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linden518
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2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Thanks to all your previous helpful comments, I think I'm very close to putting together my 1st system (ever) together for the holidays.

So before, I was going to just put together an audio system, but now, I've decided that I want to use the system for a 2-channel home theater as well (home theater is a rather grand term... I live in a tiny 1 br in Manhattan.)

I've settled on Infinity P162 speakers and an Oppo DV 980H player. I already own a Samsung LNT3253 32" LCD. I also have a Squeezebox on the way (thanks mom!)

My main question, still, is the amp/receiver. I was going to settle on Harman Kardon HK3485, but I've been also thinking about Onkyo A9555. (I'd rather keep things 2-channel rather than the A/V route.) Please help me decide!!!

jackfish
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

From what I've been hearing the Onkyo A9555 is a very good sounding amp. Sounds like the phono section is weak. Some people have already suggested mods to this amp, the primary one being replacing the power cord with a PS Audio AC cord, but then you are up around $800.

However, not everyone will like the sound of a digital amplifier. If you decide to get this amp don't spend the $500-$700 if found most places on the net. Look here for a factory reconditioned one for $400: http://www.accessories4less.com/cgi-bin/item/ONKA9555SLV

There are some other options if you are looking to spend $500.

KBK
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

If it was my money?

Get the older recommended component issues out, and go to dealers looking for used integrateds of extreme quality. The best bang for buck possible, when it comes to two channel.

The Brits are inordinately fond of integrateds, so it's likely you'll find what you are looking for from there. So call up the dealers who specialize in Brit gear. For quick list of the kinds of brands you'll be looking at, check the list of brands at lets say, Glen Sinclair has at 'Audio Two' on the internet. I mention him cuz he is an old friend and I know he himself is inordinately fond of the Brit/Euro integrateds! I'm not expecting you to call him, no, not at all. He's likely quite far from where you are. Just use his list of brands as a resource for your local search. If you desire, call him. He's a great guy. He'll politely take the time to help out, if he's not got something else on the go. Even if it turns out to be helping a total stranger for no reason other than simply helping out.

For example, the new Cambridge integrateds are really, really, really good.

Then search locally for dealers of Euro integrateds. When on the phone with them, get right to the point:

"Hello, I'm looking for a great sounding integrated in the $$$ price range, looking to buy today. I'm leaning toward used Euro/Brit gear. What have you got?" Something like that.

They'll get right to the point too. They like customers who are on a mission. It means less time, with positive results.

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Thanks once again, jackfish... can you recommend what other options I might have with $500 or less?

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Thanks a lot, KBK. Do you have link for 'Audio Two'?

KBK
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

google 'audio two'. He should be right at the top.

I just checked. Wow. He seemingly has five used Rotel RB970BX power amps. Some guy must have had them for a home theater. Probably all sold by now. Those were fabulous little amps. Dual mono, 60w/pc@8ohms , bridgeable - 180W@ 8ohms.

A pair of those with a decent used older preamp, is a serous little system. See how easy it is to find the right used gear? It gives the audio nerd a place to be figity and neurotic in/about...the search for tunage gear!

I'm sure that there is lots of used gear in the NYC area.

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

I just wrote an email to audio two, as I can't make a call right now... how much do used Rotels go for, usually? And I'm presuming I won't have any problems running my other equipments through the Rotel RB970 BX?

This is a lot of fun; thanks for showing me the ropes! And I'd appreciate ANY advice you have for me, other alternative solutions, etc etc...

KBK
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

check ebay, they are usually for sale there. I dunno. Sometimes you can score them for about $120 each on the 'bay.

The amp I'm speaking of is a pure power amp. You need a separate preamp, or control section (volume, switching, etc.) to make it work.

As I said, there is likely lots of used gear in the NYC area. One hint: stay away from older Mission Cyrus integrateds. Or old Cambridge power amps too. They tend to blow up. Long story. We're talking 20 year old and more amps, anyway.

jackfish
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Cambridge Audio Azur 640A V2 new at spearitsound.com for $599. New NAD C325BEE at spearitsound.com for $449. New NAD C352 at spearitsound.com for $599. Refurbished NAD C372 at spearitsound.com for $699. Music Hall A25.2 at spearitsound.com for $539. Rotel RA-1062 for $699. Parasound 275 for $499.

There are a lot of possibilities at AudiogoN. Do some looking there and you can get a lot for your money.

http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/clt.pl?intatran&1202079699
http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/cls.pl?intatran&1202968196
http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/cls.pl?intatran&1202414673
http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/cls.pl?intatran&1203003564
http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/cls.pl?intatran&1202322425
http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/cls.pl?intatran&1201036034

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Thanks SO much, jackfish, yet again! You've effectively convinced me out of Onkyo or H-K.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

I have the HK as my main stereo system but for the TV I use just an old TEAC and a couple of Bose speakers.

As for the rest of you guys. Why are you getting this guy to spend a ton of money on a 2 way system for a TV? He's in Manhattan. he lives in a 1 bedroom flat. He can go down to any pawn shop in NYC and get the equipment he'll be happy with. Especially, since he needs a two way system.

BTW, search the forums. We've discussed this issue in the past.

jackfish
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)


Quote:
Why are you getting this guy to spend a ton of money on a 2 way system for a TV?

Because his primary use will be for music, the TV part was an after thought. If you would have ben involved with linden518's previous posts you would have seen that. He wants a stereo amplifier primarily for music.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Then tell him about Stereophile's putting the HK as one of their best picks as well the Outlaw audio. There was nothing wrong with the HK or the Onkyo he wanted to begin with. Still, he can get a good old two-way amp/rec because of where he lives at any freakin' pawn shop. He wants a "two-way" system. The best units will be used or he will have to go out and spend a ton of money. As for reconditioned units he should go with HK. He will deal directly with the manufacturer and send back units until he gets the one he likes until he's blue in the face.

http://www.stereophile.com/thefifthelement/1104fifth/index1.html

http://www.stereophile.com/integratedamps/306outlaw/

He probably pays more a month for apartment contracted maintenance fees than he would for any of the amps/rec recommended on this thread.

jackfish
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

I already recommended the HK3485 if he wants to go that route he is welcome to a reconditioned one from the company: http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_browse...5-Z&status=

He has options, lots of them, if you want to narrow them down for him by all means go ahead.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

He thinks you talked him out of it.


Quote:
Thanks SO much, jackfish, yet again! You've effectively convinced me out of Onkyo or H-K.

Doesn't matter. I generally don't like getting involved in this forum because of all the options available to a new person. In fact, I would recommend a new person to do a lot of research, read the magazine, and then ask for advice. First, and foremost, my general knee jerk response is to tell the person to search this entire site without giving any recommendations. This is an expensive hobby.

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Whoa whoa... what happened to this string? Lamont, I appreciate the concerns, but when I said I was "talked out of" something, it was more out of delight, that I'm getting to learn about how to be more discerning, what to look for & where. Jackfish has been an AWESOME guide. I don't know about other people, but I actually LOVE getting feedback like this, so let's just all chill.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)


Quote:
Whoa whoa... what happened to this string? Lamont, I appreciate the concerns, but when I said I was "talked out of" something, it was more out of delight, that I'm getting to learn about how to be more discerning, what to look for & where. Jackfish has been an AWESOME guide. I don't know about other people, but I actually LOVE getting feedback like this, so let's just all chill.

Really, there are threads concerning 2 way systems just in the forums alone. I only use two way systems and components that were around when 2 way was the standard. So, you live in a 1 bedroom in Manhattan. You need a 2-way that would be designed for a dorm room. The HK and Onkyo would fit the bill for new equipment. The Outlaw would be a monster (in a good way). And just about any major name brand from the 90s or 80s would be cool. There are Sansui and Pioneer from the 70s that beats them all.

Remember, when hooking up to a TV as well that you set it up so the TV volume raises the volume through the amplifier. In other words, find the volume on the amp that equals the volume output through the TV and use the TV to control the volume. 2-Way on TV sound is not quiet the same as theater type amps. With the two way you will get more depth, such has actually hearing the rumbling engines on Star Trek but will lack surround type sound, which is artificial ear candy. But you are still not limited to 2 speakers in front of you. If you get an amp/rec that will push 4 speakers at the same time you can place these speakers to fill the entire room. The main thing is play conservative and keep you amp volume at a preset that is equal to your TV volume. You don't need a Radio Shack sound meter to do this. You can do this by ear. The terminology is imaging. "When a system is imaging properly the point sources can no longer be localized. When our brains can no longer localize the point sources it will then hear things at eye level." Imaging is most noticeable in car audio. Proper imaging in a car is when you really can't tell the difference between the rear and front speakers. Most morons with a descent car audio system have lousy imaging set up. Same thing when setting up an ad-hoc 2-way stereo to your TV no matter whether you are using one set of speakers or two. You don't want on set being the alpha male. And you don't want the speakers overpowering the TV speakers. They should complement each other without the stereo speakers overwhelming the other.

linden518
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Re: 2-Channel Home Theater Question (Thanks again, guys...)

Thanks for that info, especially about imaging. I seriously get disconcerted by the surround sound effects, find them unpleasant... now that my finals are over, I plan on hitting some of the used audio shops around the city and go through some listening sessions. If anyone knows a good shop I might hit up in Manhattan, please let me know.

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