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garetjax
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Need advice for Brand New System

Here is the deal - total newby here. Haven't been a stereo junkie in about 15 years and am therefore clueless looking at all the options. Doing the basement in the new home and need to set up a home theater as well as sound in various other rooms. Planning to spend around 3500-4000 for the stereo system (this price is variable). Most of my music nowadays is on my computer so I will need something that can play that music (none of that Itunes stuff so Apple protection not a concern)- preferably that also has some sort of remote that can be utilized in different rooms (or multiple remotes for each room) to search through and play the music. Do I leave the music on the computer or are there stereo devices I should upload it to (or is it better to have a computer built right into the entertainment stand that serves as an A/V component???).

Basically, its all starting from scratch so I am totally open. What receiver, what other components, what speakers, suggestions for set up, etc....

Any TV lovers out there - feel free to recommend - looking at either a DLP or Plasma - 60+ inch at the moment (leaning to the DLP to save money on the tv I can spend on the stereo).

The stereo first and foremost is for the home theater - 7.1 surround (need to know speakers as well). This is a fairly good sized basement - but nothing too extreme. I am open to ceiling or wall speakers (which ever is better).

I need to be able to power all the speakers in the main room, two speakers in a bedroom, two speakers in an office (and I am considering some sort of outdoor speaker setup - wireless??). The speakers in the bedrooms would preferably have their own volume knob or something.

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System
absolutepitch
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

I'm looking at HT also because my TV of 15 years is near it end days. It's still a open question for me. I've looked at various screen technologies (CRT, LCD, Plasma, DLP, LCoS, front projection). For me it comes down to how it will be viewed. We all know CRT already. DLP is cheaper, but viewing angle is restricted in the vertical plane - not a problem if you sit on a couch most of the time, but will be if we sit on the floor. The bulb is expensive to replace unless you get lucky and get a new LED light source.

Plasma is great but pulls more wall juice than LCD. Both have good angle of view, and differ in contrast ratio, LCD is better from what I gather. LCoS I think has better contrast.

Front projection needs a dark room and a good screen, otherwise the picture loses a lot of contrast.

There is technology coming that is basically a flat-screen CRT. If that comes soon, I may go for it, as it will have the color, contrast, brightness of a CRT in a flat screen.

As for receivers, I don't know what to recommend. My problem is that it took a long time and work to get my two channels sounding so good, that a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 receiver won't match, and I don't feel like improving another 4, 5, or 6 channels to match my first 2. You'll need to listen and see/hear for yourself, and evaluate the features.

Sorry I'm not much more help.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System


Quote:
www.slimdevices.com

Okay - so there is the music network device I needed ($300-400). Thank you. Now - receiver (or separates) and what speakers are suggested?

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

I won't pretend I know much about the home theater angle, and I'll leave it to someone else to recommend a good amplification arrangement for you. Speaker-wise, I think you'll be very pleased with what Paradigm has to offer. They produce a wide range of loudspeakers, and you'll be able to find products that integrate well with your plans. They make floorstanding and bookshelf models of all sizes and price points, subwoofers, in-wall/in-ceiling, and outdoor solutions. Paradigm is a value leader in the industry, offering great sound at realistic prices. Okay, that sounded like an ad, but I assure you they're not paying me. I'm just a satisfied owner.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Okay - Paradigm - nice website. I was reading a post on the Monitor 7s -- looks like $2500 for those. Is a step down going to make much of a difference. The Titans were like $2100. I had also read about Triad speakers in a lot of custom built theaters - any word on those.

So if the monitor 7's and the slim device -- thats $3000. Now I will need to buy a receiver (and some additional speakers) so we are pushing the budget a bit - don't really have much wiggle room beyond 4000 and I still need to buy a DVD player. Any suggestions on the receiver.

Appreciating the advice. Open to other speaker suggestsions as well.

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Where do you live? Are those Aussie dollars? I was working with $4000 USD! Oops. I didn't know Paradigm was so expensive overseas. The Monitor 7's are about $700 stateside.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

I clicked on a button suggesting a full system - front, sub, center, back and came out with this:

http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/rec-systems-21-1-4-4.paradigm#

Monitor 7's are $700 for the pair
Center - CC290 is $399 (model below is 249)
Rears: ADP 390 x2 - $349 each
Subwoofer: Ultracube 10 $800 each
Total: 2500

Oh - I live in the middle of Nebraska so basically the middle of nowhere

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Ohhh, I see. My brain is still in stereo mode. Full system, gotcha.

For amplification, you might consider NAD or Outlaw Audio.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

lol -- yup -- need full system - music and movies/TV needed here. So you think an amp in addition to a receiver?

Also -- is there any problems of mounting those Monitor 7's into a cabinet

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Well, that depends upon how you define "problem". The Monitor 7's are designed to be freestanding, and will produce the best sound out in the room. You can put them in cabinets if you wish, but you won't be experiencing them in top form.

Since the speakers come to $2500, you're not working with a huge amount in the amplification and source department. If you can stretch it, avoid the receiver altogether and get a separate preamp/processor and multichannel amplifier. If you'd prefer to stick with a receiver, NAD and Outlaw are still good names to check out.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

DANGER Will Robinson DANGER-- just overstepped my A/V language knowledge - Did I mention just how much of a newbie I am and with no places in the middle of Nebraska - I have no experts I can consult with here.

Receiver or preamp and amp?? So my limited brain understands that is either the receiver which includes both and can serve Home Theater function -- but with less power to push all the speakers - correct?. The Preamp and Amp are two separate components that work together to do the same as the receiver but better and for more money?? So far - correct? If I'm correct I'll start doing some reading and pricing of the brands you are suggesting.

Still have only $1000 left to spend (and I haven't figured in speaker wire and the DVD player yet).

Appreciating all the help btw - hope I'm not taking too much of your time. Any other experts want to chip in some advice.

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

I've been neglecting to employ the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method. Since you're getting a sub, there's not really any reason not to get the Titan combo for $300 less than the 7's. The advantage of a floorstander (full cabinet to floor) versus a bookshelf (stand-mounted) is primarily low-frequency performance. The subwoofer will fill in whatever the Titans miss. The midrange and treble in the Titans will equal, perhaps even surpass, that of the 7's. Okay, now you're speaker-beautiful for $2195.

Amplification. I'm going to do a 180 here. Yes, get a receiver. It will fit better with your budget and intended use, as well as eliminate a bunch of cables.

There are surely many receiver choices, but I'll stick with NAD and Outlaw for the sake of simplicity. The NAD T744 sells for $800. Its big brother, the T754, goes for $1000. The Outlaw Audio 1070 splits the difference at $900. You can hear NAD at dealers, but the Outlaw is only sold direct through their website. That point is nearly moot, though, since you're out in the heart of the heartland. For the best sound in your budget, I'd go for one of those three. Even though I'm a big NAD fan, the Outlaw 1070 looks very compelling. Outlaw is a name you'll see A LOT on more A/V-oriented forums.

Alright, we need to get you a source. An Oppo DV-981HD might be nice at $230. It plays every audio format under the sun, up-converts to 1080p, has a Faroudja chip, and even comes with an HDMI cable, which are very expensive, if you haven't looked at them yet. Word on the street is that those Oppo machines sound very good, especially for the money.

So, you now have a receiver, speakers, a video source, and a music streamer. If we hypothetically give you the Outlaw 1070 and the Paradigm Titan system, you come in at $3625, plus tax. Your main room is covered, but not the secondary rooms you mentioned. I'll leave it to somebody else to tell you how best to accomplish your multi-zone goals.

A Squeezebox for each room gets your music there, but you still need to amplify it and send it to a pair of speakers. You could drop your main room to 5.1 and use the spare outputs to power one room, but you wouldn't have volume control in the room, as far as I know. I can tell you that you probably won't be able to do the main room and two secondaries without breaking your $4,000 budget, unless you compromise quite a bit in your theater, which I'm guessing you'd like to avoid. Powered speakers might be an option, though, since convenience trumps quality in the secondary rooms. There I go, giving you multi-room advice when I promised I wouldn't. Someone more knowledgeable in that regard might be able to sort it out for you. I sure can't.

Keep coming back with questions and concerns. Also, don't feel limited to my suggestions. This is your baby! I've tried to put together a system that will sound the best and (hopefully) do what you want it to do. At the end of the day, come home with what fits your needs and lifestyle.

All the best,

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

If you do decide to go smaller with the front speakers, you could optionally shave another $1000 off your cost by getting the Atom-based system. I use Atoms in my secondary system, and they are very satisfying. Full-range they are not, but you'll have a subwoofer. Food for thought.

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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Wow -- now there is an answer I can understand. I'll research those receivers - see if any include multiple zones and let you all know what I decide.

PS - found a company that sells Paradigm speakers 60 miles from me so going to have a listen to the mini, titan, and monitor 7's.

Thx for the assistance. If there are other opinions - please let me know but looking like I'm on my way to deciding soon so I can get my cabinet built.

charls
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Erik,

Do you have any sense of how the respective audio receivers, the NAD C720BEE or Outlaw RR2150, would match up w/ Monitor Audio RS8's, B&W 604's, &/or PSB T-65's?

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

I don't have any direct experience with the Outlaw, but the C720BEE has the same gain stage as the C320BEE integrated amplifier. It should pair well with any reasonably efficient loudspeakers. NAD has a pleasant, laid-back sound that I really enjoy. Some might call it a deficiency of detail, but to each his own. I don't know about the Monitors and the PSB's, but the B&W's (a bit "rough around the edges", imho) might benefit from the NAD's smooth output.

As always, go and listen for yourself. This hobby is about as subjective as any I know, and one man's cup of tea is swill to another.

Regards,

charls
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Thanks for the response. We're replacing a NAD 7130 receiver, which I've been very happy with & like its sound (in some old Norman 3 ways). The Outlaw's a total unknown to me. We're starting to listen to a higher grade speaker (& stretching the budget there) than we'd orignally started out looking for, & I was worried that we might be considering something that would want more power than those receiever's amps deliver.

FWIW, we listened to the RS8's, 604's & T-65's this afternoon (all different stores
& felt best about the Monitors.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Okay, I believe I have been offered an incredible deal by my paradigm dealer that I found and wanted to run it by you guys. I included price difference from internet sites.

Marantz 5001 Receiver $649 (< $50)
MX 650 Universal Remote with programming $325 (> $75)
Paradigm Monitor 11s - $1200 for the pair (=)
Paradigm Center CC390 $525 (< $75)
Paradigm 8" sub (he prefers this over larger) $200 (<$100)
8 in ceiling speakers - 150 a pair = $600 (=)
Cables and Speaker Wires: $175 (estimate) ??

Total Price Quoted for the above package with all installation and set up included was: $3600

Then they are offering a 60" Plasma LG for $3500 (a rebate will be availalble later as well) - (same as internet). Don't know if its a great tv or not but looked good in the store.

Would still need a DVD and a Preamp along with a blower to cool things down.

PS: Their price for the monitor 7's was quite a bit higher than normal - $1000 for the pair. So they are trying to push the Monitor 11s.

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

That looks like a solid deal. I don't understand why they're selling the 7's for so much, but at that price, the 11's for $200 more are no-brainers. Marantz makes good gear. I prefer NAD, but Marantz amplification is very satisfying, and will certainly kill most mainstream receivers. It will also pair well with a Marantz DVD player, if you're so inclined. Anyway, you're looking good. If you want a stamp of approval, consider it stamped.

Before I go, why do you think you still need a preamp? The Marantz is a receiver, which integrates the preamp and power amp stages. You don't need a preamp, just a DVD player.

garetjax
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

The dealer said the preamp (just a cheapy needed) would be necessary to power the speakers in the other two bedrooms since the main receiver would be powering 7 speakers and the sub in the main room.

bobedaone
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Re: Need advice for Brand New System

Oh! Okay. Good! Your multi-room problem is solved. Hooray for dealers and their expertise.

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