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Cheap amp indecision
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I'm wracked with indecision at the best of times, but this hifi lark is putting my wife through many long evenings of my ongoing procrastination.  In an attempt to do too much further damage, I thought I'd ask the opinion of you fine chaps.

I'll explain my situation, for self therapy if nothing else.

I have MA RS6 speakers (thanks for the home trial from Technosound in Dunstable for easing my indecision), a CA 640Cv2 CD player and two old amps - Denon PMA-355 and an old Yamaha AX-400.

The Denon has one channel that sounds muffled and the sound over all is very flat and rounded.  I think it's cream crackered.  I then dug my old (20yrs?) Yamaha AX-400 out the loft.

I was shocked to find it much more detailed, bright and sort of crispy compared to the Denon.  But I'm still not happy - it's quite harsh and thin (sorry for my explanations).  So here, I think, are my questions:

1) Any amps for this set-up that spring to mind?

2) How would a CA 640Av2 compare to my old Yamaha?  I know I could go listen, but with different speakers in a different room in Richer Sounds showroom, I'm not sure of the value of this.

3) How would a 2nd hand Music Fidelity A3 integrated amp for £350 on a well known 2nd hand hifi site compare to the above amp for £150 from Richers bargain basement?  I guess forget the price thing but the point is the 2nd hand MF is still much more than the discount new CA.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope you get a feel for my plight.

Cheers

 Oh - room is about 20ft long by a bit less wide, hard, laminate floor.  Been listening to Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac, Pavement, Stevie Wonder lately if that helps.

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Re: Cheap amp indecision

 Yes, the A3 is much more suited to the RS6s than less expensive amplifiers. If I was using speakers at this level I'd be thinking Marantz 7001KI products, Audiolab 8000CD/8000A, or Musical Fidelity X-RAYV8 and X-T100. So the A3 is definitely a step in the right direction.

Anonymous
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Re: Cheap amp indecision

Thanks for the reply, Andrew.  I'll look into the 2nd hand route then, I think.  Would you avoid equipment over a certain age - thinking of capacitors etc degrading?

As an aside, does one ever reach a state of contentment with hi-fi?!  I got the luvly RS6's as an investment in the future - for future upgrades.  But now I NEED to make the best of them I can!  Despite the rest of my system lacking, I really am impressed by the RS6's though!

 Many thanks, Andrew

Bloney

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Re: Cheap amp indecision

A3 amp.....good old day.  I think it still better many £500 amp today.  The Pre/Power are even better, find a combo for £700 and keep them for a year or two I bet you wouldn't loose much money!

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Re: Cheap amp indecision

 Well, I'm still running an old MF Chronos valve system on the odd occasion, and it's still going fine. Secondhand stuff is much more likely to be problematic as a result of abuse, rather than any other factor.

And the answer to part two? No - that's the fun of it, and while I'm still doing this after all these years... 

Anonymous
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Re: Cheap amp indecision

Thats good to know - I guess if I were to buy from a reputable 2nd hand re-seller, they wouldn't sell anything thats cream crackered.  Well, less likely than fleabay, which is where all the duff stuff goes.  Probably.  I made that up to sound more worldy.

 Just moved the speakers back towards the wall - they were out in the centre of the room - and I'm staggered by the difference!  Gonna have to play the last 3 CDs again now to see what they're like...

Thanks again (the effort you all put into this forum is very much appreciated!)

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