Help needed with choosing AV bypass amp / streamer

Dinalt

Active Member
Hi all,

Just been given permission to upgrade the amplification in my system at home.

Currently I have a Denon 3700H feeding B&W 600 front / centre and TDL RTL3 rears.
I want to add an amp with HT bypass to improve the playback of music and add a decent streaming option (either one box or two would be OK).
I will need at least two RCAs as the other source used is an LP12 running into a Rega MC MK3 phono amp.
Budget is circa £2k but cheaper is fine.
Been reading up on this and my head is spinning - there seems to be so many options. Anyone care to give my an hand sorting out the following?

Roksan Attessa
Nad C399
Cyrus HDOne (+node?)
Nad M10

I know that the Lyngdorf1120 is very popular but I think its short an RCA and would prefer Bluesound but Im open to any suggestions.

Thanks in advance
 

Hoku

Active Member
You may find this a helpful link…

Amplifiers with AV Bypass

I think system synergy will be key for you. I personally find B&W speakers rather forward, so if you feel the same way, I’d be looking at an amplifier that doesn’t emphasise that quality, if anything, maybe an amp with a warmer sweeter top end.

The Exposure amps might be an interesting place to look.

The other factor is your room. Is your room difficult acoustically? So, are there bass nodes or echos that cause an issue? Can your B&W’s be a bit too bass heavy at times in your room, or are they quite balanced to your tastes?

Your Denon may iron some of these out, but a ‘vanilla’ stereo amp may not, and may not even have bass and treble controls.

So it’s worth factoring that in too. Obviously the NAD C399 on your list does boast both streaming and DIRAC room correction.

I would definitely recommend taking the trouble to demo anything before pulling the trigger. It’s not peanuts and you want to make the right choice for you.
 

Dinalt

Active Member
Visited my local Sevenoaks Audio today. I auditioned a Roksan Attessa and Cyrus One HD (with a Bluesound Node).
The Attessa was good but the Cyrus was on another level - instruments were more realistic and crucially the soundscape was so much better. Playing Money (yeah I know cliche). The instruments were clearer and more defined and crucially vocals were pinned to the centre whereas with the Attessa they were focused over the left speaker - its hard to describe but it just felt better. Some people may prefer the sharper presentation from the Attessa though - I did like its handling of Tenor Sax for instance. However I suspect it might get fatiguing over time.
So it looks like I’ve gone full circle - my first ever piece of HiFi was the original Cyrus One and I’ve now got a Cyrus One HD on order (already installed the Node).
 

Hoku

Active Member
Well that’s interesting. A surprise to be frank, but that shows the value of a demo. 👍🏻
 

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