Help with my first amp and speaker set up

staffy 2

Well-known Member
Hi I dont have a big budget so what amp and speakers would be good for my first ever set up.I was thinking Denon Xr. 2700 amp and maybe Monitor Audio speakers.Are Bronze speakers ok or should I go for silver or radius 270.Any help greatly appreciated as it’s my first ever set up.Say around £2000 ish.
 

Hoku

Active Member
There are a few questions for you first that may help narrow down your choices a little and make things less confusing.

What is the size of your room?
How close is your sofa to the rear wall?
What are your main sources?
What’s the anticipated split of use between movies & music (& gaming?)
Will you be outputting everything to a TV or Projector?
Do you want just 5.1 or 7.1 (surround) or full Atmos (speakers either in the ceiling, or pointing at the ceiling?)

Generally speaking some of the best advice I have heard is to pick your speakers according to your room (we can help with that), and then pick your amp that best suits the speakers, within budget limitations of course.

I have owned Monitor Audio Radius, Silver, Apex and Gold speakers in the past (and have Silver FX rear speakers now).

Radius is superbly built, have amazing tweeters that are really well judged. They’re extremely quick, snappy and exhilarating, but can also play piano with beautiful tone, delicacy and body.

The R270 has glorious midrange. For movies they’re superb and actually could easily take an amplifier upgrade or two before their limitations start to show. They can be truly jaw dropping at times, and the inclusion of a tall but slim floorstander really sets them apart from their competitors that tend to be limited to small satellite speakers for the front L&R. Their size really helps with two channel sources.

My only criticism of them was that they could sound a little boxy occasionally, and the centre channel speaker was a little too small, so the soundstage didn’t expand much beyond the speakers themselves. They were very directional speakers. I would actually pair the R270 with the Silver centre speaker. I think that would match better in the midrange. The small Radius centre matches the smaller R90 better. The centre speaker carries so much of a typical movie, that it’s a very important speaker in your set-up.

The finish of the Radius range is equal to the larger Silvers, and a significant step up from the Bronze range.

For me, the Silvers are MA’s sweet spot of performance vs budget, and I actually prefer them to the Gold GX50’s / GXC centre I had. If it was my money I’d go for the Silver range, even if I had to purchase a smaller Silver speaker as opposed to a larger Bronze speaker for the same money (subject to room of course).

FWIW, I preferred the Radius 270 to the Apex A10’s. Not really a fair comparison, but the much smaller Apexes’ tweeter was less engaging to my ears (it was a little softer and felt rolled off in comparison to the Radius range) and didn’t offer enough midrange.

I have no experience with MA Bronzes so can’t really help with that.

Certainly MA don’t change the Radius range too often, but don’t be succumbed into thinking that newer speakers released & reviewed more recently are any better.

The Radius range is great for smaller rooms and their Radius 90’s are easy to place on stands or wall mounted. They make excellent rear speakers.

If your room is a little larger, or if you mainly watch movies, I’d go for R270 + Silver centre OR full MA Silver range.

Finally, talking subwoofers, I wouldn’t buy the standard MA subwoofer. Your money would be better spent buying a BK or SVS subwoofer for the same money.

So give us a little more info, and we can narrow things down a bit. One final bit of advice: please don’t buy blind. At some point, get yourself down to a dealer and book a demo. It’s your taste that counts because it’s your money!
 

staffy 2

Well-known Member
Thanks for the detailEd reply that’s a big help.My room is small say 5 metres by 5 metres.As for my sofa I can move it any distance from the wall.I can be right up touching the back or approx 2-3ft away.Id say about a foot away was ideal.It’s just for tv use.
I already have a hifi and amp with a a pair of Tannoy Signature speakers the special edition DC6T SE but I don’t want two sets of floor speakers in my room.Would the Tannoys be ok and work with other speakers or should I get everything to match.My use would be tv and music and I game on Series X and PS5 so it would be an all rounder I’d like.Just 5.1 would be ok for me.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
How soon do you want to get the speakers and if that £2000 needs to include for a subwoofer that could be tight.

I would recommend the Monoprice Encore range of speakers coming over here in the next month or so Their 5.0 setup (Left/centre/right and pair of B6 surrounds) should be approx £1500 leaving £500 for a subwoofer. Monolith 10" THX is currently £416 and this combo would be unbeatable at this price IMV.



If you need speakers sooner than a month or so look elsewhere but the subwoofer is available right now on special offer and beats the pants off any other sub under about £600+
 

staffy 2

Well-known Member
No I’m in no rush I can wait.I want to get the right set up hence the advice.
Your set up is fantastic and those stands are 11 out of 10 from me.
Should I get rid of my Tannoys then.
I found the Monitor Silver package and Devon x2700 amp for £2599 which seems ok.Gets good reviews.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Preferable to match all speakers but nothing to stopping you from using the Tannoys for starters and see how you go.

I see that your £2k budget is to include avr so my suggested speakers would take you over that unless you use your tannoys as main L&R.
 

Hoku

Active Member
I think the first hoop to jump through is whether you want to have a totally separate 5.1 system, or if you want to integrate your current hifi, which is possible, but might limit your options a little.

Can I ask what your stereo amp is? If it has AV bypass, it does make integrating two systems an easier process.

Presumably though if you want your systems to be totally separate, but still have your 2 channel system in the same room, you’ll be looking for the front speakers to be quite small?

Your room is a healthy size, so had it not been for your other speakers already in situ, I would have recommended larger standmounted or floorstanding speakers.

Do you see your rear speakers being wall mounted or on stands? Have you got a location in mind for the front speakers? Are they in free space or do you want them in a cabinet, or wall mount them too?
 

staffy 2

Well-known Member
Rear speakers mounted on the wall.I can move on my budget for a good set up.
My hifi set up is a maranta cd player and matching amp.Think it PM6006. I would like floor speakers either side of tv.Would be in open air approx 2-3 feet from wall.Plenty of room if the need to go closer.
I can move my Tannoys on.They do sound really good with music.
 

Hoku

Active Member
My only concern in this is that at the budget end of AV receivers, they tend to struggle to perform well at 2-channel music, so you may be a little disappointed in comparison with your Marantz CD & amp combo. Movies, with centre, sub and surrounds in play will sound great, but you may feel the music is lacking. If you were coming from mainly listening to a little bluetooth speaker then you’d probably think the AV receiver was grea, but coming from a pure 2-channel system already, it could be a step down.

So all the more incentive to try before you buy.

One thing you may look out for when hunting for AV receivers is to buy one with pre-outs. This enables you to connect a traditional stereo amp later, albeit preferably with AV bypass.

So the way it works is that you connect your music sources (CD, turntable, streamer etc) directly to your stereo amp, which in turn connects to your front L&R speaker.

Then your TV, set top box, PVR, PSwhatever & Bluray connect to your AV receiver for multi-channel.

Your AV receiver powers the centre speaker, surrounds and connects to the subwoofer. Then the AV receiver’s pre-outs connect to the AV bypass inputs on the stereo amplifier. It effectively uses the stereo amp as a power amplifier to drive your front L&R speakers. It’s a little more complex but does potentially give you the best of 2-channel and multichannel. But you do need an AV receiver with pre-outs if you wanted this option further down the line.

It’s not impossible to do this with your current Marantz amp: you would just need to keep to a certain fixed volume every time you used it for multi-channel. OK when it’s just you, for can be tricky for non-techy others in the household to operate.

I would think your next step is to visit your local dealer.

Tell them everything you’ve told us: room size, what your current system is, what you’re trying to achieve and your budget. Then listen to a system, ideally with a couple of different speaker combos that they recommend.

I think much will depend on whether you can be satisfied wIth the system’s music performance compared to what you have now. That may inform your next move.
 

staffy 2

Well-known Member
You know how the speakers have 4 terminals so you can bi wire them.Well couldn’t I just move my hifi rack into the corner and connect everything as it is now to just 2 connections.Then use the other 2 connections from my speakers into the av amp.So then just turn my hifi on and get good stereo sound like now.I can easily put my hifi in a corner out the way.
 

Hoku

Active Member
To be honest, that sounds like a quick way of blowing one of your amps, or your speakers, or both, so I couldn’t recommend that I’m afraid.

It is one of those unfortunate perennial conundrums in the AV world, and many forum posters here will have dealt with it in different ways, and frankly each is a compromise.

Here are your options;

Stick to 2-channel for everything. I did this in the past, but I missed the envelopment of a true surround system, and my own use is probably 50/50 for music. 2-channel sources will sound lovely, but the movie experience will be lacking immersion and impact.

Stick to one AV receiver for everything: the problem with this is at the budget end of the AV.receiver market 2 channel music will be lacking. The DACs these days are great even on budget products, but it’s the power supply, current and drive that will be below par. But some are willing to make tbis compromise, especially if they use it predominantly for movies and multichannel streams.

The only way to avoid musical compromise is if you buy a higher end AVR known for it’s musicality, such as Arcam, Anthem and NAD. The trouble with those is they’re blooming expensive.

This is the route I settled on in the end though. I didn’t want the complication of multiple boxes. I just wanted one system for everything but didn’t want to compromise on music. And as it happens my Anthem is superior to a typical 2-channel stereo amp with my speakers in my room because it has a decent quality power supply and crucially a sophisticated room correction, which my DALI’s really benefit from.

Have 2 systems and integrate them. For some this is the best of both worlds, but the extra cost of the amps can rack up and limit your choices, because you need an AV receiver with pre-outs (which is an option that’s not usually available on budget models) and an integrated stereo amp with AV bypass.

So you have to decide what your priorities are and go with that. There’s no right and wrong answer here. Each of the above choices will be right for different people, so you have to figure out what’s most important to you.
 

staffy 2

Well-known Member
I suppose the easiest way is to have both set up meaning two sets of floor speakers.I already love my music stereo set up and there’s room for both,Would 4 floor speakers look silly.I’m not sure.They would be either side of my tv.My hi fi speakers wider apart.
Ive just connected my floor speakers by my echo speaker to my tv.My echo is plugged into my hifi amp so all my music comes through my floor speakers.Not the same though for a tv as I need an av amp for tv.Plus my floor speakers are on the back wall opposite my tv.Sounded ok though to give me an idea.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
You could get a better than basic avr by spending about the same as a new Denon 2700 by buying second hand. Denon X2700 new £679 for that you could get a Denon X4500 or Anthem, Marantz,NAD etc that are 2-3 years old.

Obviously being used you have no warranty bbut will get a more than capable avr with pre outs so you can add a power amp later.

Check the adds in the classifieds on here, you could even put a wanted add on yourself. I saw an X4500 go last week for around £450 it's sold but see ad below.

 

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