Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.

rev



16 posts

Geek


Topic # 113077 4-Jan-2013 19:01 Send private message

Hi

I'm looking to purchase a 2 channel amp for music only, cd and hopefully mp3's are the only inputs required and hoping for suggestions or advice on what to look for.

I have a pair of Tannoys M3 floor standing speakers, and a pair of the M2 Book-shelf speakers, both rated at 120W, (from memory, without checking...) they have had a good life running at near capacity from an old Sony amp that has finally had enough.

Ideally I'd like the new amp to play the mp3 music files I've collected over the years, some are average quality sound but it'd be great to play them on something other than a PC. Is the technology of modern digital amps able to accept a humble USB card or hard drive some how and use the amps functions to adjust the sound quality without going the PC/GUI amp road? 

Budget is probably about $1000 but am easily swayed on the day if needed. No real requirements other than 2 channel only, A/B speaker switching, CD and MP3 input. Maybe 80-100W output..?

Any ideas appreciated.

Cheers
rev



Create new topic
2189 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 71

Subscriber

  Reply # 740299 4-Jan-2013 21:39 Send private message

The only amps I know that will fulfill your wishes are 2-channel mini-systems (certainly not suitable to power your Tannoy's) or a home theatre receiver.
But as neither of these fit the bill, I'd suggest you go back to PC playback, connect via a USB B type cable and pick up something like a Perreaux integrated (2.5-3k) or a seperate DAC + regular old 2 channel amp.

1504 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 54


  Reply # 740321 4-Jan-2013 23:05 Send private message

JB HiFi has a stereo amp listed on their website.
Last time I was in a store they actually had more than one brand on the shelf.
Logically though you'd probably be better off getting a 5.1 or 7.1 Receiver Amp which would allow you to make use of digital sound from Freeview HD TV or STB as well. You don't have to use all the channels if you don't want to.
Most of the 5.1 Recevers are cheaper than the Stereo Amps available. Plenty of inputs for various devices. Most are now network capable and you can probably stream audio from your PC.
Dedicated Stereo Amps have virtually disappeared along with CD players. I've seen some dedicated CD players still around but with ridiculously expesive price tags compared to Blu Ray players.

2189 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 71

Subscriber

  Reply # 740350 5-Jan-2013 08:05 Send private message

You're forgetting the most important part though.
Sound.
Home theatre receivers have to be jacks of all trades (input switches / HDMI up-conversion / network connectivity / DAC / ADC / radio tuners / multi-zone control etc) and... oh yeah, by the way, they have to amplify.
2 channel amps really don't have to be jacks of all trades, so, instead, they can concentrate on making your music sound as good as possible.
If you were designing an amp, you could either put your design efforts and component $'s into all the latest features and gadget, or, into the power supply.
At $1000.
Pick one, not both.

Oh yeah, just because JB Hifi only has one on their website, doesn't mean anything.
They don't 'get' 2-channel audio, it's not their target market. Keep looking me thinks.

1504 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 54


  Reply # 740359 5-Jan-2013 08:35 Send private message

Dunnersfella: You're forgetting the most important part though.
Sound.
Home theatre receivers have to be jacks of all trades (input switches / HDMI up-conversion / network connectivity / DAC / ADC / radio tuners / multi-zone control etc) and... oh yeah, by the way, they have to amplify.
2 channel amps really don't have to be jacks of all trades, so, instead, they can concentrate on making your music sound as good as possible.
If you were designing an amp, you could either put your design efforts and component $'s into all the latest features and gadget, or, into the power supply.
At $1000.
Pick one, not both.

Oh yeah, just because JB Hifi only has one on their website, doesn't mean anything.
They don't 'get' 2-channel audio, it's not their target market. Keep looking me thinks.


Fair comment although my old Sony 5.1 sounds just as good to me as my really old stereo.
Top of the line mini-system may be OK.
What you buy depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend and always ask for a demo.

960 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32

Subscriber

  Reply # 740380 5-Jan-2013 09:57 Send private message

Check out "Rotel"

67 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4

Trusted
2degrees HB

  Reply # 740392 5-Jan-2013 10:57 Send private message

Gooseybhai: Check out "Rotel"


+1 times a million 




My opinions are purely my own and are not at all those of my employer 2degrees.

rev



16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 740407 5-Jan-2013 12:05 Send private message

Thanks for the replies, cheers.

Have done a bit more reading and see it's not as straight forward as I'd thought. 

The integrated amps mentioned above, do these convert the mp3 into line level so full control of the volume say, is through the amp..? I had hooked the sound output from a laptop in to the Aux input on my old amp (3.5mm Stereo plug to 2x RCA cable), played fine but effectively had two volume controls, the VLC media player software and the physical dial on the amp, I gather line level output would be a better way to do things?

What form would a DAC take, is this a seperate component that outputs to the amp?

Really liking the look of the Rotel stuff, have read a few reviews and like the simplicity of the design, will try to find a dealer in Hawkes Bay/Manawatu area to hear one in action.

Thanks again.
rev

960 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32

Subscriber

  Reply # 740532 5-Jan-2013 22:57 Send private message

You could look at getting an external soundcard for your laptop which can potentially provide you with a fixed line level output to the amp. Have you tried looking at your soundcard settings to see if you can fix the output volume? (perhaps there may be some firmware out there / application that can do this for you).

Also, if your willing to pay for a decent amp, then at least look at the gear your using with it i.e. sh1te in equals sh1te out and the amplifyer will only make louder what it's been given.

You could also look at getting a seperate mixer which takes the output of your laptop or any other device at the same time and provide a fixed line level to your amplifyer.

Just my thoughts.

Edit:  to answer your "DAC" question, your current laptop audio output is a DAC. The poster above mentioned the use of a seperate DAC just as I described above with regards to looking at using a external soundcard (via USB). 

108 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 740792 6-Jan-2013 22:26 Send private message

Have a look around for a Pioneer A400 or A400x, nice sounding amp for 2 channel, or Sony TA-F442, FB540/740 etc, they turn up now and then on Trademe, and add a cheap USB DAC - plenty of fairly decent 2 channel amps out there, don't know them myself, but the simpler Rotels, vintage Kenwoods, they'll all be be similiar electrically and sound OK if not previously abused and poorly repaired

Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:




News »

Trending now »
Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Does acupuncture work?
Created by timmmay, last reply by geekiegeek on 30-Jul-2014 13:48 (27 replies)
Pages... 2


2 x PS4s to give away. Geekzone members only.
Created by BigPipeNZ, last reply by Sideface on 30-Jul-2014 21:02 (63 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


2010 Honda Jazz, Suzuki Swift - which has higher maintenance cost?
Created by joker97, last reply by joker97 on 30-Jul-2014 17:40 (65 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Checking UHF aerial is working
Created by OnceBitten, last reply by B1GGLZ on 28-Jul-2014 21:49 (21 replies)
Pages... 2


VF, why you lie to me?
Created by kenkeniff, last reply by johnr on 30-Jul-2014 12:27 (54 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


Hierarchy of a mistake: Gerry Brownlee
Created by joker97, last reply by DonGould on 29-Jul-2014 21:57 (93 replies)
Pages... 5 6 7


New Mobile plans coming?
Created by nunasdream, last reply by jeffnz on 30-Jul-2014 20:35 (17 replies)
Pages... 2


"keyless" keys - questions
Created by joker97, last reply by joker97 on 30-Jul-2014 10:39 (34 replies)
Pages... 2 3



Geekzone Live »
Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.