Question New CD and Integrated Amp Suggestions

ringmebell

Novice Member
My Sony CDP-XB740E CD player has given up on me after about 20 years of reliable service. I thinking of replacing it with a Marantz CD6006 (€389).

My integrated amplifier is a Marantz 6010OSE (also about 20 years old) and and I thinking of replacing it at the same time. I listen to a wide variety of music and my perception is that I don't properly hear the bass in soul and reggae or the 'grunt' in rock. Two retailers told me that a better amplifier will allow me to get higher-quality music from my Dali Zensor 5 floor standers (I realise that they have a vested interested in saying that). I have a total budget of €1,000 and the integrated amplifiers I am considering are:
Rega Brio (€649);
Yamaha A-S701 (€529) - this amp attracts me because its high power (100 W into 8 ohms) and the fact I have the option of connecting it to a sub-woofer.

Anyway, let me know what you think of these options. Feel free to suggest alternatives. Many thanks.
 

Apollo83

Active Member
The Marantz CD6006 is a good choice for the CD player at that budget.

I believe the Marantz 6010 OSE is 50W per channel

The Dali Zensor 5 seem to be 'average' sensitivity of 88db.

The Rega Brio is a great amp that I'd recommend for almost any 2-way standmount speakers I've heard.
But I'm not sure its going to move the bass driver any more to get you your extra bass.
The Yamaha might...

OR

The Dali Zensor might just be lower in bass (I notice in reviews this was highlighted as one weakness) in which case any amp may not improve things much

A safer approach to meeting your bass requirements might be adding a subwoofer.
This will give you bass extension and controllable volume level with it's own amp built in.
Dali do the E12F around the £500 mark, but all major speaker manufacturers do ones around the same price (Rel, Montior, KEF, etc.). Pick your favourable review of choice.

The other approach is to add an equalizer or room correction and tune to your bass preference.

If you do go with a new amplifier pick one with tone control so you can boost the bass of the Dali's a little to your preference.
I note the Yamaha you listed has such tone controls...

Let us know what you choose and whether it fixes your sound.

Good luck.
 

ringmebell

Novice Member
Thanks, Apollo 83. You have given me plenty to think about.

Another integrated amp I came across is the Cyrus One (€699). It has no tone controls, it can't be connected to a sub-woofer and I need to increase by budget. However, it is rated at 100 W — and I know that power isn't everything — and I've read several reviews that are very positive about it.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Thanks, Apollo 83. You have given me plenty to think about.

Another integrated amp I came across is the Cyrus One (€699). It has no tone controls, it can't be connected to a sub-woofer and I need to increase by budget. However, it is rated at 100 W — and I know that power isn't everything — and I've read several reviews that are very positive about it.
I upgraded from a Cyrus One recently. It was ok. I always had a sneaking suspicion that I made a mistake getting it over the Brio. Upgrading to an Elex R confirmed that. The Rega house sound is cracking. They really know how to make a pre/power combo.
To your comment about power, the Cyrus is 100w of class D into 6ohm. It's not as beefy as it makes out.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If you want an Amp Packed with Features, then also consider the Yamaha AS801 Integrated with DAC.



It has a better DAC than the AS701 and it has the addition of a USB-PC Connection.

The Yamaha AS701 still has a good 24b/192k DAC but without USB-PC. That's still as much DAC as you would ever need.


As to CD Player, Yamaha are in short supply with the disruption of the supply chain -


This CD Player has Bluetooth Rx/Tx and Network Streaming, if I interpret it correctly. That could be a plus.

But on general quality, the Marantz CD6006UK is probably the safest bet.


The following would take you a bit over £1000, but worth considering -



You can drop down one level in the CD Player, and come in under Budget-


The Rotel A12 is 60w/ch, the more expensive Rotel A14 (£899) is about 80w/ch.

Just presenting you with Options.

Now just spit-balling here, but if you want a very high featured amp, consider the Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver -

Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver, DAB/DAB+, 100w/ch, DAC, Phono, Sub-Out, Room-EQ, Full Bass Management, etc.... - £595 -


If those features appeal to you, certainly worth a look.

For me the DENON fall a bit short on Power, but are a quality product -



The actual power on the Amp is more like 50w/ch to 8 ohms.

The REGA Brio-R is a good amp, about 50w/ch, but it is a very minimalist amp, no extra features, very bare bones, but a good sounding amp and compact.

On value alone, I tend to go for Yamaha - good quality, lots of Power, lots of feature at a very fair price.

They are perhaps not in a class with Rotel or Rega, but you weigh cost vs benefits to make the best decision for you. If you need the extra features, then go for the features, you will still get a good amp. However, if the additional features are of no value to you at all, then go for a minimalist but quality amp.

It is a fine balancing act between the features you need, and the quality you desire. Absolute Maximum VALUE would be the Yamaha RN803 with Network Streaming. Plus Full Bass Management makes it very easy to add a Subwoofer should you need one.

Steve/bluewizard
 

ringmebell

Novice Member
bluewizard, thanks for the comprehensive list of equipment I should consider.

The Yamaha RN803 network receiver has more features than I need right now (streaming through my hi-fi system, for example, is not something I'd like to consider until I can solve Internet connection problems that occur infrequently) and the Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) received a negative review:

But that got me thinking about room equalization. Is it worth exploring this option? Is it worth trialling this or other software:

And then I got to thinking about room acoustics. For example:
Should I be trying to improve the acoustics of my listening room (with dedicated acoustic panels or even a rug from IKEA — currently, I have a laminated hardwood floor) before I buy a new amplifier / receiver?

Cheers
 

Apollo83

Active Member
But that got me thinking about room equalization. Is it worth exploring this option? Is it worth trialling this or other software:

And then I got to thinking about room acoustics. For example:
Should I be trying to improve the acoustics of my listening room (with dedicated acoustic panels or even a rug from IKEA — currently, I have a laminated hardwood floor) before I buy a new amplifier / receiver?

Room equalisation can help if you tend to listen in one spot you can then tune to improve lower frequencies. Fortunately this is the area you are having trouble. So this could defintiely help you.
More traditional graphic equalizers can have a similar (though cruder) effect where you are just adjusting the response curve to your taste (they also tend to be cheaper)
Tone controls on your amp have an even cruder effect.
But the objective is the same for all - shape the sound to your preference.

Room treatment is always worth considering even if you pursue other options listed. So maybe start with it.
If you have hard surfaces (bare walls, hard floors, large windows) then sound waves will bounce around causing more echo, bigger standing waves and larger interference effects.
For some music like eccestiastical choir or organ pieces maybe this will sound good, but for most music its not desirable :)
Rugs on the floor, curtains, bookcases can all help plus you can buy specialist items such as sound absorbing panels which can come in designs that have patterns or even pictures suitable for a home environment that doesn't want to look like a recording studio... You'll often find these for sale in office furnishing companies.

My advice, get a rug, some curtains, some panels, then re-assess.
If you still have an issue then consider Room EQ / Trad EQ / Amp with Tone / sub woofer options.
 
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Cribbster

Active Member
As we often say here, you really need to try and listen to these systems if you can as paper recommendations and reviews only tell you the story from other people's perspectives. Similarly to you, my current amp and cd player are quite ancient (Rotel RA935 and a Pioneer PDS904). I have been itching to change them for a while as I am sure they are not as crisp or good as I would like. However, every time I go out and listen to potential replacements I end up somehow slightly disappointed and underwhelmed. It may be that I have subtly succumbed to the marketing hype and overinflated expectations that today's new and shiny kit is immeasurably superior to anything more than 5 weeks old. And it may also be that I am stuck in that twilight world of having a fixed element of the system (my current speakers - B&W CM6 S2, since you asked) and trying to system match to get the best results. From my personal experience, I didn't like the Rega Brio. I hoped to as it is a reasonable price and is well liked. Didn't float my boat. Was made keen on the Cyrus One (as I have historically liked the Cyrus sound) and was all set on one. Except insufficient funds at the time. And since then new contenders have come on the scene including the Audiolab 6000 and the Cyrus One HD. Not totally convinced that the Cyrus One works as comfortably with my B&Ws as I would like. Have heard the Audiolab with Quad speakers at the Bristol show and was really, really impressed. Loved the sound. Interestingly heard the amp again at this years show but with the new Wharfdale Evo 4 (I think they were) and it didn't sound very impressive at all. Change of speakers and it was singing again. I tried it recently with my speakers on a demo and I was left feeling let down as it didn't sound as rich or engaging as I recalled. Also tried the Musical Fidelity M2si and that was a bit better but still not grabbing me and giving me a warm embrace. Last, and it was a suggestion by the dealer, I tried the Marantz (OK, so it was the PM8006 - only option they had in store) and that sounded the best of the lot. Still not sure if it was enough to properly grab me. I have been interested in a number of alternatives as somehow I can't help feeling that the Rotel brand is a little "anonymous" but I am perhaps beginning to think that they may just be a (relatively) hidden gem. Unfussy, unflashy and yet very proficient and classy. Maybe I just need to broaden the amps I audition and go with what sounds great to me and forget what my marketed to head says.

Sorry for the long ramble. The short version is go out and try different amps and see what your ears tell you. In my experience Dali speakers can be a tad bright - especially the ribbon tweeter ones, so you will need an amp that is not bright - which probably rules out the Cyrus. I would consider looking at the Audiolab 6000, Marantz (and I see that they have just announced the new PM6007) which could be a strong contender given your current experience, the Rotel range (A12 or A14), perhaps the Musical Fidelity M2si (Sevenoaks currently have them with £200 off) and maybe the Quad Vena II.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
bluewizard, thanks for the comprehensive list of equipment I should consider.

The Yamaha RN803 network receiver has more features than I need right now

The problem is - Right Now - doesn't last forever. Consider whether this amp can serve you Now and in the Future.

the Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) received a negative review:

Just because it has Room EQ doesn't mean you have to use it, and this is likely the same YPAO used on all their AV Receivers.

Myself, the Streaming and the Full Bass Management are the prime selling features, plus of course, 100w/ch.

...Should I be trying to improve the acoustics of my listening room (with dedicated acoustic panels or even a rug from IKEA — currently, I have a laminated hardwood floor) before I buy a new amplifier / receiver?...

ALWAYS?
Room EQ is not magic, it can make a good room better, but it will do nothing to make a Bad Room good.

Steve/bluewizard
 

ringmebell

Novice Member
P3c.jpg

The photo is part of my listening room. You can see one of the Dali speakers next to the window, the rack with the amplifier, etc. is just out of shot on the right and the other two walls are mostly CDs! I plan to put curtains to cover the door and window and I'll explore the feasibility of adding acoustic panels.

Apollo83, Cribbster, thanks for your advice. Cribbster, no need to be sorry — your 'ramble' was very informative.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Yamaha A-S701 amp. Its power rating is relatively high, it can be connected to a sub-woofer and it's reasonably priced. I'd prefer to demo the Brio at home if I was to buy it and the shop I deal with allowed home demos in non-pandemic times but not now and even then, only of equipment that was for equipment previously used for shop demos. In-shop demos are possible but my experience of them has not been great — they are too short (for me anyway) and the shops usually use equipment with a higher spec than my own equipment at home. One shop was very blunt in pointing out to me as if I didn't already know!

Anyway, I bought the Marantz CD6006 player and I'm due to collect it tomorrow.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
First of all, I wouldn’t touch room ‘treatment’ with a whoppingly long pole.

Unless you’re up to the complex measuring and maths. And you have a good mic and REW.

The thing rarely mentioned about the Yamahas is their better than average damping factor. That is the ability to control the start and stop of a cones movement.

The Marantz you currently own is not very good in that area.

Adding a sub is a great idea. If you want serious full range bass, then one is essential.

For your needs I’d go for the cheapest CD player possible that has a digital output. In fact I’d go second hand and get a solid, inexpensive, used player and use the dac in this... (killer bargain price here too).


Add one of these, using the Yamahas room correction to keep the bass from flabbing around.


And, because the amp is such a bargain, it’ll allow you to buy this still within budget, (assuming you’d prefer a new CD player rather than used, as I suggested earlier).


All of the above are very well reviewed and regarded.

All told, an excellent hifi all round.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
... ah. I see you already have the 6006 CD player; and something of a standard legend it is now.
 

ringmebell

Novice Member
Very happy with the Marantz CD6006 player, not least because it has a high WAF value in my house.

Anyway, to pick up on some points made in previous posts in this thread. Firstly, Apollo83 refers to the Dali Zensor 5s as having an 'average' sensitivity of 88db. I didn't understand the significance of that value but this article helped:

Some sub-woofers have been recommended in previous posts. At €604, the E-12F is a bit too pricey for me. So I'm considering Klipsch R-120SW (€444), DALI E-9 F (€469), and Q Acoustics QB12 (€499). And there are several subs on ebay such as the BK Gemini II. Any thoughts on these?

To filter the search results, ebay is presenting me with System Configuration options such as 1+, 2.0 and 2.1, etc. and Surround Sound Formats such as 2.1. Which options should I select for what I need? If it helps, the sub will not be used as part of a HT system.

Also, am I correct in saying that I need is a passive sub rather than an active one?
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
BK subs are excellent value for money and often outperform those of twice the price. UK built as well. You need an active sub - one that has its own amp. The BK Gemini is good because it has high level inputs which is useful if your amp does not have a sub out socket. Explained on P3 of the manual http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/gemini_manual.pdf
 

ringmebell

Novice Member
I bought a rug! It's too early to say if it has changed the acoustics in the room but it looks good.

If I were to spend some more on a sub-woofer, does anyone have an opinion on the DALI E-12F (€604) vs. SVS PB1000 (€599)? Cheers.
 

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