First AV upgrade in years - advice needed!



Some assistance would be very much appreciated.

I'm seriously looking at a (long overdue) major upgrade to my AV setup, and any recommendations would be appreciated.

Currently I have a Denon AVR-1802 running a pair of original Tannoy M1 speakers on Atacam SE-24 stands.

Due to a fire in my house, my previous centre and rears had to be replaced, and I've been lucky enough to get the MS Genie center and rears at a great price.

My dilemma at the moment is whether to decommission my trusty Tannoys (had these for nearly 12 years and still sound great for music, tho I'm just probably very used to them!) and complete an upgrade to a full Genie setup. This would likely leave the Denon AVR1802 as the weakest link, so I'd be looking to upgrade this at the same time (which also would avoid me having to buy a component splitter for my X360 and modded Xbox (xbmc))

This is all reasonably simple, except for a few issues:-

1. My neighbour below is always complaining about noise, so the Genie sub might be a bit of a problem.
2. Not entirely sure that the Genie with sub would be as decent with stereo music as the Tannoys, tho reviews suggest otherwise.
3. Wife-pleasing looks - she loves the Genies :(

This leaves me with a few choices:-

1. Ignore the neighbour and go for the full Genie setup (placing the sub on a concrete slab might help) - then just find a decent AV amp to match it with.
2. Avoid the sub/genie and look for a floortstander compromise with the wife that is good with stereo, but fits with the Genie - Radius 270 comes to mind (although i'm not sure how much of an upgrade over the Tannoy's this would be either for stereo!).
3. Keep the Tannoy's for now and simply upgrade the amp (not really an option as the wife hates 'those ugly things' :)

In terms of amps i've been looking at the following (500-1000 budget):-

Onkyo 674E / Yamaha AX759SE etc (lower level)
Pioneer VSXAX2AV / Denon 3806 (limit for app level)

I've also heard good things about Marantz with the Genie's and also the Arcam AVR250 gets a great rep, but at the absolute max of what I can afford!

What i'd like to do best is get a good list of some setups and then try and audition if possible.

Any assistance on ruling non-starters out would be very helpful - i've not paid much attention to AV things for a good few years!

In terms of music / movies it would currently be about 50/50 - decent stereo performance is essential, though some people may laugh at my existing stereo setup, I certainly wouldn't want to the movie sound upgrade to result in worse stereo performance than currently. :p


After doing a search, i've read good things on the Cambridge Audio Azur 540R, both with the Genies and specifically as being great with stereo (I'd hazard a guess it would be a decent step up from the AVR-1802 on it's own)

It's available on Richer Sounds right now for £270, which is a great deal less than my budget! It also has 2x component switching (but no upconversion!)

As it seems like the 640R is due for release in January at £600, it might be worthwhile waiting to get an audition of it before I go off getting anything.

I'd rather this upgrade lasts me a good 5-6 years if possible!


Well-known Member
Whichever centre you have the fronts must match it.

You can use any make of sub- it doesn't have to be the same make as the speakers.

I'd try that with your current amp -if you like it you've saved some money. If you still feel the need to get a newer amp try a home demo if you've got a friendly dealer e.g. Denon 1906?


"Whichever centre you have the fronts must match it."

Cheers, that was why I was looking to complete the full Genie package, just had concerns as to their ability with music; doesn't the lack of the sub affect stereo output?

As things stand at the moment the Genie centre and rears are a big improvement on my old centre and rears in terms of sound, even with the mismatched fronts, but obviously the Tannoys still get stereo duties - I still listen to lots of CDs and stuff so don't want CD playback to be negetively affected.

I guess the best plan is to get a demo and take some of my favourite music CDs to test the genies in stereo. Hopefully while doing that I can audition a few different receivers as well.


Well-known Member
I would guess a sub would be essential if using the Genies in 2 channel mode- a demo with/ without a sub should show that pretty quickly.

Or keep the Tannoys for stereo and use a full set of Genies for 5.1; or get a Tannoy centre to match your existing Tannoys?

For wife friendly floorstanders have you looked at Totem Arro? Some went on fleabay last week for £299. Don't know if there is a matching centre though.

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