Marantz AVR w/ integrated amp OR Denon AVR

Radek

Member
Hi All,
I am initiating long awaited upgrade of my audio setup. Wife gave consent ;)

Now, my current setup is sony str dn1050 avr + tv + ps4 + rega turntable (via rega pre-amp connected to avr). All of this connected to klipsch rp 6000f (only fronts, I do not have subwoofer or surround speakers). I am listening a lot to the music through spotify connect and turntable. We also watch movies and play games with our kids. While movies and games are ok, I find the setup somehow lacking in music quality department. Especially with analog section (turntable). It’s not a dealbreaker, but it enough to warrant an upgrade :)

The major question is the following:
1. Go with one-fits-all-size solution i.e. solid avr OR
2. have a separated AVR + integrated amp connected via pre out.

My budget is around 2,5k EUR.
For 1) I thought about denon AVR-X4700H / X3700H
For 2) I thought about marantz pm8006 with nr1510/nr1711 (I found a good deal at local store)

Anyone has a similar setup (avr + integrated amp OR avr + turntable) and is willing to share experience? What about these or different models/setup?

Any advices are welcome!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Option 2 sounds like the best bet to me.

Are there any deals going in Poland on the outgoing Arcam FMJ series? In the UK there are a few AVR390's left at big discounts, which would be a good fit for you.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Actually, I just re-read your post and you don't have a subwoofer, just a 2.0 set-up?

In which case, I don't see that you need an AVR at all.

Connect your video sources to the TV and pass the stereo audio out to a stereo integrated amp. Connect your music sources to the stereo amp.

The PM8006 should be enough on its own.
 

Radek

Member
Interesting, I checked fmj 390 beforehand, but found it „not practical” for my use (e.g. lack of wifi). Unfortunately no discounts. However in this price range I would prefer x4700h, mainly due to the features and sound quality (as perceived by reviewers and users). Also audio science guys are positive about this one. I haven’t had a chance to listen to these avrs by myself though.

I presume your fmj suggestion goes into option 1? :)
 

Radek

Member
I actually thought about that, but wasn’t sure how Linear PCM/Dolby from PS4 will be handled in an integrated amp. Also I would need a network receiver to play spotify connect.

Am I right?
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Denon AVRs sound horrible for 2 channel music in my experience. I know they measure very well on ASR, and I don't have an explanation for that, but having listened to a 1600 / 4400 and 6300 in my room, they sound very poor for music. Fine for films and TV though.

Marantz AVRs are a bit better, but an Arcam AVR or a dedicated stereo integrated amp are much better. As you have no sub, I don't see that you need an AVR at all.

If your TV has an analogue audio output and / or a headphone socket, that would connect to a stereo amplifier. If it has an optical output, you could set that to PCM which would be stereo only and connect that to a stereo amplifier, if it has an integrated DAC.

The Marantz PM8006 is a nice amp, I auditioned that at home, but slightly preferred the Musical Fidelity M3i. These are analog only amps, so you can add a separate streamer / DAC device to access Spotify / WiFi and optionally route your TVs digital output through that, or just use the TVs analog output direct into the amp.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
As an example:


Would give you a digital input for your TV and the WiFi / Spotify functions that you want.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Fyi the marantz avr test far worse than the Denon avrs

Gram seem to cause distortion, and marantz avr have high end roll off.

Plus that new marantz avr just been tested has 0.7v pre out. Lousy!!! The denons test better
 

Radek

Member
Thank you for your comments and insights.

I am more inclined now into marantz setup sr5015 + pm8006. I need relatively good avr with bells & whistles for ps4/ps5 and movies. Integrated amp for my rega tt. I have high hopes for new 8006 phono stage :)

Out of curiosity, if playing Spotify Connect through sr5015 pre outed to pm8006, will I hear avr or stereo amp section?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Out of curiosity, if playing Spotify Connect through sr5015 pre outed to pm8006, will I hear avr or stereo amp section?
Any stereo signal will be played via the pre-outs so the Marantz pm8006 will be outputting the audio.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Thank you for your comments and insights.

I am more inclined now into marantz setup sr5015 + pm8006. I need relatively good avr with bells & whistles for ps4/ps5 and movies. Integrated amp for my rega tt. I have high hopes for new 8006 phono stage :)

Out of curiosity, if playing Spotify Connect through sr5015 pre outed to pm8006, will I hear avr or stereo amp section?
The PS4 and PS5 and movie sources can be connected to the TV, and the audio routed to an integrated amp.

Using an AVR as a streamer will not produce as good a sound quality as using a dedicated streamer. The AVR will not have as good quality DACs and a noisier pre-amp section than a stand alone streamer.

Also if you are using the HT bypass input of the stereo amp, you are cutting out its pre-amp section and just using it as a power amp.
 

Radek

Member
These are valid points, thank you. Truth to be told, if my dn1050 would have pre-outs, I would be compelled to add only integrated amp to my setup. However you raised a good point with ad/da for spotify on network receiver (like nd8006) vs sr5015.

Hmm, does it mean the ultimate constellation needs to be following - pm8006 (analog, e.g. rega tt) + nd8006 (digital, e.g. spotify, flacs) + sr5015 (for ps4/ps5/movies/dolby/etc) in order to satisfy all my needs? That’s unfortunately above 2500 EUR :(

Perhaps a compromise is to have a decent avr in that price range?

I need to check one scenario you mentioned, namely connecting PS4 to TV through HDMI and then from TV to integrated amp through RCA/optical. However. I am still wondering how in the new setup Linear PCM/Dolby/HD signal from PS4 will be downsized to 2.0? Now it’s done by avr.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
The TV will downmix the multi channel audio to stereo, or you could have the source set to output stereo only.

If you have an AVR that you are happy with, and you just want to share the speakers with a nice stereo amp, you could add a switch, like this one:


 

Radek

Member
I checked my sony TV and it seems possible :)

Thanks to your valuable hints Rambles I am now considering two scenarios:

1. less hassle with connections, have all bells and whistles of modern avr, but with digital music quality compromise: srs5015 + pm8006
2. more hassle with connections, everything downmixed to 2.0, but better digital quality and versatility: pm8006 + nd8006. Connection: PS4/PS5 -> via HDMI to TV -> via optical to nd8006 -> fixed to pm8006

Maybe in the next year or two I will add surround speakers and sub, which is in plus for scenario 1).

Both scenarios are within my budget at the moment, well below 2,5kEUR.

What would you recommend?
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Look into rega integrated stereo amps they're very good.

Marantz avr have high end roll off around 16khz it's not flat. Not good at all
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
just depends what you want...

denon and marantz are cousins under the skin,

the marantz has a more music focus...with their "music matters" ideology...

as to which brand is your preference ... check them out... the marantz has a touch warmer sound vs denon thats leaner... ive run both denon and marantz flagships for last 13 years...and a denon top end avr prior to that...

re freq response ...both can achieve a flat response with audyssey - just a matter of selecting that in the setup :)

as you go up the denon and marantz range... both tend to go up in 2ch ability, dacs, analog stages, pre stages, power supplies and implementation... get what you pay for

both denon and marantz make superb 2ch only integrated amps if that is also something you seek.. or even instead off the avr...
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I checked my sony TV and it seems possible :)

Thanks to your valuable hints Rambles I am now considering two scenarios:

1. less hassle with connections, have all bells and whistles of modern avr, but with digital music quality compromise: srs5015 + pm8006
2. more hassle with connections, everything downmixed to 2.0, but better digital quality and versatility: pm8006 + nd8006. Connection: PS4/PS5 -> via HDMI to TV -> via optical to nd8006 -> fixed to pm8006

Maybe in the next year or two I will add surround speakers and sub, which is in plus for scenario 1).

Both scenarios are within my budget at the moment, well below 2,5kEUR.

What would you recommend?
Hi, new information that you are planning to expand from stereo to surround speakers. If that's the plan then you will of course, need an AVR.

However, it seems very wasteful to have your nice integrated stereo amp sitting there and only use it for your turntable. You could buy a cheaper streamer to connect to it for your digital music.

In fact, why not do that now, get a nice stereo amp and streamer, and see how you get on. If you later decide to go multi channel, you can add the switch to use your existing AVR, or buy a new AVR.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
just depends what you want...

denon and marantz are cousins under the skin,

the marantz has a more music focus...with their "music matters" ideology...

as to which brand is your preference ... check them out... the marantz has a touch warmer sound vs denon thats leaner... ive run both denon and marantz flagships for last 13 years...and a denon top end avr prior to that...

re freq response ...both can achieve a flat response with audyssey - just a matter of selecting that in the setup :)

as you go up the denon and marantz range... both tend to go up in 2ch ability, dacs, analog stages, pre stages, power supplies and implementation... get what you pay for

both denon and marantz make superb 2ch only integrated amps if that is also something you seek.. or even instead off the avr...

The marantz do indeed have roll off, in direct mode. High distortion also
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
The marantz do indeed have roll off, in direct mode. High distortion also
depends really if you are a devout ASR follower :p if the case let us know will leave you to it.. there is a whole separate another forum for that - knock your self out :D

as someone who has owned denon for 11 years(8 years flagship processor, 3 years high end receiver) and then marantz across two flagship processors over last 5 years, can say without a shadow of doubt it depends if you actually ever calibrate them. if you have had 5 min of experience with either brand would know both the denon and marantz by default will eq for a top end roll off... you have the choice to go flat or the standard roll off or even a BBC dip. choice is yours. EQ to your hearts content.... EQ for what ever response your heart desires...

if you actually have ever heard the gear in question and compared side by side, would know between denon and marantz flagship gear the difference in sound charecter and response is quite subtle. And every brand has their own subtle brand character...marantz, denon, yamaha, anthem, rotel you name it. take your choice... it is what makes brands and their sound what it is....

Eg brands like Rega mentioned above very much have a house sound. just as many of the english brands..many of which i have run myself rega included.

just as speakers from all brands have their own character as well. just as room massively will impact on what you hear and overall response... both speakers and room have far more impact on the end sound than any brand of electronics ever could...

if you are seriously concerned with things like frequency response. i would suggest head down the path of room and eq to best deliver the response you seek....

will leave it there as you are clearly not the OP and the OP am sure can with some appropriate demoing make their very own mind what gear or brand suits what they are looking for.
 

Radek

Member
Gents, many thanks for your comments.

I think I have all the info now to make an educated decision.

One final important question - in the scenario with avr+intgerated amp working in ht bypass mode, the integrated amp will be only used for analog sources connected directly to it (i.e. only turntable in my case) OR will digital signal (spoitfy, blue ray concerts played via ps4) passing through avr’s dacs will benefit from stereo section as well?

In fact the same question is for my second scenario - network player (nd8006) fixed connected to amp - the digital signal after passing nd dacs will benefit from stereo section of integrated amp eventually.

I would like to avoid shelling out 1,5k EUR to have a nice integrated amp used only as phono amp ;)
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
Hi, new information that you are planning to expand from stereo to surround speakers. If that's the plan then you will of course, need an AVR.
this is very much the question...
However, it seems very wasteful to have your nice integrated stereo amp sitting there and only use it for your turntable. You could buy a cheaper streamer to connect to it for your digital music.
there is the hybrid approach... AV for AV side...a 2ch integrated with HT bypass... the best of both worlds... something i myself have done for about 17 years ....

the PM8006 is exactly relevant for this kind of approach as has a ht bypass. it can act as power amp to take load of AVR for driving the mains for AV and then your 2ch source like OP turntable can run direct through the PM8006 as a dedicated integrated taking advantage of both the 2ch pre and power stages for benefit of 2ch which OP wants to improve on.

there are plenty of good quality integrated just like the marantz from brands like arcam, cambridge audio, rotel, rega, cyus, musical fidelity, you name it. all will mean op can keep his AVR and continue with that for AV if satisfies for that and just add the 2ch integrated to improve on the 2ch side that needs improving :)
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
One final important question - in the scenario with avr+intgerated amp working in ht bypass mode, the integrated amp will be only used for analog sources connected directly to it (i.e. only turntable in my case) OR will digital signal (spoitfy, blue ray concerts played via ps4) passing through avr’s dacs will benefit from stereo section as well?
it will be to benefit of both... for AV the 2ch integrated with ht bypass will act as power amp.yes if running via the AVR the avr will be in the mix. this is useful for multichannel source.

if you want you can run all 2ch source direct to the 2ch integrated amp in question for benefit of the 2ch side.

if you want i would strongly advise to add a small streamer like blue sound node 2i as these are very good to feed something like a 2ch integrated for 2ch digital music needs.
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
In fact the same question is for my second scenario - network player (nd8006) fixed connected to amp - the digital signal after passing nd dacs will benefit from stereo section of integrated amp eventually.

I would like to avoid shelling out 1,5k EUR to have a nice integrated amp used only as phono amp ;)

absolutely he nd8006 as streamer .. will do well too :)

the integrated wont just be a phono amp. its going to be of benefit of both 2ch and av.. and if feed it digital signals via a streamer will benefit that side as well :)

highly recommend this approach...
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
this is very much the question...

there is the hybrid approach... AV for AV side...a 2ch integrated with HT bypass... the best of both worlds... something i myself have done for about 17 years ....

the PM8006 is exactly relevant for this kind of approach as has a ht bypass. it can act as power amp to take load of AVR for driving the mains for AV and then your 2ch source like OP turntable can run direct through the PM8006 as a dedicated integrated taking advantage of both the 2ch pre and power stages for benefit of 2ch which OP wants to improve on.

there are plenty of good quality integrated just like the marantz from brands like arcam, cambridge audio, rotel, rega, cyus, musical fidelity, you name it. all will mean op can keep his AVR and continue with that for AV if satisfies for that and just add the 2ch integrated to improve on the 2ch side that needs improving :)
Hi, yes, we have discussed that above. I auditioned the PM8006 at home alongside a Musical Fidelity M3i, but slightly preferred the MF. I used that for a while via HT bypass with a Denon 4400. Now I use an Arcam AVR550. It all sounds good :)

For the OP's 2.0 set-up though, it seems a lot of waste and resources to use an AVR at all. Especially as he has one already, albeit without pre-outs, but the switch would integrate it, if they did add more speakers.

My view is to focus the budget on the source and stereo amp.
 

Radek

Member
Short update and conclusion to my story.

After reading dozens of reviews and narrowing down my selection to just a few products I went to my audio shop for a listening session. I tested four setups with Kef Q750:
1. Marantz PM8006 + ND8006
2. Marantz pm7000n
3. M3si + Blue Node 2i
4. Cambridge Audio CX81 + CXN 2

Eventually I decided on 1) due to excellent sound quality, simply amazing. 2) was very compelling as two in one solution at half the price. Also everyone is raving about the sound quality. Definietely that would be my choice, if my budget would have been smaller. It sounds a bit worse, but not that would justify 100% more in the price. Excellent piece of audio engineering. 3) was very close to 1) in terms of audio quality. But Marantz design consistency prevailed. 4) CA set did not convince me both with its audio quality and design choices.

My constellation is now the following:
PS4 -> TV through HDMI—> ND8006 through optical
Rega TT -> PM8006 through Phono
ND8006 -> PM8006 fixed
PM8006 -> KEF Q750 through tellerium cables

Spotify streaming quality is excellent. I would expect Tidal HiFi is even better.
Rega TT plays better connected directly to phono than through Rega Fono.

Thank you all for your suggestions and advices!! The sound is above and beyond what I experienced in my previous setup. The clarity, the space, the details. Simply awesome! The next step is better speakers, but that needs to wait a while ;)
 

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