Amplifier upgrade (long and rambling post)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam.Gonsman, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I'm new to the board so if I say something dumb, feel free to smack me. [​IMG]
    I have a small pile of cash (about $3K) burning a hole in my pocket. My income is a little sporatic (don't worry, I always have enough to live on but sometimes getting cash for new toys takes longer than I plan)
    I've looked at getting a nice midranged RP HDTV but am torn between commiting to 720p support or having firewire (mitsu intigrated verse other brands). I'm hoping in another generation I won't have to choose.
    Anyway, back on topic, I've turned my attention to possibly sinking some real money into a nice 7 channel amp. Unlike preamps and hdtv's, this to me seems like the single most non-depriciating investment I can make at current.
    But I have a little delema. At current, my system is based around a real POS Sony DB930 receiver (retailed for about $650 3 years ago). My sales rep at Tweeter tried to talk me out of it at the time but I was dumb and woudn't consider a yamaha or denon in that price range cause I wanted the s-link. Don't worry, I know better now. I know the pre/pro section of this thing isn't exactly high end. [​IMG] But the amps are total crap. The question I have is if the pre/pro is good enough that I will notice some decent improvement by adding a real amp. I know it won't be quite like matching it with a B&K ref 50 or anything like that, but I keep telling myself that anything is better than Sony amps even if it still involves Sony pre/pro.
    My second delema of course then is what amp to get if I go this direction. I've looked at the B&K ref 200.7 (I'm know that's real border on my price but I'm hoping street price I can probably swing it) and I've looked at the AV 125.7 also. These seem fairly similar except for wattage. Are they?
    I've also looked at the outlaw 770 which to me seems fairly close to the ref 200.7 on paper despite being priced like the 125.7 I was not familiar with Outlaw until I came to this forum but a lot of you seem pretty happy with them.
    How do these units compare to each other? Are there any others I should look into? Marantz, Sunfire, HK, etc?
    My audio system consists of:
    Sony DB930 reciever
    Mirage OM-10 main speakers, OC-3 center and R2 surrounds, BPS-150i sub.
    Somewhere in my upgrade path will be a new set of mains (probably either OM-7's or OM-5's) which will move the 10's to surround and the surrounds to effects for the full 7 channels when I move to a real 7 channel pre/pro someday.
    If you made it to the end of this post, I applaud you. It's probably as long to read as it was to write [​IMG] Thanks for any advice you might have.
     
  2. Gregg_M

    Gregg_M Stunt Coordinator

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    For 3K you might want to decide on a rotel pre/pro and amp. I just went through the upgrade bug and after a ton of listening etc. I decided to scrap my marantz 7000 and get the full setup. I have not looked back since.

    Gregg
     
  3. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    I will definately check into rotel amps. Where did you get yours from? what sort of prices?

    I'm kind of hesitant to buy any pre/pro or receiver till I find out if firewire takes off for connecting AV components.
     
  4. Gregg_M

    Gregg_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Adam,

    I want too say that I purchased my Rotel pre pro/ Amp and Denon 3800 dvd for under 4K. I was not really concerned with firewire etc when I make my purchase decision. The way technology changes so fast I decided to get quality equipment that I wanted now and not play "what if" Also I have only 2 video sources, my dvd and cable. Once HDTV come to my town I will just run it directly into my TV. I have had no real need to run everything through my pre/pro. I bought sound quality over bells and whistles.

    Thanks,

    Gregg
     
  5. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to have that same Sony receiver, and you are right. Do NOT even THINK of using it as a pre-pro. Adding a quality Amp to that would be like putting a Corvette engine in a Yugo. I would do the Rotel RSX-1055 Receiver, & add a nice 2 channel amp for the front speakers. You will also have 7.1! You can be around $2,000 this way. It should sound good with those Mirages. I looked at those when they were a Wisebuy @ Tweeter, nice. I'm making that Rotel leap soon. I have a Yamaha RX-V1 currently.
     
  6. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    I know I have to be careful with the "what if" game. Could do that forever. Just seems to me that we're one, maybe two generations away from some of this stuff finally converging.
    I'm more interested in firewire for eliminating numerous [expensive!!] interconnect cables than anything. But I'm also very intrigued by the prospect of things like HAVI. I say who needs one of those fancy little touch screen remotes if I can navigate a nice graphical menu on my tv screen. I had originally intended to use the 3k towards a Mitsu widescreen with havi and all the bells and whistles but was dismayed to find that even the brand new 2003 models have no support at all for 720p and of course the other brands that can upconvert 720p are a generation behind in things like HAVI support.
    But I digress. I'm not ruling out upgrading my pre/pro now. There's no argument that it needs it. But I was kind of leaning toward buying a very nice amp now and finding more money later when I'm more satisfied with pre/pro features. Lots of things to think about. [​IMG]
     
  8. Patrick TX

    Patrick TX Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't get too hung up on all that. I bought a new Mitsubishi 55" with Firewire for Christmas. Firewire WAS a deciding factor for me, as far as the TV was concerned. There has been some recent agreements between cable companies & electronics manufacturers on Firewire. I will not be basing my Amp/Processor decision on Firewire. It would be nice having everything Firewire though. I'm already committed to the cables though.
     
  9. EdS

    EdS Agent

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    I'm in kind of a similar position in that I have some $$ (about $1500-$2000) which I want to use for an upgrade of my HT system. My current equipment:
    Yam 2095 AVR
    Tosh 36" TV
    Norh speakers

    When trying to decide whether to replace the Yam 2095 or replace the TV, I decided that the most significant improvement would be to spend the money on a rear projection HDTV. The 2095 has served me well, and I while I do want to replace it, waiting another year could offer me better solutions for possible standardization of digital interface for SACD/DVD-A, or at least better bass management solutions. It's not as though I don't enjoy my current receiver, in fact it operates flawlessly, it's just easy to get the updgrade bug and decide some piece of equipment needs replacing. For me, the most bang for the buck is going to be replacing my 36" with a rear projection HDTV.

    If you have $3k to spend, you might consider upgrading your receiver with one of the many $1000 receivers currently out (Marantz, Rotel, Nad, H/K, Denon, Yam, etc.) which you could use for a pre/pro later on and add external amps. Just replacing your receiver with one of these $1K models would give you a significant upgrade in sound. Take the remaining $2K and find yourself a HDTV on sale, should be able to get a decent 50"+ model for $2K
     
  10. Martin Jiang

    Martin Jiang Agent

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    The new sherbourn 7 channel 200W amp fits your description nicely.
     
  11. Adam.Gonsman

    Adam.Gonsman Stunt Coordinator

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    I gotta say that after looking at the Sherbourn 7/2100 I am VERY impressed. 7 Transformers!! Two power cords!!
    I always wanted an amp that made the lights in my house dim when it ramped up [​IMG] This is exactly what I was looking for when I posted. Now I gotta decide if I want to get a bad boy like this and strap it down to my POS reciever for 8 months to a year till I can upgrade or go with one of these other routes.
    I gotta say I am tempted by the $1000 receiver idea. It had crossed my mind to do that at one point but I kind of forgot about it when I started looking at those platinum Mitsu's. After I started thinking about amps, my little pee brain never thought about buying the "pre/pro" first then an amp.
    You guys on this forum are awesome. You're better than my real family. [​IMG]
     
  12. Bobby_N

    Bobby_N Agent

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    You know, I have been looking at the 7/2100 from Sherbourn myself. However, I have a Yamaha RX-V1, and used to own a Sherbourn 5/1500 (the original, not the 5/1500A) it was a good amp, but at the time, I needed the cash, so I sold it. Now, skip ahead, still have the RX-V1, and love it, and have been thinking about some serious upgrades, like this:

    Setup right now:
    Yammay RX-V1
    RF/LF - Paradigm Studio Ref 40's
    Paradigm Survo-15 sub
    Paradigm Studio Reference center channel

    No I don't have surround going on right now, life happend, and I could not finish. Now that things are hopefully going to get better real soon, this is what I was thinking...

    Yammy RX-V1
    2 Sherbourn 7/2100 amps
    Paradigm Studio Reference 100's for the front R/L
    Same center channel
    Move the 40's to the back
    Get another 40 for the back center channel
    and a set of Studio Reference 20's for the effect channels
    Same sub

    Bi-amp everything except for the effect channels, the mode that gives better quality, that would be horizontal right? I can't remember, have to find my Paradigm books.

    What do you guys think?
     
  13. James Gallup

    James Gallup Agent

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    You should look into the Aragon 2007. I picked mine up for $2400 and it's awesome. I was using a Yamaha DSP-A1 with 110 per channel and the Aragon blows it away. I'm not talking about thinking you hear a difference, there IS a difference. Even the WIFE noticed and that's no small accomplishment in our house. I used the Yamaha as a Pre/Pro for a month or so and then decided I wanted PLII, so I traded it for a RXV2300 reciever and am using that as a Pre/Pro. I will mention that I tried a Rotel 1066 Pre/Pro and although it was a great piece (Crappy remote), it did not have enough voltage in the output stage to drive the Aragon to full output. So I'm still using the Yamaha and waiting as others are for something with Firewire etc... Take a look at the Aragon and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
     

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