Question Amp choice, it's all driving me nuts!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Basquelle, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I'm trying to choose an AV receiver, around the £500 mark. I know little about them, my needs are simple: I want superb music, preferably surround sound and not just front (because it's easier to immerse myself in it, even if the purists would grit their teeth!), inputs from phono deck, CD player and computer / USB drives. I want sound from the TV through the system and I want to play MP4s and AVIs from the computer through the system and to the TV.
    When I try to read the reviews, I see are lots of detail of features and acronyms but very little about audio performance. And no-one reviews similarly priced models across the different marques, so there is no point of reference. I've spent weeks studying it all and I'm hardly the wiser.
    I did jump in and buy an Onkyo 636. In the higher frequency range the audio reproduction was superb, but the lower end was very poor, if not simply missing. The unit was faulty, the USB didn't work, so it got sent back.
    So, please, guys, how on earth to choose without taking a degree in acronyms and a doctorate in 'features'?
     
  2. mtenga

    mtenga
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    With 500 quid in my pocket I'd be looking to the Sony. Excellent in this ball park.
     
  3. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    The 1060? I was fancying that one, largely because What Hi Fi said it was unfussy about what you put on the end of the speaker wires. As I can't stand the speakers away from the wall as they should be, and live in a remote spot away from audio shops where I can try and return different speakers, 'unfussy' seems good :)
     
  4. kdava

    kdava
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    From what I read, Sony and Yamaha are best with music in the 500 range. Not sure if they have phono, though. I had similar needs and ended up with a Denon, and it's pretty good with music, especially hi-res. I dropped the Onkyo because it's said to be crappy for stereo music playback.

    By the way, you can't play video files with receiver (if that's what you mean?). If you have a smart TV or media player box, you'll have to play videos on your computer with one of those, and you can connect the audio output to the receiver.
     
  5. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    You're right, the Sony has no phono input. Easily fixed with a pre-amp though, I believe.
     
  6. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    OK, need input! I've done all the research I can, short of listening because I have no showrooms anywhere near, and I have a shortlist. For primarily enjoying music, secondarily for TV, which if these would you leave on the shortlist, take from the shortlist or say you must have:

    Yamaha RXV379 (379 euro)
    Marantz NR1504 (449 euro)
    Yamaha RXV479 (499 euro)
    Sony STR DN860 (549 euro)
    Sony STR DN1060 (689 euro)

    The set up will be 5.1, phono is needed but I think I can use a pre-amp. I don't mind spending the money, but don't want to spend on features when what I want is sound quality, and the more spent on the receiver, the less left for speakers....
     
  7. dante01

    dante01
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    How much would a Denoon AVRX1100W cost you where you are? Where are you located?
     
  8. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    499 euro, so it's within the price range. I didn't include Denon because reviewers who have reviewed Yamaha and Denon seem to prefer Yamaha.

    I'm in the Basque country, French / Spanish border, not the end of civilization by any means, but if there are any high AV shops around here where you ask for kit to be demo'd, they're hiding well! I can choose from Pamplona, Irun, San Sebastian, Biarritz and Bayonne....
     
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    I'd narrow you options down. Rather than look at everything within and below budget, look at what you can get for your budget. Make a list of these and post it here. I can't give you the same kind of advice I'd give to someone in the UK because what you can get for your budget where you are differs to what is available here in the UK.

    I'd typically be suggesting the following for £500:

    Yamaha RXV677
    Denon AVRX2100W
    Sony STRDN1050
    Marantz SR5009 or even the SR6009

    The SR6009 is probably of most interest to you because it has a very good reputation in regardes to its performance with music and includes an integral MM phono stage for a turntable. You can get one here in the UK for £500, but not sure how much they sell for where you are?
     
  10. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I'm getting the idea that the audio standard I want isn't in the price range I was hoping for... The reviews for the Marantz SR6009 are a lot more solid than the reviews for the lesser priced beasts. Locally, this thing costs a fortune, so I'm very tempted to order online from England and get one sent over.
     
  11. kdava

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    If you make up your mind and order something, please share your experience. I wanted to go for Sony 1050, but it costs way too much in my country, so looked at shops in England, but none of them shipped outside UK. That's how I ended up with the x1100.
     
  12. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I'm happy to report in on whatever I buy, although it will be a few months before the amp is properly speakered up. Feedback so far: I asked Sony Sales if the 1060 had a phono stage, and they told me they didn't know! They gave me a number for tech support, maybe I'm just old fashioned in expecting the sales guys to find out.
    I'm very puzzled by the price of the Maratnz SR6009 being low in England, but not here in France. Other similar amps have the expected price correlation, £ to euro, so why the dip on the 6009? Do the Brits know something bad about this unit? Or is about to be superseded and the price will drop here as well?
     
  13. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    The Marantz SR6009 is ordered, and is on it's way :)

    Thank you for all the advice.
     
  14. golden phoenix

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    maybe because the new model 6010 is to be released in September the price has dropped on the 6009?
     
  15. Rootsboy

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    i also live in Spain and get items shipped over from the U.K.
    you get a much better deal, due to the competition in the marketplace and quick turnaround.
    of the top of my head there are a couple of places that ship to Spain.

    http://www.*/ and http://www.superfi.co.uk/

    i am sure there are others, i also noticed some good deals from Italy via ebay, but have never ordered from them so could not really comment.
     
  16. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I found the Spanish pricing to be very competitive and was going to buy, Point Relais, in Spain. But they're slower to respond to market trend and so the SR6009 dropped in England on the announcement of the SR6010, but not in Spain or France: £499 as against 1100 euro. In the end, I got an ex-demo / open box in France (good ol' Rue du Commerce) for less than the UK price plus shipping.
     
  17. Rootsboy

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    great news! i live in the Baleares, so everything is crazy high prices here, models from 2 or 3 years ago for list price. so i just started getting things shipped from the U.K. as i knew more where to shop, saying that i have found some great sites from the peninsula for other electrical goods, with great service too.
    Hope you enjoy your SR6009 when it comes.
     
  18. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    The Marantz SR6009 was everything I'd hoped for on sound quality, even on the old speakers, way, way ahead of the Onkyo 636.
    You can sense a 'but' here, can't you? Bluetooth wouldn't stay connected, so I searched and saw that the firmware update addressed a Bluetooth connectivity problem. So I launched the firmware update via wi-fi. It didn't work, throwing up Error 21. This needed a hardware reset and a USB update instead, annoying. This threw up Error 31, which needed a deeper hardware reset. This achieved nothing, so now the Marantz is going back with a suspected chipset hardware problem,a s remotely diagnosed by Marantz Europe Tech Support.
    Do any of the AV units actually work??
     
  19. dante01

    dante01
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    You seldom get reports of issues with Denon or Marantz products. D&M are one of the manufacturers that have a relatively good reliability record although there are occassional issues. Your issue seems to be an isolated one as opposed to being a more inherent issue associated with all the units in current use?
     
  20. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Over the last few years I've owned the following receivers from Denon: 1912, 3312, 1513, 2113, 3313, X2000, X7200WA. Still got the 2113 and X7200WA. Of all of those the only one I've ever had any sort of issue with was the X2000 which was virtually dead on arrival and I took back same day. The rest all worked without fuss. Not a bad hit rate, even if the signature sound is not to everyone's taste.

    I've never owned a Marantz receiver but I've had a UD7007 bluray player and NA6005 network audio player. Both could have been really good value but had serious issues and were returned quickly.

    Just my own recent experience. I buy Denon with confidence but Marantz a bit fingers crossed, even if they are under the same ownership.
     
  21. dante01

    dante01
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    Marant and Denon Blu-ray players are effectively the same apart from the higher tier Denon models including Denon Link. The Denon and Marantz models even share the same service manuals. The only real difference between the components and circuit layout used within Denon AV receivers and those used within Marantz products is the analogue output stage. Marantz products include an HDAM board while Denon products use a Monolithic DHCT bpard design. The rest of the circuitry and layout is much the same, but encased within quite different outer shells.
     
  22. mtenga

    mtenga
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    A common misconception!

    I currently own the DBT 3313 bluray player which is just a transport. It's "sister" Marantz product the UD7007 has an analogue stage and different connections, including XLR. There is more to it.

    So on those two bluray players there is commonality but far more differentiation than just the name or case, even though they sit in the same place of their respective ranges.
     
  23. dante01

    dante01
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    Yes, but both receivers share the exact same service manual. They are effectively the same player. I can post pictures of their internals if you'd like? All Marantz AV products still include multichannel analogue inputs so I gues they still include this on their players too in order to differentiate them from Denon products. Unless you actually want to use analugue connections then there no difference to the players.
     
  24. mtenga

    mtenga
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    I'm not talking about receivers I'm talking about bluray players. As I said, I've never owned a Marantz receiver. As to those two bluray players they are different in a number of significant ways, especially on the audio side.
     
  25. dante01

    dante01
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    Yes, the players are the same players apart from Denon link on the Denon players and multichannel analogue outputs on the Marantz models. The inclusion of analogue outs sort of fits with the inclusion of multichannel analogue inputs on all of Marantz's receivers. I thinkit appeals to the more audiophile market marantz target their products at? The Denon products don't as comprehensively support analogue multichannel connections. This is rather odd because the DACs onboard the Marantz players aren't anything particularly special.

    If you don't use the analogue outs then they are exactly the same and most people wouldn't use the analogue outputs anyway. The only real reason to choose the more expensive Marantz option is so that it matches the design of a Marantz AV receiver.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  26. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Without wishing to take further off topic the analogue stage was the main reason for buying the UD7007. It was supposed to be good for music.

    P.s. You are a quicker editor of posts than me, well done :)
     
  27. dante01

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    It was suggested to me to avoid the Marantz and or Denon players if interested in their analogue audio performance and the OPPO BDP93 was suggested as being a better option, I bought the OPPO, but ended up using HDMI so I could have had the better network capabilities associated with the Denon without any need for the analogue outs, superior nalogue board and the DACs onboard the OPPO.

    I did get a nice shopping bag though :)
     
  28. mtenga

    mtenga
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    Yes, I used to have an oppo 103D and used both the analogue outs and hdmi for music. It was not obviously superior to the Denon or Marantz. Not with my speakers anyway.

    To be honest I'm listening to SACD right now on the Denon pair via hdmi and I couldn't fault the quality. Even if it says multi channel in on the receiver :facepalm:

    Apologies to the OP for dragging away from the matter at hand.
     
  29. Basquelle

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    Apology accepted ;) Have you two finished now?
     
  30. Basquelle

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    Grrr.... The faulty Marantz has been refunded: I wanted it back!! It was a nice open box deal, now I'll have to pay more to get the same. This is turning into a long saga....
    I'm wondering about saving a little by getting the Denon X4100W, which seems to be the same thing but not quite so plug-ugly, except I'm not sure if it has a phono stage input.
     

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