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Bobster50
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New living room setup

Hello my name is Bob I am new to the forum! I love listening to music and have been out of the stereo market for a few years now.I am looking for some advise on building a new system for the living room of a house we are having built.I put together a system for my basement years ago for the home theatre and tried to incorporate music listening as well as for action films. I feel the system works good for movies but not so well for music listening. Here is what I haver down stairs so you have a idea of what i am use to. I have 5 marantz ma 500 mono blocks and a 2 channel 8008 aragon amp i bought in the 90s its a beast but seems harsh to me on top.. I running this through a integra avl pre amp with a oppo blu ray player. The speakers are definitive technology bp 2000 bipolar speakers the front ,center ,and back. are also def techs.I am looking for something more musical just for music.In the 90s we had a magnepan dealer local called Flips Stereo .This was my first and only audition with them.It left a big impression on me ,the music seemed true to life , huge sound stage almost magical .I am going to include my room size and picture of a display home so you can sorta see what i have to work with.We listen to a variety of music including jazz,pop and some rock.I am listing some of the equipment that I have been considering so any advice would be much appreciated.I have thought about experimenting with a integrated tube amp also.The speakers will go on the sides of the fireplace. I also wanted to mention that I am wanting to get into vinyl as well. I am also trying to keep cost down,the house is killing me as it is! :O) If anyone has any better suggestions or thinks i am going in the wrong direction please let me know. Basically I want something better than what I had that will sound awesome with music.
Rogue audio cronus magnum 2
Nad m-32
mac -6700 receiver
speakers magnepan 1.7

Thanks for your help Bob

I tried to add a picture but it will not let me. The room is 21x18 12 foot ceilings

commsysman
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SYSTEM CHOICES

The Magnepan 1.7 speakers are excellent.

My suggestion for an integrated amplifier is the Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated amplifier, which is only $2999 and sounds like it costs $10K. It is a wonderful amp. I have had 3 people buy it on my recommendation and they have all thanked me and raved about how wonderful it sounds.

I personally use the Musical Fidelity M6PRX power amplifier with an Audio Research preamp and Vandersteen Treo speakers, and the sound is to die for. The M6si has essentially the same amplifier circuit as the M6PRX (discontinued).

commsysman
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TURNTABLE

For a turntable, I suggest the Music Hall MMF 2.3, which a very good turntable at a low price.

The Musical Fidelity M6si amplifier includes a phono preamp that can be used with either a moving-magnet or moving-coil phono cartridge, so there will be no need to buy a separate pnono preamp. Musical Fidelity is known for its excellent phono stages (some amps have phono stages that are not so good).

KRS
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Similar Issues

Dear Bob (and to those following), thanks for your post as I have been having similar thoughts about my main home system. I very much enjoy what I have and it works very reliably, however I have the nagging feeling that my Denon 4520 (with Oppo 105AU, Claraudio Concept and Sonos and TV) might not be making the best use of the Paradigm Studio 100s (with Studio CC-490 centre, Cinema ADP backs and Seismic 110 sub). I am seeking more detail in the sound and more control over the Studio 100 speakers.

As it turns out about 70% of our listening is 2 channel stereo (all sources), 20% TV and 10% movies. I was keen on the Musical Fidelity M6PRX but it is now discontinued. Also, I have been told that mere power amplification might not be the sole issue and that I might be better dealing with both pre and power amplification. This has led me to consider the Musical Fidelity M6si (MF).

As I understand it I could then make the following connections to the MF:
• Oppo BD105 to MF (CD) by analog
• Clearaudio Concept Turntable (MM) to MF (Phono - MM) by analog with ground wire
• Sonos to MF (Aux 2 or Tuner) by analog
• Denon 4520 to MF (Aux 1/HT) by analog
• MF to Front left Speaker (no bi-amping)
• MF to Front Right Speaker (no bi-amping)
• MF (line out) by 2 RCA cable to Stax SRM-323S Driver Unit for Stax Electrostatic Earphones

The Denon would still have the following connections:
• Antenna by coaxial cable to AVR Antenna (coaxial 75 ohm) (digital TV signal in)
• Oppo by HDMI to AVR HDMI In 2 (DVD) (Screen readout - Oppo Digital)
• Sonos by coaxial cable to AVR Audio In 1 (CBL/SAT) (Screen readout - Sonos Digital)
• AVR by HDMI cable from Monitor 1 (ARC – Audio return Channel) to TV (Screen readout – TV Audio)
• AVR from Pre Out SW1 by LFE (Low Frequency Effects) cable to subwoofer (Paradigm Seismic 110)
• AVR from Centre by Van den Hul Snowline speaker cable to centre speaker (Studio CC-490)
• AVR from Surround L and Surround R by speaker cable to back left and back right speakers (Cinema ADP)
• AVR from Front Height L and Front Height R by speaker cable to Zone 2 (outside) speaker (Paradigm Stylus 470-SM)
• AVR by 2 RCA cable from Media Out (line level out) to Sonos Connect

I was hoping someone may have some insight or thoughts as to the following:

1. Do you think it will offer a decent improvement in my listening, commensurate with the price?
2. I currently bi-amp the Studio 100s, I can’t do this with the MF, do you think that is too much of a loss? (from recollection the Studio 100 manual recommends bi-amping)
3. Power amp alone v pre and power amp as the way to improve the system, given how I use my system
4. Alternatives you think I should consider? (Parasound Halo Integrated Amp which received a very good review in Stereophile)

Apologies for the long post but thanks to those that do post so those of us further out (relatively remote city in Australia) can obtain additional insights.

commsysman
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SETUP CONFIGURATION

It looks like all of that will work.

I recommend that you use the balanced outputs of the OPPO to connect to the M6si.

The M6si seems to have essentially the same amplifier section is the M6PRX (which I have), and I think the M6si is an excellent choice for your system (or anyone's).

commsysman
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Musical Fidelity M6si

I actually paid $3500 for the M6PRX.

I see that Audio Advisor is selling the M6si for only $2999, which has got to be the deal of the century.

My preamp has 6 inputs, all balanced, whereas the M6si only has one. That would be my only reservation about it, but most people really don't need more than one or two balanced inputs anyway.

commsysman
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BI-WIRING

I doubt whether bi-amping those speakers is an advantage, because they don't need the kind of high current that recommends it.

I do suggest that you bi-wire from the M^ to the speakers, though.

The Monoprice pure copper #12 speaker wire (Monoprice #2747) would be excellent for that, but you must already have the wire you need.

KRS
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Thanks

Dear commysysman, thanks for the comments and the advice. My long time audio dealer also recommended the balanced cable for the Oppo so I have gone that route. I ordered the M6si. Looking forward to installing it in the next week when received.

commsysman
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AMPLIFIER
KRS wrote:

Dear commysysman, thanks for the comments and the advice. My long time audio dealer also recommended the balanced cable for the Oppo so I have gone that route. I ordered the M6si. Looking forward to installing it in the next week when received.

Great! Please post an update once you get it all together.

KRS
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WoW

Holy smoke, my speakers have come alive! Last night I successfully installed and integrated my MF M6si into our main system (photo with my profile). It has been a revelation. I started with SACDs, the detail was amazing and there appeared to be real weight in the sound of my Studio 100s. I then used my Sonos (connected via analogue and drawing from my FLAC files on my NAS drive), it was superb and a winner when combined with the ease of access to my music. I then (after some mucking around in manual setup) applied Audassy and it integrated the bi-wired (thanks commsysman - supported by my audio dealer) Studio 100s from the M6si seamlessly into my AVR for surround sound from TV and Oppo. I tried Sonos through the AVR (digitial) and with 2 channel stereo using the M6si but it was about 70% as good as direct to M6si without passing through the AVR. The highlight of the night (finishing at 2am) was the Clearaudio Concept playing Queen's 'Radio Ga Ga' (on red vinyl as pictured), I have never heard my record player (or maybe even my SACD's) play so well. If I paid twice as much for the M6si I would still have thought I had received value for money. I delivered a bottle of scotch to my audio dealer as a thank you for his support because, as you can tell, I am supremely happy with the investment and am enjoying my music tremendously. I am yet to try the Stax Headphones or maybe even Clearaudio from MM to MC at later stage and waiting on balanced cables for Oppo, so lot's more listening and discovering to do! (PS. rest of family also in agreement that music sounding amazing and a step up).

KRS
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Bi-wiring speaker cables

As mentioned above I had previously bi-amped my Studio 100s (v5.1) from my Denon 4520 AVR (consistent with Paradigm manual recommendation) and now have them bi-wired from my Musical Fidelity M6si (consistent with commsysman and audio dealer recommendation) and they sound much better (due to M6si I believe). I bi-wired by combination of banana plug at end and bare wire clamped at the beginning however in my searching for a longer interconnect (chose Wireworld Lunar 7) I came across bi-wire speaker cable with single banana plug at amp end and double banana plug at speaker end. They were Audioquest Rocket 33 (Aud$400 for 2.5m). It looked like a neater solution than my current arrangement and I would have thought the current (?) would be the same as my configuration. Are there any experiences or views on this arrangement and any recommendations on this product or an alternative, I am inclined to think $400 is a bit steep given the cost of my system ($4,700 integrated amp and $5,000 speakers in Australian dollars).

KRS
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Bi-wiring clarity

To be clear, the Audioquest has 2 x 2 banana plugs at the speaker end and 1x 2 banana plugs at amp end.

KRS
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Oh

And my current speaker cable is Van Den Hul Snowline.

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