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Question Amp Upgrade for KefLS50

lbutron

Member
Dec 8, 2020
10
0
20
Hi I´m planning an Amp upgrade my current setup is 70-30 (Music-Movies) in small room 13x14 ft.
I mostly stream Classic Rock & Jazz whit Roon (No turntable, a few times CD´s) :
-Yamaha AVR Avantage RX-780, 95 watts per channel, with 2 channels driven
-Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer
-Pioneer BDP-320 CD/Blu-ray Player (rearly use)
-Kef LS50 (whit kef Stans)
-PSB Sub 10" Connected via High Pas to the AVR / the Kef´s are connected to the high pass out of the sub.

What i´m looking is to upgrade the amp as i think the Yamaha AVR i´ts holding me back, I know for past expirience that its better to wait an strech you budget to get the best geart, than go for something cheaper an then sell it back, my options are:

1) CA CXA81 it will match perfectly whit the CXN,
2) Also I have an option to get the CX80 *used* for half the price, my concerns here are if there are any worth imporvments in getting the CXA81 vs CXA80, I know there are some DAC improvements over one an other, but i´ts a sonic or amp improvements? I´m thinking long term here, I don´t want to sell the CXA80 in few months because I need "or think i need" an upgrade, also less important and only a piky idea is the color miss march (CXNV2 Lunar Grey vs CXA80 Silver )
3) Power Amp in price range under 1200usd and could connected via the PreOuts of the Yamaha and use the latter as a PreAmp or Connect to CXV and use the digital Preamp in the unit.
4) Roksan K3 almost 50% more $$$ than a CXA81 where i live, i will have to wait a little more time as this is out of my budget right know.

Thanks for all your advise!
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,827
197
19,870
Hi I´m planning an Amp upgrade my current setup is 70-30 (Music-Movies) in small room 13x14 ft.
I mostly stream Classic Rock & Jazz whit Roon (No turntable, a few times CD´s) :
-Yamaha AVR Avantage RX-780, 95 watts per channel, with 2 channels driven
-Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer
-Pioneer BDP-320 CD/Blu-ray Player (rearly use)
-Kef LS50 (whit kef Stans)
-PSB Sub 10" Connected via High Pas to the AVR / the Kef´s are connected to the high pass out of the sub.

What i´m looking is to upgrade the amp as i think the Yamaha AVR i´ts holding me back, I know for past expirience that its better to wait an strech you budget to get the best geart, than go for something cheaper an then sell it back, my options are:

1) CA CXA81 it will match perfectly whit the CXN,
2) Also I have an option to get the CX80 *used* for half the price, my concerns here are if there are any worth imporvments in getting the CXA81 vs CXA80, I know there are some DAC improvements over one an other, but i´ts a sonic or amp improvements? I´m thinking long term here, I don´t want to sell the CXA80 in few months because I need "or think i need" an upgrade, also less important and only a piky idea is the color miss march (CXNV2 Lunar Grey vs CXA80 Silver )
3) Power Amp in price range under 1200usd and could connected via the PreOuts of the Yamaha and use the latter as a PreAmp or Connect to CXV and use the digital Preamp in the unit.
4) Roksan K3 almost 50% more $$$ than a CXA81 where i live, i will have to wait a little more time as this is out of my budget right know.

Thanks for all your advise!
Could you tell us in more detail why you think the Yamaha is holding the speakers back?

What is your room acoustics like? Is it reflective (hard flooring, minimal furniture and no curtains) or is the room well damped? Carpets, soft furnishings etc etc etc.

When you buy a new amp will you keep the Yamaha for films (movies), or will the two channel amp be used for both?

Other than Cambridge and Roksan what other brands are available local to you?

Room acoustics IME is as important as the system itself. You need to build a system with the room limitations in mind. The reason for saying this is I think the Roksan Kandy is a better match than the Cambridge if your room is reflective, whereas a well damped room could benefit the Cambridge more.
 

lbutron

Member
Dec 8, 2020
10
0
20
Could you tell us in more detail why you think the Yamaha is holding the speakers back?

What is your room acoustics like? Is it reflective (hard flooring, minimal furniture and no curtains) or is the room well damped? Carpets, soft furnishings etc etc etc.

When you buy a new amp will you keep the Yamaha for films (movies), or will the two channel amp be used for both?

Other than Cambridge and Roksan what other brands are available local to you?

Room acoustics IME is as important as the system itself. You need to build a system with the room limitations in mind. The reason for saying this is I think the Roksan Kandy is a better match than the Cambridge if your room is reflective, whereas a well damped room could benefit the Cambridge more.
I did some room treatment: Bass traps in the corners, absorber in the 1st reflection and some diffuser in the back wall. Also I put is thik carpet over a tile floor, and a big sofa.

I plan to keep the Yamaha for films for the surround processor.

There is also Marantz, Parasound
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,827
197
19,870
I did some room treatment: Bass traps in the corners, absorber in the 1st reflection and some diffuser in the back wall. Also I put is thik carpet over a tile floor, and a big sofa.

I plan to keep the Yamaha for films for the surround processor.

There is also Marantz, Parasound
Thanks.

Not heard a Parasound, so can't directly comment on their qualities. Marantz could be a good choice but you would ideally need the midrange model such as the PM 8006, but that may be out of your budget. The alternative is Marantz have a amplifier/streamer NA 7000N, and you could sell your current streamer.

Really the best advice, given you seem keen on the brand, is to get the Cambridge but make sure it has a 'Returns' just in case it doesn't suit the room or the rest of your system.

Good luck and keep us informed on how it goes.
 

lbutron

Member
Dec 8, 2020
10
0
20
Thanks.

Not heard a Parasound, so can't directly comment on their qualities. Marantz could be a good choice but you would ideally need the midrange model such as the PM 8006, but that may be out of your budget. The alternative is Marantz have a amplifier/streamer NA 7000N, and you could sell your current streamer.

Really the best advice, given you seem keen on the brand, is to get the Cambridge but make sure it has a 'Returns' just in case it doesn't suit the room or the rest of your system.

Good luck and keep us informed on how it goes.
Thank for the info.

I´m leaning forward the Cambridge, any thought on the CX81 vs CX80 *used* for half the price ?
 

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