View Full Version : need more musicality..?
29-07-2003, 09:48 AM
I've got an mid range home cinema system which comprises of - yamaha 620 av Amp, pioneer dv656a dvd player, and yamaha CD player with Eltax speakers (main, centre and sub), I've got 1/2 decent cables with ferrites on interconectors and mains.
Now, I'm very happy with the sound whilst watching films, and music DVD's...but my system doesn't quite cut it when I play my CD's...in fact it sounded better on my old technics amp!
I'm not totally sure which route to take - one was to buy a stereo amp (about £2-300) and purchase a speaker switch (as opposed to using the stereo amp to drive the main speakers (this would incluse whilst watching a dvd)...? would this work well..? I know I should probably upgrade my mains, but that would be very hard to justify this to my giorlfriend, in fact, buying another amp is going to be hard enough to justify, but thats another story...!!
any tips / info would be appreciated.
29-07-2003, 11:01 AM
Do you mean CD replay on both the Pioneer and the Yamaha? If it's both then I'd suggest looking to your speakers, if just the CD player then of course consider a new CD player.
29-07-2003, 11:06 AM
Hi, Well, I dodn't generally play CD's on my DVD - mainly just my cd player...but I was happy with the sound when I just had a stereo amp, thats why I think my AV amp is the weakest link!
and after looking through other various AV forums, this seems to be a common problem, I'm just not 100% of the best solution...
Try both the Digital and Analogue connections from your CD player (or DVD player) and see which sounds better for music.
29-07-2003, 11:18 AM
cheers, will do, tho I'm sure my cd player only has analogue connections tho!
If you use the Analogue connection of your DVD player make sure the amp recognises the Digital signal when you next watch a DVD! Don't want to be stuck using PL2 instead of Dolby 5.1/DTS etc.
To avoid any problems it's worth connecting the analogue cables to a different input (AUX, VDP etc) ;)~;-)~:wink:
29-07-2003, 12:26 PM
Like I touched on earlier, try CD replay through your DVD player. I believe the 656 is supposed to make a fair fist at CD playback.
Sure, AV amps are notorious for having less able stereo performance but IMHO Yamaha have never excelled in making CD players so I'd look to your source first before your speakers or amp.
As Jase recommended I'd have a look at both analogue and digital connections on your DVD player. On my Yamaha DSPe800 processor I can connect my DVD player at both analogue and digital levels - it defaults to the digital input but can be overriddden. Alternatively, connect the DVD's analogue output to the amp's CD input whilst retaining the digital output into the amp's DVD input.
Have a play, I've a sneaking suspicion that the Pioneer might outdo the Yamaha CD player.
29-07-2003, 02:24 PM
I would almost certainly blame the Yamaha amp m'self. Haven't had any experience of their CD players, but I do know that their low-end AV amps can sound horrendous for two-channel music. See if you can get your local hifi shop to let you do a home demo of a nice stereo amp and route the preouts from the Yamaha to a pair of inputs on the amp (effectively using your Yamaha like a DSP-E800) for movies, whilst plugging the CD player directly into the stereo amp. That way you can have a decent stereo system and a decent home cinema system all hooked up at once, but still separate, if you see what I mean. This is what I do, and it works a treat.
Once you've sorted the amp, then I'd take a look at the CD player and either try the Pioneer in it's stead, or consider an upgrade. Alternatively, if the home demo doesn't seem to improve things, then it's likely to be that Yamaha CD player after all that needs seeing to.
If you can't get a home demo, go to Richer Sounds and you get a 14-day money-back guarantee - so you can try out a component and if you don't think it made a big enough improvement, take it back within two weeks and get your money back (or a better component!)
29-07-2003, 02:32 PM
cheers dunkyboy - how much hassle it is adjusting the volume controls for each amp so that the sound is the same (from all speakers) whilst watching a movie..?? - does this benefit from switching speakers..?
I've just been on the richer website, got some cheapo amps - the marantz and cambridge look ok!
29-07-2003, 02:41 PM
Volume setting *can* be a slight niggle, but it's usually not a problem. My current preamp doesn't have very much gain, so I just turn it up all the way, which is easy enough. With my previous one (a NAD C370), I had it at 12 o'clock, which is also pretty easy to set each time. Most amps will work at 12 o'clock, so you shouldn't have any problems. Just set it at 12 o'clock, and calibrate the Yamaha to match the levels on the centre and surrounds and you're sorted (this only needs to be done the first time, of course - after that, all you do is set the stereo amp to 12 o'clock and you're good to go).
Amp-wise, I'm not terribly well in the loop regarding budget stereo amps these days, but I do remember reading about a Rotel that was sweeping lots of awards and getting lots of praise. Can't remember the name - RA-01 perhaps?
My first "decent" amp was a Cambridge A500, which was surprisingly good for the money, though it didn't have nearly as much power as its spec would imply - run into my old Mission 773e's, it would get awfully strained and harsh with the volume nicely cranked. :( Might be worth a try, though.
I know for a fact that NAD make some very nice budget amps (my C370 was a beast, and great fun). I think the C320BEE (?) has been well reviewed recently.
Marantz also has a good rep with low- to mid-range amps (as well as some more high-end ones), though I don't have much experience of them.
29-07-2003, 05:22 PM
I sourced a s/h AudioLab 8000S integrated amp, which could be used as such to amplify the feed from my CD player, and which could also be used in AVpower mode to amplify the feed from the pre-out from the AVreceiver for Home Cinema purposes. Excellent results for both.
and for the latter, there is no fuss with volume as this is controlled at the AVreceiver, which in my case is a Denon AVR2802.
30-07-2003, 08:36 AM
thanks ditton - how much is the amp..?
and where can I buy one from?
30-07-2003, 08:51 AM
As indicated I bought second hand. What I actually bought is not sold new anymore, not since long after TagMclaren bought AudioLab in 1998. You can still get the AudioLab 8000S on the s/h market for about £350 but not often, and you have to be quick.
I am not very familiar with whether other, nore recent stereo amps have the integrated/power switch - hopefully someone will say. I'll try to investigate when I get time. You could have a look at the Rotel 02, or the NAD370, say.
30-07-2003, 12:27 PM
I demoed the Rotel RA-02 amp for sterio via the AV receiver. The results were very good, but the amp did not have the AV mode so volume would need to be set.
In the end I bought an Arcam Alpha 8R & 8P secondhand from the classifieds on this forum (thanks n0bby :)~:-)~:smile: ). This amp does have the AV mode and the improvement was excelent.
New prices for the RA-02 (IIRC) was £350 & the RA-01 (same as 02 but without a remote) £250
30-07-2003, 01:12 PM
cool, what about the NAD C320 BEE..? is that any good..?
30-07-2003, 01:23 PM
Get rid of the Eltax and get the Canon LE 109.
30-07-2003, 01:42 PM
Hi, I'm unable to find anything about the Canon LE 109
got any urls about them..?
30-07-2003, 04:04 PM
Hi Marke19, sorry for the ignorance - but you mentioned the AV mode..? what is that exactly..? - I assume that doesn't come with all amps then..?
30-07-2003, 07:40 PM
AV mode is where the intergrated amp receives the signal from the AV receiver but bypasses its own preamp (ditton refered to it as 'AVpower mode'). Therefore you control the volume from the AV receiver and only have one volume control to worry about. Once the output is set on the AV then you adjust the volume on it and the 'HiFi' amp volume also increases.
On my Arcam there is a switch at the back for AV or intergrated. When set to AV (as mine is), when the input is set to DVD it bypasses the preamp, but any other source uses the preamp. When set to 'intergrated' the DVD input behaves exactly the same as all the other inputs.
p.s. I think daniels137 meant Canton LE 109 and not Canon LE 109
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