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Which amp to upgrade to from my Rotel Ra-04?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
Hello everyone,

I am thinking of upgrading my rotel ra-04 to a better amp. I will probably go second hand ebay route and would like to spend around £300 - 400. I will be using Sonos flac as the source and Monitor audio rs1 speakers. Im looking to make a step up not sidewards and would like something with good build quality due to buying second hand. I have looked at a few amps and the primare amps stand out as good value. Would a primare A20 be a good choice? and any other suggestions would be great!

Thanks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
To be honest I am happy with the sound, I have just got the itch to try something new and supposedly better than my rotel, even though I do really rate it. I would be looking to buy second hand, try it out and if it is better than my rotel I would keep it. If its not as good, i'll just sell it on hopefully without losing too much money. Worth a try!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Have a look at the Big Ears Audio site, he's got a stack of kit on there and you'll find a lot for your budget, both solid state and valves. If it was my money, I'd try to see if I could get an Eastern Electric Minimax amp to try out, also Unison Research Unico, though this might be a tad nearer the £500 mark in the latter case. The Minimax can sometimes be had for your £400, maybe nearer £450.

Check out the BIN section on Ebay where you have 7 days to try out at home and return (distance selling regulations, but for peace of mind, stick to dealers as not sure if the regs also cover private sellers though I think they may do) as you sometimes land a winner in there. Start with the newly listed stuff first and snaffle a deal as it comes online.

See also Gumtree, there was someone on the Edinburgh site flogging off a Roksan Caspian for about £300 (might even have been £250) the other day. That was an £1100 amp and for that money you can buy that and try it out with little or no threat to your outlay as it'll recoup most of your money back should you sell it on.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I recognise that problem...was about to 'update' (as opposed to 'upgrade') my kit recently and demo'd RA-04 which sounded OK but not much (if any) better than my 25 year old Denon PMA-250 if I'm being honest. Then tried Rotel RA-1520 'just out of interest' which sounded SO much better, but at more than twice the price it should, I suppose. Also tried an Arcam - can't recall which model, but commensurate in price with the RA-1520. Didn't like the Arcam style so much. Long story short...I couldn't afford the RA-1520, so I decided not to settle for 2nd best but to go 2nd hand / ex-dem and completely upgrade, a project now about 2/3 thro' completion.

I ended up with a reprocessed Cyrus 8vs amp with 6 months warranty, for a bit north of £300 (see Lintone Audio shop on ebay). Have to say I'm delighted with it - loads of attack and detail. Can't say for sure but I think the sound I've got right now is maybe on a par with the demo room, and that's before swapping out my old speakers. From that demo-room audition of the RA-1520 I'd say the Cyrus and the Rotel RA-1520 don't sound altogether dissimilar, although I may just have cloth in my ears. I'm sure others are better qualified to comment but, the bottom line is, they both sound great!

Anyway, my point is that if you like your music detailed and forward (which I'd say the RA-04 possibly is) then you might do worse within your budget than a 2nd hand Cyrus, especially if you can pick one up with a bit of warranty for extra peace of mind. Would, however, recommend decent interconnects with the Cyrus - with standard ones it's good, with better ones it's great.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the replys and suggestions. The setup I have now is the first real hifi i've ever had so I think it was always going to sound better than anything i'd had before. I was looking at the primare amps as they have got good reviews and look great so if anyone knows if primare and my speakers would go together, I'd be glad of the advice. I have also seen a roksan kandy mk111 for sale and wondered if that would better my rotel by much? Keep the suggestions coming! thanks
 

zappa 100

New member
Sep 8, 2007
26
0
0
I can't find a Rotel RA 1520 to audition in the Manchester area for love nor money.
The dealers around here don't seem to be pushing it at all despite
the great review it got in WHF.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
zappa 100:Where do you find the BIN section in Ebay?

BIN - "Buy It Now" - an option to sellers that permits them to list a selling price a buyer can choose to click on without going through the auction process. It can also be offered alongside the usual auction option as well. Go to a listing you like, if it has the Buy It Now choice, just click on that button and it's yours.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,628
76
19,770
Please don't take this personally, but I would look at the CD player first. When I was looking for a new CDP 3 years ago, I tested, at home, the RCD 06 and found it okay. The retailer said I could keep it for the weekend. Wasn't totally happy so I tested the Arcam CD73T and it was almost 'night and day'. It was staggering.

If your set on upgrading the amp and you like Rotel, they do some wonderful power amps. Like RS suggested, they can be picked up cheap as chips on auction sites.

If you want a change from Rotel then Exposure amps are fabulous, likewise so are Creek. Both should work well with your speakers and CDP.

Good luck.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
thanks for the suggestions PP, I should have mentioned, I am selling my cd player to part fund the new amp as I only use the sonos as a source now. I want to get a new amp and a dac later on to better the sonos as the source. I'll have a look for the amps you suggested, thanks.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Just a thought but if you're interested in Creek, it might be worth going to their online shop (URL below). Scroll down to Evo amp £300 ex-demo with warranty. It's been in there for a couple of months now.

http://www.creekaudio.com/shop.php
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks athenry, that looks like a pretty good deal with the 2 years warranty. It is just the evo though and not an evo 2 but never the less a step up from my rotel i'd have thought. I'm going to have a look into that and try and find some reviews! thanks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Type av review creek amp group test into Google and as if by magic...! Whatever you opt for, I hope you enjoy it.
 

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