Focal - JM Lab Owner's Thread - Page 235 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #7021 of 7023 Old 11-20-2015, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kzhtoo View Post
Thanks for the pictures, AcuraDude. I have hardwood floor and still not sure how stable it would be with Stillpoints under my 1038Be.

I have Stillpoint Ultra SS under my Bryston Model T's on a hardwood floor. I put small felt pads on the flat portion of the cap. They are very stable and the felt protects the floor. Highly recommended.

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McIntosh MX121. McIntosh MC205. PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Bryston Model T, Mini-T Center. Focal Electra IC 1002 In-Ceiling Surrounds. Paradigm Studio Sub 15. Oppo BDP-105D. Roku XS. Roku 3. Apple TV(3). "Silenzio" EA-2 Media Server (pc-based). DirecTV. Panasonic TC-P65VT50. Samsung UN40FH6030F, URC MX-780.
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post #7022 of 7023 Old 11-23-2015, 07:52 PM
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Hi guys,

Sorry if I am trying your patience with a noob questions - I have tried elsewhere on this board, but thought maybe the Focal owners might give me better advice. I am in the process of upgrading/future-proofing (is there such a thing?!) my A/V system. My first step was to get a pair of Focal Aria 926, which were miraculously on sale for $2k at a local store. I would like to continue the upgrade but I want to spend my money wisely. Next I would like to buy either a dedicated amp to drive the Focals when I listen to stereo and also upgrade my receiver, Yamaha RX-V1800, which drives the Focals now, as well as Anthony Gallo speakers for center and surround when in home theater mode (no sub). The rest of my system is a Pioneer BDP-581D for Blu-Ray, Apple TV for streaming, Yamaha CD-changer, and a Yamaha doc for the iPhone. I will also buy the OPPO-103 in the future to replace the CD changer and the Pioneer, so I can have one less box. My main question at this point is - should I buy a dedicated amp, or invest more money and just buy an outstanding receiver? Further details:

a) Music is more important to me than home theater, but ideally I would like both to be great.
b) I live in an apartment building, so I don't listen loud, but not so quite either. I'd say it's important for me to listen at moderate levels. That's where the Focals really shine because of their incredible tweeters.
c) I listen to CDs (no vinyl), though I wouldn't mind a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi receiver to stream lossless files from my Mac. I mostly listen to industrial music, post-punk and other forms of rock. Occasional techno, ambient. Some other formats, too. Basically, my music can be quite demanding and messy. I guess it's easier to say what I don't listen to - classical music, jazz, country, and hip-hop.
d) my budget is moderate. Ideally, I would not want to spend more than $3k.
e) I will be getting an OPPO, like I said.
f) I know that ideally I should audition everything, but we don't live in an ideal world :-)

For now I am looking at NAD C375BEE, which can bet gotten refurbished for $1k. Seems like it has more than enough power. It's an analog amp, but given that I will be getting the OPPO, I will let OPPO's DACs drive the signal. Questions:

a) The biggest question - should I get a dedicated amp + receiver or just a good receiver? What stops me from getting just the receiver is that their THD is not nearly as good as those of a good dedicated amp. But will it really matter to my ears at moderate volumes?
b) Any other alternatives to the NAD given my needs?
c) If you would recommend just the receiver, which one? I'm used to Yamahas, but I am really not opposed to switching. The Yamaha A2040BL looks good, but Marantz SR7009 has also caught my eye.
d) Is the OPPO-103 a good source of sound for CDs? I like the idea of having one box and I am not sure how much of a music performance upgrade a hi-fi CD player will bring.

Well, that was a mouthful, and I hope I was coherent.
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post #7023 of 7023 Unread Today, 05:26 AM
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I'll try to shed some light for you based on my own experience. My avr is Anthem mrx 500 wich is supposed to be good in stereo music listening based on reviews/critics. I got myself a Bc acoustique ex362d integrated amp after a while for critical music listening. A dedicated amp for music listening is a must in my own experience even at moderate level. I cant give you any advice about Nad, never got to try any of their products. As for the Oppo 103 for cds, that's what i'm using and i cant say that it's good or bad since i'm not using cds that much but if you are looking for a one box solution you would be better off with the Oppo 105. The dac in the 103 isnt that great. I have a stand alone Simaudio Moon 280d dac. One word of advice, dont get hung up on specs only. My integrated amp is rated at "only" 80 watts per channel but i cannot get it past half of its power it is so loud, while my Anthem i can crank easily at 90% of its power. If budget is a constraint i would suggest a good used dedicated amp with home theatre bypass option. Oh and by the way the sale you got wasnt miraculous, Focal Aria serie is on sale worldwide because of a change of color in the wallnut finish. I got the 936s at a very good price. If you want a good deal on an integrated amp with home theatre bypass without breaking the bank there are some very good options: look at Parasound, Bc acoustic (i tried both the ex332 and 362 and they are both fabulous for a very low price). Good luck.

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