newbie question

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Douzeper, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Hi Folks, first post here although I have been reading on and off for a while.

    I have a Sony 5.1 amp, NAD cd player and TDL 10 speakers which i don't think much off.

    I'm planning on better speakers and a new amp for music alone. I have heard about "power amps" and "pre amps" and seen that a lot of people seem to be buying Aaron Power amps.

    Could some please explain what a "power amp" is? how do you use it and what benefit there is? also the same for pre amps.

    many thanks.

    (sorry if this has been asked before)
     
  2. Miniholic

    Miniholic
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    Hi Douzeper,

    Welcome to the forums. :thumbsup:

    A power amp is an amplifier which has no controls, and needs a pre-amplifier to control it's volume/tone etc.. They are considered to give a better sound quality as they do not have to control switching or any other functions, and have their own power supply.

    It can be compared to car audio where the car stereo is used to control a seperate amplifier, all the processing is controlled by the head unit, and the amp provides the power.

    Depending upon the model on sony amp you have, you may be able to add a power amplifier to the pre-outs for stereo use, and add the pre-amp later.

    Hope this helps,

    Ian
     
  3. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Thanks for that! and answered by a man with good taste :)

    check out my website www.ni-minis.co.uk

    str-de475 is my Sony amp, excuse the lack of knowledge here but what does a "pre out" look like? :confused:
     
  4. Knightshade

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    Hi Douzeper,
    It'll be on the back of your amp with the CD/DVD imputs. Your amp may not have them. I don't know the model your using. If you haven't got them it'll start to get expensive....
     
  5. Miniholic

    Miniholic
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    Thought that name was too much to be a coincidence :D

    The pre-outs will be on the back of the amp, they will be phono sockets like you use for inputs, they should be clearly labelled as pre-outs. I'm afraid I don't know the amp you have (not all amps have a pre-out), but there should be something in the manual if you still have it.

    Thanks for the link, I've had a nosey around there before, great site, much better than my effort. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    A Pre Amp looks like an integrated amp. You will have volume and (Sometimes - Tone Balance, controls) on it. Round the back you should have imputs for devices CD's, dacs, dvd players etc. You should also (The better the amp the more you have) have some pre out's enabling you to add power amps. Power amps are either mono or stereo. Monobloc's are considered the better option as there is one power supply and one signal path. However this is a more expensive option.
    With a Pre/Integrated amp and a stereo power amp you could bi-amp your speakers.
    Integrated/pre drives the treble/midrange while the power amp drives the bass. Thus increasing the power to your speakers and tightening up the whole system. Clearer highs, smoother mid and deeper bass. Some people believe this will improve things dramatically.
    I warn you it does get expensive!
    Good luck!
     
  7. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Ian I see you have B&W 602.5s3, I have been looking at them, what do you think of them?

    Don't have the pre outs, so I'll just buy another amp for stereo, thanks for your help guys. Any amp recommendations, anything up to £700
     
  8. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Are you after an integrated amp or a pre/power combination?
     
  9. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Integrated.
     
  10. Miniholic

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    Hi Douzeper,

    I think the 602.5's are great, when I bought them I compared them to the 602's, the KEF Q series, and some Castles and Tannoys (can't remeber which).

    For me it was between the KEF and B&W. For stereo use I would probably lean towards the 602's as the bass is a little deeper, but I felt that the .5's were a better match for the centre (and the bass seemed punchier), and that as I would eventually be adding a sub the deep bass wasn't an issue. Price for the B&W's wasn't a consideration either as the £100 saved by buying the 602's would have gone on stands anyway.

    I bought my speakers back in 2001 when they were first released, so there have been quite a few new entries to the speaker market since, that may well be a better buy. I've no intention of swapping mine (will be adding a pair of 600's to go 7.1 next year, or maybe some 603's and move my others around :devil: ) but try and demo a few different packages before you buy. The Quad 11L's are supposed to be worth a listen for stereo use.

    I can't really recommend any amps as I've not looked at stereo ones yet, that's coming next year too. I'll be looking at the Arcam A65 plus, Roksan Kandy, Exposure 2010 and maybe the Cyrus range if I can stetch the budget a bit (and the minis don't suck up all my cash).

    Happy hunting!
     
  11. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    OK,
    You have a Few choices in that price range.
    Exposure 2010 Integrated (599) I really like these. Excellent all round amplifier.
    Rega Mira (548) again a very musical amp. slightly underpowered but add a power amp to it later and you again have a fantastic sounding amp.
    Naim nait5i (750ish) very musical amp, really good for classical or female vocals.
    You then have the Arcam A85 alright if you like a 'studio sound' with your music. If all you listen to is rock and pop then this may be good for you.
    Companys like roksan and main stream jap stuff doesn't come close to any of the above.
    If you want some more info on any of the above just ask.
     
  12. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Ian, thanks - think I'll definately have a listen to some B&W's, I been eyeing up PSB Stratus Golds as well, but for the life of me I can't find a price for them and that usually means "too expensive" :)

    Knightshade,

    I listened to Arcam 9? i think it was a 9 anyhow. I wasn't that impressed when i heard it, it wasn't a lot better than the £200 amp that we had at the time.
    I might have a look at the Exposure 2010. Friend of mine has just bought a Mistral amp and Cd player, I like them, but i think they lack of a bit of punch.
     
  13. JackOTrades

    JackOTrades
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    just a quick note to say that you should have a good look at the second hand market. for that money you can get pretty good integrated amps
    (exposure, as mentioned, mf, naim...).

    depending on what you listen to more often different amps may suit you better.

    the good thing about amps is that it has no moving parts, so they are a pretty safe bet second hand, and you don't even have to run them in! :)

    if you can audition amp and speakers together, it will make more sense!

    cheers,
    Jack
     
  14. Douzeper

    Douzeper
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    Thanks

    mainly listen to Rock as my favourite band is REM, but also a wide range of music.
     
  15. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Dem the 2010 or the 3010 and look for a second hand one. You'll love it especially for rock music.
    Have to agree with Jackotrades You can get some great amplification for that money. If you see it give the Linn Wakonda Pre and LINN LK85 power combination a try. Second hand you may be able to get them for £700 ish. Don't listen to this unless you find them second hand first. You'll cry!
    Have fun.
     

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