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Rotel, B&W home theatre or alternatives?

 

New member
Username: Naptownsailor

Annapolis, Maryland

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
Currently renovating home. Wife is getting her dream kitchen. I am having a custom home theater built in my family room. Will have Mitsubishi 55 inch plasma as video centerpiece, with one 20 inch TV on each side just for fun. Looking at Rotel separates(1066/1075), B&Ws 705s as the 3 fronts, 1 or 2 subs, with 4 B&W surrounds, PioneerBurner DVD, CD, surge protector, etc. Does this make sense? Anything I should be concerned about? What else should I consider? I haven't bought heavily in AV in almost 17 years, prior to marriage and kids! :-). I thank you all in advance for any comments.

Hawk, are you listening?
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 127
Registered: Sep-04
Rich,

Looks good to me, except for a couple of things:

You mention a Pioneer burner DVD. Although they're excellent in terms of function spec, the Pioneers leave a lot to be desired in terms of absolute performance. When you demo (and you should demo to ensure you get it right), get the dealer to show you what the Rotel DVD player can do too. After all, if it doesn't come out of the source, it's not going to come out of the speakers.

I'd go with the 700 series centre speaker rather than a third 705. The centre has the same voicing as the 705s but it has been designed specifically for centre channel duties, and it's also a fraction lower than the 705 which should help position-wise.

The 1075 is a 5 channel amp so you can't have 4 B&W surrounds. I would prefer going with 705s at the back if you can, but the B&W surrounds are very good indeed and do a good job if you want to put them on the wall. If you want the extra surrounds as well for 7-channel, you will have to add a stereo amp. My way of doing this would be to buy a beefier amp for the fronts and drive the rest of the speakers with the 1075. But I'd only do this if the source was bang up to spec.

Subs that really suit the Rotels and B&Ws are the RELs. B&W make their own subs but I find them very difficult to set up correctly and even then, they are quite prominent at all times. The RELs - particularly the Stampede and Strata5 - are more subtle, faster and tighter. I'd recommend the Strata5 in this system.

Only use a surge protector if you suffer from electrical storms in your area. Generally speaking (and I know this is not a common view on this forum), surge protectors suck the life from the sound, making it less dynamic and engaging.

Cabling is important. Rotels are quality enough to warrant good quality cables. Ensure that the dealer uses the word 'neutral' in his suggestions. I tends to marry Rotels with Chord Co. cables which are very neutral and open up the Rotels a bit.

The 705s are finicky to place. They need space all around them, e.g a good 18 inches to 2 feet behind them to the rear wall and they like to be toed in quite a bit. Bear this in mind before you buy.

Have fun!

Regards,
Frank.
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