Airplay from AV amp - any benefit from a stereo amp?

kingnothing83

Active Member
Hi,

I've got a new Marantz SR5007 AV amp being delivered tomorrow. This is to replace my Denon 2808 that died. In my old setup my music was played via my squeezebox - hooked up to a rotel ra-04se then to the denon 2808 via the preouts. So effectively for listening to music cut out the AV amp.

But as the Marantz AV amp has Airplay i'm very tempted to simplify my setup - the simplicity of using airplay to control my music definitely appeals. If I do so is there any benefit from having my rotel plugged in to the preouts? If not I might sell the rotel as well as the squeezebox

Thanks

Simon
 

kingnothing83

Active Member
Hi, sorry to bump this up...but perhaps a better question is...with my new setup (i.e. music now being played from AV amp not stereo amp). Is there any benefit to the stereo amp being plugged into the setup? Would a power amp be an improvement to my system? Or should I just use the AV amp

Thanks
 

citywalker

Active Member
Good stereo amp usually is stereo sound improvement. So if you have one, then use it - pre-outs from av receiver.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Hi,

I've got a new Marantz SR5007 AV amp being delivered tomorrow. This is to replace my Denon 2808 that died. In my old setup my music was played via my squeezebox - hooked up to a rotel ra-04se then to the denon 2808 via the preouts. So effectively for listening to music cut out the AV amp.

Hi,

A bit more info please and I'm slightly confused with the old setup so please correct me if i'm wrong. Was it as follows;

1) SB-> Rotel -> Denon AV

or

2) SB-> Denon AV -> Rotel?

If 1)In this setup, any SQ improvement the rotel would bring in music terms, would be negated. In fact, unless there is special reason for it, its a waste of time havng the rotel included as it is being used a pre-amp and the denon av for amplification and driving the fronts. So not really cutting out the AV for music at all.
Most who wanted to improved music sq with have it as in 2) - Denon av pre outs to rotel and have all music sources connected to the rotel and Video sources to the denon and the front 3 speakers split between the 2 amps. Center to denon and front L/R to rotel

How are or were the speakers connected?

However, Since you now have the SR5007 you can see how it sounds with music compared to the rotel. Although the rotel is a relatively low powered amp i still doubt the SR5007 will be for music, but let your own ears tell you that. With regards to the airplay, if you included the rotel as in opt 2) most probaly will improve the quality but in not power.

A power amp should see some substantial gains, but most decent one's are not cheap, whereas you could get a good stereo amp that has HT bypass for similar price or cheaper.
There is the behringer a500 poweramp that goes for around £150 and reports are generally good. Maybe one to consider.

Depends on the budget i think to improve music sq overall then either of the 2options is the way to go. However, at this level, i be one to have a stereo amp with ht bypass and all music sources connect to it to avoid the av altogether for music. This is what i'm known for and will not stray from that thinking.

just my thoughts
 

kingnothing83

Active Member
Thanks for the reply, I did indeed have my Denon av pre outs to rotel and have all music sources connected to the rotel and Video sources to the denon and the front 3 speakers split between the 2 amps. Center to denon and front L/R to rotel

The logic for losing the rotel was that AirPlay must go via the av amp, so I can no longer have music sources going direct from the rotel. While this is a shame, I'm happy to give up a little quality for convenience of AirPlay.

If I explored the power amp route, would you expect to see an improvement in home theatre as well as music?

Thanks again
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
well that cleared that up :thumbsup:. Really couldn't see the point if was connected the other way round.

If I explored the power amp route, would you expect to see an improvement in home theatre as well as music?

I cannot say whether it be an improvement in Home threatre, but will depend on what you mean by 'improvement'. Possibly more grunt that the center is the best i can say.

When i had this type of setup, i used a marantz PM7001 Ki Stereo Amp which had HT Bypass/Gain/unity feature. When in Ht Bypas mode, the fronts had noticeable more grunt ( center connected to a Yamaha av) which i had to adjust using the av's speaker level control to flow with the center, but not so much more clarity, which i didn't expect or need anyway.

I would expect the same from a stereo power amp.
 

kingnothing83

Active Member
great thanks again for the follow up - i think the next steps for me are to see how it sounds with just the SR5007 and if i think its lacking a bit of punch or clarity I can look to add the stereo amp back in, or try the power amp

Another thing I can try I suppose is playing with the sub. I have a rel T2 - so both high level and lfe. I've read some debate on the merits of high and lfe - currently have both set up, but apparently disconnecting the high level might give the fronts more clarity.

A week of exploring in store I think!
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
great thanks again for the follow up - i think the next steps for me are to see how it sounds with just the SR5007 and if i think its lacking a bit of punch or clarity I can look to add the stereo amp back in, or try the power amp

Yep. :thumbsup:

I've read some debate on the merits of high and lfe - currently have both set up, but apparently disconnecting the high level might give the fronts more clarity.

Only a guess, but it sounds like the sub is not setup correctly. Integrating a sub with a stereo amp is not the easier thing to do and will take time to achieve the correct level. More painstakingly so if trying to set it up by yourself by ear.

However, a possible answer to the clarity issue you mention (and a niggle of mine) when using both stereo/av amp combo for HT with a sub. If both amps are using the Hi and Lo level inputs, the av has bass management and it will supply low frequencies when required, explosions, rumbling, etc, but the stereo amp does not and will be pushing the sub all the time. So even when there are just vocals or scenes where there is no real bass needed, things may sound a bit muddy.

Just a thought, but maybe someone can confirm or correct this.
 

kingnothing83

Active Member
I should have been more specific on the sub setup…With the old system, the sub's LFE was connected to the AV amp preout, and the high level connection was into the binding posts of the front speakers (on the stereo amp) – I think this may be a peculiarity with the REL high level connection. But apparently the con of having it set up this way is that the full range is sent to the speaker, rather than only the higher frequencies if the sub is selected as LFE only. This might cause some muddiness as you say. I think the first thing I'll try is LFE only, with a crossover of about 80 for starters.

One final option may be bi-amping – my av amp supports bi-amping, which is actually wiring the front L+R into the AV amplifier twice (so really bi-wiring…) – might try this also
 

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