they'll also move on price if you push hard :)

    Naim NAPV175 3 channel power amp Ex Dem
    £1,300

    £1,099

    Ches

    From - http://www.audio-excellence.co.uk/offers.html
     
  21. damenace

    damenace
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    Well, it does have the advantage of warranty.
    But, you could get it a bit cheaper s/h.

    I bought mine from a very friendly guy via PFM and paid 850 GBP including shipping within the UK for it. Excellent condition. No problems so far. I could have demoed it of course, but living in Germany I had to buy it blind. But then again it's Naim Audio, so risk is limited.

    But I do not know of anybody selling right now. You could try an start a "Wanted" thread there. You might get lucky. Or call some dealers. They might be able to sell you ex-demo.
    But you might have a slight sound-unbalance using the olive 180 with the av2 and a NAPv175. But I'm sure you'll love it ;)

    Sorry I can't help you any further, but I'm sure you'll find one if you look hard enough.
     
  22. Henry

    Henry
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    Sorry. Forgive my ignorance. What's PFM?

    Probably true. But can't do everything at once!!! Sadly!:(
     
  23. damenace

    damenace
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    Oh, my mistake. PFM is PinkFishMedia http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/ . A forum where you can discuss and buy and sell stuff in the "audio classifieds" section. You could start a wanted request there. You might get lucky.

    P.S.: You should get yourself 24 - Season 3 & 4 ;)
     
  24. targetrich

    targetrich
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    I won a NAP 175 in a recent ebay auction for £640, a really bargain, and I collected it from a chap who was plainly the right sort of chap to keep his hi-fi properly. That, together with the NAP 250.2 I recently won on ebay from a hi-fi shop for £1450 makes me a very happy bunny indeed!

    I didn't bid on the AV2 that went yesterday, the seller had no feedback, I have no money, and it went for more than I could afford anyway! Best of luck with it though. I note Tag DP's go for sale in Germany more often , so I may look abroad for the processor in the end.
     
  25. damenace

    damenace
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    640 for a 175? Great price. How old? And a NAP250.2 for 1450??? Are we talking ebay.co.uk here or some ebay in FantasyLand?
    Congrats on those two steals!
     
  26. targetrich

    targetrich
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    the 250.2 is 2 years old, and the 175 is 3 years old. I was prepared to bid more! The dealer who sold me the 250.2 was unhappy as he'd taken it as part exchange, valued at £1600.

    It does lead me with an processor dilemma though!
     
  27. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    £1500 is good for an AV2.

    Even allowing for their scarcity and the pic chip upgrade it needs.
     
  28. targetrich

    targetrich
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    I'm sure it is, I spent the afternoon at Music Matters in Birmingham being taken from the Naim range and assured as to precisely how good the AV2 is. I couldn't afford £1500, and I suspect that if I wait and get lucky, I'll be able to pick up one cheaper somewhere, somehow. To back me up, I've already had a couple of absolute bargains!
     
  29. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I was always under the impression that 2nd hand Tag stuff was always cheaper here in the UK than anywhere on the mainland. There have been several occasions that i am aware of where our foreign friends have bought from or even travelled to the UK to save a bob or two.
     
  30. damenace

    damenace
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    I usually buy my Naim from the UK too. It's just a lot cheaper than Germany.
    Actually, I bought : Pair of Allaes, Intro IIs, NAP200 (ex-demo from dealer), NAPv175, MJ Acoustics Ref 1 Subwoofers (new from dealer and even the in Germany formerly unavailable mkII at half the new price in GErmanY!).
    I did buy my av2 in Germany though and it seems that I wouldn'T have saved anything in the UK as we effectively paid the same. Mine's one year younger (a 18...model and already including the chip upgrade) but otherwise they are all the same anyway ;)

    @Targetrich, I'm not sure how easy it will be to find a better deal on an av2. I have only seen them on eBay three times. Once before I was interested (selling for more than they did now), one I bought and now this one. Dealers sometimes have them, but usually sell them including a NAPv175 at a combined total of 2700 GBP. So a lot more. Audio-T for instance has had this offer in three or four different shops over the last few months.
     

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