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Help Required - What to buy - Amps?

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Hello Folks,

Recently had the problem of destroying a beautiful Pioneer amp and now need to replace it with something reasonable, without a clue really of what may suit my requirement the best.

I have a Bose passive AMP with 5:1 cube speakers that probably need something like 120 watts from an amp to drive well. [Am open to suggestions about that comment as well, however]

What I am after is good quality sound, not necessarily the loudest. I like listening to good quality music and drawing out the clarity from these rather than loud boom boom boom. Also just your good old surround sound for watching movies and taking feeds from media centre. I have a purpose built media centre providing the output to the amp.

Having a few input / output options is however why I didn't purchase the Bose Amp when I purchased the Bose Speakers. I wanted an AMP that provided a lot more input capability than what Bose offered at that time.

I rang JB HiFi yesterday who suggested a Onkyo TX-NR708 and have also been told that Yamaha or Marantz would be fine.

Budget is roughly say $700.00 bucks. I do not want to spend thousands. With this in mind I looked at the 608 Onkyo which looks fine for what I need, as I do not need all the wiz bang of the latest model really.

Suggestions comments - more than welcomed as I haven't needed anything for a long long time.

Thanks in advance.

RIP my great old amp :)

Edited by tradeon33
Adding a statement 2

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At that price point, I would look at Dennon, Yamaha, Onkyo and Sony. Purchase the one with the the most features that sounds alright to you. Have a look out for recently superceded models and specials as these will represent the best bang for your buck.

There is a near new Dennon AVR for sale in the classifieds here that may fit the bill. I suspect that the Bose speakers will not require a lot of power to drive them. Bose amplifiers are not renowned for their power, albeit that Bose do not advertise the specs.

Edited by Telecine

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I tend to write a lot, the TL;DR is: I vote a denon:) Read on if you can be bothered.

I agree with telecine. Those are the brands to look at in your budget, if you want to see higher power on the spec sheet, you'll want to look at Onkyo/yam, but (in my opinion) if you want the best sound - the only choice is denon. for $700 you will easily obtain a new 1710 (last years model) at a harvey norman etc, or get the 5.1 amp for sale in the SNA classifieds that telecine linked.

I would likewise agree that the power you suggest is excessive for powering Bose speakers.

Owning both onkyos and denons from a similar price bracket, i can comfortably say the denon provides significantly better sound. Of course what you want to hear is subjective - perhaps you would prefer a different sound to me. The denon sounds warmer and more detailed than the onkyo, to me.

Side note: At harvey norman you'll be buying the '3 digit' version of the denon amps, they're essentially rebadges for the mass market shops and are identical in all respects relevant to the normal person. the HN version of the 1710 is the 790.

The new models end in 1(1711, 791 etc), and the main differences are a significantly barer rear panel (i guess they decided that we dont need 900 analog inputs these days) and HDMI 1.4 for 3d!

As a side note, additionally to denon - onkyo also now put Audessy on every model, a handy choice for you - you plug the mic in, put it in your chair (and the other positions listed in the manual) then be quiet while the amp calibrates itself for the best sound for you:). I'm not sure if yamaha/sony have similar technologies.

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Just snatched a 708 for a grand, similar application to yours using a media hub etc. Great amp, very pleased with it in every way, chose the 708 as it had just been superseeded by the 709 and could be had for a great price. I also needed pre outs for an external power amp, if you do not require these then other amps may be cheaper and still fulfill your needs. I'd be suprised if you could not get a 708 now for a fair bit less than i paid

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I just don't think you can go wrong here at about the $1k price point, there are lots of products on offer and they all do a respectable job at that performance level. Consider buying used gear, because then your $1k puts you in the $2k performance category.

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