Sound Quality of New Amps vs Older ones + more questions!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by YamahaClavinova, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. YamahaClavinova

    YamahaClavinova
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    iv'e been wondering about this for a good while now, then it suddenly occured to me - why don't i ask people who will probably know the answers!

    here goes...

    my current audio setup is this:
    AMP: Sherwood ProLogic, about 10 years old, bought from Richer Sounds
    SPEAKERS: JPW Mini Monitors x 5 plus JPW passive sub.

    I rember paying around £150 for the amp and £250 for the set of 6 speakers. Both the amp and the speakers got decent 4/5 or 5/5 reviews in the What HiFi mag i seem to remember.

    Now, since Dolby Digital and DTS have been around for a good number of years, i thought it is about time i upgraded my system, so i'm after a 6.1 or 7.1 amp with component and hdmi switching.

    I've been looking around, as usual its very hard to decide on a particular model, but i have a few questions about the sound quality.

    1) My current amp is only pro-logc so an upgrade to Dolby Digital will obviously be a marked improvement in terms of the "surround sound" experience, but say if i spend £200 on an amp now, will the sound quality be noticably better than my current amp?

    2) If you compare a "high end" amp of, say 5 to 10 years ago, to a budget one of today, will the budget amp sound in general be on a par with the much older high end amp?

    3) Speakers - perhaps i should ask this in the speaker forum, but i'll add it anyway. My JPW's sound fine to me, but again, they are 10+ years old, and a little ugly! Would spending and equivalent amount today, say £250 on a 5.1 set of speakers get me better sound quality or just better aesthetics?

    I see amps on ebay which cost £1000+ 6 years ago, now for sale at a couple of hundred pounds. So i wonder if they would sound better than an amp costing a couple of hundred, NEW, today.

    Hopefully you can see where i'm comming from!

    Cheers
     
  2. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    1) I'd say yes, seeing as processing has come on a good way in that time.
    As you said yourself, the step up to DD is massive and IMO, is reason enough in itself to upgrade. Musically, I doubt you'd find a massive improvement.

    2) A high end amp from 5 years ago, will probably be much better, as it's most likely got better components, not really so sure about 10 years ago, as they didn't produce the power even budget one's do now.

    3) Not sure there's been a big jump speaker-wise, but moving to a powered sub would give massive benefits amp-wise, in itself.


    I read just yesterday on here, that someone paid £60 for a Yamaha A2.
    What a steal :thumbsup:
    That would stomp on any £250 new amp.

    Seeing as you're only just making the step up to DD, you couldn't pick a better time. On the assumption that you don't want HDMI, true HD sound and all the 1080 upscaling etc, you can pick up top amps for cheap money.

    And that's the route I'd take. Buy a good quality few year old amp, pump all the money you can spare into a decent sub (check out BK electronics for a good range) and if cash is really at a premium, up the speakers bit by bit later. Starting with a matching front 3, followed by a rear pair.
     
  3. YamahaClavinova

    YamahaClavinova
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    thanks - sounds like good advice to me.

    The ony thing i really do need is component switching, since my projector only has one component input.

    Could you recommend any amps in paticular to look out for besides the Yamaha A2?

    So, i think firstly i'll get a new amp, then get a subwoofer and consider upgrading the speakers if i'm not happy with the sound.
     
  4. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    Well that £60 Yam was a one-off, so don't expect that sort of thing.
    But then, I wouldn't have a clue about prices.
    Hopefully, someone else can give suggestions or you can ask a direct question in a new thread.

    I'd be scanning the usual suspects sites. Yam, Denon and the like for older products to see if you can get a clue.
     
  5. YamahaClavinova

    YamahaClavinova
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    i've just been having a look on the net - came across the YAMAHA DSP-AX1 which cost about £2k in 2000. If i could get hold of a second hand one for a few hundred quid, will that be better than a new amp, say the Sony 1200 that a lot of people seem to buy?

    One more question, with older amps, if i fed an upscaled 720p image through the component input, would the amp be able to accept it or not?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    Tough call, but I'd expect the Yam to be better, quality-wise.
    You're paying for a hell of a lot of whistles and bells nowadays, IMO.
    EG Auto setup etc, doesn't come for free.
    But that's just my view, I might be wrong.
    Best to wait and see what other people think :smashin:

    As for 720p, I doubt it very much. 2000 was well early for HD, even in the advanced countries, IIRC, so can't see there being any call for it then.
    Best bet there is to D/L the manual and look at the specs :smashin:
     
  7. captsmith

    captsmith
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    hi, ive got a dsp ax1 for sale on ebay and im looking to buy a onkyo tx-sr875
    im i doing the right thing in getting rid of the yam, for a newer model,please reply,,,,,
     
  8. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    I'd go and listen to the 875 before making that decision, myself.

    But then, the newer amp may have features you need, that you don't have now.
    Only you can say, as it depends what your priorities are.
    IE, sound or gadgets.
    But just to confuse things even more, you might prefer the sound of the 875.

    I'm not being very helpful am I? :(
     
  9. durk

    durk
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    ive just upgraded from a pioneer vsx 2011 (about 4 years old and £1000)to an onky 875 there's not much in it terms of sound quality but the onkys got some new features that i wanted eg hdmi switching and upscaling. and i needed a new toy:D What i mean is apart from features there bugger all in it.
     

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