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Which amp to go for?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Pezerinno, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    I know you guys probably get these questions all the time but I'm having a hard time deciding. I'm after an amp for a secondary system I will be taking to uni, room will be fairly small, speakers are Epos M5 bookshelves, source is denon 1910 dvd player and TagMclaren Dac20. Here are a few amps I've been looking at (want to buy second hand/ex dem ideally)

    Cambridge Audio AZUR 540A
    Cambridge Audio AZUR 640A (main difference over 540?)
    NAD C320BEE
    NAD C352CT (again worth the extra over 320BEE?)
    Rotel RA-02 (do need a remote hence no RA-01)
    Audiolab 8000A (something a bit different, is this a bit long in the tooth now though?)
    Musical Fidelity X-80 (originally out of my budget but you can not buy new for £250 - this seems straight away like a league above the other amps although I've heard its quite bright?)

    Also while I'm here, I'm after some speaker stands that take up as little real estate as possible while being easy on the wallet. The Epos M5's are only 17cms wide and 21cms deep. What are the Alphason Akros I-45M speaker stands like?

    Thanks for your help. Nick.
     
  2. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    Hi Nick.
    Got to say, I had a pair of Alphason Akros stands and the curved plastic base on it was awkward, fault cheap, and wasn't that sturdy. For the price, there's much better stands out there. I'm using Alphas Aragon AG stands. Found quality to be miles better. 50cm high ones cost me £50 delivered. Base is probably larger, but the product is of a far higher quality too.


    I dont know the amps you were saying, but the BEE gets good reviews is all I know..

    Hope this helps somewhat

    Dan
     
  3. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Rotel RA-02
    MF X-80
     
  4. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Thanks for the reply Dankeech, what are your views on the alphason AD50-S speaker stands? These also offer a relatively small footprint but look of better quality than the akros.
     
  5. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    Nick,
    Never seen these stands, but they don't have those tacky plastic bases. I'd hazzard a guess that these will be solid, sturdy and they look nice as well.
    The AG series has two extra front poles which make my stands rock solid, but I suspect the AD50s would be solid. What speakers will you be placing on top?
     
  6. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    oops. Epos M5's. Should have read your post more carefully. Best guess is they'll be fine. Appear smaller than my Evo 1's, so will assume fine.

    I wouldn't recommend getting these unless they come with (or you have) sandfill or ballast material to put down the centre stand. The ballast will deaden any sound coming out, but more importantly shift the weight balance so it's not so top-heavy. Stand should then sit firmly upright with no intention of toppling.

    Remember; Blu-tac still the best way of sticking standmounts to their stands. Tend to find is an accident awaiting to happen without it lol.

    Dan.
     
  7. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    The stands do come with 'Mineral Aggregate' which alphason describes as 'Sound Sink Filling that reduces unwanted vibrations'.

    Sorry Colin you obviously wrote you reply as I was writting mine - thanks for your opinion. How much do you think I should be paying second hand for the rotel and MF amp assuming mint condition? Also have you heard others describe the MF amp as bright sounding?

    Thanks again. Nick.

    EDIT: Forgot to add, if there are any other amps you think I should be looking at please say :thumbsup:
     
  8. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    £200 Tops second hand. Nope not heard it described as bright.

    Sony ES (Ebay) £100-150 or Primare A20 £250-350.
     
  9. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Is there much difference between the A20 and the A20MKII?
     
  10. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Mk II has pre-outs. One was for sale on HFC the last few days for £250.

    (Primare sounds very good with that particular DAC) :smashin:
     
  11. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    I see I just missed out on that Primare - I do read HFC forums a lot but never got round to registering. Not sure what would be best out of the MF or the Primare...
     
  12. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    cough Primare cough.
     
  13. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Found one, supposedly mint condition for £295 - will see if I can get that down a bit.
     
  14. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    I'd suggest looking at Naim... can get a Nait 3 on ebay for around £250 and it'll blow the socks of anything else in your list - IMHO anyway.
     
  15. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Back when I was demoing for my main system at home I tried some Naim gear (admittedly not nait 3) but didn't really get on with it - thanks for the suggestion though :thumbsup:
     
  16. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Socks blown off ? what have you been smoking Scott ?, I would also note that to use the Nait 3 you will go through the hassles of having to source DIN-RCA ICs and due to the design around a fixed LRC value to suit the amplifier have to use 3.5m of NAC5 speaker cable as per Naims advice for that amplifier. Socks firmly on.

    Give me a Primare A20 anyday of the week.
     
  17. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Lol @ CJROSS. I've heard the primare A20 remote doesn't include a pause button, sounds very trivia but could actually be quite annoying without one..
     
  18. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Pause button on an amplifier remote explain ?

    The remote for my A30.1 does not have one either.
     
  19. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno
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    Rofl, I just read my post again - think I've had to much coffee... I was just reading reviews on the net of the primare A20 and someone said there was no pause button - hewas obviously refering to his cd player. :boring:

    Just seen a high def image of the primare - looks lovely :)
     
  20. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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  21. karkus30

    karkus30
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    It would be interesting to explore why that was ?

    Naim gear isn't really all that extreme, but it can suffer from long term abuse and short term listening syndrome.

    Naim gear needs to be left switched on for at least a day before it sounds right. It also has great reliability, which means that many amps are in need of a service when tried from a s/hand source. The capacitors of all equipment deteriorate and Naim is no exception-8 years old max.

    A lot of people use them with strange cables or poor quality speakers and source equipment :nono: Naim gear requires quality source equipment and speakers and requires the use of plain, ordinary 4mm sq copper cables. NAC A5 is most used, but its only a 4mm sq copper cable.
     
  22. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    my 2 pennies worth here - I've just bought a MF x-80 to replace my nad c350...the nad is a warm sounding amp with good bass - excellent for ambient style music, the mf is much more in your face, better sound staging and imaging, but on some tracks the bass wasn't as good...at this kind of price range I would probably say that the amps you listed - they are all about equal, butr the do have different characteristics...bext to demo first...

    once I've done some testing I'll be selling one, not entirely sure which one tho!
     

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