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Next step - New Amp

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by coupe-sport, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. coupe-sport

    coupe-sport
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    Bit of a late Home Cinema starter, so started with a basic system of Sony DVP-S735D, Marantz SR4200 and Kef Crestas (3's, 1's and Centre). The front channels of the marantz are taken from the Pre-out and feed a Naim 72/140 combination to drive the 3's.

    Having really enjoyed this set up, its time to upgrade and free up the Naim system. The DVD player seems to be a good one, so which is the weakest link - Speakers or Amp ?? . If speakers i'm thinking of the KEF eggs and if amp, then the Denon 3802.

    Any recommendations on the way forward would be much appreciated.

    rgds

    James.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I wouldn't think it cost effective to upgrade a Marantz 4200 to a Denon 3802.

    The Kef speakers are probably the weak link but I'm not sure how much of an improvement you would hear by moving from Cresta to eggs.

    Perhaps keeping the rears and upgrading the front three to a better KEF range might be the optimum solution.
     
  3. MikeK

    MikeK
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    You may get a bit more bottom end with the eggs, simply as a result of them coming with a subwoofer, but that's it.
    Good as the eggs are for the type of product, they are no match for a standard speaker setup, even one as modest as the Crestas (which are pretty decent budget boxes all things considered - perhaps a bit bass light for movie use IMO, would benefit from a subwoofer).

    Also have to agree with Ian about the amp - while I'm not disputing the fact that the 3802 is a better amp than the 4200 in absolute terms, I doubt that just changing that will give what many would feel to a worthwhile upgrade for the money.
    The 3802 sells because of it's blend of features and performance for the money - unless it's those features you are after, I don't think the cost could be justified simply on 5.1 or stereo performance alone.

    So where to go from here?

    Well, personally I'd add a subwoofer to the Crestas - and as you appear to have enough budget, I'd go for a good one.
    The REL Q150 is a perennial favourite (with good reason) but there are others. There is some sort of powerbuy on these forums at the moment for a Velodyne CHT10 for £325, which may well be an option too (never heard one myself though, but it's got a decent reputation, as have Velodyne themselves).
    Ian and myself disagree about subwoofers in the £200 class though - Ian thinks they are basically all crap, while I wouldn't go that far - they aren't as good as some of the more expensive units, but they serve a purpose, especially if you are only really interested for movies.

    While it'd be by no means the ultimate home cinema system, I'd say a 735/4200/Cresta set/decent sub, will provide many people with ample enjoyment for HC use - it's only if you simply want to spend more money, or have a burning desire for better stereo use that I'd suggest throwing more money at it as a system (and as you are freeing up your Naim, I'm assuming you have a seperate music setup). Even then, it may be that for music duties, you'll find the 735 may be a weak link (may be a good stereo CD player by DVD standards, but that doesn't mean it's a good player per se)
    I'd spend the rest on stuff to actually watch and listen to on it :)
     
  4. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    I agree with MikeK - a good sub and nice mid-range (NAD, Arcam) CD player seem to be the way to go..:)
     
  5. coupe-sport

    coupe-sport
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    Cheers guys - CD replay is not a problem as thats taken care of with the main system and i am very pleased with this budget set up. May just go for the sub option and some cable upgrades. QED Squart RGB made a good difference so perhaps just a bit of fine tuning is the way to go...

    rgds

    james.
     
  6. MikeK

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    We've recently had a healthy debate about interconnects.

    While good quality video interconnect is always a good idea - many are a bit of a rip-off IMO and it's even worse for audio cables, again IMO.
    Get rid of the freebie, cheesewire thin, cheapo crappy plastic plugged ones - no argument there, but I wouldn't go overboard if I were you.
    See if you can get them on sale or return, or get some from somewhere that do a cable loan service, such as Richer Sounds (no idea what you actually get in that kit though). See if they do actually make a worthwhile difference - try it blind, you may be surprised. If not, well at least you'll have proved that you can indeed hear an improvement, and any doubts you had that cables may, just may, be a bit of a ripoff will be banished forever.

    I've always felt that one of the best upgrades I can make, is to get something new to watch or listen to on it all.
    It's a bit sad sat there endlessly playing the same scene over and over in a desperate attempt to hear any difference at all due to that stupidly expensive digital interconnect you've just bought - eventually you'll hear it though - the £70 you paid will see to that ;) :) .
     
  7. coupe-sport

    coupe-sport
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    oh very true - i just bought a load of crappy bellwire stuff from Richer just to get the thing going so nothing expensive is going to go there. Always been a fan of Chord stuff - no nonsense, well engineered stuff and recommended by Naim so i'll stick with going that route.

    Just had a look at the REL Q150 - looks a nice bit of kit and capable of amusing the neighbours too ;)

    rgds

    james.
     

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