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Which is the best AV amp for £200 - has to cope with ~70% audio though!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Stokie Dave, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. Stokie Dave

    Stokie Dave
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    Hi all. Looking to get an AV amp as I am gonna slowly put an AV system together as I'm buying my own house soon with the missus.

    Looking to spend up to 200 on an AV amp, which for the moment will be primarily used for music. I need it to be as good as say a budget stereo amp such as the Marantz PM4400 audio wise plus I'll get the added benefit of having a tuner on board also which I need to buy anyway.

    I've seen the Marantz SR5400 for 199 inc VAT which seems a good price. Is there anything in particular you guys recommend for the money which have decent music capabilities aswell as decent AV capabilities? I don't expect miracles for the money but want a good solid, well extended bass and generally crisp sound. I listen to dance music mostly so it has to do well with dance, rock, pop etc. Movie wise I like anything that goes, so an all-rounder would be best here.

    Speakers being used: Monitor Audio Bronze B2's which I already have.
    CD Player: Sony CDPXE330 with QED Qunex 1 interconnect
    PC linked up for mp3 source with same interconnect
    Gale XL315 speaker cable but I'll upgrade this at same time as my new amp

    Cheers all :)
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    With a requirment of 70% audio use and a budget of £200 then I would forget an AV amp completely. Start of with a decent stereo amp like the Rotel RA-01 at £250 and add on an AV Amp when multichannel playback becomes more important.
     
  3. Stokie Dave

    Stokie Dave
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    I actually have a NAD C320BEE and I'm finding, the better the integrated stereo amps I listen to, the worse my music sounds! Generally all I listen to is dance music and I DJ with it also. The only amp I've heard (also owned) which does the business is the Marantz PM4000 but it's a bit underpowered, so went for the NAD and I am disappointed :(

    I've done a lotta reading tonight and people are liking the SR4200 for great sound with dance music/rock audio. Sounds ideal for me :) Time I stopped buying all these 5 star bits of kit cuz they sound amazing with classical, jazz etc etc, all the detailed music, and buy something which suits my music instead :D

    A quick question... I take it the SR4400 is a slightly tweaked 4200, as is the 5400 over the 5200? Much the same as the integrated PM4200, 4400's were over my old 4000 - they all had IDENTICAL specs? lol :)
     
  4. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    Stokie Dave,

    Without wishing to cause offense, I have auditioned the C320BEE and was not impressed at all to be honest. The bass was tubby and weak, and it sounded boring. I thought the Rotel was much better, and like you I am a dance music fan. Maybe you should give the Rotel a try as its much more lively and energetic, and just better IMO than the NAD.

    Regards
     
  5. Stokie Dave

    Stokie Dave
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    Cheers mate I might just do that :) I agree COMPLETELY, fair enough the sound quality is there but the bass really is weak, at last someone who agrees :D You usually get everyone praising it purely because they've brought it lol. It does sound a bit boring... not that warm and not a massive amount of energy.

    I will do a bit more digging anyway. I am liking the price of 199 inc VAT for the Marantz 5400 amp though, seems a bit cheap???? Unless I'm looking in the wrong places :D Any shops you recommend online for AV kit?
     
  6. Stokie Dave

    Stokie Dave
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  7. andrew1810

    andrew1810
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    It has just been replaced by the 5500 and 5400OSE so they are selling off the old stock I think.

    I am considering getting one myself!!
     
  8. chrisp1

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    Dunno if this helps, but I reckon you're more likely to get decent results from an AV amp while listening to dance music than other forms. I've got a Harman Kardon AVR 630 and for general listening, I'd agree with other comments here that even a cheap dedicated music amp completely blows it away (try some Musical Fidelity power amps - say XA200's - and a decent pre amp and the gulf is mind boggling. Honestly!!).

    However, I've noticed that the results are much more acceptable with dance type music (I'm old and out of touch - Born Slippey by Underworld is an example I have in mind). If you'll pardon my ignorance, this type of music has a more 'mechanical' sound to it anyway, so shortcomings in the absolute musicality of your system are less noticeable than if you were listening to say, Sheryl Crowe or John Spencer Blues Explosion or something. They sound hideous through my amp. The quality of recording also makes a vast difference. I heard recently an old Blondie analogue recording cut to cd compared to a modern digital recording and it was vastly superior - even through my HK.

    Anyhow sorry for my lack of understanding of modern dance :) !!.
     
  9. andrew1810

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  10. Stokie Dave

    Stokie Dave
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    The Marantz SR5400 @ 199 is tempting indeed isn't in Andrew :)

    I am kinda torn between the SR5400 and the Sony STRDB 795. Does anyone have a recommendation which'd be best for audio using my current Sony CD player (CDP-XE330) and Monitor Audio Bronze B2 speakers? The Marantz is cheaper (I'd love a silver one though, shame they dont do those for cheap) but I hear the Sony is impressive for audio also. Probably 25-30 quid more expensive overall.

    Chrisp1, thanks for the input :) Generally from what I've read about the Marantz (cant find much about it review-wise online) what you say definitely reigns true for that amp. I think an AV amp (well chosen one anyway) would be great with dance music and actually give me the sound I've been after for so long. I do like the odd 'different' bit of music but I can live without amazing sound quality for that lot as it's usually just background music to chill to really.

    So now really it's all down to Marantz vs. Sony. In reviews the Sony is better than the SR4400 but can't find any comparisons to the 5400. Anyone got any input on that one?
     

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