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What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

I am about to move house and want to upgrade a few bits and add a subwoofer. Given that Blu-ray won over HD-DVD, I will shortly get a Blu-ray player but will make do with the PS3 for now. What I am looking to change first is the surround Amp. I am also looking to simplify my system from a set up perspective so that I get decent video switching (choice of 2x HDMI outs needed). I have moved slowly from an all music system to a Movie system, hence the mix of stuff below. Music is still important to us, so the Amp needs to be good at that as well. I have looked at the Onkyo ones but am concerned that the music side of things will let me down. I have a couple of hundred DVD's so upscaling would be nice.

Next few purchases are going to be (in this order)

- New surround amp (£1500 max)

- Sub (£1000 max)

- Add extra rear/side speakers

Also on the list:

- Consider new fronts

- Match new centre to new fronts

- HD PJ will also be added at some point

- Good Blu-ray player when happy with the offerings.

Can anyone please help me plan this set up? We move house in a couple of months so it will all be fitted in a nice new pad, and I will then consider getting it properly calibrated. What Amp / Sub / Speakers?

I am currently running the following set up:

Displays:

Sim2 Domino 35

Pioneer PDP428XD 42"

Speakers:

Front Centre Linn Centrik

Fronts Linn Keilidhs

Rears M&K K4 tripoles

Sources:

Pioneer DV989

Sony PS3

Virgin Cable Hi-Def

Amps

Pioneer AX5 driving centre and rears

Fronts Bi-Amped through Linn LK140's

Anonymous
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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Some help would be appreciated!

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Denon AVR4308 mate. It will do all you need for the foreseeable.

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

As for subs around £1000. Personally, if I had the room and I'm guessing with your set up, you have a fairly decent sized room, I would connect two Veoldyne Microvees. I'm sure if you went to a dealer and said you wanted two, they would do it for £1000 or a bit under.

Anonymous
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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Thanks very much.

Anyone got any ideas what to put the Denon 4308 up against when I test them?

And having just moved to North Kent, any recommendations of good retailers who will fit the kit?
Thanks

Anonymous
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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

MicroVees over a B&W PV1 ?

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Two microvees will sound better than one PV1 in my opinion - in your largish room.

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR905, 4 HDMI inputs & 2 HDMI outputs. Great sound too. In budget at £1400.
If looks are remotely important, you've gotta check out the PV1.....I have one and despite differing opinions on here I love it. I haven't had a high end sub before, but I honestly can't think of anyhting else it could bring to the table. People complain it doesn't do sub bass (Bit confusing that, because that's its job?!?!). I watched Saving Private Ryan, the explosions during the first 20 minutes of the Omaha beach landings sounded and felt like I was being shelled in my living room......MUCH LOW BASS!! Although 2 smaller subs for the same price would undoubtedly sound excellent too. For your surround speakers, take a look at B&Ws XT range, not cheap, but looks to die for and been reviewed favourably also.

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

user="Dak" wrote:
Anyone got any ideas what to put the Denon 4308 up against when I test them?

You're looking at the Onkyo TX-NR905, the Marantz SR8002, the Pioneer VSX-LX70 and the Yamaha RX-V3800 I reckon as the main competition (Yamaha and Pioneer only have one HDMI out, though you could always get an HDMI switch box with two outputs to correct this).

The owls are not what they seem...

Anonymous
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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Thanks guys. I have a listening set up for this weekend on the Denon and the Onkyo.

After hearing some friends I do like the sound of B&W but I think the XT's may be a little too modern for my taste. I was trying to work out where I can get into the B&W range cost wise but that is a little confusing at the moment. I like floorstanders and so will stick with those. The 8xx series comes out a tad expensive though and the others all seem to be changing. I will have to find a stockist with the lot in and start with the rears then add to them.

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Keep us posted!

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

user="Dak" wrote:
Thanks guys. I have a listening set up for this weekend on the Denon and the Onkyo.

After hearing some friends I do like the sound of B&W but I think the XT's may be a little too modern for my taste. I was trying to work out where I can get into the B&W range cost wise but that is a little confusing at the moment. I like floorstanders and so will stick with those. The 8xx series comes out a tad expensive though and the others all seem to be changing. I will have to find a stockist with the lot in and start with the rears then add to them.

The 600 range is virtually brand new. Probably won't be updated for a few years yet. Check 'em out.

Anonymous
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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

Well, I had a long Saturday morning listening to various set ups and gear. I listened to the Onkyo TX-NR905, the Marantz SR8002, the Pioneer VSX-LX70 and the Denon 4308. Source was a Panasonic Blu-ray for all. The Yamaha RX-V3800 wasn't stocked here.

The Pio sounded nice, similar to what I have but it didn't blow me away, especially with music. It was competent but not exciting.

The Onk was great with action moves but I thought lost the subtleties of quieter 'more atmospheric movies' and music.

The Denon I really couldn't fathom if I liked or not. I wasn't quite convinced with music (classical and a bit of jazz) but with the Bond BD it was great in the action bits and quiet in the dialogue sections. It may have been the set up?

The Marantz I think I liked, but it was booked into another listening room so I only had about ten minutes with it. The salesman thinks that I need to up the ante in price and look at the items in the £3000 range and said that the Marantz was good but didn't have THX Ultra 2 (not sure I need that as I didn't know what it was) or video upscaling. I am reluctant to go to £3000+ unless it is a major step up in quality and whilst I can afford it, the more I spend the longer it will be before I can upgrade the Sim2 Domino 35 to an HD PJ. I have spoken to a number of people who think I must be mad to consider anything other than the Onk but I wasn't blown away.

I was concerned that in my home room (26ft x 17ft) things may all sound different again and (again aesthetically - plus a little nod towards the missus - I usually get a source from the same manufacturer as the AV Rec I am using).

I listened through the B&W 6xx series which I thought sounded great with all the amps, but I still (aesthetically) prefer floorstanders at the front, and the salesman was raving about B&W's rears that are di-poles (or was it tri-poles) but they didn't have any of those in.

Subwise, well to be honest we tried about ten but I couldn't get past the B&W PV1 as I just love the look of it. I am concerned that this is colouring (you know what I mean) my hearing though.

So I came away:

- without any real decision on the A/V receiver
- have decided to try and hear more of the B&W range

- bought a PS3 on Monday as a stand by Blu-ray (I will get a Blu-ray player later but it makes no sense to buy DVDs now so I am buying BD's and needed something to play them on).

My confusion continues!

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

You could get 683s for the fronts, 686s for surround plus the 6** centre (Don't know the model number). With regards the PV1. As I said before, I have one and I think it's great. I honestly can't think of anything it doesn't do when it should, or vice versa. Only issue I do have with it is that I leave it on auto (Turns on when it senses a signal) and it cuts in and out when the bass frequencies drop out or come in, but I could leave it on 'On' full-time. It's not that big of a problem to be honest.

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Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

user="Dak" wrote:
Well, I had a long Saturday morning listening to various set ups and gear. I listened to the Onkyo TX-NR905, the Marantz SR8002, the Pioneer VSX-LX70 and the Denon 4308. Source was a Panasonic Blu-ray for all. The Yamaha RX-V3800 wasn't stocked here.

The Pio sounded nice, similar to what I have but it didn't blow me away, especially with music. It was competent but not exciting.

The Onk was great with action moves but I thought lost the subtleties of quieter 'more atmospheric movies' and music.

The Denon I really couldn't fathom if I liked or not. I wasn't quite convinced with music (classical and a bit of jazz) but with the Bond BD it was great in the action bits and quiet in the dialogue sections. It may have been the set up?

The Marantz I think I liked, but it was booked into another listening room so I only had about ten minutes with it. The salesman thinks that I need to up the ante in price and look at the items in the £3000 range and said that the Marantz was good but didn't have THX Ultra 2 (not sure I need that as I didn't know what it was) or video upscaling. I am reluctant to go to £3000+ unless it is a major step up in quality and whilst I can afford it, the more I spend the longer it will be before I can upgrade the Sim2 Domino 35 to an HD PJ. I have spoken to a number of people who think I must be mad to consider anything other than the Onk but I wasn't blown away.

I was concerned that in my home room (26ft x 17ft) things may all sound different again and (again aesthetically - plus a little nod towards the missus - I usually get a source from the same manufacturer as the AV Rec I am using).

I listened through the B&W 6xx series which I thought sounded great with all the amps, but I still (aesthetically) prefer floorstanders at the front, and the salesman was raving about B&W's rears that are di-poles (or was it tri-poles) but they didn't have any of those in.

Subwise, well to be honest we tried about ten but I couldn't get past the B&W PV1 as I just love the look of it. I am concerned that this is colouring (you know what I mean) my hearing though.

So I came away:
- without any real decision on the A/V receiver
- have decided to try and hear more of the B&W range
- bought a PS3 on Monday as a stand by Blu-ray (I will get a Blu-ray player later but it makes no sense to buy DVDs now so I am buying BD's and needed something to play them on).

My confusion continues!

I like that you weren't forced into getting a receiver as you weren't impressed (you are hard to impress!). I would wait for a month or so as the new Denons and new Pioneers are out then. Maybe they will float your boat. As for subs, did you try the MA RSW12 by any chance? I am totally blown away by mine and would be interested in another opinion.
Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: What to buy next: Amp then Sub...

why dont you spend £100 on the onkyo or simular then spend £500-600 on decent stereo amp and use with pre-outs, this should give you the best of both worlds.

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