AV amp to drive my Monitor Audio Gold Reference speaker set up
First post here and hoping for some advice from all you experts!
I’m in the process of upgrading my Home Cinema system and am trying to decide what level of AV amp I should be going for.
Whatever AV amp I go with will have to have front L and R pre-outs as I intend to drive my main front speakers though my stereo pre and power set up, as I currently do with my existing AV amp.
The problem is that in order to get the best out of the proposed new TV (PANASONIC VIERA TXP50VT30) and Blu Ray Player (Panasonic DMP-BDT310) I will need to upgrade my now very out of date AV amp since it has no HDMI inputs and can’t do 3D etc
After scanning the reviews and specifications I was planning to go for something like the Yamaha RXV-771. I’ve always had Yamaha AV amps and have found them pretty good on the whole.
However a few folks have suggested that whilst perfectly good, this level of AV amp won’t do the rest of my system justice. The advice has been to up the budget to about £1k if I want to get the best out of my existing speakers and new TV and Blu Ray components.
Here is what I am currently running as a combined stereo and AV system
Stereo Amps: Musical Fidelity A308 pre and power combo
CD Player: Musical Fidelity A308 CD
DVD Player: Arcam DV79
Front Speakers: Monitor Audio Studio Gold 20s
Rear Speakers: Monitor Audio Studio Gold 10s
Centre: Monitor Audio Silver LCR
Sub: REL Strata 5
AV Amp: Yamaha DSP-AX750 SE
TV: Pioneer PDP-435PE
The A308 power amp is switchable between 2 separate preamp inputs so when I want to watch TV or a DVD is simply switch the amp over to its second input setting and take the front L and R inputs from the AV amp via the front pre-outs.
This set up works really well for me and since I don’t see no point in changing the approach.
I have always found the sound quality of the Musical Fidelity and Monitor Audio stereo set up to absolutely superb (at least when playing a decently recorded CD).
However whilst perfectly good, the AV performance has never really blown me away and I can’t help feeling that the rear Monitor Audio GR10’s are not well served by the AV amp.
Given this I have been looking in to what sort of AV amp I can get for around the £1k mark.
I have seen a few ex-demo Pioneer SC-LX83’s going for around this money, reduced from the original price of £2k and was wondering what the everyone here thinks to this option.
I appreciate it is a slightly older model but frankly the updates given to the SC-LX85 don’t interest me that much and the features of the LX83 are more than adequate for me – the key is high quality and realistic surround sound performance.
I also think I’d rather save £900 on a slightly older ex dem £2000 amp than pay full price on a new £1k amp, unless I’d be missing out on anything really important.
Any suggestion for you guys and girls on all of this would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and one other thing, I live in the middle of nowhere in Northern Scotland so popping to the nearest decent AV store means a 120 mile trip (each way) so going to endless demos is not an option. If I was replacing my stereo amps then of course I’d make the journey, but for the AV amp I’d be prepared to base my decision on advice, specs, price and available reviews.
Thanks in advance,