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Upgrade time... Is it REALLY worth it?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by gusf1, May 19, 2005.

  1. gusf1

    gusf1
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    Hey y'all

    I've just been doing the usual chasing my tail/upgrading/blowing money on toys... and am now the proud owner of Canton CD2.22 (amazing! thanks Jake!), a 2 year old Marantz SR4300 amp, and Pioneer 575 :smashin:

    I was thinking about upgrading my receiver to a Yamaha DSPAX750SE amp, but am wondering, will I REALLY notice the difference?

    I am thinking extra features on the Yamaha 750 (auto setup & eq features) would be useful, also component switching, BUT, would like to hear an increase in the sound quality and don't think it's worth spending the money just for the features

    Would I have to spend more than £350 to hear a difference between the 2 amps? :confused:

    Thanks for any advice - as always venturing into unchartered territory and relying on your collective expert knowledge!! :thumbsup:

    cheers!
    gus
     
  2. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Upgrading is very personal thing. Someone might see little or no improvement in your planned upgrade, yet someone else might experience a “night and day” difference.
    Only a demo yourself will determine which “camp” you fall in.

    Technically, the Yamaha will improve the sound, but you are also introducing other items into the equation like the “sonic signature” between the Marantz and Yamaha brands.

    IMHO, before I upgrade my system, I need to analyse what is “lacking” in my system that needs improvement or changing. I am not trying to cause any waves, but having a general goal of improving the sound may not give you the best bang for buck solution.
     
  3. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    You would be moving up from an older 'low end' product to a modern 'mid range' poduct, which brings with it most the features you'd expect including all the latest codecs (excluding thx) and also a step up in amplification. Also auto setup, up conversion and video switching are useful features.

    Demo is the only way you could tell if there is a sonic difference but people have said that the 4x00 series of the marantz brand is there weakest (as there cheapest it is to be expected though).

    What are you looking to improve, without knowing this you'll probably only vaigly hear a difference.
     
  4. gusf1

    gusf1
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    Thanks for the comments guys - will see if I can find a Yamaha 750 to demo. I'm also going to run the Canton speakers in some more, currently only about 50-60 hours. I think the low mid-range frequencies are a little quiet, and believe this is also to do with the amp - for starters the Marantz sub frequency for playing 2.1 stereo music is stuck at 100Hz, I'd like to experiment with that, as the CD100 floorstanders can't cope with the full range themselves so sub is always needed. There is also no eq on the Marantz at all (apart from bass/treble) which I believe the Yamaha has.
     
  5. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    What exactly are you looking for in an upgrade? If it's extra features that you definitely need like component switching then go for it. If it's a change in sound, then you need to re-evaluate what exactly you're looking for: "larger" sound, more bass, better stereo performance, better imaging, the list goes on. The amps in question will definitely sound different, but whether one will sound better or not is hard to tell without you actually listening to them.
     
  6. gusf1

    gusf1
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    I'm really looking for better stereo performance, but will wait until my speakers have run in properly. I never had amazing stereo performance before with the same amp & some old Celestion Ditton floorstanders but the bassier frequencies did sound more complete; didn't have a sub then so stereo went straight to the speakers.

    I think the Marantz cut-off for the sub leaves something to be desired - 100Hz may be a little low (and not variable), extra processing involved not being able to send signal direct to the the speakers as I need a sub with CD100s, means (even if it's just in my imagination!) there is something missing from the sound. Although overall it's far superior to what I had before and I'm really happy with it, I guess I the speaker/sub combination shows up the Marantz's weaknesses more than having all frontL+R/stereo piped directly to floorstanders. Could this be true? I guess that's the conclusion I've come to and hence the reason I'm thinking "what next"... :)
     
  7. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    Have you thought about adding a stereo power amp or integrated amp to your setup to improve things? A lot of people have done this, including me, and I can safely say that it has been my best upgrade to date. Much cheaper and more effective that buying a whole new receiver. You can connect it to the pre-out terminals (I assume the Marantz has these).
     
  8. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Hi Tom,

    I don't think this is an option in this case as the Marantz doesnt have the required outputs. The Yamaha (or the comparable Marantz from the ?500 series) are probably the most cost effective optiona to improve stereo performnce.
     
  9. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    Ah, I wasn't sure if his amp had pre outs. Well, a new receiver is probably the only option now.
     
  10. Roam

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    The 4300 does have pre-outs :)
     
  11. tom_nieto

    tom_nieto
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    Well, I think we have the answer. Add a stereo integrated or power amp to your setup, and listen to your stereo material come to life!
     
  12. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Oh well, you learn something everyday.

    I would prefer the stereo amp rather than the power amp, due the inherent weaknesses in the pre-amp section of an entry level AV amp.
     

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