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Upgradeing to High end compenents, 300+K

 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 48
Registered: Aug-04
hey there,

Im upgradeing to the high end home theatre stuff, and would like to know waht you guys think. my other postes about rotel and paradigm were for the bedroom, and the pioneer was for my dad.

For my home theatre setup im splerging and just goin wild. Im thinking of going with these 2 names. Wilson Audio, and Krell.

This is what i have in mind. Tell me what you think.

Fronts-Wilson Audio Alexandria (X2)
Center-Wilson Audio Watch
Surrounds-Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 7
Back Surrounds-Krell Lat 2
Subwoofer-XS--or Watch Dog. I think XS

Receiver-Krell Home theatre standard 7.1
DVD-Krell DVD standard
Processor-Krell showcase processor
Amplifire-cant decide on the KAV series or the Class A series the master series looks good too. What do you guys think?

TV-Samsung DLP 64"

Im going wild like i said, and willing to spend up to 600k for home theatre.. My Gf thinks im crazy, but i want it!

These are just my choices, if you guys have any others, your suggestions are well welcome. thanx!


 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 830
Registered: Aug-04
Slade,

Have you listened with this wonderful set-up. If so, and you like it, then go for the kill. If not, it might pay to listen to some other combos. Especially considering the money you're about to spend. Whatever you get, enjoy!
 

Silver Member
Username: Bleustar

Pensacola, Florida

Post Number: 141
Registered: Jul-04
Did I see that right... $600,000 for home theater. I think I'm going to fall off my chair now. I would think your girl friend will fall off her chair too. You surely must mean 60,000 dollars, which will still make me fall off my chair, but I am happy for you!

Krell KAV series is sure sweet though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Mitchbd

Post Number: 24
Registered: Feb-04
No, he means $600,000. Considering the Wilson Alexandria X2 goes for about 125K US.

Slade... I'm guessing North Van? Crescent Beach? I'm a White Rock person myself...

You might want to check out a Lexicon MC12B processor too... I've auditioned one, and they are quite fantastick!

Also - instead of a Samsung TV, check out a RUNCO VX1000 projector, or a Seleco proj. If you're spending that much... GO FOR THE BIG PICTURE. I know that Sound Plus on Broadway sells Runco. Hope all goes well... keep us posted.

I also think that WATT/Puppy 7's are a touch of overkill on the surrounds. But if I had that much cash to spend... I'd probably do the same.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 49
Registered: Aug-04
hey thanks guys. im havein a bit of a prob with the amplifires.. i dont know what ones to get. should i also get a power amplifier also? i listend to these speakers and just wow, i went to washington to listen to them.. absolutely stunning! i live on Beach avenue, in the escala building. White Rock, been there a few times, nice place :-) im not a big fan of projectors.. as i dunno if my eyes are the problem but i just dont think they look nice at all. any other suggestions, for tvs other then the samsung?

Thanks bluestar! yeah my gf is still shakeing her head at me.. maybe to get her off my back i should buy her something? any suggestions lol. haha Brad, the WATT/Pupp 7's are overkill? i think they travel the sound nicely.. eh whatever this stuff will last me all my life, hopefully lol. thanks everyone!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Krell has become mass market stuff. They are sold in chain stores like Ultimate Electronics. Not many companies survive the trip to mass market and remain unscathed. Matter of fact, I can't think of one right now. I would (always) go with McIntosh. They have the best sound, the best reliability and the best track record for backing their products no matter how old they are. Plus those big meters will look way better than the faceplate of a Krell. The General consensus has been there is nothing better looking with the lights out than a big Mac amp with meters bouncing. You can even look at tubes with Mac. That gets glowing bottles that add to the look. Molto ricco!!!
I would second the vote for a Runco, they ae still the best all round projector. But if you don't like the look they give then the only other choice is a Pioneer Elite Plasma. These are the most accurate TV's on the market and the picture will kick the Samsung out the door. I like the DLP technology but my nod still goes to the Pioneer. Or look at the DLP projectors.
The Wilson for Home Theater is a bit of overkill and then stomp on it some more don't you think? How many videos have you heard on this set up? Just the ones the dealer feels show it off well? Speakers are personal choice but I find the Wilsons a bit to emphatic about what they are fed to watch a movie or a few games with them as the speakers. If you really think you want this set up I would arrange to spend a day at the shop listening to all types of sources. Satelite TV may not sound like a DVD; and, not all DVD's may sound like the demo stuff at the store. For 600 large the dealer should let you have the store for a day and buy you refreshments.
I would be looking at the big B&W's or the McIntosh speakers. Dynaudio has some video oriented speakers that, I think, are much more listenable than the Wilsons. If you really love the Wilsons that much use them for an audio only system somewhere else in the house. Or buy your GF a house and put the audio system in there. As the Blue Collar comedy guys say, "That should shut her up. ..................... For a minute!" Or a Ferrari with a Diamond on the steering wheel would also do the job.
Have fun.



 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 624
Registered: Dec-03
Slade:

Cool problem to have. I will make a few suggestions, and I hope they of some use to you.

1. The Samsung DLP is very good, especially on HDTV sources, but suffers considerably on normal tv program material. Right now, most Samsungs offered are the HLPxx63W series which uses the HD3 chipset. That is a slight improvement over the previous generation, but you will find a better DLP set from Toshiba, which is using the vastly superior HD2+ chipset. The contrast ratio for the HD2+ chipset tvs is 2500:1 versus the Samsung's 1500:1. This is a difference you will notice. Toshiba has a 62" set using this chipset, so I would look there for my DLP HDTV instead of Samsung right now.

2. I really like Krell right now and I am not the least bit bothered by the fact that it has moved into some mass market retailers such as Ultimate Electronics. That just means they are looking to expand their market to reach people they wouldn't otherwise. Besides, they are not competing against anything else in the store, so they are not compromising the product quality to meet a price point. As Ultimate also sells Martin Logan speakers, they are in good company there. To me it looks like good business to try to cover the market. If you like Krell, it is top quality gear and I would recommend it.

3. However, before I spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on the Wilson Audio speakers, I would check out some Magnepans, which will cost considerably less and sound better, IMHO. A pair of the 3.6s for the front, with a CC3+ center channel speaker combined with a pair of MG12s for the rear and you have an incredible sound. Regardless of the brand, a typical box speaker colors the sound in some way. Wilson Audio is a cost is no object attempt to dampen and hopefully eliminate those colorations, but it still has the limitations of being a box speaker (as do B& W, JMlabs Utopias, and any other high end box speaker). Magnepan is a a totally different technology that has no box and uses a magnetic planar design that has a much more open, realistic sound. It is cetrtainly worth a listen before you spend that kind of money. Find a dealer near you at www.magnepan.com.

I also recommend Martin-Logans, which sell for more than the magnepans (but not as much as the Wilsons!), but are a similar speaker using the magnetic planar design to extract the most out the program material. M-L has a wider product range and you may find it more to your liking. Either way, these two speakers sound better to my ears than do Wilsons. Since I cannot know what you like the best, I am simply suggesting they are worth looking at before you spend that kind of money.

Good luck!

 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 50
Registered: Aug-04
lol oh boy.

1. I took back my samsung tv. and picked up the toshiba about 30 mins ago..

2. Everything u said about Krell is correct. You must be in the business market as i am?

3. First off IMHO what does that stand for? lol, whats going through my head is In-My-Humble-Opnion. am i wrong? Sound better and cost less will they? hmm. lol, maybe i will check those out, tomorrow i was ready to rent a crane to transfer those wilsons in my place.. 1200lbs EATCH! CHRIST! can squat 1200 but no way in hell will carry that stuff. I do agree with the Box setups of prety much everything out there. open more realistic sound. hmm. wow, ill really have to give those a try! If i get these magnepan ones.. i dunno where im gonna put them. are they floor stands or do i have to plant them on a wall?

Martin-logans, never heard of em. ill get them all and try them in my living space.. can always return them. ill try that way, so i can have a home feel for them, not just some store feel. also, for the tv, i heard there is a over 70" tv out there. anyone know who makes it? and how good it is? thanks.

Im not a fan of the B&W speakers.. i think in my opinion can do allot better. Dynaudio my uncle has, and i like the sound of wilsons better then those. all in all ill buy all 3 sets, and see how they all sound for a home feel.

Hey HAWK, you seem to be educated on market biz, gimme a shout we can talk some biz $-D lol no one did answer the question of WHAT AMPLIFIER TO GET lol. thanks everyone!
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 105
Registered: Sep-04
Slade

From what I've seen you're only considering the Krell Home Theatre Standard. The Wilsons are fairly easy to drive, but I think you're light on the power amps, particularly for the fronts. I think that you'd be better off going with one of the more powerful stereo amps for the main front speakers and biamp with the 7 channel amp for the rears and centre. I'm thinking of the FPB400CX minimum. I get the impression money is no object, but if it is, I believe you'd get a better result going heavier on the amps and lighter on the speakers, simply in order to drive them better. On the other hand, Magnepans are difficult to drive so you would definitely want to consider the FPB range if you went with them. They're big panel speakers so very open sounding. Martin Logans are hybrid electrostatic speakers generally and again they have a very open fluid sound.

Personally, I have never been taken with any Krell system I've heard although I grant that they're usually very sweet sounding with wide frequency ranges. They just tend to leave me cold, particularly when playing music. I found it interesting that you preferred the Wilsons to the Dynaudios which I think are fabulous speakers. I recently compared Evidence Temptations to Wilson MAXXes and I thought the Dynaudios had better detail, resolution, pace and articulation than the Maxxes even though the MAXXes are twice the price - this in a MAXX-friendly Mark Levinson Reference system. The top of the range Dynaudio Evidence Master (around $60000) is an absolute cracker. Matched to a set of Chord Electronics monoblocks (either the 6000s at $30000 a pair or the new 14000 at around $60000 a pair) they are truly stunning. Chord Electronics have a fantastic high end processor called the 8000 which has brilliant resolution and pace and all the modes with which one cares to confuse oneself. The centre speaker would be an Evidence Center (I don't know the retail price) and I imagine the minimum amplifier for this would be the 6000 amp, though the 14000 would suit better simply because the character would be maintained throughout and the proximity to the main speakers would want to be seamless. For rears you could use Evidence Temptation ($32000-ish) or Confidence C4 ($15000-ish), amps to suit would be 6000s for the Temptations or 1400s for the C4s (minimum amplifier costing around $14000 a pair - of course you can always use better amps such as the 4000, 5000 or 6000). Of course, if you want to add the extra channels for 7.1, the safest route is to use the same speakers as surrounds. All you need on the front of all that is a decent DVD transport and decent cabling of course. It doesn't have to be incredibly exorbitant, but top quality Chord Co cables would be a good starting point.

Then there are the subs. Ideally, you'll get better results by using a pair in stereo mode. I'm not as knowledgeable about high end subs as other kit, but I would urge you to consider the higher end Velodyne subs which can be used very effectively indeed to sort out room resonance modes. Their latest software allows you to digitally manipulate the bass frequencies depending on the way the room reacts to bass frequencies. I've heard the entry level $3000 sub and it is incredibly effective at ironing out room problems yet maintaining musicality and pace without having box colouration (due to the box being made from quite an inert substance). Definitely one to consider if I were you.

Whatever you do, Krell or otherwise, I also strongly advise installing several separate 10mm2 or 16mm2 spurs (if your electrician will fit them!), preferably with a separate consumer unit for your mains electricity. One spur each per monoblock at the front, one spur for the rears amps, one for the processor and transport, and one for the subs.

The size of all this kit is substantial - I hope it's going into a room at least 25 ft each way! i hope this helps a bit.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 826
Registered: Feb-04
Nice story, whether it's true or not. Although a HT-setup with a 64" TV isn't actually a HT, it's just TV-HT. Get a good projector and a good screen like a Stewart and then you get yourself a HT. Also I would not get a Watch for center, third X2 is the only justifiable choice.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 53
Registered: Aug-04
Frank,

Yeah im only considering the krell's because ive always read that they have been paired nicely with the wilsons. im not familier at all with the ones that you described. Now im seriously beginning to doubt the Krell's. man, all these damn choices lol.

The Dynaudio, i found didnt have the sound i was looking for.. it had everything but i dont know, just something i found they didnt have. I havent listend to the magnepan, or the other ones mentioned. As for the power supply, now im confused on what to get. i had a look at what was mentioned before the Mcintosh, and am trying to find a place to demo them. might have to travel to the states. anyone know a place? So other to Krell, what would you suggest frank? you suggested the chords, are these sugnificant changes to the krell? i think ill stick with the wilsons. cuz of now you guys totally changed my outlook lol. The way it keeps going ill never make a decision. Well now, i may go with the other ones, becuase for one, i doubt they weigh as much as the wilsons lol.

Ive demoed the high end velodyne, sounds great! I also demoed the Wilson XS. XS sounds to my ears more earth pounding, uh, dunno any more words to describe it. Just to my ears sounded better. had more umph.

As for the spurs, i have no idea on this subject. im no electrition. or have any knowledge of electricity etc. What are u suggesting about these spurs? what do they do?

Yeah i had a HT room built off the living room. about 30by 30. with conceiled equipment, etc. great room acoustics :-)

Yeah it is a nice story landroval isnt it? i dont really care if its a TV-HT, i like a 64" tv, and it looks, and fits nicely with the room. so your opinion of that u can stuff it. as i mentioned i dont like projectors. although ive never seen a stewart screen. maybe ill have to demo. And im curious of why the Watch is not a good choice for the center? what would u suggest to take its place?

Thanx everyone for your input!!
 

Anonymous
 
Best advice you will get is simply take your time. Spending that kind of money and then hearing something afterwards you like the sound of more, or even reading about it, will put you on the path of costly upgrades. If I ever have 600K to spend on a HT you can bet I'd take the best part of a year to get it right with alot of demoing being done (the most fun part).
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 56
Registered: Aug-04
yeah, i have been demoeing for about 4 months now. lol ,beleive me i have been, im getting ansy though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 829
Registered: Feb-04
Slade,

The center speaker must be as good as the two front speakers or it will sound smaller and weaker when hearing speech and sideway panns across the screen. Three identical speakers is the only appropriate way to build a high end HT. Although a TV will make it harder because you cant put the speaker behind it.

For speakers I would suggest also Focal.JMLab Utopia Be series and Audio Physic Kronos's.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 106
Registered: Sep-04
Slade

It's been suggested here I think, but just to reinforce the point, the centre channel is possibly the most important channel in a surround sound situation. This is why the amp/speaker combination should be in the same league as the main front speakers if possible.

I've never tried driving Wilsons with Chord Electronics. Chord amps generally sound faster and tighter than Krells. Krells have a fatter, richer sound. Since you've set your heart on the Wilsons, I think you'd be better off looking at the Krells since they're a known combination which works well for people who like that sort of presentation, which I think you do. In that case, I would investigate the FPB Krells more closely for the fronts and centre, and minimum of the 300CX at the back. I guess I'm suggesting you should forget the Standard 7 channel amp in a system like this. Its quality and capabilities will fall far short of the FPB amps, although I have not done a direct A/B myself. Of course, if there is a Chord Electronics dealer in your area, I can only suggest a demo. Chord - in tandem with Dynaudio and B&W - are used extensively in professional studios and Chord can supply professional versions of their amps which are usually smaller and fan-cooled (just in case) but can be rack mounted. That said, in a room like yours, you'd want to show off the domestic wones which are gorgeous in aluminium - have a look at the website http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

The only alternative I can think of would be Mark Levinson and Revel, which are also in the same ballpark, but have a higher end processor than the Krell. I don't have very much experience of this combination but at shows, I have been fairly impressed with the Mark Levinson/Revel combination for surround sound if not for music. That said, I have not done critical listening of my own of ML systems.

I also wonder whether 7 channels are really a requirement here. In a 30ft room with 'just' a 64 inch screen, your viewing distance will not be that far, otherwise the picture will look small - certainly not much more than 15ft.

The maximum viewing distance you'd be using anyway in a room that size would be about 25 feet. In that situation, the 64" screen would be too small for satisfying viewing in my opinion and you should consider one of the better projectors with a decent screen. The downside of a projector is, of course, that it requires a darkened room for real impact. CRTs and plasmas don't have this problem. If you don't like projector systems because of they intrude into the room, you can get a decent custom install expert to install the bits such that theycan roll away electrically. There are high-gain screens like Stewart which have electric options to roll up and out of the way, and I know several customers who have fitted the projector into a false ceiling, electrically lowering it when required. It's just a question of money. I don't know much about the screens, but I know the good ones can cost quite a bit, something around $3000.

The good projectors start at around $9000. It seems that DLP projectors are really becoming very good and taking over from LCD at this point. The only problem is some people are very susceptible to the colour flashing and rainbow effects caused by single chip DLP projectors. I am not at all susceptible to these effects but you should check them out because if you're susceptible it'll drive you nuts. The best single-chip projector I've seen is the Sharp 12000 - stunning pictures for around $15000.

There are now a few 3-chip DLP projectors which start at around the $25000 price. 3-chip DLP does not suffer the effects that single-chip does. It is used in DLP cinemas to great effect. There are only a few of these projectors on the market, the Infocus 777 and the Marantz being two that got good reviews recently. I don't know if Sharp and Runco have models, but if they do, they would be worth a look.

I have not used a 3-chip DLP projector myself, but the stories I'm hearing are that 3-chip DLP is in another league, and the few I've seen at shows have been impressive.

If you do this, you could reserve the TV for TV duties and use the projector for cinematic ones.

I hope this helps.
Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 107
Registered: Sep-04
Sorry Slade,

I just realized I didn't answer the question on the spurs. A separate spur is a dedicated electricity line from your main electricity consumer unit (where the relays or fuses to the buiilding are) to the listening room. Most mains electricity are wired in as a ring main in each room, going in a loop back to the consumer unit. Now a normal wiring scheme uses relatively small copper cable. This is fine for most applications. Your electric cooker, however, uses a minimum of a 6mm square copper cable typically.

It is possible to have wiring done with 10mm2 or even 16mm2 cable. These cables allow very high current throughput. Perversely, I've had reports that 10mm2 sounds better than 16mm2 generally. Now my first suggestion to you had been that you should have several separate spurs, preferably off a separate, dedicated consumer unit. 2 gurus on the subject whom I trust tell me that the Memera consumer units 'sound' best. Now I know the engineering naysayers will say that changing consumer unit won't make a difference, but I've heard too many people talk about 'night and day' changes to their systems when they've put in just one 6mm2 separate spur. The idea of the several separate spurs is to allow the power amps to draw as much current as necessary and to lower the noise in the system. The fuses in the consumer unit (fuses sound better than relays apparently) should be more highly rated than normal electricity fuses. A minimum of 20amps and preferably 32 amp fuses should be used - the bigger the better so as not to hold back the current draw of the equipment.

This is sometimes accompanied by a super earth configuration, literally a massive spike driven into the earth in your garden to which all the spurs are connected for earthing duties. This means they'd have a much better earthing scheme (again lowering background noise) and the whole system is earthed to a common potential (which differs in usual domestic ring mains situations, causing a current flow between the earths and noise).

Anyone who has a dedicated room and has the opportunity to install separate spurs should take the time to do so. In low to medium end systems such as are most oft discussed on this forum, a 6mm2 separate spur from the standard consumer unit is a good start. Any higher end systems such as ARCAM FMJ and TAG McLaren, shold have at least that, preferably with a Memera consumer unit. Really high end systems such as discussed herein need to have much better power supplies with serious consideration of the mains supply to the system. This is a relatively inexpensive way of improving the sound quality you will get from the system VERY significantly. An entry level spur will cost just $300. A top level set of separate spurs such as I suggest above should not cost more than $2000 or so including fitting and making good. This is true unless you opt for a seriously expensive spur cable from one of the HiFi cable manufacturers. I wouldn't recommend this since every one of those manufacturers (such as Kimber) have left me unmoved in their HiFi applications, so I'd just go with healthy good quality copper cabling that your electrician would recommend. You will reap the benefits for a long time to come.

Note to anybody listening: As with any cable, spurs take time to run in. The bigger the spur, the longer it will take. 16mm2 spurs are reputed to take months before they're fully run in, probably because much of the time the system is not using them to their full potential. This should suggest that they wouldn't make any difference in sound quality, but they do!

Naturally, you need to discuss all the above with a qualified electrician. Note that most electricians will tell you you're off your head, or if you show them this message, that I'm off my head. Then after some persuasion, they'll agree to do the job (it's difficult installing 10mm2 cable because it's a hard unwieldy pain in the behind) and finally they'll advise you in terms of the fuse ratings, although stick to your guns on the minimum 20 amp rating. You can always show them the power ratings on your kit to give them an idea of the power draw you will be making.

Regards,
Frank.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
I will second Frank's recommendation for high quality AC to the theater room. For the expense, it will provide more bang for buck than any other upgrade. The grounding is paricularly important as most electricians will not want to install a proper earth ground. With this much money invested you want the system to be able to dump lightning and other surges into a real ground, not a ground that has to go back to the incoming AC line. The ability to regulate over and under voltage is also a requirement, but, I would think a good dealer will bring all this up before you make the purchase. They should also have the name of an electrician that will provide these services without looking at you like you've grown another nose.

I have a few questions since this discussion has gone on for a while now.

Is this system going to be only home theater or will it be used for multichannel music also?

You say you are stepping up to high end; what equipment are you used to?

If the system will also be doing music, what type of music do you listen to? Just curious about whether, or how much, you listen to live music.

What is it that you judge a system's quality on? How do you decide you like or dislike a piece of equipment or a whole system?



The reason I ask is Krell, McIntosh, Chord, Mark Levinson, etc., while all very good in their own right, each have a distinctive sound. The speakers we have suggested all sound very different from one another. We have all suggested what we would buy if you were kind enough to give us the money to buy whatever we liked. So far we have heard little about what you like to hear.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 59
Registered: Aug-04
hey frank,

im gonna header down to washington to test out the chords. as for all the amps and such. everything you have told me just totally changed my outlook on these amps. krell seems to be blown outa the water with the chords u suggested. so im gonna give those a listen. for the chords amps, what would u suggest? what models would u suggest to go with the wilsons. yeah im pretty set on the wilsons, i really like the way they sound.

For the tv, wel i think u have me convinced on the projectors. thers no HIGH end place that sells the runco, etc projectors. thers only the consumer market wide ones. so i guess theres my problem. so when i head down to washington, ill give those a look. as for the 3chip dlp, i really like the dlp technology, so i think already ill like those :-) The screen, i think ill take a look at the stewart also. so the tv, is set there.

Now for the power lol. holy christ! i didnt know there was so much to know about power supply! i knew it was extremely important but this just blew me away. For the power etc, i live in a penthouse suite, top floor, so i dont know if i can have that massive spike in the ground lol. i talked to the owner of the building to see what i could possibly do. i also got the electricity blueprints, for the building. so he said if the electrition CAN do it, then fine. He also asked me if i was crazy.. and if he could come and watch a movie with me, lol. i had the room, semi sound proofed too, so the people below me dont have a sh!t fit. also heard it sounds better, better for the room acoustics im told. So on monday ill have a talk with the electrician, and get that all outa the way. then header down to washington, ehh i have free time on wednesday so ill go then. and then hopefully pick one up :-) What if i built like a generator room instead of the big spike in the ground?

J.Vigne, Yes this system is used only for Home theater. I have a seperate system for music in the living room. yeah i stepped up to high end because, why the heck not? no time like the present :-) the equipment im use to is stuff like Denon, Marantz, never heard NAD, but those two, denon and marantz im use to. as for the speakers, im use to Energy, JBL, and Athena technologies.

Im thinking of upgradeing my music system, any suggestions to that? i currently have athenas, with rotel, and a sacd player.

How i judge on the systems is the way they sound. well duh, but like the highs, lows, deep sound, bright sound, etc. i dislike if they are really bright. dont get me wrong, i do like bright sound, just not over the top. i like warm, but not too warm. so really im kinda in the middle. the sound from the wilsons i feel, to my ears just gives me both of what i want and what i like. but if ur talking about amps, ive never had a seperate amp before. never experienced the sound from one. so im new to that field. thanx guys for all ur help.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 113
Registered: Sep-04
Slade

At the least listen to the equivalently priced Chords as the Krells you've heard. Don't discount the Krells yet! You may prefer them. My only concern here is that your Washington dealer may not do Wilson, in which case it's difficult to have a direct comparison since a change in speakers will obviously be two changes when you want just one to make a comparison.

Living in an apartment block limits your options. You'll have to talk to the electrician and see what he can do for you. He may be able to run a dedicated earth cable to the main earth point of the building. That would be better than nothing. It's very likely that whatever you order will probably have to be built for you so expect a wait. During that wait period, you can get the electrician to do the work, since then you'll know what you're buying!

Music system. Denon, Marantz. Hmmm. The systems we've been talking about should annihilate anything by those makes in terms of music. They won't just do HT.

As has been mentioned earlier, the type of sound being made will vary quite a bit. Each make has its own distinctive sound. I know what I'd like to buy but I'm nearly damned sure you wouldn't like it (from your comments so far). One of the best systems in terms of purely musical ability is Naim Audio, but it's very much an acquired taste - and their top system retails for around $100000 for just the CD, amp(s) and 2 speakers. It's a system which ROCKS of course!

I find this turn of conversation quite odd. Please don't take this badly, but I'm almost beginning to wonder if you're a troll...! If this is the case I must say I've enjoyed the discussion since even I, with a fair amount of high end experience have caught myself dreaming a bit here.

Regards,
Frank.
Troll - a person who strikes up a conversation just to lead people on or wind them up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 60
Registered: Aug-04
yeah i will have a listen to the chords. yeah they deal with wilsons, thats where im buying them from. i dont live in an apartment, but in the aspect ur talking about i guess it goes in the same boat.

yeah, no doubt they will shoot them dead in their tracks. but the denon and marantz arent my music system. they are just products im use to.

What does the Naim Audio sound like?

lol, a troll. why would i be a troll? i have no reason to. im in the market for high end stuff, so i ask. any way im not a troll.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


I will make one more comment and then likely drop out while you go listen. You have had several good suggestions as to what some of us think is very good gear for the money you want to spend. Now forget almost all of it. We have no restrictions on what we can suggest. You, however, have some restrictions on what you can buy at any one dealer.
The strongest recommendation I can make is to buy everything from one dealer, right down to the cables. Don't let us sway your opinion at all. Find a dealer you are comfortable with and let them guide you to what will make you happy.
With the amount of money you are willing to spend there isn't a system out there you won't be happy with. Particularly if you're coming from Marantz and Denon. Anything you listen to should be a world of difference from the more maas market gear. So get a dealer who can handle everything and not leave you trying to sort out problems between retailers. The worst thing you can do is get this piece here and that piece there. If there is ever a problem or you are unhappy there will be a finger pointing session where everybody blames the other guy or their gear and you will be left in the lurch.
Find a dealer, tell them what you want and what you know from here and you should be happy. Will you hear something you think is better at a later date? Probably; but that will happen no matter how much and how long you shop. As a matter of fact it will probably get worse the longer you shop. Each store will have what they consider their best system and it will be different than the next store. Find the dealer you like the most and put your self in their hands.



 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 114
Registered: Sep-04
Slade

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend. It's just that people in the market for such high end kit are usually a little more clued up - and have usually already gone down some of the way towards the really high end system (e.g with a $40000 system). You're going straight in at the top and this is actually quite difficult to do! The reason is that as you get further and further into the stratosphere, consideration of more and more 'external' matters such as mains electricity, house structure, room acoustics, racking systems (which we have not mentioned here and can cost thousands of dollars) and furnishings become ever so much more essential to extracting the best from the system and you're having to learn this in one hit.

For example, did you know that cinema seats are designed to have a specific sound and light reflectivity such that when a person is sitting in the chair, the reflectivity is the same? That's right - no matter whether an average person is sitting in a cinema chair or not, the sound and light reflected from that spot in the cinema is the same. This is to guarantee that no matter whether the cinema is full or empty, the sound in the room will not change. Now you obviously aren't going to setup the room as a cinema (well, actually, you CAN but that's a whole different kettle of fish).

J. Vigne has made some excellent points in his post above. All the components of the system have to gell to make it sound right and your local dealer will know better than me which bits to use to link the system together and get magic out of it. Also, he has a better idea of availability locally. People like Chord and Wilson don't let just anyone sell their stuff - they have to be happy that the dealer understands their product, can demo it to the best of its potential and then be able to carry out the installation task to its conclusion (which is actually more difficult than you'd think). All my rhetoric above is based on my experience as a part-time dealer in the UK (boy do I wish you lived here!) and assuming that at least some of what I've suggested is available to your dealer in the US. As J.Vigne says, you really must let the dealer guide you through the options available to you. Of course, whether you choose Krell over Chord or vice versa is down to your preference of the overall presentation, but the devil is in the detail and in that, it is down to the dealer to guide you through the options of what you've heard, right down to the cabling and mains supply.

On the mains supply issue, most dealers in the UK will simply not have the requisite experience, but do recognize that it's an important factor and will recommend the basic option of one or two 6mm2 separate spurs, but that's partly because they know that many electricians simply wouldn't touch anything bigger than that. The only thing I would say is to try to steer clear of filtered mains units. This is a big industry but every one I've heard has killed the life of the music - although there have been gains in air and space much of the time. My view is always that there's no point of a beautiful sound if it's boring to listen to. That said, your dealer may know that you get noisy, rubbish mains in your area and that you haven't got a hope without at least some filtration in the system.

Naim Audio (http://www.naim-audio.com) is a British company that's been around since the 70's. They have always forged their own way. Initially they just made amplifiers and linked up with Linn (a Scottish company also making high end equipment), who made one of the best turntables in the world, and speakers. After a successful collaboration over a few years Naim and Linn decided to expand thir operations and so the friendly accord dissolved. Linn began making amplifiers and Naim began making speakers. Eventually, in 1991 Naim designed their first CD player called the CDS. It was their first and at around $6000 i was expensive, but it was also considered to be one of the most analogue sounding players in the business - even though it used old Philips technology. As usual, Naim went their own way and designed a two-box player but instead of having the Transport in one box and the DAC in the other, they had one box dedicated purely to the power supplies (about 14 I think) with a massive cable to link into the other box holding the transport and DAC. Naim were one of the first people to consider the implications of jitter ruining timing, and their latest top incarnation, the CDS3, is the player with the lowest amount of measured jitter on the planet.

Their speakers are different too. All their speakers except the latest variants have been designed to go near a back wall to help reinforce their bass output, but also to be a little more discreet than a ruddy great box in the middle of the room! Their top speaker is the DBL. It comes in 4 separate boxes, each designed to handle a particular frequency set. The bass 15" drive unit has a smallish box and a filter into the larger box on which it sits. The filter forces certain frequencies to stay in the local box, but even lower frequencies can escape into the bigger box, thus allowing tight fast frequency response inthe higher mid-bass frequencies, but allowing the speaker to go very deep, yet always keepping the speaker as a sealed unit, which means you get much less box colouration from the speaker. Most speakers are ported to give the bass response, but often, it is possible to both hear the port and to identify the cabinet.

Naim have also always been proponents of active operation. A traditional speaker has a crossover built into it. The crossover takes the signal from the amplifier and splits it into upper and lower frequencies to feed into the treble unit and bass unit, or in the case of a three-way speaker, it'll split those signals three ways. This is called a passive crossover because it sits there waiting for a signal and the signal that arrives is huge. This means the crossover has to have very large components capable of serious power handling (they get very hot, though you wouldn't know it). This is passive operation (95% of the world's systems are passive).

Another way of skinning this cat is not to have the crossover at the end of the chain, but in the middle, between the preamp and power amps. So with an active crossover, you're only dealing with small line level signals, you split them into the 2 or 3 ways you need and feed the 2 or 3 power amps that you need depending on if the speaker is a 2 or 3 way. Each power amp's cables then plug directly to each individual drive unit - nothing in between. It's said that active operation reduces distortion by around 10%, which is actually a huge amount in real terms.

The Naim sound - ah what a quandary! Very difficult to describe. It's a wall of sound, very fast, with real impact, slam and attack. It majors on Pace, Rhythm and Timing, also called PR&T. Not for Naim, the beguiling attributes of soundstaging, air, space, tonality. The Niam approach takes you to the very heart of the performance, the music, the angst and emotion behind the artist's portrayal of that music. Many people say that the Naim sound lends itself to Rock and this is true, but it plays classical beautifully. The fact is that a Naim system is a music system first and a HiFi system second. It may not have the infinite depth of the Krell/Wilson system, or the finely etched detail and poise of the Chord/Dynaudio system, but it has emotion in bags aplenty. At first you may be completely unimpressed by it because it doesn't give you any hiFi cues, but listen for an hour and you'll get a very good idea of what the musicians are telling you. Sorry, no oither way to describe it!

Oh and when you're hooked, it's very difficult to get it out of your blood....

Regards,
Frank.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Frank - When you say steer clear of filtered mains units, are you referring to something specific? I would agree that most whole house filters installed at the mains panel are not the best choice. I would, however, and particularly in a penthouse, suggest some type of mains filtering at the audio/video system itself. This type of system needs something to protect against over/under voltage and to smooth the AC line. I would be looking for RFI and EMI filtering also. Most high end units I have experience with can use the benefit of a common ground which a "filter" can provide.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 61
Registered: Aug-04
wow, awesome. u really knowledgable. lol you have any free time? lol fly down here and help me shop :-) about the spurs, and all that power supply etc, what if i built like a sepereate room just for the home theatre power. and have all the generaters in ther etc? would that work ? thaks :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 836
Registered: Feb-04
By generators do you mean you would build an own power plant just for your HT-setup?

By the way what kind of HT/audio system do you have now? What do you like about it? What you dont?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 62
Registered: Aug-04
by generators yeah i do mean a seperate room like a power plant yes. i just have a bedroom unit right now. rotel and paradigm. got rid of my other home theatre stuff didnt like any of it.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


There's no need for generators in your penthouse. You will definitely get a look from the maintenance people with that one. I would suggest one (or possibly two in parallel) AC filters to perform the functions I described above. At the very least I think you need something that will completely protect your system from surges and lightning and under/over voltage. Which ever dealer you choose should be able to guide you in the selection. They should know what conditions are like in your location.



 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 63
Registered: Aug-04
alright thanks, ill talk to the maintenance people about the filters etc. thanks allot! :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 29
Registered: Oct-04
After reading your thread, Slade, I've had an idea.

You have your heart set on the Wilson Alexandria X-2s, set in a home theatre set-up. Unfortunately, no other speaker is going to timbre match with those bad boys, and it's going to kill your surround effects unless you can find speakers that can pair with it.

So why not get 7 Wilson Alexandria X-2s? For only $430,000 you'll knock the top of that building off. lol

Then you just need a pile of power amps and you're set to go.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 845
Registered: Feb-04
7 Krell MRA's will do the thing. It'll be a big pile of amps... :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 132
Registered: Feb-04
Copy the setup in:

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vaslt&1049587927&read&keyw&zzwilson
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 296
Registered: Jun-04
yikes.....what a system, must be nice to have money :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 64
Registered: Aug-04
LOL, holy mother of god! 7 ALEXANDRIAS lollll so 2 weight about 2600lbs.. lmao.. holy christ! could the floor handle that? if it could then id be all for that lol! ok, so the speakers and amps are out of the way.. the krell home theatre standard receiver is still a good choice? and the proccessor, and the crossovers still all good choices? thanx guys!

yeah vols i suppose it will be a system.. It is nice to have money, but comes with drawbacks, as do everything else.. taxes are such a pain! and money IS the easiest thing to make. even suzie ormen said.. shes great.. i met her once.. thanx again for all your help :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 848
Registered: Feb-04
"taxes are such a pain!"

Lol! If you'd live in Finland you'd be paying taxes like 60% of income. :-)

I dont know about the Krell. I'm not very fond of them. The amps are ok, but the players have noisy internal mechanisms and so on. I would easily prefer the Levinson No.40 over the Krell. Especially fo surround it's miles ahead of the lower priced competition. Or maybe a Chord just because they look so cool. For power amps I would look for the Convergent JL3 mono-tube-amps.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 1720
Registered: Dec-03
Slade,
I'm still waiting on the HT you were suppose to give your Dad:-)
I'll even pay for shipping, LOL!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 65
Registered: Aug-04
LOL berny! lol he still wants a subwoofer. i told him to get a velodyne, or jamo. i have no idea what to look for, in subs but those look good. i think ill copy the setup on that link that peter sent. i may go with chords. ill give those a listen. :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 115
Registered: Sep-04
Hi Guys

Sorry, I'm on holiday so only looking in occasionally.

J. Vigne - all the filters I've heard have an adverse effect on musical quality. Having said that, I haven't heard the PS Audio filters. Those are meant to be very good, and be able to handle quite a bit of power, though I'm not sure it would be to the extent we're discussing here! Of course, if you suffer from power spikes / lightning strikes, it becomes a little more of a requirement to have these things in, just a shame they affect the sound adversely.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 70
Registered: Aug-04
man, this power situation is all soo confuseing to me..
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 116
Registered: Sep-04
Slade,

This is why your dealer is so important at this level. He will understand your local needs, ma know suitable electricians and be able to work treat the installation as a project solution.

When you go to listen to the Chords, make sure you ask about every aspect of the setup he's showing you, preferably before the listening. Also check that the dealer knows the amps emit sound out of phase (he should know this), so the speaker cable needs to be connexcted black to red and red to black on one end (e.g the amp end). If he doesn't do this, the soundstage won't be as well focussed. That said, he should know about this quirk of Chord amps. Any idea when you're going to hear them? Interested in your observations...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 71
Registered: Aug-04
hey Frank, yeah ill talk to the dealer and everything.

Why do u suggest to cross wire the speaker cables? what does that initially do? im going to hear them sometime next week. ill post what i think of them..
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 118
Registered: Sep-04
The Chord amps reverse phase. This means that you/he need to wire them in the 'wrong' way around. It's just a quirk of the amps. If he doesn't believe you tell him to simply try it and see what happens out of interest. Some people are very suscsptible to in/out of phase, some people aren't. If you don't detect a difference you're lucky. If you do, you'll know which way around you like it...!

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 877
Registered: Feb-04
Frank, What's actually the difference of 'normal' and 'inverted' phase? How do you experience it?
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 119
Registered: Sep-04
When an amp inverts phase it pulls the drive unit into the speaker box when it's meant to push it out of the speaker box instead. This has an obvious impact on slam but also on focus, soundstage depth and spacial cues. Now if it's the amp that's inverting, it's an easy fix to to get around this simply by swapping the speaker cable over, positive to negative cable connection.

Sidebar - and here's a really stupid kicker for you, in the 90's there was a spate of inverted phase CDs coming out. In other words, even the studios sometimes got it wrong and inverted the phase before final production!! This is why several high end CD players in the 90's were produced with 180 degree phase switches (e.g Densen B400 if memory serves me), the idea being that you tried it each way for any particular disc and settled on your preferred choice for that disc. Production notes never seemed to indicate whether the disc was produced out of phase or not.

Since I know that the Chords invert phase, I simply wire them up for correct phasing since they lack punch and drive if not in phase generally speaking. I don't mess around with CD phasing since I don't have a phase switch on my disc player, but it's also a palaver to remember to switch the thing every now and then.

If you're wondering about the effect, play a full track of a music CD in 2-channel mode (no effects), switch over the black and red connections, either on the amp or on the main speakers (but not both of course) and play the same track again. Then you'll hear the difference. With it out of phase, things should be more vague or indistinct. Don't forget to re-connect the cable correctly after the test...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 140
Registered: Sep-04
So Slade,

Heard the Chords yet?

Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rkvfire

Vancouver, British Colu... Canada

Post Number: 109
Registered: Aug-04
no i havent been able to get around to washington. I should be headin out there in a week or so. also i think im gonna go with this setup.

Wilson Audio X-2 Alexandria
Wilson Audio XS
Audio Research Reference 600 Mark lll Tube amp
Audio Research Reference 2 Mark ll
Meitner CDSD Transport
EMM Labs DAC 6 DA converter
Runco IDTV 800
Mitsubishi U80 S-VHS VCR Video
Linn Unidisk 1.1 Video
Krell HTS-7.1 Surround Pre
Krell Theater Amplifier Standard
Krell FPB-750 mcX Amplifier
Wilson Audio WATCH Center Channel Monitor
Wilson Audio WATCH Surround (left and right) Monitor
Wilson Audio WATCH rear Monitor
Nordost Valhalla
Nordost Valhalla AES/EBU Interconnect
Nordost Valhalla Speaker cable
Nordost Valhalla Power cord
Nordost Eldorado
Tara Labs RSC Gen 2 Interconnect
Tara Labs RSC Air One
Supra EFF-ISL Interconnect
Sound Application Line Stage AC filter
Tara Labs The One Power cord
Absolute Power Line Purifier
Aurios Pro MIb
Butcher Block Maple 1 1/2 inches thick Tweak
Acoustic Sciences Corporation Tube Traps Tweak
Acoustic Sciences Corporation Sound Planks Tweak
Billy Bags AV Pro Stand
Billy Bags CD/DVD Stand Stand
Cable Elevators Audio Nut Tweak

528k lol, extended the 300k.. and just below the 600k. oh boy.
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