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Which Processor/Power Amp should I buy

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Northmoorblue, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Northmoorblue

    Northmoorblue
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    I am thinking of going for a Processor / Power Amp combi. I am a complete novice, so would like some opinions & experiences on which makes or models you would recommend I should consider.

    It will be used for music, but will have a biased towards films. I would also like it to do up conversion if possible.

    I have a budget circa £2K. Where should I put my money?

    Northmoorblue
     
  2. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    Rotel RSP 1068 Processor
    Rotel RB 1075 Power Amp 5 channel.
    approx £1800 rrp

    Don't see why you can't get it for £1550 - £1600 if you haggle hard or less if you get a second hand.

    Then you spend the rest on a DVD player :) If you actually have £2000 to spend on just the amp / processor then get a 2 channel as well 1070 for the front L and R that way you get 7 channels of amplification and you should be able to haggle and get that for around 2000 I would have thought.

    Steff
     
  3. booktrunk

    booktrunk
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    Oh... I know you said processor / power... but you could also consider say an Arcam AVR300 and a P90 to bi-amp the front 2. I bet this would be a pretty darn good combo for sub £2,000.

    If you go second hand then TAG etc...
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    TBH if buying new then I think the option recommended by booktrunk is the only processor/power combi within your price range. You may well get different power amps, but there is a definate lack of processors at around this price point (and even at a fair bit more).
    I can also agree that the Arcam AVR-300 would be an excellent compromise and if only running at 5.1 you can use the 2 spare amps to bi-amp the fronts.
    If you do want to go for a processor then there are many very good s/h processors available - often a couple in the classifieds section of this forum that you can be fairly sure has been well looked after by another enthusiast.

    Mark.
     
  5. simoncope

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    I agree - the Rotel is really the only option around this price. It is quite a big step up to the next price point. I guess you are looking at Linn's Unidisk SC (DVD/SACD player plus integral processor) coupled with their 5125 5-ch power amp - that's a nice total of around £4800... but of course it includes the DVD player!
     
  6. Northmoorblue

    Northmoorblue
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    Thanks for all your tips guys.

    Considering at present whether to increase my budget, to give me more choice, or go for an integrated amp?

    Northmoorblue
     
  7. marck

    marck
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    I agree, for that budget, my money would be on the Rotel. I think you would have to increase the budget significantly to get a package that is better.
     
  8. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Do you have to buy new ??

    You could pick up a Tag processor and a Parasound power amp for that money.

    Or say a meridian 561 processor and Parasound power amp.

    If you don't mind the used route then you will get alot more for your money, and save alot more when you want to move on again.
     
  9. chrisgeary

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    mm, i second the.. er.. second-hand recommendation :)
    you get a lot more for your money, and for things like amps and processors, you cant go wrong really, no moving parts! i worked it out once, the kit you see in my signature, if i had bought it all brand new, would have cost me around £15-£18k. I paid approx 40% of that figure buying s/h and ex-dem kit. the only things i bought brand new were my SVS, BFD, DVD player and a few components i bought when i was much younger.

    if you are not confident with ebay or private sellers, there are usually good deals to be had at your local hifi stockist when one product line is replaced with a newer one, even more deals if you are prepared to drive a few miles. try www.ex-dem.co.uk and see whats around!
     
  10. 337GUS

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    If you do need all the latest gizmo's such as video upconversion etc then you could go for a well specced mid range receiver with pre outs and add a good quality power amp to it - either stereo or multichannel. Then once funds allow you can sell it on and replace with a dedicated processor.

    I also recommend the used / ex dem route - saved me a lot of cash over the last couple of years. :D

    Gus
     
  11. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I would go 2nd hand, at which point a large number of options become available, many in another league to what you are currently considering,
     
  12. idhutt

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    S/H Meridian 568 ~ £1600 + remainder on a 5 ch amp to suit your speakers.

    That will give you brilliant music and films at a much much higher level of quality then if you spend the same on new equipment.
     
  13. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    The meridian is stunning!!
    I just sold my 568.2 for £1625 this week and bought a Tag as a bit of a downgrade, the Meridian is in a different league, on films it is far better and onn music, well, it just doesnt compare.

    add a £500 parasound to it and you will be laughing :)
     
  14. rags

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    Theres also a Arcam AV8 up for sale at £1800.
     
  15. Northmoorblue

    Northmoorblue
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    Thanks again for all you suggestions so far

    Iv'e learnt of an american company looking to get into the european market called Atlantic Technology with there A-2000/P-2000 combination. Anyone else heard of them? Any comments?

    Northmoorblue
     
  16. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    You seen the power buy at £1395 on the other side for the Atlantic Technology pre/pro ??
     
  17. Cmoth

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    There are also a couple of Lexicons knocking around in the classifieds. I have owned one myself for last 5 years and as yet have heard nothing superior for sensible monies. They are definately more film biased then music, but i have to say i have no grumbles from a music point of view. This option will leave you around a grand for a decent 5 channel power amp. Depending on your room size, this option will offer you Logic 7 which can be used in 5 channel mode or full 7 channel mode which is very impressive. Sadly i dont my average sized living room warrants the extra speakers or expense.
    Colin
     
  18. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I chose to go 2nd hand Meridian 561, and would've gone for a Parasound amp (I was looking at 2nd hand and ex-dem models from £525 - £1000) if I hadn't bought active speakers.

    gizlaroc
    I was surprised to see you looking at the AV32R given how much you've waved the Meridian flag. How are you finding the Tag in comparison?

    EDIT removed the question 'why' as I've just read your thread that explained why you changed.
     
  19. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    The Tag is OK, to use as a processor in the family room it does the Job pretty well, the Meridian was absolutely supberb though. I originally bought the 568.2 over a Tag DP so it shows where I put the Tag in my order of preference.

    I lost my dedicated room and got a lounge and a big bedroom instead and thought I would release some money in the Meridian to build a 2 channel system in the bedroom.

    I am now above my business and I can't really play the home cinema at -0db anymore and when you are down to -15db there isn't as much in it, the meridian could be played at -0db and it was such a superb sound no one in the room ever said turn it down, you don't get that with the Tag, or with the Lexicons I have owned, the only thing I have noticed that I really miss is the way the 568.2 fills the entire room with surround effects, the Tag doesn't do as well here, by the time the room is filled there are too loud.
    Oh, and god do I miss Trifield, didn't realise just how good it was until I didn't have it :(

    You want to sell me your 561? ;)
     
  20. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Sorry to take this a bit off topic - although maybe not if you're considering 2nd hand processor.

    I think that's a very good point - it is often difficult to notice much difference between these processors until you turn the volume up. And I haven't gone too loud in demo rooms. When filling your room with surround effects, where did you point your rears? (can't remember if you've got 5 or 7.1)
    I haven't heard Trifield yet - does it work with the sub too, or is it really for full range fronts?
    I haven't even switched it on yet :laugh: I've only just ordered the cable to connect everything, so will hopefully get to hear it on Saturday. Given how much you like Meridian, how come you didn't go for a 561 instead of Tag? (obvious if you've got 7.1) You can get a 561 for between £900 and a grand.
     
  21. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I couldn't find a 561 and I needed a processor quick, I also know that I will be able to move a Tag on quickly as there seem to be alot of Tag fans around.

    I was using the Meridian in 7.1 but used it in 5.1 for the last few weeks before we moved house and I think I actually prefered it, so when a 5.1 av32r popped up and teh same day someone made me an offer on the 568.2 I decided to go for it. New room wouldn't allow 7.1 anyway without upsetting my wife :)
     
  22. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've never been that sure about 7.1, and given my room layout, could only really go 5.1 (unless I went for tiny spekers). Where would you recommend pointing the rears of 5.1 to fill the room with surround effects? Pascal (Bluesky) recommends pointing them at the listening position, but I'm concerned that will be too directional, and thought maybe across the back of the listener, or firing forwards past the listener may be better (I will experiment, but its not easy moving these things, and I like you description of filling the room with surround effects).
     
  23. idhutt

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    I can tell you that at the price you sold for you were robbed. I turned down a good few offers for my 568.2MM at £2000 for people just wanting the plain 568.2. Now that the new 568.2 software is making an appearance at last giving true 7.1 with PLIIx and a huge boost in sound quality, comparing with the G68 at £5000, the 568.2 really is a steal, even if you need to add a 562v.
     
  24. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    Maybe it was too cheap but one went on here the other day and it only fetched £1650 and a couple have not got over £1200 on ebay so I thought I would take the £1625 I was offered, but I agree even at £2000 it is a bargain price.

    As far as placement for rears goes, I was using di-poles on the sides and that worked very well, but heard a 5.1 set up the other day with monoploes facing directly at you set 2db below the fronts and it sounded superb. I am tempted to add another pair of TDM23F's as rears to my set up to compare.
     
  25. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I have given the Meridian kit serious consideration due to all the praise it gets but I just can't get over the lack of connectivity and how damn ugly it is. Maybe my priorities are messed up but when spending this kind of money I'd expect all big things to be as I want them.
     
  26. Triggaaar

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    If you don't like the look, and there's another option that would look good with your kit, that should be a serious factor. For example, if you had Arcam P7 and AV8, with a DV27, it would all look great, and it would be worth the effort of making sure any extra equipment matched it. But you already have a mixed bag, and I'm not sure the overall look will be affected much by your choice of processor.

    What connectivity are the Meridians missing? You can set it up on a pc, and connect to everything. You may not get the latest fad in processing (unless you pay for the top Meridians), but I'd prefer DD 5.1 done superbly, than 7.1 done very well.
     
  27. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I used my meridian with a Zektor HDS.2 video switcher, this was completely seemless, you teach it to switch with whatever button on your remote you choose, so for example I had sky going into input 1 on the switcher with optical, dvd on input 2 with coaxial, d-vhs on input 3 with optical and xbox on input 4 with optical. I then had component to the plasma (and you can have another output to a projector) and one coaxial to the coax into the meridian.
    You then set up the meridian for TV=coax1, dvd=coax1, video=coax1 and game=coax1.
    Then teach the switcher to switch to input 1 when you press TV on the meridian, input 2 when you press DVD etc. etc.
    You can also set the meridian up to use DTS as a first choice, DD as second PLII as a third etc. on a per input basis. Then you can choose to set CD to coax also (and use your dvd player as a transport) and automatically switch to TriField as apposed to it choosing DTS or DD when using it to play films.
    Or if you use you sky box for radio you can programme the radio button o the remote to also use coax in (so using your sky box still) but this time start in direct mode, ot maybe TriField but with less info or on the rears or maybe less depth on the centre channel so voices are more central.

    The Zektors start at around £299 for a 1 output version but it is superb, it can switch component, RGB/H/V or RGBs and it will output optical and coaxial even if you only input optical (it converts it) obviously it also has analogue audio too.

    The meridian and Zektor combined means that once you have run through the set up the only buttons you ever need to press again are source select and volume, I didn't touch another button for over 6 months :)
     
  28. Ian J

    Ian J
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    These products are now available at a special price to forum members from Joe Fernand - see Power Buy forum
     
  29. Northmoorblue

    Northmoorblue
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    Thanks Ian J

    I have since discovered this fact, and after some discussion have ordered them as part of a package with an Arcam DV89, and a Lumagen Processor.

    Northmoorblue
     
  30. JetJockey

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    Hi Gizlaroc.

    An intersesting post.

    I used to have TAG equipment some time ago. How good (really) is the Meridean Kit? I see one of their players reviewed VERY favourably in a mag this month. Is Meridean really worth the money? What would you recommend as a package for home theatre (DVD/Processor/Amp) in the AV32R, DVD32 and 100x5R price bracket?

    Cheers, Gerald. :)
     

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