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Starless's picture
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New amp needed - recommendations?

My ancient but until recently wonderful old NAD 3130 is coming to the end of its life. Despite taking it apart and cleaning where I can, although there is some improvemet, it still sounds a bit "rough". So, I have to bite the bullet and buy a new amp.

I'm a long time out of the hi-fi market, and the choice is bewildering! I play CDs and vinyl, so a built-in phono stage would be preferable, though I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise. I have a Rega Planar record deck, Rega Planet CD player and KEF Q35.2 speakers. I prefer a "warm" sound with good bottom end, and I'm restricted to the budget end of things as money is tight, but let's say £400 max. Any thoughts?

 

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

Your sources scream Brio R, but have a look at this short thread

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/rega-brio-r-or-marantz-pm7004-or-pioneer-a50

Starless's picture
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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

Thanks - will check that out.

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

Found this review that kind of put me off the Brio, but of course I need to hear it for myself!
http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=53138

Singslinger's picture
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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

You could always stick to NAD - I believe there are a couple of models which have phono inputs that fit your budget.

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

Depends on your taste (and music) NAD are bass heavy, some say muddled unclear and the Rega is a more balanced open sound. You need to hear them.

If you are used to NAD it may take some adjusting to the Rega. 

Listen to the music, not the hifi.

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

That thread from VinylEngine put me off a little too from the Brio-R but I tried it anyway and had none of those issues whatsoever, just rewarded with an immense musicality. It is really a great amplifier. I guess the humming issues could be electrical problems from the OPs house or a bad cable or a even faulty unit...

 

but remember, it all depends on your ears and taste, so listening should be mandatory. Or get it somewhere where you can get a full refund if you don't like it, but the Brio-R only starts to really sing after 2-3 weeks, so this would be difficult to get the best out of it...

 

maybe you could look out for exposure 1010 too and get a rega fono mini. Or stick with Nad...

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

If you are put off by the Brio-R then what  about the Rotel RA-10?  At around £350 it fits the budget.  It the winner in the recent WHF Group test, and apparently has a superb (for the money) phono stage, and the sound is supposed to be exceptional for the money too.

Just a thought. :grin:

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RE: New amp needed - recommendations?

Thanks for all your replies - Looks like I've got a fair bit of research to do!

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