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Pioneer VSX 2011 with Music

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Jimmysil, Mar 15, 2003.

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  1. Jimmysil

    Jimmysil
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    Hi All

    :lesson:
    A question for all the 2011 owners out there (You lucky lucky people), can you tell me what the amp is like for playing music.

    Do any of you use yours more for music than movies (The VSX 2011 that is) ?

    Reason I ask, is that I am thinking of upgrading soon, but I play more music than dvds.
    Will it give me a better musical experience than my SR4200


    Regards

    Jimmysil
     
  2. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Before spening your money ... you need to decide if your aim is to upgrade your music playback, film playback or both - and what your budget is.

    If you are happy with film reproduction, but want to improve music, then look at buying a CD player (if you don't already have one and are using your DVD player for CD playback) and add a good stereo amp - the Rotel RA-02 at £350 is widely recomended but others like NAD C350, Arcam A75+ and various Marantz, Roksan, Cyrus and Tags are also worth listening to as you may like them more.

    If you aim to upgrade film playback mostly, then the Pioneer comes highly recomended but also demo the Denon 3803, Sony VA555, etc.

    If you want to improve both film and music reproduction, look at the same integrated amps, but also look at NAD and (depending on budget) the Rotel as well, or spend less on your AV amp, and add an integrated amp as well.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought.

    Vikki
     
  3. Jimmysil

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    Hi Vikki

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes I do have a CD player a Marantz CD4000, but its only a budget model.

    I would like to improve both music and movie sound, but I would say that music is more important. I don't really want 2 amps (AV and stereo). Although I understand that a stereo amp is better for music.
    I would ideally like 6.1/ EX and ES but I am happy to forget that for better music sound.

    I have considered a Harman Kardon or Nad Reciever.

    My budget is about 800 pounds max.

    regards

    Jimmysil
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    For that budget ... worth listening to would be NAD T762 and Marantz SR8300 for amps reputedly good for stereo but also improving your movie playback.

    You say you don't want 2 amps ... is this because of appearance or because of the complexity of using 2 amps?

    Out of interest ... what speakers do you use?

    Vikki

    Note: I've not listened to any of the AV amps meantioned and I'm commenting on reputation / price.
     
  5. Jimmysil

    Jimmysil
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    Hi again

    Well I not really considered having two amps.
    But its not for complexity or appearance reasons.

    I am currently running Kef Crestas (Cresta 2 fronts and crestas 1 rears).

    I did consider getting a better cd player eg arcam cd62/72, Nad 541i or Rotel RA-02

    Basically I have a few choices :

    Get a Mid Range Reciever and keep my cd player and dvd player for now.
    Get a slighly cheaper 6.1 receiver and get a new cd player.
    Or maybe based on your suggestions get a stereo amp and maybe a new cd player.

    What do you think ?

    PS do you know how much the SR8300 will be, I have not seen a price for it yet.

    Cheers

    Jimmysil
     
  6. wilber

    wilber
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    I'm with Sounddog on this one and have done just that in the last few days. If you really like music then I don't think that you will be happy with an av amp.

    You will find other threads here which report that many av amps don't cut it in 2 channel. That said there are undoubtedly av amps that make a better stab at it than others - the 2011 is one of those and the Denon 380x have always been praised. I had a listen to Arcam's (very pretty) AV amp and that was nice with music but I rejected it (perhaps too hastily) as it was rather restrained in movie playback compared to my existing yamaha. That may be the amp for you - it's powerful enough to drive your kefs.

    I now have a Yamaha 630 for movies, and a Rotel RA-02 for music. Currently I'm using a Pioneer 656 to feed both but intend to purchase a mid range CD player. So you could go for something similar e.g. Rotal RA-01 £250, Arcam CD62T £350, Denon 1803 £300 - gives you everything for £900 and you can buy it in stages. (This is just an example and I'm not saying that these items are right for you)
     
  7. avdesigns

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    I use my 2011 a lot for music, and can honestly say it sounds superb. Obviously it won't reproduce music as good as a £900 dedicated amplifier, but your getting the best of both worlds. If your not going to use the centre rears then use the option to bi-amp your front speakers. I've found that this has tightened up the sound on my 603's and the bass extension is even better.
    Hope this helps.:smashin:
     
  8. Relay

    Relay
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    I find the 2011 superb for both multi-channel music from DVD/CD (via Tannoy Rev./REL Strata AV system) as well as from CD via Castle Harlechs S2s (using the extra channels). Familiar older CDs have been given a new lease of life. Listen to 'Gates of Delerium' or 'Awaken' (Yes) in Prologic II and you'll appreciate what it can retrieve from these recordings.

    Its biggest strength is the depth and control of the multi-layered bass - startling even in direct mode - it's so good that the REL is redundant with the Harlechs. Previously the Harlech's dry bass was problematic (in my room) when driven by my previous AV amp (Denon A1D), making listening uninvolving.

    Up until getting the 2011 I'd planned to rebuild a separate quality HiFi system along the line of the Naim 250/SBL system I previously owned. Whilst the 2011 continues to amaze me this ambition is firmly on hold.
     
  9. Jimmysil

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    Glad to hear that people are happy with the performance of the 2011.

    My next question for wilber or sounddog, I have also considered your idea ie av amp, stereo amp and a cd player.

    Can you tell me how you connect up your arrangement as with regards to the front speakers.
    Do you connect the fronts to the your rotel and then use preouts on your yamaha to connect to the rotel.

    The other consideration is that I listen to about 25 percentage of my music in PL2. So that complicates matters a little.

    Cheers

    Jimmysil
     
  10. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Without sounding like I'm poo pooing avdesigns and Relays experiences of how good the 2011 is with music ... can I ask them whet they have compared them with - is it just other integrated AV amps or with stereo amps too?

    I've never listened to any AV amps in the class of the 2011 admitedly ... but from what I've read here and in the commercial press would find it hard to believe that they would sound as good as a Rotel RA-02 or other Stereo amp for music. Yes if you are primarily looking for AV performance it is good at stereo compared with the SR4200 and probably the class leader, but if you are going to listen to music more then the 2011 would be second best to a good £300-£500 stereo amp.

    Wilber ... unfortunately the Denon 1803 isn't really suitable for using with a stereo AV amp as it doesn't have pre-outs (except for sub-woofer).

    Vikki

    Jimmysil ... yes you connect the front speakers to the Rotel and then connect the pre-outs from the AV Amp to a spare line in on the Rotel.
     
  11. Jimmysil

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    Thanks for the setup info sounddog.

    I did think of the Denon 1803 until I also spotted that it did not have preouts.

    So I am seriously considering the following options.

    1)
    Yamaha 630 or Marantz SR 4300 for my 6.1 needs (Both have preouts)
    Rotel RA - 01/02 or Nad or Arcam stereo amp.
    Rotel or Arcam cd player

    2) VSX 2011 and maybe a new cd player at a later date.

    This is tricky.
    The only other thought I had was that this setup is being used is a smallish room. So the would the 2011 be overkill.
    I am leaning towards option 1 as I listen to about 2 - 3 hours of music per day and only watch dvds about once a week or so.

    Cheers

    James
     
  12. wilber

    wilber
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    Blimey Vikki didn't know that (I was only putting D forward as I didn't want to sound like I was just advocating the stuff I have)

    Connecting the Yamaha to the Rotel is as Vikki said a doddle - pre outs out to aux1 on the rotel bingo. You then have to fix the volume on the integrated amp (I have it set to the point to R in Rotel) & set the av amps other speakers to match the main pair(SPL meter is dead handy for this).

    I have heard a 2011 and it is pretty good with 2 channel stuff - not as good as the Arcam and definitely not as good as the Rotel integrated amp (These are my opinions only - not definitive facts, for you sensitive types).

    PL2 with music - why? but if you must, connect the digital output from the cd player to the av amp and the analogue connection to the integrated amp then you can have either.
     
  13. wilber

    wilber
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    Jimmysil just read your last post - in a small room I would say the Marantz or Yamaha would be more than adequate and my reservations about the Arcam's movie abilty to be greatly reduced.
    I'm bound to say this but I think a combination of Yamaha 630 (you can get one for £250) Ra-01 and a CD player (If you go for the Rotel amp I'd lean toward the RCD if only 'cos they look damn good with each other). By my reckoning that would cost about £870 - Rotel is available through 7oaks & Audio Excellence who I have always found to be willing to haggle over the price so you could probably save 10% on the Rotel stuff.
     
  14. Jimmysil

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    Thanks for the info wilber.

    The next question of course is that I understand a new yahama is on the horizon. Do you think it worth waiting for that or just get the 630 while its cheaper.
    I think I will go for a yahama as I suspect it has edge on the marantz for movie sound.

    Yep I may consider the rotel combi.

    Cheers

    Jimmysil
     
  15. wilber

    wilber
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    No contest Yamaha beats Marantz with movies.

    WRT 630 v 640 mmm £250 v £450 i'd go for the 630 - the initial specs of the 640 don't make me think I'll be rushing to upgrade to it (though I may go for one of the bigger numbers so that I can justify replacing the black box I have with a silver one).
     
  16. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I started this thread on AVS forums debating AV receivers in stereo vs 2 channel amp. It makes for interesting reading.
     
  17. wilber

    wilber
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    Just shows that our American cousins are as confused as the rest of us :D
     
  18. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I think it all comes down to expectations and what we class as acceptable.

    When proably 75% of the UK population have a cheap "midi" system which they use to listen to music, or the majority of the time they listen to music in their car ... a Yamaha 630 (or other AV amp in the similar class), using a DVD player to spin your CDs and powering Richer Sounds Eltax special offer speakers (not that there's anything wrong with the Eltax packages for the price) will sound like a breath of fresh air to them. So for those people the Yamaha will sound acceptable ... even very good.

    Then there's the next group of people (IMO) who you may call the enthusiasts ... they listen to music and watch films regularly, maybe attend som live gigs, etc. They want an increase in sound quality so buy better speakers, amps, etc. Now depending on weather their main love is music or films, they would spend £1000 (ball park figure) on either an all in one AV amp like the Pioneer, or on a cheeper AV amp PLUS a stereo amp. The stereo amp will give you best music, and the AV amp will give acceptable film performace.

    Hope this helps

    Vikki
     
  19. Jimmysil

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    Thanks for the info.

    I may go with the 2 amp option.

    Cheers

    Jimmysil

    " If music be the food of love, can I have a 3 course meal and not that microwave ocean pie"
     
  20. Relay

    Relay
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    Sounddog makes a valid point regarding how the musical performance of 2011 is being assessed. I'm judging the musical performance of the 2011 against other stereo and AV amps I've owned and used extensively in my present listening room. These include Pioneer A400, Naim 90/92 and Naim 102/250. Speakers used during this time include Naim SBLs, Royd Minstrels, Linn Keilidhs and Castle Harlech S2s, plus various smaller for AV use.

    Without doubt the bass extension and more importantly control of the 2011 / Harlech combination exceeds other combinations. It reminds me of the Meridian Active speakers of a few years back (M2s ?). Musically I find it far more interesting that the softer Denon A1D. It was owning the A1D that convinced me that I would have to build a separate hifi system again as I found I was less interested in listening to music, my main interest.

    Whilst I will no doubt assemble a separate music system again at some stage, it is likely to take a lot of money or luck to get a more enjoyable musical performance.
     
  21. HotblackDesiato

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    I have an ageing stereo set up... Meridian 200/Deltec Bigger Bit, Cyrus Pre that normally feeds a couple of Cyrus Powers but is currently hooked up to two Ashly Audio PMA-8000s and these drive some old Mission 753s...while i prefer this set up to a Pioneer 757, a Sony 1080, some Anthony Gallos sats and a CHT-15...i still find music through this budget AV gear more than enjoyable...and rarely find myself going upstairs to listen to a CD on the "stereo" set up.
     
  22. dejongj

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    as I am about to upgrade.

    Is there a significant benefit to using a seperate integrated amplifier compared to using a poweramp for the front speaker connected to the pre-outs.

    Cheers,

    Jean-Paul
     
  23. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Jean-Paul ...

    Yes ... with most AV amps there is no point just adding a power amp for the front channels if the intention is to improve stereo music. In most AV amps the pre-amp section is more of a limitation to good stereo music than the power amp section.

    If you use an integrated amp, then you are not only improving the power-amp, but also eliminating the AV amps pre-amp section - your CD player, etc connects direct to the integrated amp.

    Hope this clarifies.

    Vikki.
     
  24. mbbx0bbr

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    well i have a yamaha dsp A3090 and have been wanting to upgrade for better 2 channel stereo sound.

    I was thinking of upgrading to a yammy A2 or A1, just because my A3090 has been so enjoyable.

    but after reading all ur comments, I have been looking at a dedicated 2 channel amp.

    Has any1 got any comments on the NAD-C370?
    or a MUSICAL FIDELITY XA-2 ?
    Or would an Arcam 75+ do the job for me?

    also any1 know anything about

    Audiolab 8000 (.)

    or the Tag 60i (seen it for 350 quid)

    are they better than the rest?

    Also is there any integrated amp that have optical connections (digital/coax)?

    bob
     
  25. avdesigns

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    The question of which is better, an av amp or hifi amp is fairly obvious, which is why I stated that price for price an av amp won't be as good for music. Some people maybe haven't the room/money for both and so must compromise somewhere along the line. I've spent many years listening to and owning both types and still think (in my opinion) that bi-amped the 2011 is excellant with music.
     

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