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SpartanWaveDave's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 28 2006 - 10:59am
Need Upgrade Advice

I currently have two systems:

System 1 upstairs:
Naim Nait 5i integrated
Naim CD5x
Naim Flatcap 2x
Naim Ariva speakers
(Samsung 42 in HD Plasma)

System 2 downstairs:
Dennon 4800 Reciever
Rega Apollo CD player
Sony 999ES Sacd/DVD player
B&W N805 Fronts
B&W HTM-4 Center
B&W 602 rears
(Sony 50 in HD LCD Rear Projection)

The problem is, I enjoy the upstairs system much more for music than the downstairs system, but I have two children (1 & 2 yrs old) so I am forced to listen to music downstairs the vast majority of the time.

What would be a sensible upgrade to get more out of my downstairs system? I believe the Dennon to be my weak spot.
Or do I move some of the upstairs systems down?

Please advise.


CECE's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

Get rid of the 2 kids..........OR...move into a RANCH, all on one level..

Welshsox's picture
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 13 2006 - 7:27pm
Re: Need Upgrade Advice


Im in a similar situation with two systems, one in the bedroom and one in living room for surround.

Theres no doubt the Denon is the weak link downstairs, an idea would be to purchase a good integrated to suit your budget, Rega, Creek, Naim or whatever and then purchase a good quality speaker switch box. That way you could use the downstairs for surround with the denon and with the integrated for music.

The problem with trying to find a musical receiver will be cost, you will have to spend $3-5K on Arcam or something similar to get a receiver with the same music abilities as a good $1000 integtrated. As long as you get a good quality speaker switch box it will not introduce any noticable signal degredation into the speaker path.


SpartanWaveDave's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 28 2006 - 10:59am
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

Thanks for the advice, think I'll keep the kids though...
I used to have the Naim Nait5i in the system downstairs (it has an AV mode that allows it to be used as an amp for the reciever and then switch to an integrated for the CD player), but didn't feel like it matched well to my speakers. My budget is $3,000 to 5,000 for an upgrade.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

If you have $3000 for the upgrade, my advice would be to go to the AYRE AX7e for $2950; this is an outstanding integrated amlifier that would put your system into a much higher performance level.
Another one that is excellent is the PS AUDIO GCC-100, for $2795.
For only $1500, the CREEK 5350SE would also give you MUCH better sound than your current DENON.

These are 2-channel recommendations though; would you still use the DENON with the 5-channel system for the TV?

If you want a 5-channel RECEIVER, then maybe the DENON AVR-4806 at $3500 would be an good upgrade from what you have. A review was done on this unit in Stereophile in January, I think; it should be here on the website. How does this unit compare to your 4800???

RGibran's picture
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

Your Denon may be the weak link but it ain't shabby, I owned the model below yours. If you desire to stick with a multi-channel reciever for numerous integration reasons, I don't think you would be dissapointed with the Arcam AVR 350. Using the 6th and 7th channels to bi-amp the fronts, and run in the "Pure Direct" mode which turns off all digital circuits it renders truly high end sound that rivals dedicated two channel integrateds in the $1000 to $3000 dollar range. Do audition one if possible.


Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

Guys, don't forget the Magnum Dynalab MD 208 receiver John Marks gave a thumbs up to at under $3K. Just need lots of breakin.

mrlowry's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Need Upgrade Advice

I'll throw in another vote for the Arcam receivers being highly musical and enjoyable to use.

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