Improve Marantz 1609 music with preouts

bradleybear

Standard Member
Hi
I have a Marantz 1609 slimline AV receiver powering my home cinema, which includes some Monitor Audio RX6 front left and right. I am considering adding a stereo amplifier connected via the preouts of my AV amp, to improve the hi-fi and musicality of the excellent MA RX6's. I have been looking at the Marantz PM7000N, however this duplicates some of the features I already have such as streaming services and 24/96 high res. My current setup whilst fine for movies, lacks a little on the hi-fi side. I have that itch to add something or change something to get that little more. The amp I have is rated at 50 watts into 8ohms, the PM7000N is 60 watts at 80hms.
Would the PM7000N be a step up, or would the law of diminishing returns kick in and the improvements be marginal? Are there any other suggestions to improve what I have already? Would the pre-outs from the AV amp go straight to a phono or aux input on the PM7000?

Many thanks
Brad
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you are going to use the same front left and right speakers as you do for home cinema then you will, ideally, need a stereo amp with HT by-pass. To improve your stereo music performance then all your music sources need to be direct into that stereo amp, thus cutting the AV amp out of the music circuit completely.

It's easy to achieve, it's exactly what I and many other members do. It can be expensive as many stereo amps with HT by-pass can get pretty pricey. The PM7000 does not have HT by-pass although it would certainly give a better stereo performance than the 1609.

With a HT by-pass amp the pre-outs of the 1609 would go into the dedicated line-in of the stereo amp. The volume would then be controlled by the 1609. Both 1609 and stereo amp would need to be fired up for home cinema. You could use the PM7000 but it would mean having to balance the volume every time you changed it's use from home cinema to stereo music.

There is an alternative and that is to use a speaker switcher such as the Beresford 7220. That would keep the home cinema and music sides completely separate.
 

bradleybear

Standard Member
Thanks for the detailed reply. As is always the case there's never a true one size fits all solution to these problems!! If I were to connect the preout to the aux in left and right on the 7000, the volume and balance would be an issue?

I suppose I'm after something with a better dac to enjoy the detailed listening more, and something with a bit more grab on the speakers at lower volumes. I'll keep searching, but will certainly look at the speaker switches.
Thanks
 

Timpotter81

Standard Member
@bradleybear did you choose a direction for your issue? I have a very similar issue. I'm also using a Nr1609 for home cinema set up in a 5.1.2 configuration. I have two issues, the first is that the nr1609 lacks the guts of my old Sony av receiver, when I get to volume 36 the increases seem marginal and it loses some of the clarity which is present at lower volumes.
In addition I never feel like the musicality is the same as the Cambridge audio separates I have in the office.
I have a marantz cd6005 and project elemental turntable connected as music sources to the marantz and we do use Spotify and tidal through the marantz.
Right now I'm fortunate enough to be approaching 40 and the wife has consented to some purchase roughly £500 so think I'm limited to second hand items, which doesn't bother me too much.
My options as I see it are:
1 - Replace nr1609 with large av receiver such as Sr model, denon, yamaha or pioneer. This option increases the budget.
2 - add power amp to set-up to give av receiver more breathing room. Will this improve music sources, probably not.
3 - add integrated amp with ht bypass to act as power amp and connect music sources to this. See issue below.
4 - add integrated amp connected to amp switching box. This doesn't help the av past volume 36 issue.

The issues I am facing is that I like that when I turn on my TV everything I else just turns on and works so is wife friendly. I need that to remain.
In addition I really like the aesthetics of the marantz as does the wife. I'm not a fan of square boxes.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
1 - Replace nr1609 with large av receiver such as Sr model, denon, yamaha or pioneer. This option increases the budget.
Not within a £500 budget unless looking at more power used units. The secondary market is having a boost with the supply problems for new units. I'd hang on a while.

2 - add power amp to set-up to give av receiver more breathing room. Will this improve music sources, probably not.
A good power amp will simply amplify the incoming signal from the AV amps pre-outs. It should not colour it in any way. It will sound better as it will have more headroom, less clipping and distortion. The remaining connected speakers will also get their share of the power saved from out sourcing the fronts. So an overall performance although the actual quality of the audio with music will remain the same.

3 - add integrated amp with ht bypass to act as power amp and connect music sources to this. See issue below.
An expensive option but it will give you the better power band of that stereo amp's power unit, depending on that amps actual output. For music it will be a big improvement with all sources going to the integrated stereo amp. It's the system I use.

4 - add integrated amp connected to amp switching box. This doesn't help the av past volume 36 issue.
No. You will just be using the speaker switcher to separate the film and TV usage from that of the stereo amp by simply switching as to what amps needs to use those speakers.

With your 'past 36' reading, I'm confused. You should set your Marantz up to use the dB scale and not, I suspect, the absolute scale. On the dB scale 0dB will be 75db at the main listening position, providing you have correctly run Audyssey.

Volume​


Set the MAIN ZONE (room where the unit is located) volume setting.

Scale​

Set how volume is displayed.
0 - 98
(Default):
Display in the range 0 (Min) to 98.
-79.5 dB - 18.0 dB:Display ---dB (Min), in the range –79.5 dB to 18.0 dB.
 

Timpotter81

Standard Member
Thanks for replying @gibbsy.
Not within a £500 budget unless looking at more power used units. The secondary market is having a boost with the supply problems for new units. I'd hang on a while.
Yes I had noticed a fluctuation in receiver prices I paid £325 for mine used last year and they are selling used on ebay for quite a bit more atm. Agree that now is not the time to buy used receiver, although is the time to sell if you can do without one (which I cannot).
A good power amp will simply amplify the incoming signal from the AV amps pre-outs. It should not colour it in any way. It will sound better as it will have more headroom, less clipping and distortion. The remaining connected speakers will also get their share of the power saved from out sourcing the fronts. So an overall performance although the actual quality of the audio with music will remain the same.
Any recommendations on a good power amp, I like the mm7025 aesthetics as it matches current system but from some reviews it's not that great.

An expensive option but it will give you the better power band of that stereo amp's power unit, depending on that amps actual output. For music it will be a big improvement with all sources going to the integrated stereo amp. It's the system I use.
Again any recommendations I was looking at a used marantz pm7001 as it has a main in option, is this similar to ht bypass, or does this mean I couldn't plug my music sources into the pm amp?

I understand the switching comment I'm still left with power lacking for movies.

Thanks for the advice around the volume scale I did not know that.
As I've replaced the front heights and looking to replace the surrounds shortly I'll be running the audessey again in the near future.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Again any recommendations I was looking at a used marantz pm7001 as it has a main in option, is this similar to ht bypass, or does this mean I couldn't plug my music sources into the pm amp?
I'm not the best to ask about power amps, hopefully others will be along to make recommendations. As far as the pm7001 is concerned it does not appear on the list of amps with HT by-pass. I did look at the pm8005 several years ago and this certainly has the ability but it's marked as power amp direct as well a source direct button.

 

Timpotter81

Standard Member
Firstly @bradleybear I'm sorry to have hijacked your post. Not sure what the correct approach is whether I should start a new thread.
@gibbsy what are your thoughts on the audiolab 6000a? Looks like I can get it for under £500 on ebay and from clearance sections in online stores.
It has a power amp mode and a 12v trigger in. So I could use it as a power amp for front left and right.
I could plug cd player and turntable into it and when I want to listen to them turn it back into integrated?
Haven't seen many other integrated amps at this price point with 12v trigger in.
I might even get it nearer £400 and can get the rega phono stage (wishful thinking I know).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
There are a few members that use the 6000 and are more than happy with it. Easy to set up and use, as are most amps that have HT by-pass. I use a Rega Elicit-R and have done for several years. All you need to do is connect up via the pre-outs and run Audyssey to EQ it into the system. Your music sources are just connected to the Audiolab as normal.

For TV and film both the AV amp and stereo amp are fired up, the music you just fire up the stereo amp. Simple as that.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Anthem AVM 70 Review, EQing Your Home Cinema Sound System and More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom