Help With Amplifier

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by eddiel1, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. eddiel1

    eddiel1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I am new to this forum, and I am seeking help with an amplifier. With the exception of my receiver, most of the components I currently have are vintage (Thorens TD125 Mkii, SME 3009 Improved, Ortofon M15E Super, ADS L810 speakers, Denon DCM 460 CD changer, and Onkyo TX 8511 receiver). I am pretty pleased with the LP sound performance. Although the Onkyo receiver is functional (powerful, no perceived noise or distortion), I am not happy with the quality of the music, particularly with the CD's. I am looking to replace the receiver with a separate tuner and integrated amplifier. I am looking to purchase a used Yamaha T-1000 tuner, but I am uncertain of the amplifier. I am certain that I want to stick to SS. I hear that vintage NAD amplifiers are very good soundwise, but reliability may be an issue as well as the fact that vintage amps may require restoration, which I prefer not to do. I don't need a lot of power, but performance and reliability are very important to me. As far as cost is concerned, I don't want to pay more than $150 for the amp. Perhaps someone in the AK nation can make recommendations that I can further research. Thank you in advance for your responses!
     
  2. lifer70

    lifer70 What? Subscriber

    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Welcome to AK eddiel1. I know you're looking for an integrated amp but if you could find it Onkyo TX 8500 series receiver you might find the magic you're looking for. the TX 8500 is a good-looking well-built nice sounding receiver that would match well with the rest of your awesome equipment. good luck on your hunt for an integrated amp. There are many many choices for integrated amplifiers so have your reference CD handy and give each one you're thinking about buying a good listen. good luck on your search.
     
  3. spark1

    spark1 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I am a fan of integrated amplifiers, and own quite a few of them.

    I would suggest that you look for something rated at 60W rms per channel or more. Unless you listen at extreme volumes, this should give the power you would need plus enough headroom to keep any clipping to a minimum, or avoid it altogether. Because your speakers are rated at 6 ohms nominal and 4 ohms minimum, you should also make sure that any amp you consider be rated for 4 ohm loads. And, because phono seems to be an important part of the mix for you, you might think about a unit with a well-regarded phono section and perhaps even the capability to adjust capacitance and with variable impedance loading, and to handle MC cartridges. Finally, you might want to limit your search to units with the ability to bypass the tone/filter section of the amp.

    The integrated amp that matches your tuner - the Yamaha A-1000 - meets all of these criteria, and generally is quite well regarded and reliable. I've owned two, and thought it offered excellent performance. The A-700 is very similar, with a few less bells and whistles and just a slightly lower power rating. These units used to be "under the radar" and relatively inexpensive, but this may no longer be the case. I did pick up an A-700 for my daughter's college rental house two years ago for $50, in good operating condition. It did not sound as good as the A-1000, but the A-1000 had been extensively updated.

    Keep in mind that if you are looking for a relatively high-quality amp that meets the criteria I suggested, $150 is possible but will take some effort (scouring CL regularly, etc). You probably already know this, but vintage amps will normally require some work (replacement of electrolytic capacitors, and maybe noisy transistors) to perform at their best. These parts are not usually very expensive...but labor is (unless, of course, you have the skills to do the work yourself).

    As something of a counterpoint, the A-700 and A-1000 both used very high quality capacitors throughout...which should make any urgency you feel to update them less of an issue.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  4. eddiel1

    eddiel1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Many thanks for your input. It's too bad,......I used to have a Yamaha CA-810 which I liked very much, but for some reason, I sold it. I realize that $150 does not get a whole lot these days, but I will try to be patient here. I was actually thinking of finding an old NAD 3155 that required restoration. I found a master technician about 20 miles from me who used to work for NAD who may be able to get it in good working order. I know that I am being frugal here, but I recently retired, so I want to watch my spending for now.

    Thanks again for your assistance on this matter.
     
  5. spark1

    spark1 New Member

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    That really is too bad...the CA-810 a very nice amp, and would have met all the criteria I mentioned.

    Something I should have mentioned is that sound quality is most impacted by speakers (and how they interact with your room), then by playback devices (especially in the case of turntables...the sound of which is most heavily dependent upon cartrdige/stylus), and finally by amplification (with preamp more important then power amp, generally speaking).

    If you are happy with the sound of your system when playing records, this suggests that the problem might lie with your CD player more than with your amp/receiver.

    If you like having a CD changer and it has digital output capability (some of the Denon changers do), you could consider a nice outboard DAC (digital to audio converter), rather than looking for a different CD player. If you go that route, be sure that the DAC can accommodate the output from the Denon (for example, it it's only optical, the DAC must be able to take optical in). Many DACs can handle multiple inputs,so you could use it for music from your PC (fed to your analog stereo system) as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  6. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

    Messages:
    37,452
    Location:
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Good luck..
     
  7. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo

    Messages:
    8,182
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    If you keep an eye out, NAD 2400 or it's cousins (2x00 series) can be had for around that. There's a 2200 @ $142 and a 2400 @ $103 on EB right now.
    Mine is a keeper.
     
  8. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Active Member

    Messages:
    464
    If deciding to replace the CDP as suggested I highly recommend one of the top tier Sonys. These can be picked up for a song these days.

    I've recently purchased all of these original MSRP $1000 players for $80 or less, cheap way to get a great transport and DAC all in one package. These are easier to find in black and also a bit cheaper, but I like the silver face when available.

    All were purchased on eBay, as was most of my equipment. Don't be afraid to use this huge market or your choices will be seriously diminished. Their buyer protection plan is second to none, I've even purchased five turntables through eBay without a hitch. If there is ever an issue that can't be resolved with the seller eBay will step in and make things right, even out of their own pockets, shipping included.


    sony900v.gif
    This player I could only find in black other than one offering from Russia in silver face, but too much money just for a cosmetic difference.

    x158dvp999s-f_LD.jpeg
    This schveet deck is making beautiful music in our bedroom system. These top tier Sonys really went the extra step, defeatable disply, output attenuation, all for better SQ and compatibility with other than Sony equipment.

    x158DVPX777-f.jpeg
    Picked this unit up for $63, added new belts another $12, works like new. The belts were a piece of cake to replace.
     

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