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Please advice on putting together home audio system

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by vasia, May 2, 2004.

  1. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I am considering a strategy for building a new HiFi system and would appreciate suggestions. I have two little kids, so I am extremely limited in the ability to go to auditions, so any help in narrowing down the possibilities will be extremely helpful. I have about 1200$ to spend on the receiver/amp and I am also planning to get a pair on nice floorstanders, but that’s a separate issue. My music preferences are mainly rock and to a less extent classic, jazz and more mellow genres. My music collection comes from pre-HiFi days, so its 50% mp3s, 25% cassettes and 25% CDs. My current source is Toshiba SD3109 DVD and some portable CD/mp3 payers. I have some budget to start putting a HiFi together and I would like to start with a nice receiver/speaker first and then, maybe in the future, keep upgrading other components. However, how soon and how much is absolutely unclear at this point. I would like to keep HT option open for future upgrades, but I am mostly interested in 2 Ch. Setup right now. So, my priorities are to have a nice set up to start with, but also which would have good potential for future upgrades towards both 2 Ch. and HT, i.e. I would like to start in such a way that would allow me to upgrade other pieces for HT/music in the future and keep the current amp/receiver for a while. Based on various forums I went to a store and picked up Marantz SR8300 on clearance for 1200$ and I am loving it thus far. However, I am still considering maybe returning it and starting with Rotel receiver/amp.
    So, my first question is, how would Rotel compare to SR8300 in terms of quality and music reproduction (plain better, or brighter, more balaced, etc.)? I heard a lot about “special” Rotel sound that people really enjoy.
    Here are three main strategies I though about. Could you please comment, wchich one to pick based on 1) enjoying it most for a while, 2) being able to upgrade in the future.
    1)Keep SR8300 and in the future (at least a year) maybe improve source and/or add an amp fot the mains, using Marantz as a preamp.
    2)Get the Rotel receiver, like RSX-1056, which is kind of underpowered from what I understand. In the future definitely add amp and maybe source. Also, I am considering very power hungry speakers.
    3)Finally, get an integrated amp, like Rotel RA-1070, and in the future add a cheap receiver and source.
    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I did some auditioning today and listen to NAD and Rotel receivers (763 and 1056 respectively) coupled to B&W 603 and 604 as well as Monitor Studio 60 v3. Rotel was a clear winner over NAD IMO and Monitors beat B&W by a wide margin. Unfortunately, that's about all I can audition for right now. However, I really liked Rotel+Studio 60's combo and really considering gettin it.
    I still have two questions though.
    1) I got a Marantz SR8300 on clearence and have to decide whether to keep it or return right now. Unfortunately, I have no way to compare it to Rotel, since I do not have good speakers at home and would not get them till at least a month from now. The only negative about Rotel is the lower nominal power rating, but I am not listening to music loud anyways and the room is pretty small (13X18). So, can someone comment on Rotel versus Marantz in terms of quality, sound, etc.
    2) I really liked Monitor studio 60's good soundstage, positioning, decent and tight bass. THe sound was a bit bright, but not anything annoying. How would it compare to Axiom M60Ti's or Rocket RS550 or 750. What else would be similar/better?
     
  3. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, I meant Paradigm Studio 60 v.3.
     
  4. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, please keep in mind that I can get Rotel+Studio 60s as a package, but Marantz+Studio 60s will be out of my price range.
     
  5. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Well I can't add too much, but you're doing the right thing by auditioning [​IMG]

    As for the Rotel, don't worry too much about its nominal power rating -- particularly if you've heard the combination together and find it pleasing. Note that you WILL have different results in your own room.

    Rotel has a reputation (deserved or not) for being "honest" with its ratings.
     

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