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11 Sep 19 - 01:33 AM (#4008313)
Subject: BS: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

My amplifier died, and it was 30+ years old. The guy who said he could repair it is avoiding me, or sick, or something.

I need some advice. Like what is a POWER-amplifier, and what does a pre-main do. I understand what integrated means, but not as regards amplifiers, and they also talk of MM phono.
They also include Bluetooth, and since I don't have any music on my telephone, I don't expect to need it.

If anyone has had to buy a new amp lately, that was anything like the old amps that just did their job and went forever, what did you decide on? And especially it should have inputs for turntable, or phono as they now call them.    Please!

11 Sep 19 - 03:05 AM (#4008321)
Subject: RE: BS: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

For a while turntable inputs were dropped as obsolete, so folks needed to buy separate preamps.
But now vinyl sales are increasing again, they may be becoming included in amps again..

NAD were and still are amongst the best audio quality budget priced integrated all in one unit pre/power amps...

Depends on your budget...???

If you are in the UK, it's worth phoning
for advice...

btw. this thread ought to be up in the music section, for all/guests to contribute...

Agreed. And done. ---mudelf

11 Sep 19 - 03:11 AM (#4008322)
Subject: RE: BS: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

.. or

if Richersounds no longer stock NAD...

11 Sep 19 - 03:14 AM (#4008325)
Subject: RE: BS: Amplifiers?
From: DaveRo

A 'power' amplifier is the bit that produces the power to drive the speakers. If you only listened with headphones you wouldn't need one. Most amplifiers are 'integrated' - pre- and power-amps in one box. You can buy them separately if you have a lot of money and have unusual speaker requirements.

MM means 'moving magnet' which is a type of magnetic cartridge (another being MC - moving coil - do those still exist?) Mag cartridges output a smaller signal than tuners, CD players (and cheaper ceramic cartridges - if they still exist), and require 'equalising', so you need a pre-preamp to do that. Some amps have this built in, some not.

When I last replaced my amp, more than 10 years ago (the 3rd in 40 years) I had a record deck. I bought a 'budget' NAD C316 amp (based on reviews) and a higher-spec NAD PP2 'phono pre-amp'. (I don't know why 'phono' - that usually mean a type of plug. Phonograph?) Both are still sold. I no longer have the deck or the phono pre-amp.

The other day it failed for the first time (no sound) so I looked at possible replacements. I see that DACs (Digital to Analogue Converters) are now built in to some amplifiers, so you can have digital inputs. I don't have any use for that now but wondered if it would be useful in future, and for what? But I came to no conclusion and fixed the amp (dirt in the headphone socket.)

Inside, the NAD amp seemed well built. I easily found a maintenance manual and spares were still available. The only problem is mechanical hum from the transformer, which started after I'd had it several years.

11 Sep 19 - 05:17 AM (#4008342)
Subject: RE: BS: Amplifiers?
From: Bonzo3legs

Don't forget that once we are no longer 25 but 70+, anything above 12k is gone for good, so an easyjet amp should do!! Oddly enough we use a NAD 3020i !

11 Sep 19 - 03:23 PM (#4008422)
Subject: RE: BS: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

Thank you, folks. I have been using two sets, #1 a component system that had been selected by someone who failed to keep the payments up, and that had been perfect for a long time. The amp and tuner, anyway. The tape and CD player were replaced long ago.
The other big system is an old Sony in the office/rumpus room, and the bloody amp in that is gone, too.

All I'm left with is a Sony ghetto-blaster and a Sony micro-system, neither of which has inputs for phono.
I suspect that the ghetto-blaster has been to a party or three.

I should say that the small systems I bought for house-bound friends, who have since departed. And well spotted there Bonzo and PFR. I WAS English, but have spent most of my life in NZ.
AS to budget, I can afford anything that Her Indoors approves.

12 Sep 19 - 12:24 AM (#4008463)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Stilly River Sage

There is a thread here at Mudcat where we were talking about receivers and amplifiers, comparing some of the older ones as far superior to the current products on the market. I haven't been able to find it this evening but if it turns up (I printed out some of the remarks) I'll post it.

14 Sep 19 - 02:55 AM (#4008745)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

Thank you, Sage. I've put a couple of bids on our on-line trading site TradeMe, and been the under-bidder both times, but there are 10 pages in the 'amplifiers and tuners' section.
I had a snoop around the sevenoaks trader that punkfolkrocker suggested up there, and they are selling Marantz amps at what would be a very good price in NZ. Of course, transport would need to be looked into, particularly if the manufacturer casts them from concrete like Pioneer did with my turntable.

The Marantz DVD player that I use for CDs in the stereo has given sterling service.
If anyone needs a new cartridge for a turntable, then I can recommend 'LP Gear' online in the USA. Better than the original to my ear.

14 Sep 19 - 04:45 AM (#4008759)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: DaveRo

punkfolkrocker wrote: For a while turntable inputs were dropped as obsolete, so folks needed to buy separate preamps.
But now vinyl sales are increasing again, they may be becoming included in amps again..
Yes, I see that my NAD 316BEE amplifier was updated to V2 in 2018(?) with the addition of a phono preamp.
Bonzo3legs wrote: Don't forget that once we are no longer 25 but 70+, anything above 12k is gone for good... Oddly enough we use a NAD 3020i !
But even us oldies will certainly notice (mechinical) mains hum. When researching the cause of it on my 316 I found many posts about 3020s with the same problem. I think all amps can suffer from it - I wouldn't buy an old one without hearing it first.

My earlier amp - an A&R A60 - died when the volume pots wore out. One advantage of newer designs - like the 316 - is a remote.

14 Sep 19 - 07:17 AM (#4008784)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Bonzo3legs

Our 3020 has no mains hum yet!

14 Sep 19 - 08:49 AM (#4008796)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

Back at my mums I have two late 1970s NAD amps that haven't been switched on for approx 3 decades,
and a late 80s NAD amp which hasn't been powered up for about 20 years...

Hopefully one day sooner than later I can find out if they still work, or will expire in smoke...???

2 or 3 years ago we took a chance on a recent Denon all in one box music system

Denon DM40DAB [a newer version has replaced it]

Which was highly regarded by HiFi reviewers,
and I find it sounds good enough through decent quality headphones.

But I don't think it is equipped with a turntable phono preamp..???

Though I think many modern turntablesnow have digital outputs...?????

14 Sep 19 - 05:14 PM (#4008838)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

DaveRo, I took Bonzo to mean that we age70+ identities are not going to live long enough to wear out a quality amp!
Maybe he WAS talking technical.

But, several of my friends have recently 'faded as the leaves do fade and dropped off in October.' (Was it October?)

My latest bid for a NAD is coming due in 11 hrs.

14 Sep 19 - 05:34 PM (#4008841)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?

It's the frequency range we hear, Gurney. For a younger person with normal hearing, this is often given as 20Hz-20kHz. We lose the ability to hear the higher frequencies as we get older.

14 Sep 19 - 08:00 PM (#4008869)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

That's all right.. treble frequencies irritate me...

Why do drummmers need so many bloody cymbals and tinkly percussion toys...

15 Sep 19 - 01:37 AM (#4008881)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

When we went to a modern TV, I commented how I couldn't hear the shrill whine any more. The family asked "what whine?"

Bloody tinnitus at the end of the day is my left ear curse.

18 Sep 19 - 11:44 AM (#4009439)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Stilly River Sage

Good results with old equipment is the thread I've been thinking about since this new thread started. I finally spotted it today.

18 Sep 19 - 06:06 PM (#4009503)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

Yes, Sage, and a lot of good sense there. I even contributed to the thread, extolling equipment that has since malfunctioned and can't be repaired because of parts unavailability.

I can play CDs by connecting a lap-top to the TV, and LPs by connecting the small cheap Optimus turntable to the computer, and we have radios, BUT I WANT A STEREO.

Looks as if I may have to pay ridiculous money, though. The amps on our version of Ebay, Trademe, are going for about half the new price for 6-8yo items, and new tuners are a daft price anyway, considering that they play through the amp.
Absolutely nothing in the Opportunity Shops/Thrift Shops here.

18 Sep 19 - 06:53 PM (#4009509)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Stilly River Sage

Electronics turn up by the dozen in thrift stores over here; lots of DVD players, cassette decks (and dual decks), VHS players (and dual VHS decks), LP players, and less frequently, receivers.

20 Sep 19 - 09:03 PM (#4009768)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: michaelr

About five years ago I attended a demonstration at a local (California) electronics/home theater store. It resulted in my purchase of a Rega turntable, a Cambridge Audio amp (with phono preamp) and a pair of Wharfedale bookshelf speakers. All British gear, all for about $1500. I've been very happy with the equipment, and my records and CDs have never sounded better.

21 Sep 19 - 12:53 AM (#4009774)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

We just ordered a Marantz integrated amp, a cheapish one, the PM5005. There is only one available in NZ! They had one in stock, but "I sold it yesterday afternoon."

At least I'll have two units from the same manufacturer.

21 Sep 19 - 05:14 AM (#4009784)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: DaveRo

I see that Marantz amp has two tape inputs. The NAD 316 v2 budget amp reintroduced the MM phono input, but dropped the tape input.

My 10+ year old NAD 315's headphone speaker cutout is still playing up - it's always been the mechanical bits that have failed on my amps. If I can't get the part (it would be uneconomic to get it repaired) I'm considering an Onkyo A9010, which is quite cheap and has both analogue and digital inputs. My CD player and tuner both have optical digital outputs - the tuner only for DAB, which I mainly listen to, not for FM.

Or maybe the NAD 3020 v2, a bit more expensive, which has no analogue line inputs at all and stands vertically. But it only has a single digital input, so I'd need a separate source-switching box. That might be more future-proof.

21 Sep 19 - 08:57 AM (#4009808)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

Onkyo - thanks you reminded me..

2 or 3 years ago last time I thought about a new amp,
NAD was stil considered the best budget price amp,
except a slightly more expensive Onkyo had now crept ahead in finer sonic details..

However, googling provided user reports that the Onkyo might sound slightly better,
but be less reliable and durable because of inferior construction and quality control.

Coincidently, Onkyo had been purchased by Gibson Guitars during their disasterous diversification phase,
which also resulted in Gibson Guitars becoming even more expensive
while quality control plummeted..
And Gibson quickly collapsed into near terminal decline.
A buy out and new ownership team saved the guitar manufacturing for the moment..

This was all massive news and forum debates amongst internet guitar community since approx 2014

Dunno who owns Onkyo, or how well made they might be now...???

21 Sep 19 - 09:22 AM (#4009810)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Jon Freeman

Drifting a little but last time round when my parents decided they wanted to play their old records a couple of years back, I got them an Audio Technica AT-60 USB turntable. The USB part was supposed to ease getting things onto computer but never happened. My main concern was that it had be auto play and outside those retro things with built in amps (we had one once with lots of mains hum and generally horrible) didn’t find much choice (at least with my budget). This one seems to do its job quite well.

The next problem was where in the living room to put it and the tv area was out so we wound up with a separate system the other side of the room with its own amp and speakers. The amp was probably an odd choice, even odder as I don’t see the HDMI connections in normal use, but I got a Pioneer SX-SX30DAB Network receiver on a reasonable offer.

As well as the turntable facility, it did add a DAB radio to the room. It also provided means of connecting via DNLA (Mythtv here uses that for starters) and Bluetooth, had a couple of extra inputs which could be used eg. if a cassette deck was wanted and I guess at the time I also saw it as possible future proofing.

Unfortunately (as with some other of my attempts) it’s not had a lot of use… Even if in my room, my interest seems to begin and end with the “how might I do this/how might this work out” side and am not much of a media consumer. My parents on the other had tend to forget both what can be done and how to work things...

21 Sep 19 - 09:50 AM (#4009812)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

My old mum's approach to learning how to use modern A/V technology
is to lose the remote controls..
.. and then lose all the replacements I buy her...

btw.. Tape inputs...???

A lot of new gear still provides general purpose Line and Aux connections,
but I'm curious if old Tape Ins were somehow configured differently...???

[Some of my gear has switchable attenuator pads to adjust levels..]

21 Sep 19 - 10:15 AM (#4009819)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

I will add full context,
It's well over 20 years since I last had tape cassette equipment
connected to an amps tape in out connections..
My memory needs some serious jogging...

21 Sep 19 - 10:23 AM (#4009823)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: GUEST,Jon

I can't help there, pfr. I have an old, given to me by a brother, Teak twin deck (with some speed varying as the length of time it plays issues) but I can't remember the last time I played a cassette. That and things in my room, generally plug into a Yamaha MW10C mixer.

21 Sep 19 - 11:05 AM (#4009833)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: punkfolkrocker

I'm obviously looking for distractions not to go out
and clear up after next door's dog getting through our broken gate,
and shitting in our back yard...


What Hi-Fi - Best stereo amplifiers 2019: budget and premium

21 Sep 19 - 01:03 PM (#4009852)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Jack Campin

I recently got a replacement amp, Cambridge Audio "azur 640A" from a charity shop. Sounds fine and is an enormous improvement on the previous one (I forget what it was): my CD player doesn't skip any more. I had already replaced the CD player because if a CD player skips the problem has to be in the CD player, right? But the new one skipped too, very badly with hardly any discs playable. After replacing the amp, every CD I've tried has played perfectly, with daily use for months.

I can't figure that out at all.

21 Sep 19 - 11:52 PM (#4009875)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

Jon, I have a very cheap Optimus LAB1100 turntable (not my main one I hasten to add) and it connects effortlessly to this W7 computer and its CD burner.
The unfortunate part is that I don't want to burn CDs from my LPs, nor to listen to the results on the computer speakers, but to listen to them at the noticeably higher quality that LPs offer.
-Providing you've looked after them. And burning copies is a tedious job anyway.

22 Sep 19 - 02:51 AM (#4009883)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: DaveRo

punkfolkrocker wrote: Tape inputs...???
Tape inputs are the same as any other line inputs, but they're paired with line outputs so you can record from the amp.

Some amps have, or used to have, a 'tape monitor' button so you can record, say, the tuner source but feed the recorded signal through the power amp. The deck needed a separate read head to do that.

Onkyo bought Pioneer - hence their sudden appearance as a hi-fi brand I suppose.

25 Sep 19 - 05:13 PM (#4010516)
Subject: RE: Amplifiers?
From: Gurney

The Marantz amp is lovely. Except! The writing is too small for my old eyes, and the is no power outlet in it for the turntable, so I have to go out and buy an adaptor for that particular plug.