Are separatees too much for my 602s?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dennis B, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm considering moving from a receiver to separates but am concerned about having read a lot about how it may not make a lot of sense to do so with speakers like my B&W 602 which are not thaaaat much power. Any thoughts? thanks!
     
  2. Greg_W

    Greg_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I have DM601s and run them with a Bryston 9B. I am in the process of slowly upgrading my system with higher quality components, and figured that an amplifier was the best place to start, as it is the least likely to change in the near future. The improvement in sound was impressive compared to my Sony ES reciever, deeper bass, clearer treble, ect. These inexpensive speakers can sound preety good with a good power amp, and when you decide to upgrade your speakers, you will already have an amp that can handle them. I think that you would be happy with the improvment that you would get from an amp.

    Greg
     
  3. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard more than a few systems where $2k speakers sound mushy and mediocre on a receiver; and where a $600 pair are wonderful on a $600 2-channel amplifier/$600 CD player.

    There's some limit to this though. Rule of thumb for two-channel used to be 1/3 speakers, 1/3 amplification (pre+power), and 1/3 source (digital or vinyl). This seems like somewhere to start for multi-channel, although with surrounds and center only engaged when you're distracted by a movie they're probably not as important and skew things in some direction.

    Personally, I think there's a balance - revealing speakers with sub-optimal electronics (or recordings - a lot of medicore discs become unlistenable on better hardware) will be bad, and past some point the speakers won't show electronics improvements. There are also points of diminishing returns which lie in different places for various components.

    Power isn't the issue. Decent (I think there's a lot of modest equipment which fits this definition - Rotel/Adcom/Parasound. I also think there is some expensive junk which doesn't) electronics are more listenable at both high (you don't notice it's loud until you try to talk over it) and low (dialog is still intelligeable, music sounds right).

    It's also a question of where you start. Differences are least noticeable in quality (this is a _very_ vague and amorphous thing depending on your point of reference, inherent hearing....) solid state power amplifiers. The technology hasn't changed for a decade, and you could easily end up with something you're happy with indefinately. Speakers vary radically and it might take a few tries although technology doesn't usually change there either (high excursion subs are one exceptio). A lot of good equipment from 5 years ago still sounds exceptional, although the features aren't there. If you're going to chase the latest, you might wait for that.

    YMMV. Best thing would be to see for yourself in YOUR system. Any decent "high-end" dealer will both stock affordable (for some definition) gear and let you take it home for the weekend to try in your system.
     
  4. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your answers.

    So do you think Rotel is a good separates entry-level choice? I was considering the RMB-1075 plus the new RSP-1066 when it comes out. How would these compare to my Marantz 7200...?
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    NO.
    I just updated to separates (thread above) and my 602s have never sounded so good.
     
  6. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Dennis,

    I recently upgraded to the Rotel 1095(200x5) from using the amps in my Denon 3300 receiver(105x5). Holy crap Batman! Talk about great sound. My speakers are only JBL HLS 820s. Not bad speakers, but not the great either. Now they sound incredibly. I'm also thinking about the RSP-1066(oh yeah I'm hooked on seperates now). Don't walk RUN to your dealer and get seperates. I was sceptical and even though all the amps I listened to at different dealers sounded great(well maybe not all) I expected there to be only a tiny difference at home. I made sure the dealer's return policy was 30 days full refund(none of that store credit crap) just in case it wasn't worth the dollars. Wow was I wrong. My speakers are rated 50 - 250 watts so maybe they were just starved for power and the amp made them come to life(could be). Am I taking it back? Only if you kill me first.
     
  7. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely not a waste of money!
     
  8. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow Legairre, seems you're totally addicted now, hm?

    That's great news that you're happy with the move.

    The problem, now, is that I'm feeling itchy about trying one of these out...

    So when was the 1066 due? Was it March?

    The 602s are only 120W, so I'll probably stick to the RMB-1075. Is the RSP-1066 supposed to top both the 985 and 976 (I've been researching...)?

    Thanks.
     
  9. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Larry, Chris and all.

    Hope you won't mind one more question, besides Rotel would there be any other brands that I should consider in the same price range? Before you mention Outlaw, they don't have a local representation, which really makes it difficult. Thanks again.
     
  10. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Dennis,

    It is definitely not a waste, and I will tell you my story. I used to run a Kef Q series setup. Q55's for the front ("full range" towers that went down to 40hZ - $800 list) and Q15's for the surrounds (bookshelf that is somewhere between the 601 and 602 - $400 list). A couple of months ago I got the Rotel 1075 (great amp), and it was like listening to a whole new system.

    Here is the "sad" part. I had an old friend visting over Christmas who is getting into HT and 2 channel music. I went and did some shopping. When I came back, he had blown the Q55's by cranking the volume almost to max (He wanted to see how loud it would play). I was not a happy camper. Well, the Q15's are now my mains. To be honest, I prefer the sound out of the Q15's to the Q55's, and am seriously using the replacement money to get another pair of Q15's and a sub vs. replacing the Q55's.

    I have come to a somewhat "heretical" conclusion. Good speakers benefit more from an expensive front end than do Excellent speakers. One often sees questions on forums on who to distribute a HT budget, and a common response is to spend about 50% on speakers. This makes some sense. Excellent speakers will, under reasonable conditions, always sound good (of course they will sound bad if you have a $2K pair of speakers with a $200 receiver), but a $2K pair of speakers will sound good with a $1K receiver. Excellent speakers will sound better with an external amp, but since they already sound good, there will be a "marignal" improvement in sound.

    On the other had, good speakers can easily sound bad. However, improving the front end can make a Good speaker sound great. I have several British friends, and they all have more money in the front end than the speakers. In other words, they buy excellent electronics, and Good speakers, and their systems sound great.

    Just my 2 cents, and I hope this helps.
     
  11. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys,

    You are THE most helpful crowd in this forum, thanks a lot.

    My mind is spinning with the possibility of putting my hands (and ears) on one of these babes.

    What if I kept my Maranz 7200 as pre/pro for now, until the 1066 comes out, and get a RMB-1075 to drive my speakers? From what you said before it seems like it's really worth it, don't you agree?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Dennis,

    That's what I'm doing. I use my Denon 3300 receiver for now until the 1066 or AT P2000 comes out. Works great.
     
  13. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Like I said I have the 1075 and it is a great amp. Everything sounds so much better. If you have the cash, you might want to spring for the full monty and get the 1095, which has gotten excellent reviews, and which Legairre has raved about (and I believe him).
    Hope we helped.[​IMG]
     
  14. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    George,
    Your comments about getting good speakers and having better equipment up front may have answered a question people keep having. Ever since I got the amp I've been raving about it. Some say I'm crazy others say amps make a difference. Well my speakers are good not great. And now they sound great. Maybe that's why the amp made such a difference.
    Thanks George. [​IMG]
     
  15. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

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    So now that I'm already talking to my dealer, trying to get a 1075 - I'm afraid the 1095 might burn my 602s which are 120W... pretty much like what happened to George... I don't suppose there's a quality difference between the 1075 and the 1095 other than power, power and more power - is the amp pretty neutral or will it give the audio a new 'sound'?

    People have mentioned the Rotel 'dark' sound as a trademark, and I really like Marantz' 'warm' sound. It's the pre/pro or in this case the rcvr who will really give the audio it's signature, isn't it?
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    george king,
    great post.
     
  17. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Legairre,

    I only came to this conclusion after my fiasco with my friend. Up until then I always felt that one was best off putting large portions of one's budget into the speakers. Again this makes some sense. However, my recent experience suggests that big marginal changes in quality can be had in a different way.

    Dennis,

    If you have the money get the 1095. The extra amps will give you extra headroom. You won't fry your speakers unless you crank the volume of to max.

    Hope this helps.
     

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