View Full Version : Caiman -> Yam AV -> Arcam 8P?

19-06-2010, 14:30
Hiya Guys,

I've hit a bit of a predicament.
I'm currently listening to music all using my Laptop as the source, this then feeds into my Caiman via USB and then into the Yamaha DSP AX761 to some Tannoy Custom F1's.

I'm wanting to upgrade the amp on a budget of less than 200.

So far I've been looking at an Arcam 8P for 135 delivered as the reviews I've read seem to make this power amp out as being fantastic.

Because its a Power amp (no volume controls) I was thinking of using the variable out on the Caiman as a pre-amp?

But also wondered if there is the option to utilise the AV amp aswel via the pre-outs. --- Don't really understand this bit though.

Would the above be possible and how would it sound?
I listen to a bit of everything from Dubstep and D&B to the likes of Michael Buble so it would have to be able to handle everything.

Am I asking too much?
Any advice would be much appreciated,

The Vinyl Adventure
19-06-2010, 14:41
What is the intended us of the av amp in the chain?

19-06-2010, 14:42
When you say use the AV amp as well, do you mean use that to bi-amp the speakers ?

19-06-2010, 14:46
I was thinking more so that I still have the option to use the AV amp for when I want to play DVD's etc.

I don't have it as a 5.1 set up its just the Tannoys that I currently have.

I dont really want to totally retire the AV so if there was some sort of way of keeping it within the set up I'd feel better.

BUT if it would be better to retire the AV and just use the likes of optical out on the DVD into the Caiman would this sound better.

Totally open to suggestions as atm I kind of know what I'm talking about but not 100%

The Vinyl Adventure
19-06-2010, 14:57
If you are only using 2 speakers then I'd retire the av amp in favour of a 2 channel amp

19-06-2010, 14:58
If you are only using 2 speakers then I'd retire the av amp in favour of a 2 channel amp


19-06-2010, 15:06
I thought that would be the case, but it was worth asking the question.

What would your opinion on the Arcam 8p be?
Thought at 135 it was quite a good price?
I initially looked at an integrated amp but thinking as the DAC can act as the pre amp going for the power amp would be a better option.

Thanks for the quick replys so far guys

19-06-2010, 15:25
These folks seem to like it http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/arcam/alpha-8/PRD_115561_1583crx.aspx

19-06-2010, 15:35
They are the reviews which made me think it would be a good buy.
There just doesn't seem to be much reference to use with the caiman.

Would there be any other amps you think would compliment what I have?

19-06-2010, 15:45
They are the reviews which made me think it would be a good buy.
There just doesn't seem to be much reference to use with the caiman.

Would there be any other amps you think would compliment what I have?

19-06-2010, 15:48
I use my Caiman driving the power stage of a NAD C320BEE integrated amplifier.
And it works superbly, much better than using the preamp stage of the integrated.

If you're unfamiliar with NAD amplifiers, the pre and power stages are normally connected together by jumper connection, so can be split and operated independantly of each other.

The Grand Wazoo
19-06-2010, 15:50
If you really must have 2 amps, then you need Stan's switchy-box thing or else you're going to be forever scrabbling around the back.
But I'd listen to Hamish & Chris' advice if I were you. Sell the AV amp.


The Vinyl Adventure
19-06-2010, 17:12
You could try one of these


available off eBay for 158 delivered... If you didn't like it I'd prob buy it off you anyway - I'm in the market for a second one they are so good :)

19-06-2010, 17:24
Right, just had a scan on the fleebay and have picked up the Arcam 8P Power Amp, going on the mentality that the C320BEE seems to be rated alongside the Arcam 8 Int amp so as I would only be running it as a power with the variable from the Caiman I wont be needing the pre section on the integrated amp.

Think I'm going to be using the Arcam down stairs in my new house (should be moved in within 5weeks) and will relegate the Yam into my room where I can just have the same set up as what I currently have.

Ahh should be good.

The Grand Wazoo
19-06-2010, 18:28
If you must have two amps, you should invest in one of Stan's speaker/amp switch box. But I'd tend to agree with Chris & Alex - dump the AV amp

The Vinyl Adventure
19-06-2010, 19:40
I think you might be loosing the plot chris...

19-06-2010, 20:32
Haha sorry if it seemed a bit confusing.

Arcam, Caiman, Laptop, Tannoys (which will no doubt be replaced with some MS floorstanders) Downstairs in the living room.

Yamaha AV, Ipod and the laptop all upstairs will have some old speakers hooked up to that.

Will be keeping the AV with the intentions in the future of getting a mini Denon stereo in my bedroom and putting the AV downstairs with a 5.1 set up.

The Grand Wazoo
19-06-2010, 22:22
Yup, lost it completely!
I posted that (or thought I posted it) 4 times before it stuck. I went away & when I came back I saw 2 of 'em.
That's never happened to me before. Wass going on?

20-06-2010, 15:44

I don't see why you shouldn't be able to feed two amps from the Caiman, though as noted, why would you want to do this? If the amps were in the same room, then what would be the benefit? If the amps are in different rooms, then you'd need a long interconnect from the Caiman to the remote room.

I suppose you might just have a use for driving several sets of speakers around the house. In that case I think you could feed the Caiman into both amps, then use long cables to connect the speakers in the remote room(s).

Yet another possibility is to use optical cables to provide the feed to your AV kit, and to use optical splitters and/or switches. It really depends what you want to do.

Why do you want 5.1 sound for anyway? Is it for films/DVDs? Otherwise I'm perhaps inclined to agree with Chris - and suggest dumping the AV amp. Unless you have really good kit, for audio purposes surround sound systems just don't work well compared with plain stereo - though I'm prepared to believe that a really up market surround sound set-up might reach parts that stereo systems can't - but I really do mean seriously up-market.

20-06-2010, 21:43
As you can see here - I am doing exactly the same as you intend to.

Beresford 7520 through the variable out into Arcam Diva P75. It works a treat and sounds great.


You won't regret it and defo sell your AV amp, if your sticking with 2 speakers then your AV amp will be totally redundant and outclassed.


22-06-2010, 11:56
I think everyone has managed to twist my arm into selling the AV.

However I think my last blast before I do is to see if I can pluck up some cash and invest in some Tannoy 5.1's so I could have the AV powering the surround speakers for films etc and the Arcam and Caiman for the HiFi side of things going to some Floorstanders (looking at the Acoustic Energy Neo 3's as they seem very highly regarded)

I think I'm beginning a slippery slope here into HiFi and can see me spending quite a bit over the coming years.
Did the same with my car, 17k later and its only worth 6k!!!

As they say if your going to do it, you may as well do it properly!!!

Hoping the amp should be here tomorrow :D

The Vinyl Adventure
22-06-2010, 12:47
Another on bites the dust...
It's a lot easier to buy hifi that retains it's value than it is to mod a car and add value I imagine!

22-06-2010, 14:01
And then all this will make you want to listen to more and more new music, and before you know it, you'll get confused between your monthly Amazon account total and your monthly mortgage payment... :eek:

Good luck with the new amp!

22-06-2010, 17:52
Surprisingly the amp arrived today which was faster than expected.

Wired it all up etc and discovered that my AV amp has a Optical out.
This has potentially given me a win win situation where by I will still be able to run my Ipod, TV, Blu-ray and games console through the AV with the optical out to the Caiman.

This is just a thought atm as this should theoretically by-pass all of the AV amps DAC's etc. leaving me with the AV as a central control unit as such to choose which AV stuff goes to the speakers, but also means that my music can go straight to the Caiman via USB so will not be affected by the AV.

Anyway back to the amp, 1st impressions...Crap.
Very clear high's if not slightly over powering, muddy mids and very very little bass. Thought to myself what the hell am I doing wanting to get rid of the Yamaha!

Its been playing for only an 1.15hr atm and its already a totally different sound. So much more taught and controlled, Still lacking a bit of depth but according to the review below it need 24hr to warm up?! So hoping things only get better.

***Apart from being particuarly sensitive to running cold, this pair of amplifiers add depth and separation to any recording. Give them 24 hours connected to the mains with the power on and the sound sharpens beyond recognition. When cold they are mushy and bass heavy, lacking in sound staging, mid and high range. When warmed up this is lost and gives way to a mobile and attacking quality of sound, seperating instruments and reproducing subtleties. Acoustic music sounds true to life, rock vividly jumps out of the system, dance pumps superbly with control and the beauty of well recorded classical music brings a tear to the eye.)***

Only time will tell

Ps. Corrine Bailey Rae is sounding very good so far!

22-06-2010, 20:59
Whoa Ross

Did the same with my car, 17k later and its only worth 6k!!!
I don't think we're suggesting that you bankrupt yourself.

22-06-2010, 21:37
Yep you have a point.
But the way I look at it is most others at 20 are coming out of uni in loads of debt. I'm not so spent the money on other things I enjoy :)

Apart from Music this is my yellow pride and joy