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Help choosing new amp and/or speakers


Established Member

At the moment I have a Denon PMA 500ae powering some pretty small Mission speakers (can't remember the model but they only cost about £60).

Didn't expect too much when I bought these and hadn't done a lot of research, but have always been extremely disappointed with the sound. I found out afterwards that the amp got slated by WHF - Denon PMA-500AE review from the experts at whathifi.com.

So anyway, I am looking to spend about £500 to get better sound. I could stretch a little bit if the jump in quality is enough to justify it or spend less if there's something that's a real bargain. I am not allowed to have floorstanders, but the speakers will go onto some stands.

I listen to mainly electronic music - chill out, house, techno. My main sources are digital - either my laptop via a Native Instruments audio interface, or possibly an Apple TV that I'm considering buying (a bit put off by the resampling to 48khz.. but another story). Most of the time I will be listening at moderately low volumes but would like a bit of oomph for when the neighbours are out ;) I like to hear nice clear crisp treble but want a reasonably deep bass extension, so ruling out a lot of the smaller options straight away.

Really not sure what to spend the money on... would I be better off spending more on some speakers and sticking with the Denon amp for the time being? Could be a year or two before I am able to upgrade the amp that way. Or should I split the money about 50/50 between amp and speakers?

This is what I've considered so far. Any opinions on these or alternatives greatfully received.


Marantz PM6004
Denon PMA720AE
Yamaha AS500


Wharfedale Diamond 122 (the 121s have good reviews and 122s have lower extension so am assuming may be better for me).
Monitor Audio BX2
B&W 685
Tannoy Revolution DC6


Established Member
Probably add the boston acoustic a26 to the list.

If it's really worth it I could possibly stretch to the pm6004 amp and either the b&w 685s or the Tannoy DC6s.

Ideally want to spend a bit less though. Are those speakers a big step up from the BX2s or the a26s?

Also saw a good deal for some Wharfdale 9.1s with a sub. Hadn't really thought about a sub before.. always associated them with AV setups, and most seem really expensive. Any opinions on this option?


Established Member
Those Tannoys are above your budget aren't they? You could consider used speakers as then you will get more for your money.


Established Member
They are about £500, so if I would see a bigger improvement sticking with my amp and buying them than I would do by splitting the £500 between speakers and a new amp, then that is a consideration.

I guess also that if I am going to spend around £250 on a new amp and there is a huge difference between, say, the BX1s and something more expensive like the Tannoy DC6, I would consider spending a bit more. Would have to be a pretty substantial difference to justify though.

I think I may try to arrange some listening at somewhere like Superfi. Could do with narrowing down the field though. Any opinions on any of the amps and speakers I have mentioned , mainly for listening to house / techno at moderate volumes gratefully received.


Distinguished Member
I think if you went 2nd hand on the classifieds here you wouldn't be disappointed, I have bought my system and that of several friends off these forums and all the kit has been well looked after. What are your priorities re the speakers? Is it music or movies? Does the amp need to be 3D capable?


Distinguished Member
cant beat a wise second hand deal....save loads and a lot more bang for your buck

loads of choice for 500 quid for amp and a pair of speakers...the worlds your lobster rodney

personally i'd split your budget a bit more towards your speakers...60/40 or 70/30 would probably be a bit better



Established Member
No worries.

I did look at some second hand stuff here and on EBay, but came a cross a deal at Richer sounds which seemed excellent.

£389 for Marantz PM6004 and Monitor Audio BX2.

Both of these are What HiFi award winners and to be honest I haven't seen them go for less second hand. Seemed like a no brainer - picked them up today and setting up now!

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