"High Quality" 2 channel systems and HT

Craig Morris

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 10, 1998
Messages
195
I have moved my M20's around quite a bit. I kept reading how a few inches could make significant differences to the tonal balance. I have a notch in my room response between 80 and 100Hz. I have played with a foot and a half front to back and about a foot to each side.

I can slightly manipulate the width of the soundstage with these movements (and by playing with toe-in). However, I have been unable to affect the frequency response or tonal balance to any degree.

Also, moving the speakers nearly a foot and a half out from the TV (36" XBR) or having the front speaker baffles about 5" in front of the TV has had no discernable effect on the imaging or soundstage.

I'm curious to try a separate power amp in my system (for 2 channel). However, the Marantz SR-18 has a huge toroidal transformer and seems to be solidly built. I'm not convinced that a power amp alone will make a significant difference to the sound. I think changing the source (CD player) or the preamp section would have a greater effect. I won't know until I try I guess.
 

Charles Gurganus

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 2, 1999
Messages
689
Craig, if the SR-18 has main-ins you may be able to use the P9000es without a 2 channel power amp. It is a top notch analog (Class A) preamp, especially for $450.
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
JOhn:

So in the next venture of having a world class 2-channel, multichannel hi-rez, home theater system all in one room I'll be looking very seriously at front projection.
I got rid of my RPTV, and bought a FPTV, for exactly that reason.

Larry
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
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Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
Alex:
Reflections off of a RPTV seriously impair imaging and tonal accuracy. I used to throw a blanket over my RPTV when listening to music which helped, but not enough. (My primary interest is music.) So, I eventually got rid of the RPTV and bought a FPTV instead.
Larry
 

Kevin_R_H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
124
I've been told it's not just the physical structure of a huge RPTV that negatively affects the sound quality (soundstaging/imaging) of 2-channel reproduction.

Many RPTVs have speakers built into the cabinet, and even though they are not active during 2-channel listening, they are still being "driven" passively by the sound waves of the main speakers. It might seem like audiophile gibberish, but many HT technicians encourage their clients (who have RPTVs between hi-end stereo mains) to remove these speakers from the RPTV cabinet.

I have no direct experience in this (as I have a Front Projector). I curious if anyone else has done some listening tests for this phenomenon. Also, wouldn't the same true of Center Channel speakers? I also do without those for HT use.

Kevin
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
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Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
Kevin:

I think the phenomenon you describe is real, though I suspect it is far less important than the reflections.

Larry
 

John Royster

Screenwriter
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Oct 14, 2001
Messages
1,088
I got rid of my RPTV, and bought a FPTV, for exactly that reason
I know I'm killing my martin logans (di-poles) by having this 65" monster between them. I hear it.

But I do have the speakers about 2-3 feet away from the TV and about 1 foot in front of it. It works for now, just not optimal.
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
The answer to the RPTV problem, of course, is a projector

I've also combined a low end HT receiver with high end 2 channel electronics and it all works together very well. With multichannel SACD or DVD-A, it may not be as good as a high end receiver or HT prepro but for DD and dts, you really don't need to spend megabucks or even kilobucks (US$ that is - you need to get into the low kilobuck area with A$) on the electronics. A good, tight sub is a must, though.
 

Alex Dydula

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Messages
170
Larry.

I agree the RPTV does has an effect on the soundstage, but I dont think its as bad as you think....

If your not happy the FPTV is the ticket, and the bucks!

Maybe I can mount my 57" RPTV on the ceiling like in those Philips adds (smile!).

Life is a compromise

Alex
 

Mike_Ch

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
246
Craig,

I was wondering what 2 channel preamp you are using? I am thinking of getting either an Audio Research SP16L or a ME24. Also what amp are you using with it? I would really like to go with the ME seeing how highly rated it is on the Aussie forums.

Cheers,
Mike
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
I bought a 2nd hand US brand preamp (due to price) but my benchmark was an ME24. After some testing where I compared the 2, I could find no audible difference between the 2 so I bought the used pre. The ME is very clean and detailed but most tube fans don't like them and find them harsh.

If you don't need all the inputs, the ME14 is a fair bit cheaper.
 

Mike_Ch

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
246
Craig,

The ME is very clean and detailed but most tube fans don't like them and find them harsh
Really? I thought the ME house sound was "smooth and transparent"... I guess I gotta try it out and compare it to some tube ones. I do need 2 sets out pre-outs so the ME24 fits the bill better. Do you think Trevor Lees audio is a good place to audition equipment? Have heard some ppl with bad experiences but they seem to stock a wide range of brands. Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
Mike
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
I don't find the ME (or my pre) harsh at all but tube guys seem to have their own criteria.

TL is a funny guy. He can find 2nd hand gear at great prices but you need to be firm in what you want and not get pushed towards something you didn't intend to get. I got my pre from him but I made sure it performed as I wanted by demoing against a reference.

I have heard of ME14s that have been made up with 2 sets of preouts. P/M me if you are interested in contacting a good Melb ME dealer.
 

Alex Dydula

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Messages
170
Larry,

I just finished listening to Norah Jones new CD, and she popped out of the speakers, sat there in front of the RPTV and blew me away for 40 minutes with her voice and that recording....man is it awesome!!...the RPTV did not phase this experience in the least...(smile!)

Alex
 

Craig Morris

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 10, 1998
Messages
195
So I visited my dealer this weekend... I spoke with 2 sales guys, both of whom know my system very well...

They both agreed that a CD player upgrade should be my next move... and should have far greater sonic impact than adding an amp or integrated to my system.

I'll probably be trying out a few CD players in the coming weeks. Should be fun.
 

Dougie

Grip
Joined
Nov 12, 2002
Messages
18
Hey Tom,
I've got a ? for you in response to "Two channel in all its glory with a HT pass through..."
I'm planning on building a house with a HT and want excellent 2-channel music. Do you mean that the receiver (which runs the HT, 5.1 or 7.1) is a separate piece from the preamp? Or, is this just one way of doing it to optimize 2-channel sound? My plans were to buy something on the order of Arcam or bel Canto separates, one prepro and one amp. Will this do justice to 2-channel music?
Doug
 

rajiv

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 31, 1999
Messages
50
Craig,

I don't know what your budget is, but the Revel's are well matched with Mark Levinson gear. I would listen to the M20s at a dealership with an ML No. 383 integrated amplifier. It is well suited for your type of application. Its built like a brick shit house weighing 80 pounds and it puts out 100W @ 8 Ohms and easily doubles to 200 W @ 4 Ohms. The catch is that it costs nearly $5000 MSRP. You might find one as a demo or slightly used for somewhat less, but its still one of the best integrated amps available.


Good luck,

Rajiv...
 

EarlR

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 13, 2001
Messages
71
Hi Craig,
Thought I would put in my $.02. I am also very music oriented, I built my room for music and movies. I would recommend going with separates and getting a quality surround pre-amp processor and separate amplifiers. In the long run this will give you much better bang for your buck than what you are contemplating. I would wait on the new CD player till you try your present units digital output with the new pre-amp. The main advantage of a better player is better dacs and a new pre-amp will have better dacs. The other advantage of this setup is time alignment for your mains. I once had a similar setup to what you are thinking about and the main problem was getting the correct time alignment because the mains had to go through the second pre-amp and this caused a slight change in the sound stage. I don’t know your budget but I would recommend surround sound processor pre-amps from Theta, Classe, Anthem and B K as a start. Good luck with what ever you decide to do you have a good starting point with your Revel speakers.

Earl
 

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