Replace My Power Amp or Entirely New System

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by muzikgeye, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    I want to decide whether to replace my damaged Yamaha Power Amplifier with an exact replacement model, or get an entire new model.

    I have owned Yamaha separate stereo components for about 20 years. They comprise of the power amp model mx 830, a stereo control amp model cx 830, and tuner model tx 950. And they are connected to my two relatively recently acquired Spendor A5 speakers. When I bought my LG big screen TV, I bought a separate Onkyo tx-nr646 receiver to handle the tv, a 5:1 sound system and DVD. My Yamaha system was for my records and CDs.

    My Yamaha power amp has now been destroyed (long story), so I am asking if it would be prudent to simply replace my Yamaha 830 (or a 630) with the exact same model, which I can find on eBay, or simply scrap the whole system for a new system, or simply be economical and connect everything to my Onkyo receiver.

    I am uneasy to replace the Yamaha with an equivalent model because of my perceived notion that any future maintenance will be difficult for a discontinued Yamaha. On the other hand, I now have two pieces of Yamaha equipment that are useless. Can I replace my destroyed Yamaha power amp with a good recent (and reasonably priced) different one or yet another Yamaha power amp? Or is the Onkyo receiver really adequate. I love the sound and efficiency of my Yamaha unit, but I could be convinced that my Onkyo integrated receiver is really all I need. Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital

    I have been in your shoes many times, what to do with treasured components you have owned for 20+ years, in my case it was Jeff Rowland and PS Audio. The parts issue is always very real, and while your components could probably be repaired, it's risky as everything in those boxes is 20+ years old and it's a matter of time before something else goes out. Additionally, the repairs on either your Pre-amp or power amp will probably be substantial, and IMO it's just not worth repairing 20 year old equipment in that price range.

    I think the key factor is available funds and how much you feel comfortable with spending at this time, which you did not indicate. I have been in your shoes, and for me, the answer was replacement with a newer, cooler, and up to date components of your choice. I can certainly offer a company that I have bought products from for many years, and have never had an issue with any of them, Parasound. They have the Classic series of amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, as well as the top shelf HALO models, BIG selection in all power output ranges. For your money, you will do better with Parasound, however, Yamaha is certainly a beautiful product, but whatever way you go, replacement, not repair would be my suggestion.

    If money is tight, I would buy absolutely NOTHING, and let your Onkyo TX-NR646 carry the audio load, it is a capable piece, and again, if money is an issue, you will be perfectly fine using the Onkyo for the time being, until you have the funds to purchase your dream audio system. I do hope you give Parasound some real consideration, it is a wonderful product, lasts forever, and the company is ROCK SOLID and will be around for repairs for many years. Here is my system, so I know what I am talking about with this brand. The quality is top notch!

    Let me also mention another very important feature. Many of the Parasound pre-amps have fantastic built in DACS, so you can run your television optical, blu-ray coxial and computer USB right into the Parasound with amazing results, having that computer audio is enough to bring you over to the team, hope you give Parasound some consideration.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  3. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    Litejazz53,

    Thank you for your wonderful reply. Everything you wrote I have intuited. You have only affirmed what I have felt for some time. And your Parasound recommendation sounds spot on. I will seriously consider your opinions and recommendation. Thanks for clearing up this most pressing musical decisions.[/QUOTE]
     
  4. Bananajack

    Bananajack Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Singapore
    20 years old? That’s young!
    Please do not think that amps got better over the years, cost cutting is the main job in the industry.
    Have it repaired. If that’s not possible get another one (must it be a Yammie??)
    MOSFET or Tube Amps should fit nicely to the Spendors. Maybe a tube integrated amp?

    Just FYI, my stuff is mostly between 45 and 70 years old. What broke recently? The 3.5 years old
    CD Player ... stay away from made in China.
     
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  5. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital

    [/QUOTE]

    I'm so glad I was able to assist you, I had to reply, as I have been exactly where you are. Let me just say, if you do not wish to invest in more expensive Parasound equipment (HALO), I have owned their Classic series for many years, it's wonderful and it will last a lifetime and the fidelity is TOP SHELF, great warranty, great service, great everything, it's just good stuff!! :righton:
     
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  6. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    Thank you for your advice. Such a decision. Your argument is very reasonable.
     
  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Lots of good choice out there these days at this price point, that's for sure!

    Since you said "Yamaha" 11 times in your post :) I get the feeling you liked it, so would understand the outcome if you purchased another!

    I have four pieces of Yamaha vintage gear, and always loved their stuff - thinking about buying another piece. Their new offerings are good too, just like the old stuff, and used can bring outstanding value. They always focus hard on the outcome (the sound that ultimately is produced) and why I like what they bring in many aspects.

    I just saw an MX-2000 sell recently for just over a grand - those are sure nice and still not too long in the tooth. The CX-2000 makes one helluva pairing with that!

    I've owned and still own many Parasound components (P5, 2125, A21, JC3+ to name a few) --- to be frank if I had to choose in your price point, I might opt for the modern Yamaha's if I was forced to choose though in the same price point. I just think their sound profile in many cases is more refined.
     
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  8. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    You have not defined reasonably price which means different things to different people. I would buy another amp -new- and leave the Onkyo just for the movies.
     
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  9. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital

    [/QUOTE]

    Give us your budget you are comfortable with for a new Amp and Pre-amp ? $1,700.00 will get you a Parasound 2250 V2 amplifier, loads of power, and a Classic 200 Pre-amplifier with DAC. 275 watts per channel into an 8 ohm load.

    $1,495.00 will get you the Parasound Classic 2125 V2 and a 200 Pre-amp with DAC, 150 watts, which I'm pretty sure would easily cut the mustard.

    Lets look at Yamaha in another post! Obviously you could move into the HALO products if you wanted to, but I'm pretty sure you would be a happy camper with the Classic series, but only you know what the budget is!
     
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  10. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Ive got a Yamaha RX-950 receiver which has an MX-630 amp section(120W). Your MX-830 (bigger brother) is 200W, while your Spendor A5 (8 Ohm) will handle 150W RMS. The MX-630 is nice sounding amp. If you like the Yamaha sound, I would not hesitate to buy a used Yamaha amp at least 150W RMS and extra power will not hurt. Ive noticed Yamaha's "natural sound" is consistent between models as well as between years/decades.
     
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  11. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    Are you saying that because the signal between digital media eg movies, DVD is different than analogue records, that two different systems is better. Or is Onkyo just better to handle movie/DVD media?
     
  12. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    Give us your budget you are comfortable with for a new Amp and Pre-amp ? $1,700.00 will get you a Parasound 2250 V2 amplifier, loads of power, and a Classic 200 Pre-amplifier with DAC. 275 watts per channel into an 8 ohm load.

    $1,495.00 will get you the Parasound Classic 2125 V2 and a 200 Pre-amp with DAC, 150 watts, which I'm pretty sure would easily cut the mustard.

    Lets look at Yamaha in another post! Obviously you could move into the HALO products if you wanted to, but I'm pretty sure you would be a happy camper with the Classic series, but only you know what the budget is![/QUOTE]
    I am liking the lower cost system you posted about. So I am wondering 1) even though you admitted that my Onkyo is decent, and I should use in the case of of being budget conscious on the whole, is the Classic series Parasound superior to the Onkyo AND my Yamaha, in your opinion (I am assuming yes); 2) I am not familiar with DAC. I understand that DAC is for digital signals. I am assuming my Onkyo has some sort of DAC to handle DVD BluRays and other digital. On the other hand, I still use Vinyl, and so don't I need a pre-amp? Or does the DAC handle that well? 3) If I can attach a tuner to a Parasound set up, what piece of Parasound equipment provide radio?
     
  13. muzikgeye

    muzikgeye Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Azusa, California
    I am not necessarily tied to Yamaha. However, just for the sake of argument, and I am assuming you like the Yamaha refined sound, what would be a new Yamaha system, in the $1000-$2000 range?
     
  14. Ctiger2

    Ctiger2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    You can do better than Yamaha IMO. I'd try something new to you and you'll find out.
     
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  15. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    No, not at all, the signals are different but was not the reason for my comment.

    It all comes down to how picky you are about sound quality. There are people who compromise to avoid having more stuff around, others are perfectly happy with an AV receiver for everything but while some receivers sound fairly good they generally don't have the same audio quality as a dedicated two channel amplifier.

    Since you originally had the AV receiver plus a 2ch amp I thought you are interested in getting better quality of the 2ch set up. If you are happy with the Onkyo sound there is no reason to add another amp. I run two, when I watch movies I switch speaker cables from one amp to the other.
     
  16. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I guess my main point was if you dont want to shell out 1k+ for something new, used is a good option, whether Yamaha or not. I love amps, integrated amps, and receivers (used to be more into receivers, then got into integrateds, and now am more of a separates person) and have a lot of all three. One thing Ive learned from personal experience is that speakers are much more important to final sound quality than amp/power choice, assuming you have enough power in the first place. I also dont believe that (class AB at least, probably class A as well) amp technology has changed all that much in the past 25-30 years (when your MX-830 was made) to make much of a difference. Yes, older gear, is well,....older and this can lead to issues in and of itself, but my personal experience with plenty of amps 25+ years old (when compared to new gear) shows that this is not the case. My 25+ (and 30+) year old amps do not sound "old sounding due to degraded components" when compared to my new gear. This was a specific concern of mine before I "proved to myself" that it is not a big a deal as some (the "recap freaks" and nothing wrong with that as it surely cant hurt) make it out to be . YMMV of course.
     
  17. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    Location:
    San Diego
    Seems like to have a good pre-amp still working. Just go for the beef on a new power amp. Emotiva, Parasound and even the revived new Adcom Amps!
     
  18. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I wanted to throw that option out there. I am not saying it is better than buying new or that buying new is better than buying used. I just know that budget also often factors into gear purchases.
     
  19. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Perfection Through "Crystal Clear" Digital

    Ok, I have given you my take on Parasound, let's look at what Yamaha has to offer. First let me say, I love the look of Yamaha, always have, their design is beautifully executed.

    Unless you are willing to spend a fair amount of money with Yamaha, I would think separates might be out, as Yamaha separates are very pricey, where Parasound Classic series is not pricey. I think you will be limited to an Integrated amplifier with Yamaha for that reason, and there are a few questions you need to ask on any of the integrated amplifiers:

    1. Does the phono stage allow both MM and MC cartridges or only MM?

    2. How many different digital inputs are available on the Integrated and what are they? I maintain you will need (1) USB "most important" (1) Coaxial (Probably for a Blu-Ray player), (1) Optical (For your television audio out) Some of the integrated amplifiers omit one of those three, and they are all, very important!

    Ok, here is their current line up:

    1. Model A-S501 $550.00 85 Watts per channel into 8 ohms

    2. Model A-S701 $800.00 100 Watts per channel into 8 ohms

    3. Model A-S801 $900.00 100 Watts per channel into 8 ohms

    4. A-S1200 $2,800.00 105 Watts per channel into 8 ohms


    With your loudspeakers, I would want at least 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms, however you could use an 85 watt amplifier, all depends on the use of your equipment. For just a few dollars more than the A-S801 and much less than the A-S1200 you can have Parasound Classic with a great DAC that has not one or two of the desired digital inputs, but all three! You get a phono stage that accommodates both MM and MC cartridges. You get a sub output with a high pass crossover, and that is nice to have!
    For me the choice is a simple one, but then I am a real Parasound Fan. I have a friend that has a 20 year old Parasound 100 watt amplifier and a Classic pre-amp of course with no DAC. He is powering my old "monster" multi-driver Polk SDA-SRS walnut speakers to high volume levels with every kind of music, and it sound as good as the day he bought it, and those particular Polk speakers are hard to drive, he has never had a break down of any kind, case closed for me, and again, he has 100 watts per channel, you will have more than double the power he has! Someone said the Yamaha sound is more detailed or something like that, whatever!! You will love the combination I mentioned to you!

    One poster said try something new, not Yamaha. I must agree with him, you have owned Yamaha for 20 years, why not try something different, nothing wrong with that. I try different brands all the time, just changed my table from VPI to Marantz to Rega, why not change around, it's fun to mix things up a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  20. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    Parasound Classic series is Class D amplification. Parasound makes excellent amps in all ranges, but I really do think that the appropriate comparison with the Yamaha products is the Halo range, which is Class AB.
     
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  21. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    It is of course my personal opinion, but outside of special exotic speakers and may be ultra high end equipment influence of solid state amplifiers are greatly exaggerated.
    I remember replacing fairly inexpensive Wired4Sound ST-500 amplifier with Pass Labs XA30.5 - amplifier with much higher pedigree. And indeed it sounds a little more "natural" to my ears, but it was not "night and day" difference as with for example phono preamps or speakers. Before I switched to Wired4sound from Krell - and yet again, difference was small (surprisingly I liked Wired more).
    Just IMHO, please do not kill me. :hide:
     
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  22. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Will You Be My Neighbor?

    Location:
    USA
    A 30 watt amp (IIRC) even by Nelson Pass, is not what I would choose to drive the speakers listed on your profile. That’s a total of eight 15 inch woofers, and efficiency specs aside, you’re asking 30 watts to move a lot of air. That could be part of the reason why you don’t hear a big improvement. That said, I imagine you are getting pretty great sound with great gear like yours.
     
  23. JCMusika

    JCMusika Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    I would suggest to audition Benchmarks AHB2. It might have the synergy you may want to have
     
  24. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    To clarify, I have never recapped anything, so I can't comment on the sound of a particular amp or receiver "pre recap" and "post recap". My comments were based on my purchase of a new NAD C326 BEE (integrated) and new Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20(receiver), purchased in the past 6 or so years and comparing their sound to "similar enough" amps/receivers I have from the mid80s (in case of Nak 530 receiver, 1978) -late 80s/early 90s that almost for certain were never recapped or messed with other than perhaps deoxit. Random ebay purchases mostly and no signs that anything had ever been replaced (only one thing I own has had caps/other components replaced that I know of, a Kyocera A-710). "In general", the NAD 326 BEE and Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 that I purchased new, did not sound any better (or worse) than a NAD 7155(prefer this to 326 actually, more neutral/less bassy sounding), Nakamichi 530, Pioneer SA-1060, Yamaha RX-350, 530, 730, NEC A-710, Sony ??, etcetcetc. Like I said earlier YMMV and I realize this is hardly a scientific study, but I proved to myself what I needed to and therefore "have confidence" in older gear that more than likely has never been messed with. I *wish* amps made more of a difference to sound, and dont get me wrong some amps do clearly sound better to me, but when compared to the differences in sound that speakers make, amp differences are miniscule. If I could start over in this hobby I would be a "speaker person" and not an "amp person".
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  25. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    According to speaker designer, who I communicated a lot with, 30 watts is plenty. They routinely demo them with even lower powered pass or even 5 watts tube amp.
    I can turn the volume on as high as I can bear - and yet needle on pass does not move, which indicated it is staying within class A (30 into 8 and 60 into 4). They are more efficient then my previous GE Triton 1, which had powered subs.
    And I changed amps way before new speakers arrived ))
     
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