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So, what are recommendable amps below 200$?

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I put in too low of an offer (by $1) and missed one that Paradigm had on Ebay. Hopefully they will put more back on there.



I just got one of the same IcePower modules that is in that. It seemed to sound good but my listening was cut short last night by a migraine with side effects I didn't know migraines came with. For a bit I thought I was having a stroke. Hopefully I can try it out more shortly.
Please take care. I don't personally know you, but I have a sister with migraine problems and it hasn't been good times for her. And she have tried everything to get rid of them.

And about the PW-Amp, I hope they can get a hold of more. Maybe with the announcement today of the buying of Paradigm, they are just taking down the offer until further notice.
 

invaderzim

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thanks, I never understood just how bad they could get.

They still have the amps on their site for $224 which is a great deal but less is better :) The review that mi-fu linked to makes me want one even more.
 

RayDunzl

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A few weeks back, I recommended to buy a silent fan to keep the Powergate at lower temperatures.

The fan is indeed really really silent (the quietest fan I've ever heard), but if you are sensible to fan noise, you'll still hear the fan's motor. Nobody at home can hear it, but me :(

Obviously that is when no music is playing, at 3 meters away from the fan.

I thought somebody can find this info useful. There's not such thing as a silent fan for me.
 
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Yes. I hope Amir will have measurements on PW amp and PW link soon too. If the measurements are decent, at these price points, these two products with room correction would be very attractive!
+1 for the review of PW Amp and PW Link! The prices on Ebay have gone back up to full-price but their website still has discounts. So, hopefully, before those go back up as well.:eek:
 

mi-fu

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+1 for the review of PW Amp and PW Link! The prices on Ebay have gone back up to full-price but their website still has discounts. So, hopefully, before those go back up as well.:eek:
Yes. They are still on discount on their official page. But I do suggest you wait till Amir having it reviewed first.

My PW Link shows very obvious distortion when using RCA input. But I'm not sure whether my unit is broken or it is some design flaw.
 

JJB70

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At the budget end of things I am one of those who would recommend looking at pre-owned, it is surprising what you see on EBay. Avoid the cult models chased by audiophiles and you can pick up really nice gear for not much. Alternatively if you want new and have a DAC that can act as a pre-amp then companies like Behringer and Crown offer some robust amplifiers with heaps of power for modest prices. However, for all that I suspect that the low cost Chinese amps you can pick up for peanuts probably sound fine in terms of audible performance.
 
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Yes. They are still on discount on their official page. But I do suggest you wait till Amir having it reviewed first.

My PW Link shows very obvious distortion when using RCA input. But I'm not sure whether my unit is broken or it is some design flaw.
Oh, that's not good. Thanks for letting me know. How does it sound just streaming directly or through the digital inputs?

BTW, I only recently stumbled upon this site and it's really great to see the reviews that Amir does on here (Kudos!). Wish more reviews were like this instead of the flowery language nonsense that helps nobody.
 

mi-fu

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Oh, that's not good. Thanks for letting me know. How does it sound just streaming directly or through the digital inputs?

BTW, I only recently stumbled upon this site and it's really great to see the reviews that Amir does on here (Kudos!). Wish more reviews were like this instead of the flowery language nonsense that helps nobody.
The room correction works very well. It is easy to set up and the result is obvious.

If streaming directly - playing Tidal on Play-Fi, I can have good results.

But Toslink input is another mess. I connect my Chromecast Audio with it to play Roon. It keeps dropping a few minutes, basically unusable. I haven't figured out it is a compatibility issue or hardware issue. When it can play, the sound is good. But most of the time, it just doesn't play!

My hunch is that the ADC of the box is not as good as I wish, while the DAC plus room correction is good.
 
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The room correction works very well. It is easy to set up and the result is obvious.

If streaming directly - playing Tidal on Play-Fi, I can have good results.

But Toslink input is another mess. I connect my Chromecast Audio with it to play Roon. It keeps dropping a few minutes, basically unusable. I haven't figured out it is a compatibility issue or hardware issue. When it can play, the sound is good. But most of the time, it just doesn't play!

My hunch is that the ADC of the box is not as good as I wish, while the DAC plus room correction is good.
That's a bummer because it might mean that the Amp can only be used for direct streaming. Now, in a way, I'm even more eager for Amir's results!
 

TimW

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My PW Link has no clipping issues with analog or spdif input. I have a Cambridge Audio 840C CD player that has spdif inputs and outputs. I use it to switch between CD's, ropieee, and a CCA being sent to the PW Link via spdif. The CCA plays fine with the PW Link through the 840C. I did find that when I adjusted the bit depth of the upsampling feature of the 840C it would cause the PW Link to make clipping sounds. These sounds would then happen with all of the inputs and outputs of the PW link. I found that restarting it made the clipping sounds go away. This issue might be caused by your CCA if you are using it for volume control which would affect bit depth.
 
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I've had a PW Amp for almost 2 years now and have it connected to my Sony Android TV through the TV's mini-jack analog out to the PW Amp's RCA inputs. I cannot really tell the difference between direct streaming with Play-Fi and streaming music through my TV. I don't hear any distortion and have read of others reporting similar results. No Toslink on the PW Amp so I can't speak to that.

Although I'm no audiophile (most expensive amp I owned was a $700 Marantz receiver), my impression of the PW Amp is that it is powerful enough to drive towers but probably not the cleanest amp. I use it to drive a pair of A'Diva SEs and a Gallo TR-3D sub. The PW Amp does a great job with its auto room correction software of blending the small SEs with the sub and correcting the boomy acoustics of my living room. Especially with the new ARC Genesis software, you can do a lot of customization after taking measurements. For me, I found good results by lowering the sub crossover frequency to 80 hz and max correction frequency to 500 hz (from 156 hz and 5000 hz auto settings after measurements). Here's a great link for learning how to configure ARC Genesis that I wish I'd read when I first bought the PW Amp: https://www.anthemarc.com/arc-genesis/advanced-settings/index.php.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the PW Amp measures here. But having looked into Dirac, which seems a lot more complex, I'm not sure if I can do without Anthem's ARC Genesis to move to a Benchmark or HypeX amp.
 

GGroch

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Welcome, and thanks for posting HamN. I think most of the PW/Amp owners here have only a couple of months experience. I had not seen the Genesis How To Link before, but it will be very useful. I have both the PW/Amp and Link and have been pleased with both...although my 1st PW/Amp suddenly died after 2 weeks. The replacement has been fine.

I suspect that people who have not used decent room EQ technology probably do not realize how much difference it makes. That benefit alone makes it a great deal imho, as long as it is reliable.
 
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Welcome, and thanks for posting HamN. I think most of the PW/Amp owners here have only a couple of months experience. I had not seen the Genesis How To Link before, but it will be very useful. I have both the PW/Amp and Link and have been pleased with both...although my 1st PW/Amp suddenly died after 2 weeks. The replacement has been fine.

I suspect that people who have not used decent room EQ technology probably do not realize how much difference it makes. That benefit alone makes it a great deal imho, as long as it is reliable.
I knew you have one PWAmp, but I didn't remember. Could you please tell me how it compares to the Powergate? Room correction is such an improvement to the sound, that I don't know why not all makers includes one.

Room Perfect has been such an improvement for all owners of Lyngdorf amps, that even if they don't measure well, owners at Audiogon are selling their tens of thousand dollars amps in favor of one TDAI3400 or even the TDAI2700 and can bite your hand off if you try yo tell them the amp does not measure well. They don't mind, as they've reached Nirvana.
 

mi-fu

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Yes. Room correction is very, very helpful. The improvement is obvious.

The thing I like about the ARC of PW link is that it is so simple to use. It takes less than 1 minute for measurement and everything is automatic. I think the result is quite comparable to using REW and Minidsp mic (But I have to say I'm just a layman in using REW, so very likely I haven't fully utilized its potential).

The distortion problem I had is annoying though. I tried connecting Topping D10 Dac to the PW link then to JBL 305p speakers. I set the the volume of PW link to ard 50%. The distortion was obvious in some part of the music. I also tried it with my ADI-2 DAC - same problem. I had to significantly lower the output of the ADI-2 to avoid distortion. Hopefully, it is just a defective unit.

And yes. Looking forward to Amir's review on it. Then we will have a better picture :)

P.S. I can confirm that even if the optical input signal is 96khz, the optical output of PW will only be 48khz.
 

brial05

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Hello Everyone,

I've recently joined the forum and I must say the discussions are fantastic. Cheers to all for your participation.

While not under $200, I must say that the NAD 316BEE @ $399 is easily the best money I have ever spent on audio equipment. Admittedly, I've not spend 10x of that price, but I know I've easily spent 5x the price to be no where near as happy.

The NAD 316BEE coupled with a Music Fidelity V90 have given me 1000s of hours enjoyment at any SPL.

This NAD 316BEE version reviewed very favorably by Stereophile and so while 2x the OPs baseline I feel the extra $199 would be a very worthwhile investment over many years to come.

I had planned on trying to find something like the Sprout100 for a second room but I feel a NAD of this size and $ amount coupled with any of the favorable DACs reviewed here by Amir is a much more robust and long term setup.
 
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Hello Everyone,

I've recently joined the forum and I must say the discussions are fantastic. Cheers to all for your participation.

While not under $200, I must say that the NAD 316BEE @ $399 is easily the best money I have ever spent on audio equipment. Admittedly, I've not spend 10x of that price, but I know I've easily spent 5x the price to be no where near as happy.

The NAD 316BEE coupled with a Music Fidelity V90 have given me 1000s of hours enjoyment at any SPL.

This NAD 316BEE version reviewed very favorably by Stereophile and so while 2x the OPs baseline I feel the extra $199 would be a very worthwhile investment over many years to come.

I had planned on trying to find something like the Sprout100 for a second room but I feel a NAD of this size and $ amount coupled with any of the favorable DACs reviewed here by Amir is a much more robust and long term setup.
Hello brial05. I encourage you to check all of ASR forums. There's one that talks about sub $500 usd amps, other that talk about sub $1000 ones. Also, if I remember correctly, there's one that discusses the NAD 316BEE

You will find plenty of opinions and well measured options.

The question on this forum is, it doesn't matter if it sounds good, does it measured good?
 

GGroch

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I knew you have one PWAmp, but I didn't remember. Could you please tell me how it compares to the Powergate?.......
I have not done close listening tests between the Powergate and the PW/Amp on the same system. I have a desktop system (with major room EQ issues) and a main system with bookshelf speakers where the room EQ issues are quite noticeable but less. In my use the quality of amplification of the PG & PWA are very similar, and great. I have heard no significant hiss, and noticed no clipping or other anomalies on either one.

Their features are very different, so I am using both. Currently the Powergate is in my main system as a remote control DAC/Streamer/Preamp using its stereo analog outputs into other power amps. I do not think this necessarily sounds better than using the built in amp, but I already own the other amps which have more rated power, so why not. This works great.

The PW/Amp (or PW/Link) is used on my desktop system depending on whether I am using powered or unpowered speakers there. It makes an absolutely huge improvement on my desktop, taming a major mid bass hump.

I actually used the PG as a Preamp into the PW/Amp for a bit...that provided the best combination of control/streaming options plus Room EQ...so they work quite well together.
 
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A question for those with a Play-fi device. How exactly does the streaming work? It seems as though it’s the phone that’s doing the streaming from the music service. Is that right? Or, is the phone like a remote control and the streaming then happens directly to the Play-fi device?
 

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