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evilspoons
01-01-2011, 12:23 AM
As promised, I've looked up the names of the old equipment I have on hand. If it's worth reusing, I can buy more expensive speakers instead of buying a lower-cost receiver (probably Pioneer or something) and some midrange speakers.

I have:

- Yamaha Natural Sound Stereo Power Amplifier M-80
(2 ch obviously, 'auto class a' button, 2/4/8 ohm load switch, A/B/C speaker outputs, individual L/R level controls, spiffy red bar level indicator, weighs 50+ pounds)

- Yamaha Natural Sound 2/4 Channel Power Amplifier M-35
(I think this was used as the Dolby Surround rear channel amplifier for the next component, it's about a third as tall as the M-80)

- Yamaha Natural Sound Digital Sound Field Processor DSP-1
(WAHOO dolby surround with reverb levels and a mic input on the front, too bad we lost the remote with 98% of the controls on it. I don't plan on running more than two channels anyway so this guy can collect dust).

- Kenwood Stereo Control Amplifier KC-207
(I am pretty sure this was used to feed/control the M-80. It has a graphic EQ, some input selection, and a remote control with about 500 buttons)

AAAAnnd last but not least,

- JVC XL-V250 Compact Disc Player
(Came from a different stereo, used to run with a JVC receiver of the same era. Controlled via COMPU-LINK so you only needed one remote; too bad it has a on/off power toggle, not a on/standby)

Can I use the Kenwood KC-207 and the Yamaha M-80 to run a brand new set of speakers? I'm thinking Polk LSi7/LSi9 or maybe Monitor Audio R90HD. I can get any of these speakers at a really good price ($500-$650 Canadian).

Should I look into sending the Yamaha out to get looked over first? If I have to spend too much I'd rather just buy something newer...

Thoughts?

poppachubby
01-01-2011, 04:20 AM
Personally, I think your M-80 is a decent amp. It's certainly not the creme de la creme, but not too bad at all.

You must tell us more info in terms of where you want to be. Perhaps the M-80 is enough to satisfy you, in which case I say keep it. If you are looking for a special sound, an upgrade may be in store for you.

One thing is for sure, the CDP has got to go. As far as speakers go, I would suggest used in order to save significant money. Have a look on Canuck Audio Mart.

Here is the speaker list for Alberta (http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/classifieds/speakers/3?filter=FOR+SALE&province=AB&price=All).

Here is a great OLD pair of Sound Dynamics 10s. (http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/208375-sound_dynamics_10s__rebuilt/) I have a similar pair of SMT1200 and these things rock! If you are just looking for "decent" playback for rock and such, these things pound and are on par with Cerwin Vega and JBL. Not the end in transparency, but alot of fun.

I will also let you in on a secret. The metal dome tweeters in these are worth more than his asking price, so right off the hop you are ahead of the game. There is a special model of Energy (C22?) which uses the same tweeter as it's no longer in production. Energy owners rabidly search for extra pairs so these will eventually get sold.

I also like these Tannoys (http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/208938-tannoy_c8_bookshelf_speakers/), another fine 2 way. These would be much more refined than the Sound Dynamics.

Anyhow, I also noticed some other great stuff so have a look. Let us know how much money you have to play with overall. You really should look at a new CDP.

thekid
01-01-2011, 05:08 AM
I echo PC's comments regarding the gear. The pick of the litter in that line up is the 2 Yamaha amps. It is my understanding they shine a bit more if matched with a Yamaha pre-amp. The KC-207 is actually a pre-amp from a Kenwood rack system (Spectrum series I believe) I had a 206 and it is okay but not even close to the quality of the amps so it would be a shame to run them with it. You might find a Yamaha C-80 pre out there for not too much coin. DSP-1 is I think just what it says an early sound processor for DSP modes like Hall-Disco-Church etc.... probably outdated by now and without the remote most likely you will not be able to use many of its features.

With the amps you have the building blocks of a decent system and since Yamaha gear flies under the radar a bit you might be able to put together an all Yamaha system from that era for not too much coin.

Good luck!

basite
01-01-2011, 06:45 AM
Use those things, for sure.

The M-80 will make a GREAT base to start with. While not being "THE" yamaha amp, it certainly was (and still is), a great amp. Separate power supplies, heavy, dual mono built, those are things you'll be paying for these days, and you have it for free in the basement. DEFINITELY use it.

the M-35 is the M-80's smaller brother, good amp too, but with the M-80, already there, I wouldn't see much use for it, for a stereo setup.

the DSP-1, this quite shocked me...
it was their first DSP processor, shortly after that they offered lower range products too. The DSP-1, however, was the absolute top of the line DSP back then, and far ahead of it's time. Currently they're at incarnation N 11, I think, which sells for around $6k and the 1 is "obsolete", in terms of surround effects, but for analog use, it's still a great thing. I'd keep it, if you were to go surround, and get a blu ray player with analog outs, otherwise sell it, someone might jump on it, it's worth quite a bit...

I have no experience with the kenwood, but I trust PC and Thekid's opinion...

the cd player will have to go. outdated and obsolete, and not that special to begin with neither...

but, keep the yamaha gear FOR SURE.

As for speakers, the M-80 will drive most of the commercial speakers out there, with not too much problems, yours to pick a pair. Maybe look for a pair of Monitor Audio silver or gold series. another option is the Wharfedale Diamond series, I have a pair of Diamond 10.2's for a small home theatre setup (but the room is not finished yet, currently using them in stereo, in my setup), and they keep impressing me. They have NO single right to sound this good for so little money. definitely give them a look :)

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

poppachubby
01-01-2011, 08:01 AM
I am leaning towards a CDP with variable output, straight into the amp if all you are playing is CDs. Bypass the pre altogether. Funny I just bought a used Yamaha CDC 535 which has variable output. Not the best player, but anyways...

Mr Peabody
01-01-2011, 08:17 AM
Ditto, the Kid was correct on the Kenwood preamp, from a rack system and would be your weak link, but as stated the absolute weakest link would be the JVC CDP.

For CDP you should listen to the Marantz 5003 or maybe something by Cambridge Audio in your price. In preamps an Adcom or even used Carver would be a good start if not able to find a matching Yamaha. I'd lean toward the Yamaha just because I believe in same brand separates for best synergy, or at least the sound the manufacturer was trying to achieve.

One other suggestion would be to look at www.emotiva.com for the USP-1 preamp and ERC-1 CDP. The preamp has a separate subwoofer out with crossover which is nice. Both of these are good values for the money but in my opinion not as warm as the Yamaha "house sound". So not sure how they would match with the amp but Emo gives a 30 day trial and return if not happy. The ERC-1 is built like a tank and the sound is very good with a nice sound stage but I find it a bit clinical. The USP-1 has good features but is not nearly as ruggedly built as the ERC-1. The sound is good, I have one on the front of a Bryston 3bst and it does well. It would be hard to tell how it would compare to the other preamps going from memory, definitely better than the Kenwood and I'd say cleaner sounding than entry Adcom.

Are you staying with DVD for a while or going with Blu-ray? If only wanting a one box solution Oppo's players have gotten good reviews for sounding good on both music and movies. If only DVD some of the Marantz and Yamaha are said to sound decent as well.

Mr Peabody
01-01-2011, 08:22 AM
It looks like the M80 is either switchable to Class A or runs in Class A up to a point, I haven't heard this amp but I bet it sounds pretty good.

evilspoons
01-01-2011, 01:47 PM
Thanks for all the advice; I didn't really think the CD player was any good, but it's there so I mentioned it.

I think I will try to build around the M-80 to begin with. I don't have a lot of money to spend (other priorities like car repair looming and needing a new couch) but I'll save up for something good instead of buying junk.

poppachubby: my dad actually has two sets of those Sound Dynamics; he loaned them to my aunt but she is not using them, so he said I could have them instead.
I blew the cones on them about thirteen years ago listening to Contact on DVD, they were re-done by a local shop and sound just as good in a home theatre application.

My only real problem with them is their massive bulk. I'd have to putz around with some sort of shelving system to retain enough room in my living room for the components and my roomba's parking spot (hence the desire for those bookshelf speakers I listed in my original post).

The system will be used to listen to music from all sources - I have an Apple Airport Express to stream audio from our laptops, I have a CD collection, and then I have an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3. The PS3 is used for Blu-Ray, the Xbox purely for games. I have a few DVDs still but the PS3 does a good-enough-for-me job of playing them back.

I don't care about the DSP effects, maybe I'll hook it up if I can find the remote (doubtful). No room for more than two speakers anyway.

I'm glad you mentioned Emotiva, they are actually what I was considering if I had a few more bucks - the UPA-2 would've been my choice to replace the Yamaha M-80 once I'd saved up enough... but again, not a lot of cash flying around here.

poppachubby
01-01-2011, 02:36 PM
Yes, there are details which we can only guess about. So space is an issue, and cash (hey me too!).

Shame you can't house a FREE pair of SD's. As you found out years ago they can be driven to stupid heights of loudness. I am a bit of a Sound Dynamics fan and have talked to guys online who back in the day, blew them up just like you did. The ol' "blow out the match with the reflex port". A recipe for destruction.

I would suggest the Tannoys that are in your local listing, a nice smooth 2 way with a smaller footprint. For $100 you can't go wrong.

Keep the M80 for now, $100 for the speaks and whatever is left for a CDP and pre.

I would suggest the natural mate to your amp which is the Yamaha C80 pre amp or the Kenwood Basic C1 or C2, all well regarded and sell for a song regularily on auction sites.

basite
01-01-2011, 03:23 PM
The system will be used to listen to music from all sources - I have an Apple Airport Express to stream audio from our laptops, I have a CD collection, and then I have an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3. The PS3 is used for Blu-Ray, the Xbox purely for games. I have a few DVDs still but the PS3 does a good-enough-for-me job of playing them back.

I don't care about the DSP effects, maybe I'll hook it up if I can find the remote (doubtful). No room for more than two speakers anyway.

I'm glad you mentioned Emotiva, they are actually what I was considering if I had a few more bucks - the UPA-2 would've been my choice to replace the Yamaha M-80 once I'd saved up enough... but again, not a lot of cash flying around here.


don't bother saving for the emotive power amp, as long as the yamaha lasts, it will prove to be at least as good if not better as the emotiva.

the dsp effects are not really worth any time anyway, on current receivers, I don't bother with them neither. I still haven't found a reason why my music should sound like I'm in a big chuch hall... anyway, maybe the DSP1 will prove useful anyway...

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

pixelthis
01-02-2011, 11:39 AM
eITHER THE kenwood or Yammy pre amps would be good.
I would go with the DSP 1. But stereo is all I would use it for. I would pair it with the best YAMAHA AMP. Some universal remotes might have the codes for it, or remote central might.
Good luck, anyway.:1: