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Help with 2.1 setup for streaming and movies - large room


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So I'm new here, and looking for some advice! My current setup has outlived its usefulness (I think!) . It was for a small living room (4m x 3m) and did the job nicely: 

 

Receiver: Denon AVR-591

Speakers: Usher S520 bookshelf

Sub: Klipsch Sub 10

Streaming input: Logitech Bluetooth Audio Receiver

 

Since moving house, I've now got an open-plan living/kitchen area, which measures about 9m x 7m, with a further 4x5m dining space coming off it without any doors. The Denon's Audyssey room EQ did a great job of making it sound good, but frankly the Ushers don't provide a big enough sound. It all sounds a bit anaemic.

 

With the hi-fi components, I'm not sure whether I should go for a 2-channel amp, or just an upgrade on the speakers. What will get me the best result? I've also moved from CDs to streaming all my music via Tidal since I bought the components. I'm using a Logitech Bluetooth receiver but I suspect it impacts the sound quality, but I'm not sure how to get a better quality input for the Tidal audio streaming. 

 

Ideally I'm thinking of moving to a 2-channel amp rather than the AVR, and probably floorstanding speakers. Budget could be up to $3k for the lot. Any and all suggestions welcome!  

 

 

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Yamaha R-N803D, or 

Marantz PM 7000N Integrated Amplifier with Heos or 

Bluesound Powernode 2i , 

+

Vaf DC-7mkiii, or

Osborne F4, or

Richter Harlequin S6, or

Second hand 

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Those Ushers that you have are very capable little speakers, but they do need a lot of power to really open up. I don't think your AVR is doing them any justice. A 2 channel amplifier will probably make them sound much better, though they will still be small for your room size

 

The choice of 2 channel (music only) vs home theatre (movies+music) will probably depend upon whether you mostly listen to movies more or music more. If the latter is your priority, definitely invest in a good 2.0 setup with speakers and a 2 channel amplifier. Get yourself a good streamer like the Bluesound Node 2i and you should be good to go. If you are open to buying used, there are lots of good bargains to be had in your budget ($3K). For the size of your room, I do think a floor stander might be a better option than a bookshelf

 

 

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Thanks both for your input, it's given me some more things to think about and research. I'm definitely open to buying used if it means good quality gear!

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23 hours ago, Irek said:

Yamaha R-N803D, or 

Marantz PM 7000N Integrated Amplifier with Heos or 

Bluesound Powernode 2i , 

I'm in the same situation as the OP and agree the above are worth looking at. I'd also add the following (which provide benefits and disadvantages from my perspective, YMMV):

 

Sonos Amp
Vena II Play

Or any Amp with a Bluesound Node 2i

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On 01/06/2020 at 12:55 PM, MarkR_22 said:

Ideally I'm thinking of moving to a 2-channel amp rather than the AVR, and probably floorstanding speakers. Budget could be up to $3k for the lot. Any and all suggestions welcome!  

An integrated amp with built in DAC is one way to go (or seperate components?). Consider adding a better sub instead of changing speakers. Dual subs will make a difference in such a large room.  

 

Audyssey is good for movies but not so for music. Dirac Live is much better, but the NAD units will blow up your budget.  

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2 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

Audyssey is good for movies but not so for music. Dirac Live is much better, but the NAD units will blow up your budget.  

Yeah, I found it strange that movies/TV sound incredible, but music is just OK and a bit thin. I had pegged my speakers as the issue, but a couple of people have suggested an 2-channel amp setup would make a significant difference. 

 

I think I need to get into a hifi store and do some listening. 

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1 hour ago, MarkR_22 said:

Yeah, I found it strange that movies/TV sound incredible, but music is just OK and a bit thin. I had pegged my speakers as the issue, but a couple of people have suggested an 2-channel amp setup would make a significant difference. 

 

I think I need to get into a hifi store and do some listening. 

That is a known limitation of Audyssey, poor with music.  Any half decent stereo integrated will beat an AVR.

 

Note that a retailer is unlikely to have set up room correction for their demo units and many have no idea on what they can do! So, your auditions will be with the out of the box setups.  Have fun...

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 01/06/2020 at 1:36 PM, Irek said:

Yamaha R-N803D, or 

Marantz PM 7000N Integrated Amplifier with Heos or 

Bluesound Powernode 2i , 

+

Vaf DC-7mkiii, or

Osborne F4, or

Richter Harlequin S6, or

Second hand 

Thanks for your advice. After auditioning the Yamaha R-N803d and the Bluesound Powernode, I went for the Yamaha with a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5s, supported by my existing Klipsch sub. 
 

I was staggered at the improvement I got just from plugging my Ushers into the Yamaha amp, and the floorstanders just topped it off. I’m really happy with my setup, so thanks again. My wife is less happy with me pumping my tunes, but hey, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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5 minutes ago, MarkR_22 said:

My wife is less happy with me pumping my tunes, but hey, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Have you thought about upgrading?

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41 minutes ago, wyn758 said:

I'm in the same situation. Can anyone recommend a one box solution?Thanks

 

On 01/06/2020 at 1:36 PM, Irek said:

Yamaha R-N803D, or 

Marantz PM 7000N


Listen to both and chose the one that you like.

 

If your budget stretches further then there are a couple of other choices you can audition.

 

Naim Unity Nova or

NAD M10 or

Primare I15/25 Prisma

 

If you want cheaper then there is Sonos Amp buy I would suggest Yamaha instead.

 

There may be others around but I would recommend auditioning the ones above.

Edited by gwurb
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14 hours ago, gwurb said:

 


Listen to both and chose the one that you like.

 

If your budget stretches further then there are a couple of other choices you can audition.

 

Naim Unity Nova or

NAD M10 or

Primare I15/25 Prisma

 

If you want cheaper then there is Sonos Amp buy I would suggest Yamaha instead.

 

There are probably a few others around but I would recommend auditioning the ones above.

thanks a lot! I'll check out the Yamaha and Marantz. I like the slimline design of the Marantz PM7000N. But it's a pity that they don't make silver version. Yamaha has silver but not slimline. 

Edited by wyn758
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15 hours ago, wyn758 said:

thanks a lot! I'll check out the Yamaha and Marantz. I like the slimline design of the Marantz PM7000N. But it's a pity that they don't make silver version. Yamaha has silver but not slimline. 

Depends on your budget I reckon - the Marantz looks to be about $1k more expensive than the Yamaha. It's probably a better bit of gear, but I'm really happy with the Yamaha. 

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On 18/06/2020 at 8:47 PM, MarkR_22 said:

Thanks for your advice. After auditioning the Yamaha R-N803d and the Bluesound Powernode, I went for the Yamaha with a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5s, supported by my existing Klipsch sub. 
 

I was staggered at the improvement I got just from plugging my Ushers into the Yamaha amp, and the floorstanders just topped it off. I’m really happy with my setup, so thanks again. My wife is less happy with me pumping my tunes, but hey, isn’t that what it’s all about?

How are you finding movies with the stereo receiver compared to the AVR? Any lip sync issues?

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16 hours ago, Carl Perkins said:

How are you finding movies with the stereo receiver compared to the AVR? Any lip sync issues?

A little, but I’ve adjusted the audio delay on my TV to almost completely remove any sync issues. I’m not a ‘movie guy’; my priority was music, so it’s a trade-off I’ve been very happy to make. 

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