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post #361 of 6394 Old 08-12-2008, 10:11 PM
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Thanks Tony. Actually, the Niles StageFront does make the in-wall models, and supposedly, they sound pretty good. Don't know what pretty good means, though. That's why I'd really like to audition some Triads in the Dallas area.

Hopefully, Mr. Scarpelli will respond here in a day or two.

Still looking for a recommended layout and other feats of magic knowledge.
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post #362 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

Hmmm...I'm nearly all set to place my order for 3 Gold In-Room LCRs for my fronts. I will have a projector, with the center behind GOM panel beneath the fixed screen and L and R hidden in columns. Based on your quote, should I not be using the LCR for the center, but rather the Gold Center? Please go into detail with the differences between the two. Thanks.

The Center and LCR perform almost identically, and you should pick the one that fits physically. If it isn't an acoustically-transparent screen and the speaker has to ge beneath it, you probably want the Gold Center. Because the mid and tweeter are vertically aligned, they work well. A center-channel speaker with vertically-aligned tweeter and mid must NEVER be used vertically. That's why we have an LCR.

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post #363 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CJO View Post

Basically, if you can place the center vertically, it's best to use an LCR. If you have to place it horizontally, then use the center.

CJ

Since I've got 33" below my screen it sounds like I won't have any problems with the Gold LCR vertically (29"H). Thanks CJ.
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post #364 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

The Center and LCR perform almost identically, and you should pick the one that fits physically. If it isn't an acoustically-transparent screen and the speaker has to ge beneath it, you probably want the Gold Center. Because the mid and tweeter are vertically aligned, they work well. A center-channel speaker with vertically-aligned tweeter and mid must NEVER be used vertically. That's why we have an LCR.

Sorry Paul, initially missed your reply (scrolling on a blackberry). My HT will be 14x23. After taking 110" Stewart into account (non AT screen) I've only got 37" left for either below/above screen and 64" collectively for left and right columns. I used the riser height calculator in another thread and came up with 33" below screen and 4" above. Obviously, no problem to fit L and R speakers hidden behind columns. Based on these specs, I have enough room to place the In-Room Gold LCR vertically.
So for this set-up, is the Gold LCR or Gold Center more appropriate? Thanks.
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post #365 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

Sorry Paul, initially missed your reply (scrolling on a blackberry). My HT will be 14x23. After taking 110" Stewart into account (non AT screen) I've only got 37" left for either below/above screen and 64" collectively for left and right columns. I used the riser height calculator in another thread and came up with 33" below screen and 4" above. Obviously, no problem to fit L and R speakers hidden behind columns. Based on these specs, I have enough room to place the In-Room Gold LCR vertically.
So for this set-up, is the Gold LCR or Gold Center more appropriate? Thanks.

If you use a Gold LCR for center, the bottom of the speaker will be 4" off the ground, and you'll get some obnoxious reinforcement in the mid and upper bass. My recommendation is to go with the InRoom Gold Center instead.

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post #366 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

If you use a Gold LCR for center, the bottom of the speaker will be 4" off the ground, and you'll get some obnoxious reinforcement in the mid and upper bass. My recommendation is to go with the InRoom Gold Center instead.

Thanks so much Paul. Is there a minimum height that the Gold Center should be off the ground? Is the pricing the same as Gold LCR?
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post #367 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

Thanks so much Paul. Is there a minimum height that the Gold Center should be off the ground? Is the pricing the same as Gold LCR?

I would get the Center up as high as you can so the tweeters of the left and right and the center are as close to the same height off the floor as possible. The InRoom Gold Center is the same price as the InRoom Gold LCR. Five millionty-trillion bucks.

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post #368 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

I would get the Center up as high as you can so the tweeters of the left and right and the center are as close to the same height off the floor as possible. The InRoom Gold Center is the same price as the InRoom Gold LCR. Five millionty-trillion bucks.

Now that's a bargain! So, if at all possible, I should try to have the L and R speakers' tweeters positioned at the same height as the Gold Center? For some reason, I was envisioning the L and R speakers as higher.
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post #369 of 6394 Old 08-13-2008, 06:38 PM
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Paul's on the ball. I was going to say something similar, but he beat me to it (and he's the expert, too)!

CJ

coneilliv at aol dot com

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(a bunch of good reference links and material in first 15 posts)
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post #370 of 6394 Old 08-15-2008, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by golfugh View Post

Paul
Price range: Building a 5.1, maybe 7.1 system (depends on room), all surrounds in-ceiling/wall, planning on $5-8K for fronts, then add the center, so total front around $10K max for the fronts. I'd be looking at about half that for the surrounds. Looking at JL F113 for sub if WAF approves.

acoustics: room is non treated for now, I'm following Hifisponge's WAF room treatment thread and will work toward something along those lines as budget allows.

output levels: normal listening level for music depending on source quality and WAF, would like to have a musical (SACD) multi channel for music and HT peaks as required for HT. Mix 80/20 music to HT. A lot of Jazz, blues, female vocals, some classical, Classic rock with forays into Metallica, Radiohead, Reggae, etc.

electronics: currently Odyssey mono extreme SEs for fronts, Candela Tube pre, waiting on HDMI to settle down for the processor, Oppo 983, 17 year old Sony CDP 77ES with PS Audio Digi link III level 4 modified, Sony BD 300 , Pioneer Kuro 5080HD, I have an Odyssey HT-3 amp on preorder for surrounds/center. Also have a Carver M4.0t for use as needed. Looking at Modwright transporter eventually for 2 ch music.

speakers: currently running Klipsch Forte IIs with Bob Crites crossovers and titanium tweeter diaphragms; looking at Salk HT-3 and HTC for fronts, still auditioning, Revel Studio 2 and KEF 205/2 are possibles. KEF audition 18 Aug. It's an ongoing search, hope to make up my mind in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for any info
Mark

Third try. Above edited based on current situation. I'll provide pictures as needed.
Mark
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post #371 of 6394 Old 08-16-2008, 06:36 AM
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Paul Scarpelli - can you help out golfugh? You are "the man" when it comes to Triad stuff. golfugh must use in-ceiling/in-wall surrounds, and anyone who knows in-ceilings knows that Triad makes some awesome solutions.

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post #372 of 6394 Old 08-16-2008, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfugh
Paul
Price range: Building a 5.1, maybe 7.1 system (depends on room), all surrounds in-ceiling/wall, planning on $5-8K for fronts, then add the center, so total front around $10K max for the fronts. I'd be looking at about half that for the surrounds. Looking at JL F113 for sub if WAF approves.

acoustics: room is non treated for now, I'm following Hifisponge's WAF room treatment thread and will work toward something along those lines as budget allows.

output levels: normal listening level for music depending on source quality and WAF, would like to have a musical (SACD) multi channel for music and HT peaks as required for HT. Mix 80/20 music to HT. A lot of Jazz, blues, female vocals, some classical, Classic rock with forays into Metallica, Radiohead, Reggae, etc.

electronics: currently Odyssey mono extreme SEs for fronts, Candela Tube pre, waiting on HDMI to settle down for the processor, Oppo 983, 17 year old Sony CDP 77ES with PS Audio Digi link III level 4 modified, Sony BD 300 , Pioneer Kuro 5080HD, I have an Odyssey HT-3 amp on preorder for surrounds/center. Also have a Carver M4.0t for use as needed. Looking at Modwright transporter eventually for 2 ch music.

speakers: currently running Klipsch Forte IIs with Bob Crites crossovers and titanium tweeter diaphragms; looking at Salk HT-3 and HTC for fronts, still auditioning, Revel Studio 2 and KEF 205/2 are possibles. KEF audition 18 Aug. It's an ongoing search, hope to make up my mind in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for any info
Mark

Sorry I missed your post. With "The Big Crash," my vacation, and some big medical stuff happening on this end, you slipped through the cracks.

Am I to assume the fronts will be inwall or not? If inwall, how much stud depth? What SPL do you want to hit at the seating position, and how far away is your seating position? I need this information before moving forward. I am back at my desk for a few weeks (unless the doctors want to remove more pieces of me), and I subscribe to this thread. I will respond immediately, if not sooner.

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post #373 of 6394 Old 08-16-2008, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bravo36 View Post

Greetings All!

Longtime lurker finally gets to put plan into action.

Building a new house on Lake Lewisville (Dallas area), and we will have a dedicated home theater...finally!

I don't want to bore anyone with all the details, but rather thought I'd like to take this opportunity and ask about the Triads as a sound solution for here. It's one of the brands I am considering along with Niles Soundstage, and Tannoy Definitions.

Room dimension is 20.6' x 21.6'. 2 seating levels. I don't mind splurging some on the speaker setup as we really want to "feel" the effects while doing our movie watching. Vocals are important. I love my Rockets right now, but we seem to always be asking each other "What'd they say?"

The "screen" wall is 2x6, as is the right side. The other 2 walls are 2x4. Ceiling is 2x6. Plenty of room up front for a build out cabinet of some sort, and 2 subs are planned. Option to use in-wall or free-standing speakers up front, but wife requires in-wall for surrounds and rear. (Ceiling mount is also open).

I'd love to hear from the Triad folks as to their recommendations, and also am seeking a Triad dealer near 76210 who might be able to offer a demo. Fact is, I've never heard them and am dying to.

We just finished insulating, and will be sheetrocking next week. All wiring has been ran.

If this were your room, how would you lay it out?

Would you please indicate pricing compared with the other two brands above, or what can I expect to pay for the Triads? All I know is what I've heard 3rd party.

I will appreciate your input, and Thanks in advance!

Kevin

I'll need to know what your electronics are and what your budget is before making a meaningful recommendation. The 6" stud depth maximizes your options, though. You can do InWall Silver/6 LCRs ($1,100 each), InWall Gold/6 LCRs ($2,150 each), InWall Silver/6 Monitors ($2,250 each), or InWall Gold/6 Monitors ($3,900 each.)

I actually need you to "bore me with details." I also cannot comment on the other speakers you have mentioned and I welcome those who are familiar and unbiased to make comments.

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post #374 of 6394 Old 08-18-2008, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for the reply Paul. I've been in London since Friday am.

Details: Right at this minute, this room is virtually a blank canvas. It was just sheetrocked this weekend, and taped today. Dimensions are posted above.

This room, as well as the rest of the house will all be controlled by Crestron equipment:
CRESTRON - Adagio AMS-XM - HIGH PERFORMANCE MULTI ROOM
DISTRIBUTION AMPLIFIER
CRESTRON - CNX-PVID8X3 - VIDEO DISTRIBUTION SWITCHER
CRESTRON - CNX-PAD8 - AUDIO PRE-AMP CONTROLLER
CRESTRON - AAS - DIGITAL AUDIO SERVER
ESCIENT - DVDM-100 - DVD/CD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
SONY - DVPCX777ES - 400 DISC DVD CHANGER W/232
SONY - BDP-S300 - BLU-RAY DVD PLAYER

This is the short list and a fair representation of what to expect, or base your thoughts on...equipment wise.

The Adagio is only capable of 7x100 watts/channel. I am fairly certain that I will amend this with a 200-250 watts/channel amp...probably Parasound just because I like their stuff, but I'm open to suggestion on anything at this point.

I've ran all the wiring for a 7.1 (w/ 2subs instead of 1), so 7.2 I guess.

LCR can either be in-wall, or freestanding (in some sort of furniture grade cabinet). Subs will be tucked away. Surrounds will have to be installed in-wall (WAF). The rears will have to be in-ceiling because the wall at the rear is only 2x4 studs and rather short for this purpose (only about 8' wide total), and then dips into a bar area.

I propose to have seating for 8 in a 2x4 two-level seating arrangement.

Projector and screen have not been decided on yet. I'm kinda waiting to see what is the latest and greatest unveiled at CEDIA 2008 in September.

So, in a nutshell, there it is. I'm very flexible on most everything here if it makes sense.

I do not have a speaker budget, per se, nor do I throw my money around without first seeking knowledge and advice. I'm looking for a setup that makes sense and gives us what I think we should have. My wife and I are avid movie watchers, and listeners.

Dat's why I'm here mi amigo.
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post #375 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 05:35 PM
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post #376 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 05:53 PM
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Quote:


I don't want to bore anyone with all the details, but rather thought I'd like to take this opportunity and ask about the Triads as a sound solution for here. It's one of the brands I am considering along with Niles Soundstage, and Tannoy Definitions.

Room dimension is 20.6' x 21.6'. 2 seating levels. I don't mind splurging some on the speaker setup as we really want to "feel" the effects while doing our movie watching. Vocals are important. I love my Rockets right now, but we seem to always be asking each other "What'd they say?"

The "screen" wall is 2x6, as is the right side. The other 2 walls are 2x4. Ceiling is 2x6. Plenty of room up front for a build out cabinet of some sort, and 2 subs are planned. Option to use in-wall or free-standing speakers up front, but wife requires in-wall for surrounds and rear. (Ceiling mount is also open).

I'd love to hear from the Triad folks as to their recommendations, and also am seeking a Triad dealer near 76210 who might be able to offer a demo. Fact is, I've never heard them and am dying to.

We just finished insulating, and will be sheetrocking next week. All wiring has been ran.

If this were your room, how would you lay it out?

I quoted your original post, because it's a few pages back.

I am going to assume you don't mind spending money as long as you are getting a value and not tossing cash away. For a spectacular front soundstage in a 6" deep wall, I would either go with three InWall Gold/6 LCRs ($2,150 each) or three InWall Gold/6 Monitors ($3,900 each.) You can read reviews and details at www.triadspeakers.com . After we established ourselves as the only high end inwall speaker company with a full line a decade ago, I've seen a few dozen companies mimic our sealed-box inwall approach, with varying degrees of success. No one builds a more sturdy, inert box than Triad, and no inwall has more expensive drivers than the Gold Monitor. I use InRoom Gold Monitors with great electronics in a treated room, and the sound is stunning. The Gold LCR uses premium, proprietary Seas drivers, and the sound is 80% as good for less money. (That 20% is nirvana, though.)

Your room is almost square, so you you'll have peaks at around 60 Hz and 120 Hz, but those can be dealt with. Just avoid putting the main seating area in the center of the square room...an enormous bass null. No bass there, in fact. The room is big enough to use two subs. If the room is treated well, you may want to use dipoles on the sides, but four identcal direct-radiating surrounds will work great. Before zeroing in on surrounds, you could use four InWall Gold Omni/4 SE speakers ($900 each) and have spectacular results. Paint-matched grills are included at no extra charge, so they'll disappear.

I'll respond quickly now that I'm in town for a while. Thanks.

Paul Scarpelli
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post #377 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Dat's why I'm here mi amigo.

What is your local dealer recommending speaker wise or are you looking for other alternatives to what they are saying? Certainly, Triad has several in-wall and freestanding offerings to make just about any anyone happy.

I agree with you upgrading your amplifier from the Adagio for your theater room. It's decent at best. Certainly nothing wrong with the Parasounds, we've used them here for years and have no plans to ever discontinue using them. A fantastic product if you ask me.

Is Corinth, TX near Houston? If so, I would be happy to try and set up a meeting with a client of mine. We did a system build for him using the Triad In-wall Gold LCR's and Parasound Halo's in his theater room. Actually, we did three surround systems in that house using all Triad and Parasound Halo. A phenominal project.

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Showplace Oklahoma - Showplace Theater & Sound
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post #378 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 06:42 PM
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Thank you very much for your time and effort Paul. Well thought out.

Last question: Dealer/demo recommendations for the Dallas area (76210) where I could here your equipment?
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post #379 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ttowntony View Post

What is your local dealer recommending speaker wise or are you looking for other alternatives to what they are saying? Certainly, Triad has several in-wall and freestanding offerings to make just about any anyone happy.

I agree with you upgrading your amplifier from the Adagio for your theater room. It's decent at best. Certainly nothing wrong with the Parasounds, we've used them here for years and have no plans to ever discontinue using them. A fantastic product if you ask me.

Is Corinth, TX near Houston? If so, I would be happy to try and set up a meeting with a client of mine. We did a system build for him using the Triad In-wall Gold LCR's and Parasound Halo's in his theater room. Actually, we did three surround systems in that house using all Triad and Parasound Halo. A phenominal project.

Sorry Tony, you posted while I was answering Paul.

No, I am just north of Dallas, and south of Denton. (Any suggestions for around here?)

Thanks for validating the Parasounds.

Local dealer I am using for the pre-wire and Crestron install is pushing the 2 other brands I mentioned originally. Nothing wrong with them, but with the amount of money we're spending on this %!@*# house, I wanted the best bang for my buck I could get. I am familiar with Triad's reputation, but that's it. They are expensive, to be sure. I don't buy virtually anything without researching it. As far as speakers are concerned, any speakers, I'd have to put them to a test with my ear before dropping that kind of cash. These Triad's are hard to locate. I hope everyone understands that.
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post #380 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

The angled-baffle square-grill InCeiling models are far better, and you could also consider our InWall Bronze/4 Surrounds in the ceiling. I'm not a fan of round ceiling speakers for home theater applications, despite the fact that we sell them and often they're used for surrounds. No, the OmniRounds would not be a better choice, to answer your question, but they would cost about half as much as one of our square ceiling offerings. The OmniRound8 is $300, and the Bronze Surround is $600 each. The InCeiling Silver/8 Omni has recently been redesigned, and it's $550, with an angled baffle.

Due to some other expenses, I was going to have to wait on getting a pair InCeiling Triad speakers for my surrounds. As a temporary measure, I installed a pair of Niles CM760 round speakers with aimable tweeters....less expensive, but only OK sound for the surrounds. Then a couple of weeks ago I lucked into a great deal on a pair of Triad InCeling Mini/8 LCR speakers from someone who had bought them and ended up not using them for a home theater after all. Swapped out the Niles and installed the Triad's last weekend and.....all I can say is WOW! You were right, Paul...."angled-baffle square-grill InCeiling models are far better." Not that I doubted you, of course!
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post #381 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bravo36 View Post

Thank you very much for your time and effort Paul. Well thought out.

Last question: Dealer/demo recommendations for the Dallas area (76210) where I could here your equipment?

Because we only deal with high end custom installers (retail died a decade ago), a demo may be difficult to find. Look here for a dealer. Ask for Andrew Ard, and make sure he knows I steered you to him. Let me know if his response time is too slow, and I'll light a cherry bomb under him.

http://www.triadspeakers.com/howtobu...marketing.html

Tony, thanks for the kind offer.

Paul Scarpelli
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post #382 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 07:45 PM
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Swapped out the Niles and installed the Triad's last weekend and.....all I can say is WOW! You were right, Paul...."angled-baffle square-grill InCeiling models are far better." Not that I doubted you, of course!



When it comes to loudspeaker hyperbole, I am a Boy Scout. I am incapable of perpetrating a falsehood. Pure as the driven snow. But I'm saddled with that pejorative term "salesman," so my motives are always suspect.

It is so lonely at the top.

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post #383 of 6394 Old 08-19-2008, 09:13 PM
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When it comes to loudspeaker hyperbole, I am a Boy Scout. I am incapable of perpetrating a falsehood. Pure as the driven snow. But I'm saddled with that pejorative term "salesman," so my motives are always suspect.

It is so lonely at the top.

I didn't doubt they would sound better...I was just shocked at how much better. My NAD T775 drives the whole system quite nicely.
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post #384 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 07:04 AM
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Ok, the build has finally begun. GC has the framing done and now I'm waiting for the HT guy to specify cabling, electrical etc. Have all my equipment chosen and just waiting for everything to fall into place. But of course, uncertainties always pop up. I was at a party yesterday and a couple hard-core audiophile friends (which I do not consider myself) asked about my equipment choices. Both said that my choice of the Marantz AV8003 would be better served by either a Classe or a Krell pre-amp. They said that Marantz is the high level of the mid class pre-amps but Classe and Krell are the next class up. But since Paul and Tony are the experts on Triads I figure you guys would know best. To be honest, I'm completely satisfied with my current choice of the AV8003 but I always investigate when questions come up. As you may recall, I'm using the B&K 200.7S2 as the amp to drive two in-room Gold LCRs, Gold Center, four silver surrounds and two Gold powersubs. Thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
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post #385 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 10:37 AM
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Ok, the build has finally begun. GC has the framing done and now I'm waiting for the HT guy to specify cabling, electrical etc. Have all my equipment chosen and just waiting for everything to fall into place. But of course, uncertainties always pop up. I was at a party yesterday and a couple hard-core audiophile friends (which I do not consider myself) asked about my equipment choices. Both said that my choice of the Marantz AV8003 would be better served by either a Classe or a Krell pre-amp. They said that Marantz is the high level of the mid class pre-amps but Classe and Krell are the next class up. But since Paul and Tony are the experts on Triads I figure you guys would know best. To be honest, I'm completely satisfied with my current choice of the AV8003 but I always investigate when questions come up. As you may recall, I'm using the B&K 200.7S2 as the amp to drive two in-room Gold LCRs, Gold Center, four silver surrounds and two Gold powersubs. Thoughts appreciated. Thanks.

Everyone has an opinion. I'd even look at this: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/proce...2-7.1-ssp.html

The Marantz is still a great choice, as would be a B&K or Parasound. This Integra is probably the most up-to-date pre/pro, format-wise. You wouldn't be disappointed with any of the choices, but now that much is done in the digital domain, the audible differences are subtle, not pronounced, like they would have been fifteen years ago when Citation was the best.

Hopefully, you have been well advised on what will work best for you, and you get the most appropriate preamplifier. That isn't always what someone else would buy. The right one is the one that's right for you. You may also have to put snobbish recommendations in perspective. I've noticed a lot of persons of modest wealth who recommend the most expensive stuff in a market segment with "That's the one I would buy!" when, in fact, they would not and did not. And could not.

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post #386 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 12:22 PM
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Everyone has an opinion. I'd even look at this: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/proce...2-7.1-ssp.html

The Marantz is still a great choice, as would be a B&K or Parasound. This Integra is probably the most up-to-date pre/pro, format-wise.

I thought a few postings back you had made a statement about hearing from installers that the most recent Integra line was having difficulties with the Triads?
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post #387 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought a few postings back you had made a statement about hearing from installers that the most recent Integra line was having difficulties with the Triads?

Your confusing points here. That is only from an amplification perspective. I believe Paul is speaking to audio/video processing only and using the Integra or others as a pre-pro.

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post #388 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 03:25 PM
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Tony's correct. I wasn't talkiing about driving speakers with Integra. The preamplifier/processor does not interface directly with the speakers; the amplifier does that.

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post #389 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 03:40 PM
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Tony's correct. I wasn't talkiing about driving speakers with Integra. The preamplifier/processor does not interface directly with the speakers; the amplifier does that.

Ok, so basically I should be ok with my B&K amp to power the Triads. Why do you suppose my friends are giving me such flack about the Marantz AV8003? I will look into the Integra. That was actually my first choice (but that was before I was going the pre-amp/amp route) when I was going with B&W speakers. Then of course everything changed when I switched to Triads. Since I misunderstood your earlier comments, I threw the Integra out as an option. Thanks for the clarification. Still learning over here.

Do either of you have any specific comments about going with Krell, Classe, Anthem, etc. I will check with my HT guy as well.
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post #390 of 6394 Old 08-24-2008, 03:46 PM
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Do either of you have any specific comments about going with Krell, Classe, Anthem, etc. I will check with my HT guy as well.

Excellent choices, but Krell will cost more. You probably want to stick with the same brand processor and amplifiers, but that's not mandatory. (My system is mix-and-match.) Classe and Anthem are great performers with good value. And there's always Parasound, B&K, Adcom, Nad, Audio Control, and a host of other reasonably-priced separates that work very well. Pay strong attention to your dealer's recommendation, though. You want to be able to call him when something doesn't work right.

Which NEVER happens.

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