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skynyrd4212
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im new, need suggestions on this setup

hello all, im new to the forums, not neccesarily hifi tho. Right now i have a bottom of the line yamaha receiver and a pair of jbl e60 speakers. i work at a big electronics retailer and so i can get certain brands verry cheap. im considering upgrading to a pair of jbl studio l880 or 890's, and a harman kardon avr-247 amp. i can get the l890's for <$600 and the l880's for <$500 probably. the hk receiver i can get for a little under $300. at these prices, im guessing theres not anything better? if so, let me know what it is. Klipsch is also a option of what i can get speakerwise. i like to listen to anything from rap, classic rock, a ton of the grateful dead, and a little bit of everything else. i want a setup that will really light up jerry garcias solo's. what do you think. thanks.

jackfish
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

For that price the JBL L890s would be pretty good. However, for a stereo system I would not get the Harman Kardon AVR-247. It will only provide 65 watts per channel in stereo. You might as well see if you can get the Harman Kardon HK 3485 stereo receiver which has 120 watts per channel. The JBL L890s would appreciate the extra power.

I would also listen to the Klipsch RF-82, they are more efficient and I like the sound of them better than the JBLs.

skynyrd4212
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

alright, i may have changed my mind. Im considering getting the paradigm titan monitors, a cambridge audio azur 340 and a sony 5 disc sacd player. my question is, what are your thoughts on the paradigm titans, is 40 watts at 8 ohms enough? the recommended power for the titans is up to 100 i believe. What would you buy, the titan monitors, or the jbl l890 for $60 more?thanks

bobedaone
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

I'm not familiar with the JBL models, but there are a couple pairs of Paradigms in my house, 7se Mk.3's (mid to late nineties) and a new set of Atoms. Paradigms tend to be more sensitive than most, meaning that they can play louder while requiring relatively few watts. (Sensitivity is measured in decibels, and usually listed for anechoic conditions, as well as "in-room", which is what you can expect to achieve with natural room reinforcement).

Additionally, there is a disparity between the power ratings given by companies that make mass-market gear and those in the hi-fi business. For example, I just replaced my aging Sony STR-D665 receiver, rated at 100 Wpc, with a Rega Brio3, rated at a relatively modest 49. The Rega absolutely blows that receiver out of the water, and can go uncomfortably loud without distorting. The key thing to understand is that receiver manufacturers tend to inflate their ratings (because watts sell), while high-end companies are usually much more realistic with their power output figures.

I can't imagine the Azur having any difficulty driving a pair of Titans to satisfying levels. Those are 40 honest, clean watts that will sound more powerful than the number suggests, especially if you're stepping out of mass-market amplification. I recommend also auditioning the NAD C325BEE, as long as you're trolling that segment.

As far as JBL versus Paradigm, I can say that my experience with JBL computer speakers is encouraging, but I have no seat time with any of their hi-fi loudspeakers. I'm a Paradigm guy, and I recommend the Titans highly, as well as any other model you may consider. Paradigm have been making great products at sane prices for years, and they're my benchmark for speakers of that school of thought.

Good luck with the comparisons and system building! It's all great fun, and very rewarding.

Happy listening,

59mga
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

Read Rob Reina's review of the 880s www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeaker/906jbl/

I heard the 890s in a HT sur-round set-up and it was impressive. (Pioneer Elite items powering the JBLs.) How they would sound in a stricktly audio arrangement I couldn't say.

skynyrd4212
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

im afraid to say i have a new idea of what my setup should be. i went to my local mid-high end audio shop today and listened to the paradigm monitor 7's and i was amazed. im thinking about doing this:
paradigm monitor 7's
onkyo m-282 amp (2x100 watt@ 8ohm)
audiosource preamp one (cheap preamp)
sony 5 disc cd player w/sacd playback.

how does this sound for a decently cheap setup? any better preamps then the audiosource in the low 200 dollar range?
any thoughts on the onkyo m-282?

bobedaone
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

My thought is that you might be better served by an integrated amplifier at this level. You can buy more amp for your money than if you were to buy low-end separates. NAD and Paradigm are like peas and carrots, and I recommend you go hear the 325 (and maybe the 352).

I'm glad to hear that you love the Monitor 7! My 7se Mk.3 is kind of the grandfather of the new 7. My Paradigms have been in the house for about a decade now, always sound right, and haven't given me any grief. I've set myself recently to upgrading my gear, and the old 7se's will be the last to go. Even then, I'll keep them for a second system . They're that good.

Based on my experience with the Atom Monitor, however, I can tell that Paradigm have not become complacent in the ensuing years. I have no doubt that the Monitor 7 is every bit as good as you say it is.

Source-wise, you might also check out the Oppo DV-970HD ($150). I haven't heard it, but many people say it sounds great. It plays CD, HDCD, DVD-Audio/Video, and SACD. The drawback is that a video source will be required to access some functionality. If you're going for an all-music system (as I am), then it's out. The Sony is probably a decent choice.

Good luck with your auditioning and decisions and welcome to the Brotherhood of Paradigm.

skynyrd4212
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

yea.. seeing as i work at a electronics retailer, im considering just buying a yamaha htr-5960. I like the feature set and from the sounds of it, their "pure direct" mode acts almost like a int. amp, no dsp or effects of any sort. i can get it cheaper then any integrated amp even close to the same feature set.

bobedaone
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

I can appreciate the desire for features, but do you need all those channels? The same money will get you an RX-797 stereo receiver, which lacks the video features, but may be superior in the audio department. I'm not that familiar with Yamaha, so you know better than I, but the HTR seems out of character with the rest of your proposed system.

59mga
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

I have heard the Paradigm mon 7...very nice and worth considering. Just as Eric said, I would go with an integrated amp, as opposed to a cheap pre-amp/amp set-up. Both NAD and Yamaha have some good, affordable integrateds.
If you're not interested in HT don't buy it...I've yet to hear an HT set-up that sounds as good as an audio only rig.

RGibran
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup


Quote:
If you're not interested in HT don't buy it...I've yet to hear an HT set-up that sounds as good as an audio only rig.

On the cheap perhaps, but there are loads of HT setups that in two channel will compete with class A & B dedicated audio rigs. Maybe Mike needs to get out more.

RG

skynyrd4212
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

the reason im going with a multi channel receiver is because the store i work for doesnt carry any stereo receivers that are worth a shit. i went there today and saw the RX-V661BL, which has very similar features to the htr model i was looking at, but might be of a newer breed? anywho, for a little over $300, it looks like it will probably do the trick. i have looked at the the cheaper integrated amps from nad and many other companies, none of which ive seen drop below the $400 mark. so im thinking this will be my most economical option, and with their pure direct mode, and various other technologies ive read about recently, not a bad choice. as of right now im planning on getting the monitor 7's, the yamaha RX-V661BL receiever, and the sony SCDCE595 sacd player. I'll use a optical cable from the cd player to the receiver (which i assume is best) and as far as speaker cable, im planning on buying the best that my large electronics store has to offer, would it really be worth getting speaker cable elsewhere for far higher price on my limited budget? thanks

bobedaone
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

Well, you can't go wrong with the Monitor 7's, and Yamaha seems to be at the very least more concerned with audio than most companies that make HT receivers.

The DAC in the receiver might be better than that in the CD player, but that's not a certainty. You should listen to it both ways and see which sounds best to you. Also, I don't believe you can tap the DSD signal from an SACD and send it out in digital form (This is done for rights management purposes). Thus, if you want to listen to SACDs, you have to connect the player with analog cables.

Get some good cables with your discount. Monster and Acoustic Research (which I assume are the brands you carry) make high quality wire. Especially at this level, there's no need to splurge on copper.

skynyrd4212
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

thanks, will do. on the back of the sacd player it does say "optical out(cd) and then on the other half it has analog 5.1 channel out, and has a l and r jack for front, surround, center and subwoofer. would i only be using the front jacks or would i hook all of them into the receiver? since i'll only be using 2 speakers.

bobedaone
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Re: im new, need suggestions on this setup

No, there's no need to connect all five channels if you only plan to use two.

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