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Advice on Budget Stereo Amp + FS (Adding sub in 6 months)

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

Stevie

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Hi Hifivison FMs,

I have been following this forum as silent member for some years now and have learned a lot. FMs here are truly enthusiastic about AV & always helpful...
After a lots of research I am now ready to spend money on the purchase of stereo speakers, amplification and cables.
I already Own the Denon 1312xp HTiB... Needless to say, I have a major case of upgraditis as this setup does not meet my music needs at all. I am going to sell this system to my friend and am thinking of a Stereo Amplifier setup
I am planning to upgrade in a phased manner as budget is always a constraint.

For starters, I auditioned the Denon PMA-520AE integrated stereo Amplifier & Polk Tsi300 FS. Auditioned this both with & without PSW 110 Subwoofer (200W 10" front firing) in the ProFX MG Road, Blr.
It could be due to the room acoustics but I was blown away by the sound and am now ready to bite the bullet for a Stereo setup.
I was short of time (hardly spent 30 mins) so could not audition TSi 400 or RTi A5 Floorstanders..

I would like to know some suggestions from you guys for further auditions... Do recommend stores where I can audition...

My Primary usage pattern:
Music: 80% + Primarily 320 kbps MP3s & dome Favorite CD's
Type: Trance, House, Techno (Like AvB, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, Karunesh) and a little bit of Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Lynyrd SKynyrd, Dire Straits, Nirvana, REM, Maroon 5, Linkin Pak, AR Rahman + occasionally Bollywood numbers

Movies: 20% - All types
Already Own Samsung 42 LED which has co-ax out... wall-mounted
Plus Laptop & PMP... (No USB DAC yet! to be added later)

Must-haves:
1. Good Thump esp. for Trance tracks
2. Atleast 1 Sub pre-out
3. Co-axial audio in

Budget: 40K - 45K (Stereo Amp + FS speakers) Don't want to exceed budget by too much...
I don't want BS speakers as I want it clutter free & hate stands... I know BS offer better VFM and quality for said price but tiny tots run around house when they come visit :(
(Nephews dropped some other speakers due to tripping on wires & bumping into BS stands, ultimately damaging speakers)

Please provide your recommendation on other Stereo Amp + FS combos
1. Heard good things about Yamaha AS-300... Any recommended audition combos? Is RS-300 significantly better?
2. How is the Onkyo A9155 & TX 9030? Any recommended speaker pairings?
3. Is Denon 510AE used a good option (For ~15K) - gives increased speaker budget..
4. How is the Marantz PM5004 Stereo Integrated Amplifier? Any recommended speaker pairings?
5. Any thoughts on Marantz M-CR503 Stereo CD Receiver - sounds like a good deal!
6. Any other Amps I should audition?
7. Recommended Subs for Purchase in Dec' 2013? PSW 110 or 125 or Velodyne impact 10
8. Recommended USB DAC's?(Extra budget)
9. Recommended cables - Is 16 AWG good enough or are better cables required?

I'm looking to audition this weekend and purchase by end of Next week...

Thanks in advance for all your help...
Thank you for your time & patience

~Steve
 
Last edited:

manniraj

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Hi Hifivison FMs,

I have been following this forum as silent member for some years now and have learned a lot. FMs here are truly enthusiastic about AV & always helpful...
After a lots of research I am now ready to spend money on the purchase of stereo speakers, amplification and cables.
I already Own the Denon 1312xp HTiB... Needless to say, I have a major case of upgraditis as this setup does not meet my music needs at all. I am going to sell this system to my friend and am thinking of a Stereo Amplifier setup
I am planning to upgrade in a phased manner as budget is always a constraint.

For starters, I auditioned the Denon PMA-520AE integrated stereo Amplifier & Polk Tsi300 FS. Auditioned this both with & without PSW 110 Subwoofer (200W 10" front firing) in the ProFX MG Road, Blr.
It could be due to the room acoustics but I was blown away by the sound and am now ready to bite the bullet for a Stereo setup.
I was short of time (hardly spent 30 mins) so could not audition TSi 400 or RTi A5 Floorstanders..

I would like to know some suggestions from you guys for further auditions... Do recommend stores where I can audition...

My Primary usage pattern:
Music: 80% + Primarily 320 kbps MP3s & dome Favorite CD's
Type: Trance, House, Techno (Like AvB, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, Karunesh) and a little bit of Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Lynyrd SKynyrd, Dire Straits, Nirvana, REM, Maroon 5, Linkin Pak, AR Rahman + occasionally Bollywood numbers

Movies: 20% - All types
Already Own Samsung 42 LED which has co-ax out... wall-mounted
Plus Laptop & PMP... (No USB DAC yet! to be added later)

Must-haves:
1. Good Thump esp. for Trance tracks
2. Atleast 1 Sub pre-out
3. Co-axial audio in

Budget: 40K - 45K (Stereo Amp + FS speakers) Don't want to exceed budget by too much...
I don't want BS speakers as I want it clutter free & hate stands... I know BS offer better VFM and quality for said price but tiny tots run around house when they come visit :(
(Nephews dropped some other speakers due to tripping on wires & bumping into BS stands, ultimately damaging speakers)

Please provide your recommendation on other Stereo Amp + FS combos
1. Heard good things about Yamaha AS-300... Any recommended audition combos? Is RS-300 significantly better?
2. How is the Onkyo A9155 & TX 9030? Any recommended speaker pairings?
3. Is Denon 510AE used a good option (For ~15K) - gives increased speaker budget..
4. How is the Marantz PM5004 Stereo Integrated Amplifier? Any recommended speaker pairings?
5. Any thoughts on Marantz M-CR503 Stereo CD Receiver - sounds like a good deal!
6. Any other Amps I should audition?
7. Recommended Subs for Purchase in Dec' 2013? PSW 110 or 125 or Velodyne impact 10
8. Recommended USB DAC's?(Extra budget)
9. Recommended cables - Is 16 AWG good enough or are better cables required?

I'm looking to audition this weekend and purchase by end of Next week...

Thanks in advance for all your help...
Thank you for your time & patience

~Steve

As you are planning for a Sub in the future then Denon 510AE is ruled out as it does not have a dedicated sub-out. You need to look for some other amplifier in your range for FS+Sub-out combination. For your other queries hope some FM's will chip in. Enjoy hunting :lol:

Thanks
 
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docd

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Stevie,
For your requirements, the Peachtree Decco 65 would be a good bet. Its got most of what you want: Pre-outs, Digital optical+ coaxial ins. Its got a built in sabre DAC, one of the best available.
I recently bought one in USA and its got excellent sound quality. I think its available here for around 65000 Rs. Remember you wont need a DAC if you go for this one. Here's a review
http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/media/reviews/decco65-stereophile-review.pdf.
You can use a good Quality BS as matching speakers.
 
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prosenjit

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u can gp for maratnz if budget permits..
well for music taste polk is not a very good choice..can try wharfe 9..for ur budget..used..
14 or lower is good..can start up with normal electrical cable later buy expensize ones..
 
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shuv

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You could try the CA Topaz range as well. Audition Norge products.

The Peachtree as suggested by @docd would be a great choice as you wont need to buy a DAC later. In fact, the Nova 125 is a better bet me thinks. Better to spend once than upgrade every few years ;)

Decent floor standers in that range would be difficult. Take the used route.
 
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aakashr

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polks TSi for stereo??? I would stop you right there...........they are more suited for movies. But audio is subjective, if you like the sound then go for it. But please also do hear other systems. I have a feeling you might come across better sound than the polks.

Good FS only make sense if you have a budget of over 40k. Anything under that I would suggest BS. A 30-40k BS would blow a same priced FS. You can pair a good sub with the BS.

But please listen to various combos and then pull the plug.
 
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Stevie

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Stevie,
For your requirements, the Peachtree Decco 65 would be a good bet. Its got most of what you want: Pre-outs, Digital optical+ coaxial ins. Its got a built in sabre DAC, one of the best available.
I recently bought one in USA and its got excellent sound quality. I think its available here for around 65000 Rs. Remember you wont need a DAC if you go for this one. Here's a review
http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/media/reviews/decco65-stereophile-review.pdf.
You can use a good Quality BS as matching speakers.

Hi docd,

Where can I Audition the Decco 65 in Bangalore? Which speakers do you recommend for pairing?
~Steve
 
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Stevie

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u can gp for maratnz if budget permits..
well for music taste polk is not a very good choice..can try wharfe 9..for ur budget..used..
14 or lower is good..can start up with normal electrical cable later buy expensize ones..

Hi Prosenjit,

Which Amp are you recommending? Marantz PM5004 Stereo Integrated Amplifier or Marantz M-CR503 Stereo CD Receiver?
Will keep an eye out for the Wharf 9.4 and 9.5 FS... where can I audition these in Bangalore?

~Steve
 
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Stevie

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You could try the CA Topaz range as well. Audition Norge products.

The Peachtree as suggested by @docd would be a great choice as you wont need to buy a DAC later. In fact, the Nova 125 is a better bet me thinks. Better to spend once than upgrade every few years ;)

Decent floor standers in that range would be difficult. Take the used route.

Hi Shuv,

I'd like to audition the Cambridge Audio - Topaz AM 10... Where should i try in Bangalore? What speaker pairing do you suggest for this... I'm open to used FS too.

~steve
 
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Stevie

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polks TSi for stereo??? I would stop you right there...........they are more suited for movies. But audio is subjective, if you like the sound then go for it. But please also do hear other systems. I have a feeling you might come across better sound than the polks.

Good FS only make sense if you have a budget of over 40k. Anything under that I would suggest BS. A 30-40k BS would blow a same priced FS. You can pair a good sub with the BS.

But please listen to various combos and then pull the plug.

Hi aakashr,

I don't mind used FS speakers too... Which Amp + FS combo do you suggest i audition? Also mention a good place to get a demo...

~
Steve
 
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docd

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Hi docd,

Where can I Audition the Decco 65 in Bangalore? Which speakers do you recommend for pairing?
~Steve

Steve,
I dont know where you can audition it in Bangalore. I bought mine on a recent trip to USA. You can try here International Distributors.
BTW its an amazing amp. Fantastic soundstaging, detailed,I can hear many things I could not make out previously on my Marantz PM 6002 (which itself was also highly rated). Its got preouts to which you can attach a sub,I did it and the sound really perked up.The built in Sabre DAC is far superior to the one in my Marantz CD 5001 and my Dune HD max which I use as a media player.
The only thing holding it back is my current speakers Sonodyne Sonus FS.I feel a good Quality BS+ stands would do more justice. Iam currently evalauting KEF Q 300. I wrote to Peachtree Audio and they said it would be a good match. The amp has a usb in which can take 24/192 files fom your computer. I tried these out as well and they are lovely.
If your budget permits you can try their Nova model as well. Its similar but rated at 125rms. Its got even better reviews. One more thing, the Decco has got a tube as well as a SS pre amp and you can switch between the two according to your taste and the genre of music you play.
I have been listening to my Decco for nearly two months and I feel as it burns in, the sound is improving by leaps and bounds. Do go for it if your budget permits, but make sure you match your speakers properly.
 
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AmitKumar

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Hi Stevie,

I suggest you look at buying amplifiers like DEnon PMA 720AE, Marantz PM6004, Nad 326bee or Yamaha AS500. This will prove a more prudent decision over next few months or years.

The Denon or the marantz Amp you mentioned may not satisfy your requirements, Further i dont think they can even drive entry level floor standers. Infact i feel Amps mentioned by me are good for driving good bookshelf speakers like KEF q300, PSB B6, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, MS AVaino2, Monitor Audio BX2. Not sure if they can drive entry level fooorstanders except yamaha one.

If budget is the problem then wait, you will find some good second hand deals in the forum or outside. just few days back there was a 7 months old marantz pm6004 amp for sale in the sale section of the forum. i think it is sold by now.

just my 2 cents.

regards
 
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docd

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Hi Stevie,

I suggest you look at buying amplifiers like DEnon PMA 720AE, Marantz PM6004, Nad 326bee or Yamaha AS500. This will prove a more prudent decision over next few months or years.

The Denon or the marantz Amp you mentioned may not satisfy your requirements, Further i dont think they can even drive entry level floor standers. Infact i feel Amps mentioned by me are good for driving good bookshelf speakers like KEF q300, PSB B6, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, MS AVaino2, Monitor Audio BX2. Not sure if they can drive entry level fooorstanders except yamaha one.

If budget is the problem then wait, you will find some good second hand deals in the forum or outside. just few days back there was a 7 months old marantz pm6004 amp for sale in the sale section of the forum. i think it is sold by now.

just my 2 cents.

regards
Amit,
I see that you have Marantz PM 6003 and Tannoy Mrecury V 1. I would appreciate some feedback on this combo. I have the PM 6002 and its a bit underpowered for my Sonodyne Sonus FS
 
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AmitKumar

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Amit,
I see that you have Marantz PM 6003 and Tannoy Mrecury V 1. I would appreciate some feedback on this combo. I have the PM 6002 and its a bit underpowered for my Sonodyne Sonus FS

The mentioned amp is very good for driving large size bookshelves like kef q300, monitor audio bx2, ms mezzo 2 etc. For floorstanders you should look at marantz 7004, nad 356 bee or above.

I feel kef q300 goes best with marantz pm6002/3/4.

due to budget constraint i bought tannoy mercury v1, and they are best value deal i believe. for this budget you cannot get better speakers. they give output equivalant to whf diamond 10.1, ms aviano 1 etc and pair well with marantz.

hope this helps.

Regards, Amit
 
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docd

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The mentioned amp is very good for driving large size bookshelves like kef q300, monitor audio bx2, ms mezzo 2 etc. For floorstanders you should look at marantz 7004, nad 356 bee or above.

I feel kef q300 goes best with marantz pm6002/3/4.

due to budget constraint i bought tannoy mercury v1, and they are best value deal i believe. for this budget you cannot get better speakers. they give output equivalant to whf diamond 10.1, ms aviano 1 etc and pair well with marantz.

hope this helps.

Regards, Amit

Have you heard the 6003/4 + KEF Q 300 combo?. Wat's your opinion of the Q300 for music? Is there adequate midbass?
 
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elangoas

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With a FS, you don't need a sub as they can hit 40Hz easily... I have had the experience of pairing the Mission M35i + NAD C326 + Sonodyne SLF 200Ai Subwoofer... If the sub is on, the bass is juz too much for 250Sqft room...

If you like a subwoofer for stereo, then rethink abt BS..In a streo amplifier there is no bass management between speakers & subwoofer...

Only if you sub has high level stereo inputs, you have a chance of controlling the bass between speakers & subwoofer...

What would be your source for playing CD's...Do you have a CD/DVD player ?

I would suggest you take a look @ Sonodyne Sonus 2605 FS (28K)...They need some very good power to be @ their best.....

Regarding stereo amplifiers...Look for an used one for around 15K max.... I would suggest NAD as they are mighty powerful.... Marantz is like a Gentle man while NAD is like a Thug..:eek:hyeah:

Look for an amplifier that has atleast 100W/channel in to 8 Ohms if you are considering Sonodyne 2605 (or) any other FS.......
 
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AmitKumar

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Have you heard the 6003/4 + KEF Q 300 combo?. Wat's your opinion of the Q300 for music? Is there adequate midbass?

I took my amp to listen to KEF Q300 along with my amp, but that day profx didnt have a demo piece of kef q300. so i ended up auditioning kef q100 and polk audio rtia1. I liked the combo of KEF q100 and marantz amp. i heard kef q300 separatly with a denon amp and i liked kef q300 more than kef q100.

i read at many places that KEF uses marantz amps in many of their demos internationaly. i suggest you carry your amp and listen to kef q300, MA BX2, MA Mezzo 2, Aviano 2 or even diamond 10.2. if you dont like any of these speakers then i think this will be the time to change amp.

regards, Amit
 
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docd

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I took my amp to listen to KEF Q300 along with my amp, but that day profx didnt have a demo piece of kef q300. so i ended up auditioning kef q100 and polk audio rtia1. I liked the combo of KEF q100 and marantz amp. i heard kef q300 separatly with a denon amp and i liked kef q300 more than kef q100.

i read at many places that KEF uses marantz amps in many of their demos internationaly. i suggest you carry your amp and listen to kef q300, MA BX2, MA Mezzo 2, Aviano 2 or even diamond 10.2. if you dont like any of these speakers then i think this will be the time to change amp.

regards, Amit

I have changed my amp, I will be using the Decco 65 instead of Marantz PM 6002. Its just that I also want to change my speakers as well. The Sonodyne sonus FS require really good power to shine. They were okay with the Marantz but better with the Peachtree. But as Elangoas said above they need 100watts plus to be their best. So I am in the process of auditioning speakers for the Decco. Peachtree themselves said Q300 would be a good match. I just needed some feedback from people who have heard it. I wont buy without auditioning but sometimes as you know its just not possible to hear a particular piece of kit.
 
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AmitKumar

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I have changed my amp, I will be using the Decco 65 instead of Marantz PM 6002. Its just that I also want to change my speakers as well. The Sonodyne sonus FS require really good power to shine. They were okay with the Marantz but better with the Peachtree. But as Elangoas said above they need 100watts plus to be their best. So I am in the process of auditioning speakers for the Decco. Peachtree themselves said Q300 would be a good match. I just needed some feedback from people who have heard it. I wont buy without auditioning but sometimes as you know its just not possible to hear a particular piece of kit.

You may want to check the feasibility of adding a power amp to your existing amp. if it works then you can retain your floorstanders time being and spend the money on power amp. in future then you can consider upgrading the speakers. or sell sonodyne speakers and marantz amp and use the proceeds to buy kef q300. it seems kef q300 can beat some of the entry level floor standers.
 
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docd

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You may want to check the feasibility of adding a power amp to your existing amp. if it works then you can retain your floorstanders time being and spend the money on power amp. in future then you can consider upgrading the speakers. or sell sonodyne speakers and marantz amp and use the proceeds to buy kef q300. it seems kef q300 can beat some of the entry level floor standers.

Amit thanks,
Any suggestions on some reasonably priced power amps besides the desi favourite Norge? Power amp would be easy to use as the Decco has preouts.
 
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