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Building a surround sound setup around Boston Acoustics T1000 Towers


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   SonicWomb

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Posted March 09 2013 - 04:34 AM

I've just refoamed an old set of Boston Acoustics T1000 Towers, which I hope to use in a surround sound setup. Are these good speaker selections? I realize the tone won't match perfectly but these T1000 speakers are so awesome that to buy a whole matched surround sound set approaching their quality would be more than I want to spend. Front speakers: Boston Acoustics T1000 Center Channel: Boston Acoustics CRC 100 watt, used Rear surrounds: Fluance AVBP2 Bipolar Surround Sound Satellites The T1000s have nice, tight bass so I can skip the subwoofer for now and add one later if necessary. This is for an open room with a cathedral ceiling, so I'm thinking the bipolar surrounds will work well? I'm a noob at all this stuff so any suggests are greatly appreciated. For an AVR I'm leaning towards a Yamaha RX-V373 with a Denon 1612 as a second choice. Currenty my T1000 towers are driven by a Nakamichi TA-3A (recently recapped).

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 04:49 AM

If you "have the cash"... Buy a receiver with pre-outs. (accessories4less has the Onkyo NR717 and NR709 as the cheapest "new" ones). Why? Your Nakamichi has "main in", which means with an AVR with pre-outs, you can keep the Nak as the amp for those...if you wish. You "could" leave the main in/out jumpers in place and run the AVR preout into one of the "other" inputs(not phono) and use the excellent phono input that I know that Nak has(that is if you actually have a turntable). There are a bunch of ways to use this Nak with an AVR...but the AVR needs pre-outs to make them work together... http://www.accessori...Receiver/1.html

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 04:56 AM

To give you me more to "chew on"... Your Nak has a "record out". The Onkyo NR709/717 have pre-outs. If you have a turntable... You won't even need to turn the Onkyo on. Use the Nak. For the "rare time" you want to use the Turntable and use "surround" at the same time... Run the "tape record" into one of the inputs on the Onkyo(anything but phono), then you can fire up a surround mode...all the while...(and yes...keeping track is a learning curve...) Nakamichi is taking signal off a record player and sending it to the Onkyo(or other AVR with pre-outs). Onkyo is re-sending the "front" signal back to the Nak so it can power your T1000. Onkyo powers the rest of the speakers in the room.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   SonicWomb

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Posted March 09 2013 - 07:11 AM

So for such a setup, I'd use the AVR as the main receiver, but then the front channels would be amplified by the Nakamichi? Would I then have to manually balance out the volume of the front speakers with the surrounds? That's definitely something to think about. I can look for a used AVR with pre-outs to keep within my price range. Any suggestions on a used AVR to look for? Is the surround sound speaker setup I listed going to work?

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 07:32 AM

I'm not familiar with Fluance(I know of them, just not heard any). Your front three are fine(I don't know if there is a center speaker for your AT1000...so "any BA is going to have to work"). If you buy the Fluance and you like the blend, that is all that matters. If not, they didn't cost much...try again and re-sell the Fluance when you find something else to try. As for AVR...with pre-outs... Onkyo are the easiest to find... 1. Model numbers year to year make the most sense... 2. Sold the most new, have the most available in the used market... The Onkyo with pre-outs are always 70X and higher. 706, 807, 1008...and so on. As long as the first number is a 7 or higher...it has pre-outs. Probably don't want to go any older than a 5(the last digit...ie, 705) Denon isn't quite as easy(nowhere near as many sold...and the model numbers are an absolute mess), but if it is a 3 digit model, the 9(most years) series(988/989/990) usually have pre-outs...even some of the 8(890/891...maybe???). In 4 digit models...if it starts higher than 21(2109/2310) it should have pre-outs. Yamaha....RX-V that start with a 6(or higher)... 663/765/2065 should all have pre-outs. Pioneer and Elite are hardest to figure out. Lately the model numbers have followed a flow year to year...but when you go back 3 years...they are a complete mess. Once you get familiar with what pre-outs look like(just see the back of any 70X you find on Ebay)...if you find a Pioneer/Elite, you can look at the back picture(provided the seller provided one) and they stick out...

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   SonicWomb

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Posted March 09 2013 - 09:28 AM

Thanks Schan, that is a tremendous help! I can get a far better receiver than I thought for ~$150 - $250. I still don't entirely understand how the Nakamichi will integrate into the surround system. I see how it would work well to use the amp for listening to music on the front channel speakers, but how does the AVR balance the channels properly when the front two are driven by a different amp? Sorry for the noob questions - my Nakamichi has served me well for over a decade so I never bothered learning anything about new tech.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 10:00 AM

Modern AVR have an "every available channel balance knob"....so to speak. You know that knob on your Nak? Your new AVR, whatever you choose, has a digital one to blend all 5/7 channels together. The only thing you'll do is figure out how you want to integrate that Nak into the mix. If you have a turntable...it is more complicated. If you don't have a turntable, simply yank the main in/out jumper and connect the pre-out. Modern convenience with the power you like in your Nak(which is no slouch).

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 10:24 AM

And oh yeah... Most AVR you are going to find will say 90w+ per channel x5 or x7. Pay absolutely no attention to that. I found a manual for the TA 3(which I assume is close to the 3A) and it produces 75wpc... It also chews 350 watts off the wall. Most AVR that say they produce 90x5/7, barely chew 400 watts off the wall. So, relieving a "100wpc" AVR of the duties of your main channel...will actually mean the AVR will have a chance to keep up with the Nak...

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   SonicWomb

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Posted March 09 2013 - 11:29 AM

Ok, so if I use the Nakamichi to drive the front channels, I'll have to manually balance them with the rest of the channels driven by the AVR? Basically adjust the volume on each receiver until it sounds good? Wouldn't be very convenient, but if the improvement in sound is significant I could live with it. What I had considered was using a switch to use the T1000 speakers either with the Nakamichi for music or the AVR for movies. Like a KVR switch to use two computers with on display, in this case two receivers with one set of speakers. But it sounds like I'll be dissapointed compared to the Nakamichi. Lots to think about.

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 11:43 AM

You will only have one volume...the AVR. The pre-out is exactly like the "main out" on your A3...but instead of controlling volume of itself...you are replacing it with volume control from a newer AVR. Essentially the main in-out jumper is akin to neutral in the transfer case of a 4x4 truck/jeep(if you've ever owned one). You are essentially disengaging the pre-amp(the transmission) from the amp(the motor)...so something else can use the motor(those that own 4x4 trucks/lawnmowers/tractors with PTO get the inference) The only snag will be if you have a turntable...we can jump that hurdle... 1. If you have one 2. Once you have the new AVR, Nak and turntable sitting there while the connections are explained(one of those things that will make no sense unless you are looking right at it during the explanation)

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   SonicWomb

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Posted March 09 2013 - 01:13 PM

Got it, thanks! Glad I asked here, otherwise the Nakamichi would have gone unused for home theater. Here I thought the out/ins were only for EQs. D'oh! Now I just need to choose an AVR - I've already found lots of options on eBay, I'm surprised how quickly their value depreciates. Another question about rear satellites: would a pair of bookshelf Boston Acoustics speakers be more likely to match the T1000s? I'm not really sure how much attention to give the rear channel speakers, and the room layout makes placement tricky. BA makes some dinky cube satellites with 2.5" "woofers" but nothing more substantial that I can find.

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 01:47 PM

http://www.ebay.com/...=item2328794c54 (I think A and AT are the same series..T just meant Tower) http://www.ebay.com/...=item2328c4e589 http://www.ebay.com/...=item2a29ee24c5 http://www.ebay.com/...=item48524f361d http://www.ebay.com/...=item257b9af0ba http://www.ebay.com/...=item19d9c09fde http://www.ebay.com/...=item35c5319bb9 And there are more...but any of those would work as surrounds.

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 09 2013 - 01:56 PM

Confused myself...Not AT....just T... Another pair...of T... http://www.ebay.com/...=item2327eea406




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