AV Receivers and Music

lesmallett

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I'm never quite sure what you get for your money with regards to listening to music on an AV receiver. It is said that an £800 stereo amp is better than an £800 av receiver, but is that same av receiver better than an £300 stereo amp.

What I am getting to is would the Onkyo 809 and the Marantz SR7005 improve my enjoyment of music at home?

I currently have a Yamaha 1065 fed by a Squeezebox touch playing through AE Neo 3 speakers. The system is ok but doesn't always excite, especially if there is a lot going on in a song or at low volumes.
 
I was part of the Big Question feature on What Hi-Fi 2 years ago, where we compared the Denon 1911 and 2311 with Rotel RA-04SE, along with Sony 5400ES for music.

We all felt that the Rotel was superior than others, including the Sony, but the Denons performed very very well and the competition was much closer than we expected. The Sony 5400ES was the worst of the lot (easily beaten even by the budget Denon 1911).

A dedicated stereo amplifier will outperform most AV receivers many times the price. But the difference is extremely small, & becomes apparent only on careful listening. Why don't you demo your options & compare? Your Yamaha has pre-outs, so you can connect a stereo amplifier to your existing setup. Much cheaper than going for a new AV receiver.
 

Ben K.

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I second the idea of using your pre outs to connect an integrated amp. I had the same issue as you with my rxv2065 about a year ago. It was great for movies but IMO no good for stereo when listening to cd. I now have my trusty old arcam a75 connected to the pre outs and run it in av bypass for cinema and then use it stand alone with the cd player when listening to music. Considering the av receiver had an rrp of 1200 on release and the arcam was 450, stereo playback via cd is worlds apart using the arcam.

This is just my opinion and experience but I would highly recommend saving money and adding an integrated. IMO you get far superior sound.
 

fr0g

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I used to use my Arcam A80 with the TV system.

I wanted 5.1 so I bought a £300 Yamaha RX V667 with the intention of using the Arcam via preouts.

In practice the difference is minimal if at all. I now use the Arcam in another system and am more than happy to run my Dali Ikon 6 speakers from the speaker terminals of my Yamaha. It sounds great in 5.1 and great for music in Stereo.
 

Paul.

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If you had an excelent stereo amp lying around with pre sockets on it, then by all means give it a go. But going up to a level of the 809 and 7005, you would need to spend a lot of money to significantly beat them, a £300 quid amp might match them but won't be worth having around. I would guess you would need to spend at least £600 to soundly beat the AV amp enough to be worth doing.

I have an Onkyo 805 and tried integrating my Marantz pm7200 in to the system. Decided it wasn't worth the faff, it sounded a touch better but I decided I would rather have £300 in my pocket selling the 7200.
 

lesmallett

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Thanks for your input. It would seem my last post got lost in a tunnel after pressing send on a train.
I have thought about going down the preouts route and even got as far as bidding on eBay for Arcams. Fortunately I was unsuccessful as I don't have the space on my rack or the spare sockets.
The other thing putting me off going down that route is the lack of choice of amps with AV outs.

The 809 and 7005 appeal at their current prices and have an extra HDMi out if I go down the projector route. Obviously if they still weren't very good with music I'd be disappointed.

Then again I might just buy a new rack, extension socket and get bidding on eBay again.
 

wilsmusic

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Hi there

I've got the rxv 1065 and I've got the Neo 3's.

I definitely would use the pre-outs on the yamaha to drive a separate amplifier - I bought an arcam alpha 8 on the bay for £150 or so, but even an old nad 3020 was an improvement of the 1065 for music. Connect and then use pure direct mode on the yamaha and it is a distinct improvement.

Ultimately though think, about taking it a step further. I've now got a usb cable running from the laptop into a dac and then into the same alpha 8. This is a huge further step up in SQ which cost only another £120 for a v-dac on the bay and some cables. Can still use the Yamaha for movies but arcam only for music bypassing the receiver entirely - the extra clarity and punch you get from those Neo's makes it well worth the £300 or so this cost.

Will
 

lesmallett

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Interesting you have the same setup as me and feel you have benefited from the sort of Arcam I looked at buying on the bay. Interestingly I have just bought a new rack with a spare shelf. This also frees up a spare socket so could go down this route. I have got myself excited now about the 809 and 7005 and the improvement they will bring to movies and picture upscaling. I need to find out how much I'd need to spend on a stereo amp with an AV out to beat those with music.
 

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