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System comparison at $4000

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert EW, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Robert EW

    Robert EW Extra

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am a HT newbie and this is my first posting. After reading forums for 2 weeks I spent this last weekend looking for my first system. On Saturday I started with 2 budgets in mind ($2,000 or $4,000). By Sunday I was at $4,000 and not looking back since sales tax and connections are going to throw me past $4000.

    The reality is I would have been quite happy at $2,000 but I just can't help myself when it comes to upgrading.

    I committed myself to the Denon 3802 before even seeing it. I figured that would make my decision process that much easier. Unfortunately trying to make an apples to apples comparison is practically impossible. Either I could not use the Denon 3802 each time or the rooms for comparison purposes were quite different with one setup in the middle of a wide open store.

    Having said that I am considering 2 different systems with 2 different receivers. The first system includes a Definitive speaker setup with internal subs. This allows me to compromise with the wife over speaker size vs no external sub.

    I would love any opinions you might have on the 2 different systems including pricing. In addition, I would appreciate opinions on internal subs since system 1 has 2-12 inch subs in the front towers and 1 sub in the center channel.

    System 1 includes:

    Denon 3802

    Def Tech BP 2002 TL (black finish)

    Def Tech CLR 2500 (black finish)

    Def Tech BP1X2

    The price I am shooting for on this system would be $3800 (MSRP $4400) The store is running a system price of $3,000 for a BP 2004TL, CLR 2300, BP1x2, & Denon 3802 (sounded very nice). The sales person has already agreed to sub in the BP 2002TL for an extra $600 and I would ask him to sub in the CLR 2000 for an extra $200. I am still going back and forth on upgrading the rears (BP1X2). How important are the rears to upgrade.

    Now For system 2:

    Marantz SR8200

    B&W 603

    B&W LR 600

    B&W Sub 600 (I think?)I know it priced at $600

    Paradigm Dipoles

    This system priced at $4,000 per the rep. I did not do a good job in pulling model number info for the paradigm or sub do to exhaustion and the sales rep style. The sales person did not seem concerned about using a non B&W rear speaker. The sales person also seem fixated on not changing the speakers and selling me on upgrading the receiver. Ultimately he switched in a SR 8200 for a SR 7200 and the dynamics improved dramatically. The SR8200 sells for $1400 vs $700 for the SR7200.

    Given my lack of experience in HT and the apples to oranges comparison I am ready to make my purchase based on a good deal. As far as sound quality goes I don't see where I can really go wrong with the systems I am looking at in this price range. How do you resolve room time issues when stores are busy? Do most of you just leave and come back at non peak times? I am really not interested in prolonging my decision and want to begin the HT experience now.

    By the way, my room is 16X20 with normal height ceiling and one wall is open to a hall entrance, kitchen counter, and dining room.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
     
  2. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    I've got a Marantz preamp with an Outlaw amp driving
    B&W 603-S2
    LCR
    602-S2 rear
    ASW/2000
    I like B&W a lot [​IMG]
    I went with the non dipoles for the rears but why not the DS6 for the rears ??
    It's a -S2 model but it uses the same midrange.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i can't really comment on your systems except to say that they both look like really excellent setups.
    denon's are well-liked. i was thinking about purchasing one as my next receiver, but i've decided to go separates instead. i haven't heard marantz's.
    the deftech's are the ones with the built-in sub..correct? i thought i heard somewhere that those types of powered speakers don't go as low as many think...but i don't know for sure. i would imagine that a dedicated sub would probably still do a "better" job...but this is just a guess on my part. maybe someone else can comment.
    also, as far as show rooms go, i don't put too much emphasis on them anyway. i'll bet your paycheck that if you listened to it in the showroom, then listened to it at home it would sound different anyway. room acoustics have a lot to do with how something is going to sound.
    also, it sounds like one of the salespeople didn't treat you too well. unless i feel i have no alternative, i try to never give my business to some place that didn't deliver decent customer service...but that's just a pet peeve of mine.
    but, to sum it up, i'm sure you'll be happy with either setup and i would be totally proud to own it myself! [​IMG]
     
  4. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Robert,

    Both are very nice systems. I agree with Ted that it sounds like you may not have received very good service at the second store. I also disagree with their salesperson mixing speakers in the B&W system. I would suggest replacing the Paradigm dipoles with a pair of B&W 601s. For the $600 they're asking for the sub, I would suggest getting a SVS 20-39PCi which can be had for $549+shipping (if you can get the WAF).

    What will your music/HT ratio be? If you will also be listening to a fair amount of music I would definitely go with the Marantz/B&W system.

    Alex
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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  6. Robert EW

    Robert EW Extra

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    Alex: My Music/HT ratio will be about 80%HT or more. Of course all that can change once I have a nice system to play.

    Ted: You are correct, the Def Techs include powered subs and after reviewing the links provided by Dustin regarding powered subs vs Sub/sat I can only hope I avoid stirring up those waters. There are some very strong opinions on the subject and I am leaning towards the minority opinion -powered sub. At this point in time my wife is not ready for an extra speaker component with jaw breaking window rattling energy. So if the towers don't go that far I can live with that. But, I can count on a nice blended full range sound with sufficient bass.

    Can anyone explain how much distance the Def Techs need to breath since one thread I read indicated they are side firing and does that mean distance from the sides to a side wall or from the rear to the back wall?
     
  7. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    The Def Techs have a side firing sub but since they're also bipolar, placement may be tricky. I would think it would be good to have about 3' between your back wall and the back side of the speaker. I couldn't tell you how much room you will need on the sides. Typically when you locate a sub in or near a corner, the output will be increased. Having this on both sides could create some potentially interesting problems. They may even cancel each other to some extent. I guess it really all depends on your room configuration. Hopefully someone with more experience with these speakers will pipe up with some advice.
     

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