newbie Amplifier question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jack x, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I am looking to assemble a surround sound system on a budget of about $1500, but i am not really sure which route to go - separates or receiver. I am more concerned about quality sound than power. I would assume that in general, a separate 5 channel amp will sound better than sound from the amps in a receiver.
    In your opinion, which of the following options might you expect to sound best for music about 75% & DVD movies about 25% of the time.
    1) A receiver e.g. Rotel.
    2) A cheaper receiver to be used as a pre/pro along with a separate 5 channel amp (suggestions would be appreciated). e.g. Integra, onkyo
    3) A pre/pro such as the Outlaw 950 and an external 5 channel amp
    I don't have a TV with component video or s-video yet, but i want a system to support them.
    Thanks!
    Jack
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I would get the Outlaw 950 and then get a THX 5 channel parasound amp from ebay for like 500
     
  3. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    Thanks for your response. I saw the parasound 855 on audiogon for
     
  4. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I'd go with a low cost receiver such as the Denon 1802 and plunge the rest into speakers. This of course assumes that $1500 is your total budget. If it's not your total budget, but only your budget for amplification, I would probably still get a receiver in the $700 to $900 range and spend the extra on better speakers. Just make sure that the receiver you choose has preouts.

    The thinking behind this is that speakers, much more than anything else, determine the sound of your system. Spending more on speakers will get you units which can play lower and louder than less expensive speakers.
     
  5. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi John,

    I should have been clearer. The $1500 is for receiver/separates. It does not include my ACI sapphire speakers. Also, it does not include a DVD or CD player or even interconnects – which I have not even thought about yet.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    jack
     
  6. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Sony's 5es receiver can be had for less than $800. That would be pretty hard to beat. Then, you could add a pretty good 2 or 3 channel amp for the front speakers if needed.

    Seperates for less than $1500 is tough. However, the outlaw 950 ($900) and a used 5 channel amp would be decent as well. Both of these choices would be great.
     
  7. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Charles,

    Thanks for your idea. I have not even considered Sony products, but perhaps I should.

    -jack
     
  8. Andrew_Ballew

    Andrew_Ballew Second Unit

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  9. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Ebay has a lot of mixed prices and items.
    Took me some time before I found my speakers for 60% off retail.
    I see a lot of good deals but I know the prices will sky rocket at the last moment due to the inevitable snipers on ebay (ppl who bid a few seconds before auction ends)
    Right now I see a Parasound HCA-1205A @ $625
    HCA-855a @ 455
    HCA-1206 @ 405
    Rotel RB-985 @ 315
    ATI1505 @ 500
    ATI2505 @ 500
    Anthem MCA3 3 channel @ 505
    Denon AVR-5800 @ 1525
    Boy would it be nice to get some of those at the current prices. [​IMG] Too bad there's a thing called competition and reserve auctions.
    Anyways, I always thought separates was the way to go, but I'm still a newbie when it comes to choosing. For 1500, I'd probably play the auctions a while and try to get separate amps (3 and 2 channel or 5 channel) with a used pre pro, or get an awsome used receiver. Sometimes you can find brand new items.
    Some shopping sites i've been to: refurbdepot, pricewatch, ubid, ebay, bestpriceaudiovideo, etronics, resellerratings, audioreview, and audiogon.
     
  10. Laurence_C

    Laurence_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Location:
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    Laurence
    Andrew_Ballew is right, his Carver amp is hard to beat if you can find one. I found a Carver AV-705x a year ago at OneCall that was brand new still in an un-opened box for $550. It took the place of my Onkyo receiver and the difference is huge. There are some really great power amps out there for the taking, just keep looking.
     
  11. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris:

    Thank you so much for your very detailed information about the current offerings on Ebay! I'll check out the other sites you suggested too.

    Andrew and Laurence:

    I'll have to do some reading up on the Carver offerings and see if I can find any. I thought I heard that Carver i no longer in business, but I guess there's always pre-owned.

    I guess the hard part to narrow it down to what I would want - in my price range. Since I have never heard these products, I gues I'll have to go and demo them - if possible. I have no clue whether a Rotel would sound better or parasound etc.

    Initially, I was thinking of getting the Rotel RSX 972 receiver (or the forthcoming 1055 which will replace the 972) and no external amps, but based on your advice, for about the same money, I could pick up a new 6.1 Onkyo for around $800 and a used parasound amp for $500 and the consensus is that you think these should sound a lot better than the rotel receiver.
     

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