1100 bucks..what combo would you get?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by TommyL, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Good morning all...I am looking at a few things...1 being the marantz 8200 receiver only(1100.00)...there are other options out there such as the denon 3802, onkyo 797 etc..would it be better to go with the 8200 only or go with the denon/onkyo 3802 + a amp for home theater(mainly) My equip: 55 mitch 55809 hdtv, rp56 dvd player, 4-jbl s26's, jbl s26 centerII, zenith hdtv receiver, and currently a yammy 5240 receiver, and svs 20-39 pci sub...any thoughts would be great! thanks much..tom ps: drop in some combos around that 1100 that would be far better than the 8200 if there are any[​IMG]
     
  2. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Tommy,

    A mid-fi SOTA receiver augmented with some outboard amplification will fit your budget and provide outstanding performance in both 2-ch and HT. The 3802 for $700 gives you $400 to throw at an amp. Try audiogon for a quality used 2-ch unit. I'd try for a minimum of 150W per side into 8 ohms. Good luck.

    Austin
     
  3. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I would agree with Austin. The Marantz has a slight edge in terms of 2 channel musicality but the 3802 has better processing capabilities which when augmented with a 2 channel outboard amp (in the 125Wx2 range) would beat the Marantz hands down both in music and HT, IMHO. Plus with the 3802+amp combo you get to keep the amp while you upgrade the 3802 when you need to.
     
  4. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Damn, thats a tough question. It depends on what you do more of. I think that the stock 3802 (sorry, just saw fast and the furious) is slightly inferior to the 8200 in music, movies, and power. I think that if you add a quality outboard amp to the 3802, it becomes equal in 2 channel, slightly superior in HT, although if you are looking for 5 channel music playback, such as SACD and DVD-Audio, as well as 2 channel to 5 channel, the Marantz has an edge over the Denon. I would say that if you are into SACD and DVD audio, then get the 8200. If not, then get the Denon and look for a used parasound, rotel, or anthem amp.
     
  5. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    I would say that mixing in a 2 channel amp of good quality with the surround/ center amps of the 3802 would ANNOY me no end....use the same MATCHED amps for the same reasons you use MATCHED speakers...multi-channel discret soundtracks can do great things with spacial soundstaging, but only if you can match it all up...
    The exception could be made for the guy who listens to all his music 2-channel only (no sacd/dvd-a/dd/dts concerts) and who also doesn't mind his HT being un-matched (motorcycles changing model/ brand as they drive buy)
     
  6. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I would suggest a good 3-ch amp to power the front soundstage, then use the internal amps for the surround channels.
     
  7. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Whoa, Matt, I think that you may be putting a little too much emphasis on matching equipment. I think that the position you have taken is almost completely wrong. It is my opinion, along with many other HTF'ers, that the greates sonic characteristic of a system comes from the speakers, not the amps, and whatever sonic discrepencies appear due to different amps pale in comparison to the benefits of relieveing the receiver's amp of the front stage power needs. In other words, whatever (if any) sonic characteristics become noticeable by switching the front sounstage from the internal receiver amps to an external 2 channel amp will unltimately be phased out by the benefits from the decreased drawing of power from the receiver's power supply by the internal amps.
    And as for your hyperbole of a motorcycle changing brands from side to side, unless your using a yamaha receiver with klipsch surrounds and a cary rocket 88 paired with a pair of Vienna Acoustics, the sonic characteristic of a front to back pan will not change this much. As long as the receiver and the external amp are somewhat in the same league of sonic characteristics, the addition of an external 2 channel amp can only help the system.
     
  8. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Well said Chung. I too feel that the greatest differences in sound comes from speakers. Amps do add a sound of their own but its not very noticiable compared to the differences in speakers esp. in HT. In HT rarely do all speakers play similar sounds and place similar demands on the amps. Even if a motorcycle pans across the front soundstage its sound comes simultaneously from two speakers at a time for the smooth transition. If the motorcycle was to sound from the left speaker and then from the center speaker and then from the right speaker then it wouldn't be a smooth transistion but infact sound like the motorcycle was jumping from speaker to speaker. And ofcourse the jumping motorcycle would sound like its a different model from speaker to speaker. But rarely to motorcycles jump from one point to another[​IMG]
    Having said that, I would also say that Matt has a point and I can vouch to that. I have a Proceed BPA2 mated with my 3802 for the front mains. And let me tell you I do feel that there is a discord in the sound of my mains and my center channel, but it is aggravated by two things:
    1) DIY center speaker and Vienna Acoustics L/R.
    2) The Proceed amp being in an entirely different league from the 3802's amps.
    Its good that I listen mostly to 2 channel music and during movies I go into phantom center channel. As the Proceed has a rock solid imaging, I dont have a problem getting away with my center speaker. The sounds that are supposed to stay in the center stay EXACTLY in the center with the Proceed. My next upgrade move would be to get a matching VA center and mate it to a B&K 220W reference monoblock. The MOSFET B&K should make the vocals sound sweet. There still might be some minor differences between the B&K and the Proceed as the Proceed would still be way better than the B&K but I dont think I shall be able to notice it.
    Having said that, a 3802 mated with a decent mid-fi 2 ch. amp like a Rotel, B&K or a Parasound should sound just fabulous both in multichannel music and HT as long as you have timbre matched speakers all around.
     
  9. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Chung, I respect your opinion, but strongly disagree...
    No one would use 2 differant mono-blocks to power their 2 channel system (or 2 differant speakers for that matter) and while the speakers being mis-matched MAY be more of an obvious problem , the amp mismatch is a problem non the less...
    I read above someone's comment that it would be better to match the front soundstage with a 3 channel amp and I agree ; better than just the 2 ,but I would hope that either solution is merely a steppingstone to 5,6,7 matched amps...Most mfgrs of amps are making 2,3,5,,6,7 channel versions of the same amps in order for to facilitate this matching process...
    While I appreciate the enormous benifit of adding a high quality strong amp ,and "lightening the load" on the rcvr's power supply, I am too concerned with multi-channel from a fidelity perspective to put up with that kind of arrangement for long...
    We all make compromises ,however, I don't have "perfectly" identical speakers in all 7 locations, but they are voise-matched...
    Also I would note that ,imho, working to more matched amps (like two 3-channel or three 2-channel, or 6/7 monoblocks) will eventually make one happier than a single 5/6/7 channel amp .....I have lately been very unimpressed with some mid level rcvr/low to mid-fi 5 channel amp combos...
     
  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Fidelity wise even timbre matched center speakers are different from their L/R/ Surround counterparts. Have you ever connected (by mistake like I have done) the center speaker to the L or R speaker output and played 2 channel music. Try it on a voice matched speaker set and it will sound different. The image will not be centered at all. Even voice matched speaker inspite of using the same drivers will sound different just by virtue of having different configuration of drivers. In fact the center channel is made to sound more natural with voices and has a slightly different freq response compared to the L/R mains. The same goes for the surround speakers as well.
    So, Matt if you really want the sound matched perfectly then you will have to use the same speakers all around mated with the same amps. Thats a truly matched system and some people have infact gone to those lengths in order to do that. But wait a minute, even that is not going to be matched as the speakers are placed in different parts of the room and hence would sound different. For example the surround speakers would sound more bass heavy in such a matched set as they would get bass loading from their proximity to the walls. And the center would have less bass as it would not be in a corner of the room. Hmmm.... is there an end to this matching mayhem[​IMG] I suppose not. But wait a minute, I see light....The cure to this matching dilemma is to have a circular room with 6 identical speakers (in a 6.1 system) in 6 positions along the wall separated by an angle of 60 degrees ( for a total of 360 degrees all around). Now this system would be pretty darn matched[​IMG]
     
  11. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the replies[​IMG] I am strongly think ing the 1000 dollar 8200 would be a good buy...does anyone doubt that? I still don't have a remote that allows me to run all my components....so the remote would be nice also....I will use this mainly for HT, and xbox fyi...thanks again, and keep the comments coming...I should be buying today..woohoo[​IMG] thanks much! tom
     
  12. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Yogi,
    as I stated in my post , we all make compromises, and your right this search for perfection can go on-and-on ....
    All speakers are affected by location and the differewnt design of centers and surrounds are often in response to normal location demands.
    I would say that if we started our individual room compensation adjustments from as close to a matched set of speakers and amps as is possible ,we would eventually yield a much better, more "unified" sound than would be achieved otherwise......
    I would ask if anyone on this forum uses a differant left and right main speaker because they are purposely compensating for their respective locations in the room?
    I thought not ..."gee, I have a B&W 802(running off an adcom monop-block) as my right channel and a boston acoustic vr975 (running off a marantz mono-block) as my left channel because it is easier to balance my room with my BFD this way"
     
  13. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    OK...I am about ready to dive in....make or break me[​IMG] Grab the 8200 from Mark at ac4l.com for 1000.00 or grab the denon 3802 from Chris at 6th ave? Any pros/cons to these receivers as far as my equipment goes? My equip: 55 mitch 55809 hdtv, rp56 dvd player, 4-jbl s26's, jbl s26 centerII, zenith hdtv receiver, and currently a yammy 5240 receiver, and svs 20-39 pci sub. Xbox too[​IMG] All of these are hooked up via component cables directly to the hdtv(dvd, xbox, hdtv receiver) would I benefit from component switching also(don't really understand the ordeal with it) Thanks much...hopefully I'll get a few replies[​IMG] tom
    If there are any "ifs" etc like pros/cons, please let me know...it'll make my choice easier[​IMG]...HT /xbox are my main uses for this system.
     
  14. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    So matt, with the "Unified" sound you are talking about, would this mean that an all Sony setup consisting of $15 Sony speakers, a $100 SOny Subwoofer, a $40 Sony CD Player, a $70 Sony DVD Player, and a $100 Sony Minisystem providing the amplification, will sound better than a system of B&W Speakers, a SVS SS Subwoofer system, a Rotel RB1090 powering the mains, an Oddyssey Stratos HT3 powering the Center and the surrounds, a Krell powering the back surrounds, and Anthem AVM20 for the preamp section, a Bel Canto CD and Dac, and a Pioneer Elite DV47a, just because the sony system is "matched." Please, Matt, illuminate us.
     
  15. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info guys...I did go with the 8200 for a few reasons...yes, the digital lock on seems like a pain, but if thats the only really bad thing I should be in good shape...The price(at 999 bucks) was great from Mark at ac4l.com for 1, 2.) reliability seems to be right up there with any of them, and 3.0 no one has any complaints about sound quality on either HT or music...scary part is I haven't heard it with JBL S-26's ....anyone out there that has? Thanks again..tom
     
  16. Greg Haynes

    Greg Haynes Supporting Actor

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    Let us know when you get all setup Tommy. Do you think you'll go with an ext amp? You might want to get used to the Marantz's amps for awhile before adding an amp, so you can hear the difference a ext amp can make.

    I had my 3802 for seven months before adding a Parasound 1205A (140x5) and boy did it do wonders to my system.
     
  17. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    Hiya Greg...I will post my thoughts on this receiver when I get it set up and running...I do believe the digital lock on pause will be a very minor distraction for me.....upon reading different articles, it seems as though its rarely mentioned...This model will have all the known bugs out of it, and should rock pretty good...external amp...hmm..not sure if I'm need one at this point...my room is small..therefore I don't think I'll need anymore juice to run what I have...when I sink my head in mud and go all out on high end speakers, then ....man..no more upgrading!![​IMG] for now....muahhaha[​IMG] tom
     
  18. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    CHUNG,
    No need to get smarmy, I hope that you are smart enough to know that I am refering only to speakers and amps...
    and while I am not sugesting that someone ditch their two krell monoblocks and one 3-channel B&K to get a 6 channel niles amp, I would say that I hope that using identical amps as well as identical speakers would be the eventual desired objective . I do believe that a lot of money is spent by some "chasing" deals on quality amps and speakers ,who on their own merit are quite good but may do little to round out and balance that person's system. Yes ,I do know that "matching" a system should absolutely focus on room issues as well as equipment, but having as close to the same sonic signiture in all your speakers and amps, imo, makes a huge differance. I have also heard a lot of expensive gear randomly thrown together that paled in comparrison to a well matched "lower-end" set-up.... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Matt, point taken. But you have to understand, that on the other hand, I have heard systems that have three different speaker makes paired with two different amp makes that have trounced more expensive systems consisting of "matched" components. In this crazy world of audio, I would say that there is no formula for good sounds. On the other hand, the reason why I was so incensed by your comment about "matching" amps is that by providing almost any external amp of same or higher quality than the amps within a receiver, an audible improvement will be heard 99.9% of the time. By having the amplification for the mains done outside the receiver, it allows more headroom for the other amp channels, as well as putting less strain on the power supply of the receiver's amp. By decreasing the power demands of the receiver, there will be less danger of clipping, less strain on the amps, and overall improved sound. This improvement in sound will far outweigh the negligible audible difference due to the amps not being "matched." Of course, the external amp has to be of somewhat similar sonic characteristic as the receiver that it is going to be paired up with.
     
  20. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    This improvement in sound will far outweigh the negligible audible difference due to the amps not being "matched." Of course, the external amp has to be of somewhat similar sonic characteristic as the receiver that it is going to be paired up with.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +
    Of course they are almost never anything approaching similiar....
    And as to mismatched systems sounding better than more expensive matched systems, I'm sure that it was due to room characteristics or the amount of "fine-tuning "the cheaper system had...Often people with more time than money can get better results,however we should look at the following theory:
    If you own brand x pre-pro , five monoblocks by brand y, and five identical speakers from brand z , and you need to downgrade some part of your system to make some money ,which of the three would you do first
    1.) sell your pre-pro and buy a mid-level rcvr to use as a pre-pro----saves x$
    2.) sell three mono-blocks and by a differant brand of 2 channel amp (roughly same power rating as brand y) also save x$
    3.)sell 2 speakers and go with a differant brand for surrounds. also saves x$
     

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