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Source of Great Sound (1 Viewer)

Corey_ Williams

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 27, 2002
I am looking to upgrade the sound of my current set-up (Aiwa rv57 receiver & Sony m515 Fronts). This receiver & speaker set-up is "okay" for movies, but it does not have DTS or multichannel inputs. In addition, music sounds lifeless on the receiver. I really enjoy listening to music, but I do not listen to a lot music on this set-up because I do not like the sound that I am hearing?

I currently use the receiver for 95% movies & 5% music. I am looking for a set-up that would allow me to enjoy music and movies.

What receiver, receiver as pre-amp; pre-amp & amp combination would give me the best sound for around $1000-2000?

Which component makes the most sound improvement impact in music, pre-amp or amp?

Oh yeah, I am also upgrading my speakers. I am looking at the klipsch rf-5; paradigm monitor 11; Athena technology audition series. My choice in center channel speaker will be based on my fronts. I will use my current Sony M515 floor standing fronts as my rears until I can afford some nice rears and stands

My choices of subs include the paradigm PS1200, Pw2200, and JBL sp120II.

I will be using my pioneer elite 37 DVD player for movies and music.




Supporting Actor
Apr 8, 2002
I think that you will also need to list your listening habits(loud, soft), room size and tonal preferences to get a full reply. If you listen at moderate levels, then a very, very good receiver will be your best option in the $1-2k region, like the NAD 762, HK 7200 or Rotel 1055 or 1065. If you like pumping up the sound, then a Outlaw Combo would best fit the bill. The first thing that you will notice when switching from your P.O.S. Aiwa receiver(JMHO, dont flame me) is the improvement in clarity and musicality. Many times, WPC ratings are beefed up at the expense of THD, which is really the benchmark for audio performance IMHO. Also, will you be looking to upgrade soon, like in the next year or so? If so, then maybe a seperates approach is best for you, since amps almost never go obsolete. I think that if you are only looking to improve music and dont look to upgrade soon, go with a really good receiver. If you like high listening levels, or are looking to your next upgrade, get seperates. I always thought that if you are going to spend more than $1.5k on your preamplification and amplification, you should go with seperates. If you are ideally looking to spend less than $1.5lk, go with a very good receiver with a good preamp section, and you will be very happy.


Supporting Actor
Mar 17, 2003
Be careful what (who) you ask for! :D I'm not an expert but I have soaked up a few things.

If you're talking $1-$2K excluding speakers you have lots of options, of course.
If you go total separates and want them for both music and movies you will need 3 things:
1. Amplification for each channel in the form of a multi-channel amp or separate amps.
2. A pre-amp
3. A surround-sound processor.

That's prolly your most expensive option, and you would prolly have to buy used or combo new/used.

Or you could get amps for each channel and use an A/V receiver for the pre-amp, surround sound processor.

Or you could get a better receiver with better sounding amps.

It depends on how critical you are about your listening, which option you choose.

The separate amps/receiver as pre-pro would give you great sound at an affordable price. More econonomical would be to just get a 2-channel amp for your stereo music listening , get the least expensive receiver with pre-outs and let the receiver power the center and rear channels for movies.

That's what I'm currently doing and let me tell you how inexpensive it can be.
At someplace like ecost.com you can find a refurb A/V receiver like the Pioneer VSX 24-TX for $261 shipped, buy a used 2-channel amp on ebay (or wherever) for $150 and you've got a very decent setup for around $400. Put the rest of your money into the best speakers you can afford, like the experts here recommend. Then you have the flexibility to upgrade your components as you wish.
I picked up a 2-channel Audiosource Amp One on ebay for $145 shipped, 80wpc, and am amazed at how good it sounds....better than my Onkyo TX-SR797 at 100wpc which originally sold for $1000 (I paid about $600). I'm considering taking it back and getting something like the Pioneer I mentioned.


Nov 21, 2001
I too think you should audition the Rotel 1055 or 1065 receivers. They're pretty amazing. If you end up with the 1055, you'd be able to add a power amp later if you felt the power wasn't enough. As far as separates, at least as far as power amps, used might be an option, as power amps generally are quite dependable, but, as was mentioned, some transfer the warranty, some don't.

And, if you're lucky, you might hit a great sale of new equipment at a place like Ubid.com. That's how I got my Parasound, and, as Ubid is an authorized Parasound dealer, the full warranty came with it. Besides Parasound, I've seen them carry brands like Harman Kardon and AudioSource.

Most of all, I'd take the time to figure out what you need and want. I've been impulsive at times, which sometimes worked out and sometimes didn't. Good luck and have fun with the process. You, without doubt, are headed for some BIG improvement with the direction you're headed in.

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