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Any good budget stereo amps?

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#41
Registered just to join this convo. In the same boat as the OP, I have a decent set of speakers I think in a pair of Monitor Audio Radius 45 bookshelf speakers (correct me if I'm wrong, I can invest in a new pair of speakers if there are better for not too much more) for nearfield listening at my desktop. Going to by a separate dac and amp, but not sure what amp to get. I got a cheap 50x2w amp that sounded WAYYY worse than my old lepai 15x2w amp so I went and refunded that. Scared to buy a crap amp again. I am a college student and don't have too much cash on hand, so I'd prefer something under $100. I dont care about stuff like tone control, etc, or even volume if the sound is going to be fine just being controlled from my pc or a DAC. What's the best amp under $100?
 

Willem

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#42
Like many others I have some secundary systems in our house. In our bedroom this was a little elegant 2x25 watt or so Ava Maestro 50 amplifier with digital input and a set of Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 speakers, fed by a Chromecast Audio. It was fine for what we needed, until one of the speakers died. The new Q Acoustics 3010 speakers that I bought to replace them are quite a bit better (and look cool in white lacquer). I am now thinking of using the remaining Diamond 9.0 speaker in one of our guestrooms as a very basic mono system. I found this Nobsound mono amplifier (the full range version) and was wondering if it would be a waste of money, or not: https://www.amazon.de/Nobsound-Subw...qid=1546810319&sr=8-20&keywords=nobsound&th=1 I am not expecting high end performance, but I do not want my guests to be electrocuted or the house set on fire, and I do not want it to break down in six months time.
Traditional wisdom was that with only one speaker you could not use a stereo amplifier such as I still have lying around as well. Is that true? It does rather limit the options.
 

trl

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#43
Two amps and two power supplies plus shipping will be around $100. But without someone having it tested prior, I wouldn’t buy it...just can’t trust it. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
 

RayDunzl

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#44
Traditional wisdom was that with only one speaker you could not use a stereo amplifier
Feed one channel a mono signal

If it isn't critical listening, just feed it a right or left signal. Much of the content will likely be in both channels.
 

Blumlein 88

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#45
Traditional wisdom was that with only one speaker you could not use a stereo amplifier such as I still have lying around as well. Is that true? It does rather limit the options.
Not true. In fact many amps share part of the power supply between channels. So only using one can result in a little better output. Feed signal to one channel and use it without problems.

If your source can be set to mono output then even better.
 

Willem

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#46
Maybe I have not been clear enough. I would only need one of these as I have only one speaker. Also, it uses any odd laptop power supply of which I have a few lying around. So total cost here in the Netherlands would be about $30. I would feed it a mono signal.
My alternative would be to use one of my two unused legacy stereo amplifiers, but with only one loudspeaker connected. However, the power section of one channel would see infinite resistance, which I always understood to be bad (i.e. a heavy load). Was that incorrect?
 

RayDunzl

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#47
However, the power section of one channel would see infinite resistance, which I always understood to be bad (i.e. a heavy load). Was that incorrect?
That would be no load on a transistor amp of typical design. Heavy load starts at 0 ohms (short circuit) and goes down (increasing ohms) from there.

Tubed amp? I dunno. Consult the maker.

Consider the case of all the folks who bought 5.1 7.1 11.4 whatever AV receivers and only hooked up a pair of speakers...
 
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#50
I just purchased this Yamaha stereo receiver for $89.99 "new" - shipping included and no tax:
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...00-watts-natural-sound-stereo-receiver/1.html

Factory refurb. Going to pair with some existing speakers for a bare bones secondary system. But c'mon, $89 for new Yamaha 100/watts channel? Even if usable power before distortion takes hold is just a fraction of that, that's huge value.
Granted, no DAC, Freq response and THD not the best, but I'm betting that Yamaha would still put out a competent unit. It does have built in bluetooth which I will probably use for streaming (again, not my primary system).

Would be very interesting to get this on Amir's test bench, but shipping costs back and forth would take away from the value proposition here. He frequently comments on how amazing it is that such big audio companies can put out these boxes for so little money. Here is another example. List is only $149 new, but I'm going with refurbished for $89.99!
 

trl

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#53
I just purchased this Yamaha stereo receiver for $89.99 "new" - shipping included and no tax:
[...]
Now that's a steal for sure, congrats! After all, seems to be a decent 2x100W amp (most likely in class A/B).
 

restorer-john

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#54
I will probably end up getting that or the Onkyo A-9010 unless you or anyone else can recommend anything better for my kind of budget.
It is what appears to be a budget amplifier constructed in a traditional low-cost manner but should offer you many years of good performance. The included remote and proper feature set, along with a phono stage makes it a great buy.

(internet nudie pic)

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I saw the Onkyo range recently and apart from plastic buttons and the odd wiggly volume control, they are good value for money IMO. The construction appears to be a mix of rear mounted SMD and through hole- interesting in 2018.
 

Blumlein 88

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#55
Maybe I have not been clear enough. I would only need one of these as I have only one speaker. Also, it uses any odd laptop power supply of which I have a few lying around. So total cost here in the Netherlands would be about $30. I would feed it a mono signal.
My alternative would be to use one of my two unused legacy stereo amplifiers, but with only one loudspeaker connected. However, the power section of one channel would see infinite resistance, which I always understood to be bad (i.e. a heavy load). Was that incorrect?
Yes. LET ME REPEAT. YES THAT WAS INCORRECT.

Hook up one speaker to one channel for free and don't worry about it. You'll have one of two outcomes. Having only one channel connected makes no difference and you'll get great performance on one channel. Using a load on only one channel actually improves power output and distortion for a slight benefit using only one channel versus both channels.
 

Blumlein 88

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#56
That would be no load on a transistor amp of typical design. Heavy load starts at 0 ohms (short circuit) and goes down (increasing ohms) from there.

Tubed amp? I dunno. Consult the maker.

Consider the case of all the folks who bought 5.1 7.1 11.4 whatever AV receivers and only hooked up a pair of speakers...
Tube amps need a little something on the output. Often only 220 ohms or so is plenty to prevent problems. Running them disconnected can be a big NO NO.
 
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#57
I just purchased this Yamaha stereo receiver for $89.99
R-S202!

I also got mine recently. For the price, I'm quite surprised and happy amps have reached that level in 2019. Added remote works awesome with FLIRC on my computer to playback songs.

It sounds fine and dynamic for desk use in my small room and small speakers but definitely has audible noise floor and something off about it when compared to more pricy amps. I'm okay with this since I rarely push it to max. Curious to see how "bad" it would measure on amirm's machine!
 
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