Home audio question, specifically pre-amplifiers

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  • #270470
    MFillingham
    Participant

      I’ve been gathering some funds with the intent of getting a system that’ll play my record collection.

      I’ve currently gathered a pair of B&W P4 floor standing speakers and a Pro-ject Debut III record deck. I need a fairly powerful amp, so I got a 4 channel power amp -an AMC 2445 – with the intention of adding a Rotel tuner/pre amp that was also on eBay at the same time.  Somehow, the seller pulled the Rotel while I was buying the power amp.

      So I’m a bit stuck now.  I need something that can work through a remote control as it’ll spend most of its time with a TV input, whether that’s streaming or live tv and we need to mute it should the phone go or adjust the volume the lazy way.  I was looking at a newer Audiolab pre amp but it went rather rapidly upwards to silly money.  There was an old Denon but it’s been relisted 3 times and is now on an auction list for 9 days for the second time.  I lost patience.

      So I’m now looking around at a rather long list of unsuitable options.

      the short list of needs is remote capability (but doesn’t necessarily need the remote as I can use the Sky or tv remote for volume control), phono input (mm/mc) and bass/treble control for a little fine tuning.  It’s not a huge list but I’m struggling to find something decent. Budget was around £150 max but is rapidly growing due to a lack of options.

      Ive seen a Linn Kollektor which is suitable but comes in at nearly double the budget.  Everything else I’ve seen is either a pure phono pre amp (box that does 1 thing) so I’d still need a pre amp after it, is an AV controller which doesn’t come with a phono input or does everything I want but can’t use a remote, like the older Rotels and Audiolab or is sold as parts as someone has only tested it turning on and won’t guarantee it fully working or it’s actually broken.

      I’ve looked at the local stores and either the new units are cheap and sound horrid or they’re proper Hi Fi stores and even used prices start above £1,000 which isn’t happening if I don’t fancy sleeping in the car until the Mrs calms down.

      Anyone got anything they’d recommend looking for?

      • This topic was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by MFillingham.

      I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
      I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

      Mark

    Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    • #270482
      DumfriesDik
      Participant

        I have had great support from Cambridge Audio, on a wee bluetooth speaker. I lost the power lead and they sent a free one out to me. So I would give them a thumbs up. So much so I bought their media player and love it.

        A quick look on What Hifi and there are three below £200, but I have no idea how suitable they might be for you.

        Let us know how you get on.

        VW ID3 Max is my DD

        #270486
        Avatar photoMenorca Mike
        Participant

          Anyone remember NAD I had a Nad 3020e amp Nad 520 cd player and AR18s speakers on nexus stands with qed speaker wire with banana plugs sound was superb

          #270487
          kezo
          Participant

            You would have been better getting a decent quality used AV Amp/Amp with built in phono stage and building your system seperates up when funds allowed.

            You are better using optical rather than phono.

            I’ll have a look later

             

            #270499
            MFillingham
            Participant

              You would have been better getting a decent quality used AV Amp/Amp with built in phono stage and building your system seperates up when funds allowed. You are better using optical rather than phono. I’ll have a look later

               

              I have optical from the tv, which gives me the highest available quality from the most used source.  The record deck can only provide an analogue signal and I really didn’t want to be getting another box to put in that signal path.  I also have a bluetooth receiver for listening to all the music/radio apps we have between us as I’ve had enough of the little bluetooth speaker the Mrs uses, it’s trying hard to play all frequencies through a 3″ speaker and it’s not working and sounds almost offensive it’s that bad.

               

              The issue I have with most amplifiers is a lack of power.  The B&W are notorious for needing some energy pumped in which is why I went for a bridgeable power source.  Apparently the AMC is remarkably well built for such a low value, little known brand.  My mate, who used to build amplifiers for a living, said he’d be surprised if the output was less than half quoted figures on top of the quote.  Looking at the components he said the quoted 40wpc and 100 bridged was more likely 60-80 and 160-200 depending upon a few thing I really didn’t understand.  It’s nice to have someone who can look at the schematics and wiring diagram and can understand so much more than us mere mortals.  So, that’s the power more than enough for the Mrs who likes the neighbourhood to listen to her music, when the rest of us are out.  Plus it’s enough for the speakers to have the power to produce the lowest end of their output with some conviction.

               

              Upside is that the Mrs has offered to pay the difference as a birthday present so I can look at the Linn again.

              I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
              I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

              Mark

              #270503
              DumfriesDik
              Participant

                Can’t go wrong with Linn.

                Would a separate DAC be of any use? I used to use a Spitfire, it worked well.

                I like @kezos ides of going AV. But I mustn’t!! ?

                VW ID3 Max is my DD

                #270510
                MFillingham
                Participant

                  @DumfriesDik I have an AV amp currently in place but the front right channel has blown.  It was a good opportunity to upgrade everything and get the old records played again.

                  I’m not one for full surround sound as I can’t be bothered getting speakers suitably placed and cables put away properly but a decent stereo can provide placement if the recording is right.

                   

                  Im hoping not to need a DAC and just have a pre amp with a decent phono input board and the Linn’s one is pretty decent as standard and can be upgraded without a trip to the dealer.

                  • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by MFillingham.

                  I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                  I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                  Mark

                  #270517
                  kezo
                  Participant

                    Where as a common stereo amplifier (2 channel amp) each speaker + – is connected to the corresponding channel 1 (L) and channel 2 (R) terminals, creating stereo sound.

                    In Parallel Mono, the same signal is played through both channels.

                    In Bridged Mono a speaker is typically connected to the + terminal of channel 1 (L) and channel 2 (R) of the Amp, with one channel acting as + and the other channel as a -. This harnesses the power of both amplifier channels theoretically doubling the output (although its often not quite as much)

                    To acheive Parallel or Bridge mono your Amp must be capable of switching to each mode, which is often through input connections or a switch on the rear.

                    Bi Amp, uses 2 or more Amplifiers to drive different sets/sections of speakers on a system, which gives minimal distortion, more dynamic range and a clearer enhanched sound quality.

                    Bi Amping decreases the chance of blowing tweeter, cross over frequencies are at line level and again more enhanced sound.

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    #270521
                    MFillingham
                    Participant

                      Yes, the ultimate idea is to go active and send one amplifier channel to one speaker or group of speakers with frequency control applied prior to amplification.  However for both bi amping and active amplification you’d need the speakers to be designed to work that way.  All my car installs were 7 channel active (L&R tweeters, mid and midbass plus 1 sub channel) but that requires a lot of amplification and understanding of crossover, time alignment and speaker placements.  For what I’m currently planning the speakers can be run from a specific bridgable amp they can be bi amped but the gain in terms of control is diminished through a lack of power on the midbass.  However, there is potential for a future upgrade of putting in a class A or tube amp for the top section and keep the bridged amp on the midbass.

                      I keep considering building a set of speakers for active control as I can get a digital crossover from my car audio contacts  and then it’s just having 6 channels of power.  That can wait until I’ve got time and energy to design and build a decent speaker build and already have the amplifier channels I’ll need.

                      I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                      I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                      Mark

                      #271536
                      MFillingham
                      Participant

                        Well, I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve already received the AMC power amp and plugged it in off the tape out from my computer amp (a Cambridge Audio A5) and plugged it into the P4s.  The sound lifted.  I couldn’t play it for long as there’s no volume control and it wasn’t quiet from the bridged amp but the sound was instantly brighter, more detailed and significantly louder.   The Linn will be with me in the next few days, then it’s just down to setting it all up and seeing just how good the end result is.

                        I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                        I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                        Mark

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