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bicho_solto

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I'm currently running my Elac dbr from a 50w Audiolab 6000a. It sounds ok but I feel like the speaker is struggling to play bass notes properly so I wanted to try out a more powerful amp. My budget is around £500 (less is, of course, definitely better). My current options are:
  • AUDIOPHONICS MPA-S250NC (Hypex Ncore NC252MP)
  • Behringer A800
  • Crown xls 2502
I understand that the Hypex one measures better than the other two, but would I be able to hear such differences? I live in a flat so pretty much I never listen past 70db while being around 2 meters away from the speakers. Would it also be ok to use my integrated amp as a preamp? Am I going to be losing performance with it?
 

rdenney

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In your shoes (with any relatively inefficient speaker, actually), I always choose a used amplifier so that I can get better quality and power for less money. I don't own the Elac speakers, but I have read that they need power, and that's not uncommon with small speakers. Henry Kloss wrote an article nearly 40 years ago (Hofmann's Iron Law) that made that case in the context of acoustic suspension speakers, but it's true for ported dynamic speakers as well--the smaller the volume, the less the efficiency.

I run an older Adcom GFP535 with Pioneer SP-BS22LR speakers, which are similarly small (actually, smaller) bookshelf speakers. I think I paid about a hundred dollars for it a couple of years ago. That amp is rated at 60 watts, but has an abundance of headroom, and it achieves comfortably loud levels without strain at all (other than having a ported speaker boominess in the mid-bass). It rolls off in the deep bass, but that's not from lack of power. I seriously doubt anyone will hear the difference between that amp and those that currently measure at the top of the heap, especially at lower levels.

But you can also get something newer and that measures pretty well even by today's standards. I'm using a pair of B&K Reference 125.2 amps to drive a pair of Advent loudspeakers, which are also rather inefficient (but which have far deeper bass). I paid at most $300 for each of them. They were made about 15 years ago and are still in excellent condition. They truly are the next step up in power from your Audiolab at 125 watts per channel.

Of course, both of these are power amps, which you would feed from the pre-amp outputs on your Audiolab.

And granted, I'm giving USA prices for USA-made stuff, but I'm assuming the UK price penalty will still allow you to buy something similar for much less than your budget.

All that said, I'm doubting a new amp or bigger amp will change your life in your use case. But I'm betting a sub-woofer will. So, my real recommendation is to spend your budget on two good powered subwoofers (they needn't be particularly large or powerful), which you can also feed from your pre-amp outputs. I'm one who prefers two subwoofers for stereo music listening, even if it's not supposed to matter much, but it resolves the issue of not having a subwoofer output on your amp that blends both channels (unless your amp has a feature for doing that with one of the preamp outs--check to see).

Rick "uses a sub for home theater but generally prefers not to for stereo music, especially with speakers that are already good down to 30 Hz" Denney
 

Willem

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I agree that two small subs may be the best option, but they will stretch your budget a bit. I am very happy with my Kef Kube 8b but you may prefer the bigger 10b to make some real difference. How big is your room?
 
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bicho_solto

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Thanks for the responses guys! I will look into a subwoofer before thinking of upgrading amplification. My room isn't very large btw so I'll defiantly check out the Kube 8b
 

Willem

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It looks like the kef Kube8b is now a lot more expensive in the UK: in November I only paid 379 euros (VAT incl) in the Netherlands (from a well respected store).
 

rdenney

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Take a look at the Richer Sounds website. They list a bunch of subwoofers and sort them by price range. Look for a powered subwoofer with RCA input plugs for both left and right channel--the amp in the subwoofer will do the blending.

Also look into the BK Gemini II, which is inexpensive enough to fit two in your budget. These aren't for structure-altering megabass or 20 Hz thumping, of course, but should extend the bottom range under your Elacs so that they aren't being asked to do something they aren't equipped to do. These use passive radiators so positioning will be important.

Rick "providing the woofer the speakers don't provide" Denney
 

krott5333

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I'm using an NC252MP to drive my dbr62 and I don't feel that they're lacking at all. Sounds great.

That being said, I also just ordered a sub because a bookshelf and even many towers aren't going to go as low as needed to really hear everything.
 

Pritaudio

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I'm using an NC252MP to drive my dbr62 and I don't feel that they're lacking at all. Sounds great.

That being said, I also just ordered a sub because a bookshelf and even many towers aren't going to go as low as needed to really hear everything.
Which sub is it?
 

krott5333

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Which sub is it?
Jbl sub 550p. It was cheap. $180. But apparently it's made pretty well, good driver, 1" thick mdf, and sealed design. I don't like ported subs. Never did. They rarely sound natural to me but maybe I've never heard a good one.
 

marcom22

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I have Elac dbr-62 and my amp a NC252MP drives them very well, all I need is nothing (specially for the bass frequencies) but more power is always better I listen (I can) music at around 90/92db from 2 meters by them. Now I want to try the NC502MP :)
 
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bicho_solto

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Thanks for the responses everyone! In the end I got a rel t-zero sub(I had to get something small as I don't have much space right now) and the bass better, but still meh. What really "fixed" it was when I moved my system from my living room into my bedroom. The bass was finally full and detailed, voices were clearer and imaging was better. I guess the combination of hardwood floors, big glass windows and low ceilings in my living room is totally killing the sound to me. I guess I'll need to move to a different flat if I want to have decent sound :facepalm:
 

fieldcar

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Thanks for the responses everyone! In the end I got a rel t-zero sub(I had to get something small as I don't have much space right now) and the bass better, but still meh. What really "fixed" it was when I moved my system from my living room into my bedroom. The bass was finally full and detailed, voices were clearer and imaging was better. I guess the combination of hardwood floors, big glass windows and low ceilings in my living room is totally killing the sound to me. I guess I'll need to move to a different flat if I want to have decent sound :facepalm:
Sounds like you didn't do a sub crawl. I had issues with my 2x 550p's barely being audible located beside my 590 towers. I had to put them a foot behind my couch off of the left and right walls.

 
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bicho_solto

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Sounds like you didn't do a sub crawl. I had issues with my 2x 550p's barely being audible located beside my 590 towers. I had to put them a foot behind my couch off of the left and right walls.

Yeah I tried moving it around and ended up putting the sub right next to my couch(where is sounded the best for me)
You're EQing your stuff for the room right?
I just got a minidsp with Dirac and it helped a lot in making the bass sound similar to what I was listening in my bedroom! But I few like now with Dirac I need to push the volume way more to listen properly and even then it’s hard to explain but it feels like the speakers are struggling a bit more than before to produce sound, things are not as effortless and natural as before...I tried to move the Dirac correction to only under 200hz but I still have the same issue, is there anything else I could do?
 

Deceders

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I’ve got a Sansui 2000X and Sansui 7070. Both units will run these dbr62 speakers well but it takes the 7070 to really bring the woofers to life.
 
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bicho_solto

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As this post was resurrected I feel like I could tell the end of my Elac dbr story: Regardless of how powerful of an amp I used, I feel like the Elacs were always a bit too boring, too polite and lacking dynamics for my taste. I ended up replacing them with a pair of vintage Wilson Watt Puppies
 

marcom22

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As this post was resurrected I feel like I could tell the end of my Elac dbr story: Regardless of how powerful of an amp I used, I feel like the Elacs were always a bit too boring, too polite and lacking dynamics for my taste. I ended up replacing them with a pair of vintage Wilson Watt Puppies
Which series? But they are speakers of another level and prize (overall)
 
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bicho_solto

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Which series? But they are speakers of another level and prize (overall)
I got the 5.1 but yeah sorry I didn’t want to make it sound like I was comparing both as if they are on the same category, it was more as a way to illustrate my journey in this post
 
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