$800 airplay budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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We are an airplay house, we all have IPhones on a single ITunes account. Networking is not a problem and there is a LAN port and 120V outlet right where music system will go.

1) B&W A7
2) Network receiver plus two bookselfs and a subwoofer. I think I can get the receiver for $350 (Denon AVR-1613) so that leaves &450 for the speakers. Could get 4 bookshelves its just I don't know how stereo works on 5.1

What will sound the best, I'm naively thinking it comes down to what 450 gets me in speakers vs the A7.


Thanks in advance,
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 06:11 AM
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True stereo is only 2.0 and now with the addition of subwoofers it's 2.1. There is really no need for you to get four bookshelf speakers. That would be an odd configuration especially for music. Anything more than 2.1 for music is called multichannel or all stereo in most AVR's. Multichannel music can sound good if you have the right amount of speakers and a good calibration. I still prefer 2.1 for music listing. What I would suggest is that you get front mains, a center channel and a subwoofer. Forget about the surrounds for now. You can also do Itunes streaming another way without needing a new AVR if you already have an AVR. You can stream Itunes from your Iphones with an Airport Express. It will work with any receiver they cost about $100. I use two of them in my house for music streaming.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Secrete Sq.

Thanks for the advice. Don' t laugh but sant gave me an airport exress (AE) for my 1983 yamaha R-5 and ADS speakers (this shows my age). I don't like the quality of analog connection from AE to Yamaha (Aux). So I was thinking a network receiver would eliminate the external line and also automatically turn off and on. When I upgrade I'll put the present setup in the basement.

If 100 dollar receivers have good optical in ( output from AE) and is it ok to leave unit on all the time, then I can spend 500-700 on speakers. Can you advise (receiver and speakers) , from your reply I think your were talking about 4 speakers not 3.

thanks in advance,
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 07:25 AM
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I don't think you're going to hear that much of a difference between the analogue connection and the optical connection in the Airport Express. I have several ways to get Itunes to the same AVR and I can't tell the difference between the different DAC's. The analogue connection in the Airport or from my Ipod on a dock. I use the analogue connection so I can use it on Zone 2 or Zone 3. The only thing I don't like about Airplay is how unstable the connection can be. Some have reported that the connection can drop and that firmware and app development is an issue with some AVR's. I never have a connection problem with the Airport Express.

As far as optical inputs they are all the same no matter how expensive or cheap the AVR is. The same goes for a DAC. If a DAC in one particular device does have a different sound it's flawed. The DAC is supposed to be transparent and not color the sound in any way.

I think you should stay away from B&W speakers. Not that they're bad. Many of their speakers have large impedance dips and can't be powered properly by the AVR's that you're looking at or in that price range. To be safe you need a 4ohm stable AVR with B&W speakers.

For AVR's I would look at Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, and maybe Marantz. I'm a fan of Onkyo and own several but I would stay away from them now. Their products have really went downhill in the last couple years. I won't be buying another Onkyo if this trend stays. So I won't recommend that you buy from Onkyo either.

There are a lot of other book shelf speakers choices. Polk, HSU, Bic America. For what you're looking to do I would start with 2.1. Two mains and a subwoofer. Then add a center channel later. So for now that's three speakers. The center channel would be the fourth.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help.

I'm fairly good with networking and still had WIFI problems (intermittent connection) with the airport express (AE), fortunately it has an ethernet LAN input. So I ran a CAT6 line from my router room to where the AE/Stereo are, afterwords airplay works flawlessly.

My Yamaha R-5 is on its last legs, right channel recently blew out so I run both speakers on the left. My ADS speakers are also near an end. I had to remount one of the speakers (known problem) but not a perfect solution. So a darker end of life (basement) is in store for them before the dump.

Just curious, is 350-450 dollars in speakers (2 mains and subwoofer) along with 250-350 receiver substantially better than the Bowers and Wilkins A7?

regards,
Marty
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 10:08 AM
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You can get the receiver cheaper at accessories4less.com (refurbished). That would leave more money for speakers. You should spend the bulk of your budget on the best L/R speakers you can get. When finances allow you can add a subwoofer later. There are some budget subwoofers out there but really you should expect to spend at least $300-400 minimum on a decent subwoofer.

Denon 1613 refurb: $250 (accessories4less)

Book Shelf options ($500 and below in no particular order with respect to SQ)

Cambridge S30 ($219)
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE ($298 during sale)
KEF Q300 ($470 at accessories4less)
Deftech SM45 ($400 at Newegg)
Infinity Primus 163 ($170 at Amazon)
PSB Image B5 ($450)
Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2 ($489)

If you decided to go with the more economical Cambridge S30 (phenomenal for the price by the way) you could then fit the HSU Research STF-2 subwoofer in your budget for a very nice 2.1 system paired with the Denon 1613.

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