Receiver or Amp? PLEASE HELP.... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

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chaoticmustanggt
12-03-2003, 08:19 PM
Hi. I just bought a Sony CDP-XE370 single disc cd player. I want a good but inexpensive stereo system. I am not sure what I will get for speakers but I am curious about something. I don't listen to the radio at all, just the cd's that I have, so could I skip getting a receiver and just get an integrated amp or pre-amp (im not sure I know the difference between the two), and power my system this way or is this not advisable? Will an amp have all the connections on the back panel needed to hook up interconnects, speakers, etc?

I don't want to buy an expensive amp either if I can do without the receiver, probably buy off of etronics.com because their prices are low or find a good deal on ebay. Believe it or not, I got the Sony player for just $68 including shipping on ebay. It was NIB. So hopefully I can get some more good deals for my other audio components.

Any help from other audio enthusiaphiles is really appreciated!!!

poneal
12-03-2003, 08:57 PM
Yes you can get an integrated amp. An integrated amp is a preamplifer+amplifer. A receiver is an integrated amp with a radio. An amp is used to power your speakers to amplify sound. IMO that most people get a receiver because they are lower in price than some integrated and separates. If you get an integrated amp/preamp then you can connect your cd player to it. All you need is some speakers and you will be good to go. Have fun shopping and listening.

topspeed
12-04-2003, 09:45 AM
Another option outside of those listed by Poneal is to check if your cd player has a gain (volume) control. If it does, you can plug it in directly into an amp and you'll be just fine. The advantage here is that you'll get the purist signal possible and in audio, the less you have between the source and the speakers, the better. The disadvantage is that if you ever plan on expanding your system, eventually you'll need a pre-amp to plug everything into. Think of a preamp as a traffic director, it basically allows you to plug multiple sources into one thing, like an intersection, and then decide which signal you want to send though the traffic light, er...amp. Get it? If you do indeed have gain control, I'd get the amp and worry about the preamp later as your system grows.

BTW, system matching is very important, especially the amp/speaker combo. The more you spend, the more important it becomes. The reason being that some mid-fi and hi-fi speakers such as planars and electrostats will readily eat lesser amps that aren't up to the task of driving low impedence speakers. Do a little research on speaker efficiencies and ask your dealer what amps they recommend and why when you find the right speaker. As mentioned, go listen to a LOT of things. Personally, I'd find the speakers first and then locate the matching amp.

Good luck and buy what moves you.

bturk667
12-04-2003, 01:00 PM
How much are you looking to spend?

chaoticmustanggt
12-04-2003, 05:03 PM
Thanks for all the help so far! You guys really answered my questions well. If anyone else wants to add to what they have said please do so.

Also, what are good speaker brands that sell bookshelfs for under $250. I don't want to resort to circuit city or best buy and unfortunately I live in an area with no specialty audio stores so I can't test anything out. I like Infinity a tad but they can be bought anywhere almost. Are any speakers sold at Circuit City or Best Buy worth buying? I have read that NHT, Klipsch, B.I.C., among others are good and rather inexpensive. I'm looking to first buy just bookshelfs and place them on speaker stands then later add a subwoofer, equalizer, etc., but by then of course I may want to get a better system altogether.

I would like a good range of sound from tight bass to higher freqs. I listen to underground hip hop, none of that crap that is on the radio and I really care how everything sounds, I'm not just a bass fanatic. Authentic sounding vocals are real important to me. And I don't need anything real loud either, the system will be in my bedroom which is rather small. Basically, I just want a pair of bookshelf speakers with great sound, good quality, and decent price. Please any recommendations for specific models or brands appreciated. For an amp I would like to spend less than $200, hopefully I can find a good deal on ebay.

topspeed
12-05-2003, 09:47 AM
Paradigm Atom, PSB Alpha, Cambridge Soundworks (hifi.com) for new. Check out Audiogon.com as they have a lot of really good stuff in your price range such as Vandersteen, Pinnacle, Klipsch, etc. for speaks. They also have some nice integrateds or amps that would fit your bill. I think this one would be perfect for a great small room set-up.

http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.pl?ampstran&1075586016&class&3&4&

If you don't mind buying used that would be the way to go.

BTW, what have you done to your 'stang? Any tweaks?

Good luck!

piece-it pete
12-05-2003, 10:47 AM
Hello!

For a cheap decent quality amp I suggest you check out old Marantzs', as well.

The three I've owned had better bass control than the newer Yamaha & Sony products I've used, and were at least equal to the Denon receiver I owned. Some of the most desirable models are IMO overpriced now but some bargains, like the 1090, are readily available:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3063119871&category=50593&rd=1

The last one went for $114.

Specs:

http://www.classic-audio.com/marantz/1090.html

That's 45 real wpc, BTW - it will rock. And it has preamp outs/main amp in if your CD player has a volume control for headphones.

I don't have much experience with modern speakers but will bet the Magnepan MMGs' are a bargain at $300-350/pair on Audiogon (scary-real midrange on the old MG1s' I owned) - a bit shy on bass - so you'd probably add a sub later. But wow it would be fun to shop the 5 million old speakers sold on ebay all the time! And you might find a real bargain. I've heard Skeptic mention KLH 6s' ("Happy is he who owns KLH 6s":) & they go for about $150. And there's still 4,999,999 left to go!!

And for decent quality cheap wire your local car stereo shop will have 12ga tinned multi-stranded OFC speaker wire for about $.30/ft (and perhaps some cheaper patchcords). Works for me (until I make my own)!

Have fun!

Pete

bturk667
12-05-2003, 07:23 PM
For an amp I would like to spend less than $200, hopefully I can find a good deal on ebay.[/QUOTE]
That's not much. Ebay is probably your best bet. I think Audio Source make a decent 80 wpc amp, but it's @ $350.00 new.

poneal
12-05-2003, 09:23 PM
For $200 you can get a HK 2000 remanufactured amplifer with original factory warranty from harman kardon online store at ebay. It is a 4 channel amp that can be bridged into two channels. The specs from http://www.harmankardon.com/specifications.asp?cat=AMP&ser=&prod=PA%202000&sType=C
are as follows:

SPECIFICATIONS: General
Power Output, Normal Mode : 4 x 45 Watts @ 8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.07% THD, all channels driven
Power Output, Bridged Mode : 2 x 100 Watts @ 8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.07% THD, all channels driven
High Instantaneous Current Capability (HCC) : 45 Amps
Frequency Response : <1Hz - 170kHz (-3dB at 1 watt)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio : 110dB at Rated power 45 watts
THD/IMD : Less than 0.07% at rated output
Power Bandwidth : <1Hz - 100kHz
Input Impedance : 47k Ohms
Input Sensitivity : 1 Volt for rated output
Remote Trigger Voltage : 3 - 30 Volts AC/DC
Remote Trigger Impedance : 20k Ohms
Dimensions
(H x W x D) : 6-1/8" x 17-3/8" x 15-3/4" (155mm x 442mm x 400mm)
Weight : 25.3 lb (11.4kg)
Power Requirement : AC 120V/50 - 60Hz
Power Consumption : 260 Watts maximum

psonic
12-06-2003, 12:19 AM
under 200 amps, here's some specific models you could look at... (BTW, you do not need a 100wpc integrated, they have much more beefier amps than recievers, ie I run a 40wpc NAD 304 integrated and i have yet to take it past 10 oclock, it has far more power, clarity, bass and speaker control, in fact it sounds so much better, it's not even comparable to my pioneer 100wpc receiver. The integrated will also handle large or demanding speakers, where a receiver cannot.

$199 New Cambridge Audio A300 50-Watt-Per-Channel Integrated

http://www.audioadvisor.com/store/productdetail.asp?sku=CAMBA300

or search ebay & audiogon for a NAD or Rotel integrated, they can be had for less than $200

spacedeckman
12-06-2003, 05:14 AM
You got a Best Buy nearby...Athena B1 bookshelves, about$180 for pair if I recall. You won't find a cheaper/better speaker.

Power? Used is probably the way to go. If you don't trust used, get one of the little Yamahas while you are there.(the $300 one is preferred over the $200). If you want used, there are bargains to be had out there. You can get an old "bad boy" pro-logic receiver for next to nothing that used to sell for big bucks. Look for Yamaha, h/k, Denon, Marantz, or Onkyo. Even the big "pre-DTS" models can be had pretty cheap. Look for a midline or better receiver (used to sell for $800 or more)

Keep it simple? Find a used integrated on ebay or audiogon. If you can find an Arcam, it would be my first choice, followed by a NAD, or a Cambridge. Yamaha, h/k, Onkyo, and Denon have had some really nice integrated amps.

Space

drummerdano
04-22-2005, 08:17 AM
Here is a thought I haven't seen offered,,,,,,,, I went to DAKMART.com for a factory refurbished Denon receiver. I got a DRA-685 (i think it's the correct number), anyway it is a 100 watt/channel receiver with a full warranty for around $250. I am extremely happy with it, also bought DCM-380 CD player for less than $150. I am running a set of Bose series III 301's, purchased off ebay in mint condition, for $147 delivered. It is a nice upstairs music system where space is a consideration, I am quite pleased with it.

topspeed
04-22-2005, 08:32 AM
Here is a thought I haven't seen offered,,,,,,,, I went to DAKMART.com for a factory refurbished Denon receiver. I got a DRA-685 (i think it's the correct number), anyway it is a 100 watt/channel receiver with a full warranty for around $250. I am extremely happy with it, also bought DCM-380 CD player for less than $150. I am running a set of Bose series III 301's, purchased off ebay in mint condition, for $147 delivered. It is a nice upstairs music system where space is a consideration, I am quite pleased with it.
DD,
This thread is two years old. I think it's safe to assume the poster has bought something by now.