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Too much stuff for one room

Andiush

Active Member
So now, when both kids have their own rooms, I no longer have separate rooms for stereo and movies. Had to bring all my hi-fi toys into one room and now there's obviously too much stuff in one place:eek: It's time to rearrange everything, get rid of some items and maybe buy better/newer instead.
My setup consists of:

- Marantz SR7008 AV receiver. Not pictured here as sits in different rack. It's the heart of my home cinema, very pleased with its perfomance for movies and certainly don't plan to change.
- Harman Kardon HK990 stereo amp. Built like a tank, weighs a ton, should have plenty of power, however I'm not very impressed with its perfomance. Maybe it needs different speakers? Has some issues as well as can go to amp protection mode any minute.
- Harman Kardon HD990 cdp. Used just occasionally as nearly everything is streamed now.
- NAD C365bee. Stereo amp with built-in DAC. Like it for the sparkling, bright sound and built-in DAC.
- Yamaha CD-N500. Cd player and streamer. Quite happy with functionality, of course would love to try something newer, with bigger display, however not sure if it would help to improve the sound.
- Marantz MCR603 mini hifi system. Old, but still good. Connecting to internet radio or server takes too long, but it'll be just fine in the kitchen :)
- Klipsch RF62II. Full set of home theater speakers.

I certainly want to keep SR7008 for movies, but need something better for stereo as well. So what should I keep / sell / replace?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated![emoji106]
 

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muljao

Well-known Member
If it were me I'd figure out how to get the best stereo performance from the marantz av receiver. Whether that be a separate set of speakers and just set stereo in zone 2 etc, or just tweaking it for stereo.

With kids and young family sometimes convenience just outweighs ultimate performance imo
 

Andiush

Active Member
That's what I want to do! Get the best stereo sound from Marantz :) What would be the best solution? Maybe adding separate 2 channel power amp would help?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Maybe, but you might be better to figure out the receivers shortcomings for stereo music. Adding a power amp might give more power but maybe not musically improve the setup.

Sometimes a more musical set of fwd speakers, or seperate speakers for stereo, but really you'd probably need to decide what's lacking to improve this
 

MIKEVO

Well-known Member
Most AV Receivers are likely to process stereo sound to some degree and even if not, they generally don't have the quality circuitry of a Stereo Amp and the HK990 is a stunning 2 channel amp.
If you are using the Horn loaded Klipsch as your front stereo speakers, they are likely to sound quite forward and a bit 'Fierce', so you possibly need to get the HK990 set up with some more refined speakers for 2 channel.

I doubt you will get the Home Theatre and good 'HiFi' stereo from the same system.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Frankly I'd sell every bit you have except for the Marantz receiver, and the Yamaha cd/streamer.

If you're serious about sound quality and the need for space then I'd go the active route.

I think you'll get a decent pile of cash for your stuff, though it's difficult to say how much exactly.

I'd read this for an insight into what is possible with serious speakers and electronics.

Acoustic Energy Pro Sub/Sat 5.1
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I agree with Paul7777x: sell everything except the Marantz receiver, the Yamaha player and the Klipsch speakers, as that will cover all your bases.

I would recommend suppressing any feelings of the "What would be the best solution? Maybe adding separate 2 channel power amp would help?" sort. That's what got you the whole stack of kit in the first place.

Finally I'd suggest that upgrades should be done by replacing, not adding. Anything you buy should be balanced by selling the same number of boxes.
 

Andiush

Active Member
Maybe, but you might be better to figure out the receivers shortcomings for stereo music. Adding a power amp might give more power but maybe not musically improve the setup.

Sometimes a more musical set of fwd speakers, or seperate speakers for stereo, but really you'd probably need to decide what's lacking to improve this

It's not so easy to describe what exactly is wrong with the receiver in stereo. I'd say it sounds not so detailed or involving comparing to dedicated stereo amps. But it's not a big surprise for me, always knew that AV receivers are made for movies. As for the speakers - can't say that Klipch are not musical and certainly can't add separate speakers for stereo. My missus won't appreciate that at all :p Started to think about using Marantz preouts and using NAD for fronts. What do you think?
 

muljao

Well-known Member
It's not so easy to describe what exactly is wrong with the receiver in stereo. I'd say it sounds not so detailed or involving comparing to dedicated stereo amps. But it's not a big surprise for me, always knew that AV receivers are made for movies. As for the speakers - can't say that Klipch are not musical and certainly can't add separate speakers for stereo. My missus won't appreciate that at all :p Started to think about using Marantz preouts and using NAD for fronts. What do you think?
Well you certainly have nice kit, so if you can utilize it and get the type of setup that makes you happy I'd say go for it.

It's easy to spend (waste) money on setups that don't really bring anything new to the table
 

Andiush

Active Member
Most AV Receivers are likely to process stereo sound to some degree and even if not, they generally don't have the quality circuitry of a Stereo Amp and the HK990 is a stunning 2 channel amp.
If you are using the Horn loaded Klipsch as your front stereo speakers, they are likely to sound quite forward and a bit 'Fierce', so you possibly need to get the HK990 set up with some more refined speakers for 2 channel.

I doubt you will get the Home Theatre and good 'HiFi' stereo from the same system.

Sure, I do agree with you that's it's hardly possible to get 2-in-1 system. That's why I don't want to leave only Marantz. It's great for movies, but never will sound as good as dediceted stereo amp. How about connecting NAD to Marantz pre-outs? I'd prefer to stay with NAD as it sounds much better than HK to my ears. At least paired with Klipsch. Don't know what's wrong with HK, I had great expectations when bought it, but it just doesn't sound right to me. :confused:
 

Andiush

Active Member
Do you wish to have a surround system that can also be used simply as a stereo hifi as well? If so, surely that receiver can handle everything.

Your other amps could be sold.

It's most likely the speakers that are lacking finesse. How do you find them?

I would generally advise getting some really good front speakers.

For utmost accuracy I always have to advocate active speakers i.e. with biamplification built in. Those that have taken their home cinemas very seriously use them. Studios use them. I use them in my hifi after owning a plethora of expensive passive speakers and am truly impressed.

No, I don't want to stay with AV receiver only, it'll never sound as good as stereo amp. Certainly need a separate amp for stereo, but don't want to add separate set of speakers. I think Klipsch are a bit underrated in UK as they are quite musical and universal speakers. Don't know much about active speakers, so would appreciate if you point me to some certain models:smashin:
 

Andiush

Active Member
Frankly I'd sell every bit you have except for the Marantz receiver, and the Yamaha cd/streamer.

If you're serious about sound quality and the need for space then I'd go the active route.

I think you'll get a decent pile of cash for your stuff, though it's difficult to say how much exactly.

I'd read this for an insight into what is possible with serious speakers and electronics.

Acoustic Energy Pro Sub/Sat 5.1

Thanks for the link, will have something to read and think about:smashin: However, I don't think I can go that route right now as active speakers would need additional wall brackets, power sockets... And hanging power cords won't make my wife very happy:D Should make whole room renovation first. Why should I leave Yamaha without any stereo amp?:confused: Marantz has all the same streaming services and Yama would duplicate it.
 

Andiush

Active Member
Well you certainly have nice kit, so if you can utilize it and get the type of setup that makes you happy I'd say go for it.

It's easy to spend (waste) money on setups that don't really bring anything new to the table
Hardest thing in audiophile's life is that you never know what can make you happy :laugh:
 

Andiush

Active Member
I agree with Paul7777x: sell everything except the Marantz receiver, the Yamaha player and the Klipsch speakers, as that will cover all your bases.

I would recommend suppressing any feelings of the "What would be the best solution? Maybe adding separate 2 channel power amp would help?" sort. That's what got you the whole stack of kit in the first place.

Finally I'd suggest that upgrades should be done by replacing, not adding. Anything you buy should be balanced by selling the same number of boxes.

When all this stuff was in different rooms it didn't looked like too much. Separate room - separate system - unique and different sound. My own small hi-fi shop :) Right now it's really too much for one room and I'm not planning to add anything before I sell something. Well, I guess Arcam Rblink doesn't count? :rotfl: Bluetooth adapter to simplify streaming processes won't do any harm, right? :) Yes, I certainly want to keep Marantz and Klipsch, but don't quite understand why do I need Yamaha then?:confused: Marantz can do all the same. I also think I should leave NAD connected to Marantz pre-outs for stereo. NAD sounds good with Klipsch and has a built-in DAC (really useful thing). What do you think?
 

Andiush

Active Member
Can you not try the NAD amp off the pre outs with the speakers? (front ones) and see if there is an improvement?
Sorry, I don't quite understand you:) What should I try or not to try?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the link, will have something to read and think about:smashin: However, I don't think I can go that route right now as active speakers would need additional wall brackets, power sockets... And hanging power cords won't make my wife very happy:D Should make whole room renovation first. Why should I leave Yamaha without any stereo amp?:confused: Marantz has all the same streaming services and Yama would duplicate it.

I assumed you'd still want a means of playing CDs.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
When all this stuff was in different rooms it didn't looked like too much. Separate room - separate system - unique and different sound. My own small hi-fi shop :) Right now it's really too much for one room and I'm not planning to add anything before I sell something. Well, I guess Arcam Rblink doesn't count? :rotfl: Bluetooth adapter to simplify streaming processes won't do any harm, right? :) Yes, I certainly want to keep Marantz and Klipsch, but don't quite understand why do I need Yamaha then?:confused: Marantz can do all the same. I also think I should leave NAD connected to Marantz pre-outs for stereo. NAD sounds good with Klipsch and has a built-in DAC (really useful thing). What do you think?
Your Yamaha is your CD player / streamer, your Marantz AVR can't play CDs.

Either you're trying to reduce the box count, or you want a box for each little feature. I understood you wanted the first, but you seem to be looking for excuses to add yet another few little boxes.:)

My solution has always been to get decent comprehensive kit, rather than lots of little boxes. You can get all the functionality you've identified at a higher quality than you currently have, in two boxes + speakers. I guess you also have a TV and at least one box for BD / HDD / streaming.
 

Andiush

Active Member
Thanks everyone for your advices!:thumbsup: I really would like to reduce number of boxes, however don't want to do it so drastically. Most of you, guys, offer to stay with Marantz and Yamaha only. I do agree about Marantz as it's brilliant amp for movies, but certainly want to have separate stereo amp as well. None of the AV receivers I've had sounded good enough for my ears in stereo! That's why I think my setup should consist of:
1. AV receiver (happy with Marantz so far)
2. Stereo amp connected to receiver's pre outs (I'm considering selling both NAD and HK and getting one higher class amp instead). By the way, is there a point of using receiver+stereo preamp+2 ch power amp combination?
3. DAC to hook up my laptop via USB. Built-in in the amp, ideally.
Don't think I need separate CDP and receiver can be used for streaming services. As for the speakers, I'll stay with Klipsch for a while ;)
It would leave me with 2-3 boxes in total, not to mention blu-ray player and TV.
What do you think? :)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
By the way, is there a point of using receiver+stereo preamp+2 ch power amp combination?
Not if you're trying to reduce the number of boxes! Also audio-wise, not if your budget is not high enough to gain from the separation at the cost of the additional hardware needed to obtain the same result.

To reduce the number of boxes to a minimum with all functionality you have plus functionality you don't, plus significantly better performance, I'd suggest the following complete list:
1) 1 Denon AVR-X7200WA (or similar with at least the same features)
2) 1 Oppo UDP-205 (not 203)
3) Current TV
4) Current speakers
5) Cables for the above
6) And absolutely nothing else (after all, the above covers every base anyway).
 

Andiush

Active Member
Thanks @Mark.Yudkin :smashin: I think you're right and your list would satisfy all my needs. At least for a while. However it wouldn't end my adventures in hi-fi and stop me from getting new stuff :facepalm: This journey is more important than the destination :p
 

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