Going to "experience" Hi-Fi Sound this weekend...

Soldato
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I'm going with my dad to have a look at some bookshelf speakers and amps on Saturday to see if this hi-fi sound is all its cracked up to be. My discontinued, aging Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 system is in need of an upgrade. Especially since buying an X-Fi I want some good quality speakers to get the quality out! I have in mind the following,

Mordaunt Short 902i Speakers

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Cambridge Audio 540R 80w AV Amp

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Good choice? I'll be open to other makes when in the store, but I have doubts how these can deliver the amount of bass I'm used to with my 5.1 setup. To me, no sub = flat. Wrong? Well I will see! :confused: :p

Any tips to add, or models to look out for which people have experience with? What would you recommend?

Thanks.
 
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Soldato
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Hmmm how would I run a centre speaker then? I didn't realise the amp would not work. Sorry about that. :) Then again.... do I "need" a centre speaker?

All the amps here say (stereo amplifier) in brackets. How do I pick an amp for a centre speaker? I assumed that because the 640A can run 2 pairs of speakers that 3 would be no problem? (But I'm guessing now it doesn't work like that)

Cheers... I need more help. ;)
 
Man of Honour
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Stereo is two speakers, the amp has two channels left and right. A centre speaker is primarily for dialogue in a surround sound setup. You'd need an AV amp that has 5 channels to run a centre speaker from.
 
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Goatboy said:
Stereo is two speakers, the amp has two channels left and right. A centre speaker is primarily for dialogue in a surround sound setup. You'd need an AV amp that has 5 channels to run a centre speaker from.

Ahhhh I see. Right, I feel like a fool now. :o Thanks Goatboy!

Lowrider007, I have updated the 1st post with the new AV amp and actually removed the centre speaker. I may buy one later along with a sub after seeing how just speakers by themselves sound. At least I have the right AV amp now so that I can make additions in the future! lol. I've noticed as well it has coaxial connections for digital audio. I can use these with my X-Fi soundcard can't I?
 
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I've experienced cambridge cd players before - they were OK, but too bright for me.
 
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Why've you decided to go 5.1 over 2 channel? For the money, you'll get a much better stereo amp than an AV amp..

EDIT: for £250 if you went 2 channel, you could get the Nad C352CT, which would sound much better.

fini
 
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Soldato
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lowrider007 said:
what's the maximum your willing to spend on a Surround Sound Amp, plus I'm guessing your need rear speakers also ?

If your looking at RicherSounds then you need to be looking in this section

£250 was really the budget for a decent mid-range AMP. I may go Surrond at a later stage actually mate, for the time being just the two front speakers will do. I then may save for a sub and/or rear speakers after. :) Money is tight. Chears for the link, I actually think that 540R will do the job. Sounds quite good!
 
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fini said:
Why've you decided to go 5.1 over 2 channel? For the money, you'll get a much better stereo amp than an AV amp..

fini

Thanks for the post, I don't really "want" to go 5.1 but I do quite fancy a sub or perhaps a centre speaker and I didn't realise a stereo amp couldn't do this. I do also game as well, so surrond sound is needed for that.

But if I was comparing the Cambridge 640A and 540R, the latter has 80wpc whereas the stereo amp only does 65w? Surely the AV amp is the better choice? Or have I made the stupidest "that number is bigger so it must be better" judgement? :D
 
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I would also compared NAD and Rotel, and if you're going to RS prepared to get biased, terrible advice. I would advise you should elseware, as they're only interested in getting you to buy one of their own products and out of the shop. Clueless morons tbh.

I can give you a hi-fi shop with a more relaxed advice without the saleman in "attack" mode. email me.
 
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squiffy said:
I would also compared NAD and Rotel, and if you're going to RS prepared to get biased, terrible advice. I would advise you should elseware, as they're only interested in getting you to buy one of their own products and out of the shop. Clueless morons tbh.

I can give you a hi-fi shop with a more relaxed advice without the saleman in "attack" mode. email me.

Oooh thanks for the advice. I will email now. :) I heard about NAD being ok too. Like I say, I will check out different types in the stores to see what I think sounds best for me. I won't just buy the first thing I choose.
 
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If anyone has any combo's they'd like to add, please feel free. :)

Like I say, sorry about the confusion with the stereo amp, I didn't realise that I'd need to go AV for the addtion of a sub, etc, etc at a later stage.

Thanks for all the comments. I'm not going till this weekend.
 
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Don't buy a surround amp in order to upgrade to 5.1 in future. You'll get much more if you buy a good stereo amp and stereo speakers for now.
 
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tom_nieto said:
Don't buy a surround amp in order to upgrade to 5.1 in future. You'll get much more if you buy a good stereo amp and stereo speakers for now.

But surely that'll cost me more in the long run? Having to sell the amp to buy another one just so I can add extra speakers/sub. Is the difference, for example, between two different types of amps noticeable...

Cambridge 640A Stereo Amp vs. Cambridge 540R AV Amp? Or is it when you start comparing a £700 stereo amp at a £250 AV amp?

Sorry I'm not having a go :p I just don't understand how the AV amp which does 80wpc for multiple speakers, or 100wpc stereo with digital and video connections is worse than a simple 65wpc stereo amp? Are the components used different?

EDIT: Found the answer, so it is the components....

Hi-Fi Showrooms said:
The main disadvantage with an AV amplifier for stereo is the amount of actual components that go into them. A standard integrated stereo amp contains a pre amp and a two power amp sections - AV amplifiers have 5 to 7 amplifier sections a preamp, processors, usually a tuner section, video circuitry and sometimes multi room switching. In component cost alone you would need an AV amplifier 5 times the cost of your stereo version to match it for sound - and this doesn't take into account noise from the video circuits and extra load on the power supplies.

Most AV amps are set up for high wattage and lowish current which is the opposite for most decent stereo amps - this means they will play loud with ease, but not keep good control of the speakers
 
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Most decent AV amps have pre-out sockets. You can use your stereo amp in conjunction with the AV amp to retain the (usually) better sound of a stereo integrated when playing CDs or stereo sources.

The idea seems stupid at first, but I wish I had stuck to a stereo amp in the first place. I've moved back to stereo again, and I don't miss surround at all. I would have saved quite a bit of cash, or got a better system from the outset if I had stuck with stereo.
 
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tom_nieto said:
Most decent AV amps have pre-out sockets. You can use your stereo amp in conjunction with the AV amp to retain the (usually) better sound of a stereo integrated when playing CDs or stereo sources.

The idea seems stupid at first, but I wish I had stuck to a stereo amp in the first place. I've moved back to stereo again, and I don't miss surround at all. I would have saved quite a bit of cash, or got a better system from the outset if I had stuck with stereo.

The problem is, whilst you can run a pre out into most stereo amps, you're still left using the pre-amp section of the AV amp, which are almost always rubbish compared to a dedicated stereo pre-amp. So its never going to sound as good, pound for pound, as a dedicated stereo setup.
 
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