"What's better for me the Outlaw 950/755 or Integra 6.3?"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by HowardGjr, May 13, 2002.

  1. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Damn, I can't believe I caught this Home Theater Bug. I really was just going to buy the Bose Lifestyle system. :b
    Given the equipment in my system, my upgrade plans, and my constraints, should I go with the the Integra 6.3 or the Outlaw 950/755 combination? Which will it sound better with my system? Which will work better with my proposed updates? Any help is appreciated.
    If you have any other comments about my proposed setup, let me know.
    First, I know it's a strange comparison, but, I'm a newbie so please bear with me.
    Background:
    I've heard/seen all of the individual pieces in my setup. However, I've yet to experience them together. I initially picked Integra over Yahmaha because I liked the sound of the 6.2 better (yes the rooms were different and so was the speaker system but you've got to start somewhere). I had read that the Denon setup and operation are somewhat difficult because of the remote. Since my wife made me swear that she would be able to at least watch TV on the system before giving me the go ahead on the purchase, I shied away from the Denon.
    I originally planned to buy the Integra 6.2 but a friendly HTF (Selden Ball) member pointed out that the 6.2's fixed crossover wouldn't work very well in my system and that I couldn't route the preamp outputs through the ICBM and back through the receivers amplifier section like I had planned. What's a little feedback loop between friends. :b
    Thanks for the help Selden. [​IMG]
    You'll see from my equipment list that the system is somewhat biased toward music. As I was demoing equipment, most of the systems in my price range handled the HT task very well. However, I did notice a difference when I played music.
    Issues and Constraints:
    1. My wife has to be able to operate it.
    2. The speakers needed to be "invisible." No black boxes need apply. (WAF). I compared a lot of sattelite systems and liked the gallo the best.
    3. My upgrade includes the possible purchase of 4 Ohm speakers (Gallo Due).
    4. Price is not hyper critical, but I prefer spending less over more [​IMG]. Of course, the pre/pro amp combination is more expensive.
    5. I really like Outlaw's technical support. Scott has answered all my questions in less than a couple of hours. For some reason, I seemed to get more information from HTF then Onkyo's support.
    6. I'd like to have receiver before 2010.
    Room:
    It's a relatively small room 15x14x9 (roughly -- it's not very rectangular). The walls are plaster over wood lathe. The room has lots of upholstered furniture and a very large bay window (fabric window treatments) with window seat, Berber carpet floors. TV sits in an 8 foot wide notch (floor to ceiling). I'm guessing it used to be either a "walk-in" fireplace.
    Equipment and the room:
    1. 5 Gallo Micros with 1 passive subwoofer acting as a woofer for front L/R. FWIW...the passive subwoofer combination with the micros sounds much better than the active subwoofer for music to my ears. This configuration also gives me the benefit of placing the relatively unobtrusive passive subwoofer between L/R channels. Since the crossover point for the micros is 120 HZ, I'm concerned that putting just a powered subwoofer off in the corner might REALLY muddy up the directional bass frequencies.
    Micros will be mounted on walls except for center channel. It will sit atop the entertainment center housing the TV.
    2. 1 MPS 150 Powered Subwoofer. Since I have the passive subwoofer, this is dedicated to the LFE channel and bass from the rear channels. If I find with multi-channel music, I don't like the MPS 150, I'll just go get another passive subwoofer. Initial plan is to corner load this subwoofer and use it primarily for HT effects.
    3. Integra DVD 7.2 w/ DVD Audio. Still, not sure how to deal with having both SACD and DVD Audio. Wiring a "zillion" cables into a switchbox or the Sony TAP9000ES doesn't seem like a very elegant solution. If I go with a receiver, this device will probably be only used as a DVD Player not as a DVD Audio player.
    4. Sony Wega 32" TV. Works great and it's all that will really fit.
    5. Sony SCD-555ES. On order. Sounded great in store. Let's me load up 5 CD's worth of music. Less strain on DVD player. SACD.
    6. Older Technics (circa 1982) Turntable -- Not sure whether or not it's worth it to add this to the mix. Didn't think to find model number.
    7. IR Repeater stuff -- equipment is not located in the entertainment center. It'll be stored in a rack (Salamander?) in the back of the room.
    8. Dedicated 20 amp circuit installed for HT.
    9. Sony VCR. Don't remember the model number.
    10. Cabling: Haven't purchased it yet probably the belden/Canare stuff. Probably go with Rhino Cables.
    11. Speaker Wire: Leaning toward the 12 Ga Sound King Parts Express stuff with banana plugs.
    12. Home Entertainment Center. Houses TV and holds VCR Tapes, DVDs etc...Doesn't contain any audio equipment.
    13. Radio Shack Analog SPL and Avia disk.
    Possible Purchase:
    1. Passive subwoofer to support rear channel. Do the rear channel's get a lot of bass information?
    2. Sony TA-9000ES or a multi-channel audio switchbox I saw in a thread in HTF.
    3. Salamander Synergy Rack -- well I'll definitely be buying some kind of rack.
    Upgrade Plan:
    1. Move to Plasma display within next 2 years.
    2. Upgrade front speakers to Gallo Due' -- better frequency response at high end. Sounded better than micros after a
    short audition but not quite as invisible (to the eye).
    3. Replace Receiver/Pre Pro as necessary as formats change.
    4. Possibly replace powered Sub with SVS Sub.
    5. Once plasma display is in place, I might be able to convince my wife that w/o the "home entertainment center" and be able to go with bigger speakers.
     
  2. Will

    Will Guest

    If you've already decided on keeping the speakers that you already have, please ignore the following comments.

     
  3. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    Geez, you have a lot of limitations. I would tend to agree with Will, you should look at speakers which can go lower than the Gallo's. Something like the Boston VR-M60 would probably be good for you or look at the Boston CR series which have very good bass response from a fairly small enclosure. If you are handy with a sawzall you might even look into in-wall speakers...

    A powered sub should not sound appreciably worse than a passive sub, even for music. You passive sub probably rolls off in the "boomy" range, 40Hz - 60Hz, which makes it seem better sounding than the active sub. An EQ, such as the BFD (Behringer Feedback Destroyer) will allow you to tame room peaks w/o sacrificing low end extension.

    As to which is better? Without a doubt the 950/755 will kick a** on the Integra 6.2. With the triple crossover you won't need to get an ICBM, although SACD/DVD-A playback may be compromised by the limited bass management available on the 7.1 inputs of the 950.

    Like I said, look for some better speakers than the Gallo's, try and negotiate with the spouse.
     
  4. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    If the Gallos reproduce above 120hz as good as what you've heard, then keep them; ie, don't trade away WAF and over 19,000 hz for ~ a mere 40hz [​IMG] If you stick with the Gallos, just do two things:
    - get a receiver or prepro with a 120hz crossover (Sony DA5ES, HK AVR520 are good choices under $800 street; try jandr.com and oade.com).
    - get a powered sub for the LFE channel.
    Also, what are the efficiency rating of the Gallos?
     
  5. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    John and Will,
    Thanks for the comments. I agree that the speakers are going to be the weakest link in the chain. Unfortunately, I couldn't convince my wife to go with larger speakers. In the future if I can afford a gas plasma display, I may be able to replace the front soundstage with floor standers (no need for the entertainment center). In retrospect, I may have been able to go with the Boston VM-R series, I just didn't see them when I went out looking at speakers.
    In Wall Speakers are out...I'm ok with a sawzall, but room is in an old house with plaster walss on second floor. It would be a MAJOR pain to retrofit.
    Ricky T,
    Thanks. I think your right. WAF to me is definitely worth more than 40 Hz. [​IMG]
    I do have a powered sub for the LFE channel (MPS 150). I'm going with the Integra 6.3 because it has variable crossovers. (6.2 has fixed 80 Hz crossover). Front L/R look like a "large" speaker because they are wired through the passive subs crossover.
     
  6. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Howard,

    Wow, flexible crossovers; the Integra 6.3 seems like your ticket! What's the msrp? And the comparable Onkyo model? I used to have the Onkyo 989, incredible piece of engineering and virtually identical to the Integra 9.1 receiver.
     
  7. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Will

    Will Guest

     
  9. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Will,
    Thanks for the comment. I'm leaning toward the receiver. However, I'm afraid that when I do upgrade the speakers, I'll be mad at myself. I guess I could always use the receiver as a pre/pro.
    FYI...the System has a powered sub for LFE channel and a passive sub to act as "woofer" for Front L/R. I based this on manufacturer's recommendations (Passive sub was inexpensive via internet).
    I have listened to this setup (once)and liked the passive subs sound a bit better for music. In retrospect, it may have simply been a calibration issue. Stores seem to like to crank sub-woofers for impressive sounding HT demos.
    In addition, I hope this setup let's me corner load the powered sub without having the 120Hz to 80Hz frequencies feel pulled away from the front soundstage.
    My theory is that by placing the passive subwoofer between the L/R satellites, I may get a little bit better imaging. I'm not at all sure whether this will work. That's the joy of being a newbie...you don't really know what you're doing, you don't know enough to care and it still probably sound better than my JVC mini system.
    From Micro FAQ:
    Of course, they are the manufacturer and like to sell more stuff [​IMG]
     

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