Squeezebox Touch | Wadia 151 | Aliante Moda PF
I've become distracted by the thought of an AV amp (aka the 'dark side'). I have some equipment that has HDMI out and would love to plug this connection into an amp. I mean what's not to like ... good street price, one box (albeit rather a large one), with a plethora of digital and analogue inputs, room correction, multi-zone speaker outputs, internet radio, DLNA/Airplay networking and streaming, FM/AM radio, EQ and sound processing etc. etc. The usual response to the question about comparing a 'hifi' stereo amp to an AV amp is that the former is considerably better. Unfortunately not having listened to an AV amp yet, I can't form an opinion, but the reviews in magazines like WHF make the sound quality difficult to gauge particularly when the reviews of even mid range AV receivers tend to be usually 5* rated and generally gushing over the sound quality .. e.g. "The combination of subtlety and brute force that has charmed us ... the natural, neutral tone, fanatical detail retrieval and dizzyingly expansive dynamic headroom capture the listener straight from the off" .. or how about this ... "The sound is clearer, more detailed and more exciting... its surround processing, remains as deeply impressive as ever. The amp promotes a hugely involving and immersive sound."
Can anyone with recent ownership experience of a decent hifi and a semi decent AV amp comment ... thanks.
Maybe this should be posted in AV section...!?
I have a Pioneer VSX-LX53 av receiver which was WHF best receiver (£1000-£1500) awards 2010, but compared to my hi-fi amp the sound quality is miles away.
Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP(spider clamp) / Musical Fidelity AMS 35i / Focal Electra 1028be / MIT AVt MA speaker cable-Matrix 12 xlr / Chord powerchord / GIK acoustics
Strange coincidence you posting the above because I succumbed to the "dark side" for approx 10 years. Using the equipment in my signature I was
fairly pleased with with the music playback capabilities ( especially multi channel SACD) but always wondered what if......?
So, in the pursuit of better 2 channel playback I purchased a mint Denon PMA 355 UK of a dealer on a well known internet auction site for less than
£100.00 delivered and yesterday added it into my HT system. WOW what a difference this lower price amp has made to 2 channel playback (very
slight improvement to multi channel music and BR/DVD sound tracks).
In my opinion my fairly well regarded AVR cannot hold a candle to the stereo amp for 2 channel playback.
Samsung PS51E 6500 (calibrated), Denon AVR 3312, Denon BDP 2012 UD, Denon PMA 355 UK Amp., PS3, 2 x Pure AV mains conditioners, Sky HD, Tannoy Mercury V4 ,VC ,VR ,MA BXFX ,KEF PSW2010, Chord Carnival , decent HDMI and I/Cs, Logitech Harmony 1000 and several granite chopping boards.
The Arcam AVR 600 is the best integrated AV amp that I have heard (and own), for a mixture of AV and 2 channel...especially if you like a musical presentation, but with slam. It can be buggy though, but is better with the 3D board. They have a new range due fairly shortly.
Here is an interesting, but slightly OTT review, which makes some valid points imo: http://www.iar-80.com/page161.html
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Hi and thanks for the replies so far. I don't intend on giving up my 2 channel amp( but an AV receiver might work as a 'daily runabout' - lots of features, allegedly good sound quality, and the HDMI capability which is useful for me. It's a shame HDMI isn't supported by more dedicated 2 channel gear. There are exceptions - the Linn Sekrit DSM for example looks like it's right up my street, shame it's a bit expensive though.
With the addition of the Sneaky DSM, I don't see much place for the Sekrit.....so keep an eye out in case there's bargains to be had.
.., I don't see much place for the Sekrit....
Hi Cno ... the place for the Sekrit is out of sight
Seriously though, will look out for bargains if they exist. The Sekrit is a useful £200-£250 less than the Sneaky DSM and is effectively the same thing (with a few more custom installation options) but in a less shiny box.
I'd be tempted by one of these or a cheaper offering of the ilk.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Ick. Wouldn't go near it!
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy DC4 speakers / Marantz UD-7007
AVI Lab Series CD player / various cables
It's not "hi-fi"
What classical music are you listening to?
I have a 355UK and 1500AE as well as a Denon Receiver.
I currently use the Receiver (non AV, its a Tuner/Amplifier) in the Bedroom and for my main/living room system a Sony STR DB930 in for 2 channel only.
The 930 has a bit of a cult status amongst Sony Receivers and in my humble opinion for good reason. It sounds effortlessly musical, bouncy, elastic, dynamic and whatever other weird names come to mind. Neutral too. The phono stage is good and the whole receiver is loaded with good quality parts. An equally built AV receiver would, I guess cost quite a bit today but as I am not into HC I can't really comment. - Even the phono stage is good. I've changed a few things but even in original condition it is a very good amplifier.
My Denon amplifiers are more hifi sounding in comparison. They both do bass, highs etc but somehow dont manage to string it into the same musical whole which was surprising because I always thought they'd actually do quite well in that respect compared to some others. They sound more immediately impressive but dont give me as much long term listening pleasure.
All subjective of course and the rest of a system is equally important but don't automatically dismiss a good AV unit in favor of a 'dedicated' 2 channel amplifier.
I would go as far and say the Sony is the closest I have come to a decent valve amplifier with regards to being 'musical' (micro dynamics as opposed to warm and soggy). - Its no good though if you're into AV and need HDMI and the latest processing.
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
I don't really subscribe to anything being the 'Dark Side' these days. I think there are good and bad examples of all sorts of solutions and it should be possible to find the solution that combines the features you need/want with the sound you like. Eventually I would quite like to find an AV amp that can give me the sort of sound I'm getting from my current Denon but combine it with features like built-in Spotify/internet radio capability, a built-in DAC (preferably with a USB input as well as optical/coax) and the flexibility to be able to expand the surround sound side of things without compromising stereo music production. I'd also like to find a universal disc player that will play the various SACD, DVD Audio etc. discs I have within my collection but still do a great job with red-book CD.
I have had a dalliance with an AV amp. A year or so ago I tried a Yamaha RX-V667 for a few weeks. It was brilliant with films etc. but a real let-down with 2 channel music compared to what I was/am used to. I think spending more on something further up the range (and possibly going for Denon, whose sound I seem to get on with) might bring more positive results though.
Despite all this there is still a part of me that wants to keep this hi-fi 'pure' approach.... Not really sure which way it will go, but I certainly don't think you should see searching for something that caters to all you needs as moving to the 'Dark Side'.
Sources: Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Roksan Kandy K2 CDS Phono Stage Cambridge Audio 540P
Amplification: Exposure 1010
Speakers: Dynaudio DM2/6
Listening to MUSIC!
I wouldn't know if it is or isn't and, in any case, that didn't feature in my thinking for this.
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