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Novice - first AV Receiver purchase! Help!

Discussion in 'Integrated Amplifiers & Receivers' started by rossco_99, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. gangzoom

    gangzoom Member

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    I think the others on here are talking a lot of sense. My main living room is powered by an simple Cambridge Audio 340R amp and a set of "life-style" speakers. The living room layout isn't much different from yours (my TV is also in a corner) and i decided early on that I would invest most of my AV budget on a dedicated cinema room where I can control lighting/speaker+screen placement.

    Though my living room setup is much better than using a sound bar or the TVs built in speakers, the surround effect is weak at best, and certainly not a patch on the set up I have in my cinema room. Even in my cinema room there's really only a small area where the sound staging is perfect.

    Still most new AVRs have some kind of auto-calibration built in which could help things a bit.

    Good luck with getting the room sorted :)
  2. bennyh

    bennyh Member

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    Hi,

    I'm also a beginner and just bought an HDTV which will reside in the same corner (of a different house) as shown by the OP.

    Sound is fair to middling presently and I'm looking for a way to make things better for movies and general TV. Not too bothered about surround sound.

    How about a 2.1 system or simply a stereo amp / speakers for this layout?

    thanks for advice
  3. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    Thanks Dante and Gangzoom.

    This is proving very frustrating! :facepalm:

    I want to put some sort of speaker system in the living room - I don't have either a spare room or the cash to make a seperate cinema room (one day maybe!).

    What is the best way around these issues to give me something resembling surround sound? I could move the front left to the other side of the chimney breast and the sub into the far left front corner to remove the front sound stage from one small corner.

    Would running some cable around the floor before I second fix skirtings help with my rear speakers? I could always use some speakers on stands to give me more flexible speaker positioning?
  4. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    I think I'm going to have to do a full scale drawing for this and try and work it out.

    If I put the left hand front speaker to the left of the chimney breast then the two front speakers will be approximately 2.4m apart, this has to be an improvement?
  5. PSM1

    PSM1 Well-Known Member

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    Considering the space and limitations you have I would do the following:

    Keep the rears where you originally put them (on the wall at the bottom of your picture).
    Move the sub out of the corner by the TV (probably move it to the left the other side of the chimney)
    Keep the fronts close to the TV. (You do not want one front close to the TV and other a large distance, i.e. the other side of the chimney, as this will give a very uneven front soundstage). Like this will limit your front soundstage but is better than any other options I can see.

    Now the above will not give anywhere near perfect surround sound but given your limitations it will be about as good as you will get. You could try the speakers in other locations to see if one configuration is better than another (half the fun of this hobby is the fiddling!!). But I would avoid the temptation of adding more speakers as this will only really compound your issues.
    If you just want to improve the sound quality from your TV then you may be better to ignore surround sound and just get a stereo amp and pair of speakers. Again the corner location of the TV is going to limit the front soundstage but no worse than your current TV speakers and a stereo amp/speakers will sound a lot better than the TV speakers.
  6. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    Thanks, PSM1.

    I will definitely experiment!
  7. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    I'm now thinking of pairing the Marantz SR5006 with the Q Acoustic 2000i 5.1 system.

    My budget seems to be increasing by the hour!!!!!
  8. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Why the Q Acoustic 2000i package rather than the Monitor Audio Vector? The Q Acoustic speakers are even bigger than those that come with the MA package and the centre speaker in particular is a bit of a monster. Not the best package to use if breathing space is restricted.

    The Marantz SR5006 is poor value for money in comparison to the DEnon AVR2312. If you want to spend a bit more then look at the Yamaha RXA810 or even the RXV771.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  9. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    I popped to the house last night (currently living elsewhere whilst I do it up) and I think I can get away with the larger speakers.

    My local expert didn't rate the Vectors highly, indeed he prefered the MS Alumni.
  10. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Did you audition or just take his word for it?
  11. jason1wood

    jason1wood Member

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    That's what happens. Welcome to the world of AV and forever upgrading! Haha
  12. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    Well, I've taken his word for it at the moment! I haven't had a chance to listen to anything other than some BA Soundware speakers at the moment.

    He seemed to think that Monitor Audio were slightly trading on their name at the moment and that there much better speakers available for the money.

    I am going down there later on today to pick up a sub lead so I can wire that into the other side of the chimney before the plasterer finishes. I'll try and have a listen then!
  13. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    You can get the 5006 for around £499 online and the 2312 is roughly the same sort of money - in fact the price has been removed from the Richer Sounds website whilst Peter Tyson want £479. I can normally get goods at pretty much cost price from my supplier so may even beat these prices.

    So effectively they are the same cost.

    They both offer 6 x HDMI 1.4 inputs with 3D and ARC compatibility, both offer Airplay, internet streaming, ethernet connection, and both offer full 7.1 connectivity. The Denon is more powerful (7 x 135 against 7 x 100 watts) but with the speakers I'm likely to buy I don't see this as an issue.

    I must admit that I prefer the cleaner look of the Marantz, and as you yourself have said their build quality is better.

    Is there something the Denon offers which I have missed that makes it that much better value?

    Thanks

    Rossco
  14. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    At the moment??? He seems to think the Vectors are new? They are a few years old now and discounted. How can Monitor Audio be cashing in on their name if the speakers are several years old and nearly half their original price? The 5.1 package originally cost £900. Could it be that he can't make as much mark up on the Vectors or maybe he hasn't even got any to sell you?

    Monitor Audio Vector AV10 review from the experts at whathifi.com

    At best there are comparable speakers for the same kind of money, but there certainly aren't speakers "much bette" at this price.

    By the way, you can get a Denon AVR2312 for just over £400:
    DENON AVR-2312 || Denon AVR2312 AVLAND UK information, pictures & spec for the
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  15. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    I don't know - maybe he thought that the Vectors weren't particularly great when new and therefore wouldn't be any better now?! Unfortunately it's all about opinions and everyone's will be different I guess. Indeed, the What Hi-Fi is just somebody's opinion and I have read posts on this forum which seem to think that some What Hi-Fi reviews are a lot of hot air.

    I still really like the look of the Q Acoustics 2000i though - I think they look particularly good in walnut as well.

    I'll have a good chat with him later.

    Thanks for the link - if you had an extra £80 you were willing to spend would you go for the SR5006 over the 2312?
  16. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Only if I auditioned both and preferred the sound of the Marantz. I see no reason to spend extra if it is just for the Marantz name. Only you can determine which sounds the best in accordance with your tastes ;)

    You are right about it being a matter of opinion, but the majority seem to disagree with your retailer regarding the speakers :D

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/975847-monitor-audio-vector.html

    I've a pair of QA 2050 in my bedroom doing nothing. I replaced them last year with Monitor Audio BX5 floorstanders. The QA speakers are okay, but I know which are the better :)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  17. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    :laugh: It's a bit of a mind field! But then, if you go with What HiFi then they rate the Q Acoustics 2000i 5.1 package above the MA Vector 5.1 package!

    I'll have a listen.

    I'm probably coming across as a bit of an arse but I don't really know much about all of this so trying to take lots of different opinions in is hard work!

    Also, you yourself have said that Marantz has a better build quality than Denon so for an extra £70 is it not worth paying for the better build quality - especially if you also prefer the look of a particular AVR?
  18. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  19. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    It's a shame that they are comparing the Vectors with the old Q Acoustics.

    By all online reviews etc. that I can find the 2000i set gets rated higher than the Vectors, and the package costs are similar (which is interesting considering the Vectors are older than the 2000i's).
  20. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    I give up. You go buy what looks nice and be happy, but you dare come back here when it is all hooked up and moan about how disatified you are about how it sounds and the answer I'll give will be to go back to the retailer who told you different and moan about it to him :nono::D

    The QA speakers are awkward to position at the best of times and in conventional setups. You are going to have issues relating to bass boom with the 2000i package and your room.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  21. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    Chill out Dante :laugh:

    You prefer the MA's, someone else doesn't like them. What HiFi rate the QA's better than the MA's. I haven't listened to either of them yet! All I am going by are opinions and reviews, which as always clash. I may end up getting something completely different (like the MS Alumni due to the smaller speaker size).

    I didn't mean to cause offence or annoyance :)
  22. PSM1

    PSM1 Well-Known Member

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    Did the What Hifi Review compare the QAs and Vectors at there original RRP. If so the Vectors were double the price and What Hifi take into account cost when giving star ratings. Hence an expensive speaker may only get 3 or 4 stars and a much cheaper one may get 5 stars. This does not mean the cheaper speaker sound better, just that it offers good sound for the price. Considering the current discount on the Vectors you may find if they were reviewed now then their star rating would go up due to the value for money element.
  23. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    That's a very good point PSM1, and one I hadn't taken into account.

    I'm going down to the local 'expert' to have a chat in the next hour or so.
  24. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    OK :)

    just spent an hour chatting with the local supplier. Had a listen to a set of Jamo speakers run through a Denon 1912 and then a Marantz 1402. I think the Jamo's were C603 on the front with C601 for the rears, and the C60 centre speaker. I am unsure what sub was being used - forgot to ask.

    First things first, he played some test CD (couldn't tell you what it was) with various music tracks. Then he stuck on Avatar Blu-Ray (Marantz player, not sure what model).

    I felt the music was definitely more 'alive' with the Marantz, where the Denon seemed to throw it out with less punch if you know what I mean. Both were good in different ways, but the Marantz was definitely a louder, more excitable listen compared to the softer Denon.

    When it came to the movie, I couldn't really find much between them - they both sounded superb.

    As for the speakers, I only listened to the Jamo's as that is what was set up. However, to my untrained ear they sounded excellent, and when turned up they sure did throw some noise out!!!

    The question I need to decide is if I want speakers that large around my lounge, or if I should settle for a more discreet system like the Mordaunt Short Alumni (I can listen to these through a Marantz AVR at my uncles house).

    We spoke briefly about both Q Acoustics and Monitor Audio and again, he said that he personally wouldn't buy either. He had some Q Acoustic in stock on the shelf, but said that in his opinion he would rather spend a bit more and go for either something like the Jamo or some KEF's. If I didn't want to go for these then go back to the Alumni.

    Of course, if you say that the Jamo's are a lesser speaker than others we have spoken about then I really don't think it will matter which I buy - they sounded bloody lovely so to have a better speaker can only be a bonus!:laugh:

    Obviously what I have listened to has no bearing on the arrangement of my system - I think I will just have to do the best I can with whatever I buy.

    Anyway. I have got my 6m sub lead so I can wire that for the other side of the fireplace tomorrow and can spend the next couple of months thinking about what I want to go for!
  25. PSM1

    PSM1 Well-Known Member

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    If he has the QAs in stock try to have a listen to them as well so you can compare. That way you can make as an informed choice as possible.
  26. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    I guess I could ask him to set them up for a pre-arranged time. I'll try when I'm ready to buy!
  27. dante01

    dante01 Well-Known Member

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    Not being funny with you, but does he actually sell Monitor Audio or have MA speakers in stock? It sort of sounds as though he's only rating items he stocks and dismissing anything you'd have to go elsewhere for????

    The KEf eggs will not match the more conventional designed speakers in terms of presence, but may offer a hallway house solution to your placement problems. I'd still rate the Vectors the best you'll get for your money at this price. The Alumni cannot match the wider frequency response of either the Q Acoustics or the Vectors. The KEF eggs go lower, but not as low as the QA of Vector speakers. The Jamo speakers are full size bookshelf speakers which will cost you quite a bit more than the packages so far discussed.
  28. RocketRonnieRad

    RocketRonnieRad Member

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    Just bought some v10 over alumni's to go as rears with fronts beIng ka silver s1 and rs lcr centre being driven by txnr579 AVR.

    I will update when set up and ready to roll.

    I also have a spare R225hd centre which is second to the silver lcr to play with too.

    After owning MA for years I rate them very highly.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  29. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    Hello All, long time no post :)

    Right - we have finally moved in and I can now carry on and get some AV gear fitted (shoe-horned) into my lopsided front room.

    I have bought an excellent condition set of used M-S Alumni 2 speakers (2 pairs and a centre) that I got for a very good price and now have to concentrate on the AV Reciever and the sub.

    I don't mind buying a pre-loved sub to start off with, but I'm also aware that something like the BK Gemini 2 could be a good sub to start off with (especially baring in mind my skewed set up and fairly small room).

    Ideally I would like the reciever to power a 5.1 system and if possible a seperate pair of speakers in another room (so basically a 7.1 reciver with multi-zone capability). I would also like the reciever to offer networking capabilities via ethernet and play music via NAS or Airplay.

    This all seems to point me to the new Marantz 1603, but I'm sure there are others out there which will do the same (the slimline feature doesn't matter).

    Thanks for any advice!
  30. rossco_99

    rossco_99 Member

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    No advice guys?

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