The temptation of 2 channel (long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Sub, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. Mike Sub

    Mike Sub Auditioning

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    Hi all,
    I'm a new member, but have been a long time follower of this forum. I've had my home theatre system for about a year now, it consists of:
    Denon 2801 receiver
    Pioneer DV-535 DVD player
    Tannoy Saturn S6 mains (w/ 2*165mm drivers and co-axially mounted tweeter)
    Tannoy S6C centre
    Jamo Prestige 30 rears
    Panasonic TX-33GF85X direct view TV
    I find that I listen to 80/20 music/dvd, and frankly, the 2 channel music doesn't sound all that great to me. Having heard an Arcam CD72 CD player in my system, the difference seemed to be better imaging and soundstaging and much tighter bass. At the moment, the above system seems to have a good midrange, images fairly well, but the bass is a little loose, treble gets harsh at high volume and the depth of the image isn't great. I intend to add a Rotel RB-993 200W*3 power amp (the Denon struggles a little with the 4 ohm load of the speakers during all-out action scenes), and a Rotel RCD-991 CD player. Do you feel this is a good upgrade for the money (about AUS$3400 = US$1700)?
    Do you also think that adding a dedicated 2 channel preamp will improve things much? I'm leaning towards a ME24 preamp (by a local Aussie company) for an extra US$800. Or would the improvement over using the Denon receiver be too small to justify this cost? The link is:http://www.me-au.com/24.html
    Being a uni student, it has taken me many months and lots of missed beers to save up this kind of cash. I don't want to waste it!!! [​IMG]
    I don't see how I could fit 6/7 speakers in the room (so a multichannel preamp is out of the question), and there's something about 2 channel that the DSP's can't touch. Plus I find it hard to watch a movie more than 3 times, but with CD's the longer the better. Guess I'm just old-fashioned [​IMG]
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

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    For what you want to use it for I think the best upgrade would be the Rotel amp and CD player. I don't think the dedicated preamp would make near the difference as the amp. Enjoy your system.
     
  3. Mal P

    Mal P Stunt Coordinator

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    G'day Mike,

    Have you considered the ME550-II poweramp instead of the Rotel? It has been said to possess more "finesse" to the sound than the Rotel (which I've heard, and is very, very good).

    A preamp does make a significant difference to the sound... greater depth, imaging and clarity are what's on offer. If I were you, I'd nab a quality CD player like the one you suggested, add an ME24 and ME550-II and live in 2 channel bliss for sometime. After a while, add another couple of amps to even the soundstage between the fronts/centre/rears.

    What I was thinking about, was going for the ME555? It's based on the same electronics as the ME550-II (it'll give you the exact same stereo sound) but it also powers the centre speaker as well. Then, later on, add a ME550-II poweramp (perhaps with the high capacitance option) to handle the fronts and then let the L/R channels of the ME555 handle the rears. I wouldn't worry about ES/EX and all that nonsense, you're a music man anyway.

    Cheers,

    Mal
     
  4. Mike Sub

    Mike Sub Auditioning

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    Mal,
    I had considered buying a ME555 but the cost for the time being is a little to high! Maybe when I graduate and get a real job? [​IMG]
    Looking at the specs for the ME550 II and the Rotel, it seems the Rotel has a larger transformer and is also 3 channel (2 channel is great but i still like kick-butt home theatre [​IMG] ). But i guess i will just have to have a listen for myself. Thanks for your help, looks like I should get the preamp then. Dang this hobby is expensive!
    Mike
     
  5. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Mike,

    I'm not familiar with your speakers, but what size room do you have this setup in, and how are the main (stereo) speakers positioned with respect to the front wall and the direct view TV? I also think 4 Ohm speakers are a problem for most receivers.

    Yes, I think a CD player is much better at music than most DVD players, but I have not heard the model you mention.

    One recommendation is to move the front main speakers out in front of the plane of the TV's glass screen (1-2 feet) if possible. This will improve imaging and reduce glare (harshness) from reflections off the TV's glass screen. When listening to 2 channel music, you might also throw a blanket over the TV screen.

    I personally have a stereo pre-amp in my Music/HT system (Parasound 1100D), because I think it provides a cleaner signal path for 2 channel (less interference from digital, amplifier, and video circuits in receivers or processors).

    BruceD
     
  6. Mike Sub

    Mike Sub Auditioning

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    Bruce,

    The room is 15'*25'*8', and I have tried many speaker positions, and the one it is currently in gives me the best sound (pulled out about 1m from rear wall, and well in front of the tv).

    The speakers are comparable to the B&W 603s2 and Paradigm Studio 60, although the bass is better than the 603's and the high's a little less pronounced IMHO.

    Having heard the CD player today, I wasn't too impressed since it didn't appear to give much improvement over the Denon's internal DAC's. Are there any other options anyone could recommend?

    Mike
     

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