Got my Aragon Soundstage with 7.1 upgrade

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ricky T, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I got the upgraded Soundstage from Aragon 3 days ago. Sounds great and works flawlessly. Three 1M balanced cables for my front 3 channels ensure a tight, solid, noise-free connection. In the past 5 months, my prepro path has been: MC1 >> stock Aragon Soundstage >> Aragon Stage One >> Parasound psp1500/pdd1550 combo (temporary) >> upgraded Soundstage. To my ears, this is the best my system has ever sounded (except for a tube preamp for 2 channel music!). The Soundstage will stay in my system for a very long time. My audio is pretty much done [​IMG] Video is my next step; if someone buys my Michael TLV ISF'd Toshiba 56H80, then I'm going front projector!

    A good friend of mine bought my Stage One, and loves it. I choose the upgraded Soundstage because: I don't like the way THX processing sounds in my system, I think the Soundstage has a little bit better analog section, and I saved a few hundred bucks.

    For Aragon Soundstage owners considering the upgrade; if you're gonna be in 5.1 for a long time, I'm not sure $800 plus $60 shipping (and being without your prepro for 3-4 weeks) is worth it...mostly for DPL1 to DPL2 (and the new digital section). If you have a 6.1/7.1 setup and/or need component video switching, then give Aragon tech a call. Even though the original upgrade deadline was 6/30/03, they will process upgrades as long as they still have the parts (ie, upgrade kits that must be purchased in bulk). In fact, Aragon underestimated the number of ACT3 upgrades and had to order a large number of kits in May.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Ricky

    Congrats!

    Just curious, Logic 7 is considered a major enhancement with soundtracks. Did you ever have a full-blown 7.1 system going? Did you find the stereo performance of the MC-1 lacking?

    Thanks

    Artie
     
  3. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Hi Artie!

    To my ears, the MC1 was a bit lacking for 2 channel. That's why I paired the Rogue 66 magnum tube preamp with the MC1 for over a year. Nice combo.
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ricky

    Logic 7 is supposed to be surround Nirvana. Did you put together a full blown 7.1 setup? Last I heard you had some positioning difficulties especially with the surround speakers. Or did your dissatisfaction with 2 channel negate Logic 7?

    Thanks

    Artie
     
  5. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I did have rear placement problems (couch near back wall) until I rearranged my room 90 degrees to the left...this opened everything up (plenty of space for two sides and two rears); the rearranging occurred about 2 years ago when I had the Onkyo 989. I had the 989 about 9 months before getting the MC1, with which I enjoyed full-blown Logic7 with good speaker placement.
     
  6. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    ricky:

    congrats on the soundstage upgrade. i had considered upgrading my soundstage but since i'm 80% music / 20% home theater, i really didn't see the need for 7.1. 5.1 sounds and works great for me and i'd rather not take on the extra expense of another pair of speakers, running the wires through the attic, and so forth. do you still use your rogue pre for 2 channel music? i have been considering the possibility of adding a 2 channel pre for music but to me the aragon sounds amazing. if possible, could you give a brief comparions of the pros/cons of the rogue vs. the aragon in regard to two channel. i'm not 100% commited to adding another preamp right now but my short list for future reference includes the rogue 66 and the audio research sp16. thanks for any input you can provide.

    kevin t
     
  7. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    When I first got the Soundstage, I did some A/B comparisons with the Rogue (mostly on the fly). The Rogue has a deeper soundstage, a little better bass, and that *tube* sound [​IMG] However, I think the Soundstage sounds pretty darn good; a friend of mine couldn't really tell a difference between the two on CD tracks that were more music than vocals (to our ears, female vocals sound amazing on the Rogue). I sold the Rogue last month. I don't listen to music as much anymore, and all my sources sound great on the Aragon.
     
  8. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    thanks, ricky. i'm trying to decide if the $1500+ expenditure it will cost to "upgrade" my two channel experience is really worth the money. unfortunately, i have no local dealer so demoing is kinda out of the question. perhaps i would be better off investing in a quality dac instead. thanks again.

    kevin t
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I also own a Soundstage (5.1) and a Rogue 66 Magnum and feel that the Rogue pretty much smokes it for 2 channel. Not that the Aragon is weak in that department at all, it's just that in my opinion a dedicated tube preamp is hard to beat for 2 channel listening. I've gone through several trying to find that magic piece that works best for me ( in fact my Rogue is for sale at AudiogoN right now - shameless plug [​IMG] ) and all of them have bested the highly regarded 2 channel section of my Soundstage.

    Ricky - Thanks for the info about the Soundstage upgrade program. I've been on the fence about getting it done. Like Kevin I'm not sure that going 7.1 would be worthwhile for me right now, but it's nice to know that I have a bit more time to make my final decision.
     
  10. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Kevin,

    If you want better 2 channel than the Soundstage/Aurum, I would suggest a used Rogue 66 Magnum (with the HT bypass unity gain option) for ~ $800 over a quality dac. The dacs inside a current dvd or sacd player are already pretty good.

    Doug,

    On Soundstage/Aurum vs Rogue, part of it is Aurum vs Rogue (one preamp vs another) and part of it is simply solid state vs tubes. In this case, I don't think it's because the Rogue is dedicated, and the Aurum is not; I think the 66 Magnum is a better preamp and the tubes make a big difference. The Soundstage/Aurum may best most dedicated 2 channel preamps under $1k retail. On the Soundstage upgrade, you might want to call technical service and ask Steve Donalson approx. how many Soundstage kits he has left (the Act3 kits only work for Act3 upgrades).
     
  11. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Ricky, what balanced cables did you buy and for how much?[​IMG]
     
  12. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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