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Jan Vigne & Others

 

Silver Member
Username: Skies

Tofino, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 955
Registered: Aug-05
I used to frequent these forums 6+ years ago, and am shocked to see Jan still kickin around

Anyways, I'm just investing in a home audio/theatre system, and wanted a few other opinions.

I'm about to purchase a gorgeous used pair of Triangle Genese Quartet's. I use speakers A LOT, when I say 65%Audio/35%Theatre, that means I'm still using theatre for 10+hours per week, so a versatile speaker is important. For music taste I'm all over the board, from acoustic & reggae to metal and rap.

I was planning on buying an Anthem MRX-700 to power the pair, and add on slowly after that. Would anyone recommend going a different route for what I'm using these for?

Much appreciated,
Tyler
 

Silver Member
Username: Skies

Tofino, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 956
Registered: Aug-05
Sorry; I am purchasing the speakers for ~$2400, would like to budget my receiver or amp/preamp to around $2500.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2966
Registered: Oct-07
I use a good pair of stereo speakers for my HT duties and have no interest in owning AV style equipment.
On that basis, I'd recommend a good stereo amplifier.
Since the Quartets are listed at 92db sensitive, you really don't need huge amounts of power. 100 a side would be more than adequate. Depending on your preference and electrical characteristics permitting, you may even prefer TUBES. Yep.....
The number of contenders is large. As long as you don't need HDMI switching.......I use my TV for HDMI and run each source AUDIO to the amp, you can get along fine with an integrated amp.

One item to budget to help usability would be something along the lines of a Logitech remote. One button will turn on the appropriate gear and keep you from having a table full of remotes!

Some integrateda amps, like NAD, Bryston and even Bel Canto make integrateds with built in DACs. You may find that an attractive idea.

I see you reside in BC. Any good stores which you can visit for an audition? Maybe go South to the States for the same reason? At the price point you are considering, you have many choices. You need to get out and listen to some gear and begin to narrow it down.
 

Silver Member
Username: Skies

Tofino, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 957
Registered: Aug-05
I haven't updated my profile I'm actually up in northern Alberta.. There is only 1 audio store here, he carries paradigm and anthem, I listened to the mrx700 with a pair or paradigm signatures and was absolutely blown away.. If it weren't for the fact that he want $8k for the speakers I would've walked out with them. That's the only store within 500km that I would recalled consider.

So you run component cables for music and have a separate HT receiver to take care of your surround & hdmi needs?

I've never gone tube and have heard only good things about them.

Are you very familiar with Triangle speakers?

Tyler
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2967
Registered: Oct-07
Since you can't get out to listen to various equipment and combos, you are stuck with 'reviews' and opinion. Not the best option.

Not familiar at all with Triangle speakers.

NO HT whatsoever. My system is a Panasonic Plasma for viewing.
It is connected to a DishNetwork receiver via HDMI. Other HDMI connections go to my PS3 and my OPPO upsampling DVD player.
The PS3 and the OPPO are connected by optical to a Cambridge Audio DacMagic+ which is connected by balanced cable (Mogami) to my integrated amp. The DishNetwork box is connected by analogue to the same amp. Analogue cables go FROM the amp to a sub. Sub runs on all sources and needs zero attention.
The amp? A PSAudio 'd' amp of 500x2 into 4ohm Magnepan panels..... I can't imagine ANY HT receiver being able to power these speakers.

My room is unsuited to surround sound at the level I'd require...not to mention needing several dedicated outlets and more amps and the rest. Nope.....NO HT for me until I win the Lottery.

Depending on the budget for the entire upgrade project, you may consider a trip to the 'big city' and have pre-arranged auditions waiting. A night in a hotel and RT transpo may actually end up saving you money over getting stuff you don't like.....then getting into the buy / sell routine.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17628
Registered: May-04
.

I'm still kicking around here. Over the last six years I've been kicked around some around here. I stay because there are occasionally folks who come here honestly looking for some help.


You're questions are pretty broad. Sort of like saying you want to take a vaction, any suggestions on where you should go?



At this point you have several basic decisions to make. You can have a home theatre system based system on full surround which best serves your video sources. For listening to music most HT receivers are somewhat mediocre. You'll pay for a lot of features you'll never use with most HT receivers. Lines such as Anthem, Outlaw, Cambridge, Rotel, Marantz and NAD are reasonably good manufacturers to compare. They all offer better than mass market performance though they are all still competing in a limited market. If you can afford to go to separates in HT gear, a five channel basic power amp will last you for decades. A pre amp/processor will provide a higher grade performance on all sources than will most receivers though usually by omitting many of the features found on top o' the line receivers. The main advantages to separates are the ability to pick and choose the processor that suits your needs and not have to pay for another amplifier each time your processor needs to be updated. Updated features and connectors are the way the HT market keeps people buying new gear. Buying a new receiver every five years to stay up to date is not the most efficient use of funds IMO. With separates you buy what you need the first time and only change a specific component when it's actually worth your money. On average, separates are also built to a higher level of quality than are do-it-all receivers. The same lines as I have mentioned above should all offer some separate components to look at. Several of the Outlaw processors share parts with the Sherwood products which are also quite nice.


You can do as leo has and use just a two channel system for your video useage. Select any set of components you would for a high quality, stereo music system and you're set. Music through such a system can still present some compromises as a large screen TV monitor positioned between your speakers will cause reflections which can conflict with the ideals of a good two channel music system. If your main use is music, this still might be workable and more than acceptable when compared to a similarly priced HT system.


You could also do as I have and set up separate HT and music systems in different locations in the house. Split your funds appropriately according to use and a slightly diminished audio system can still offer high performance when it doesn't have to make the compromises a video system will impose on music reproduction. A moderately good HT system can be satisfying if not capable enough to impress all of the neighbors on game day. Pay them no attention and go listen to your above average music system after they've all gone home. IMO this set up also provides the greatest flexibility since you haven't put all your money in one basket.


Of course, a system is only as good as its weakest link. Your source players are going to determine how well each system performs. In a full blown HT system, a BluRay player makes sense and opens the option of streaming and downloading material. Many of the HT manufacturers sell BluRay players but the lines mentioned above are still a bit ahead of the average $88 machine. BluRays are backwards compatible with other digital disc sources such as DVD and CD. Oppo sells one of the very best universal players you can find. If you have a large CD collection, I would tend toward the source player that can make the most of your current library.

In a two channel system you might want to look into a computer based system for a source player. Even if you have that large CD collection, they can be transfered to an external hard drive or to "the cloud" for later access. With a moderately inexpensive combination of computer and DAC you can truly achieve playback quality that is far superior in many ways to any disc based playback machine. You will also have the option of downloading high resolution materials which will make the most of your playback system's abilities.



Of course, decent cables should be in your budget since they will make enough improvements to justify their cost. Nothing outrageous but good. And some room treatments are beneficial to most domestic rooms used as as playback rooms. These can be added later as the budget allows.



As always I suggest you do some auditions before you invest a few thousand dollars in equipment and set up. Ask your dealer for an appointment to set up a few systems for comparison. Make your appointment on what is likely to be an a slow, quiet weekday morning or afternoon and ask the dealer to set up each of the proposed types of systems for your consideration. Allow a few hours for such an audition. Discuss with the dealer the pros and cons of each set up and make your decision based on which will be the most likely to satsify your needs for at least the next six years. I wouldn't buy anything just to have something. Take your time and do as much listening and comparisons as possible and necessary. And, of course, if your local dealer has provided the ability to do such extensive auditions, do give them the business if at all possible.


Does that help?




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2969
Registered: Oct-07
The downside of the HT processor is that it is typically a low volume product and not 'latest greatest'.
I'm not sure that Outlaw still has an entry....though Emotiva may.

Too bad, too. A good 5 channel amp will last for a decade PLUS and last thru several updates of auxilary gear.

Buying the features you NEED rather than the Gee-Gaws is the obvious way to spend for VALUE not glitz. While the guys at the mass market store would love to 'sell the sizzle', you should be more interested in at least the Porterhouse level of Steak! Make mine Medium with a nice spicy rub.

If you find a USED piece which fits your requirements, try to check out the possiblity of long-term support. Schematics are a minimum while some propriatary semiconductor availability would be nice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17633
Registered: May-04
.

"The downside of the HT processor is that it is typically a low volume product and not 'latest greatest'."




I'm not sure what that means, leo. IMO the idea of your equipment being the "latest" is one of the very problems inherent in mass market HT gear. The fact the mass market cannot create the "greatest" is yet another.

We've noted on more than one occasion the sad fact that the average lifespan of a mass market HT receiver is about six years. Any problem occurring after that time will be cause for replacement rather than repair in far too many cases. Why? The owner will be advised it is "cheaper" to replace the unit and step up to "today's technology" than to repair an "out dated" component. And what is today's technology? New connectors and more surround formats, maybe room correction in the upper price ranges?

You can make the case for connectors which allow for faster data transfer, I'll give you that. If, that is, your system requires faster data transfer. Not all do and many won't benefit in the slightest from the capacity to move more data in fewer packets when they are not also upgrading other parts of the system. On the other side, how many people are going to actually benefit from the inclusion of DTS-HD Master Audio? I respect the efforts of the folks at Dolby Labs but, like connectors, what moves the technology forward isn't always a step which directly benefits the average consumer in their home theatre system. Should I really be loosing any sleep if I don't have DTS-HD Master Audio in my processor? I have not so far, don't know about you.


Setting aside the usefulness of new "features", a new processor is much easier for a manufacturer to upgrade with new chip sets to include "today's technology" than is a complete receiver. We as consumers have become accustomed to the idea of the mass market's "upgrade calendar" which means two introductions of equipment per year. Each new season of equipment introductions must have a reason why the consumer would want that component vs what they already have on their shelf. To satisfy that "need" and "desire" created by having "the latest and the greatest" the mass market has for decades set about including more and more BS features and less and less quality of construction. (Just looking at the reviews of the aforementioned Anthem HT receiver [no slouch when it comes to features], it's power output into a test bench resistor load drops to almost half when all channels are driven simultaneously.) The average HT receiver is sold today without the buyer ever hearing the unit at work. How is that possible? Selling the face plate, the rear panel connectors and the remote accomlish all the "sizzle" most mass market manufacturers require to keep the upgrade stream flowing.

Also for decades the high end of audio has built components which are largely devoid of the BS geegaws of the mass market. McIntosh, for example, has traditionally maintained products in their line for several years before they eventually become "outdated" - if you can even say such a thing about a high quality audio component. Changes are made to the typical high end component only when changes are considered to be of real world value to the buyer. Such changes do not follow a strict twice per year model introduction schedule.



The end result is a high end "separates" product which is viable for longer periods of time in the high end market. It provides greater satisfaction from the user due to its superior design, construction and performance unhindered by geegaws and doodads. Quality power supplies are built for their intended purpose, not to feed more BS gadgets. Many of the features on high end AV processors are now easily upgradable by the user with a simple on line connection making them even less susceptible to being quickly "outdated".



As to the "greatest" aspect of your comment, that is a subjective decision which none of us can make for another buyer. As I said, it's much easier for both the manufacturer and the end user to upgrade just a processor than it is to design and build and entire receiver line to accomodate an additional surround field or the most current data speed in a HDMI connector. For the consumer this will mean lowered long term cost to maintain a "latest and greatest" position over tossing out an entire receiver and buying what amounts to a more or less exact duplicate of their previous five, six or seven channels of amplification. Considering the ability to pick and choose which features and connectors and confusing menus which are likely to be actually useful to their system, a processor buyer can buy just what they feel is beneficial and not be put in a position to pay for a smorgasborg of BS just to gain a specific feature set.



Finally, I would make the case against a room correction system which is included in a $2k HT receiver vs a room correction system which is a $2k stand alone unit. Yes, they use the same technology but not the same chip sets. Just as a $200 DAC does not use the identical chipset found in a $2k DAC. Or just as a $199 point and shoot camera is not the real world equivalent to a $1k 35mm DSL. If a buyer ascribes to the concept of getting what they pay for, the feature laden $2k receiver is the fully loaded, six cylinder Mustang that is not going to compete in performance against that fully blown Boss 302.


http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/index.html

http://www.rotel.com/NA/products/index.htm?cat=25

http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/us/Products/pages/ProductListingHorizontal.aspx?CatI d=processors



These are "low volume" products simply because the consumer has been conditioned to accept the way the mass market manufacturers play the game, with a new line of products introduced twice a year to generate "enthusiasm". If "low volume" equates to better design and execution along with superior performance and longer life, I'm all for that when compared to the average HT reciever lasting six years before it needs to be replaced.





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Silver Member
Username: Skies

Tofino, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 958
Registered: Aug-05
I like the idea of separates. I will try and audition some things on Tuesday.

How bout this Rotel? http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649028305-rotel_1075/

With that would I just pair it with a pre amp or receiver to run on all my inputs to? I've never run separates.

I have no problem buying used as most of the gear is very well taken care of, and a big savings on msrp.

I have a pair of energy rc70s arriving in the next day or 2, but plan on returning them as I feel ripped off. They were regularly priced at $2500 for a pair, on sale for $1000/pair, now they have gone down to $1000/pair regular price. That's a lot of markup if they can drop regular price down $1500.
 

Silver Member
Username: Skies

Tofino, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 959
Registered: Aug-05
I hadn't refreshed the page sorry jan.

Also, right now I will only be using iPhone/PC for audio. I also store all my movies & shows on an accessible hard drive through my Xbox 360. Eventually will be upgraded but that is a ways down the road, it works very well the way it is now. Most audio I get is mp3 320bit and movies 1080p.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17635
Registered: May-04
.

The Rotel amp should have adequate power for your needs. "Adequate power" is relative to your speaker's demands and your requirements for volume levels in the (size of) space you occupy. Currently, I'm using a two watt amp for conversational level music listening. The amp in my HT system can produce about 240 watts with the 4 Ohm load it sees. Somewhere betwen those two points I think most people should find a satisfactory compromise.

The Rotel house sound is somewhat forward and less warm than others. Make sure you pair it with components which compliment that personality for the best results. You probably don't want to overdo the cool and forward aspects of the Rotel with similarly voiced gear but you also don't want to go too far in the other direction with overly warm and laid back gear.


MP3's are the lowest of the quality grades when it comes to audio. Stepping up to WAV format or one of the better lossless compressed formats will provide much better sound quaity. IMO it's wasted money to use high quality, highly revealing components and speakers if you are still going to feed them low quality sources. Just as you wouldn't connect a VCR to your 1080p monitor and expect high resolution, what your improved audio system is intended to show you is exactly what comes into it. For background music MP3's may satisfy. However, if your intent is just background music, you certainly don't need to spend thousands of dollars on the system.



Anything is worth what someone will pay for it. The discount should be irrelevant to the quality. Speakers can be discounted for several reasons. Manufacturers can sell about-to-be discontinued gear at steep discounts to make way for incomming products. Speaker manufacturers in particular do not make most of their own product, they rely on subcontractors for pieces which they assemble. If a cabinet maker has changed or a crossover component contractor has discontinued their product, a manufacturer might feel it's worth their money to clear out product to make way for new. On occasion manufacturers discover a forgotten warehouse full of gear and need to move it our as fast as possible. Some gear gets discounted if it is what is known as "B" stock with a slight cosmetic flaw. I wouldn't feel ripped off, just compare the speakers to others you could own at roughly the same price. If these are superior, you got a good deal in the end.



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