Hello All, I'm a recent 'newbie' to the forum, but enjoying it greatly, although I fear my enthusiasm is reflected in some rather lengthy posts, but hey, I'm excited about all this!, especially putting a HT together, albeit in small steps From ny own thoughts, and reflecting upon the advice and comments re integrating HT into my existing 2 chan. HiFi, I've decided to go that route, intially due financial constraints, sans center channel, and possibly minus a sub at first as well. Hope no probs here, as have full range L&R front speakers. So. The hardware. Hot favourite is the Sony TAE+TAN9000ES Pre/proc, and 5 chan amp combo. The other alternatives being the new Sony ES receiver with DPL2, and the Rotel 1066 pre/pro with a matching Rotel power amp. Finish, build, perceived quality, all those non sound related issues attract me to the Sony's. Also as I will of necessity be using mixed speakers (front v's rears) the bass management and equaliser features of the Sony appeal as well. So they're my on paper favourites. The difficulty lies in trying to find a dealer who has at least the two Sonys in stock to do an AB, the only fair way to tell IMHO. I have heard the Sony pre/pro, and the receiver, but on seperate ocassions, and neither under any where near ideal circumstances, and a Rotel ( the new receiver - dealer didn't stock the new 1066, but said sound quality re 'sonic signature' was similar, but more detail,). I'm hoping someone may have compared say the two Sony's and be able to give an opinion, and also anyone who's compared Sony to Rotel. My use is for HT only, and I'm not troubled by the omission of DPL2, or DTS ES discrete etc. Sound quality is the overiding factor. I've also heard the Denon 3802, and liked it re it's dynamics on HT, but thought its' sonic presentation a little on the thin and bright side for my tastes, and also as to how it would fit in with ny Naim HiFi system, whidh is very dynamic, but leans toward the bright side of things as well, or at least doesn't paper over the cracks with sources with that sort of balance. I thought the Rotel had a very rich, and dark sound, lovely on music, but a bit slow dynamically and rythmicaly again to ideally fit in with my 2 chan setup sound wise. The Sony pre/pro had a very clear and detailed sound, but quite rich, similar to the Rotel, but not as 'dark' in it's sonic presentation. The one thing I didn't like about it, was that it seemed 'slow' as in the sense of pace, and tension in the music was very laid back. Stangely, it did well on dynamics, both subtle and large, and had a reaonable amount of 'swing' and get up and go, on some musical parts of an DVD soundtrack. But somehow, this feeling of laid back almost a lazy sound, couldn't really work out why. Would poor set up cause this? The dealer just gave it his best guess re speaker distances etc, so things would be far from well aligned. I don't want to be blown away with a too upfront presentation, but I don't want to bored either. Any thoughts anyone please?? Should I maybe be thinking of a different amp from the TAN Sony to put with the TAE pre/pro, I belive the amp is the 'weak' point, or at least in 5 chan. mode,-its said to be ok in either 2 or 3 chan mode, which is the way I would be using it. Bear in mind that in OZ, things like the parasound are not readily available AFAIK, or would likely be out of my price range with import duties taxes etc, here. I guess it all comes down to compromises. In an ideal world, I'd have the Naim processor and 3 channel amp, but it's hugely expensive, and in other threads, I've come to the conclusion that for HT use only, whilst brilliant, probably wouldn't give me as much bang for the buck, so to speak, as a new widescreen TV re overall HT enjoyment. Lastly, the amp would be used to drive the rears, and center only, front L&R being handled by my existing equipment. I'm wondering in that light, if I'd notice the same lack of 'pace' that i noticed when auditioning the Sony, and also the Rotel. Anyway, sorry about the long post, one of these days I'll be clearer about everything, have my HT setup - finally,- and won't need to be asking all these convuluted questions!! Thanks everyone, John.