gsrai

Stereo amplifier for PMC DB1+- your recommendations please

110 posts in this topic

After lots of thinking and demoing I'm erring towards leaving the AV amp side and use the pre outs to feed a stereo integrated amp but which one :nuts:

Since AV is the focus the PMC's are here to stay and if anything I will move up to FB1+'s in due courses I'm looking for a good stereo amp to match them (maybe some neats in the future but not the near future :D).

My experience tells me that Arcam is the way forward as I know it can sound great but is there a product out there I'm missing?

I've owned the CA840a and that sounded too clinical with the PMC, Sugden A21a was just boring, Densen B100 okay on certain tracks but not all round. Rotel RA06 - no thanks and pathos classic one won't drive well enough.

Amps that intrigue me are audio analogue settanta, Naim Nait XS :shock: (I heard one the other day and just was wowed by it), and I can't house the XTZ due to it's cooling requirements, also intrigued by unison research unico.

Key feature is an AV bypass function.

All thoughts appreciated especially on the Naim.

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I don't know if it's still there but the unison research unico primo in the classifieds caught my eye. I used to have the previous unico and liked it's vibrant and lively sound. The midrange was particularly smooth and open.

The primo is supposidly even better than the old unico...

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Arcam FMJ Ax8 series - but thn I would say that :)

The XTZ range of amps are very highly regarded on the Wam by seversal members. Not bypass though.

Perhaaps one of NAD's chunkier options?

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Bryston

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Harmon Kardon HK990. Not sure about AV pass through, but does have processor in.

Very competetent and flexible ~ big though!

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Dare I say Exposure? Can't remember what the crack is on AV throughput or whatever it is...

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Heard the current Cyrus top integrated driving some PMC Fact 8s recently very well. Demoed alongside an Electrocompaniet ECI-5 and the Cyrus seemed better. More open and involving. I was quite surprised, expecting the ECI-5 to be better.

One of the absolute best integrated amps I have heard under £2K is the Sonneteer Alabaster, will drive most speakers very well.

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I find the PMC a bit on the neutral/clinical side. Depending on the taste you have in music, you may wanna cosider partnering them wth a sligthly "warmer" amp. The Audio Analogue comes to mind (not sure about AV bypass) as a potentially great match (heard the amp and PMC separately however). I have also heard the PMC with the Unico Primo and would certainly recommend the combo (at least to my ears and musical taste).

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I thought the XS was a belter of an amp when i demoed it with rega speakers, but found it a bit shouty with PMC GB1i's, in fairness though it was alll warmed up in one dealership with the regas and just slapped together with the PMC's in another so maybe that was a factor? but i would seriously demo the XS/PMC partnership before chucking cash at it just to make sure its to your liking.

As you know im thinking of doing the same as you to improve stereo from my speakers, but as you confirmed yourself in your other thread, the av amp will be somewhat acting as a preamp and im beginning to think perhaps a higher quality av pro/power (and sell the AV amp) or the beresford switch Neil has used with a stereo amp may yield more massive stereo improvement by taking the av amp clean out of the equation this would also do away with the need to choose a stereo amp with AV bypass, but then again my AV amp is much older (and probably not as good as yours for stereo)

Sorry if any of thats misleading or confusing...just thought i'd throw my opinion in :)

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Cheers chaps :^

Ben, I did think about buying the Beresford switch but at £73 Inc it doesn't make financial sense to me, the money is probably better spent on the amp. Thinking about your comments about preamps etc I've borrowed anarcam amp and I think I've gout round the problem, I've connected my CD player and front L/R to the arcam stereo amp so there is no v amp in the chain. I've then connected the AV pre outs into the AV bypass on the arcam so when watching movies the AV sonic signature goes straight into the arcam power amp stage so both amps are only on for movies and for stereo I just use the arcam :^

JB, howdy fella - it was only a matter of time before I started playing again andi do recall you little box of tricks but had forgotten about it , worth a look methinks ;-)

Silencio, I do like the idea of the Valvey type of stereo amp to tame the PMC's but the amp needs to grip the little buggers as well.

JamesR - do you like a detailed sound as I've never heard an Cyrus amp I could live with for more than 30 minutes before my head hurts and I'm not trying to be funny just my experience ?

I really must hear on of these HK's but I fear it might be too clean and I'm not sure exposure have the AV bypass.

Has anyone heard the new audio lab or Marantz KI Lite? Hoopsontoast reckons the audiolab powers are awesome.

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The Unico Primo in the classifieds is mine. Here is a link to my thoughts when I bought it (see post #4), I actually went out to buy a Nait XS:

http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=82791&highlight=primo

It's very good amp indeed and I've even grown to like its looks. Review here:

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/amplifiers/unison-unico-primo-499279/review

Cheers,

Dave

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The best i have heard PMCs is with Bryston up em...could you get a Bryston Integrated? or what about a Leema PULSE? i want to hear a Nait XS myself in the next twelve months.

Sugden...boring???what???????Nooo :shock::D maybe with thoseMinature PMC and Proac type boxes that need a PA amp up em to get them grooving, not wi' proper designed speakers tho!:P

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JamesR - do you like a detailed sound as I've never heard an Cyrus amp I could live with for more than 30 minutes before my head hurts and I'm not trying to be funny just my experience ?

I don't think your being funny :-) On the occasion the Cyrus sounded a bit clearer. I do like transparency but with a holographic soundstage and an audience perspective (not in the middle of the band) presentation. The Cyrus certainly wasn't the best I had heard but seemed better with the Fact 8 loudspeakers. A longer audition may have shown shortcomings where the Electrocompaniet could have had strenghs.

My main recommendation is probably the Alabaster from Sonneteer.

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