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first post - AV Amp advice

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by JackOTrades, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. JackOTrades

    JackOTrades
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    hello everyone,

    i have just signed up to this forum, although i have read it for a little while.
    i found it after being (for a while now!) at ZeroGain (some of you might also be around there... :hiya: ).

    until now my only investment has been around 2 channel hifi equipment, but recently my (future) wife has been lobbying for the AV setup... so in the benefit of the household harmony, i am here for some help... :)

    i would like to use my hifi setup and add to it for the AV, rather than get a completely separate AV system. This means that:
    - I will need pre-outs on the AV amp;
    - I will not use it for 2ch music reproduction (as I will use my hifi Amp)

    so, given that I will mainly (if not solely) use the amp for movies and the occasional concert dvd (and the even rarer sacd) what amps do you recommend? I want to spend as little as possible, given the reqs above, and i have to get at least a centre and two rear speakers to go with the amp... :rolleyes:

    what do you guys reckon? Marantz 4400? 5400? They have preouts, right?
    the yamaha? does it have preouts for the front speakers? denon?

    (oh, by the way, my front speakers are Sonus Faber Signum and my DVD player is the Pioneer 565A)

    thank you VERY much for any help!

    cheers,
    Jack
     
  2. 337GUS

    337GUS
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    Hi Jack,welcome to the forum.

    Most people would agree that you should get a centre speaker to match your fronts, the rears are less important, but it is recomended to go for the same range as the fronts if possible. Given your main pair are very good and if you go down the route of a matching centre I think you might want to spend a bit more on the amp.

    The Marantz amps are generally recommended by people as they have a decent 2 channel performance but as you are using your existing hifi I would suggest you have a look at the Denon 2805, Pioneer AX3 or a used Denon 3802/3 or Pioneer 2011.

    If your main interest is movies then rear speakers of a di or bi pole design are worth considering, if multichannel music is important then conventional rears are probably the way to go. This is obviously room dependant as you may not be able to place them in the ideal place.

    HTH

    Gus
     
  3. CosmicOne

    CosmicOne
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    there's Yamahas that have preouts it's the RXV-750 i think also maybe the 650,the Yamaha are known for there very very good performance in Movies but less performance in music while many people here say the 2ch perofrmance with the new x50 series is very good.
     
  4. ukaudiophile

    ukaudiophile
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    Hello Jack,

    Welcome to the forum. Your suggested configuration is very sensible and absolutely the right thing to do in your case where you have a great 2 channel system.

    What amp are you running for your 2 channel system? You have a couple of choices here, you could either run the front left/right outputs of the A/V receiver to your current amp, then use a pair of line level inputs to inject this sound into your current stereo system, then find the setting on your stereo amp for unity gain so you can adjust the volume of the A/V system using the A/V amps master volume control, or alternatively use a stereo amp with a dedicated home theater pass through so you just switch to this when you want to use your front left/right speakers for A/V purposes and you don't have to touch your amps volume control.

    On surround sound speakers, I would definitely recommend trying to get a Sonus Faber center speaker, and if your wallet can stretch to it, Sonus Faber rears, especially if you plan on listening to SACD or DVD-A multi channels in the future. At the end of the day you won't want to be upgrading every few months with s tereo system like this, so you may as well get it right now and give yourself a degree of future proofing.

    As for which unit to use, I'd second the idea to use a Denon amp, but given the quality of what you already have I'd seriously look into the AVR-2805 or even the 3805. With a 3805 you have very good DAC's in the receiver, and if you were willing to trade in your Pioneer for a Denon DVD player with Denon Link you could use the system for playing back multi channel DVD-A and SACD using the Denon Link connector. The 3805 is equipped with the new input receiver which can receive SACD data over Denon Link, which the older receiver's can't, and by all accounts Denon Link on DVD-A makes a very noticeable difference in sound quality. If it can match this improvement on SACD then it will be a phenomenal combination, and Denon are talking maybe August or September to get thiere latest player using SACD on Denon Link.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Dave
     
  5. JackOTrades

    JackOTrades
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    Thank you all for your recommendations!

    Dave, I am running an MF A3.2 for the 2ch sound.
    It does have a pass through input so that is exactly what I am planning to do.

    It is very good advice, and it has been the general consensus.
    Not wanting to sound like I am disregarding your precious advice, I was not thinking of spending that much money on an AV setup because quite frankly, I don't want to have to wait very long... (fickle, fickle, but there are the home pressures too...). Also, the plan is really to put something together for movies only (at least for now and for the medium term).

    Of course I agree that upgrading all the time is not a good thing, but I am sure we will also all agree that we will all be doing upgrades anyway, if we are honest... :blush:

    So my rationale is: buy, for now, something that works well with movies primarily. Perhaps not real hifi (whatever that is), but decent movie performance, that integrates with my existing 2ch setup, and that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. DVD-A and SACD are a curiosity for me. Software is too expensive and i am not going to replace all my vinyl and cd software anytime soon...

    So, realistically, do I need to spend that much in speakers and amps if I am really looking for a decent movie surround, 5.1 system? And you may tell me I am totally wrong, I can take it... :suicide:

    Ok, so let me tell you how far I've come. With the considerations above, I was thinking of the following (because I need the preouts and the decent movies sound):

    - Marantz SR4400 or SR5400
    - Yamaha RX-V650 (i believe this one has preouts too)
    - Denon 2803 (if i find a good s/h one)
    - HK AVR230 (girlfriend likes its looks... and it has preouts... :rolleyes: )

    But of course I am open to other suggestions or good value 2nd hand deals you may think of...

    The centre speaker I have heard a couple, but still not convinced.
    I am inclined to give the SF Piccolo a go but I was told that the french made Triangle centre Sextan 202 works very well with SF...

    Any ideas on the differences between the aforementioned amps will be really helpful!!! Or others, of course... but the 2805 and 3805 are really too expensive to do it now... :(

    Cheers, guys.
    Jack
     

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