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Steffen

Slim line AVR - Yamaha or Marantz for SQ?

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I am unfortunately no longer able to have a stereo setup separate from the home theatre, and at the same time I'm looking to replace the AVR with one that can pass through HDR/Dolby Vision. I would also like a slim AVR for space and SAF reasons.

 

I've been reading up on the Yamaha RX-AS710 and the Marantz NR1608. Both have the all features I need for my straight-forward 4.1 home theatre setup, and are within $100 of each other. I need a recommendation as to which would deliver better sound listening to music in 2.0 or 2.1. These are not the kind of devices where you book a listening session with the dealer and bring your own speakers. So I'm going to have to take a punt. Can you help me out here?

 

I'm now running my LS3/5a through a Sony STR-DN860 AVR. Tonally and dynamically it's ok and sounds a lot better than I feared (having used a MF A100 for a couple of decades previously), but it lacks sound stage and depth. Is there any hope I can to better with either the Yamaha or the Marantz above?

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1 hour ago, Steffen said:

I'm now running my LS3/5a through a Sony STR-DN860 AVR. Tonally and dynamically it's ok and sounds a lot better than I feared (having used a MF A100 for a couple of decades previously), but it lacks sound stage and depth. Is there any hope I can to better with either the Yamaha or the Marantz above?

knowing the mf a100, its an excellent 2ch amp. id suggest you might get some gains going from the sony to say the marantz.... but unfortunately the likes of the avrs here are really digital beasts and unlikely 2ch wise to have the sound stage or depth of the old MF. ( I still run a X-a1 in my bedroom setup), they are perfectly good amps if getting on a bit.

 

one option if wanting to upgrade from the mf is something like the m3 series integrated... this comes with a ht bypass feature and then you hook those upto the ls3/5a and you dont compromise 2ch wise. but when comes to av... you hit the ht bypass feature on the 2ch amp.... and then rest of the speakers are run off the avr(unfortunately the sony doesnt I dont think have pre outs) and will utilise the mf to still drive the ls3/5a just bypassing the vol knob on the mf integrated :)

 

http://www.lenwallisaudio.com/products/amplifiers/integrated-amplifier/m3si-integrated-amplifier

 

if have more cash to spare something like the m5 is also there though probably unnecessary driving the ls3/5a :)

http://www.lenwallisaudio.com/products/amplifiers/integrated-amplifier/m5si

 

one other option if dont mind fidling ... is to continue running the old A100 to run the speakers you have....

 

and just output L&R mains from the avr (sony doesnt have this) to feed the mf a100.... you put its vol at 12 o'clock position, calibrate for av with it here and  each time want to use it with your avr or surround you put the a100 back to 12 o'clock. this acts like a ht bypass .... feeding your a100 the L&R signal from your AVR to still run your ls3/5a off the a100 you have :)

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3 hours ago, Steffen said:

I am unfortunately no longer able to have a stereo setup separate from the home theatre, and at the same time I'm looking to replace the AVR with one that can pass through HDR/Dolby Vision. I would also like a slim AVR for space and SAF reasons.

 

I've been reading up on the Yamaha RX-AS710 and the Marantz NR1608. Both have the all features I need for my straight-forward 4.1 home theatre setup, and are within $100 of each other. I need a recommendation as to which would deliver better sound listening to music in 2.0 or 2.1. These are not the kind of devices where you book a listening session with the dealer and bring your own speakers. So I'm going to have to take a punt. Can you help me out here?

 

I'm now running my LS3/5a through a Sony STR-DN860 AVR. Tonally and dynamically it's ok and sounds a lot better than I feared (having used a MF A100 for a couple of decades previously), but it lacks sound stage and depth. Is there any hope I can to better with either the Yamaha or the Marantz above?

There is a "house"sound with Yamaha and Marantz.  I prefer Marantz but others prefer Yamaha.  Suggest listening to both before deciding.

 

And the Cat knows what he is talking about...  😸

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1 hour ago, :) al said:

one other option if dont mind fidling ... is to continue running the old A100 to run the speakers you have....

 

and just output L&R mains from the avr (sony doesnt have this) to feed the mf a100.... you put its vol at 12 o'clock position, calibrate for av with it here and  each time want to use it with your avr or surround you put the a100 back to 12 o'clock. this acts like a ht bypass .... feeding your a100 the L&R signal from your AVR to still run your ls3/5a off the a100 you have :)

I've actually fiddled with this amp quite a bit over time. After replacing the volume pot a couple of times (it apparently cannot stand the class A heat) I gave up on it and the source selector switch, which had seized up. I bypassed the source selector, input stage and volume pot altogether, replaced many of the caps with Mundorfs and hooked the rest of the amp up to the pre-outs of the AVR, through an X10D tube line stage. This had been my hybrid HT/stereo system for the past five years or so. It sounded good.

 

Unfortunately, all that gear had to go, it had to be a one-box system, but I'm not happy with the Sony sound. So I'm looking for an AVR that sounds better and is also slim line.

31 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

There is a "house"sound with Yamaha and Marantz.  I prefer Marantz but others prefer Yamaha.

I reckon one can get used to any sound signature, but not to a lack of sound stage and imaging. That's probably the reason I still haven't replaced the LS3/5a after all these years.

 

Getting a demo with both of these AVRs is going to be a challenge...

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3 minutes ago, Steffen said:

I've actually fiddled with this amp quite a bit over time. After replacing the volume pot a couple of times (it apparently cannot stand the class A heat) I gave up on it and the source selector switch, which had seized up. I bypassed the source selector, input stage and volume pot altogether, replaced many of the caps with Mundorfs and hooked the rest of the amp up to the pre-outs of the AVR, through an X10D tube line stage. This had been my hybrid HT/stereo system for the past five years or so. It sounded good.

it would have sounded good. yes the A100 pushing the envelop a bit with the small chasis and heat dissipation using the chasis as design requires. especially given the chasis really came about with the x-a1 which was really only dissipating half the heat. a x-p100 pre X-A100 pre pwr might be a better idea... I have the x-p100 pre (shared the same basis as the nuvista pre ... but fets to replace the valves) that I run at times with a couple of X-a50 mono blocs and thats a gorgeous option as well :)

 

6 minutes ago, Steffen said:

Unfortunately, all that gear had to go, it had to be a one-box system, but I'm not happy with the Sony sound. So I'm looking for an AVR that sounds better and is also slim line.

unfortunately to get best of both worlds in a small chasis avr is a bit of an ask would suggest especially at cost they go for. with the avrs ... as you spend up the tree you tend to get gains 2ch wise with better analog stage, dacs, power supplies etc.

 

ps another contender is the denon heos avr.... also slim line no idea if the 2ch side is any better ....

 

https://www.au.denon.com/au/product/homecinema/avreceiver/heosavr

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Hoping  not to be derailing the thread but I have a very similar problem, needing to replace an ageing Cyrus AV Master 8 (don't judge!  LOL) with a more modern AV Receiver or Processor  that supports 4K (Darn that TV upgrade), and want to have 'decent' 2.0 or 2.1.

 

I already have separate Power Amps (Cyrus 8 Powers) so I'm specifically looking for suggestions on slimline receivers or processors with sufficient SAF/WAF and was looking for ones with pre-outs at least for the L/R channels but ideally "all" of them so I can keep using the existing power amps.

 

I'd been looking at, but not yet heard, the Marantz and am trying to build up a shortlist - so far I have the Marantz NR1608 above and the Emotiva MC-700.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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8 hours ago, JSmith said:

Interesting, thanks. They look like they're essentially the same device?

 

Those speaker terminals are going to be a problem for me, though.

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8 minutes ago, Steffen said:

 They look like they're essentially the same device?

They certainly do... I wonder if they share more than just an identical case, remote and display panel... another Oppo/Lexicon affair? Fair price difference too... ;)

 

edit: seems the Onkyo has a fitted AC cable, the Integra doesn't... :rolleyes:

 

JSmith :ninja:

Edited by JSmith

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35 minutes ago, Steffen said:

Interesting, thanks. They look like they're essentially the same device?

 

Those speaker terminals are going to be a problem for me, though.

onkyo and integra have always had either branded product. eg in the processors you could buy them either branded and specd exactly the same. the integra brand was brought out by the company appropriately named to sell through the integrator  channels. 

 

ps aa a note I believe both owned by the same parent as with pioneer so I wouldnt be suprised if the pioneer slim avr is also the exact same device wiht just another brand. certainly looks that ways :)

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If you can wait a bit, you might be able to pick up a NR1608 on clearance (NR1609 just released recently).

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Yes, I noticed. I haven't seen any price for the 1609 yet, but it must be coming out soon.

 

The main difference (for me) that I can see is that the 1609 supports AirPlay 2. I'm not entirely clear what that means besides the multi-room stuff, which is of zero interest to me. I wonder whether AirPlay 2 will gain hi-res audio abilities. I'm currently using DLNA for that, but it's so dodgy I can't wait to kick it to the kerb ...

 

So, I might hold off a bit until all these things become clearer :)

 

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Just saw this over in the commercial classifieds section. Pioneer VSX-S520 Slim $799.

 

 

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@Steffen - I recently took the plunge and put in the Marantz NR1608 as a slimline AVR and gave it a bit of a listen in stereo mode on its own, using the built in HEOS streaming capability to access the music library on my NAS, before hooking in my Cyrus power amps.

 

I'm running MA Bronze 5 floorstanders so a different proposition to your LS3/5a but my observations were that the Marantz does an 'ok' job in stereo but it's definitely lacking in general staging and there was a loss in bass weight that could by compensated for somewhat by using 2.1 stereo.

 

Adding the Cyrus power amps into the mix definitely lifts the overall sound quality but, to my ears at least, it's still not at the level of my old Cyrus AV box.  

 

I need to spend a bit of time having a listen with the Cyrus Steam X2 back in the mix rather than the built in HEOS streaming to see if that changes anything but thought I'd share my initial findings.

 

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Thanks, much appreciated! I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch ;)

 

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