Power Amps or Processors - Which upgrade path?

Jase

Distinguished Member
Just out of sheer interest. What do you consider the better upgrade path. Power amps for an existing integrated amp or add another processor and use the existing integrated amplification?

I´m leaning towards the power amp route personally, decent amps that can really drive the speakers well. Its a bit of a "chicken & egg" question but I´m curious as to what others think.:)

Pro´s & Con´s if possible please!!
 

Guest
Jase.
If my memory serves me correct, you have an upgraded AVC1SE?

I reckon the signal processing in that unit is pretty cool!, so perhaps a power amplifier would be a good first upgrade.

I suppose the upgraded AVC1SE has all if not 98% of all current sound formats etc..etc.. (you'll be able to tell me), so you can retain all those little tweakers and be able to power them up with a big metal box of amplification on the side......

You'll know of all the usual suspects for power amps.
So with the denon, i would imagine that it will sound rather spiffing!

Then you can really blow your nest egg on a processor
As b4, you'll know the usual processor suspects.

So perhaps if you buy the power amp 1st, you can retain the Denons signal processing whilst injecting some juice into it's plugs.

Adam.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Adzman
Jase.
If my memory serves me correct, you have an upgraded AVC1SE?

Spot on Adam!:)

For formats it´s got pretty much everything I´ll ever need and also some that I´ll never use (DTS 96/24! Where´s the software???:p ).

Actually this thread is sort of Eric´s fault for mentioning a couple of power amps that I originally tried to track down last year but without any luck!

Bryston was (still is!) at the top of my list but I´ve also started to look at older monoblock amps such as the Denon POA 4400 (found one over here for sale) and the 2 channel Denon POA T2 & T3 (3 channel). All fairly hard to come by though.

It was also mentioned that adding a Processor such as the TAG would reap benefits over the A1SE processors, but I´m not too sure that will be the case.:confused:
 

Guest
Jase.
Yes indeed, the Bryston power amps are excellent.
I had a demo of one a while back and thought it was great!
I had set my heart on getting one but found an ex-demo Parasound HCA-2205 for a good price, so i decided to purchase that instead. The Parasound is another quality amp and is built like a truck. I consider it money well spent!..

Processing wise i suppose it's the flexibility and upgradability of the units that's most appealing.
For instance, the TAG AV32R has had various upgrades along it's lifespan since it's first footsteps which has negated the need to buy a new model as new sound specs appear...
Seems that every 5 minutes Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha et al are releasing new models to take into account the changes in the audio spec. I suppose the initial outlay of a good processor can be a little wallet crushing, but by the time you add on all the sundries to the base item, you've probably done yourself a good bit of business.

Me?...I jumped into the Meridian camp.
I thought the 568 was fantastic in 2 & multi-channel.

Adzman.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
The upgradeability is one of the main issues, definitely. Whilst Denon have already offered a comprehensive upgrade, I doubt that it will happen again. Onkyo are offering upgrades on their flagship amp as well, so hats off to them for that.

I´m pretty sure I´ll go the power amp route, just getting feedback from those that have done it.:)

Be interesting to hear what the members who have changed processors instead of going to power amps have to say & what benefits they gained, sound quality wise as against newer formats (mind you, the two go hand in hand to some extent).
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
I would go the Tag processor route first and then add amps. Your Denon is good but the Tag will perform / compete at the highest level (MC12 etc). I think you will notice the biggest difference here.
 
C

Couch Potato

Guest
Jase,

I used to have a Yam DSPA2 which I added Rotel amplification to and there was a small but noticeable difference, I then added a TAG AV32R and sold the DSPA2 and noticed a huge difference :D

You will also benefit from a huge 2 channel increase in performance.

Good luck!!

Steve
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Nic Rhodes
I would go the Tag processor route first and then add amps. Your Denon is good but the Tag will perform / compete at the highest level (MC12 etc). I think you will notice the biggest difference here.
I actually found two TAG processors over here for sale, 1000 & 1200 quid respectively (yes, you read the prices correctly!). Rang up today and both have been sold. Obviously not popular over here or they would have been more expensive.
 
C

Charlie Whitehouse

Guest
Not really! I met the gentleman (yes I think that's appropriate!) today!! :D
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
;) I know who it is.:D
 

gazzerr

Standard Member
Let me guess - will we be hearing about Gallo's driven by a TAG processor???
 
C

Couch Potato

Guest
Originally posted by Nic Rhodes


yes maybe, but you might be surprized by our new member............:D
OK I'll bite...... who?

Steve
 
U

uncle eric

Guest
Steve,
To my ears (and I've got big ones), the Tag AV32R192-BP with its new DAC's sounds as good if not better than anything I've ever heard including the MC12 and many other exotica on the market. This is the main reason I've gone for the Tag. I also couldn't see the relevence of paying twice as much money for features that are for me redundant. I will never use multi zone for one. I also cannot see the point in paying for 12 channel capability when, after two years there are still only a handfull of 6 channel discrete dvd's out there. I'm not saying the MC12 is overcooked, its a trully superb machine that is arguably the most future proof machine on the planet.
Having said that, TAG's track record regarding upgrading is beyond reproach and I don't see that philosophy being put by the wayside.
All in all, I've ordered a machine that in my view sounds as good as anything on the planet, and have money left over for Sainsburys.
My advice to folks thinking about buying the top of the range Denon or Pioneer reciever and parting with 2.5k is to stop. Take a deep breath, find another £500 pounds and join the TAG club
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
The AV30 is very nice and great value, it is only a short distance off the 32 and better than the receivers IMHO BUT it can't be upgraded to 192 status. 32 does sound better but not by a huge margin. Having said that it is still pretty capable and should see many through many years. Recommended.
 

Guest
Here i am....all alone.....me & my 568.2

I'm the official Billy No Mates

Adzman:)
 
C

Couch Potato

Guest
Originally posted by uncle eric
Steve,
To my ears (and I've got big ones), the Tag AV32R192-BP with its new DAC's sounds as good if not better than anything I've ever heard including the MC12 and many other exotica on the market. This is the main reason I've gone for the Tag. I also couldn't see the relevence of paying twice as much money for features that are for me redundant. I will never use multi zone for one. I also cannot see the point in paying for 12 channel capability when, after two years there are still only a handfull of 6 channel discrete dvd's out there. I'm not saying the MC12 is overcooked, its a trully superb machine that is arguably the most future proof machine on the planet.
Having said that, TAG's track record regarding upgrading is beyond reproach and I don't see that philosophy being put by the wayside.
All in all, I've ordered a machine that in my view sounds as good as anything on the planet, and have money left over for Sainsburys.
My advice to folks thinking about buying the top of the range Denon or Pioneer reciever and parting with 2.5k is to stop. Take a deep breath, find another £500 pounds and join the TAG club
Welcome to the club Eric, hope to see you over at the TAG forum too.

What're the S150's like with the TAG (If you've got it yet) also looks like you could be in for a traet with the new scaler in the AV192R chassis should be better than the Cinematrix :devil:

Steve
 

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