Separates/Amps?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck Watwood, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Chuck Watwood

    Chuck Watwood Stunt Coordinator

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    I just upgraded my system recently with a better receiver and better speakers. My system currently consists of an Onkyo TXSR800 receiver, Polk Speakers: RTi100's, Rti38's, CSi40, FXi30's, and an SVS 20-39PC +. I am thinking about going to separate amps and pre-pro. Any ideas on mid range stuff that can handle THX decoding, DTS, DD, etc. I could use my TXSR800 as a pre/pro. Probably would to start. Or would I be better off going to a dedicated pre/pro? How much would it cost me to get into separate amps? I would like something in the $1500-2500 price range if possible. I would need 7 channels since the PC+ has its own amp. Any recommendations on brands, pro's/con's, would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    OK Chuck!,

    I have the Onkyo TX-DX 797. I think your system is the upgraded version of mine.

    I have a 150 WPC 5-channel amp and use the onkyo as a pre/pro. I let the onkyo power the surrounds and the amp handle both mains, center, and both rear speakers.

    It sounds GREAT!!!

    However I am going to be getting the Denon 5800 or 5803 at 170 WPC x 7 channels as I am tired of all the equiptment(cables). I think if I had a dedicated HT room then seperates would not be a big deal as the room would be designed for it.

    BTW my amp is an AMC 2n100-5 that got for $1,150. I think they can be found for much less. I also think you have 100 WPC going to the rear so I would just get a 3 or 5 channel amp for the other speakers.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    The high dollar recievers are killing the inexpensive seperates market, too many bells and whistles on even less expensive recievers. Seperates used to be a way to upgrade your sound system 1 piece at a time for less money. IMO what the recievers have done is force the seperate Pre-Amps price and features up to a point where in order to out preform these "Heavy" recievers the price goes up with it.
    I havent seen a decent pre-amp (HT) for less than $1500 retail, there may be a few choices but not near as many as recievers in the same range. In the $2500-3500 range there are many recievers that perform very well. The same level of performance in seperates will cost you more. A good selection of Pre/Pros alone in this price range, put another $1500 for amps with it now we are talking.
     
  4. Pat Wilshire

    Pat Wilshire Auditioning

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    You might want to look at some used gear . . . . $1000 or thereabouts will get you a used Lexicon DC-1, fully loaded with the most current software (DD, DTS, THX-EX), and it is killer for home theater. (Music performance is somewhat lacking, but that's why God made little passive 2-channel preamps . . . . ;-0))

    Then, with your remaining cash, pick up some used Rotel amps -- I've got an RB981 driving my fronts and an RB985THXMkII driving the center, sides, and rears. You should be able to get both amps for no more than $1000 here or on Audiogon. Add in some cabling and shipping, sell your current receiver, and you're in way under $2500 with a system that will stomp all over your Onkyo.
     
  5. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Pat,
    What Pre/Pro are you using, my set-up is just like yours (same amps, set-up the same) I use a Marantz AV9000 and NHT Super Ones at all 5 positions even center. I love the sound, the 981 in particular is one amp that amazes me. A $600 amp that you see for sell pulling $400 at 5 years old, looks a lot like B&K.
     
  6. Chuck Watwood

    Chuck Watwood Stunt Coordinator

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    Pat,

    Thanks for the reply. Honestly, I hadn't even thought about buying used amps. From what I have read, these amps last forever. Thanks for the input and this fall, when I have the money, I am going to buy at least a 3 channel amp to power the fronts and center channels. Should be a big improvement from what I have read.
     
  7. Red Spencer

    Red Spencer Agent

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    Go Rotel One of the best values in high end. Do a little research and I'm sure you'll find this true. The RSP 1066 excellent pre/pro for the price.
     
  8. Pat Wilshire

    Pat Wilshire Auditioning

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    Guy --

    Obviously, great minds think alike -- along with my Lexicon DC-1, I'm also using all NHT speakers. I've got a pair of 2.3As for mains, a pair of 1.3As wired in parallel for the center, a pair of 2.1s in the rear, and a pair of SuperZeros for sides, with an SW2P subwoofer.

    I'm also happy with the sound of the 981, but I'm planning to upgrade -- it has a good sound, but it just doesn't have enough current to drive the 2.3As to nice high levels without getting congested -- those speakers are a 4 ohm load and REALLY power hungry. I'm thinking about something like an uprgraded McCormack DNA-1 or something like that.

    With an easier speaker load, though, I don't think I'd ever see much need to improve beyond the 981!
     
  9. Pat Wilshire

    Pat Wilshire Auditioning

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    Chuck --

    Sounds like a plan! Believe me, you won't be disappointed in the difference that real power amps can make, as opposed to a receiver!
     

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