Stereo Amp to add to home cinema setup

Bossk128

Well-known Member
Hi,
I'm looking for a stereo amp to improve my music, that will happily fit into my existing home cinema setup. I'm kind of hoping there are amps in the ~£500 region that have an input that bypasses the volume knob, so basically operating as a power amp only- but just for that input.

I'm planning on plugging my stereo front pre-outs from the Denon into this new amp, and not having to balance volumes more than the initial setup.

Are there amps out there that have a dedicated home cinema input like I've tried to describe? I'm happy to go second hand on an amp, so maybe Ebay will be a winner. I've been watching some Nad 350/370s.

Cheers!
 

proux

Novice Member
Plenty of Arcams eg Alpha 9, A90, some Alpha 8(the R version) and A85, FMJ A32, probably more....

Also Cambridge Audio Azur 840, I think Musical Fidelity A3.5
 

Mr_Sukebe

Member
Can I suggest searching backwards in this forum. Unsurprising, it's a question asked fairly regularly.
As for a definite recommendation, get yourself down to your local dealers. Most manufacturers sound "different" as against necessarily "better". The key point is to find what group does things best for you. As such, we can happily suggest a shortlist of kit from say Naim, Arcam, Cyrus etc, but it's your ears that should make the decision.
 

Bossk128

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the comments people. I understand I need to audition and decide myself which amps are any good, however I'll need to hunt down a short list. I'm not asking which amp I should buy, I'm interested in any amps which have a source pass through. Is there an AV term for this? Or is the functionality I've described in my OP a pipe dream?

Also, is it considered bad form to audition at a dealer, then purchase S/H from classifieds or Ebay etc?

Cheers,
 

lazymatt

Novice Member
If you do go to a dealers for a demo, don't forget a lot of them also sell S/H, and ex-dem stuff at pretty good prices.

I've seen some bargain ex-dems at Sevenoaks for example.
 

Mr_Sukebe

Member
Many of the newer stereo amps have AV-bypass, unity gain, or whatever marketing phrase is now used for the functionality.
Generally it's very easy to check on the manufacturers websites.

As for a shortlist to try out, go find a dealer that can dem kit from Musical Fidelity, Naim, Linn, Arcam and Cyrus. When you make a decision, let us know, always interesting to hear how someone gets on.
 

nsherin

Novice Member
I'd definately give NAD amps serious consideration. From experience, they tend to have plenty of reserve power and offer an open, punchy sound that doesn't become tiring or fatiguing to listen to. My experience is mainly with the smaller brother, the C320BEE, but I can see no reason as to why the amps higher up in the range wouldn't be just as good.

I use mine in a soley stereo setup and it does a cracking job for both music and movies. You also have the option to add a power amp at a later date too.

From what I've read, NAD/Accoustic Energy seem to have a pretty good synergy. Really though, the best advice is to listen with your ears/to a wide range of amps. I'd also add Rotel to your list - always highly rated and they make some lovely monsterous power amps too.
 

Nt016

Novice Member
see my post:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=439493

makes 2 of us looking! ;)

There are quite a few on the market but from what I can see the best at the moment:

Musical Fidelity 3.2/3.5 or 5.0
Arcam A70 (you can get this new for £500)
Arcam A85
Naim 5i
 

Nt016

Novice Member
hmm thx witters - the Cyrus might be more affordable for me...

i would imagine you still advise MF over the Cyrus?
 

witters

Well-known Member
hmm thx witters - the Cyrus might be more affordable for me...

i would imagine you still advise MF over the Cyrus?
Well as ever it depends on your personal preference. The Musical Fidelity, in my opinion, is far better.
 

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