To the question that matters. I was inclined to try the Yamaha RX-A1020, though it turns out Yamaha RX-A820 has most of it's features in a size which fits my furniture.. and 5kg less deadweight.. Imagine that.
The RX-A820 is rated at 100w while the recommended Amplifier requirements are 50-200w according to Apex acciording to MA. Am I making a mistake getting a receiver at this class?!?
Even though the RX-A820 has most of the features of the RX-A1020 however the RX-A820 doesn't perform quite as well as the RX-A1020. The main reason for this is that the RX-A1020's superior quality of power enables the RX-A1020 to grip and drive speakers more effectively then the RX-A820 can. Have a look at the internals through the top covers of both models and you'll see the superior power supply, circuit layout and the overall build quality of the RX-A1020. The difference in clear to see and one that you can also hear.
Btw, both of the Yamaha amplifiers are perfectly capable of being paired with Apex speakers. Ultimately though the Apex speakers performance potential enables them to be partnered with even higher quality of components. To give you an idea our A10's and A40's are being used with an Anthem MRX 500, Plinius Odean and JL Audio Fathom f212. I watched Gangster Squad last Sunday. Gangster Squad has a robust soundtrack which the Apex speakers helped deliver with verve and power.
The RX-A1020 is worth the £150 premium.
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
Hey Ricky, yeah i had a problem with the A40 a while back but i managed to get it replaced for free as it was under warranty.
Yes the apex still impresses me to this day, i mostly use it for movies and it still amazes me with something new. For the heights im sticking with Dolby Pllz. Ive fine tuned it to sound better through the Denon's Dolby Height settings. Audyssey DSX spreads the sound out too much from all channels and the center doesnt have any focus and clarity compared to Dolby height.
I watched Jack Reacher, the end scene with the rainfall sounded very realistic with the heights singing away but not over doing it or clouding the center channel. Also bass sounds better with Dolby heights.
Interesting to hear your feedback on Dolby PLIIz vs. DSX. I've actually heard similar things from others aswell, where people say the former is the more natural sounding DSP mode. DTS Neo:X seems popular aswell. Fascinating how your bass sounds better with the Dolby version!
Current A/V equipment:
NUFORCE AVP-18 (processor/DAC) | NUFORCE MCH-300SEC7 (multichannel amplifier) | MONITOR AUDIO APEX (5.2 speaker system) | SAMSUNG LE-52B755 (tv) | DENON DBT-3313UD (disc transport) | NAIM UNITISERVE (music server) | SUPRA (cabling) | LOGITECH HARMONY 900 (universal remote) | NORDOST PULSAR POINTS (isolation feet)
Excellent description and good answer to my question. Pricewise there's no big deal to me, but the larger model extends 5cm over the edge of my tv bench The Anthem MRX 500 would've been a candidate were it not for the price leap. I've deliberately held off getting a receiver for as long as possible, thus I have no previous experience to reference my quality expectations against.
Monitor Audio Apex 5.0 | BK xls200 sub | Yamaha a3020
Hey again Johan!
As Rick pointed out about the Yamaha the more quality you put into driving these Apex the more they will reward you and show their capacity. These are quite thankful speakers in the sense that they give you more and more with ever step up the ladder that you take, which means your speakersystem will continue to "grow" if you update your electronics/cables etc down the line. I've demoed Apex with a broad variety of receivers now (both in the store and at home) and can tell a clear difference each time, which is very interesting. Sadly I've yet to find my personal replacement to the Denon receiver I've had since 2009. Several owners I know of have also moved to separate components with powerful mutlichannel amplifers (something I'm interested in at the moment) that squeeze every last drop of performance out of them. But as always, price and space plays a role here too... not to mention personal taste! Good luck with your choices and please come back and tell us how you are getting on (and maybe pictures of your finished set-up aswell?).
perhaps I shouldn't shy away a better receiver - after all, I hate stressing a decision only having to upgrade at a later point. I'm in Sweden and it turns out those retailing the amplifiers doesn't necessarily have the Apex to demo with them.
None of the more expensive receivers seem to fit my furniture so I'll have to think up some creative solution to avoid having the thing stick out 5cm from the tv bench ..
I suppose i''ll start from scratch, narrowing down a list of candidates I picked up from here in roughly the same price categories (1) being premium and (2) a bit less coin.
(1) Yamaha RX-A3020 (-47cm depth and heavyweight, +good review)
(1) Pioneer SC-LX86 (-44cm depth, -bright?, +great reviews)
(1) Anthem MRX 500 (-seems to lack any mobile device support, +audio focus)
(2) SC-LX56 (-44cm depth, +great reviews)
(2) Marantz SR7005 (-review score?)
(2) Yamaha RX-A2020 (-47cm depth, why are all yamaha's beasts?!?)
(2) Denon AVR-X4000 (-relatively unknown/few vendors)
Sorry for laying it all out there, it serves also as a memory mapper for myself Currently, the Pioneer (LX56) feels slightly favoured..
Peripherals wise I will basically have my computer and the apex in the receiver only. 9.1 or even 7.1 won't be an issue.
They are all good choices, the Denon as you say is an unknown at this point but are usually very good.
Don't rush into it, my current choice would be the Pioneer based on my experience with the 85, people have said that this is bright but I do not find it to be.
There is an option in the menu to reduce the high frequency if need be.
I know others will go for the Denon or Yamaha, again personal choice. I do not rely totally on the auto set up and spent alot of time tweaking to my satisfaction.
The Apex will work with most speakers.
Good luck on picking the (Pioneer) right one for you
AV System - Panasonic 42VT30 ¦ MA Apex 5.1- 4xA10 1xA40+ AW-12 Sub ¦ Van Damme UP LCOFC Speaker Cable ¦ Pioneer SC-LX85 ¦ OPPO 95 ¦ Mark Grant G1500HD Precision audio cable ¦ Sky+ HD(1TB) ¦ Chord Active HDMI ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Belkin PF50 mains conditioner.
Bedroom - Sony KDL-40W2000 + Archos 7 streaming from Windows Home Server 2011, Altec Lansing inAir 5000.
Dining Room - Sonos S5.
Music - HP Proliant Server running WHS 2011 ¦ streaming FLAC to Sonos ZP90 and OPPO 95 via SC-LX85.
Hi Fi - Cyrus 8 XPd QX amp ¦ Cyrus PSX-R power supply acting as Pre Amp ¦ Quad 909 Power Amp ¦ Speakers - Spendor A3 ¦ Logitech Squeezebox Touch upgrade by Fidelity Audio ¦ power supply upgrade by Mains Cables R Us ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Power Plant Premier mains regenerator.
Controlled by – iPad2 and Harmony 1100.
Hey igen Johan - jag befinner mig i Sverige också! hehe
You are correct that the number of dealers selling Apex here are a bit limited, but in Stockholm and Göteborg there are a handful who also sell some of those receiver brands. It's ashamed your a/v cabinet is the thing that seem to limit you at the moment, but I know all about this as mine does too, although not in depth. I can't have electronics that give off too much heat since my cabinet has a closed front, and if I move to separates from an a receiver I'm also stuck with choosing units that are not too high or there'll be no room (not willing to give up my a/v cabinet or change my decor).
I would suggest you pick 2-3 receivers you are most interested in then choose dealer very carefully where you'll have a chance to audition the unit at home with a return-policy if you do not like it. Most serious dealers in Sweden offer this! Sometimes 14 days, other times up to 30 days (Elgiganten, t ex). I've used this myself a couple times, and it's been great. The dealer does of course take a risk and suffer a bit if you return a unit, but hopefully they will have a very pleased customer who will purchase through them and rely on them for future business. That's how I look at it. Other times they might have actual used demo units you can borrow for a weekend or so. Would depend on what is convenient for you. No one can tell you which of those brands will suit you and your taste - only YOU can do that.
Thanks for taking the time providing such excellent advice. I'm down to the Pioneer/Yamaha brands. There's a dealer hosting both the Pioneer and Apex combo; I'm probably going for that and se whether I'll be able to find a Yamaha to audition at home. I'll return with a photo or two when time is due!
The Anthem MRX 500 would've been a candidate were it not for the price leap.
Don't discount the excellent MRX 300 as Apex speakers also form an excellent match with the MRX 300
Thought I would check in and Ricky you still haven't upgraded your receiver yet.
Re Ricks comments, and I know you didn't get on with Anthem Ricky, but I can assure you it is the best receiver on the list for pure audio quality. If you don't need the Internet radio etc which you can get using Sonos or similar then the MRX 300 is a no brainier. ARC room EQ will outperform any offerings from Pioneer or Yamaha. If Anthem doesn't float your boat see if you can trace down the just discontinued brilliant Onkyo 818 with its XT32 room EQ.
Anthem MRX 510(used as processor),Anthem Statement A5 power amp,MK MP150MKII's LCR,MK S150T surrounds,Paradigm Signature Sub1,Perfect Bass Kit,Sonos ZP90 ,Qnap NAS,Oppo BDP 103 Multi region,Isol-8 Cleanline2 mains conditioner,SKY+HD,Audioquest Diamondback interconnects. ATV3,iPad4,Panasonic TXP50GT60
No, that's right Ric, I still haven't! It's been so hard to choose what to investigate next!
I will in all likelihood go for separates, possibly NuForce pre/pro, or something completely unorthodox. But I have to get a demo set for home testing first. And as you know, when I tested the Anthem MRX 700 it really didn't impress me personally at all, surprisingly enough. But many ppl love those!
Hope everything is well with you and that you're enjoying your M&K's!
First day of demoing, no apex but did try the Marants SR7007 and Pioneer LX86. Both were great, but I still have no idea how they'd perform with the Apex. I suppose the only fear is the Pioneer being bright with the Apex, though maybe that's easy to tweak? I also hate dealers, one wouldn't sell the Pioneer with the Apex while the other wouldn't sell anything but.
I can recommend the Apex - Pioneer combo, bright does not come into it at least with the 85.
And yes you can lower the high frequency if need be by 3dB.
Thank you for the warm recommendation michael! Technically "warm/cold" sounds would be the result of an amplifier unable (or deliberately) to reproduce a flat frequency response. With a powerful EQ setting that *should* pose no problem though I guess it's a matter of the default characteristics of an amplifier when people make these statements.
To draenor, that's exactly my setup, although I've got two other extra speakers for front heights. The looks of the sub match the speakers. I'm currently using a Denon 3313 but am replacing that with a Yamaha 2020 in days. I'm sure the 1020 would be a good match. Personally I'd go for that over the Onkyo and use some front presence speakers which Yamaha do so well and it makes a difference. Cooler looking amp as well but obviously no XT32 and the YPAO on the 1020 doesn't EQ the sub though it does on the 2020, which might be important to you.
Yamaha 2020 : Denon DBT 3313 : Monito Audio Apex 4xA10 (FL FR SL SR) 1xA40 (centre) 2xCanton CD1020 (FP) : BK XLS200 II : Samsung UE55ES8000 : PS3 Slim : Virgin Media TiVo : Asus AT5IONT-I : Harmony Touch
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