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Need advice in the $7000 range


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   BarryL

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Posted October 25 2003 - 11:34 AM

Hi, I am somewhat new to this and have done a fair amount of research. I am willing to go as high as $7000 for separates or an AV receiver. Past experience has me leaning to separates, however, the new Sunfire Ultimate, the Denon 5803 and the B&K AVR507 are also possibilities. Given this budget, what would you do?

Thanks,
Barry

p.s. the only installed component so far is a Seleco HT300+ and a 110" Greyhawk screen.

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   AndrewKC

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Posted October 25 2003 - 01:13 PM

With 7K to spend, I would definitely be looking into separates if I were in your shoes. Are you going to be using 5.1 or 6/7.1? And is the 7K allocated just for amplification and processing?

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Frank joe

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Posted October 25 2003 - 03:40 PM

ok, at 7k there are a lot of options, and seperates are they way to go. one question what speakers do you have are you going to change those also???? help us give you a better answer .frank

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   BarryL

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Posted October 26 2003 - 12:14 AM

THe $7K is just for the amp and pre-amp. I am considering B&W speakers but have not purchased them yet. The room has been wired for 7.1 sound and is approximately 24 x 20 with a 9 foot ceiling.

Thanks,
Barry

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   MikeTz

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Posted October 26 2003 - 01:59 PM

Barry:

For $7K consider the following:

AV Controllers:

Anthem AVM-20
Krell Showcase
Parasound Halo C2
Sunfire Theater Grand III
Rotel 1098
Theta Casanova

Amplifiers:

Adcom GFA 7807
Anthem MCA-50
Aragon 2007
B&K Ref 200.7
Bryston 9B-SST (used)
Classe CAV-180
Cary Audio Cinema 5
Krell Showcase 7
McCormack DNA-HT5
Parasound HCA-2205AT
Rotel 1095

There are undoubtably more choices that would be excellent performers and I'm sure others will chime in and add to the list. I have also assumed a few things in compiling this list. First, I assumed you could get a 20% discount through careful shopping. Second, when I recommended a 5 channel amplifier I am assuming you would buy a cheap lower power amp (a used Bryston 3B comes to mind) for a few hundred bucks to run the rear channels. Third, I've recommended amps that have a power of roughly 200 watts per channel at 8 ohms.

There isn't a bad unit in this bunch. Any of these controllers matched with these amps will give you many happy hours of music and theater enjoyment. The most important part of this decision is that you audition as many of these components as possible. A $7K investment isn't trivial so it's important to audition the controller/amp combination before you take the plunge. Don't buy something solely based on reviews or recommendation. Remember, if it sounds great to you, it is great.

Good Luck

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Jaime B

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Posted October 26 2003 - 03:22 PM

BarryL;

You have too much money for your electronic needs right now, so send me half of it for my electronics needs! Just kidding!

Thank MikeTz for his well researched list, to which I'll add some more.

For the pre-pro's, since B&W bought Classe, add the SSP-30MK-2 and the SSP-60 (Mike already included the impressive CAV-180 amp). Also look at ATI's new pre-pro and Sherbourn's also new pre-pros.

As for the amps, include the Theta Intrepid, and the newest 7 channel amps from ATI and Sherbourn and the Halo A52 or the A51.

Of course, with this laundry list of contenders, you'll have to criss-cross the nation, take half a year to properly audition all these babies, and you'll be left with only enough money for a Bose acoustic wave radio! What a pity!!!

Enjoy your search!

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   John Robert

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Posted October 26 2003 - 04:27 PM

I tnink the Parasound combo of A51 / C2 would be hard to beat...

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   BarryL

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Posted October 26 2003 - 11:16 PM

Okay, many thanks to all who replied! I am curious as to the abscence of the B&K Ref50 Pre-Amp? Has the unit been problematic for people?

Thanks again,
Barry

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Frank joe

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Posted October 27 2003 - 02:25 AM

well i hope not as i just purchased the B&K ref 50 last weekend. i am stillin the process of hooking it up and reading the owners manual. i found it to be the best choice for me over the rotel and many others in that catagory. the anthem is a good piece also but i didnt think it was worth $800 more than the ref 50. i am currently usuing the ati 2505 amp and nht evloution speakers . frank

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott_N

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Posted October 27 2003 - 02:49 AM

I would go with the Theta Casanova and Theta Intrepid but at this price range it's hard to go wrong.

Good luck!

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Adam

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Posted October 27 2003 - 05:43 AM

Somewhere, recently I saw the Integra research RDC-7 and the RDA-7 amp combo for sale. They are an awesome combo. THe amp is designed by BAT. THe combo was used and it was selling for $4600. Quite a deal considering the RDC-7 preamp alone lists for $4500. If I had the money I would have jumped all over that deal.

I haven't been able to find it again. It may have been over at avscience.

Good luck, I wish I had your problems.Posted Image

If I were buying new the Rotel 1098 and the RMB-1095
are an excellent match with B&W speakers.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Rich Wenzel

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Posted October 27 2003 - 05:50 AM

To Mike's list I would add Arcam, Bryston, Krell, Marsh, Cary and McCormack.

At spearitsound.com they have a HTS for $3500 brand new...If you like krell that is.

Rich
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"No."

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   VinnieR

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Posted October 28 2003 - 05:56 AM

I don't think you should necessarily rule out high end receivers despite all the good advice on the separates. You get a great deal of capability and power for the money and even though your budget is large, you could use some of the money for a D-VHS system, a really high end DVD (such as Meridian), or add the savings into your speaker budget. At the end of the day, speakers will have more impact on the sound of your system.

High end recievers sound every bit as good as separates, IMHO. (How to stir up a hornets' nest!) Read the press on the Denon 5803 or the Sunfire Ultimate for confirmation on this. Even the esoteric, high end focused publications have reluctantly expressed this view.

Of course, for a just few dollars more you could always go with multiple single channel tubed amps...

Growing old is infinitely better than the alternative.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   RichardH

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Posted October 28 2003 - 06:09 AM

Going to throw something else out here. Since you don't have speakers yet, you might consider getting a preamp and active speakers. The part of the $7k that you were going to spend on the amp would go towards the added expense of powered speakers.

e.g.
Anthem AVM-20
powered M&K S-150 all around.
M&K, SVS, Velodyne, whatever for a sub.

IMO this would absolutely rock.

There are cheaper and more expensive alternatives to both the preamp and active speakers. e.g. higher end preamp would be the Lexicon MC-8B. Higher end actives would be like ADAM studio monitors all around. Lower end actives would be like Mackie studio monitors all around.