Which budget amp?

gwarde

Active Member
Setting up a low budget system I have a REGA Planar 1 along with my trusty Monitor Audio Bronze BR1. Looking for an amp to go with them, I seem to be edging towards the Rega IO or Cambridge Audio AXA35. Would either of these be a good choice, or is there something better at a similar price point (Marantz pm6007 is pushing the budget a bit). Any suggestions welcome. Thanks
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
If it’s between the two, my vote would be for the Io every time. It’s a superb amplifier; highly engaging and musical. Nevertheless, CA are no slouches and I’m sure the AXA35 is very good. Only an audition between the two will settle it so you can choose which you prefer. Richer Sounds are the only shops which sell CA so you’d need a demo there. The Io phono stage is very good: it’s the same on as in the Brio.
if you were willing to go second hand, the options are almost limitless.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
2nd hand at this price point is the better choice, but the IO is more then enough for the BR1.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Rega is famous for their power outputs (watts). The Rega with its punchy, fairly neutral sound well tame MA midrange/treble nicely.

Cambridge is an oddball... Quite neutral sound. Still I think you’ll miss the punch of the Rega.

Marantz is the most musical of the bunch, don’t be fooled by the low watt ratings. It can handle many speakers.

You haven’t considered the Yamaha AS301, AS501, AS701? If watts is important too you, then perhaps consider these ones.

One brand I have no experience with is the Audiolab 6000A. It maybe worth a listen.

Deon also has similar budget amplifiers in the same price class.

Still if you buy used amplifiers you can be very lucky and get the Yamaha AS701. Or if you can stretch your budget and buy it brand new.

Oh, listen to them first.
 
Last edited:

gwarde

Active Member
Thanks for all the advice, sounds like the IO is the frontrunner. Hadn't really considered used but it is a very good point and I will certainly look into the Yamaha range. An outing to listen to my preferred choices is a definite 👍
 

gwarde

Active Member
Taking the advice given, I've started delving into the used market, it is an absolute minefield. One product that has caught my eye is the Rotel A11 tribute, anybody out there own or owned one that can give an opinion. Would this match well with Planar 1 and MA Bronze BR 1 speakers. Thanks
 

gwarde

Active Member
.... on a similar note, is there any real difference between the Marantz pm6006 and the 6006 uk edition. Thanks again!!
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Taking the advice given, I've started delving into the used market, it is an absolute minefield. One product that has caught my eye is the Rotel A11 tribute, anybody out there own or owned one that can give an opinion. Would this match well with Planar 1 and MA Bronze BR 1 speakers. Thanks
Hi,

I own an A11 Tribute (with a CD11 Tribute). I have these paired with a Project Xpression Carbon turntable and the Monitor Audio Bronze 5s. I find this combination really works for me. I like a nice open soundstage, decent imaging, enough detail to satisfy but with an overall forgiving, smooth sound that hangs between or behind the speakers, not forward. I feel this combination largely meets my expectations. The sound stage is not as wide than some other amps I have heard, but what happens between and a little beyond the speakers is very satisfying. In my view, the A11 Tribute is quite detailed, but also smooth...music just flows. It wouldn't call it bright though, and it is definitely not warm (to me). I would say fairly neutral with plenty of detail for the money. The bass is a little restrained, very natural, but if you like an amp with big, fat kicking power, this one may be a little refined and reserved. I bought it to replace a very warm sounding Denon PMA600ne, which had plenty of muscle. The difference was quite dramatic. One issue that come up for me was that it hums a little. Rotel said this is normal, as the unit is a little sensitive to noise from the mains. Its very faint and only audible when a foot or so away from the unit, and certainly not audible when music is playing, even at very low volume. There is no hum from the speakers.

Of course, this is just my impression, so take it for what it is :) I would also put a little nudge in for a NAD D3020 v2. Its small, like the Rega Io, but has a DAC and digital connections if you need them. It also stands upright and is a great space saver. It provides a similar amount of power (on paper), but is definitely a bit on the warm side. Its also Class D, so if you are a purist, it may not be appropriate.

Good luck picking an amplifier. I hope you find something you enjoy :)
 

password1

Distinguished Member
If you don't need a remote, the Cambridge Audio A1 mark 3 would be an excellent pairing and more than enough power. It has similar rated wattage to the IO at a fraction if the price.

The pm6007 is no longer budget priced and around £500-£550 there is lots of choice.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The pm6007 is no longer budget priced and around £500-£550 there is lots of choice.
At £550 you're just short of Rega Brio territory. At that price point it would have to be the Brio.
 

gwarde

Active Member
Thanks all, some great inputs. I can feel myself edging towards the Marantz range, probably try and find a lightly used PM6006 UK Edition or at a push PM6007 but suspect that may be a bit too rich for me. I know it's possibly seen as the safe bet, for a long time the Rega io was the top of my list but not sure if my speakers are OK with it, especially with the lack of bass & treble controls. The search goes on!!!
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
Your money and your decision completely but I would still recommend the Io, especially if you’re using vinyl. The phono stage is very good. With the other amps, you may find you need an external phono stage. I really would try and have an audition somewhere.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Any bass boost, loudness or tone controls should best be avoided.

Why don't you spend some of the budget to upgrade the speakers.
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
If you are set on the Marantz, this PM6007 is a absolute steal:
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
If you are set on the Marantz, this PM6007 is a absolute steal:
Well, it’s just been snapped up. Did you grab it?
 

gwarde

Active Member
If you are set on the Marantz, this PM6007 is a absolute steal:
HI all, a quick thank you for all of the inputs, and a big thanks to Costello, I have taken the plunge and purchased the one month old Marantz he highlighted for me. I have totally taken on board the advice about avoiding Bass/Treble controls but the Marantz deal was too good to pass on. My thinking being that if on arrival it doesn't suit me I can always sell it on and probably recoup the majority of my money and re-visit the Rega io. Wish me luck and thanks again, it's been enlightening!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I have totally taken on board the advice about avoiding Bass/Treble controls but the Marantz deal was too good to pass on. My thinking being that if on arrival it doesn't suit me I can always sell it on and probably recoup the majority of my money and re-visit the Rega io. Wish me luck and thanks again, it's been enlightening!
Nice. Use the tone controls, no shame in that. Some recordings are horrible.
 
D

Deleted member 824153

Guest
I did indeed, great find. Too good a deal to miss, especially at one month old. Many thanks.
You’ve done well. That was a crazy bargain. You can’t lose on that. As you say, you could move it on without losing out, or it will see you through a speaker upgrade. Happy listening!
 

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