Best setup for music and movies - Denon AVR-3803, MA500U, Audiolab, Mission


New member
Aug 10, 2019
I have the below AV equipment accumulated over the years which I would like to set-up in order to maximise audio quality for both music and also movies;

2x Marantz MA500U monoblocks
Philips BDP-9600
Mission 751 Front Speakers
Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 Centre and surrounds
Velodyne Impact 12"
Audiolab 8000P / 8000C

I thought about doing the following;

1) Connect the BDP9600 via analogue L&R to the CD line input on the Audiolab 8000C

2) Connect the BDP9600 via 7.1 analog out to my Denon AVR-3803 receiver

3) Connect the Front pre-outs from the receiver to a Video line input on the 8000C (I will set the volume on the 8000C to 12 o'clock and recalibrate speakers for the surround sound

4) Connect the left and right pre-outs from the 8000C to the Marantz MA500U's which in turn are then connected to the front speakers

5) Connect the Centre pre-out from the receiver to my Audiolab 8000P (left channel only) and in turn to the centre speaker

6) Connect rear speakers and Sub directly to the receiver

Alternatively, how about swapping the power amps around and using the MA500U's in bridged configuration for the centre speaker and using the 8000P for the front speakers? Or should I buy another MA500U and use all 3 for the fronts and centre and use the 8000P for the rear surrounds?

All comments / suggestions much appreciated

Thanks Simon


What you plan all sounds very reasonable. Used to run a similar setup, where I used an Exposure stereo integrated amp as as stereo amp and front L+R power amp for my surround setup. The 12 O'Clock volume strategy works, but is a pain, especially if other half needs to use it. You find yourself watching TV wondering what's wrong, then twigging the front L+R is too quiet. Or worse, after watching a film, you pop a CD on, and blow you ears off as its still on 12 O'Clock!

Don't know how the Marantz monoblocks compare to the Audiolab power amp. All I can suggest is try, and see which you prefer.

You could look out for an old Audiolab 8000AP processor, or grab the new Audiolab 8200AP processor to replace you 8000C pre and Denon AVR. Simplifies you're setup, set still maintain decent quality. The 8000AP only has full analogue bypass on the 7.1 analogue in mind, stereo inputs will digitize the signal. The 8200AP will address this, with bypass available on all stereo inputs too. This route will also let you grab the hi-res sound off bluray over HDMI and decode it with the decent DAC's in these Audiolabs, rather than what's in the Philips. Similarly bass management will likely be better on a dedicated processor than the Philips BD player.

You would however be short of power amps, another MA500U would be ideal.


Thanks a lot for your suggestions, I like the sound of the Audiolab 8000AP and will look into this route. Just for your reference having now listened to the MA500's the sound is a lot fuller with loads more bass than the Audiolab and I think they may be a better match with the 751's since in my room these speakers can sound a bit clinical and lacking in bass. Need to do a bit more homework on ebay now for another MA500 and the 8000AP, cheers