Reciever/Amp for an inexpesnsive 2.0 setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-12-2007, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. I've been wanting to put together a good 2.0 system for my living room for a while. I had a ceiling of $500, but then the Energy RC-30 (Info, specs linked from page) for $200/ea. deal was just too good to resist.

So now I have a great set of speakers, but only $100 or so to work with for a receiver/amp to go with them.

Scrounging up all that I can, I can go to $200 max. At this price point, what sort of receivers or amps would go well with the speakers I have? Any popular used units to specifically keep an eye out for? I assume I don't have too many choices on this sort of budget
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-12-2007, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok to answer my own question . . .

After some research it looks like there are exactly two integrated amps out there that meet my critera. The Pioneer A-35R and the Super T-Amp. Same price as well, though the specs on the A-35R look a bit better.

Is this really all there is?

Also, another question. I understand Integrated Amp = Preamp + Power Amp. Power Amp = the actual amplification stage. So what exactly is a preamp besides a fancy volume control? With a good source, is it possible to skip the preamp stage and simply feed the power amp directly?
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-13-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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I picked up a TSXR 604 at Fry's for $255 and it drives my RC-30's pretty well IMO.

I've had my RC-30's on a older receiver with less power and it didn't sound as full in the midrange and as tight in the bass, so I'd make sure you get some decent power to them.

You are going to love the RC-30's though, they rock. FYI, they may need a little break in time (basically sound a little smoother after 100-200 hours from what I was told).
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post #4 of 21 Old 06-13-2007, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response again, I will defiantly check some local sources and see what comes up vs. online.

I spent some more time researching on these fourms and elsewhere, and seem to have come up with some answers . . . and some more questions. Basically, at this price range the realms of integrated amps and receivers are merged.

1. "Integrated Amplifiers"

The two key players here are the Super T-Amp and the Pioneer A-35R. They are priced almost exactly the same, however the Pioneer has better specs at 45W/channel @ 8 ohm. The T-Amp is a class T amp, and the Pioneer . . . isn't. I really don't know what the topography is.

Super T-Amp
Pioneer A-35R

Now, the big question. Am I missing something with these? The Pioneer has much better specs, and from searching ahas garnered some good reviews, and is the same price as the competitor . . . but the T-amp gets all the attention. Why? Is there something not in the specs that I am missing?

2. Recievers

After a lot of research, in my price range ($200 ish) there is really only one receiver that looks attractive, the Panasonic SA-XR55. According to the AVSforum thread, the sound quality is great in 2.0 mode, and it will use both dual and bi-amp mode at the same time to get up to 100W/ch.

Panasonic SA-XR55S

So, we have two more questions . . .

1. The receiver is essentially a class-T amp. It's $25 more then the super T-Amp and puts out 80W/ch. more. hrmmmmm . . .

2. It's incredibly hard to find any comparison between the SA-XR55 and the A-35R, even though all sub-$200 roads seem to lead to one of the three referenced amps. While the XR55 puts out twice the power, the Pioneer Elite series has a reputation for great sound quality, and I am going to guess "great" in the integrated amp world and "great" in the receiver world are very very different things.

Also I find allegations everywhere that companies play fast and loose with their wattage ratings at this price point, so we have yet another layer of ambiguity.

Any thoughts? Maybe answers
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-13-2007, 05:59 AM
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You might look at the HK 3480 refurb units. 120WPC stereo receivers. Right at $200 refurbished. You could probably pick up a used one for slightly less than that even.
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-13-2007, 07:20 AM
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Don't forget about the Trends unit, I bought a TA-10.1 to replace my Super-T amp and it was a decent improvement for about the same price. StereoMojo did a shootout among integrated chip type amps and the Trends came out the winner.

Jared
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-13-2007, 12:12 PM
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With only two bills I'd get the Panasonic......great SQ for the money.

Russ
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, they've helped a lot.

Right now, I can get a HK3480 or a Panasonic SA-XR55 for pretty much the exact same price.

Has anyone heard both of them and can comment on the sound quality? Also, the "VMAx" processing on the H-K unit is plastered all over their marketing material, does it really do anything worthwhile?
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 07:35 AM
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I would have to say the V-Max bit on the HK unit is marketing mess... I have only turned it on long enough to realize that it should be left off I haven't heard the Panasonic.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 10:08 AM
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I'd go used here or Audiogon. Much more bang for the buck.

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 10:16 AM
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I'll 2nd or 3rd the HK...some friends are very pleased with it's performance driving demanding speakers...the power is right and it has pre-outs and phono inputs.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #12 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 10:30 AM
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You are missing out on the 2 channel stereo receivers from Onkyo, the TX-8222 (50 watts/channel) and the TX-8522 (100 watts/channel). Super smooth sound with plenty of power. Of all the amps/receivers mentioned so far, the Onkyo receivers and the Pioneer amp would be my choice.

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post #13 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 10:42 AM
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check out your local craigslist.org , there are some great deals

I love this HD stuff!
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 12:09 PM
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Yeah, in my area there's a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated on craigslist for $350! There's also a Denon PM2000R integrated, which has received excellent reviews, for around $400. When you find audiophile products there, you can generally get a better deal than audiogon.
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

Yeah, in my area there's a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated on craigslist for $350! There's also a Denon PM2000R integrated, which has received excellent reviews, for around $400. When you find audiophile products there, you can generally get a better deal than audiogon.

Isn't that Denon $1200???


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post #16 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by oldschool4life View Post

Isn't that Denon $1200???


Yup... I'm tempted, but it says sale pending, and my wife would kill me (I just recently bought a Sonos bundle).
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post #17 of 21 Old 06-14-2007, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

Yup... I'm tempted, but it says sale pending, and my wife would kill me (I just recently bought a Sonos bundle).

When I sell my Pioneer Elite integrated amp (the A-35R), I'm considering the Denon integrated, a Cambridge Audio integrated, or another option around that price point...

...or, perhaps Rotel seperates.

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post #18 of 21 Old 06-15-2007, 06:11 AM
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Rotel used to make a 30watt/channel integrated that retailed around $300 (rbx930?). I see it pop up on audiogon periodically for 100-150. This is a great little amp. I had one for several years and could easily drive my paradigm phantoms to decent levels in a modest (12x15) room. It won't fill a huge room and got a bit overwhelmed by mahler, but handled rocknjazznpop just fine.
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post #19 of 21 Old 06-15-2007, 12:39 PM
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What about that little $35.00 T-Amp?

One shall stand... One Shall Fall... - Optimus Prime
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-16-2007, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnewmanpac View Post

Rotel used to make a 30watt/channel integrated that retailed around $300 (rbx930?). I see it pop up on audiogon periodically for 100-150. This is a great little amp. I had one for several years and could easily drive my paradigm phantoms to decent levels in a modest (12x15) room. It won't fill a huge room and got a bit overwhelmed by mahler, but handled rocknjazznpop just fine.

Euro series...

One model had a remote; the other didn't.

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post #21 of 21 Old 06-16-2007, 09:51 AM
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look for a used Linn Majik integrated. I had one for a while, it was awesome.
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