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Question new amp needed

andybebbs

Active member
Apr 30, 2020
11
2
25
Im after a new amp to use with my Kef Q550 speakers, Im currently using a old technics su-v45a amp which works fine and has a good deep sound but was looking to upgrade to something new with tone controls but i see some don`t have these.
Been looking at various amps but its all a bit confusing.
looking at nad-326
audiolabs 6000a
merantz pm6006
rotel a12
yamaha rn803d
I listen to cd`s,vinyl,and online music. like music like rock, reggae,dance all sorts really and like my music to have very good bass.
Thanks
Andy
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
680
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11,270
Most decent stereo amps won't have tone controls - it's something that has a small degrading effect on sound quality. You'd tend to adjust bass levels by moving speakers away from or towards walls.
 

andybebbs

Active member
Apr 30, 2020
11
2
25
thanks for reply and i get what you mean but its not possible to move the speakers away from the wall as you say as i have a limited space in my front room.
 

Al ears

Moderator
To expand on the last post there are many amps with tone controls but most, because implementing them well is costly, tend to be in the higher price brackets. Think Luxman etc.
Tone controls here only make subtle adjustments.
Because of this manufacturers cut costs and decided they were not necessary to include them on cheaper models.
Whilst you may be in a situation where you cannot move your speakers to any degree that has a noticeable effect it will make some difference.
Perhaps you could explain why you need tone controls and what other requirements you need in an amplifier like what exactly are you going to be connecting to it now and in the future.
Apologies, you must have been typing your response at the same time as I was typing this.
Much as I thought then.
If those Kefs don't have enough bass perhaps you should be looking at speakers rather than just the amp.
The 803d is a receiver not purely an amplifier. If you don't n the radio bit don't pay for it.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
680
415
11,270
Do you use tone controls to increase or decrease bass? If the latter (and a new amp necessitates it), you should be able to bung the ports that I think are at your speakers' rear.
 

andybebbs

Active member
Apr 30, 2020
11
2
25
I do use the bass and treble on my amp to adjust the sound and it varies on what i am listening to. My kef q550 speakers are not ported.
 

Al ears

Moderator
If you need to keep your speakers and the new amp must have tone controls then I would shortlist the Marantz and NAD from your list and see if you can, eventually, audition them with your speakers.
The current situation means this may be impossible so I would wait.
Meanwhile I will try to think of other amps that may be suitable, however in your case I feel it may require and amp and speaker replacement as there's unlikely to be a massive change in bass performance between any of these amps.
Can I ask what maximum budget might be for amp alone?
 

andybebbs

Active member
Apr 30, 2020
11
2
25
yes i am going to wait until i can go and listen to some amps set up with the kef speakers i use and i`m looking to spend about £600
 

andybebbs

Active member
Apr 30, 2020
11
2
25
yes that could be a good idea, the amp i have is not broken it works fine apart from one or two lights not working on the front which is not bad for a 20 year old amp :) just thought i would treat myself to a new amp to be honest.
 

chris661

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
191
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The Cambridge CXA line would be worth a look. I use the CXA80, and find it excellent. They all have tone controls which can be bypassed at the push of a button.

Chris
 
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Al ears

Moderator
yes that could be a good idea, the amp i have is not broken it works fine apart from one or two lights not working on the front which is not bad for a 20 year old amp :) just thought i would treat myself to a new amp to be honest.
Understand. You could get both amp and subwoofer for your budget if you look for a new or second-hand subwoofer that are available for less than £250
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
40
7
10,545
Im after a new amp to use with my Kef Q550 speakers, Im currently using a old technics su-v45a amp which works fine and has a good deep sound but was looking to upgrade to something new with tone controls but i see some don`t have these.
Been looking at various amps but its all a bit confusing.
looking at nad-326
audiolabs 6000a
merantz pm6006
rotel a12
yamaha rn803d
I listen to cd`s,vinyl,and online music. like music like rock, reggae,dance all sorts really and like my music to have very good bass.
Thanks
Andy
The NAD can do the job for you. Someone mentioned the CXA80. I couldn't agree more. It has a great bass (much better in my experience than the PM8005).
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
380
154
11,070
Im after a new amp to use with my Kef Q550 speakers, Im currently using a old technics su-v45a amp which works fine and has a good deep sound but was looking to upgrade to something new with tone controls but i see some don`t have these.
Been looking at various amps but its all a bit confusing.
looking at nad-326
audiolabs 6000a
merantz pm6006
rotel a12
yamaha rn803d
I listen to cd`s,vinyl,and online music. like music like rock, reggae,dance all sorts really and like my music to have very good bass.
Thanks
Andy
This might not be very popular, but your amp is of a certain age (they don't make them like that anymore) and I think you're going to struggle to better its sound with this "upgrade" at the budget you're looking at. Technics was a force to be reconded with back in the day and their designs hold up very well today along with Rotel and other Japanese brands. In all honesty, it's going to be a side step and is not really going to change much about your system if anything.

Id save for little longer and make it more meaningful upgrade those speakers wouldn't be out of there depth with 2-3k amp on the back of them if they're the speaker i think they are. (not saying you have to spend that just making a point of what they could really handle)

as i say save a little longer and maybe look at Hegal Roksan Rega.

If that money is burning a hole and just fancy a change NAD, Rotel, marantz, and i think Arcam do one in your budget range but don't quote me on that. But as I say might be very much a side step if not a downgrade on what you have. Modern amps dont have that full-fat sound of 20-30 years ago. Just because its new doesn't necessarily make better, especially in the world of amps.

And at the risk of not staying on topic as you're asking a question about amps, but perhaps a small subwoofer might be the answer to your bass blues as mentioned above.

Alternatively! Have you thought about giving your old-timer a new lease of life and having it serviced?
 
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TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
326
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19,070
Amplifiers generally only need servicing if they have audible faults, I wouldn't bother otherwise. Most only need a squirt or two of switch cleaner to stop crackling and intermittent switches and pots. All amplifiers sound very similar, buy one with the highest power output that has the features you need at the price. Auditioning them is a waste of time, so is reading What Hifi reviews.
 
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chris661

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
191
117
270
Amplifiers generally only need servicing if they have audible faults, I wouldn't bother otherwise. Most only need a squirt or two of switch cleaner to stop crackling and intermittent switches and pots. All amplifiers sound very similar, buy one with the highest power output that has the features you need at the price. Auditioning them is a waste of time, so is reading What Hifi reviews.
Some thoughts on this:

- Within amplifiers of the same technology and class, well-designed amplifiers will sound very very similar. One well-done class AB amplifier sounds pretty similar to the next, assuming they're both operating within their limits. At the extremes of performance (driving speakers that dip below 2ohm, for example), the "better" amps will typically have the extra current capability, regulated supplies, etc that would be needed to make sure the sound stays good.

- Once you start comparing amplifiers of different classes, differences can be more apparent. For instance, some class D amps have a high-frequency response that varies (usually only a dB or two at 20kHz) according to the impedance at the terminals. This is because the feedback point is before the output filter, so the LC network isn't accounted for. It's rarely a big problem, and most class D amps include the LC network in the feedback loop.
Class AB amps don't have this issue.
Class A amps don't have the crossover distortion that class AB amps have. You get the idea.

- When you compare the differences between valve amps and transistor amps, there's an even bigger difference. Valve amps can vary wildly in their topology and execution, ranging from push-pull pentodes which are capable of large power outputs and have a sound that starts to resemble that of transistor amps, over to single-ended triodes which are known for the soft/warm/glowy valve sound, low power output, and very soft clipping. There are other valve amps, too, including OTLs which do away with the output transformer and have the valves drive the speakers direct.

Saying that ALL amps sound the same is patently false. It's more correct to say that all similar amps sound the same as long as nobody has screwed up badly.


In conclusion, I'm not that bothered by amplifiers. I want something clean, enough power, and with the right I/O. A midrange class AB amp from a decent manufacturer will be just fine. The super-cheap stuff sometimes works well, but the more expensive ones can typically deliver more current and add other features I'm interested in like a USB input to connect to my laptop.
FWIW, I've used good class D amps for HiFi and also found them to be excellent.

Chris
 

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