Questions regarding seperate components for Music & HT.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Watt, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. Richard Watt

    Richard Watt Agent

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    I am trying to purchase some new speakers and possibly amps, however, the speakers come first. I'm currently looking at a five speaker setup of Norh 4.0's and one SVS sub. I am going to audition the Norh's in October (a kind person on this forum is inviting me over).
    My questions deal with getting seperate speakers, amps, etc. for music listening and home theater. Is it needed? Are there advantages to this? If so, does the money warrant it?
    Down the road I wanted to add a Multi-Channel amp, instead of using my Yamaha RX-V995. However, I do a lot of music listening as well. I know this is going to sound wierd, but my tastes are between Classical and Electronic (Trance, Ambient, etc.) music. So...
    1) Are multi-channel amps that are designed for home theater applications fine to use for 2-channel music?
    2) Are using the same speakers for home theater and music fine?
    3) If it was decided that a seperate amp/speaker set was needed for music, would 2 mono-blocks be better than a 2-channel amp?
    Thanks for the help.
    Richard
    [Edited last by Richard Watt on September 07, 2001 at 07:22 PM]
     
  2. Zane Johnson

    Zane Johnson Agent

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    using your front two speakers in stereo is fine for music...and if your fronts wont extend down to the lower frequencies just run the subwoofer too... home theater amplifiers are fine to run music through..all there gonna do is take in the signal and ass some juice to it and pump it to your speaks... in my experience the best amp config is to have monoblocks all around.. give every speaker it's own unshared power supply, if this isn't possible it's good to have a few 2 or 3 channel amps instead of one 5,6,7 channel... have an amp for the front stage and one for the back.... just to ensure not ever clipping the amps...
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  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Richard, I have separate two-channel music and home theater systems in one room. That works great for me. However, if you are willing to spend enough money to get excellent quality gear, one system can do the job. That is, a high-end home theater system can be very good for stereo music. This is a general statement, and one's preferences obviously enter into the equation. For some, a home theater system will never be good enough for music. I'll share my thoughts and how I put my system together as I did.
    I really enjoy music. Movies and home theater are great, but music is my first love, so to speak. That and the fact that putting together a top-notch home theater can be very expensive led me to go with a modest home theater set-up. As a result, I have a Sony STR-V444ES receiver that originally retailed for $1000 instead of a Denon AVR-4802 or AVR-5800 that retail for $2500 and $3800, respectively. Home theater is not important enough to me to spend that much on an A/V receiver. Now, one of these receivers or flagship models from other manufacturers can be very good for music, but look at the cost involved. Likewise, a high-end 5.1 speaker set-up can sound great for stereo music, but again, the expense is huge. Given that home theater was not my first priority, I decided not to invest in a primetime receiver or speaker package. I should mention that I have an Energy e:XL 5.1 speaker package that cost only about $1300 (e:XL 16 bookshelf speakers as the mains and surrounds, an e:XL-C center speaker, and e:XL-S10 10" subwoofer). My home theater set-up is not outstanding, but it more than suffices. I am very pleased with the performance.
    As you can imagine, based on my priorities, I do not have an HDTV or progressive-scan DVD player. I have a 27" Philips-Magnavox TV and a Sony DVP-C670D DVD changer. Again, I am very happy with this equipment.
    Audio is another story. I don't have ultra-high-end gear, but it offers great bang for the buck. In the two-channel system in the home theater room, I use an NAD C 370 stereo integrated amp that cost $525. My feeling is that I would have had to spend a lot more money to get comparable stereo performance from an A/V receiver. My Sony ES receiver that cost a bit more than the C 370 is good for stereo music, but not in the same league as the NAD. Hence, I think a quality stereo integrated amp offers great stereo performance for the money. If stereo music is the goal, I see no reason to spend big money on an A/V receiver. This is why I bought a modest A/V receiver and a good, but relatively inexpensive, stereo amp.
    With respect to speakers, I recently purchased a pair of Totem Arro floorstanding speakers to go with the NAD C 370 for music. Beforehand, I was using the Energy e:XL 16 bookshelf speakers from the 5.1 set-up for music. I bought a demo pair of Arros for $895 (a new pair goes for $1100). The Arros are incredible for the price. I could have replaced the Energy 5.1 set-up with a Totem surround-sound package and added an SVS sub and spent over $3000 in the process, but I saw no reason, again, since home theater is not the main interest.
    I realize that what I have done is not common, but it works for me. I have a modest home theater system to match my moderate interest relative to my interest in music. Again, my music system is not too far weighted to the high-end, but it is good, and I'm sure I will upgrade it here and there. I have no plans to upgrade the home theater set-up.
    In the end, you need to decide for certain where you interests lie. Are you 50/50 split between music and movies? 90/10 one way or the other? Then, you need to determine your budget and research components and speakers that best fit your budget and meet your priorities. There is no set formula to achieve this.
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  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I think that you can get a fine "stereo" system within a home theater system. Just have to be careful what components you by. For example, the Sony TA-E9000ES pre/pro sounds "quite good" in 2 channel stereo mode. The Marantz AV9000 pre/pro, even better.
    And yes, I also think that multichannel HT amps make *great* amps for 2-channel listening.
    Quick example: I use 2 Acurus 200x3's for a 6.1 set up. (Soon to be A200x3's.)
    For stereo, I'm only driving 1 of the 200x3's. But, and most HT multichannel amps are set up this way, each 200x3 only has 1 transformer. Simplistically, this means that for 2 channel stereo listening, my 200x3 looks like a "300x2". And, the 3 channel Acurus is based on their very highly regarded 2 channel designs.
    "It's just power, baby."
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  5. Bob Marker

    Bob Marker Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard:
    I have a couple of amps on hand that I haved used to drive the Norhs and other speakers including Frieds, Thiels and PSBs. They include a Luxman integrated amp that lists around $750 and a Pioneer SX 205 receiver that I purchased from Circuit City a few years ago for $100. I have also owned some fairly expensive separates including some Classe gear that listed for about $3,000. To be honest, I cannot say that I have been able to detect ANY audible difference among these amplifiers (the majority of comparisons were done with Thiel CS.5s).
    When you come by to check out the Norhs, we can use both the Pioneer and Luxman amps if you'd like - maybe you will be able to detect some differences that have escaped me!
    Bob
     

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