Stereo amp help please!

Al89

Novice Member
Hi, I've recently upgraded most of my system and now running dali opticon mk2 and bk sub through a yamaha rx a6a avr.
I am wondering what benefits I would get from a dedicated stereo amp in my setup. I do enjoy music and think the Yamaha does a decent job. I'm aware that a stereo amp would do a better job. My questions are
1. How much would I notice the difference (obviously stereo amp dependant) but is it a huge difference?
2. What stereo amp would best suit my setup?
I'm aware some of the more expensive ones have HT mode but having just spent a fair whack on my new speakers and AVR I'm not wanting to spend a fortune on a stereo amp.
With this in mind would a middle of the road stereo amp make an improvement? Do I need to be spending more to notice a difference?

Completely new to the stereo amp game. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
I run a Denon pm1600ne 2ch amp and the difference between that and my Yamaha AV amp is quite a lot, better bass definition, more clarity, cleaner more open sound, wider soundstage etc etc.

If you were only thinking of spending £300-400 it's not going to really give you that much over the Yamaha as they are generally pretty decent amps anyway, However once you step it up to the £1000 mark and over then you would definitely see a big improvement.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Depends almost entirely on your budget and if you’d be happy buying used?
 

StefanBFC

Well-known Member
Hi, I've recently upgraded most of my system and now running dali opticon mk2 and bk sub through a yamaha rx a6a avr.
I am wondering what benefits I would get from a dedicated stereo amp in my setup. I do enjoy music and think the Yamaha does a decent job. I'm aware that a stereo amp would do a better job. My questions are
1. How much would I notice the difference (obviously stereo amp dependant) but is it a huge difference?
2. What stereo amp would best suit my setup?
I'm aware some of the more expensive ones have HT mode but having just spent a fair whack on my new speakers and AVR I'm not wanting to spend a fortune on a stereo amp.
With this in mind would a middle of the road stereo amp make an improvement? Do I need to be spending more to notice a difference?

Completely new to the stereo amp game. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

What's your rough budget?

Are your Dali's towers or bookshelf? Are you running a full 5.1?

You've bought a high end AVR there.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Have to say if your looking at around £1200-£1600 budget quite a bu=ig difference it then down to what you want from them amp i.e. Built in streamer/sub outputs or all analog?

A Hegel N95 might be a good option.
 

Al89

Novice Member
I would be happy to buy used if it is worth it but not even sure what models or makes to look at. I was originally thinking around £700 Mark but maybe need to wait and stretch my budget then?
 

Mark wrs

Standard Member
That Yamaha isn't a cheapo budget entry level model, it's bigger brother the rx-a8a gets a thumbs up for music from the what hi-fi team, so I'd imagine the rx-a6a to be of much the same quality only a little down on power, so you'll need to be prepared to dig rather deep into your pockets to get a reasonable uplift in performance , something around as suggested above but I'd go even further and say £1600-£2000 for a worthwhile upgrade, Have you thought about changing the speakers, I'd say the Dali's would be the weakest link here, maybe think about running the opticons as surrounds and a level or two above for the main fronts, something from the Rubicon range or similar. I believe that's where best bang for buck may lie.
 
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gava

Well-known Member
Hmm you have a £2,300 AVR and have £900 bookshelf main speakers? Is that right? Are you using a surround package at all?

I'm not saying the Opticons are poor speakers, but I suspect you will get a lot more from a speaker upgrade than an additional amplifier.

If you only have 2.1 setup at the moment then you could keep the Opticons as rear surrounds and get better main speakers and also improve your AV configuration.

Your AVR also support the addition of a power amplifier for some of the channels as well as HT bypass, so all your options are open.

Yamaha has very solid electrical engineering, so making a really significant upgrade to your sound from that source will potentially cost a lot of money. Say you spend 5-10k on streamers, DACs and amplifier for example. Probably with those speakers you wouldn't really be able to hear it reliably in a blind test. Spending even a fraction of that on speakers will make a huge difference by comparison.
 

Ataripower

Well-known Member
Interesting as I pretty much did the same thing. Bought the A6A thinking I'd use it for HT and stereo duties but found it lacking in that department. Ended up going for an Arcam Sa30 for 2 channel duties.

Naturally that then frees up a couple of channels on the A6A and allows you to go full 7.1.4 which is awesome.
 

stranger

Well-known Member
This would do what you require it has HT bypass and an excellent pre-amp.

p-42371-musical-fidelity-m2si-amplifier.aspx

You may find it for less, also the MF M3i should be around on the s/h market and is virtually the same amp, (the MS 2si was derived from the MS 3i)
They were introduced at circa £1000 and were great value at that imo.
 

Zarf2007

Active Member
The Rega Elicit-r has HT bypass and can be had for £900-£1200 second hand, that will show a marked improvement or as others said you may need to upgrade your front LR
 

QuestShield

Distinguished Member
I was thinking of getting an Audiolab 6000A which gets great reviews to partner an older Yamaha AVR with pre outs..then I read this review of the Yamaha A4A so I'll probably just get what l that. I want Atmos anyway. If the OP has the A6A probably no need of a stereo amp for music.


Music
One of my main reasons for getting an Anthem prior to this was its musicality. While not perfect it had very airy highs and an almost Harmon Kardon like presentation. It didn't do that great blending with my sub however. I hooked this new AVR up and without running any calibration I could tell it was going to sound excellent. it has a very full, warm sound in my setup. Vocals don't sound thin and are very realistic. Excellent stereo imaging. For an AVR in this price range, it is the best I have heard for sure. I also have an Audiolab 6000a integrated amp for pure music listening. I'm having a hard time telling which one I like better for music. This AVR with my sub or the Audiolab for pure stereo, it is that good. I have been running A/B tests between the two and I'm warming up to the Yamaha.
 

njepson

Novice Member
Hi use a second hand Naim Nait XS, think I paid around the £700 mark and I'm so pleased with it. So musical, despite being around 10 years old. I can highly recommend. It has a bypass so you can run your pre-outs on the receiver and continue to use it for home theater.
 

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