Upgrading Home Theater Receiver

gibbsy

Moderator
Do you think my speakers are too old and maybe i should upgrade the speakers instead of the receiver?
I think your speakers are 90dB sensitivity so not that hard for any amp to drive. Obviously more headroom is always going to be welcome but it's the processing power of the AV amp that is just, or perhaps more, important that outright power. That can always be augmented at a later date if you feel the need to do so.

The more speakers you add to any AV amp then that power has to be taken from a single PSU and it's likely that with a full speaker load in very active scenes the amp may run out of puff, even the most powerful ones like the Denon X8500, if you continually run at high volume. That's why with a full speaker load you will find people adding power amps.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There's no imperative reason to look at newer speakers, but you could start replacing them in stages with higher tier options. This would be the way to go if opting for a more accomplished AV receiver, but the B&W speakers are very good and you'd want to seriously consider what you replace then with? Do you actually like their signature sound or are you looking to veer away from the warmer sound of B&W?
 

Aziz Ismail

Novice Member
There's no imperative reason to look at newer speakers, but you could start replacing them in stages with higher tier options. This would be particularly be the way to go if opting for a more accomplished AV receiver, but the B&W speakers are very good and you'd want to seriously consider what you replace then with? Do you actually like their signature sound or are you looking to veer away from the warmer sound of B&W?
I like the warm sound of Bowers and Wilkins. I have read a few posts on this forum where people have said the speakers seem to lack bass but in all honesty after i bi-amped my floor standing speakers and added a sub i was very happy with the sound. I then added the book shelf speakers as my rears and was happy with the 5.1 experience.

However, a family member showed me some Q Acoustic 3050's running in stereo mode without a sub and they sounded great. Read that people prefer just the floorstanders rather than 5.1.

I have looked at the KEF Q550 5.1 package but i have never heard them and only watched reviews on YouTube and such as to how good they are. Alot of home theatre's also use Klipsch 7.1 etc.
With the UK in a lockdown, it's pretty hard to sample speakers.

If i don't have to upgrade my speakers and just upgrade the receiver, what AVR would you recommend that i could upgrade to please? I can then eliminate a lot of the others off the list and do research on one's that will benefit my setup and that i can invest in. Thanks
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
What is your max budget for a new receiver? In the £1 - 2K bracket then I'd suggest the Marantz SR7015, but if you can stretch to it, I'd go with the £2.5K NAD T778. The NAD is the only model that really excites me right now, but it isn't cheap. I think the new HDMI version 2.1 receivers are problematic and unreliable in terms of their software. I'd not invest into HDMI version 2.1 just yet.
 

Jester1066

Active Member
If i don't have to upgrade my speakers and just upgrade the receiver, what AVR would you recommend that i could upgrade to please? I can then eliminate a lot of the others off the list and do research on one's that will benefit my setup and that i can invest in. Thanks
What are your listening habits?

Mines 50/50 split between music & movies. This is why I went for the combo of a Denon AVR X4500H with Audiolab 6000A which has HT bypass. I find this combination gives me what I want. Great 2 channel stereo for music and a fully immersive 5.2.4 Atmos Home Theatre.

As @dante01 has said it all depends on your budget for the receiver and if you want a 1 box solution rather than the HT bypass option. I agree with his suggestion of the Marantz model (especially if it's a one box solution you want). The equivalent Denon models are cheaper than their Marantz stable mates, but are poor for music. So if you go Denon, I'd definitely go the HT bypass route if music is important to you.

I know nothing of Nad, having never owned anything from the brand.

As is usually the case - it's normally how deep are your pockets etc
 

Aziz Ismail

Novice Member
What is your max budget for a new receiver? In the £1 - 2K bracket then I'd suggest the Marantz SR7015, but if you can stretch to it, I'd go with the £2.5K NAD T778. The NAD is the only model that really excites me right now, but it isn't cheap. I think the new HDMI version 2.1 receivers are problematic and unreliable in terms of their software. I'd not invest into HDMI version 2.1 just yet.
Yes, i have all my hdmi 2.1 cables running from the Sky Q, PS5 & XSX direct into the LG CX and the a hdmi to the arc of my receiver. I really like the NAD T778 but looking at the specs that receiver is only showing that it does 6Ohms? My speakers are all rated at 8ohms. Is this receiver overkill?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It would have no issues powering 8ohm speakers.

Even if you ignore the touchscreen, the T 778 has other upsides hiding in the shadows, some of which are potentially even more exciting (although not quite as flashy). Under the hood, the receiver (uh, AV surround amplifier) boasts nine channels of Hybrid Digital amplification, with full disclosure power rated at 85 watts per channel (all channels driven simultaneously at full bandwidth, <0.08% THD).

That, in itself, is pretty impressive. Consider, though, that NAD is known for offering very conservative power ratings. By FTC standards, the T 778 is rated to deliver 140 watts per channel into 8-ohm loads and 170 watts per channel into 4 ohms. Dynamic power, meanwhile – which is representative of what many AVR manufacturers simply list as their power spec without much explanation – is rated at 165 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 280 watts per channel into 4 ohms. For a deeper dive into what all of this means, I'll refer to you my (aging) article How to Pick the Right Amp for Your Speakers (or Vice Versa).

 

Aziz Ismail

Novice Member
What are your listening habits?

Mines 50/50 split between music & movies. This is why I went for the combo of a Denon AVR X4500H with Audiolab 6000A which has HT bypass. I find this combination gives me what I want. Great 2 channel stereo for music and a fully immersive 5.2.4 Atmos Home Theatre.

As @dante01 has said it all depends on your budget for the receiver and if you want a 1 box solution rather than the HT bypass option. I agree with his suggestion of the Marantz model (especially if it's a one box solution you want). The equivalent Denon models are cheaper than their Marantz stable mates, but are poor for music. So if you go Denon, I'd definitely go the HT bypass route if music is important to you.

I know nothing of Nad, having never owned anything from the brand.

As is usually the case - it's normally how deep are your pockets etc
Mines 70/30. I mainly watch Movies/TV Shows & gaming. Music is usually played at low levels and not over the top as i live in an apartment. I have Planar Headphones with Schiit Modi & Magni for my headphone setup so the AVR is mainly used for movies.

I am leaning towards the Marantz SR7015 as i have just watched a few reviews online & the reviews are really good. I'm just a bit skeptical upgrading to a new Marantz like the SR7015 and not finding it making a huge drastic change. This is my only concern that i'm going to spend money on a new receiver but the sound aspect of watching movies isn't going to improve that much if that makes sense. So it's like i'm only upgrading due to the new receiver having the ability to passthrough 4k 120hz.

Reading that the Anthem & Arcam sound much better than the likes of Denon & Marantz and NAD is supposedly far superior sound wise. I honestly don't know what to believe lol
 

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