Minimalistic amp for AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ipedro, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I'm looking to get an amp to connect my AppleTV to but I don't want all the electronic clutter that you may find on living room shelves. I just have my little AppleTV on the shelf under the tv and I don't want to add much to it. Every amp out there seems to conform to the knobs and buttons VCR width shape. Is there a minimalistic, non conventional form factor amp that I can look into?

    As an example, I've found this which unfortunately is just a concept and doesn't really exist:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #2
    If you're looking for something with some style to it, I'm not sure I have any suggestions. Bang & Olufsen have some tremendous design but you will pay dearly for it.

    Perhaps you could consider a small amp and then mount it out of sight? Parts Express and Monoprice both carry a line of small amplifiers at extremely reasonably prices. These are not audiophile grade products, but I'm not sensing that's your interest. Perhaps pairing a small amp thats out of sight with some in wall speakers will give you a sufficiently custom look. Sound quality can range from decent to impressive depending on your budget. There are quite a few in-wall subwoofers too, which are recommended for installations where you'd like to get a substantial lower end to your sound.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #3
    How many watts are you looking to get out of this amp? And what is your price range?
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #4
  5. davidoloan, Dec 17, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #5
    Have a look at Pro-Ject Audio systems.
    [​IMG]

    You will most likely have to go with a stereo system to get your desired look, but this is not a bad thing if you use your Apple TV for music and podcasts as much as Films.

    http://www.whathifi.com/review/pro-ject-stereo-box-s
    http://www.project-audio.com

    You will need a Dac too. I use an Arcam rDac which is very good and probably meets your minimalist look. It is small and simple and always remembers its preset so I never physically touch it. I think it is a bit blocky in its proportions whereas the Apple Tv is an elegant shape so I put it behind the TV. It is so small you would not know it is there.

    [​IMG]

    Arcam Stereo Amps are good but quite large so you probably would not like them. The Arcam Home Cinema ones are huge. All Arcam products sound great and are top quality.

    www.arcam.co.uk

    I use a good stereo amp from arcam and I prefer the flexibility for music and movies. I am never disappointed watching films and you can buy 2 top quality speakers for a lot less than 5 or 7 top quality speakers.

    These are Arcam Muso Loudspeakers which are quite small and chunky aluminium which are quite Apple Like in design language. http://www.whathifi.com/review/arcam-muso-logo What Hi Fi don't seem to like the look but I do; very simple and unobtrusive. They refer to speakers like these as style speakers to please your wife, which makes no sense to me a bit like saying architecture is not important. I have a set. They sound great. You can buy them singly for about £150.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. macman05, Dec 17, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #7
    The Kanto amp is a nice design.

    Do you know the specications of its DAC?

    The website just says "Audio technology by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower".

    I would like a DAC and AMP in one small box like that, but at the same quality as my rDAC.

    Any reviews of it?
     
  8. davidoloan, Dec 17, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #8
    Another great solution is the Bower & Wilkins Zepelin Air which takes an optical input from your TV so you can can get great sound from both your TV and Apple TV.

    You can also run an ethernet cable directly into it so you can play your music from your computer via a wired connection if you have an ipad even with your Apple TV off using the remote app. It has Airplay too.

    This is great design, not just that style speaker terminology.

    http://www.whathifi.com/video/bw-zeppelin-air-review

    http://files.velocix.com/c249/WebVideos/Products/ZeppelinAir/Video-ZeppelinAir-Main-UK.mp4

    [​IMG]

    I haven't got one but I would like one. I wonder if the iPhone holder comes off. I would use it only with TV and Apple TV and iPad remote.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    #9
    There will be an optional DAC upgrade available sometime in February 2012. No word on price though.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    Thanks for all your suggestions everybody. I like this one the most.

    I'm not quite sure what my price range is because I'm often convinced to spend good money for products that impress me, but I'm not sure this is necessary. What I'm looking for is an amp with great sound for a small 700 sq.ft apartment, that can drive at least 5.1 speakers and it really doesn't matter so much what it looks like if the only visible piece is a beautiful master volume knob.

    I love the look of the Griffin Powermate. If I could get an amp that has that kind of knob as the only visible control, I'd be happy.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #11
    I think you might struggle with that. All of the options here are stereo or 2.1.

    I think logistics alone will mean that you need a fairly large box to drive 5 speakers so your options are going to be pretty limited. You could either hide an ugly box away or plump for an integrted receiver from one of the more aesthetically aware brands. Arcam solo movie 5.1 springs to mind, although, personally, I'm not a fan of it's looks and it's integrated DVD player is not exactly cutting edge.

    Cyrus is also worth a look. They make some exceptional kit, lovely quality, and I'm a big fan of their form factor. Alternatively I'd go with an Arcam AVR400, it's huge, massively over speced for what you want, and expensive but it is truely a thing of beauty.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    justex07

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    I reviewed the Kanto Yaro

    I recently received a review unit of the Kanto Yaro amp + speaker system. I was impressed with the build quality, accessories and looks. The sound was impressive for the size and price but I did find some shortcomings with the bass and some issues with treble/midrange.

    I also had a review unit and they are sending me an updated amplifier and the addon subwoofer so I'm sure anything I took issue with will be resolved with either or both of those updates.

    You can check out the review here http://itsjustjustin.com/?p=6514.

    Here's what the Kanto Yaro looks like in real life (sitting on top of Klipsch Heresy speakers).

    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #13
    Nice thread. I've got one of those huge receivers with hundreds of commands/buttons I never use. I might want to go down the same road as you when time comes to upgrade.

    Here is one I found that fits some of your criteria:

    neoHD media controller
    YMC-500


    Pros: Simple, 5.1, Decent reviews
    Cons: Not so small

    Listed at 500$ but available for 180$ at amazon.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. bolshoi, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #14
    I use a Pro-Ject Audio system with my Mac Mini and ATV2 and I'm more than pleased with it. While I don't consider myself an audiophile, I can hear the difference from my old system. What initially attracted me to their products was that the components were small with a simplistic, elegant design.

    Currently I use a USBBox and a StereoBox hooked up to my Mac Mini. My ATV2 hooks up to my TV via HDMI and I use the TV's audio out port to the StereoBox. Not Ideal but it works for me.

    If I wanted to go directly from the ATV2 to the sound system, I would have to replace the USBBox with a DACBox USB because it has an optical input.

    With the recent upgrades to iOS5 and iTunes Match, most of the Mac Mini functions have been made redundant and I tend to use the ATV2 about 80% of the time now. Up from about 10%.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #15
    Does anyone know where I might be able to get the Kanto Amp without the speakers.
    I want to hook up some KRK speakers!
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #16
    I like t-amps for their small form factor and sound quality, but most of them only do two channel. Personally, I just hide my amp and most of my other electronics in a BDI cabinet that has doors.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    justex07

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    Two things. You MIGHT be able to buy the Yaro amp alone but the only place you'll likely be able to do that is from Kanto. The amp hasn't been out but for a week or so, not enough time for extras to be floating on the market.

    Second. I THINK the Kanto Yaro amp is a 4 ohm amp at 47 watts per channel. The Kanto Speakers are very efficient speakers and also rated at 4 ohms. However, the passive KRK R6 Monitor is an 8 ohm speaker that is not known for its sensitivity (87 dB/w/m). You would likely blow the Yaro amp by using it with those speakers.

    Bonus, the crossover would be all wrong. The Yaro will have a higher cutoff for bass than the KRK speakers so you'd also suffer from a decrease in potential bass output. KRK speakers have over three times the surface area as the Kanto speakers. 9.62 square inches on the Kanto speakers vs 28.27 square inches.

    It's a nice idea but for a handful of reasons, mixing the Kanto amplifier with something like the KRK R6 would end up a disaster.

    -justin
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #18
    Wow I really do like that one. Now I only need to figure out of this is possible to hook up wireless speakers for the back channels. Is it?
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #19
    How about one of those "SoundBar" systems from Samsung or Vizio?
    These systems are also available with wireless rear speakers and subwoofer, so you can achieve 5.1 Surround.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    justex07

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    There are lots of soundbars on the market these days, some of them even sound good :D I recommend you look at Klipsch if your budget is large enough. Their soundbars are pretty darn impressive. Sound & Vision magazine recently reviewed a bunch of soundbars, give that a look too. It's a great iPad app/magazine to boot.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #21
    Could somebody explain these sound bars please? From what I gather, they reproduce a multiple speaker setup with just that one bar?
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #22
    Kanto set

    @justin
    Thanks for the response. Much appreciated. I guess I'll start looking for an alternative amplifier.

    @everyone
    I spoke to a guy from Kanto who was incredibly helpful. The amplifier will be available for individual purchase soon. (he said after Christmas).

    The subwoofer will be priced at $229.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    #23
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #24
    These are my recomendations as well. I have no experience with them at all, but did look at these at one when considering getting away from powered computer speakers. I liked the look of the nuforce.

    Here's another I found on Amazon:

    http://www.daytonaudio.com/index.ph...ta-100a-class-t-digital-amplifier-50-wpc.html
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #25
    Kind of. They have many little speakers and tweeters in them all pointing in different directions to give the impression of true surround sound.
     

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