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Amplifier upgrade

bignige

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2009
27
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18,540
Hi all,

On another thread I had loads of help to eventually select some speakers.

I am now looking at "upgrading" my amp (but not if I can help it spending as much as I did for the amp I am looking to upgrade which is 20 years old.

There is anything wrong with the amp that I have now which is an Audio Analogue Puccini but because I want to come more up to date - and 'cos I would like a change - and ideally buy an amp that is at least "as good"as the Puccini - and if possible one that takes up less space than the Puccini (although that requirement is bottom of the wish list).

First question (knowing absolutely nothing about electronics!): how will I know if a new amp is "as good" or better than the Puccini?

How much will I need to spend to get something as good as the Puccini - I have had the Puccini from new (even have the original manual and invoice) and I believe it cost me around £600 and that was around 20 years ago. It is not the remote version and I believe it is 40 watts per channel.

Cheers.

N
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
854
399
5,270
And which Dalis exactly did you get?

Your amp from everything I've read is a lovely sounding amp. You must have tried it together. Is there anything that's not right in your opinion?
 

Al ears

Moderator
insider9 said:
And which Dalis exactly did you get?

Your amp from everything I've read is a lovely sounding amp. You must have tried it together. Is there anything that's not right in your opinion?
Assuming you are going to sell your Puccini what is your maximum budget for a new one?

.....and what's the rest of your kit that you are going to attach to it?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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One option is to get your current amp serviced....I wouldn't be too keen to get rid of it, especially if you like the way it sounds.

I think to get something better, you are probably looking at around 1500 GBP....with brands like Pathos, Unison Research Unico, Croft, Arcam, Creek, Vincent and Rega.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
That’s the problem. If you want to do it properly my advice would be to make a shortlist on the reviews in mags to test out whether they are right reviews to you by listening to them. If they are right job done, if not keep looking for something that beats them and again job done. You will get so many recommendations on here of people not knowing the speaker amp combos or if they like it you might not on listening. Alternatively coming accross as experts that they somehow know the combination and can properly convey in words what it will be like, they can’t really. Also so much is your room acoustics too. You will go away with so many recommendations your head will be in a spin and you won’t know if you are on foot or horseback.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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The Rega Brio would be a starting point, I was not that impressed by it. Really I think you should be looking at the next level up which would be Creek 50A, Arcam A29, Croft Int. Roksan would be too large. Take your amp. along I think to better it you may need to spend a fair bit more.

I would wait a while, see how the new speakers are first. If it was me I would have picked them together. Which amps have you heard with your Dalis?
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
I do believe and I no with Dali’s you can get a different result if paired with the wrong amplifier but put with the right amplifier you will be rewarded so it pays to find the right amplifier to get the very best out of Dali’s

i worked with my opticon 8s because I like so much I changed amplifiers twice in 12 months because I knew I could push for that extra mile out of them

i did demo opticon 6s with Arcam A19 , A39 if I got that right with the model numbers anyway when I had this demo with the Arcam and opticon 6s the opticon 6s sounded dull and lost some detail which surprise me because I’ve owned Arcam in the past and liked Arcam so I kinda felt disappointed to be honest that I didn’t buy Arcam so it pays to try lots of amplifiers before handing over the cash .
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
On the advice and views of some of the people on this forum should we not go with the cheapest amp we can get, preferably below £100, because more expense doesn’t matter, and by their view if you have a £100 amp against a £600 one, the £100 one can be just as good. Preferably something Chinese it will have to be I reckon.

So please can the people making recommendations please explain what the alternatives are for nige at the ultra budget similar performance end.

We’d have to do that surely of those who think it’s all the same whatever the price and we need these new ultra cheap amp recommendations.
 

bignige

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2009
27
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18,540
Blimey. Thanks for all the replies.

Its all rather confusing.

I bought Dali Zensor 1’s which was most I could afford.

Salesman wanted to sell me another Dali model which were £450 and which he said would be more in keeping with the quality of my Puccini amp but I could not afford those ones.

I have a Rotel RCD991 CD player connected to my amp.

To my ears the speakers sound great and having read the replies here I reckon I will stick with my current set up.

N
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,880
229
20,070
Nothing wrong with budget gear. In fact a well matched budget system can better a poorly matched expensive kit.

@OP: FWIW, I like Audio Analogue. Wonderful Italian brand. But it's worth checking out Arcam amps, as they work well with Dalis. Make sure, though, you take your amp to compare.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
No of course nothing wrong with budget hi Fi. I have lots of it as well.

But my point is if we are making recommendations of hi Fi to people and the view is that more budget stuff is as good as more expensive stuff, as is your view and others on here, shouldn’t we give recommendations of this much more budget stuff too that can perform as well.

after all it would be the same as the £1000 amp being as good as the £6000 one, akin to £100 v £600 too.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
plastic penguin said:
Nothing wrong with budget gear. In fact a well matched budget system can better a poorly matched expensive kit.

@OP: FWIW, I like Audio Analogue. Wonderful Italian brand. But it's worth checking out Arcam amps, as they work well with Dalis. Make sure, though, you take your amp to compare.
Nothing wrong with budget gear, not my point, but you can see there is a incomparable position from not making recommendations of expensive hi Fi above theirs being a waste of money, to then not making recommendations of ultra budget stuff below the required amp when the shoe is on the other foot
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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"I bought Dali Zensor 1’s which was most I could afford."

Enough said.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
854
399
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Nige, I'd keep it as is for a while. I know it may seem because you've had the amp for this long things have moved on. For all intents and purposes it's a lovely amp.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
I’m sorry but how do you know it’s a good amp on a review you’ve read for the perspective of saying keep it. Comparative to what you like or what’s generalky good, it could not be as good as current modern amps for same money.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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0
bignige said:
Blimey. Thanks for all the replies.

Its all rather confusing.

I bought Dali Zensor 1’s which was most I could afford.

Salesman wanted to sell me another Dali model which were £450 and which he said would be more in keeping with the quality of my Puccini amp but I could not afford those ones.

I have a Rotel RCD991 CD player connected to my amp.

To my ears the speakers sound great and having read the replies here I reckon I will stick with my current set up.

N
From a performance point of view, that makes perfect sense.

You did however mention wanting something more up to date, is it extra functionality that you would like? Streaming, remote control?

A new amplifier with comparable performance will cost about £1000, not sure if that makes sense money wise.

If you want to add extra functionality, these days that is pretty easy.
 

johnnyboy1950

Well-known member
May 27, 2013
25
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Sound Quality is the holy grail on this forum but I am beginning to think the principle is flawed. With techology today differences seem to be tiny when you compare the pricing. Is an amp at £2000 10 times better than £200? Most of the posts are about arguing this. I would look more at connectivity, software bugs if you are thinking about anything connected to the internet and build quality.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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johnnyboy1950 said:
Sound Quality is the holy grail on this forum but I am beginning to think the principle is flawed. With techology today differences seem to be tiny when you compare the pricing. Is an amp at £2000 10 times better than £200? Most of the posts are about arguing this. I would look more at connectivity, software bugs if you are thinking about anything connected to the internet and build quality.
I wouldn't even know how to measure 10x better....but matched with a hard to drive 2k pair of speakers, the 2k amp probably would sound at last 10x better (if you could find a way of measuring it).

Diminishing returns is a known factor when buying hifi. My only (personal) measure, is that all things being equal, you have to double the cost of a component, to get a meaningful upgrade.
 

jmjones

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2009
49
12
18,545
*dirol*I’d agree with you Cno. Made a few sideways moves over the years, which didn’t give much improvement. Then made a few bigger jumps, which I was pleased with. I also spent a lot of time listening before buying. I don’t buy cars without driving them either.

Is 10 times more expensive 10 times better - never. But you have to spend your money on something.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
jmjones said:
*dirol*I’d agree with you Cno. Made a few sideways moves over the years, which didn’t give much improvement. Then made a few bigger jumps, which I was pleased with. I also spent a lot of time listening before buying. I don’t buy cars without driving them either.

Is 10 times more expensive 10 times better - never. But you have to spend your money on something.
yes wisely too as money is hard to come by this day and age
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
54
1
18,545
CnoEvil said:
One option is to get your current amp serviced....I wouldn't be too keen to get rid of it, especially if you like the way it sounds.
That would be my advice too. Do you still have a dealer who carries the brand?

You should also realise that in these last 20 years the GBP lost a lot of value vs. the Italian lire/EUR (I guess close to 50%). And then there’s inflation too. In other words you’d have to spend a whole lotta money today to equal those 600 GBP from 20 years ago.
 

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