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Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

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Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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Hello,

I am creating a small audio and TV set-up in a small room. All the kit is going on a small rack with a closed front and sides, alongside a NAS (which runs hot) and a compact DVD player (to be decided, but it will be very cheap), so space is at a premium.

I am therefore looking for a small amp to connect a Sonos ZP80 and a Panasonic P42G20 to some Monitor Audio Radius R90 speakers. The amp needs to be small and run cool. Ideally it would use little or no power on idle, as it will spend 100% of the time on, but be used for only 2 or 3 hours a day. (Class D?) It will be used to play all types of music and TV/films, but rarely at high volumes - mainly quiet to medium. I currently have a Musical Fidelity X-150 amp, that is too big (particularly deep), runs too hot, eats too much power, and is too expensive.

Any ideas? I'm happy to go second hand, unusual brands, etc. My budget is slightly less than whatever an X-150 is worth!

What would be cool is if the volume of the sources could be varied independently. The Sonos's volume output is variable, while the Panasnic TV is fixed (I believe. If it could somehow be set to be variable that would solve the problem - the amp's volume would never need to be touched.)

The other option might be some active speakers with 2 inputs, if that would be cheaper or easier.

Thanks in advance!,

bigboss's picture
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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

Now I am dazed and confused!  puzzled

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

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

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!
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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

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

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

bigboss's picture
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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

I didn't understand your question about volume output. What do you mean by "Panasonic TV's volume output is fixed"?

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

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

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

bigboss's picture
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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

Another option:

http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/products/42/98/405/VSX-S500/page.html

Power consumption in standby mode: 0.45W. Output power per channel is double that of Marantz, at 100W.

Bear in mind I haven't personally heard the receivers I'm suggesting you. Make sure you demo them before making a purchase.

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

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

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

Why not a Sonos Connect:Amp? My dad uses his in a cabinet, gets left on all the time. One less box to worry about.

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

hoopsontoast wrote:

Why not a Sonos Connect:Amp? My dad uses his in a cabinet, gets left on all the time. One less box to worry about.

The OP already has a ZP80.

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

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

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 62
RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

Thanks, bigboss - I'll look into those.  Doesn't standby mean 'off using the remote' though, rather than on but not playing anything?

In terms of fixed/variable volume, what I mean is when you press Up onr down on the Sonos volume control, the output to the amp varies.  So to control the volume you don't need to touch the amp's volume control - you simply leave it at a fixed level.

Out of the Panasonic TV the audio level is fixed, so you have to change the volume using the volume control on the amp.  This causes issues when you switch back to the Sonos source, as the fixed level has nowchanged.

Make sense?

 

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

hoopsontoast wrote:
Why not a Sonos Connect:Amp? My dad uses his in a cabinet, gets left on all the time. One less box to worry about.

They still get warm-ish in use, not sure just how restricted the space is, the Connect:Amp vents from the top.

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

Dazed and Confused wrote:
In terms of fixed/variable volume, what I mean is when you press Up onr down on the Sonos volume control, the output to the amp varies.  So to control the volume you don't need to touch the amp's volume control - you simply leave it at a fixed level.

Out of the Panasonic TV the audio level is fixed, so you have to change the volume using the volume control on the amp.  This causes issues when you switch back to the Sonos source, as the fixed level has nowchanged.

I've never looked at a ZP80 but if it's anything like a ZP90 it should have an option to fix the volume output. This is generally recommended from a quality POV as it stops the ZP mucking about with the signal digitally (it's a digital volume control), so ensuring best possible sound quality. That may not be a consideration for you though and of course would mean you'd need to adjust the Amp volume for every input.

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

bigboss wrote:

hoopsontoast wrote:

Why not a Sonos Connect:Amp? My dad uses his in a cabinet, gets left on all the time. One less box to worry about.

The OP already has a ZP80.

 

Ah ok, I thought the ZP80 was the bridge or whatever its called now. Whats wrong with using the ZP80 then?

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Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp...

Thanks, hoopsontoast, but then how would I get the sound from the TV to the speakers?  (I know I Sonos has an input source, but then it gets tricky - switch on the TV with a remote, then open the Sonos app on a tbelt or PC and set the right source in the right room - this is to be used by children.  The amp and TV can be controlled by one universal remote.)

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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The ZP80 is the player

The ZP80 is the player without the amp.  Basically just a source like a CD player.

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp needed!

hoopsontoast wrote:
Why not a Sonos Connect:Amp? My dad uses his in a cabinet, gets left on all the time. One less box to worry about.

This initially looks like a good idea as the volume would be adjusted wirelessly but there's a delay on the line-in with Sonos which can be a problem with TV usage. It may not be noticable (in terms of lip sync) if the TVs own speakers are muted but there will be a distinct echo effect if they aren't. I believe the lag is in the region of 70ms.

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RE: Small, cool, efficient amp...

Dazed and Confused wrote:
The amp and TV can be controlled by one universal remote.)

Well then, definitely set the ZP80 to fixed output, if it supports it. Then you only have one volume to worry about.

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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R@The_Lhc

thanks, The_Lhc, but sound quality is secondary.  Still important, but I want to keep the Sonos output variable so that all music can be controlled from the Sonos controller on its own.

This is a childrens room, so Sonos on a Nexus 7 for music (no mucking about with amp).

When they want to watch TV, universal remote switches on TV, virgin box, and switches amp source.  Changes channel on Virgin box, and volume on amp.  When finished, switches off TV and Virgin box, and switches amp back to Sonos channel.

Does that make sense?

One option seems to be the AVI ADM9Ts.  They have a remote, and seperate volume controls for each source.  But they're more than I need in terms of sound and size.