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Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

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westerniser's picture
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I tried the Spendor A5's yesterday and really liked them. I'm looking for a suitable amp and dac to partner with them. I mostly play music from my Mac.

 

I tried the Roksan K2 (not bad but don't like their new designs) with the arcam rDac. I also tried the Cyrus 8xpd but it seemed to sound better when its dac wasn't used (and we partnered it with the Arcam rDac) It sounded brighter and more engaging with the rDac. 

 

What you you recommend trying? I thought about the Audiolab 8200a, Creek Evolution 2 - would they work well, or are there any others that would do the trick? 

 

Thanks!

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

For me the Cyrus 8XP amp with a solid source such as a Rega Saturn CDP is one of the best combos I've ever heard with the Spendor A5's

 

In saying that the Arcam FMJ A32 and A38 integrated amps drove the Spendors well as did the Rotel RA1520 and Leema Pulse

 

I've not heard the Spendors with the Creek so cant comment

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

westerniser wrote:

I tried the Spendor A5's yesterday and really liked them. I'm looking for a suitable amp and dac to partner with them. I mostly play music from my Mac.

 

I tried the Roksan K2 (not bad but don't like their new designs) with the arcam rDac. I also tried the Cyrus 8xpd but it seemed to sound better when its dac wasn't used (and we partnered it with the Arcam rDac) It sounded brighter and more engaging with the rDac. 

 

The A5's are very smooth sounding speakers, and using them with smooth sounding components is only going to exaggerate that, and the end result will be dull beyond dullness. What you probably found with the 8xpd is that it's internal DAC is more refined of that than the rDaC, and that refinement to be just too much with the A5's. If you want something to liven up the A5's, I'd try the Audiolab. Wait around a little for the 8200QX (DAC with an integral pre-amplifier), and add an 8200P, which will drive the low sensitivity of A5's far better.the key here is to drive them well - do that, and they'll sing - fail to do that and they'll sound soft and dull.

The other option is to look at a speaker that's naturally more lively in the first place Smile

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

Musical Fidelity M3i

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westerniser's picture
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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

Thanks David - I think you're right regarding the Cyrus dac being more refined - making the sound a little dull. 

What about the Yamaha AS1000? It's a great looking amp and has lots of power, just wondering if it matches well with the A5's? 

I'll try the Audiolab 8200, although probably can't wait for the QX to hit the stores, i'm looking to buy this week. 

 

My top contenders are:

- Naim Nait XS

- Cyrus 8XP 

- Creek Evolution 2

- Audiolab 8200 

- Sugden Mystro

- Yamaha AS100

Just wondering - for the forum out there - what would be your choice out of these six options?

 

 

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

Since you're looking for an am and DAC, then maybe consider the Naim Supernait, which has both in one box. My experience has been that Naim and Spendor work very well together, so this might well be the solution you're after. And I believe the DAC in the Supernait is pretty decent, able to handle 24/192 through its S/PDIF inputs.

 

Good luck!

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

I'm in agreement with the Audiolab amps; they're lovely amps and would drive the Spendors well

 

I've heard the Audiolab 8200Q with the 8200P with the Neat Motive 2's and PMC GB1i's and it was a superb set-up; CDP's were the Rega Apollo and Audiolab 8200CD. For me, I prefered the Rega Apollo but the Audiolab isnt a poor CDP by any means

 

Out of the amps you've mentioned above; my choices would be the Audiolab (probably the pre/power combo I've heard), the Cyrus 8XP (prefeably with the PSX-R) and the Yamaha AS1000 although the AS2000 was a bit more gutsy IMO

 

I think the Creek Evo 2 amp would work well but for me it just lacks a little oomph at times although I'm sure PP will be along to say it doesnt Tongue out

 

As I'm sure you're well aware it really is horses for courses and demo's are essential

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

If you can't wait for the QX, try out the 8200Q and 8200P pre/power, to which you could add something like the Rega DAC. Although you don't seem to need a CD player, an 8200CDQ with an 8200P will also do what you need - and arguably better - with the added benefit of a CD player.

Personally, I'm not much of an advocate of amplifiers with built in DACs as DACs improve - albeit in small increments - whereas amplification never really changes.

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

CnoEvil wrote:
Musical Fidelity M3i
With the M1 DAC of course

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

Kevin Stephens wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:
Musical Fidelity M3i
With the M1 DAC of course

...of course!. At least one person knows I'm right. Wink

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

The Harmon Kardon HK990 packs 150 wpc into 8 ohms and has a built in DAC, all for under £800. It should be on your demo list.

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

I wouldn't partner the HK amp with the Spendors

Doesn't matter how powerful the amp is; it doesn't have the best sound IMO & the Spendors deserve better

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

hifilover1979 wrote:

I'm in agreement with the Audiolab amps; they're lovely amps and would drive the Spendors well

 

I've heard the Audiolab 8200Q with the 8200P with the Neat Motive 2's and PMC GB1i's and it was a superb set-up; CDP's were the Rega Apollo and Audiolab 8200CD. For me, I prefered the Rega Apollo but the Audiolab isnt a poor CDP by any means

 

Out of the amps you've mentioned above; my choices would be the Audiolab (probably the pre/power combo I've heard), the Cyrus 8XP (prefeably with the PSX-R) and the Yamaha AS1000 although the AS2000 was a bit more gutsy IMO

 

I think the Creek Evo 2 amp would work well but for me it just lacks a little oomph at times although I'm sure PP will be along to say it doesnt Tongue out

 

As I'm sure you're well aware it really is horses for courses and demo's are essential

Nah, I was going to suggest Nad 355BEE....woohoo!

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

As shurrup you... Tongue out

 

Would drive the Spendors superbly mind you but I dont think it's a sharp enough amp for them.

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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

hifilover1979 wrote:
I wouldn't partner the HK amp with the Spendors Doesn't matter how powerful the amp is; it doesn't have the best sound IMO & the Spendors deserve better

 

Chuckle, not enough crash bang wallop eh HFL?  Of course, it's not a NAD 355...anywy the IMO bit's what counts, thankfully, we can leave the rest to one side.  

 

To the OP, the 990 is a fine amp, it's more than just power and H1979 is awry with his opinions here.  The HK990 is head and shoulders above the pack when it comes to delivering.  It doesn't do flash bang but delivers refinement and control and ample power in reserve.  This isn't to deliver sonic thrills but to control your speaker and handle dynamic peaks with ease.  It does this, sounds good and is well specced into the bargain.  Play what you like through it, it won't fall short.

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plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Best amplifier for Spendor A5?

hifilover1979 wrote:

As shurrup you... Tongue out

 

Would drive the Spendors superbly mind you but I dont think it's a sharp enough amp for them.

TBH, not heard the A5s for a long enough period. Creek? dunno. From short audition with A5 it will need an amp with an 'edge', which knocks Arcam and Nad on the head. You're really looking at Cyrus, Leema, Naim, Densen... 

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