all listed should be an improvement over an 15 year old HK.
16 responses Add your response
There is quite a bit of enjoyment tobe had from the mid-fi amps you listed. They are all big names in mid-fi with good reviews from the pros - you can google for them.
Can you listen to them ? That would be nice if you could - especially if you can take them home and listen with your speaker, in your listening area.
In the end, y o u have to enjoy it, so let your ear be the final judge.
I would be especially intersted in the Cayin.
As Mlauner said, any of the amps you listed would be an improvement over HK. I would buy a mid-fi amp and enjoy it for a while before spending more, because you have to upgrade all the gears in your system evenly in quality - meaning if you get even better amp, you might want to upgrade the rest of the system.
I am sure you have heard of the law of diminishing return - meaning you have to spend a lot more to gain a little in quality after a while - and this seems to be especially true in hifi.
So I would just get my feet wet with one of the amps available locally - since they are all good ones, and when you do want to upgrade your entire system even further, than you can sell the used gears locally or here on audiogon, and not loose much money.
What source do you have now ? What cd player ?
Also, do you have good cables for them ?
For problem free listening I would suggest recent used gear from say the last 5 years or Less.
There are so many amp choices like adcom, parasound etc
You migh also consider a starter tube amp like an ARC VT60
if that is not out of your budget
I have found greater improvment by upgrading the source such as your cd player or turntable.
thanks for the input so far. Input is HK FL8400 five disk changer. Turntable is a Panasonic that i like the look and weight of; nothing special. Also use the Ipod on a dock, so now i'm getting clear of its limitations and the further limitations of the stock settings. Cables... embarassingly, really basic, although the speaker cable is pretty bulky, but i don't know much more about it.
I would consider upgrading the CD player and the cables too, with a nice mid-fi unit, after upgrading the amp.
You are in for a treat - your ears will thank you - it will be a heart warming experience, if you choose carefully.
I would go slow and ask questions here before buying - there are somethings to know before you can get audiophile quality sounds at home.
There was a gentleman like yourself getting into this exciting hobby, wanting to buy a first good sounding mid-fi.
He ended with a pretty decent system all for under $2000 used.
I think it's a good idea when you said you want to upgrade the amp and then speakers. If you do that, you probably want to upgrade the source as well - and cables too.
It's good to match the quality of your gears. If you have a weak link, it will hold back the rest of the system.
Spending about 10% on cables seems to yield good
If you want to go this rout, post it and I am sure you will get many good advices on building a good mid-fi system.
thank you all
This ties into a my posting on my I.Q. TED 400 speakers in teh speaker forum. I think these speakers, based upon a report that was referred to by one of the members, supports a mid-fi category speakers, so now i need to find the right power to support them. I guess what you do is get a better amp, then better speakers, then better amp, ... and on and on down the road you go.
The local Cayin amp sold for $250... dang, i missed it.
thanks for all your advice.
Here are my current, local, mid-fi upgrade choices for used equip:
Two ways to go today:
1. Use my HK as pre-amp and buy an amp; or
2. buy a pre-amp/amp combo set.
For option 1. my choices are:
NAD 60w 2100 $300
NAD 100w 2200 $350
Hafler 100w DH200 $350
Musical Fidelity 70w P140 $400
Or there are a couple of preamp/amp combo units as well:
Rotel 50 W set RC850 RB850 $385
Adcom 100 w set GFP555 GFA545 $440
Keep in mind that Musical Fidelity P170 is a power amp, and it needs a pre amp like Musical Fidelity 2A, unless your CD player has a volume control built in (probably not).
Adcom pre amp will also work with it. Adcom combo is ok too.
Take the time to hear them your-self, and keep the one you are happy with.
You might want to read a book on hifi - if you have the time - as recommended on the thread above - you will make a more satisfying decisions down the road.
Many people getting into this exciting hobby stays on it for life - ever improving and tweaking. Reading a book on the subject will be a good start.
If you don't have the time, you can ask questions here 'til you are satisfied.
Adcom combo is a pretty good choice - if google search for reviews, you will get positive feedback on them.
I hope you find good sounds at home...
Welcome to this exciting hobby.
I would plan on picking up a nice Pre-amp in the used market if you do get the Musical Fidelity - Pre does make a quite a bit of difference...
You don't want a low-fi unit holding you back, in your nice mid-fi system, and that's what the HK would do.
Especially true with LP. Make sure the Pre you do get in the future support LP, not all of them do these days.
My concern is that the Musical Fidelity (MF)seems to be quite old (also, whats up with its dimensions??? its so thin, I think its about 2" high where most higher end equipment seems to be quite a bit larger than low fi equip)
I don't have the budget yet for the MF and a pre-amp. Is the HK going to hold back the MF amp so much that i won't notice the hi-fi amp? I should be able to get the new pre-amp in the next few months. Or would you recommend the Adcom set instead?
MF will be a niticeable improvement over what you have now - even with HK pre-amp.
Adcom has great reviews - you can google search for them. That will be ok too. Can you bring them home and give it a try, before buying, with your speakers ?
That would be the best thing - try to bring the MF too, and hook it up to Adcom pre, and see which amp you like more - Adcom or MF.