Noob seeking advice

Bertaut

Standard Member
Hey everyone. Complete noob here seeking advice. Long story short, I want to get a new amp and find myself at something of a loss. I’ve done some limited research online, but more often than not, I’ve come away with my eyes bleeding. My current amp is a Yamaha DSP-AX630SE. State of the art when I bought it (the amp I had prior couldn’t even decode DTS), and I haven’t given much thought to my audio set-up since. Hence the bleeding mentioned above, as things have moved on a tad since I last looked into this issue.

I have three main questions.

The first concerns speakers. Currently, I’ve a basic 5 speaker set-up (the speakers are about 3 years old). They’re pretty good (I think they are anyway, they always sounded fine to me!), and although I would theoretically be willing to get a new set so as to avail of Dolby Atmos and/or DTS-X, I only have a small space (the room is approximately 8x12ft), I have neither a 4K TV nor a 4K Blu-ray player (and no real intentions of getting either in the foreseeable), and am very limited as to where I can put speakers. Whilst the size of the central and side speakers matter not a jot, if my surround speakers are any taller than 6 inches, I’m in trouble (that’s not even considering the problems I’d have if I had to add two new speakers to the room somewhere). So, all things considered, would keeping my current 5 speaker set-up be recommended?

Next concerns connections. My current set-up is as follows – my Sky-HD box and PS3 are connected to my TV via HDMIs and to my amp via Digital Opticals. My Blu-ray is connected to my TV via a HDMI and to my amp via a Digital Co-axial. My VCR (yep) is connected to the TV via a SCART (those were the days!) and to my amp via an L/R. Also have my PC hooked up to my TV via a HDMI. To output sound from that to the amp (there’s no separate sound output on the PC), I connected the audio output on the TV to the amp via a Digital Optical (although I rarely use my PC for watching anything – my Blu-ray player is multi-region, so I only use the PC to watch stuff when I illegally…eh…legally purchase downloads…moving on). So, as far as I can gather, everything now tends to get connected to amps via HDMIs, but the thing of it is, I don’t really want to have to use my amp all the time. I never listen to audio commentaries or interviews or the like using my speakers, just the TV’s inbuilt speakers, likewise if I’m just channel surfing on the Sky box, or watching something on DVD that’s in mono (I have a lot of old BBC Shakespeare films for example – don’t need Dolby Atmos for them). My initial thought was to buy a bunch of one-in-two-out HDMI splitters, but then someone mentioned that some amps can do a pass-through whereby picture and sound can go through if the amp is just in standby, and, presumably, it would just use my TV speakers. That would be ideal for me, but if I’m understanding this notion incorrectly, would my HDMI splitter idea work (and yeah, I know, I’ll have cables and splitters coming out the ying-yang)?

Third question is the main one; given a budget of approximately £1000, what amp would you recommend. Bear in mind the pass-through question above (if that’s a real thing it’s a must have for me). Here’s some of the amps I’ve been looking at:

Pioneer VSX-1130-K
Pioneer VSX-1131-B
Yamaha RXV781
Yamaha RXAS710D
Yamaha RXA860
Denon AVR-X2300W
Denon AVR-X4200W
Sony STR-DN1070
Onkyo TX-RZ810
Marantz NR1607
Marantz SR6010

From what limited information I have, I think my preference would probably be the Yamaha RXV781, but that’s just on a cursory look at things.

So any further info you may need, please ask away (incidentally, my TV is a Samsung F6670 and my Blu-ray player is a Sony BDP-S5500).

Thanks in advance guys.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
All the receivers you have listed will have enough with some to spare for you to connect (four?) inputs with HDMI and your VCR by analogue. They can be configured to allow pass through in stand by. Although you have not named your speakers just the size, six inches, you certainly don't need to spend anything like £1000 on the receiver. What fits your bill is the Denon X2300 at around £500. That would leave you enough to buy a pair of Onkyo Atmos enabled speakers, which are quite small. Your total outlay could be around £600 with a bit of shopping around.
 

Bertaut

Standard Member
Hey, thanks for the reply.

Well, £1000 would be my upper limit. I'd be very happy to get a good system for £600. :) To answer your question regarding my speakers. They came with my old Blu-ray player, an LG BH6230S.

So just so I'm clear, you're suggesting I keep my 5 speaker set up and augment it with something like this? If I'm reading the reviews right, those speakers are supposed to sit on top of my existing front left and right speakers, yes?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes that's the Onkyo speakers I was referring to. They can also be wall mounted as close as possible to the fronts with the supplied brackets. Check the loading for your speakers, you don't want them to fall below 4 ohm. A Denon X2300 will easily drive newer speakers in the 6-8 ohm range, so the road to speaker upgrades can be done in the future and there are plenty to choose from.
 

Bertaut

Standard Member
I had a look at my speakers and it says Impedance: 3 ohms. No idea what that means, but I take it that's what you were referring to.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I had a look at my speakers and it says Impedance: 3 ohms. No idea what that means, but I take it that's what you were referring to.
A 3 ohm speaker could damage any modern receiver. You will have to consider a new receiver and new speakers. Look at what bundles are being offered by the main retailers.
 

Bertaut

Standard Member
Yeah, I was afraid you were going to say something like that.

Ok, well, I've enough info now to sort myself out.

Thanks for your help,
Very much appreciated.
 

Bertaut

Standard Member
Hi there. One more quick question. Done a lot of research about this online and found very conflicting results.

I've decided to go with the Denon X2300, which is 6-16ohms. I went to a place called HiFiHut here in Ireland and the guy there recommended I get the Tannoy HTS 101XP speakers. Now, these are 8ohm speakers, but both the Dolby Atmos speakers discussed above and the Elac Debut A4 speakers the guy in the shop recommended are 6ohms.

I've found people online saying its perfectly okay to mix and match impedance and people literally saying the opposite, and you should definitely not do it.

Don't require a detailed explanation. Just a simple yay or nay. Is it okay to mix 6ohm speakers with 8ohms?
 

DrHarvey12

Well-known Member
Hi Bertaut,

Yes, you really shouldn't have any issue mixing 6ohm speakers and 8ohm speakers on any reasonable av receiver. The Denon X2300W should handle this without issue.
 

Alexxxx

Active Member
Denon X2300 is now £399 at major retailers. Both X2300 and X2200 would be a good choice IMO
 

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