upgrading from pio lx71 to seperates


Active Member
I want to do a hifi upgrade of my systems:

My speakers are: 2x b&w XT4, 1x B&W XTC, 2x B&W XT2 and 1xb&w pv1-sub, a pioneer lx91 bd-player and pioneer krp600m plasma

I know there are better speakers out there for the money, but got this for a very good price and i have to keep my wive happy, she likes the looks of this set, she loves the design. So please, i do'n' t need advice to get other speakers. Perhaps i' ll replace the b&w xt2 with xt8' s, so i can use the xt4' s as surrounds and the xt8' s as front speakers.

But i want to do an upgrade in my hifi equipment, but i don' t have unlimited funds.

I have a few set-ups on my mind:

for processors:

-audiolab 8000 ap(benefits: lcpm through hdmi, low points: no room calibr, no bitstreaming for hd-formats). Can get one for about 650 euro.used
-arcam av9 (neutral sound, but no sound through hdmi and no room calibration). around 800 euro used

for amps:

-rotel 1575 (no xlr, but 250wpc!), 1300 euro used)
-marantz mm8003 (xlr' s, but a bit underpowered,140 wpc, but this is theoratical) , 1000 euro used
-audiolab 8000 x7(2x150w and 3x100w) or 3x8000m(3x145wpc) and 1x 8000p(2x 120wpc). 750 euro for a used 8000x7, 1200 euro' s for the 4 seperate amps.
-arcam p7(around 1300 euro' s used), no xlr' s, but 7x150 wpc.

Cheapest option

Would an audiolab 8000ap with a 8000x7 amp be a significant improvement over the pio lx71 receiver(pure SQ, for movies and music), or an audiolab with another of these listed amps)

or which other combination would beat a pioneer lx71? the arcam set-up?
Last edited:


Well-known Member
Audiolab 8000AP and a used Cinepro 3K6 is a very good combo :D


Active Member
How about brand new Onkyo 5007 (all bells and whistles) 9 channels, bi-ampable fronts, for a start. Together, or at a later stage Onkyo 5500 another 9 channels if you feel like bi-amping all surround channels. Got my combo from tsnversand.de for EUR 3,250 including carriage half across the continent, and pretty happy with tri-amped fronts and centre and plenty of spare for that much money.


Active Member
The onkyo is too high for me. The price and the unit itself is too tall, bought a new cabinet, only have room for a proc and amp which are about 18cm high(each).


Well-known Member
I think it would be fair to say that the 8000AP would represent an improvement in all areas of SQ.

The X7 is a very good amp and very versatile and, I think, very under-rated. Remember it is the TAG 700:7R in an Audiolab case. The only reason I've moving mine on (check the classifieds) is that I moved up to its big brother, the TAG 100x5R:7.


Distinguished Member
Why don't you just try external power amps and a bigger sub first? In terms of movies I had a huge increase in sound quality and enjoyment from adding external amplification to my Onkyo 875.

So much so that the 'lowly' 875 sits in an otherwise highish end set up and does a great job. The biggest improvement was seen when I upgraded the speakers (especially the centre) but I note you won't consider that.

This is all in terms of movies though, for music you could add a seperate stereo pre with cinema/ht bypass when funds allow.

I'm sure your pioneer is at least as good as my Onkyo, and with the right amplifiers, sub and speakers it really is amazing for films, quite breathtaking at times. So I'm sure your pioneer could be as well.


Distinguished Member
I forgot to say that though I have spent quite a lot of money on my stereo pre(with ht bypass) even a modest one will probably be miles better for music than any processor that isn't silly money (ie less than £5k)


Well-known Member
Is your upgrade for music primarily ?

Your budget ? Only see 650 euros plus some of the power amps you mention £900 approx . So am guessing at about £1500 - 2000

As mentioned if you go for a reputable seperate pre/pro and power amp it will be miles better than an all in one.

Dont get hung up on power ratings just make sure you get quality and always try before u buy.

What do you want from your pre/pro, upscaling, room correction ? or just good quality hi fi sound and 5.1 cinema with all the latest decoding.

I think a must these days is bypass facility to allow either the source to decode or the processor. Plus hdmi 4 for 3D will fit in here . Allows for future upgrades . I made this mistake with my previous Tag processor , but in 2002 I thought bypass was a unnecesary luxury :facepalm:

power amps - not a fan of the basic Tag 700 or IAG version X7 in fact also the 100x5R sounds dry to my ears. Marantz mm8003 was top of amps auditioned by Nick. Cinepro is rated v.highly on here . Quad 909 is very capable and musical . Bryston might be moving out of your price range.

processors - Audiolab 8000ap , but is lacking in inputs .
I can recommend the Rotel 1570 which I picked up for just over 1K. Still settling in with it , but has great clarity , handles all cinema surround decoding well, upscales, plenty of inputs and is very musical. I will give a more detailed review sometime.

My view is try to stick to 1K a piece for power and pre/pro.


Active Member
I would blow the whole budget on power amps myself.
go used- if you dont like it, you can sell on and get your money back.
look for lots of current delivery or a very high peak power. stable to 2 ohms would be nice.

The parasound units are good value and the cinepro amps have a bit of a serious rep these days too.

Personally my priorities are vastly towards sufficiant power and low distortion room interactions/ good speakers before the whole processor route- but thats just me.

not that a good pro isnt the icing on the cake mind!

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom