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Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

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teapea's picture
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Hey, I am wondering if anyone can help me here.

 

I am confused as to what to do regarding setting up a home cinema system.

 

I currently have monitor audio pl100's running stereo, and i am wanting to move onto surround sound, 

these are reasonably good speakers and my concern is if i buy the wrong amp they will sound rubbish,

 

These are the options i am considering;

Buying a AV receiver say a Pioneer LX85 then running the speakers in stereo from it for music I assume this amp lets you do this?

Then buying some not so high end but still pretty good rears and a centre/sub which i could run for surround with the speakers.

 

But I am wondering if i do this would a LX85 sound rubbish with these speakers in stereo only? Any help would be apprieciated as I am a bit lost!

Cheers

 

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

I suggest that you consider the Arcam AVR600, which now has the new 3D board and its problems pretty much sorted out.....give it a listen and I think you'll be hooked.

BTW Welcome to the forum.

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teapea's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

thanks for the welcome, i am a long term lurker!

 

I see, would this amplifier bring out the best in the speakers do you think

My original plan was to buy a Naim supernait as this seemed a nice match for the speakers but with it being stereo its no good long term for surround!

 

Is there anyway to use supernait for example to just drive the fronts on a surround set up? then use a separate AV receiver for the rest of the surround sound speakers?

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

You would need an AV amplifier with pre-outs to connect to a stereo amplifier.  I use MA Platinums across the front and then MA Apex for the surrounds.

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

If you are a long time lurker, then you may already know my view, which is personal - but here it is anyway.

The AVR600 is (imo) the best AV amp for 2 channel and up there with the best for surround (in it's price range). It will drive your speakers superbly.....and I know this as I own one, and it has no problem driving my Kef References.

On the 2 channel front, I preferred it to the MF M6i, Moon i7 and Coda CSi, which for me showed its musical prowess. I used it bi-amped and through Stereo Direct mode. The only amp that I preferred was the MF AMS 35i, which is a lot more expensive.

You can certainly attach a Supernait to the pre-outs of the AV amp (if it has them) and drive the Front L&R of a surround sound system. BUT I think you should listen to the way the Arcam handles music, before complicating your system by mixing two amps together....imo. it really is good enough to satisfy most peoples needs on this front.

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teapea's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

okay, cool thanks for putting me onto this amplifier, I have been reading about it just now!

Would the AVR500 be okay too? I don't need the extra features of the AVR600, all I am interested in is the sound quality when connected up to my media centre via optical or whatever works best!

 

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

teapea wrote:

Would the AVR500 be okay too? I don't need the extra features of the AVR600, all I am interested in is the sound quality when connected up to my media centre via optical or whatever works best!

Hmmm, this is not easy to answer. Purely on a sound quality front, it nearly matches the AVR600 (maybe 80-85%) and would do the trick. The reason for my hesitation is that the AVR500 has been hugely problematical - even more so than the AVR600. It seems to have suffered overheating problems along with everything else. There are those on the AVforums (Arcam Products) who are on their third, if not forth.

If you do go for it, you need to get it very cheap (IIRC they were being sold off at the end for around £1300) and make sure it comes with the remainder of the 5 year warranty (which had to be applied for, and is hopefully transferable).

Other things to consider:

- If 3D is important, it won't have the upgraded board (which also gives pass through, and sorts some of the bugs), though it can be bought for something like £450 and I think it can be fitted to the AVR500.

- It doesn't have pre-outs, which precludes the addition of a stereo amp in the future. You may think this will never happen, but in this game, you wouldn't be the first to eat your words.

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

Also bear in mind that the Arcam can be quite buggy. Most number of reported faults (AV receiver & blu ray player) on this forum in my experience is of an Arcam.

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

teapea wrote:

all I am interested in is the sound quality when connected up to my media centre via optical or whatever works best!

Hi teapea

For performance over practically every toy under the sun then the Anthem MRX 700 AV receiver is also worth consideration  Smile Btw, I've found PL100 speakers also pair well with the MRX700  rockin out

http://www.anthemavs.co.uk/product/anthem-mrx-700-receiver

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

bigboss wrote:

Also bear in mind that the Arcam can be quite buggy. Most number of reported faults (AV receiver & blu ray player) on this forum in my experience is of an Arcam.

My Arcam is now (touch wood) behaving itself, and I've not heard of many issues from those with the new 3D board fitted - but it's still worth bearing in mind.

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teapea's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

thanks for the responses guys, this is going to seem like a really noob question I'm sure, but what is the purpose of 3D on a AV amplifier? Is it to do with 3D TV? I current play 3D films on my 3D telly but my media centre deals with that then outputs straight to the tv via hdmi

 

where the sound goes out on an optical to the DAC then amp then stereo speakers, thus why would I want/need 3D on a surround amplifier? Or am I missing something here?

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

teapea wrote:

thanks for the responses guys, this is going to seem like a really noob question I'm sure, but what is the purpose of 3D on a AV amplifier? Is it to do with 3D TV? I current play 3D films on my 3D telly but my media centre deals with that then outputs straight to the tv via hdmi

 

where the sound goes out on an optical to the DAC then amp then stereo speakers, thus why would I want/need 3D on a surround amplifier? Or am I missing something here?

If you have a non-3D capable receiver, then you'll have to buy a blu ray player with twin HDMI outs to watch 3D films, severely limiting your choice. Your method works but is not straightforward or ideal, & there can be problems with future upgrades. Besides, 5.1 sound isn't possible through DAC & as far as I'm aware, HD sound isn't possible via optical.

If you watch 3D films, my advice is to go for a 3D capable receiver.

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Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

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teapea's picture
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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

Ah that is interesting, I was not aware that the HD Audio streams could not be carried via optical! I always assumed this would be a better way of doing it than HDMI!

I actually use a mac mini as my only source which I use as a media centre, I use it with plex and have ripped all my blu rays onto it using make mkv. I was always careful to rip both the HD audio and the lower quality one, but didnt realise i wasnt getting the benefit of the higher quality audio.

They don't make it easy do they!!

The Mac mini has two outputs so I could mirror and output one to the TV and one to the AV receiver if need be.

I guess the conclusion is the high end receivers would be 'good enough' for the MA PL100 fronts.

I like the look of the Arcam, but I was hoping to buy a receiver and the rest of the speakers for around 4k, but that limits me to second hand stuff, but a secnod hand Arcam sounds like a bad idea!

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

teapea wrote:

Ah that is interesting, I was not aware that the HD Audio streams could not be carried via optical!

Neither can HD audio (Dolby True HD, DTS Master Audio etc) be carried by a digital coaxial connection. The only was to get HD audio is via an HDMI cable or by 5.1 or 7.1 analogue inputs, although using multichannel analogue inputs means that you won't get the "Dolby True HD" etc sign displayed on the front of your AV receiver. HD audio via HDMI or multichannel inputs is the best, although it's sometimes arguable (and I intend to start a thread about this one of these days!) that if you listen to the HD audio stream and then listen to the digital optical or digital coaxial stream from the same Blu-ray disc, the digital sound is not actually all that much worse than the sound via HDMI.

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

The first thing to do is work out what you actually need the receiver to do. For example, not all receivers have two HDMI outputs. YOu then need to look at the amplification of the receiver to see if it will do justice to the PL100's.

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RE: Which AV Amp for MA PL100 Fronts?

teapea wrote:

I like the look of the Arcam, but I was hoping to buy a receiver and the rest of the speakers for around 4k, but that limits me to second hand stuff, but a secnod hand Arcam sounds like a bad idea!

 
If you are considering the Arcam, my advice would be as follows:

- Avoid the AVR500
- Preferably buy new (with the 3D board)
- If you buy 2nd hand, get it from a dealer and find out if its running the latest firmware and has had the latest mods.
- Make sure you have most of the 5 year warranty intact for piece of mind.

If you are wondering why people put up with the problems (me included), then all you have to do is have a listen to it. IMO It is a remarkable achievement to get an AVR to sound this good for music.

Here is a very in depth (slightly OTT) review, which gives you the general idea:
http://www.iar-80.com/page161.html

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