Massive upgrade planned, what would you do?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by John Brill, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Hi Folks,

    I've been happy with my Yamaha RXV-540 HTIB set-up for the last 3 years but now that I have a dedicated HT room finished in my basement (14' wide, 16' long, 100" screen) and, as luck would have it, my upstairs system met its maker which means I can move the Yamaha upstairs and get something new for the HT room :)

    I've been eyeing a Rotel/B&W setup for a while but am unclear as to the best configuration to get (lack of dealer nearby to ask questions) so I'm here to ask the experts.

    If I understand correctly, if I get the RSX-1067, in theory all the amps are integrated and there is no need for seperates, whereas if I get the RSP-1098, I would need to combine it with a seperate amp(s). Any recommendations as to which way to go and seperate amp(s) to get if you recommend the RSP-1098 route? I've got a budget of about $10K CDN (that should include speakers but I have quite a bit of WAF points accumulated so I might be able to stretch it a little bit) and am looking to make the trip to the big city next month :)

    Other system configurations welcome if Rotel isn't what it use to be 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I haven't kept up with the technology :-(
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Where exactly are you located?
     
  3. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    About an hour north of Ottawa where there is 1 dealer. However, I will be in Toronto next month on business...
     
  4. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi John - my hi fi dealer here in Vancouver recommends the following Rotel/B&W setup's (all prices below are Canadian and heavily marked up of course):

    1. RSX-1057, M-1 x 5, AS-2 subwoofer, $3999 (B&W Mini Theatre)
    2. RSX-1057, DM-601, DM-600, LCR-60 centre, ASW-600 subwoofer, $4750
    3. RSX-1057, DM-603, DM-600, LCR-60 centre, REL R-205 subwoofer, $5799
    4. RSX-1067, 704, 705, HTM-7 centre, REL B-3 subwoofer, $12,999
    5. RSP-1068, RMB-1075, 804s, 805s, HTM-4 centre, REL B3 subwoofer, $20,500

    One of my closest friends has an RSX-1057 paired with Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers (equivalent to B&W DM-601's). I would probably lean towards the Silver RS6, RS1, and S Centre. Monitor Audio are also made in the UK, and close competition to B&W. If you have the ability to audition Monitor Audio speakers (probably also sold through your B&W dealer) it would definately be worth your while.
     
  5. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Wow, thanks for the numbers! I've been out of the game for a while and selectively forgot what things cost. I was under the impression that the RSP-1098 would be around $3k and the RMB-1095 around $2k (RMB-1075 at $1.5K) leaving me $5k for speakers. Guess I was way off or speakers are more expensive than I thought.

    Time to do more online research.
     
  6. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi John - The RSP-1098 has an MSRP of US$2,999.

    These are more likely to meet your CA $5,000 budget (and they are more than capable of powering the B&W 800 Series as you can see above in the thread):

    RSP-1068: US$1,699
    RMB-1075: US$1,199

    Give your Rotel dealer a call to find out prices, but these amps are more than likely marked up by 30% or more, so there should be room to negotiate (especially if you bundle with speakers or cabling)!
     
  7. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    John, I don't know if you have a dealer in mind, but I pop into Brack Home Entertainment every once in a while to ogle equipment and I've chatted to a few of their salespeople about the Rotel gear. They have (or did last time I was in) some nice listening rooms set up and would be worth a trip while you're here. They are right downtown too.

    As for my 2 cents for your upgrade, I guess it would depend on how serious you want to get. In all probability the integrated 1067 will sound killer and be quite enough for most people. If you really want something special, you could go with the seperates, although it's going to cost you more. Take a look at your budget, and keep in mind you still need speakers. If you can make it work, go with the 1098 and amps, if not (or you want to spend a little more on speakers) just stick with the 1067 which is still miles above most gear out there. I think if I had a set budget I would get the 1067 and put more money into the speakers.

    Edit: Just read Alon's post, and yes, make sure you look at the other models too, the ones just a step down from the top of the line are very similar in most ways, minus the built in display and extra inputs, and less power in the receiver's case, etc.
     
  8. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Awww, but the built in display is why I want this unit :-(

    No, you're right, first rule is buying for quality and sound. Brack's was where I was planning on going while in T.O. Depending on what they can do for me based on my budget will determine what I get. I'm trying to scare up/justify more $$'s for speakers so I can still get the RSP-1098
     
  9. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    I wouldn't expect anything less from someone on the forums. [​IMG]

    Whatever you do end up with, I'm sure you will love it, and remember to post and tell us all about it.
     
  10. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Just remember, anything you get will blow the Yamaha HTIAB away. You will swear you were listening to tv speakers.
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    My favorite site is http://www.audioadvisor.com
    They have some wonderful stuff and at reasonable prices. Service is top notch as two Platinum Audio woofers went on me and they replaced them with a couple of weeks of the initial call.
     
  12. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    John, I would look at 1 of 2 options:

    1) Buy Canadian. Anthem and Bryston are 2 firms in Canada that make excellent gear. It's cheaper than stuff imported from other countries.
    2) Consider an all pro-audio setup (or at least pro amps). Crown and QSC make excellent components.
     
  13. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    Just an update,

    I really thought about going the seperates route but after listening to the following setup, I bought it :)

    Rotel RSX-1067 receiver, B&W 7xLCR600 S3* speakers and ASW600 Sub

    I realized that this is WAY better than my Yamaha set-up at home and I just couldn't seem to justify the Rotel RSP-1068/98 with seperates amp with B&W 800 series speakers. I just couldn't tell the difference at levels I'd be listening at. I tried, really, I did try to like the RSP route and tried many configurations (I was in the store way past closing with a very patient sales rep who, right off the bat, recommended the "best bang for the buck" setup even though I was willing to pay much, much more...).

    *-I was surprised by the 7x center channel recommendation but after trying a combination of DM600/601's with the LCR600, I did find I prefered the all LCR600 combo.

    Anyways, I still haven't set it up at home as I'm waiting until next week to have a gas fireplace installed in my HT Room after which I'll build a custom built-in cabinet for my new toys.

    Now that I saved $5k off my original budget, maybe I should upgrade my projector as well...
     
  14. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Don't buy ANY surround processor until they have at least HDMI 1.3 inputs and decoding for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD with DTS Master Audio lossless support. Also, DSP engines that will overlay surround processing at at least 8 channel, 24 bit/192 kHz resolution so there is no sound degredation.

    Dan
     
  15. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Dan - Receivers with HDMI 1.1 are fully capable of decoding Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. Ken F previously posted this very informative explanation:

    With HDMI 1.1, you get the full TrueHD 5.1 audio.

    Using HDMI gets you the best sound quality possible -- even higher quality than analog if your processor/receiver doesn't have analog bypass.


    Here's what happens on a HD-DVD with TrueHD 5.1 when you have the latest firmware on your player:

    1. TrueHD 5.1 is decoded by the HD-DVD player's advanced signal processor into 5.1 LPCM at up to 14Mbps.

    2. The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is output directly over HDMI 1.1.

    The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is run through 24/196 digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and output over 5.1 analog.

    3. The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is run through a PCM->DTS downconverter (encoder) for output as lower-fidelity 1.5Mbps DTS over legacy optical / coax.
     
  16. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Here's the trouble with that argument: almost NONE of the HD players so far have full internal decoder support for the new formats. That leaves HDMI 1.3 to carry the raw audio data to an outboard surround decoder with the new codecs on board. Also, only the PS3 of all the HD 1st generation players, so far, has been announced to have HDMI 1.3 in the upper tier model.
     
  17. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Dan - incorrect again, both the Toshiba HD-XE1 (Europe first-gen) and Toshiba HD-XA2 (US second-gen) will have HDMI 1.3, and will be released in October. The PS3 won't ship until November.
     
  18. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

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    You know, I hate the "don't buy until X happens" arguement since if you subscribe to it, you never end up buying because something new is always just on the horizon. In this case, I looked at what my current gear is, whether or not HD-DVD or Blue-Ray were in my immediate future (they are not, not getting a PS3, will stick with X-Box/X-Box 360), what my current library consists of (Mostly CD's and DVD's), and what my future library purchases will be (DVD's not going away anytime soon).

    Oh, and the shop I bought from has an "upgrade" policy whereby if you return the gear within 12 months, full credit towards purchase of new gear followed by 2% depreciation per month afterwards. Win-Win-Win if something spectacular happens within the next year and I want to upgrade a component.
     

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