switching to integrated stereo amp instead of marantz receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Right now I have a Marantz SR6006 AV receiver but Ive decided I mainly want something for 2 channel stereo. How much would I have to spend to make a significant improvement in sound quality over the Marantz?
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post #2 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Im thinking the Anthem Integrated 225 would be better but havent heard. Reviews are rockin on it though.
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post #3 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 06:23 PM
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What are your speakers? How big is your room? How loud do you typically listen?

Unless you have speakers that are an especially tough load, or you have a really large room and/or listen to loud levels and need more power, then you actually might take a step backwards in sound quality by switching to an integrated amp. Your AVR has MultEQ XT, so it has some advantages over integrated amps.

It's most likely you would get bigger improvements in sound by spending on other things (speakers, placement, room treatments(?), etc..).

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post #4 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tostaylo View Post

Im thinking the Anthem Integrated 225 would be better but havent heard. Reviews are rockin on it though.

Reviews are always rockin on high-priced gear, aren't they?

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post #5 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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thats an interesting perspective about the receiver.
I have the Monitor Audio BX 2's but looking to get some floor standers. probably the MA RX6 since I do like the MA sound. Placement and room treatment are pretty much set in stone but the room is 20x20. I like to listen to vinyl loud but still able to have a conversation comfortably. I tried the audyssey on the receiver but did not really like the results with 2.1 setup. Now i think i enjoy just 2 channel and no sub.
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post #6 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tostaylo View Post

thats an interesting perspective about the receiver.
I have the Monitor Audio BX 2's but looking to get some floor standers. probably the MA RX6 since I do like the MA sound. Placement and room treatment are pretty much set in stone but the room is 20x20. I like to listen to vinyl loud but still able to have a conversation comfortably. I tried the audyssey on the receiver but did not really like the results with 2.1 setup. Now i think i enjoy just 2 channel and no sub.

Ah, that's right - a fellow Monitor Audio owner. I remember you from the MA owner's thread, I think. I have the RX6s myself in a 2.0 setup.

I like buying used gear and trying it out/playing around with it, just for the fun of it. I've tried three integrated amps, two separates setups (separate preamp and amp), and a couple of AVRs. At reasonable listening levels, all of them sounded the same to me. My room is 13x17 and I never crank it up loud. I've just recently started playing with Audyssey MultEQ XT. My first impressions are that it cleans up the bass nicely if I don't have the speakers positioned well (like against a wall or something). But with a 2.0 setup with good positioning of the speakers, its effects are more subtle.

I think you'll like the RX6s, but I don't think you'll find much difference in sound quality going from the AVR to an integrated amp. If, for reasons of simplicity or convenience, you want an integrated amp with a turntable input, then I can understand that. But I wouldn't put much $$ or effort into finding an integrated amp if it's improved sound quality that you're after.

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post #7 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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good post beavav. those RX6's are definitely my priority I think. Im going this weekend to compare the BX2's, RX2's, and RX6's. From what Ive heard from others I think that the RX6's will suit me just fine.

Good info on the integrated amp. I think the best bang for my buck on better vinyl playback may just be a new tt. I use the Marantz's phono stage and a pro-ject debut iii. Last weekend I tested a Clearaudio concept alongside another debut 3. The difference was pretty impressive with the Clearaudio. Although i don't know if it is $1500 more impressive. ha.
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post #8 of 94 Old 05-31-2012, 08:42 PM
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You can get integrated stereo amp and still have room correction - HK990.
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post #9 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice. But I dont think room correction is a game changer for me.
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post #10 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tostaylo View Post

Hi all,

Right now I have a Marantz SR6006 AV receiver but Ive decided I mainly want something for 2 channel stereo. How much would I have to spend to make a significant improvement in sound quality over the Marantz?

Unless the Marantz is faulty or a bad design there may not be such a thing.

If you want a dramatic improvement or at least an audible change in sound quality, and you have not done so, please take a serious look (as in spend a day with it) at the MultEQ XT feature that is already there. According to the manufacturer's blurb, they even put an appropriate mic in the box!

If you are waiting for an attractive blonde to show up on your front steps and run the MultiEQ for you, you may have a long wait. ;-) OTOH, if you spend the big bucks on another piece and never try it, this does not make you look like a capable, dedicated audiophile...
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post #11 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Ah, that's right - a fellow Monitor Audio owner. I remember you from the MA owner's thread, I think. I have the RX6s myself in a 2.0 setup.

I like buying used gear and trying it out/playing around with it, just for the fun of it. I've tried three integrated amps, two separates setups (separate preamp and amp), and a couple of AVRs. At reasonable listening levels, all of them sounded the same to me. My room is 13x17 and I never crank it up loud. I've just recently started playing with Audyssey MultEQ XT. My first impressions are that it cleans up the bass nicely if I don't have the speakers positioned well (like against a wall or something). But with a 2.0 setup with good positioning of the speakers, its effects are more subtle.

I think you'll like the RX6s, but I don't think you'll find much difference in sound quality going from the AVR to an integrated amp. If, for reasons of simplicity or convenience, you want an integrated amp with a turntable input, then I can understand that. But I wouldn't put much $$ or effort into finding an integrated amp if it's improved sound quality that you're after.



Wrong again.Just because you cant hear differences in integrated amps and receivers does not make it the golden rule.I would say 99% of the poster here have no clue as to what to eve listen for.Their is much to matching electronics to the right speakers.Their are plenty of site's where you can get good advice. I have a pair of MA rs6 and I tried many integrated's.All had their own sound.Your Anthem choice is a good one.
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post #12 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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That is a good idea trying the Multi EQ once more. Last time I did it was with a sub. This time Ill just run a 2.0 and see if how it goes.
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post #13 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddahead View Post

Wrong again.Just because you cant hear differences in integrated amps and receivers does not make it the golden rule.I would say 99% of the poster here have no clue as to what to eve listen for.Their is much to matching electronics to the right speakers.Their are plenty of site's where you can get good advice. I have a pair of MA rs6 and I tried many integrated's.All had their own sound.Your Anthem choice is a good one.

buddahead, do you sell electronics?
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post #14 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by buddahead View Post

Wrong again.

Just because you cant hear differences in integrated amps and receivers does not make it the golden rule.

Tom, I've asked you whether or not you've done any level-matched blind tests and your response (or lack of it) tells me that for you, not so much.

Here's a little hint: Without level matching and bias controls, *everybody hears differences among power amps*

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I would say 99% of the poster here have no clue as to what to even listen for.

Without level matching and bias controls, you don't need to know what to listen for. You'll hear differences regardless, due to the level differences and your own personal bias.

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Their is much to matching electronics to the right speakers.

Much is made of this, but in fact if the electronics are good, they shouldn't care that much about which speaker they are driving. Amps that change their sound with different speakers are very old school.

Quote:


Their are plenty of site's where you can get good advice.

There are a ton of sites where there are self-appointed eggspurts who will tell you all sorts of things.


Quote:


I have a pair of MA rs6 and I tried many integrated's. A l had their own sound. Your Anthem choice is a good one.

Tell me about your level matched, bias controlled listening tests, Bob.

Until then, you're probably just talking about your outdated test procedures and how they lead well-meaning people such as yourself down the high end audio primrose path.
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post #15 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 11:49 AM
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If you're looking to upgrade stereo sound quality, I would first start with speaker placement. Square rooms are notoriously difficult to position speakers in. Try Cardas method and play from there. After that, try room treatment. Then if you still want more, switch equipment. Start with speakers. If you're looking for better bass without sub, go bigger. Then when you have the right speakers, try different source -- turntable or DAC. After all of that, then change Marantz. I think you'll hear much bigger differences and find what you like with this approach. After a lot of playing around I'm realizing that amplification contributes less to SQ and musicality than speakers or source. Happy hunting!
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post #16 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I think youre right. Im just looking for a little a little bit more mid-range when listening to metal and hard rock. With the BX2's the mids are there but they are covered up a little bit by the highs and lows. I figure the RX2s or RX 6's will give me similar to better highs and lows with an improvement to the mids.

Dont' get me wrong, I think what I currently have sounds great And I don't feel the need to immediately replace anything. But just looking for a couple small improvements that when Im ready to make a change I'll know exactly what will do the trick. Doesnt sound like a different amp will give me what Im looking for though.

My sources are either 180gram vinyl, flac, apple lossless, and 256kbps aac so that should not be a problem. The room is not ideal and probably doesn't allow for the best placement. Room treatment is not an option unfortunately.

For the most part I am very happy and not overly picky about the sound. There are just 1 or 2 areas I think can be improved upon down the road.
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post #17 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddahead View Post

Wrong again.Just because you cant hear differences in integrated amps and receivers does not make it the golden rule.I would say 99% of the poster here have no clue as to what to eve listen for.Their is much to matching electronics to the right speakers.Their are plenty of site's where you can get good advice. I have a pair of MA rs6 and I tried many integrated's.All had their own sound.Your Anthem choice is a good one.

If only I had your knowledge of audio electronics!! (And your spelling ability!)

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #18 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nymartyk View Post

If you're looking to upgrade stereo sound quality, I would first start with speaker placement. Square rooms are notoriously difficult to position speakers in. Try Cardas method and play from there. After that, try room treatment. Then if you still want more, switch equipment. Start with speakers. If you're looking for better bass without sub, go bigger. Then when you have the right speakers, try different source -- turntable or DAC. After all of that, then change Marantz. I think you'll hear much bigger differences and find what you like with this approach. After a lot of playing around I'm realizing that amplification contributes less to SQ and musicality than speakers or source. Happy hunting!

I agree with this. Speakers, their placement, and the room are going to be your biggest factors for sound quality.

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post #19 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddahead View Post

Wrong again.Just because you cant hear differences in integrated amps and receivers does not make it the golden rule.I would say 99% of the poster here have no clue as to what to eve listen for.Their is much to matching electronics to the right speakers.Their are plenty of site's where you can get good advice. I have a pair of MA rs6 and I tried many integrated's.All had their own sound.Your Anthem choice is a good one.

If differences b/w amps are so significant, then why is there any debate regarding the existence of ANY differences??
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post #20 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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There has to be some difference in amps right?

Maybe just up until a certain price point there are differences but when you get to that point maybe the differences are too small to realize.
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post #21 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 05:06 PM
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There has to be some difference in amps right?

There are certainly measurable differences. The question is whether those measurable differences are large enough to actually be audible. The best evidence we have says that any two amps are not audibly distinguishable if the following conditions are met:

1) there are no impedance problems between amp and speakers that causes an audible change in frequency response

2) neither amp is driven to audible clipping

3) the amps' output levels are matched to within 0.1 dB

#1 is rare in solid state amps. #2 speaks to the issue of adequate power, which is important (though most speakers can be driven by most amps). #3 is just an obvious test condition. If the levels are different, of course they'll sound different.

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Maybe just up until a certain price point there are differences but when you get to that point maybe the differences are too small to realize.

Price is not a technical spec. Even cheap amps sound alike, assuming they meet the conditions above.

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post #22 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 05:53 PM
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If you don't need a sub out and $1500 isn't out of your price range.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MFM3I
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post #23 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 06:20 PM
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If you don't need a sub out and $1500 isn't out of your price range.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MFM3I

Those are some pretty expensive watts!

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post #24 of 94 Old 06-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Those are some pretty expensive watts!


You won't say that after listening to one.
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post #25 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 03:57 AM
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Those are some pretty expensive watts!

You won't say that after listening to one.

Ever compared it to anything else in an unbiased listening test?
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post #26 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Ever compared it to anything else in an unbiased listening test?

I think everyone here is sick of your bias listening test.The MF m3-1 is a top notch Integrated that gets many great reviews.People like you ruin this forum.If you do not have suggestion then quit posting.
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post #27 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 09:10 AM
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I think everyone here is sick of your bias listening test.The MF m3-1 is a top notch Integrated that gets many great reviews.People like you ruin this forum.If you do not have suggestion then quit posting.

Somehow, I think measurements and listening tests are far more valuable than subjective reviews. Or your favorite, selecting by MSRP and flowery marketing prose.
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post #28 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 10:25 AM
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I think everyone here is sick of your bias listening test.

I think everyone here is sick of your bias.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #29 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 11:33 AM
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I won't presume to speak for everyone, but for me, the incessant posting about proper blind listening tests gets old. It seems that too many threads have that position interjected over and over again.

When it's the topic of the thread or a singular response to a question, it's fine. At this point, it's like some have a mission to condition everyone to their way of thinking, which detracts from the topic conversation.
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post #30 of 94 Old 06-02-2012, 11:40 AM
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I won't presume to speak for everyone, but for me, the incessant posting about proper blind listening tests gets old.

I won't presume to speak for everyone, but for me, the incessant posting about opinions not based on proper blind listening tests gets old.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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