The quality of stereo sound drops when making surround speakers available?

Punisa

Novice Member
Hi, I have Marantz SR6013 AVR and I'm currently connecting my 7.1 setup while I noticed something - or I think I did.
In the settings options (speakers->manual setup->speaker config.) when I make my surround speakers available (had only front left and front right for a couple of days) I think I noticed a drop in stereo music quality... If I make surround speakers available I hear that "click switch sound" inside the AVR, I guess that means it turns on amps for more speakers. I do this process while listening to a song I'm very familiar with. Then I switch surround speakers off again (set them to "none" in speaker config. section) and go back and forth like that. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but I feel as if the overall quality of stereo music drops as soon as I make my surround speakers available (I still listen to my music only with front left and front right speaker, of course).

Is this something that I imagined or is it normal when using an AVR to play stereo music? If it's the latter would you say that in that case it would be wise to have a separate amp (connected via pre-amp output) just for stereo speakers?

Thanks!
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
It is highly possible that you are hearing extra noise when the additional amps are being switched on. It isn't usually that obvious, you must have good ears!

In which case, the Marantz AVRs although fairly decent for music, can be bettered by using a separate stereo integrated amp, one with HT bypass would be ideal, to work alongside your Marantz AVR.

Alternatively, you could switch the AVR to one that is better at 2 channel music, such as an Arcam or Nad.

But... actually, before you do that. Try inputting an analogue signal to the AVR (ie from a CD player) and putting the AVR in pure direct mode, does that sound better?
 
Hi, I have Marantz SR6013 AVR and I'm currently connecting my 7.1 setup while I noticed something - or I think I did.
In the settings options (speakers->manual setup->speaker config.) when I make my surround speakers available (had only front left and front right for a couple of days) I think I noticed a drop in stereo music quality... If I make surround speakers available I hear that "click switch sound" inside the AVR, I guess that means it turns on amps for more speakers. I do this process while listening to a song I'm very familiar with. Then I switch surround speakers off again (set them to "none" in speaker config. section) and go back and forth like that. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but I feel as if the overall quality of stereo music drops as soon as I make my surround speakers available (I still listen to my music only with front left and front right speaker, of course).

Is this something that I imagined or is it normal when using an AVR to play stereo music? If it's the latter would you say that in that case it would be wise to have a separate amp (connected via pre-amp output) just for stereo speakers?

Thanks!
What you are noticing is a drop in power to the fronts when the other amps are activated, so less headroom for the music. Don't be misled by anyone telling you that certain brands of AVR will be better for music, your conclusion regarding using an integrated stereo amp via HT Bypass is correct and would give you the best solution.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
What you are noticing is a drop in power to the fronts when the other amps are activated, so less headroom for the music.
Possibly, but then that would only be noticeable at high volumes with dynamic soundtracks.
Don't be misled by anyone telling you that certain brands of AVR will be better for music
Hi. Can you expand on this please? Are you suggesting that I am misleading the OP by stating that Arcam and Nad AVR's are better for music than other AVR's, (including their Marantz)?
 

Punisa

Novice Member
Thanks for the replies guys!
I did try pure and pure direct mode, actually that is how I listen to my stereo music. Still, I can hear the difference although AVR tells me that only front left and front right are active. Sure, only those 2 are "active", but I guess more power is already allocated to different speakers.

I like the idea of having a separate amp just for my main stereo speakers as I listen to music more than watching movies (80/20 I'd say), although that is another challenge because I don't want that amp to sound worse than my SR6013. I actually tried that with my Yamaha A-S300 (sadly no HT bypass on this one) and I think the sound is worse than when played with Marantz.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Yes, similar experiences here. I had a Yamaha A-S501 for a few days, it sounded terrible, and got returned pretty quickly.

I found my Marantz SR7011 was not bad for music, better than that Yamaha stereo amp, but ultimately not good enough for the main music system. I added a Musical Fidelity M3i which has HT bypass and that sounded gorgeous, the current equivalent model would be the M2si.

I now use an Arcam AVR550 as my AVR, and in analogue direct mode, it sounds as good as the Musical Fidelity amp did for music, and for movies it sounds better than the Marantz did. So an option for you maybe? I am not sure what is available in Croatia but if any of the outgoing FMJ models are available at discount, you could consider those, that would be the AVR390 / 550 / 850.

Or, back to an HT bypass amp, how much do you want to spend? The downside with the affordable ones, is that their power output is pretty low, which could be an issue if you listen to movies with dynamic soundtracks at a higher volume.

Option C would be any stereo amp and a speaker switch, just keep the two amps completely separate and share your front speakers with them via a switch. If you drop the HT bypass requirement the market opens up a bit.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you are happy with the overall performance of the Marantz for film and TV and wish to keep it then connecting up a stereo amp that has HT by-pass is very easy. The front left and right pre-outs would connect to the dedicated RCA line in on the HT amp. The amp can then be EQ'd into the system by re-running Audyssey and the volume will then be controlled from the Marantz.

You can spend at least £1000 for a good stereo amp and doing so would give you a far better stereo performance than that afforded by the Marantz. It's a route I've followed with Denon AV amps because of the poor stereo performance.

What's speakers are you running? That could influence the choice of amp but Marantz do offer the pm8006 which has HT by-pass. Naim, Musical Fidelity or Rega are three makes that offer HT by-pass on their amps although Rega's starting point is the Elicit-R and was my choice.
 

Punisa

Novice Member
What's speakers are you running? That could influence the choice of amp but Marantz do offer the pm8006 which has HT by-pass. Naim, Musical Fidelity or Rega are three makes that offer HT by-pass on their amps although Rega's starting point is the Elicit-R and was my choice.

My current main speakers are Mirage FRx Seven. I like their sound and from what I've read they're quite easy to drive ("Recommended Amplifier Power" is 15 Watt). I've been contemplating replacing them down the line with Q Acoustics 3050i. One of the main reasons is the fact that all my other speakers in the 7.1 setup are Q Acoustics (except the subwoofer, that one is Yamaha YST-SW1500), but I'm still trying to figure out if that would be an upgrade (besides aligning sonic signature, of course, but then again, as I'm mostly music listener I don't mind some "mix n match" for movie watching).

As for an amp that would be dedicated solely to music I'd say I could try for £1000 mark, which reaches Marantz pm8006, although some savings would be required :p
 

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