Dali Zensor 5 - searching for stereo amplifier

vakharia

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Posting here after a long time.
I relocated abroad last year and had to sell off my Marantz PM5005 + Dali Zensor 3 setup in India.
After relocation I bought a pre-owned Dali Zensor 3 pair and Cambridge Audio Azur 640A. The 640A does not do enough justice to the Zensor 3.

At the same time, I wish to upgrade the sound system for a 5.1 channel experience for the movies. To this effect, I have started procuring a few items (pre-owned)
1. Got Zensor 5s for Front L and R
2. Got Zensor Vokal (center channel - currently not connected anywhere)
3. (To do- Replace Zensor 3s with Zensor Pico or something smaller for the surrounds (I do not have sufficient space for the rear ported speakers near the seating area - so I need something smaller.)
4. (To do- Get an AVR (with at least 5.1 channel output).
5. (To do- Get a better stereo amplifier to replace the 640A. I understand that the AVR will not give me comparable (Marantz PM5005 level) sound quality for music. (this is the reason I am posting this in the Amplifers forum.) (Note: I like the warm sound of Marantz)

Objective: Question is which amplifer to pair with the Zensor 5s?
In the preowned market where I am, I can find Marantz PM6003, NAD C352, C316, D3020, Rotel RA-12 (twice the cost)

1. Audio preference (Music / Movies) = 30 % / 70%

2. Budget = Rs. ? /- (leaving this out since I am staying in Europe)

3. Room Size (Lenght x Breadth x Height = 12 f x 17 B x 10 H

4. Source (CD /DVD /Satellite /Other) = Streaming content mostly

5. Existing components to be integrated with new purchase (Speaker /Amp /Cables /Equaliser /Other) = See above. Have a LG C9 Oled, and a BOSS ALLO DAC.

6. Can used AVR be considered (Y/N) = Yes, if it offers similar quality of sound for music

7. Other details /preferences = None

8. Other query-1 = How does one connect the AVR and the amplifier both to the same front L and R channel Zensor 5s?

9. Other query-2 = None for now
 

rksingh1

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Get an AVR with a pre-out. You connect the amp on the preout channel and let your front towers be driven by them.

Mind it, AVR with pre-outs come relatively on bigher end model. I don't know if any 5.1 or 5.2 AVR has pre-outs.
 

raghupb

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Get an AVR with a pre-out. You connect the amp on the preout channel and let your front towers be driven by them.

Mind it, AVR with pre-outs come relatively on bigher end model. I don't know if any 5.1 or 5.2 AVR has pre-outs.
Baby Marantz NR series have 2.1 and 2.2 preouts. Should be enough for basic setup with 2-ch amp sharing.
Cheers,
Raghu
 

pks.k

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Get an AVR with a pre-out. You connect the amp on the preout channel and let your front towers be driven by them.

Mind it, AVR with pre-outs come relatively on bigher end model. I don't know if any 5.1 or 5.2 AVR has pre-outs.
Most of the mid level AV receivers has pre out option these days.
 

vakharia

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Thank you everyone for your prompt inputs. I will look for an AVR with pre-outs.
While playing music, do I need to keep the AVR on as well? How much (electricity) power would be consumed by the AVR in such cases? Just want to avoid overloading the electrical sockets.
 

skumar

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Yes, you need to keep AVR on if the source is connected to AVR.
AVR will only draw power to process the input and to operate the speakers wired to its binding posts only, it will not draw power for speakers connected to AVR pre-outs to IA/PA.
 

vakharia

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I understood now that I also need to have a stereo amplifier which supports the 'HT buypass' feature such as the 'power amp direct' on the Marantz 8006. The lower end models such as the PM600x do not support this.
Does that mean I cannot use my AVR + Amp combination?
 

skumar

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I understood now that I also need to have a stereo amplifier which supports the 'HT buypass' feature such as the 'power amp direct' on the Marantz 8006. The lower end models such as the PM600x do not support this.
Does that mean I cannot use my AVR + Amp combination?
You can use an amp without HT bypass, but the gain etc settings need to be tinkered with each time you switch between stereo and HT.
 

vakharia

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Understood. With multiple people in the house, I am not quite sure if this can be followed each time. There is a risk of leaving the volume level too high perhaps when switching between the HT and the stereo music sources.

On the other hand the amplifiers with these features are super expensive.
 

raghupb

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Understood. With multiple people in the house, I am not quite sure if this can be followed each time. There is a risk of leaving the volume level too high perhaps when switching between the HT and the stereo music sources.

On the other hand the amplifiers with these features are super expensive.
A bit expensive, yes. When one wants the freedom of combining two chains onto one set of speakers, it would cost a bit.
If you can source from the US, try the Parasound NC series
200Pre and 275v2 is a pre/pwr combo. I got this last year for ~1200 USD
200Int is an integrated at ~1200 USD (MRP) but can be had for lower price
They have 2.2 HT bypass.

Also look at Audiolab products, if buying locally HiFiMart has them. Reasonable price.
Your location states Norway, sure there are european companies that makes IAs with HT bypass.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

vakharia

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Thank you again.
I am now getting more interested in the alternative route: buying a passive switch (such as the Beresford TC-7220 importing from UK) and then using that to manually switch between:
1. Integrated amplifier (preferably with a DAC)
2. AVR

Most of my budget will be taken up by an AVR (since I am keen on getting an HDMI 2.1 AVR to connect to my LG C9 via eArc - as far as possible - with future plan to have an Atmos speaker setup)

I had never heard of Parasound or Musical Fidelity until now. Explored a bit and found that they are all out of budget.
I am not very keen on adding a pre-amplifier AND a power amplifer. Just trying to make things less complicated for the family. :)
The 'integrated amplifier' from Parasound is out of question - too expensive.

What I can procure with my limited money is a nicely used Rotel RA-12 or a Marantz PM600x - about 25000 INR.
If I can then have my passive switch and a shiny new AVR - like the Yamaha V6A, then I think all is good. It still exceeds my self imposed budget.

There is a local brand Hegel, which is quite popular here. The lower end models do not support pre-outs I believe and higher ends models are outside my reach.
 
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