AV amplifier - help needed

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Nauman SA, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    Greetings,

    I am new to this forum. I live in Islamabad, Pakistan. There are no outlets here for high end stuff. Its either in Lahore or Karachi (1.5 hours flight).

    My current setup is Denon 1909 along KEF C7, C6, C1 & C4 plus Samsung 40" LCD and WD HD live box.

    For couple of years I was planning to get 3 way speakers for the fronts and center. After a lot of research and discussions on the forums and especially great reviews and appreciation by David (@ frank harvey), I went ahead bought KEF R500 (pair) and R200c in July. While I was making the purchase the dealer advised that I upgrade my amp to Denon 3312 to get the best out of KEF. Since I was out of cash at the point in time therefore I opted to bi-amp the fronts. I assumed that by bi-amping I would get double the power (watts) 90w x 2 per channel. I guess thats not the case.

    My question is do I need to upgrade my amp. Options available here (in Karachi) are Denon (all series upto 3312), Marantz (all upto 7005) and Onkyo(all upto 5010). I believe Onkyo 818 value for money based on the price, output and other stuff offered especially Audessey XT 32 which none other brand mentioned above offers at the price point.

    I would appreciate if you could share your insight on the subject. Would also if David could share his valuable experience.

    Thanks
     
  2. hifix

    hifix
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    Welcome Nauman :)

    Bi-amping doesn't double the power - power is the same, it's just a case of driving HF and LF independently. This can yield quite noticable inprovements for many people, especially those with demanding speakers. Of course, it will also depend on the receiver's capabilities too.

    While the R series isn't hard to drive, their impedance does drop to under 4ohms (in the lower bass region), so they will appreciate a stable amplifier. If you set the speakers to small, it will ease the load on the receiver, and may improve things. But yes, improving your receiver will make a substantial difference. Ideally, something between the £1-2k price point will drive them fine, but they will still improve beyond that.

    The Onkyo 818 is one of the best AV receivers around at the moment at its price point, with its main competition being the Pioneer SCLX56. The Marantz will be a good option if music is important. I tend to find that for music, receivers sound better when all processing is switched off (direct mode), but with Audyssey XT32, some prefer to use it for music.

    If you can stretch to it, something like the Onkyo TXNR1010 or 3010 will be ideal, or their outgoing TXNR3009. Pioneer's SCLX86 is also worth a look, and Yamaha's outgoing RXA3010 can be had at good prices at the moment too. XT32 aside, these receivers will sound better than the 818 and get more from the R500's.
     
  3. umairlashari

    umairlashari
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    @nauman
    Hey Nauman did you get your r500's from desert sound. Well lemme know I might be able to find you some better price for a
    AV recievers.
     
  4. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    Thanks david for your reply.

    I forgot to mention that music is 60% and 40% movies. So music is an important aspect as well. Moreover Marantz is 125wpc as against 135wpc for onkyo 818 plus other functionalities such 3D, 4K upscale etc not available in even Marantz 7007. Onkyo 1010 is $600 additional and 3010 is $1,000 over 818. Is it worth it?
     
  5. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    @umair.

    Thanks for your help. Yes I got the R500s from desert sound.

    I have listed the potential amps on the initial post. Can you get good price
     
  6. hifix

    hifix
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    The prices of the 3010 are coming down, and are now around the £1k mark here, so might be worth checking out over there.

    I wouldn't worry about the power difference between the Onkyo and Marantz. You'll not really hear any difference between 10wpc, and it'll be more down to the current capability of the receiver anyway, which the Marantz may come out top in that respect.
     
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Most assume that when they spend more money they get more of something. Most assume more power, or more volume, or more bass, but that would not be true. What you get more of, is more Power Supply, a more refined design, occasionally more features, more quality, more clarity, and more of all these less tangible things.

    Moving from the 1909 to the 3312, will give you a bit more power, but not that much. But the power you get is more solid, the amps are higher quality with better clarity and hold on the speakers.

    The general consensus is that the closer to climb toward £1000 and the farther you go over it, the better the sound quality for all purposes. Most feel that it takes £1500 to equal a good quality Stereo Amp. And when you get up to £2000 or more, these are about as good as it gets for any purpose. But do keep in mind, you can spend WELL OVER £5000 on just the AV Receiver. And if you go with separate components, meaning an AV surround Processor/Pre-Amp and discrete amplifiers, you should have no trouble reaching £10,000.

    So, yes, absolutely a more expensive amp gives you more, but more power is the least of what it gives you. The key is in the control of the speakers and the clarity of the system. In many case, in the realm of stereo, a solid 50w/ch amp can sometimes sound better than a basic generic 100w/ch amp. In many cases, the key rests in the Power Supply more than the Power Amps, a solid High-Current High-Powered Power Supply can make a world of difference.

    Given that you have the new Kef REFERENCE grade speakers, certainly they will sing sweetly when paired with the right high quality (sadly) high priced amp.

    I suspect you were recommended the Denon 3312 because you already had Denon, and you would be familiar with the sound and the quality, and assuming you were satisifed so far, you would continue to be satisifed with a higher model. But there are other brands.

    Though I'm not that familiar with the higher models of Onkyo amps, or how the new models have changed, older models while regarded highly for Movies, were not rated the best for music. Try to keep that in perspective; they are amps, they do play music, but where they excel is in movie. Onkyo are also very high featured amps, and I think all the new models come with Internet access through computer networking. Via the same route you can also stream music from your computer. Though the Streaming option is become more common on all AV amps.

    Marantz amps, on the other hand, are noted for being musical AV amps, but they don't sacrifice movie quality in the least.

    Others are probably better to advise you an AV Receivers than myself, but hopefully I've been able to provide some general information that helps you understand what you are getting in a higher quality amp.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  8. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    @steve.

    Thanks for your input. I hope your're recommendation was not based on the fact that I have KEF reference speakers as I don't. I have KEF R series along with KEF C7 for back surround.

    I wish I had more choice here but I am restricted to Marantz, Onkyo & Denon. Though denon's 3312 has not attracted good reviews whereas Marantz has. Onkyo has mixed reviews especially with heating issues in older models. Don't know about the 2012 lineup but I have seen on this 3010 forums installing fans on top their amps.

    On the other hand there are strong news of Denon 4520 coming up soon but at price point of $2000 plus with great features.

    What is your experience of Audessey XT32? This is the only thing that is moving me towards Onkyo.
     
  9. Nauman SA

    Nauman SA
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    @ David,

    So I should conclude that you are suggesting Marantz over Onkyo 818, 1010 & 3010. I was also inclined towards Marantz but some features such XT32 etc were holding me back.

    What is your view of Denon 4520? I understand its too soon to ask but news is floating around in different forums on specs and price (bit too high for my liking).
     
  10. dante01

    dante01
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    Strange how they perceive there being a difference between them?

    The new Marantz models are basically the same comparable Denon models in a Marantz pastry case. Even the holding company that owns both companies is now as much as admitting that the Marantz AV amps are marketed to lifestyle orientated customers. Marantz is great if wanting a stereo amp, but Denon is the better option if wanting an AV amp. You just get the same amp for more money if you purchase one of the new Marantz AV amps.

    Example. The Denon AVR3313 is the same amp as the Marantz SR7007, but the Marantz costs £1300 here in the UK while the Denon only costs £1100.
     
  11. hifix

    hifix
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    To those who must have XT32, the Onkyo or one of the higher Denon's will be the option, but as far as amplification is concerned (for music), I would certainly out the Marantz above the 818, maybe the 1010. The 3010 might be pushing it. Unfortunately, I haven't heard the new denons yet.
     
  12. BlueWizard

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    "I have KEF R series

    Sorry, slight miscommunication on my part. I thought, and still think, the "R" implies Reference quality speakers, but there is a KEF series specifically called "REFERENCE". I'm aware you do not have those speakers. But the "R" series is as close to reference quality as you can get for the money.

    Still, you are right, you don't have Kef Reference Series speakers, you just have reference quality speakers.

    At least, in my view.

    All I was really saying is - Nice Speakers.

    As to other issues that have been raise.

    Denon - I was under the impression that there were some minor issues, very minor, with one model back Denon amp, but these have been cleared up in the newest version. But for the life of me, I can't remember specifically what the problem was. So, I would expect the latest version of the Denon to perform pretty well.

    As to Denon being the same as Marantz, I'm not sure I completely buy that. Yes, Denon and Marantz are owned by the same parent company, but that doesn't make them the same. They are designed by different designers, and produced by different manufacturers.

    That is like saying that QUAD, Mission, and Wharfedale speakers are the same because they are all owned by International Audio Group.

    There may be some overlap between Denon and Marantz, but I don't feel they are the same. At best similar ... in my opinion.

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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