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Av reciever upgrade advice

PC1975

Distinguished Member
Hi,

My system consists of Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6T fronts, Rev Sig DC6LCR centre, Rev Sig DC4 rears, BK XXLS400 sub. For the past couple of years ive been using the Onkyo TXNR609 av reciever and the Marrantz cd6004 cd player with chord crimson analogue interconnects.

I listen to a lot of music. I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile upgrading my amp/cd player in order to get the most out of my speakers. Could I achieve a considerable improvement in sound from these speakers with higher quality equipment or are they at a level where upgrading the amp/cd player would only give a marginal increase in sound quality?

I don't want to waste money on more expensive av equipment if the speakers arent of high enough quality to really benefit.

So, a) is it worthwhile buying better av equipment for these speakers and
b) if so what level of spend on a new av reciever and cd player would be advisable to get the most out of these speakers?

Thanks
 

logiciel

Moderator
The 609 is highly specced and I don't see any need to change it.
If you want to do so then take a look at the current range of Onkyos:
Onkyo | Products - Home Cinema Systems - A/V Receiver
I've recently changed from the 607 to the 515 but that was only because I have a lot of source devices.
Any change you make would leave a lot of the new connections and capabilities unused.
The CD player also looks to be highly specced and not in need of change.
An alternative to changes might be to add other source devices to your system.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
One rule of thumb you may like to employ is that the cost of the combined 5.1 speaker package (including the sub) should roughly equate to 2 to 3 times the cost of the AV receiver. This usually gives you a well balanced setup. You can use this to work out a budget for a new receiver.


The models below the Onkyo TXNR818 only employ Audyssey's 2EQ room correction while the TXNR818 uses the superior MultEQ XT32 system. You'll also get better dynamic power via the 818 than you get from the 609.
 
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PC1975

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your replies. I was reading some of Russells comments who seems to be of the opinion that you are better off spending more on an amp than your speakers to get the best performance out of your budget. So im wondering if its worthwhile spending £1000-£2000 on a better amp seeing as the floorstanders are generally well regarded £1K speakers. I just don't know if it would be worthwhile with regard to the limitations of the sound quality of the speakers.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your replies. I was reading some of Russells comments who seems to be of the opinion that you are better off spending more on an amp than your speakers to get the best performance out of your budget. So im wondering if its worthwhile spending £1000-£2000 on a better amp seeing as the floorstanders are generally well regarded £1K speakers. I just don't know if it would be worthwhile with regard to the limitations of the sound quality of the speakers.

You need to address both and not one or the other. It is pointless spending money on the amp if the speakers cannot make use of the power and better signal and it is pointless spending too much on the speakers if the amp powering them cannot do them justice. There's a point at which you need to improve either the speakers or the amp in relation to either one or the other's abilities go beyond that point in favour of one or the other and the benefits are negated.

Your current speakers are good enough to survive a slight upgrade in terms of the amp, but I'd not go silly or you'll not reap any rewards from the upgrade ;)

I calculate your speakers to have a combined cost of about £1,900 so this suggests a budget of about £600 - 700 would be appropriate for an amp upgrade. The TXNR818 retails for about £750.
 
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PC1975

Distinguished Member
Ok, thanks for that handy advice dante. When the spekers were first released they amounted to around £2,400 in total. (£1k floorstanders, £600 standmounts, £400 each for the centre and sub)

So using that as a rough guide then I guess that I should be looking at amps in the £1000 price range to achieve optimal performance from the speakers.

Thanks again.
 

PC1975

Distinguished Member
Yeah, thats prob the current retail cost. I was using the original listed prices upon release and was going to look at amps that were originally priced around £1000, which obviously retail cheaper so the TXNR818 or evuivalent looks to be about right. Thats the sort of level I was thinking of upgrading to.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I think the Onkyo TX-NR1010 would be pushing things a bit too much and this is the model above the TXNR818, but costs in the region of £2K.

I'm assuming you are relatively happy with the combo of Onkyo with the Tannoys? I'd stick with Onkyo as far as an upgrade in relation to those speakers goes. The Tannoys have a warm signature sound that compliments the more clinical sounding Onkyos. The only other option would be a Pioneer receiver. Pioneer also have a clinical sound to them that is best partnered with warmer sounding speakers. I'd suggest the Pioneer SC-LX76 if you wanted to go that route.
 
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PC1975

Distinguished Member
Ive been thinking about it Dante and I'm not sure that upgrading by one model up is really worth the spend. They sound fine as it is with quite a good amount of detail to the music. I'd prob get about £200 for my amp considering the 515 goes for £230 new nowadays so I'd be looking at having to spend and extra £500 odd on the 818. I think that if I was to upgrade I'd prob be better off saving for the next few years and upgrading the whole package. I'm not convinced that moving up the Onkyo range by only one step would really be that much of an upgrade at all.

I could see myself frustratedly trying to convince myself that the 818 sounded notably better when in fact I wouldnt notice the difference. A few months back I upgraded my sub from the BK XLS200 to the XXLS400 and if im being perfectly honest, i dont think its has made much of a difference. I dont think it was worth it. I think if I want to notice a clear improvement I need to take the whole package up a couple of levels.

Thanks again for your advice, I enjoyed reading your feedback.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Russells comments who seems to be of the opinion that you are better off spending more on an amp than your speakers
I don't know who he is but I prefer dante01's recommendation of speakers costing 2-3 times the AVR.
I'm curious as to why you want such an elaborate system for only a CD player, but you don't have to satisfy my curiosity.;)
 

PC1975

Distinguished Member
lol, its not just a cd player. ive got a blu ray and xbox360 connected as well but the upgrade would be to increase the listening quality for music.

Russell is the guy who used to do the reviews, i dont know if he still does or not.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Thanks for the satisfaction.:)
BR does make a lot of difference but it's still only three sources for an 8-input system with masses of power.
 

PC1975

Distinguished Member
my tv's connected too, i get a lot of use out of it for movies, gaming and music. my primary concern with the amp was the sound quality not inputs.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The reasons for an upgrade are not just in order to fascilitate or increase the number of inputs or to add tech features (bells and whistles). These are ancillary and just happen to be included as you go up the ladder. The primary benefits are in relation to build quality that can help reduce chassis or cabinet resonance and the better power supply that usually accompanies higher end models.

Even if the OP had only one source component then there's still reason to upgrade in order to improve the quality of the audio associated with it ;)
 
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logiciel

Moderator
My point was about sources, though I suppose a TV could count as a source if its tuner gives audio that's worth processing by the AVR.
I'd take a lot of convincing that the sound quality of the 609 could be improved upon.:)
 

PC1975

Distinguished Member
I bought the 609 first and foremost for its quality of sound plus I wanted decent power for the 175 watt floorstanders, as dante said it just happens that it has a lot of inputs. Although at one point I did have a cd player, xbox360, ps2, ps3, tv and audio lead for my smartphone all connected and only just managed to fit it all because of the different types of av cables for each.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I'd take a lot of convincing that the sound quality of the 609 could be improved upon.:)

So higher end AV receivers don't have lower THD (relative to power) or better dynamic power when compared to the models below them?
 
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PC1975

Distinguished Member
For what its worth I actually went through a few sets of speakers before settling for the Rev Sigs, all with the TXNR609. I originally bought the Tannoy Mercury V4s but one was slightly louder than the other and when I returned them they didnt have any in stock so they offered me a set of Kef iq50s to take away and try for the same price and if I didnt like them they would deliver a new set of V4s. I did like the Kefs and kept them for a a few weeks and even bought the matching bookshelf speakers for surround. But I popped in one day a few weeks later (Richer Sounds btw) and they had a set of the Rev Sig dc6t on demo for £650. They ended up taking all the Kefs back and gave me the full amount back and I just had to make up the difference to the Rev Sigs.

The Sigs had a bigger sound that fill the room more than the cheaper models, so even on the TXNR609 the Sigs sound notably better than the V4s or iq50s

At that point I didnt have the sub yet and the bass was also better on the Sigs
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
For what its worth I actually went through a few sets of speakers before settling for the Rev Sigs, all with the TXNR609. I originally bought the Tannoy Mercury V4s but one was slightly louder than the other and when I returned them they didnt have any in stock so they offered me a set of Kef iq50s to take away and try for the same price and if I didnt like them they would deliver a new set of V4s. I did like the Kefs and kept them for a a few weeks and even bought the matching bookshelf speakers for surround. But I popped in one day a few weeks later (Richer Sounds btw) and they had a set of the Rev Sig dc6t on demo for £650. They ended up taking all the Kefs back and gave me the full amount back and I just had to make up the difference to the Rev Sigs.

The Sigs had a bigger sound that fill the room more than the cheaper models, so even on the TXNR609 the Sigs sound notably better than the V4s or iq50s

At that point I didnt have the sub yet and the bass was also better on the Sigs

The Revolution Signature range are/were a higher end product than the Tannoy V4 speakers so not surprised that you preferred them. The KEF speakers and KEF in general tend to be more neutral than the Tannoy speakers. I'd also rate the Revolution speakers to be a higher grade product than the old KEF Q series.
 

logiciel

Moderator
So higher end AV receivers don't have lower THD (relative to power) or better dynamic power when compared to the models below them?
What I'm not convinced about is that those factors, or any others, would produce noticably better sound quality, either in this instance, or in most other instances.
That's not to say that others, with much more sensitive hearing, would not notice a difference.
 
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