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  1. #1
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    Stereo amplifier for PMC DB1+- your recommendations please

    After lots of thinking and demoing I'm erring towards leaving the AV amp side and use the pre outs to feed a stereo integrated amp but which one

    Since AV is the focus the PMC's are here to stay and if anything I will move up to FB1+'s in due courses I'm looking for a good stereo amp to match them (maybe some neats in the future but not the near future ).

    My experience tells me that Arcam is the way forward as I know it can sound great but is there a product out there I'm missing?

    I've owned the CA840a and that sounded too clinical with the PMC, Sugden A21a was just boring, Densen B100 okay on certain tracks but not all round. Rotel RA06 - no thanks and pathos classic one won't drive well enough.

    Amps that intrigue me are audio analogue settanta, Naim Nait XS (I heard one the other day and just was wowed by it), and I can't house the XTZ due to it's cooling requirements, also intrigued by unison research unico.

    Key feature is an AV bypass function.

    All thoughts appreciated especially on the Naim.
    Last edited by gsrai; 26-12-2010 at 11:22 PM.
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  2. #2
    Panda Jezzer's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's still there but the unison research unico primo in the classifieds caught my eye. I used to have the previous unico and liked it's vibrant and lively sound. The midrange was particularly smooth and open.

    The primo is supposidly even better than the old unico...
    Eats, shoots and leaves...

  3. #3
    Wammer nsherin's Avatar
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    Arcam FMJ Ax8 series - but thn I would say that

    The XTZ range of amps are very highly regarded on the Wam by seversal members. Not bypass though.

    Perhaaps one of NAD's chunkier options?
    Living Room: Apple TV 3, Arcam A18/DV79/T51/rDAC, Denon DRS-640, Rega P1, Sony MDS-JB980/PS3 Slim/RDR-HXD560. Samsung UE40D5520, Wharfedale Diamond 10.3/10MX
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  4. #4
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    Naim Nait 5i or XS.

  5. #5
    Wannabe gigolo meridian man's Avatar
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    Bryston
    Nothing to see here.....move along please!

  6. #6
    Super Wammer simon g's Avatar
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    Harmon Kardon HK990. Not sure about AV pass through, but does have processor in.

    Very competetent and flexible ~ big though!

  7. #7
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    Dare I say Exposure? Can't remember what the crack is on AV throughput or whatever it is...

  8. #8
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    Heard the current Cyrus top integrated driving some PMC Fact 8s recently very well. Demoed alongside an Electrocompaniet ECI-5 and the Cyrus seemed better. More open and involving. I was quite surprised, expecting the ECI-5 to be better.
    One of the absolute best integrated amps I have heard under 2K is the Sonneteer Alabaster, will drive most speakers very well.

  9. #9
    Wammer silencio's Avatar
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    I find the PMC a bit on the neutral/clinical side. Depending on the taste you have in music, you may wanna cosider partnering them wth a sligthly "warmer" amp. The Audio Analogue comes to mind (not sure about AV bypass) as a potentially great match (heard the amp and PMC separately however). I have also heard the PMC with the Unico Primo and would certainly recommend the combo (at least to my ears and musical taste).

  10. #10
    Wammer ridgeback's Avatar
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    I thought the XS was a belter of an amp when i demoed it with rega speakers, but found it a bit shouty with PMC GB1i's, in fairness though it was alll warmed up in one dealership with the regas and just slapped together with the PMC's in another so maybe that was a factor? but i would seriously demo the XS/PMC partnership before chucking cash at it just to make sure its to your liking.

    As you know im thinking of doing the same as you to improve stereo from my speakers, but as you confirmed yourself in your other thread, the av amp will be somewhat acting as a preamp and im beginning to think perhaps a higher quality av pro/power (and sell the AV amp) or the beresford switch Neil has used with a stereo amp may yield more massive stereo improvement by taking the av amp clean out of the equation this would also do away with the need to choose a stereo amp with AV bypass, but then again my AV amp is much older (and probably not as good as yours for stereo)

    Sorry if any of thats misleading or confusing...just thought i'd throw my opinion in

  11. #11
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    Do you remember how good they sounded with that little chip amp at your bake off G?

    I'm not crazy, my reality is just different to yours.............................

  12. #12
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    Cheers chaps

    Ben, I did think about buying the Beresford switch but at 73 Inc it doesn't make financial sense to me, the money is probably better spent on the amp. Thinking about your comments about preamps etc I've borrowed anarcam amp and I think I've gout round the problem, I've connected my CD player and front L/R to the arcam stereo amp so there is no v amp in the chain. I've then connected the AV pre outs into the AV bypass on the arcam so when watching movies the AV sonic signature goes straight into the arcam power amp stage so both amps are only on for movies and for stereo I just use the arcam

    JB, howdy fella - it was only a matter of time before I started playing again andi do recall you little box of tricks but had forgotten about it , worth a look methinks

    Silencio, I do like the idea of the Valvey type of stereo amp to tame the PMC's but the amp needs to grip the little buggers as well.

    JamesR - do you like a detailed sound as I've never heard an Cyrus amp I could live with for more than 30 minutes before my head hurts and I'm not trying to be funny just my experience ?

    I really must hear on of these HK's but I fear it might be too clean and I'm not sure exposure have the AV bypass.

    Has anyone heard the new audio lab or Marantz KI Lite? Hoopsontoast reckons the audiolab powers are awesome.
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  13. #13
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    The Unico Primo in the classifieds is mine. Here is a link to my thoughts when I bought it (see post #4), I actually went out to buy a Nait XS:

    http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/s...ighlight=primo

    It's very good amp indeed and I've even grown to like its looks. Review here:
    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/aud...-499279/review

    Cheers,
    Dave

  14. #14
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    The best i have heard PMCs is with Bryston up em...could you get a Bryston Integrated? or what about a Leema PULSE? i want to hear a Nait XS myself in the next twelve months.

    Sugden...boring???what???????Nooo maybe with thoseMinature PMC and Proac type boxes that need a PA amp up em to get them grooving, not wi' proper designed speakers tho!
    Last edited by Bourney; 27-12-2010 at 02:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsrai View Post
    JamesR - do you like a detailed sound as I've never heard an Cyrus amp I could live with for more than 30 minutes before my head hurts and I'm not trying to be funny just my experience ?
    I don't think your being funny :-) On the occasion the Cyrus sounded a bit clearer. I do like transparency but with a holographic soundstage and an audience perspective (not in the middle of the band) presentation. The Cyrus certainly wasn't the best I had heard but seemed better with the Fact 8 loudspeakers. A longer audition may have shown shortcomings where the Electrocompaniet could have had strenghs.
    My main recommendation is probably the Alabaster from Sonneteer.

  16. #16
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    The Fact 8's are rather nice speakers as PMC's go. I heard a pair on the end of Musical Fidelity's new(ish) class A amp (at Audio Venue in Ealing Broadway).

    It was a very good combination.
    Eats, shoots and leaves...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bourney View Post
    The best i have heard PMCs is with Bryston up em...could you get a Bryston Integrated? or what about a Leema PULSE? i want to hear a Nait XS myself in the next twelve months.

    Sugden...boring???what???????Nooo maybe with thoseMinature PMC and Proac type boxes that need a PA amp up em to get them grooving, not wi' proper designed speakers tho!

    Howdy Stevo

    I know I know but I do love the PMC for AV - all your proper speaker makers don't do sensible sized centre speakers and that is c.60% of AV

    JamesR, I major on holographic sound stage as well which the PMC do well but fact8 are way out of budget, I'd need a mortgage and I reckon the Leema Xone might be a close competitor. I can see the Cyrus being clearer but it's probably not coloured enough for me

    S-Man, I did see your ad but I don't need the phono stage and I didn't know if it had an AV bypass at all - I don't think so, can you confirm?
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  18. #18
    Wammer silencio's Avatar
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    ""Silencio, I do like the idea of the Valvey type of stereo amp to tame the PMC's but the amp needs to grip the little buggers as well.""

    The Unico Primo had full control over the PMC at the demo. No issue here. Source was the other Unico Primo - the CD player. I really liked the combo quite a lot. At the demo I played Paco de Lucia, Buena Vista Social Club, Sade, Luis Armstrong, etc. Very accurate, neutral and fast sound. Very good imaging and detail. All that, of course, to my ears.

    The Audio Analogue Maestro (methinks it was) was driving a pair of Ushers. Total grip, but with a bit of a velvet to it. Really pleasing to the ear ( I mean my ear). Source - Rega Saturn.

  19. #19
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    Silencio/Chris - which PMC did you hear the unico with?
    What does it all mean Basil ???

  20. #20
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    Hi gsrai,

    I'm not into AV but if I understand correctly AV bypass means that the line stage is bypassed and the signal goes straight to the power amp (for the L+R front speakers). I assume then that the AV preamp has some means of setting the gain for different power amps, as well as a global volume control for all 5 channels?

    Anyway, I don't believe there is any way to bypass the preamp in the Primo. However once you have determined the correct volume knob position on the 2 channel amp (e.g Primo) i.e unity gain in the preamp stage +/- a bit to correct for the different power amp and speaker sensitivities, then all you have to do is set the volume to this position for AV use and leave it there. Unison Research in their wisdom have used totally different RC codes to everyone else, so there almost no risk of the Primo changing its volume with another remote.

    Hope this makes sense and maybe frees up the possibility for you up to try amps without AV bypass.

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