Am currently using an old Yamaha DSP E800 to provide 3.1 sound with pre-outs into my Meridien 551 Integrated for home cinema - CD sound via Meridien 588 CDP and Dynaudio speaks.
Having just gotten a new bluray am wondering how far up the scale I'd need to go with a receiver to replace the Yamaha / 551 combination (which i'd like for another room) in order not to compromise my 2 channel sound.
Which Dynaudio do you have? You are going to need something upscale to do those justice, Cambridge Audio has a big new receiver that has pretty good power. I've heard the Anthem is pretty good. An upper end NAD may do it. Arcam is a good option if their reliability is holding up. Something like the Marantz separates wouldn't cost much more and the amp having it's own power supply it should be able to do the job. Really depends on which Dyn's as to how difficult they will be. Actually our Dynaudio dealer used to drive the Audience with the larger Marantz receivers and the DM series are supposed to be even easier to drive. It's not really the watts as much as it is the current for the Dyn's.
Thanks for the info. Have Audience 70's and I think the 551 supplies 100W / Channel at 4ohms which goes plenty loud enough, major concern is not losing any sound quality - Obvously given how good the 588 CDP's sound is I doubt there's a reciever at any reasonable price point that would justify switching to the digital ouput.
You shouldn't have too much trouble with the 70's with a reasonably good receiver. I think your assessment of the 581 is accurate. I haven't heard many Cambridge but they did sound good in the system they were in. I'll have to check, I thought Cambridge came out with a 200 watt receiver. You can get a Marantz preamp for around $1500 and & their multichannel amp for under $1k, I haven't heard the amp yet but my friend tells me it's surprisingly good for the price.
I can drive a whole Audience setup for HT with an Integra 30.3, and that I would consider on the cheap. (82s, 42s, 122c) But as Mr. P said, the Audience series really comes alive with some honest power. I am currently running my 42s, which I also use as rears, in a separate setup at the moment and driving them with an Odyssey Stratos Plus, a 25 y/o Hafler pre amp recently serviced and recapped, and an OPPO 93. I am amazed at just how good these tiny speakers can be with decent power and solid speaker wire. Using Tara Prism and Tara ICs. I actually enjoy this setup more than my two systems in my signature for lower level listening.
Any of the higher end units suggested above will do the trick.