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Advice on new amp/receiver & cdp needed...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well: Lini needs new amp badly.

The reason is that my old Marantz (PM 510) in my computer rig is giving up rather quickly, now, and actually I'm just too lazy to refurbish it (especially with a new volume pot). First I thought about getting a surround receiver, but actually I don't really need that - especially not in the computer rig, because there a software players with Dolby Headpphone, now, and I don't watch dvds often enough, anyway.

So I've been searching around on the net, and I dug up Harman-Kardon's comparatively new HK-3470 receiver, which seems to be quite nice (concluding from the specs, and both a review in Stereo (German Hi-Fi magazine) and the user ratings on audioreview). In addition, I'd like to buy a new cdp with it, and the HD-750 looks like it would fit to the receiver in design and sound quality. That could be a nice combo for a reasonable amount of money.

What I'm not sure about: Will today's stereo receivers (and especially the HK-3470, of course) still show some tuner crosstalk when you listen to other sources in higher volumes? In addition, the info on the HD-750's cd-r compatibility is contradictory: HK seems to state cd-rw compatibility, but cd-r is not mentioned... Other sites claim cd-r compatibility, though. Maybe somebody can answer that?

Another possible solution could be a Denon PMA-1055R (amp)/DCD-685 (cdp) combo - any comments? Or maybe any other suggetions? Perhaps a NAD C 370/C521 combo? Things I want: A decent headphone jack, phono & at least 2 more line inputs as well as in/outs for 2 tapes and terminals for 2 pairs of speakers on the amp/receiver (additional sub out would be nice, too); cd-r compatibility on the cdp; remote controls for both (best, if cdp could be controlled from the amp/receiver-remote, too) - and the price for the combo shouldn't exceed ~ US$ 1000, but I wouldn't be unhappy, if I can get it cheaper, of course.

Greetings from Munich & thanks in advance for any helpful answers!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: Oh, I just discovered, that I've mixed something up - the NAD C 370 seems to have no phono input. But the Rotel RA-1070 does - so maybe a Rotel combo? Or Arcam, maybe?
post #2 of 11
I'm a big fan of NAD, and I also like Rotel a lot. On the other hand, I've never been a fan of Harmon-Kardon. IMO, you can always get a better product for the same money elsewhere.
post #3 of 11
I'd have to agree with MacDEF on the HK issue. I would pick Denon or NAD gear over HK any day. IMO, HK stuff sounds good but the build quality is lacking. I like to buy gear that I think is going to last a long time. However, I have no experience with their new stuff and maybe things have changed. I would still lean toward Denon, NAD or Rotel.


PS - I think you would be hard pressed to get an Arcam system for the money you want to spend unless you went used.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
mskeen, MacDEF: Thanks for the info. I'm a bit worried about HK's build quality, too. The HK-3470 might not be too bad, though, because in opposite to their AV-receivers the back plane photo of the HK-3470 doesn't show a "Made in China"-Label - but it might as well just be better hidden.

Anyway, I strolled on through the web in the meantime, and neither Rotel nor NAD seem to have something suitable for me. But what would you think about Marantz? The PM-8000 (amp) and the CD-6000 OSE (cdp) could make a nice combo for me - and as far as I looked, that combo wouldn't miss one of my desired features. I think I'm going to search for good offers, now...

Manfred / lini
post #5 of 11
I've only heard good things about NAD amps.
However, their CD players suffer from a lot of reliability problems, hava a hard time reading CDRs and stuff, so you might wanna look into something like a cambridge d500se (maybe with an a500 amp?) or the marantz.

If you plan on going to the UK anytime soon, have a look at
They have some very nice items and since they own cambridge audio you can't beat their price.


post #6 of 11

I own the NAD c541. The retailer I purchased it from and the audiophile store I frequent rave about the 541 and its improvements from the 540 and 521. Don't take my word for it, check out NAD's website for a review of the 541 from the Gramophone:


The only drawback is that the 541 does not have a headphone out. So you'll need an amp (portable or home) to listen to your cans.

My NAD is connected to my MG Head and at times the CHA47 (from JMT). I listen primarily with my 580s. Great sound especially for jazz and classical music.

Given NAD's amp reputation, I'd go with the NAD set-up. Otherwise, I highly recommend the NAD c541 cd player.

Good luck on your search!

Regards - reynman
post #7 of 11
I've only heard good things about NAD amps.
However, their CD players suffer from a lot of reliability problems, hava a hard time reading CDRs and stuff
This is a bit of an inaccurate "blanket" statement. Most NAD CD players will read CD-Rs just fine, and most have never had reliability problems. There are a couple particular models that have had reported problems.

lini: for what you want, if you could find a used NAD 304, you'd be *set.* This is a highly-acclaimed integrated amp with all the features you are looking for (including an excellent phono stage), and it's built like a tank. I'm sure some of the newer derivatives of the 304 would also be excellent, but the 304 was the best in its class for years.
post #8 of 11
I like Marantz CD players. IMO the build is better than NAD and the sound too. However, for amps NAD is a winner. I always wondered how these guys can pack so much sound for so little cash. With your budget I'd go with something like Marantz CD6000 OSE and say NAD C370.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, first. And then I just wanted to let you know, that it's too late for further hints, because I just returned from my shopping spree.

I got myself two PM-8000 amps and two CD-6000 OSE cdps - one of each for both the computer and the hi-fi/video rig (well, I just couldn't resist - and what am I working for, anyway?!? ). In addition I fetched some speakers from JM-Lab/Focal, the Opal 607. All the stuff was on sale (PM-8000 for 998 DM, CD-6000 OSE for 598 DM, Opal 807 (pair) for 900 DM - and I also got speaker cables worth ~ 100 DM for free; the salesman in the M√ľnchner Fernsehstuben was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful) - so now I have ~ 4100 DM less on my account, and I'm totally exhausted, because I just carried these ~ 70 kg altogether from the parking lot to the house and then six stairways up to my apartment on the 4th floor. That was hell, but as the Latins say: per aspera ad astra!

Thus I can't tell you what the stuff sounds like at home, yet, because I can hardly hold a cigarette. Nevertheless, I heard it all in the shop with some well known music, and it sounded really fine to my ears. The speakers might be a tad too bright for some people, but that's just the right thing for my cramped main room. And I'm really looking forward to try class a operation with my headphones.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

BTW, the new Marantz PS-17 has finally made its way to Germany, so now there is an amp with Dolby Headphone in hardware - but it costs ~ 5000 DM. Cheap, isn't it?!?
post #10 of 11
Pfff, lini.... when you go shopping you really go all the way

Congratulations on your new rig(s)

I think you got an excellent price on the CDPs.
Don't know anything about the other stuff, but I'm sure it's good



post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
redwood: <grin> Yes, I was quick this time, but I had to because of three reasons. First one was the accelerating dying-process of my old Marantz, that really unnerved me. Second reason was that my fortnight of vacation will end this Sunday. And the third one was that my new stuff is/was on sale, now, and will soon be replaced by Marantz - and the successors didn't look that good for me, too. Uhm, well, four reasons then.

At the moment I'm just pondering the best and most convenient way to reorganize my hi-fi & video shelf. I think I already found a reasonable solution. The only problem that remains is: Where shall I put the old stuff? Hmmmm, maybe I should use the old HK preamp as input switcher and headphone amp for the computer rig. But then I still have my old HK power amp and a Pioneer cdp left... I think, I just grab this stuff as well as my Albs preamp and take it to the office. Yes, that's it!

Conclusion: This man has too many pieces of consumer electronic. But maybe I can confine myself to a portable setup in the next life. ))

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
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