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An oldie in home cinema....

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Smurfin, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Well its been a while since I've been "up to date" with the latest home cinema gear, around 5 years ago I spent a fortune and got all the latest stuff.

    I'm looking to upgrade my amp, but need some advice.

    Here is my set up below:

    Toshiba 48" rear projection 4:3 TV
    Yamaha DSPA3090 5.1 amp (yup its an oldie but goodie!)
    Pioneer 646a DVD player
    Mission 775e mains
    Mission 773e rears
    Mission 75c centre (another oldie!)
    REL Strata II sub
    REL Q-Bass 50 sub

    So that's where I'm at. I've just bought the 775's (monster speakers and half price:D ) and the 646 DVD player, but I want a new amp.

    I want to upgrade for 2 reasons....

    1. DTS! nuff said, the 3090 was the original 5.1 amp in the UK, and doesn't have anything more than 5.1.

    2. I've since heard other amps which sound "smoother" than the old 3090, although if you ask me which ones and how expensive they are then I couldn't give you an answer as it was a while ago.

    So..............is it worth upgrading? The reason I ask is that if I'm going to spend between £700 and £1500...I most DEFINATELY want to hear the difference. The yammy has lived a long life and in my mind is still a good amp, but just how far has the technology moved on? I won't be able to utilise 6.1 as my living room can't accomodate, but I want it anyway for the future.

    I'm tempted by the yamaha DSP AZ-1, but thats £2k, and maybe some of the Denons.

    I would consider 2nd hand also.

    Can anyone give me some advice? Models to go for, approx prices and some 2nd hand models which are still good is what I have in mind.

    Cheers
    Smurfin
     
  2. sc1977

    sc1977
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    i own a 3090 and have just started using an a2 am happy with it coz dts is the business. as far as upgrading goes i dont think the dd 5.1 on the a2 is any different to that of the 3090 and there is no more dsp modes but i got the a2 at a good price.
    If your thinking of the dspaz1 then that is a worthwhile upgrade but dont rush into getting a new amp a few models up as you might not be pleased with the money you spend :cool:
     
  3. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Thanks, I'm actually erring towards the Denons....

    Someone convince me:D

    (time to audition some this weekend methinks!)
     
  4. mickey moo

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    Denon 3802 is pretty hard to beat at the moment - got pretty much everything sensible on it as has the 2802 for less. personally I wouldn't spend any more. Something else will be invented in a couple of years time (who had heard of PL2 18 months ago) and whether you spend £400 or £2000 now it will be worth bugger all then. The only difference is that you will be less reluctant to get rid of an amp for peanuts that you didn't pay a bucket for (like the 3090). Onkyo do a super 6.1 channel (descrete not matrix) amp for £400 - £450, cant remember the model though.
     
  5. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Well I've seen the 3802 advertised at Hi-Spek for £662 brand new.

    Will this honestly make a large sonic difference over the 3090?
     
  6. MikeK

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    No, IMO it won't!

    You will get some of the latest sound formats (DTS, DTS-ES, Matrix 6.1, DPL2 etc) and some more modern features though, like more flexible bass management etc (Oh and a radio tuner too!)

    In reality, if you won't use 6.1, all you will be gaining is DTS and DPL2.
    Both are worth having, especially DPL2 for non 5.1 material, but I'm really not sure I'd pay £600odd and lose the 3090 just to get them (even if you will probably get a few hundred for the 3090) - most of the films we watch on DVD are DD5.1 anyway.

    In the modes it does have, I'm sure the 3090 would give most modern sub £1500 AV amps a run for their money, and will probably better a fair few of them.
     
  7. mickey moo

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    Yes I think it would - both musically and for AV.
    Musically if you use it for music it is slightly more refined as a hi-fi amplifier, not that Denon is necessarily better than Yamaha but things move on and the good Yamaha products at present are either cheaper or more expensive. If you are like me, the noises that came from the rear speakers impressed friends but I could not listen to music happily using any of the effects. The Denon has a very good five channel stereo.
    On the AV side you have proper 6.1 for DTS and DD as well as pro logic 2. Don't forget if you have sky you will probably use PL2 more than the others and tie this to the better performance as an amp and you should get a fair difference (I thought it was huge).

    Simple - go and have a listen or beg,borrow,steel one to try.


    Mike
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    In my opinion DPL 2 is worth having and DTS less so. If buying a new amp it is good to have these features but not worth upgrading at expense just to get them.

    You haven't said what your priorities are. If you are not interested in extended surround a second hand Denon AVC 10SE is a great amp, especially at under £500 which is what one is going for in the classifieds. The 3802 isn't particularly good in stereo but the AVC10SE and other high end Denon models are better.

    Another thing worth looking at would be your subwoofers. It can't be easy running a Strata 2 and Q50 together in harmony and might be worth considering selling one and buying a match for the remaining sub.
     
  9. bxd

    bxd
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    Hi,

    Just a few thoughts :

    One thing you might consider is an upgrade to something like the TAG processor. OK, it will cost more than the Yamaha/Denon (although they've brought out a cheaper version.. I think) BUT it will be a lot more useful in that you can upgrade it without having to dump your previous kit.

    The Yamaha 3090 was a pretty good (and expensive) amp in it's day, but it's not worth very much these days because it's been superceded. The last but one flagship Yamaha amp started off at ~£2000 but you could pick them up for less than half that price when the current flagship was introduced after about 6 months.

    If you're looking to the long term, you might want to invest a bit more in a more upgradeable processor.... and one that will command a higher second hand value.

    Brian.
     
  10. gringottsdirect

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    I recently tried a Denon 3802 with my speakers for a friend, compared to my Yamaha DSP-AX1 I thought the 3802 was very good.
    I agree with the previous posts that my Yamaha is better with 2-channel stereo, the Denon's DPL2 is worth having and 6.1 if you can use it.
    He's given up on trying to obtain a demonstration of Sony STR-VA555ES and ordered an Arcam AVR-200 from EmpireDirect @ £595.
    If it were me I would keep your existing DSP-A3090 until a very worthwhile upgrade is possible.
     
  11. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Although I probably can't afford it right now, I'm thinking of going the true separates way with sepatate processing/amplification.

    But I have no idea where to start, how much cash I'm looking at etc etc.

    Can anyone offer any advice on this one? I wouldn't want to spend any more than £3000 max.
     
  12. bxd

    bxd
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    Hi,

    As far as I know, the TAG processor (AV32R) costs around £2300. Search around for some more details or have a look at their website.

    You could post another question asking for some comments as to the TAG + power amp vs a top line Yamaha / Pioneer / Denon.

    While the remaining £700 of your budget won't buy you a similar quality power amp you should be able to buy something that you can sell on when you want to upgrade.

    The TAG processor will have a second hand value which is much higher than the Yamaha.

    Brian
     
  13. JueUK

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    I just don't think you'll notice all that much between DD5.1 and DTS...

    Personally I'd stick with the 3090.. Stop smelling that money burning a hole in your wallet.. What you've got is fine..

    I remember changing my old DSPA2070 for a DSP-A1 now that was a worthwhile upgrade..

    I bet not many people blind folded could tell the difference between DD and DTS..

    Cheers
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Secondhand Tag AV32R is about £1600 :) if you can find one :p

    The best route IMHO. All the gadgets and you can add extra modes at will like HDCD, PL2 etc if they haven't been done already. Hardware upgradable to 7.1, DAB, laserdisc input.......... Match with rotel amps. Stunning system.
     

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