Need Suggestion - Amp or AVR for the start

RaaR

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I controlled my urge to get my first set of speakers and after multiple auditioning, reading through multiple forums - I had my choices of floorstanders to begin with - Fyneaudio f303 was my choice. Meanwhile planned to discuss with Sonicarchitect to get an additional Bluetooth or monolith speaker for my wife. Though my discussion with Sahil started on that note, I also happened to discuss about the floorstanders plan which I predominantly decided to be a 50/50 for music and movies. Our discussion went on for few months, all of them were longer ones and meanwhile I listened to multiple recordings of his previous speakers in that period. I got more confident with his work and decided to let him make his/my first pair of towers. So far he has made only bookshelf speakers and monolith ones.

He suggested he can build one very similar to Sibelius SG/CG from Pearl Acoustics, I also decided to go ahead and gave him the nod. My only concern was the signature shouldn't be bright as I am into warm signature and bright fatigues me much. I explained him the same and also informed him the bass should be tight and quick, not to be boomy. He assured me to make one to my taste.

Just like Sibelius SG, he went with Markaudio 6.5 inch full range gold driver and is currently building the prototypes for my tower. He proposed to make two different enclosures, and record the sound. Based on that we decided to figure which suits to my taste. Once the prototype is fixed, he'll make the final build and it will be of complete teak.

He'll be recording the prototypes with a A/B amp he sourced and suggested he can get one for me.

I am going to use it for both movies and music, for time being I will stick to the towers alone, might add one or pair of subs for movie experience. But down the line decided to expand it to Dolby Atmos setup.

Now the thing is, I have few doubts -
1) should I go for an AVR at the very beginning?! Or an Amp will do fine?!
2) If it is an AVR, which one will be good?! I was trying to get x4500H or x3600H somehow or should I go for equivalent models from Marantz. Do suggest other options as well.

3) If an Amp it is to begin with, what would be the ideal choice to start with?! I am juggling between the Amp he would suggest and PM6007 for time being, as Marantz would be warm and musical to my taste and can also be paired with an AVR in the future if I go this route. But confused whether it will pair fine or not.

Note: Sahil suggested I might not need a Sub as the towers will suffice enough Bass required, though I will decide it once I receive them as movies will also be option of playlist. But I also have plans to go all towers route and get them made from him. Center alone will not be a tower, but will be having a markaudio driver of similar signature.


Every possible suggestions and plans are welcome here as I will read and research from the inputs I gain here.
 

sandeepmohan

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Fyne audio make some really good speakers and the f303 is excellent.

As long as design is done right, even a bookshelf or stand mount can serve as a music and movies speaker. Its not necessary to go only with a floor stander. This is a personal choice. In all my listening, I've found that several stand mount speakers surpass that of floor stand speakers of a similar price range.

When you say, down the line for HT with Atmos, how far out are we talking about?

I don't see the point of buying a stereo integrated amplifier and later using it for home theater. Its not going to work nor can you pair it with an avr. I'd say its also complex and a waste of money. The day you want to sell your integrated, you will be lucky to get even half of what you paid for it.

You can buy a 3700H and pair it with a 2 channel power amplifier of some reputed brand. By itself, this receiver is not going to sound great for music. Marantz or Denon, its not going to make a day and night difference. Buy whichever you want.

The alternate option is to buy a stereo receiver with some form of digital or hdmi connection. This way, you can enjoy music and movies. In this scenario, you don't have surround sound. You can watch movies in stereo.

If you want to strike a better balance for music and movies with a one box solution, get a NAD 777. Its expensive but will do better than every AVR out there.

I can't comment on the PM6007 pairing with whatever this speaker is being built. Get the speaker first and then start you hunt for the right amplifier. Before anything, I'd listen to the speaker before committing to it.
 

ssf

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Now the thing is, I have few doubts -
1) should I go for an AVR at the very beginning?! Or an Amp will do fine?!
2) If it is an AVR, which one will be good?! I was trying to get x4500H or x3600H somehow or should I go for equivalent models from Marantz.
Since you are going to be listening to music and watching movies too, I would suggest an AVR. x4500h or x3600H which are decent for music too. A power amp could be added later if required.
 

RaaR

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When you say, down the line for HT with Atmos, how far out are we talking about?
I don't have any budget in mind. My first/previous post here will be an year back and you can see that I started with a 50K budget back then. After finding this forum only I came to know that the budget I had will get me nowhere and a in-person audition confirmed that. After that I decided to start with stereo setup and expand the next later. So far I have decided to expand until 5.2.4 and this might upgrade to 7.2.4 later.


I don't see the point of buying a stereo integrated amplifier and later using it for home theater. Its not going to work nor can you pair it with an avr. I'd say its also complex and a waste of money. The day you want to sell your integrated, you will be lucky to get even half of what you paid for it.

The alternate option is to buy a stereo receiver with some form of digital or hdmi connection. This way, you can enjoy music and movies. In this scenario, you don't have surround sound. You can watch movies in stereo.

If you want to strike a better balance for music and movies with a one box solution, get a NAD 777. Its expensive but will do better than every AVR out there.

I can't comment on the PM6007 pairing with whatever this speaker is being built. Get the speaker first and then start you hunt for the right amplifier. Before anything, I'd listen to the speaker before committing to it.
I am able to get PM6007 from a local dealer(black) for 30K and 6006 for 25, hence thought of asking this. Also 6007 can also be used with pre-outs later as an amp as well.

Also I'll check the Nad option you suggested and will wait for my speakers to reach me. Meanwhile I will also share the recording samples of both the prototypes here, may be under a new forum. So I can have others opinion as well. I know listening to recording can't substantiate a live audition anyday, but still this will give a good idea is what I believe in.

And thanks for the inputs <3 <3 <3
 

sandeepmohan

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Also 6007 can also be used with pre-outs later as an amp as well.
I don't see the point of buying a stereo integrated amplifier, unless you want to stay Stereo only.

Lets say you buy the 30k INR Marantz and later add a 3700h, which will be north of a 100k INR. You pair the PM6007 and 3700h. You're sitting with an AVR doing just center, surround and height duties. The front left and right channels are basically doing nothing, that too on something so expensive. The PM6007 is also kinda wasted as its just being used as a power amplifier. Next comes the question of power matching the two amplifiers. All in all, I think you're looking at 150k INR on two amps that won't be fully utilized for what they were designed to do.

The above can be done and made to work. Its just a slightly complicated setup and excess equipment.

Also: I would not commit to a speaker purchase till you hear it.

Decide which way you want to go. If its only stereo, stick to the PM6007. If you want multi channel, go 3700h or any other suitable avr.
 

chander

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@RaaR - in most cases an AVR is a good place to start and should be pretty much universal in matching with most commercial speakers. An AVR will also be required eventually if you go the surround setup way, so that is a piece of kit you will certainly need now or later. Both Denon & Marantz are tried and tested and generally the entry level models with Pre-outs are held in high regards almost universally. An X3700 or equivalent should be a good place to start - then sky is the limit.

If budget is no limit - you can also explore the - processor + PA way to go. That is my eventual plan now - saving up for that :).

As already suggested - "perhaps" an integrated might not be the best solution as you do pay for the pre +DAC part too in most integrated amps. It is by no means a disaster. The advantages of an integrated are that if you use something like an amp switch - for stereo you can have the integrated running the show completely. But if you use the HT bypass feature or you use it only as a PA then yes, it can be a wasteful solution.

However as already suggested it is always advised to buy your amp once you have the speakers so you know what might work best with your speaker.

I would also like to suggest - if you are going the AVR + PA way - please consider, for movies a well powered center also makes a very enjoyable difference. Some of us ignore the center somewhat (including me till very recently) and are happy powering our L/Rs, but once you hear what a well powered LCR can do, it is difficult to go back from there. Try and see if you can get yourself a good 3 channel amplifier if possible.
 

DB1989

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I would also like to suggest - if you are going the AVR + PA way - please consider, for movies a well powered center also makes a very enjoyable difference. Some of us ignore the center somewhat (including me till very recently) and are happy powering our L/Rs, but once you hear what a well powered LCR can do, it is difficult to go back from there. Try and see if you can get yourself a good 3 channel amplifier if possible.
Did you further upgrade your Center Channel?
 

chander

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Not yet - But I have been taking things to my friend's place to experiment. He has a 3700H, so I have been experimenting at his house. We used 2 Crown XLS 1002 to power the fronts (I bought 1 of them used from eBay - just to experiment) + center and once center was powered it was a beautiful and very engaging experience - very different compared to just the LR being powered. And we watched Dunkirk opening scene multiple times with and without the center being powered. It is incredible specially when you listen at lower levels. I am convinced :)

So the experiments are going on for an all Active setup or the Processor + PA. Trying to see if I can get the Event Opals 1 every quarter over the next year for the LCR and run the others as passive. All this is going on. My friend is a clueless as me and very patient so it is a good experiment. So far we have bought 4 active speakers (used m-audio) + 1 XLS 1002 in the name of the science. Will sell them on OLX later.
 
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ssf

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If I had only one power amp, I would use it on the center channel rather than on the LR's. I feel it would make a bigger difference for HT.
 

ssf

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An integrated two channel stereo amp can be used effectively in a HT was well as a stereo setup provided:

1. The Integrated amp has a HT bypass or dedicated HT inputs.
2. The HT Receiver has pre-outs.

Connect the Integrated amp to the AVR via it's pre outs to the integrated via the AV inputs of the stereo amp. In HT, use the HT Bypass or in some cases if it is already connected to the inputs designed for HT then nothing more need to be done.

Connect all the stereo equipments like CD player, DAC, steamers etc directly to the Integrated. Turn off the AVR when listening to 2 channel.

This way, you can listen to all your music via the integrated and it will act as a power amp for HT.

https://www.whathifi.com/advice/how-to-combine-stereo-and-surround-sound-in-one-brilliant-av-system
 

amrutmhatre90

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Even I was in a same boat sometime back. Wanted good stereo and HT setup, ended up getting Denon x3700, and slowly got hold of Crown XLS, then added a Tube pre amp with a switch box.
So my setup is:
1) Denon - Crown - Q Accoustics
2) Activo CT10 - Tube Pre Amp - Crown - Q acoustics.

Crown is connected to the RCA outs from the switchbox and Ins are Denon and Pre Amp.

I am enjoying both sources and different sounds, if I want bass I go to Denon with Subwoofer and if I want pure stereo I stick with Tube Pre amps. 80% of the time the Tubes are used for music and I don't need to turn on the AVR.

A good choice would be getting a x3600 or any equivalent AVR with Pre Outs and adding a power amplifier or a integrated amp.

Crowns are super cheap and have loads of power, but the top end is slightly glassy sparkly, they do great on HTs but slight tweaking or adding warm sources to your chain make it better.

Integrated Amps are good for music, but you need to remember what volume you calibrated the HT when both paired. There are IAs with HT bypass but they cost north of 60-70k. IAs can accept multiple inputs which is a plus if you have CD player or Phono etc.

All comes down to cost you are willing to spend.

Dunkirk opening scene is a test scene for me everytime time I make changes in setup.

Here is my thread if you would like to get some info how I went on making changes.

 

RaaR

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The Prototypes are ready and he will power them in a while and share the recordings as well. Pretty excited with the developments
I'll keep this thread updated with the developments.

Also I'm archiving the updates from the beginning in my Insta profile story, below is the link for reference:


Note: அ.. ஆ... (Ah.. Aah...) is the name I have decided for my towers, the first two letters of Tamil Alphabets


sahilthappa-20210808-0002.jpg sahilthappa-20210808-0001.jpg
 

amrutmhatre90

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The Prototypes are ready and he will power them in a while and share the recordings as well. Pretty excited with the developments
I'll keep this thread updated with the developments.

Note: அ.. ஆ... (Ah.. Aah...) is the name I have decided for my towers, the first two letters of Tamil Alphabets

Which one are the towers :p
Do post the spec sheets too. If possible record using Dolby On app from Playstore.

Lately I am seeing a lot of people going DIY route for speakers, guess covid and lockdown is bringing the inner passion out.
 

RaaR

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Which one are the towers :p
Do post the spec sheets too. If possible record using Dolby On app from Playstore.

Lately I am seeing a lot of people going DIY route for speakers, guess covid and lockdown is bringing the inner passion out.

Ha ha, both are towers and once I finalize which one I like in terms of sonic performance. He will work on that prototype for the end product with complete teak enclosure as I mentioned before.

And this ain't DIY route I'm a novice starter as of this moment. May be in a couple of years, I might start that and that's a may be only.

The person in picture is Sahil Thappa, and he is a speaker maker by passion. He has his Insta business ID: Sonicarchitect and he primarily builds monolith and Bookshelf speakers - hand made ones and they are too good both aesthetically and sonically.

When free do take a look at his work profile. Below is the link:


And yes, I'll ask for the spec sheet and will share them with you
 
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jarneevan

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My only concern was the signature shouldn't be bright as I am into warm signature and bright fatigues me much.

If it is an AVR, which one will be good?! I was trying to get x4500H or x3600H somehow or should I go for equivalent models from Marantz. Do suggest other options as well.
I think you should go with Marantz AVR if you like warm sound. As the owner of two Denon receivers I can confidently say that they don't pair well with speakers that are on the bright side of neutral (even by a tiny bit). Denon would work if your speakers are too laid back and you want to put some sparkle into them or if you like neutral/bright sound signature. Also Marantz products are widely available from many sellers at great prices if you are ok with no-warranty. There are some reliable sellers.
 

RaaR

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I think you should go with Marantz AVR if you like warm sound. As the owner of two Denon receivers I can confidently say that they don't pair well with speakers that are on the bright side of neutral (even by a tiny bit). Denon would work if your speakers are too laid back and you want to put some sparkle into them or if you like neutral/bright sound signature. Also Marantz products are widely available from many sellers at great prices if you are ok with no-warranty. There are some reliable sellers.
Thanks a lot for the inputs.

I am already looking into those options with service backup, in and around Chennai. Have few sellers in consideration. If you know such reliable sellers, do share those details and I'll check with them too.

If I'm into Marantz, then SR7013 is my current goto choice.
 

Amitdubey

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Do consider x3600h. Its a phenomenal value of a receiver and does music really well in the stereo, direct and pure direct mode. Its measurements speak for it. Ideal amp/receiver for someone starting off and looking for a base to expand in both directions of home theatre and music. Front left and right amps physically disconnecting in the preout mode to correct to a two channel amp and it's 2 volt rms is its huge USP.

Don't believe people telling you denon is bright and marantz is warm. That is not true. It depends on so many variables. I have never found 3600 anywhere close to being bright. And a good amp should have energy in the high frequency rather than being lacklustre. And that is not brightness. Higher frequencies being rolled off in speakers and amps rob you from a very engulfing listening experience
 

DB1989

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Do consider x3600h. Its a phenomenal value of a receiver and does music really well in the stereo, direct and pure direct mode. Its measurements speak for it. Ideal amp/receiver for someone starting off and looking for a base to expand in both directions of home theatre and music. Front left and right amps physically disconnecting in the preout mode to correct to a two channel amp and it's 2 volt rms is its huge USP.

Don't believe people telling you denon is bright and marantz is warm. That is not true. It depends on so many variables. I have never found 3600 anywhere close to being bright. And a good amp should have energy in the high frequency rather than being lacklustre. And that is not brightness. Higher frequencies being rolled off in speakers and amps rob you from a very engulfing listening experience
I have tried AV receivers from both brands in my setup (Denon X2400H, Marantz SR6013) and if all variables were kept the same, Marantz is on the warmer side and Denon is on the livelier/brighter side. It ultimately boils down to which presentation the user prefers.

Personally, I like the Marantz house sound which romaticizes the music a bit as opposed to the Denon which is rather direct in its exposition. To my ears, its stereo performance is very good, especially when paired with budget speakers.

The OP will need to mull over both and decide which approach he prefers to the sound,
 

RaaR

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Thank you @Amitdubey @DB1989 for the inputs. Yes, before making the final call I'll listen to both options and make the decision based on what I hear.

Current AVR choices are Denon x3600H/x4500H and Marantz SR7013/14/ SR6013/14. Skipping 2021 options for price constraints and currently not interested in 8K as well
 
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