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Will a better sourround amp make a difference?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by BLACK_MAGIC, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ok heres the senario.
    Im going to set up a home cinema rig and im going to use a seperated poweramp for the centre, main and rear speakers. They are all going to have to be fed via the appropriate preouts on a central surround amp. However as im using seperate amps for doing all the work is it really necessary to get a high end central surround amp? or can i just use anything as a general rule? Or is there still going to be a noticable increase in sound/overall quality using something better then the norm?
    Thanks to those that help.
     
  2. sounddog

    sounddog
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    What processor or AV Amp do you have currently?
     
  3. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    I currentley have a yahama ax630se.
    Ive got a pair of kef reference 203 as mains driven by a musical fidelity a308 intergrated amp.
    I was planning on getting the kef reference 201 for rears and the kef reference 202c for centre.i was going to use a musical fidelity a3.2 poweramp for the centre and the same again for the rears.
    I was unsure if it was worth getting something better then the yamaha to if you like link them all together.
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I would think yes ... if you're going to be spending that much you're probably going to be wanting a better processor to go with it all ... also a processor will take up less space.

    I would start looking at the Rotel RSP1066 (£900) then move up to TAG AV23R and Arcam AV8 (both around £3000) as suitable units to complement such amps and speakers.
     
  5. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Black Magic

    As one who uses 203's/202c/201's/tdm34's (sides)

    I would ask are you doing the huge investment that the 202c/201 will present justice?

    you will be powering them via very good amplification (bit of an MF appreciator myself) and relying on a 200.00 integrated A.V amps chipset for decoding?????
    I have no doubt the Kef's/MF will at least be making the very most of what the Yamaha has to offer.
    moving to something "slightly" better will also allow you to configure and use you speakers more efficiently.

    Steve.
     
  6. nathan_silly

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    Don't foget the Lexicon MC-1 :p which is at the similar level with TAG/Meridian/Arcam, and Rotel are a good budget entry level processor.
     
  7. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ok thanks people. Ill start looking at some different processors.
    One last question if i can. Ive noticed for the centre channel most outputs arent left and right its left and sub?.
    Also how would i wire up a centre speaker to its own dedicated power amp i dont know if it would attach to the left or the right side of the speaker terminals. Thanks to anyone that clears up my confusion.
     
  8. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Nathan - had a bump to the head????


    Black-Magic

    The 202c is worthy of bi-amping, take the single pre-out and split it to both left and right inputs of the MF3.2.

    I tri-amp my 203/202 although whether it is worth feeding 200w to the tweeter is debatable.

    For the record IMHO the 202c is the very best non-active center i have heard for 1000.00 it is simply sublime, again INHO if ever there were an example (given enough grunt) of a center projecting voals beyond the boundary of a mere box this for me is it, absolutely no enclosure interaction whatsoever.

    Super Duper center speaker, and not a particularly nasty impedance curve to boot.
    If Kef don't consistantly turn out sublime center speakers then i'm a China man.

    Steve.
     
  9. sounddog

    sounddog
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    :devil:
     
  10. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ok understand so far but when it comes to actually wiring the amp and speaker togehter, Do i use the left or right channel speaker terminals on the amp or both? and how do i know which ones are what on the centre speaker becuase there doesnt seem and obvious left and right connection for a centre speaker:(
     
  11. nathan_silly

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    Centre pre-out is a single phono (mono) so take the single lead to a poweramp.

    If you want to bi-amp the centre with a 2 channel poweramp, you'll need to use amp that has the ability to duplicate to the other channel (ie Arcam 8P)
     
  12. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Or use a cable to split the signal into both channels.

    Vikki
     
  13. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ok im going to use the left channel for my centre speaker ( i didnt realise the centre channel was a mono source). Fortunaltey with the a32.2 power amp on the left hand side it has 4 indepentent left channel only speaker binding posts so i can use the first set to biwire the hi and med and the second to wire just to the low of the centre speaker.
    I was wondering as im going to have one spare side of the amp (the right side) unused can i put it to any practical use like plugging a sub woofer to it (by using the sub pre out on the processor and attaching it to the right side of the a32.2)?
    The strage thing is with this mf amps is they dont have an independant a-b speakers just four posts on each side of the amp only either doing left or right channel

    This link shows in a better way then i can expain:

    http://www.musicalfidelity.com/a32series.html

    Can i still plug a subwoofer into an amp like this on only a right sided channel?

    Thanks again to those that help
     
  14. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I think you're a little confused Black Magic.

    The Musical Fidelidy A3.2 amp has 2 channels (dual mono) design. Now each of the 2 channels has 2 sets of banana plugs ... nothing strange their ... makes it easier to bi-wire.

    The amp ALSO has 2 inputs for each channel, but only one input can be used at once. The idea is so that you can connect (for example) a stereo pre-amp, and the front channels of an av amp both direct to the power amp, then just switch between them convinently from the front panel.

    Hope this helps you.

    In total you need at least 5 independant channels of amplification ... more if you wish to bi (or even tri) amp your speakers.

    Vikki
     
  15. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    Ok now im confused. This amp only has 2 channels but is split into 4 posts on each channel for easy speaker wiring (let me know if im going wrong).
    Now i have a processor thats got one pre out socket for the centre speaker. I am assuming that i then plug this into either the left or right side pre input socket on the a32.2 power amp. Then what speaker posts on the amp do i use to plug into my speaker? Im assuming only one side of the amp will work if ive plugged it in in this fashion?
    Im again asuming im only going to use one side only. Is this right or is there a better method to this?
     
  16. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Hi Black Magic

    I have MF 3.2 pre/power, you're welcome to send a pm if you want more help.

    3.2 power to centre - you use one side only so half the amp will be unused unless you get a processor with a rear centre channel, then you can use the other side. If you plug the centre pre out phono into the left then the speaker cable goes into the left side.

    You should consider a better AV processor to match the MF/Speakers - it is very noticable.

    The 3.2 power has 2 inputs and 2 outputs (loop through) by phono to allow easy biamping.

    The 308 power has double phono inputs, 2 outputs (loop through)and a front switch to allow 2 independant systems to bypass the preamp stage (AV and HiFi for example).

    The 3.2 series does not have unity gain AV connection, the 308 integrated does, like the Arcam A85 etc.

    You could just buy 3 MF monoblocs :) Have you looked at the 204 centre, it's the dogs. The 203/204 front combo was on my shortlist until I got a deal on Monitor Audio Gold Refs too good to turn down.

    HTH

    Gus
     
  17. sounddog

    sounddog
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    You can plug into either of the two pairs of binding posts (as long as its on the right channel obviously).

    If you have the whole of that amp avaliable, then you may as well buy a cable to split the output from the 630 into 2, then use both channels of the amp to bi-amp your center.

    Vikki
     
  18. BLACK_MAGIC

    BLACK_MAGIC
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    OK i think ive grasped it now:) thats you've all been really helpful as always:)
    337gus i might well take you up on the offer on a pm when i purchase my equipment.
    Cant wait till the weekend time to spend some money:) damn my local hifi store loves me:)
     
  19. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    No problem, pm away!

    Interested to hear what you choose to go for, considering an upgrade to the 308 power amp myself.

    Give the monoblocs a go if poss as 3 mono's (450 watts into 4 ohms) are around the same price as two 3.2 powers (185 watts into 4 ohms).

    Also soundog's right about bi-amping the centre being a good idea using a single to double phono cable (Y cable).

    Gus
     

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