What would you upgrade next?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by bobert, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi All,

    So I just decided to put my marriage on the line and purchased a pair of R-900's and an R-600c from the Kef sale at P-Tyson.
    The only trouble is, the rest of my system is now looking pretty woeful in comparison.

    I previously had a klipsch atmos set up

    KLIPSCH R-12SW Subwoofer
    KLIPSCH R-14S Rear Speakers
    KLIPSCH RP-140SA DOLBY ATMOS
    KLIPSCH RB-51 2 Bookshelf Fronts
    KLIPSCH RC-52 2 Centre

    along with a Rel T-5 on high pass filter to fill out stereo music.
    I have kept everything except the front and centre speakers

    I would say my listening is 70% Tv&Movies, 30% Music.
    I use an Oppo 203 as a source for blueray and cd/dvd audio as well as a small collection of SACD
    I also have a Systemdek IIX TT.

    This is currently all running through a DENNON X2300W Reciever, Which I suspect is the weak link in the system.

    So I would really appreciate some advice on what to upgrade, and suggestions would be welcome!
     
  2. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,588
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +719
    Hi

    I would look to upgrade the AVR to something more formidable for the Kefs. Something like the higher end Marantz or Anthem avrs. Would also consider Yamaha.

    The question is why do you want to upgrade and how much are you prepared to spend?
     
  3. Rambles

    Rambles
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    9,166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +1,656
    I agree that the Denon is quite possibly the weak link, especially for music. As the 2300 has no pre-outs, you cannot add an integrated amp to it unless you use a speaker switch. But then you will only be improving music performance, and movies will stay the same.

    If funds allow, have a look at the Arcam 390 / 550. Excellent for both movies and music, and you get Dirac. Or, there is the Nad T758v3 which is a cheaper alternative to the Arcam.
     
  4. MIKEVO

    MIKEVO
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,757
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Ratings:
    +582
    I would suggest the Anthem (ARC) or Arcam (Dirac) have far better room EQ than the Denon and more real world power.
    I would expect you will find you have a more balanced sound overall if you were to upgrade your receiver.
     
  5. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Excellent, I had the Arcam 550 or 850 in mind, just taking comfort from hearing it from others I guess. My concern is that both of those amps have been out a while, not sure to buy now or wait it out 6 months or so. I did have a more off the wall idea of getting a stereo amp and seeing if there is some way of sharing the 900's between that and the AV amp, is this even possible?

    I am happy with the movie sound performance, even the pre-kef system was more than adequate in my fairly modern lounge with paper thin walls and an angry wife!

    Music always felt a bit lacking and the cheap amp combined with the harsh edged klipsch speakers wasnt really doing it for me,

    As for budget, its not a huge concern but the Arcam 850 is certainly at the ceiling of what I could get away with spending.
     
  6. Rambles

    Rambles
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    9,166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +1,656
    It is with a speaker switch:

    http://www.homehifi.co.uk/S/tc-7220.htm
     
  7. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hmm, thats pretty interesting, I wouldnt have an issue with using that as I mostly listen to vinyl, so still a very manual process, I assume a stereo amp comparative to the Arcam Av would be considerably cheaper
     
  8. Rambles

    Rambles
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    9,166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +1,656
    A month ago I swapped my Denon AVR + Musical Fidelity stereo amp in for an Arcam 550 :laugh:

    There are advantages and disadvantages with both solutions.

    If you go for separates, then you have to think about the extra bosses, cabling and faff. As well as bass management if you want to use subs for both movies and music. But it is generally cheaper, and you probably would get slightly better audio for music (arguably) but slightly worse audio for movies.

    With a very capable all in one, such as the Arcam's, it is a lot easier and family friendly, less boxes, and cabling, and easier sub integration. And, crucially, if your room and system benefits from Dirac, then you get the benefits of that for both movies and music. Probably will be more expensive though.

    Lots of users on here are reporting that the Nad T758v3 is as good as the Arcam 390/550, for a lot less money.

    SSAV have a clearance section where they sell off open box AVR's at quite a big discount, with full warranty. They only have one Arcam at the moment, but worth checking it from time to time as some good deals do come up:

    Arcam FMJ AVR550 (Black) AV Receiver
     
  9. gibbsy

    gibbsy
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Messages:
    11,177
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Cwm Cynon, De Cymru
    Ratings:
    +5,915
    Your new speakers are fairly hungry beasts that will thrive on power. Unfortunately the 2300 simply cannot deliver the power or audio quality that they will require. They would need the capabilities of a receiver in the ball park of the Arcam 550 or a Denon X6400 or Marantz 7012. With either the Denon or Marantz I would still aim to get a good stereo amp to drive the front left and right for the quality music presentation that the 900s can deliver.

    I adore the way my Rega Elicit R drives my R300s and could never see myself going back to a one box solution. Even if I went for an Arcam 550 I would still employ the Rega to drive the stereo fronts.

    If you don't have budgetary constraints then seriously consider the Arcam 550 as this would give a very good one box solution. If wanting to spread the cost then the Denon or Marantz I've mentioned should be the first upgrade. Peter Tyson have both and I'm sure a phone call would get you some consideration or at least a trade in of the old 2300.

    I would almost certainly want to get a very good stereo amp to run alongside either of the D&M models.

    Denon AVR-X6400H
     
  10. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    All great info, thank you.
    So no one is talking about the Arcam 850, the hike in Cost seemed like a lot for the switch to a different ‘class’ of amplifier (which I don’t completely understand)

    The 550 is certainly within budget, the 850 would have been pushing my luck
     
  11. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Also, I would probably be happy to pay a little extra to my local av store, as they have been very helpful in the past, they will also install the Arcam and set it all up for me, I’m guessing this is worth a few quid?
     
  12. gibbsy

    gibbsy
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Messages:
    11,177
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Cwm Cynon, De Cymru
    Ratings:
    +5,915
    Without a doubt getting someone who knows what they are doing is a god send with Dirac. If you can afford the 850 that would be brilliant. The 550 would be my choice based on my room and the number of speakers it would be driving but I would certainly buy one on the condition that the dealer helped calibrate it. I would still incorporate my Rega into the system.

    Can't see me getting rid of my Denon anytime soon, not unless I wanted to wear it around my head. I still haven't told my missus how much my recently acquired headphone amp has cost.
     
  13. Rambles

    Rambles
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    9,166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +1,656
    The Arcam 850 was never on my radar, because my A/V budget is not that big, regretfully. But if it's in your reach, then why not.

    There is a very long owners thread on the AVR forums. There are lots of disgruntled owners, as apparently there have been firmware issues, but it seems that they are mostly sorted now. As a relatively new owner, I have found the 550 to be very stable and reliable apart from firmware updates via USB (grr) and Dirac. However, both of those things would be set and forget, and if you get the dealer to do it for you, then it is a non issue.

    However, if you like to tinker, there are hours of 'fun' to be had with Dirac, including beta testing the newer version ;)
     
  14. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Thanks mate, I think the 550 would do me fine, I may see if I can get a home demo on both just to confirm. I need to let the dust settle over the purchase of the speakers first!
     
  15. Ste7en

    Ste7en
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,423
    Products Owned:
    9
    Products Wanted:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Durham
    Ratings:
    +3,247
    Yikes! Money should be spent (from highest to lowest, in theory): Source, amplification, speakers.

    You have completely managed to flip this :)

    Good advice above. The Arcam will be a good choice.
     
  16. AV Fanboy

    AV Fanboy
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Middlesex
    Ratings:
    +62
    I'd say if you can push the boat out go for the Arcam AVR 850. Its truly amazing and will drive power hungry speakers with ease. In fact Arcam used to demo that unit with Kef speakers. I've got my 850 connected to PMC twenty5.24's (with matching centre) and the Arcam is more than up to the task of driving the PMC's to room shaking levels.
    If the budget does not allow this and you are not too adverse to more boxes consider the Arcam AVR 390 and pick up a separate 7 channel power amp.

    Just my 2 penny's worth. Hope it helps.
     
  17. AV Fanboy

    AV Fanboy
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Middlesex
    Ratings:
    +62
    Also don't believe all you read on the owners thread. The latest firmware for the Arcam AVR's has resolved the niggles in these units. There are many of our Arcam AVR owners who are very happy with our purchase. Always trust your ears.
     
  18. McVicar

    McVicar
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    4,896
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    163
    Location:
    It's funny you should ask that...
    Ratings:
    +6,943
    The Mrs.
     
  19. dollag

    dollag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,488
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +638

    I have never agreed with that analogy. Way too many variables. Just my opinion from my experiences of course.
     
  20. bobert

    bobert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +10
    Well the speakers arrived yesterday, and after some rearranging of the furniture (they are big eh!) it’s all up and running and I have to say, it sounds fantastic, even with a cheap amp and no running in. I think the Arcam 550 will be the next upgrade, I looked at the nad alternative but the lack of hdmi inputs really rules it out. I’m still messing around with the sound, need to sort the crossovers out etc but really happy with the purchase, 40% off and 12 months interest free finance was too good an offer to miss, and it sets me up nicely for some future upgrades.
     
  21. Ste7en

    Ste7en
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,423
    Products Owned:
    9
    Products Wanted:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Durham
    Ratings:
    +3,247
    Well, having an Oppo will do that :)
     
  22. dollag

    dollag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,488
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Location:
    Kent
    Ratings:
    +638
    I do not get what you mean?

    As I said, from my experience of expirmenting with numerous sources and pre’s, I just don’t agree with that anology.
     
  23. Ste7en

    Ste7en
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,423
    Products Owned:
    9
    Products Wanted:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Durham
    Ratings:
    +3,247
    Because they're good, especially at the price.
     
  24. mikeysthoughts

    mikeysthoughts
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    146
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Baldock
    Ratings:
    +63
    We look forward to welcoming you to the Arcam club! I did a hell of a lot of online research before going for the 850, and the majority of the negativity you see is legacy frustrations with old firmware issues. A couple of forum members have sworn to never buy Arcam because of things they experienced many years ago... fair enough, but from what I can tell, Arcam have sorted the issues (notwithstanding the mic issue below!). I'm a very, very happy Arcam owner, and I'd struggle to find a better AVR (that I could afford) for both film and music.

    My only advice would be to source a good microphone for the Dirac Setup. The included mics (v1 and v2) are not up to the task, and (IMHO) likely cause the majority of the user issues you'll see posted. This is my only criticism of Arcam. I really should be on the payroll.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  25. CarMad

    CarMad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Ratings:
    +67
    I'd say enjoy the speakers and the combo you have for now. I'm not in a dissimilar position migrating from KEF (very old speakers) to Arendal 1723 S towers.

    I'm sure more amplification would help, but even without it they sound amazing, way way better with the same source and amp than before, many many leagues better. Enjoy what you have for now and the next move to change the amp will be all the more sweet when you make the jump. :lesson:
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice