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yamapro

Seeking Musical AVR $2-$2.5k Budget

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Hi All,

 

It seems the bug has bitten me hard again and after several years living very contentedly with my HT setup I am replacing a lot of it piece by piece :D

 

I have recently upgraded my PJ to a 1080P model that is 3d ready (so only a few years behind the 8ball now - no 4K for me!) and I'm not too interested in Atmos etc... (7.1 is plenty immersive enough for me).

 

Currently, I run a Nad T747 AVR which has been great in it's simplicity and 'music first' approach. Coupled to a Rotel  RB1080 power amp it has produced great results for both Stereo listening and HT.

I know that conventional wisdom tells me a 2ch Integrated or Pre with HT bypass is the best way forward BUT I utilise my subs for both HT and Stereo listening and the bass management of an AVR is a godsend.

I send a lot of music from a HDD over Ethernet to a Heos  Link and currently coax out to the AVR which does a good job - esp with HD music.

 

Unfortunately the NAD is experiencing annoying HDMI handshake issues more frequently now (since i have gone to the Panny PTAE 7000 as a display and Xbox One as source) and so it may be time to bite the bullet and move on up!

 

With that in mind - and my aim of a 50/50 Music and HT system I am interested in any opinions the following:

 

Cambridge Audio CXR 120 - $2999rrp; Top end of the budget (assuming a bit of a hagle) but I'll go there if it's worth it.

Seems an obvious choice as it's almost a spiritual successor to my NAD - light on features but quality above quantity...

Curious as to how bass management is implemented and it looks like it may not have pre-outs (which would just be ridiculous!) so may be a deal breaker there!

 

Denon 3400/4400

I see the 4300 reviewed very well as an all rounder round these parts...

Heos implementation is neat as I already use it.

Not too sure what the differences are beyond the extra amp channels that i don't need... Are their any quality differences in the DAC implementations/Preamp and processing stages? Big price hike so i assume so but keen on any reviews from those in the know.

Also - more than happy to turn up a 3300/4300 if on clearance and they are much the same from a quality point of view.

Does Denon Allow sub bass in Pure direct?

 

Marantz 6012/7011/7012

Not too sure what the differences are between the 7011 and 7012 as the 12 doesn't seem to be available in Aus... Also curious as to where the extra $$$ go from the 60 to 70 series.

Like Denon - Heos is a plus and historically i have enjoyed the Marantz sound.

 

What else am I missing? Anthem seem to rate a mention but I don't know where to start...interested in any experiences though. I've not given Yamaha a look in since I ran an RXV 1500 well over a decade ago (moved it on in for a Marantz 7500 which i enjoyed more in in 2ch operation) - are they worth a look?

 

What else can you recommend as a music first Receiver that does a quality job in 2 ch (when feeding an external amp)?

 

TIA

Edited by yamapro

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24 minutes ago, yamapro said:

What else am I missing? Anthem seem to rate a mention but I don't know where to start...interested in any experiences though. I've not given Yamaha a look in since I ran an RXV 1500 well over a decade ago (moved it on in for a Marantz 7500 which i enjoyed more in in 2ch operation) - are they worth a look?

 

Have a look at this:

The MRX 720 street price may fit within your budget.  A second hand MRX 710 will be well under your budget, given you do not need Atmos, 4K.   Please post if you have any questions on Anthem, ARC...

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Arcam ? Another to explore ?

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Yes, Arcam are meant to be highly rated but not sure how easy Dirac is to use!?!

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6 hours ago, yamapro said:

 

I know that conventional wisdom tells me a 2ch Integrated or Pre with HT bypass is the best way forward BUT I utilise my subs for both HT and Stereo listening and the bass management of an AVR is a godsend.

 

You know AVR is avr sounding,..:yes: Stick with your wisdom i reckon. Not sure what your current full setup is. Grab a good integrated with HT bypass from the classified section and a new AVR such as the Marantz 6011 or 6012? Might be close enough to your budget.

 

Suggestion:

Btw is integrated has optional DAC module installed. Very decent price.

 

 

Edited by Sirmorebeer

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Considered a pre pro at all Yamapro ? Hard to conceive of one at this price point but this one below is the replacement for the umc200 I keep as a spare .   Theres a good fit for your criteria in the emo mc700 for 7.2 ; no superfluous atmos.dts x and twin lfe outs for your subs .. Doubtful too if an avr has a balanced lfe out at this price point :) Quite rare 12/24 db xover filter slopes for bass management too.

http://www.eastwoodhifi.com.au/emotiva mc-700 processor.htm

 

Have noticed them in a few places but Eastwood seems very reasonable..

 

 

Edited by cwt

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On 11/14/2017 at 5:46 PM, Snoopy8 said:

The MRX 720 street price may fit within your budget.  A second hand MRX 710 will be well under your budget, given you do not need Atmos, 4K.   Please post if you have any questions on Anthem, ARC...

Hi Snoopy, Thanks for the recommendation....I'm seeing some excellent deals on the now replaced 710 and 510 models.

In your experience what are the advantages of the 710 over the 510? It seems the 510 is more aligned with the 720 in the new lineup???

Is the difference between the 510 and 710 purely on the power output stage? If so the 510 looks a bargain - esp as I already have a 2 ch power amp for stereo listening...

Also - I assume it is relatively straightforward to integrate subwoofers via bass management into 2 channel listening?

 

On 11/14/2017 at 9:26 PM, :) al said:

Arcam ? Another to explore ?

Love the Arcam gear Al... seems beyond my budget however

 

On 11/15/2017 at 3:31 AM, cwt said:

Considered a pre pro at all Yamapro ? Hard to conceive of one at this price point but this one below is the replacement for the umc200 I keep as a spare .   Theres a good fit for your criteria in the emo mc700 for 7.2 ; no superfluous atmos.dts x and twin lfe outs for your subs .. Doubtful too if an avr has a balanced lfe out at this price point :) Quite rare 12/24 db xover filter slopes for bass management too.

http://www.eastwoodhifi.com.au/emotiva mc-700 processor.htm

 

Have noticed them in a few places but Eastwood seems very reasonable..

 

 

Hi CWT - The MC-700 / A500 has turned my head... Do you have any experience with these? I'm very interested but hoping 'everything just works' as expected with the better known stuff. Seems a bargain....

 

 

So Here's Where I'm At - 

 

Cambridge and The Denon 3400 have been struck off the list.

 

The X4400 remains interesting but seems over priced as internal photo's show it is the same under the skin as the Marantz 6012 (with the exception of the Marantz having improved 'HDAM' preamp modules) at a 50% price premium here in Aus - I can't get my head around that one..?

The 6012 seems to be the most future proof all rounder that has the latest chipsets and coding and seems a popular pickup at the $2k price point - i will try and audition this next week and imagine we could have a happy life together

 

The Emotiva looks great - Separates for mid tier AVR money seems like a bargain...just wonder if anyone has actually lived with them?? At the same price point as a 6012/ Yam 1070...do they trade features i don't need for increased performance? Do they operate like a properly finished product? Hard to know As I can't get an audition in SA...

 

I will further look into the Yammie Range - despite my pre bias that Marantz should be more 'musical'. The A10-3070 series seem to be more competitively priced here than most of their competition, esp as they are normally easier to get a generous discount on. Could be the Dark Horse

 

The Outgoing Anthem's seem to good to be true - trying to do some research on these in a hurry. Only drawback seems to be 24bit Dacs and DSP as opposed to 32bit in all the latest gen gear. Does it really matter? Hard to know - esp as i doubt i can demo one of X10 series Anthems easily.

 

So the Anthem's are the most Wallet Friendly on the list currently, The Marantz seems the most 'polished and future proof' and the Emo gives the perceived performance boost of separates...(and the Yamaha remain on the list until i do further research and audtioning)... Tough decision as Half of the shortlist can be auditioned and half can't!!!

 

HELP??

 

 

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27 minutes ago, yamapro said:

Hi Snoopy, Thanks for the recommendation....I'm seeing some excellent deals on the now replaced 710 and 510 models.

In your experience what are the advantages of the 710 over the 510? It seems the 510 is more aligned with the 720 in the new lineup???

Is the difference between the 510 and 710 purely on the power output stage? If so the 510 looks a bargain - esp as I already have a 2 ch power amp for stereo listening...

Also - I assume it is relatively straightforward to integrate subwoofers via bass management into 2 channel listening

710 has additional power (90W, 5 channels vs 75W 5 channel) for 510 and a quieter toroidal power supply.  As an aside, I started looking for the 510, but ended up with the 710 because it was offered at a few hundred dollars more than the 510. And I did  not need the additional power because I use active speakers!

 

Correct, the 510 is more aligned with the 710.  Old series was 310/510/710.  New series is 520/720/1120 (1120 has toroidal power supply).

 

Have a look at calibrate dual woofers with ARC (Poor Audiophile).

41 minutes ago, yamapro said:

The Outgoing Anthem's seem to good to be true - trying to do some research on these in a hurry. Only drawback seems to be 24bit Dacs and DSP as opposed to 32bit in all the latest gen gear. Does it really matter? Hard to know - esp as i doubt i can demo one of X10 series Anthems easily.

Have a read of Everything Audio Network MRX-720 review which said that the better DACs on the 720 made it better than the 710.  If I was running my stereo on the 710, I would be sorely tempted to upgrade, but my stereo is a separate system.  And comparing a 24 vs 32 bit DAC is not enough; equally important is the analogue circuitry.

 

Have you asked Blackwood Sound or Vision Hifi whether you can demo the Anthem 520/720?  It will give you an idea of what the Anthem sounds like, but obviously you have to guess what the 510/710 can do. 

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9 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

710 has additional power (90W, 5 channels vs 75W 5 channel) for 510 and a quieter toroidal power supply.  As an aside, I started looking for the 510, but ended up with the 710 because it was offered at a few hundred dollars more than the 510. And I did  not need the additional power because I use active speakers!

....

Thanks for the quick reply Snoopy! 

More confused than ever now though!!

 

The new 520 doesn't fit my needs, the 720 seems in some ways an upgrade and some a downer compared to the 710.

 

I'm concerned that you would look to the 720 for stereo as that is now outside my budget...

 

So the question remains as to whether the Marantz 6012 or Anthem 710 will perform better with music (digitally) or if the Emo will slay them both and if so how reliably and solidly will it perform?

Edited by yamapro
Fat fingers on a virtual keyboard

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1 hour ago, yamapro said:

Also - I assume it is relatively straightforward to integrate subwoofers via bass management into 2 channel listening

Um no. As with every product like this there is something missing or a weakness and subwoofer integration is Anthem's big one. While ARC is better than audyssey for speaker set up, audyssey has the far superior sub setup with sub eq ht. I tried all the tips and tricks for the anthem but they never really work. You will need something like a minidsp or antimode to get the bass right.

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Have you looked at the just updated NAD T758v3?

 

Looks to tick all your boxes. On paper I'm tossing up between that and the marantz 6012. Pity the NAD only has 3 HDMI inputs so I'd need a switching box, but that's not too big a deal as I already use one with my current non-hdmi AVR, along with an audio hdmi to optical splitter!

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31 minutes ago, yamapro said:

Thanks for the quick reply Snoopy! 

More confused than ever now though!!

 

The new 520 doesn't fit my needs, the 720 seems in some ways an upgrade and some a downer compared to the 710.

 

I'm concerned that you would look to the 720 for stereo as that is now outside my budget...

 

So the question remains as to whether the Marantz 6012 or Anthem 710 will perform better with music (digitally) or if the Emo will slay them both and if so how reliably and solidly will it perform?

When I mentioned the 720 upgrade from a 710, it was in the context of using 1 box for both stereo and HT.  I have been recommending the 710 to anyone who wanted a one box solution and it was that review that suggested the 720 is a bit better. 

 

The street price for the 720 is a lot less, so may get it within your budget.

 

The thing that won me over on the Anthem of Anthem Room Correction (ARC), especially you have an untreated room.  You can read my journey of using ARC in the owners thread, but I used it in 3 different rooms, and it made a difference. 

 

Have not compared 6012.  

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4 hours ago, yamapro said:

Hi CWT - The MC-700 / A500 has turned my head... Do you have any experience with these? I'm very interested but hoping 'everything just works' as expected with the better known stuff. Seems a bargain....

 

The Emotiva looks great - Separates for mid tier AVR money seems like a bargain...just wonder if anyone has actually lived with them?? At the same price point as a 6012/ Yam 1070...do they trade features i don't need for increased performance? Do they operate like a properly finished product? Hard to know As I can't get an audition in SA...

No experience with the MC700 yamapro but from reading the emo thread there have been hiccups with the hdmi switching as its a combination of a 4k chipset and 2k . That said there have been a number of firmware upgrades for the better ..

All the comments about sound quality compared to an avr have been positive http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/49308/mc-700-first-impressions?page=1. Maybe p.m. Gary  Cook ; he;s considering one as he has a number of 4k sources to switch that the umc200 cannot handle .

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4 hours ago, yamapro said:

Love the Arcam gear Al... seems beyond my budget however

Get what pay for, they have one of best amp stages in avrs, eq with Dirac and long standing cred with 2ch and music. They had s great trade in offer which made good buying I thought :)

 

4 hours ago, yamapro said:

The Outgoing Anthem's seem to good to be true - trying to do some research on these in a hurry. Only drawback seems to be 24bit Dacs and DSP as opposed to 32bit in all the latest gen gear. Does it really matter? Hard to know - esp as i doubt i can demo one of X10 series Anthems easily.

I have my doubts on the anthems ... just have to see their stated consumption stamped on back vs even the baby arcam with 1500w max consumption. For avrs power reserves are important otherwise why bother abd just buy pre and amps. Am more likely to believe arcams claims. Other thing with anthem is I people even with flagship av processor of theirs using a bolt in audyssey processor !

 

4 hours ago, yamapro said:

The X4400 remains interesting but seems over priced as internal photo's show it is the same under the skin as the Marantz 6012 (with the exception of the Marantz having improved 'HDAM' preamp modules) at a 50% price premium here in Aus - I can't get my head around that one..?

In denons a 4 series is really buying old 3 series level, like marantz I wouldn’t put too much on their power claims. However the marantz have traditionally done better on music/2ch both will find accomplished tech and processing wise abd I’d suggest buy the most up model marantz can afford. If canfibd buy the flagship 2015 release marantz.   Buy at discount abd with marantz promise to bring upto spec.buying older in this case sends up of tree and considerable saving abd with their update won’t find missing out ...

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