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rev

rev

26 posts

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#113077 4-Jan-2013 19:01
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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



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Dunnersfella
4063 posts

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  #740299 4-Jan-2013 21:39
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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.

 
 
 
 

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B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #740321 4-Jan-2013 23:05
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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.

Dunnersfella
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  #740350 5-Jan-2013 08:05
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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.



B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #740359 5-Jan-2013 08:35
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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.

Goosey
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  #740380 5-Jan-2013 09:57
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Check out "Rotel"

Toledo
67 posts

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  #740392 5-Jan-2013 10:57
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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

rev

26 posts

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  #740407 5-Jan-2013 12:05
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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



Goosey
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  #740532 5-Jan-2013 22:57
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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). 

Radiotron
150 posts

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  #740792 6-Jan-2013 22:26
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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

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