PSB Synchrony One, Amphion Argon 7L and B&W 804 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 01-08-2013, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Some of you may have seen my previous post about starting to build a new system. I have been focusing on the main speakers and have some information to share (and, of course, advice to seek).

My dad has had B&W 801s for 33 years so I started with B&W first. I thought the 683s would work but eventually found myself liking the 804s, then 803s (and heard the 802s because I could). I thought I was in love with the 804s.

In the same session I then listened to some Focals and Monitors and was not impressed.

Today I went to a second store and listened to some Paradigms, Rebels, and Totems. They were on the lower end and just "ok" compared to the 804. Next I heard a Paradigm S8 which was a very aggressive but amazing speaker (of course price jumped up).

Then the guy played a pair of PSB Synchrony Ones. I was floored. It was the first speaker I wasn't ready to dislike because I thought I was settled on 804s. I have read some other reviews/comments here on the forums and people seem to like the PSBs a lot. For me, I don't know how to use the right audio lingo many of you do, but they felt..silky. Not muffled but not fatiguing. Where the S8s were clear but harsh and aggressive, the PSBs were the opposite. Still a full sound but smoother. Not sure how to describe it.

At the tail end of the session I did a quick listen of the Amphion Argon 7Ls. They seemed a little sharper than the PSBs in all the right places but without the aggressiveness of something like the S8s.

So my question is, does anyone have experience with the Amphions? Any comments to add regarding the PSBs, 7Ls or 804s? I am hoping to go listen to the PSBs and 804s next to each other soon (not enough Amphion dealers to do all 3 at once). Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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post #2 of 36 Old 01-08-2013, 05:58 PM
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I haven't heard the Amphions, but I would take the Synchrony One in a heartbeat over the 804s. The matching center is very nice too.
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-09-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Justindo - I haven't heard the center channel yet but I have read lots of good reviews. Thanks for the input.

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post #4 of 36 Old 01-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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I have heard a couple of different models of Amphions at a show, and thought they were excellent. That probably doesn't help you much, but I thought I would just throw it out there.

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post #5 of 36 Old 01-09-2013, 02:36 PM
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I had the PSB Image T6 speakers for a couple of years at one of my homes, and they are very very good; way better than the $1200 price I paid would suggest.

I was thinking of upgrading to the Synchrony One, which is certainly one of the very best, but then I read the review on the Gallo Acoustics Classico CL-3 in The Absolute Sound and was intrigued by them.

When I found out they offered a 60-day free trial, with shipping paid both ways, I decided to give them a try; boy am I glad I did!!

These were originally going to cost $2400 thru dealers. but they have decided to sell them factory-direct for only $1600 per pair. IMO this is what one would call a steal!

You aren't going to believe this, but IMO they are better than the Synchrony One. I attribute much of this to their unique tweeter design, but also to the absolutely clean bass they have and the fact that they use NO crossover network.

They sound as good as the $4800 Vandersteen 3A speakers I have at my other home (but have no room for at this home; not at 16 inches wide). How they get this kind of sound quality and quantity from a speaker this size is pure magic! They are less than 8 inches wide, which is just perfect for the space I have here.

You can tell I am in love with them; they make every type of music from classical to bluegrass come alive.
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post #6 of 36 Old 01-09-2013, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Commsysman - thanks for the input. You gave me similar advice on my other newbie thread and I looked up the Gallo equipment. They may sound great and be priced reasonably but sadly their aesthetic styling won't pass muster with the Mrs. It's a shame given the glowing recommendations you have given them. I am hoping this weekend to demo the B&Ws and Synchrony Ones side by side.

I am also starting to think about the amp. The NAD Masters components are very expensive (M25/M15 combo). I was also eyeing the Integra 80.3 and corresponding amp. I like the fact Integra has the Audessy and is much cheaper. Just not sure if they will be as nice as the NAD components. As my wife pointed out, great first-world problems to have.

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post #7 of 36 Old 01-09-2013, 07:41 PM
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I would like to hear the 804s next to the PSBs also, both great speakers I'm sure. Would throw Kef R Series in that mix assuming you can audition them. Which ever way you go be sure to update us with your impressions and what you end up with. Should be a great journey. Also, Revel has some new Performa3 series, F208, I believe may be worth a listen. Try to hear as many as you can at that price range.

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post #8 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I would like to hear the 804s next to the PSBs also, both great speakers I'm sure. Would throw Kef R Series in that mix assuming you can audition them. Which ever way you go be sure to update us with your impressions and what you end up with. Should be a great journey. Also, Revel has some new Performa3 series, F208, I believe may be worth a listen. Try to hear as many as you can at that price range.

jima4a - thanks. I immediately tried to find the KEF R in my area but no luck. I will definitely write up my impressions. Right now I am heavily leaning toward the Synchrony 1s with the matching center channel. Now off to figure out how to power them...

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post #9 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 05:59 PM
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Parasound Halo A31 would be a great choice of amp.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #10 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Parasound Halo A31 would be a great choice of amp.

jima4a - I noticed it is a 3 channel amp. Does that mean I would only be able to hook up the mains and center? What about rears? I presume this would also exclude bi-amping if the speakers were capable? Sorry to be such a novice. Check out my amp posting if you want to comment there, too.

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post #11 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 06:21 PM
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I don't think you gain much bi-amping but you could go with A23 for rears or an ATI2004 should you want to end up with 7.x.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #12 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 06:48 PM
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I had a 5.0 system with a pair of PSB Stratus Goldis and the matching C6i center and had very good luck bi-amping the mains. The nice thing about PSBs is that they work well with a variety of amps, provided they produce enough power. I'd recommend, Bryston, Parasound, and ATI.
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post #13 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Justindo - Parasound continues to come up as recommendations and prices seem reasonable.

On an unrelated note (cross-posting from my amp forum question), I have another newbie question for this thread. I understand the Synchrony Ones are 4 ohm speakers. As I looked at some of the components, specifically the Marantz pieces, none of the amps are rated for 4 ohms. How big an issue is this? Should I only be looking at 4 ohm amps? Right now I am contemplating a Marantz 7701 (or 8801) coupled with a NAD M25 which is 4 ohm rated. Should I not buy the Synchrony Ones because of this issue and look for a speaker to give me more flexibility?

Just when I thought I was close to understanding some of this.... At least it's all fun to learn about.

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post #14 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 09:16 PM
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Build your system around the speakers, not the other way around, as the speakers will make more of a difference than anything else. Any good amp (e.g., Parasound) will be rated for 4 ohms. The really good ones double their power for 4 ohms and double again for 2 ohms, but they are expensive. ATI makes good, reasonably priced amps too. Marantz is a good choice for pre/pros but I'd opt for another brand for amps.
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post #15 of 36 Old 01-10-2013, 11:51 PM
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^^^
+1

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #16 of 36 Old 01-11-2013, 07:35 AM
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The Integra 80.3 is just as good as the NAD, as I doubt you could tell them apart by listening blind. With that being said, I would also look into an Emotiva amp(s) to pair with that Integra 80.3. You need to spend the majority of your budget on the speakers, not the equipment, as the speakers make, by far, the biggest difference. If I was in your shoes, I would step up to the B&W 803D2, with the HTM2D, and go with a used amp from a-gon or ebay, in order to save the extra cash needed for the step up to the 803's. Heck, you might even want to find a used pre-amp to go along with it.

A setup of B&W 803D2's powered by a used Emotiva or Adcom amp with a Integra 80.2 or Denon AVR-3311 would stomp the living sh*t out of a setup of the 804D2's with the higher prices Parasound amps and brand new Integra 80.3! I will never again purchase a new amp, always used because they last a freaking long time and sound no different at 6 or 8 years old then they do when new.

So with all of that being said, as you can see, I prefer the B&W's to the PSB's. Good luck with your search!
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post #17 of 36 Old 01-11-2013, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, today I purchased a set of dark cherry PSB Synchrony One towers and the Synchrony One C center channel. I received a really great deal on them and can't wait for them to arrive. Now if I could only figure out the right avr or pre-pro/amp combo. So confusing...

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post #18 of 36 Old 01-11-2013, 07:07 PM
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I just auditioned pair of Synchrony One from the dealer tonight. Man do they sound sweet! Everything just sounds right and the bass just unbelievable controled and tight. Now, I am thinking hard to get a pair home. Can you tell me how much you paid for your?
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post #19 of 36 Old 01-12-2013, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olfac87 View Post

Well, today I purchased a set of dark cherry PSB Synchrony One towers and the Synchrony One C center channel. I received a really great deal on them and can't wait for them to arrive. Now if I could only figure out the right avr or pre-pro/amp combo. So confusing...

Congratulations on your speaker choice. The PSB Synchrony Ones are great for both music and HT and are a great value, especially with a nice discount.

Personally, I wouldn't even consider powering these speakers with a receiver. For large 4 ohm speakers like these a 200+ wpc into 8 ohms separate amp is essentially mandatory. In your other thread you mentioned a $3k-$6k budget, which is a pretty big range. You also mentioned aesthetics and brand matching, which is entirely your prerogative, but I wouldn't personally wouldn't get too caught up with the latter for two reasons. First, a good amp can easily last a couple decades or more while an A/V pre/pro will probably be obsolete due to new technology (e.g., HDMI made earlier pre/pros "obsolete" overnight) in as little as a couple years. Second, Japanese brands like Marantz and Onkyo make good pre/pros but usually mediocre amps.

From my perspective, there are two ways to go about this:

Option 1: Get a decent mid to upper level receiver (I'd recommend Denon and Onkyo for the latest HT whistles and bells or NAD or Cambridge for better sound quality for music) with pre outs and get a good 3 channel amp for your fronts. If you're not opposed to used, this Bryston will rock your PSBs http://app.audiogon.com/listings/multi-ch-bryston-6b-st-three-channel-amp-3x250-into-8-ohms-2013-01-10-amplifiers-97526-grants-pass-or. If new, the Parasound Halo A31 would be great with the PSBs. The only issue with using a receiver, especially a Japanese one, for a pre/pro is that music will probably suffer a bit compared to a higher end dedicated pre/pro. A/V receivers probably outsell pre/pros more than 1000:1 and so they usually focus on features instead of sound quality, especially the Japanese brands, and are built more to a price point than pre/pros. That said, receivers are a great value, but they're not really appropriate for the type of speakers you purchased.

Option 2: Get an entry or mid-level pre/pro and a good 5 channel amp. For a pre/pro, the new Outlaw 975 has gotten a couple good reviews and it looks like a tremendous bargain at only $550. It doesn't have many whistles and bells, but sound quality seems to be quite good, especially for music. If you want to match brands, the 200x5 Outlaw amp would be a good choice. Outlaw lacks the blue lights and fancy faceplates of Emotiva but Outlaw's stuff sounds better to me, especially the amps. If you do want all the whistles and bells and want to spend double what the Outlaw costs, I'd recommend the Marantz 7005 or one of their newer higher end pre/pros if you want to spend more. I've heard good things about the 7005 and Michael Fremer of Stereophile gave it a rave review (better than the Integra as I recall) and purchased the review sample. Of course there is always the NAD pre/pro which would probably the best for music but is also the most expensive. Then add a new or used 5-channel amp of your choice (Parasound, ATI, Outlaw, NAD, Rotel, etc.). Personally, a pre/pro with an amp is the route I'd take unless I was only concerned with HT.
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post #20 of 36 Old 01-12-2013, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Justindo - that is some amazing advice and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. You have helped confirm a number of thoughts I had going to bed last night (feeling none too restful after 4 hours of research). A few points that hit me:

1. Trying to figure out why I would go pre/pro vs a receiver. I am not interested in bells and whistles generally and sound is more important. You said the pre/pro does produce a better sound and that hit home. Last night I read the reviews on the Outlaw and the Emotiva UMC-200. I don't have any legacy equipment (new TV, Oppo, new amp-to-be, etc.) except a 5 year old CD player I need to keep. I like the looks of the Outlaw better. What I was trying to reconcile is I want to build a somewhat future-proof, one-time system. I realize that may not be possible with how tech changes but I was tainted by the words "entry level" on the Outlaw and Emotiva pieces. But what I am hearing is they will actually perform better and without spending madly on a higher-end AVR or higher-end pre/pro.

2. You stated the 200+ wpc @ 8 ohms for the amp. Is that more important than the amp being rated for 4 ohms? The speakers are 4 ohm units. I am glad you confirmed that spending now on a good amp is worth it. I went to bed thinking an Outlaw or Emotiva plus a good amp would be good and you confirmed that.

3. It sounds like I could be ok buying used versus new on the amp. Good to know. Any specific questions to ask a seller about a used amp?

4. On the Outlaw route, any thoughts about it not having any calibration software like Audyssey? Maybe I take the money saved and hire someone or do it a different way? Or pay the extra $600 or so for the AV7005 (even though it is only XT and not XT32). Maybe my novice self won't know the difference.

The fact the AV7005 is double the price but has *some* more features is appealing. It's the "what I don't know" syndrome where maybe I am protecting myself by buying something with at least a few features. And you are right, the reviews on it seem great.

I think I am almost convinced to go the less expensive pre/pro route (Model 975 or AV7005) and pick-up a decent 5 channel amp.

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post #21 of 36 Old 01-12-2013, 04:42 AM
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I agree with Justindo. By the way the five channel 200wpc Outlaw is made by ATI, all the 200wpc and above are. The reason I have not recommended Onkyo receivers is they don't have 12V triggers for the mains, making an external amps a pain. Anthem receiver might be another option with a three channel amp such as A31, AT2003 or AT3003.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #22 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olfac87 View Post

Justindo - that is some amazing advice and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. You have helped confirm a number of thoughts I had going to bed last night (feeling none too restful after 4 hours of research). A few points that hit me:

1. Trying to figure out why I would go pre/pro vs a receiver. I am not interested in bells and whistles generally and sound is more important. You said the pre/pro does produce a better sound and that hit home. Last night I read the reviews on the Outlaw and the Emotiva UMC-200. I don't have any legacy equipment (new TV, Oppo, new amp-to-be, etc.) except a 5 year old CD player I need to keep. I like the looks of the Outlaw better. What I was trying to reconcile is I want to build a somewhat future-proof, one-time system. I realize that may not be possible with how tech changes but I was tainted by the words "entry level" on the Outlaw and Emotiva pieces. But what I am hearing is they will actually perform better and without spending madly on a higher-end AVR or higher-end pre/pro.

2. You stated the 200+ wpc @ 8 ohms for the amp. Is that more important than the amp being rated for 4 ohms? The speakers are 4 ohm units. I am glad you confirmed that spending now on a good amp is worth it. I went to bed thinking an Outlaw or Emotiva plus a good amp would be good and you confirmed that.

3. It sounds like I could be ok buying used versus new on the amp. Good to know. Any specific questions to ask a seller about a used amp?

4. On the Outlaw route, any thoughts about it not having any calibration software like Audyssey? Maybe I take the money saved and hire someone or do it a different way? Or pay the extra $600 or so for the AV7005 (even though it is only XT and not XT32). Maybe my novice self won't know the difference.

The fact the AV7005 is double the price but has *some* more features is appealing. It's the "what I don't know" syndrome where maybe I am protecting myself by buying something with at least a few features. And you are right, the reviews on it seem great.

I think I am almost convinced to go the less expensive pre/pro route (Model 975 or AV7005) and pick-up a decent 5 channel amp.

I'll address your points one by one.

1. The only reason to go the receiver as a pre/pro route is that you don't want to/can't spend $1000 or more on a dedicated pre/pro but you want all the whistles and bells that the Marantz, Integra, etc. pre/pros offer. It sounds like you're willing to spend $1000 or more, so this doesn't apply to you. Future proof your system with good speakers and a good amp. You simply can't do it with a pre/pro because this technology changes rapidly. Also, when I'm talking about "entry level" pre/pros, keep in mind you can easily drop five figures on a pre/pro, so $550-$1,500 is "entry level" but those "entry level" pre/pros will sound better than the pre/pro sections in Japanese flagship receivers. As for the Outlaw, I think I'll probably be buying one myself later this year.

2. As I previously wrote, a good amp will easily handle 4ohm loads. All of the amps I've mentioned (Bryston, ATI, Outlaw (made in California by ATI as Jima4a writes), Parasound, NAD, etc.) will handle this impedance. I would be looking for at least 200 wpc 8 ohms and 300 wpc into 4 ohms. If it doesn't mention its 4 ohm capabilities, walk away.

3. Although I don't buy much used gear myself, amps are the safest thing to buy used. The nice thing about them is that either they work or they don't. If it works when it arrives, it will probably keep working for quite some time. You may have to replace the fuses down the road, but that's about it. The Bryston I linked to is a 12 year old amp, which may scare you, but it sells for $8,000 today new. I'm using an almost 15 year old high end stereo amp and I've never had any problems with it and it sounds just as good as as it did the first year I had it.

4. Many on this forum love the Audyssey "room correction" and I personally think it has some benefits, especially with a really bad room and lesser speakers and electronics. I've A/B'd several people's mid-fi home systems with and without Audyssey back to back and I think it helped in some ways and hindered in others. For example, it sounded as if it did help compensate for some resonance and reflection problems but on the other hand it added a somewhat artificial and undesirable quality, taking the life out of the sound and making it both sterile and muffled. I've never owned a system with it and I've been perfectly happy without it. Personally, I wouldn't bother with it. Most professional reviews I've read have seen Audyssey as a mixed bag as well. I've heard it described that Audyssey attempts to undo all the effort that the designers put into their speakers. Also for what it's worth, few if any high end pre/pros feature Audyssey. It seems to be a feature on mid-fi gear only, just as they have dozens of "concert hall", "jazz club", "stadium", "rock venue", etc. modes that sound dreadful.

The Outlaw 975 and the Outlaw 7500 would be just over $2,000 and would provide great sound for a very reasonable price. Of course you could spend three times the amount and max out your $6,000 budget and get better sound, but diminishing returns start kicking in.
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post #23 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 03:18 AM
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To me Audyssey is good for movies and TV but I turn it off for music. Never have liked DSP for music.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #24 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 03:22 AM
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Also ATI makes Outlaw's 200 and 300 wpc but they also make amps for other high end offerings. That does not mean they all have the same designs, I would believe they do not.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #25 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Justindo - you are being very patient with me and clear. Thanks. This feedback is great. I found this Bryston 9B on audiogon. If I want a five channel amp (and I think I do), this looks like a steal compared to a new one. My question is you say I should be looking for at least 300 wpc at 4 ohms (which is the program rating of the speakers, too) but this is rated 200w@4ohms. Thoughts?

BTW, I am pretty much decided on the 975 (or maybe jumping to the AV7005) and a 5 channel amp, perhaps the:
** Ouutlaw 7500 (300wpc@4ohms, $1.07/watt, new)
** ATI AT3005 (450wpc@4ohms, $1.33/watt, B stock)
** Parasound Halo A51 (400wpc@4ohms, $1.69/watt, open box)
** Parasound Halo A52 (225wpc@4ohms, $1.60/watt, open box)
(plus maybe the Bryston above).

I included the cost/watt because it's an interesting way to compare. Obviously the actual price of those units vary across the board.

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post #26 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Also ATI makes Outlaw's 200 and 300 wpc but they also make amps for other high end offerings. That does not mean they all have the same designs, I would believe they do not.

jima4a - glad you confirmed this fact. I figured at the Outlaw's prices with those specs it may be different types of internals than ATI sells to others. But hopefully the reputation of both companies would be enough for me to know it is still good equipment. Any thoughts on my Bryston question above? The fact Bryston keeps coming highly recommended but is 200wpc@4ohms, not 300 which is the rating of the speaker?

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post #27 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 07:40 AM
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I have heard the Bryston 9B SST2 and would recommend it but the one for sale is previous generation so not sure of difference. Also add the ATI AT2005 to your list, 300 wpc @4ohms and 200wpc @8ohms. $2300 plus shipping from ClassicAudioParts.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #28 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 07:49 AM
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I took at look at Outlaws amps and I know ATI makes the Balanced versions and know the basic designs are either similar or the same as ATI.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #29 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 06:42 PM
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The Bryston you linked to is an awesome amp and would be a great with the PSBs. Each generation of Bryston amps seems to get slightly better, there's not a huge difference and certainly not something that would cause me to upgrade. They're very evolutionary rather than revolutionary. For the price difference I wouldn't think twice, especially for the "new" one you linked to. Also, don't worry about the Bryston being under 200wpc at 8 ohms, as Bryston conservatively rates their amps and it should drive your PSBs with no problem. The Bryston will sound better in all respects from top to bottom than Outlaw, ATI, Parasound, NAD, etc. This is not to say these aren't good amps, but the Bryston is in another league. Buying that one "used" would essentially get you a new high end amp at a mid-fi price. You could probably talk the guy down to $3000 or so on it too. If you can swing the Bryston, I'd jump on it and you will be in amplifier bliss for 20 years. If you do decide to go with the Bryston I'd recommend the Marantz pre/pre so that you can use balanced connections which will give you a lower noise floor. My stereo system is fully balanced and it sounds slightly better than when using RCAs. Also, the Marantz gives you the Audyssey option if you want to go that route for movies. (I agree with jima4a that it should not be used for music.)

As far as ATI is concerned, they make the higher end Outlaw amps and they also make and own Theta. The Thetas are quite expensive, though, and compete with Krell, Classe', Pass, Levinson, Boulder, etc. (i.e., the ultra high end of solid state). From what I've heard, the Outlaws are very similar to their ATI branded amps with a few small corners cut in terms of some parts and the use of cheaper faceplate, which accounts for the price difference. I think the Outlaws are probably 95% of what the ATIs are, although if you do want to go the ATI route, the "B-stock" ATIs at classicaudioparts.com would be a good way to go.

By the way, what rears and sub (if any) will you be running for HT?
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post #30 of 36 Old 01-13-2013, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Justindo - awesome. That's one of the answers I was hoping to hear.

When I bought the Synchrony One towers and center, the sales guy tried to sell me the whole package, including the Synchrony One S speakers (surround) and the "matching" sub. I passed on everything until I could do some more research. On the one hand, I have read that the rears really don't pass that much information so I could even use the mains from the "box" Yamaha HT I am replacing. On the other hand, I have heard speaker matching is good and so perhaps the Synchrony One S speakers would be the right choice (albeit they seem pricey just for rear sound from movies).

As for the sub, I have barely scratched the research layer. No matter where I look JL Audio comes up time and time again with their fantom f1 10. Again, pricey so I want to do more research. Any thoughts you have on the subject would be great.

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