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Question Adding a Stereo amplifier to my setup (SR5012 + Q Acoustics Concept 40)

kitus

Member
Aug 10, 2020
7
0
20
Hello everyone,

A few years back I had a pair of B&W CM-1, a Marantz NA7004 and Vincent SV-121 but I decided to get rid of these two devices because I grew tired of fumbling with two different remotes and because the two devices lagged behind in terms of mobile app support and in terms of integration with my home automation system of choice. For God sake, the Vincent did not even have a power on/off button on the remote!!!

I sold my flat and ended up selling the two devices and started anew with a AVR this time. I found a decent offer and decided to purchase a Marantz SR5012 and I added a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40. I'm loving the HEOS app (I use Tidal and Spotify Connect a lot) and the Marantz is friends with my home automation platform. Lovely.

The audio quality that it produces however is poor and not to my liking. Either that or my hearing has degraded in recent years or my calibration is the worst ever. I so much miss now my Vincent... :(

At some point I started considering growing my setup so that I could use my floorstanding speakers for both video and music. For doing so I initially considered adding the PM8006 because of the Power Amp Direct feature: http://manuals.marantz.com/PM8006/NA/EN/OBAOSYibqgprfa.php . Pursuing this route further however implies I stick with an AVR preamp for music, which feels I will be in a similar situation once the novelty wears off.

I don't really watch movies these days (I have 3 kids - if you are a father or mother you know what I mean) so I'm open to ditching my AVR and focus solely on music again. I've been reading (too many) reviews lately and my short list of intgrated amps currently contains:
  1. Peachtree Nova150 (I'm a bit concerned
  2. Cambridge Audio CXA61, CX80 or CXA81. If I need more power, I would love to give the XTZ edge A2-300 a shot.
  3. But when considering investing > 1k€ in an integrated amplifier, I wonder if I should rather go with a pre-amp along (Rotel 1572 maybe?) with a XTZ edge A2-300 directly.
The Peachtree has caught my eye and it seems to have everything I want or may want at some point. My only concern is that I don't know this brand and I'm concerned with its post-sales support in Europe.

I've also seen good reviews of the Onkyo 9110 too in here. I've too found a used 9150 for a bit over 200€ as there are way too many combinations and I feel a bit overwhelmed from reading so many reviews...

I would add a Node 2i streamer to my setup, although I've seen that not everybody seems to adore these devices.

thanks
 
Last edited:

Al ears

Moderator
Some suggested above may be way over your budget.
Have not heard the XTZ but it may be worth considering if you actually have a dealer that you can audition at or if they have a decent returns policy if ordering directly.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
124
19,070
Some suggested above may be way over your budget.
Have not heard the XTZ but it may be worth considering if you actually have a dealer that you can audition at or if they have a decent returns policy if ordering directly.
I thought that if the CXA81 was on the table, these might be within reach. The XTZ might be a good fit, but from experience the preamp matters a lot, probably more that the power amp (when it comes to the sound signature, not control over the speakers) and I doubt the pre in an AV reciever is up to the task. Of course, only an audition can be the decider.
 

kitus

Member
Aug 10, 2020
7
0
20
I'd pair the Concepts with a Naim Nait 5si or a Cyrus One HD (or the One Cast if your WiFi network is good and stable, or a used NaimUnitiqute 2).
Why do you suggest these two options? do they compensate some deficiencies of the Concept?
 

kitus

Member
Aug 10, 2020
7
0
20
I thought that if the CXA81 was on the table, these might be within reach. The XTZ might be a good fit, but from experience the preamp matters a lot, probably more that the power amp (when it comes to the sound signature, not control over the speakers) and I doubt the pre in an AV reciever is up to the task. Of course, only an audition can be the decider.
What preamp with DAC and switchbox (integrated) would you suggest?
 

kitus

Member
Aug 10, 2020
7
0
20
Some suggested above may be way over your budget.
Have not heard the XTZ but it may be worth considering if you actually have a dealer that you can audition at or if they have a decent returns policy if ordering directly.
I’ve seen very good reviews of this model. They offer a direct sales goto market model. No dealer involved. 30 days hassle free testing at home. If you pay with PayPal, return shipment is for free too.
 

kitus

Member
Aug 10, 2020
7
0
20
Hello everyone,

A few years back I had a pair of B&W CM-1, a Marantz NA7004 and Vincent SV-121 but I decided to get rid of these two devices because I grew tired of fumbling with two different remotes and because the two devices lagged behind in terms of mobile app support and in terms of integration with my home automation system of choice. For God sake, the Vincent did not even have a power on/off button on the remote!!!

I sold my flat and ended up selling the two devices and started anew with a AVR this time. I found a decent offer and decided to purchase a Marantz SR5012 and I added a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40. I'm loving the HEOS app (I use Tidal and Spotify Connect a lot) and the Marantz is friends with my home automation platform. Lovely.

The audio quality that it produces however is poor and not to my liking. Either that or my hearing has degraded in recent years or my calibration is the worst ever. I so much miss now my Vincent... :(

At some point I started considering growing my setup so that I could use my floorstanding speakers for both video and music. For doing so I initially considered adding the PM8006 because of the Power Amp Direct feature: http://manuals.marantz.com/PM8006/NA/EN/OBAOSYibqgprfa.php . Pursuing this route further however implies I stick with an AVR preamp for music, which feels I will be in a similar situation once the novelty wears off.

I don't really watch movies these days (I have 3 kids - if you are a father or mother you know what I mean) so I'm open to ditching my AVR and focus solely on music again. I've been reading (too many) reviews lately and my short list of intgrated amps currently contains:
  1. Peachtree Nova150 (I'm a bit concerned
  2. Cambridge Audio CXA61, CX80 or CXA81. If I need more power, I would love to give the XTZ edge A2-300 a shot.
  3. But when considering investing > 1k€ in an integrated amplifier, I wonder if I should rather go with a pre-amp along (Rotel 1572 maybe?) with a XTZ edge A2-300 directly.
The Peachtree has caught my eye and it seems to have everything I want or may want at some point. My only concern is that I don't know this brand and I'm concerned with its post-sales support in Europe.

I've also seen good reviews of the Onkyo 9110 too in here. I've too found a used 9150 for a bit over 200€ as there are way too many combinations and I feel a bit overwhelmed from reading so many reviews...

I would add a Node 2i streamer to my setup, although I've seen that not everybody seems to adore these devices.

thanks
I really don’t know what my next move should be. And I can tell that I’m picturing three very different scenarios:
1. Integrated amp
3. Pre-amp + dedicated power amp
4. Budget integrated amp
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
124
19,070
Why do you suggest these two options? do they compensate some deficiencies of the Concept?
They do tight bass and are not as lit in the treble as the CA (and you said you liked Vincent amplification, and CA might be a bit too much in the other extreme), but the CA might be a great fit as well, only you can tell.
 
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