Question Streaming upgrade recommendations over Denon setup

jameskb101

Member
Hey all

Would be very grateful for any advice. My current living room set up is an old Denon PMA350SE amplifier, hooked up to a pair of tannoy Revolution R1s and a HEOS link to enable TV sound and link to a multiroom setup with a couple of HEOS 1s (HS2) elsewhere in the house.

Pretty happy with sound quality and multiroom features, but looking for an upgrade to the setup to improve amplifier and/or reduce number of boxes as we're tight on space (2 br Victorian terrace). Music sources are currently mostly FLAC from a NAS or Spotify connect, though if I can persuade my wife to move over to tidal or similar that would be a win.

So, have been thinking about three possible routes to take:

1. Upgrade amp, keep link: Buy a better stereo integrated amp, but with a smaller footprint. Rega brio or Cyrus One, for example.

2. Upgrade amp, remove link, keep HEOS: Buy a stereo receiver / amp with HEOS streaming included. Options include Denon PMA150H or Marantz PM7000N.

3. Upgrade amp, remove link, remove HEOS: Move away from HEOS altogether in the living room and go with something like the Naim Uniti Atom. Would be a simple one box solution, and still support multiroom (directly with Spotify connect, or via separate apps for flax/nas streaming). Downside is mixed ecosystem in house (I'd have to keep the HEOS 1s elsewhere in the house for now due to limited budget).

Would really appreciate thoughts on where the best improvements could be made. Options 1,2,3 get progressively more expensive. Any opinions on sound quality in option 1 vs 2 particularly appreciated. Since I already have the Link am I best sucking to option 1 and simply upgrading the stereo amp? Option 2 is more expensive but I'm pretty paying for HEOS architecture which I would already have in the Link.

I suppose there's always option 4, accept it's a working setup that delivers good sound given the space and save my money.

Thanks a lot!

J
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Morning J, I'm a novice compared to some of the guys on here but here's my experiences from my recent and ongoing upgrade.

Option 1 - I actually upgraded to the Rega Brio. Its a great amp but analogue only, I'm not sure it'll do what you want.

Perhaps consider the Marantz PM6006 which is highly regarded on here and will be a lower cost than the Rega and Cyrus and also "pair" well with your Heos Link.

Option 2 - Both these amps are £900+, £600 more than the PM6006. How much of that £600 buys a better amp than the PM6006 ? You already have the Heos feature.

Option 3 - A big jump in £££ which will certainly also require speaker upgrade to get the benefit of the Naim amp. Totally different system to the Heos multiform you have, so control will get messy.

New Option 3.5 As a single box option, check out the Marantz NR1200 there's a thread here.


Option 4 - Do nothing, currently isn't a bad option given demoing is not possible.

In summary, as you said yourself you're happy with the current sound but it would be advantageous to get to a single box.

If Heos works for you keep it - One thing I've noticed in following streaming threads for a year or so is it can be very hit or miss. Some very costly equipment on occasions doesn't do what it should, the most consistent seem to be Sonos, Yamaha and Denon/Marantz Heos.

The NR1200 would give you a single box system and you could possibly get a few quid for the Heos link if its in decent condition.

Alternatively, keep the Heos link and replace your amp with the Marantz PM6006 which is circa £100 cheaper than the NR1200.
 
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jameskb101

Member
Cheers Billy. Really helpful advice. I'll take it on board, especially re the Marantz options. For option 1, I was originally thinking of replacing my old Denon PMA250SE with the Rega brio, in either case they'd be hooked up to the link via RCAs, but from your comment I'm not sure if this upgrade to the amp would result in much upgrade to sound overall. Do you have any thoughts? Thanks!
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
No probs J, glad to help I upgraded to the Brio from a Yamaha RN602, it sounds as I hoped esp with vinyl (N/A to you) but as I didn't change speakers yet the improvement is difficult to support at present. I know its there as I demoed using my current and proposed speakers.

The rule of thumb on here is whatever you spend on an amp you spend the same on speakers (some say more) so the Brio by that logic needs a £600+ speaker.

The Marantz options will probably sound better than your Denon given hifi improvements over time.

The Brio is a great amp but given how you would be using it, you could get equal / better for less £. Giving it more thought I'd probably go for the PM6006 and spend a similar amount on speakers if required at a later date.

@gibbsy on here knows both brand of amps well, maybe he could assist
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Rega amps are totally different beasts to the Denons. The drawback for those with a lot of digital inputs is that all the Regas are pure analogue amps. I've never used Heos, have no need for it so cannot comment on it even though it's onboard my Denons. The Marantz pm6006 is a very good amp for the money. It's a safe amp, you're always safe with a Marantz as they seem to fit in nicely with any speakers and have a warm signature. The Brio on the otherhand imparts a bit more excitement into the mix but can be a bit more picky with the speakers, especially if those speakers are a little slow in bass response.

The pm6006 has a very good Cirrus Logic DAC onboard and is the same DAC that Marantz has used on higher tier amps and CD players. I'm very limited in my music sources, just love my little silver discs so I just have a Marantz sa8005 SACD player (same DAC as the 6006) currently hooked up to a Rega amp and it is a very good combination alongside KEF speakers.
 

jameskb101

Member
The Rega amps are totally different beasts to the Denons. The drawback for those with a lot of digital inputs is that all the Regas are pure analogue amps. I've never used Heos, have no need for it so cannot comment on it even though it's onboard my Denons. The Marantz pm6006 is a very good amp for the money. It's a safe amp, you're always safe with a Marantz as they seem to fit in nicely with any speakers and have a warm signature. The Brio on the otherhand imparts a bit more excitement into the mix but can be a bit more picky with the speakers, especially if those speakers are a little slow in bass response.

The pm6006 has a very good Cirrus Logic DAC onboard and is the same DAC that Marantz has used on higher tier amps and CD players. I'm very limited in my music sources, just love my little silver discs so I just have a Marantz sa8005 SACD player (same DAC as the 6006) currently hooked up to a Rega amp and it is a very good combination alongside KEF speakers.

Hi Gibbsy, sorry for the delay in replying - just wanted to add my thanks to you for your response. This is very helpful. I haven't made any decisions yet, and you've all given me a moment to pause and think carefully about what I want out of my system. Will keep you posted if and when I decide to change things up. Cheers.
 

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