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Not happy with music from 3802

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by MarkE19, May 18, 2003.

  1. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Ok so the answer is to add a sterio power amp, but having just spent over £6K in September on all the rest I don't have too much spare cash. So what can I get that will give a real improvement when playing music for around £200?

    Mark.
     
  2. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Marantz PM6010 KI from Richer Sounds. £200 I believe - blow your Denon into the weeds for musical ability.
     
  3. wilber

    wilber
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    Go to £250 (£225 if you haggle) & get a Rotel RA-01 - fantastic
     
  4. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Do Denon Do Power Amps? My most recent addition to My system is a Pair of Monoblocks to improve stereo, I would reccomend this upgrade to anyone the sound is fantastic. If you can get a power amp with the same gain as your 3802 then you can Bi-Amp.
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    £250 should not be too much of a problem :rolleyes:
    Where do I look for a Rotel RA-01?

    If the upgrade bug keeps going I'll trade it all in for an Amstrad :devil:

    Mark.
     
  6. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Don't just add a power amp ... it will hardly make a difference ... you need to add an integrated amp ... something like the RA-01 (already meantioned) or the NAD C320 will suit you well.
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Ok, next dum question.....

    How do I intergrate an intergrated amp with the 3802. I know you use the front L/R Pre-outs on the 3802 to the new amp, but how do you then set it up from there? I thought you would use the pre-amp in the 3802 to control the external amp(s). Do you just use the volume on the new amp to balance with the receiver?
    Will the Rotel RA-01 be powerful enough to use for L/R for movies? It's only 40wpc and the 3802 is 105wpc. Or do you somehow use the 3802's amps to drive the L/R for movies?:confused:

    Mark.
     
  8. Jimmysil

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    Hi Mark

    What you do is, you connect the two amps as you said, the denon front preouts going into the inputs of the stereo amp.
    The front speakers should be powered by the stereo amp all the time.

    The best thing to do is run a test tone sequence on your denon and then adjust the volume on the stereo amp so it matches. You may want to put a sticker or something on the stereo amp so you don't forget the good volume setting when using the denon as well.
    Or What Hi fi suggest putting the stereo amp at 12 oclock and adjusting the other out put levels on the receiver.

    For music you connect a cd player directly to the stereo amp and the denon remains off.

    Hope this makes sense.

    This is the same setup I have with my yamaha 630 receiver and my Arcam Alpha 7 amp.

    About the power issue not too sure on that. My yammy is about 70watts and the arcam is 40 watts, had not trouble, but I don't have it that loud.

    Cheers

    Jimmysil
     
  9. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Don't worry about quoted power ratings ... Denon's 100wpc is probably in reality only about 40-50w when all 5 channels are driven. In addition, Rotel (and NAD for that matter) are very capable amps that can provide current readily unlike most integrated AV amps.

    Having said that ... the 603 speakers aren't the easiest speakers in the world to drive, so make sure you demo both the amps at £250, and compare to the higher priced amps. No point spending £250 on a RA-01 now if its not going to drive your speakers to the levels you want and you're going to want to buy a RA1060 later cause it's more powerful.

    Vikki
     
  10. pwiles1968

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    As said above Wattage is not an issue it is the current (Amps) capability, AV amps can not compete with a dedicated amp and when they try do drive low, midrange and treble suffer as a result. The 603's do need to have a large current reserve on tap to keep them in check.

    I must however disagree with the comment that a power amp will make hardly any difference, my monoblocks have added greater detail, cohesion in the soundstage and bass performance not only going much lower but also tightening up the base and they aren't run in yet.:smashin:
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I was only running 602s ... but found there was no improvement using a pair of Rotel RB970 MkII amps with a Marantz SR5200 ... not sure how much the Marantz monoblocks you have cost ...

    The reason that you won't get *much* improvement with just power amps is that in *most* AV amps the problem with stereo sound is the pre-amp section, not the power-amp section. Yes with difficult to drive speakers, adding power amps help ... but I would say that spending £250 on a integrated amp will do more for stereo music than spending £250 on a power amp (just my opinion and YMMV of course)

    Vikki
     
  12. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    The monoblocks are 125W THX approved AV/Hi-Fi units and are supposed to be £260 ea, Unbeatable were doing them for £180 ea. No more expensive than a decent CD Player and much greater system improvement.
     
  13. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well thanks everybody. Some good advise to be getting on with.
    I am now off to see if I can get a demo of some amps :) before starting the nightshift :( . If they can do a demo I will let you know how I got on later tonight.
    Keep the suggestions coming as I doubt I'll buy anything tonight.

    Mark.
     
  14. boogie man

    boogie man
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    what about the rotel RB-1070 POWER AMP i myself has a AVC-A1SE in movies just excellent but in sterio it was not up there so i added the power amp to it & Wow :clap:

    now it excellent in all mode's

    Boogie man:smashin:
     
  15. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Have you tried using the digital coaxial output of the Toshiba and using the Denon's DACs for stereo music? I found that the sound was MUCH better when I did that with my Tosh 900 and Pioneer AV amp compared with the analogue outputs.
     
  16. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I've got optical leads from both my Tosh SD900 and a Pioneer CD-RW and have tried playing CD's on both with analogue & digital inputs used on the 3802. Neather player or connection give results that sound outstanding. The DM-603 S3 should give far better results.
    Have arranged a demo on Friday afternoon at HiFi Experiance on Tottenham Court Road. The salesman there suggested that a £300 amp would give slightly better performance, but to be really good I would need to spend £500 up! Luckily he still had a 3802 in the store so should get close to my home setup for the demo.

    My credit card is starting to melt already, and Uncle Eric hasn't got the 9200 remotes yet!:suicide:

    Mark.
     
  17. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Take it nobody agreed with me that the Marantz PM6010KI is a better stereo amp than the RA-01???

    Bummer for you!
     
  18. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Dimmy,
    as I said I will be demoing amps on Friday. If they have that amp then I just might agree with you. If not where in London can I get a demo?
    Thanks for your advise.

    Mark.
     
  19. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Dimmy ... no one has disagreed with you ... I've never listened to the Marantz 6010Ki ... but from what I have heard at £350 the RA-02 is the best amp in that price bracket ... and the RA-01 is an identical amp except for not having the remote control. Of coruse the RA1060 is an even better amp ...
     
  20. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Why oh why did I ever start this upgrade? :confused:

    Ok so I went to the demo.
    First off I listened to the 3802 into DM603's
    Then hooked the speakers up to a RA-02. Sound was far better. Deeper clearer bass, better separation across the sound stage etc.
    Then hooked up to a RA-1060. Slight improvement over the RA-01, but not IMO a £2/300 improvement. But with 60wpc would probably be a better mix with the 105wpc on the 3802 for movies.

    RA-01 £250/RA-02 £350
    RA-1060 £550 or £470 for ex-demo unit

    So what do I do? I don't want to save a bit of money now, and then scrap the amp and update later, but also don't want to spend more money than I need to now.
    Could I bi-amp with the 3802 and RA-01 to get a better sound or would this not be a good idea?

    What do you recommend I go for?
    What other options do I have. If I sell the 3802 for around £400 I could then spend up to around £1000 (ouch! :rolleyes: ).
    As I thought, the budget is going through the roof. Perhap I should have put a quote in to build the millenium dome or the British libruary. :D

    HELP!
    Mark.
     
  21. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    I bought the Arcam CD72t cd player because I didn't like the stereo repro of my Sony coupled with the AVR3802. The difference imo was a vast improvement over my Sony for CD playback. The Avr3802 is excellent at DD and DTS on movie playback but only adequate at music. I then went for the Arcam A75+ integrated amp (£375) to finalise the upgrade for stereo. The increase in performance over the denon was fairly substantial but not as much as buying the designated CDP.
    The formula's for stereo repro imo are as follows:-
    Sony DVDP(Tosh maybe better?)+ DenonAVR3802= Adequate
    Arcam CD72t+ DenonAVR3802= Very Competent
    Arcam CD72T+ Arcam A75+= Stereo Heaven (in this price point).
    I must also mention I was listening through B&W 602 S3 speakers at the time , but, upgraded to my Linn speakers last week and feel I'm in audio nivarna at the mo.
    Hope this helps.

    Hope you get sorted soon m8.
     
  22. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Thanks Hawklord,
    I think half my problem with sterio is that just about everything I listen to is multi channel. Even the TV is through the amp as DPL2 and therefore sterio music just sounds flat.
    I do have a sepparate CD player, well it's a CD-RW (Pioneer PDR-555RW) and suspect that this will not give the best results on playback. I was thinking that another CD (player only!) might improve things and the player I was listening to today was an Arcam (don't know the model).

    Oh well, here we go again!

    Mark.
     
  23. Hawklord

    Hawklord
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    If you buy a mid range cdp and use the CDP dac connecting with anologue interconnects and switch your denon to direct mode you may be supprised at the better sound. I was initially very happy with the increased performance the cd72t (£395) gave me and went a little further with the a75+.
    I think your best bet is to try different cd/ amp combo's and see which gives you your best performance increase- CDP , int amp or both.
    I think the B&W's will sing with either or both -as always it comes down to what your prepared to spend.
    I thought I had got to where I wanted to be then forked out another £1600 upgrading to the linns- it's neverending .
    Still I'm extatic about my set up now and it will keep me happy for many years to come (i Hope!)
     

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