A little confused about amps

Phillyo118

Active Member
Good morning all,

I'm looking for some advice as I'm all confused about the different amps and what's the best way to go for what I would like to do.

So at the moment I have a Denon X3500H AVR that is powering my Centre channel, my surround speakers and my ceiling (atmos) speakers. I have the pre-outs for L and R plugged into an Audiolab 8000P and that is connected to my left and right speakers. If I want to watch a film with 5.1.2 then I think I'm good as it is, however if I want to listen to stereo music through the L and R speakers (with sub potentially) would it be better if I introduced an integrated amp into the mix? I have a Cambridge Audio Azur 651A that isn't being used and I'm wondering if that would improve things? Or would just using the Denon in Stereo mode using the 8000P to power the LR speakers be just as good as the Azur 651A?

If adding the 651A, how would I go about connecting everything up?

Thank you in advance for any help or advice!
Phil.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Typcially stereo integrated amplifiers offer superior sound quality than a AVR, but the DAC is important too, so use a good DAC between your CD? player and the Azur.

You connect the Azur exactly where the 8000P is but you need to connect the Denon pre out into the Azur HT bypass mode input (if it has one) You can either use the Azur to power the L/R or you can continue to use the 8000P to power the L/R s[ealers/
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
I can't tell if the 651A has a HT bypass? If it doesn't then connect existing cables from the Denon L/R pre outs into a regular line level input, and you'll have to use a predetermined level on the CA amp to match the Denon calibration level.

I use a stereo analogue pre-amp in a home theatre system similar to what you're planning, it doesn't have HT bypass so I have adjust volume and change input depending if it's AV or stereo mode.

If my pre amp had HT bypass it bypasses my analogue pre amp volume control so the (denon) would control all channels including the two channel amp via pass through of the stereo amp.
 

Phillyo118

Active Member
Thank you for that. I'm listening to my music via the HEOS app and through amazon music. I don't listen to CDs or other hard media so it's just streaming that I use.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Problem with that limited to sound quality of the Denon for two channel hifi, if dac and pre amp is poor then high end pre/integrated won't help.

Ideally you'd want to use digital out from Denon into a dac then into the stereo amp.

Or buy dedicated streamer, or find a integrated amp with built in streaming.

Problem with Denon heos its proprietary system proprietary system, something I really dislike, like Sonos and apple etc.
 

Phillyo118

Active Member
Yeah I hate the HEOS app, especially with Amazon Music. It's pretty naff! I'll take a look at dedicated streaming amps (something like the Bluesound Node 2i or Powernode 2i I guess?).

Thank you for your help.
 

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