Stereo amp to improve Marantz 5200

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by sceptic, Oct 4, 2002.

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  1. sceptic

    sceptic
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    I'm fairly happy with the stereo performance of my 5200 but keep hearing that a dedicated stereo amp will be much better.
    I know that I should audition amps but don't know of anyone who will let me home audition without any commitment to buy.

    sooooo........... any advice on what amp at below £400 will give a major improvement for CDs ?

    Thanks
     
  2. texasboy

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    Hi
    You would be get better results using a stereo power amp, arcam P85 is great or P75+ both would be an improvment.

    Good luck.
     
  3. sceptic

    sceptic
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    Hi Texasboy.
    Thanks for replying.

    I've been unsure whether to look for a power amp or a good stereo amp like the NAD320.

    I'll shop around & try to get good price for the P75+
     
  4. Radiohead

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    The main question I'd ask would be why you feel the need to spwnd the money if you're fairly happy with the stereo performance you're getting from the SR5200.

    You don't mention what source or speakers you're using, nor what sort of music you listen to, nor the sort of room/volumes used for listening.

    If dealers won't allow you to home-demo, how about taking you're 5200 to them?

    It's not quite as simple as dropping £400 plus on an amp - especially as the 5200 is far from shoddy with 2-channel.
     
  5. sceptic

    sceptic
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    Hi Radiohead
    The reason for wanting to improve the stereo sound is because I keep reading how crap A/V amps are at stereo.
    I'm using a Marantz cd6000ki and Mission 771e speakers on Atacama stands.
    I listen to rock/pop music in a room 26 x 15 feet - not too loud.

    Cheers
     
  6. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    AV amps are "supposed" to be poor with 2-channel stereo, and some are - but I'm far from convinced that some are as crap as the music press would have us believe. I've never encountered an industry as reliant on smoke and mirrors as hi-fi, and I've been an avid hi-fi fan (I hesitate to use the word audiophile) since 1990.

    Marantz in particular have an excellent heritage with 2-channel amps, and have worked hard to extend this ti their AV amps. I think they've largely succeeded with the x200 range.

    I have an SR7200, and use a Sony CDP-930XE as my source, with B&W DM601S3 speakers - and I think the stereo sound in excellent. I've demoed several £350-400 amps and didn't think that any perceived improvement was either a) especially obvious, or b) worth the expenditure to me (after all, £400 buys you a lot of CD's and it's important to remember that we buy hi-fi to enjoy music, not the other way round).

    I suppose what I'm getting at is that don't be pressured into buying a stereo amp purely because people/reviews are telling you that AV amps must by definition be crap with stereo. Remember that a review is often just one person's opinion (and often no less valid thatn your own opinion), and that they're not spending the money, you are. By all means demo some, and if you can really hear a difference (making sure it's not just a case of Emporer's new clothes) then splash out. But if you can't hear it then trust your own ears and don't accept that, to you, the SR5200 is crap.

    You've got an excellent source and very decent speakers, so they may benefit from a stereo amp - but it's your ears and them alone that will tell you whether this is the case.

    I'm not convinced about using an Arcam power amp and running the 5200 as a pre-amp either - they may not balance too well.

    Now - there's an argument to suggest that if you do spend £400 on a stereo amp, your speakers might want looking at - you see where I'm going with this.....


    :devil:
     
  7. seven

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    Hi
    Would be interested in your thoughts as to why "in your opinion"
    tha arcam would'nt match up with the marantz, is this something
    you have tried or heard ?

    some good points there.
     
  8. Gomez

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    100% ACK

    Couldn't have said it any better. I'm using a Marantz SR 7000 and a Sony DVP NS 900, and hell, this Marantz Amp is really stunning.

    I purchased it 5 months ago at an extremely fair price.

    Right now, I am looking for some decent bookshelf speakers for Stereo (and additionally the matching center and rears).

    I've demoed the B&W DM 601 S3 at home for some days, and I am very convinced that you won't find a better combination for the price.

    Until now, the B&Ws are top of my list, with Monitor Audio and Dynaudio still to come. ;)
     
  9. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    A friend of mine has an SR6200 and tried matching it to a NAD power amp - we gave it a good listen but it just didn't work and sounded worse that the 6200 on its own. I think it's fair to say that a general rule of thumb is to use pre and power amps that are intended to be partnered.

    There may be others here who can say otherwise, and I'd be happy to hear of any experiences to that end.
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    you are going to have to swap/change bits and pieces, and find what gives the best improvement.

    The quality of the DAC's in A/V can compramise stereo performance, so if you have a decent CD player, use analogue connects, and use 'pure' 2-channelon the A/V amp.

    Or you can try a dedicated 2 channel power amp, and connect it to your preouts on the a/v amp.

    There are a number of options you could try, but the only way to find which is best, is to try them!!
     
  11. konghh

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    I will just relate my experience so far.

    Got a Yamaha RXV630. Much more musical than previous RXV596. Good enough for me to live with it. Then someone passed me a NAD C270 power amp that's hooked up to the 630's pre-out. Initially, didn't seems much different and thought it's a waste of money. Extended listening over the week find the C270 has more dynamic headroom, better defined soundstage. Switch back to 630 and initial impression is again not much difference but on extended listening, starts to miss the C270.

    Took my speaker to another friend's house with a NAD C370 integrated. (Yes, I know that the CDP & room acoustic are different). Find the sound more refined and starts to realize that the 630's pre-amp section left it's "imprint' in my setup. I am now going to get myself a C370 permanently.

    Your mileage might vary.
     
  12. sr78

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    I have an SR4200 driving my B&W CDM7NTs. While the 4200 performed very well with my old speakers (Goodmans Ministers), the B&Ws are a lot more demanding. So considered upgrading the amp. I listened to a number of AV amps around 700-800 quid, but none of them gave a real improvement. Then I decided to listen to some similarly priced stereo amps, and that's where the improvement became obvious. I treated myself to an Arcam A85, due to arrive Tuesday. I'll post results, but if it sound as good as in the shop... :)
     
  13. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    Yours is a good example of a budget AV amp powering some pricey and very good speakers - this is less true of sceptic's set-up, where the 5200 and 771's are a better match.

    The A85 should sound great with the B&W's though...
     
  14. sr78

    sr78
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    To tell the truth, I don't think a 400 pound stereo amp will provide you with a really significant upgrade in performance compared with the 5200... I didn't hear a lot of difference between my 4200 and an NAD C350.
     
  15. Guest

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    The point is to match the various components in your system and you have done that already. If your CD player was a CD17 KI then I would say upgrade your amp as well as your speakers. But to be honest, you're probably already getting similar performance to a Pm6010, for example - which is also a good match for a CD6000.
     
  16. Mac

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    Following on from the threads. Why do people think that analogue for stereo is so much better than pcm?

    I have a 6200 and a nad 521i cd player - the soundstage seems better using the coaxial connection.
     
  17. Guest

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    It's the combination of transport, DAC, and analogue output stage that makes a CD player what it is. If you think the DACs/analogue output stage of a 6200 sound better then great! It makes sense that Marantz will use the same (or similar) PCM DACs in their AV amps as in their lower end CD players (I'm guessing here though!).
     

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