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$500 amplifiers to test and review?

amirm

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Seems like good value compared to, say, an official Audio Precision low-pass filter. <mic drop>
Their option to do measurement so that you don't an anechoic chamber (main use most of us would have for it) is another 19,000 euros! They make AP look like good guys. :)
 
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Thread was started a year ago. So. Is there any results except A500 and NC400?
In the past 3 months, Amir has tested the following amps. Note that these are speaker amps; Amir has also tested a ton of headphone amps during the same 3 month period:

Marantz HD-AMP1 DAC and Integrated Amplifier
Accuphase E-270 Amplifier
Onkyo M-282 Amp
Crown XLS 1502 Amp
IRS2092 IRAUD350 Class D Amplifier
Hypex NC400 DIY Amp
Denon AVR-4306
Behringer A500 Amplifier
NuForce STA-200 Power Amp
Topping TP60
FX Audio FX502SPro

The two amps that I believe are in Amir's queue that really interest me are Class D Audio's CDA-250C and the new March Audio P252. Really looking forward to the reviews on these!
 

amirm

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In the past 3 months, Amir has tested the following amps. Note that these are speaker amps; Amir has also tested a ton of headphone amps during the same 3 month period:

Marantz HD-AMP1 DAC and Integrated Amplifier
Accuphase E-270 Amplifier
Onkyo M-282 Amp
Crown XLS 1502 Amp
IRS2092 IRAUD350 Class D Amplifier
Hypex NC400 DIY Amp
Denon AVR-4306
Behringer A500 Amplifier
NuForce STA-200 Power Amp
Topping TP60
FX Audio FX502SPro
I understand that there were tons of crap dacs tested for this year.
I hoped that perfect speaker amp was found too. But seems like nothing even acceptable.
 

Ron Texas

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Since I contributed earlier in this thread I thought I'd give an update on my "amp situation".

I ended up buying a Marantz NR1508 AVR with a nice discount, for about $420. I don't have a real need for separate stereo and TV systems, so previously I had attempted to adapt my stereo system to the TV by inserting a DAC between amp and TV. It worked pretty well but was complicated to use for family members. Also, as my stereo amp doesn't have a sub output, I was connecting the sub by high-level connexion.

Without running the Audyssey calibration, the Marantz sounded promising already. Especially, bass management and rendition seemed a lot better. But after running Audyssey, WOW - even though I screwed up a couple of things in the setup. The sound came alive, moved upfront and now puts on a wonderful show in the middle of the room. I keep thinking about the line that AVRs can never sound as good as a dedicated stereo system. I cannot make an honest judgment as I've never had a high-end stereo system. I do know a few people seem to disagree. But here I think clearly what made the biggest difference was the room correction function i.e. Audyssey. No stereo amp has such a feature in that price range. So room correction has become a very important feature for me suddenly. It's too early for me to proclaim "the search is over" as of yet but it may well turn out to be the case. So here's for another idea in <$500 amps.
 

Willem

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I agree room eq is important. The Yamaha RN 803d stereo receiver has it too. It also has multiple digital inputs.
 

amirm

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So here's for another idea in <$500 amps.
And good idea it is. Everyone needs to experience room EQ to realize it is mandatory in every stereo system.
 

callumb

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A couple of low cost power amps which might be worth trying out are the Drawmer CPA-50, Tangent AMPSTER BT II and the Tibo PA150. I’m based in the U.K. so not sure if all of these are as readily available in the US.
 
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