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new amp for office setup

hmof

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In my office setup I have
  • Yamaha RX-V540 5.1ch AVR (from 2003, bought used) - working fine other than the remote
  • Dali Zensor 1 bookshelf speakers, located on the desk next to my computer monitors (impedance plot: https://www.stereophile.com/content/dali-zensor-1-loudspeaker-measurements)
  • ATH-M50X headphones
  • 2 PCs connected each via TOSLINK
  • AT-LP2X (AT-LP3) turntable with built-in phono stage (Yamaha AVR has none)
This is working OK, and I like the sound of the Zensor 1s. No particular plans to replace them. But I would like to improve the following:
  • I can't easily switch between headphones and speakers - have to unplug the headphones from the receiver.
  • Would like a better phono stage
  • Would like a working remote
So I am looking for a new integrated amp. I've considered:
  • Yamaha A-S301 or A-S501. Currently out of stock everywhere in Australia but should be back soon. Has one TOSLINK and one S/PDIF input, so I would need a converter to the connect the other PC.
  • Yamaha R-N602. I do have MusicCast elsewhere in the house but don't really need it here (won't use Spotify Connect, might stream the turntable occasionally).
  • Denon PMA-600NE or 800NE.
  • Cambridge AXR100 (more expensive than justified by the speakers I think)
Other solutions:
  • Buy a headphone amp instead, like Topping L30, connect it to the tape out on the current AVR
  • Buy a phono stage instead.
  • Buy a generic replacement remote control
  • Buy all analog amp and external DAC or two
I'd welcome any thoughts or suggestions for other integerated amps/receivers to look at. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

AnalogSteph

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I would suggest a combination of these two:
Other solutions:
  • Buy a headphone amp instead, like Topping L30, connect it to the tape out on the current AVR
  • Buy a generic replacement remote control

I can't imagine the codes for a Yamaha AVR would be that exotic, plus RC codes can be generated in numerous different ways (some older high-end phones can be used as a remote, think e.g. Galaxy S4, and people are also using microcontroller boards for that).

I guess you either don't even have the remote or it fell victim to leaking batteries or similar? It seems to be called RAV248. If you do have the remote, have you actually checked whether it is emitting something (phone or webcams tend to be good due to a lack of IR filtering)? It would be awkward to find that it's actually the IR receiver that has a problem. (It's happened before, usually turns out to be bad solder joints that need touching up.)

BTW:
I can't easily switch between headphones and speakers - have to unplug the headphones from the receiver.
Some people would call that "easy". But since you're looking for a remote, I guess the receiver is not exactly within arm's reach. ;)

In terms of headphone amps, I'd look at the usual suspects in this class (alongside the L30, that would be JDS Labs Atom Amp+ and Schiit Magni Heresy). They're all good.
 
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hmof

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Thanks AnalogSteph.

I have the remote but it is dead - the transmit light does not flash. The IR receiver works as I've been able to control the receiver with an old phone and with a Broadlink IR transmitter.

The receiver is not in reach to easily switch sources or plug/unplug the headphones. And then when I unplug the headphones the cable falls on the floor and I have to find it again next time etc - it's a pain and I'd like to be able to switch back and forth easily. The V540 mutes the speakers whenever headphones are plugged in like many receivers do.

Unfortunately my plan to connect a headphone amp to the recorder output on the V540 is a no go, as the V540 doesn't output digital inputs on the recorder outputs. It has a separate digital output (which doesn't output the analog inputs). So I would need an external DAC too.

So I'm back to looking at the amps/receivers I listed. The R-N602 is the most affordable and available right now, and good enough ? I could still add a headphone amp later with that if it warranted it.
 
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