New system for 2 channel music or upgrade home cinema?

Kingston12

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Sep 26, 2011
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I am currently using a Denon AVR-1912 paired with B&W M1 speakers/sub and the sound for movies is great. For two channel, I have only been using it for background music (via my Sonos ZP90) and it is ok, but I'd like something for proper music listening sessions.

My immediate thought was to buy a separate two channel amp and share speakers between the two, but I am now thinking about upgrading the AV Receiver so it is good enough for music as well.

I recently heard the B&W CM8 speakers and was really impressed by them, so will probably get these to replace the front M1s. Would something like a Pioneer LX55 receiver do justice to speakers like this, or would I be better off with a separate two channel amp and sticking with my Denon for surround duties?

Movies will still be the primary use of the system, but I am interested in music quality as well.

The CM8s/LX55 would cost around £2k, and I'd get a bit back on selling the Denon, so I'd like to keep the budget at no more than that.

Any thoughts?
 

Roby

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Jan 17, 2012
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The 1912 is a bit light for the cm8's. So I would go for a good 2 channel (this was not possible with the 1911 because it hase no pré out).

When I had the problem sugestion was to separate my Hi-FI from HT (witch i did because I had no pré out) or at least go for the 30 or 40 series if I wanted to stay with Denon.

Good luck.
 

Kingston12

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Sep 26, 2011
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Thanks for the reply. I have also got a Denon 3310 which I am in the process of selling as it did not give me enough HDMI inputs, 3D or ARC. I guess this would have been a much better amp in stereo.:wall:
 

bluedroog

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Mar 4, 2010
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You could upgrade the speakers as you suggested then use the pre-outs of your AVR to a two channel power-amp. This is the configuration I use, for music I use the AVR as a pre-amp in 'pure direct' mode with a Quad 909 and it's sounds great. At some point I'd would like to try a pre-amp in between the AVR and power-amp to see if this improves performance further, that way I can connect my DAC direct to the dedicated pre-amp and leave the AVR out all together for music but integrate the two for AV duties, the best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned. I picked up an end of line 909 for £600 which retailed at £1,000 normally, if you can still find one at that price then I'd snap it up.

Some may suggest a better AVR that lends it's self to music too but since you're happy with film performance I feel a power amp and better main speakers will give you what you're looking for. As I mentioned further down the line you could experiment with a pre-amp (ideally one with HT by-pass) and upgrade your centre to match your mains.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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bluedroog said:
You could upgrade the speakers as you suggested then use the pre-outs of your AVR to a two channel power-amp.
No he couldn't, the 1912 doesn't have any preouts.
 

bluedroog

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Mar 4, 2010
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Ahh fair enough, well in that case an alternative could be to get an integrated amp and speaker switch.
 

Kingston12

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Sep 26, 2011
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The_Lhc said:
bluedroog said:
You could upgrade the speakers as you suggested then use the pre-outs of your AVR to a two channel power-amp.
No he couldn't, the 1912 doesn't have any preouts.
I am not committed to keeping the 1912. I bought it as a stop-gap when I got a new 3DTV. I knew the sound would be a downgrade on my 3310, but I needed the connectivity of the newer amp.

In the event, the 1912 sounds almost as good as my 3310 (at the lower volumes that I usually listen at), but I realise that this is probably due to the size of the M1 speakers. If I upgrade my speakers, I am guessing the difference between the two receivers would become apparent.

I picked the 1912 up for a really good price, so I don't think I'd lose too much selling it on.

The lack of pre-outs on the 1912 is ones of the factors that is drawing me to a one box solution for music and movies in the form of a better AV receiver. If I am buying a new receiver anyway, I figure that I may as well get a decent one.

If I do go for a separate stereo amp, will this mess up the front soundtage of my 5.1 system? I know that matching the front three speakers is important, so would it not matter if they are driven by different amps?

Thanks for all of the advice so far.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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Kingston12 said:
If I do go for a separate stereo amp, will this mess up the front soundtage of my 5.1 system? I know that matching the front three speakers is important, so would it not matter if they are driven by different amps?
Not so you'd notice if the experience of the number of people on here is anything to go by. It's quite a common setup in these parts. I'd imagine you'd be more compromised by using the M1s for music, do you usually have the sub running when listening to music?
 

Kingston12

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Sep 26, 2011
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The_Lhc said:
Kingston12 said:
If I do go for a separate stereo amp, will this mess up the front soundtage of my 5.1 system? I know that matching the front three speakers is important, so would it not matter if they are driven by different amps?
Not so you'd notice if the experience of the number of people on here is anything to go by. It's quite a common setup in these parts. I'd imagine you'd be more compromised by using the M1s for music, do you usually have the sub running when listening to music?
Yes, I think the M1s a great for their size, but I couldn't use them without a sub. In truth, I don't really listen to much music on the system at the moment, but I see that changing and that is why I'd like to improve it.
 

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