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Newbie question

Rega

mobbed2001

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Hello all,

I have been reading a lot of the threads here and have finally concluded that:

I will opt for a amplifier over a AVR.

I already have a pair of KEF Q300 speakers.

I am located in Dubai. I prefer to listen to music and connect TV, laptop and some movies. Thats the general requirement.

My questions are as follows:

My speakers are rated at 15-120W. Will a amplifier like the Yamaha A-s501 or Marantz Pm 5005 or PM 8005 be enough to do justice to the speakers?

What is a pre-amp? Do I need a pre-amp?

Thanks again!

Best regards,
Joe
 

raghupb

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Any of the 3 amps you mentioned will work well with Q300s.
Yamaha allows for digital sources to be connected directly.
Both the Marantzs are analog boxes with 8005 having a bit more power and pre-outs.

Preamp is required if you use external power amplification. Integrated amps have preamps + power amps. In all likelihood you will not need a separate pre-amp.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

mobbed2001

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Raghu,

Thanks for the reply. Few more clarifications needed :

"Yamaha allows for digital sources to be connected directly." - Can I connect my PC (Macbook Pro, 2012) to the amplifier? If so how?

"Both the Marantzs are analog boxes with 8005 having a bit more power and pre-outs." - What is a pre-out? Doesn't the Yamaha also have a pre-out for the sub-woofer? Or isn't that a pre-out?

What would you recommend - keeping the budget out of the equation - the maranz or the yamaha?

Thanks again!
Joe
 

eabhishek

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Do consider NAD BEE series of integrated amps. I have personally listened to Kef Q300 paired with NAD integrated amp at my friend's place multiple times and really liked it for the amount spent. That same friend is also on this forum and may respond to you in greater detail.
 

raghupb

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Raghu,

Thanks for the reply. Few more clarifications needed :

"Yamaha allows for digital sources to be connected directly." - Can I connect my PC (Macbook Pro, 2012) to the amplifier? If so how?

"Both the Marantzs are analog boxes with 8005 having a bit more power and pre-outs." - What is a pre-out? Doesn't the Yamaha also have a pre-out for the sub-woofer? Or isn't that a pre-out?

What would you recommend - keeping the budget out of the equation - the maranz or the yamaha?

Thanks again!
Joe

Joe,

Preouts can be for sub alone or for L/R channels or both.

In the case of Yamaha A-s501, the pre-out is for sub only; you have the opportunity to add a sub at a later point in time, if you feel bass is lacking.
Since Yamaha A-s501 has only OPT/COAX digital connections, you may not be able to connect MacBook pro directly.

Marantz PM8005 has L/R pre-outs, which may be used with external power amps or with 1 or 2 subs. My experience with connecting a sub to Marantz L/R preouts did not go well in my room (I could never get it to sound right; I am using PM7001 for 6 years). I can only comment about Marantz performance and reliability; so far no issues and it sounds good to me.

NAD is also a well known brand that makes very good electronics.

If you have the chance to take your speakers and audition the entire system (source+amp+speakers), you should do it. At the end of the day, if a particular combo strikes you as good, you have found the match for your speakers.

Many people buy an analog only integrated amp and then add on an external DAC to handle digital sources (USB/OPT/COAX). It is extra budget, but it can be done later.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

afj

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the yamaha 501 has an optical input. if i remember right, i have seen a youtube video which says that optical out can be taken from the macbook's headphone jack. so then you can take a digital out from the laptop for it to be converted to analog by the amp itself. alternatively you can take headphone output (3.5mm jack) which is an analog output directly into any amp.
 

mobbed2001

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Thanks all...I will try the suggested amps and will post an update once I have it all set up.

Cheers!
 

mobbed2001

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Do consider NAD BEE series of integrated amps. I have personally listened to Kef Q300 paired with NAD integrated amp at my friend's place multiple times and really liked it for the amount spent. That same friend is also on this forum and may respond to you in greater detail.
eabhishek,

Any specific NAD BEE series? I am looking for a used one probably and then go on to a new one later. Do you know of any second hand ones?

How does Cambridge Audio fit with KEF? I know it is all in my personal taste - but from prior experience

Do consider NAD BEE series of integrated amps. I have personally listened to Kef Q300 paired with NAD integrated amp at my friend's place multiple times and really liked it for the amount spent. That same friend is also on this forum and may respond to you in greater detail.
 

mobbed2001

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Hello All,

After a lot of deliberations and almost going in for a yamaha - I finally settled in on a Marantz PM6005. I listened to PM5005 at a shop and liked it and went with it. I have ordered from the UK - where I found the prices of HiFi is much cheaper than here in the UAE.
I will post some pics once I have it on hand. I also bought a mono price cable.

Thanks all for the advice!

Joe
 

shibashis

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Marantz 6005 is a good choice. 6005 also has a built in DAC, if you can take the optical out of your laptop and connect it to the optical in of your 6005 then 6005 will be responsible for the digital to analogue conversion bypassing the computer's onboard sound card. Generally speaking the result is almost always better quality output.

Later on if you feel the need (which likely you will, most of us always do :) ) you can buy a dedicated DAC of your preference.
Q300 are fantastic speakers, will keep you happy for some time!
 

mobbed2001

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Yes - that's what I am doing now...optical out from my Macbook....even the movies are pretty awesome!!

Does the DAC come into play only through the optical out? I have also tried connecting the iPad with a 3.5mm jack to the RCA - this also brings the DAC into play right?

But the sounds are pretty awesome - the song that just amazes all of us is 'tu bin bataaye' from rang de basanthi....

The bass that just starts from the background is like thunder and is brilliant...will post some pictures....
 

shibashis

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The iPad 3.5 audio out will use the iPad's in-built DAC and that way you lose out on the Marantz DAC.

Tablets, cellphones and the likes have their own onboard DAC to handle the digital to analogue conversion, that is how you get your music through the earphones on your cellphone. Needless to say mostly they are inferior in quality compared to dedicated DACs which can be many times the price of the actual device itself.
 

MaSh

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Does the DAC come into play only through the optical out? I have also tried connecting the iPad with a 3.5mm jack to the RCA - this also brings the DAC into play right?

Yes the Marantz DAC would come into play only when a Digital Input is provided.

A 3.5mm jack is an analog output, meaning its coming from the device's DAC. Hence no Marantz DAC in play when iPod is used via the 3.5mm jack. This is the reason you hear the music when headphones are plugged in. I am not sure if PM6005 has Airplay. If it does use that. My NR1504 has and its amazing.

MaSh
 
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