Yet another "which amp" thread (£600-£1000)


Active Member
At the moment I'm considering changing amps. Currently got 4 year old Yam DSPA2, which is cutting out, and I couldn't be arsed getting it fixed, quite frankly.

Options so far
Pioneer D2011, best price £700, seems to have pretty much everything
Yamaha DSP-AX1, best price £800, now superseded by AZ1, so original £2k amp being sold off cheap. Hasn't got some stuff (DTS96/24, DPL2) though, but looks pretty hefty and has quality components.
Yam DSP-AZ2, £900, seems to have all stuff, but not quite so hefty as AX1.

Anything else I should look at? Considered Denon 3802/3, but there is a no-mans land in the Denon range at the RRP price I'm looking at. Would love a A11SE/SR, but can't afford it :-(

I quite like the idea of an AX1, but am worried I'll be buying something without latest formats and I'll be missing out (particularly DTS 96/24).

Any online or otherwise shops suggested? Currently looked through and bookmarked:
Discount Electrical (site seems to be very broken tho)
Home Cinema Heaven
HiWay Hifi
Empire Direct
Leading Edge Concepts


Ta, Andrew


I'm kind of in the same boat as you - although maybe a little lower price wise.

My considerations include musical ability as I'm likely to play 70% music/30% other sources. The amps I've considered were/are

Marantz 7300 - seems great value - a very high bang for buck factor. All the latest formats, new model is built in Japan rather than PRC so quality shouldn't be an issue. Pluses - highly regarded for music, minuses - none that I can think of. Status still in the running. Maybe not high end enough for you?

Sony 555 - Looks great highly reviewed/regarded. Minuses - no speaker set "B". Status Discounted through lack of B speakers.

Sony 333 - Feature laden, keenly priced, 7.1. Minuses not really regarded that well for music. Status - discounted.

2011 (1011) - Front runners atm. They look great , have all the features that I need. 2011 has the MCACC thingy and a useful looking remote. I'm concerned by musical ability however.

NAD T752 Limited in feature terms. Highly regarded for music but older models have quality control issues. This was a front runner for me until I found out about the audible fan - a big no no.

Arcam AVR200 - an early front runner but the quality control issues as highlighted on a few posts on here got me worried. Meant to sound awesome however. Price wise it doesn't really compete - a £600 amp for £800.

Yamaha 1300 - looks good, featured up. A bit worried by musical ability. Doesn't really grab me - also a massive price differential compared to US.

Yamaha AZ2 - yum yum but as above doesn;t really grab me. Also in the doesn;t really grab me category are the various Onkyo's/HK's in this price range - I wonder why this is?

I'm surprised you discount the 3802/3803 as I would have thought they would have been right up your street.

If you can stretch your budget sound and vision have a great deal on the SR9200 a seriously beautiful and feature laden bit of kit for £1400. I'd get it in a shot if I got that Xmas bonus I so deserved:mad: :p


Active Member
If I could stretch my budget that far, I'd get an A11SR, which I've seen at £1200 :).

3802/3 - if it hasn't got a flip down front, it doesn't look high-end enough for me :). Silly, I know, but there you go...

Any other suggestions for good online shops, anybody?



Well-known Member
As only one of two Harman/Kardon acolytes on these forums, it would be remiss if i didn't recommend the 5500 (£750) which I have. In fact, I think that it is better than the A10SE I had before (which is kinda why I bought the 5500). Very powerful, Logic 7 is a revelation and looks good too.
I would second the Yamaha AX1 as a very good amp indeed, as well as the NAD range.
If you are thinking of buying Arcam kit, make sure that you are happy with the ergonomic nightmare that is the remote. It would put me off buying something unless I had a learning remote at hand.



I'm not sure what to go for out of the Pioneer D1011, sony str va33es or the Marantz 6300. Can anyone nudge me in the right direction and help my decision? Got B&W 600s3 speaker setup if that helps.


Well, I've finally decided to go down the receiver route and the Sony STRVA555ES.

I've actually has a DSP A2 which I sold during the summer - although it was a superb cinema amp, it's handling of general stereo was pretty yuck.

I've listened to a numner of amp or amp/receivers, and for me the Sony seems to fit the best of both world under the £900 budget.


Active Member
Originally posted by Dazed
Arcam AVR200 - quality control issues got me worried. Price wise it doesn't really compete - a £600 amp for £800.
I know three people who have bought from Empire Direct @ £599.
No reliability issues at all.

I have a Yamaha DSP-AX1, recently I have been trying newer designs, can't say anything has punched my lights out.
Even some expensive processors haven't DTS 24/96, is it a major concern ?
DPL2 is something I desire, especially because I watch a lot of tv and it makes a worthwhile difference.
The Yamaha is a good price @ £800.


Originally posted by Dazed

Arcam AVR200 - an early front runner but the quality control issues as highlighted on a few posts on here got me worried. Meant to sound awesome however. Price wise it doesn't really compete - a £600 amp for £800.
Hmmmm, I got mine from Empire Direct for £595, so I reckon it's a 800 quid amp for 600 quid !? :)

With 80% music/20% other, it was an easy choice......



I'm more and more coming round to the AVR200 - after demoing one recently - but I won't spend £800.00 on it. Unfortunately Empire Direct have ceased to list them after a couple of months of "Coming Soon".

Damn my indecision

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