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Best amp under 500$?

Wack Audio

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Despite weeks of research I can’t seem to find an amplifier that majority of people agree is a worthy unit. I am looking for sound quality mainly, and will use Elac B5.2 along with a Dayton sub1200.
I currently have a (2011) Denon AVR 591 home theater receiver. This was their base model amp back in the day, and I am no longer looking to use an AVR home theater receiver. After watching some cheap audio man I am considering some Aiyima gear, but I’m uncertain if that would be an upgrade from my current amp.
 
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Jdunk54nl

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Are you looking for an AVR or an amp?
 
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freemansteve

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What source material do you like to play (CD, stream, NAS files etc)?
 

Jdunk54nl

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What do you plan on using as your source? Your Denon AVR doesn't have pre-outs, so you can't use that.

or do you want an amp/dac in one?
 
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Wack Audio

Wack Audio

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What do you plan on using as your source? Your Denon AVR doesn't have pre-outs, so you can't use that.

or do you want an amp/dac in one?
I think an amp/dac would suit me best. I am just looking to update my amp situation.
 

DWPress

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Check out the offerings from @Buckeye Amps and the reviews Amir did here on ASR. The Hypex modules test very well and I can say I have no complaints.
 

Jdunk54nl

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I think an amp/dac would suit me best. I am just looking to update my amp situation.
Where is this going to be located, what is everything you will be using this for? Movies? Music? Tv? etc?

Out of the things you are using, how are you getting them? As in spotify? Netflix? Etc? What device are you using for that?

Are you keeping the 591 where it is and moving this new setup to a new space for a dedicated listening space?

The more information you can give us on what and how you are using this for, the better we can suggest something that will work for you.
 
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Wack Audio

Wack Audio

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What source material do you like to play (CD, stream, NAS files etc)?
Where is this going to be located, what is everything you will be using this for? Movies? Music? Tv? etc?

Out of the things you are using, how are you getting them? As in spotify? Netflix? Etc? What device are you using for that?

Are you keeping the 591 where it is and moving this new setup to a new space for a dedicated listening space?
It’s for a smaller bedroom, mainly music use but I also watch TV with it. I’ve been using my YouTube TV app as a source, I would much rather use Bluetooth. I was thinking I would sell the denon to recoup some spending.
 

Jdunk54nl

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What do you use to access youtube tv? How is that signal sent to the current denon?

Does your tv have audio out? How are you going to listen to your music?

Tell us how you currently have everything plugged in. Tell us EVERYTHING :)
 
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freemansteve

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Is youtube the only media from which you play music?

If so, I'm not sure I'd spend money to change the kit....
 
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Wack Audio

Wack Audio

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Is youtube the only media from which you play music?

If so, I'm not sure I'd spend money to change the kit....
Currently just youtube, but I would rather use Apple Music with my phone.
Thanks for your input, I’m not looking to burn money on a new amp if it will not offer much improvement.
 

Spkrdctr

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I would recommend a Yamaha 685 I believe it is. Inexpensive and you would have a new updated surround system for the times when you want more than two channel. But, I know it is not a plain amp, but the useability is tremendous. Just thought for you.
 

ZolaIII

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Check Yamaha range. For 500 $ you could get R-N402D new (or half that money second hand) or second hand R-N803 (800$ new) if you can find them where you are of course (and depending what you need really). Streamers are old and not very fast, BT is ancient but platform works (MusicCast). Airplay first gen is supported and so is DLNA. For TV or from PC use Toslink. They won't win any performance prizes but are a good old fashion proper good performing amplifiers and chances are they will serve you for a long time.
You probably won't be satisfied with streaming services anyhow (lack of proper DSP chain and no possibility to insert in one, local streaming is something else because there you can) regardless what you get.
 

Zek

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@Wack Audio Maybe this Aiyima D03 will be interesting to...
 

TheBatsEar

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Ok, i'll recommend something very different then:

DAC/Preamp/Streamer:
Topping E30 (150€), RPI (50€) with Moode (for streaming, playing mp3 and/or Bluetooth). Connect your TV via Toslink and maybe a Computer via SPDIF. The Topping D30 has a remote and would be used to dial in the volume you like.

Poweramp:
a NC252MP ([email protected], 500€) or NC122MP ([email protected], 380€) module. Check out my signature, most of the companies that offer NC252MP amps also offer smaller NC122MP amps.

This will probably be more than your budget, but i think, since this is really good stuff, you will keep it for a long, long time. Should be 580€ to 700€.


And here is another option:

DAC/Streamer:
Topping E30 (150€), RPI (50€) with Moode (for streaming, playing mp3 and/or Bluetooth). Connect your TV via Toslink and maybe a Computer via SPDIF. You don't use it to change the volume.

Integrated amp:
You buy a used Yamaha R-S700 receiver, Yamaha A-S700 or A-S701 amplifier. They all use the same poweramp section, which means you buy the one that has the best price for you. You would use the DAC/RPi to connect into CD in, which means you would use the R-S700 to dial in the volume. The R-S700 has a pre-out/main-in loop, in case you want to use DSP room correction in the future. It also has variable loudness, which i wish my Yamaha A-S1200 had too.

This option will fit your budget, the R-S700 should be available for maybe 200€ used, so 400€ for this option.


I suspect you'll be happy with both options, they will beat your AVR in terms of signal quality and power.
 

Bazooka302

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I just ordered an Aiyima D03 to replace a Sony STRDH190 receiver in my main TV/music setup. The Sony was fine but I'm adding a SVS SB12-NSD sub and the Sony has no way to connect the sub. Also, the audio comes from the TV optical out, so I won't need the FiiO D3 DAC that I'm using now. Only question is if my DirectTV remote can be programmed to control the D03 volume.
 

TheBatsEar

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I just ordered an Aiyima D03 to replace a Sony STRDH190 receiver in my main TV/music setup. The Sony was fine but I'm adding a SVS SB12-NSD sub and the Sony has no way to connect the sub. Also, the audio comes from the TV optical out, so I won't need the FiiO D3 DAC that I'm using now. Only question is if my DirectTV remote can be programmed to control the D03 volume.
You might want to start a new thread for the remote thing, otherwise it will probably be buried here.

Also: Welcome my dude :cool:
 
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Wack Audio

Wack Audio

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I just ordered an Aiyima D03 to replace a Sony STRDH190 receiver in my main TV/music setup. The Sony was fine but I'm adding a SVS SB12-NSD sub and the Sony has no way to connect the sub. Also, the audio comes from the TV optical out, so I won't need the FiiO D3 DAC that I'm using now. Only question is if my DirectTV remote can be programmed to control the D03 volume.
Did you notice any difference in audio quality between the Sony and the Aiyima ?
 
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