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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I wasn't intending to change my current system, but reading these forums has got me itching to get some new toys, and hopefully improve my listening experience.  I currently have a 15 year old system made up of a Denon DRA-375 stereo receiver, Denon DCD-815 cd player and a pair of KEF Q35 speakers.  This is a living room setup strictly for music, no home theatre so no need for AVR, 5.1 etc. I want to stick to 2.0 stereo. I mostly listen to CDs (classical, jazz, contemporary) but would like to play off a USB for convenience.

 

I was looking at the Marantz PM6005 amp (or the previous PM6004 to save money) and CD6005 cd player.  My question is, will I get an appreciable improvement in sound from these components over my 15 year old Denons, amp +/- cd player, and without upgrading my speakers?  I do not want to spend a lot as this is "elective" rather than essential (i.e. wife will have a problem if I go much over $1000). 

 

Any opinions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Perhaps I can ask a more specific question:  has the technology of CD players improved in the past 15 years to the point where a unit of comparable quality and price will be noticeable?  (I paid about $350 for my CD player back then).

Second, will a "modest" integrated amp like the PM6005 provide better sound quality over a "modest" receiver of 15 years ago?  The current Denon has sufficient power to drive my speakers, I just wonder about other benefits of an amp over a low-mid line AVR if I only need it for stereo speakers.

Sorry, but I am not up on these components and their benefits and have been trying to learn from these forums.

 

Thanks
 

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I've owned a few of the Q series, Q15, Q55, Q75, Q95C. Generally the Q sound is quite nice but the treble driver could be improved, you could look into higher model Kef. I went from Kef Q to Kef Reference, nicer sound.


But then once you do that, probably looking at upgrading your amp as well.. Kef RDM were nice speakers.


You could change the source/amp, but limited to the speakers, nothing wrong with Kef Q good speakers, fab midrange and superb imaging. Brother upgraded the Q driver in his Q75's to later generation - improved overall. Not cheap though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zcars  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24456337


I wasn't intending to change my current system, but reading these forums has got me itching to get some new toys, and hopefully improve my listening experience.  I currently have a 15 year old system made up of a Denon DRA-375 stereo receiver, Denon DCD-815 cd player and a pair of KEF Q35 speakers.  This is a living room setup strictly for music, no home theatre so no need for AVR, 5.1 etc. I want to stick to 2.0 stereo. I mostly listen to CDs (classical, jazz, contemporary) but would like to play off a USB for convenience.


I was looking at the Marantz PM6005 amp (or the previous PM6004 to save money) and CD6005 cd player.  My question is, will I get an appreciable improvement in sound from these components over my 15 year old Denons, amp +/- cd player, and without upgrading my speakers?  I do not want to spend a lot as this is "elective" rather than essential (i.e. wife will have a problem if I go much over $1000). 


Any opinions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

CD player sound quality has been pretty constant since the second generation of players, ca. 1986. All that has happened technically since then of significance is better tracking of damaged discs and better price/performance.


If you upgraded to an AVR there might be a sound quality benefit from some of its features as well as improved interfacing with modern music players. Integrated amps are pretty much a technical backwater, and lag AVRs technologically speaking. Many people use AVRs as the core of their stereo systems. AVRs facilitate the integration of subwoofers which could provide a strong sound quality boost to your Q35s.
 

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He's not interested in multi-channel, so in his case I'd stick to a stereo integrated amplifier. My Arcam Alpha integrated is much better than my Yamaha AVR.


Although AV amps offer things like bass managament which is handy, as you could cross those Q35's at say 50/60hz, freeing up amplifier power and re-directing lower bass to a subwoofer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

This is all helpful. Multichannel is really not in the cards so from what I understand I would be getting little benefit from replacing my Denon receiver and cd player with the Marantz, other than having newer cooler gear.  Decent AVRs are too big for my setup which is why I was interested in the Marantz.  I think I will keep researching and looking at decent amps like Marantz and NAD and look for deals to come up.  I am actually happy with my Q35s when I have the freedom to up the volume as they are not bad.  Maybe a significant upgrade is further down the road when I will seriously look at better components all around.

Thanks all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24460770


He's not interested in multi-channel, so in his case I'd stick to a stereo integrated amplifier.

Interesting how free some people feel to spend other people's money for what?


It is well known that due to volume producting and the descent of pure 2-channel into a tiny niche, that 2-channel gear often represents a poor value.
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My Arcam Alpha integrated is much better than my Yamaha AVR.


Better at what? Based on what reliable evaluations?
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Although AV amps offer things like bass management which is handy, as you could cross those Q35's at say 50/60hz, freeing up amplifier power and re-directing lower bass to a subwoofer.

Good point. That's what I'm talking about!


I have a pair of Q-series speakers and I'd never use them in a serious music listening system without a good sub. 6.5" drivers can only do so much.
 

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2 channel stereo isn't a tiny niche. it's huge, just because you prefer using home theatre gear, doesn't mean it's just a few bearded folks wearing slippers and smoking a pipe.


I've got a home theatre and a 2 channel Hi-Fi.


Generally you get MORE for your money in 2 channel gear. A £500 stereo integrated amplifier will be higher quality than a £500 AV amplifier. My Arcam can drive 4ohm speakers, but the Yamaha struggles.
Quote:
6.5" drivers can only do so much.

In most cases a pair of bookshelf speakers will be fine for Hi-Fi systems, in suitable rooms. In fact my standmount speakers produce too much bass in the room, a subwoofer isn't needed.


My stereo analogu pre-amp is a superb unit, compared to the AV amp. I changed from older Yamaha to stereo integrated amp and it was a HUGE upgrade, but if you're deaf you won't notice it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462681


2 channel stereo isn't a tiny niche. it's huge, just because you prefer using home theatre gear, doesn't mean it's just a few bearded folks wearing slippers and smoking a pipe.


I've got a home theatre and a 2 channel Hi-Fi.


Generally you get MORE for your money in 2 channel gear. A £500 stereo integrated amplifier will be higher quality than a £500 AV amplifier. My Arcam can drive 4ohm speakers, but the Yamaha struggles.

In most cases a pair of bookshelf speakers will be fine for Hi-Fi systems, in suitable rooms. In fact my standmount speakers produce too much bass in the room, a subwoofer isn't needed.


My stereo analogu pre-amp is a superb unit, compared to the AV amp. I changed from older Yamaha to stereo integrated amp and it was a HUGE upgrade, but if you're deaf you won't notice it.

^^^^Agree with this. Not everyone wants, needs, or even cares for multi-channel AVR's. I feel like the OP should give the NAD's a serious look. Very good and highly rated IA's. All of their gear is 4 ohm rated and gets great reviews. Check them out at Audio Advisor. Excellent prices and good selection.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/Amplifiers---Integrated/products/9/
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462681


2 channel stereo isn't a tiny niche.


it's huge, just because you prefer using home theatre gear, doesn't mean it's just a few bearded folks wearing slippers and smoking a pipe.

It doesn't seem to show up in what's actually sitting on the shelf in audio stores. While catalogs are cheap, floor space is dear.
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I've got a home theatre and a 2 channel Hi-Fi.

Speaks to possible prejudice and bias.
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Generally you get MORE for your money in 2 channel gear. A £500 stereo integrated amplifier will be higher quality than a £500 AV amplifier. My Arcam can drive 4ohm speakers, but the Yamaha struggles.

I guess you need to buy a cheaper Yamaha AVR, because my RXV-371 has no such problems.


BTW what do you base your claims that the apparently overpriced Yamaha AVR is struggling?
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Quote:
6.5" drivers can only do so much.

In most cases a pair of bookshelf speakers will be fine for Hi-Fi systems, in suitable rooms. In fact my standmount speakers produce too much bass in the room, a subwoofer isn't needed.

Speaks to the strong possibility of modest goals for bass reproduction.
Quote:
My stereo analog pre-amp is a superb unit, compared to the AV amp. I changed from older Yamaha to stereo integrated amp and it was a HUGE upgrade, but if you're deaf you won't notice it.

Thanks for the gratuitous insult. Speaks to writers presumption of inherent physical superiority based on his presumed greater ability to spend money.
 

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These forums are getting boring, just the usual "everything sounds the same", AV amps are better than stereo amps, all amps sound the same nonsense. BLAH BLAH
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It doesn't seem to show up in what's actually sitting on the shelf in audio stores. While catalogs are cheap, floor space is dear.

I really don't care what is selling the most, of course to the general public home theatre is "better" after all more speakers right? And that means retailers can sell more expensive 5.1 systems, and subwoofers. Rather than just stereo speakers.


My Arcam has more clean power into 4ohm loads than a £2000 Pioneer av amplifier. LOL
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Speaks to writers presumption of inherent physical superiority based on his presumed greater ability to spend money.

Actually in Hi-Fi you spend less money for better quality. But keep on showing up yourself, it's pretty amusing.
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Speaks to possible prejudice and bias.

Oh really when I have both, and multple stereo/AV amp and av processor units? umm no quite the opposite. Do YOU have lots of stereo & AV gear? Or just a rubbish Yamaha 363 so you're now a "expert"


And your and FMW repeating the same old boring nonsense is bias too, both like religious fundamentalists. Op has said he doesn't want a AV amp, yet you thread crap.


Upgrading from a stereo amp to a AVR is NOT a upgrade, it's a downgrade. I had the same idotic response from Richer Sounds staff trying to flog me a Sherwood AV amp saying upgrading from your old Audiolab integrated. LOL
 

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Isn't there pretty strong proof that any modern, good quality AVR or amp, used within its design limits, will be inaudible if changing to another amp of higher quality or price, and that any "percieved" sound quality is likely due to bias or simply not being level matched, etc.  I am not aware of any well conducted double blind tests in which anyone, even those with self proclaimed superior hearing ability have been able to distinguish between amplifiers.  This of course assumes amps that are not over driven and are not artificially altering the sound.

 

Obviously, there are differences between amps.  My cheap Yamaha AVR has good clean output up to a certain level.  Above that it will clip and distort, in which case a higher quality amp with more clean power available would obviously improve sound quality.  But if not driven above those limits there should be no audible difference if swapping to a much more powerful, higher quality amp. 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear123  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462726


Isn't there pretty strong proof that any modern, good quality AVR or amp, used within its design limits, will be inaudible if changing to another amp of higher quality or price, and that any "percieved" sound quality is likely due to bias or simply not being level matched, etc.  I am not aware of any well conducted double blind tests in which anyone, even those with self proclaimed superior hearing ability have been able to distinguish between amplifiers.  This of course assumes amps that are not over driven and are not artificially altering the sound.

Nope, even with moderate gear the sound quality going from Yamaha AV to stereo integrated was immense, I know of two other people who changed (added) from AV to stereo ie AV amp for HT, stereo for L/R driving them and for pre-amp.


But of course they have a bias
Yeah maybe everyone should buy Bose with a low end amp, because if a £100.000 system sounds better, well they're obviously biased.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462732



Nope, even with moderate gear the sound quality going from Yamaha AV to stereo integrated was immense, I know of two other people who changed (added) from AV to stereo ie AV amp for HT, stereo for L/R driving them and for pre-amp.


But of course they have a bias
Yeah maybe everyone should buy Bose with a low end amp, because if a £100.000 system sounds better, well they're obviously biased.
Well, perception is reality, and I think that is the point of the double blind testing.  If you have an old cheap amp, and you spend a boatload of money on a shiny new, high quality state of the art "audiophile" amplifier, chances are, you are already convinced the sound quality will be much better.  As such, you will hear a difference, but mainly because you expect to, or because it may be slightly louder etc etc.  Many tests have been done that prove that once these biases are removed, inaudible differences, surprisingly, can no longer be heard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Generally you get MORE for your money in 2 channel gear. A £500 stereo integrated amplifier will be higher quality than a £500 AV amplifier.
This really what I was wondering.  What technological and audible benefits are there in a $700 amp vs a receiver that cost me $350 15 years ago, or a $500 AVR for example? Will I need $5000 speakers to hear the difference?  Is the amp priced relatively higher because it is a lower volume production unit compared to mass produced and sold by the skid AVRs?  I am not going to spend $1-2 k for an amp so I may be playing in the same field with all these options. I am thinking of going to a nice set of book shelf speakers to replace the Q35s but the living room has a high sloping ceiling and opens onto the rest of the house so I worry the sound would get lost as it cannot be contained within the room.
 

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Incorrect, and also I had another brand of a similar quality.


The two didn't sound the same. Mate borrowed my amps.


I tried Arcam with B&W speakers - a good match

Audiolab with B&W speakers- not a good match. Way too bright and brash.


yeah suppose more "bias" again.
Differences in CD player, DAC.


Take your thread crapping elseware the guy is interested in two channel Hi-Fi.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462681


A £500 stereo integrated amplifier will be higher quality than a £500 AV amplifier. 
 

This looks a lot like opinion presented as fact. Do you have any objective proof to back up your opinion?   If you don't, it isn't going to be taken seriously. 

 

Quote:
 In most cases a pair of bookshelf speakers will be fine for Hi-Fi systems, in suitable rooms. In fact my standmount speakers produce too much bass in the room, a subwoofer isn't needed.
 

'Too much bass in the room' sounds to me like you have modal issues. There is no such thing as "too much" or "too little" bass - there is simply the bass which the recording engineer put on the source and the job of your system is to reproduce that properly. If it isn't - and it sounds like it isn't from hat you say - then there is a problem. Chances are it is the effect of the room on your sound and it would probably be worthwhile to experiment with alternative speaker locations to try to get rid of this 'boomy bass' or whatever it is you mean by "too much bass". 

 

If you have an independent measuring system such as REW, making some measurements and then looking at the waterfalls and/or spectrograms will show up any issues.  If you don't have measuring capability, then using a room mode calculator to assist in proper speaker placement will help a lot. You can google for a room mode calculator - there are lots. Place the speakers where the calculator indicates they will interact with the room most favourably.  Remember that the room has far more impact on the sound you hear than does any aspect of your electronics, which can largely be considered as irrelevant to SQ in this context, as what you have is of good quality for the purpose.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zcars  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462758


This really what I was wondering.  What technological and audible benefits are there in a $700 amp vs a receiver that cost me $350 15 years ago, or a $500 AVR for example? Will I need $5000 speakers to hear the difference?  Is the amp priced relatively higher because it is a lower volume production unit compared to mass produced and sold by the skid AVRs?  I am not going to spend $1-2 k for an amp so I may be playing in the same field with all these options. I am thinking of going to a nice set of book shelf speakers to replace the Q35s but the living room has a high sloping ceiling and opens onto the rest of the house so I worry the sound would get lost as it cannot be contained within the room.

Go and have a listen to AV amplifier and stereo integated amplifier of the same cost and see for yourself. A AV amplifier will have 7 power amplifiers, compared to just the two in a stereo integrated amplifier. The pre-amp in the stereo amp is just a pot, but the AV amp has processing, multi channel DAC's and ADC, electronics, video scaling. Which isn't used for 2 channel. Power supply in the stereo amp will be higher current, and not shared between multiple PCB devices, and less channels.


Compare a Arcam stereo amplifier against Yamaha AV amp, and power output on the Arcam will be cleaner, lower distortion, and able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
Quote:
This looks a lot like opinion presented as fact. Do you have any objective proof to back up your opinion? If you don't, it isn't going to be taken seriously.

Do you think all the extra parts in AV amplifier cost nothing? There will be compromises.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1521589/is-this-worth-upgrading#post_24462782

 
Compare a Arcam stereo amplifier against Yamaha AV amp, and power output on the Arcam will be cleaner, lower distortion, and able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
 

Have you got a link to where this was compared, with the results of the tests, or is this just your opinion, again presented as fact?
 
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