My vision please help

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by peter.alamanos, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. peter.alamanos

    peter.alamanos Auditioning

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    Firstly I would like to extend a warm hello to everyone.
    This is my first post and I hope everyone will bear with me as I ask my questions seeking advice/guidance.

    I just recently got into the hometheater idea and so I'm a newb in many ways. Like most people even if they don't own up to it I have a vision on how I would like my hometheater to sound and look.

    Here goes I recently upgraded my three front speakers form Paradigm Monitor 7's to Paradigm Studio 60 ver3. The old speakers are now serving as my new surrounds. My current receiver is the Onkyo DS575 and while it served my purposes faithfully it is now time for a change. I plan to go separates and so I've only auditioned what Anthem has to offer. I still need to hear the offerings from Rotel and B&K.

    The kicker is I'm not made out of money and so my dream system has to be done in steps. I would like to find a receiver that will mate at first with my speakers in both hometheater and music listening. It must have pre-outs and a RS 232 port as I then plan to turn it into a pre-amp. Now
    here is where I can be flexible is there any such beast(receiver) that will do the job as well as a pre-amp I am open to all ways in saving money. If not I would have to live with this config until a proper pre-amp is bought.

    I'm not to sure what separates cost where you guys are but here in Toronto,Canada the Anthem setup runs between $6500-$6800.CD so you see why I need to do this in steps. [​IMG]

    Lastly please be genlte and don't dash my dream into the rocks.[​IMG]

    Many Thanks

    Peter
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I don't know your Onkyo, but, if it has preouts, and sufficient processing capability, you might consider starting with a power amp, given you are on the road to separates. That way, you won't have to buy a power amp at the time of purchasing a pre-pro.
     
  3. peter.alamanos

    peter.alamanos Auditioning

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    Dana,
    Thanks for the reply ,but unfortunatly my receiver does not have any pre-outs therefore I'm in the quest for a new one that can double as a pre-amp. I've looked at some and that's where my problem lies. I get different suggestions as to which one will go well with my system as each dealer wants to sell their own products. With that in mind I'm asking the forum guru's to offer possible suggestions or if anyone uses my same speakers then what they are using to drive them.

    P.S. the dealer I bought my speakers carries Yamaha,Onkyo and Harmon Kardon it's very hard to find a dealer that is willing to lend things out for home trial.

    Many Thanks Peter
     
  4. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Hello, Peter.

    Welcome to HTF.

    There are a great number of receivers out there that offer preouts, though I can't really help you out as much with RS232.

    For instance, last year's Harman recievers from 325 on up have preouts and RS 232; Denons from 2803 and up have full preouts. Yamaha has a whole mess of recievers, some of which will surely have preouts. Most of the middle to upper stuff is generally well regarded. For what it's worth, Yamaha is usually considered the brightest or most detailed (most high freq), Harman warmest (emphasis on midrange) and Denon something in between these two.

    My experience with Anthem amps is that they're quite bright -- too much so for my taste but your likes may vary.

    If you're really concerned about the money aspect, have you considered going used or even refurb? Receivers for instance can depreciate quite quickly (as well as prepros) due to the way that HT stuff changes. Used amps are often a good deal; you save tax and amps are generally reliable pieces.
     
  5. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Well, as for the receivers, you might consider the Rotel 1055, which lists for about $1250 U.S. dollars. The reason I suggest this is because many feel the preamp section isn't that far removed sonically from Rotel's 1066 pre-pro. Many people use it as a preamp in their system and are quite satisfied doing so. In addition, at such time you end up getting a power amp, the front amp section of the 1055 is reassignable to either the rears or surrounds (can't remember which). Assuming a 10%-15% discount, you might be about to get one somewhere in the range of $1100. I used to be moderator at Club Rotel and there is the rumor that both the 1055 and 1066 will be replaced by new models in the upcoming year, so it might be good to be patient. The 1055 and 1066 are both around 2 years old, so I'm assuming the new models will have updated DAC's, etc. I do recall some of the folk over at Club Rotel liking the matching of Rotel with your brand of speakers.

    I also will add that Rotel customer service is extraordinary in my book. I'd prefer not being specific here, but they recently went way beyond the call of duty with some work I was having done on my 1066. They are also firmware upgradable and have offered a number of upgrades in this regard at no charge to the user. I also think their silver model is quite attractive if that matters.

    As for the other receivers you mentioned, I didn't have much good to say about my last Onkyo receiver. On the other hand, I'm ecstatic with an Integra product I recently purchased. Harman Kardon has a really nice reputation for its sonics. Not familiar enough with Yamaha to comment.
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I forgot one thing. Different companies rate the power of their receivers differently. Both Rotel and Harman Kardon have a great reputation in this regard. In other words, I'd almost expect a receiver by one of these companies rated at 60-80 watts a channel to have more available power than a lot of companies advertising that they offer something like 100 watts/channel X's 5.
     
  7. peter.alamanos

    peter.alamanos Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies I did read somewhere about a rumor concerning new units from Rotel so on that note I'll wait. I now at least have a small understanding as to what to expect when I pair a certain receiver with my speakers.

    All I can say now it that I'm not really happy with the Onkyo it was fine with the Monitor 7's but seems lacking musically with my Studio's. I guess a well rounded system is what I'm aiming for.

    P.S where does NAD fall in the terms of bright/warm. I do believe they to have separates.

    Many Thanks

    Peter
     
  8. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    NAD is warm, it and Rotel are reputed to be solid "budget" music performers.

    There are old NAD receivers on the way out (742/752/762)...if you want to give one of them a spin, Great Metropolitan Sound (Yonge/Eglinton) has PHENOMENAL service, and will sell you their demo, let you take it home to do an audition, then refund your money when you bring it back. I was quite surprised at the option of doing that, but unfortunately didn't take them up on it at the time.

    (When I was buying my parents a Cambridge Audio integrated amp for stereo listening, the sales person at the same dealer I think you're referring to, where you bought your speakers, suggested I bring in my speakers for an audition...he seemed rather hesitant to tell me that I had 7 days to return it in mint condition if I wasn't satisfied...they ended up staying with the amp, but the thought of lugging speakers in to audition was quite funny at the time)

    I don't know if you've been to visit the Rotel dealers in town, but Brentview has one room full of all their audio equipment, and another full of TVs. No real listening rooms...I didn't inquire about their policies when I went there during the summer...I don't know Brack's policies either, but Rotel is low-end for what they sell...they just moved to a new facility which is quite nice...I don't know how its all going to settle, I was there while they were still setting some rooms up, but it is a high end place. Please post any experiences you may have. I'm looking at going Rotel for my bedroom system (I find my H/K lacking), but there seems to be little negotiating room.

    Interesting that you mention the US/Canada price comparison...I do not know how the retail prices compare here versus there, but I will say that Rotel pieces hold their value tremendously well...which is key for sufferers of upgraditis (i.e. all of us...)...you can try your luck at Audiogon/Videogon or ebay, but the warranty issue comes up, and I've heard different stories on how Rotel treats these "second-hand" pieces.
     
  9. peter.alamanos

    peter.alamanos Auditioning

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    Drew,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I did not find it surprising about the service at Great Metropolitian sound I bought my NAD CD player,NAD c541i, the sales guy said he can work with me on cables if I didn't like the ones I bought. All in all I found the service excellent answered all my questions and looked up all he didn't know. I really didn't ask to see if they can work with me on a receiver I guess I'll have to go back. One point though they did have the new T773, but at $2400 it doesn't make sense if at one point I'll go to separates unless they have program where one can upgrade LOL.

    Funny you should mention bringing in speakers I was offered to bring mine in inorder to audtition speaker cables but the thought of lugging them around did not appeal to me.

    I'll keep that NAD dealer in mind as the other one on Bay and you where did not impress me.

    Cheers Peter
     

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