For those who have Ascend speakers, best amp?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Nick-N, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

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    I am probably going to buy some Ascend CMB-170 speakers, primarily for orchestral-type music.

    I would like to know what budget amp would complement them the best in terms of orchestral music?

    Also, if I'm going to downmix 5.1 home theatre to stereo through these speakers, can I do this with just a 2ch stereo amp, or do I need a proper multi-channel H/T receiver?

    Thanks,
    Nick.
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Try the Marantz sr5400, hifi.com has it for $450 shipped, I liked its music quality much better than the Onkyo 601 I returned.

    If you go with a 2 channel receiver, H/K 3480 looks awesome at $300 from JR.com plus it has a subwoofer preout. H/K is also well known for musical quality on a budget.

    No problem playing 5.1 channel sources, though I have no idea exactly what happens to the signal, whether you end up hearing only the front channels or everything gets crammed into the stereo output.
     
  3. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

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    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]

    In the UK, Marantz were regarded as having a pretty bright sound not suited to classical music. The SR5400 was well reviewed, but I went for a Cambridge Audio amp that excelled at warm, rich stereo performance. If I could get the same amp here I would!

    I am very tempted by the H/K amps though - they had a great reputation in the UK, and also they seem to be Ascend's choice to accompany their speakers.

    I was looking at the H/K amps on JR.com, and wondered what the advantage of the 3480 would be over the cheaper 3380? I know it has more power, but I'm unlikely to be driving my speakers to high volumes.
     
  4. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Well I don't think wpc means only higher volumes, it also supplies better clarity and fuller sound at moderate volumes.

    Haven't done a closer comparison of the two models though.

    I'm surprised to hear what you wrote about the Marantz, because I had always been told around audio forums like this that their receivers are definitely warm and music-oriented.
     
  5. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    You also might think about a quality integrated amp like a Arcam A65 since alot of dvd players have built in DTS/DD decoders and you will be using only two channels unless you plan to expand to a 5.1 or 6.1 system.
     
  6. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

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    Well, I should have done a bit more research, because I've found that I can pick up a Cambridge Audio amp after all for a fairly reasonable price. In the UK I had the Azur 540R which was 6.1, this time I'll get the 540A which is a stereo amp. Though it is only 50w per channel, while the next model up, the 640A, is 65w. I don't know if it's worth an extra $120 for that extra bit of power.

    Scott, what exactly is an integrated amp?
     
  7. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    Well it's a amp with a built in preamp stage. It's like a receiver except it doesn't have a built in tuner.
     

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