1st gen Muso vs surround amp

Hi all, hope everyone remains safe & well.
Just had to put this in writing:
Nap 200 over at class A for a service. Hooked up NDX & ATC scm 11’s to my Yamaha RX-V 767 (was using the AV on 202 for my ‘front speakers’). I pressed ‘pure direct’ to get the best sound - lasted 5 minutes before I turned it off to stop my ears/mind being offended any longer; couldn’t believe how poor it sounded (thank the lord it didn’t sound anywhere near as good as the naim gear - imagine the horror :joy:).
Moved the Muso from the kitchen into the lounge - oh yes! got the ‘naim sound’ back; contentedly listening to music again.
The point being: the muso is a damn good bit of kit!! (& surround amps are useless at producing music).
Stay well everyone :relieved:

Not all surround amps!

I once tried playing my quite expensive (around £2000) Anthem MRX700 surround amp, in stereo mode, into my NBL’s.
It sounded rubbish!

1 Like

I have no experience of Anthem amps, but a long time ago I had a Yamaha AV-1 (Gold) AV amp (£1,600 back in the 80s/90s) that sounded pretty decent in my system of the time - almost, but not quite on a par with my Audiolab 8000A. I used the Yamaha with a pair of Ruark Prologue One speakers back in the late 80s/early 90s.

I now have a Krell pre/power AV amplifier which has a stereo by-pass mode which completely by-passes the AV circuitry. It sounds very good as a stereo amp into Ruark Solstice speakers.

I have no doubt that some AV amplifiers are “useless at producing music”, as witnessed by your experiences with your Yamaha and Anthem AV amps.

I also have no doubt that one could achieve even better sound in my system by replacing the Krell with a very good stereo (or preferably dual mono) amplifier for the same amount of money, but that is beside the point. The krell amps serve me very well indeed as both an AV and stereo amplifier.

They do not sound as good as the Lindemann pre/dual mono power amps that I use in my main hi-fi system, but then the Lindemann power amp on its own was the same price as the Krell pre/power amps together when they were new.

Start with an apology: Sorry, should have said; surround amps of the caliber of the one I own (slightly older one) cannot produce decent 2ch music, but I imagine there are ones of a younger age/higher spec that can.

I am just so amazed how good the Muso is; there’s even a ‘reasonable’ soundstage in front of me, goes a little OTT with the lower frequencies, but not enough to deter the enjoyment of all the other qualities. It actually reminds me how low my ATC scm11’s CAN’T go :relieved: - Subwoofer??? Oh no! More £ to spend :woozy_face:

1 Like

I agree - the Muso is pretty good. I’m very happy with mine.

I think, like many things, it depends on the models involved and what they are being asked to do, I.e. what speakers they are being asked to drive.

My own (limited) experience of av amps with music:

  1. In the 90s, my bro’ bought quite a high spec Pioneer AV amp and drove AE109 floor standing speakers with it - sounded really bland and washed out. Replaced the amp with an Arcam Alpha 8 - massive difference in all areas.
  2. I use a Teac Reference A something 550 av receiver (the gold ones) into Celestion ‘glass speakers’ (effectively stand mounts in a glass floor stander) and, when used with a sub (BK), the Teac’s own DAC, amp set to stereo mode and crossovers set properly, it sounds pretty good.
  3. A recently acquired an Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 (CD/DVD/SACD/DVD-A player, DAB tuner, Coax/Optical DAC and 2 channel amp all in one box), sounds really nice into Piega TS3s in the bedroom system.

‘Obvious’ points on the subject include:

  1. Compromises introduced by video circuits/functions
  2. Current delivery capability: 2 channel vs 5+ channels
  3. Budget devoted to what makes an amplifier sound good. In very simplistic terms and without other factors that have positive or negative effects, a 5 channel amp should cost 2.5 times that of a 2 channel amp to deliver the same performance.
  4. All the development costs and the licensing fees that AV amp manufacturers pay to Dolby et al to keep their products relevant.

It is perhaps no surprise that many good integrateds now have AV bypass mode to act as a stereo power am for front channels in a multichannel system.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.