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Alz

Advice on upgrade path - Denon 2310

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I recently had the time to upgrade my cables from some old chord carnival silverscreen to some new Audioquest rocket 22 , and the difference it made was quite profound. This got me thinking  :) 

I have an old Denon 2310 , using a Sonos connect that I stream music from Tidal and Spotify into. I have bi amped this into a set of Monitor Audio RX6s which sounds pretty decent and big difference over running just two channels into the speakers. I love the MA's  and am now thinking about how I upgrade my system.

 

My listening preference is as follows:

I listen to more stero music than I watch movies. My movie setup is currently only the front 3 channel as I dont have a place to mount surrounds. I dont run a sub and would never incorporate it into stereo listening.

 

I have been thinking about doing the following:

1) adding an integrated stereo amp with processor mode/ HT bypass , with steaming capabilies into the mix 

2) adding and Emotiva Bas X300 into the mix then upgrading the receiver to a newer Denon/Marantz with lower power NR 1710 or X3600

 

I would like to hear from people who have done this upgrade path before and what worked well.

I am after a truley great stereo experience and would be happy with 5.1 with the ability to upgrade to Atmos it the future.

 

Thanks for your help

 

 

 

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On 15/06/2020 at 6:15 PM, Alz said:

I have been thinking about doing the following:

1) adding an integrated stereo amp with processor mode/ HT bypass , with steaming capabilities into the mix 

2) adding and Emotiva Bas X300 into the mix then upgrading the receiver to a newer Denon/Marantz with lower power NR 1710 or X3600

I've been planning an upgrade of my own very soon, so looked at a few possible options.

 

Firstly, the RX6 speakers are rated at 125W at 6 ohms. Not a hard load and not particularly high power as these things go.

 

Looking at the Emotiva power amp, it's a two channel model that's likely to be $1000 or more landed in Australia, and all reporting says that Emotiva have just closed their local distribution channels which means support in future will be by return to the USA.  On top of that, it's a two channel amp with 150W per channel (8 ohms).  Given that you prefer stereo and are happy to bi-amp your speakers I don't think a lack of power or lack of channels from a mid-range AVR is going to be a limiting factor for you, so this wouldn't be my recommendation.

 

Looking at just the Denon line of AVRs, the X3600H is actually a step up on the NR1710 or your existing 2310.  The X2600H is much closer in features and price point.  But given your requirements I'd recommend the Denon X3600H bi-amped into your existing speakers.  It has all the fruit you're likely to need in terms of direct mode for stereo listening, 100W+ per channel and support for 9 channels driven (obviously at lower total power once you're multi-channeling).  That would allow a bi-amp front pair, and a 5.1.2 atmos setup in the future if you wished to go that way later (while still retaining the bi-amped front pair).  Cost is about the same as a smaller AVR plus the external amp.  

 

This all assumes that you're happy with the sound of a Denon amp with your current speakers, which it sounds like you are.  It's reviewed in detail at https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x3600h-av-receiver-review.12676/

 

There are similar AVRs at a roughly similar price point.  It's worth a little research to see which brand and features suit you.  If you do elect to go another Denon, I'd recommend the phone app for Audyssey and set it up with Audyssey frequency limited to between 300-500Hz or so to get good bass management without changing the sound of your speakers too much.  Compare that with a HT bypass and see which sound you prefer, but a little EQ might not be a bad thing.

 

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The monitor audio rx6 is a pretty decent speaker, emotiva as an option has changed on our landscape. They had turned into a pricey option on our shores in any case vs what really worth in the us. I’d look at other options 

 

definitely 2ch integrates with ht bypass would be a great step for 2ch and also av. Gets best if both worlds ... a brand that’s always worked well with monitor audio is musical fidelity. I’d consider at minimum a m3i at 150wpc genuine amps. If budget concern look 2nd hand something like old a5 or a3.5 would be beaut.

 

re denons the 3600 be a good step up from what have in 2310 but won’t beat the musical fidelity or any 2ch integrated for similar money. , though review at audio science listed above is ok. I’d disregard the amir character and all respect to him, but his reviews are useless only measurements and just with coax. No listening tests at all. With audio the proof is in the listening ... do if considering do see if can demo with your speakers. Some shops will even lend item overnight or over weekend especially in these still Covid times. Will help you soon decide whether step worth it. And either step  2ch integrated or avr. 

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I'll add one more piece of advice if you wanted to explore the external power amplifier option.  It looks like the 2310 has pre-outs, so there is not a lot of risk if you were to test a more powerful 2-channel power amp.  You should be able to get one meeting your needs from the classified here (recommended) or from ebay/gumtree.  That would both provide you savings over buying a new amp and if you decide it doesn't make a difference, or enough of a difference, you should be able to on-sell it for close to the second hand price you paid.  There is some good advice above and in other threads about what would be a good value and effective power amp for those or any future speakers.  My personal solution, should I ever finish it, is some DIY active 3-way speakers which is in effect a very similar solution to the one proposed above with a good quality power amp.

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On 22/06/2020 at 2:48 PM, Wembley said:

I'll add one more piece of advice if you wanted to explore the external power amplifier option.  It looks like the 2310 has pre-outs, so there is not a lot of risk if you were to test a more powerful 2-channel power amp.  You should be able to get one meeting your needs from the classified here (recommended) or from ebay/gumtree.  That would both provide you savings over buying a new amp and if you decide it doesn't make a difference, or enough of a difference, you should be able to on-sell it for close to the second hand price you paid.  There is some good advice above and in other threads about what would be a good value and effective power amp for those or any future speakers.  My personal solution, should I ever finish it, is some DIY active 3-way speakers which is in effect a very similar solution to the one proposed above with a good quality power amp.

That a great piece of advice and somthing I might have a look at doing. I do think the integrated stero amp upgrade into the current receiever , and then a rceiver upgrade would be what I am after long term . As good as the Denon 3600 is , I dont think it would do justice to a stereo listening experience. I have had that setup for a long time to know the limitations of the sound and am looking for more than I have. I guess the question was would I find it in a power amp or integrated stereo amp...

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5 minutes ago, Alz said:

That a great piece of advice and somthing I might have a look at doing. I do think the integrated stero amp upgrade into the current receiever , and then a rceiver upgrade would be what I am after long term . As good as the Denon 3600 is , I dont think it would do justice to a stereo listening experience. I have had that setup for a long time to know the limitations of the sound and am looking for more than I have. I guess the question was would I find it in a power amp or integrated stereo amp...

The beaut thing with the 2ch integrated with ht bypass is it acts exactly as a power amp for ht benefit ... but removes the denon out of the mix for 2ch acting as integrated ie providing both 2ch pre and power amp upgrade over the denon :) 

 

all the 2ch integrated amps I suggested come with a ht bypass function just for this :) 

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Which other amps do you suggest , everything I have looked at from Arcam, Marantz and Denon are all top of the line and very expensive. This seems to be a difficult choice because there are limited options when it come to HT bypass...

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43 minutes ago, Alz said:

Which other amps do you suggest , everything I have looked at from Arcam, Marantz and Denon are all top of the line and very expensive. This seems to be a difficult choice because there are limited options when it come to HT bypass...

RX6 are a pretty swish speaker they were something in the $2k range if i remember and have to consider an amp in similar sort of ilk i would suggest. dont have to go with latest and greatest but anything from a3.5 upwards would do. 

 

ht bypass doesnt limit options eg in the musical fidelity range as mentioned all have ht bypass going right back 15 nearly 20 years ! 

 

as far as amps and other brands i would be careful the monitor audio have a spritely top end and on the wrong amp can be a bit strident ! something will have to explore to best decide.

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Have you considered going DIY open baffles. Pretty hard to beat if you have the space and use of higher sensitivity drivers opens up some very nice low wattage class A amplification (Pass Labs ACA (5WPC), John Lindsay Hood 1969 (10WPC) etc)  at a low cost. With open baffle though each speaker really needs to be 17" wide so space can be a concern. That said OB's don't look like they use so much space as they're so thin.

 

If interested in OB I'd consider looking at using Lii Audio F15 full range and filling in the top end with Fountek JP2.0 ribbons, 2uF caps on the ribbons. Suggest either Duelund speaker wire or 3mm Van Damme LC-OFC speaker wire. This approach gives pretty much end game performance on a real budget if cost is a concern. The only worry is that you have sufficient space.

 

Maybe not for you, though open baffle really is the only thing that has made a massive difference to me.... Along with high efficiency speakers, low wattage amps..... LDR passive attenuation etc.

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11 hours ago, MattyW said:

Have you considered going DIY open baffles. Pretty hard to beat if you have the space and use of higher sensitivity drivers opens up some very nice low wattage class A amplification (Pass Labs ACA (5WPC), John Lindsay Hood 1969 (10WPC) etc)  at a low cost. With open baffle though each speaker really needs to be 17" wide so space can be a concern. That said OB's don't look like they use so much space as they're so thin.

 

If interested in OB I'd consider looking at using Lii Audio F15 full range and filling in the top end with Fountek JP2.0 ribbons, 2uF caps on the ribbons. Suggest either Duelund speaker wire or 3mm Van Damme LC-OFC speaker wire. This approach gives pretty much end game performance on a real budget if cost is a concern. The only worry is that you have sufficient space.

 

Maybe not for you, though open baffle really is the only thing that has made a massive difference to me.... Along with high efficiency speakers, low wattage amps..... LDR passive attenuation etc.

Probably something that is a little beyond my reach in terms of knowledge and interest. Really am just looking for something simple and pure that I can turn on an enjoy. I love my RX6s because of their sound but also their small footprint and asthetics ... they will always be in a shared space until I buy my first mansion. Still waiting on that to happen 🙂

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