A/V Receivers and/or Integrated Amps - What should I be looking at?.

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I noticed with interest, a recent thread regarding Sony Es Amps. I am currently using an S-Master Pro QS Receiver to drive things, which I have owned from new. I was thinking about what is out there, from the sublime, to the rediculous. (I've just noticed a nice B&O 9000 CD system on TV, but that is for another thread/day/room/wife).

From the extreme, I almost bought a McIntosh MA6900 (apologies again Anthony). To the other end of the market, I've always admired the Quad 33/303 series, which can go quite cheap.

I might end up just keeping my Sony QS Receiver, however I would be interested to know what other things I should look at. From retro that would give a good sound quality, through second hand, to new All-in-one receivers.

Here are a few names I've considered.

Sony

Denton

Yamaha

Quad

EAR

Primary

Musical Fidelity

Marantz

Cambridge Audio

Electrocompaniet

There are probably many others, but for some reason Naim leaves me cold.

What do you suggest I look at and consider?. Makes, Models, and pictures would help.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I've done Tubes, so I'm looking sor solid state.

 

Sumdumgi

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 4, 2008
6,827
6,454
193
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Need to add Arcam to that long list Jeff. Excellent AV stuff that sounds good for 2 channel.

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Need to add Arcam to that long list Jeff. Excellent AV stuff that sounds good for 2 channel.
I've looked at Arcam. I know the sound is the most important factor, but looks are important too. I've found they were a bit bland/Grey looking. ;-)

 

Sumdumgi

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 4, 2008
6,827
6,454
193
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've looked at Arcam. I know the sound is the most important factor, but looks are important too. I've found they were a bit bland/Grey looking. ;-)
Get a black unit !

 

HoopsOnToast

Legend Wammer
Wammer
Feb 6, 2006
11,628
810
208
Oxfordshire
AKA
Rob
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
  2. No
Is it pureley an AV Reciever (5.1/7.1 + Radio) or Integrated Receiver (2-Channel + Radio) you are looking for?

And if the former, do you need HDMI?

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Get a black unit !
I'll consider them Les. Though I think I'd need a sparky to wire one of these babies. :shock:

58AFC1EC-3DFF-413D-B5BC-CCEF67A135DC-1936-000005916F6C3257_zpsc0647759.jpg


 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Is it pureley an AV Reciever (5.1/7.1 + Radio) or Integrated Receiver (2-Channel + Radio) you are looking for?And if the former, do you need HDMI?
That is a very pertinent question Rob. I could get and AV Receiver, to upgrade and replace my current 5.1. Idealy with HDMI inputs, but not essemtial. Or I could get an additional Integrated Receiver for the music side of things. I had separate Phono/Linestage/Monoblocks with my EAR Amps, before I sold them :doh: . To be honest, I don't know WTF I want. :roll:

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
How good is your listening room?Do you require Room EQ?

Do you need 3D switching for your TV?
Listening room as sorted as it can be. No more furniture to be added or changed for the foreseeable future. I'm not interested in 3d switching, I presume that relates to 3D TV.

 

HoopsOnToast

Legend Wammer
Wammer
Feb 6, 2006
11,628
810
208
Oxfordshire
AKA
Rob
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
  2. No
That is a very pertinent question Rob. I could get and AV Receiver, to upgrade and replace my current 5.1. Idealy with HDMI inputs, but not essemtial. Or I could get an additional Integrated Receiver for the music side of things. I had separate Phono/Linestage/Monoblocks with my EAR Amps, before I sold them :doh: . To be honest, I don't know WTF I want. :roll:
I dont think anyone can help you :D

 

strocky

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 3, 2011
1,879
23
0
Lanarkshire
Listening room as sorted as it can be. No more furniture to be added or changed for the foreseeable future. I'm not interested in 3d switching, I presume that relates to 3D TV.
Yep it does

Based on that, I'd recommend a mid-range Onkyo, Denon or Yamaha receiver with Pre-Outs (to run surrounds for movies/SACD's) and get a decent Stereo amp to drive the fronts

If you're into your SACD's, there are certain Yamaha, Denon & Onkyo's that "allegedly" had a DSD DAC which doesn't convert the DSD stream to PCM

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Yep it doesBased on that, I'd recommend a mid-range Onkyo, Denon or Yamaha receiver with Pre-Outs (to run surrounds for movies/SACD's) and get a decent Stereo amp to drive the fronts

If you're into your SACD's, there are certain Yamaha, Denon & Onkyo's that "allegedly" had a DSD DAC which doesn't convert the DSD stream to PCM
That might be the answer. As for the SACD's, I was thinking on selling my Sony SACD' player, as it is just gathering dust. I bought a Musical Fidelty CD player from new, and don't use the Sony SACD player any more.

 

Arfa

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 29, 2006
1,369
2
0
London, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I would give the Primare Processers a good look at. Currently using a SP31.7. Very high quality pre-amp section, same as their stereo Pre30. Which I believe it was designed in conjunction with chap from PassLabs.

Either way the top notch Processor combined with some decent stereo power amps is a good way to go. You get to use the best power amp stage on front speakers (even valves if you fancy) and then just pick a good Processor as needed. You can then swap the processor as you get the urge to keep up with the latest AV gubbins.

Other good processors to check out are the Audiolab 8200AP and some of the recent offerings from Marantz and Nad.

 

jkbmusic

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2006
34,919
10,985
173
Brittunculi
AKA
Jeff
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I would give the Primare Processers a good look at. Currently using a SP31.7. Very high quality pre-amp section, same as their stereo Pre30. Which I believe it was designed in conjunction with chap from PassLabs.Either way the top notch Processor combined with some decent stereo power amps is a good way to go. You get to use the best power amp stage on front speakers (even valves if you fancy) and then just pick a good Processor as needed. You can then swap the processor as you get the urge to keep up with the latest AV gubbins.

Other good processors to check out are the Audiolab 8200AP and some of the recent offerings from Marantz and Nad.
I've looked this up here http://www.hometheater.com/content/primare-sp317-a305-mkii-surround-preamplifier-processor-5-channel-amplifier . I do like the look of the Power Amp below, and the SP317 looks a good match. Not so keen on the Audiolab or Nad, though I have seen some impressive and expensive Nad High-end stuff in Dubai recently.

I am starting to think Strocky's idea of a good 2-Channel stereo Amp might be the solution to my current set-up. :dunno:

 

Arfa

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 29, 2006
1,369
2
0
London, UK
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Yep the SP31.7 is top notch. No HDMI though. You need the SP32 for that, which is a chunkier beast and needs a much chunkier wallet to afford. You Should be able to pick the SP31.7 for around £500, and similar again for the A30.5 power amp. You could just get the stereo Primare power amp, and then a cheaper power amp for other channels.

I like the Primare as the direct mode will physically switch away from the digital circuits and cut it out (you hear it audible doing this). You've also got a balanced XLR in and out on fronts and an AES/EBU digital input too.

Did have the digital board die on mine a while ago. But had it replaced by Karma AV, came to about £150-200 all in if I recall correctly. Not so bad, and been grand since. There's also a slightly later iteration the 'SP31', which is almost identical spec , but with different fascia, looks a bit better I reckon.

 

cjr

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 8, 2005
8,508
43
0
UK
Avoid HDMI (don't fall for the great HD audio via HDMI con), Grab a SPDIF bargain, send Bluray Audio either as LPCM or DTS to your AVR or Digital stereo amp. Plenty about these days. You can even land Pre-power combos like the Sony EP90ES/TA-N55ES for less than £250. Downmix all digital signals stereo from 5.1 sources.

 

budgetblown

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 14, 2009
1,931
4
0
Cardiff, UK
AKA
Leigh
I've heard top-end denon and onkyo systems recently - same chap's system after he changed from Onkyo to Denon - and the Denon sounded very good indeed, and apparently was a lot easier to set up.

 

nsherin

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 26, 2005
1,357
3
0
Portsmouth, UK
AKA
Neil
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Yep it doesBased on that, I'd recommend a mid-range Onkyo, Denon or Yamaha receiver with Pre-Outs (to run surrounds for movies/SACD's) and get a decent Stereo amp to drive the fronts

If you're into your SACD's, there are certain Yamaha, Denon & Onkyo's that "allegedly" had a DSD DAC which doesn't convert the DSD stream to PCM

CJR:

Avoid HDMI (don't fall for the great HD audio via HDMI con), Grab a SPDIF bargain, send Bluray Audio either as LPCM or DTS to your AVR or Digital stereo amp. Plenty about these days. You can even land Pre-power combos like the Sony EP90ES/TA-N55ES for less than £250. Downmix all digital signals stereo from 5.1 sources
Exactly what I do - I have all my kit connected through an elderly Denon AVR-2308 and run the front pre-outs to an Arcam FMJ A18. The Arcam has an excellent AV bypass mode which means you can then use the Denon's volume control as a single volume level. Works very well and sounds great.

 

Forum statistics

Threads
113,444
Messages
2,451,263
Members
70,783
Latest member
reg66

Latest Articles

Wammers Online