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New Rig. Lots of Questions! (Arcam or Denon?)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Kasperoff, Dec 16, 2004.

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  1. Kasperoff

    Kasperoff
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    Hello to all.

    I am on the verge of buying an A/V system but need some expert advice from some fellow forum members.

    Firstly, I'm looking for a system that will be great with movies, but can also cut the mustard with music.

    My previous system consisted of a Cyrus 7 amp, Cyrus 7 CDP and Monitor Audio Silver 9i speakers. As you might have guess, I quite like my 2 channel. However I know I will not get the same performance from an A/V set-up, but I'd like to think I could get close.

    So why don't I just get a 2 channel system I hear you say! Well, I also like my movies, and would like something that can do multi-channel music (SACD/DVD-A). In short, I am willing to take a hit on the 2 channel front for the extra that I can get from a similarly priced A/V set-up.

    With this in mind, I'm looking at the Denon 3910/3805 combo and the Arcam AVR300/DV79 pairing. I've heard that these are both knock-outs with 5.1 DVD's, but more importantly, also very good with 2 channel music. But which pair are the true Kings? Can any of you guys that have demmed please give me you thoughts and opinions.

    Also, I have a prediciment surrounding speakers. My initial thoughts were to hook up one of these combos to either a MS Genie or KEF Egg set-up, but I've been told that neither of these two packages would do the above mentioned products justice. And that if I was putting speakers of this calibre on the end, then I might as well opt for lesser Recievers and Players (like the Denon 2805 and Arcan AVR250) Is this the case, or would the Genies and Eggs do my prefered equipment justice?

    With this in mind I've though about looking at mixing the speakers. For example a system with:

    Amp=AVR300, DVD=DV79, Front speakers=QUAD 11L, Sub+rears+centre= Genies or Eggs

    Would this be a good idea? I'd imagine 2 channel music would benifit, but would this mismatch make movies suffer?

    All told my prefered budget is £2800. Obviously some of the combos mentioned above cost more, so there is some flexability, but £2800 needs to be kept in mind. Also, the money must be spent at 7Oaks (insurance issued check). They have a sale on at the mo, so a few hundred might be saved at the final bill.

    Are the Arcam pair worth £400 more than the Denon? Baring in mind that I could get the Quads as fronts with the saving? Any other suggestings appreciated. No floorstanding speakers aloud.

    I'll be demming on Saturday. Ta!
     
  2. Tejstar

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    You seem to have had a great stereo system, why are you getting rid of it? You could always incorporate your current setup with a multichannel amp to ensure great 2-channel music. Or are you getting rid of your old kit to fund your new purchases?

    Obviously, it seems that stereo is important to you so it’s a no-brainer imo, I would recommend the Arcam combo without hesitation. The Denon is good, but is better in multi-channel than stereo. The Arcam will also allow you to bi-amp the fronts, something the Denon doesn’t allow you to do officially (although there are ways around this).

    You are right regarding the speakers, if you are spending that much on dvd player/amp then buying a sub/sat system would be a waste of money. Musically, both sets aren’t great although the Genies are better than the eggs.

    Regarding your other options, I would try to keep your speakers to the same brand & range if possible. However, a different brand of subwoofer doesn’t matter.

    If you’re going for the Arcam’s then your £2800 budget will be stretched – maybe you could buy the speakers in stages i.e. fronts first, then centre, then rears etc. etc. as funds allow.

    If stereo is important to you then imo the Arcam’s price tag is justified, but to be honest the AVR 250 would be good enough too if money is a problem.
     
  3. ahin4114

    ahin4114
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    I agree with Tejstar, I'm currently running Denon 3803 and 2900 and am seriously considering a move to Arcam equipment. Mine is all paired with Monitor Audio Gold speakers and I have found the limit of the amp with these (though the 2900 is excellent).

    The quads are excellent speakers if positioned correctly, they can be a little boomy if they're not given enough room to breath and space at the rear (where they're ported). They produce an 11C for a centre channel which would match nicely (about 300 quid I think).

    If you're not going to be listening to multi-channel music, then you may well be happy with something smaller to fill in the rear. I've not heard the Genies running, so can't comment on which I'd choose. The eggs are quite neutral (if a little hard) so should work with the Quads ok, the arcam is laid back enough to soften the edges of the Kefs.

    Worth mentioning that the Quads are very revealing of poor sources, so if you are going to save money somewhere in the equation I'd ommit a sub and rears to start (perhaps use your existing speakers in the meantime), otherwise you end up with electronics not worth of the speakers, or speakers that are critical of the electronics.

    HTH

    Tony
     
  4. fordster

    fordster
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    Take a look at the Rotel RSX-1056 receiver which is about the same price as the Arcam. I've not heard the Arcam (yet) but the Rotel is far superior to the Denon for music AND movies. From the reviews I've seen (not always a reliable thing to go on!) the Arcam is better than the Denon for music but not as good for movies.

    The surround steering and clarity of the sound on the Rotel is a lot better than the Denon IMHO. It's also very good musically with superb timing. It won't be as "warm" as the Arcam but that can be a good thing depending on how you like your music. It will also match very well with the Quads. I demoed it with a Denon 2900 for movies and got them to plug in a Rotel RCD-02 for music. It's the amp I'm probably going to buy next year when I've saved up the money.

    Sevenoaks can get the Rotel but I'm not sure if they hold stock for getting a demo.
     
  5. Kasperoff

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    Superb replies guys, thanks for the input.

    Unfortunatly, my old kit was nicked, so I am without a system at the minute.

    Hence, this is a good chance to switch to AV. I was really torn between getting another HiFi set-up or an AV rig. But the extra functionallity of an AV rig appealed to me. The real thing that swung it was that AV rigs are getting very good with 2 channel audio now. I couldn't resist in the end. My mind is made up.

    So basically I have £2800 that I can only spend at 7Oaks. But its just short of what I need for the system I think I want.

    Arcam AVR300 = £1300
    Arcam DV79 = £1000
    Quad 11L = £380
    KEF egg centre, rears and sub = £400/£500 (??)
    Total = £3200 + more for some extra speaker cable (the theives left my old stuff!)

    However I might just have to pick up the Arcams and the Quads for now from 7Oaks. Then hunt for some bargain rears/centre/sub on e-bay!!! Or maybe get some bargain Cantons from Germany.

    As you can see I have quite a challenge on my hands. To cap it all off, 7Oaks an only give me a 15 min dem tomorrow morning, as they say they are going to be very busy!! I wanted the kit it before Christmas. I have no chance at this rate!
     
  6. cwick

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    Hope you haven't told them that you have to spend the money with them :)
     
  7. Kasperoff

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    No, not yet. But I did have to go to them for a quote on the stuff I have stolen, so they might catch on!!! But they have a sale on at the moment anyway, so I'll probably save a few hundred quid minimum.

    And if they try to extract the urine, I'll just ask the Insurance Company to cancel the cheque, and start again with Creative Audio (which I wish I'd done in the 1st place anyway!) :D
     
  8. Roohster

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    You'd be wasting all that money if you use a kef egg as a centre!
    Don't ignore the most important speaker in the whole system (for movies).

    Why not go for a Quad 11C (as mentioned above) which will be a perfect match for the 11Ls?
     
  9. Londondecca

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    I would be tempted by the Rotel, even if it means a cheaper DVD player, I would strongly recommend listening to the equipment first. A while ago, I was interested in the Eggs, it would be unfair to criticise them but they were not to my taste at all.
     
  10. Kasperoff

    Kasperoff
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    Thanks for the advice Rhooster.

    I'm abit of an AV novice really. I have no idea that the centre speaker held such importance. I just though voice came out of it!

    Cheers, I'll bare that in mind.

    Actuall I should have the funds for the AVR300, DV79, Quad 11Ls and the Quad centre. That will take care of £2800. Then Ill have to look for a sub and rears in the new year.

    I defo want the Arcam gear tho. I don't really want to settle for the AVR250 or the Denon, as I want the best CD replay an AV rig has to offer, and it sounds like this is the one.
     
  11. Roohster

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    You won't regret it, the centre speaker carries a lot more than 'just voice'...in any case voice makes up most of a film's content so it really is important.

    As regards waiting till the new year for the rears and sub - why not wait and get all the gear at once?
    You really need rears! (the sub could wait a little longer as the LFE [sub] channel can be routed to the main speakers.)
    In any case, there might well be some sale bargains after Christmas.
    (though I've never seen anyone discounting Arcam gear yet:( )
     
  12. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    As I said before there is no problem in building up your speakers. Start with fronts, then centre, rears and finally sub. You don't need to do it all in one go :)

    Just don't go for the Kef egg as your centre :suicide:
     
  13. Kasperoff

    Kasperoff
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    Thanks for all of the input.

    The deed has been done.

    I have gone for:

    Denon 3805 AMP
    Denon 3910 Player
    Quad 11L front speakers
    Quad 11C centre
    Monitor Audio Radius rears
    MJ Acoustics Ref 100 sub
    and a pair of Alcatama Nexus stands.

    All for £3000. I think I did OK!

    I have ended up compromising the Arcam gear to get better speakers, and I think I've done the right thing. The Eggs/Genies just couldn't cut the mustard with 2 channel CD replay. The sounded pretty naff if I'm being honest. Fine with movies, poor with music. So I saved a few quid going for the Denon gear and pumped it into the speakers. The Quad's made a hell of a difference with CD's. Nice and open. I really was quite impressed at the quality achieved with CD's from this set up. Not upto the standard of my old dedicated 2 channel set up. But not far off. Definatly very listenable.

    In comparison, the Genies (with CD's) were very tinny and harsh, I could tell I was listening to small speakers. The sound was very boxy.

    It all rocks with movies too. I'm not really an AV buff, but this set-up really draws me into movies. It makes the whole experience more rewarding. Its really solid and meaty. 'Thuds' and 'thwacks' are really hard hitting and convincing. Higher pitched sounds like breaking glass are really transparent and clear.

    Only thing is, I have to wait a while for some of the kit. I have the amp and front speakers and stands at the moment. I have it hooked up to a Sony NS930 DVD player at the moment with just the fronts, and its still kicking out great sounds. Can't wait for the Denon 3910 and my sub! :D
     
  14. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    I listened to the Genies and eggs too and you're right they were very poor for music. You won't be disappointed with the quads, the finish on them is sublime :smashin: What colour did you go for?

    Overall a nice setup, although I would have kept to the same manufacturer for the rears if I were you. Although I know what it's like trying to work on a budget! :laugh:
     
  15. Kasperoff

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    Hi,

    I got all speakers in Rosewood.

    Not sure there are any little quads for rears!
     
  16. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    No you're right the smallest speakers that Quad do are the 11L's.

    The Rosewood finish is lovely, it's what I would have gone for - good choice :thumbsup:

    Let us know how you get on!
     
  17. ahin4114

    ahin4114
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    Sounds like a really nice little setup. Those radius 90's are really quite musical and will work fine as rear speakers, though they may lack a little if you crank up multi-channel music.

    Setting up is going to be important now. The quads take a good long while to run in, but when they're done it'll be fantastic. Just set the system up by ear to start off with, then give it a tweak once a week. Once the speakers are run in try and get hold of a sound pressure level meter, the difference can be massive.

    There are no 'little' quads for rears, but you could always updrade the fronts to 12L's later and move the 11's to the rear :thumbsup:
     
  18. Kasperoff

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    Yeah, thats always an option when the extra cash comes in. However. I think I need to move before I have room for that lot. I've already got the amp and the Quads, so they are being run in well already. I'll have the rest of the speakers next week and the Denon 3910 Player soon after. I'm really happy with the results thus far. The Quads are smashing little speakers. Surely under priced. They are too good to be worth only £380. Before I looked at an A/V set-up, I demmed some Quad and Cyrus 2 channel stuff with various speakers, but the Quads 11L's came out on top. Better than the Monitor Audio Gold 10s, and the PMC's I listened to. And these are both considerably more expensive.

    The system is lacking a bit of low end grunt at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I'll have this sorted when the Denon 3910 Player and my MJ sub arrive! The rest is excellent. Far better with music than I'd hoped. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     

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