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charls
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speaker/receiver advice wanted

We are looking to replace our receiver (NAD 7130) & speakers (Norman Labs 3-ways, the model 83 on a 6" tilted stand). We listen mostly to acoustic music - jazz, classical, folk/world/roots - w/ a little bit of electrics - classic rock/blues/world pop & some electronics.

We're set on getting another receiver (FM is essential) rather than separates, and are considering either the Outlaw RR2150 ($650) or the NAD C720BEE w/ separate phono pre-amp ($750 total - phono input is also essential). Does anyone have comparative experience w/ these? Is there any sense yet if the Outlaws are as sturdy & reliable as the NAD? Our receiver often runs a good 15, 16 hrs/day, 7 days/week. The Outlaw's USB port is an attractive feature.

We've recently started to listen to some speakers & are still trying to get a handle on what floorstanders are available in the $600-1000 range. So far we've been able to listen to the PSB T-45, T-55, Monitor Audio RS6, Paradigm Monitor7, and a $600/pr of Def Techs that didn't sound too great. We can arrange to hear the Vandersteen 1C, and elsewhere compare one-on-one the Wharfedale 9.6 & some similarly priced KEF's. So far so good, though I'm finding my auditory memory has trouble moving from one listenng room to another in a single store, let alone moving from store to store with differently set-up rooms & equipment . . .

Now we're being tempted by various discounts into a higher quality speaker, moving from the 2.5 configurations into full 3 ways, specifically: a floor demo PSB T65 for a little under $1000; a used year old pair of B&W 604's from the dealer for $900 (he's taking them back in a trade-up & come w/ remaining 4 year warranty) & possibly a floor demo of same for $1100. He was alone & busy w/ customers, so we didn't get to hear them yet. Yesterday we went back to hear the RS6's after listening to the Monitor 7's at Paradyme (the salesperson seemed quite uninterested in bringing out the 9's for us to hear), and were offered the RS8's for $1200 ("today or tomorrow only") because the store (Magnolia) was moving location. Despite the salespitch, we're assuming that we can get the RS8's at that price so long as they're still in stock. W'e're probably going to try to listen to the 604's, T-65's & RS8's all in the same day; unfortunately in three different shops.

We liked the sound of both the T-55 & RS6 models, & hadn't really gotten a good handle on their distinctions yet. There's a noticable difference in both the T-65's & RS8's that we like - a richer sound, esp. in the mids & bass. I'm assuming that's from the additional driver? The full three way configuration seems to be the direction we're heading. Which raises these questions:

Can I run those speakers for a little while on the old NAD 7130 receiver (30w/ch)?

I'm assuming that either of these receivers (NAD C720BEE or Outlaw RR2150) will be adequate to power the Monitor Audio RS8's, PSB T65's, &/or B&W 604's; are there any compatibility issues we should be aware of?

Since we're considering raising our spending limit up to $1200 for the RS8's, are there other speakers we should try to listen to?

Any other thoughts? Appreciate the space to ask these questions; reading the forum threads has already been quite useful.

charls
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

Are the questions too basic for this forum? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

jackfish
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

The Outlaw is a good receiver at its price point. I've listened to it through a variety of speakers (but none you listed) and never have been disappointed. I know it will be difficult to get an audition, but if you can, the Human 66 is an excellent loudspeaker for $1200/pair. If you can swing it, I always like the Vandersteen 2Ce for $1700 new or often found on AudiogoN for $1000 or under. I think if you can get a listen to the Vandersteen 2Ce you mught see it is worth the little extra money.

RGibran
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

It has been said from time to time...buy some Paradigm or Vandersteen and forgetaboutit. Although I find both a little snoring and boring for my taste, I cannot deny the inherent value and sound quality in either. I'd suggest you use the both as a long established reference and then compare from there, ultimatly choosing a sound you and yours prefer.

Sure you can run them on your existing NAD for a while, just don't expect them to sound like they did in the showroom.

As for two channel recievers it would seem to be slim pickins and I am unfamiliar with the models you inquire about. A whole new world of choices opens up if you will drop the FM requirement and consider integrated amps.

Good luck, have fun, and let us know how you enjoy your new system.

RG

charls
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

Thanks for the replies. We were only able to listen to the Paradigm Monitor 7s, which didn't impress much. Others might have. From what I've read of the Vandies, I'm not sure they'd appeal - there's a guy in town who does private app't's, so we might give 'em a listen. I'm afraid I'd want the larger ones (2CE) though, which are beyond budget.

We traveled Thursday to two shops to hear more. Very impressed w/ the Triangle Heliades - I'd never heard that kind of holographic imaging - wow! - but wanted a tad more bass. Got to spend two hours w/ some Revel F12s & really loved 'em. Heard them w/ an Arcam A70, & then w/ a lower powered Integra receiver, & it was quite a noticable difference.

We've pretty much followed your advice about dropping the reciever & getting the best integrated we can afford (around $800). I'm assuming that I can use our old receiever's tape out jack into an integrated's line input & listen to the old NAD's tuner that way. Any problem w/ that set-up?

We're seriously considering buying a used Arcam or used Musical Fidelity, as that seems to get us into a higher class of electronics than the new stuff in our price range. Besides the lack of warranty, are there any big negatives I may not be thinking about?

RGibran
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

Charls,

Sounds like your doing a fine job narrowing your speaker choices to suit your taste. Yep, the Triangles do midrange right, but if you desire even just a tad more bass you had damn well buy it now, or buy it again later, so...after you get your Revels' home , set up and run in for a few weeks, order ya one of these Marantz PM7001 from MusicDirect. You can try it in the comfort of your own home, with your system, for 30 days and if you don't like it, return it and you'll only be out some shipping costs. I suspect it will get you 90% of the Arcams' performance for a fraction of the price, and you would have to strain to hear the last 10% the Arcam delivered. This is coming from a very satisfied biased ex Arcam owner! I love em, but they are expensive, and we all have a budget.

I'm not for sure if the FM/Tape out connection works, I think it will but hopefully someone else will chime in to confirm...but I believe you have pre-outs on your reciever which, although both are not ideal they will work. I think used tuners can be found on Ebay for as little as $100.00.

Have fun...Keep us posted.

RG

charls
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

Well, we listened to a few more speakers & settled on the Revels. The old NAD receiver ran them ok, but was a little lackluster in the mids & over-all 'punch'.

I'd been looking at the Marantz along w/ the NAD integrateds. My first 'h-fi' bought in the early 70's was a little Marantz integrated that we ran almost 20 years (along w/ a $10 60's era tube tuner).

Wound up buying a used Musical Fidelity A3.2 & it's really making the F12s sing! I'm listening to the radio right now, running the receiver's tuner signal through the tape-outs (which unlike the pre-out bypasses the receiver's tone controls) & it's working just fine.

Now I need to research surge protection . . . it's been quite a while since I've looked at any of those products. Eeks!

cyclebrain
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

I commend you for your final choices. Much better from what you were originally planning.
On another note, how can you listen to FM? Non stop commertials and self promotion had me spending way too much time diving for the volume control.
I love my XM radio. I get grief from people about spending money on it, but then I refuse to pay for cable/Sat TV with commertials. Either make it free and have ads, or subscribe with no ads. For someone like you that has their system going all the time it will really be enjoyed.
Unless of course you really like car commertials.

charls
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

In two words: Pacifica r\Radio

In my instance, KPFA in Berkeley - non-commercial news, commentary & programming simply unavailable elsewhere at any price - I happily pony up during the fund drives . . .

A couple of music programs there that I've listened to for decades would be a major loss as well if I couldn't access them.

cyclebrain
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted


Quote:
In two words: Pacifica r\Radio

In my instance, KPFA in Berkeley - non-commercial news, commentary & programming simply unavailable elsewhere at any price - I happily pony up during the fund drives . . .

A couple of music programs there that I've listened to for decades would be a major loss as well if I couldn't access them.


News and commentary with a couple of music programs?
Sounds really good on your system?

Elk
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted


Quote:
In my instance, KPFA in Berkeley - non-commercial news, commentary & programming simply unavailable elsewhere at any price - I happily pony up during the fund drives . . .


The classical public radio station in my area sounds much better than satellite radio, plus it has good programming. I also just sent in my donation.

Enjoy your system!

RGibran
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Re: speaker/receiver advice wanted

charls,

Thanks for dropping back in to share a great ending to your new system search. Soundz like a music maker to me! Enjoy, and please come back to share some wonderful music finds with us in the future.

RG

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