• To directly access the forum, ensure your bookmark url includes /forum.

AV systems for Hi-fi

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
I am thinking about upgrading my amplifier with the possibility of bi-amping my speakers. I would like to improve my AV set-up as well but the priority is stereo operation. I only need 5 channel AV operation!

There seems to be five ways I could go

a) Upgrade my integrated amp and continue to bi-wire my speakers

Perhaps a Cyrus 8vs

b) Replace my Magnum with a stereo power amp. I would have to use

my AV amp as a pre-amp as I don't think my Magnum has pre-outs. Of

course this doesn't give me bi-wiring!

Perhaps something from NAD.

c) Buy an AV integrated with 7 channels and configure it to bi-amp

my front speakers

ARCAM AV250 or a NAD/Rotel if this possible.

d) Buy an AV pre-amp and use my existing integrated as a power

amp. Perhaps a NAD, Rotel or even Audiolab

Later I could replace my integrated amp by power amps.

e) Buy an AV-power amp with say at least 7 outputs and configure it

to bi-amp my front speakers and power my centre/surround speakers

Perhaps a NAD or Rotel

Any advice or experience would be appreciated

 

RichardG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 4, 2005
2,128
18
0
West of Cardiff, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It seems to me you’ve covered every option available to you, but you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve (that’s not a criticism by the way!) but seem to be drawn to biwiring and / or biamping. Can I ask why that is?

I’m not familiar with the Magnum but I’m guessing it’s an integrated amp, yes? Your Yamaha is a processor + 3channel amp (centre + 2xsurrounds) for AV duties? Can it actually be configured to act as a preamp for the front 2 channels as your suggestion (b) shows? You need to check this.

Like you, to me stereo performance is more important than AV, although I do enjoy AV. SO I’ve followed your solution (d), using the pre outs on the AV amp to my stereo integrated for the 2 channel performance. I’m very happy. I also run my CD player direct to the 2 channel rather than to the AV amp for better performance.

It’s hard to imagine an AV amp (your suggestions © and (e) ) giving you improvements in stereo over your dedicated 2 channel amp.

If stereo performance is important to you (and it sounds like it is), then I’d consider changing your 2 channel amp to something that provides good current delivery to the B&Ws. Rotel is the obvious suggestion, but all the usual suspects at this price point (Arcam, Roksan, NAD etc) The new Cambridge Audio seems to be making all the right noises, but they’re obviously quite scarce at the moment, and the price may be higher than you were considering.

Concentrate on the 2 channel aspect of your system (if that’s your priority), the AV is secondary. Your Yamaha (although a little aged now) is still a decent bit of kit. You may want to consider changing your centre speaker for a B&W so at least your front soundstage is better tonally matched for AV.

Good luck!

RG

 

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
Thanks for the reply.

I'm not sure what I want yet - that's why I asked!

Yes the Magnum is an integrated amp. I'm very pleased with the sound but

of course I'd like to upgrade at some point!

Which AV pre-amp have you got? I also like the idea of 12v triggers so

when my wife switches on the pre-amp everything comes on automatically.

Probably my next step though will be , as you suggested, to buy the B&W

LCR60 centre although some dealers have recommended the LCR600.

 

RichardG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 4, 2005
2,128
18
0
West of Cardiff, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Your situation sounds very similar to mine!

I haven't got an AV pre amp - it's a Pioneer 2011 AV Receiver, but from the pre outs to the 2 channel integrated amp, it's effectively acting like a pre amp - BUT JUST FOR THE 2 FRONT CHANNELS. The AV amp is driving the other AV channels.

The fact that AV amps come with all bells and whistles these days means that the supplied universal remote works all my other kit too, so I get the convenience you seem to be looking for as well. I don't use the 12V triggers, but the universal remote is quite sophisticated so it can work kit from other manufacturers and also can accept macros to string a number of commands together (eg pressing DVD input select will turn on the DVD player, open the tray, select the right TV channel etc)

Although the stereo performance seems to be your priority, I think you'd benefit from an AV amp (not from a performance point of view as your Yammy is very good). AV amps from the last 3 or 4 years come with ProLogic2 (more recently with ProLogic2x) that is a great improvement over the E800's ProLogic only decoding capabilities.

If you're happy with the 2 channel amp I wouldn't touch it yet. I certainly wouldn't expect an AV amp to run the front 2 channels in a half decent stereo setup. The upgrade path can be long and expensive (especially if you're looking at 5/6/7 channels!), so think carefully about your priorities.

I've owned the CC6 centre channel speaker and rate B&W speakers highly.

Your biggest challenge seems to be that you have kit by many different manufacturers which makes matching them so they sound complimentary quite difficult, but not impossible obviously. Most people have a brand they favour (even if it's just for aesthetic reasons!), matching kit from the same manufacturer should in theory be easier than from other manufacturers.

My kit is here.....

http://s74.photobucket.com/albums/i256/bigblue99/Hifi/

Good luck!

 

cjr

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 8, 2005
8,561
45
0
UK
Angel have you considered just having a stereo based system and listening back to soundtracks from that kit ? Why not get the best possible stereo system, if you hanker for AV, simply add a AV amp to do rears & centres later on.

If music is more than 50% of your system time, then that what to base the system on.

Other than that, the best solutions I have heard for stereo/AV combined are AV pre-amps into separate power amps, ie say like a TAG AV32R or Linn AV5103 into Rotel, Primare, Bryston PAs.

 

RichardG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 4, 2005
2,128
18
0
West of Cardiff, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
cjr wrote:

Angel have you considered just having a stereo based system and listening back to soundtracks from that kit ? Why not get the best possible stereo system, if you hanker for AV, simply add a AV amp to do rears & centres later on. If music is more than 50% of your system time, then that what to base the system on.

Other than that, the best solutions I have heard for stereo/AV combined are AV pre-amps into separate power amps, ie say like a TAG AV32R or Linn AV5103 into Rotel, Primare, Bryston PAs.
I'd agree in principal, but it's quite a leap from an E800 to TAG AV32R with Brystons on the end!

In the absence of any idea about budget or timescale, it might be feasible, but it's a bit like saying "I drive a Fiesta now, but my next car is a DB7"!!!!!

 

cjr

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 8, 2005
8,561
45
0
UK
RichardG wrote:

cjr wrote:
Angel have you considered just having a stereo based system and listening back to soundtracks from that kit ? Why not get the best possible stereo system, if you hanker for AV, simply add a AV amp to do rears & centres later on. If music is more than 50% of your system time, then that what to base the system on.

Other than that, the best solutions I have heard for stereo/AV combined are AV pre-amps into separate power amps, ie say like a TAG AV32R or Linn AV5103 into Rotel, Primare, Bryston PAs.
I'd agree in principal, but it's quite a leap from an E800 to TAG AV32R with Brystons on the end!

In the absence of any idea about budget or timescale, it might be feasible, but it's a bit like saying "I drive a Fiesta now, but my next car is a DB7"!!!!!
I agree dude the Brystonsare "far on" but Ive seen AV32Rs going for £600-700, add a £300 Rotel 986 Pa, and you have a damned superb system. £900, good for stereo & AV 5.1. Sub £1000 that AV pre and power amps

(I'd still go the stereo systemroute myself and pipe a DVD player to it though)

 

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
Done it
biggrin.png
- I've just ordered a B&W LCR600 centre speaker to replace my

Mission Centre!

For the rest ...

At the moment it seems like I should

Either buy a better AV amp such as NAD or perhaps Rotel (if I can get a cheap one).

Or buy a AV preamp (Audiolab orCyrus) and later add power amps (Rotel or NAD

multi-channel)

Unless anyone else has some thoughts ...

 

RichardG

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 4, 2005
2,128
18
0
West of Cardiff, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Well done, that should make a fair bit of difference!

A NAD AV amp would probably be right up your street actually, being regarded as one of the more musical AV amps.

This might be irrelevant if you're plugged your 2 channel sources into your 2 channel amp direct of course.

Keep us posted how you get on!

RG

 

Mr Perceptive

Wammer
Wammer
Sep 13, 2005
372
2
0
Northwich, Cheshire
I used a Yamaha DSP E800 with a Naim 62/140 on the front pair of speakers. One day I thought I'd replace it with one 'musical box' and a I sold it all and bought an Arcam AVR200 (Arcam making some of the more musical AV receivers).

What a mistake, the Arcam although more detailed on AV, lacked the big impact of the E800 and also it was very embarrassed driving my front speakers and I couldn't really achieve any decent sound levels.

So I went to the next step up, a Meridian 568 driving Meridian Power Amps, what a difference. Far more detailed, great with two channel and huge AV impact.

Some of the Meridian kit has dropped a lot in s/h price and I have heard of 565 Z3 processors goes for around £400 (and 568s going for £800). This combined with your existing integrated and a couple of lower cost power amps for the other speakers may be a good option depending on how much budget you have left.

Hope that helps

Mr Perceptive

 

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
Oh dear
sad.png
I've just had my cheque returned as they had

sold the LCR600 to someone else!

It was a very good price so I suppose I'll just have to look out for another one.

In August I'll try and listen to some mid-range AV amps to see what they sound like

in stereo.

Cyrus are bringing out something similar to my Yamaha DSP E800 so I might

think about that if it is not too expensive.

 

Craig

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 20, 2005
6,368
316
128
Copenhagen
AKA
Craig
angelface wrote:

d) Buy an AV pre-amp and use my existing integrated as a power amp. Perhaps a NAD, Rotel or even Audiolab

Later I could replace my integrated amp by power amps.

Any advice or experience would be appreciated
Coming a bit late to this party, angelface, but hopefully still a useful comment

Sory about your speaker, but I think there's a danger of making the AV too complicated and with too great a detriment ot the hi fi side of things.

Start with "are you happy with your hifi?" If so, then your highilghted option is closest to the bst one.

Buy any of the AV amps which takes your fancy, say one of the cheaper Denon or Yamaha. You'll be using the pre-outs on the AV amp to allow you to hook up the your Magnum during AV playback, and your hi fi system will stay as it is for 2 channel.

It's an hours fiddle to get all the level spot on, but then you simply switch the Magnum to AUX and set volume to 12 o clock and the pre out from the AV send the signal tfor your rfont 2 to the magnum, and everything is balanced.

I doubt you'll find a one box solution that'll please as much as this would, and it allows you to upgrade your 2 channel without causing pobs (other than a re-cal of the sound levels) for the AV side, and vice cersa.

 

Craig

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 20, 2005
6,368
316
128
Copenhagen
AKA
Craig
angelface wrote:

Thanks Craig but that is exactly my exisiting set-up.Reassuring that I'm doing something right but ...

I wanted to upgrade!
Then upgrade!

For AV, upgrade from the Yamaha, any of the recent Yammy / Denon offerings will be suitable and a good improveent over the 800, IMO......and of course, get a decent centre spoeakers, but you know that as well.

For me, AV / hi fi integration get's fucked up when it becomes too complicated....KISS

For hi fi, it's a whole different kettle of cod......no point even getting started on that on this thread

 

Sastusbulbas

Wammer
Wammer
Jan 19, 2006
2,114
3
68
Edinburgh, , United
AKA
Steve
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
One can have fun though, here is a Moon Orion CD/DVD transport into a Yamaha E800 and Krell power amp with Kef R107 fronts, the rears were Linn Kans with a Classe Audio CA-100.

This was quite musical and very enjoyable.

 

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
angelface wrote:

Oh dear
sad.png
I've just had my cheque returned as they had sold the LCR600 to someone else!

It was a very good price so I suppose I'll just have to look out for another one.

In August I'll try and listen to some mid-range AV amps to see what they sound like

in stereo.

Cyrus are bringing out something similar to my Yamaha DSP E800 so I might

think about that if it is not too expensive.
Done it! Got another LCR600 at a reasonable discount.

Next step will probably to listen to Cyrus AudioMaster 8 when it comes out

in Februrary next year as I like the idea of going AV pre-amp and power amps.

Was not impressed by ARCAM AVR300 in stereo and have not ruled out the

possibility of just upgrading my integrated to something like the new Cyrus 8vs2

 

angelface

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 14, 2006
56
3
0
Versailles, France
I've now taken the next step and bought a Cyrus Smart Power Plus.

This gives me several options for the future

1) Buy a Cyrus Audio Master 8 (3 channels of power rather like the Yamaha but I hope better sound quality) and use it as a pre-amp for my stereo

2) Buy a Cyrus pre-amp and continue to use my Yamaha for surround sound.

A further upgrade would be the purchase of a second power amp for bi-amping.

Meanwhile the Centre speaker is a great improvement on the mission especially

for bass.

 

Forum statistics

Threads
108,076
Messages
2,288,179
Members
69,153
Latest member
kengxx