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Streo Amp for music and movies

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by meep, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. meep

    meep
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    Hi

    Need advice on sourcing a decent stereo amp to drive my B&W CDM 1NTs for music but which will also work driving the l/r in movie mode. (receiving pre-out from Pioneer D-2011)

    Should I be worried that stereo amps are rated 30-60W while my receiver has 100W output per channel? Will that be a mismatch?

    (Originally started taliking about this in a thread re. speakers but it fits better here)

    Budget around €500 for the amp.

    Thanks
     
  2. nathan_silly

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    Only me!

    What you want is a stereo integrated amp with direct input (which bypasses it's own pre-amp section)

    A Audiolab 8000S, Tag 60IRV will do this. Plus some Arcams and Nads- although I've found the Arcam input noisy (wheras Audiolab/Tag a dead silent)

    Regarding power, no it won't matter about different amplifier power outputs.

    Use the Pioneer's pre-out channel adjusment to match the integrated amps poweramp in section... there's a thread on these forums which I've contributed... wait one second...

    here...

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67806&highlight=audiolab

    Scroll down to the picture for setup info...
     
  3. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Just to add to Nathan's comments that any Stereo amp can be used, but if there is no fixed level or direct input you will have to set the volume control to a calibrated point (calibrated by you using the test tones on your AV amp) when using it for AV.

    The reported problem of the Arcam's fixed level input being noisy was with the older Alpha series (now only avaliable second hand) ... the current A75+ and A85 have none of those problems (that I'm aware of).

    For the money you've meantioned (500 Euros ... so around £300-350 GBP) usual recomendations would be to demo the Rotel RA-02 @ £350 (or RA-01 @ £250 - identical but no remote), the NAD C350 and Arcam A75+ unless you were looking at second hand kit.

    The Arcam has a fixed level input; the NAD can be used with an external source selector between the AV amp pre-outs, the NADs pre-amp and the NADs power amp sections; and the Rotel will require you to set the level manually.

    Hope this helps

    Vikki
     
  4. wookie

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    NAD C370 @ RICHER FOR £300
     
  5. michaelab

    michaelab
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    True - but there's an added gotcha which will having you tearing your hair out in desperation in very short order:

    If your stereo amp has remote volume and understands the same volume commands as your AV amp (quite likely - this happened with my old Arcam Alpha 6 and my Marantz SR4200) then you'll have to find some way of blanking off the remote receiver of your stereo amp so that when you change the volume on the AV amp, it doesn't change with it the volume on your stereo amp that you've just carefully set to the calibrated position :mad:

    I can tell you now that blanking off a remote receiver is not as easy as it might sound - a little sticker (even a black one) won't do - the IR receivers are remarkably sensitive. In the end I used a short bit of old black angle iron so that I could remove it easily (otherwise of course you no longer have remote volume when you're just listening to music).

    As a result of all this I made absolutely sure when I upgraded my stereo amp that it had a unity gain mode (the Arcam FMJ A22 does) so no more bolloxing around with IR blanking and fiddly calibrations :cool:

    Michael.
     
  6. MuFu

    MuFu
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    Bloody hell, that's a good deal. :eek:

    MuFu.
     
  7. sceptic

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    A good reason for getting the Rotel RA01, at £250, which doesn't have a remote.
    I've been deliberating for some time about the usual favourites - Rotel RA01, NAD 350/370, Rega Brio- but this has really tipped the balance in favour of the RA01 paired with my AV amp.
    Good thinking Batman:clap:
     
  8. meep

    meep
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    But sceptic,

    How will you control volume from music listening without getting up from your chair :confused:

    Peter
     
  9. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Micheal ... know exactly how you feel.

    We had an RA1060, then bought the RSP1066 which uses same codes for source selection and volume :-( fortunately we were planning to get a 5ch power amp pretty soon so wasn't too much hastle.

    Peter ... same way as we did until 3 years ago when all stereo amps started getting remote controls ... shout at the kids / train the dog :)

    Vikki

    PS ... I wouldn't get another stereo amp to use with an AV amp without a fixed level input ... but at 500 euros not sure if he'll find much choice.
     
  10. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    michaelab


    I congratulate you on your purchase of Dynaudio Contour 1.3's

    A very fine pair of standmount speakers.


    Adzman
     
  11. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Why thankyou kind sir :) But how did you know I'd only just got them? Are you on the GrooveHandle.org forum aswell?

    Michael.
     
  12. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    Michaelab.


    I lurk in the shadows @ Groovehandle...

    The Contour 1.3's are some of the best standmounters i have heard........(without committing open wallet surgery)

    A 5.1 setup consisting of 1.3's would sound smack on i reckon!

    Adzman
     
  13. michaelab

    michaelab
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    I would have to agree :D

    I reckon it would, but my budget won't stretch that far...I'm more into music than AV anyway so I think it would be overkill. I am however considering changing my rears and center to Dynaudio Audience 42s as they should have a better tonal match to the Contours.

    Michael.
     
  14. Gambit

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    Hopefully I'll be upgrading my 42's to contour 1.1's in the near (6 monthish) future as I have to agree, the contour range is one of the best I've heard:clap: Good on yer Michael for a wise decision.
     
  15. sceptic

    sceptic
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    If the music amp is connected to the A/V amp pre-out front speaker sockets, then the remote for the A/V amp controls both.
    Or am I talking rubbish :confused:
     
  16. nathan_silly

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    You'll plug the CD player/tape deck/tuner into the integrated amp, not the AV amp. So you'll need to use integrated amp's volume (for music)- not the AV amp.

    [edit] slight change - in brackets.
     
  17. sceptic

    sceptic
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    Oh dear. I'm wrong again.
    I thought that the A/V remote controlled both amps by connecting this way.
    This puts things in a different perspective.
    Back to the drawing board.
     
  18. michaelab

    michaelab
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    Well, you are partially right. The volume on the AV amp is the only thing you need to be worried about if you're watching a DVD, and if you plug your CD player into the AV amp then it will also work, however, then you're not really making the best use of your stereo amp.

    The main reason people use one in an AV system is so that it can be used for music directly without the inferior (usually) AV amp/receiver getting in the way.

    Of course if you get the Rotel RA-01 you will have to control volume manually when listening to music - you'll have to decide if that's a 'hardship' you can live with :) In your situation and with your budget I would go for a non-remote stereo amp just to avoid the troubles I mentioned earlier.

    Michael.
     
  19. sceptic

    sceptic
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    I really don't fancy listening to music without a remote.
    Glad I found this out now as I was on the brink of getting an RA01.
    Maybe I'll try the Marantz Pm6010KI from Richer at £200 or maybe the NAD370 at £300.
    Or maybe the..............
    Damn it. :(
    I'm back where I started but at least I'm not spending any money and maybe a new favourite will soon emerge. Too many maybes
    Anyway, thanks for the info.
     

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