Ahhh, the joys of Pro Audio....
Well, guess what everyone, thanks to this thread I am about to save even more money. I'm not sure if everyone here saw my post about pro amp prices enabling my to afford 2 seperate setups instead of just one, but I have an addition to make.
I was talking to one of my co-workers about upgrading my existing setup (we're both home theater nuts) and how I'd found out about the savings you can get from Pro-Audio amps. He asked "why stop with the amps"? In addition to his love of home theater, he also does DJ'ing and mixing for amateur bands, and as such has accumulated a bit of a mini-studio in his basement. He said, instead of buying the Magnepan MMG-W's, the Hsu Subwoofer, and the Crown amp for the second setup (the "Music Room"), he suggested get a pair of large, active studio monitors.
In fact, this will work out best for me, because my "Music Room" is much smaller than my theater room, and also doubles as my PC gaming room. This room would have presented setup challenges for the Magnepan's and Hsu, but since the Studio Speakers are designed for near-field listening, extend down to 40 hz with only a -2db roll-off, and are powered, they will integrate perfectly. And if I had any doubts they would be as accurate as Magnepan's, these doubts were erased when I heard his setup using 2 Mackie's - extremely accurate and no subwoofer needed for the size of the room. He even pointed out a few really good "studio" sound-cards I can use in the PC that shares the room, which have the same quality DAC's as very expensive pre-pro's. So the gaming PC can also be my CD jukebox!
So my (hopefully) final setup should look like this:
3x Crown XLS-402A amps powering my 5.1 speakers + in-sofa sonic transducer setup in the theater room.
1 pair Mackie Pro-Audio speakers in my music room.
1 studio sound card (2-channel) outputting music from my PC to the Mackie's.
All in all, this Pro-Audio stuff just keeps getting better and better for me! Thanks again for the great thread!
(Side note to Tubeguy or anyone else with experience: I've been asking around in the HTPC forum for help choosing a good 2-channel studio soundcard w/ balanced outputs - i.e. 1/4" TRS phono. So far the responses have been very limited, so I was wondering if anyone on this forum has experience with this type of equipment?)