What is the right solution for me (HT and Audiophile 2-ch sound)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mike J Z, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Mike J Z

    Mike J Z Auditioning

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    Okay so here is the story---I have been slowly outgrowing my HTIB. First new mains, then a new surrounds and sub. Now the only part left from the original system is the receiver. I am ready to upgrade to a new one. The problem is that of late I have been over taken by audiophilia, and my desire for top quality 2-ch sound is growing by the day. I don't have a lot of money, and would like to get something together for under $1000--preferably for less then $500 with an upgrade route. I really want separates, but integrated seem more within reach. My top separates choice: the H/K Sig2 pre-amp/amp sound which would cost me about $800 used--more then I want to pay up front. I have been also thinking of a Kenwood Vr-7070 (which comes with pre-outs) and in the future getting a 2-channel amp for my mains (Like Ma-500 monoblocks). I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or ideas I have not thought about.
     
  2. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    What speakers do you have?



    If your current receiver has preouts then are you happy with its performance for HT?

    If you are then I am not sure why you are considering the HK Sig stuff as they are just HT separates, not designed for great 2 channel music listening.
     
  3. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    There are no $500 separates packages, not even used.

    Audition and get as good a receiver as you can... look for one that's got 'source-direct' or 'analog-bypass' connections, if you're really interested in pure 2-ch listening.

    Try Marantz, HK... or maybe stretch the budget and look for a used Rotel... maybe consider adding a strictly 2-channel receiver or integrated amp to your HTIB receiver, if its connections will allow (unlikely).
     
  4. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Under a $1000.00, but under $500.00 and $800.00 is more than you wanna pay up-front?
    What?

    If you truly can push it to $1000.00 (maybe finance it) then I would suggest the Rotel 1055 reciever. It has been getting high marks for it's musicality and you can add a two channel amp to it later.

    If $500.00 is all you can really spend then I would make sure "it" has pre-outs so you can add an "nicer" amp down the road.
    Also what GregD said.
     
  5. Mike J Z

    Mike J Z Auditioning

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    My mains are Polk Audio RTA11ts. They are really great speakers I got an amazing deal on (I got them at a garage sale for $60--They sold new for over $1000 less then a decade ago). I know they can sound better then they do right now.

    In terms of the cost here it is.
    I really do not want to spend more then $500 right now--however, I would like something that I can upgrade in the future for more proformance (And I am in all odds going to spend about $1000 total investment).

    My current receiver does not have pre-outs said to say. I do like the idea of a separate 2-channel receiver, however for cds I am just using my DVD player as a transport right now and to get a 2-channel receiver means I would have to get a new cd player.
     
  6. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    Where is what I would do:

    I would buy a 2 channel integrated amp from Audiogon or Ebay. Look at Rotel, they have some great integrated amps that you could get for under $500.

    There is no need to upgrade your DVD player. You can run it's analog outputs into the integrated amp, and leave the digital connection hooked up to your receiver.

    The only part of this system that is a pain is that you will have to swap the speaker cables from your receiver to the integrated, depending on which you are using. Another option is to get a speaker selector and hook them up.
     
  7. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    And if you are truly looking at two monoblocks down the road for your front mains, then forget the Marantz MA-500's, or even the MA 6100's (new model number now that the 500's are out of production)

    go with the IRD MB-100's... a la the no longer used name for the Le Amps. (IRD pulled back the rights for Norh to sell the Le Amps a few months ago).

    The MB-100's sell for $269. each, for these over-built, very clean and powerful monoblocks. I use 5 for my HT, and they put the Marantz to shame. No contest. The MB-100's will put many, and I say many, very good HT amps to a real challenge. And usually win.

    Great monos for an unbelievable price. See them at audiocircle.com forum (look for IRD forum).

    BOK
     
  8. MikeVM

    MikeVM Extra

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    You should also look at the NAD T742. Once you decide you need more power, you can pull the preamp out lines and run them into your choice of power amp.

    I think you can get that receiver for around 450 if you look around.

    -Mike
     
  9. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    Here is the 742 new from an authorized dealer for $450. NAD makes excellent sounding equipment.
     
  10. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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  11. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    In your price range, I'd say headphones and a good pre-amp would far surpass anything else you could do for $500. IMHO.
     
  12. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, I am not familiar with how hard your speakers are to drive, but think a good receiver @ $500 with preouts, will be an improvement over HTIB receiver. The NAD T742 or HK or Denon and other equivelents are probably good choices. You can then add a power amp, down the road. There are many used amps available at good prices.

    FWIW, I have had a pair of custom built speakers, for a number of years. Over that time, they have been powered by a Pioneer (lowend 100w), Onkyo 575X, HK520, and now Adcom 545II (HK520 as prepro). In general, things are adjusted to musical tastes and then the HT is what it is. The biggest improvement was from the Pioneer to Onkyo, followed by Onkyo to HK, and only slight, maybe no improvement, to the Adcom.

    Another thing to consider, is your musical tastes. I listen to mostly classic rock, rock, acoustic, and some blues and jazz. As you improve on the speakers, amp, preamp, the source along with the quality of recordings will come into play. Once you upgrade those, start back with the speakers for loop two! [​IMG]

    JohnS
     
  13. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    In your budget, I think a good receiver with pre-outs is the answer too. Won't give specific recommendation - some good ones have been brought up. This isn't a recommendation (can't speak from experience), but I didn't see the Outlaw 1050 mentioned - that's another option in your price range. In sequence later as budget allows, add the outboard amps then finally a true preamp if you're still wanting it. Besides the incremental costs, you'll have time to increment your thinking.

    And I liked the headphone suggestion as well. I went for many years with my "true" 2-channel system being headphones (but just off my receiver, nothing that fancy). It's still my reference system, especially to get rid of factors like room acoustics and background noise when trying to find whether I think a specific upgrade is worthwhile.

    Have fun!

    Eric
     

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