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Denon 5308CI receiver or Rotel RMB-1066 power amplifier?

by John
(Montana)

I have the following components: Denon 5308CI AVR and a Rotel RMB 1066 power amplifier. Is using the speaker binding posts off of the Rotel power amp going to improve sound better than running them off of the Denon AVR?

If so, could I still receive 9.1 surround sound?

Please advise.



John

Interesting questions.

Just to be clear, I haven't used either of these devices, but that still doesn't stop me having an opinion!

Firstly, the Denon 5308CI AVR is a pretty high quality unit, and so you should expect a pretty good sound if you just used this to power your speakers. However, I have a friend with a Rotel power amp (different model), and the strength of these amps is that they are said to be very 'musical' i.e. they will come into their own if you play plenty of music through your system.

Therefore, will you be using your system for playing plenty of music as well as watching movies? If you do, then you may benefit from trying the Rotel RMB 1066.

However, the Rotel is just a six channel amp, and so you wouldn't be able to use it for the 9.1 surround setup that the Denon supports. Therefore you would be limited to a 5.1 surround system if you were to power the speakers from the Rotel.

Just in case anyone is wondering, an AVR needs to have dedicated 'pre-amp' outputs in order to send the audio signals to a separate power amplifier. The Denon 5308CI has separate pre-amp outputs for all of the supported surround channels as you can see below.

Denon AVR 5308ci pre-amp outputs

So you have a choice as far as I can see, use the Rotel and stick with 5.1 surround sound for movies, or stick with the Denon and use the full 9.1 configuration.

If you are a music lover, why not test both units with some music and see if you prefer the sound of one over the other?

My guess is that the Denon will be fine for movie soundtracks if that's all you use it for, and you will gain little from switching.

That's my two cents.

All the best.

Paul (Site Editor)

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