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Upgrading Amp for 5.1 system - £300 ish budget

chrisworton

Standard Member
Hi. I'm looking at upgrading my old 5.1 Pioneer slimline amp to a new HD capable one. I've been looking around on here for the last few days initially thinking about going for the Onkyo 507 or the Sony DH800. However finding out that they don't upconvert to HDMI i was thinking of spending a bit extra and going for the Denon 1610.

I've had a search and this sounds like a really decent amp. Are there any more around the £300-£350 mark that hold up to the Denon?

Also, I have some Wharfdale Pi-20's (old floorstanding) and pioneer surrounds and centre. Dont suppose anyone knows anything about the pi-20's and if they go well with the Denon? If not, what do people recommend? I'm thinking of spending about £200 on front floorstanding ones and maybe an extra £200 on a center and surrounds at a later date?

Edit: I've also seen the Yamaha v565 for £320 if thats any good?


Thanks
 
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Passingbat

Distinguished Member
The Yamaha 565 has more on offer thatn the Denon 1610, in so far as it is a 7.1 amp and besides upconversion, it also does upscaling of analogue inputs to 1080p. However the upscaling, in practice will probably be of little use as your TV will do as good a job.

Yamaha Audio

There is also the £400 Sony 2400 that does upconversion and upscaling and is 7.1

I wonder if posting on the speaker forums will be beneficial re the Wharefdale speakers. I have some Diamond 9.0 speakers and find them on the warm side and possibly not the best pairing for Yamaha or Denon and maybe the brighter Sony amps may be a better pairing? The Wharefdales that you have, may be different in tone.
 

chrisworton

Standard Member
Thanks for the advice.. I think the sony will be out of my price range for now. I'll have a look into the Yamaha, the only thing that seems to be a bit of an issue with it is that you can't pair any of the optical ports with any of the older video inputs, which would be a bit of a pain as all of my non-hd inputs rely on optical for audio!

Oh, just for more info on my setup i would be using:
TV - Panasonic TH42PZ80 1080p Plasma
PC - DVI-HDMI using adapter/optical for sound
Sky+ - s-video/optical for sound (might be moving to Sky+ HD soon)
Xbox 360 - component/Optical for sound
 

chrisworton

Standard Member
Right, I've bit the bullet and decided to go for the Yamaha, as the last Denon was just sold where I was going to buy it. That and the fact that I can bi-amp my front floorstandings.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the advice.. I think the sony will be out of my price range for now. I'll have a look into the Yamaha, the only thing that seems to be a bit of an issue with it is that you can't pair any of the optical ports with any of the older video inputs, which would be a bit of a pain as all of my non-hd inputs rely on optical for audio!

Oh, just for more info on my setup i would be using:
TV - Panasonic TH42PZ80 1080p Plasma
PC - DVI-HDMI using adapter/optical for sound
Sky+ - s-video/optical for sound (might be moving to Sky+ HD soon)
Xbox 360 - component/Optical for sound

The Yamaha has 2 optical and 2 coaxial. Your X Box is sorted because one of the opticals is already assigned (and fixed) to a component.

If you go to Sky HD that would use the other optical. Alternatively, you could get the Sky HD box that has both optical and coaxial and connect the HDMI from the Skyhd box directly to the TV and the audio via coaxial to the amp. Similarly, you could do that with the PC --- HDMI to the TV and optical to the amp.

The (slight) dissadvantage with that is you have to separately swich video inputs on the TV and audio inputs to match on the amp. This could be automated with a Harmony remote which would do all the switching required with one button press.

With your current sky+ there is an S-Video assigned to a RCA-phono input, and I suspect that from Sky+ you would here little difference between the opical and analogue RCA-Phono out

I realise that the Sony 2400 is £55 more than the Denon 1610 and £80 more than the Yamaha, but it has 3 optical inputs which are input assignable. This would lead to neater and more flexible input/output connectivity. But it does look to be achievable with the Yamaha 565.

http://www.yamaha-uk.com/pdf/product_bulletins/RX-V565.pdf

STR-DA2400ES (STRDA2400ES) : Home Cinema and Hifi : Sony

Edit: I believe the film channels have dolby digital on Sky+, so if you subscribe to those, you would loose out connecting via analogue audio, rather than optical. I believe that you can buy otical to coaxial converters, so that would be an option and feed the Sky+ audio via coaxial to the amp.

BTW, you would get better picture quality connecting the Sky+ directly to the TV via Scart and setting the Sky Box to RGB. This will give a better picture than S-Video.
 
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chrisworton

Standard Member
Thanks for the reply, thats helped a lot. I was stretching to budget for the Yamaha so the sony is a bit far over the budget im afraid.

Yeah I was aware i'd only have 2 Optical ports so something would have to give. I'd probably go with the setup you suggested above, with the sky box through RGB to the TV and the sound through RCA. When i do finally go with sky HD i think i'll move my pc to another room and get a ps3 slim or something that lets me have sound through HDMI so i can free an optical cable up for the sky box.

Again, cheers for the help.
 

chrisworton

Standard Member
Just an update for anyone searching. I've just found a firmware update that looks like it lets you assign video inputs to your sound inputs on the RX-V565. this was only sorted a few weeks ago by the look of it:

Yamaha Music UK Ltd

Thats a major flaw in this amp sorted. However it looks like all units after august 2009 are already sorted
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Just an update for anyone searching. I've just found a firmware update that looks like it lets you assign video inputs to your sound inputs on the RX-V565. this was only sorted a few weeks ago by the look of it:

Yamaha Music UK Ltd

Thats a major flaw in this amp sorted. However it looks like all units after august 2009 are already sorted
As far as I know, it doesn't fix all the assignment problems. It allows you to assign a video HDMI to an optical audio input (designed to fix the Sky problem but it won't allow you to assign a coaxial to an HDMI) It also allows a component video to be assigned to an analogue audio input.

Also you can't assign the component video input that is associated with the coaxial to be instead, assigned to an optical.

Previous years' Yamahas had full asignability --- they screwed up this year and then only did a partial fix --- some of which may be usefull to your situation.
 

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