Upgrade path - Yamaha avr 3072, q acoustics 3020i and Firestick 4K

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 & 12.2 Speakers
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
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Hello,

Hope everyone is doing well and safe.
I’m a beginner in this space and so need some planning advice for my upgrade path. Since it’s a complicated process, some help would be very useful.

1) Yamaha avr 3072 with active sub
2) Q acoustics 3020i
3) Source - Spotify and other music apps via fire stick 4K connected directly to avr via HDMI
4) PS4 for blu rays via HDMI. Tried playing FLAC but couldn’t tell the difference. Not sure if the PS4 plays FLAC properly.

As expected (given the limited amplifier in my avr and compressed music player in spotify), the music experience is quite ordinary and not very different from my previous setup with the htib satellite speakers.

Questions:
1) Should I consider upgrading the avr? If yes, then is there a more balanced avr (with good music and movie capabilities)? Something comparable to a dedicated integrated amplifier? want to include options for movies as well and so not sure if I should go for dedicated IA.

2) How much of a difference would the source make in the above setup? Not sure if it makes sense for me to invest in a tidal subscription, given I have the 3072. If it does, then what current device should I use to stream tidal (fire stick vs laptop vs phone)?

3) Without changing or upgrading anything, can I substantially improve my music experience? If yes, then some suggestions would be great. I have not been able to play uncompressed wav/FLAC files till now but not sure how much of a difference will those make vs the spotify streams.

4) Should I consider a laptop/phone and a MQA/high res DAC to connect to my avr?

5) go for dedicated IA (something like the Yamaha wxa 50 or Marantz pm 6006) and run 2 separate systems. This is the least favourable option.

As you can tell, I’m a bit confused as there are so many options and so

thanks so much in advance.
 

apbinu

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
373
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Hello,

Hope everyone is doing well and safe.
I’m a beginner in this space and so need some planning advice for my upgrade path. Since it’s a complicated process, some help would be very useful.

1) Yamaha avr 3072 with active sub
2) Q acoustics 3020i
3) Source - Spotify and other music apps via fire stick 4K connected directly to avr via HDMI
4) PS4 for blu rays via HDMI. Tried playing FLAC but couldn’t tell the difference. Not sure if the PS4 plays FLAC properly.

As expected (given the limited amplifier in my avr and compressed music player in spotify), the music experience is quite ordinary and not very different from my previous setup with the htib satellite speakers.

Questions:
1) Should I consider upgrading the avr? If yes, then is there a more balanced avr (with good music and movie capabilities)? Something comparable to a dedicated integrated amplifier? want to include options for movies as well and so not sure if I should go for dedicated IA.

2) How much of a difference would the source make in the above setup? Not sure if it makes sense for me to invest in a tidal subscription, given I have the 3072. If it does, then what current device should I use to stream tidal (fire stick vs laptop vs phone)?

3) Without changing or upgrading anything, can I substantially improve my music experience? If yes, then some suggestions would be great. I have not been able to play uncompressed wav/FLAC files till now but not sure how much of a difference will those make vs the spotify streams.

4) Should I consider a laptop/phone and a MQA/high res DAC to connect to my avr?

5) go for dedicated IA (something like the Yamaha wxa 50 or Marantz pm 6006) and run 2 separate systems. This is the least favourable option.

As you can tell, I’m a bit confused as there are so many options and so

thanks so much in advance.


Hi Deepak,

There is no one solution to all the questions you have listed above, however with the limited info which i have from the above details you have shared i would like to recommend following,

You have a decent AVR & if i read it correctly its setup for 2.1 config? without surround speakers connected & appropriate setting enabled on the AVR to support the same. Before taking plunge into buying new AVR or IA or Streaming device, i would like to suggest you to check if below suggestion helps enhance your SQ with regards to Music listing experience.

As most of your source is online streaming, look for good entry level DAC-Preamp like Topping D30/E30/D50S or Schitt Modi 3 etc... which takes input from multiple digital source & outputs it to conventional RCA which you can feed into AVR-3072. Config your AVR-3072 to pure direct mode (Stereo) this eliminate the inbuilt DSP on 3072, see if you have considerable improvement in SQ.

Cheers,
:cool:
 
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Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
58
Points
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Location
Mumbai
As most of your source is online streaming, look for good entry level DAC-Preamp like Topping D30/E30/D50S or Schitt Modi 3 etc... which takes input from multiple digital source & outputs it to conventional RCA which you can feed into AVR-3072. Config your AVR-3072 to pure direct mode (Stereo) this eliminate the inbuilt DSP on 3072, see if you have considerable improvement in SQ.

thanks so much for the reply. Helpful to get such inputs.

Just a follow up to this. Not sure how the firestick 4K would be used with the above mentioned dacs (think they are usually non-hdmi). Unless you recommend I use my laptop/phone for all music streaming? Currently, I use spotify connect directly with the fire stick which is connected via HDMI into avr.

2) Also, wouldn’t my avr’s DAC suffice, since the fire stick is connected via HDMI? Would there be a substantial difference vs a laptop based setup? Have heard about fire stick 4K being average as a music streamer but how bad would it be. Also, only asking since it would remove a whole lot of convenience if I switch to laptop music streaming.

thanks again.
 
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apbinu

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
373
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Just a follow up to this. Not sure how the firestick 4K would be used with the above mentioned dacs (think they are usually non-hdmi). Unless you recommend I use my laptop/phone for all music streaming? Currently, I use spotify connect directly with the fire stick which is connected via HDMI into avr.
In that case the DAC might not help as you will be using the AVR DSP & your AVR doesn't have option of audio preout too. Hence i can think of connecting firestick on TV & taking TV digital out (optical/coaxial) into External DAC digital input --> RCA out. However you will have to look at the TV PCM bitrate specification as some tv's limit it to 48khz PCM only.

2) Also, wouldn’t my avr’s DAC suffice, since the fire stick is connected via HDMI? Would there be a substantial difference vs a laptop based setup? Have heard about fire stick 4K being average as a music streamer but how bad would it be. Also, only asking since it would remove a whole lot of convenience if I switch to laptop music streaming.

In continuation to my above comments, laptop based setup(via USB) is preferred if you want to stream Hi-Res audio & get most out of it.
If you look at Topping E30 DAC specs sample listed below for reference.
PCM
USB :44.1kHz-768kHz 16bit-32bit
OPT/COAX : 44.1kHz-192kHz 16bit- 24bit

DSD (Native)
USB : DSD64-DSD512
OPT/COAX :Not supported

DSD (DoP)
USB : DSD64-DSD256
OPT/COAX :Not supported

Now all this to be taken into consideration only if your very particular about SQ & looking for perfect combination.

Cheers,
:cool:
 
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