Any suggestions for separates?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Joe Szott, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I've had an Outlaw 950 mated to an Outlaw 750, using JBL Studio speakers, for a few years now. It's great and we've loved it, but the 950 has a few niggling issues that we'd like to correct (the most major of which is a 2-3 sec "dropout" every time it switches inputs. Unfortunately our D*TV box can drop the sound for a split sec often, which triggers 3-4 secs of silence as the 950 "readjusts" the sound.)

    I've been looking around at new gear, but really there is so much it is overwhelming. I really like the look of the Sunfire amps and Theater Grand Pre/Pros, but have a tough time finding reviews. Are these worth it for the price premium, or are there better choices? Are these much better than the 990 and a matched amp from Outlaw?

    I'd like to stay with separates, but if there are compelling receivers out there I'd look at those too. Our budget is pretty much unlimited, but I would prefer to be around $5k for sanity's sake and wouldn't exceed $10k (we're just too cheap!) We mostly use this system for TV/DVD watching (HT needs), but will also play music or watch concert DVDs occasionally.

    Also, what speakers would be a good match for whatever pre/amp you suggest? We mount them on the wall near the ceiling, so bookshelf is a must (sorry, no towers allowed 'sez the boss lady.) The center speaker can be big, it reasts under the TV on a cabinet. We have an SVS PB12/2+ right now, so I'm not worried at all about bass duties. That thing works just FINE.

    So, any suggestions or leads to track down? What's the sweet spot units these days?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Joe

    You aren't likely to hear this from anyone else, however, I would suggest that you look at the Denon 5805 MK2:

    http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3157.asp

    Features Audyssey room/speaker EQ, HDMI 1080P switching, Faroudja video scaler, HDMI on screen display (OSD), 170 watts X 10. Max current draw, 13 amps (1560 watts). If you are 7.1, you can still run a stereo system in another room. If you are 5.1, you can run 2 entire 5.1 systems in separate rooms.

    I can't begin to describe all the features this receiver has. And being MK2, bugs have been worked out and features added.

    Click on the Detailed Specifications hot link to see what a boatload of features it has. Hard to say what you would have to pay. MSRP is $7,000, however, I imagine you could get something of a discount. Professional installation could be something to consider.

    If you would like to hear my suggestion for speakers and to discuss your display, please send me a Private Message.

    Regards
     
  3. 4VTHOKIES

    4VTHOKIES Agent

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    The Denon is a very good place to start. I built my dedicated theater last year and I owned the Aragon Stage One pre/pro with a B&K amp but I was not satisfied and wanted something different. I looked at the Lexicon seperates, Krell etc. but ended up buying the Denon 5805 and I am very happy with the results. It is a one box solution that is built like a brick sh*t house. The Audyssey works flawlessly and I biamped all the speakers in my system. I have the B&W N803, HTM1 and the SCM's and they love the extra power the Denon gives me with 10 channels. The only thing is the Denon has so much to offer and I only use it for the processing. I do not use the other zones at all.

    If I had to do it over again I would probably not change a thing except maybe look into the Lexicon Receiver which I have listened to as well. With that budget you should be able to find a lot of gear that would please you.
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ted

    Interesting thought on the Lexicon receiver. How much does that baby go for and how much for the dual microphone system. I have a feeling the dual mic kit runs ~$2,000 by itself.
     
  5. DougEW

    DougEW Auditioning

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    I recently moved from my Yamaha RX-V1 to seperates. I picked up a used 200watt X 5 Sunfire amp and I picked up a Boston pre-amp when Onecall was clearing them out. I had planned to use my Yamaha as a pre/pro until I could afford a Sunfire pre/pro but I couldn't pass up the Boston at the clearance price Onecall had. I'm very pleased with my setup. I've got Paradigm Studio 60's up front along with a Studio center channel and paradigm titans for rears and they sound great. I feel their is more "punch" now when playing movies and the dialogue from the center channel seems better. I was also very impressed with the couple of SACD's I have. Dark Side of the Moon never sounded so good! So in my opinion you can't go wrong with a sunfire amp and pre/pro if you have the money to buy them.
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Very interesting Joe, does the Sunfire Pre have room/speaker EQ and come with the needed microphone? Will the Sunfire amp, using its amps biwired with 340 watts into 5 channels, suffer compared to the Sunfire? And with regard to the poster's original question, the Outlaw does not come with Speaker/Room EQ last I heard. Last, but not least, the Boston is somewhat weak on customer support, people have had some luck with using downloads for the Sherwood clones though.
    I will say the Sunfire 5 X 200 watt amps are very nice units.

    I may bow out of this thread, in order not to get the mods involved. I've spoken to the OP via PM, said my piece, now it is up to the OP. 4VTOAKIES made a pretty good recommendation for the Denon 5805. I still like it for both the mammoth built quality, and the tremendous number of features it provides; Internet Radio anyone?
     
  7. DougEW

    DougEW Auditioning

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    The OP mentioned Sunfire so I gave my opinion since I owned one. No doubt the Denon is great and I would probably get it over what I have if I could afford it but I paid less than $1700 for the Sunfire/Boston combo which was within my $2000 budget. At some point I may upgrade the Boston but it works for me at the moment. I would have just stayed with the yamaha but it was old and didn't even do dolby pro logix II. I've always drooled over the 5xxx model Denons but a divorce would be in my near future if I spent that kind of money and since my wife's father and step father are both lawyers I would be royally screwed. [​IMG]
     
  8. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Doug

    You got a fine deal on the Boston/Sunfire, and I looked at the receiver when it was reduced to $998. But after reading some stuff, I decided to pass on it because it does not have room/speaker EQ. EQ on subwoofers is becoming more and more popular. Why then would one not want the option of using room/speaker EQ on a reciever/pre/pro? It can be tweaked. Higher level gear is including more and more microphones to deal with different seating locations, with Velodyne now offering a 5 mic package, (big bucks).

    I am glad you are enjoying your combo. Hang on to that amp. FYI, for what you paid, I probably would have gone with the Denon 4806. Or, better yet, the 5803A.
     
  9. DougEW

    DougEW Auditioning

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    Well, I've always had just a receiver and I wanted to try seperates. Someday I may go back to just a receiver. The way things are headed in a few years a receiver may be a full blown computer/media center.

    I really haven't messed with the Boston much yet. When you say EQ, are you talking about an equalizer where you adjust treble/bass or something else? The Boston has a microphone but I haven't tried it out yet.
     
  10. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Entering a thread with Arthur, this is always fun.[​IMG]

    It is unfortunate the 950 doesn't have firmware updates that would correct the problem. Just wondering how much this small tick bothers you Joe. If it doesn't bother you a lot, then why not upgrade your speakers. You could make a much larger impact spending 10k on speakers than upgrading your pre/pro or your amp. A pre/pro to consider would be the Outlaw 970, which does offer firmware updates that can add new decoding, and fix quirks in the system. This is of course IMO, but I think upgrading the speakers and spending a little less in the pre/pro and amp department is going to get you more for your money.

    Also what subwoofer do you have Joe? Is it also JBL?
     
  11. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Doug

    When I talk about EQ, I am talking Room/Speaker EQ. Denon, Harman-Kardon, Marantz, Pioneer, Panasonic, Lexicon, Onkyo all have it. H-K has a receiver that not only EQs the fronts, center, and surrounds but also EQ's 2 subwoofers. This $1900 receiver has a ton of features including Logic 7, video processing and much more. Those are the kinds of features that I am looking for.
     

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