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chefdr1
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Joined: Oct 15 2012 - 9:47am
Integrated Amp vs. Receiver and other advice

What's up,

I got a few very entry level questions for you guys. I am about to move into my own apartment in a few days after countless years with roommates. I want to build a nice little system. I am not an audiophile guy so anything that sounds good to you will sound amazing to me...I think. So I started by buying a Carbon Deluxe TT the other day and need to get the other components.

First off the carpeted room this will be in is pretty small. I would say 150 sq ft with open kitchen to the side.
I would like to have my TV hooked up to this system and have it so movies sound good when I watch. I will sacrifice 5.1 surround for stereo if need be so my music sounds great. I also read a post where 5.1 gets most its bang from 2 channels. I have a lot of music on my Ipod also and listen to kexp, a radio station. I can get kexp through my phone though so I don't think a tuner is necessary. Do I need some special conversion for the apple products or can I just use a headphone jack? Do I need a preamp with a good integrated amp? Would it be better to just buy a good receiver?

Pretty much I want to spend maybe $1000 more and have a system that will make me happy and the vinyls movies, and mp3s sound great. Add a CD player in down the road.

I was thinkin the Magnepan MMG speakers. I read some posts with great reviews and some that say there isn't much bass. Is this true? I mostly listen to about everything from jazz, classical, classic rock rock and hip hop to world pop, so I want there to be a nice bump but I don't need to be rattlin the windows.

I understand if I need to throw a few extra bucks thats no problem.

Any help would be great. Thanks ALL!!!

Slee ZZ
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Joined: Dec 14 2011 - 12:57pm
MMGs are wonderful.

The reviews you've read on the MMGs are true.  They are, in my opinion, without peer for treble all the way through the higher bass ranges.  Just astounding resolution and soundstage for $600 speakers.  However, Magnepans do lack some oomph in the mid- and especially lower-bass.  The bass is very "fast", clear, and tuneful, but it's also weak, if that makes any sense.  This can be helped a lot down the road with the right subwoofer(s), though.  Also, the MMGs can be ordered dealer-direct and returned within 30 days.  So, I'd recommend you just go ahead and order them and find out for yourself.  The user jackfish has MMGs, I believe, so he can probably chime in with better info here.

If you get an integrated amp, you do not need a pre-amp.  An integrated amp is a pre-amp and a power amp in one box.  A receiver is just an integrated amp with a radio tuner. 

You should be able to use the headphone jack of your iPod with most integrated amps.  It depends on what kinds of inputs (RCA, optical, etc.) your integrated amp has, but in your price range, most will have RCA inputs.  In that case, you'll just need an 1/8"-to-RCA connector, which you can probably get for $10 at Radio Shack.

jackfish
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How about this?

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE mini-tower $608

Music Hall A15.2 integrated amplifier $500

DONE!

Magnepan MMGs might not be the best in your small room if you cannot get them away from the walls. Having 2 to 3 feet behind them really help them output better sound, and better bass for that matter.

chefdr1
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THANKS

thank you for the replies gentelmen. Will I be able to hook my flat screen up to the Music Hall a15? Do you think this is a good way to go? The Ascend Acoustics look nice. I will do some research on them. 

jackfish
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Does your flat screen TV have RCA audio output jacks?
chefdr1 wrote:

thank you for the replies gentelmen. Will I be able to hook my flat screen up to the Music Hall a15? Do you think this is a good way to go? The Ascend Acoustics look nice. I will do some research on them.

If so, setting up your TV's sound through your stereo will be easy.

chefdr1
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Did I throw away my money??

Hey guys,

     So i was doing my research and I looked on the musichall site for dealers in my area. I feel its good to support the local economy and it would be good to rattle questions off someone if need be. I found one right down the street. I went in and specifically asked for the music hall a15.2 The gentlemen who seemed very nice and sincere, said he didnt have one but he could order it. I then told him my budget and he took me into the listening room and hooked up the same tt i bought and pluged in a Cyrus 2 Amp with the push button no headphone jack. We listend to a few sets of albums on a few sets of speakers. I was very happy with the sound of the TT with a pair of cambridge audio speakers. The Amp was listed for $539 and sold it to me for $500. I got home and did some research and realized it was from 88 and they are being sold for $200 in some places. Can't even really find them. I am nervous that being a newbie I was taken super advantage of. Is this a solid amp and worth that money, your prefrences aside or should I see if I can take it back. Please say its worth it...but only if it is! Thanks!!!

mrvco
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Since they haven't made that

Since they haven't made that model in a really long time,  it sounds like he unloaded some used or trade-in gear on you.  Did he say it included the manufacturer's warranty?

JoeE SP9
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Old amplifier

If the amplifier doesn't include the full manufacturers warranty I'd return it immediately. I'd report them to the BBB no matter what. I'd also tell them I would not be patronizing their store any more because I felt was cheated. IMO you were cheated!

It's not a bad amplifier. Actually it's a pretty good one. It's the price they charged you that's more than a little out of line.

If you have the space try the MMG's. IMO they are the best speakers you can buy for $600. If it turns out that you don't like them or they don't work with your room just return them for a full refund. 

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