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Looking for a good amp under £400

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by Eastham, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Eastham

    Eastham More Class-A than ever!

    Messages:
    2,215
    Location:
    North West UK
    I used to love vintage amps and receivers but as of buying my Nad 705 made in '92 I think I've started to realize that modern amps seem to just sound better, to me atleast. I'm looking for something with a clear or "Cold" sound, I tend to favor amplifiers that can make things like drums and cymbals sound realistic and pronounced. I've been looking at the Yamaha A-S501 and the Marantz PM6006. I'm concerned about the Yammie because from what I've read it "lacks composure" and the Marantz "Sounds smooth".

    Some insight would be very helpful. Thanks!
     

     

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  2. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    3,168
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Well , if you don't mind tubes the Oldchen K3 gives a detailed and transparent sound. If you don't want smooth, then go 3x Shuguang CV181-Z Black Bottles rather than 2 of them + 1x Melz 6H8C hole plate metal base tubes as I've done. Tung Sol KT120 are also fantastic power tubes with a linear frequency response right through the range. The amp almost sounds solid state. Frankly it's up there with amps costing many many times more than it. Looks far better in person than it comes up in photos too

    ae_1508212832258.jpg
     
  3. Eastham

    Eastham More Class-A than ever!

    Messages:
    2,215
    Location:
    North West UK
    I love the look of tubes and that amp is no exception, it's a little above my budget but I'm in no rush to upgrade at the moment so it won't be hard to strech my budget, I'll keep it in consideration. Thanks!
     
    mjw21a likes this.
  4. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,389
    Location:
    West coast
    try a late model of any of those wonderful UK amps. Sugden, Cambridge, quad,
    lecson (if they're still around), Meridien (these speak English?), etc

    don't forget UK speakers. buy now.

    or get that NAD re-capped and brought back or up to spec. these are well
    designed units but suffer the issues of overseas manufacturing and now,
    age.
     
  5. Eastham

    Eastham More Class-A than ever!

    Messages:
    2,215
    Location:
    North West UK
    I love my british stuff, especially my Nad and it's all a dime a dozen used here in the UK, as for speakers I'm happy with my Wharfedales for now, still the best pair I've owned so far. Oh trust me I've gotten some first hand experience of Nad's overseas production, I bought my 705 with a dead tuner which is now working thanks to NAD80, while I had it apart I resoldered every joint in the amp and replaced any caps that measured bad along with all the DC blocking caps in the audio path, The detail in the highs and the soundstage is amazing in this amp, I'd certainly place it higher than my Pioneer SX-737 in terms of clarity.
     
  6. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,389
    Location:
    West coast
    if the NAD has been somewhat revived, then it would be hard to find something inexpensive
    that would be clearly better.

    depending on the music you listen to, if the highs are there, the bass is good enough then
    its the soundstage, depth and height of the music. I find only classical gives me that.
     

     

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  7. Eastham

    Eastham More Class-A than ever!

    Messages:
    2,215
    Location:
    North West UK
    The Nad's 100% now, I'm just looking for something new, I've never owned brand new gear and it's something I'd like to try, I've been getting the impression lately that new gear surpasses old gear in a lot of aspects (aside from looks in my opinion) like power consumption and sound quality, I don't mean to ruffle any feathers with this post. Not quite a fair comparison though because I've only heard mid range vintage gear like my Sherwood S-8910, Pioneer SX-737, Yamaha CR-620, etc. I'd love to get my hands on a higher end vintage piece but I'm thinking for the cost I may aswell get something new. As for music I don't listen to music with the most dynamic range, mostly Rock and Metal, some songs with plenty of distortion and victims of the loudness war. But as I've upgraded upto things like my Sherwood, Pioneer and lately my Nad I've noticed the highs are becoming a lot clearer, cymbals, vocals, drums. The bass is becoming less boomey and more of a bump than a boom, it just feels like the amps have a lot more control over my speakers if that makes sense and the soundstage gets noticeably wider, like everything is seperated into it's own space instead of being crushed together.
     

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