Which One - Denon PMA-600NE orRotel A11 Tribute ?

FootHealer

Active Member
Then again synergy is important.

You said it.

I am not really sure a £500 pair of, frankly budget speakers was designed in such a way that they only sound good on amps retailed at 3 times the price. Seems odd.

I am considering getting a Rotel power amp in the near future and using the Tribute as a pre-amp, as I like its sound. The power amp can deliver 120w per channel into 8Ohm. Reckon that may be enough ;)
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
You have to ask Andrew Jones. It could be this speakers are designed for desktop/near field listing.

Speaking of more watts. Rotel “120” watts is truly spectacular.

I did try the song by Tracy Chapman today. Very nice recording. Lots of air.

The bass, her voice is singing for you. Now perhaps I am Rotel biased at the moment, but the way it controls the speakers is great.

Marantz does it well also, but it sounds too smooth. And in my opinion MA midrange is smooth also, so the combination doesn’t sing well in my ears.

Anyway I say go for it. 120 watts well wake up the speakers!
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
I had a pretty good idea you wouldn't like the Elac's with the Rotel Foothealer, The NAD should have fared better though so am a little surprised. The thing with the DBR 62 ref's is they scale really well with a better front end and more powerful amplification. They also need a few weeks break in period.
As I pointed out in an earlier comment If I had just tried the Elac's on a less capable amp like the Rotel I would have sent them back as well, because there was no way I could live with the sound from them and the Rotel A11 together.
This was even more apparent when re-connecting my 1600ne earlier this evening, all the low end grunt that was missing with the A11 was back as it should be on the Elac's, such a relief, even though it's only been a few days with the Rotel. Also as I mentioned before the Rotel isn't actually a bad amp, it does have a nice airy sound and good soundstaging which I really enjoyed to begin with. But but as soon as you demand more from it (especially with the Elac's) the sound is lifeless with no drive or deep bass which is a real shame.
I guess this reiterates the importance of careful system matching, how many amps and speakers do we try that we assume are poor because the matching just doesn't work. Obviously for me the Elac's work brilliantly with the 1600ne and the Node N130 in my environment.
Like yourself and many others we're always on the lookout for that special little gem whether it be an inexpensive amp or a cracking pair of speakers that can really embarrass much more expensive equipment.
I have not heard the 3030's only the 3020's and whilst I thought they were OK (better than most at the price) they seemed a little shut in and constipated sound wise but the overall balance was just fine and I could easily have lived with them If budget was an issue.
I'm surprised that you and others here like the Rotel a11 tribute so much. I had it briefly and didn't like it at all. Not enough punch, rather flat sounding and the volume control is just weird. To hifinut above, if he likes the pma 600ne, he should try the pma 800ne, which I think has higher quality parts, a little more power, no bluetooth connection, but is just a little more money.
 
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robdmarsh

Active Member
The synergy of the Denon pma 800ne with Triangle Titus EZ is simply awesome and has to be heard to be believed. I still feel that "new system" excitement and have had them for four months. The Elac DBR62 is unfortunately a demanding speaker. I had them temporarily but I think they need A LOT of power to sound at their best.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Apparently Rotel can’t drive the speakers :D. Very odd indeed. Volume control weird also.

If @Kapkirk is talking about not enough gain, I can understand this. No oomph if you need to turn up the volume control.

Still this greatly depends on the speaker sensitivity. However if you need to adjust the volume to 70 on 90 dB speakers, I would pass..
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
@Kapkirk @FootHealer - So what’s happening lads, are we not feeling the love for the A11 Tribute ?
I seriously urge you to try a Denon pma 800ne, as I think I remember suggesting to you before. I first tried the Marantz 6006uk, then the Audiolab 6000A, then the Rotel Tribute. Before that I remember I'd even tried the Marantz HD Amp1 cos I found a cheap one (rrp was about £800). None of them did it for me and I was thinking ok, you've got to spend north of £1k to get good sound when I thought I'd try the Denon 800ne, not expecting much.
Haven't looked back since.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Having said that, you've got a Rega Brio so maybe you would have to spend above that 1k to get a real step up. I never considered Rega cos I can't stand the look of them but I think that's just me.

Also, don't listen to people saying that the Denon doesn't give you enough detail. Not true imo. If you have good, resolving speakers, you'll hear plenty of detail.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
It’s nice amplifier for sure, but I believe it delivers current at max 1khz in 4 ohm.

So if gives 70 in 8 ohm, then probably around 40 watts is more correct.

Also distortion is not impressive. But all that matters if you are happy.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
Cheers Guys, - I’m giving some serious consideration to the Denon.

@robdmarsh : I get what you’re saying about the Rega Amps they can be a bit Marmite. My set up is resembling the physics apparatus trolley at school so Im reorganising to a “stack” type lay out which lends itself for the Denon, I also have a “matching” Denon CD.

Struggling to get decent wood for shelving at the moment 750 x 350mm
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Specs wise the Rega Brio superior vs the Denon. Sometimes it’s best to stick with you got.

If you like the Rega sound, then maybe Rega Elict R is better.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
@Helix Hifi - Will likely have two set ups as I’m getting new speakers and TT later in the year.

Rega Elicit and amps at £1k and above are wasted in me as I’m more than happy with the sound from a lower cost amp
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Then the Rotel is better, if they still can be bought cheap. Or Denon. An amplifier with 1 kHz specs is not necessarily bad, but you might lose some headroom on low volume.

Denon, Yamaha high amplifiers also says 1 kHz in the manual, if am not mistaken.

Since sound is subjective, it’s all fine. As long as your favorite albums sounds amazing, it’s alright.

Foot tapping. Dancing with music. Singing to your self;)
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I see you like Bowie. Amazing artist.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
Having already bought most of the albums on CD David has cost me a fair few ££ since I rediscovered vinyl. Low and Changesone are copies I bought as a kid in the mid/late ‘80’s
 

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robdmarsh

Active Member
The Denon 800ne sounds good at low volumes, high volumes and everything in between. According to the manual it's 50 watts into 8 ohms, 80 into 4. The other specs I don't care about, I don't listen to specs after all. I heard it against the amps I mentioned and to my ears, with my speakers, in my room it beat them.
And.... bear in my mind, I heard those other amps in my room with my other equipment too!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
This is true. Specs doesn’t mean everything. As long as you find hifi setup which puts smile on your face. Then job done.

If the music you like sounds dull, move on. Sharp minds, treble, is no fun.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
@Kapkirk @FootHealer - So what’s happening lads, are we not feeling the love for the A11 Tribute ?
No, I am still feeling the love for my Rotel A11 Tribute. After some experimenting, I realise that the reason the ELAC DBR62 sounds rubbish on the Tribute is that the ELACs did not sound good at all volumes and had a sweet spot. The ELACs sounded flat and lifeless below a certain volume and by the time I get them up to a good volume, the amp is struggling to drive them and sounds harsh and poorly controlled. This was true with the Rotel and the NAD D3045. I found a work-a-round by using the ELACs in a nearfield setup in a small room. I didn't have to turn the volume up as high as in my larger room downstairs to get to the sweet zone. Suddenly the ELACs sounded very very good indeed, far better than the Concepts in terms of detail, imaging and naturalness. Took it all back downstairs, speakers 2m apart, 2m from the speakers, in a room 3 times the size, and the volume was now too low to enjoy at the level it was upstairs. In order to get back to good listening volume, I had to crank the volume again, and it's gone. Just harshness left. Turn it back down, and its flat, boring. Take it back upstairs, great again....but only as long as I keep the volume within a certain "window", not too low, not too loud. I guess that if you have a much nicer and more expensive amp, like Kapkirks £1500 Denon PMA1600ne, then it can probably deliver current sufficiently to make the ELAC sound good at any volume.

As good as they are, within the narrow window available using my two amps, I am not the kind of person who likes to be so restricted in terms of volume and location of my setup. The Rotel works wonderfully with all the other speakers I have tried, including Q Acoustics 3030i, Concept 20s and 40s, Monitor Audio Bronze 2, 5, 100, and 500s, and Silver 100s and 200s, Wharfedale 12.2 and 12.3, and the Dali Oberon 5. So, since I am totally happy with my Concept 40s, I decided to part with the ELACs and stick with the Q Acoustics.

The A11 Tribute is not the amp for everybody. I find it to be gentle, refined and polite, unlike the Denon PMA600ne I owned before which had grunt and muscle enough despite its low power rating, but was less refined. I like the delicate nature of the Rotel. I listen mostly to acoustic, choral and singer-songwriter type of music, mostly gentle, heartfelt, soft pieces. I'm not into rocking out or techno or anything like that, nor do I listen at loud volumes. The Rotels play the kind of music I like through the Concept 40s in a way that makes me happy enough that I hope they last forever and I never need to replace them. I have not had this with the other amps I have tried at a similar price point (Denon, Cambridge Audio, Marantz, Onkyo, NAD).
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
No, I am still feeling the love for my Rotel A11 Tribute. After some experimenting, I realise that the reason the ELAC DBR62 sounds rubbish on the Tribute is that the ELACs did not sound good at all volumes and had a sweet spot. The ELACs sounded flat and lifeless below a certain volume and by the time I get them up to a good volume, the amp is struggling to drive them and sounds harsh and poorly controlled. This was true with the Rotel and the NAD D3045. I found a work-a-round by using the ELACs in a nearfield setup in a small room. I didn't have to turn the volume up as high as in my larger room downstairs to get to the sweet zone. Suddenly the ELACs sounded very very good indeed, far better than the Concepts in terms of detail, imaging and naturalness. Took it all back downstairs, speakers 2m apart, 2m from the speakers, in a room 3 times the size, and the volume was now too low to enjoy at the level it was upstairs. In order to get back to good listening volume, I had to crank the volume again, and it's gone. Just harshness left. Turn it back down, and its flat, boring. Take it back upstairs, great again....but only as long as I keep the volume within a certain "window", not too low, not too loud. I guess that if you have a much nicer and more expensive amp, like Kapkirks £1500 Denon PMA1600ne, then it can probably deliver current sufficiently to make the ELAC sound good at any volume.

As good as they are, within the narrow window available using my two amps, I am not the kind of person who likes to be so restricted in terms of volume and location of my setup. The Rotel works wonderfully with all the other speakers I have tried, including Q Acoustics 3030i, Concept 20s and 40s, Monitor Audio Bronze 2, 5, 100, and 500s, and Silver 100s and 200s, Wharfedale 12.2 and 12.3, and the Dali Oberon 5. So, since I am totally happy with my Concept 40s, I decided to part with the ELACs and stick with the Q Acoustics.

The A11 Tribute is not the amp for everybody. I find it to be gentle, refined and polite, unlike the Denon PMA600ne I owned before which had grunt and muscle enough despite its low power rating, but was less refined. I like the delicate nature of the Rotel. I listen mostly to acoustic, choral and singer-songwriter type of music, mostly gentle, heartfelt, soft pieces. I'm not into rocking out or techno or anything like that, nor do I listen at loud volumes. The Rotels play the kind of music I like through the Concept 40s in a way that makes me happy enough that I hope they last forever and I never need to replace them. I have not had this with the other amps I have tried at a similar price point (Denon, Cambridge Audio, Marantz, Onkyo, NAD).
Just a thought, did you ever try a Rega Brio in your set up? I would have kept the Elacs and invested in a better amp. I doubt you will ever find a smoother nicer sounding speaker for the same money.
I think the Rega would have worked very well with the Elacs and with your other speakers as it has a fuller warmer sound.
I believe a lot of your problems with the thin bright sound that seems to have plagued you over the last year or so stem from the Rotel A11 (other Rotel Models may be different)
I was in a similar situation to you and failed to believe the problems I was having (with all manner of different speakers) was due to my past Cambridge CX60 amp.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Just a thought, did you ever try a Rega Brio in your set up? I would have kept the Elacs and invested in a better amp. I doubt you will ever find a smoother nicer sounding speaker for the same money.
I think the Rega would have worked very well with the Elacs and with your other speakers as it has a fuller warmer sound.
I believe a lot of your problems with the thin bright sound that seems to have plagued you over the last year or so stem from the Rotel A11 (other Rotel Models may be different)
I was in a similar situation to you and failed to believe the problems I was having (with all manner of different speakers) was due to my past Cambridge CX60 amp.
I did consider the Brio, but frankly, I don't like how it looks. Strongly. Plus they are now £700 new and if I were to spend that much I would probably spend a little more and get something else.

I don't think my issues with the ELAC DBR62s are just due to the Rotel. Other reviewers and owners have had similar issues with different equipment. Reviewers almost unanimously say it needs careful partnering and prefers higher end equipment. Plus, it did the same thing on NAD. To me, it's just a demanding speaker. I am happy with my Rotel and Q Acoustics combination. The sound is detailed enough, the soundstage wide, imaging good enough for me, instrument seperation nice, bass is tight, full and well controlled. Sure, other speakers I have had (MA Silvers) technically sounded better, but I found then tiring for other reasons. They certainly didn't sound thin.

All in all, the danger of reading HiFi forums and reviews is that you start to doubt your own investments and feel discontent, imagining better can be had. And I am sure it can... I could spend more, and can afford more, but sound quality isn't what is most important to me. I want the music to inspire and touch my heart. What I have does that better than anything I've ever owned. I am sure there is "better", but I have been reflecting on this for the last two days and have decided to learn to be content with what I have instead of trying to make it better. Plus, I would prefer to use the money for other things that are important to me: health, home, holidays, savings.

Will be taking a break from these and other forums for a while, plus reading reviews and trying new items so I can just relax and enjoy and be grateful for what I have.

Good luck everyone. Take care.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
You've owned or tested all of these speakers?!
Yes, and others (MA Bronze 1, Dali Spektor 2, Dali Oberon 1, Rogers LS4a, Polk S15e, Cambridge Minx XL). Curiosity got the best of me ;) Also seem easily fatigued by how many speakers are voiced, regardless of the amp I use (Denon, Marantz, Cambridge, Rotel). It took me a while to find what works for me personally. They are all good speakers and amps. It was simply an idiosyncratic issue.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
And you stuck with the Concept 20s or 40s, not sure which one you've mentioned both? I'd like to hear these one day, I like the small form factor.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Cheers Guys, - I’m giving some serious consideration to the Denon.

@robdmarsh : I get what you’re saying about the Rega Amps they can be a bit Marmite. My set up is resembling the physics apparatus trolley at school so Im reorganising to a “stack” type lay out which lends itself for the Denon, I also have a “matching” Denon CD.

Struggling to get decent wood for shelving at the moment 750 x 350mm
As a Bowie fan, you really should hear, if you haven't already, the cover of Ashes to Ashes by the all female American band Warpaint. I think it's a great cover.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
An interesting thread guys - thanks.

Aside from the many variables of personal taste in how a system should sound, getting the most appropriate match of partnering equipment, and the effect of room environment have a big impact on what you hear, or don’t.

IMHO ‘demanding’ speakers can be a real PITA to get right in a system. I couldn’t get on with my last speakers, acknowledged for needing plenty of oomph behind them. My amp was 100watts but bench tested came in at circa 140 watts in a well known magazine review. Many on forums raved about the speaker, others said the active versions were better by far. Well actives still had the same highish bottom end for floorstanders.

My passives hardened up at higher volumes and bass reproduction was poor at low volumes. I started to give up the love for them as they became fatiguing to my ears on longer listening sessions, and disappointment (buyers remorse) set in.

Leads me to think home demos with extended listening are possibly the safest way to decide what combinations work. Unfortunately this is not always possible as some brands are spread more thinly across U.K. dealers.
 

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