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5.1 Sound / Good Receiver? + Questions...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by beany, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. beany

    beany
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    Ok, i'm quite lost here... I bought some AE Aegis Evo 3 floor standing speakers, i liked them so much i'm about to buy a AE sub, rear and mid speakers for a 5.1 setup, now, my NAD C320BEE amp just has stereo output, i want to know what i need to buy to connect this 5.1 setup, I want to listen to music on it and watch films and all that, I have a NAD C521BEE CD player, would i need to connect that to a 5.1 receiver? would a 6.1/7.1 receiver work ok with a 5.1 speaker setup?
    Can someone recommend a good 5.1 receiver for me?
    Because i cant use my stereo NAD amp anymore with that setup(?) does a receiver do the same to sound as what a amp would to enhance it?
     
  2. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Hi beany,

    If you buy an AV amp with stereo pre-outs you can continue to use the NAD amp to drive the front speakers, have a look in (I think) the pre/power amp forums as there are good threads in there about using stereo and AV amps together.

    You connect all sound sources into the AV amp and use it to switch sources, you can do this with video too but not many amps have multiple scart sockets and the signal will be better direct to the display.

    What's your budget for an AV amp? I have a Yamaha 750 (about £350 but might be cheaper now) and love it, other good amps in that area are Marantz 5500 and Denon 2105.

    I'm sticking to musical amps here, there are plenty of cheaper and more expensive amps...if I was buying again I'd buy a Yamaha from Germany as they're much cheaper delivered to the UK.
     
  3. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    An AVR does the same (and more) which you must take into consideration when pricing/comparing items.

    A £500 AVR is very unlikely to sound as good outputing stereo as a £500 dedicated stereo amp but it could do 5/7 channel stereo, Dolby Prologic IIx, DTS Neo 6 etc which a stereo amp simply cant. With a lot of the mid range and above AVRs you have the option of a pure direct mode which turns off all the video and surround sound circuits in an attempt to improve stereo reproduction.

    There are some AVRs out there which are better at stereo that others (though some would argue that you sacrifice some of the surround sound capabilities for this) but to recommend one is difficult without a proposed budget is difficult. I would disagree with Mango_Bob and say that Denon are not the best at stereo (excellent for movies though and as I have a seperate stereo in another room it isnt an issue for me)

    You do have the option of continuing to use the existing amp to drive the front L&R speakers and using the AVR for the rest. There are 2 potential issues with this 1) you have to set the volume on the NAD at the same level each time you use the AVR 2) if the sound is significantly different to the AVR you do not get a matching sound from the front 3 which is a bad thing in terms of getting a good surround sound experience.
     
  4. beany

    beany
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    Cheers for the help!

    After what you said Astaroth i think i will either just use a 7.1 amp for music or just connect the speakers back to the NAD for that. Will have to see how good it is with that first i suppose.
    Would a 7.1 amp be able to just output to the front speakers for stereo music? and will a 5.1 speaker setup work ok with it?

    I like the looks of the Yamaha DSP-AX750SE and the Denon AVR-2105, both under £400 which is the max i want to pay. From what i've read so far the Yamaha seems very good for stereo so might be better for music but the Denon has more decoding features like DTS Neo 6... but i dont even know what that is so does it matter?
    Hows your 750 like with music Mango Bob?
     
  5. GreenBars

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    Can't you use both amps and connect the front speakers to both using some sort of switching box?
     
  6. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Beany, the 750 is the amp I have and I think it's great - but it's taken a lot of tweaking to get it to the sound I like. It has stereo pre-outs so you can connect your NAD to it if you want to.

    But please, please listen to one in Pure Direct mode before you commit your cash to decide if you like the sound. It's a great amp but some people either don't like its sound or haven't got the configuration the way they like it yet. This is particularly important as you're used to the sound of a dedicted stereo hifi and it can be difficult to get AV amps to perform as well.

    Do some careful research before you do what GreenBars suggests as if you do it wrong you'll blow something up!

    Oh, the 750 has DTS:Neo6 - I don't think the 2105 has any decoding modes the Yamaha hasn't...the Yammie will also let you add extra "presence" speakers at the front if you go for 5.1 sound.
     
  7. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Beany

    Almost all AVRs will have a stereo mode and many have a pure direct, both of which as far as I am aware are 2.1 output - see my previous post re pure direct.

    DTS Neo6 is DTS's version of Dolby Prologic IIx - will take a 2 or more channel source and create the additional channels to make it up to a 7.1 surround sound. Some people enjoy multichannel music other purists prefer stereo - it all comes down to personal tastes unfortuantly.
     
  8. beany

    beany
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    Thanks again :thumbsup:

    Will try and find somewhere to demo these amps.
    Just two last questions, can these 7.1 amps convert stereo music into 7.1 sound then? and if i play music or watch a film in 5.1 but had a 7.1 speaker setup do the two remaining speakers go unused?
     
  9. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    yes - AVRs will convert stereo or above into 7.1 if thats how you set it up
     
  10. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    I think any 7.1 amp will have a mode to mix the 2 rear channels in 5.1 to all 4 rears. Some amps (Yam 1500 and above I think) will also let you add extra front (presence) speakers to widen the front soundstage giving you 9 speakers!

    The thing to bear in mind is that the extra processing can make the sound less clear. I prefer to listen to CDs in Pure Direct mode with just two front speakers as the sound is clearer that way. But when watching music TV I listen in Neo:6 using all the speakers - the signal is less clear so you don't lose much with the extra processing.

    Ultimately you just play about with different sources till you find the settings you prefer...trust me, the amp will have far more modes than you normally use!
     

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