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Question AV Receiver for Kef LS50's

deang001

Standard Member
Hello.

I'd like to upgrade part of my HT system. Thinking of getting a receiver that's more "musical".

Would the Cambridge Audio CXR 120 be a good choice?

Currently I have a Denon X2200W and a pair of Kef LS50's. Also have an old Ref Q60c that I'm using for a Centre (want to get another LS50 at some point) and 4 Kef C1's as rears.

Roughly 50/50 music and Blurays (both played from my Cambridge Audio 752BD). I have a pretty big CD collection ripped to FLAC and all my BD discs I've ripped to MKV ... the 752 is awesome for playing both which is why I'm thinking going with a CA amp.

I do like Denon though but maybe not as good a choice for music? Was thinking maybe the X4300H.

I do realise the CXR 120 has no Atomos & DTS X and pretty poor or zero room calibration but I'd sacrifice all this if it's a LOT better for music. If it's just marginally better with my LS50's I'd probably just stay with Denon again. From everything I read the LS50's sound their best when paired with a nicer more powerful amp ... which would be amazing as they already sound very nice with my 2200 :) Would be nice to hear them sounding better though as we do spend a lot of time listening to music though them.

Any other suggestions would be welcome. Don't really want to get a 2 channel amp.

Cheers.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
If you are looking for more power, can you stretch to the CXR 200? This does 170 watts in stereo mode into 8 ohms, whereas the CXR 120 does 100 watts.

The other option is to use a less powerful AVR (such as the CXR 120 or another Denon, or another AVR entirely) but add a more powerful stereo amp to it's pre-outs, this will give you an additional power boost to the front left and right speakers, which you would especially appreciate when listening to music in stereo mode.

Unfortunately your current AVR does not have the necessary pre-out connections. The CXR 120 does, and for Denon it would be something from the Denon 3xxx upwards. If you can stretch to the CXR 200, then it would have all the necessary power in one box.
 

shaggy71

Active Member
Whats your budget?

I would guess the CXR 120 would be alot better than your current Denon but is in the same price area as the Anthem MRX 520 which comes with an excellent room correction system. You can haggle down the Anthem with some dealers to be around £1480 which matches the cost of the CXR at Richer Sounds.
 
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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Marantz are known to be quite musical also, they are similar to Denon's with the added HDAM (hyper dynamic amplifier module). Whether you would hear the difference in real world use is another matter.

Not sure the Anthem 520 would work for the OP as he wants a 7.1 set up I believe.
 

shaggy71

Active Member
Marantz are known to be quite musical also, they are similar to Denon's with the added HDAM (hyper dynamic amplifier module). Whether you would hear the difference in real world use is another matter.

Not sure the Anthem 520 would work for the OP as he wants a 7.1 set up I believe.

Yeah your right I overlooked that its 5.1.

Im sure that if you have a local richer sounds and transport then you could arrange a demo of the CA with your speakers and maybe test some higher powered models from marantz etc to compare.
 

deang001

Standard Member
Thanks for all the quick responses.

I'm located in Hong Kong btw. My budget is around $12,000 HKD (about $1,500 USD) for a new amp which was around the price of the CXR120. The CXR200 is a fair bit more. But from what you guys say, the CXR120 would be quite a step up from my X2220W which is what I wanted to hear :)

Interesting about the pre-outs. I guess if I get something within my budget now I can upgrade again later with some power amps.

I am also going to look at Marantz as advised .. the SR7010 is about the same price as the CXR120 and has a lot more bells & whistles (which really I don't care about but might later on I guess). The Marantz does 125 W in 2 channel.

The Anthems do look interesting but I have never seen any over here anywhere. They are sold here though as I just checked some pricing. The MRX-720 is even more expensive than the CXR200 which would put it out of my price range. The Anthems do seem like the pick of AVR's for music though ... and room correction. Look very nice but I don't think I could give up 7 channel and go for a MRX-520.

I'm still leaning to the CXR120 but will take a closer look at the Marantz. The Denon 4300 & the 7010 look pretty similar.

Cheers.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would say either the current Denon 4300 or Marantz 7011 would be good with the LS50s. If you can your hands on a Denon X6200 it is exceptional with my KEF R300s. I auditioned LS50s alongside the R300s and found them very musical but just felt the more open 300s were the better all rounder.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I can vouch for the Marantz SR7010 with the LS50's working well together. I had a play around switching them out for my R500's and was blown away. The LS50's are notoriously known for being difficult to match/power but the Marantz dealt with them beautifully.

Depending on your room and listening needs, the marantz should suit your needs; however if you need more headroom then you can add some power amps later on :smashin:
 

SoundVision

Well-known Member
I say my good fellow just get a good stereo amp, great front stage is much better than all that surround malarky
Come along 2ch is the way to go, you know it makes sense
 

Violator

Well-known Member
Just going to throw it in here that the Anthem range seem to go very well with the LS50s (in my experience) and you'd be hard pushed to find better room correction for the price.
 

deang001

Standard Member
I say my good fellow just get a good stereo amp, great front stage is much better than all that surround malarky
Come along 2ch is the way to go, you know it makes sense

Thanks ... of course you are correct but not sure I can fit another component into my cabinet :) If I could I would be looking at the Nova 150 from Peachtree. I just thought there would be a nice compromise out there for AV and stereo. It's fun looking and deciding though.
 

deang001

Standard Member
I would say either the current Denon 4300 or Marantz 7011 would be good with the LS50s. If you can your hands on a Denon X6200 it is exceptional with my KEF R300s. I auditioned LS50s alongside the R300s and found them very musical but just felt the more open 300s were the better all rounder.

Thanks. I do like the 4300 but will check the Marantz range out as well.
 

deang001

Standard Member
I can vouch for the Marantz SR7010 with the LS50's working well together. I had a play around switching them out for my R500's and was blown away. The LS50's are notoriously known for being difficult to match/power but the Marantz dealt with them beautifully.

Depending on your room and listening needs, the marantz should suit your needs; however if you need more headroom then you can add some power amps later on :smashin:

Looks like a few people are using the 7010 with these speakers. This amp might be a nice compromise for everything I need I think.
 

deang001

Standard Member
Just going to throw it in here that the Anthem range seem to go very well with the LS50s (in my experience) and you'd be hard pushed to find better room correction for the price.

Yes, they do look great but I want to keep 7.1 and the 7.1 Anthems are too pricey for me. Cheers.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
There was a review done here which ultimately was the deciding factor in me buying this receiver. They key driver for was was it's musical strengths, compared to other receivers and of course the price. I heard the Arcam AVR850 and is clearly in a different league but so was the price. Same can be said for the Anthem, whilst I will agree they are better sounding and provide better room correction software, for the price, the marantz is a great alternative at a fraction of the cost imo.

If you are based in the southeast (kent) feel free to pop by and have a play/listen :smashin:
 

Indiana Bones

Active Member
I just recently upgraded my system, I had a 7.1 set up but have downgraded to 5.1. Bought a second hand Anthem MRX710, Kef LS50's and BK200 Sub, I had Tannoy arena satellite speakers, I have kept just 2 for the surrounds. Sound is awesome, I couldn't be happier. Worth looking around for a 2nd hand Anthem. I've honestly never heard anything like it before. ARC calbiration is amazing as well, that's the main reason I purchased it. I watch 50/50 music/films but since getting the new amp I have been listening to music more and the Amp is on nearly all the time now :)
 

deang001

Standard Member
There was a review done here which ultimately was the deciding factor in me buying this receiver. They key driver for was was it's musical strengths, compared to other receivers and of course the price. I heard the Arcam AVR850 and is clearly in a different league but so was the price. Same can be said for the Anthem, whilst I will agree they are better sounding and provide better room correction software, for the price, the marantz is a great alternative at a fraction of the cost imo.

If you are based in the southeast (kent) feel free to pop by and have a play/listen :smashin:

I'm actually in Hong Kong :) Thanks for the link & I agree ... the more I read about the Marantz 7010, 7011 and the upcoming 7012 the more I think this amp is what I need. Nice balance of everything and while not cheap is very good value considering what you get in comparison to other amps.
 

deang001

Standard Member
Thanks for all the advise.

I think I’ve made up my mind which way I’m going to go … I’ll get a Marantz but I reckon I’ll wait until Sept when the SR7012 is released to replace my Denon X2200W. Might as well wait 2-3 months and get the latest and greatest in that range.

We have smallish apartments here in Hong Kong so I want as few separates as possible but nice quality for both audio & video and not too over the top pricing. Replacing my Kef iQ50’s with the LS50’s was my first upgrade, then looking at an LG OLED to replace my Pana VT30 and lastly an OPPO UDP-205 (for both music & video) to replace my 752BD.

For me this will be perfect with the Marantz and Oppo being pretty awesome for both music & video.

Cheers.
 

shaggy71

Active Member
Thanks for all the advise.

I think I’ve made up my mind which way I’m going to go … I’ll get a Marantz but I reckon I’ll wait until Sept when the SR7012 is released to replace my Denon X2200W. Might as well wait 2-3 months and get the latest and greatest in that range.

We have smallish apartments here in Hong Kong so I want as few separates as possible but nice quality for both audio & video and not too over the top pricing. Replacing my Kef iQ50’s with the LS50’s was my first upgrade, then looking at an LG OLED to replace my Pana VT30 and lastly an OPPO UDP-205 (for both music & video) to replace my 752BD.

For me this will be perfect with the Marantz and Oppo being pretty awesome for both music & video.

Cheers.

I think you will be very happy with that. I Recently replaced my Pioneer plasma with a LG Oled and have no regrets 4K and HDR looks stunning.
 

deang001

Standard Member
I think you will be very happy with that. I Recently replaced my Pioneer plasma with a LG Oled and have no regrets 4K and HDR looks stunning.

Yes, I keep checking the LG OLED's out and they are amazing. Went from a Fujitsu plasma to a Pana sonic plasma and for a while thought there was no upgrade path left !! Thank god for OLED :)
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
IMO an AVR upgrade from 2200 to 43xx, 70xx will be a minor upgrade in terms of music, I'd say you're going from 2/3 out of 10 to 4/5 out of 10. It's not until you spend serious money on pedigrees such as the Arcam AVR390/550 or Anthem that you start to get the 7/10 for music. For much less of an outlay a simple HiFi only amp with AV bypass integration will match or blow away an AVR, for instance a second hand £200-250 Arcam A18 will match or beat an Arcam AVR550 (£2700) for music I'd say 8/10. It's not particularly about the power, my LS50's are quite happy sounding on my UnitiQute, it's also to do with the Pre amp section in which most AVRs are pretty pants musically.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
IMO an AVR upgrade from 2200 to 43xx, 70xx will be a minor upgrade in terms of music, I'd say you're going from 2/3 out of 10 to 4/5 out of 10. It's not until you spend serious money on pedigrees such as the Arcam AVR390/550 or Anthem that you start to get the 7/10 for music. For much less of an outlay a simple HiFi only amp with AV bypass integration will match or blow away an AVR, for instance a second hand £200-250 Arcam A18 will match or beat an Arcam AVR550 (£2700) for music I'd say 8/10. It's not particularly about the power, my LS50's are quite happy sounding on my UnitiQute, it's also to do with the Pre amp section in which most AVRs are pretty pants musically.

I do not disagree in the slightest regarding the wattage of a 2 channel amplifier, My LS50's are running off a Creek Evo 50a which is only rated at 60w and I agree, does sound better than my SR7010, but I was shocked as the difference as it wasn't as much as I thought. On your scaling i'd argue the creek is a better amp than the Arcam A18 (I demoed the A19 before buying my creek) but lets say it'salso 8/10. I'd easily give the SR7010 a 6/10 for music. I really was that impressed with it; however this is my opinion.

With the Marantz he also has the option to use the pre-outs in the future if he wished to go that way and add a dedicated 2 channel amplifier; he doesn't have that option with the 2200. In addition, he does 50/50 movies where the Marantz will blow the 2200 away.

I think the OP understands that there is better alternatives for his LS50's; however, for an all in one box solution at a reasonable cost, the Marantz is a good choice

He is also looking to upgrade his AV equipment to accommodate UHD, which again if he waits for the SR7012, will have full UHD pass through probably including Dolby Vision. I am also taking this into consideration.
 

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