CD replay from a Sub £1000 DVD player & Sub £1000 AV Integrated Amplifier.


Prominent Member
CD replay from a Sub £1000 DVD player & Sub £1000 AV Integrated Amplifier.

CD replay from a Sub £1000 DVD player & Sub £1000 AV Integrated Amplifier.

The title is not about me chaps, but is aimed at AV amp buying public new into AV or Hifi.

Anyone who is about to buy a sub £1000 DVD-V & sub £1000 AV integrated amp and thinking they will be happy in the long term with CD replay, ask yourself a few pertinent questions:

How much do I listen to stereo CDs or Vinyl? If not much then buy a 5.1 system
How much time do I spend with Multichannel 5.1 surround sound? If more than above buy a 5.1 system.
Can the two be mixed at the price level I’m about to spend. Do a search on any models you’re considering and read people views about their music/stereo playback.
What’s required for good sound from CDs. Generally a stereo based amplification system.

This is not an exhaustive post, but more a little hint at getting the best CD replay you can out of a DVD based system. It is possible IME, and there are a couple of scenarios to help you forward:

Start off with a decent DVD-V player that does music well ie CD (search for music posts in the DVD forum).
Pair this with a Stereo amplifier from £300-£1000 there are stereo amps that show clean heels to AV amps at the same price.
Choose 2 speakers to suit your hifi/AV 2 channel system.

What you have is a nice compact stereo system based around a DVD player, that can be upgraded to give 5.1 as time goes on: Upgrades, go for a stereo amp that will allow you to run the stereo speakers as fronts if you ever add on a AV amp to power centre and rears, this is the best way to combine a stereo amp and AV amp (again search for details above). The main problem is if you spend all your cash on an AV amp and DVD player and try to sort out CD replay later IMHO.

Where we are heading is the difference between stereo and multichannel sound, along the way you will see advocates of either type, but they don’t matter what does is how much you will use either system. DVD use in a stereo based system works for many people, all you need is a decent player & decent amp & speakers. Hopefully other people will add there experiences about getting decent CD from an AV amp, but more often or not the AV amp is the problem (or its pre-amp is for stereo to be concise) and firing a dedicated CD player or offboard DAC will not help the root problem.

Anyway just a post to highlight the amount of AV amp users that are disgruntled with stereo playback from their systems (down the line).


Prominent Member
Totally agree, I went from a reasonable (£1000 total stereo system) and couldnt find the sort of stereo performance I wanted from a 5.1 setup until I went for a rotel processor and power amp (£1850) along with a £400 arcam cd player I already had. At the time the intergrated amps I was looking at were the Denon 3805 and pioneer 2011, I dont think things have really moved on a great deal from those and a "musical" arcam dvd player costing £1000 couldnt convince me to replace my arcam cd player.

The system I have now IMHO puts in a very good stereo performance but I have invested a great deal of money (totted up the other day at £9200 - even with bargain priced tag equipment) into it and have chosen components carefully. Would a stereo setup costing half as much walk all over it.....probably!


Established Member
I also agree totally with this and this review highlights the point even more. It's a review of the Arcam AVR300 and states that even this amp, generally considered the best AV amp for music, doesn't match the best £350 hifi amp. That review always shocks me because I think a lot of people still believe if they spend a lot on an AV amp the music replay will be very close to an equivalent 2 channel amp. You could buy the new Denon 3806 for £800 (I'm guessing this will be the internet price) which I think will be better for AV and spend the other £500 on a hifi amp. Best of both worlds.

Personally I actually (significantly) prefer the sound a hifi amp produces even for surround sound and just use the AV Amp to drive the rears (no centre) and use the monitor out from the AV Amp into a 2 channel pre and power HiFi amp (ATC CA2 & Michell Stereo Alecto).

I think many people would be better picking a budget and then splitting it equally between an AV Amp and a HiFi Amp. Provided you don't have really powerfull speakers the home cinema performance would be nearly as good (depending on your tastes quite possibly better), and the 2 channel output would be considerably better. This is amplified ( ;) ) even more if you go second hand considering the amount of great older second hand hifi.

Using a DVD for CD replay is OK provided you spend plenty but you lose the quick reactions of a cd player which I couldn't live with. Once again go second hand and buy both as CD replay hasn't improved much in the last few years and there are lots of great bargains out there. A lot of CD player reviews these days comment that the older model was better (i think we're even getting there with DVD players now (cheap pioneers for example)).

Obviously you have to be happy with loads of boxes :rolleyes:

CJROSS said:
How much do I listen to stereo CDs or Vinyl? If not much then buy a 5.1 system

It's interesting you say that and it's seems perfectly plausible but not at all true in my case. I probably watch TV 95% of the time but have spent significantly more on the music element than the home cinema element and value a high end sound from music more than i do improvements in home cinema. Why? Perhaps because their's also a video element to home cinema, perhaps it's easier to tell differences in music reproduction, perhaps because it was my first type, perhaps because you listen to the same cds numerous times so it's more tangible and you grow weary of imperfections?


Ex Member
Totally agree with all your comments.

Reading Tony's last comments reminds me of my thoughts of a few days ago while listening to a CD - music is all about feelings. A buzz/thrill/sensation from a beutiful sound where as AV being movies so it's the story that mainly creates the emotions, sure the quality of the picture and sound help - if for no other reason than poor picture/sound is a distraction.

So my point is although my DVD player is used maybe as much as 10 times more than my CD player I need high quality Stereo much more than I need high quality AV so I will alway run my CD player through a Stereo amp and when I watch a DVD I use my AV amp with L/R preouting into my stereo Amp.

P.S. an example on sound quality I can give is with CDs my Arcam DV88 DVD Player RRP £900 in 2001 sounds no where near as good as my Marantz CD 63 KI Sig RRP £400 in 1999 - both running through a Marantz KI Sig amp.


glad to see there are other interested in multichannel sound who put stereo first.

i think i have, for my needs, found the ideal solution. i'm using a denon 2200 universal player which has decent cd playback, into an arcam A85 stereo integrated amp fitted with 7.1 preamp module that i found on ebay for £520, to a pair or dynaudio 52's and a dynaudio sub250(8inch, sealed enclosure).

for the rears i'm using my girlfriends micro-system untill i someday pick up a cheap second hand amp and speakers. dont actually notice any 'lack of sound quality' from these shitty rear speakers for movies. maybe when blue man group are pounding away in the rears...but 90% of my time on the couch is listning to cd so i feel fully justified spending 90% of my budget on my front channels.

future upgrade to a very fine two-channel system will be a used benchmark or bel canto outboard dac.

on the weekend i got to hear blue man group/dave matthews on a £4400 denon avc-a1xv, £2500 denon dvd-a1xv with £7500 dali front speakers with similarly priced fronts and surrounds. and to tell the truth it didnt sound any more engaging to me than my modest 4.1 system.



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