Got the new CD player - now to find a new amp


Standard Member
Thanks to the generous help of the members on this forum, I have purchased a Denon 1600 CD player. (It just arrived and has to sit for a couple of hours before i can plug it in).

The Current Amp is a Musical Fidelity X-80 - which does a good job, but at nearly 20 years old, is going to need replacing soon.

My speakers are Dynaudio Audience 40's.

I am looking for an amp that at the very least has a USB input so I can stream/play music through a PC if need be, and a headphone socket. I don't need a phono output either. So that rules out the Rega and Naim, Audiolab & Musical Fidelity (either they do not have USB input, or have no headphone socket.

My first thought is to simply go for the Denon 1600PNE. It's got good reviews and will match my Denon CD player, and I can plug a laptop into the back if I want to listen to digital downloads. Thing is , I live in a tiny flat and it is possible that the 1600PNE at 140 watts per channel will be more than what I need.

Would there be any merit on going for the Denon 800 - which is half the price of the 1600 and offers a more modest 75 watt per channel (at 4 watts impedence) and saving myself £600 into the bargain? If I don't need 140 wpc, will I (and my neighbours) miss much soundwise by buying a cheaper amp that delivers the a lower wpc?

The tech specs for the speakers recommend 65w for a medium sized room - and at 31/2 by 7 meters, the room is certainly not huge.

The alternatives seem to be the NAD 338/368 (to which I can add the bluesound 2i module) or somethog from Marantz.

At the moment I tend to listen to listen to jazz, classical, rock and opera on CD and buy the odd MP3 pop song on Amazon. The SACD part on the Denon is my first foray into His-Res type audio.

I am at the point where space is at a premium, so if I can make use of the CDs I currently have and make future purchases online (so the music collection doesn't take


Distinguished Member
Can you use your pc over the WiFi network rather than usb, if so the Arcam SA30 may be worth a look. This also has Dirac room correction to help get the best out of your system.


Standard Member
Thank you for the reply. Wi-Fi is indeed an option, but at £2,000, sadly the SA30 is out of my budget. I'm looking at £1,200 at most (which just about squeezes in the Denon 1600PNE.)


Don't worry about how powerful an amp is as far as volume is concerned. As long as you're in charge of the volume dial your neighbours will be fine. That put's the Denon firmly on your list and the fact that it has plenty of power available, it doubles 70 watts into 8 ohms to 140 with 4 ohms gives an indication that it will be very good at low volume playing. That also bodes well for the Dalis dropping to below 3 ohms.

Like Marantz the Denons do err on the side of a warm signature.


Standard Member
Thanks for the advice.

The Cd player is playing nicely with the Musical Fidelity - and it is a pleasant warm sound.

I've given Beethoven's 9th on SACD a try and Bob Marley on "bog" standard" CD and the sound is rich and lovely.

So, there's no rush to replace the amp right now - but I'm saving the overtime money (whilst it lasts)so I have a fund ready.


Distinguished Member
I’d not really spend that much cash on an expensive amp for the 40s.

Good as they are, a 1200 quid amp would be wasted on them.

If you plan on keeping the speakers I’d suggest this would be all you’d need.

Add one of these for your pc connection and you’re flying.



Distinguished Member
Personally, I’d sell the 40s and your current amp and buy a pair of these.

All the benefits of Dynaudios legendary active speakers, a great price, connect the SACD player straight to them, and add the usb converter above to enable you to add a pace to the optical input.

An impressive upgrade on your current speakers.


Standard Member
The Xeo 10 approach is a new way to do it, but sadly the Denon only delivers SACD through analogue. It doesn't sent a hi-def signal through optical out.

However, you've got me thinking about speakers.

I've read some speaker reviews and the Dali Obron 5 or the Monitor Audio 3050i seem like a reasonable idea for a small flat.

So if buy a set of those, what would be a reasonable Amp to sit between the speakers and the Denon 1600 CD player?

Would new speakers plus an amp like the Marantz PM6007 (total spend £1,100-£1,200) work better than buying a new amp such as the Denon 1600PNE at £1,200 and keeping the Dynaudio Audience 40's?


Distinguished Member
The xeos have an analogue input in the connect box.



Distinguished Member
These will be appreciably better than those you’ve suggested.

A superb pair of genuinely active Dynaudios at a bargain price.

As you can see they include the connect box.

A pair of £2500 speakers at this price is an unusual find.

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