Evolving plan to hook up 2channel Mac to HT - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Evolving plan to hook up 2channel Mac to HT

In two recent threads here I have asked advice on my effort to hook together my HT system (Integra DTR 135w AVR) with my proposed “bucket list” purchase of a McIntosh ma5300 so as to be able to share my B&W CM10s2 speakers as the fronts on both the dedicated 2ch and the HT.
You all have been very helpful and I have decided not to do this with the HT bypass method. However, there is one other way this sharing of the speakers may work and I value your input once again.
There is a device called a Beresford TC 7220 mklll that is made in England and seems to be the only device of its kind currently on the market that can join and switch one set of speakers between two amps. This is different from a switch that connects one amp/receiver to several speaker sets.
This Beresford TC 7220 Mk lll would keep the 2ch and the HT systems completely separate except for sharing the B&W’s. It seems to work and has evolved thru previous short-comings, hence the “Mk lll” version. I read everything I could find on it and there seems to be no signal degradation or other problems with it as far as I can tell. Sorry but I don’t know how to link it to this post.
What do you think?Your advice and thoughts on this will be very much appreciated.
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 02:53 AM
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I don't advice it. I actually built a fixture to switch two amps into one pair of speakers. I used big 40A relays for switching. The sound quality degraded. I made that for comparing different amps that I design and built. But no matter how hard I tried, it just degrade the sound to the point I cannot compare amps. I use big wires for connection and made the wires as short as possible, it did not help. I attached a picture of the set, I have preamps and volume control for each individual amp, I can switch amps remotely so nobody listening can tell which amp I switch in.


It's all for nothing, they are in the shed outside the yard. For high end amp and speakers, Speaker cables is very important, adding this switch box will add more connections and connectors and cables. It just doesn't work. I am sure my fixture is heavier duty than what you want to buy, the parts alone is not cheaper than your box already. And still it's a total waste of time and money.


You don't mess around the connection between the power amp and the speakers. I never understand before why if you go to high end hifi store, they hand switch cable from speaker to speaker, amp to amp, they don't do like the cheaper stores that hook up all the amps and speakers and use push buttons to choose amps and speakers.
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Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 04:04 AM
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The device you mention seems like it would do the trick.


Also, consider this:
https://www.amazon.com/Niles-Black-F.../dp/B00006HOFR


Probably will get more reviews about the Niles unit.
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Amazon link. It led to other devices that I missed in research. Still pondering this.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 11:50 AM
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Make sure they have return policy, test and see whether it degrade the sound.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
Make sure they have return policy, ....
Good advice for purchases made online or at a B&M store.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:14 PM
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I know Amazon is good, I have been using them like supermarket buying everything. From TV to powder milk, vitamins...........They are very good, so far when I do return, they are all free. Just print the label on line and drive to UPS and drop it off. They refund really fast too, as soon as I drop off, they issue refund in like 2 hours.


I join the Prime Membership, before the pandemic, they really ship in one day or two days max. As much as I hate jeff bezo, I can't stop buying from Amazon.....Yes, even banana connectors, hardwares, screws and nuts and all for amplifiers!!!!

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:18 PM
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So the poster should be okay if he makes a purchase on Amazon. Therefore... it's probably not a issue.

Test, if unhappy, return.
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I join the Prime Membership, before the pandemic, they really ship in one day or two days max. As much as I hate jeff bezo, I can't stop buying from Amazon.....Yes, even banana connectors, hardwares, screws and nuts and all for amplifiers!!!!
Just saw your edit:


Many have been using Prime for years not only for shipping, but also for music and streaming video.
Hating Bezos apparently doesn't matter.



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post #10 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Just saw your edit:


Many have been using Prime for years not only for shipping, but also for music and streaming video.
Hating Bezos apparently doesn't matter.
My big boss gets free Kindle book every month. It's well worth the membership. Yes, the love of Amazon far out weight Bezo.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Just saw your edit:


Many have been using Prime for years not only for shipping, but also for music and streaming video.
Hating Bezos apparently doesn't matter.
A tip for you, if you like an item on Amazon, don't put it into your "CART". I have seen a few times the price went up soon after I put in the cart to think about it. I just note the item down and keep checking, they do have special if you check often enough. I bought a garden tiller a few years back, it's was like $350 or something, one time I check, it was on sale for $299. I bought it, checked again 2 hours later, back up to $350. Ha ha, I do serve on Amazon!!!........And yes, I did buy the tiller!!!! The first one had problem, they came and picked it up and ship me another one.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
A tip for you, if you like an item on Amazon, don't put it into your "CART". I have seen a few times the price went up soon after I put in the cart to think about it. I just note the item down and keep checking, they do have special if you check often enough. I bought a garden tiller a few years back, it's was like $350 or something, one time I check, it was on sale for $299. I bought it, checked again 2 hours later, back up to $350. Ha ha, I do serve on Amazon!!!........And yes, I did buy the tiller!!!! The first one had problem, they came and picked it up and ship me another one.
And now... back to our regular programming.



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post #13 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 01:56 PM
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Commercially made speaker selectors made by name brands such as Adcom, Bryston, Niles and Russound do not degrade the sound if one adheres to the stated maximum wattage capabilities.
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
In two recent threads here I have asked advice on my effort to hook together my HT system (Integra DTR 135w AVR) with my proposed “bucket list” purchase of a McIntosh ma5300 so as to be able to share my B&W CM10s2 speakers as the fronts on both the dedicated 2ch and the HT.
You all have been very helpful and I have decided not to do this with the HT bypass method.
Using outboard switches would work, and have a lot of extra wires, but if you are going to do this I actually would use the Mac sanctioned bi-preamping, erm, I mean "HT bypass" method, or what they call "pass through" in your owner's manual. [I retracted my earlier warning that the volume knob would awkwardly need to be returned to a specific position every time you use the Integra, by the way, because I see now the Mac has that covered automatically via a 12V trigger switch). In theory the 12V trigger out on the Integra should automatically activate the pass through function, at least by my read of the Macs owner's manual. You typically use a 3.5mm miniplug to miniplug cord for that.

I once diagrammed HT Bypass to make it easier for folks to see what's going on. In my diagram the "HT bypass" preamp and its outboard power amps are in different boxes but your Mac has them integrated together hence your unit is an "integrated amp":



In my diagram version there will be no sub for stereo sources going directly to the Mac's other inputs. You would only have sub sound for devices going to the Integra.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Commercially made speaker selectors made by name brands such as Adcom, Bryston, Niles and Russound do not degrade the sound if one adheres to the stated maximum wattage capabilities.
They sell that? I don't mind looking.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Focal Alto Utopia and Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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m. zilch,
Thank you for your detailed research and extremely helpful advice. Your last post and diagram was really helpful. I’m back to considering the HT bypass.
Since my audio source(so far) is a CD collection, I was thinking of getting a nice transport, like the Cambridge ($599) to use with the Mac.
What would be best way to plug it in?
Thanks again for the help.
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 05:26 PM
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One of the few things I think I am in agreement with most members of this forum is that if using an outboard DAC instead of the one built into the CD--and I assume the one in the Mac is just fine--it really doesn't matter what CD transport you use. All it does is spit out a big long number made of 0's and 1's. This is the same with hard drives: they don't "sound different" on music or "provide more vivid colors for movies/JPGs". It's just a number and 99.999999999% of the time that number arrives perfectly and if there have been a few errors due to disc surface dust/scratches they got properly corrected.

A hundred dollar transport (or any optical disc player using its digital outs) will provide:

01110100101010101001100101011010100100101010101001 010101001010101010101010....0101010101101

and a $10,000 transport will provide the same:

01110100101010101001100101011010100100101010101001 010101001010101010101010....0101010101101

There's no difference in the incoming number so there's no change to the sound the DAC will provide.

I bet you already own some optical disc player with a digital out. Use that.

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post #18 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 05:48 PM
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If you end up deciding to try the MA5300's HT passthru, you do not use a 12-volt trigger or memorize volume settings or have to recalibrate channel volume levels multiple times, as you have been advised earlier.

Once you recalibrate the Integra's output levels after hooking it up to the McIntosh, you are done. When you select the Mac's HT passthru input the MA5300's volume control will not function (it will be bypassed). Your volume will be at whatever level the Integra was last set. After finishing a surround movie, for example, when you switch the Mac to a different input (say CD), the MA5300 will play at the volume level you last used when playing a CD.

The advantages of an HT passthru is that there will be no potential sonic degradation of stereo sources and that it is easy to use. The disadvantage is that you will be using the McIntosh and incurring extra wear and tear on it just to play news, old TV shows, etc. An external switchbox that permits connecting two power amps to one set of stereo speakers avoids the latter.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000 II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.

Last edited by Alex F.; 05-23-2020 at 06:34 PM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
Since my audio source(so far) is a CD collection, I was thinking of getting a nice transport, like the Cambridge ($599) to use with the Mac.
What would be best way to plug it in?
You can hook up a dedicated CD player to both the Integra and McIntosh at the same time, if desired. All CD players have analog outputs and many have digital (coaxial and/or optical) outputs as well. If you purchase a transport or use a CD player as a transport, I suggest you start by connecting its digital output to the MA5300 to take full advantage of its sound quality. You can also connect a CD player's analog output to the Mac and compare the sonics. It is fun.

Also, when one is willing to actually spend time (in my case, about three weeks) and money to conduct thorough and critical listening of multiple CD transports (those contained in CD players and a Cambridge CXC), significant sonic differences become apparent. Linked below are the results of an extensive comparison test I conducted and then posted here (see Post 15). Note that I used our McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier for all testing.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/173-2...l#post55187756

PS: I have not heard Cambridge's replacement transport, the CXC v2.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000 II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.

Last edited by Alex F.; 05-23-2020 at 07:16 PM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both Alex F. and m. zilch for your replies to my last post.
I’m hopefully nearing the end of this self-inflicted exercise and the most important issue now, simply put, “Is this worth the time, effort, money and possible problems when assessing the bottom line—will there be an appreciable, or even any perceptible increase in audible quality over my current Integra and speaker system in my less than perfect listening room?
I have looked back over the posts in these recent threads—including appreciation of the italics in your posts, m.—and am kind of thinking that the bottom line answer is “no”—not worth it!
Can you all please give me one last bit of advice with your view on whether I should just drop this idea or proceed, based on the likelihood of sonic improvement.
Thanks again for all your help. Much appreciation to all.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 09:00 PM
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No, sorry, not worth it is my bet, if sound is all that matters. Of course there's also easy of use, durability, looks, cool level meters, etc., etc..

I fully endorse home testing but only if under blind conditions and if carefully level matched, otherwise one is bound to deceive themselves as is discussed here. I will be posting a video teaching people how to do proper blind testing on their own, but it could be weeks away.

People also often accidentally fool themselves because we perceive subtle volume level differences, called "loudness differentials", as if they are quality changes and not simply a change in volume. This is a classic audio trick dishonest salespeople use. They can secretly play a system at an ever so slightly louder level (not that the visible volume indicators show this) to fool people that the louder signal they want to push is "better" because that's how we all hear it, even people who know about the trick! One cable vendor was caught doing this in one of their video demos not too long ago.

If sound is one's top priority I always recommend people focus on:

- the room acoustics and decor/treatment (rugs, drapes, plush furniture, professional panels)
- speakers
- speakers' placement and angling for optimal, tightly focused imaging

- the media used (Stay away from noisy analog sources and compressed digital formats like MP3, at least with low bit rates.)
- the recordings (Remember: "Garbage in, garbage out" meaning the music you buy is often the weakest link in the chain.)
- room correction technology, if used [They usually can be bypassed by using "pure direct" modes if they have artifacts which bother you.]
- subs

The things that hardly matter, if at all, are: modern day, class A/B power amps driving loads they are rated for (although they need to be strong enough for the SPL desired), AC power cords, AC line conditioners, USB cords, RCA and digital interconnect wires, speaker wires (although they must be adequate gauge for the task), green magic markers to encircle your CDs.

Last edited by m. zillch; 05-24-2020 at 09:44 AM.
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
I’m hopefully nearing the end of this self-inflicted exercise and the most important issue now, simply put, “Is this worth the time, effort, money and possible problems when assessing the bottom line—will there be an appreciable, or even any perceptible increase in audible quality over my current Integra and speaker system in my less than perfect listening room?
First, not many folks have a perfect listening room.

Second, there is a definitive answer about whether you will notice a worthwhile sonic improvement. The answer is certainly, a little bit, or no. As I have stated in many of my past posts, I am frequently disappointed by home trials of components and return them to dealers. But once in awhile a stellar sonic gem appears and it is a keeper.

I have not heard your Integra receiver. We have Yamaha and other receivers in different rooms. For stereo music use the audio quality of the best one is not even close to that of our McIntosh integrated amplifier. Not remotely close. But I use my ears, not yours or anybody else's.

I do know one thing for sure regarding your question: You will not find out for yourself whether the McIntosh or any other component will provide you a big smile if you don't try. (Read refund policies carefully.) It may take more than one in-home trial for you as well. If you have a dealer nearby, ask to borrow a demo that is sitting on a showroom shelf.

Stay healthy.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000 II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.

Last edited by Alex F.; 05-23-2020 at 10:24 PM.
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-23-2020, 10:17 PM
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I have demo'd the cm10s2 before with rotel amp in a dealer showroom 5 yrs ago or so. they are very nice sounding. if I had 5 grand to improve sound, would be looking at a speaker upgrade. However, mcintosh gear is one of those brands that is highly sought after. my dad has mcintosh from 70's that he still uses...only repair was a stuck volume knob due to oil wearing out. from a sound quality pov, I bet you could tell, but might be as little as adding a tick on your avr tone controls. I pick my amps to achieve high spl and sound great. 100 watts might only gain you a db or 2 from avr amps. that could mean alot for some if its in an area the avr amps have trouble with.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300 LG oled c9 77
Speakers: Focal aria 948, Focal cc900, Klipsch synergy KSF 10.5, Magnepan LRS, Audioengine A2+
Subs: Rythmik FV25HP, Rythmik FV15HP, Velodyne HGS 12, Velodyne VA1512
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-24-2020, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice and kind assistance. I think you just saved me a lot of money.
Last night I listened to CD’s on the Integra in stereo. Both the Barbara Streisand and the Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovski sounded great on the B&W’s. Used sub on the orchestra at low volume.
I think I’ll use it as is til it starts having problems. If I outlast it I’ll buy something bigger and better then.
Thanks again
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-24-2020, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Dfndr View Post
Thank you for your advice and kind assistance. I think you just saved me a lot of money.
Last night I listened to CD’s on the Integra in stereo. Both the Barbara Streisand and the Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovski sounded great on the B&W’s. Used sub on the orchestra at low volume.
I think I’ll use it as is til it starts having problems. If I outlast it I’ll buy something bigger and better then.
Thanks again
Glad to lend a hand.

Happy listening!

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000 II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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