Originally Posted by BrolicBeast
This is pure excellence! It's clear that you knew exactly what you wanted, because that's not gear that one acquires by mere happenstance. Your planning was well worth it. Congratulations!
Thanks for the kind words!
The TV was a sure thing, but to be honest, the pre-amp, amp, and speakers were a long, drawn out process. We started with B&W CM9s, a B&W CMC2 center, and a Marantz SR7007 receiver. They sounded great in the listening room at the Magnolia store, but once we got them home, it was a different story. It sounded as if I'd thrown a wet towel over the top of the towers' mids and highs. I tried re-positioning the speakers, inserting the foam port fillers, as well as adjusting the settings on the AVR (Audyssey), but just could not get the sound that we were looking for.
We ended up returning the B&Ws and going to a different store and purchasing the Paradigms. While we were waiting for the Paradigms to come in, I decided to upgrade the SR7007 to an AV7701 and the matching Marantz MM7055 amp. Well, after receiving the pre-amp, I was stuck waiting for the amp for quite some time. I basically gave up on it. Magnolia kept pushing back the ship date and didn't really know when they were going to get one in stock. I spoke to one of the sales guys with Magnolia, and he said that since they could not get the MM7055 in the foreseeable future, they could offer a discount on another amp. I have always wanted McIntosh gear, even since I was 12 or 13 years old, when I first saw a brochure (I was using the Grandparents hand-me-down Radio Shack Realistic gear with Optimus speakers at the time). With the sale they were running on it plus the extra discount, it was around $1,500 off their normal price. The deal was pretty-much sealed. I picked up the Furman while I was there as well.
I know some folks don't have high regards for Best Buy/Magnolia (and big-box stores in general), but I gotta say that I have been very pleased with them. They let me keep the B&Ws for way past the return date, so that we would have something listen to, even when they knew that I was not going to buy the replacements from them. Although, I gotta say that I would have, if they were a Paradigm dealer. I also got to keep the SR7007 for something like 2 months, while waiting on the MM7055 to come in. On top of all that, I could not beat the 3 years, no interest financing.