Denon amplifier and Dali speakers, Good match?

Nick74

Distinguished Member
For a long time I've felt the amplifier/receiver is the weak link in my bedroom system. I've spent much time looking for a suitable replacement, along the way auditioning Arcam, Audiolab, Musical Fidelity and Yamaha prospects.

The system currently stands at:

Audio Technica LP5
Nagaoka MP110
CA Alva Duo
Teac PD-H600 CDP
Teac AG-H600NT receiver
Dali Oberon 1

The sound's tilted upward and a little forward for my liking (so many components seem voiced this way with modern equipment). The system doesn't sound bad, but it can get fatiguing.

It's a relatively modest second room system. I don't need a unit that streams, or a receiver of any description. Obviously I don't need a DAC or phono stage.

I've been trying to find an option that will rein in the top end and add a little warmth, without going overboard in terms of budget. Everything I read and hear about the Denon PMA800NE suggests this might slip in there and do a decent job.

I know this isn't an audiophile system, by any stretch. I don't need it to be. I'm simply looking for a way to lend greater warmth and tonal balance without breaking the bank.

Can anyone comment on Denon amplification with Dali speakers? Do they mate well? I'm open to other suggestions, but please bear in mind the system and budget. Hegel and Lyngdorf amplification is great, though clearly I'm not in that territory. I'd love to audition the Denon but can't at the moment. I'm very close to taking a punt given current prices, but thought I'd canvas opinion and experience a little first.

Thanks v. much.
 

larkone

Member
The biggest effect on the sound after the speakers is the room. Trying to fix that just by changing one analogue amp for another is probably not going to give you what you want and without an audition is a total shot in the dark. What happens if you end up with a sound that is not what you want? Either look to change the speakers or get an amp with room correction.
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
The biggest effect on the sound after the speakers is the room. Trying to fix that just by changing one analogue amp for another is probably not going to give you what you want and without an audition is a total shot in the dark. What happens if you end up with a sound that is not what you want? Either look to change the speakers or get an amp with room correction.

Appreciated. A little context, if it helps.

I can't alter the room layout, and room correction treatments feel like overkill for a bedroom system. I also feel any amplifier with decent room correction would be beyond my budget.

I cycled through a range of speakers before settling on the Dalis, which were the most forgiving in what's a relatively small space, despite being rear ported.

I'm not looking to radically change the sound, just tweak it tonally. The Teac receiver is great in terms of functionality, but it's noisy and forward in terms of presentation. It's definitely the weak link.

Appreciate the risk in buying blind, but I'd be covered in terms of distance selling regs (I hate returning stuff unless it's faulty, but I can't do much else at present). I'm also of the view that an audition only gets you so far.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
A quick thought sir; have you got the speakers toed in?

Dali expressly advise against it... that could add a little HF unpleasantness.
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
A quick thought sir; have you got the speakers toed in?

Dali expressly advise against it... that could add a little HF unpleasantness.

Straight on, sir, as recommended. :)

I'm convinced this is a problem born of partnering somewhat upward tilted speakers with somewhat forward electronics. Nothing makes my ears bleed, but that overall colouration is there.

The PD-H600 is a brilliant red book player. If I place this in my living room system it rocks. I regard it as one of my finest ever purchases.

The TT, cartridge and phono stage should all be decent enough. I should have added that, while the speakers are on top of dedicated furniture at ear level, they're sat on Isopucks, which do a great job, too.

If I can tame that top end and add some warmth and body beneath (with vaguely price appropriate equipment) I reckon all will be good.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’m not familiar with modern Denons, but I’ve never heard anyone say that the current Yamahas are anything but top class.

And they certainly don’t have a reputation for anything rough and shiny.

This is a bit of a bargain at the mo’


As is this, and a bit closer to the Denons price.

 

SamyBoy13

Active Member
Dali is quite a forward speaker. I had Option 6 with my old As501 and it sounded edgy so I had to do a -3db roll of to higher frequency. Thus please consider this as if you are not a fan of bright sound, it might be too much but then there are dials on the front which will let you do minus few dB to treble.

If you can stretch you budget to £1000, an Arcam SR250 is an excellent choice that can be purchased from Richersounds for £999. It has plenty of power, control, detail, etc., yet the most important thing is room EQ Driac Live <3 one of the best to calibrate your room. The only bad point would be its streaming capability which is not well implemented. Most RS shops will let you borrow it for a home demo if you ask politely :D

Hope this helps

Simon

UPDATE
Yamaha's higher-end amps i.e. As1100 is a great amp for the money, very neutral with a dash of warmth, and in my view, they pair nicely with Dali speakers along with Luxman and Hegel. I'm happy As3000 owner and As1100 sounds almost identical to As3000 when played via RCA
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
I’m not familiar with modern Denons, but I’ve never heard anyone say that the current Yamahas are anything but top class.

And they certainly don’t have a reputation for anything rough and shiny.

This is a bit of a bargain at the mo’


As is this, and a bit closer to the Denons price.


Thanks. Familiar with the 701. In fact I auditioned it.

In budgetary terms the 701 is within reach (I've auditioned the MF M2Si and Arcam SA10).

Tonally the 701 worked OK. It didn't completely solve my problem, but it was leaning in that direction.

I was drawn to the Denon based on Steve Guttenberg's enthusiastic review of its slightly smaller brother, the PMA600NE, along with various user reviews and the Zero Fidelity PMA800NE review.

On description the PMA800NE seems to make sense (yeah, I know). There's perhaps some concern in terms of power, but I don't listen at antisocial levels and it's rated at 85 watts into 4 Ohms.

I'm even boring myself with my amplifier search. Perhaps buy and try is the only way to know. The PMA800NE's not hugely expensive. What's the worst that could happen?
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
Dali is quite a forward speaker. I had Option 6 with my old As501 and it sounded edgy so I had to do a -3db roll of to higher frequency. Thus please consider this as if you are not a fan of bright sound, it might be too much but then there are dials on the front which will let you do minus few dB to treble.

If you can stretch you budget to £1000, an Arcam SR250 is an excellent choice that can be purchased from Richersounds for £999. It has plenty of power, control, detail, etc., yet the most important thing is room EQ Driac Live <3 one of the best to calibrate your room. The only bad point would be its streaming capability which is not well implemented. Most RS shops will let you borrow it for a home demo if you ask politely :D

Hope this helps

Simon

UPDATE
Yamaha's higher-end amps i.e. As1100 is a great amp for the money, very neutral with a dash of warmth, and in my view, they pair nicely with Dali speakers along with Luxman and Hegel. I'm happy As3000 owner and As1100 sounds almost identical to As3000 when played via RCA

Appreciated. You describe and understand my problem well.

Had similar thoughts. I know the SR250 is a crazy bargain right now. Two issues: 1. I'd have to buy a bigger piece of furniture to accommodate it; 2. It'd be overkill for a bedroom system. Maybe I'd have one in my living room, if I ever went two channel there.

Appreciate the A-S1100 suggestion, but again we're blowing budgets and breaking furniture. :)
 
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daddy999

Active Member
The only real way to see if an Amp and Speakers are a good cup match is to demo them at home.

Opinions will always differ, this amp, those speakers, hell, not with wooden flooring, etc, etc,. Denon make great Amps and Dali make great speakers, so, why not.

Just make sure you test numerous Amps and speakers, you may end up with something totally different than you originally went shopping for.....I know I did. 😂
 

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