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Any way to improve Denon 550's sound?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by e-solo, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. e-solo

    e-solo
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    For a complete novice who happened to have Denon 550 home theatre and a pair of “Acoustic Energy Aegis EVO Three” floorstanders, what is the most efficient way to make this setup sound better then playing back music CDs? Do I need a 2-way amplifier? A separate CD player? I already have a 6-way amplifier, DVD/CD player, 5 small speakers and a subwoofer – i.e. one-box Denon 550. But I am disappointed with the sound even if I use my floorstanders and sw in a standard stereo mode (i.e. w/out the small Denon speakers). I thought I might need a separate 2-way amplifier but have no idea which one? Will I then have to disconnect the floorstanders and the subwofer from the 2-way ampf and connect them to the 6-way one each time I switch from listening to music CDs to watching movies? Would appreciate your comments and sorry if these are silly questions. :hiya:
     
  2. karkus30

    karkus30
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    IMO the only way I have managed to do this is using two seperate systems, one purely for H/C and one for HiFi 2 channel duties. There must be ways of improving your present system, but it usually means getting a dedicated CD player at least and its still a compromise. Quite often a budget 2 channel set up will leave a more expensive HC system in the dust when playing conventional discs.
     
  3. Paul Williams

    Paul Williams
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    Hi e-solo

    Had the same kind of issue myself, now in the same room I have both a Stereo and 6.1 set-up. However, for stereo/mono films I use the stereo set-up, thus the digital output from the dvd player goes to the HC amp and the analogue output goes to the stereo amp. The DVD player (budget Toshiba) isn't as good for CD as an older (NAD) CD player. As for the speakers the front (L&R) HC units Kef Eggs sit on top of the stereo stand-mount units.

    Paul
     
  4. e-solo

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    Many thanks to you both. Ok, looks like I will need a new CD player and an amplifier. Do you think a budget CD player such as Cambridge Audio Azur 640C or NAD C542 plus a budget amp such as Cambridge Audio Azur 640A or NAD C352CT in addition to my Acoustic Energy AEGIS EVO 3 speakers will be a meaningful improvement in sound quality over Denon 550 + the same speakers? Ideally, I wouldn't want to spend much more than £500 for CD player + amplifier.
    ;)
     
  5. karkus30

    karkus30
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    These components seem to come in for glowing praise TBH I have no idea if they are good or bad and I could only comment after an audition.

    Secondhand is my prefered way forward, you could pick up something like a Naim Nait 3, Quad, Cyrus, exposure, Rega integrated amp and partner with a similar CD player for around £500 S/H through a good dealer or perhaps even cheaper on Ebay. But I cannot stress that auditioning is the only really valuable way of making a sensible purchase (I dont mean a few loud tracks played in a dealers demo room either, it needs to be at your house).
     
  6. e-solo

    e-solo
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    Thank you again. By "auditinoning at you house", did you mean you buy the system, listen to it, and then return if you don't like it? Or there is a way to borrow it? What if I just take my CDs to a dealer and ask to play them, and to turn down the volume. Also, would it be essential to audiion with the same speakers I will be using or any good ones will do? Finally, any great places in London to do auditioning you can recommend? Thank you and hope I don't ask too many questions. :)
     
  7. karkus30

    karkus30
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    Some dealers are happy enough to bring equipment around to your house, some will let you borrow demo stock (this is rare, but if you find a dealer you really get on with, you can form a bit of a friendship as he gets to know you as a loyal customer). If they are not prepared to demo at your home (and you need to be serious about buying something from them, thats your end of the deal), I would walk away and find someone who will.

    Auditioning at the dealers is difficult, as its your room enviroment that has one of the biggest effects on sound and there is no way to simulate that in a demo room. A demo room is designed to allow the equipment to work in the best possible enviroment in order to make a sale. If you are stuck with a dealer who will only give a shop demo, then you need to have them set up as close to your set up as possible, using exactly the same speakers (sometimes you will have to cart them down yourself, which can be a bit of a pain).

    Take a wide selection of music, a few Cds that you know very well and a few that you dont know or dont even like can make an interesting challenge. If you put something on that normally makes you cringe and you start enjoying it , means that somethings working right.

    A few dealers who might be helpful (I have taken the liberty of copying these from NEATs web site).



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    This page shows where you may hear NEAT loudspeakers.

    (U) indicates Ultimatum range dealer
    _______________________________________________________________

    IN THE UK;

    GRAHAMS HI-FI: Canonbury, London Tel 020 7226 5500

    ORANGES & LEMONS (U): Battersea, London Tel 020 7924 2040

    HEINITZ: Bayswater, London Tel 020 7229 2077

    PJ HI-FI(U) : Guildford Surrey Tel: 01483-304756 Fax: 01483-504801

    THE SOUND PRACTICE (U) : St. Albans, Herts. Tel 01727 893928
    Email: surgery@thesoundpractice.com

    THE RIGHT NOTE: Bath. Tel 01225 874728

    AUDIO FILE OBJECTIVE: Sawbridgeworth, Herts.
    Tel: 01279-724024 Fax: 01279-724027

    I cant help you with secondhand dealers, maybe someone else knows of a few.
     

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