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Guest hifichip76

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Guest hifichip76

Hi. I've been reading this forum for several weeks and finally registered. This week, with joining this site and ordering my first Mac (the new Mini), I have finally taken a long-resisted step in merging my audio/home theater system and computer. This was a gradual process, but really took off when I got an iPhone and realized it doesn't sound bad at all...then iPod and Wadia iTransport...and here I am!


This seems like a great forum and site, so I appreciate what you all have done.


I am looking to upgrade my equipment one step at a time.


My modest systems:


living room:

Denon AVR 3801 (from 2001)

Denon universal sacd/dvd-a player

Sony ES SACD player

NHT Super Twos, Ones, Zeros and Center speaker

SVS subwoofer

cables: mostly Audioquest with some Kimber, Monster, MIT

Musical Fidelity V-dac

Wadia iTransport

Musical Fidelity X-can V8 hpa(loose connection problem)

old, second-gen Panasonic dvd player feeding digital to V-dac

Creek OBH-11 hpa

Panasonic BD player

Sony 50-inch LCD



Dell PC about to be replaced by Mac Mini 500gb, 4gb RAM, 2.6ghz

NHT Super One speakers

Kenwood AVR with surprisingly good hpa and internal DAC (from ca.1999) fed by coax digital out from PC

Monster M-series speaker cables

Sony LCD display



Sennheiser hd-650

AKG 701

Grado Sr-125



a few iPods..


Aside from the Mac Mini, I want to upgrade my living room AVR. I'm not sure what to get or even to keep it multi-ch. or go 2-ch. Part of me wants both. Maybe the headphone system or computer system will evolve into pure stereo hi-fi.


Any suggestions are most welcome.


Thank you all.



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First off, your AVR in the living room is still good: yes it lacks audio via HDMI and therefore HD audio but don't replace it with anything lower than you currently have - you'll probably regret it.


Assuming music is your primary passion, then I would concentrate on improving that in your main room.


First off I would look at suplementing your AVR (even if you intend to replace it) with a proper stereo intergrated amp. This will allow you to get the best out of any DAC and speakers you have now, or intend to get in the future.


Beyond that it very much depends on your budget.


You could look at getting a second MacMini to supply audio direct to a DAC, or could use a streaming device such as Squeezebox or Sonos to get audio to the stereo amp. You could look at a higher end DAC, or look instead at a streamer such as Linn DS. Longer term you may also want to look at higher end speakers - if this thought is in your mind then look for a stereo Amp which would match with speakers you may consider in the future.


There's so many possibilities that you really need some kind of a plan in your mind before we can suitably make suggestions...






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Guest hifichip76

Yes, you are right. These are all things to consider. The Denon AVR is actually very good and I'm skeptical if a newer one at/near the $1200-1500 price point could have the same core performance AND all the new features in the same machine.


While music is my main focus, I do like movies in surround and, most especially, music in surround. It may be heresy, but many sacd's and other formats that tastefully mix music into 5.1 are very nice. I'm afraid to lose that ability.


I need a clear direction to go in, as you say. I think the next thing for me is a better headphone amp...




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