Amplifier upgrade, used or new?

Burt25

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I’m thinking of upgrading my amplifier from my Denon PMA250SE which is pushing 25 years old and have a budget of £300-£350. Was considering the Marantz PM6007, but was wondering if I would get a more noticable upgrade by going used like an Arcam DiVA A85 or Roksan Kandy K2? (I’m open to other suggestions)

My current system includes Audio Technica LP3 Turntable, Rega Phono, Technics SLP720 Cd player and Fyne F302i floorstanders.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

Fandango Andy

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I’m thinking of upgrading my amplifier from my Denon PMA250SE which is pushing 25 years old and have a budget of £300-£350. Was considering the Marantz PM6007, but was wondering if I would get a more noticable upgrade by going used like an Arcam DiVA A85 or Roksan Kandy K2? (I’m open to other suggestions)

My current system includes Audio Technica LP3 Turntable, Rega Phono, Technics SLP720 Cd player and Fyne F302i floorstanders.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
New isn't always better. Is there anything wrong with what you have?

I haven't heard any of the other amps you mention, but the Marantz PM6007 is excellent.

The best thing to do is see if you can borrow one to audition at home.
 
It's a pity you'd struggle to try before yo buy. Having no moving parts (other than switches), amps should be less prone to wear and tear than speakers, CD players or turntables - so buying 2nd hand should be a reasonably safe bet, generally speaking. There's definitely scope for buying something that would punch beyond the weight of what you'd be considering new I did just that.

But whether it suits your ears better is the $64,000 question, I'm afraid.
 

matthewpianist

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The upgrade to the Marantz would be fairly small IMO, having heard both amps.

I'd look to the secondhand market if you want a separate integrated amp, and look to the Rega Brio-R, of which you should be able to find a good example within budget.
 
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Burt25

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The upgrade to the Marantz would be fairly small IMO, having heard both amps.

I'd look to the secondhand market if you want a separate integrated amp, and look to the Rega Brio-R, of which you should be able to find a good example within budget.
Matthew, thanks- yes I was thinking that the gain in sound quality might not be that great with a new £350 Amp. My PMA250SE would have retailed at around £200 when I bought it, so probably comparable to a new model in the £300-£400 range today. I think used is the way to go and was reading reviews of the Rega, so its definitely on the radar. Have you experience of the Brio? / do you think it would be a noticeable upgrade?
 

Burt25

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New isn't always better. Is there anything wrong with what you have?

I haven't heard any of the other amps you mention, but the Marantz PM6007 is excellent.

The best thing to do is see if you can borrow one to audition at home.
Andy, Im pretty happy with my Denon to be honest, but having just bought the Fyne Speakers as an upgrade to some old Mordaunt Short MS10i, I'm wondering if they are now out-classing the amp and I could maybe squeeze a bit more sonic performance out of the system with an upgrade
 

Jasonovich

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I’m thinking of upgrading my amplifier from my Denon PMA250SE which is pushing 25 years old and have a budget of £300-£350. Was considering the Marantz PM6007, but was wondering if I would get a more noticable upgrade by going used like an Arcam DiVA A85 or Roksan Kandy K2? (I’m open to other suggestions)

My current system includes Audio Technica LP3 Turntable, Rega Phono, Technics SLP720 Cd player and Fyne F302i floorstanders.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
I'm going to depart slightly from the main consensus of opinion and recommendations and suggest a life changing approach to your choice of amplifier......hold your breath. Ok, have you considered Class D?

I'm assuming you're intrigued sufficiently enough for me to continue :) and this is within your budget. I can hear a roar of echoes of 'Oh damn Jason why didn't I think of that!

Get yourself (preferably an audition or seller who's prepared to take them back if these don't hit the right cords)....Get yourself a pair of Fosi ZA3's and have them configured as mono amps. I had the little brother the V3's before upgrading to the Atolls, and V3s were awesome so I can only imagine how much better the ZA3's would sound.
I believe on another thread somebody has already reviewed the ZA3's, worth checking out :)

1706881814585.png
 
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gotnoname

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I have the pm6005 and Rega brio and for sound quality alone I think the Brio is considerably better. Functionality on Marantz is far better though.
 

Din5

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I auditioned the Brio R several times with various speakers at dealers. The Brio R is a splendid sounding amplifier, quite amazing for the price, good second hand deals appear from time to time.
 
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JDL

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I think second hand is a good option. If I were you, I would decide exactly what you need out of your amp input/output wise, power specs etc. Start looking through "Integrated stereo amplifiers" on eBay. If there's too many to look through, narrow the search down with a price range, or specific makes that you like.
Whenever you see something you like the look of, then go to Google type in the name and model... reviews and read everything you can including snippets of info from forums that you'll be offered to read. Sometimes you might get directed to Amazon where you can also read people's opinions of a product
Then mull it all over for a while and you'll start to settle on the one or two amps that appeal.
All my kit has been acquired secondhand and almost blind so to speak. I knew I liked Marantz, so I stuck with that brand for my Integrated Amplifier. I finished up with a two month old amp, exactly the model I'd decided on, in mint condition, with 10 months guarantee left on it for about half the retail price.
As far as my CD players, I knew what I wanted out of it, because I'd been dissatisfied with my first player's bland lifeless sound, as a source. After lots and lots of research/reading I've ended up with a very, very good sounding set up. I started off knowing absolutely nothing about brands, their reputations, their general sound signatures or reliability.
I believe I ended up making some extremely good choices without talking to anyone at all. Just my own dedicated research and time, if you can find the time.
One further piece of advice in my opinion, is, forget YouTube. Those people generally, take far too long to tell you very little when it comes to specific products.
 

Jasonovich

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I think second hand is a good option. If I were you, I would decide exactly what you need out of your amp input/output wise, power specs etc. Start looking through "Integrated stereo amplifiers" on eBay. If there's too many to look through, narrow the search down with a price range, or specific makes that you like.
Whenever you see something you like the look of, then go to Google type in the name and model... reviews and read everything you can including snippets of info from forums that you'll be offered to read. Sometimes you might get directed to Amazon where you can also read people's opinions of a product
Then mull it all over for a while and you'll start to settle on the one or two amps that appeal.
All my kit has been acquired secondhand and almost blind so to speak. I knew I liked Marantz, so I stuck with that brand for my Integrated Amplifier. I finished up with a two month old amp, exactly the model I'd decided on, in mint condition, with 10 months guarantee left on it for about half the retail price.
As far as my CD players, I knew what I wanted out of it, because I'd been dissatisfied with my first player's bland lifeless sound, as a source. After lots and lots of research/reading I've ended up with a very, very good sounding set up. I started off knowing absolutely nothing about brands, their reputations, their general sound signatures or reliability.
I believe I ended up making some extremely good choices without talking to anyone at all. Just my own dedicated research and time, if you can find the time.
One further piece of advice in my opinion, is, forget YouTube. Those people generally, take far too long to tell you very little when it comes to specific products.
Really sensible advice, I do pretty much the same thing. Though I beg to differ slightly on YouTube, this is a great platform for discovering products you've never heard of; the usual caveats apply, many reviewers have sponsorships, so you need to question more their sincerity.

I was thinking about purchasing the Rega Brio, so I picked up on the Youtube reviews, the consensus of opinion, it has a warm, lovely gluey sound but not particularly transparent, this was edged out slightly by the Roksan Kandy (one of the newer models). So I changed my allegiance to Roksan and, before purchasing I looked up the many forums and HiFi publications and this weighed favourably.

I still kept asking myself is there something better? I considered the NAIM integrated amp equivalent and based purely on nostalgia and iconic attraction the brand is renowned for, apart from its sonic qualities. So it was NAIM, yeah it was a little shallow I admit. I don't think if I'd made the purchase, I could have lived with the quirkiness, it required particular speaker cables, additional power supplies to maximum the sound. So yes it was back to the Roksan.

Yes it was settled, I'm going to go with the Kandy boy that was until I picked up on another YouTube review, the Roksan Kandy v Atoll IN100SE. I can't remember exactly, was it the YouTuber 'A British Audiophile', or was it Darko? Not sure, anyway, Atoll wasn't a name I was familiar with, but it certainly proved overall the better amp (dual toroid power supply helped), Kandy had the edge in detail, Atoll better sound stage and better musicality. The Atoll doesn't have negative feedback, amps without it tend to sound better than amps that have it, the small trade off is an increase in harmonic distortion but we're talking about what the human ear can't hear. The Atoll was only bettered by the more costly Exposure amp. Well OK, either one would suit me.
Done the due diligence, checked everything I need to know about the Atoll IN100SE and as luck would have it, I saw second hand one on eBay in almost pristine condition and I grabbed it for £800.

It was a bit of a risk but it proved to be a sound purchase (excuse the pun). I'm mighty impressed with it, it really is a fabulous amp.
 
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good_enough

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I love my Roksan K2, but part of that love is for its excellent phono stage - so do you need one of those? Also it's got dedicated tape inputs/outputs; again wanted or not?

They seem to go for around the 400 to 450 mark on the bay. Contrary to some of the opining going on here https://forums.whathifi.com/threads/roksan-kandy-k3-vs-k2-bt.97641/ the K2 sounds sweet through my MA Studio 20SEs.
 
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Jasonovich

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CLASS A/B is Fighting Back!

I thought I share this, what appears to be an incredible budget old fashion AB power amp from Linsoul and I brought many earphone cables from these guys and I have no idea they were causing a stir on Youtube with this amp.
I think this is going to be the A/B equivalent to Class D upstarts like Fosi and Ayima

The SONCOZ SGP1 is a Classic Power Amplifier with Modern Specs. I believe this is priced at £888.00.
Love the trigger feature and those analogue dual VDU display. Also, it doesn't require warming up, great for saving energy.

Hopefully they'll be more reviews coming through.

1707143566365.png

I've deleted below link1707219648483.png
 
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DougK1

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CLASS A/B is Fighting Back!

I thought I share this, what appears to be an incredible budget old fashion AB power amp from Linsoul and I brought many earphone cables from these guys and I have no idea they were causing a stir on Youtube with this amp.
I think this is going to be the A/B equivalent to Class D upstarts like Fosi and Ayima

The SONCOZ SGP1 is a Classic Power Amplifier with Modern Specs. I believe this is priced at £888.00.
Love the trigger feature and those analogue dual VDU display. Also, it doesn't require warming up, great for saving energy.

Hopefully they'll be more reviews coming through.

View attachment 6097

More untested Chinese electronics? :)
 

good_enough

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CLASS A/B is Fighting Back!

I thought I share this, what appears to be an incredible budget old fashion AB power amp from Linsoul and I brought many earphone cables from these guys and I have no idea they were causing a stir on Youtube with this amp.
I think this is going to be the A/B equivalent to Class D upstarts like Fosi and Ayima

The SONCOZ SGP1 is a Classic Power Amplifier with Modern Specs. I believe this is priced at £888.00.
Love the trigger feature and those analogue dual VDU display. Also, it doesn't require warming up, great for saving energy.

Hopefully they'll be more reviews coming through.

View attachment 6097

Isn't the original poster looking for an integrated?
 
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A lot of the good stuff are from China Doug, worth exploring :)
Until it fails and you have to send it back...... :)
Although, to be fair, if you have money in the bank to deal with this possibility then they may be worth exploring.
However, not for me as I prefer to keep local dealers going knowing full well if I have issues with a product I can simply pop down to them and return it.
 

Jasonovich

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Until it fails and you have to send it back...... :)
Although, to be fair, if you have money in the bank to deal with this possibility then they may be worth exploring.
However, not for me as I prefer to keep local dealers going knowing full well if I have issues with a product I can simply pop down to them and return it.
There's a UK dealership, there's a safety net with this one :).
There are a lot of excellent Chinese products and consumer confidence will only grow over the test of time, and more UK dealerships will provide the consumer with the protection they need.
 
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Jasonovich

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I'll let you do the testing Jason :) I'll stick with my Japanese, British, German kit. I have just bought an SMSL DAC and Fosi V3 for a bit of fun/experimentation/comparison.
Most of those brands we associate with quality, usually have a label that reads 'Made in China' and granted the quality control is likely to be better. Still, capitalism is a funny thing, corporate entities will always go where it is cheaper to produce but hey-ho geopolitics lets steer away from that.
I understand your hesitation Doug and caution is no bad thing.
It's like most things; the Japanese and German industries have been around a long time and they have quite a bit of leverage, perhaps the Chinese will get there eventually.
 

Jasonovich

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Hopefully....
Who is the UK dealer??
Yes there's a dealership called DVUN -see link

Updated:
I've deleted the link
1707219702882.png

1707160150401.png
It appears to be the only one in the UK. Don't know much about this outfit. They don't appear to have a showroom, they're just selling their wares online.
Actually, I think they're just a selling portal, God knows where they're based.

You can get it from audiophonics in France (they will deliver) but they're charging crazy amount of money for it!

Linsoul does worldwide free shipping. I have purchased small things from them but this is a different proposition, probably not worth the risk.


Storm in a tea cup it appears, if the brand gets traction maybe some UK sellers will stock it.
 
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