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Update amplifier

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by kocl, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. kocl

    kocl
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    I have a Yamaha Av amplifier RXV800 which is good for movies, but i'd like some more for music. The question that i'd like your opinion is. Should i update the av for a new one (capable of good stereo music too) or buy an integrated stereo amp.
    The budget is 2000/2500 EUR.
     
  2. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Yeah go for a high quality stereo integrated amp. Even something at £500 will blow away any £2000 AV Amp.

    And a £1700 integrated will be awesome. I'm afraid I haven't any experience with upper end gear; I have Audiolabs and these are excellent (about £700 when released a few years ago)

    I would use the integrated for L/R speakers and the Yamaha 800 for centre & rears. You could always look around for a processor and a 3 channel poweramp (or a 4 channel and bi-amp centre)

    Make sure the integrated has a direct poweramp input (this bypasses it's own pre-amp section and converts it to a standard 2 channel poweramp) this is useful when sending the pre-out L/R into the integrated (the Yamaha will be the master volume) If if didn't you'll need to set up the integrated's volume to 12 o clock when watching a DVD, then reduce down to normal level for CD's. A bit of a pain.
     
  3. kocl

    kocl
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    i don't know if it matters , the speakers are kef q5,q3 and q9c.
    Which stereo amp is recommend?

    how should i made the connections?
     
  4. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Leave the centre & rears as they are.

    Disconnect the left & right speaker terminals from the Yammy 800. Connect upto the integrated amp's speaker terminals. Connect 2 phono cables from the Yammy 800 L/R pre-outs into the intregrated direct input.

    Look here for a picture on how to set it up.
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67806&highlight=audiolab

    Since your speakers are mid-range, I would look at a integrated amp between £400-£700.
     
  5. kocl

    kocl
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    in that range which amps deserve my attention?
     
  6. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    In no set order of preference.

    Arcam, Audiolab, Rega, Nad, Rotel, Musical Fidelity. Probably lots more.. I would visit your local hifi dealer and ask if you could borrow a couple of amps in different brand/price range. I would not recommend a certain brand/model as I like the Audiolab sound; however some other do not- they prefer the warmer sound of Arcam for instance.

    Don't discount second hand amps... if I had the choice of a new £400 budget integrated or a second hand (when new- £1200) for £400 I would go for the second hand higher quality amp.
     
  7. kocl

    kocl
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    Very thanks.
     
  8. kocl

    kocl
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    Sorry to botter you again, but i still have some doubts.

    What is the advantage from a integrated amp over a power amp, if i'm not going to use the pre amp section of the integrated.

    A power amp only gives too better sound quality or only more volume.
     
  9. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Well the main sound quality loss in a Yamaha AV amp is the pre-amp section. Sure you could just buy a stereo poweramp, therefore you won't use the Yamaha's own poweramp stage. But the pre-amp will still be used for music, and that's where the Yamaha's are let down by (poor pre-amp stage)

    What you do is connect any high quality, stereo device into the stereo integrated amp (ie CD, tuner, record deck)- as a decent amp will have a better pre-amp stage than the Yamaha. And any multi-channel device will plug into the Yamaha (DVD, VCR etc)

    You use the pre-amp section in the integrated for playing back CD's (or any other device connected to the integrated), and then switch over to poweramp input for DVD- you'll then use the pre-amp section in the Yamaha for AV.
     
  10. ChrisA

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    Nathan,

    Some good advice on connecting stereo amps to AV amps, something I'm looking to do and relegate my denon to processor duties. I'm interested in your comments about direct poweramp inputs - do you know if this is the same as Arcam's procesor mode (featured on the A85)? Do you know of many other brands amplifiers that have this feature - I'm worried at the potential to leave the stereo amp at 12 o'clock after having used it for a film and this seems to be a safer option (as well as cutting out one extra set of circuitry).

    Regards

    C

    PS I'd second your comments on second hand equipment - there are some absolute cracking bargains to be had second hand.
     
  11. nathan_silly

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    Chris- yes, the processor mode is the same thing as poweramp input. Although I believe the old Arcam Alpha's were not a true bypass (the Alpha 9 integrated still seemed noisy, as the internal jumper converts into proper bypass, and the noise is gone. But then it's a 2 channel amp only)- it merely set pre-amp gain to a certain; wheras a true bypass bypasses the internal pre-amp section completly.

    The Audiolab 8000S has this direct bypass input, as does the Tag Mclaren 60IRV (update on the 8000S) I know some NAD's and the higher end new Arcam's do- not sure of the exact models though - I would check with Arcam/NAD and make sure. I believe some Linn's also have this feature.
     
  12. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Nathan
    What if you want to run your subwoofer in your stereo set up can this be done with an intergrated.The reason i ask is that i too want to get better stereo replay but i want to still use my sub as my speakers are in a confined area with the ports blocked so it wouldnt be ideal to send them a full signal.I have been toying with the idea of getting the rotel rsp-1066 and rotel rmb-1075 power amp would this be a big improvement in stereo also would i still be able to use my sub in stereo with speakers set to small .
    Thanks Gonzo. :confused:
     
  13. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Still possible. If your subwoofer has individual high level & low level gain then adjust the low level first (.1 LFE) then once that's sorted adjust high level gain (stereo)

    The problem is though that for AV you'll probably bypass the subwoofer's own crossover and use the processors own bass management (say 80hz xover) however move to the stereo system and if the subwoofer is still left in bypass mode it'll try and output full-range. Yuk. There are several solutions to this problem..

    Don't use the subwoofer in the stereo system, just the mains.
    Buy another subwoofer for the music system.
    Flip the switch on the sub from bypass/enable internal crossover everytime you flick from AV to stereo
    Finding a subwoofer with two indiividual crossover & gain settings.

    You'll also need to turn off the high-level to the subwoofer when watching DVD's, otherwise it'll mix the .1 LFE & high level full-range as well. :(

    I would connect the high-level speaker from the integrated amp's Speaker output 2, then switch these off when watching a DVD. You'll still need to flick the SVS switch from crossover to bypass though.

    It gets even more complicated if you have two sets of speakers for the AV system and stereo system (as each bass area will be different) Say using floorstanders for the stereo system, and standmounts for AV.. or the other way round (like I have)

    IMO the simplest solution is buying another subwoofer. It's the route I went down. I have two totally seperate systems; a AV system and a stereo system... one subwoofer for each.

    Not the cheapest but no fiddling around once everything is set.
     
  14. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Thanks Nathan
    I did think of getting somthing small like the mj-acoustics sub setting it up only on high level on a arcam A85 then putting it behind the tv out of sight if i did this would i have to turn the mj sub on only when listening to music the rest of the time leaving it turned off ie when watching movies .
    I did run the speakers in large when i was without my sub and it did sound ok but now ive got the sub you really notice what you were missing and iam sure the little mj pro-100 could fill in what was missing in music mode.
    What price range are we talking about in receivers or pre/pro bettering the arcam A85 in stereo.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  15. nathan_silly

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    Your subwoofer configuration is very similar to my ideal setup- currently I have a Rel Storm for AV, Xover on the processor set to 80hz. I'm going to replace this with a SVS PC Ultra.

    My music subwoofer is a Yamaha YST-40 -cheap but only cost £35 :) and will consider the MJ Pro 100 as this is quite affordable (the Pro 150 is a bit too much)

    I have no experience with the A85, however I would guess a high quality dedicated stereo pre-amp and two stereo poweramps or even four monoblocs will no doubt be a huge improvement. It just depends how far you want to go :)
     
  16. ChrisA

    ChrisA
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    Cheer Nathan,

    I'd better get down to the nitty grity on the specs pages of each website!

    Regards

    C
     
  17. fancyabrew

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    I have a similair setup to you. I have Kef Q5 fronts, Q9c and some old Mission Cyrus 780's for the rears. I have the Yamaha E800 proc for the surround but I have an Arcam A85 driving my fronts, along with a Arcam CD82 CD, sounds bloody good
     
  18. kocl

    kocl
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    Can you control the sound only with the av volume, or you must you the arcam too.
     
  19. fancyabrew

    fancyabrew
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    I have a similair setup to you. I have Kef Q5 fronts, Q9c and some old Mission Cyrus 780's for the rears. I have the Yamaha E800 proc for the surround but I have an Arcam A85 driving my fronts, along with a Arcam CD82 CD, sounds bloody good
     
  20. kocl

    kocl
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    How you control the sound only with the av volume, or you must you the arcam too.
     
  21. fancyabrew

    fancyabrew
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    you can control the sound via the Yamaha, as there are a set of outputs from the Yamaha to the Arcam for the front channels
     
  22. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    I use a similar setup atm.

    Yammy DSP e492, kenwood ka3020se.

    Yammy does centre/rears - linked to line in on kenwood, kenwood set to a 'relative' volume of 70%ish.

    Yam controls volume for all.
     
  23. kocl

    kocl
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    what's your opinion about the following amps,
    Arcam 85
    Roksan Kandy MKIII
    NAD C370
    ROTEL 02

    for the integrated amp with the yamaha AV and kef speakers.
     
  24. kocl

    kocl
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    come on, give opinions.
     
  25. nathan_silly

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    Sorry haven't heard any of them. And even if I did my ears are different to yours so it's a bit pointless saying one sounds better than the others. For example I might prefer the Technics harsh sound- you buy the same amp and think it's awful.

    Why not demo a few amps?

    Make sure you find a model with the processor/poweramp function.
     

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