A few questions about amps

Brian+H

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Nov 16, 2003
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I'm looking for a new amp and I've narrowed it down (so far) to
a denon pma 2000, which is around 1k dollars.

And I'm also looking into maybe getting a headphone amp since all my listening is with headphones.
I'm thinking of getting the musical fidelity v3 headphone amp with some akg 701 phones.

But I also have thought about getting a denon receiver with alpha 24 and hammerhead SHARC processors.

I've read that harman kardons sound great but have a warmth to them and Denons tend not to have that warm, but that alpha 24 and SHARC processor sure look good.

If I buy a headphone amp do I need to also have a normal amp in addition to the headphone amp for all my component connections?

I really need some help since no store around here has any of this stuff, any feedback is much needed.

btw, I have a Toshiba hd-dvd player and a Sony sa-cd player.
 

Nick:G

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Nick Gallegos
Brian,

Musical Fidelity makes excellent headphone amps. I own the older X-CAN v2 amp modded with new Panasonic 12,000uF caps and brand new tubes. Couldn't be happier. I use a pair of Grado RS 2's with mine.

Most headphone amplifiers have only one set of line inputs, meaning that they're really only meant for a single source, such as a CD player. X-CAN amps also have a link-out for connection to a preamp/receiver. If you need to switch between multiple sources and still be able to use the headphone amp with all of those sources, it will have to be connected to a pre-out on the preamp/receiver. But from a purist standpoint, you'll want to avoid this. Most preamps and integrated amps are solid state, which will definitely affect the sound before it passes through a tube-based amplifier like the X-CAN v3.

Getting to your next question, it sounds like you're after a stereo-only integrated amp. The AD Hammerhead SHARC is a DSP, which is really only useful in a surround sound receiver or processor (and incidentally, Denon only utilizes these in surround receivers). AL24 technology is intended to remove noise from a 96/192 KHz LPCM (DVD Audio) signal after it has passed through the D/A converter. If you're after strictly two-channel performance, you want a clean analog path and nothing more. If you output analog from a source device, you don't want any circuitry converting the signal to digital and then back to analog before it's output. You almost always lose resolution this way. The very best preamp sections maintain the original analog signal as closely as possible before it's passed onto a power amplifier.

Also look into the Rotel RX-1052 ($800) and the Outlaw Audio RR2150 ($649). These are both stereo receivers that are well-designed and have smooth, warm sound. For 2-channel, I GUARANTEE that they will sound better and more musical than a Denon or H/K.
 

Brian+H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
51
I was looking into getting some senns 600's with the amp, and someone recommended the akg 701's.

I've also noticed an amp made by denon the pma 2000 its a grand; and gets great reviews from crutchfield.

It sounds like I should maybe just stay with a normal amp b/c I have many different components that I listen to on any given day. I plug them all into my pc's soundcard an EMU 0404 with 24/192 dacs and I'd send out an analog signal to which ever amp I ended up getting.

That denon looked GOOD. Problem is I can't hear it.
I just bought a MF phono preamp to replace my old $20 one. And I bought a MF tube buffer that I will put either between my sa-cd player or maybe in between my vinyl and amp.
I'm still trying to figure it all out.

I do like my soundcard tho.

So analog in's to the soundcard soundcard analog out to an amp.
No surround sound.

Great info.
 

Brian+H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
51
I was looking at the Rotel 1052 and it looks like the amp I'd like to get, BUT I can't find it anywhere.

Any idea on where I can find it, or a newer model thats still being sold?
 

Nick:G

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Nick Gallegos
The RX-1052 is still a current model. It's technically a stereo receiver, because it has an AM/FM tuner built in (ditto on the Outlaw, but the Outlaw has USB and network radio also if I recall). I guess whether or not you can obtain one locally depends on where you live. Have you tried a dealer search at Rotel's website?

I have noticed that it's a little difficult to even find one of these guys actually displayed and ready for demo. My store ended up getting its display model from a guy who traded up to separates.
 

Brian+H

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Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
51

I couldn't find it on sale ANYWHERE. Yeah I tried everything.

I had to get one off of ebay, but I got a pretty good deal.

This thing better be worth it.
 

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