I have been reading AVS for quite a while but decided to join up to participate in the Monitor Audio thread!
I am in the process of assembling my first serious home theater system and have gone with the following Monitor Audio speakers;
I have backed these up with a REL 505 sub. The choice of the other elements of the system has been less straight forward. I started out with a Pioneer VSX-84TXSi receiver and DV-79AVi DVD player. Of course, very soon it became clear that although my room is by no means that large (roughly 16'x14'x10') adding a power amp(s) could only improve the performance of the speakers. I was however, still unsure of the best way to go with respect to the amp and other elements.
It was at this point that I had to revaluate the type money I was willing to spend. The GS speakers are the most fulfilling I have heard and in my humble opinion offered sound and build quality that was equal if not preferable to some of the much more expensive brands I had seen & listened to (although the GS's are by no means cheap!) As has been stated already, it became an issue of what sounded better on the day rather than the heady claims of some marketing materials.
When I decided to step up and look at a dedicated pre/pro and power amp I began to feel that it was a difficult time to be in the market. The choice of power amp was more straight forward and there is no shortage of great options. I wanted to take full advantage of what the Monitor Audios could do and bi-amp the main left & right GS60's and GSLCR centre while still having two channels left over to drive the GSFX surrounds. Initially I was all set to go with an Arcam Full Metal Jacket' P7 with either one FMJ P32 or, as it was even suggested 2 FMJ P1's to power the effects! Both of these options would have given more than enough channels and great quality but I was becoming short of rack space and wondered if I could get the eight channels I needed all in one high quality enclosure.
Looking at almost all the manufacturers I could think of no one seemed to make a product like this. While searching Google one day I came across the Theta Digital website and was very excited to read about the Dreadnaught II modular power amp. Further reading of reviews and other info about this amp revealed that not only would it allow me to get the number of channels I wanted but would do so with very high sound quality. After contacting Theta and giving them the details of my speakers, they recommended a configuration of 4 Stereo modules which would give me 8x 100W 8Ω channels and plenty of current to drive my GS system in the room I have.
I will shortly order the amp through my local dealer (that is when I decide which color to go with! Black or Silver? I am leaning toward black since my Monitor Audios are piano black as well as my black Pioneer plasma)
I will use the Pioneer receiver's pre-outs for the time being as right now I am reluctant to spend a lot of money (which after the Dreadnaught II I no longer have, it costs almost twice as much once it's 50kg box hits the UK shores
) on a dedicated pre-pro until the HDMI world is a little more settled.
The Pioneer is not complimentary to the Dreadnaught in terms of quality but given it's relatively bargain price I feel it is better than going with a multi thousand $ pre-pro with limited or no HDMI connectivity at this point in time. I could be wrong about holding off on the pre-pro but I would like to see what offerings are available with HDMI 1.3 in the next year or two before pulling the trigger.
I am really excited about my system and I hope this post does not come across as boastful or arrogant in any way. This is my first real' system and I am grateful for any advice anyone can offer. This thread has already been very educational.