Amplifier for vinyl - Advice needed

Entrigo

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Just bought a pair of Focal Aria 906 speakers and now considering whether I should upgrade my amp. I currently have a two year old Denon PME 800NE, chosen because of the dedicated phono stage and source direct functionality - I am a bit of a vinyl nut and prefer my music from analog sources.
Currently have a Audio Technica AT-LP5 turntable with AT-VMN95ML linear stylus.

I have realised in the last week or so that CDs seems to give a better soundstage than vinyl, so it was suggested (by my brother, sound engineer) that is is probably the amp, and that I might need an amp better suited for vinyl reproduction. Now, considering this is in its category one of the better amps for vinyl (bought specifically for the phono stage and source direct bypass function), I am a bit stuck.

Considering I have a £800-1000 budget and run two sets of speakers from the amp (Focal in the living room and a set of Mordaunt Short in the kitchen for "cooking music"):
  1. Should I go for an integrated amp with dedicated phono stage or should I buy amp and separate phono stage?
  2. NB My turntable already has a built in phono stage, so will I need one?
  3. Recommendations for both options?
  4. Any good older amp that would fit the bill? We currently run the TV thorugh the HiFi with optical cable, so not too vintage, as TV only has optical and HDMI audio out...
I initially thought of Naim, as they are meant to be the best amp for the Focal, but no phono stage and they all seem to support only one set of speakers- And also a bit above my initial budget, even second hand.

Thanks for any help!
 
Just bought a pair of Focal Aria 906 speakers and now considering whether I should upgrade my amp. I currently have a two year old Denon PME 800NE, chosen because of the dedicated phono stage and source direct functionality - I am a bit of a vinyl nut and prefer my music from analog sources.
Currently have a Audio Technica AT-LP5 turntable with AT-VMN95ML linear stylus.

I have realised in the last week or so that CDs seems to give a better soundstage than vinyl, so it was suggested (by my brother, sound engineer) that is is probably the amp, and that I might need an amp better suited for vinyl reproduction. Now, considering this is in its category one of the better amps for vinyl (bought specifically for the phono stage and source direct bypass function), I am a bit stuck.

Considering I have a £800-1000 budget and run two sets of speakers from the amp (FQocal in the living room and a set of Mordaunt Short in the kitchen for "cooking music"):
  1. Should I go for an integrated amp with dedicated phono stage or should I buy amp and separate phono stage?
  2. NB My turntable already has a built in phono stage, so will I need one?
  3. Recommendations for both options?
  4. Any good older amp that would fit the bill? We currently run the TV thorugh the HiFi with optical cable, so not too vintage, as TV only has optical and HDMI audio out...
I initially thought of Naim, as they are meant to be the best amp for the Focal, but no phono stage and they all seem to support only one set of speakers- And also a bit above my initial budget, even second hand.

Thanks for any help!
Firstly there is no such thing as an amplifier suited to vinyl reproduction in my opinion.
The amplifier doesn't care what the source is. If quality is an issue look at upgrading the source.
Question. If your amplifier already has a phono stage in it why did you buy a turntable that also has one?
If you like your Denon why not simply upgrade to a more modern model if you are convinced its the amp that's at fault
 
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I’d be inclined to ask your brother if CD isn’t in fact better at most things, full stop? It’s heretical of me to suggest that vinyl records aren’t actually the second coming, I know, when in reality they’re a 70 year old technology that those of us who grew up with LP knows are enjoyable but flawed.

Your amp is very capable, but your turntable could benefit from your £800-£1000 budget, plus whatever px you get. Though I hesitate to recommend what I own, the Technics SL1200 series has a lot to recommend it, and is a distinct step up.
 

Entrigo

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Firstly there is no such thing as an amplifier suited to vinyl reproduction in my opinion.
The amplifier doesn't care what the source is. If quality is an issue look at upgrading the source.
Question. If your amplifier already has a phono stage in it why did you buy a turntable that also has one?
If you like your Denon why not simply upgrade to a more modern model if you are convinced its the amp that's at fault
Well, I actually bought the turntable first, then my old amp packed it in and went for the Denon forgetting my turntable had a phono stage haha.

As you can tell, I am obviously not an expert on hifi components... I don't mind Denon, not massively bothered by brand loyalty in that respect. And I am not convinced the amp is at fault, though I had already been thinking that I maybe should have also upgraded the amp to match the speakers (and maybe the turntable down the line). But again, just mulling it over.
 

Entrigo

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I’d be inclined to ask your brother if CD isn’t in fact better at most things, full stop? It’s heretical of me to suggest that vinyl records aren’t actually the second coming, I know, when in reality they’re a 70 year old technology that those of us who grew up with LP knows are enjoyable but flawed.

Your amp is very capable, but your turntable could benefit from your £800-£1000 budget, plus whatever px you get. Though I hesitate to recommend what I own, the Technics SL1200 series has a lot to recommend it, and is a distinct step up.
That is a good point, thought the turntable also had pretty good reviews at the time in its price bracket (5 stars from What HiFi itself).

So, you think the turntable would make more of a difference than the amp in reproduction? As per my reply to Al ears above, though I have used HiFi separates most of my life, I am just about venturing properly into the hifi world, so probably should learn a bit more before throwing money around!
 
Well, I actually bought the turntable first, then my old amp packed it in and went for the Denon forgetting my turntable had a phono stage haha.

As you can tell, I am obviously not an expert on hifi components... I don't mind Denon, not massively bothered by brand loyalty in that respect. And I am not convinced the amp is at fault, though I had already been thinking that I maybe should have also upgraded the amp to match the speakers (and maybe the turntable down the line). But again, just mulling it over.
An external phono preamp in conjunction with an amplifier without a phono stage built in would certainly be better than the phono stage you have on that turntable.
Regards your previous post I think @nopiano would agree that the main influences on a system as a whole would be the source (turntable) and the speakers, the amplifier not so much.
 
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twinkletoes

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I’m in agreement with the fellas above. What you’re suggesting above is more a side step at best with regards to the amp.

If your money is burning a hole in your pocket I’d go with a new turntable and when funds allow and as things wear out get a better sounding cart.

The 1500c above is a very good turntable that can grow as your audio journey progresses.
 
That is a good point, thought the turntable also had pretty good reviews at the time in its price bracket (5 stars from What HiFi itself).
You’ve got the key point - in its price bracket. It’s excellent for £3-400 but can’t touch anything at double the price or more, especially if records are a priority.
 

matthewpianist

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In pre-CD/digital days when vinyl was the primary source by default, the general philosophy was source first - to quote Linn, garbage in garbage out.

Your AT turntable isn't garbage, but your amp and speakers are worthier of much better, and your amp is more than up to the job of getting the best out of your speakers. It's easy to underestimate the affordable Denons, they are extremely good.
 

Entrigo

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I’m in agreement with the fellas above. What you’re suggesting above is more a side step at best with regards to the amp.

If your money is burning a hole in your pocket I’d go with a new turntable and when funds allow and as things wear out get a better sounding cart.

The 1500c above is a very good turntable that can grow as your audio journey progresses.
Ha, not quite burning a hole anymore as I just got a notification of a speeding fine which might be quite hefty hahaha. But yeah, I like the sound (and look) of the 1500.
 

Entrigo

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An external phono preamp in conjunction with an amplifier without a phono stage built in would certainly be better than the phono stage you have on that turntable.
Regards your previous post I think @nopiano would agree that the main influences on a system as a whole would be the source (turntable) and the speakers, the amplifier not so much.
Yeah, once you think about it is quite obvious. Well, looks like the n.1 contender (speeding fine notwithstanding) is the 1500, which also has a built in phono stage, but looks to be of good quality.
 

matthewpianist

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If you do get a SL1500c, I think it comes with an Ortofon 2M Red. It's a great cartridge in itself and will give you plenty of pleasure, but when you get the itch to enjoy even more of what the Technics can give, simply upgrade the stylus to the 2M Blue one. It's a substantial upgrade, and you don't need to replace the whole cartridge body.
 
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If you do get a SL1500c, I think it comes with an Ortofon 2M Red. It's a great cartridge in itself and will give you plenty of pleasure, but when you get the itch to enjoy even more of what the Technics can give, simply upgrade the stylus to the 2M Blue one. It's a substantial upgrade, and you don't need to replace the whole cartridge body.
Like turntables, there's a plethora of cartridge/stylus upgrades you can choose. I know Ortofon Red are well regarded, personally don't rate it. In the same way I didn't rate Ortofon Silver originally fitted to my Classic.
 
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Entrigo

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Mar 8, 2014
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If you do get a SL1500c, I think it comes with an Ortofon 2M Red. It's a great cartridge in itself and will give you plenty of pleasure, but when you get the itch to enjoy even more of what the Technics can give, simply upgrade the stylus to the 2M Blue one. It's a substantial upgrade, and you don't need to replace the whole cartridge body.
Yeah. Well I have an AT-VMN95 which is a month old, so will already have two option. Though I am now thinking the Rega P3 looks great as well... Especially since I already have a phono in my amp. Well, will get on the research and see if I can visit Richer Sounds to test them out.
 

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