26 posts / 0 new
Last post
StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
Which Budget Amp

Budget Amp - Which One?

I want to buy the best Stereo Amp possible within a budget of around 300 Pounds.  I have the following Amps in mind:

Marantz PM6003

Yamaha AS500

Rotel RA04 SE

NAD C326BEE

I am not in a position to audition any of them before buying and have to order one for home delivery. Can anyone having used / auditioned one or more of these Amps please guide and advice as to which one would be the best buy in terms of performance - fidelity, clarity, separation, soundstage - all around winner - for the money involved (around 300 pounds).

I listen to all kinds of music, hard rock and classical included and want to buy a true performer as close to reality as possible.

Many thanks.

Steven Kay

eggontoast's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/02/2011 - 15:21
Posts: 1416
RE: Hi-Fi

What speakers, source are you using ?

matthewpiano's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 23/11/2007 - 22:23
Posts: 8167
RE: Hi-Fi

Home delivery precludes consideration of the Marantz and Rotel amps because they are not allowed to be sold online or by mail order.  Is there no way that you can get to a dealer?

I've owned all four of these amps and the differences aren't as massive as you might think - they are more down to differences of taste rather than all-out ability.  An audition is pretty important here.

 

So that we can try to advise better, what other equipment are you using?

StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
RE: Hi-Fi

At the moment I am using KLH 911 B speakers and Sony CDP XE300 player which I plan upgrading to as under:

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 Speakers or Monitor Audio Bronze BX2

Marantz CD6003

Thanks for your help.

the record spot's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 18 hours ago
Joined: 13/10/2007 - 14:36
Posts: 9249
RE: Hi-Fi

For the money, I'll nominate some active speakers, which you've perhaps not considered.  The likes of Yamaha's HS80, KRK's Rokit 5 or 6 and Roland's DS7 are three that come in your radar.  All worth a look if only to be rejected.  The active speaker combines the amp in the speaker housing, some of which also provide a DAC (as the DS7 does for instance).  

StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
RE: Hi-Fi

the record spot

Thanks. I shall definitely consider these.

matthewpiano's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 23/11/2007 - 22:23
Posts: 8167
RE: Hi-Fi

Given your varied musical tastes I would be inclined to look at the Marantz PM6003 and the Rotel RA-04SE.  Of all the amps at this price point they are the most gregarious and both produce an involving and enjoyable sound whatever you play through it. They are neither too bright or too dark sounding tonally, and soundstage clearly and with stability without becoming tiresome to listen to.  Overall the Marantz is slightly more subtle than the Rotel.  The RA-04SE is a less smooth and more exciting listen.

The NAD C326BEE is a very fluid and organic sounding amp, even more so than the Marantz, but the bass can dominate things a little and it is more revealing of poor recordings.  There is plenty of punch though and it can be very foot tapping with a good rhythm.

The Yamaha A-S500 has the most explicit levels of detail and also the most explicit soundstaging but isn't as involving as the NAD, Marantz or Rotel.  It is well balanced tonally and very easy to match with different speakers.

plastic penguin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 28/04/2008 - 10:56
Posts: 16169
RE: Hi-Fi

StevenKay wrote:

Budget Amp - Which One?

I want to buy the best Stereo Amp possible within a budget of around 300 Pounds.  I have the following Amps in mind:

Marantz PM6003

Yamaha AS500

Rotel RA04 SE

NAD C326BEE

I am not in a position to audition any of them before buying and have to order one for home delivery. Can anyone having used / auditioned one or more of these Amps please guide and advice as to which one would be the best buy in terms of performance - fidelity, clarity, separation, soundstage - all around winner - for the money involved (around 300 pounds).

I listen to all kinds of music, hard rock and classical included and want to buy a true performer as close to reality as possible.

Many thanks.

Steven Kay

For what reason can't you audition? is it a lack of dealers within close proximity or are you based in some far away country?

GCE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 31/01/2011 - 15:32
Posts: 191
for Mattew and JezBaker - more interested to Yam A S500 Hi-Fi

I need the same advice of Stevenkay, but i'am more interested about Yam A S500

I have old B&W with metal tweeter: can I go for Yam or You think that it 'll be to much high or middle freq in sound? can you explain

: A-S500 has the most explicit levels of detail and also the most explicit soundstaging but isn't as involving as the NAD, Marantz or Rotel. It is well balanced tonally - thanks a lot

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Hi-Fi

matthewpiano wrote:

 

The Yamaha A-S500 has the most explicit levels of detail and also the most explicit soundstaging but isn't as involving as the NAD, Marantz or Rotel.  It is well balanced tonally and very easy to match with different speakers.

 

Gotta agree on this. A-S500 is very detailed but to me, it just doesnt feel that musical or involving (as matthew said) as other amps.

Cypher's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 47 min ago
Joined: 08/06/2007 - 06:45
Posts: 1387
RE: Hi-Fi

I would go for the Nad C326 or Marantz PM6003. Very musical amps.

I don't like the A-S500 at all, you get tired listening to it.

StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
RE: Hi-Fi

matthewpiano

That's a very helpful review of each of the Amps under reference. I have made a note of your opinion and recommendations. It would greatly help me to make a selection. Cheers!

StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
RE: Hi-Fi

Cypher

Thanks. That nearly eliminates Yamaha A-S500 from the short-list.

StevenKay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 05:47
Posts: 159
RE: Hi-Fi

JezBaker

Thanks for your views. That nearly throws out Yamaha form the list.

csq2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 28/03/2010 - 20:07
Posts: 236
RE: Hi-Fi

Get the NAD it's the best out of the four. A step up would be CA 650A.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Hi-Fi

if your willing to look second hand...nad c370 and audiolab 8000a, arcam alpha 9, arcam alpha 10 can be had for around the same price and are, as far as im aware a class above these amps, please someone with more knowledge confirm this, but i think its right.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments