another separates vs receiver and amp discussion

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dan Sloane, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    Hello everyone, I am a newbie to the forum. I'm looking for some advise on which way to go. My start on a HT is L/R = Martin Logan Aerius i's. Center is ML Theatre. I just received M&K S150 THX's x2 for the surrounds(no room for larger) I plan on 2 more M&K's for the rear surrounds if these sound OK on 5.1 to make it 7.1. My room is not a dedicated HT, it is our great room/living room/kitchen and it is approximately 24'x37'. The 65" Mitsubishi Diamond widesreen RPTV is centered on the 24' end wall and viewing/listening is at approx. 13 to 15 feet. Aerius's in the corners. Now my dilema. Will a receiver like a B&K avr307 drive all these. Do I need separates and if I do then what would you suggest between Outlaw 770 vs 7xM-200s vs B&k7207 or whatever it is. Then using either a 950, ref50(costly though) or a Cheaper receiver as pre/pro. Also considered Sunfire Ultimate and Denon 5803 and Yamaha rx-zi and Sony strda7es. What do you think. Thanks in advance and sorry to be so wordy. Dan
     
  2. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    With your ML's I don't think you should attempt using a standalone receiver. Get an amp and connect to a receiver of your choice or go the extra lap and go total seperates. You could call Martin Logan and ask them what a minimum requirement might be and then move at least slightly above .My guess is any amp 100watt or above would be adiquate but something a little more powerful would add to the comfort zone.
     
  3. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    I think the logans need alot of power. I would say sunfire ultimate receiver would be the minimum. I you could do a 250-400 watt sunfire seperates system you would be fine.

    Maybe get a smaller 100 watt receiver then get a seperate 200X3 amp to power your front stage. The M&K's will be fine with a little less power.
     
  4. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    Thanks J & J, I listened to the M&Ks today. They are ok for surrounds, but one could really tell a difference when swiching between the MLs & the M&Ks in stereo. Granted I was underpowering both of them with an older Pioneer stereo rcvr with just 60watts into 8 ohms, but the MLs were so much more expansive and less strained, even though I didn't dare crank the volume.I have used this for the MLs for awhile now, Cautiously. I have been shopping the separates market on Audio/Videogon & ebay and I realy would like to keep the pre/pro...amp...rcvr cost to around $1800 t0 2200 if at all possible.
     
  5. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    You can probably find yourself some good quality Rotel used gear in that price range: the 1066 pre/pro mated with the 1095 5x200 amp. You can always add another amp later when you add more speakers.
     
  6. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan,

    Why not consider getting a good receiver that has pre-outs then add power amps. This is a good value for money option, discussed in this article:

    article
     
  7. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    Well, I was almost sold on separates, but this forum seems to feel that some of the newer rcvrs might be better than a lower end pre/pro or an older used one for the money. Am I reading this right. I can go to $2500 and still live with my wife I think. After all she chose to go see the hockey movie Miracle for Valentines.
     
  8. DaveLenhert

    DaveLenhert Stunt Coordinator

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    Uhh...Dan....SHE IS A KEEPER!!!!

    Anyways, I agree with part of that article that Paul linked. There is a bit of disconnect between reasonably priced rcvrs and most pre/pros. Furthermore, most pre/pros lag behind the features of most rcvrs. However, I'm a firm believer in the power of seperates and IF you take your time, it doesn't have to cost you serious $$$$$. Look around, there are alot of used and demo products that you can get at very good prices IF you don't need the absoutly latest 10.1 surround formats... In my case DD5.1 & DTS5.1 works great for me...

    To give you some of my upgrade saga, I was running a Denon 3801 for my Klipsch speakers. However, I always was very very unhappy with the quality of the classical music, it just seemed dead and lifeless. People suggested get an external amp, get "real" CDP, and so on.... On my montly rounds to the audio dealers and websites, I found a new pre/pro (with full warrenty) an Acurus ACT-3 for $650, at such a great price I couldn't pass it up and I knew that they were going to have an upgrade available for the ACT-3 shortly to bring it almost up to the level of the Aragon Stage One. SOLD! So, I started a hunt for an amp that would work with the ACT-3 and Klipsch speakers and found a demo Parasound HCA-1025A at around $900. As it turned out, the ACT-3 had a bad digtal board, so I spent 3 months using the Parasound with the Denon 3801. Since the Klipsch are soo easy to drive, I didn't find a big improvement in the sound. Yes, it was a bit cleaner, less noise, and a bit more slam, but classical music still sounded dead. As soon as I got the ACT-3 back, I pluged it in and spun a CD. The difference was amazing, the hair on my arm stood up for the first time because of the music. The clarity and emotion that the ACT-3 delivered was leaps and bounds above the Denon. IMHO, the denon DACs were clouding the music and sucking the emotion of the symphony out. Needless to say, I won't be getting rid of my ACT-3 any time soon for some new fancy LCD screen pre/pro or fancy sound format.

    Just something to think about....
    -Dave
     
  9. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    I have decided to go separates. I just wanted to keep it simple with a rcvr, but I'm not sure that is what I would get anyway. Now I am just looking for the best deal on one of the recommended pre/pros and amps. Is there really any advantage to mono-blocks vs a 7 channel amp? Thanks for all of your help!!![​IMG]
     
  10. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Monoblocks - dedicated power to all channels.

    MultiChannel Amp - Can usually draw additional power from other channels when other channels are not in use or not heavily drawing power.

    W/ that being said, monoblocks would usually be best for SACD/DVDA due to all channels drawing equal power whereas the MultiChannel would be better for HT usage. But also keep in mind that if you get amps big enough, none of this will matter as you will have enough overhead to compensate for any of this.
     
  11. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Monoblocks are likely to cost considerably more. Each has its own power supply, each has its own case and heatsink. This lacks the economy of scale and I suspect that in addition to that the prices are likely to be higher than they need to be due to the perception that they are inherently better.

    I would say they are are only better if you have considerably more money to spend. But if you compare 7 monoblocks vs a power amp with 7 channels for the same amount of money, I think the 7 channel amp will be better. For 7 channels you might need to find a 3 channel and a 4 channel power amp, but this will be easier to accomodate from a space point of view than 7 chunky little power amps.
     
  12. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    Space is no problem. I was more thinking along the lines of the Outlaw770 vs the OutlawM-200 monoblocks x7 which are on sale right now for less than the 770. But the Sherbourn7/2100 I can get for approx. the same +/- 1-200$
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I won't suggest a particular model but it would seem that you should be looking for something in the mid 100's to 200 wpc channel range that is also specified to run 4 ohms continuous with stated short term capability into 2 ohms. This has to do with the speaker's stated low impedance at the upper freqency range (1.7 ohms). If you know of an impedance curve for this model, I'd love to see it. Further, I think the monoblocks bear some consideration as you can place them fairly close to the speakers and then just run an inexpensive interconnect to the amp.
     
  14. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    I am running my Martin Logan Aerius i's with some Parasound 855HCA amps. They are only 85 watts a channel by 5 channels. I have two different amps. These amps work great, but I have found that it runs much smoother if I only connect one Aerius i to one amp and the other to the other amp. I do not think that the Parasound can handle more than one 4 ohm load at a time. In fact I know this. I had both hooked up to one amp and it caused clipping.

    For two channel music I run the Aerius i's through a Cayin Tube amp. It's only 35 watts a channel and runs them very well.

    You can check out my web page and see how I have them running.

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  15. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu Gai,

    What you seem to be suggesting is that it is better to have long interconnects and short speaker cables than the other way around. I would suggest that the opposite is true. Interconnects carry a much smaller signal and are prone to interference and more prone to degradation due to the length of the cable. Their signal strength is low relative to the strength of any interference. Speaker cables on the other hand have a large signal relative to any interference and are much less sensitive to any degradation of the signal due to cable length.

    So what you want is minimum interconnect length, keep the amp as close to the signal source as possible, and send an amplified signal through speaker cable and let this cover the most distance, not the interconnect.

    Please disregard this if I misunderstood what you meant to say.
     
  16. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    My room is about 38' long. The RPTV is at one end and the automation ctrl room is at the other end. I hav speaker wire run in the walls and ceiling to 7 positions along with outlets for powered speakers (like my MLs). The processor and amp/amps will be together in the auto ctrl rm
    where the speaker cables originate. My statement about component video cables relates to the ~50' from the auto ctrl rm to the RPTV. Do they make cables that long and would they carry a descent signal that far?
     
  17. Dan Sloane

    Dan Sloane Extra

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    Also, would they be cost prohibitive?
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    In most cases it's largely irrelevent Paul from a practical point of view. Empirically though, it can be shown that there is less HF rolloff per equal length of interconnect vs wire. Not something that I'd get myself in a tizzy about though with most systems but when distances get great and speaker loads get weird, the monoblock approach gives more flexibility. Noise pickup is pretty much not a problem in home environments and it's pretty easy to find a decently shielded interconnect so long as you don't go boutique wire. We can discuss this in another thread later if you want.
    I ran across the impedance (solid) and phase (dashed) response curves of the plain old Aerius. It looks like this.
    [​IMG]
    Dropping impedance curves in the upper frequencies always tend to present more difficult loads to amps. Personally, I don't think you need to monoblock everything but consideration should be given them for the Aerius. As to whose you buy, well that's up to you.
     
  19. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu Gai,

    The pic doesn't seem to work (at least for me).

    I have also sent you an email regarding your last post.

    regards,
    Paul Spencer
     
  20. Paul Spencer

    Paul Spencer Stunt Coordinator

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    CG, disregard that comment, the pic works now [​IMG]
     

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