Amp/Receiver questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael_Mc, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. Michael_Mc

    Michael_Mc Extra

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    I have a couple of questions maybe you guys can help me with.

    I’m in the process of auditioning for a HT setup used 60% for music and 40 % for HT use. I’m leaning towards purchasing Dynaudio Audience speakers. However for the electronics, the dealer has recommended B&K AVR305 or AVR 307 receiver.

    My question is since the B&K cost $3,000.00/ $3,500.00 respectively (MSRP) could this money be spent more wisely. I was thinking a 2 channel or 3 channel amp with a receiver used as a prepro would be better for music and HT use.

    Since this is my first home theater purchase. If I was to take this route would I need a 2 channel amp or a 3 channel amp? What would the receiver need, if anything, to accept the separate amp? What would be a good amp and receiver for the Dynaudio speakers (they are 4 ohm speakers).

    Your anticipated help is appreciated.

    Mike
     
  2. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    The B&K sounds nice, but I would go w/ a receiver for much less than $3000-$3500 and add a outboard 3 channel amp for critical music listening/ front soundstage for movies. I recommend the Harman Kardon AVR-8000. Harman Kardon produces simply beautiful music, and dynamic sonics for movies. The HK-8000 is rated at +85 amps (more than any receiver on the market) and can easily drive 4-ohm speakers. From what I gather, the 8000 streets for around $1500-$1700.
     
  3. Michael_Mc

    Michael_Mc Extra

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    Kevin

    I'm new to home theater so are you recommending 3 channel amp for the front left, right and center speakers. How does it actually connect to the receiver?

    Mike
     
  4. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to spend that amount on a receiver, why not look into the Outlaw Pre/pro and amp. It would cost under $3000 and have 200 watts per channel. Just read up on them here in the forum. There is quite a few threads on this subject. Of course, you would have to wait until they fill their existing orders, but they have started shipping these units.

    Best of Luck,

    Jeff
     
  5. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Michael,

    An outboard amp connects via the preamp outputs of the receiver. Also, I forgot to recommend the forthcoming Outlaw 950 Pre/Pro that has al the latest bells and whistles for only $899. Couple that w/ a 5 channel amp for around $500 and going up and you'll have the latest and greatest that will smoke any receiver to date.
     
  6. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    If you're looking at $3000-$5000, I think you should go with separates. For prepros, look at the Outlaw 950 or the Rotel RSP-1066. For the power amp, I'd suggest a 5 channel amp to keep costs down. A Rotel RMB-1095, Sherbourn 5/1500A or Parasound HCA-2205AT should do well in that price range. You could add another stereo amp in the future if you wanted 7.1 sound, which both prepros I mentioned above support.

    Which Audience speakers are you looking at? I don't know if you need speaker suggestions, but at that price range you could also look at the Paradigm Reference Studio series as well as the PSB Stratus series.
     
  7. Michael_Mc

    Michael_Mc Extra

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    I was looking at the Audience 82 in front, 122 center and either 42 or 52 in the rear. Since they are 4 ohm speakers I want to be sure the electronics are good quality and can drive these speakers. I have not been able to audition PSB but several people have recomended them. I was looking at the Paradigm Reference Line, JM Labs Cobalt Line, B&W CDM Line and the Dynaudio's. I liked the Dynaudio a little better then the B&W with side by side comparison. I was not able to audition the others side by side.

    I have bugeted my receiver or amp/preamp with speakers around $8,500.00 and have been told I should spend two thirds of my budget on speakers. I originally, planned to get the AVM 20 with Rotel amp, however I think my money would be better spent on a good two channel amp and a receiver with a good portion towards speakers.

    I am new at this and maybe I'm wrong.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Mike
     
  8. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Well, I've auditioned the Audience 80, but now the 82, so I don't know if they sound the same. It was at a local dealer at a showroom with admittedly bad acoustics. The dealer claimed it wasn't broken in yet either, but seeing how old the Audience 80 is(its been discontinued and replaced by the 82) I don't know if what he said was true.

    Anyway, compared to the PSB Stratus Silveri and Goldi which I also auditioned, I prefered the sound of the PSB. The Audience 80 sounded more forward and clinical, and was somewhat shallow in its soundstage. However, it wasn't a direct comparison so the room and associated equipment would have an impact on the end result. I also auditioned the JM Labs Cobalt 815, but at the time I was comparing it to the Paradigm Monitor 9, and found that while it didn't have the bass performance of the Monitor 9s, everything else about it was better(other than the higher price). If you ask me however, the Paradigm Reference Studio/80, PSB Stratus series and the Audience 80 that I auditioned all outperformed the Cobals 815s, but that's just me. I was originally also considering the B&W CDM line, but couldn't find a place to audition it. I ended up with the PSB Stratus Goldi's.

    Before this strays too much from your original topc on amp/receivers, I shall stop on the speaker part, unless you have any other queries or doubts. I still recommend a prepro+power amp over a receiver with your kind of budget.
     
  9. Michael_Mc

    Michael_Mc Extra

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    I'll have to check the Paradigm Studio 80's as compared to the JM LAbs, B&W's and Dynaudio. Every dealer I've been to carries them although none have recommended them. I'm not sure why? If I get a chance and if I can find a dealer with PSB's I'll check them out as well. There have been quite a few Paradigm Studio recommendations in a previous post of mine and if I went with them I could get a nice amp and processor as well.

    Would you at all recommend a receiver to be used as a prepro?

    Thanks for all your advice.

    Mike
     
  10. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Michael, it'd be great if you could audition them all, especially if you could audition them at the same place with the same associated equipment. If not, even hearing them at different places will give you a general idea of the sound if you can't make direct comparisons.

    A receiver as a prepro is feasible as a temporary solution. It would be a stepping stone for a future upgrade to a real prepro, but I couldn't recommend it as a permenant solution. The preamp portion of the audio signal chain is pretty important - I would rank it higher than the amplification portion, since from my experience there are greater variances between different prepros/receivers than different amps.
     
  11. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Personally I would look at the Sherwood Newcastle Flagship AVR just because it seems to have all the latest processing modes and Sherwood seems to be highly discounted compared to the other brands (though to me it's a quality brand). Amplifiers to look at right now to me is either the Outlaw (if it's being shipped) or the ATI (being discontinued for the newer lineup so the price should be lower).
     

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