upgrading to seperates

currently i own a denon 5800 home theater receiver. i would like to make the change to seperates. i am willing to spend 1500-2000 on each component. i cannot buy them both at the same time. should i buy a pre/pro first and use the denon as an amp, or buy the amp/amps first.
Personally, I would select the amp first. The Denon will give you HT & Processing. A higer quality amp can make music more revealing and give you the added power and impact for HT. However,I think for $2K, you might be able to buy an excellent amp AND pre/pro on Audiogon. Then you can sell your Denon.
A nice 5 channel amp in the $2000.00 range would be the Classe CAV-150. I sold one in mint condition not to long ago for that price. Try and buy the newer version, they've been making these awhile.
Agreed, buy an amp first, that't how I did it as well. Lots of choices out there for $2K, so take your time and read, then listen, then buy:)



I did the same thing last year. Definitely buy the amp first and get good interconnects.

My choices were the Sunfire Cinema Grand and the B&K Reference 30. Both within your range if you get them on Audiogon.

When you find an amp you like, get a home demo before spending any money. I have a 5800. Although I agree the power amp is the weakest link of this receiver it still is pretty good. You may be surprised how well it compares to some seperates. It has a fairly natural tonal balance and fairly good dynamic capability. Its weak point is it is only average in its current capability so it can't drive difficult loads well at high volumes. With most normal speakers it's fine. It also doesn't resolve that last bit of detail the best amps do. $2K used will probably sound better than the 5800's amps but at $1K used I'd only give 50/50 odds it will sound better. It may do some things better, but others worse. Trust your own ears.

I'm not trying to discourage you from going the seperates route. I use my 5800 as an HT processor in a primarily 2-channel Rowland-based system. I'm just trying to point out that inexpensive seperates may not be any better than the 5800 and to be careful before spending your money. A lot of people automatically assume all seperates sound better than all receivers. It just isn't true in the case of the 5800.
thanks for all of your opinions. i will definitely test things out before i buy anything.
One setup in your price range I'd recommend checking out is the Audio Refinement. The Audio Refinement Multi-5 amp and the Pre-2 DSP is a GREAT system in the price range you are looking at.