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Marantz SR4001 or Yamaha RX-V661

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

rajagopal_j

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Nov 29, 2007
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Hi all,

I am in the process of setting up a home theatre at my place. i have auditioned some speaker packages like Tannoy, space, Jamo, JBL etc. I sort of liked the Jamo S606-HCS3 package.

I found space and JBL were really bright and as with the tannoys, i am not sure what was wrong but i just didnt feel it was good. So pretty much zeroed in on the Jamo.

Now comes the AVR. My requirements for the AVR is it must output 8 Channels (7.1), so the obvious choices in mid range AVRs were Onkyo and Yamaha.

While the Onkyos sound pretty tinny (past experience), I like the Yamaha because its not only 7.1 it offers lots of features like iPod connectivity etc.
Time to go into the market and find out the prices for the Yamaha.

So I drag my complaining wife to a guy who sells AVRs to find out the price for the Yamaha RXV-661. This guys makes a special offer for a Marantz SR4001 for INR21,000 and I also receive an offer through email for the Yamaha RXV-661 for INR31,000.

I am blown away by the offer as I know marantz to be one of the best brands in the business, BUT Its always been known to be good at stereo amps. What abt AVRs? While marantz has awesome performance delivering what is being promised, unlike yams and onkyos which actually deliver only 50% of the promised power, marantz avrs are very lacking in goodies kinda features.

Now I am confused which one to buy. I have never heard a marantz before. I found lots of reviews of the marantz sr4001 and Jamo S606 package being an awesome combo. There are lots of features in the Yamaha like iPod connectivity, multi-zone/multi-source, upscaling, etc.

Can someone help me deceide? What should I be looking at and comparing one-to-one to deceide on the AVR?

Cheers,
Raj!
 
Last edited:

vinay

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In Mumbai there are several consultants, generally it would be better to take a opinion from 3 people, and than decide how to go forward, and I feel the better was is also to catch up with the What HIFI Magazine, they give a lot of combinations for the full set up.

I also wanted to go for 7.1, but I realized that the room should be more bigger, so for me it was idle to fo for 5.1.

In reference to the prices, I can assure you that everyone quotes a different price for the same brand, this has been my experience, like for my screen one guy quoted 1.75,000/- the same screen I got for 1,45,000/-, similarly for the projecter I was offered at 1,45,000/- and I got it for 1,30,000/-, so please be very carefull, check with many places before you buy, and indeed the shop should be well reputed.

I have set up a home theatre in my house, the pictures of which are in blogs and my theatre?s article in 2 magazines are also on this site.
 

particleman

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May 11, 2007
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Both your choices are excellent performers and you won't go wrong either way. Each has some great features the other lacks. But the most important question and, I think, the decider is: what is your ratio of Movies to Music? If you plan to spend even an equal amount of time listening to music then the advantage shifts ever so slightly towards the Marantz. Excellent music playback is a hallmark of the Marantz brand and this AVR also features an HDCD decoder.

On the other hand, the Yamaha has the usual bells and whistles that it is known for -- better up-conversion features (all to component, versus Marantz's S-video to component only), the YPAO optimization that makes setting it up a breeze. So it does make for a much better all-rounder.

Both lack HDMI 1.3 which allows you to send SACD/DVD-A over digital but that may be found only the newest of AVRs. No problem if you don't plan to listen to high-resolution audio.

I don't think the iPod connectivity should be a consideration. With just the money you save, less in fact, you can get an excellent dock for the Marantz as well. Ultimately you should audition both and see which sounds better and also which has the features that actually matter to you.
 

rajagopal_j

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I guess on this kit, it will be mostly movies. Very very little music, even if I did play music it will be from the iPod or at the most FM (all of my CDs are back home in chennai), which is why the importance of connectivity and not much importance given to the musical quality of the marantz. In fact the only reason for me to consider the marantz would be the price.

Wondering if the bells and whistles in the yam are worth the extra 10K.

thank you for the reply,

Cheers,
Raj!.
 

particleman

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In that case I think the Yamaha pulls ahead of the Marantz quite a bit in this race, but that's just my opinion. It is best if some of the RX-V661-owning forum members weigh in on this.

As to whether the extra 10k is worth it, the Marantz iPod dock is about 9k so it loses any price advantage. Of course there are cheaper docks but this has received good reviews. The extra features Yamaha packs are definitely good to have, especially the YPAO and upconversion. Bi-amping is also a big plus so your front floorstanders will get that extra juice for better performance.

How much are you being quoted for the Jamo S606 package? And what is your budget for it? Unless it is very low it seems like you could do better.
 

rajagopal_j

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I guess its the Yam for the AVR then.

I have a quote of 38,800 for the Jamo S606-HCS3 package containing 2 floor standers, 2 surrounds and 1 Centre, from Cinebels in Garuda mall, bangalore.

Is there something better at more or less the same price? My total budget is about 70K for the whole thing. I can move up by another 10K taking the budget to 80 at the most?

A 7.1 avr is being considered as the room in which I am planning to setup is fairly large, so If I feel the need for a 7.1 then all I will need to do is get 2 more speakers, also a 7.1 with multi-zone will allow me to listen to music (FM-radio/iPod) in my bedroom.

But this is something I can sacrifice and go in for a 5.1 AVR too, since the cost savings (about 10k i guess) can be moved on to the speakers if I can do better there.
 

VivekMansata

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Nov 12, 2007
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Hi,

Jamo speakers are good at one point of time even i was planning to buy them. But i was blown away by the performance of wharfedale 9.5 do check them before you make any decission you should get the similar package in the same price. As far as AVr are concerned, once you have zeroed on your speaker then you can go for AVR. both Marantz and Yamaha are excellent.

Vivek
 

rajagopal_j

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Hi,

Jamo speakers are good at one point of time even i was planning to buy them. But i was blown away by the performance of wharfedale 9.5 do check them before you make any decission you should get the similar package in the same price. As far as AVr are concerned, once you have zeroed on your speaker then you can go for AVR. both Marantz and Yamaha are excellent.

Vivek

Does anyone know where I can audition Wharfdale speakers in Bangalore?
 

particleman

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Oh! If you're paying 39k for a kit that does not include a subwoofer then yes you can do a lot better. Some of the other options would be:
Mordaunt-Short Avant 900 series
Wharfedale Diamond 9 series
Polk Audio Monitor series
These would consist of fronts, surrounds and a center at around your budget. If you are open to having bookshelf speakers all around then you can also include the excellent Monitor Audio Bronze series.

Thus for MS Avant 900 you should audition:
Avant 906i (fronts/floorstander): around 23k
Avant 905i (center): around 8.5k
Avant 902i (surrounds/bookshelf): around 11-12k
In future, add the 309i subwoofer: around 17k

For Wharfedale Diamond 9 series:
Diamond 9.5 (fronts/floorstander): around 26k
Diamond 9.CS (center): around 10k
Diamond 9.1 (surrounds/bookshelf): around 12k
(or Diamond 9.0: around 8k for surrounds)
In future, add SW-150 subwoofer: around 17k

For Polk Audio Monitor series you can look at the ProFX web site (PROFX - the home theatre specialists). The Polks are from the US and have the typical American sound that is a matter of taste.

No idea about the prices of all the Monitor Audio Bronze series speakers but the bookshelves are around 18k. Thats 36k for two pairs, front and rear. Do not dismiss these for being bookshelves, their quality is well above the other options here.

Of course you do have the choice also of adding speakers in stages instead of all at once. If so, you should consider going in this order: fronts -> center -> sub -> surrounds (last 2 interchangeable). This way you open yourself up to far better options like Monitor Audio Silver series, B&W 600 series, PSB Image series, and so on.

You haven't mentioned which city you're in, we can recommend showrooms based on that.
 

particleman

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Does anyone know where I can audition Wharfdale speakers in Bangalore?

The dealer for Wharfedale in India is Designer Audio

According to their web site the dealers in Bangalore are:

VECTOR PROJECTION SYSTEMS (for Wharfedale, Vanguard, DAC)
# 97, Sai Brigades, Brigade Road,
(After St.Joseph College Of Commerce)
Next To Brigade Prince Bar, Bangalore - 25.
Tel: 25543287, 9880228860

DECIBELS INC. (for Wharfedale, Quad, Vanguard, DAC)
B2, GEM Plaza, #66, Infantry Road, Bangalore ? 560001.
Tel: 41132165, 9886722937

For Mordaunt-Short, dealers are FX Entertainment (Fx Entertainment)

Not sure who deals in Monitor Audio in Bangalore.
 

unleash_me

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I agree with 'particleman' on this. Wharfedale is the best in this price catogory.

In B'lore, contact Mr.Anand from Decibels in Gem Plaza, Infantry Road. Mob: 9886722937 off: 251132165. He is a very nice guy to deal with and will suggest you the best combo, even if you are not buying from him!

best regards.
 

rajagopal_j

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Thanks guys for all the information.

Will soon get back once I get in touch with these above mentioned ppl. Decibel, Vector projections etc.

Cheers!
 

rajagopal_j

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Sorry guys,

The last couple of weeks have been nerve wrecking, appraisals, a/c close off etc etc with the year coming to the end lots of pressure for lots of things. I havent had a minute to spare to go and check out the speakers. And I didnt want to have an hurried audition and end with something which I dont enjoy.

This weekend I am a little free, so hoping to audition the Wharfdale and Mordaunt short speakers as suggested by particleman and others.

I have deceided to put the AVR choice on hold till i settle on the speakers that way I should be able to get a better match.

In the meantime I have also been spending time thinking, should I invest in a high end DVD player like a Marantz/Denon/Cambridge Audio or something similar, or will a low end Rs 3000 - 5000 wala DVD player like Sony/Philips/LG/Samsung something with progressive scanning will be enough.

What are your thoughts on this?

Hoping to come back with more questions on the speakers tommorow evening post auditions.

Cheers,
Raj!.
 
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