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Can I get decent stereo hi-fi out of an AV system?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by ajkgordon, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    I'm looking at getting a decent home hi-fi system but was wondering if I could kill two birds with one stone and get good stereo out of an AV system.

    The sort of thing I'm looking at is a DVD player which has good sound repro on CDs, a Denon AV receiver and a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 8 floor standers (plus AV speakers for the remaining 3.1, not used for stereo playback).

    I'm not looking for professional quality and my budget is limited but would this kind of setup be acceptable as a living room hi-fi? Or would I be itching to get a dedicated stereo system within weeks?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Whatever AV amp you buy, it will obviously not be as good as a stereo amp of equal value, at stereo.
    So do you spend cash on two separate systems? Well take your stereo budget, and add that to your AV budget, and the gap reduces (but there's still a gap).
    Sorry to not be able to answer here, but what is acceptable to one person, isn't too another. You could spend £5000 on an AV amps & speakers, and it wouldn't have good enough stereo for some audiphiles on this forum. You could buy a £500 all in one, and it would be good enough at stereo for others.

    You can have a mix - ie, same front speakers for 5.1 and stereo, and same stereo amp for the front speakers, which is fed an analogue signal from the AV amp. Or even add a DAC for stereo dity, which gets a digital out from your AV receiver.

    So:
    1) What Hi Fi do your consider decent (what have you heard and liked)?
    2) What is your budget, and what does that need to cover (audio and video)?
     
  3. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Thanks Trig.

    My budget is not large, around £600.

    I have heard a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 driven by a Denon stereo amp in a listening room and that sounded great to me. They didn't have an AV receiver in my price range that they could wire up to the Wharfedales.

    (I currently have a Sony all-in-one HC with little satellites and an active SW. Can't play music on it without wincing!)

    Would a Denon AV amp like the 1905 sound just as good with those Wharfedales as its stereo brother? (I would add in some matching Wharfedales at a later date to make it up to 5.1. Might even try using the Sony satellites as a stopgap but have been advised against this.)
     
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Are you happy with the Movie performance of your Sony? If so, and you had £600, you could buy a nice 2nd hand amp, speakers, and CDP. Wouldn't be too bad haveing 2 pairs of front left & right for a while, since the sonys are small.

    I haven't heard either. Try a demo. Without that, the price of each will give you a good idea (you'd generally have to spend much more than twice as much on an AV amp, to give as good stereo performance as a stereo amp).
     
  5. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    It's OK but we're moving house where the living room will be significantly larger, around 8m x8m.

    CDP?

    Thanks, I'll use that in the equations.
     
  6. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    That is big. Best if you can wait til you move, then demo something at home.

    CD Player

    It was just an example of my opinion. I remember testing the flagship Pioneer and Denon AV amps, retailing at over £2k, and while I liked their movie performance, I personally preferred stereo amps costing £600. Understandable, given the huge jobs these AV amps have to do (amplify 7 channels, and all the DD, DTS, PLIIxyz decoding etc).
     
  7. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Yes, probably, although I'm just doing some initial research while i still have some spare time!

    *switches brain on*

    Thanks for your help.
     
  8. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    If I get an AV reciever and a stereo amp, how are they wired up? Can you share the two front speakers between the two?
     
  9. shahedz

    shahedz
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    yeah you can share the speakers, i have a music and AV amp set up together, the music amp has the speakers connected to it and all the CD player etc connected directly to it,

    the AV amp has the DVD player and the other speakers connected to it, and the pre outs on the amp for the two front speakers from the AV amp go into the music amp to drive the 2 front speakers,


    i done it, i know you need to have 2 amps etc , but it is definielty worth it!!!
     
  10. Mr Cat

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    I may at some point be selling my nad c350 (I've just bought a MF x-80) and the nad sounds cracking for music and av...

    I connected both amps together whilst watching dvds - using the main connections (aargh - I always forget the exact names of the connections...), thus the nad drives the main speakers and the av amp drives the rest, and when I listen to a cd, I disonnect the amps (and connect my sub to my nad vis the speaker connections) and it sounds ever so good...!

    you're welcome to pop round for a demo if you live local
     
  11. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Cat: Thanks but I live in France!

    Shah: How do you control volume when watching a movie? Do you have to turn the AV amp and stereo amp up at the same time? How do you balance it?
     
  12. Mr Cat

    Mr Cat
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    no probs - with the nad - you control the volume using the av amps remote...nothing else...

    the guy who I bought the x-80 reckons that I have to set the x-80s volume at a certain level...I haven't test that yest, but will over the weekend...

    think there are some setups where you have to adjust both volumes (on both amps) - but I think thats totally unfeasible as there are certain films where you do adjust the volume anyway...having to juggle with 2 volumes could be a nightmare...
     
  13. shahedz

    shahedz
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    Hi

    you still have voume control. the AV amp pre out is variable, so as you adjust the volume on the AV amp the pre out signal also changes, so you put the music amp which is driving your front speakers high ( mine is at 75% - in order to balance with the rest of the speakers- you dont want to over power the rest of the speakers or vice versa) this way when you adjust the volume on the AV amp the front speakers will also adjust accordingly! so you only need to adjust the volume on one amp!


    now eveytime i watch a movie tuen on both amps , stick the music amp on 75% and thats it, the rest is controlled via the AV amp, well worth it! i am a huge music fan and you can notice the difference!
     
  14. ajkgordon

    ajkgordon
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    Oh right, sounds easy enough.
     

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