Amp advice for my set up

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
Hi
Im looking to replace my old Trio Receiver which has now given up the ghost. I did like the warm sound but power was always lacking. I have a Yamaha WXAD-10 which stream Hi Res from Quboz and my speakers are Lentek S4s (old speakers). My budget is in the £500 range. I like the look of old amps but don't think they are up to the job (could be wrong).
Ive noticed that I need to crank up volume when using the WXAD.
The WXAD is my only source so don't need multi outputs the amp just needs to be very simple even tone controls arent needed.
I listen to a real mix of music (acoustic-indie-jazz) but like sound stage/stereo imaging, separation with good range across Tweet/mid/bass. Im still old school so don't know anything about the new brands.

I have been looking at:
Audiolab 8000a
Yamaha AS-201 and 301
Arcam models????

I would be keen to hear what you people would go for. its hard doing this remotely without being able to hear options.

Cheers
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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327
19,270
Your Lentek S4s aren't the easiest load being a 2-way sealed box and measuring 84.5dB sensitivity. They will therefore require an amp with strong current delivery to get the best out of them, even at relatively low listening levels. A contemporary review suggests that the speakers themselves have a relatively neutral sound, and so a level of distortion from the Trio struggling to drive them was probably at least partially responsible for the warm sound you enjoyed.

What condition are your speakers in? I note the bass/mid driver is Bextrene and that several users have had issues with the surrounds disintegrating. Are you permanently wedded to these speakers, or is a change possibly on the horizon?
 

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
Hi and thanks for your reply.
I have renovated the Lenteks and yes wedded to them :)
The Bass/mid driver has been replaced with Seas P21RE/P H0942-08 Woofer. H0313 2015 remake
I also resealed the box checked cross overs. All done from a newbie following posts and video (HiFi DIY and others) but really happy with the result.
 
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matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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OK, in that case the search for an amplifier with strong current delivery begins!

I'd steer clear of budget Yamaha amps such as the A-S201 and A-S301. There's nothing wrong with them for the price, but they won't get the best out of your speakers. I'd also be cautious with Arcam. They make some fine amps, but they aren't always the best at driving difficult loads.

My first thought would be to consider a second hand Naim Nait 5i. It's a simple analogue integrated with the sort of strong and stable power that will enable your Lenteks to sing, and it is beautifully built. Along similar lines something from Creek or Exposure would offer strong performance. Roksan amps are also worth a look, but you could well find the Kandy models a little too aggressive sounding for your taste.

If you would prefer something new there may still be some Musical Fidelity M2Si on offer at £599, or there's the Audiolab 6000A at the same price. Otherwise I would suggest looking at Rotel and Rega, both of whom build their amps around well-specified toroidal power transformers. Of those two I find Rotel offer the more balanced sound, and I can vouch for the new A11 Tribute which offers a lot of performance for £499.

I hope this provides some useful starting points!
 

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
OK, in that case the search for an amplifier with strong current delivery begins!

I'd steer clear of budget Yamaha amps such as the A-S201 and A-S301. There's nothing wrong with them for the price, but they won't get the best out of your speakers. I'd also be cautious with Arcam. They make some fine amps, but they aren't always the best at driving difficult loads.

My first thought would be to consider a second hand Naim Nait 5i. It's a simple analogue integrated with the sort of strong and stable power that will enable your Lenteks to sing, and it is beautifully built. Along similar lines something from Creek or Exposure would offer strong performance. Roksan amps are also worth a look, but you could well find the Kandy models a little too aggressive sounding for your taste.

If you would prefer something new there may still be some Musical Fidelity M2Si on offer at £599, or there's the Audiolab 6000A at the same price. Otherwise I would suggest looking at Rotel and Rega, both of whom build their amps around well-specified toroidal power transformers. Of those two I find Rotel offer the more balanced sound, and I can vouch for the new A11 Tribute which offers a lot of performance for £499.

I hope this provides some useful starting points!
This is indeed very helpful. i hadn't considered any of these other than the audiolab and was not aware at all of the power spec required for the lenteks.
If I was to look at a lower budget and the 2nd hand market what would you suggest?
I appreciate the time you have taken to respond and Ill get onto my search.
Many thanks
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
327
19,270
The current Brio and the previous Brio-R model (both half-width in size) are very good amps and can offer strong value if you find a nice one used. Of the older full-width Brios the Brio 3 is the only one I would recommend. It isn't as strong as the more recent models, but I have heard them sounding very nice. I have no experience with the recently introduced IO model, which has come in as Rega's entry-level model below the Brio.

If you want to squeeze the budget as low as you can and buy secondhand, 'outsiders' such as the Aura Evolution VA100 and Nakamichi IA-4 are worth seeking out. Otherwise I'd suggest looking at secondhand amps from NAD and Rotel, though being careful about age and model.

I'd happily recommend Rotel models up to 20 years old, and even the RA-01 and the RA-04/RA-04SE models that replaced it would make a good money-saving option. Even better if you can find a nice RA-05 or RA-06. I've still got an RA-01 as back-up here and, though the new A11 Tribute is noticeably better, the RA-01 still sounds very good and I had no problems using it to drive a pair of Spendor A1s (a small, low-sensitivity sealed box design).

Of the older NADs, the C320BEE was a capable amplifier and could also drive more challenging speakers surprisingly well considering its affordable price. The higher C355BEE was even more capable, though long-term reliability is something to watch with NAD product in general.

Obviously, with all second hand items condition is a huge factor.
 

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
The current Brio and the previous Brio-R model (both half-width in size) are very good amps and can offer strong value if you find a nice one used. Of the older full-width Brios the Brio 3 is the only one I would recommend. It isn't as strong as the more recent models, but I have heard them sounding very nice. I have no experience with the recently introduced IO model, which has come in as Rega's entry-level model below the Brio.

If you want to squeeze the budget as low as you can and buy secondhand, 'outsiders' such as the Aura Evolution VA100 and Nakamichi IA-4 are worth seeking out. Otherwise I'd suggest looking at secondhand amps from NAD and Rotel, though being careful about age and model.

I'd happily recommend Rotel models up to 20 years old, and even the RA-01 and the RA-04/RA-04SE models that replaced it would make a good money-saving option. Even better if you can find a nice RA-05 or RA-06. I've still got an RA-01 as back-up here and, though the new A11 Tribute is noticeably better, the RA-01 still sounds very good and I had no problems using it to drive a pair of Spendor A1s (a small, low-sensitivity sealed box design).

Of the older NADs, the C320BEE was a capable amplifier and could also drive more challenging speakers surprisingly well considering its affordable price. The higher C355BEE was even more capable, though long-term reliability is something to watch with NAD product in general.

Obviously, with all second hand items condition is a huge factor.
Once again many thanks. Ive certainly got a good few options to look at now. Bets Wishes.
 
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stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
No problem at all. Let us know how you get on!
Typical of me. I ask for advice then don't take it!.
I tool advantage of a good deal on a cbridve Azur640 v2 which has toroidal trans.
It's okay.... But I'm finding the highs are missing and it sounds a tad muffled with lack of brightness overall.
I'll live with it for a bit.
Starting to think I should now change my lenteks to something I can pair uqth the azur. Ahhhh it's a funny game but enjoyable.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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Typical of me. I ask for advice then don't take it!.
I tool advantage of a good deal on a cbridve Azur640 v2 which has toroidal trans.
It's okay.... But I'm finding the highs are missing and it sounds a tad muffled with lack of brightness overall.
I'll live with it for a bit.
Starting to think I should now change my lenteks to something I can pair uqth the azur. Ahhhh it's a funny game but enjoyable.
Those Azur 640v2 are OK and can sound nice, but I'd be cautious about changing the rest of your system around it. They can sound slightly hazy on occasion, and they aren't particularly known for their longevity. If you've got a good one it could run for plenty of time yet, but it's something to be aware of.
 
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plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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If I can add my tuppence worth...

I agree with many of @matthewpiano comments.

Firstly, hi-fi is always going to be a compromise unless you have mega thousands to throw at it.

A mate used own a Cambridge 640 years ago. It was fine sounding but as it's a budget amp it still probably won't have the quality to make the most of your speakers. Most (if not all) infinite baffle speakers need a gutsy amp to drive them well.

Mordaunt Short speakers are a good match for Cambridge amps, especially the more expensive ones, such as the 851. Also entry-level Dynaudio should also be fine.

Also I don't fully subscribe to warm or bright set-ups. The perfect example is my set-up: It's quite neutral with most components (amp, digital source and speakers), yet because you are surrounded by the presentation it gives you a nice warm glow. I suppose what I'm saying is get the set-up that's best for your room size, and even at low to moderate levels, regardless of tonal qualities, will give you a nice cozy feeling.
 

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
14
5
25
Those Azur 640v2 are OK and can sound nice, but I'd be cautious about changing the rest of your system around it. They can sound slightly hazy on occasion, and they aren't particularly known for their longevity. If you've got a good one it could run for plenty of time yet, but it's something to be aware of.
Okay Mathew piano. You did it.
I sold the azur. Bought a used Naim Nait 5i(italic) for 600quid. I'm blown away. In particular the balance nothing is too boomy, very hi and toppy Joni Mitchell doesn't grate. I'm very happy so merry Christmas to you for your advice. 🎅👍
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
327
19,270
Okay Mathew piano. You did it.
I sold the azur. Bought a used Naim Nait 5i(italic) for 600quid. I'm blown away. In particular the balance nothing is too boomy, very hi and toppy Joni Mitchell doesn't grate. I'm very happy so merry Christmas to you for your advice. 🎅👍
I'm just happy to have been of some help, and really pleased you are enjoying the music.

Merry Christmas to you too!
 
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