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Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Hi all,

Looking for a replacement for my Denon Integrated PMA-500AE amp.

It currently drives 2 sets of old Gale speakers set up in 2 rooms.
Speakers:
Min impedance = 6 ohms
Output 75W

Want to have Speaker Select: A / B and A + B

I almost always have had just one single input (RCA) from M-Audio soundcard

This system is on a a lot of the time and so want a reliable unit, but I never thrash it in terms of power (don't turn the dial to 11 etc ...).

Any suggestions?  Budget upto ~ £200 (GBP)

Thanks,
C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #1
Integrated amps are probably made in much lower quantities that receivers, so economy of scale applies. As such, I'd probably seek out a stereo receiver, rather than an integrated at X budget. Ignore the tuner. Or discover new sources of music?
Perhaps something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yamaha-RS202DBL-Stereo-Receiver-DAB/dp/B01F3Q7Y04
I don't have any hard data, but a friend who ran a service center for the SE USA confided that Yamahas had the lowest service rates among the mass market brands like Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, etc. I've owned probably all of each at some point, no problems.
Take it for what its worth. The R202 above does have a remote and bluetooth also, which can come in handy.

cheers
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #2
Thanks ajinfla.

The issue (which may not be that rational) is that I use almost none of that receivers functions.  No TV, no bluetooth, no streaming stuff. I actually prefer the wired world (mainly for health reasons -- VGCCs ).

I'm considering the Marantz PM5005

But really something more streamlined like an SMSL SA-50:
https://hifireference.com/reviews/smsl-sa50-review/

With two speaker outs would be ideal (if that thing is any good -- anyone know?) I suppose I could even get 2 with a switcher.

Thanks again though, because I'm not fixed on an integrated amp (soundcard DAC is doing the signal - so just need a decent booster to drive the speakers).

Cheers,
C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #3
I'm considering the Marantz PM5005

But really something more streamlined like an SMSL SA-50:
https://hifireference.com/reviews/smsl-sa50-review/

With two speaker outs would be ideal (if that thing is any good -- anyone know?) I suppose I could even get 2 with a switcher.

Thanks again though, because I'm not fixed on an integrated amp (soundcard DAC is doing the signal - so just need a decent booster to drive the speakers).
Wow, that Marantz is $500usd here, never thought to look. Seems you can get there for <200, so that seems a good 2 pairs speakers selector/amp option.

Regarding those tiny Chinese class D amps. I've bought around 5-6 over the last 6 yrs or so, including an SMSL. 2 are already in the bin. The others still around, but used infrequently, so hard to say. Statistically too small a sample size to conclude much, but if I were buying, it would be the Marantz. YMMV.

cheers,

AJ
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #4
That's very helpful - thank you!
Yes, that was my concern with those mini-amps. They're kind of alluring for their simplicity - but if they're unreliable, what's the point.

As I said, ideally I wish Rotel or NAD or someone would make a simple 1 x aux input + 1 x 3.5mm input with 2 x speaker outputs amp like that - but I'm probably far from a standard use-case.

Funny thing, since searching around my Denon seems to have recovered from its hissy-fit (but such issues tend to portend trouble).

I'll have a good think about that Marantz.

Cheers,
C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #5
Check out Denon PMA-720AE. It has output for two pairs of speakers but not sure if it fits in given price range in your country.
foobar2000 plays music

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #6
Yes, that Denon is similar to what I've got at present. Expensive relative to the Marantz.

By the way does anyone know anything about these (A-9377) amps by Onkyo.
https://www.eu.onkyo.com/en/products/a-9377-34773.html
https://www.eu.onkyo.com/en/products/a-9377-34773.html?tab=Details

Did a bit of research, nothing conclusive only a lot of conjecture and chatter about "digital amps", e.g.:
https://www.avforums.com/threads/is-the-difference-between-digital-and-stereo-that-much.1270440/

Very hard to find proper reviews (afterall it's audio world). But if anyone knows anything about these I'd be interested to hear your take. Otherwise the Marantz looks favourite.

Cheers,
C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #7
I have the Denon PMA720AE and it's perfectly competent piece of kit. Looking on the "details" link for the Onkyo, I'd have to question seriously the truth of most of their claims. It seems to be mostly waffle, audiophile half-truths & myths and some stuff they claim superiority on which is standard audio practice anyway - not unique to them. Actual, useful and meaningful specs seem to be thin on the ground too. It may be a perfectly good amp, it may not be - they aren't giving enough information and that would make me think twice.

As for reviews, it's light entertainment to read these things but you really should never take them seriously. Reviewers try to find differences in performance when reality says there is none. If it has the features you want and need and it's from a mainstream manufacturer, it's highly unlikely the output will be discernably different for a given power output level (within the amp's capabilities, of course).

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #8
As for reviews, it's light entertainment to read these things but you really should never take them seriously. Reviewers try to find differences in performance when reality says there is none. If it has the features you want and need and it's from a mainstream manufacturer, it's highly unlikely the output will be discernably different for a given power output level (within the amp's capabilities, of course).

Well said, I must agree with that.
foobar2000 plays music

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #9
Actual, useful and meaningful specs seem to be thin on the ground too. It may be a perfectly good amp, it may not be - they aren't giving enough information and that would make me think twice.
Yes, that was exactly my experience - really hard to get an idea of true specs. Glad it wasn't just me.
As for reviews, it's light entertainment to read these things but you really should never take them seriously.
I never do - I'm always amazed that across the board, from "amateur" reviewers on YouTube to mainstream audio sites, the flowery nonsense about what is simply (or should be) amplification of a signal.  "Musical" this and "playful mids" that. It's pretty pathetic and sad that it still goes on.  All I really want to know is what is the power at x ohms and does it distort and is it reliable. Not much to ask really - but as you so correctly point out - not much signal and a disturbing amount of noise coming from the specs and reviewers.

Thanks to you both and I agree 100%.  I shall likely punish Onkyo for their obfuscation and ultimately go with the Marantz. Nothing against the Denons (I have the PMA-500AE and as I said before, it's now behaving perfectly - so not sure what caused the power button to go through a cycle of on / off on / off as though receiving a permanent power on/off command.  Hasn't done it again - so maybe it has a few more years in it yet.

Thanks again to all who chimed in - much appreciated.

C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Re: Suggestions for Denon integrated amp replacement (2 sets of speakers)

Reply #10
FWIW, I have a Marantz PM5005 and it certainly gets my vote.
John
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