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New member
Username: Jorge59

Rio de JaneiroBrasil

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-05
I have a midfi system (Rcvr Yanmaha RX-V520 / Spkrs 5.1 Polk DM 6000). Use is 70% music (DVD shows and CD) 30% movies. Small room use.
I'm looking for upgrade to a hi-fi and considering:
Denon 1905/2105/2805 or Marantz 4500/5500. Spkrs B&W: Front DM 600S3, Center LCR60, and Sub: ASW 300. Keep my Polks for surround. Have seen people saying there are better deals than B&W subs. Which subs, and how much?
My budget is about US$ 1.500 (I have to look for discounts...) and I intend to buy the new system in NJ. Recommendations are welcome.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 341
Registered: Mar-05
If you're looking for a receiver, go straight to uBid and get in on the Marantz 8400 which normally retails for close to $1400 and is now being auctioned off (all 241 of them) for probably around $400-500, which is less than what you'd pay for the 5500. It's a mind-boggling steal!

Better subs: SVS or Hsu, both Internet-direct brand with near-universal acclaim at incredible pricepoints compared to retail subs esp. those made by speaker companies. You should be able to get a very decent sub from Hsu or SVS for around $400-700.

Frankly I can't see how you plan to do all these upgrades for a mere $1500, esp. if you're talking about B&W fronts.

For much better bang for your buck if you're on a limited budget I'd look into Internet-direct speakers like Ascend, Axiom, or Aperion. The Ascends in particular to me represent the best value if you are primarily a music user and will have a good sub to run with.

Yeah, I'd say keep your Polks for surround and just upgrade the front 3 speakers, sub and receiver. For a small room with a sub you'll be just fine with bookshelf speakers.
 

New member
Username: Jorge59

Rio de JaneiroBrasil

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
Thanks Edster,

And sorry for such a long story.

Your ideas bring new options to me. I live in Brazil and didn't know about some brands you mentioned. I plan to buy in US because here it can be 2 or 3 times the price.

My plan for the 1500 bucks was:

B&W DM600 S3 bookshelves = $350/pair
B&W LCR60 center = $350
B&W ASW 300 (8") sub = $350
I saw the Denon AVR 2105 by $464 at audioexcellence (Yonkers NY); and an ad of Marantz 4500 by $369.

Can I have a 10" Ascend sub for $350? Does it really plays smooth and precise bass?

I guess Paradigms Monitor 3 and CC-370 center are in a higher price range, is it correct? Are them really better than those B&Ws?

I intended to buy the equipment on the 1st week of August, when I'll be in NJ . Would I be able to buy online all that you suggested and get it delivered in 5 days?

uBid is brand new or refurb equipment? A new SR 8400 by $500 would be great, although I wonder if it has Phono input and if it is OK to deliver 110W/ch on a 100W bookshelf.

Would that offer still be on 3 months from now? Or should I take the chance, buy it now and have it delivered in my friends home in NJ...

 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 350
Registered: Mar-05
> Can I have a 10" Ascend sub for $350? Does it really plays smooth and precise bass?

Ascend doesn't make subs, only speakers. On their website however they do sell Hsu subs which can be bundled with their speakers or ordered separately.

They do have a Hsu STF-1 for $300 and the next model up is the STF-2 for $400. For a small room the STF-1 should be fine but I'd personally get the STF-2 just to be safe, it's not that much more money.

> I guess Paradigms Monitor 3 and CC-370 center are in a higher price range, is it correct? Are them really better than those B&Ws?

The Paradigms will cost more than Ascends because they are retail speakers so you have the dealer's markup whereas the Ascends are manufacturer direct and online only.

Personally I am not real familiar with B&Ws, have heard good things about their higher model lines; the DM line is their cheapest I believe. But just remember that their prices will include a hefty dealer markup, so a B&W speaker sold for $350 a pair is probably not going to be anywhere as good as the Ascend 170 sold for $328 manufacturer direct. Plus when you buy online you don't pay local sales tax (unless you have the bad luck to have it shipped to the same state the online retailer is located in).

uBid does sell refurb also, I would think. Not real sure because I am more of an eBay user.

You need to call Marantz about the phono output.

Don't worry if the receiver is 110wpc and the bookshelf is 100wpc---if you turn the volume up too loud you will definitely hear clipping at which point you simply turn it down and you'll be fine. But I doubt you'd ever turn it up that loud unless you were trying to host a party in an auditorium. : )

That offer will definitely not be around 3 months from now because the model is being updated to the sr8500. Definitely order it to your friend's house in NJ---same with the speakers, order them at least a week or two before you arrive.
 

New member
Username: Jorge59

Rio de JaneiroBrasil

Post Number: 3
Registered: May-05
OK Edster

I agree that the Marantz 8400 on uBid is te best deal for the receiver.

And thanks for the recommendation of the Ascend speakers. I checked their website and read some reviews. I think it must be good, as well as the Hsu sub. From the relation weight/power/cone diameter and price, it seems to me that the Ascend/Hsu package you recommended will deliver much more than the B&Ws I was looking for. Ascends are bigger and uglier though, but a speaker should please ears and pocket rather than eyes. You know pocket not only is a part of body, but also the most sensitive in human beings...
Anyway, I'd like to see a comparison between Ascends and B&W 600 series. I think I'm gonna open a new thread on this, in the speaker section.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 378
Registered: Mar-05
Yeah, the only major drawback of the Ascend 170 is its ugly box-like shape. The larger Ascend 340 though is much more attractive.

If you want to read up more on the Ascends, click here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=10a1f92167bcefba12e7775c42d26535 &threadid=532163&highlight=ascends
 

New member
Username: Jorge59

Rio de JaneiroBrasil

Post Number: 6
Registered: May-05
Edster

I found that the Marantz don't have Phono input. Do you know how it compares to Denon AVR 2105 which does? I've seen offers of the 2105 under $500. Wattage is 90 x 110 of the 8400 but wouldn't be an issue.

Is it true that a receiver may be "bright" or "warm"....? Or it's just about fidelity and distortion?

I tend to believe that it is more likely to happen with speakers. BTW what are the Ascends like? Warm, strong on highs, well balanced and clear?


 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 395
Registered: Mar-05
"Bright" and "warm" are often controversial and arguably subjective labels, but I'd guesstimate that if you took a broad survey of audio people you'd probably find some sort of rough consensus on which speakers and receivers fall under which category.

The Denon 2105 is definitely a lower level receiver than the 8400, probably more like a Marantz 4400 or 5400; more equivalent to the 8400 would be the Denon 3805.

The Ascends are known to be very neutral speakers with famously natural midrange and very clear but non-fatiguing highs. You can go to the Ascend website and read all the links to professional reviews which use a lot of this terminology.
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