Upgrade needed following transfer to Blu Ray


Standard Member

Current system

Denon AVR2803 receiver
Panasonic BDT110 -bluray
M&K K7 & K4 surround speakers
Rel Strata Sub

I've recently moved to Blu-Ray and I am told I need to upgrade my receiver to get the full benefits of "True HD"

I have a budget of up to £700 - £1000, but if I can get away with spending less, so much the better!

So far I have looked at the Onkyo 609 and a Yamaha RX-A1010.

What else should I be auditioning?
Will I notice a spectacular difference with this upgrade?
Is my current speaker system up to it?

I haven't auditioned anything yet - I prefer to have a shortlist first. (I should add that I will only use the system for movies.)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated


PS - sorry - forgot to mention - room is 16ft by 14 ft
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Distinguished Member
It's a shame the 110 doesn't have multi channel outputs, as you could have used those for HD sound through your existing amp.
Maybe a cheaper option?

Your budget puts you well above 609 territory and imo, if you're happy with the Denon sound, it would make sense to stick with it.

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Hi Tricky

Hope this doesn't make things worse, but Creative Audio are currently doing fantastic deals on amps in your price range:

Home Cinema Amps from Creative Audio

M&K speakers are generally very highly rated by most on here for movie playback and the Onks seem to be described as muscular and dynamic, maybe that will suit your tastes?

I suppose that just leaves the usual suspects from Denon, Pioneer, Sony and Marantz to consider. I am biased as I will be getting a new Yamaha RX-A2010 very soon and, like you, it's not just the picture I am interested in but the sound improvements too.

I think the amp should go well with my PMC speakers, I don't know if it will blow my old Denon 3805 out of the water, but I certainly expect it to sound different with an enhanced sound field, improved dynamic range and more power in reserve.

Good luck
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Standard Member
Thanks for the interesting comments so far.

So are you saying that basically electronics have not moved forward in the 8 years since I bought the amp and that Blu Ray has not improved the sound quality of movies over that of DVDs?


Well-known Member
Thanks for the interesting comments so far.

So are you saying that basically electronics have not moved forward in the 8 years since I bought the amp and that Blu Ray has not improved the sound quality of movies over that of DVDs?
In my opinion, I don't think audi replay has improved at all in the last 15 years - it's just that the price of a good system is so much more affordable (thank you, China!)

The link takes you to an article where the reviewer listens to extremely high quality systems at the DTS and Dolby labs - and although he says there is a difference, it is only marginal.

Claims of leaps forward in sound quality are greatly exaggerated. I had a Stax headphone system, cost as much as a small car. I couldn't tell the difference between modest bit rate AAC files and SACD. Maybe I have cloth ears. :D

That said....at the moment I don't have any means of replaying HD audio :D I am in the market for a new receiver but mainly as a convenience thing (my old Cambridge Audio receiver doesn't have enough inputs for example).

All I'm saying is don't expect too much.


Distinguished Member
I'd say "don't expect too much" is about right.

But there is a noticeable difference.
About on a par with BD over good quality DVD, imo.

Not massive, but a definite difference.


Novice Member
Are you really convinced that True HD will give you the leap in sound quality you anticipate?

This is an intresting read:
Signal to Noise - Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA vs. Uncompressed PCM | Home Entertainment
I rather thought the point made though was that uncompressed PCM was indistinguishable from HD codecs which is as exactly as it should be. The further point being that well mastered older compressed codecs at their highest bandwidth were damn good and not far away from a HD soundtrack.

That however demands a well mastered film soundtrack in the first place and a good sound engineer when producing the home DVD version.

With a HD audio soundtrack correct me if I'm wrong but that process is much simplified as there are less steps and loss of data in between the film soundtrack and the home version.

As I recall the compressed mch formats limit the frequency range used for the different channels to fit into the total amount of bandwidth available. So a clever engineer could take the meat of a soundtrack for a particular channel and with some care fashion something very good. But are all soundtracks and engineers the same? I would expect making the process easier and increasing the data rate and total data avaliable per channel brings the base quality level up, which is really what we want.

A good level of quality all round, not just on Jimmy Cameron's latest release.
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Standard Member
Thank you for all your helpful advice. I am determined to change my receiver!

I am about to start demos and my shortlist of amps is

Pioneer VSX-LX55
Pioneer 2021
Denon 3312

I was thinking about the Onkyo 809, but was warned that because the M&K speakers are 4 ohm, the Onkyo would probably fry! For the same reason I have dismissed amps with a lower power output.

Other than the wireless capabilities there doesnt seem to be much difference spec-wise in the two Pioneer amps. Does anyone have any experience of these?

Any comments gratefully received - thank you!
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