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Looking for an amp... but with volume control?

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  • Looking for an amp... but with volume control?

    For my system I have all my cd's ripped on to a server and use a computer with a IR receiver and a Logitech Harmony to control it. Of course theres a pretty darn good soundcard to handle the DAC. I don't want to use the computer for volume control because everything I've read says it does it digitally, which doesn't help the SNR and reduces bit depth. In the past I've used an AVR so remote intration was easy but I'd like a bit more serious of an amp. Seems nearly all are set gain though.

    I've really been considering the Emotiva BasX A2, the specs seem optimistic looking at the pictures of the internals but it boasts 250wpc into 4Ohms which sounds in line for what I'm looking for. There looks like a bit of space in it so i could add a stepper motor tied to a pot controlled by an arduino to do the volume control but that is a bit beyond my coding skills at this point and I don't want to be hacking up a brand new piece of gear. Does someone know of some units that exist than can do what I want? I'm not above buying used at all if theres something else out there.

  • #2
    There are many used integrated stereo amps on ebay w/remote. Of course you have to slog through the ads and look up specs and reviews. I have had good luck with used ebay Yamaha AVR and Outlaw monoblock amps, years of service.


    • #3
      There is literally a plethora of integrated stereo amps with remote control volume. Rotel, Cambridge, NAD, Marantz, Roksan, Moon, Rega, McIntosh, Levinson....nearly every brand...

      If you have a modest budget and want all your money spent on sound quality and nothing more I can highly recommend the Rega Brio R. Unless you have ludicrously inefficient multi way speakers with mind boggling mechanical excursion limits you are unlikely to ever need or make use of 250watts so don't overlook/discount quality stereo amplifiers with 'lower' power ratings.

      Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
      Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1


      • #4
        To the contrary, a 200-250W amp is recommended to avoid clipping the amplifier during 30dB crest factors in music with average 82-83dB sensitivity speakers.

        "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
        "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
        "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
        "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

        *InDIYana event website*

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        • DeZZar
          DeZZar commented
          Editing a comment
          Pretty sure this is ultimately RMS vs Peak Music Power. The latter being a dubiously applied figure in a lot of cases but a quality amplifier will have a higher momentary/peak output than its RMS rating. At decent listening levels with highly dynamic music I have never encountered clipping problems with quality amplification. My Rega supplies a mere 70 watts to a four ohm two way load and mechanical excursion is reached long before the amp runs out of puff. It out performs my 120watt Rotel. Lesser amplification might be another story. I have some junk class D amp with 150w written on the box and it can't even drive the same speakers to half the output level without clipping.

        • Wolf
          Wolf commented
          Editing a comment
          You don't have to believe me, but the study was done:

          Apparently, Bob has removed the study from the website... wait- FOUND IT!

      • #5
        I like a DAC Pre with remote and a separate amp. Currently using the Emotiva XDA-2 but there are many others. Thought I also saw so 2.1 DAC/ pre. The 2.1 integrated is also a good choice.
        John H

        Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower


        • #6
          I love my Hypex based amp, but at $400+ it isn't real cheap. It doesn't have a volume control, but I use the volume on my DAC. I placed a passive volume control (read pot) after the DAC to limit the maximum volume when I sit on or the 2 year old gets ahold of the remote, turning it all the way up.
          My Builds - Vigor (Nola Brio Knockoff) - Overnight Sensations w/ Voxel - Speedsters in surplus boxes - Zaph B3N's in bamboo - Classix II in BR-1 cabinets - Dual TPA3116 D2 amp in an old music box - Mariposas


          • #7
            Huh alright I guess I just need to look a little deeper then. Pretty much everything that was coming up in my searches that had an IR remote was an AVR which I don't want. Also I should have stated that I'm only interested in class A/B amps.

            I also don't want a separate DAC/preamp. I have a pretty darn good sound card that handles those responsibilities.



            • djg
              djg commented
              Editing a comment
              I put "integrated stereo amp with remote" in my ebay search and found numerous new and used high and mid quality items. (and low). I don't know your budget but it's worth a look.