Upgrade bug

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  • Stoney
    Senior Member
    • Dec 2004
    • 232

    Upgrade bug

    I feel the itch. I think the upgrade bug has bitten again. As I continue, you will see it has been awhile.
    My current system is:
    Denon AVR-3801 Receiver (7.1, 105wpc)
    DM605 S2 Mains
    DM602 S2 Surrounds
    DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
    CC6 S2 Center.
    ASW 1000 Sub
    I am thinking about replacing my receiver. The features I would like to upgrade are:
    1. HDMI switching.
    2. Newer format decoding
    3. Auto tuning for speaker setup.
    4. Possibility of cleaner, more impactful sound.
    5. Possibility of internet radio or wireless from home network.

    I have looked at some of the new Denon receivers and glanced at the Rotel sites. I would like to stay wtih 7.1 format. I don't anticipate ever going 3D. I have room on my rack to go separates if warranted. Looking mostly for a noticible improvement in sound quality.

    Any suggestions that might help me narrow selections? There sure is a lot of stuff out there! Also don't want to buy something that grossly outclasses the speakers. What about getting a processor/pre amp like RSP-1572 and using the Denon power amp section?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Stoney; 28 September 2012, 07:10 Friday.
    Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
    Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
    B&W DM605 S2 Mains
    DM602 S2 Surrounds
    DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
    CC6 S2 Center.
    ASW 1000 Sub
  • stuofsci02
    Super Senior Member
    • Nov 2009
    • 1241

    #2
    What is your budget?

    I think you are along the right track by going pre/pro with an amp. There are lots of choices in this area...
    Main System:
    B&W 801D
    Emotiva USP-1 Pre-Amp
    Chord SPM-650 Stereo Amp
    Oppo BDP-105
    Squeezebox Touch


    Second System:
    B&W CM7
    Emotiva UMC-1
    Emotiva UPA-2
    Oppo BDP-83SE
    Grant Fidelity DAC-09

    Comment

    • audioqueso
      Super Senior Member
      • Nov 2004
      • 1930

      #3
      +1
      What is your budget?
      B&W 804S/Velodyne SPL-1000R/Anthem MRX720

      Comment

      • Stoney
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2004
        • 232

        #4
        I'm thinking under $1500. Again, it seems ridiculous to out class the speakers, so if I can make significant improvements for less, it would be good.
        Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
        Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
        B&W DM605 S2 Mains
        DM602 S2 Surrounds
        DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
        CC6 S2 Center.
        ASW 1000 Sub

        Comment

        • audioqueso
          Super Senior Member
          • Nov 2004
          • 1930

          #5
          I do think that separates will yield better results, but I can not say how much for the 600 Series 2. I don't know if an HDMI receiver will give you the improvement that you may have in mind.
          Of course, a speaker upgrade will give the biggest difference, but that would start a domino effect on your upgraditis. :B

          These are a few options that I would look at if I were in your shoes.

          Option 1) Emotiva XPA-3 $630 + Best receiver under $870
          XPA-3 is a 200watt 3-channel amp. You can pick one up for $630 right now with a sale they have going on. I don't care for Emotiva's digital products (which is why I don't recommend their pre-amp), but their solid state amps are amazing!
          That leaves you $870 left. Emotiva does have a 200watt 5-channel amp, but since you have a 7.1 setup, I would recommend maxing out the front stage, and then finding the best HDMI receiver you can get and using that to power the backstage. (However, I still have my option about using a HDMI receiver as a pre-amp as oppose to a dedicated pre-amp).

          2) Option 2: Oppo BPD-95 $1000 + Emotiva XPA-3 $630
          I don't know if you want HDMI SWITCHING or just the new lossless codecs. What is your source now?
          If you want an upgrade in movies, I would recommend option 1. If you want an upgrade with music as well as movies, then please let us know what you currently use as your source? You can upgrade your speakers, amps, etc... but a weak source will hold it down the most.
          If you do NOT want HDMI swtiching, but DO want the new lossless audio formats, I would say spend the grand on the Oppo BDP-95. You can use the HDMI out from the BDP-95 to feed your tv directly, and the analog outs from the BDP-95 and feed it to your existing Denon receiver. Adding a XPA-3 will put you over the $1500 budget, but maybe you could find a used BDP-95 or a used XPA-3 to put you in your budget. I would personally take that option for the best overall upgrade.

          On top of that... if you're handy with a soldering iron, do PewterTA's wiring mod for your 600 series speakers. I did them to my 600 S3, and they had a much nicer result. More natural and open sound to them. Well worth it!
          B&W 804S/Velodyne SPL-1000R/Anthem MRX720

          Comment

          • Stoney
            Senior Member
            • Dec 2004
            • 232

            #6
            Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into the equipment you mentioned. My source is a Panasonic DMP-BD60. I hadn't even thought about audio gains by improving the source. I suppose there is some possibility there since the player came free with my TV and is probably not the greatest quality.
            I also like the idea of the wiring upgrade. I have only been inside the 605's so far and the wiring and connections were not very impressive. I couldn't open the link on my tablet, but will try again later and on my desktop.
            Finally got the link to open. Interesting read.
            Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
            Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
            B&W DM605 S2 Mains
            DM602 S2 Surrounds
            DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
            CC6 S2 Center.
            ASW 1000 Sub

            Comment

            • Dmantis
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Jun 2004
              • 1036

              #7
              I suggest a Pioneer Elite used SC model receiver starting with the SC-37 for 3D abilities. The SC-57 would be a good choice as well. For 1500.00 you'll have no issues finding one under that. new you could swing a SC-67 , it would be worth the extra cost.

              I'd also check out Integra maybe a used DTR50.3 or a DTR70.3. Both models are fantastic and much better then your Denon all the way around. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how much more detail you can get out of your speaker package with a new Integra or Elite receiver compared to the old Denon avr3801. Don't get me wrong , the 3801 was a benchmark receiver in it's day and set many av standards , I also owned one on release.

              Good luck with your upgrade , it's time man , it's time.

              Comment

              • Audio bliss
                Junior Member
                • Aug 2012
                • 9

                #8
                I would check out the new harman-kardan receivers..the amps in those are awesome..still using one as a preamp hooked up to a par sound halo amp...but have been using there h/t receivers for years...very high end sound and all you need for h/t....look for one with pre-outs so u can hook up a separate amp if u feel u need to..like a parasound5125...but h/k are defenitly a step above in price class in my opinion...h/d setup menus etc..

                Comment

                • Stoney
                  Senior Member
                  • Dec 2004
                  • 232

                  #9
                  Thanks for the suggestions. Still searching. Was looking at the Emotiva site last week and was impressed with the UMC-1 on sale for $499 coupled with a UPA 700 for $499. Dropping down to 80 wpc kind of scares me though.
                  I am fairly frugal (pronounced cheap) and have a hard time replacing something that works.
                  Thanks again for the replies and suggestions.
                  Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
                  Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
                  B&W DM605 S2 Mains
                  DM602 S2 Surrounds
                  DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
                  CC6 S2 Center.
                  ASW 1000 Sub

                  Comment

                  • madmac
                    Moderator Emeritus
                    • Aug 2010
                    • 3122

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Stoney
                    Thanks for the suggestions. Still searching. Was looking at the Emotiva site last week and was impressed with the UMC-1 on sale for $499 coupled with a UPA 700 for $499. Dropping down to 80 wpc kind of scares me though.
                    I am fairly frugal (pronounced cheap) and have a hard time replacing something that works.
                    Thanks again for the replies and suggestions.
                    Watts are a VERY illusive figure!. I had a 100 wpc Yamaha amp and then bought a 75wpc Rotel and the Rotel.....well.......let's just say that the Rotel blows it away in EVERY respect!. My eyeballs popped out when I first heard it!! :E

                    Overall sound, detail and power were shocking!!! 8O
                    Dan Madden :T

                    Comment

                    • Hdale85
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Jan 2006
                      • 16073

                      #11
                      Not all receivers a grossly over rated like that, the Pioneer Class D stuff actually is quite powerful, the previous generations used ICE Modules but now they are using their own design.

                      Comment

                      • philw101
                        Junior Member
                        • Jul 2012
                        • 16

                        #12
                        I agree with the others the Emotiva amps superb for the money. The XPA 5 is stunnig, would give some hiend amps a run for their money. Emotiva's pre/pros need some work.

                        Onkyo/Intergra - are really good, not the besr build quality but a feature list as long as your arm. I have had the Onkyo 608, 875, 3008 and now the 5508 pre/pro and never had a bad thing to say about them.
                        Samsung D7000 55" LED TV, B&W 800 Series - 804s,HTM3s, 805s (Rears), B&W ASW825 Sub, Onkyo PR-SC5508, Classe CA-5200, Classe CP-500, Classe CDP-102, Oppo BDP-EU95, SKY+ HD, Sony PS3 , B&W P5 Headphones. Pro-ject Debut III Turntable

                        Comment

                        • Hdale85
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Jan 2006
                          • 16073

                          #13
                          I don't know I think I may be done with Onkyo, they seem to have a lot of build quality issues that end with you owning a dead or dis-functional receiver. Mine won't do anything higher then 1080p24, and my friends just died all together, and there are countless other people with issues. They need to take a step back and figure out what the issues are or offer a longer warranty.

                          Comment

                          • Stoney
                            Senior Member
                            • Dec 2004
                            • 232

                            #14
                            Stopped by a local Rotel dealer this week and found Rotel to be totally out of my budget.
                            Seriously thinking about an Emotiva UPA-700 amp with a UMC-200 pre/pro. ~$1k.


                            Also thinking about a region free (my wife is Japanese) Oppo BDP 103 , but I hesitate at the $200 above the Oppo price.
                            The Highest Quality Region Free Blu-ray Player Guaranteed to Play ANY Region DVD or Blu-Ray on ANY TV Plays Blu-Ray Discs from ALL Regions (Regions A, B, & C) Plays any Region DVD (1-8) and RCE & REA Built-in PAL to NTSC Conversion Operates with any voltage for global use (110-240 volts) Built-in Wi-Fi Exceptional Picture Quality with Qdeo Processing 4k Up-Scaling, 3D Playback, 2D to 3D Conversion Streaming Media Dual HDMI Inputs/Outputs, MHL Input Capable SACD & DVD-Audio/Video USB 2.0 & IR Darbee Edition Extra $100
                            Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
                            Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
                            B&W DM605 S2 Mains
                            DM602 S2 Surrounds
                            DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
                            CC6 S2 Center.
                            ASW 1000 Sub

                            Comment

                            • audioqueso
                              Super Senior Member
                              • Nov 2004
                              • 1930

                              #15
                              That's overpriced.
                              Buy the Oppo from Oppo directly. Then buy the region mod from ebay. Besides, you only need to worry about DVD region free. USA and Japan have the same Blu-ray region.

                              The UMC-1 was on sale the other week for $300. (Or are you saying you saw the UMC-1 + the UPA-7 for $500 total?) Don't worry about the 80watts. It's a safe bet that 80watts on a dedicated amp is better than the 105watts built in a receiver.

                              So far, what do you have in mind in regards to upgrades?
                              B&W 804S/Velodyne SPL-1000R/Anthem MRX720

                              Comment

                              • Hdale85
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Jan 2006
                                • 16073

                                #16
                                I think the UMC-1 is gone now, they have an updated model the UMC-200.

                                Comment

                                • Stoney
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Dec 2004
                                  • 232

                                  #17
                                  The UMC-1 shows as "unavailable" on their website. Guess they sold them out.
                                  Didn't know I could get a region free mod on eBay. I'll look into it. Thanks.

                                  Edit-Didn't see anything for the BDP-103, but I'm sure there will be one before long.
                                  Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
                                  Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
                                  B&W DM605 S2 Mains
                                  DM602 S2 Surrounds
                                  DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
                                  CC6 S2 Center.
                                  ASW 1000 Sub

                                  Comment

                                  • madmac
                                    Moderator Emeritus
                                    • Aug 2010
                                    • 3122

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Stoney
                                    The UMC-1 shows as "unavailable" on their website. Guess they sold them out.
                                    Didn't know I could get a region free mod on eBay. I'll look into it. Thanks.

                                    Edit-Didn't see anything for the BDP-103, but I'm sure there will be one before long.

                                    As far as I know, you can make Oppo units region free with a few clicks of the front pannel or remote buttons. You can look it up on line as to how to do it. I personally would not let some dude from Ebay fiddle with the unit. 8O
                                    Dan Madden :T

                                    Comment

                                    • Ovation
                                      Super Senior Member
                                      • Sep 2004
                                      • 2202

                                      #19
                                      I think that was true of their DVD players but I'm not certain it is true of their BD players. I would scrutinize any info on doing so very carefully.

                                      Comment

                                      • audioqueso
                                        Super Senior Member
                                        • Nov 2004
                                        • 1930

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Ovation
                                        I think that was true of their DVD players but I'm not certain it is true of their BD players. I would scrutinize any info on doing so very carefully.
                                        That's correct.
                                        Oppo used to give out instructions on how to set the players to region free, but they had to disable that ability when they made the blu-ray players because of the regulations they had to abide by in order to have some blu-ray license. However, there are hardware mods on ebay, and there are also firmware mods.
                                        B&W 804S/Velodyne SPL-1000R/Anthem MRX720

                                        Comment

                                        • impala454
                                          Ultra Senior Member
                                          • Oct 2007
                                          • 3814

                                          #21
                                          I like the XPA-5 + Oppo BDP-103 combo. You can keep your Denon to use as a pass through source switcher since it has both analog inputs and outputs. $769 + $499 = $1268. The amp by itself will be your single biggest improvement IMHO.
                                          -Chuck

                                          Comment

                                          • Stoney
                                            Senior Member
                                            • Dec 2004
                                            • 232

                                            #22
                                            Well...I purchased the UPA-700 and the UMC-200. The amp shipped the same day I ordered it but the processor won't ship till Dec. 7. Guess they still have to build it.
                                            I think I will wait awhile on the Oppo. Get the amp/processor/speakers set up and see what it sounds and looks like.
                                            Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
                                            Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
                                            B&W DM605 S2 Mains
                                            DM602 S2 Surrounds
                                            DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
                                            CC6 S2 Center.
                                            ASW 1000 Sub

                                            Comment

                                            • tpremo55
                                              Senior Member
                                              • Apr 2006
                                              • 113

                                              #23
                                              Hey Stoney, did you get the processor yet?
                                              If so, can you give a quick update/opinion post?

                                              Thanks!

                                              Comment

                                              • Stoney
                                                Senior Member
                                                • Dec 2004
                                                • 232

                                                #24
                                                I have received both processor and amp. There is a marked improvement in clarity and detail with the new set up. I am pleased with the quality of the sound in both music and movies.
                                                I had some initial difficulties getting the processor to play nicely with my Panasonic blu-ray player. I had purchased a 3' larger gauge HDMI cable to try to keep the clutter down. I could only get occasional bursts of video and no audio through it. Tried a couple of 6' cables I used on my old setup and had frequent video drop outs. Bought a couple of new cables with "Redmere" technology and they appear to have cleared up whatever the problem was. I also had the microphone go out after 3 uses (I probably static zapped it) but they sent me another to replace it.
                                                Lots more comments and reviews on the Emotiva Community site.
                                                Emotiva UPA-700 Amp
                                                Emotiva UMC 200 pre/pro
                                                B&W DM605 S2 Mains
                                                DM602 S2 Surrounds
                                                DM601 S2 Rear Surrounds
                                                CC6 S2 Center.
                                                ASW 1000 Sub

                                                Comment

                                                • tpremo55
                                                  Senior Member
                                                  • Apr 2006
                                                  • 113

                                                  #25
                                                  Thanks for the response.
                                                  As this Proc is very reliant on HDMI, the one challenge you did have was pretty critical.

                                                  Comment

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