SuperPang

Looking for a musical AV Amp

20 posts in this topic

I'll be updating my 7 year old AV setup this summer and this will mean a new AV amp, if only to support the latest audio and video standards. My Yamaha DSP-Z7 has served me well but whilst movies and gaming sound superb, it's never really been great for music playback. I'll be buying the new Oppo UDP-203 as my disc spinner for movies but this should also serve as a music streamer, most probably utilising the DAC, which is very good by all accounts. So basically what I'm asking is, is there a particular brand of AV amp that has the edge for musicality and warmth? It will be driving a 7.1 setup of Anthony Gallo Reference AV and A'Diva Ti. I don't really have a budget in mind.

Edited by SuperPang
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Well budget will have to come into it, as in most things.

I think at the lower end, the Denon or Marantz is better for stereo/music than similarly priced Yammys or Sony.

Moving up a notch, Arcams AVR's still have the family sonic signature in 2 channel mode.

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Moderator

How about Primare? 

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I have had a couple of Marantz AV amps, as was always impressed with their ability to sound good when playing just music. Have a Yamaha amp at the moment, and it is lacking compared to the Marantz.

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Definitely the Primare kit. They use an oppo transport mech in their blurays too so should be some synergy there.

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Thanks guys. I hadn't considered Primare. The SPA23 4KVM was looking very promising until I noticed it's only 5.1. This wouldn't bother me if not for the fact that I already have the speakers wall mounted. The only 7.1 option is a pre/power combo at over 6 grand!

Marantz look good though.

Edited by SuperPang
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Super Dealer

You can use the Primare SPA23 with an additional two channel power amplifier to make it 7.1 . We have installed several over the years and have added the A34.2 to drive the fronts and the internal for centre side and rear .

You can if budget is limited add a lower cost power amp and use it for rears..

We have also used the Pimare AV pre and power..and that is a cracking system , the power amp holds its own with amps costing twice the price and more

 Rob

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A second hand or ex-dem Primare SP33 KVM/A30.7 setup is awfully tempting but at the end of the day, the system is going to be mostly used for games, movies and TV and Primare are lacking support for some of the big surround sound formats. I realise these are often a gimmick but I want to future-proof and the bigger brands pack more features.

The Marantz alternative of AV8802A//MM8077 is an option but I'm not sure I can afford the price tag or the rack space.

Edited by SuperPang
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Super Dealer

What you dont get on the Primare are the new height channel formats like Atmos ,Auro and DTS_X . It covers everything else that you want with 7 channels already set up . We just upgraded a SP33 none 4K to a Dolby Atmos system using a pre amp from a big Japanese brand..great facilities but the Primare sounds way way better on music and movies in its native 7 channel mode

Rob 

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1 hour ago, MFAV said:

You can use the Primare SPA23 with an additional two channel power amplifier to make it 7.1 . We have installed several over the years and have added the A34.2 to drive the fronts and the internal for centre side and rear .

You can if budget is limited add a lower cost power amp and use it for rears..

We have also used the Pimare AV pre and power..and that is a cracking system , the power amp holds its own with amps costing twice the price and more

 Rob

Thanks for the info Rob. I've got a couple of months to mull it over.

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Super Wammer

Arcam make the most musical AV receivers that I have heard.

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The AR850 is certainly a contender.

I think the first decision I need to make is whether I actually want an AV receiver or up the budget for a Processor/Power combo. On the one hand I want a sonic upgrade from my existing receiver but on the other I'm not actually going to listen to too much music and don't want anything that's wasted on my speakers, which are excellent wall-mounts but I'm definitely not looking to change to floor-standing. 

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Super Wammer

The main question here is whether this is part of your 'music' system, or something separate.

We are enormously lucky to have two separate rooms. My priorities for the AV system are massively different from those for the music setup.

If the two are combined, that matters. If the two are separate, the goalposts move significantly.

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The two are separate, which is why music doesn't get played a lot through the AV kit. I've gotten into Hi-fi a lot more since installing the current setup which means my standards are higher for stereo playback but actually, you could say it's never going to trump the Hi-fi so why bother.

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