My Dilemma - Opinions Please




I have a dilemma and would welcome advice and opinions. My current system is comprised of:

Sony KP41SU - TV
Arcam AV8 - Processor/Pre-amp
Roksan AV5 - 5-channel power amp
Arcam CD23 - CD Player
Pioneer 656 - DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD player
B&W 805 - Front speakers
B&W HTM2 - Centre speaker
B&W 610 - Rear speakers
Sonus Faber Gravis - Subwoofer
Denon Tuner

Cleary this system is slightly unbalanced from an auditory perspective and would benefit from the following upgrades before I would personally consider it 'finished':

1. New rears to replace my current 200 quid 15 year old speakers. Would probably upgrade to B&W SCM-1s at 1500 quid.
2. A beefier power amp. Something between an Arcam P7 and a Krell Showcase.

Worst case is that this would cost me around 6K net in total. This has made me pause to think about whether I really want to spend the money on what I regard as merely a fairly logical upgrade to my system. This has coincided with me also getting hacked off with the complexity and sheer obtrusive nature of the number of boxes in my living room (electronic components, 6 speakers, big TV etc). Also, I hold out no great hope for multi-channel audio - I bought 4 hi-res audio discs at the same time as I bought my Pioneer universal player and have bought none since (cos there are none which appeal).

Basically, I'm considering jacking the whole 5.1 thing in and going back to a simple two channel system. Instead of spending up to six grand on an upgrade to my 5.1 system I could simplify my living room and my life by buying something like the following:

Krell Integrated amp - 2700 quid
B&W 805 signature - 2500 quid
Denon 2900 - 600-ish?

I'd sell the centre, current front speakers and pre and power amps and end up spending around 2K net to make the transition back to 2-channel.

I'm not expecting anyone to make my mind up for me (nor would I want them to). However, I would welcome anyone's opinion about this and would also like to know if anyone else is feeling the urge to go back to a nice and simple 2-channel system?



Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I'm several rungs down the ladder (although I am only 23 :) ) but I know that whilst I love my multichannel rig, I will never get rid of my stereo (they live in different rooms). What about a stereo rig along the lines of what you describe (perhaps keep the AV8 and simply buy a better stereo power amp) but with a degree of multichannel support?
Good luck whatever you do.


Distinguished Member
Its a good Tons' I'd never want to lose a good stereo only capability,and use a pretty reasonable headphone based system if I want to listen to CD's ,and keep the AV end of the system for AV use only most of the time,although it does work very well as a CD playback system as well.

If you do decide to go down the 2-channel route,you could consider keeping a really good headphone based system for that,or if thinking of speakers,in the price range you seem to be aiming at,have a look at the Wilson Benesch Arcs,and some of the Meridian and ATC speakers as well.....any thoughts on that?


Well-known Member
Well, recently I have made some changes to my setup. I had a Rotel RMB1095 power amp driving 805sigs, HTM2 and CDM2SEs.

I have just upgraded to 2nd hand Krell KAV250a/3 to drive the front 3 and 'downgraded' to a Rotel RB03 for the rears.

This way I get awesome 2 channel performance, a great centre channel for movies, and good surround.

Given that I, like you, am not really interested in multi channel music, an emphasis on the front 3 (or 2) seems a good idea to me, especially as you already have an excellent AV processor which I understand is also an excellent stereo pre-amp.

I would ask why you want to upgrade the rear speakers, given that they are only producing effects for movies. Do you really need such high quality speakers and amplification? Maybe get something newer but there's not need to get Nautilus-spec and cost, how about CDMSNTs or DS7s?

If I were you, I'd sell the CD23 and 656 and get a DV27 or Denon 2900 (someone is selling a TAG DVDFLR for £1,500 quid in the classifieds here

OK, so having 2 power amps is one more box but having an all in one CD/DVD reduces the box count by one too.

I hope some of the above makes sense :suicide:

Peter Baker

Novice Member
I took an alternative route and bought new multichannel equipment specifically with 2channel in mind. I find the Proceed kit to be every bit as good as pretty much any pre/power I have heard. It has none of the DSP modes which complicate may pre/pros, and is exceptionally easy to use. The power amp is pretty much Class A throughout, ruuning very hot. I also have the advantage of already having a Wadia 6 for CD.
I feel I have a no compromise 2 channel system which also happens to do HT very well.
Whether this reduces the complication is down to you.



Well, I finally decided what I was going to do. I've split my system into two separate AV and hi-fi systems. I've done this by buying a 5.1 speaker package (KEF9000 ACE - LCR, KEF5005 SR,SL and Velodyne SPL800 sub) and a stereo amplifier (Krell 400xi). Bingo two systems. One of which is now a really nice stereo hi-fi (Krell amp, B&W 805s, Arcam CD23).

Thanks for the advice all,



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