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Which One Of These Amps Is Better?


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#1 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 11:00 PM

i'm wanting to buy a stereo amp and these ones listed caught my eye. the trouble is reviews all go on about how fantastic they are so it's confusing.

i want one that i can plug in a subwoofer to.

 

Yamaha R-S300 Stereo Receiver $449. also YAMAHA AS300B $400. don't know the difference between these two. not sure what the B means? reviews tend to favour the AS rather than RS models.

 

YAMAHA R-S500. these refurbished units are $500. i've considered this one as i read a lot of user reviews that couldn't say enough great things about it. some were saying its the best around at this level, giant killer, blah, blah.

 

Rotel RA-10 Integrated Stereo Amplifier $449.

 

Cambridge Audio Topaz AM10 Integrated Amplifier $399.

 

Onkyo Integrated Stereo Amplifier A-9050 $550. this was best amp for $500 on a stereo site i looked at.

has line-out, that for a subwoofer isn't it?

 

Marantz PM-5005 $544.

 

Just on looks alone i like the Rotel and Cambridge Audio.

 

The Yamahas accept a subwoofer, don't know about the others.

 

is there a better stereo amp in the $500 range you know of?

 

thanks.


Edited by raymondluxuryyacht, 06 April 2015 - 03:21 AM.


#2 Snoopy8

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:28 AM

Have you listened to any of them? Brands have different sounds and while they may be well rated, you may prefer some to others. Bring along your favorite CDs to a specialist audio retailer and reward them if they provide good service.

Regarding linking a sub for stereo, need to ensure that it integrates well with main speakers ie able to manage sound level, delay and cutoff between main and sub. Not many stereo amps cater for a sub properly.

#3 Quark

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:59 AM

What speakers are you going to drive with the amp?  Not all amps suit all speakers.

 

What sub are you going to connect?  Some are a LOT more flexible re: connection options, others are best with a dedicated sub-out.



#4 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 05:27 PM

so why aren't all stereo amps capable of having a subwoofer plugged into them? do they naturally have plenty of bass and don't need one?

 

no, i won't be listening to them first i'm afraid. i know thats a bit of a no-no, but these are all online. i would if i was spending a lot more money though.

i think the favourites are the onkyo and one of the yamahas, they can have subwoofers connected. i like the look of the others though as they look quite minimalist, and look like music only amps to me.



#5 cwt

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:57 PM

not sure what the B means? 

 

Usually means black [ or it did when stereo was it ] ;)  . silver = standard

 

I wouldnt bother with low end receivers Raymond and get a emo xda-2 g2 and separate power amp like an a100 .. Doubt the others have an asynchronous digital input and a hi quality headphone amp so its like 3 components in 1 . Take a look at the well isolated pcb layout and toroidal psu below  :yes:  

 

If you have good floorstanders ;it takes an extra low pass filter out of the mix if you dont need a sub ; and movies have lower frequencies as a general rule than music ..

 

https://emotiva.com/...dacs/xda-2-gen2



#6 Snoopy8

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:53 PM

so why aren't all stereo amps capable of having a subwoofer plugged into them? do they naturally have plenty of bass and don't need one?

Especially at the lower end, stereo amps cater for 2 main speakers, and that is sufficient for most people.  And usually, if someone owns a sub woofer, then likely it is connected to a AVR for home theater which can do double duty for stereo. 
 

so why aren't all stereo amps capable of having a subwoofer plugged into them? do they naturally have plenty of bass and don't need no, i won't be listening to them first i'm afraid. i know thats a bit of a no-no, but these are all online. i would if i was spending a lot more money though.
i think the favourites are the onkyo and one of the yamahas, they can have subwoofers connected. i like the look of the others though as they look quite minimalist, and look like music only amps to me.

You have to listen to something! Please do not select an equipment because it has a sub woofer output and others do not have it.  Buying audio equipment without listening is a recipe for disappointment.  All of us have a preference for certain sonic signatures, and even a quick listen will help you decide whether a brand and/or amp is a better for your taste.  Reviews online are a useful starting point but nothings beats an evaluation with your own ears. 

 

It will help if you can tell us a little bit more of your equipment including speakers and sub you have, whether you have an AVR and music sources and formats.  Last but not least your budget. 



#7 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 12:22 AM

i understand what you are saying about listening first, in the past that is what i've done.

it must be laziness and the convenience of being able to buy something while sitting in one's lounge that makes it easy to not go listen.

plus the fact that my last 3 receivers weren't listened to first. a couple were used and from another state.

i've always found the sound fine from these and others, they've always sounded pretty good to me. if i were spending tens of thousands on components and called myself an audiophile then i'd go listen. also i think many of the differences between units can be quite subtle.

 

i'm never going to be able to buy really good audio gear, as a matter of fact i've never even heard the fantastic sound that i imagine comes from an expensive set-up.

i've never heard a +$1000 receiever for instance. so $500 receivers seem to satisfy my low expectations and standards!!!

 

even though i could afford a $1000 receiver i suppose, [as a mate gave me $3000 in cash a few days ago!] i don't know if i really could spend that amount. if i heard an amazing sound difference i imagine i would then.


Edited by raymondluxuryyacht, 07 April 2015 - 04:04 PM.


#8 cwt

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 04:26 AM

What happened here Raymond ?  cheap power amps come up now and again and the good ones dont have cheap switch mode psu's like a low end receiver but a proper toroid ; separates have advantages :logik:  

 

http://www.dtvforum....tereo-receiver/



#9 Snoopy8

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 01:25 PM

i understand what you are saying about listening first, in the past that is what i've done.

it must be laziness and the convenience of being able to buy something while sitting in one's lounge that makes it easy to not go listen.

plus the fact that my last 3 receivers weren't listened to first. a couple were used and from another state.

i've always found the sound fine from these and others, they've always sounded pretty good to me. if i were spending tens of thousands on components and called myself an audiophile then i'd go listen. also i think many of the differences between units can be quite subtle.

 

i'm never going to be able to buy really good audio gear, as a matter of fact i've never even heard the fantastic sound that i imagine comes from an expensive set-up.

i've never heard a +$1000 receiever for instance. so $500 receivers seem to satisfy my low expectations and standards!!!

Why not use a home theatre AVR (or separates as suggested by cwt) to provide stereo integrated with sub?  AVRs are designed for sub integration.  Stereo receivers are usually designed for 2 speakers. For the stereo receiver with sub output, please check how well the sub is integrated.

 

p/s some $500 receivers sound better than others. And if they all sound the same, likely your limitation could be the speakers...



#10 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 04:01 PM

at the moment i have a harmon kardon avr 330 in stereo mode for listening to music. it does sound good too. although sometimes i feel like there could be a little more seperation.

i've been after a stereo amp because the surround sound receivers are designed and built with movies in mind, home theatre, not cds.

i thought a stereo amp would naturally be better because its only made for one thing?

 

HOWEVER!

 

i'm thinking that maybe i should keep the unit i have and enjoy, and improve my speaker situation. i've read that speakers are the things that really affect the sound more than a receiver?

but are there such a thing as 'not bad' speakers for $600?

at the moment i have cheap sony SSMF 4000H ones.

 

are these the type i should look at?

i could go to $700 if they will make a difference in sound compared to the sonys i have.

 

http://www.ebay.com....&rt=nc#shpCntId

 

http://www.ebay.com....931947968&rt=nc

 

http://www.ebay.com....=item27cc5689c0



#11 cwt

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 04:42 AM

i thought a stereo amp would naturally be better because its only made for one thing?

 

i'm thinking that maybe i should keep the unit i have and enjoy, and improve my speaker situation. i've read that speakers are the things that really affect the sound more than a receiver?

but are there such a thing as 'not bad' speakers for $600?

 

It costs more to design an avr that has good 2ch performance with all the emi/rf interference in a low priced avr . A avr is there for multichannel sound after all is one way of looking at it and the avr budget has to do many other things like bass management ;dsp modes; room eq so something has to give unless you have deep pockets :puppeh:

 

Have a look at some aus speaker makers like adelaide speakers ; wonderful value for money transmission line [ no need for a sub with most music ] and the ribbon tweeter upgrade option is well worth it  .. new speakers will give an obvious improvement over the sony's   for the money

 

http://www.adelaides...orstanders.html

 

 

 

 

 http://www.adelaides...orstanders.html


Edited by cwt, 08 April 2015 - 04:46 AM.


#12 raymondluxuryyacht

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:20 PM

i've ended up getting a pair of used wharfedale xarus xr4000 speakers.

connected them all up and found that the sound was inferior to the sony ss mf 400h speakers i was using before. so i changed the speakers back and forth while listening to the same song over and over.

however in the end the sonys were definitely producing the better sound imo. much warmer sound and a little more bassy.

so the wharfedales have been relegated to the lounge as the front speakers in the home theatre set up.

 

http://www.avrevolut...e/xarus-xr-4000

 

http://www.cnet.com/...s-mf400h/specs/