AVR Upgrade Path - Thoughts and opinions welcome

richardsim7

Distinguished Member
So I currently have a Sony STR-DN1040 (Set up in 7.2, driving B&W 684s and Q Acoustics 7000i)

I'm going to upgrade my speakers to the XTZ Cinema Series in the near future (let me know if anyone's got any for sale...)

So with that in mind, I was thinking my amp could do with an upgrade (as well as getting more speakers for Atmos)

I was looking at the Marantz SR7010, with the mindset that I could "upgrade" that in the future using its pre-outs. Add power amps, MiniDSP room correction etc. People have said the XTZ respond better to power amps, and I like the idea of utilizing my UMIK-1 (which at the moment I use with REW) with a room correction system

Jag mentioned the Arcam AVR850 (£4200!) but said I'd only need to buy one power amp as it has Dirac built in, and the internal amps are already very good (Class G)

But £4k+ is a lot to lay out on an amp, so I dunno...

Do I buy the Marantz now? Or do I wait for the inevitable 2016 model (SR7011?) which will supposedly have better Audyssey built in

My thinking is also that an amp with dual sub outputs would be better for managing my 2 subs' EQ as well

Help :blush:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Denon AVR X6200 or X7200 perhaps. Both fit your needs, the 6200 being closer in price to the Marantz but maybe a tad better and is second in the Denon pecking order. The 7200 is the current flagship and is much vaunted. Neither model is likely to be replaced before 2018.

I'm a little biased in being an extremely happy 6200 owner.
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
What about the Arcam 550 with an external 4 or 5 channel amp for Atmos and then you can upgrade/add a 7 channel power amp in the future for the base channels and use the 550 as just the processor and Dirac unit - if power amps is the way you want to go.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What does the Denon 6200 have over the Marantz that makes it worth £300-400 more?

Don't mean to sound hostile, I'm genuinely interested, as I heard they use the same DACs
To be honest I was as interested as you when the 6200 was launched to know exact differences. The Marantz was my preferred upgrade for a good while. It was the depth of the machine which had to go into my cabinet that made me say no to it. I really wanted it for it's perceived better musicality. It was just too deep, hardly anything in it but it was the straw that broke this old camel's back.

As for the differences. It would really take a specialist to strip it down and point out where they are. However, on paper the 6200 is more powerful. The amp section Denon is in brackets.
8 ohms 20Hz-20kHz 0.08% [0.06%] 2ch drive 125w [140w]
6 ohms 1 kHz 0.7% [0.7%] 2ch drive 165w [175w]
6 ohms 1 kHz 1% [1%] 1 ch drive 200w [205w]

Although the Marantz is bigger overall the Denon is heavier by 0.5k. Make of that what you will.

By buying the 6200 I could make use of the Denon Link HD to my 3313 player. As I said there is very little in it, a tad. Made in Japan against made in China? Would I have been disappointed with the Marantz, probably no. Am I more than happy with the 6200, you bet, although I paid more for that thought.
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
Interesting...

So the AVR550 is just a less powerful AVR850?

Does the Dirac processing cover all channels? (7.2.4)?
AB class amps in the 550 not G and yes they are less powerful, neither the 550 or 850 has Dirac on the height channels though this may be added via firmware.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I went for speakers first. That was a big jump in quality and enjoyment. The big problem came with that enjoyment wondering how much better would the better sounding speakers sound with a better amp. It was then a case of looking for the best available deals on my favoured amps. I got the green light after two months of wearing the wife down.:smashin:
 

jont

Well-known Member
Interesting...

So the AVR550 is just a less powerful AVR850?

Does the Dirac processing cover all channels? (7.2.4)?
Different class of amp in the 550 (so slightly less power per channel - about 10W down) otherwise the same spec ... but at £2.4k before haggling the 550 is a steal ;-)

With either however you'd need another power amp if you want to do 7.2.4 as there are only 7 internal amp channels - you can do 7.2 or 5.2.2 internally ... Arcam are planning to sell a matching 4-channel power amp (meant to be around a £grand when out) but you might be able to pickup a cheaper amp secondhand ...
 

dvanlinge

Novice Member
I am looking at upgrading from a Pioneer elite SC-68 to the AVR850 in a 7.1.4 setup, I know the 850 only has 7 channels so I was going to use my SC-68 as the amp for the 4 ceiling speakers but I have never used a separate amp before I have always had enough amps in the receiver to accommodate the setup so I was wondering how to do this?
What I know (or at least think I know) is I would connect the pre-outs for the 4 height channels to the I am guessing the front and surround inputs of the multi-channel in of the SC-68 and set the SC-68 to default to the multi-channel in and then connect the ceiling speakers to the speaker terminals. Assuming this is correct then I would set the default volume to some value (any recommendations?) then on the 850 run the room correction for all the channels.
Is this correct or will this not work?
Will increasing the volume on the 850 cause the height speakers to also increase?
What am I missing?

Thanks.
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
I am looking at upgrading from a Pioneer elite SC-68 to the AVR850 in a 7.1.4 setup, I know the 850 only has 7 channels so I was going to use my SC-68 as the amp for the 4 ceiling speakers but I have never used a separate amp before I have always had enough amps in the receiver to accommodate the setup so I was wondering how to do this?
What I know (or at least think I know) is I would connect the pre-outs for the 4 height channels to the I am guessing the front and surround inputs of the multi-channel in of the SC-68 and set the SC-68 to default to the multi-channel in and then connect the ceiling speakers to the speaker terminals. Assuming this is correct then I would set the default volume to some value (any recommendations?) then on the 850 run the room correction for all the channels.
Is this correct or will this not work?
Will increasing the volume on the 850 cause the height speakers to also increase?
What am I missing?

Thanks.
I think I'd sell the Pioneer and put the money towards an Arcan AVR850 with a 4 or 5 channel power amp to power the Atmos speakers or get a AVR550 and a 7 channel power amp to use with a 550, you could even use the AV390 instead of the 550
 

dvanlinge

Novice Member
So the 550 is identical to the 850 except it uses AB class amps correct? what external AMP would you suggest to run the 7 channels if I went with the 550?
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
So the 550 is identical to the 850 except it uses AB class amps correct? what external AMP would you suggest to run the 7 channels if I went with the 550?
Maybe a Emotiva XPA Gen3, you have to import though and pay import duty / VAT etc...
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I'm using a P1000 and it works great, nice and cheap 2nd hand :)
That or a P7 would be a good shout if you can find one on the classifieds, I've had both. Currently using the P7 and may eventually get the AV390 once the rest of my room is sorted out (current AVR is a Marantz SR6010 plus separate Dirac DDRC-88A).
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
I use the Anthem over the Arcam, it has a better delivery altho Dirac is technically a better EQ system. However if you don't set it up right it'll sound awful at least ARC will get it right first time, most of the time - I could have had either but chose the anthem as a pre amp and run the entire set up with Lyngdorf and Anthem power amps.

Amp class is completely irrelevant to sound except with a manufacturers in house designs, so Arcam's class G might be better /different than their A/B - but it doesn't mean that it'll be better sounding than another brands class D - people often confuse this bit.

Speakers are probably the best upgrade. first - if on a tighter budget then the XTZ's are probably (from what I read) the best bang for the buck. There is absolutely nothing that would convince me to put a £4k Arcam into my system - go demo these things, you have choices and people willing to demonstrate them.
 

dvanlinge

Novice Member
The Anthem MRX 1120 is on my short list, the only thing that concerns me about that receiver is the last 6 amps (SBL,SBR,H1L,H1R,H2L,andH2R) are only rated at 50 watts. I have upgraded the speakers already as I am running B&W (2) CM10's, CM Center2, (2) CM9's, SBL+R is (2) CM1's, and (4) CCM663's for the height speakers.
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
The Anthem MRX 1120 is on my short list, the only thing that concerns me about that receiver is the last 6 amps (SBL,SBR,H1L,H1R,H2L,andH2R) are only rated at 50 watts. I have upgraded the speakers already as I am running B&W (2) CM10's, CM Center2, (2) CM9's, SBL+R is (2) CM1's, and (4) CCM663's for the height speakers.
Well I have similar speakers to you and the Arcam sounds amazing. Dirac isn't only technically better it's a game changer. If you don't already have separate power amps and can't find any second hand then the Arcam AVR 850 makes a lot of sense, it's a powerful amp and you can add a cheap 4/5 power amp for the heights, I doub't you'll find anything with as little as 50W though!
 

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