Receiver/speaker advice please


New member
Username: Shorty

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
I am trying to put together another HT/Music system. In the condo I have a PE 55txi with Monitor
Audio silver 8's, Silver center, MA FB110 sub and small MA bookshelf rears. I like the sound of that system very much. If anything it is a little too laid back and mellow.
This system will be for my house. I have about $10-12K to spend for the receiver, 7.1 speakers and a DVR. I like MA gold speakers but I'm not married to them. Could you suggest some rec/speaker combinations in this price range so that I can start the process of listening to them. The system will be used for about 70% DVD's and 30-40% music. A good music example is Moody Blues, Days of Future Passed.
The room dimensions are : 21'L by 16"W by 15'H, steep cathedral. Floor is hardwood, 70% covered with short pile rugs. Ceiling is plank cypress. One long wall is wall board and the other long wall is windows with wooden blinds, always closed. System will be on the width wall with the listener at the other end of the room, against the wall.

Thank you for your opinions and advice.
C'mon, help me spend some money.

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Post Number: 351
Registered: 12-2003
If I were you, I would consider getting 2 systems - one 10K system for music, and a 2k system for movie. Many audiophiles go that rout.

If you don't mind used, shop at

This way, you can get a really nice system for your music listening - especially if you get them used. If you want to go this rout, post for advices on and you will get many helpful advices.

Bronze Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 56
Registered: 12-2003
Mike, I wonder if this mid-fi forum is the best place for this advice. Here is a link for member systems using Martin Logan speakers. I'm sure there are similar sites for other specialized speakers such as Magnepan etc. Just click on the
different numbered systems and you get pictures and descriptions. LOL

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 211
Registered: 12-2003

I can suggest a really great system, worthy of producing either great music or HT, and keep you well within your budget.

First, I would start by changing the electronics--see if the change improves your satisfaction with your current speakers. Now, for your budget, I would not get another receiver. The receiver you have is very good, but it still has its limits. Receivers do represent a set of compromises, one of the toughest is that very low level signals in the pre-amp section are exposed to the high level signals of the power amp section. You can get bleed-through if not well shielded. Many receivers are not. It just works better when they are in a separate chassis. Separates also have higher quality components inside of them.

In the past, my first suggestion would have been an Anthem AVM-20 pre/pro with an Anthem PVA-7 power amp. Can be had for about $3500, and I would still suggest this as a great combo that will leave you more satisfied than with a receiver. But last week, I heard a new low cost separates pair that is even more impressive sounding to me. The new NAD T163 pre/pro w/NAD T973 power amp is truly an incredible pair. I had heard they caused quite a stir at the CEDIA show last September, but now I have heard them for myself and they are a killer pair. MSRP is $3500, but I have priced them at $2700. That is about the same price as many so-called "flagship" receivers and I can guarantee it sounds better than any of them, regardless of brand or price.

If you still want to change your speakers, I think the most impressive speaker system I have ever heard is the Magnepan MG 3.6/R, MGMC1, and the MGCC3 system. Cost is about $6K. Here is a review of the system with the older CC2 center (and the newer CC3 is a huge improvement):

This system got "Product of the Year" and it is even better now with the new center speaker! Now, if you want to spend a little less, I would simply substitute the MG 1.6 mains for the 3.6s. You will save about $1500 I think and lose very little. Magnepans are truly special speakers and are tailor-made for a good sized room with cathedral ceilings. When I had a pair, I always had people who came over just had to hear my sound system.

To this system I would add a Hsu Research VTF-3 subwoofer for $895. Dr. Hsu is THE MAN in subwoofers and the VTF-3 is one of the finest subs ever built. Hsu's are available factory direct from their own website:

With this system, you will not believe it when you hear "Breathe deep, the gathering gloom . . ." It will sound like you are sitting in the 2nd row in Royal Albert Hall.

And believe me, this is not "mid-fi". We do it all on this board!

New member
Username: Shorty

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2004
Thank you very much for the advice, I have great respect for your opinion. I am keeping the PE system intact and putting together a completely new system for a different house. This looks like an awesome set of speakers and of course the NADs are excellent amps. I'll try to find somewhere to listen to them. The next challenge will be selling the wife on the size and looks and how to position them. The TV is caddy corner in the room. Thanks again.
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