I hate my reciever! Looking for separates.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by greggor, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Greg
    Maybe hate is a strong word to use here, but I have been using a Sony STRDA-777ES for about 4 years now and its time to retire it and upgrade to something better. My goal is to slowly work up to separates, which will allow me to temporarily task my Sony with pre-amp duties. I own a Paradigm studio reference set-up and would like to upgrade to Two Parasound 3 Channel amplifiers. My question is which models should I be looking for and are 3 channel amplifiers the way to go. My goal is to use the 6th channel for a 6.1 set-up down the road. Any and all opinions are welcome here.

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    If you want to go with Parasound, I think you will find a very nice match with the Paradigms (Rotel also matches very well).

    I managed to find a used 3 channel Parasound 1203A and love it with my Studio 40's and CC570. They are few and far between on the used market - finding 1 maybe, finding 2, good luck.

    You will have much better luck finding a used 5 channel 1205A (140WPC), then getting a 1000A for 2 channels (125WPC) - these are both still available new as well.

    Run the 5 channel amp for your current fronts /center /surrounds, and keep the 1000A for backup for either 6.1 or 7.1 at some point. Make sure you get the 'A' models as they have the trigger inputs.

    If you run Studio 100's for the fronts, then you may want to change this around to a 2 channel 1500A (200WPC) for the fronts, and the 5 channel for everything else (keeping 2 channels of the 5 for future use).
     
  3. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Thanks paul.

    What do you mean by "trigger inputs"? I currently run studio 60's as my mains and studio 20's as surround speakers.

    What would I expect to pay for the 1203A and 1205A? Also since you are using the studio 40's which are very similiay to the 60's how would you rate the overall sound?

    Greg
     
  4. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Trigger inputs allow you to turn the amp(s) on and off automatically when your receiver turns on or off. If you don't have trigger outputs on your receiver (mine doesn't), then a simple 12V wall wart (I had an old one from a trashed phone) plugged into the switched outlet of the receiver works great - the 2 bare wires plug into the trigger inputs of the amp(s).

    I got my 1203A used for about 550US (in 9/10 condition) including shipping - there is one on Audiogon right now for 495 plus shipping (8/10 condition):
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ult&1090085646

    The 1205A is 1200USD new, so I would expect audiogon or ebay units in 9/10 condition are probably in the 700-750USD range.

    Check out audiogon and ebay as used amps rotate through quite regularly.

    I listened to a Rotel 1075 (120WPC x 5, 1000US retail) and was going to purchase a new one for my Paradigm setup, but saved some money with the used Parasound gear, and find the sound is much the same as the Rotel. Warms up the Paradigms and takes a bit of the bite out of the tweeters at high volumes (these are v3 Studio's). Have been extremely happy with the combo and have since found a used 1000A to power my ADP surrounds.
     
  5. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Greg- I'm also using a DA777es as a pre-amp. My amps are currently 2x2 Aragons and 3 Nohr monoblocks. Speaker are all Nohr drums. For amps I'd suggest you shop for price among many of the majors and preferrably used. The reason for my post was to suggest Audio Advisor.com for a possible buy on a pre. They carry Aragon, Parasound, and Adcom and possibly one or two others from time to time. They are authorized for all they sell and have been a mainstay in on-line audio sales for many years. If interested in the Parasound pre-amps, right now they have a CES return on a C-1 @ a 33% reduction which is very appealing since this is the price for the NIB C-2. Click "Clearence" for details. Good luck, Jack
     
  6. CraigRogers

    CraigRogers Extra

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    I own Axiom Audio speakers (which are often compared to Paradigm) and run them with a Rotel RSP-1066 and Rotel RMB-1075. I couldn't be happier. LOVE it!
     
  7. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Jack- How is your 777ES performing as a pre-amp? Thanks for the replies. I have always heard that Rotel and Parasound match well with Paradigm speakers so those will be the two manufacturers I'll be considering. I definately would like to "warm" the sound of my paradigms a bit.

    Greg
     
  8. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Greg- To my mind ,there is no receiver that I would trust to replace my 777. As a pre-amp and processor the results are wonderful. There is only one way up from here and that is true seperates. I'll take this road one day myself. When you get your pre-amp, let is all know your imprssions.
     
  9. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    Why not go for the Sony TA-N9000ES amp, it's configurable from 2, 3, 4, or 5 cha operation and has some neat features that most amps don’t, plus it will be switched on and off by the A1 control. The Sony receivers don't have trigger outputs, so keep this in mind.
     
  10. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Mike-I did consider the TA-N90000, however being that the amp section is very similiar to my 777ES I came to the conclusion that my overall improvement in sound quality would be minimal at best. I'm really trying to get away from the sound of my Sony and warm it up a bit. I'm not saying that my Sony sounds bad, but it is my opinion that there are better matched amps out there for paradigms than Sony, and I would like to explore these options.

    Greg
     
  11. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    My brother has the 777ES Receiver and I had the TA-E/TA-N combo, actually 2 TA-N's and I would disagree that they sound similar. The main controlling factor here is the preamp section of the Sony 777ES, when I upgraded to a Halo C2 and kept the Sony amps, well lets just say that I didn't know these Sony amps could sound so good, night and day different from the Sony combo. Also, these amps have more bottom end and dynamics then I ever thought possible. You really want a warmer sound, get rid of the Sony Receiver, 5 year old technology and DAC’s cant hold a candle to newer designs of even mid-fi components.
     
  12. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Mike- As I remember, you complaint with the Sony was the bass. I'm running an SVS Ultra with 400class A watts. Believe me, no lack of bass here. This was perhaps the difference between your Sony setup and mine. I still find your enthusism for the C2 compelling and promise to eventually test one out. As I stated in my above post, the next step for me will be a seperate processer and someday may be bringing a C1/C2 or something else home for myself.
     
  13. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    The 777ES will be used temporarily as a pre-amp and thats it. I think its more important to acquire quality amplifiers prior to purchasing a quality pre-amp to feed them. The pre-amp is coming as I have no plans for utilizing my 777ES as a permanent pre amp.




    I couldn't agree more, and is the reason why its time to start upgrading. Thanks for the info.

    Greg
     
  14. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    greggor,

    this might be a little off topic, but i would strongly suggest to buy a three and a FOUR channel power amp. 6.1 with only one backsurround speaker is NOT the way to go. i doubt that you will be very happy with such a configuration.

    as for your upgrade plans: why you just don't buy a denon avr-3805 first. IMO this receiver cannot be beaten at present, considering it's price range, sound quality and feature list. if you feel the denon has to less power for your needs, then it can easily be used as a pre-pro only. if that is still not the sound what your looking for (which i strongly doubt) then you can sell the denon again with not much loss of money and get a dedicated *pure* pre-pro. thats the way i would go if i had some upgrade plans.


    regards, holger
     
  15. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    Yes but only for Music, the bass redirection circuit in the Sony would not send hardly any info to the Sub output when the front speakers were set to Large, the EBASS function on the Halo fixed that problem.

    Also Greggor, I would like to convey that in my experience the amps have much less to do with the sound quality then most seem to believe, as I said before, these Sony amps are killer, I never knew how good they really were until I fed them a clean signal.
     
  16. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    Greg- You have the right receiver for your pre-amp. Nothing short of an equivilent flagship of another brand would suit me. There are a lot of mid-priced receivers that have many more features than the dated Sony but, I wouldn't trust them to equal the Sony for sound quality. Keep the Sony and save yourself some money and frustration until you take the final step. Nice improvements can be had with the addition of external amps but as I read your comments concerning your Paradymes, I'm wondering if maybe another set of speakers might not give you the warmth that your looking for. Nothing against the Paradymes but, maybe the wrong speakers for you. This would be more logical then trying to warm them up using an amp. I've owned many amps and still do, and must admit that hugh differences really don't seem to exist contrary to the many that say they do.Regardless of the power amp you buy, I think you're going to like it. I've enjoyed all of mine. If you keep the Paradymes, match the amp power to the upper limits of your speakers for the very best results. Finally, take Mikes advise, and check out those Parasound pre-amps. Good luck, Jack
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    There are great bargains to be had in used amps (PLUG - I'm selling one in the forsale area for example), they can "ease" you into seprates. Add an amp now then later you can change out the receiver easily.
     
  18. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    jack I love the way my Paradigms sound and couldn't imagine listening to a different set of speakers. All I want to do is get the most out of them as probably everyone wants to do with their components. Although they do sound good with the Sony reciever I know they will sound better with a better matched amplifier. As I said my only small complaint with the Sony is that its just a tad bit bright on the top end. Its no secret that some speakers match better with different amplifiers. I have owned my Sony since it was introduced and its time to upgrade. The Sony will serve its purpose as a pre-amp until I purchase a pre-amp.


    Greg
     

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