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post #1 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Newbie to 2-channel Audio Needs Advice

Some 20+ years after I went from 2-channel audio to surround sound, I want to go back and set up a 2-channel audio system again. My local A/V store wants to sell me the NAD M12 preamp/NAD M22 stereo amp combination along with a Bluesound system (which sounds great in their sound room) but I am seeking advice on whether I can somehow adapt the audio gear I currently have and set up a good 2-channel audio syste,


My current system consists of an Oppo BDP-105D bluray player connected to an Integra DHC 80.2 preamp-processor for 2-channel audio via balanced connectors (bluejeans cables). The Integra in turn is connected to a McIntosh 3 channel amp which plays my left/right B&W speakers. I have an SVS subwoofer as well which is directly connected to the Integra.


My Oppo has trouble seeing my network hard drive so I've been copying my hirez music files onto a thumb drive and then plugging it into my Oppo. The music sounds fine but not as nice as I would like it to be. The room is set up optimally for watching movies using my surround sound system and I've got all the room treatments that are necessary for movie watching.


So my question to all of you is this: can I do something with my existing audio gear to make the system sound better, or do I need a dedicated 2-channel set up like my local store is telling me I need? They obviously want me to buy equipment from them, but I want to look at all of my options before I plunk serious money into setting up a separate 2-channel audio system. Also, is there gear from other manufacturers that is as good as NAD but less expensive? The M12/M22 combo comes to $6500 before taxes and that is not cheap!


Thanks for your help and advice.


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post #2 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal68 View Post


The music sounds fine but not as nice as I would like it to be


How would you describe 'not as nice' to someone who doesn't know what that means?


Are you using the Integra to 'correct' the sound?


Do you have measurement tools?

I'll be back later...


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post #3 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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How would you describe 'not as nice' to someone who doesn't know what that means?


Are you using the Integra to 'correct' the sound?


Do you have measurement tools?
It is hard to describe what "not as nice" means except to say that the music in the A/V store sounds clearer, with crisper highs and lower lows. In short, if I close my eyes, it sounds like I am sitting in front of the stage. My system does not give me that same experience. I recently (2 weeks ago) had the 2-channel audio system calibrated by one of the calibrators on this forum but that has not helped much. I do not know if the room treatments that are optimized for surround sound movie watching are having an adverse impact on my 2-channel audio experience.


I'm sorry that I cannot describe how the music sounds better.


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post #4 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal68 View Post

It is hard to describe what "not as nice" means except to say that the music in the A/V store sounds clearer, with crisper highs and lower lows. In short, if I close my eyes, it sounds like I am sitting in front of the stage.


My system does not give me that same experience. I recently (2 weeks ago) had the 2-channel audio system calibrated by one of the calibrators on this forum but that has not helped much. I do not know if the room treatments that are optimized for surround sound movie watching are having an adverse impact on my 2-channel audio experience.


I'm sorry that I cannot describe how the music sounds better.


I like clarity.


Maybe that calibrator would like to speak up for his work, or provide an opinion on why you might be dissatisfied.


I understand.

I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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If my local A/V store was willing to let me demo a system before I decide to buy it, I might bring in the system they are pushing and give it a try. But they are not willing to do that and I do not want to spend almost $8000 for the two NAD pieces plus the Bluesound equipment without some assurance that it will truly be an upgrade.


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post #6 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=RayDunzl;33023281
Maybe that calibrator would like to speak up for his work, or provide an opinion on why you might be dissatisfied.
.[/QUOTE]


Just to set the record straight, the calibrator did a fantastic job with my 7.2 channel surround sound system. It sounds much better than it ever did before. So I've no reason to believe that he did not do an equally good job with my 2-channel audio system. The reason for my original post is that if my current system sounds as good as it is going to get, is it because my equipment is not what it needs to be? Or am I missing something in the way it is set up?


Thanks for your help.


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post #7 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 05:11 PM
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McIntosh should provide proper amplification.

The Integra - I don't have anything like that here. Source digits to DAC to amps to speakers. miniDSP available for tweaking, not always used.

The Bluesound - music server - shouldn't make a qualitative difference from what you have at home now.

You could bypass the Integra - the Oppo could drive the L/R speakers directly balanced. The subwoofer could probably be driven by the RCA output.

-

I bought what I recommended to myself without demo. I would be less inclined to buy what someone else recommended without one.

-

Give the model numbers for the speakers and amplifier and sub, just to see what you have.

I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post

Give the model numbers for the speakers and amplifier and sub, just to see what you have.

The front L/R speakers are B&W 802D-2's, the amp is McIntosh MC303 and the subs are two SVS PB-13 Ultras. Decent gear I think for movies.


Thanks for your help.


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post #9 of 10 Old 03-28-2015, 05:35 PM
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I'd run the Oppo straight into the Macintosh as a sanity check on the calibration and the Integra. Skip the subs for that test.

Make sure the Oppo is set for variable volume control and turn it all the way down before playing anything the first time.

I wouldn't think the dealer has anything useful for you right now.

I'll be back later...


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post #10 of 10 Unread Today, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
I'd run the Oppo straight into the Macintosh as a sanity check on the calibration and the Integra. Skip the subs for that test.

Make sure the Oppo is set for variable volume control and turn it all the way down before playing anything the first time.

I wouldn't think the dealer has anything useful for you right now.

Thanks again for your help. I will give it a try over the weekend.


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