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Totally lost as to go seperates / AV amp with decent budget

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by lorenzo, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. lorenzo

    lorenzo
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    Hello everyone :thumbsup:

    Been a long time user of the DVD Forums but this is my first AV Forum post. Hope that doesn't disuade too much from giving some well needed advice :lease:

    Currently I have a set of B&W speakers (CC6 centre, P5 fronts and dipole rears DS6s) and a Rel Storm driven by an Audiolab 5000A amp and a Yamaha DSPE800 processor. I have a decent pioneer DVD and watch it all on a 7 foot screen supplied by a Sim 2 HT200DM DLP projector. Overall very nice and my lifes savings but I have never been overly convinced by the audio component!

    I know seperates are generally considered to out-perform integrated amps / receivers but I just wonder whether my ear will enjoy a more AV orientated sound stage? In this respect I was thinking of getting a Denon AV1 SR or a Pioneer VSA-AX10i but really don't know what to do.

    Balanced against this I would also like to add a decent 42 or 50' plasma and do not want to spend more than £10K. Equally lost as Plasma's go but like the look and sound of the Panasonic series or maybe the Pioneers.

    I have the opportunity to hide all the cables and get speaker plug points on the wall etc and really want to make the most of it.

    If you can give me any pointers I would truly appreciate it.

    :smashin:
     
  2. lorenzo

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  3. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Couple of things to think about here.
    1) The video component is fantastic. Most forum users would chew their arm off to have a SIM. Is a plasma purchase in addition to the projector? If so, why not choose a smaller unit and maybe even an LCD? as the big screen will cope with movie work.
    2) Look at seperate AV processors as they would allow for the retention of the Audiolab for stereo work. A Rotel RSP 1068 would budget nicely and allow for additional amps to be bought and come in under the price of an AX10. If as you say you might enjoy an "AV soundstage", look toward the Yamaha Z9 as it literally does everything.
     
  4. lorenzo

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    Cheers Tons of fun

    It has only just occured to me that a smaller plasma will suffice considering I have the DLP projector. The main reason to add a plasma is realy to lose the Tele and gain the space as the Plasma will be wall mounted over what was the chimney but will now house the AV kit so getting a larger screen may well be overkill.

    Whislt I like the Audiolab I want, and primarily use, the system for AV only. I have a seperate Naim pre/power unit for Audio elsewhere and will take the Amp and Arcam CD player to another room and play the CDs through the new Amp. This is why I really fancy a single unit. Thye haved always impressed me more and despite people telling me seperates are best and that the Yammy I have is pretty good I am disappointed with the current sound I hear. I really want my socks blown off but also want great ambience with dialog and an atmospheric sound stage.

    Does this change anything?
     
  5. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    It would to me indicate that the Yamaha Z9 would still be a prime candidate. It is no great shakes in stereo but a phenominal movie machine and the sheer amount of video switching options would allow you to easily route every video source you have to both your screen and your projector. The Pioneer is a fine amp but both it and the Denon are reworks of the older versions- although that said there is an enormous new Denon out shortly.

    Of course once you change something you'll be acutely aware that your source/ speakers/ house/ job are inadequate to match it and the whole sorry upgrade cycle will begin again.
     
  6. lorenzo

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    :laugh:

    I have no doubt that will happen

    I'll definitely take a look at the Yamaha

    What is this new monster Denon and when is it due? Any ideas on price?
     
  7. recruit

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    Hi Lorenzo,

    As tons said the Yamaha IMHO is the most intergrated amp for Audio and Video connections, i have all my Sky,DVD players,XBOX, Gamecube connected thru it and running at 1080i apart from DVD which is 480/576p and it is superb.
    As for Home cinema the sound is simply stunning and after listening to both the pioneer and denon i prefered the sound of the Yamaha, like you i have 2 seperate systems 1 for Music and 1 for home cinema but saying that the Yamaha does a good job at 2 channel aswell.
    It is worth considering if looking for a High End Intergrated AV amp.

    John :)
     
  8. lorenzo

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    Thanks recruit

    I have just been speaking about the Z9 and it does fit the bill perfectly. I guess I have narrowed it down to three, in order of preference, now being:

    - Yamaha Z9
    - Denon A1 SRA
    - Pioneer VXA10i

    Any ideas on where to souce a Z9. I have been looking around and Krish AV seem to offer the best balance between price and reliability. They have some very reasonably priced kit and good reviews through pricerunner. Any experience with them?

    AV Sales do not have the Z9 listed as i was keen to try them :(

    I think I may plump for a Panasonic PW6 or 7 as well so wonder whether I can a better deal through one supplier?
     
  9. Thunder

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    Hi Lorenzo. seperate Pre/Pro with power amp will always be better. I know my opinion is totally biassed in this subject but if you like the Audiolab sound then you would love Tag gear. You can pick up their processors and power amps for silly prices ex demo and second hand at the mo since IAG took them over :thumbsup:
     
  10. recruit

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    Lorenzo i actually ended up getting mine from Sevenoaks Sound and Vision who i have found to be very good to me and given an excellent service but asfar as online goes i have not bought that much online so could not really give an opinion.

    John :)
     
  11. lowrider

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    Have you considered that your speakers may be the weak link... :rolleyes:
     
  12. lorenzo

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    Yes but I have been reliably told that B&W P5s as fronts and B&W DS6 dipole rears with a matching B&W CC6 centre are not bad.

    thunder & recruit

    Will look at 7oaks and have also used them before but was less than impressed with their team who came to set up my system.

    TAGs have always appealed but this Z9 is looking spot on especially as it has 2 component outs - 1 for my projector and 1 for my plasma.
     
  13. recruit

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    With regards to your speakers Lorenzo, when i 1st bought my Z9 i only had Monitor Audio Silver speaker package but believe you me the difference in quality from my old amp the Pioneer AX5i was astonishing, so as far as i can see with better quality amplification it will more than likely give your B&W speakers a new lease of life.

    John :)
     
  14. lorenzo

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    Cheers John

    I had a chat with someone yesterday about the Z9 and they were telling me about its power to all 5 (or 7 or 9!) speakers even when driven simultaneously as opposed to lesser models such as the 3803 / 3805 which lose considerable watts when driving all speakers at the same time.

    I think I may go for a PW6 and a Z9 through AV Sales.
     
  15. lorenzo

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    Another quick question ...

    Can you put your centre speaker behind the two main fronts? I want to sit in on top of my AV stand but sit this inside an old converted fireplace so it will be 2-3 foot deeper than the fronts.
     
  16. recruit

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    Lorenzo you will not be dissapointed it is a very potent amp and just seems to never run out of steam, i have run it a quite high levels and it is frightening :devil:

    John :)
     
  17. recruit

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    With reference to you centre speaker i don't see why not you would just need to adjust the levels,and distance on the amp and that will compensate for the differences.

    John :)
     
  18. lowrider

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    I didnt mean your speakers are bad, just maybe you would get better results replacing them instead of the amplifier, or not... ;)

    My center speaker is one foot behind the fronts, no problem, but it sounds better, IMO, with the same distance on the setup, as do the subs that are a little further back, otherwise they dont integrate well... :rolleyes:
     
  19. Grimley

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    Have a look here

    http://www.avland.co.uk/denon/avca1xv/avca1xv.htm
     
  20. Thunder

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    The Z9 is a nice piece of kit, but Pro/power-amp/scaler will always be better :) Also you have the advantage of being able the upgrade the individual pieces in the chain rather than ditching your whole Audio/video processing and power amplification at once :thumbsup: You can get an AV32R BP192 for about a K and maybe a parasound 2205 or big Rotel for under a K. Then get an Iscan HD or Lumagen , again for under a K and you have an awsome setup that would knock the socks off any integrated solution :thumbsup:
     
  21. recruit

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    Hi Thunder,

    Have you heard the Z9 and if so how far ahead would you say that the above combination would be in terms of performance?

    John :)
     
  22. Thunder

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    Yes have heard the Z9 :) The processing in the AV32R is just much more natural and less "artificial" with greater levels of detail, this is mainly due to the no compromise component layout and 6 layer PCB circuit design which is purely optomised for one task and one task only. The HCA2205 which I happen to own is quite frankly one hell of a power amp. It has massive current reserves able to drive almost any speaker with ease, it stomps all over the power amp section in the Z9. I just sounds more effortless with more drive, slam, precision and detail. As for the I Scan HD its far more advanced than the video processing section of the Z9. Im affraid its a case of "jack of all trades, master of none" Each one of the components I have suggested are optomised for a particular task with very few compromises. Dont get me wrong the Z9 is good if you have to have everything in one box, but dosnt touch a component system such as the one I have suggested :D All the above is just my opinion of course :thumbsup:
     
  23. recruit

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    Hi Thunder,

    Thanks for the reply, haveing not heard the Tag and Parasound i cannot comment so i dont have an oppinion on that particular equipment :rolleyes: but i will be haveing a demo at the very kind MarkE19's House tommorow(Forum member) and he has seperate Pro/Power Combination so it will be interesting to see how far ahead these combinations are in regards to an intergrated solution i think he has the Lexicon MC8 which i have read loads about and for which i do have alot of interest in, given it's reputation in the HC front.

    John :)
     
  24. lorenzo

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    Do you realistically think I could source all of that though for the price and ease of the Z9??

    Trust me I would love to go the seperates route (and just played with the idea of getting a Meridian 568.2 :rolleyes: ) but £3K is really pushing it to be honest. I need and want to see a big difference to what I have and the ifno I received re the power output did convince me I needed a big amp and that even £1K spent on a decent Denon (3805 say) would not realy drive the big speakers I have.

    I'm so confused and can see myself spending months deciding when what i really want is someone to say "go for the Z9 (or equivalent) - it's excellent and you wont regret it" :laugh:
     
  25. lorenzo

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    What is an "AV32R" by the way as i can't seem to find it
     
  26. lorenzo

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    Yes that what worries me. I am also concerned that putting the speaker within what will amount to a 100 x 100 x 100cm hole in the wall I will get echo etc. Can't see an alternative unless I wall the whole thing off.


    Well I was always told that the speaker was the least important part and that source and player were better determinants of the eventual sound. I am pretty sure that the B&W I have kit is under-driven at present.

    I do have to be careful though as I do want a plasma and will have to pay a fair bit to get the cinema all set up again and cables hidden. I want the banano plugs on the wall set up etc and am trying to stay under £5K if at all possible.
     
  27. recruit

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    It is made by Tag Mclaren and does have a lot of praise by forum members for it's quality :cool:

    BTW:If you do look hard enough you would probably be able to find it in the 2nd hand market :rolleyes:

    John :)
     
  28. recruit

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    Lorenzo do you live anywhere near Kent as you are more than welcome to dem my Z9 if you want.

    John :)
     
  29. lowrider

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  30. lorenzo

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    Ah ha - it all makes sense now :D

    I am not going to ask you why you advocate the AV32R when you are selling one :p

    I would love to demo your Z9 and my mum lives in Eden Park but I am up in Nottingham and not planning to go down until next year. Appreciate the offer though - very kind of you :smashin:

    I guess I am tempted by a TAG seperates set up. I actually lookede at the Meridian 568.2 yesterday but suddenly sense dawned on me and said 'stick to a single box boy'.
     

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