Stereo Add on or AV Upgrade


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I posted the other day regarding adding a dedicated stereo amplifier and CD player to my Yamaha A5 AV amp and Castle Pembroke (front) floorstanders. I was recommended various combos including Roksan Kandy, Creek Evo and AudioLab 8000s & 8000CD setups.

Recently browsing through a very well known auction web site, I got to thinking about whether I would see major stereo and AV benefits from purely upgrading my current AV setup.... and hence killing two birds with one stone.

I have seen the following at very very reasonable prices and understand they perform exceedingly well with music as well as DVD's.

Arcam AVR250 AV Amp for approximately £51.00 at present with 1 day to go.

Arcam FMJ DV27a DVD Player - £106.00

Arcam DV88plus DVD Player - £155.00

Arcam DV79 DVD Player - £200 with 18h to go.

Whilst this sort of setup would not, I assume compete, with the likes of say a dedicated Roksan, Creek or Audiolab upgrade.....would I see major improvements over my Yamaha and Philips CD624 setup sonically. I am also only using a £20.00 DVD player at the moment.

I could then upgrade the stereo amp at a later date for pure music from the arcam DVD and then again add a dedicated CD player to the setup at an even later date.......Would this give me the best of all fact does any of this make sense at all full stop.

Please help


Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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I used to run an Arcam AVR250 and DV79 as part of my home reference system, and it's certainly more musical than most AV receiver/DVD combinations we've heard, although I wouldn't go so far as to say it's as good as a dedicated stereo hi-fi amp and CD player. But at £250 all in, the AVR250/DV79 would certainly be a bargain!

However, if you were to upgrade your AV system first, might it not make sense to buy something newer that can double up as both your hi-fi and home cinema system, rather than spending money on a secondhand AV system first, and then a dedicated hi-fi system to add to it?

I know my colleagues have had excellent results when playing stereo music through the new Onkyo receivers, such as the £400 Onkyo TX-SR605 (our 2007 Product of the Year). It can also handle all the new HD audio formats, so if you did ultimately upgrade your system to HD DVD or Blu-ray, you'd be covered.

I guess it all comes down to how much you use the system to listen to music, and how much for movies. Yes, you'll have to put up with a degree of compromise if you have a single system for both hi-fi and home cinema, but the compromise needn't be as great as it once was.


Thanks Andy,

I suppose it is probably about 60% Music and 40% movies, but I also do tend to watch / listen to a lot of music DVD's.

So I could logically go for something like the Onkyo TX-SR605 and then either upgrade to a combination DVD/CD player such as the DV79 or DV88. Not really getting sucked into the HD DVD / Blu-ray thing at the moment......but may invest in a PS3 next year (for the daughter of course).

This would give me an immediate benefit for both music and movies with the ability to upgrade further as funds allow. Logically as follows I would suggest:

Upgrade AV Amp and Combi DVD/CD Player - Add stereo amplifier for CD playback - Add standalone CD player for dedicated stereo.

Either way I suppose I will end up paying the same amount of money...I am looking at upgrading my TV earlier next year to a 37% Panasonic I suppose logically the AV and DVD upgrade would be the logical first choice.



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