Can't stop adding--but need help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by CollinMorphew, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeez this gets addicting. I thought I liked my setup before I changed everything--now I like it a 100% more but want to go to 110% (does that exist??) Anyway, I have a Pioneer 811 powering JBL S-Center, PB-12 Sub, S38 mains, S36 R/L Surrounds and S36 R/L Rear Surrounds. So I have my 7.1 channel set up--now what. I have pre-outs on the Pioneer and thought it would be logical to add amps. Now:
    1. Am I right?
    2. I was looking at an Adcom 5300 (85x2) for the mains--are they the first to add an amp too and how does this sound?
    3. Can I go with a different amp brand for other speakers?
    4. What does bridged mean and how does that increase the output so much?
    5. Since my room is small i was going to amp the surrounds and leave the center as it is--would that be wrong?
    6. I now have an extra Sony SW-40--should I use that to along with the PB12 to get more out of my system.
    I get so lost on these things so be aware--thanks in advance for your help but I may post follow up questions[​IMG]
     
  2. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I think that the adcom is an alright unit, but you might be better served looking for something from Rotel, Anthem or an older B&K for your speakers. By adding an external amp, you will definately loosen the load on your receiver as well as give cleaner amplification to your mains for 2 channel listening.
    As for your questions, here is MO
    1. Yes
    2. Yes, if you are going to add an amp, go to your mains first. For the most part, the weakest link on any receiver is its amp section
    3. Answer above
    4. Bridged means that an amp can be switched to a point where the power supply is no longer split to two(or three, or four, etc.) channels and instead is used to drive only one channel out. It will provide much more power, usually double, but it will also be a little more sensitive to dips in impedance (manufaturers usually only reccommend bridging amps with 8 ohm impedance usages)
    5. NO, there is nothing wrong with this. Since you have a small room, an external amp would be more for quality of sound as opposed to increased SPL.
    6. If I were you, I would sell both of them and look for either a Adire RAVA or a Hsu VTF-2. Both of these subs are much better than the Sony or JBL, and will outperform two JBL pb12s any day.
     
  3. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    an amp would help....but to be honest...i think you'd gain the most out of getting an SVS or Hsu sub.
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I personally don't see using outboard amplification for the speaker and amp combo you have. Sounds like overkill to me. I'd upgrade the speakers (and even the receiver) before I worried about an outboard amp. That being said, I'd have to agree the best place to upgrade would probably be the sub, at least in the audio chain.

    Also, the Adire Dharman would be an excellent way to go if something like the Hsu or SVS don't appeal to you.

    Brian
     
  5. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    How would it be overkill? If I go with outboard amplification then I'm cutting down on what the receiver would have to do and eventually it would be like an inexpensive pre/pro until something better could be put in place--am I wrong with that logic? I can see upgrading the sub--that has been thought about and I'm looking into it--definately don't see a reason to upgrade speakers since I'd have to go way up in costs to upgrade--plus where would I need to go--from what I heard, came in ahead of most others like Polk, Klipsh, Paradigm and Def Tech--especially for money. I'm just thinking I could amp away from the receiver for better sound and upgrade that at a later date and still have the amps for that upgrade. Like I said--wanting the feedback--helps me think.
     
  6. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I think that Brian maybe just underestimating how good the S38's are as mains. For the money (~$275 a pair) nothing beats them. I think that unless you are going to upgrade your sub or your receiver, your first move would be to get a decent, ~$300 amp.
     
  7. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe--I love the JBL's--especially after hearing other speakers around the same price and higher compared to the price I got on the JBL's. I know it's all subjective but when all your speakers are three way with 6 and 8 inch woofer plus a 12 inch sub and a 3 way center--let's just say I can make people around me upset [​IMG] I really do understand the sub so I'll be looking at that soon--the current one is ok for the levels I can listen at--maybe a little lacking on "moving" you around the room. As far as the receiver--do you think I'm right on what I stated earlier--amping no and using the 811 as pre/pro until I can move up to something more on the higher end?
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I've heard the S38's in a $40,000 HT setup as the mains. I know they are good speakers. And for the money, I agree there isn't much, commercially, there probably isn't anything that beats them. I just don't think outboard amplification will make a huge difference. I'd just save my money for my next upgrade including speakers and possibly a beefier receiver or pre/pro and amp combo. But if I were going with outboard amps I'd rather have 3 channels and only use the surround amps in the receiver.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, I would've just bought a better receiver up front instead of trying to go the route you're suggesting.

    I still think you'd get more for your money upgrading your sub. It has nothing to do with output and everything to do with extension. I can build a $100 sub that'll piss off your neighbors.

    Brian
     
  9. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree on getting the better receiver but when you have to spend 1000 gift certificate at best buy you don't have too many choices. I decided to spend my own money on the speakers and use someone elses on the electronics. I'll eventually upgrade the receiver--this is why I was looking at the amps--this way I'll have them and they'll work even better with a higher end receiver or pre/pro seperate--right? I like the idea of selling the subs and upgrading that as well. Right now I really like the receiver so when I upgrade I want to really step up. This is mostly used for HT--90/10 probably.
    P.S. Where do I send the 100 and when will the sub be finished?[​IMG]
     
  10. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I think that if you have to spend the $1k at circuit city, then your best bet would be to look at Denon and Harman Kardon receivers, especially the HK 520. It is one hell of a receiver, and it has alot of great features. Will be a big step up from the 811, especially when you take Logic 7 into account.
    As for the amps, it is always good to have a few extra channels of quality amplification lying around, just in case you want to build your own sub (or have one built for you, as for the $100 figure by Brian) or if you want to oneday biamplify your main speakers. Like right now, I have two extra channels of amplification, and I was debating whether or not to biampflify my mains, as I am using a single Odyssey stratos (150 wpc) to amp my mains, which are only 86 dB efficient and can handle 300 watts. Also, amplifier technology has basically stayed the same for the past 20 years or so(with the exception of digital amps, but that's another can of worms), so just as long as you keep good care of an amp, and it still works, you can use it all the time.
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Collin,
    We all have budgets to work within and it sounds like you definitely got the most for your money with what's available at Best Buy. I'm not knocking any of the equipment you have, I just don't think an outboard amp will gain you much. I'd save up for a good 5 channel model and get a new pre/pro down the road.
    Concerning the sub, sure I can build one for $100 but didn't say I'd sell it to you for that much! [​IMG] A 150W amp and a driver similar to what's in your Sony can be had for about that much. But if you go DIY you might as well spend $300 and get something that'll blow away multiples of anything they sell at BB or CC.
    Chung,
    I agree that the H/K would be a good choice. I'd just as soon have a Pioneer as a Denon. Sorry, just not a fan. Now if they sold Sherwood Newcastle...
    I'd really like to hear the Odyssey amps. It just so happens the owner and myself have the same last name! BTW, what are you using for mains?
    Brian
     
  12. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Brain, you should definately try to get a listen in with the Odyssey Stratos amps, they are simply amazing. They sound exceptionally sweet, and they run incredibly cool, even when driven at reference levels.
    As for my speakers, I have AAD 2001's as mains. They are just incredible speakers, as they are only 14.5x14.5x9, but they each weigh 52 Ibs. and can go as low as 30 Hz. The only problem (other than the weight, the cabinets are lined with lead) is that they are ineffecient because of their small size. But they are incredibly smooth sounding, and they mate incredibly well with the Stratos.
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Chung,

    Maybe Odyssey will be at CEDIA next week and I can give them a listen. The AAD speakers sound interesting. I just recently heard about them and some of their designs intrigue me. I see that those 2001's are pretty inefficient. Do you notice any negative effects from those grills?

    Brian
     
  14. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    The grills are actually very transparent, and also very well-fastened, so there is no rattling, as sometimes is the cast with less sturdy cloth grills.
    There is a slight (and I mean very slight) loss of upper-highs-focus with the grills on. What I mean by this is that when a really high pitched sound (like a squeak from a trumpet, or a female singer hittin the high c) begins to reach high levels, its focus becomes a little off, whereas without the grills the focus remains no matter what the volume.
     
  15. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    Budgets--I hate them. I knew I'd get in trouble when I won 900 in BB gift certificates--can't really spend that much without having to spend more--guess which way I went. I actually liked the prior set up I had but this one I really like--bad thing--can't stop fiddling. I ended up with the best receiver IMO I could get and an SACD player plus all cables and speaker wire. Spent my own money on the speakers since the technology doesn't change. This is why I was looking at the amp side and possible sub side. I figure this way, I'll have everything set and will only need to by a new receiver or pre/pro down the road. I really don't think I neeeed anything--but when did this ever start with a need[​IMG] Now it's just addicting--and I can't stop......
     

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