stereo amp, which one?



I've decided that, in an effort to solve the problem which i wrote about in a previous thread (AV Forums > AV Hardware : Audio > Speakers and Subwoofers > Poor quality sound from my home cinema/stereo system), I'm going to treat myself to a dedicated stereo amp and keep my av amp for movies only.

I have set myself a budget of around £150 which i understand will get me an amp with better stereo performance than a much more expensive av amp. What amp would you recommend at that price? Being a complete newbie I have no idea what to get.

Stretch your budget to £250 and get a Rotel RA-01 (which is the £350 Rotel-RA02 without RC). Or second hand wise a Rotel 971 for £150. Great amps IME. Sony ES/QS amps are also buyable at £150 great VFM.
Try and get an ex dem or s/h Arcam A75+ (around £230ish). This is a quality amp that also has an av in mode so you can connect your av amps pre-outs to it and have the av amp control the gain (no fiddling with two volume controls). It will improve stereo over your existing av amp (unless >£800 imo) and drive most speakers effortlessly (well it does my Ninka's fine). Since they have been superceded by the A80 you can pick them up for around half price if you shop around. The diva series of amps can also be improved by adding a power amp to bi-amp your speakers. I'm in the process of getting a P80 to do just that.
Try and get a home demo of a few amps to see if your happy with the results before you buy. The source your using for music will also have an effect on your stereo performance too so you may benefit from better stereo performance with a designated cdp over a dvdp.

what av amp and source are you using?
Brand new Marantz PM7200 for 250 in gold from Superfi or even less from Richer (Black only)

For what it's worth it beat the comparable Rotel/Rega/Arcam etc.. amps in a £200-370 amp supertest if that sorta thing appeals to you.

From a more practical side, I got one a few months ago and can't fault its sound - but I use it with a CD6000 OSE LE (also marantz) and for AV in conjucntion with a SR4200 (again marantz) - but then I kinda like the marantz sound :)

If you have to stick to 150 its a shame as IMO decent amps really start at around the 200-300 mark.

Try looking at NAD too

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