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amp+dac upgrade

perishedinflames

New member
Dec 5, 2013
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Hello all,

I just got a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5's driven by a Denon PMA-720AE amp.

My audio sources are an ODAC (first implementation not rev.b) and a Dual 505 turntable.

Do you reckon that getting a new amp+dac (built-in or dedicated) would be a sane move or not?

If so what would you recommend for a budget of around £1000 (more or less)?

Thank you in advance.
 

Al ears

Moderator
perishedinflames said:
Hello all,

I just got a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5's driven by a Denon PMA-720AE amp.

My audio sources are an ODAC (first implementation not rev.b) and a Dual 505 turntable.

Do you reckon that getting a new amp+dac (built-in or dedicated) would be a sane move or not?

If so what would you recommend for a budget of around £1000 (more or less)?

Thank you in advance.
My guess is most people are going to ask what you find lacking in your current set-up, so I will ask first.... :)

The ODAC is not a source, what do you connect to it? Laptop?

Your amp is reasonably good so you could just concentate on the DAC.
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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There's someone on the forum here who is on their third (I think) demon 720 because everyone they upgraded, they realised it was a downgrade
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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I think Alears is on the right track ... what is it you want?

Jumping ahead a little, I had two Denon amplifiers, a 355UK (of which yours is a direct descendant) and a PMA 1510ae. I enjoyed both of them, the smaller one a little more.

They hold their own but against the best a tier or two higher you will almost certainly get better sound from which your bronzes or any future speaker upgrades will benefit.

I am a Cyrus user so naturally would suggest perhaps that direction but there are many others, depending on what you seek (and going back to AE's question earlier in the thread). We are lucky to have so much choice these days.

As to built-in DAC'S, why not. - Just keep in mind things have a habit of evolving and you can now buy cheap seperate DAC'S which use chips which are used in flagship products.

My guess is that listening to some better amplifiers will be an eye opener, not wanting to take anything away from your very good little Denon.
 

perishedinflames

New member
Dec 5, 2013
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Al ears said:
My guess is most people are going to ask what you find lacking in your current set-up, so I will ask first.... :) The ODAC is not a source, what do you connect to it? Laptop? Your amp is reasonably good so you could just concentate on the DAC.
Well that's a tough question :) I find the sound to be somewhat flat (if that makes any sense) and slightly less clear compared to my previous setup (was using the Presonus Eris 4.5 on the same dac). The ODAC is connected on a p.c. (would be the same on a laptop tbh) and most my music files are flac.
 

perishedinflames

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Dec 5, 2013
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@drummerman: Some support that built-in dac's introduce noise if the implementation of the whole integrated amp is not really good and that is why I am asking. I don't really have many choices in auditioning a big number of amplifiers and that is - mainly - the reason I asked for a couple recommendations :)
 

perishedinflames

New member
Dec 5, 2013
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muljao said:
There's someone on the forum here who is on their third (I think) demon 720 because everyone they upgraded, they realised it was a downgrade
Excuse me but I'm not sure what you mean. Did they regret changing the 720 and ended up buying it again?
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
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19,070
I have owned a Denon DRA-1000 stereo receiver for quite a few years until it developed a fault. We really liked the sound of it. As a replacement we bought a Yamaha R-S500 stereo receiver which we still like and was in the rack until last week, together with a Cambridge Audio DACMagic and streaming through an Airport Express.

However, we really liked the idea of getting rid of a few boxes so last week we bought the Yamaha R-N602 which is incredibly convenient. It's got a good DAC with 2 optical and 2 coax digital inputs, built in AirPlay, FM/MW tuner, a phono stage, 2 tape loops, Spotify Connect, internet radio etc. It's incredibly convenient to have all this in one box and have it as a centre of our system. And it wasn't incredibly expensive either (in the UK). Today I tried out the MusicCast app and that's very convenient too.

Our ears aren't getting any younger so we have decided that convenience is just about as important as sound quality.
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
187
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4,595
perishedinflames said:
muljao said:
There's someone on the forum here who is on their third (I think) demon 720 because everyone they upgraded, they realised it was a downgrade
Excuse me but I'm not sure what you mean. Did they regret changing the 720 and ended up buying it again?
Yes. I am not sure which member, maybe they will chime in. But IIRC a member here sold the Denon, bought a more expensive amp, twice and ended up selling and re-buying the Denon. I think also they said they won't be selling it again. A friend of mine has one, I actiually got it on a great deal for them (100 euro or about 90 pounds). He (and I) really like it, but if you are not happy, you are the one listening
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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perishedinflames said:
@drummerman:
 
Some support that built-in dac's introduce noise if the implementation of the whole integrated amp is not really good and that is why I am asking.
 
I don't really have many choices in auditioning a big number of amplifiers and that is - mainly - the reason I asked for a couple recommendations :)
I wouldn't worry about that. They are pretty good and problem free these days.

A better amp will likely get you a more meaty, dynamic and sophisticated sound.

A newer DAC is less clear cut but the latest chip sets are pretty amazing technically and far exceed anything that amplifiers or speakers are theoratically capable of.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
550
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19,270
muljao said:
perishedinflames said:
muljao said:
There's someone on the forum here who is on their third (I think) demon 720 because everyone they upgraded, they realised it was a downgrade
Excuse me but I'm not sure what you mean. Did they regret changing the 720 and ended up buying it again?
Yes. I am not sure which member, maybe they will chime in. But IIRC a member here sold the Denon, bought a more expensive amp, twice and ended up selling and re-buying the Denon. I think also they said they won't be selling it again. A friend of mine has one, I actiually got it on a great deal for them (100 euro or about 90 pounds). He (and I) really like it, but if you are not happy, you are the one listening
Was it Matthewpiano? I think so.
 

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