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An Amp for everything!

ajt71

New member
Nov 3, 2013
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Hi all. I'm looking for a nice system for a one-lounge home where I can get decent sound when watching tv, playing the ps3 or streaming music from Spotify via my tablet using Apple TV (or plugged in via USB if I can be bothered to get off the sofa!). I don't want to bother wiring surround sound speakers.

What I'm thinking is to use a pair of Q Acoustics speakers (either concept 20's or floor standers 2050's) sat either side of the tv cabinet with an amp but I'm not sure whether I need an AV Receiver (which looks like it will make connectivity a lot easier) or a 2-channel amplifier. If I use an AV receiver will it sound ok with just 2 speakers or will it seem empty compared to a 'proper' amp?

i hope that makes sense? If anyone has any gems of wisdom I'd really appreciate it. I don't have a huge budget for the amp - probably around the £300-500 bracket. Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
I think you'll find that AV amps classify as 'proper'!

One of the reasons I went for mine was to do just what you want but not at the expense of sound quality. Many other benefits of course: the means to bi-amp, internet connectivity and the various services the Onkyo carries (Spotify, Last FM, Aupeo, Simfy, etc), onboard Burr-Brown 24/192 DAC, DLNA, USB and so on.

You might still find either my amp or the 717 for your budget on ex-dem. I'd highly recommend Onkyo, can't speak for others but many people also rate Yamaha too. The audio performance in my amp is terrific. I ditched traditional stereo amps when they simply couldn't keep up with my requirements any more. I haven't looked back.

Best thing to do is to try a few out, then go with whichever one suits you best, AV or otherwise.
 

tommie_boi

New member
Mar 5, 2010
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Yamaha R-N500 network receiver and look no further. Trust me, i have one, it's fantastic. It has four digital inputs and airplay, my apple tv and ps3 are both connected via optical inputs and sounds sensational. And that retro look...
 

wilro15

New member
Jan 19, 2012
74
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Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.

Given the sources you have you may be better off with the NAD D3020. It accepts several digital inputs (PS3, TV, Apple TV) and one analogue one too. You can add a subwoofer to give your sound more bass if needed later on. Its a small amp that will probably fit into any setup easily (whereas AV amps are usually huge).
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
156
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wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.
My opinion too. Just buy a 2 channel stereo amp.......you will get much better sound.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
388
197
19,070
The R-N500 suggested by Tommie isn't an AV amp. It is a 2-channel stereo receiver with networking capabilities, not dissimilar to the Onkyo TX-8050. There is no reason at all why this should not sound as good as any budget integrated amplifier, especially as Yamaha make some very capable traditional integrateds themselves. IIRC Tommie initially had a Creek 50A but didn't get on with it and prefers the R-N500...
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
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With the two posters we ment ajt71 and the record spot......not the post from tommie. I know the R-N500 isn't an AV amp.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Cypher said:
wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.
My opinion too. Just buy a 2 channel stereo amp.......you will get much better sound.
You will...? Are you really sure?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.

Given the sources you have you may be better off with the NAD D3020. It accepts several digital inputs (PS3, TV, Apple TV) and one analogue one too. You can add a subwoofer to give your sound more bass if needed later on. Its a small amp that will probably fit into any setup easily (whereas AV amps are usually huge).
Apart from the size consideration, where does this logic come from that says AV amps should only be used in multichannel setups? The Onkyo comfortably outperforms most of the stereo amps I've had in recent years. The comments on here so far just display misinformed opinions I think. Based on ten year old viewpoints at that. Most of the big manufacturers have tuned their AV amps to perform better on the music side of things. Onkyo certainly did that. There's no way I'd have ditched two channel only amps if the performance didn't stack up.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
339
148
19,070
the record spot said:
Cypher said:
wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.
My opinion too. Just buy a 2 channel stereo amp.......you will get much better sound.
You will...? Are you really sure?
LOL. Of course you won't. It's one of those hifi myths that just won't die.
 

wilro15

New member
Jan 19, 2012
74
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0
the record spot said:
wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.

Given the sources you have you may be better off with the NAD D3020. It accepts several digital inputs (PS3, TV, Apple TV) and one analogue one too. You can add a subwoofer to give your sound more bass if needed later on. Its a small amp that will probably fit into any setup easily (whereas AV amps are usually huge).
Apart from the size consideration, where does this logic come from that says AV amps should only be used in multichannel setups? The Onkyo comfortably outperforms most of the stereo amps I've had in recent years. The comments on here so far just display misinformed opinions I think. Based on ten year old viewpoints at that. Most of the big manufacturers have tuned their AV amps to perform better on the music side of things. Onkyo certainly did that. There's no way I'd have ditched two channel only amps if the performance didn't stack up.
Not misinformed. I have both an AV and a 2 channel setup and have switched around components to run my own (albeit subjective) tests.

I have also owned an Onkyo AV amp in the past and hated it. Its musical abiltiy was woeful. Maybe your Onkyo is a lot different to the one I had (I think it was a TX-SR606).

The OP asked for opinions, I gave mine.

I think AV is overkill because if he only wants a 2 channel setup then why pay for all the other bits he won't use?

As ever, he needs to visit a dealer and have a listen. All our opinions are just that.
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
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I also know from experience that 2 channel amps sound much better with music than AV amps.

@ the record spot ; sorry I don't agree with you........I just gave MY opinion, you can have a different one.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
388
197
19,070
I tried a Yamaha AV amp - an RX-V667 (?) - and thought it fell quite a good way short of a Marantz PM6004 for 2-channel music. It just didn't have the dynamic flexibility, despite the quoted power.

However, that was only a budget amp so not necessarily conclusive. I've heard Arcam and Sony's higher end AVRs sound very good with music, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the better Onkyo, Yamaha and Marantz ones performed well too.
 

RobinKidderminster

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May 27, 2009
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Surely if u dont want surround then an AV amp is a waste of money. Personally I need 5.1 90% and music 10% but the OP has different needs.
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
156
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0
matthewpiano said:
I've heard Arcam and Sony's higher end AVRs sound very good with music, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the better Onkyo, Yamaha and Marantz ones performed well too.
I agree. But when you take a 2 channel amp which costs 500 euros............and an AV amp from also 500 euros...............the 2 channel amp will sound better with music.
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
156
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RobinKidderminster said:
Surely if u dont want surround then an AV amp is a waste of money.
That's what I meant. There''s nothing wrong with an AV amp but why buy one why you only need 2 channels ?
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
388
197
19,070
I'd agree that the OP should listen to the D3020 by NAD. I haven't heard one but it ticks all the boxes and some of the reviews have been good (though some haven't).

I also think the OP should consider the aforementioned Yamaha R-N500, the Onkyo TX8050 and the Marantz M-CR610. These are all devices that offer the facilities being sought.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Cypher said:
RobinKidderminster said:
Surely if u dont want surround then an AV amp is a waste of money.
That's what I meant. There''s nothing wrong with an AV amp but why buy one why you only need 2 channels ?
Cost effective Bi-amping. So I use for of the discrete amps with mine. It means for drivers in the Tannoys. One less box. Agreed if the speaker's don't facilitate that though.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
wilro15 said:
the record spot said:
wilro15 said:
Despite what the other two posters say about AV amps, I would steer clear of them unless you do want a 5.1 setup.

Given the sources you have you may be better off with the NAD D3020. It accepts several digital inputs (PS3, TV, Apple TV) and one analogue one too. You can add a subwoofer to give your sound more bass if needed later on. Its a small amp that will probably fit into any setup easily (whereas AV amps are usually huge).
Apart from the size consideration, where does this logic come from that says AV amps should only be used in multichannel setups? The Onkyo comfortably outperforms most of the stereo amps I've had in recent years. The comments on here so far just display misinformed opinions I think. Based on ten year old viewpoints at that. Most of the big manufacturers have tuned their AV amps to perform better on the music side of things. Onkyo certainly did that. There's no way I'd have ditched two channel only amps if the performance didn't stack up.
Not misinformed. I have both an AV and a 2 channel setup and have switched around components to run my own (albeit subjective) tests.

I have also owned an Onkyo AV amp in the past and hated it. Its musical abiltiy was woeful. Maybe your Onkyo is a lot different to the one I had (I think it was a TX-SR606).

The OP asked for opinions, I gave mine.

I think AV is overkill because if he only wants a 2 channel setup then why pay for all the other bits he won't use?

As ever, he needs to visit a dealer and have a listen. All our opinions are just that.
Okay, so a five year old amp. Since your 606 was out, the company made a few changes. And yes, you're entitled to your opinion, of course, but it's based on outdated evidence since surpassed.

Apart from Onkyo's TX-8050, how many two channel amps offer the means to access Internet services, add a power amp AND a subwoofer, take several digital sources and offer 100wpc with good current?
 

CarlDW

New member
Dec 29, 2011
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I agree that the NAD D3020 would be a good option, based upon your requirements. If you did want to go down the AV route though, the Sony STRDN1040 is a pretty darn good musically (and has great reviews), plus can be had for around £400 now.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Cypher said:
I also know from experience that 2 channel amps sound much better with music than AV amps.

@ the record spot ; sorry I don't agree with you........I just gave MY opinion, you can have a different one.
Very kind. I will and do. Like Trev C says, it's a hifi myth that won't die based on outdated opinions. You're entitled, and welcome, to yours of course.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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Leaving subjective opinion aside for a moment, I think it comes down to manufacturing budget.

Say you have a £400 budget to build an amp - For AV, that will be spread much thinner, as it has to cover 7 power amps, digital processing, a myriad of different connections, and built-in EQ. Also, to get as pure a signal as possible, some sort of "Stereo Direct" is advisable.

Surely the same budget could be used to build a better sounding 2 channel amp, which doesn't have all these extras (which all have a cost).
 
T

the record spot

Guest
And of course those integrated amps that are all box and precious little inside...!
 

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