How much to spend amp vs speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick-J, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    It's generaly agreed that hooking up a $2000 receiver to a set of $50 speakers is a waste of capability, as would be the reverse (if you cound find a 50$ receiver).
    So here is the question, If I'm setting up a HT package for a blend of movies and music in the 3000-5000$ range how much do people spend on the Receiver vs the speakers Given a 5 speaker + sub configuration. is it 50/50... 40/60 or some other ratio? Also how much do people typicaly budget for their CD player and interconnects in this type of setup?
    Thanks
    Patrick
     
  2. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    It is also a waste to hook up a $50 receiver to $2000 speakers. With that said you have to decide which speakers you want first and then match up a receiver or seperates that will drive the speakers to there potential. Otherwise you will not being getting the best from the speakers. You also must know that most Receivers almost all except rotel and HK cannot meet there claimed WPC output when in HT.They claim 100 WPC you get 75 WPC. The best values I have found in Audio IMO is Rotel and Paradigm. Both make excellent products that cannot be touched for the money [​IMG] Cables now are another story, there are just so many out there. A dealer who sells the product you will buy most likely has tried many types and can suggest something for you. I for one am not a believer in very very expensive cables. I cannot here the difference and think some people just think that they can hear a difference because they spent so much money on them.As for a CD player most go for a DVD player that does CD/CDR DVD A OR SACD ETC. For $5K you could get some Rotel Rceiver or seperates,Paradigm Reference Speakers all around (5),PW 2200 SUB,Cardas cables and have a killer system. That is just an example for you. So I think about 60/40 Audio/Speakers and about 15% toward cables.
    I will shut up now!
     
  3. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    Dave, Thanks for the advice.

    Patrick
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Patrick,

    What's the $3K-$5K for? Just receiver (or separates) and speakers? Sub? Cabling? Video display? Sources (CDP, DVDP, Satellite or OTA HD receiver, etc.)?

    Assuming you've got $4K for just the receiver (or separates) and speakers/sub, I'd put about $500-800 to a sub, $1200-2200 for speakers, and the remainder towards the receiver/processor/amps. A lot depends upon choices though. Certain speakers (Magnepans, for instance) may need better or more powerful electronics than a high-efficiency cone speaker. Looking at used receivers/processors/amps at Audiogon can save you quite a bit of money if you're not needing the absolute latest/greatest toys.

    Without a system biased heavily towards 2 chn music listening, I wouldn't spend too much money on a CDP (given your budget). You might get by just fine with a good DVD player that has had some attention to it's audio DACs during design--you could use this as a digital transport for CDs, and the analog outs for SACD/DVD-A, depending upon the unit.

    Cabling is normally considered 10% or so of system costs. Pretty flexible here though--you can at least start out with AR Pro cabling or similar for your audio connections (digital and analog)--which is pretty cheap, then step up to bluejeanscable or similar for video (also inexpensive for the quality). You might also want to budget for a decent quality surge protector.

    Plenty of money in that budget though to get some great toys. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  5. Anthony.Lin

    Anthony.Lin Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally I'd spend a lot more on speakers than the receiver/amp. Speakers usually last very long, because the technology doesn't get outdated so fast.

    I spent about 60/30/10 on my system, 60% being speakers, 30% receiver, and 10% cables/other. That's not including a subwoofer, but I'm not looking at very expensive subs (I live in an apartment), and I had about $2500 to work with overall.
     
  6. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    Mike, Thanks for the advice. the 3-5 K would be for the whole Audio side of the house, sources, receiver and speakers. So you'd think that a good quality dvd player, maybe in the $500 range would do fo good DVD and CD output? I'm trying to maximise quality for the buck, and my suspicion had been that sinking more money into speakers would get me farther than sinking money into the source, at this price level.

    Thanks Patrick
     
  7. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    Mike, Thanks for the advice. the 3-5 K would be for the whole Audio side of the house, sources, receiver and speakers. So you'd think that a good quality dvd player, maybe in the $500 range would do fo good DVD and CD output? I'm trying to maximise quality for the buck, and my suspicion had been that sinking more money into speakers would get me farther than sinking money into the source, at this price level.

    Thanks Patrick
     
  8. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    sorry bout the double post, had a net hiccup.
     
  9. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Patrick, would you consider used gear? If so, your money would go a LONG way. Audiogon.com is one great source to check out. You can probably get close to double the system for the money with 2-3 year old gear, IMO.

    For example...Saw a B&k AVR202 receiver for $850. The AVR is almost as good as seperates and will KILL any new receiver for the same money. If you could go total seperates you could get a B&K AV5000 amp (5x 105 wpc) for $500 and a preamp like the Sony TA-E9000es for $1000. Even though the E9000es is a little long in the tooth, it is still a great 5.1 preamp (5 year warranty if you can get a copy of the bill). There are tons of speakers to choose from at audiogon (I favor NHT but you need to check some brands to get an idea what you would be happy with) but without more info (do you want towers bookshelf or sub/sat combo's etc) it is hard to get specific.

    I've had great luck buying used speakers but I did get mine used through a NHT dealer fairly close by. This gave me the chance to inspect the speakers first.
     
  10. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    Opps!
     
  11. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    Decent audio is just as important as decent speakers. Yes speakers last a very,very long time but so does Audio if you buy decent stuff. Remember distortion kills speakers! Some manufactures are now making there Pre/Pro or Recievers firmware "UPGRADEABLE" so it will not become a throw away in a couple of years. Rotel & BK offer upgrades. But the B&K never seem to have any, and the Rotel has upgrades and they are "FREE". Rotel seems to listen to its loyal customers.[​IMG] AMPS also will not have to be upgraded ever.
     
  12. Matthew_Ba

    Matthew_Ba Extra

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    My suggestion with that budget would definitely include a decent power amp seperate from the receiver. When I recently upgraded the audio in my system that made the largest difference.

    I have a couple of Parasound amps (for 7 channels total) that I really like and they can be found used on Audiogon most of the time. There are plenty of other brands as well that would work (Rotel, ATI, Sherbourn, Outlaw, etc).

    I never consider anything in my system "long term" as I don't really know the meaning of that [​IMG] But seriously amplifiers, CD transports and speakers are all things that should last a really long time. And frankly now that I am at a 7.1 processor I have no expectations I will ever add more speakers.

    I have spent about 50-50 on electronics versus speakers and am pretty happy with the mix. I think anything too skewed like 70-30 either direction would be a mistake. something would always seem like a weak link in the system.
     
  13. Patrick-J

    Patrick-J Agent

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    Thanks Guys,

    I think I'll try to work my self into separates territory. That way I can keep good amps and just upgrade the processor. Thats the problem I'm having now, my 3 year old Yamaha receiver has 5.1 but no DTS or 6 channel support. Does anyone hav a good recomendation of a mid range CD/DVD player, preferably a changer. I don't want to sink huge money $1,000+ into it, but I'd like something that supports DVD audio, and wont bring down the overall system quality.

    Patrick
     
  14. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Speakers and amps last the longest time. Also I know that speakers make the most remarkable difference in sound. I am however not of the opinion of hooking up very expensive speakers to mid-fi electronics just because I dont like feeding distorted sound to expensive speakers. So IMHO I like to keep the speakers and amps at about the same range. So my allocation is speakers being 35% (5% for sub as I only use it for movies), amplification 30%, source 10%, prepro 20% and cables 5%. Hope that adds to a 100%[​IMG].

    MHO.
     
  15. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    I've been building my system a piece at a time over the past six years but looking back the i'd estimate the percentages to be
    • speakers/sub 57
    • receiver/amps 27
    • CD/DVD players 16
    If I were to start from scratch I think those numbers would work perfect. I'm just going to plug in a random number to see how that would work out
    $1140 speakers/sub
    $540 receiver
    $320 CD/DVD
    yeah that sounds about right
     
  16. Mat_M

    Mat_M Stunt Coordinator

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