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live4u
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3000-4000 7.1 system

Hi,
I have an old HK full HT system(5.1). I am planing to upgrade in the equipment to a 7.1. I am googling a lot to understand the audiophile language about drivers, sub woofers etc... I am trying to buy used equipment preferably B&W or M&K for the 7.1 or a mix of both depending on your feedback. My house has a open plan so this equipment will be in my family room which is open to kitchen and living room. The TV is used most of the time but for movies, I will switch on the surround.

Also, I am looking at a pre pro (integra 80.3 maybe or emotiva), amps (emotiva, bryston, parasound). Any links to read through reviews and your recommendations for the equipment is highly appreciated.

Thanks

bierfeldt
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So what are you looking to get for $3000 to $4000?

Are you looking for Speakers, Sub, Pre/Pre & Amplifiers?  That would be challenging for that price range. That Integra pre/pro you mentioned is $2200 new so that wouldn't leave much for speakers and amplifiers. 

Additionally, how big is the open space in your house.  That will have a huge impact on speaker selection.  It may require efficient speakers to deliver the right volume.  Also, are you looking for in-wall or on-wall speakers?  All these things have a huge impact. 

Kal Rubinson
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I think you are going in the

I think you are going in the right direction.  However, I would not mix speaker brands, except for the sub.  Stick with one for all the main speakers. Also, especially with your "open plan" room, get a pre-pro with a very good EQ system.  That means Audyssey XT32, Trinnov, RoomPerfect or AnthemRoomCorrection*.  I would not recommend the Emotiva, past or current, although the new one (not yet out) will have Trinnnov.

*A good value option is to get one of the Anthem AVRs for use as a prepro.

live4u
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Looking at these for $3000 to $4000
bierfeldt wrote:

Are you looking for Speakers, Sub, Pre/Pre & Amplifiers?  That would be challenging for that price range. That Integra pre/pro you mentioned is $2200 new so that wouldn't leave much for speakers and amplifiers. 

Additionally, how big is the open space in your house.  That will have a huge impact on speaker selection.  It may require efficient speakers to deliver the right volume.  Also, are you looking for in-wall or on-wall speakers?  All these things have a huge impact. 

Thanks for responding. Total family room is around 400sft. Disatance from equipment will be around 8-10ft. If I can reuse some of the stuff from my equipment which goes well with other, then its good. My budget is 3000-4000$ (not including tv). can go upto 5k with a stretch My 5.1 receiver is not good as it has one HDMI input and I am looking at a minimum of 4 inputs already. For high end receiver (if amp and prepro is not possible in the budget ie emotiva or integra 80.3 (I see 1700 for used for 80.3) and bryston or emotiva for amp), I need 4k ultra HD, I was thinking about pioneer elite 700 or marantz (NR1604 or SR5008). Is one of these a good idea or should I go for something else? I am also looking at B&W 600 series 5.1 HT setup (add two more speakers for 7.1 which i can get used for 2200$) which you can get used or a M&K. I dont have much knowledge on M&K though. What do you think?

live4u
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budget for speakers
Kal Rubinson wrote:

I think you are going in the right direction.  However, I would not mix speaker brands, except for the sub.  Stick with one for all the main speakers. Also, especially with your "open plan" room, get a pre-pro with a very good EQ system.  That means Audyssey XT32, Trinnov, RoomPerfect or AnthemRoomCorrection*.  I would not recommend the Emotiva, past or current, although the new one (not yet out) will have Trinnnov.

*A good value option is to get one of the Anthem AVRs for use as a prepro.

If I cant fit everything in my budget whts the general recommendation for bringing my video system alive with major budget going to speakers? I am looking at used B&W or M&K.

commsysman
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SYSTEM CHOICES

 think that getting a good pre/pro and power amps would put you into the range of $8000-$10000 for a complete system with appropriate high-quality speakers.

Allow me to suggest a system that will be high quality and considerably less money:

1) A NAD T758 AVR (very good sound quality and plenty of power; much better than the YamaPiOnk stuff)

2) A set of PSB Image speakers; a pair of Image T6 speakers (excellent!) for $1300, a C4 center speaker for $300, and a pair of B5 speakers for around $400 (you can even get them cheaper from Saturday Audio's B-stock sale (new with PSB warranty; slight cosmetic defects).

3) An OPPO BDP-103 CD/SACD/Blu-ray player. for $500.

I had the Image T6 speakers for two years, and they are much better than any B & W speaker you will get for the same money.

This will give you a very nice all-new system that will sound great.

live4u
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This looks a nice list
commsysman wrote:

 think that getting a good pre/pro and power amps would put you into the range of $8000-$10000 for a complete system with appropriate high-quality speakers.

Allow me to suggest a system that will be high quality and considerably less money:

1) A NAD T758 AVR (very good sound quality and plenty of power; much better than the YamaPiOnk stuff)

2) A set of PSB Image speakers; a pair of Image T6 speakers (excellent!) for $1300, a C4 center speaker for $300, and a pair of B5 speakers for around $400 (you can even get them cheaper from Saturday Audio's B-stock sale (new with PSB warranty; slight cosmetic defects).

3) An OPPO BDP-103 CD/SACD/Blu-ray player. for $500.

I had the Image T6 speakers for two years, and they are much better than any B & W speaker you will get for the same money.

This will give you a very nice all-new system that will sound great.

Let me check all the info you gave. This puts me inside my budget. Basically the problem is if I have to go to B&W or M&K, I need to expand my budget right? I was looking at this http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/ele/4440452961.html - Lookd like a decent one but I am trying to understand whether these speakers are good or not if I go with NAD or Marantz or http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/ele/4434766076.html or http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/ele/4431468415.html or http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/ele/4423999046.html and build the system. Even these will put me in my range. I am still reading on them but do you see them at a lower or middle end of the line? Thx

commsysman
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System Choices

My feeling is that B & K speakers are generally overpriced; not the best bang for the buck, and not always such good speakers sonically.

PSB, KEF, and Monitor Audio are all better choices from my listening experience.

M & K I am not as familiar with.

B & K are also something that you have to research carefully, because they have some models that have had good reviews, and other models that are not very good; you need to research that carefully so you know which ones to avoid.

Marantz is better than average, but for the best sound quality I recommend NAD or Cambridge Audio receivers.

NHT makes an excellent subwoofer.

live4u
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You are referring to B&W

You are referring to B&W right? Any idea about M&K? Dang I have lots of difficulty posting this. It wont show the secured image and wont allow me to post!!

Catch22
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B&W Kit

You'd be hard pressed to better that B&W kit that you linked to. That would still leave you with half of your budget for electronics.

commsysman
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Speakers

IMO the PSB speakers I recommended are one hell of a lot better than the B & W "kit" in question..

The PSB Image T6 speakers were rated by Stereophile as best in their class when reviewed, and both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound singled them out as their speaker choice for a "Recommended System" in an article.

The B & W 603 speakers are fairly good, but they are simply not AS GOOD as the Image T6. 

The NAD T758 receiver is only $999 and is very good; a nice price for such a good unit. It is the perfect fit for a system at this price level.

Catch22
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I love Psb

I'd certainly go the Psb route, but that would require a substantial increase in budget to get 2 more speakers and a good sub, not to mention another $1500 for the electronics. The B&W kit at $1900 includes a very good sub and dipole surrounds.

bierfeldt
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Focal Chorus

Darn nice speakers. They have updated the line and the old versions are available on clearance at Music Direct. Withy a Wharfedale sub they also have on clearance, you would be looking at like $2200 for new, better speakers than those B&W's for a small amout more.

Also, check out Accessories4less. They sell factory refurbished equipment. You can get a Marantz SR7008 which will support 4K upscaling unlike the NAD that was mentioned. It is $1299 with a 1year manufacturers warranty. With 2 extra rear speakers, you would be spot on your $4k budget.

I would get an Oppo Bluray when you can upgrade. They are the gold standard.

audiophile2000
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Need to think about what you need

I would step back from this project and think what you need to get everything working at the budget you have. What I can tell you, is that system matching is extremely important. no sense in having very expensive electronics drive a speaker that can't let them shine and the same goes the other way.

5.1 or 7.1
Given your budget I would recommend going 5.1. the addition of the two speakers in the rear doesn't add a lot to the system, I would put way more value into getting better equipment in a 5.1 setup. Basically is a 7.1 setup better - yes - but only over the same system in a 5.1. As soon as you change the components you don't know.

Speaker - a lot of good suggestions here and would recommend listening around. A lot of great speakers have been put forward in other post so I wont re-hash them, but just make sure the speaker you get is adequately budgeted, should probably be 40% of your budget or so. I will also mention the PSB speakers that have previously be mentioned. Full disclosure I'm a synchrony one owner so PSB has a sound I like, but I feel their products in general hit well above their weight class, which I found out very quickly when looking to upgrade (eventually decided to hold off).

Electronics - So you mentioned separates above but will mention that this could be tough to do. I hear many good things about emotive but have never listen to them but their price point has always been very attractive. I personally think Marantz makes a great product and some of their receivers have 7 or 9.2 analogue out. What this means is you can use the receiver as a processor should you decided you need more power from an external amps. Not sure if their current line up has this, but its a great future upgrade feature.

Main thing, is I would go to a few stores and mentioned what you are looking for and start listening.

live4u
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Thanks to everyone here

Thanks to everyone here providing good feedback. I bought PSB pair of T60, B6 pair, B5 pair and a sub S60 from saturday audio. I am trying to see if I can buy marantz SR6008 or SR5008 from accessories4less. I see not much difference exept for 10w difference per channel, extra HDMI output. Is it worth going for SR6008 at all? Also, I am looking at refurbished from accessories4less (I got another deal where I will get SR5008 for 699$). Have anyone used accessories4less and how is the feedback? Thx

bierfeldt
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I bought a Marantz MM8003 power amp from them

It is 3 or 4 years old and I have not had an issue. They are Marantz's official clearing house for discontinued and refurb items. The stuff all has a Marantz warranty on it and are listed as an approved dealer by Marantz. The only complaint I had is that they did not require a signature for delivery on an $1800 power amp and had someone not been home, FedEx would have left it on my front step. I live in a nice neighborhood and the box was unmarked, but still.

They regularly have great deals on cables as well.

The primary difference is power and few features like the number of HDMI outputs between the SR5008 and SR6008. Check out the Marantz site and you can see a side by side compare. They aren't hiding anything. The two units are very similar.

live4u
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bierfeldt wrote:
bierfeldt wrote:

It is 3 or 4 years old and I have not had an issue. They are Marantz's official clearing house for discontinued and refurb items. The stuff all has a Marantz warranty on it and are listed as an approved dealer by Marantz. The only complaint I had is that they did not require a signature for delivery on an $1800 power amp and had someone not been home, FedEx would have left it on my front step. I live in a nice neighborhood and the box was unmarked, but still.

They regularly have great deals on cables as well.

The primary difference is power and few features like the number of HDMI outputs between the SR5008 and SR6008. Check out the Marantz site and you can see a side by side compare. They aren't hiding anything. The two units are very similar.

thanks. Then 5008 should be good enough right?

bierfeldt
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If the 5008 has what you need

Like 1 HDMI output is enough, then yes it should be fine. The 5008 and 6008 are very similar. I doubt you would notice much of a difference between the two listening to them.

BTW...I think you made a great choice on those speakers. The PSBs are awesome.

live4u
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Thanks to everyone for

Thanks to everyone for chiming in with your valuable suggestions. I went with saturday audio for 5008. Little expensive but new.

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