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Looking for a stereo amplifier for less than 530 €, need advice

kaffe

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Good evening folks

I'm looking for a new integrated amplifier for music listening, watching TV and gaming (PS5). Hoping for some feedback to help me decide which one to buy!

Already got a pair of speakers, Dali Blue 6006. Specs can be found here: https://www.dali-speakers.com/media/3259/blue-series-brochure.pdf. In my opinion they sound fine and I don't expect to buy a new pair anytime soon. Thus, I'm looking for a stereo amp.

TV is an LG C3 with HDMI eARC, HDMI ARC as well as an optical audio port (SPDIF). Specs can be found here: https://www.flatpanelshd.com/lg_c3_oled_2023.php

ARC interface would be appreciated, but I'm sceptical about the price I would have to pay for that. I'm wondering if I'm not better off buying an amp without it, then connecting the TV to the amp via SPDIF, despite the loss of functionality. Generally, I'd much rather have good sound quality and the need to use 2 remote controls than mediocre sound quality with the use of 1 remote. But apparently some people are experiencing jittering with the optical audio port on their LG televisions which I would obviously want to avoid, which talks in favour of going with ARC connectivity.

My budget for the amp is around 530 €/460 £. That will leave me around 185 €/160£ for a streamer.

Strongly considering buying a Yamaha A-S301 and a WiiM Pro as it looks now.
The Yamaha is sold for around 350 € on Amazon which seems like a good deal to me. Still room in my budget for a more expensive option, though.

What would you recommend based on my planned use and budget? As mentioned, I value the sound quality of the system more than the option to use a tv remote to control the amplifier via ARC.

Thanks a bunch.
 
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kaffe

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Look for the new WIIM AMP.
Thanks.

I am considering the WiiM Amp. It has all the functionality I need. Curious how it delivers, though!

But I would like to consider other options as well. I don’t expect the WiiM will be hard to beat in terms of sound quality within the budget I have, at least not if ARC is not a must have.
 

ppataki

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Good evening folks

I'm looking for a new integrated amplifier for music listening, watching TV and gaming (PS5). Hoping for some feedback to help me decide which one to buy!

Already got a pair of speakers, Dali Blue 6006. Specs can be found here: https://www.dali-speakers.com/media/3259/blue-series-brochure.pdf. In my opinion they sound fine and I don't expect to buy a new pair anytime soon. Thus, I'm looking for a stereo amp.

TV is an LG C3 with HDMI eARC, HDMI ARC as well as an optical audio port (SPDIF). Specs can be found here: https://www.flatpanelshd.com/lg_c3_oled_2023.php

ARC interface would be appreciated, but I'm sceptical about the price I would have to pay for that. I'm wondering if I'm not better off buying an amp without it, then connecting the TV to the amp via SPDIF, despite the loss of functionality. Generally, I'd much rather have good sound quality and the need to use 2 remote controls than mediocre sound quality with the use of 1 remote. But apparently some people are experiencing jittering with the optical audio port on their LG televisions which I would obviously want to avoid, which talks in favour of going with ARC connectivity.

My budget for the amp is around 530 €/460 £. That will leave me around 185 €/160£ for a streamer.

Strongly considering buying a Yamaha A-S301 and a WiiM Pro as it looks now.
The Yamaha is sold for around 350 € on Amazon which seems like a good deal to me. Still room in my budget for a more expensive option, though.

What would you recommend based on my planned use and budget? As mentioned, I value the sound quality of the system more than the option to use a tv remote to control the amplifier via ARC.

Thanks a bunch.

I would recommend the Sabaj A30A
I have three of them :) - I am extremely happy with the sound quality (I have replaced Hypex Ncore NC250MPs with these so you can imagine the bar was really high)

There is a (very very long) thread about it here on ASR too: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/sabaj-a30a-announced.35714/
 
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kaffe

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I would recommend the Sabaj A30A
I have three of them :) - I am extremely happy with the sound quality (I have replaced Hypex Ncore NC250MPs with these so you can imagine the bar was really high)

There is a (very very long) thread about it here on ASR too: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/sabaj-a30a-announced.35714/
Thanks!

I’ll take a look.
 

Willem

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How about the Yamaha AS501 for a bit more power, and a Chromecast Audio as a streamer? I know the CCA has been discontinued, but some are still floating around for not that much money.
 
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kaffe

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How about the Yamaha AS501 for a bit more power, and a Chromecast Audio as a streamer? I know the CCA has been discontinued, but some are still floating around for not that much money.
It looks like the only real difference between A-S301 and A-S501 is the difference in power supply.
You think I would need the A-S501 to drive the Dali speakers? They are 4 ohm with 91.5 dB sensitivity. I should mention I live in an apartment and the speakers are placed in a room that's 16 m2 (4x4) so I won't be blasting.

I'll take a look at that CCA streamer, it's still available here.

Cheers!
 

Power Pop 23

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It looks like the only real difference between A-S301 and A-S501 is the difference in power supply.
You think I would need the A-S501 to drive the Dali speakers? They are 4 ohm with 91.5 dB sensitivity. I should mention I live in an apartment and the speakers are placed in a room that's 16 m2 (4x4) so I won't be blasting.

I'll take a look at that CCA streamer, it's still available here.

Cheers!
Dali rates the sensitivity of your loudspeakers at 91.5 dB

I think the power of a Yamaha A-S301 amplifier will meet meet the needs of your listening space


A WiiM streamer can apply four (4) bands of parametric equalization. I am not familiar with the cost where you live. LInkplay occasionally sells refurbished WiiM streamers at their outlet storefront on Ebay - starting at $59.99

 

Willem

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A bit more power is always useful, and will certainly future proof your system somewhat more.
 

Power Pop 23

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A bit more power is always useful, and will certainly future proof your system somewhat more.
Agreed

To future proof a system I would purchase an amplifier with less measured noise and distortion than I can possibly hear and with more watts per channel than (I think) I will ever be using.
 
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kaffe

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Dali rates the sensitivity of your loudspeakers at 91.5 dB

I think the power of a Yamaha A-S301 amplifier will meet meet the needs of your listening space


A WiiM streamer can apply four (4) bands of parametric equalization. I am not familiar with the cost where you live. LInkplay occasionally sells refurbished WiiM streamers at their outlet storefront on Ebay - starting at $59.99

Good evening :)

As you mentioned in my other topic, it should provide power similar to the NAD C 326BEE, at least based on specs, which is plenty for my purposes.

A bit more power is always useful, and will certainly future proof your system somewhat more.
I get the idea that one with more power would perhaps be more future proof, but in the future I am probably more inclined to upgrade to a higher end system.

Anyway, I still haven't ditched the idea of buying a WiiM Amp, but I am very curious what to expect of it. Is it safe to assume that the sound quality won't be able to compete with that of the Yamaha A-S301? Perhaps that would be premature?
 

Power Pop 23

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Good evening :)

As you mentioned in my other topic, it should provide power similar to the NAD C 326BEE, at least based on specs, which is plenty for my purposes.


I get the idea that one with more power would perhaps be more future proof, but in the future I am probably more inclined to upgrade to a higher end system.

Anyway, I still haven't ditched the idea of buying a WiiM Amp, but I am very curious what to expect of it. Is it safe to assume that the sound quality won't be able to compete with that of the Yamaha A-S301? Perhaps that would be premature?
I suspect that assumption is premature at this time. It seems more than a few manufacturers have implemented the TPA3255 amplifier with good measured performance. I do not see why Linkplay/WiiM cannot do the same and look forward to the WiiM AMP being measured.
 
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kaffe

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I suspect that assumption is premature at this time. It seems more than a few manufacturers have implemented the TPA3255 amplifier with good measured performance. I do not see why Linkplay/WiiM cannot do the same and look forward to the WiiM AMP being measured.
In that case, I will try and stay patient and wait for some measurements as well as general feedback. I'm particularly interested in whether there are any static/grounding issues with it.

If however you could say with certainty that a decent A/B amp for say 500 € would definitely provide significantly better sound, that might change my mind. Wasn't sure if that might be the case since I am practically clueless on this.
 

Power Pop 23

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In that case, I will try and stay patient and wait for some measurements as well as general feedback. I'm particularly interested in whether there are any static/grounding issues with it.

If however you could say with certainty that a decent A/B amp for say 500 € would definitely provide significantly better sound, that might change my mind. Wasn't sure if that might be the case since I am practically clueless on this.
I can't say that with certainty. I would want 'return privileges' - in case I could not discern (enough of) a difference.
 
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kaffe

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I can't say that with certainty. I would want 'return privileges' - in case I could not discern (enough of) a difference.
Gotcha.

How about the parametric equalization you mentioned on the WiiM? What is it exactly? A way of tuning bass and treble?
I never played around with this stuff before but maybe it's about time.
 

Willem

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Sonic differences between properly designed amplifiers are minimal at most, as long as they have enough power. The Yamaha AS x01 series measures very well, and has all th eoptions that you may like, like digital inputs, balance and tone controls and adjustable loudness for more realistic sound at low listening levels.
 

Willem

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Parametric eq involves narrow adjustable filtters to deal with so called room modes, lower frequency peak and dips at the resonant frequencies of the room's dimensions.
 
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kaffe

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Sonic differences between properly designed amplifiers are minimal at most, as long as they have enough power. The Yamaha AS x01 series measures very well, and has all th eoptions that you may like, like digital inputs, balance and tone controls and adjustable loudness for more realistic sound at low listening levels.
Sounds like I should look into saving up for a new pair of speakers and focus less on paying extra for an amp then, at least once I have the connectivity I need.
But really not sure how good my speakers are, i.e. how much I would have to pay to get a better sounding pair. Hard to find any review on them since they are quite old and probably not very popular to begin with.
I think they sound quite good, but it's really hard to tell when you have nothing to compare with. I think they went for around 800 € for a pair back when they were bought.
Parametric eq involves narrow adjustable filtters to deal with so called room modes, lower frequency peak and dips at the resonant frequencies of the room's dimensions.
Considering my living room is 16 m2 it may not be a bad idea to look into that!
 

Overseas

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Re. speakers, audiophiles bible says they are the only passive component that 'color' or 'produce' the sound, while the rest of the chain merely channels or amplifies it. If you take legitimate reputed brands, the price will reflect the quality so there should go the most of the budget.

Re. PEQ, it is a wonderful feature in the chain, but it requires audio measurement first, that is a Umik microphone + free REW software + laptop. Or you go with an amplifier that got room correction (e. g. YPAO from Yamaha).
 

Power Pop 23

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I'd apply PEQ to your existing Dali Blue 6006 loudspeakers before considering possible replacements.
 
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