Question Adding streamer to AVR


Novice Member
I currently use a network Denon AVR with rear speakers set as zone two to deliver stereo music streamed from my NAS and from Spotify. Am I right n thinking that I could improve the sound by using a dedicated streamer (eg Cambridge Audio CXN) then running this through the AVR as the streamer’s DAC is probably superior to the AVR’s, or would the extra spend only deliver marginal gains?


Well-known Member
I am not sure that the gains would be particularly significant. The money (£650) would, imho be better spend on an integrated amp for music, that has HT Bypass, assuming that your AVR has pre-outs.


Distinguished Member
The problem is how well the Denon can pass the input signal through to its power amps without messing it up. Some AVRs, even in the purest direct mode add in another analog to digital to analog conversion, which sort of negates the advantage of using a superior external DAC.

A separate integrated amp for music is a better idea. If your AVR doesn't have pre-outs for the front left and right speakers, a speaker switch is an option.


Novice Member
Thanks for the replies - some food for thought. My setup is as follows ...
AV system
Denon AVR X3300w
Inputs are SkyPlus Sony BluRay and TV plus streaming from Synology NAS and internet (using Powerline adaptors rather than Wi-Fi)
5.1 channel option selected into Monitor Audio Radius speaker package
The other speaker channel is assigned as ’zone2‘ which goes into a pair of Dali Zensor 5 floor-standers which I use for music
Stereo system
Yamaha A-S301 integrated amp fed by Linn Basik turntable and a Cyrus CD
This also uses the Dali speakers so involves some unplugging to switch between systems
The AVR has pre-outs so is a solution to improving streaming quality to pre-out the Zone2 channels into the Yamaha Amp and just have the Zensors attached to that? Although this won’t address the DAC question (I think) from what you say it should make a marked improvement in playback from the NAS / Spotify etc?


Distinguished Member
So.... The Dali Zensor 5 floor standers are just used for stereo music with the Yamaha amplifier, and are not used with the Denon as part of your AV system?

In which case, you just need another streamer to save you having to use the Denon AVR for streaming.

The Chromecast Audio is highly rated for little money. They are discontinued now, but there are still some knocking about online if you can find them.

I bought a Yamaha AS-501 and sent it back pretty quickly, in my room, with my speakers, it sounded really awful. So, a different integrated amp and / or a better external DAC / streamer, might sound better.


Novice Member
Correct - the Zensors don’t get involved in the AV side of things except that they’re periodically (in fact usually) attached to the AVR for streaming.
From what you say I won’t get much extra joy using the pre-outs into the Yamaha amp though I‘ll give it a whirl before I get the cheque book out for a streamer. Sadly the Yamaha replaces a Cyrus One which was gathering dust at the time so I ‘gave it to a mate’ - whoops
Thanks a ton for the replies! All the best ....

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