Anybody ever...um...DOWNGRADED??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Ol, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. Mike_Ol

    Mike_Ol Auditioning

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    I'm new to this forum, but thought I'd share a disturbing revelation I had today.
    I've been puting together a budget music system for my parents. They only have $500 so I got: Marantz SR4000 receiver, Marantz CC3000 cd changer (both reconditioned) and a set of PSB Alpha A/V speakers with stands. All tied together with .34/ft Home Depot wire.
    I threw all of this together today in my living rooom, right beside my stacks of "mid-fi" stuff(Rotel preamp, Marantz 5 channel amp, biamped NHT towers, MSB Dac, Audioquest cable, etc...). I plugged the "cheap stuff" in, put in some Holly Cole, and prepared myself for some really mediocre sound.
    Three hours later, I've listened to about a dozen or so CD's and I kept thinking to myself "I could live with this".
    With the exception of bass extension, there was little to complain about with the budget system.
    Needless to say, I'm really torn now. I could chuck all of my "stuff", downgrade my system, and probably buy a TON of CD's. And that's what it's all about, isn't it??
    Sorry to rant, but with all the talk of upgrading and adding more and more channels, has anyone else ever had the sudden urge to downgrade???
    PS. I'm sure I'll come to my senses in the morning[​IMG]
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  3. Mike Huay

    Mike Huay Stunt Coordinator

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    This would be better starting off like this:

    Hi everyone. My name is Mike and I downgraded.

    I had a 5.1 system kind of cheapish system in a certain very small room. One day I had an idea. The room was small and TV was very small, so I wanted to see how the DVDs would sound on a 2 channel mini system, (an excellent sounding 2ch minisystem) with speakers simply on either side of the tv.

    I had trouble admitting it but it sounds better than the cheapish 5.1. That was a few months ago, and I havent disconnected it yet.

    I'll rebuild the HT in that room when I have the money to do it right and the TV screen size is appropriate.

    That's my downgrade confession!
     
  4. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Yes you definately can downgrade. VCRs is a perfect example. They just aren't made like they used to.

    But on a different note, I think so but of course not by choice. A component might break and you just might end up buying a lesser component.
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I like Saurav's reference to "synergy." [​IMG]
    I have been using Acurus amps for a while. 100x3 (when I added DPL! to my existing 2 channel setup), then 200x3, and now I have 2 A200x3's. I have *really* liked them.
    So for kicks, and because I got a deal, I tried their bigger brother, a Aragon 8008x3.
    It was BIG. 19 inches wide, not the std 17. The 1st amp given the AAA rating by Stereophile. And at Secrets, for while, it was a reference amp in one of their systems.
    At the "end of the day," 1) I couldn't hear any difference, 2) it didn't really "fit" with my other components. (Plus, it would have been really hard to justify buying 2 of them, which is what I would want for a 6.1 system.)
    So I went back to my matching Acurus amps, and am quite satisfied with the decision.
    But, I did have to try...
     
  6. Jeff Leeds

    Jeff Leeds Stunt Coordinator

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    You know it is a diminishing return as you spend more and more on this equipment. You hit a place where the difference between 4k and 9k isn't that big, but it was getting their that made the difference.

    Cars are like that too...you could take a Corvette for 50k or so and it will be damn close to say an entry level Ferrari, but the latter will cost you a hell of a lot more. The Vette can burn rubber, go 140MPH etc. and the ferrari can just do it a little better, but it costs 2 or 3 times more.

    Next time you're watching something at "reference" level, which I now take to believe that the wife isn't home, you'll remember why you put together your kick ass system. Don't look back.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, DOWNGRADED???? Bite your tongue! [​IMG]
    Seriously though, Saurav makes a good point about system synergy. With Marantz and PSB gear, you should certainly be able to put together a good system for what you paid. You certainly could do worse for the same price and even while spending more in some cases.
    I remember an article last year in What Hi*Fi? (UK) on assembling the best stereo system for £1000. They considered a system consisting simply of two speakers, a single-disc CD player, and a stereo integrated amp. They started with a system comprised of some well-regarded components and evaluated it. Based on observed weaknesses, they made one change and evaluated the second system. They went through five iterations before coming up with the "best" system. The final system did not have all five-star components. What Hi*Fi? always stresses that one should not necessarily expect the best-rated components in respective categories to "jive" when put together. Again, system matching is very important. What becomes difficult in practice is truly assembling the best system within a given budget. We don't often have the ability to access the amount of equipment that magazine reviewers do. So, all we can do is work with what we can access (local stores and mail-order) and decide what sounds best. Of course, "best" is subjective anyway. There is no best in absolute terms.
    I'm not trying to be persnickety here, but with regards to system matching, it is possible that another pair of speakers in your price range would work even better with the Marantz gear than the PSBs. I don't have a speaker in mind that would, but you get the idea. There are a myriad of options. Again, deeming a system as "best" comes down to personal tastes. The PSBs may sing to your ears in combination with the Marantz gear, but I may not like them. You may not like speakers that I choose. The bottom line is that you are happy with the system, and it exceeded your expectations. The 'exceeded' part is a beautiful thing. I have no doubt that you did well with the system for your parents.
     
  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Personally, I'm considering downgrading for mainly aesthetic reasons. Black boxes all over the place has sort of lost its charm for me.
    Well, I guess what I'm pondering is more a "side-grade" to a system that's easier on the eyes, not necessarily less capable. [​IMG]
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kimmo, downgrading can be dangerous. Be very certain that you can live with a downgraded system before selling anything. It certainly is hard to go backwards. It obviously depends on how far back you go. My second stereo system is not as good as the main one, but it is not too far off. I can listen to the second system happily as a result. Still, I couldn't see removing the main system.

    As for aesthetic part, I certainly wish manufacturers marketed more gold/champagne and silver components in the US. You have a definite advantage in Europe. The cover of the current issue of What Hi*Fi? (UK) has the Denon DVD-2800 and AVR-3802 on the cover with gold chassis. They are only available in black in the US. Also, Sony's SACD players sold in Europe look very nice in gold or silver.
     
  10. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Well, Kinda?
    I usually only downgrade so that I can use the money from the sale to buy something else. Way back I downgraded my two channel music system to get into 5.1 channel music/HT. Most recently, I downgraded my rear surround speakers from full towers to bookshelves so that I could upgrade my system to 7.1. The problem with that is that now I've upgraded to multichannel SACD and DVD-A and wish that I still had those large M-7si speakers in the rear... [​IMG]
     

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