Time for a new amplifier, Help please!

admin_exported

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Hi, this is my first post here.

I currently have a Cambridge audio A3i Integrated Amp, Arcam Alpha 7 CD player, Mission 733i Speakers.

As you can tell this system is getting on a bit now.

Firstly I want to upgrade my amp, and i need one with a remote control, as my A3i doesn't.

Looking to spend about £150, so a second hand one is my only option.

I have been looking at the Cambridge Azur amps, Arcam Alpha 8/9.

Can anyone recommend a good all rounder, with possibly the option of a seperate power amp, or bi amping once I've upgraded in the speaker department.

Thanks in advance

Richie K
 

d_a_n1979

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With that set-up id look to go for the Arcam Alpha 9 integrated amp, if you can find one to suit your budget which unfortunatley, i dont think you will.

They usually go for roughly £160-£180 currently but if you can stretch your budget then thats fine. As well, i'd look to upgrade your CDP to an Arcam Alpha 8SE CDP if you can and the speakers when possible.

A god set of 2nd hand B&W 602 S2's or the S3's will suit that system very well. Just make sure you bi-wire the speakers for the better soundstage
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="richiekuk"]
Hi, this is my first post here.

I currently have a Cambridge audio A3i Integrated Amp, Arcam Alpha 7 CD player, Mission 733i Speakers.

As you can tell this system is getting on a bit now.

Firstly I want to upgrade my amp, and i need one with a remote control, as my A3i doesn't.

Looking to spend about £150, so a second hand one is my only option.

I have been looking at the Cambridge Azur amps, Arcam Alpha 8/9.

Can anyone recommend a good all rounder, with possibly the option of a seperate power amp, or bi amping once I've upgraded in the speaker department.

Thanks in advance

Richie K
[/quote]

I had a Marantz PM7200 for a couple of years, and was very impressed. You should be able to get one in budget. Very good for the money. Not sure about the power amp upgrade, but on it's own should be OK. Also, any second hand NAD would be a good option, i.e C320/C352.

Hope this helps.
 

drummerman

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I know a lot of people here like their Arcams and whilst I dont, I wont slam them on this occasion as its full moon and we know what happened last nite
emotion-2.gif
.

Sound quality aside (more in a moment) I would advise you to buy new.

NAD's little 315bee is a nice amplifier and you can get that for £150 plus/minus a tenner. It has a years warranty, remote and plenty of power to drive a nice assortment of speakers should you want to upgrade yours at some stage. There's a lovely little matching CD player and I've heard that particular combination outperform a 3k musical fidelity system on 'level playing field' at moderate volumes (which most of us probably listen to most of the time).

Problem with second hand goods such as the Arcam are reliability issues arising from aged components such as volume pots, supply caps etc. You also probably wont have a chance to listen to one first before you buy.
 

d_a_n1979

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I'd deffo agree with the issues of buying 2nd hand but if you have seen an item and it looks to be in good working order, the seller looks to be a good seller (100% min feedback id always say) and they look like what theyre talking about (good item description, good honest overview of the item mentioning scratches, dings etc) then id say youre doing ok

With regards to the NAD id also agree. The NAD C320BEE is still a damn good amp and you can find plenty of deals on those currently and the NAD C315 CDP would be a superb match.
 

brianmcr

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I had an Arcam Alpha 8 amp, Alpha 7 CD and B&W 601 S1's for 5 years or so and was very pleased with them.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Alpha 8 amp if you can get one in good quality. Sadly I sold my
a couple of years ago, think it was for around £150 on Ebay.
You could even get a power amp later to bi-amp a pair of B&W 601's or 602's.
Obviously the Alpha 9 is a better amp, just depends how much you pay for one in good condition.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for the help. Think I'll go to my local Sevenoaks and demo on of the new Nad amps, been reading up and they get great reviews.

I agree with buying 2nd hand being a bit risky (my current amp has been repaired twice in the past).

I may even double my budget and look at a Nad C352, then wait a while for the new speakers. I do quite like my Missions for the moment, and to be honest my hifi tends to play the tv more than any music.

Thanks again

Richie K
 
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Anonymous

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IMHO buying 2nd hand is the best way to get a better hifi. I could not dream of buying my Wadia 16 Krell kma 160's and Apogee Cal Sigs new and I wouldn't have the sound I have if I'd bought new equipment with such a small amount of cash.

I've never been a fan of Arcam amps but if you chose to go down that road then can I suggest you look into replacing the Missions for Proac. I've heard them working together and I was very impressed.

Instead of the Arcam you could get an Audiolab 8000a for £100-150 this is a very neutral sounding amp similar to krell but without the dynamics and works well with mission. I know this as my 1st proper hifi which I foolishly bought new was a marantz cd audiolab amp and mission speakers

Oh and erm...don't get a NAD please
 

Thaiman

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[quote user="terbis"]Oh and erm...don't get a NAD please[/quote]

Why??? I thought value for money, they are on par with Marantz and Rotel.

and btw Audiolab and Krell are not similar in anyway!
 
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Anonymous

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What are people's thoughts on a Cyrus 7. I thought It would go well with the missions (as its made by them).

I've never heard a Cyrus Amp though. I know It would be better to have the seperate power supply, but that can come later.

Any experience of these, or maybe the Cyrus Straight Line Amp.

Thanks

Richie K
 
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Anonymous

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Look at the NAD 320BBE, I had one when they first came out and I was amazed at the sound per pound. My mate has it now and its still bouncing along, no worries, i wish I had kept my hands on it but her indoors used to rule!
 

fatboyslimfast

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[quote user="drummerman"]Problem with second hand goods such as the Arcam are reliability issues arising from aged components[/quote]

Oh boy, don't I know that one. Anyone got a spare Alpha 6 CD tray mechanism floating about anywhere?

But to keep OT, you will get more for your money second hand, but there is always a risk involved. I've seen both sides - A well-kept and little used 25-yr old Rotel amp that positively sings, and my Alpha CD that sings (as long as I can get a bleddy disc in the thing).

You pays your money and takes your chances...
 

a91gti

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[quote user="fatboyslimfast"][quote user="drummerman"]Problem with second hand goods such as the Arcam are reliability issues arising from aged components[/quote]

Oh boy, don't I know that one. Anyone got a spare Alpha 6 CD tray mechanism floating about anywhere?

But to keep OT, you will get more for your money second hand, but there is always a risk involved. I've seen both sides - A well-kept and little used 25-yr old Rotel amp that positively sings, and my Alpha CD that sings (as long as I can get a bleddy disc in the thing).

You pays your money and takes your chances...[/quote]

I agree with both posts and have had great successes and equally sizable failures. The key thing when buying secondhand is to make sure you can have a good listen (with your own cd/vinyl!) and a bit of a fiddle with nobs and such.
If you cannot try,do not buy!
 

drummerman

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[quote user="taxiboy"]The key thing when buying secondhand is to make sure you can have a good listen (with your own cd/vinyl!) and a bit of a fiddle with nobs and such. If you cannot try,do not buy![/quote]

Not necessarely but keeping in mind that a lot of postings here are from people that are relatively new to this it makes only sense to recommend new products rather than an ebay gamble. A good dealer demonstration can be an enlightening experience and in the unlikely event that something should go wrong, there's the chance to rectify it without great problems.

You can get more second hand if you know what you're looking for but in the case of CD players todays £250 (or even £150) machines would have cost you two or three times as much just a few years ago. For that and reliability reasons I would'nt recommend going the second hand way for those products aimed at first time buyers.
 

a91gti

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Ebay is a no go unless the kit is close enough to go and have a look! Richer Sounds is a good option and you can try a few out!
 

drummerman

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[quote user="taxiboy"]Ebay is a no go unless the kit is close enough to go and have a look! Richer Sounds is a good option and you can try a few out![/quote]

Disagree again. Its very good for the more 'seasoned' buyer and you learn to 'read into' descriptions, seller histories and so on. Not just that, there are reputable dealers flogging 2nd hand gear there. Its just not good if you have'nt got a clue what you want.
 

John Duncan

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[quote user="drummerman"]
[quote user="taxiboy"]Ebay is a no go unless the kit is close enough to go and have a look! Richer Sounds is a good option and you can try a few out![/quote]

Disagree again. Its very good for the more 'seasoned' buyer and you learn to 'read into' descriptions, seller histories and so on. Not just that, there are reputable dealers flogging 2nd hand gear there. Its just not good if you have'nt got a clue what you want.
[/quote]

Agreed. First time or low budget, buy new. Later on, once you know what you're looking for (or can afford expensive mistakes) go eBay.
 

a91gti

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It comes down to choice and I for one hate to hand over cash on someone elses word. That said i agree that for a novice new is best unless you can take someone who knows their kit along.
 
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Anonymous

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All good advice, thanks.

I know the woes of 2nd hand buys, I've been stung before, but then had a few bargains to boot.

I think I would tend to buy something if I could see it first, same with anything. However there are a few reputable dealers sell some ex dem/part ex stock on ebay I would have no problem buying from.

Will see what comes up, am probably going to book a demo this week at Superfi, as they stock Nad, Arcam and the like. Will also up my budget (especially if buying new).

Thanks again to everyone who has helped.

Richie K
 

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