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Looking To Upgrade Amp - 2 x Speaker Outs Needed!

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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I am looking to upgrade my amplifier to something in the £1000 to £1500 price range, but have a problem that i think a few people on here have come across before. I need two sets of binding posts for the speakers.

Having recently upgraded my speaker cable which i am absolutely happy and delighted with i do not want to change this, and they are factory terminated for bi-wire or bi-amp option at the amp end.

Although i am looking for an integrated at the moment, i want to leave my options open in the future for maybe a pre/power combo so don't want to re-terminate them either. Box count, room size etc at the moment means i definitely want an integrated at this stage though.

My system comprises of playing Lossless and HD tracks through a M2Tech Young DAC, Cyrus 7 Amp with PSXR and PMC DB1i Speakers.Cabling is all Audioquest, Columbia I/C and Rocket 88 Speaker Cable.

I feel that the weak link at the moment is the Amp side (being a few years old), and sometimes is a tad bass light with certain tracks.

Not wanting to go with Cyrus again i have come across the following which seem to fit roughly in the price range with the speaker output spec i am after.

Creek Destiny II

Arcam A38

Yamaha A-S2000

Marantz KI Pearl Lite

Looking at the prices of these, the value at the moment seems to be with the Marantz, especially when it's not far off £1000 cheaper than the Creek and the others, and i also love the sound having had many Marantz amps in the past.

With this difficulty of finding quality amps with the two sets of speaker outs obviously the normal suspects of Roksan, Primare, Naim, Sugden, MF etc can't be considered :cry:

So what i'm looking for is if anyone has any opinions on the amps i mentioned, or can come up with anymore to consider with the specs and quality i'm after?

Really want something that will be an improvement on the Cyrus kit i have and work well with the PMC's.

Thanks.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
IMO I'd be looking around for an Arcam FMJ A32 integrated; 2nd hand and still a brilliant amp. IMO a lot better than the A38 even though that is still a good amp

What about a Cyrus 8XP?
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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hifilover1979 said:
IMO I'd be looking around for an Arcam FMJ A32 integrated; 2nd hand and still a brilliant amp. IMO a lot better than the A38 even though that is still a good amp

What about a Cyrus 8XP?
Thanks,

But as i mentioned, i don't want to go with Cyrus again. Need a tad warmer sound and don't want to have the two boxes again with the PSXR to get the best out of it... Going for a change.

Looking for new this time (bought 2nd hand last time) and i think the Arcam would be more of a sideways step than an improvement on what i have.

Another candidate could be the Rotel RA-1520? Two sets of speaker outs and great reviews..... had Rotels before as well and loved their sound. But again would this better the Cyrus i have now??

Any more thoughts?.....
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The Arcam FMJ A32 or A38 certainly isnt a sideways step; a brilliant sounding amp with plenty of gusto to boot and a superb soundstage

A lot warmer than the Cyrus and the Rotel RA1520 as well

For me the FMJ A32 is a better amp than the Rotel but if you want new........
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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Yep, not going down the used road again so the Arcam is a definite no no.

Think at the price and VFM, the Marantz PM KI Pearl Lite is looking favourite at the moment...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Personally I wouldnt go down the Marantz route

IMO it's a crap amp and with a price well above it's capabilities

For me and youir budget; 2nd hand would be the best route to go down; less risk and a better chance of not losing money on what you buy!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
hifilover1979 said:
Personally I wouldnt go down the Marantz route

IMO it's a crap amp and with a price well above it's capabilities

For me and youir budget; 2nd hand would be the best route to go down; less risk and a better chance of not losing money on what you buy!
Hmmmm....................ok

I guess I have finally lost my marbles and I am not sat here listening to wonderful sounds.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
garyw77 said:
Yep, not going down the used road again so the Arcam is a definite no no.

Think at the price and VFM, the Marantz PM KI Pearl Lite is looking favourite at the moment...
Sweeping statements aside, it really is well worth an audition if you can .
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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18,795
The Limey - only just noticed that you've upgrade the NAD to the KI Pearl Lite!! I bet that sounds superb.

To the OP, if the Pearl Lite takes your fancy book an audition. I've heard it briefly and preferred what I heard to many other amps around that price point. If you like the Marantz sound (as I do) I think you'll find it to be something of a bargain as their kit always seems to compete with competitors from at least the next price bracket up.

Of the other amps you mention, the Creek Destiny II is stunning. It has a valve-like fluidity to its sound and plenty of warmth but without compromising detail and openess. One of the best integrated amps I have ever heard and one I would definitely audition in your position. Build quality is superb too.

The Arcam A38 is another excellent amplifier. Having briefly owned a Cyrus 7, and having heard an A38 on a couple of occasions, I'd say the Arcam would bring the extra warmth you are looking for AND provide a considerable upgrade in other resepects too. IMO it is the only amp in their current range that Arcam have got absolutely right.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
hifilover1979 said:
Personally I wouldnt go down the Marantz route




IMO it's a crap amp and with a price well above it's capabilities

For me and youir budget; 2nd hand would be the best route to go down; less risk and a better chance of not losing money on what you buy!
:?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
matthewpiano said:
The Limey - only just noticed that you've upgrade the NAD to the KI Pearl Lite!! I bet that sounds superb.

To the OP, if the Pearl Lite takes your fancy book an audition. I've heard it briefly and preferred what I heard to many other amps around that price point. If you like the Marantz sound (as I do) I think you'll find it to be something of a bargain as their kit always seems to compete with competitors from at least the next price bracket up.

Of the other amps you mention, the Creek Destiny II is stunning. It has a valve-like fluidity to its sound and plenty of warmth but without compromising detail and openess. One of the best integrated amps I have ever heard and one I would definitely audition in your position. Build quality is superb too.

The Arcam A38 is another excellent amplifier. Having briefly owned a Cyrus 7, and having heard an A38 on a couple of occasions, I'd say the Arcam would bring the extra warmth you are looking for AND provide a considerable upgrade in other resepects too. IMO it is the only amp in their current range that Arcam have got absolutely right.
Yup, Decided to get the very best I could out of my Dynaudios. It was between the Naim, Roksan and the Marantz. For me it is a final amplifier upgrade. The NAD is a very good amplifier, but a bit too full in the bass region for me. I have had a recent furniture speaker change around and made some changes.
I have had so much fun catching up with the Proms on Iplayer this week. Film night was a particular highlight. Is the Marantz rubbish? no. I listen to a lot of electronic music and classical, it has made the orchestral music come alive.

So to the OP, again and audition is essential!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Marantz KI Pearl? Buy with confidence. You'll find some knocking round at £1500 or so secondhand now. See Jordan Acoustics site - they might have one in their used kit list. You'll get a warranty and of course, the DSRs mean you can exchange within 7 days if you don't like it. No worries there. Being Jordan, chances are the amp's probably in as new condition too. Don't blame you plumping for the Pearl, it's a stunner and most people have reviewed it accordingly. Arcam fanboys aside of course. :wave:

EDIt; just noticed this was the Pearl Lite being discussed. My error. Same conclusions though really.
 

garyw77

New member
Dec 24, 2010
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Thanks for the input guys, was quite taken back with the fairly strong one liner about the Marantz :O :)

Good to hear opinions from people that have actually bought or heard the equipment ;)

Re an audition, that's where it becomes virtually impossible and why i posted in the first place for opinions.

I live and work away in Russia most of the time, getting back to the UK only now and again to be with and sort my system out (Just come back). Normally this is at short notice too so arranging stuff in advance is a nightmare . Trying to find a HiFi dealer here with the one item is a lottery, to find with your choice of amps and the speakers you want is nigh on impossible!! As for home demo?... mmm think you can work that one out ;)

So, like it or not, more not!! I really don't have a choice but keep digging through reviews, opinions, sites etc and try and do the best i can to pinpoint my next amp.

Fortunately, as i previously mentioned i have heard the Marantz sound, Rotel, Arcam etc so realise what route those amps are going if they keep to their 'house' sound.

Having read the replies the Marantz is still favourite.. Would love to here the Creek but at a grand more than the Marantz i don't think it could justify price v sound difference?

Anyway, thanks guys and anymore ideas or opinions greatly received :cheers:
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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I would take a different approach to this. I feel that a cable should never dictate what the amp should be. This is fine if the amp you chose is better than all the ones ruled out by the cable.

It should not be too expensive to get the cable co to turn the "amp end" of the cable back into 1 set. This then brings all the amps that you mentioned back into play, as well as makes like Denson and Electrocompaniet.

Just a thought (even if it's a bad one)

Cno
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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CnoEvil said:
I would take a different approach to this. I feel that a cable should never dictate what the amp should be. This is fine if the amp you chose is better than all the ones ruled out by the cable. It should not be too expensive to get the cable co to turn the "amp end" of the cable back into 1 set. This then brings all the amps that you mentioned back into play, as well as makes like Denson and Electrocompaniet. Just a thought (even if it's a bad one) Cno
Understand where you're coming from but it's not as easy as that unfortunately. Cables are DBS with packs factory fitted into the seperate runs so they would have to be reconfigured losing the benefit (please, no cable opinions whether anyone agrees or disagrees, that's my decision ;) ) and if they were that wouldn't be cheap. I would also loose the time when i'm next back of having no cables while they were sent away and done. Also meaning that as i mentioned, if i decide to go the bi-amp route in future all of that would have to be reversed at a cost again. Having invested in these cables and being extremely happy with them i do want to keep them as they are. Don't get me wrong, the thought had crossed my mind but i have decided for the reasons explained to go for an amp with the two sets of speaker terminals.

And from looking at what is available, i am sure i can find a suitable amp eventually ;)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It was a strong one liner and as I'd stated, IN MY OPINION

For me, and having heard the Marantz a lot as my Uncle had one until he went over to valve amps, I just didnt feel that it had a brillian soundstage too it, too smooth and with not a lot of detail.

I've also heard the amp with Spendor A6's, PMC FB1i's, Neat Motive 2's and 3's and M/A PL200's and didnt like the presentation at all.

I personally feel that the amps value is too high and better amps can be had for the same or less money
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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garyw77 said:
Understand where you're coming from but it's not as easy as that unfortunately. Cables are DBS with packs factory fitted into the seperate runs so they would have to be reconfigured losing the benefit (please, no cable opinions whether anyone agrees or disagrees, that's my decision ;) ) and if they were that wouldn't be cheap. I would also loose the time when i'm next back of having no cables while they were sent away and done. Also meaning that as i mentioned, if i decide to go the bi-amp route in future all of that would have to be reversed at a cost again. Having invested in these cables and being extremely happy with them i do want to keep them as they are. Don't get me wrong, the thought had crossed my mind but i have decided for the reasons explained to go for an amp with the two sets of speaker terminals.

And from looking at what is available, i am sure i can find a suitable amp eventually ;)
Fairenoughski.

You're not going to get any grief about your cables from me.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
hifilover1979 said:
It was a strong one liner and as I'd stated, IN MY OPINION

For me, and having heard the Marantz a lot as my Uncle had one until he went over to valve amps, I just didnt feel that it had a brillian soundstage too it, too smooth and with not a lot of detail.

I've also heard the amp with Spendor A6's, PMC FB1i's, Neat Motive 2's and 3's and M/A PL200's and didnt like the presentation at all.

I personally feel that the amps value is too high and better amps can be had for the same or less money
perhaps he had his speakers in the wrong position.
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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hifilover1979 said:
I personally feel that the amps value is too high and better amps can be had for the same or less money
I think for £650 or less that it can be had for now, the Pearl Lite is exceptional value in that price range, especially with the build quality :?
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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Well i thought i would post a final update with my findings and final choice.

I went through my original list and managed to have a listen to nearly all with some surprising results, to my ears anyway :)

The main contenders i was particularly interested in were the Yamahas, Arcam and Marantz.

First the Yamaha's , both the AS1000 and 2000, and to be honest i was quite impressed with them, especially the 1000 for there wasn't the difference expected in the jump up to the 2000 and in fact i preferred the cheaper models sound! This was weighty and full sounding but i just thought there was something missing, maybe just in the mids and higher end.

Next was the Arcam A38, bit of a beast! But, delicate with it. Again a very full sound, better seperation to my ears through the higher frequencies, but, mmm how can i say.... Just unexciting!! This was quite a disappointment for me as i really thought this would be the one to match perfectly with my PMC's and in many ways it did, but there was no thrill to listening to well known tracks that to me sounded more exciting through my old Cyrus gear. Yes i know they are two different animals, Arcam supposed house sound being laid back and Cyrus more "bright" for use of a better word. I was looking for a compromise, this wasn't it... I would have spent more time sleeping than listening :)

Finally to the Marantz, now after reading a few opinions, including those in this thread, i wasn't holding out much hope for this one. Although, in the back of my mind i still was thinking of how much i liked the older models i had in the past and liked the Marantz sound. I was not disappointed at all. The PM-KI Pearl Lite just slotted straight into the niche i wanted. Delivering superb low end with the sweetest mid range and treble i have heard through my DB1i's. I don't think it took more than 10 mins of listening to it to determine this was the one that ticked all the boxes i wanted.

Built like a tank, looking good and costing half of what the others did( and 100% honestly this had nothing to do with choice, i had an easy budget of £1500) this has to be the bargain piece of hi-fi for me in my set up.

Again the old try in your own system before you buy saying rings so true, as does trust your own ears, for me anyway...

Now i'm just waiting impatiently till i'm back in the UK again so i can do a lot more extended listening.... :dance:
 
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Anonymous

Guest
garyw77 said:
Having recently upgraded my speaker cable which i am absolutely happy and delighted with i do not want to change this, and they are factory terminated for bi-wire or bi-amp option at the amp end.
How are they terminated? If they are both 4mm bullets, then you can use a spade-bullet conversion thing so one pair is connected via the 4mm bullets, and the other pair are connected like spades. So I don't understand why you need 2 sets of binding posts, or am I missing something?
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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Dr Lodge said:
garyw77 said:
Having recently upgraded my speaker cable which i am absolutely happy and delighted with i do not want to change this, and they are factory terminated for bi-wire or bi-amp option at the amp end.
How are they terminated? If they are both 4mm bullets, then you can use a spade-bullet conversion thing so one pair is connected via the 4mm bullets, and the other pair are connected like spades. So I don't understand why you need 2 sets of binding posts, or am I missing something?
What I don't understand is that usually bi-wire cable has the double set of terminators at the speaker end, not the amp end. If it's at both ends for bi-amping then surely that's just two sets of cable?
 

garyw77

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Dec 24, 2010
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They are terminated with four Audioquest BFA banana plugs at amp and speaker ends, not seperate cables and have the 72v DBS system with battery packs factory terminated so can not be seperated.

Anyway, as my last post says, amp has been found and very happy :)
 

hoopsontoast

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Oct 1, 2011
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The_Lhc said:
Battery packs?
DIELECTRIC-BIAS SYSTEM

"All insulation slows down the signal on the conductor inside. When insulation is unbiased, it slows down parts of the signal differently, a big problem for very time-sensitive multi-octave audio. AudioQuest’s DBS creates a strong, stable electrostatic field which saturates and polarizes (organizes) the molecules of the insulation. This minimizes both energy storage in the insulation and the multiple nonlinear time-delays that occur. Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast. The DBS battery packs will last for years. A test button and LED allow for the occasional battery check."

http://www.audioquest.com/rocket-series-speaker-cables/rocket-88

FWIW, just get the best amp, regardless if it has two pairs of speaker high level outputs. You are disregarding a lot of amps that way that may well be better.
 

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