Question Replacement for Denon 3312 options Arcam AVR550 or Denon X4500H or ?

Fred

Standard Member
I have a current 5.1 system using the Denon 3312 to drive the centre speaker and two rear, and pre out to a Naim Pre-Power for the front stereo pair, and a self powered Sub.

I now have a Panasonic GZ1000 so want to upgrade to an AV amp that will pass through 4K

Resolve some hand shake issues I now have between my Humax DVR and the GZ1000 which cause constant changing lip sync issues on play back

To drive zone 2 speakers in the kitchen for internet radio from the AVR

The AVR to drive the high level speakers for dolby atmos now I can stream it from Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I watch a lot of Bluray, DVD's of rock concerts like Rush, occasional film's and stream items like Grand Tour and TV programs.

Not impacting the Naim Hifi sound quality for CD play back on the stereo pair is a deal breaker, I love the Nail Hifi sound.

So can I use the 550 AVR to still drive the stereo pair via a Pre-out to an Aux input on the Naim pre-amp I have read this can cause problems?

the room is long and narrow TV with speakers at one end main viewing position 3/4 ways down the room.

The room is 3.2 metres wide where the TV is located at one end, 1/3 of the way down it then narrows to 2.7 metres wide (Chimney/ fire place) the Main viewing point is 4.2 metre from the TV and the rear wall is 1.5 metres behind MVP with full height curtains
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
So can I use the 550 AVR to still drive the stereo pair via a Pre-out to an Aux input on the Naim pre-amp I have read this can cause problems?
Yes you can. You could have two Atmos speakers powered from the AVR550, if you want 4 Atmos speakers you would need an extra 2 channel amp.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
For 5.1.4 and zone 2 speaker amping you would need a Denon AVC X6500 without the need for a second amp for Atmos duties as it will do 11 channels out of the box. The 4500 needs the extra amp for 5.1.4 and zone 2.
 

Fred

Standard Member
i have an old Audiolab 8000A amp in the loft so could use that to drive zone 2 just need to get the internet radio streamed from the AV Receiver

can i program the 550 to use some of its outputs to the atmos speakers?

and what about issues with low voltage out from the preamp for the front pair on the AVR550?

what would be better the Arcam or a Denon
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
can i program the 550 to use some of its outputs to the atmos speakers?
Yes, but only two, for any more than two Atmos speakers you need external amplification. I use a Behringer A800 which costs £160.
and what about issues with low voltage out from the preamp for the front pair on the AVR550?
Well, there is some conflicting evidence about that. What is the input sensitivity of your Naim amp?
what would be better the Arcam or a Denon
The Arcam will sound better, has better onboard power amps and Dirac. You actually might find that in analogue direct mode it is as good as your Naim, so you might not need to keep the Naim in that system.

For features, and GUI, the Denon is better.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
For internet radio, you could use an echo dot. £50, voice operated and has an aux output to allow you to connect it to an amp, and / or Bluetooth. That means you could have a standalone system in zone 2 with your audiolab amp.
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
I have both an Arcam AVR550 and a Denon X4500H, the Arcam sound significantly better than the Denon for both AV & Music. I also have a number of Naim amps and they ALL sound significantly better (to my ears) than the Arcam for music, especially if you like the sound and pace of a Naim amp the Arcam is pretty slow in comparison although no slouch..
 

Fred

Standard Member
This a good idea do we know what the audio quality is like as it uses the preamp stage in the Dot
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
This a good idea do we know what the audio quality is like as it uses the preamp stage in the Dot
Good question. I use one in the kitchen for casual listening into a mid range amp and speakers, and it seems fine. I think it would be on par with using a zone 2 output from a Denon receiver.

If you want something more serious / high end, then its probably not the right device.
 

Fred

Standard Member
So i have a Arcam 550 on trial i have connected the front left and right to my Naim pre-amp via the Pre-/outs. my Sub via the pre-out.

this means i am driving the front centre, the rear left and rear right and surround left and right from the 550 amps.

is it possible to re-assign the two unused internal amps to drive a pair of ceiling speakers as part of a Dolby Atmos set up?

if not i assume its slaving a stereo amp off the pre-outs for the height speakers?

Also i tried Diraic and it kept saying there was to much background noise today with the wind is it that sensitive with al the windows etc shut?

when checking the speakers in the Diraic software for their level front left came on twice? e.g. when testing front left and then when testing ceiling right? is this just a bug in the dairaic software?

P.S. the manual is pretty useless
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
i have connected the front left and right to my Naim pre-amp via the Pre-/outs.
Do you mean Naim power amp?

is it possible to re-assign the two unused internal amps to drive a pair of ceiling speakers as part of a Dolby Atmos set up?
Unfortunately, No. The only option you have on assigning the internal amps are amps 6 and 7, which you can either use for rear surround or heights or zone 2.
if not i assume its slaving a stereo amp off the pre-outs for the height speakers?
Yes. I recommend a Behringer A800. Great value.


Also i tried Diraic and it kept saying there was to much background noise today with the wind is it that sensitive with al the windows etc shut?
No, shouldn't be. Download Dirac from the Dirac website, not from Arcam which is hosting a very old version. We are on to version 3 now. The supplied Arcam mic is not great, many of us are using a Umik-1.


when checking the speakers in the Diraic software for their level front left came on twice? e.g. when testing front left and then when testing ceiling right? is this just a bug in the dairaic software?
That sounds familiar. I think when it starts collecting the data, it plays tones to all speakers in turn, starting and ending with front left. So the front left plays twice.
 

Fred

Standard Member
Do you mean Naim power amp?


Unfortunately, No. The only option you have on assigning the internal amps are amps 6 and 7, which you can either use for rear surround or heights or zone 2.

Yes. I recommend a Behringer A800. Great value.



No, shouldn't be. Download Dirac from the Dirac website, not from Arcam which is hosting a very old version. We are on to version 3 now. The supplied Arcam mic is not great, many of us are using a Umik-1.



That sounds familiar. I think when it starts collecting the data, it plays tones to all speakers in turn, starting and ending with front left. So the front left plays twice.
Hi Rambles
yes i have taken the front left and right pre-amp out from the AVR550 and connected them to the aux inputs on the Naim Pre-amp this then drives the front left and right speakers via the Naim Power amp.

I will try the Dirac again this weekend when i have some spare time i had down load the V3 from Diraic website last saturday.

also how do i find out which firmware the AVR550 is running?

Is there a good guide or youtube video explaining how to set this up?
 

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
What Naim Pre is it? If you have the more recent black, say 202, 282 etc, you can connect it to AV or 4 or 5 and set that input to AV Bypass / Unity Gain.
 

Fred

Standard Member
What Naim Pre is it? If you have the more recent black, say 202, 282 etc, you can connect it to AV or 4 or 5 and set that input to AV Bypass / Unity Gain.
Hi its a Naim 112x this method is working I just need to play with Diraic and decide very soon if to keep or return
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Instructions on how to check and update firmware is included as a pdf when you download the firmware from the Arcam website. I've attached it here. Many of us don't like the latest firmware (7.14), and are using the previous one (4.41) which is attached to the first post of the Arcam owners thread.

There have been a lot of set-up guides for Dirac. I am not sure which one is the best or most up to date.
Maybe this one:


It is not difficult, if you follow the steps laid out in the software you should be fine, it walks you through it. Then you can tweak away to get the sound you like.
 

Attachments

Thatsnotmynaim

Distinguished Member
Hi its a Naim 112x this method is working I just need to play with Diraic and decide very soon if to keep or return
I thought you said you had the AVR connected to the Naim Aux input, but I thought the 112x needs the AVR to be connected to the AV input and that input set to AV Bypass / Unity Gain mode...
 
Last edited:

Fred

Standard Member
so i ended up keeping the AVR550 and now i have seen some of the Naim kit on the 2nd hand market i am looking at upgrading the pre-amp or power amp. Which would be the best i was thinking Power amp and which do i step up to?
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
so i ended up keeping the AVR550 and now i have seen some of the Naim kit on the 2nd hand market i am looking at upgrading the pre-amp or power amp. Which would be the best i was thinking Power amp and which do i step up to?
What are you wanting to improve upon?
 

Fred

Standard Member
The hifi for CD play back rather than the surround sound set up what I was thinking was replace the Naim power amp with a better one like a 200 and then use the existing to drive the 2 extra channels on the 7.1.2 setup I want.

A stereo speaker up grade is to follow as one of my stereo pair is finally showing its age and I demo'd some B+W 805 about 15 years ago and wasn't that impressed so it needs to be able to drive a decent set of 2k (list price) speakers when I get them

Or do I go to a better naim preamp if so what would be a good 2nd hand buy and then would my existing Naim power amp be able to drive a good set of speakers even a set of 2nd hand 805 or?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The hifi for CD play back rather than the surround sound set up what I was thinking was replace the Naim power amp with a better one like a 200 and then use the existing to drive the 2 extra channels on the 7.1.2 setup I want.

A stereo speaker up grade is to follow as one of my stereo pair is finally showing its age and I demo'd some B+W 805 about 15 years ago and wasn't that impressed so it needs to be able to drive a decent set of 2k (list price) speakers when I get them

Or do I go to a better naim preamp if so what would be a good 2nd hand buy and then would my existing Naim power amp be able to drive a good set of speakers even a set of 2nd hand 805 or?
A power amp is just going to amplify the signal from the Arcam so there would not be a gain in audio quality and a good power amp will just reflect that Arcam sound. The vast majority of Arcam owners go for the one box solution because the stereo performance is better than that found on the likes of Denon, Marantz, et al.

The 'hifi for CD playback' may get a few Arcam owners scratching their heads. In this instance a Denon 4500 and stereo amp with HT by-pass would possibly have made the better choice.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
How are you using the Arcam for listening to music at the moment?

I find that with mine, using it in analogue stereo direct mode, with an external DAC sounds superb.

Obviously the speakers will bring about the most change, so if you are going to change them, I would do that first before looking at changing electronics. You might find you won't need to.
 

Fred

Standard Member
Thank you for the helpfull advice

Assuming I don't want to stream at the moment is the 202 going to be a significantly noticeable step up from 112x or should I be looking at??
 

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