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Archive through May 04, 2004

 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-04
Hello,

Even though this is my first post, I've been following this board for a couple of months and I'm impressed with the level of knowledge and assistance imparted by the members. Now, I'm hoping you can give me some guidance. I'm posting in the DVD-A group because I'm moving toward the multi-channel configuration but actually have questions about different aspects of the system.

My current 2-channel setup is:

NAD c350
NAD c541i
B&W CDM 1NT (pair main speakers)
Energy XL8 sub (leftover from old Take5 sub/sat system)

The current plan is to take the NAD c350 and Energy sub and move it to the bedroom to pair up with the Energy speakers (currently gathering dust) and an iPod mini (AAC files ripped at 320kbps) as the source.

The living room (13x20x8) will get the multi-channel system. Due to economics, I'm looking at a mid-level player and due to one of my fave artists (Aimee Mann) currently being available only on SACD, I'm looking at a universal player even though John A's evangelizing on DVD-A led me down the path to multi-channel. ;-)

Here's what I'm considering:

NAD T753 a/v receiver
Denon 2200 universal player
NAD c541i (keep existing CD with new system)
B&W CDM 1NT (keep existing pair main speakers)
B&W surrounds and center ( model? )
REL Strata III sub

Questions:

1. Does the T753 have the same multi-zone capabilities as the T763? If so, could I connect the c350 in the bedroom to it to be able to use the other source components? How is this connection generally made?

2. I've heard the Denon 2200 played through a Rotel and B&W 600 series tower speakers. While it sounded good, I don't know that it gives me a clear indication of what to expect paired with a NAD and my B&W CDM 1NT's. Any thoughts?

3. Although I love the NAD sound, I like the aesthetics of Rotel. I don't have an opportunity to do a side by side comparison. Any thoughts from someone who has heard both?

4. Setup. Based on my current config, my use of multi-channel would be 100% music as my TV is in a different room from the sound system. I believe setup of the components requires TV. Is there a way around this? For instance, can the components be fed into an Apple Powerbook to do the setup? If not, I suppose I could move the TV but this will require rearranging the furniture from its current optimal configuration (Disclosure: I'm a girl)

5. How crucial are the center channel and surrounds to the sound quality of multichannel? I'd like to stay with B&W but would prefer to get a less expensive speaker. My CDM 1NT mains are comparable to the current 700 series speakers. But, I was thinking of the 300 series for the center and surrounds. Is this ok or do I need to get a closer match to the mains?

I'm sorry this is such a long post. Hopefully, future posts will be much shorter! ;-)

Thanks for any feedback!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 169
Registered: Dec-03
well i will coment on what i have some knowladge
on.

the denon 2200 should be just fine with your setup.

to me personally the nad is slightly warmer then the rotel.

i also like the look of the rotel over the nad
and with your b&w speakers the rotel should work
very well.

am i hearing you correctly thet you do not have
movie surround?

and yes the setup of components does need a monitor source.

if your powerbook has a video in source yes you
could use it.or a small like 13" tv.to leave on it would not be to expensive.

i can't suggest on which b&w speakers to get but
yes the center channel at least is very crucial.

and if you are not doing movie surround i would
do rearranging and make it so!

someone like hawk would be able to give you more
info on the speakers.
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 2
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks for your comments, Kegger! yes, you heard right....I don't have movie surround in the mix right now. I'm not much of a movie buff. But, if I'm moving to a multichannel system for music, I suppose I would get even more value out of it, if I moved the TV next to it and watched a movie every once in awhile. ;-)

Anyone else with suggestions about what to do, particularly in regards to center/surround recommendations?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 171
Registered: Dec-03
sounds good i think your on the right track.

you should be able to checkout a b&w dealer and
figure out between you and the dealer which of
the b&w center channels fits your particular
main speakers the best.

just in case you don't know what you are looking
for in the center channel.what you want to look
for is a fairly full range center and something
that matches closely in sound to your fronts that
way when music or movies pan from side to side it
doesn't sound different.

the surround speakers don't really mattter that
you get b&w speakers, but you should try to get
a full range speaker there too. more so for music
than movies, as the new music formats send a full
range to the rears.and try to match them as best
as you can with the rest.(meaning if the rest of
your speakers are fairly bright, get the same
with the surrounds)all you need is fairly close.

and you don't need giant speakers all the way
around if you have anice sub but it is better now
with the music formats to get a more full range
speaker than you needed to in the past.

it seams like you know what you want to listen to
in music so i'm sure if you auditioned some you
could find the ones you like with no problem.

use your own judgement it is you who has to listen to it.

and i'm sure you'll be fine.
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 4
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks for the advice about the center/surrounds. It sounds like it might be better to consider the 600 or 700 series centers. I found that the 300 series does not use Kevlar cones so it might not match well with my CDM 1NT.

Is it unusual to ask a dealer to bring in your own equipment to audition with products you're thinking of purchasing?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 173
Registered: Dec-03
yes that is right if your fronts have kevlar cones. also look at your tweeters and try to
match those up.

for the most part a dealer wants to make a sale
so they will (within reason)try to accomadate
you any way possable. so if you are considering
bringing in your main speakers to match with the
center that should not be a problem.

also some dealers will let you take a couple
center channels home to evaluate.this might be
better because you can evaluate with your own
equipment.

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 175
Registered: Dec-03
i see that there is an "CDM CNT center" that will
obviously match because it is from the same series.

 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 167
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Your system upgrade choices are very sound. You really have to go out and listen for your B&W speaker choices. Remember timbre matching is critical, especially with a center channel speaker. With your speakers, I would stick with NAD. Rotel is a fine receiver, but a little too cold sounding for my taste with B&W speakers. I prefer the warmer sound of the NAD.

As far as mutlichannel audio goes, I like you, am a newcomer. I am only looking into it because I had a DVD player quit a short time ago. From what I've heard in the $500 price range, the NAD 533, Denon 2200, and the CA AZUR 540D seem to be the choices. I think DVD-A sounds superior to SACD. I don't want to spend big money in the middle of another format war. I've always been a 2 channel stereo lover, so if SACD becomes the format of choice, I'll upgrade to a high-end player at that time, knowing it can always play regular CD's. So for now, I'll just go for a DVD video player that does DVD-A.

Yes, bring your own gear to the salon to audition. If they have a problem with that, shop elsewhere. Good luck!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 176
Registered: Dec-03
i agree with everything rick says except that the
rotel would not be a good match.

i believe that the rotel would be fine, because
of how your speakers sound.
nuetral to warm and a little laid back.

i think the rotel with it's qualities would mix
fine and work well with the b&w sound.

now then again that is my opinion and like rick
and i both said you need to listen.

personally i like the sound of both the nad and
the rotel they just need to be auditioned with
the right speakers.
 

Unregistered guest
Dear Ms. Cabriolet, allow me to make the following suggestions. The B&W speakers are a very nice choice as a main speaker, as are about a dozen other brands. Good quality speakers are becoming much easier to find and afford than ever before. If you have not already done so, take a few albums/CD's around and listen a bit. That said you will not go wrong with the B&W's. The choice of amplifier can be made on many justifications, sometimes as simple as a person likes a remote control from one brand. As with the speakers, you are presenting a choice between two well made products. I have heard B&w's with both Rotel and NAD and they all play well together. Personal choice should dictate here as much as deciding between a Camry and an Accord. All are well made, they represent dependable, high value items that find favor with many people. But people can and will argue for their personall preference endlessly. In the end your ears should be the judge. You won't go wrong with either piece. If you have a dealer for both in your area you can probably arrange to borrow both amps at the same time for a side by side shoot out in your own space. My only question before you make a purchase would be one of diversity. Have you considered used equipment that might get you a bit more of the taste of high end at a reasonable cost? Obviously the source has to be new to accomodate the DVD-A/SACD but the rest of the electronics could be as simple as a multi channel amp(s) fed directly from the player using its own volume control. Look and see what you think. For the source player the Denon seems to be the most logical choice unless you have many more dollars to spend. As formats are constantly battling for position at this (and seemingly all) time I would not invest large sums of money until I saw a more definite trend in staying power in one of the formats. In the area of flexibility in the amplifiers, I can't speak to the specifics of the two models of NAD but you should be able to find that answer at their web site or no more than a call to NAD. But you do need the ability to put in the signal from (at least) a 5.1 source, make certain that type of input capability is present on whatever you purchase as you will be using the output of the DVD-A/SACD player at its multichannel analog output. Multi zone can mean different things to different people as requirements for multi sourcing varies from one system to the next. None the less you can always run a line from tape out in one room to tape or AUX in for the other zone. Depending on the flexibility of sources you reqiure this may be just as simple a set up as anything. As to the importance of the speakers; if you go with three speakers across the front, they should all match in timbre. This is most easily done by using three front speakers from the same company. Most B&W's are identifiable as B&W's as are KEF's, Paradigm's and DynaAudio's to name just a few. Within each line the sound varies by degree but not in its basic nature and quality. But to match a Polk to a JBL is more problematic. The same rule normally applies to the surrounds though it is not uncommon for the rears to be of a lower price and size and still be quite acceptable. Depending on your taste and room requirements the more appropriate question might become direct radiator or dipole/bipole. This also is quite often a simple matter of taste but most dealers should be willing to work with you as you work your way through the purchase as long as you are willing to work with their rules and are not looking to take half their inventory home on trial. Let me inject my own attitude here; for a music only system you should not need a center speaker, particularly if you are buying speakers that are designed around the requirements of reproducung music first and foremost. I, myself, as an admitted oldster, listen to most of my music in stereo even when I am listening on a multi channel set up. Having grown up with (except for that weird QS/SQ/RM/CD4 quad stuff in the 70's and early bucket brigade type time delays in the 80's) mostly mono and stereo material I find the processing of so many speakers to be rather distracting to the quality of the music. Soundstaging almost always suffers, in my opinion, when too many speakers compete for your attention. A center speaker is, in its present application, utilized to focus the dialogue on screen in a video system where speaker placement was dictated by the big piece of furniture in between the two main speakers. If you have flexiblity in you speaker placement without that big box in the middle you may find a center speaker is not needed. Why not try two front speakers and see if you really are in need of a center. On the inital set up you will simply tell the player you are not using a center and it will adjust its processing to that set up. You can always try a center speaker at a later date and see if you feel it is beneficial. The final point of a video monitor for set up is corect, the system does require a video feed for set up. But only for set up. Provide a monitor for the first three or four days as you acclimate yourself to how the system should be set up and levels set and so on then disconnect the cable and you should not need to refer to any control except volume after that to enjoy the music. This, of course, does not apply if you think you will constantly need to change the parameters of the system but if you ask around I think you will find most people, after they get the sound adjusted to their preferences, don't fiddle with it very much after that. This will be even more likely to be true in a music only system. If you think this might work for you the set up could be as simple as running a single, long patch cable from the music system to the present location of your TV. That can probably be accomplished for under $25 and no box in the middle that you won't be using to mess with speaker placement and sound. A music only system will almost always sound its very best with nothing between the two front speakers. I hope I have addressed your basic questions with care and have neither confused the issue nor sent you backwards. Good luck and don't stress over making just the right choice the first time out. You seem to be headed in the right direction and could be spending the time listening to music in your own home.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 177
Registered: Dec-03
obviously everyone has their own opinions and
preferences mister vigne has stated his.

i do not agree with what he preferrs but that is
why it is his opinion and he is not wrong nor
right it is just what he prefers.

personally myself i believe in the new formats
of multichannel music as i have enjoyed 2 channel
music for a long time, now enjoy multi channel
even more.

and in my opinion the center channel is just as
important if not more than the main fronts.

i could ramble on and on about the benefits of
both and waste your time with a bunch of garble.

but as most know music is more about a choice
than it is about being wrong or right.

but my belief would be if you want multi channel
music you need at least 5 speakers and a sub.

and sense you would then have the surround system
you might as well make the tv part of it.
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 6
Registered: Apr-04
Thank you, gentlemen!

Rick:
That's an interesting perspective to go with a less expensive DVD-A only and upgrade once the winning format is determined. Frankly, I like the aesthetics of the NAD and Cambridge better than Denon's gold on black. But, I still think I prefer to go with a universal player and the Denon technical specs seem to be the best at that price point. If this aesthetics thing proves too strong, I could try to swing for the 2900 which also comes in silver.

Jan:
You asked, "My only question before you make a purchase would be one of diversity."

Well, its ironic you asked. Last night (before I was aware of your post), I spent a great deal of time investigating other components such as B&K, Parasound Halo and Bel Canto. Even used, some of these units seem to exceed the budget.

My total budget is $3000. The REL sub is $750 (used), the DVD-A/SACD is $600 and I'm hoping I can get a center/surround for around $600. That leaves $1050 for the receiver. The T753 is definitely in this range (in fact would allow enough room to go to the Denon 2900) but I could also go to the T763 or a Rotel 1056 (but would have to stay with the Denon 2200 with the more expensive receiver).

I'm going to keep investigating the possibilities.

Kegger:
Thanks. Looks like the CDM CNT is in demand. No used ones listed on eBay or audiogon (in fact there are WANTED ads there). I may look into the LCCR6.

The audition request is something that makes me nervous. In my town, one dealer sells NAD but not Rotel or B&W and a different one sells Rotel and B&W but no NAD. The NAD dealer seems to be more open to "tryouts" but the other dealer says "buy it and use 10 days to decide whether to return it." I haven't approached either yet about the possibility of bringing in my own speakers/sub to audition.

When I bought my existing equipment, I had purchased the B&W's on the 10-day return policy and the NAD dealer allowed me to audition the c350/c540i as well as a pair of Linn speakers. This allowed me to do an A/B comparison between B&W and Linn. I felt the B&W had a more open soundstage so I didn't have to return the B&W's. :-)

Well, I better go off to work now, otherwise this whole multichannel quest becomes moot! Thanks, again!
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 152
Registered: Feb-04
Ghia,

The silver version of the Denon 2200 is supposed to come out soon. You might want to ask your dealer if they are expecting any or can order one for you.

I bought a 2200 recently and would highly recommend it for DVD-V, DVD-A and SACD playback. If you get the Aimee Mann SACDs, let us know if its worth the $$$. The only reason I hesitate is that the discs are twice as expensive as other SACDs because of their "Original Master Recordings."
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 7
Registered: Apr-04
Two Cents,

Thanks for the info about the silver 2200. Didn't know about that so I will definitely check into it.

I already have Aimee Mann's "Lost in Space" SACD but haven't gotten "Bachelor No.2" yet. LIS is a hybrid disk with a regular (redbook? sorry, I don't know all the lingo) CD track in addition to the SACD. The SACD is stereo not multi-channel. Additionally, this recording is remastered by Mobile Fidelity.

I can confirm that the remastered recording is significantly improved over the original release - at least to my own unsophisticated ears. Despite my unsophisticated ears, I'm pretty familiar with the nuances of this particular recording and the remastered version is much cleaner (especially the vocals) and more textured. However, I have not had a good listen to the SACD portion. I took it to a dealer a couple of weeks ago who played it through a Denon 2900 hooked up to a Marantz and Def Tech speakers. It didn't blow me away - but, this may be because it came immediately after hearing the multichannel "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" at very high volumes. When the dealer put in the Aimee Mann disc, the volume was much lower and he talked through the one song that got played. ;-)

As a fan of Aimee Mann, I didn't mind paying more to get the remastered recording and, when I get an SACD, I can enjoy that aspect of it too - and, I can listen to it indepth and report back whether its worth it to someone who's an SACD enthusiast but not necessarily an Aimee Mann fan.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 154
Registered: Feb-04
Ghia,

Thanks for the info on the Aimee Mann discs. I'm a newbie Aimee Mann fan. I only have the Magnolia soundtrack now, which I think is brilliant. I borrowed "Lost In Space" from a friend and liked it very much. Would like to hear more of her stuff.

I think it's wise that you're keeping your NAD CD player for playing redbook CDs. I haven't heard a DVD player south of a grand that plays CDs as well as a good dedicated CD player. Your NAD is a very good player and I'm sure it'll sound better than the Denon players with redbook CDs.

All the possibilities of assembling a multi-channel music system can become dizzying, so I'm just going to throw out one idea. If you want perfect timber match from your speakers, you can get it by using 5 CDM 1NTs. The main reason speaker manufacturers have a separate center channel model is aesthetics, i.e., a horizontally placed speaker over the tv looks better than a vertical one. Anyway, if the appearance of five identical speakers doesn't bother you, you could get excellent matched sound from this set-up.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 743
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I must congratulate you on your choice of computer.

Video out is no problem. Video in is less easy, I think. And the limitation will be the player, not the computer. If you can afford a player with iLink (exactly the same as FireWire, and developed by Apple) there should be no problem, but with analogue video outputs it will require some kind of extra A-to-D converter.

I think Kegger will know more about this, and may wish to comment.

BTW the Apple TTF-LCD displays are superb, as long as you sit only a few feet away. Our kids watch movies sometimes on my 17 " iBook, and when I arrive to trouble-shoot, I am always amazed by the cinemantic quality, close-up. But that is quite a tortuous way of getting the on-screen display for setup. The smallest, cheapest TV would be just as good.

I cannot add anything to the good audio advice you have already received. My family's incremental adoption of HT and, from there, surround sound, started with playing DVDs on a PowerBook plugged into my stereo system. You can even get a small adaptor that will allow you to use a laptop through its USB port as the digital audio source for 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS.
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 8
Registered: Apr-04
John A:

I love the Powerbook! Here's a dirty little secret...I work for the "evil empire" - y'all know who that is right?...hehehe. Ahem, well, the Powerbook is great and renewed my interest in computers after I "achieved" burnout from IT support. I could only afford the 12" model (purchased 2 months before the price drop...timing is everything) but it is still sweet.

Based on Kegger's advice, I'll likely move the TV into the main room and get into the whole movie surround thing (then the mix will probably become 95/5 in favor of music) so I guess the setup question is moot. Of course, my furniture arrangement could probably be spared if I got a flat panel TV to hang on a wall...hehehe. Stop me!

I'm curious John A....I suspect your DVD-A evangelizing has been quite successful in swaying folks (such as me) to take this plunge so are you contributing to their purchase funds? ;-)

Two Cents:

I've always been very pleased with the NAD cd performance but my "wisdom" regarding keeping the NAD cd player in the system comes from the knowledge I've gained reading this forum.

I would love to have 5 CDM 1NT's....if I can find 3 more of them and if I can afford them. There aren't any on audiogon right now. I'll keep looking though. I agree with your comment about matching the timbre and the suggestion makes good sense.

Aimee Mann is an aquired taste for some. "Magnolia" is probably her most accessible work and some of the songs from there also appear on "Bachelor No. 2" - which I consider to be superior to "Magnolia". If you have heard and like "Lost in Space" then you are probably a good candidate to be a full-fledged fan since that is probably her darkest record both lyrically and musically. Even I had to give it a few listens before I "got" it. She has always explored the dark side of relationships, lyrically, but this often gets lost in the sweet, melodious (is that a word?) pop tunes she crafts - with the exception of LIS which again is her darkest musically. Still, it is a beautiful record - unless one lives by the "don't worry, be happy" credo and then it might just be plain depressing. ;-)


All:
I really appreciate all the suggestions made to help me along. The suggestions have raised some new questions/possibilities in my mind so the equipment mix might change. The only things I'm certain of at this point are the REL sub and the Denon DVD-2200. I'm still leaning heavily toward the NAD a/v receiver...but, I may look into the possibility of getting used separates.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 178
Registered: Dec-03
I recently pickup up my last of the 7 channels of
amplification and will be looking for a prepro soon.

definatley more expensive than the reciever route
but for now i am using my hk 525 as the prepro
and it is a very good improvement over the reciever.

now i don't know if you are still wondering about
hooking up your power book.but if you have an rca
in or svideo in you should be fine.

and i would definately agree if you could get all
the same speakers as your mains that shouild be
the best sounding.

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 747
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

"I suspect your DVD-A evangelizing has been quite successful". You know, I learned it here, was sceptical, and now hear it for myself, so that's all there is. I also think I detect, in SACD, the WG formula of built-in consumer dissatisfaction, then a paid-for cure for it, with another dose in the cure. But it could still sound good, I don't know.

"so are you contributing to their purchase funds?"

My ulterior motive is to try to get DVD-A considered by people who might just wish to know. All I hope to get back is keeping discs sales a commercial proposition, so I can go on buying them myself.

Of course, I would not decline charitable donations, were any to come my way....

WG is a talented guy, and now a philanthropist. If he'd done something actually useful earlier on, he probably would not now be in a position to fund malaria research. I also understand he personally uses a Mac. It's swings and roundabouts, I guess.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 748
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

A powerbook has S-video, but only out, I think. I will check.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 750
Registered: Dec-03
Yes, S-video is output only. There might also be VGA or DVI ports, but I doubt if you can use the display with an external input at all.
 

New member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 10
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks, John A. That confirms my suspicion about not being able to use the PB as a vid source for setup.

My head is spinning right now trying to learn about setting up a multichannel system. There's so much terminology and technology to learn about and trying to decipher what is important and what's not is a challenge to a newbie like me. Usually, I skip over the video specs/considerations and only read about the audio portion. Could this get me into trouble?

I think I need to get off the internet and into an audio store to do some listening. Then, maybe get back into the research.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 179
Registered: Dec-03
yes the video protion of specs are really of not
much interest.

your mainly concerned about the audio portion.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 11
Registered: Apr-04
Reading a review regarding Aragon Stage One processor and was curious about this statement:

"For all you true analog heads, the Stage One has an onboard two-channel analog preamp that can accept Stereo Direct inputs that bypass all the analog-to-digital converters and DSP. This means your SACD and DVD-Audio players have an unprocessed home to live in. "

Is there an advantage to by passing the aforementioned analog-to-digital converters and, if so, why?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 180
Registered: Dec-03
basicly what is done is take your 2 channel input
and sends it straight to the preamp outs without
going through any processors for the cleanest
signal.

many quality preamps and recievers have simular
features.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 751
Registered: Dec-03
I agree with Kegger.

Sources can be analogue, like LP, tape cassette, FM radio tuner. They can also be digital, like CD, DVD, DAT, Digital satellite broadcasting. Sound itself is analogue; speaker are analogue. Therefore there has to be a Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) somewhere.

If you connect a CD- or DVD-player to a receiver/amp with the digital connector, you are using the DAC in the receiver. Good for Dolby Digital, DTS 5.1 surround sound. If, however, you connect with analogue, the signal has been converted to analogue in the player. This is usually better for stereo. For DVD-Audio and SACD (also digital on the disc), you mostly have to let the player do the D-to-A conversion, too, and have six analogue interconnects to the receiver.

Processing (Prologic etc, also channel delays and speaker settings) works on digital signals. So, if the input to the processor is analogue, there is an Analogue-to-Digital converter involved, first. Some people clearly use the DAC in a player and then the ADC in the receiver/amp, then the DAC in the receiver amp to get the final, amplified signal, and sound.

The thing to do is use the minimum possible number of ADC and DAC steps. Aragon and other good makers will let you bypass them altogether, wherever possible. It is definitely a feature worth having, in my opinion. Some modern systems will never let you escape making everything digital at some stage, even if there is no need.

Hope that helps!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 12
Registered: Apr-04
Thank you, Kegger for your succinct explanation and John A for your more detailed but still clear, concise explanation. Both clarified this greatly for me.

One of the things I find as I research equipment is the authors tend to write to their presumed audience and the presumption is the audience already has a degree of knowledge about the technology. Is there a good resource that discusses the technologies (rather than brands) in a "practical" manner?

As you can see, in the research I have done since the beginning of this thread, I've moved into looking beyond the NAD/Rotel AV receiver route that I'm more familiar with and into considering separates which is a whole new world for me.

I still don't know if I can afford to do this but my thinking is it might be more financially prudent over the long run. I think moving from my existing 2ch receiver to a multichannel receiver is still a lateral move. And, chances are, 2 years from now I might be looking to upgrade again (just like I am now with my less than 2 year old system). So maybe it would be better to expand my budget NOW to allow for the purchase of a multi-channel amp/processor that would be the heart of the system for many years to come. The Aragon 2005/Stage One combo seems to be calling me. Gotta find a local dealer for an audition.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 754
Registered: Dec-03
ghia,

My opinion for what it's worth is you are heading in the right direction. There is no simple answer. In the long run good equipment is a good investment. The market is being tweaked all the time with attempts to stimulate demand by offering features of little long-term value. I think, for example, channels more than 5.1, but this is contentious!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 38
Registered: Apr-04
Ghia, FYI I believe the NAD T7x3 receivers have a Stereo Bypass mode too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 181
Registered: Dec-03
ghia are are correct with some of your assumption.

yes if you purchase good quality amplifiers you
can have them for life.

but a dedicated multi channel prepro you still
may upgrade in a couple years as technology changes.

and they are generally more expensive than a good
reciever.

so for some people they would rather change the
less expensive reciever every 2 to 3 years than
the more expensive prepro.

now some prepro's are upgradeable but how far and
at what expense.also the ones that are upgradeable
are generally more expensive.

i am not trying to sway you from buying seperates
just letting you know some of the info that people tend to forget.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 457
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

I have two AV set-ups. The one downstairs is the Aragon 2007/Stage One and the upstairs has a Pioneer Elite 49TXi. The Aragon is great, ( and even without OSD--on screen display) it is about the easiest set-up I have ever used. Might be because it comes with a great Philips Neo remote that is pre-programmed. And how can I forget to mention (as I am sure you have noticed)--it is incredibly beautiful with that amazing blue lit logo of Mondial bathing the front aluminum/silver faceplates on the amplifier and the preamp. It belongs in the Museum of Modern Art. Everytime I have people over there are always a few people that keep staring at it hypnotically.
The downside is the following: not the greatest manual in the world and I keep discovering more things it can do as I drill further into the preamp. But it is great performer in both stereo and surround. This is not to say you can't get equally as good performance from less expensive units, but if looks are important to you--and it seems they are--it has a look and a presence that can't be beat. A Timex is just as accurate as a Rolex, but those that are into looks and a certain panache or style, like the Rolex. The Aragon is like that. But the Anthem AV20 preamp is a better deal. But since I have a friend that sells Aragon-I must have gotten at least 30% off--I went that way. The Rotel 1098 is also a fine unit. And the Adcom GTP-880 can be gotten for under $2,000 is a nice unit too.

Obviously, you can spend less on a very good receiver and get great performance too. It is tough to beat the NAD T773 in performance at its price point, but you will get that industrial NAD look. Many like the look (or find it alright), but are much more interested in performance per dollar (which makes sense, particularly if budget is a big issue).

As far as universal dvd players, I have a Denon 2900 and a Pioneer Elite 59AVi. My neighbor has the Denon 2200 and I think it is the best universal player at its price point, just as the 2900 and 59AVi are probably the best at their price points.

You can save some money by getting either the Outlaw Audio subwoofer for $579, direct from Outlaw Audio and with a 30 daqy return policy. It was designed by both the engineers at Outlaw and by Dr. Hsu at Hsu Research subwoofers. It is quite beautiful and performs great. Another great one is the Hsu VTF-3 MK 2 which can be gotten at $649 direct from Hsu--also with 30 day return. I would get either of those two instead of the REL (not that there is anything wrong with the REL).

Having a good center speaker is very important as the dialogue plays through there and often quite a bit of music too. Surrounds, while important, are the least important of the speakers.

You have a couple of options. You can buy a B&W center and keep the B&W's you have up front and buy B&W surrounds or B&W direct speakers for the surround (I prefer the direct for music--and they are quite good for theatre also) and the B&W center, or use the B&W's as surrounds and get 2 fronts and a center from B&W or any other speaker company that matches the impedance of the speakers you already own. For instance you might like Paradigm, Monitor Audio, etc.

For my upstairs set-up I have 2 pairs of Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10's (one pair of GR 10's for the surround) along with the GR center channel and a Hsu VTF-3. It sounds great. But there are a lot of excellent speakers out there--along with a bunch of not-so-good speakers too. Speakers can be the most difficult component to settle on, as they all have a different flavor of their own.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 13
Registered: Apr-04
Gregory:

Thank you very much for your detailed input into this. I appreciate the explanation of how you have your system setup.

You are right...the Aragon is hypnotic! It's beauty probably - uh, no likely - has played a role in my consideration of a budget expansion...but I also don't want to have to go through another upgrade in a couple of years. From what I've read the Aragon is designed to accomodate pretty much all the current technologies. Maybe I'm naive but it seems the Aragon setup would be a "heart" that would be around for awhile and the only upgrades might come in the areas of the source players. Still, the Aragon might be overkill for what I need considering I'm not an HT nut.

And, looks are important but not at the expense of the sound. I actually like the NAD appearance (and love the sound) because its got a slightly Euro, clean face - even in the battleship gray. I'm not a big fan of gold on black and too many logos and button clutter. Other than that, I think I like the look of silver equipment but am not necessarily rigid on that (except in the case of the Denon 2200 - which must be silver - sorry, folks, it's just too ugly in the black/gold). Since this system is on display in my living room instead of being in a rack in a home theater, I want to give aesthetics some consideration.

I've read that separates give a cleaner sound? What about the NAD s170i and s250 separates? I've found an authorized dealer (on the net) who has new, A stock at 50% off retail. I'd prefer to go through a local dealer but that might be too good of a discount to pass up. However, there doesn't seem to be much info about the performance of these units.

One other thing that has played a role into looking away from receivers - and I hate to even bring it up but - there does seem to be a lot of concerns with NAD build quality lately. I understand that most people who report problems otherwise may not have even posted to boards before and that the reported problems are very likely a small percentage of the overall units. Heck, I'm even a NAD owner and haven't experienced a quality issue....still, its a little disconcerting.

Thanks again to EVERYONE for the input. You are really teaching me a lot about this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 14
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger:

You wrote: "so for some people they would rather change the less expensive reciever every 2 to 3 years than the more expensive prepro"

Its tough to argue against that philosophy. My question would be is if you are buying the receivers more frequently would you not eventually have spent as much or possibly more than if you had gone to the "next level" sooner? You know what I mean?

I don't know...maybe those blue Aragon lights have hypnotized and brainwashed me. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 15
Registered: Apr-04
Correction: that NAD s170i/s250 are demos. Any thoughts on buying demo units?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 170
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I have been a long time user of Aragon amps. They sound great, have bullet proof build quality, and yes the new post Mondial, Klipsch era models, with the blue lights look cool also.

So if you can afford the leap into high end, go for it. Remember, it's all about the sound.

So push yourself away from the keyboard, and go out and start listening. It's time to narrow down some choices. Don't worry, we will all be here to help. Cheers!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 16
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks Rick! You are absolutely right! I've tried to pick models that appeal to me and have gotten good sonic reviews. I know who my NAD dealer is and just found out who the Aragon dealer is so it's time to start auditioning.

For what it's worth, I'm picking up the REL sub tomorrow and am pretty set on the Denon DVD-2200. Just need to figure out the receiver/amp part and get this system built.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 171
Registered: Dec-03
You go girl! Keep us posted on your findings.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 19
Registered: Apr-04
Hehehe! Well, I certainly feel as if I've crashed a boy's club. Hopefully, y'all don't mind, too much. I always get a good laugh hearing about the WAF - at least that's something I don't have to worry about. ;-)

Thanks again for all the advice. I'll definitely let you know what transpires.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 183
Registered: Dec-03
ghia in response to your!

"Its tough to argue against that philosophy. My question would be is if
you are buying the receivers more frequently would you not eventually
have spent as much or possibly more than if you had gone to the "next
level" sooner? You know what I mean?

I don't know...maybe those blue Aragon lights have hypnotized and
brainwashed me. :-)"

what i am saying is if your having to replace
the prepro or the reciever every 2 to 3 years
than the reciever is generally the cheaper route.

because the reason you would upgrade the reciever
is the same as the prepro.

new technology that niether the reciever or the
prepro can upgrade to.

a lot of recievers and prepros are upgradable but
you can only upgrade so much.

so if you spent $2500 on a prepro and $1500 on a
reciever and had to upgrade when something new
came out the reciever is obviuosly cheaper.

a good quality prepro is not cheap but for some
strange reason a good quality reciever can be.
i'll never understand that one.

if they can make a quality reciever than you'd
think if they didn't have to put the amps and
larger power supllies in the prepro that it
would be cheaper.

i know we could discuss/debate why the prepro is
more expensive than a reciever (better dac's and whatnot)but if you took out the amplification and
larger power supplies while adding the better dac's and whatnot you should get pretty close to
the price of a reciever.or keep the dac's the
same and just remove the larger power supplies
and amplification making the prepro cheaper.


BUT I DON'T MEAN TO TURN THIS INTO A DEBATE ON THAT!

and again i am not suggesting that seperates are
not a good idea.(i am going that route myself)
just trying to show both sides of the story.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 184
Registered: Dec-03
i'm sure everyone hear feals the same way i do.

women are allways welcome and may bring a new
way of looking at somehting that maybe we don't
realize.

and i like the "don't need waf" comment. good one!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 185
Registered: Dec-03
a lot of times i come hear to just gather new
ideas and alternate ways of looking at something.

you should check out our post hear you may have a
few good ones to add yourself.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/16685.html

anyways time to go checkout some hockey. go wings!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 172
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Hope you took the comment in the humorous spirit, in which it was intended. As an old married man with two daughters, I have always known my place in the world. And I don't think the boys mind at all. Cheers!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 20
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger:

I suppose in the end, it probably all ends up being in the same ballpark costwise. I think the reviews I've read about the Aragon processor in which the reviewers perspectives where that this processor covered all the current technologies and is upgradeable led me to expect less "turnover". One reviewer felt this unit would take you into the "next decade". But, maybe it is naive to think that that would actually happen.

Thanks for the link to that thread. That looks like fun! Maybe I'll have some contributions to it. ;-)

Rick:
Absolutely, the intended spirit came through. I had to resist calling you "girlfriend"...hehehe... Everyone has made me feel welcome and has given me advice without making me feel stupid despite the elementary level of some of my questions. It's been fun!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 760
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

The "WAF" use to be the "SAF" for "Spouse Acceptance Factor", which is more politically correct. I liked it better because it is more inclusive. Someone changed SAF to WAF, probably without thinking. Perhaps everyone realises there is no corresponding "HAF", so why keep up the pretence... in point of fact, the tone of some posters, whom I shall not name, and who seem not (yet) have a WAF, suggests that ownership of the kind of systems you are suggesting would be quite likely result in proposal of marriage. The GFAF (girlfriend acceptance factor) is the one which puzzles me.

If money were no object, I would certainly consider separates. There is more choice of high quality products, more future ungradability, and less prospect of needing to upgrade, anyway. NAD has a nice-looking combination with the T 163 A/V Tuner Preamplifier and T 973 Seven Channel Amplifier. If you have lots of money, Bryston seems in a class of its own, and the reference system for a lot of serious HiFi reviewers. Same for Meridian.

I have no experience of Aragon, but I read only high praise here. Personally, I hate blue lights. I had a sub with one and it shouted "Look at me!" every time I entered the room.

I believe Hifi components should be the exact opposite of Victorian children: they should be heard, and not seen. Huge speakers are OK by me, personally (but they are universally agreed to have a very low WAF) as long as they do not draw attention to themselves. You might wish to consider Magnepan for main speakers, using the existing B&Ws for surrounds - the B&W CDM 1NT is not so large. Or get a larger B&W for main speakers. Rick has recently written a Eulogy for Ohm speakers under "Speakers".
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 186
Registered: Dec-03
you know after some more looking at what you are
considering doing and thinking maybe we could do
a little better if we new your budget.

because to me it looks like your budget is larger
than i thought.

and what i mean is you are looking at some more
expensive prepros and amplifiers and keeping with
the same speakers.

a few people have mentioned it and i am starting
to see why.

you could as others have mentioned put the b&w's
that you have in the back and get 3 new fronts.

in my opinion you would get more of an upgrade
in sound if you went with something larger in
the front and that way you find 3 matching spk's
easier.

speakers will give you more of an upgrade than
electonics anyday.

an example would be if you had really nice spk's
with a good reciever you would have more, than
descent speakers with an excelent prepro setup.

the rule so to speak is spend more on your spk's
than your electronics.as nothing can make as big
of an impact on your system than speakers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 42
Registered: Apr-04
I've heard the NAD S170i/S250 combination and it blew me away. It was by far the best surround sound I've ever heard.

However this was in a demo room and with a speaker setup that is outside most people's budget range, and the front speakers were driven by a separate TacT amp.

The speaker setup was:
B&W Nautilus 801 front speakers
B&W Nautilus HTM1 center speaker
3 B&W Nautilus SCM1 rear speakers
and finally the amazing B&W ASW850 subwoofer.

So the speakers probably had a lot to say with the experience, but some of it must have been the S170i/S250...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 21
Registered: Apr-04
John A:
You wrote: "The "WAF" use to be the "SAF" for "Spouse Acceptance Factor", which is more politically correct. ......suggests that ownership of the kind of systems you are suggesting would be quite likely result in proposal of marriage."

I think most women who come into a male-dominated forum would not (should not) be too concerned about political correctness....so WAF is fine with me. And, if a marriage proposal came as a result of this, I suppose that would be icing on the cake. ;-)

Your speaker suggestion is being considered. As money is an object, I may make this a two-stage process. Get the components in place this year with existing speakers and consider a speaker upgrade next year.

Kegger:
My original budget was $3k but now its between $4-5k. Even at that level, I'm finding that the Aragon setup I mentioned is out of my range - even if bought used - considering I also need the DVD-A/SACD, speakers, cabling and subwoofer.

Adam:
Thanks for the feedback about the s170i/s250. I have found almost nothing about this setup in the way of reviews. I'm hoping that my NAD dealer has it available for a listen.

Due to financial realities and my familiarity with NAD, they are now back at the top of my list. The s170i/s250 is at the top with T163/T793 right behind it.

Did y'all know that NAD components are available in a Titanium finish outside NorthAmerica? I found a brochure at this link NAD Brochure that has a pic of the T743 in titanium. Looks sharp!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 763
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

On this forum, "AIRFORCEONE" had some good things to say about the T793 on NAD 753 / 763 (March 09 on).

Also, there is a short but informative thread Thoughts on my NAD T163/T973 combo started by "Darren".

Having said that, NAD receivers have plenty of power, and it has been said here several times that they sound like quality separates.

Seems you like Silver. It seems that Silver, generally, has a higher WAF value than grey or black.

This forum seem to be male dominated only in the number of contributors. I have never heard even a hint of male chauvinist conspiracy here. It just seems audio is more interesting to men, I don't know why. My wife frequents a couple of internet forums where it is entirely the other way around, on topics I could not begin to get seriously interested in. We discuss our various findings, and largely accept each other's opinions. Vive la différence. BTW my wife thinks B&W Nautilus speakers are the ugliest she has ever seen, and would not have them in the house. Perhaps fortunately, the question does not arise...

Our last semi-serious discussion on audio centred on my reading a review of a £49,000 turntable. I was impressed, not by the price, but by the construction, read the maker's web pages, and just admired the single-minded pursuit of engineering and audio perfection, even if some of it seemed, to me, to be addressed to imaginary problems. My wife's view is that the price is obscene, and anyone spending that sort of money on a turntable should be locked up. This is most unlikely to become a practical problem, either, of course.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 187
Registered: Dec-03
I actually prefer the silver or gold or other
matalic type finish over the black units myself.

and I am looking for the right prepro price/looks
/performance. and havn't found it yet.

so is that what your looking at electronics right
now? with a budget of $4k to $5k and plan on spk's next year?

and are you leaning towards a direction with the
spk's so we get a general idea of the electronics
needs.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 43
Registered: Apr-04
Ghia,

I have seen some of the NAD products in "titanium" finish close up, and I don't think it looks as good in real life as in the brochure.

IMHO it has a bit "plasticky" look, because the colour is just painted on.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 459
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

The NAD S250THX sells for around $1950. I could pick up an Aragon 2005 Ultra 2 THX for that, or less. And the Aragon is 200 watts/channel--as opposed to the NAD at 125 watts/channel.

I still think you are way off budget(you said $4K to $5K) by even thinking about getting either NAD separates. The cheaper couple of separates by NAD will cost you at least $2750. Add the REL subwoofer at $750 and the Denon 2200 at $450, or more and you already are up to $3950. That leaves next to nothing for a good center and another pair of good speakers, and they are far more important than the electronics.

You should spend no more than $1450 for the NAD T773 receiver. Add the $750 subwoofer you already bought and the $450-$500 Denon 2200 and you are at $2650-$2700, minimum. This leaves you between $1300 to $2300 for the pair of speakers and the center channel speaker.

The speakers you buy are infinitely more important than anything else.

I would put a NAD receiver up against the top of the line NAD separates if you give me the money difference in speakers. I will guarantee hands down that the better speakers powered by the receiver will sound significantly better than the less expensive speakers powered by the separates. I doubt in a double blind ABX test with the volumes matched within 0.15 db's that anyone could achieve a statistically significant difference in guessing which unit is powering the system.

Of course, if you must have separates for some othe reason--then go for it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 460
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

I just saw a steal of a deal for Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10's (list $1495--some list at $1895)--these are being sold at $750 and the Gold reference Centers are being sold at $600--they list at $995.

I own 2 pairs of these speakers and the center speaker for my upstairs system and it is a knock-out. They are being sold in the rose-mah wood too. Great looking. My opinion--far superior to the B&W's, partciularly with the matching center.

This would give you an amazingly good system at the price. I bet these speakers don't last at the audiogon site long.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 22
Registered: Apr-04
Gregory:

I can get the s170i/s250 combo for $2998 - the s170i is a demo unit and the s250 is new A stock. Both have full warranty and come from authorized dealer. Apparently NAD is discontinuing the models so these are closeout prices.

Even as I type, I feel myself swayed by your and John A's comments about the receivers. Let's say I go for a T763....that along with the money I put out for the sub and the Denon would put me around $2500. Would $1500 be enough for the speaker upgrade (for new mains + center and use existing B&W's for surround). At that budget what speakers would you recommend?

The Monitor Audio speakers are sold...I just checked. :-(

Gonna go hook up the REL now and hope you guys build the rest of system by the time I get finished. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 23
Registered: Apr-04
Gregory:

I can get the s170i/s250 combo for $2998 - the s170i is a demo unit and the s250 is new A stock. Both have full warranty and come from authorized dealer. Apparently NAD is discontinuing the models so these are closeout prices.

Even as I type, I feel myself swayed by your and John A's comments about the receivers. Let's say I go for a T763....that along with the money I put out for the sub and the Denon would put me around $2500. Would $1500 be enough for the speaker upgrade (for new mains + center and use existing B&W's for surround). At that budget what speakers would you recommend?

The Monitor Audio speakers are sold...I just checked. :-(

Gonna go hook up the REL now and hope you guys build the rest of system by the time I get finished. :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 24
Registered: Apr-04
What do you think about the Monitor Audio PMC 703, 700's? I see a full surround set available on audiogon. I don't think I've ever heard them in person and I'm not sure if there is a local dealer.

BTW..sorry for the double-post above. I thought the first attempt didn't go through but obviously it did.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 175
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

If I may suggest. Read my post under speakers: Audiophile Speaker Epiphany. IMHO you would have to spend $5000+ to get anywhere near as good sound, maybe. With a 120 day trial, how can you go wrong?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 461
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

As long as you are in the US, I can probably get you NAD amps, preamps, receivers, etc for min. 20-25% and full warranty and brand new from my friend in Wisconsin that owns two audio/video stores. But the amp/preamps are budget busters for you-even with big discounts-if you want NAD, you should get either the top of the line T773 receiver at $1450 (maybe less)or the T763 at $1125 or less).

I knew those MA GR10's wouldn't last more than a few hours. The price was insanely low for those. That was one of the most amazing deals I ever saw on Audiogon. I should have just bought them and then shipped them to you are anyone else that wanted them. Stupid me.

My idea was the same as yours--putting the B&W's as surrounds and having that great front end of pair of GR10's and GR center channel. I wonder if the company that sold them to me 2 years ago would hold the price of $1100/pr GR10's and $750 for center channel. Might be more than you want to spend, but it does fit in your budget now--and I could call my friend tomorrow and see if he can get you a better price on either NAD receiver.

Rick--The Walsh-based Ohm speakers are excellent--particularly in stereo set-ups. I just wonder how their tiny non-walsh designed center channel meshes (tonally and otherwise)with walsh-driver ohms on their flanks, or are they just overwhelmed by the very wide stero image? Probably need to call Ohm and ask them their opinion on set-ups. As you say one can always return them after a few months.

But as is true of many manufacturers that market this way--people often find it a tremendous pain to deal with shipping back things. This probably explains much of the success of Select Comfort Beds and other companies that market this way--who wants to ship a bed back and go through that aggravation? Admittedly, speakers aren't as onerous to ship back--but I have noticed that people often attribute their enjoying the speakers to burn-in, rather than a very common psychoacoustic mental phenomenom--the brains ability to get used to sensations that used to bother it. Often bright speakers cease to sound so bright after a week to a month, the paper factory you live near doesn't smell as bad as it used to (something similar happened to me years ago when I had an office for two years next to a vitamin factory--it reeked everywhere. After a few weeks I couldn't even smell it anymore, even after just arriving in the morning). Lots of brain sensation functions work this way.

That said, I just ordered a pair of Micro Walsh's for my sunroom (20' x 13' x 9')--sick of listening to ceiling speakers when hanging out in that room. I was tempted to buy a pair for my office, but that would have been bad for my work habits, not to mention my employees:-) Nothing like setting a bad example!

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 188
Registered: Dec-03
i've been doing some more research (as i do pretty much every day)

and i have come accross what looks to be e very
interesting reciever.

the arcam avr300 it lists for $2000 (should be able to get for less).

if this thing is as nice as it seems,might be one
you should checkout.it comes in silver and looks
very nice.it is suppose to use most of the guts
from there highly acclaimed av8 prepro.

you should be able to get three (2 mains and center)
nice speakers for $1500-$2000 you may just need
to get out and start auditioning some to find out!

see what you have spend to get the sound you want!

add in your sub and dvd player,
then figure what you got left for the reciever
or prepro/amp combo.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 176
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Congratulations! I look forward to hearing your evaluation/review after break in. I will gladly share mine. All the best.

P.S. I am reading center channel speaker not needed with the Micro Talls. Interesting!
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 769
Registered: Dec-03
Great stuff, everyone. Wish I people could get an Ohm trial in Europe. They sound just right for my stereo set-up in the next room.

The problem with the center channel is that there is a track for it on 5.1 discs, so even the best stereo imaging in the world will miss that out. On DVD-Audio discs, many recording engineers seem unable to resist using the center channel in a very heavy-handed way. It's like the soloist is the Incredible Hulk. Good DVD-A discs either say "4.0" or else they say "5.0" or "5.1" and quietly just don't put anything on the center channel and very little, if anything, on the ".1". Not so for DVD-V movies.

Rick, while you are here, I am all agog for your views on the Cambridge Audio Azur DVD/CD player, and I know some other readers are interested in how it shapes up. When do you expect delivery?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 178
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

Any day now. Had a minor delay due to the black finish desired.

A full review will certainly follow. Cheers!

 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 26
Registered: Apr-04
You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

Gregory:

Thank you for the offer to check with your dealer friend on possible deals for me. I would appreciate if you could find out about the NAD T763 and the Monitor Audio GR10 and center you suggested. If you need to contact me to discuss details, my email address is "ghiacabriolet AT hotmail.com" - without the quotes and with an @ in place of AT, obviously.

Rick, the Ohm speakers sound intriguing and your description of their impact on you had me sold. But, since this system is going to be used for multichannel and questions were raised about the center, I think I'll go the "traditional" route and try the Monitor Audio speakers Gregory recommended.

Kegger, thanks for the mention of the Arcam receiver. Since it appears I may going for the speaker upgrade now rather than later, the NAD T763 will work better for my budget.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 772
Registered: Dec-03
Rick,

I thank you. I, too, would choose black. Or grey.

Ghia,

I am not questioning use of Ohm speakers for HT. The descriptions from Rick and John, and Gregory's endorsement, are really worth something. My only point is that you are going to need a center channel, anyway, probably. This is not to say there is anything wrong with getting the best possible stereo imaging, too. On the contrary, it is always, and everywhere, a darned good thing. Even for surrounds. Possibly this Bose mentality of reflected or dispersed sound has stopped people thinking clearly about sound reproduction. Accurate positioning is just as important in 5.1 as in stereo. If I had lots of money, I would think about getting four Ohm speakers for the main channels, and then trust them to do a good job with the center, too.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 27
Registered: Apr-04
Unless I misunderstood, Gregory's endorsement was for use in stereo mode? Four Ohms (the Micro Talls) would be just $150 more than the Monitor Audio setup Gregory suggested (assuming his dealer friend would be able to provide the desired price).

So would you need just the four Ohms and no center channel? Do we need to start a Ohms vs. Monitor Audio thread in the Speakers forum? ;-)

I'm open to all suggestions. I feel confident that I'll get a good system built based on the feedback from here.

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 189
Registered: Dec-03
just to throw my 2 cents in I would go for the
traditional route on the multi channel surround.

I actually prefer to hear the sounds coming from
where the music or movies intended.

and feel very strong about the use of a good center channel.

ghia I like your kit that you are thinking about
and should get excelent performance out of that
for both music and movies.

again this is just my opinion but i think you are
real close to what you are looking for.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 181
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

My suggestion is to try a pair of Ohm MIcro Talls. Use your current speakers for the rears. Try using the phantom setting for the center, and see what you think. Reviewers are telling me the Ohm's image so precisely, no center channel speaker may be needed. Remember the 120 day trial period. The say the Ohms take a good 60 days to break in. I think the Monitor Audio line is very good, but think you may not get to experience something very, very special with the Ohms. Cheers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 462
Registered: Dec-03
As John A. mentioned earlier, while the Ohm Micro Walsh's set up an amazing soundstage--the biggest of any speaker I have ever heard (you could walk all the way around your room and still feel like you are in a sweet spot), you still have the center channel bugaboo for surround. The center that Ohm makes is a very small standard center that doesn't operate on Walsh technology and I doubt has the same exact sonic colorization as the other speakers. whether this is dramatic or not--I can't say. But there is no getting around the fact that there is a discrete center channel in 5.1 DVD-V's, DVD-A's, and SACD surround. Whether or not the sound field is much larger on the walsh speakers (and it is), the center channel scenario still rears it's head.

That is why I ordered the micro walsh's for my sunroom--should be perfect for the stereo listening with huge soundstage for everyone drinking beer and staring out on the lake:-)And as I have my Aragon set-up in the Great Room (30 feet x 25 feet x 14 feet) hooked up to a 5 zone speaker switcher, it should do a great job sending a nice signal to the Ohm's, rather than listening to the ceiling speakers (which while very good for ceiling speakers) never satisfied me, nor anyone else that is used to very good sound. It was great for people reading newspapers or those that want background music.

I wonder how the Ohm's might mesh with a good center channel--like a Monitor Audio, a Magnepan, or a few others. But matching the sonic character on speakers can often be a pain. The Monitor Audio Gold Reference center uses two of the woofer/midranges on either side of the tweeter and they are the same woofer/midranges and tweeter as is in the GR10's.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 775
Registered: Dec-03
I agree, again, with all recent posts.

One thing I forgot was the "phantom center speaker", that Rick mentions. I have read about this, but have never seen - or heard - one in action. I gained the impression it was from the early days of surround sound, and is now pretty well forgotton.

One or two quality DVD-A recordings, especially "classical", definitely do not use the center channel at all. But most DVD-As, and all DVD-Vs (excepting stereo or mono) definitely have a center track. That's where most of the dialogue is on DVD-Vs. So, for movies, a center channel it is essential, just as Kegger says. You also need it for matrixed surround, such as Prologic or NAD EARS, from two-chennel sources.

Whether a "phantom" center speaker will do these jobs as effectively as a real one, I just don't know
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 776
Registered: Dec-03
Ah, I see the source of misunderstanding. It was I. Sorry.

I wrote

"I would think about getting four Ohm speakers for the main channels, and then trust them to do a good job with the center, too."

What I meant by that was; I would also trust Ohm to make a good center speaker to go with four Micro Talls, even if that center speaker does not work on the Walsh principle.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 463
Registered: Dec-03
John A./Ghia--

I just called Ohm. The head honcho-John, wasn't in (but he will call me at my office at 2pm EDT). But at least I found out that they do make center channels with Walsh technology and at very reasonable pricing. At $500 it strikes me as a very reaonable deal, even though they are much smaller than most any other center channels I have seen. Like a 6" or so cube. But it could be that through the Walsh technology (basically an inverted speaker cone that projects sound outward)that it does an excellent job anyway. And at least it should have the same sonic characteristics as the other Walsh technology speakers. So for $900-$1,000 for a pair of micro walsh's and $500 for the center channel it seems like you could have an excellent system, both for surround listening and for stereo listening.

It seems like the company that sold me the Monitor Audio speakers 2 years ago has been bought out by another and they will not sell at those prices anymore--shucks. I was about 3 months too late.

I should find out pricing on the NAD T763 and the T773 this afternoon also.

Ohm also has some larger size Walsh speakers for the front. You are probably pushing the limit on the Micro Walsh's in your room size--at least for stereo listening. I will address that with John when I talk to him. They should look great in the rosewood finish, unless you want another veneer. They have walnut, like oak, and a fewothers--I think. I've always like rosewood--just looks real classy.

I will check into the best prices for the Monitor Audio's, but it looks like for price scenario--Ohm may be the way to go. Though the Monitor Audio's will probably fit into the upper echelon of your budget. The advantage of the Ohms being you can return them if you are less than overjoyed. The Ohm's aren't quite high end furniture quality, like the MA GR10's, but they look darn good, particularly from a few feet away. But there is no doubt that with the Ohms the money goes into excellent technology and quite good wood quality--great bang for buck in the audio world like the Ohms is very hard to find--certainly at the Micro Walsh price point.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 464
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

I was able to contact my friend Roger, the owner at the Sound Seller in Marinette, WI. The following prices he gave me for people I know:
NAD T763 @ $1025 and T773 @ $1350. Just for kicks I asked him about the Aragon pieces: The 2005 amp @ $1750, the 2007 amp @ $2050, and the Stage One preamp @ $2,750. All these prices are for warrantied products.

It will probably take until tomorrow to find out more about the Ohm speakers--I was too busy today.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 28
Registered: Apr-04
Gregory:

Thanks so much for your efforts! Ironically, there's a Stage One on audiogon that a guy is trying to sell ($2599) - I had asked him about it a couple of days ago and he said he bought from Sound Seller a month ago. Small world, eh?

This is starting to come together nicely: The T763, pair of Ohms + center, REL sub, Denon DVD-2200 come in around $3775. Leaves me some room for cables and maybe even a DVD-A or two. And, I'm only $1000 or so past the original budget goal.

Should I contact Sound Seller directly?

Rick: The Ohms have taken the lead. At the very least it looks like they'll get a tryout.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 467
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--Sure. Just call The Sound Seller (in the afternoon) and ask for Roger. Say you're an audio friend of Greg's and give him the price and model. Roger told me he had a few T763's in stock. He told me hardly anyone orders the T773, but he sells a ton of T763's.

Some people like more flash and dials than the Stage One. It does it all, but through the Philips Neo remote. The real great deal is the Aragon 2005 at the $1750 price.

Looks to me like you are going to have a great system at a great price. And I think it is smart to start with the Ohms--afterall, if they don't float your boat you have over 3 months to return them. Can't beat that. Just don't go overboard on speaker wires and cables. Just get well-made inexpensive 14 gauge speaker wire and good basic interconnects. You will never hear a difference between them and $1,000 interconnects.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 785
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Great job you are doing here. Fascinating. I may possibly be in the speakers market in some months. I already have quite a lot of speakers, but my pushing the limits with HT and trying to get an old amp up and running have caused a couple of systems failures. I am currently investigating repair/replacement of a 1982 KEF tweeter. Local distributor says "too old" (the speaker, that is...) but I am tenacious and hate planned obsolescence with a deep feeling based on reading J. K. Galbraith once, and many other considerations, not least of which is domestic economy. If I throw in the towel, Ohm speakers are now top of my list to replace the KEFs.But this will take time. I shall not forget. If I have to visit the US, that is a plus!

My core system of 5.1/stereo with NAD T760 receiver is working so beautifully, especially with the T533 DVD-A, at the moment, that I have no upgrade-itis.

Ghia,

You have received excellent advice from some guys who really know what they are talking about. Please post back with what you find. Ohm speakers would be my first choice, too. I think we all have Rick Barnes to thank. BTW Gregory is totally correct about cables. This is a very contentious issue on this forum, and I predict some disagreement. Some posters even advocate building your whole system around cables, which is absurd.

Good luck! Great choice of sub, by the way.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 186
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

Thank the late Lincoln Walsh.

I am only too happy to help spread the word on a truly fine product.

Cheers to all!
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 470
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

I found a place online that has very good pricing on Monitor Audio speakers. They have the Monitor Audio GR10's for $1,169/pr and the Reference Centers for $879. They are: aboutgizmos.com Just make sure the warranty they have covers everything. You might also try Kiefs.com and see if they are close to the price. They are a very reliable company.

I also saw the Denon 2200 at $495 at aboutgizmos.com

Of course, you might want to call John at Ohm speakers and give the Micro Walsh's and the Walsh center channel a tryout.

Speakers are such a matter of individual taste that it is tough to say what one peron may like as opposed to another. The Monitor Audio centers are fairly large. If you are going to put them on top of your tv make sure the size is appropriate.

I bought Altacama Nexus stands for my GR10's. They are a beautiful design and often displayed the the GR10's on top. If I recall correctly they are about $125. It is always a good idea to buy some Blu-Tak to put on the bottom of bookshelf speakers so they adhere tightly to the stand. This prevents any rattling and prevents anyone from knocking the speakers off the stand causing scratches on the beautiful finish (get the rosemah if you buy them).

I think Audio Advisor sells Blu-Tak for $9.95.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 30
Registered: Apr-04
John A

I agree, the advice has been terrific! I hope to start placing orders in the next few days.

The REL sub is in place. I wasn't wowed by it the first night but last night I worked on tweaking the settings and that made a huge difference. I knew the low end of the speaker ratings but couldn't figure out from the back of the sub how to set it to work well with the speakers. It's amazing the things you can learn if you read the manual. ;-)

In regards to the cables, I'll have to double-check the speaker cable. It's pretty thick and is connected with banana plugs. My current interconnect between the NAD components is, I believe, a Kimber Kable. The NAD dealer had recommended it and I think it cost around $125. Presumably, the multichannel will require many more interconnects? What's the philosophy for those types of cables?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 471
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

The REL is fairly good, but I would have gotten either the Outlaw Audio subwoofer at $579 or the HSU VTF-3 Mk 2 at $699. Both are great and look great too. Since both Outlaw and HSU are sold online, I am not suprised your dealer was pushing what he sold. Same is true for Kimber Kable. Don't pay $125 for interconnects or speaker wire. The main thing that matters on speaker wire is the gauge (get 14 gauge for runs under 50 feet)and a well-coated wire and you will get great performance. Even The Absolute Sound (which is normally full of BS)admitted that they couldn't tell the difference between Home Depot 14 gauge and $500 speaker wire. Afterall, speakers have anywhere from 100-300 fett of standard OFHC copper round around voice coils. Why should the speaker wire be so expensive if the expensive speaker companies don't use outlandishly priced speaker wire?

Monster Cable even makes fine inexpensive 14 gauge wire and you can get well-made interconnects anywhere. The audio salons make a fortune on wire and interconnects from those that believe marketting hype and non-science. Don't fall for it. Spend your money on good speakers and you already have made good choices on electronics.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 32
Registered: Apr-04
Gregory

Actually, I bought a used REL Strata III so there's no dealer interference. I had consider HSU but had read many reviews stating REL subs are great in music systems and since that was my primary use, I decided to go for it. Once I got it calibrated correctly, it sounded great! I'm definitely getting a fuller sound than what the Energy sub provided - which I never could seem to get to complement the B&W's. The REL sub allows for much finer tuning.

This afternoon I went to visit the NAD dealer where I purchased my current system (and the Kimber Kable) a couple of years ago and he appears to be out of business. I knew his storefront was no longer around but had found a new address in the business listings for him. When I went to that address, it was a residential street. When I call his number it is answered by a fax machine. I had wanted to give the local guy a shot at repeat business but, since he's no longer around, I'll go ahead and give Sound Seller a call.

Thanks for the cable advice (as well as everything else!)
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. Check the site for the companies that do repair/rebuilds on LS3/5a speakers. They used the standard KEF tweeter of the day but held to very tight tolerances so they have always been several times the price of the standard KEF component but you might get a lead on something from one of these folks.
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. Check the internet for links to companies that do repair/rebuilds to LS3/5a speakers. Just a Google search for "LS3/5a" should get you there. The companies that produced the various mini monitors from that design all used the same KEF tweeter from the time period of your speakers. The LS3/5a tweeter was held to a very tight standard and close pair matching (Oh, those BBC designers!) and the driver for the actual 3/5a will be expensive but you might get a lead from one of these folks.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 796
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Thanks. Great sites I find from that Google search. Enthusiasts! My broken tweeter is a Type SP3004, from a Coda II. The SP1003 pictured in the LS3/5A on the "The unofficial LS3/5A support site" looks identical to the ones in my slightly earlier KEF Corellis, which have no problems, show no signs of age, and sound completely wonderful. I currently use them for surrounds in my 5.1 set-up (I am serious about multichannel surround sound... see other thread).

I will follow those links, thanks, but it could just be I have to give up. The Coda IIs are OK but not as good as the Corellis imho. I think the Coda was KEF's first attempt to do something about getting higher efficiency (why?). Having taken the Coda completely apart and even examined the crossover I am pretty impressed by the build quality, but the Corelli is something else entirely, and looks more or less indestructible. BTW about 18 months ago I was actually in a BBC studio in Broadcasting House in Portland Place. There were the LS2/5As, as studio monitors. I didn't get a chance to examine them, it would have been rude and somewhat nerdy, I thought.

I think Ghia and others here may not wish to go this route, but there are current LS3/5A designs, from Spendor and Rogers, still, I think. Whether KEF still makes the drivers, I do not know. (BTW check out the ""Museum" pages on the KEF web site).

Where KEF itself is today, I don't quite know. I have one, recent KEF Uni-Q "Egg" for the center channel, and it is darned good; phasing again. The KEF Instant Theatre idea of now getting surround sound from room reflections from two speakers strikes me as "all smoke and mirrors" and I cannot see why they are even trying to do that. But their approach is manifestly not that of B*se, and I have had no opportunity to hear them. Any experience of that?
 

Jan Vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. - I haven't seen the new KEF product on display. Their marketing in the US has not been as strong or consistent as their age old rival B&W. When you do find them the speakers will be shoved into a wall o' speakers where I can't imagine the "Instant Theater" system will show very well. I do find it interesting they show a definite center image being created by the two front Uni-Q speakers. Having sold this design early in its commercial life I can say the concentric driver technology does allow for precise image placement. But the image they show for the "happy couple" enjoying their instant suround system is a very alive room that most audio specialists would tell you is not the path to good sound because of the number of uncontrolled reflections off every surface in the room. It will ceratinly have you hearing apparent sounds from everywhere in the room but not in a well controlled fashion. I assume this is another attempt by KEF to get into a lower priced, contemporary (read not us old fogeys) market. Which is what they did with the original Coda's back in the late 70's. It was a good, competitive speaker at the time but not what KEF had been producing. The higher efficiency meant less bass depth but they made up for that with a little bump in the 80Hz range and the speaker could sell with a twenty five watt reciever. This was before every speaker manufacturer switched to higher eficiency reflex designs assuming most people couldn't hear the crud the port was producing. It made KEF money and made more people aware of the brand. Not long after that the KEF marketing was geared to the US market as the Brittish economy got worse and soon the overall line from KEF lost its "Brit sound".
Having lived with a pair of Rogers LS3/5a's for twenty years now I recently purchased a pair of KEF Cresta 1's, a 4" woofer in a small box and though not as tight their sound was impressive. Mini monitors can do wonderful things. The drivers, particularly the tweeter looks very similar to the SP1003 and would probably be a suitable replacement for your tweeter in a pinch with little more than a resistor to pad down the tweeter level. Anyone intersted in the story of a truly classic speaker design and the history of KEF as a driver manufacturer should give the LS3/5a sites a read. KEF still makes the drivers but had to make a change in the specs as the quality control over the drivers had drifted over twenty years of production.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 814
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Terrific. I was interested in a Cresta for a centre speaker, but the dealer was fairly unhelpful, said he could order, but was not interested in stocking speakers cost less than x thousand units of currency. That is my local KEF dealer....

The KEF distributor who suggested repair of the SP3004 tweeter stopped replying to my e-mails when I described the problem. If you look at it, a complete replacement coil should not cost more than about $15 equivalent, if mass produced, even today, I should think. There is about as much technology in there as in a door-bell. A pretty well-made door-bell, admittedly. And there is nothing wrong with the magnet, of course (made in France btw).

From what you say, and "using my own ears", I may just write off the Coda IIs and say I got 20 years of good "second room" stereo for 110 UK quid: not so bad, really. Most likely, if I find a solution, it will cost more than the pair of speakers. I am not that sentimental. I could shoot them myself.

Then I will have a look at what's around. It is not urgent. I will certainly consider the Cresta. The Q-series has me all interested, because of my convictions about phasing, but they are a lot more expensive. You might well get a better virtual centre speaker from a pair those than from many a real one. My wife loves the KHT "egg". It is cute, unobtrusive, and it sounds darned good to me. But 85 Hz at -3dB is "small", and only good for one thing. The centre. Which, ideally, is not there....

I have no idea how KEF is pitched in the US. I fear that this "instant theatre" thing is a respected brand name sellotaped onto cr*p. I do hope not: Cooke would spin in his grave.

I'll tell you about my KEF mains another time.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 40
Registered: Apr-04
Ok, its done! I placed my order today. I decided to go through Kief's as they had competitve prices and they stocked all the brands I was interested in. Turned out to be one stop shopping. They didn't have any of the stuff stocked but said they should be able to get it all in and ready to ship to me by May 15th. I order the NAD T763, the Monitor Audio GR10 and GR Centre in Rose Mahogany, Denon DVD-2200 in Silver.

Wish it was coming in sooner but this will give me time to move that ultra heavy Sony Wega TV back into the living room and order some DVD-A and SACD.

Thanks again to all of you for the suggestions. I think this will be a cool system!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 239
Registered: Feb-04
Have been following your quest Ghia.

Congratulations - I think you'll have a cool system also.

Good Luck
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 195
Registered: Dec-03
having followed the thread and been putting in my
2C i wish i could hear it.

i think you chose some very good components and
the system should sound great.

i hope you get a chance to enjoy some movies on
the sytem also and let us know what you think.

 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 474
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

Congrats on your MA GR10's and center channel--along with the NAD T763. Hopefully you got good pricing. I am sure you will enjoy your system.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 188
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I wish you many hours of listening pleasure.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 819
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

You cannot go wrong with that. You have a real treat in store. Yes, I second Kegger: the only obligation on you for the advice is reporting back on how it sounds! All the best.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 42
Registered: Apr-04
Gentlemen,

Thank you for all the sentiments. I will definitely give a report of how it all sounds once it is setup. I have a suspicion I may have some questions for you during the setup process! LOL. The next couple of weeks waiting for it to arrive will be long weeks.

Kegger, I certainly will use the system for movies, too. I have a few DVD's already and may go sign up at Blockbuster.

Gregory, the pricing I got from Kiefs was competitive. They were a little higher on the NAD than Sound Seller. I contacted them because they carry MA (the other place, aboutgizmos.com is not an authorized dealer for MA) and subsequently found out they also carry NAD and Denon. It seemed simpler to buy everything from them in regards to shipping costs and future support. Here's the pricing they gave me:

NAD T763 - 1150
MA GR10 - 1185
MA GR Center - 795
Denon DVD-2200s - 570 ( I found lower prices than this but not from authorized dealers)

So, thanks again for all the advice!
 

New member
Username: Asimo

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-04
I am watching this forum for few weeks and found it to be intelligent knowable with high level discussions.

Gahia

It is exciting to find eventually an audiophile woman. I tried hard to teach my wife but this is hopeless
Whether you like it or not your old system did have high WAF. I know because I have a very similar stereo system. I have NAD C350 amplifier, NAD C541 CD Player and Sonus-Faber Concertino's speakers.
The Cocertino's are styled speaker like yours B&W CDM1.These two speakers were the only speakers that my wife accepted in our living room.
I like the NAD C350 amplifier sound. I think that the NAD C541 CD player is an excellent CD player
Since I think about upgrading my stereo system I am very curious to learn how your system will be upgraded eventually and how all the forum discussions will effect your final decision.

John A.
I follow your articles about DVD-A, SACD and I think they are done well and professionally. I was always against surround and home theater for classical music listening. I believe that no opera singer or music instrument was designed by any classical music composer to stand BEHIND you.
Now with the new formats it may be time for sound revolution but what will happen to our good and reliable stereo?

Two Cent John A
Mahler 5'th symphony is spectacular and much played but there are other Mahler symphonies that are at least grandiose, mysterious and popular like the second, third and the eight. As a matter of fact I recently bought a box of all Mahler symphonies from "Brilliant Classics" for about $40 only.
This box is stereo only. Should I wait for DVD-A or SACD Mahler complete symphonies edition? I am not sure there will be any.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 50
Registered: Apr-04
Hello Asimo!

There's a spirited Mahler discussion going on at Kegger's thread, https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/16685.html . It looks like that thread is wide open for all types of discussions. Feel free to join in.

I have gotten great listening pleasure out of my current NAD system but wanted to experience the multichannel and hi-resolution of DVD-A/SACD, hence my upgrade. I plan to use the existing c350 in the bedroom.

I'll report back here the results of the new system but it may be a few weeks while I wait for it to come in.

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 839
Registered: Dec-03
Asimo,

Thanks!

Ghia is correct. If you have anything to say and Mahler, and about a thousand other things, just follow that link.

"I believe that no opera singer or music instrument was designed by any classical music composer to stand BEHIND you."

I can give you a list of some that were.... I will admit they are not "Classical", strictly, or not often.

However, there are two other points.

1. The increased resolution i.e. detail, of DVD-A (and SACD - I am told...) is immediately apparent, even in the two-channel mix.

2. While the instrument/singer may have been intended to perform in front of you, the sound you actually hear when you are there at a performance comes back, reflected, from many directions. This is a huge consideration if you are talking about orchestral concerts or opera - you will know how critics discuss the "sounds" in different concert halls, and the millions that are spent on just one hall, trying to get that right. If you listen in stereo, you are deaf to that essential part of the experience of being there. I like chamber music a lot. It is no less true with small-scale performances, but probably your own room is then not quite so far removed from the room in which the performance took place, or could have done. So my guess is that factor 2 is proportionally less important for, say, string quartets. But I have yet to try it.

I am completely with you with your reluctance to abandon stereo. Stereo is a wonderful invention, and no-one should even think for one moment that their CD (or LP) collection is now obsolete. I have been having a discussion with Jan Vigne on exactly this point, already addressing some of your points, on:
Teaching an old dog new tricks...

I must say some further input on that thread would be most welcome, and I sure Jan would agree.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 166
Registered: Feb-04
Asimo,

It seems like you have a wonderful stereo system to enjoy your Mahler recordings now. As usual, I don't have much to add to John A's post. I would only reiterate his point that DVD-A (and SACD) sounds closer to a live performance than CD. The rear speakers on most classical discs are used lightly to create the ambience of a concert hall. You won't be frightened by the sound of Maria Callas starting an aria right behind you!

Ghia,

I'm curious whether the Denon 2200 is out in silver yet. When I spoke with a dealer back in March he said he was expecting a shipment in April. The Denon website says the silver version would be available in March. Do you have further details?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 476
Registered: Dec-03
Being a cellist in various symphonies in the NYC area during the 60's (as a teen) and in the 70's I remember playing Mahler Symphonies often. The Leonard Bernstein revival of Mahler had far reaching effects. I remember playing the choral symphony a number of times. I forget whether that was the 2nd symphony, or not.

I mostly play chamber music for fun now with a few members of the Charleston Symphony. Mostly quartets--Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, etc. and for slightly larger ensembles Vivaldi and Corelli.

Of course, what I hear playing cello with the first and second violins sitting opposite me and the violist sitting to my right is quite different from what the audience hears. The audience has the benefit (if they are well-centered) of hearing everything well-balanced. I hear it balanced "in my mind" :-)

When I can get another good cellist I love playing Schubert's quintet in C ( 2 violins, 2 cellos, and a viola). The first two movements are so achingly beautiful I never tire of playing or listening to it. That and The Trout are two great Schubert compositions. A great recording is on Deutsche Gramophone with Rostropovich sitiing in with the Emerson Quartet.

This could well be the finest quintet ever composed and what Franz Schubert communicates with 5 instruments interweaving their playing is astounding. He accomplishes with 5 instruments what is rarely accomplished in a symphony (or other quartet/quintet for that matter)--a total perfection of orchestration of separate instruments without a missplaced note.

My recommendation for those interested. I wonder if there has ever been a good DVD-A recording of this piece?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 477
Registered: Dec-03
Sorry--how can I forget Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet. Another brilliant work.

Roman Polanski also filmed a movie from the play by Ariel Dorfman called Death and the Maiden, which is also an overlooked movie with Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley which is a very interesting movie--certainly worth a rent. It deals with moral conundrums, revenge, and other human affairs that are worth seeing--just for the excellent performances.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 51
Registered: Apr-04
2c,

Yes, the Denon is available in silver now but not sure how many dealers have it in stock yet. It seems to be in their ordering systems, though. I checked with Tweeter and they offer as special order only at this time. Kief's (where I actually placed my order) also did not have it stocked but is ordering it for me.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 848
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Keep it coming. I am in awe. If I were Gilbert Kaplan, I would spend my money by learning any stringed instrument and hiring some people to play the Schubert C major quintet with me. If they would stick around and help me through any Beethoven quartet within my reach, I'd give up Wall Street. Or anything else.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 479
Registered: Dec-03
John A.--

I had a strict mom who forced all us kids to play and practice. My dad played the violin, then my brother (4 yrs older than me) played the violin as did my sister (3 years older than me). Naturally, my dad switched to viola and it was expected that I play the cello, so we would have a family quartet. By the time I was 10 years old my dad was the worst of the quartet:-) But he loved it so much anyway. Everyday after school all us kids had to practice for an hour. Throughout my school years (and even through college)we all played in our school orchestra, Long Island Orchestra, NY City orchestra, NY State Orchestras,and numerous other orchestras and chamber groups. Weird combination--I played cello and baseball all through my school years and through college:-)

My folks sent me and my sister to Interlochen, Michigan for 2 summers to play at the National Music Camp. I was in the orchestra for kids from 13-15 and my sister was in the one from 16-18. I remember that the first violinist of the orchestra was Ani Kavafian and her older sister Ida was in the senior orchestra. Somehow I got paired with Ani for quartets--and that experience truly enhanced my appreciation of the genre. You can do a google search on both sisters--they are great.

My sister was responsible for getting me involved in many groups on Long Island. We often played with the "Gillespie sisters"--Wendy played the viola and Sue also played the cello--hence we played the Schubert Quintet at some concert hall on Long Island many years ago. Wendy (look up on google) now teaches at Indiana University in the music department and plays in the Newberry Consort. She specializes in playing old instruments, such as viol de gamba, etc.

So I guess I was fortunate as a kid--I came in contact with a lot of accomplished musicians.

It was funny, as we were a jewish family (albeit an atheist jewish family-hah) that us kids were always playing Handels Messiah, Bach sacred music, etc. at various churches during the Christmas and Easter seasons--along with Corelli's Christmas concerto and other seasonal pieces.

I loved playing the Messiah at the Bishopric Catholic seat on Long Island in Garden City, as they had an amazing pipe organ. Probably 3/4's of the players were of jewish origin:-). But the piece is ideal for DVD-A, as many pipes from organs are offset to either the side or rear of the church, plus the addition of the chorus. So if the recording is properly miked in DVD-A I imagine you can get a great sense of the space.

Somehow I ended up being a chemist and starting a chemical company in 1990. Go figure. Life is full of interesting detours and one rarely knows what road one will travel and the interesting truck stops one visits along the way:-)
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