Hi end speakers with some mid tier equipment - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi end speakers with some mid tier equipment

So it looks like I will have the chance to get the hi end speakers I have always dreamed
about...

I am talking the like of Revel Salon2, Magico S5 or S3, B&W 802 diamond,.... etc...

Now my room is pretty big......
16 feet wide, about 36 feet long, with 9.5 foot ceilings.....

I use a Denon 5308 for the processor, and have a Mcintosh 452 two channel amp.....

Most of the use is 2 channel music.....probably 80% or more....

So is it even worth it to get speakers of that quality, while some of my other equipment isn't at
that level......
I know the amp is at that level, but the processor, and some of the sources I am talking about

I think most people here would agree that the speakers are the most important component when it comes to overall sound.....aside from the room......

Opinions....is it worth it? Will I get the benefit of the exceptional speakers?

Shelly
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post #2 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 04:09 PM
 
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Will I get the benefit of the exceptional speakers?
The difference between low end and high end speakers is clearly audible, to a point, that point being around $5k per speaker, beyond which about all you get for more money spent is being able to brag about how much your speakers cost. The point of diminishing returns with electronics comes at a much lower dollar figure. I'd say you're already at the point where there's nothing to be gained by spending more, perhaps even well past it.
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post #3 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 04:33 PM
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Bill or anyone, I'm ignorant to processing and today's technology for the most part but have been curious about this as well. So today's AVRs like in the $500-$2500 range are top notch for processing? I have had bad luck with Denon 4311 and a lower quality Denon AVR recently and have had a bunch of Yamaha AVRs that never had problems before and I thought I was upgrading to Denon. I am AVRless right now since waiting to purchase an Atmos unit.

I've always liked the looks of Mcintosh amps and I know how the super audiophiles get when talking about their superiority in reproducing sound. Would I like one, yes! Do my QSC 3602s and a couple other QSC amps produce the same sound? I would scientifically think so, no?

I am thinking about acquiring my first power conditioner/backup other than for a CPU. Are any of these technologies better than others in general?

I use Oppo for BDs and CDs presently while hearing they are great but I run it through an AVR.

And sorry to OP if offended by my similar questions as I'm going to upgrade to either M2s or some Danleys most likely. I'll go elsewhere if need be.

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post #4 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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So today's AVRs like in the $500-$2500 range are top notch for processing?
Absolutely, and the price paid for 'as good as it gets' keeps coming down. The processors are computers. How's your current computer compare in bang for the buck compared to what you were using two computer generations ago?
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post #5 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 04:57 PM
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What is wrong with the 5508. That is or was a high end AVR. Probably does not have all the 4K stuff or Atmos, but does that matter? I am sure if your like me you will never be happy till you get them so just get them. Life is short, enjoy it. I would never pay that much for speakers, but thats me. None of those speakers could give me what I want.
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post #6 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 06:08 PM
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You know what audiophiles always say: the sound will only be as good as the weakest link.

What they fail to realize is that the speakers are pretty much always the weakest link! Your choice would be fine!
I use an inexpensive AVR with Klipschorns and I get all the micro-detail and imaging that audiophiles say I shouldn't get using an AVR.

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post #7 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
The difference between low end and high end speakers is clearly audible, to a point, that point being around $5k per speaker, beyond which about all you get for more money spent is being able to brag about how much your speakers cost. The point of diminishing returns with electronics comes at a much lower dollar figure. I'd say you're already at the point where there's nothing to be gained by spending more, perhaps even well past it.

Well... What would you recommend at the $10,000/pr level ?


Two of the speakers I am also considering, are the Focal 1038be, and the Monitor Audio PL300


I can get either of those options for under $10,000....


I will end this with at least the 1038be, or the PL300...or whatever I decide is better....


Normally, I would never consider speakers this expensive, but I will have an influx of extra $$, and it is a present to myself.....
These will be the last speakers I buy......At least, that is what my wife said........


Still going to audition the hi end stuff, and will let my ears decide if it is worth it....


I like to listen fairly loud, so good dynamics is a must have...
My room is pretty big... so no stand mounts....


I am going to audition.....


1. Revel Salon2 and Studio2
2. B&W 802 Diamond and 800 Diamond
3. Magico S3 and S5.... (S5 is a demo pair)



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post #8 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 10:34 PM
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Get the speakers that sound the best to you, then treat your room. These things will have the greatest impact on the sound. If you still feel you're missing something after that, look at electronics.


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post #9 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
Well... What would you recommend at the $10,000/pr level ?


Two of the speakers I am also considering, are the Focal 1038be, and the Monitor Audio PL300


I can get either of those options for under $10,000....


I will end this with at least the 1038be, or the PL300...or whatever I decide is better....


Normally, I would never consider speakers this expensive, but I will have an influx of extra $$, and it is a present to myself.....
These will be the last speakers I buy......At least, that is what my wife said........


Still going to audition the hi end stuff, and will let my ears decide if it is worth it....


I like to listen fairly loud, so good dynamics is a must have...
My room is pretty big... so no stand mounts....


I am going to audition.....


1. Revel Salon2 and Studio2
2. B&W 802 Diamond and 800 Diamond
3. Magico S3 and S5.... (S5 is a demo pair)



Shelly


I heard the Magico towers with PS Audio Directstream. Sounded real good. Should look into it.

McIntosh is way overpriced. For the money there are other companies that make good component.

Look into Passlabs amplifiers.
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post #10 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post
I heard the Magico towers with PS Audio Directstream. Sounded real good. Should look into it.

McIntosh is way overpriced. For the money there are other companies that make good component.

Look into Passlabs amplifiers.

Which Magico towers did you listen to ?




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post #11 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:34 PM
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It was the Magico Q5.
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post #12 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post
I heard the Magico towers with PS Audio Directstream. Sounded real good. Should look into it.

McIntosh is way overpriced. For the money there are other companies that make good component.

Look into Passlabs amplifiers.
Do you ever read what any O.P. has asked before spewing bias garbage? He asked about speakers, which you did provide an opinion. The O.P. wondered whether the Denon's 5308 processor he OWNS was up to the task. He didn't ask whether or not you think the McIntosh equipment he OWNS is over priced. But I guess you feel reading and comprehension aren't important factors.
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post #13 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:44 PM
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I'd always go seperates over an avr. But that's just me though. Well.. it looks like it's 150wpc. On paper, no problem. I haven't heard it so can't comment. I stopped listening to reciever couple years ago because to me, class D sounds digital, period. Haven't looked back since I tried a a true class A and class a/b.

Truth of the matter is, a reciever simply DO NOT HAVE THE ROOM INSIDE FOR A BIG TRANSFORMERS/PSU'S. PERIOD.

Sound result? = Digital compressed sound with noise.

So, my recommendation, get rid of that reciever. Reciever amongst themselves do sound similar to eachother. Get some real components with good implementation.

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post #14 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd always go seperates over an avr. But that's just me though. We'll it looks like it's 150wpc. On paper, no problem. I haven't heard it so can't comment. I stopped listening to reciever couple years ago because to me, class D sounds digital,, period. Haven't looked back since I tried a class a/b.

Truth of the matter is, a reciever simply DOES NOT HAVE THE ROOM INSIDE FOR A BIG AND CLEAN TRANSFORMERS/PSU'S. PERIOD.

Sound result? = Digital compressed sound with noise.

So, my recommendation, get rid of that reciever. Reciever amongst themselves do sound similar to eachother. Get some real components with good implementation.

I am just using the receiver for processing, and to power my zone 2 and 3.....


I use the preouts for the main listening zone, with a Mcintosh amp... MC452... 450 watts/ch.....


So power is not an issue.....


As for Mcintosh being overpriced....Have you looked at the prices for the Passlabs amps ?


Ahh... The Q5.... I am sure they sounded great.... but those are way out of the price range I can do....


Shelly
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post #15 of 107 Old 09-21-2014, 11:59 PM
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Mcintosh is overpriced for the sound quality they put out I think. But it's matter of taste.

Processing you mean you are using it as dac/preamp?

If so, it's a bad choice. A well implemented dac should always have a class A line out to amp. Line stage is very important for a preamp.

please tell me you are not using dolby pro logic etc and going PCM...
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post #16 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Mcintosh is overpriced for the sound quality they put out I think. But it's matter of taste.

Processing you mean you are using it as dac/preamp?

If so, it's a bad choice. A well implemented dac should always have a class A line out to amp. Line stage is very important for a preamp.

please tell me you are not using dolby pro logic etc and going PCM...

Of course I am using Dolby Pro Logic....


What else is there ?
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post #17 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 12:22 AM
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I'd always go seperates over an avr. But that's just me though. Well.. it looks like it's 150wpc. On paper, no problem. I haven't heard it so can't comment. I stopped listening to reciever couple years ago because to me, class D sounds digital, period. Haven't looked back since I tried a a true class A and class a/b.

Truth of the matter is, a reciever simply DO NOT HAVE THE ROOM INSIDE FOR A BIG TRANSFORMERS/PSU'S. PERIOD.

Sound result? = Digital compressed sound with noise.

So, my recommendation, get rid of that reciever. Reciever amongst themselves do sound similar to eachother. Get some real components with good implementation.
My Wyred4Sound Class D monoblocks sound just as good as the highly touted Class A/B amps they replaced. They are powering my PMC IB2S with great success.

Back on topic: Speakers are completely subjective, but I would give a listen to PMC or ATC while you're auditioning, especially if you like British speakers. The PMC transmission line yields a phenomenal bass presentation, and ATC is legendary for their mid-range clarity. I don't know if the Swiss company PSI Audio makes any passive models, but I own a pair of their active nearfields in my studio and I have yet to find a speaker with better imaging or transient response.
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post #18 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 12:31 AM
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Hello

Spent most of my life coveting the hi-end stuff- still have a soft spot for KEF 104's!

Concluded that if I wanted the sound they had when producing the music, then I should use the gear they used to produce the music in the first place.

I'v ended up with genelec 1038's managed by a dolby lake processor.

So my recommendation:

1) Genelec,barefoot,jbl,dynaudio would be my answer, with a lab GRUPPEN lm26. for management.

2) A rational acoustics Smaart v7 purchase and attendance on a course on how to use the software.

3) Room acoustic treatment.

Whatever you choose, hope you have loads of fun.
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post #19 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 01:27 AM
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My Wyred4Sound Class D monoblocks sound just as good as the highly touted Class A/B amps they replaced. They are powering my PMC IB2S with great success.

Back on topic: Speakers are completely subjective, but I would give a listen to PMC or ATC while you're auditioning, especially if you like British speakers. The PMC transmission line yields a phenomenal bass presentation, and ATC is legendary for their mid-range clarity. I don't know if the Swiss company PSI Audio makes any passive models, but I own a pair of their active nearfields in my studio and I have yet to find a speaker with better imaging or transient response.

I like PMCs. Wyrd 4 sound is OK. I know they have the newer dacs with femto clocks, but they still does not sound better than Aurelic Vega, or Chord Hugo. Wyrd 4 sound tend to sound a bit harsh.
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post #20 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 01:33 AM
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Of course I am using Dolby Pro Logic....


What else is there ?

Are you using this for HT and music? For HT, always use 720P over 1080P. You will find sound is much better for a subtle picture degrade. Nothing darbee processor can't fix. It's 299.00 but makes 720P look better than 1080P without it.

anyway, 720p over 1080P. Try it, it'll sound much better.

never go dolby etc. Always go PCM from your set top HD cable box or bluray and Sell That reciever on Audiogon OR Audiomart or here on AVS to reciever freaks and pick up a Directstream or a Auralic vega. Those speakers deserve them and source is important as well. Linn theory is somewhat true.

Truth of the matter is, you dont want compression from the source, when you use dolby, you are compressing the sound. It's processed and not natural, pcm.

Your speakers and your amp and the dacs, designers paid close attention to them to matching frequencies, speed, PSU'S etc. You don't want to use some sellout processed eq that meets George Lucas standards, the dude is a film director and do not know what a tweeter is. Dolby and it's eq system was made back in 1965. Technology and people have gotten a lot smarter than them. How did dolby get to be mainstream, because the dude had 2.4 billion dollars.

And people still buy into this lol.

Fact of the matter is, it might just make everything easier for 5.1 system with 400.00 budget. Which is what it's market is really geared towards.

For your case, it's not applicable. I don't think you want to use those speakers and your amps to just put out big sound. You'd want speed, details, and basically articulation from top to bottom. When you start getting into that and after ypur seperate dac, preamp, and amp is done... you should look into raw source, as in the file it originated itself. Many different kHz it's recorded in, there is dsd, pcm etc. At this point, many go into Computer or cd transports to play the file. This is where a good Powercord makes the most difference. I like CD, s because it's just convenient but I sometimes use Jriver 19 and plan to use that all the time soon. So if you are going with computer, look into how the dac handles usb async mode. There is then a whole crowd who pays attention to what CPUs (Intel or Amds etc) and rams and circuits your computer even uses. I don't go THAT far but these people have 30K gear so it's understandable that they want the absolute purist signal from source to speakers.

Anyway,start posting on Dynaudio or B&W threads.

You would notice, they don't use recievers.

Dynaudio audio is always filled with Naim gear. And B&W with McIntosh.

What does that tell you, system synergy. Why synergy, because all components sounds different. And in your case, or people that have your budget a class D reciever is not the most synergistic match.

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post #21 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 06:17 AM
 
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Well... What would you recommend at the $10,000/pr level ?
None of the above. They may all sound good, but none are worth the price. If it's loud you want you should be looking at speakers with pro-sound heritage, like JBL Professional/Cinema, JTR and Danley.
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post #22 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 06:46 AM
 
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I'v ended up with genelec 1038's managed by a dolby lake processor.

So my recommendation:

1) Genelec,barefoot,jbl,dynaudio would be my answer, with a lab GRUPPEN lm26. for management.

2) A rational acoustics Smaart v7 purchase and attendance on a course on how to use the software.

3) Room acoustic treatment.

Whatever you choose, hope you have loads of fun.
Genelec 1038s, VERY nice! I think they would give the B&W 800s, Magicos, and Revels a real run for their money. If it were me in that price range, I would be looking at something like the Genelec 1000 series or especially the JBL M2 monitors. The frequency response and dispersion of the M2s are fantastically good. The dynamics would surely surpass that of the B&Ws, Revels, and Magicos. To shore the low end up a bit and give the woofer a break, I would add a couple good subs, maybe some Seatons or Funk subs. That system would cost a pretty penny though.
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post #23 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 06:53 AM
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I would recommend you listen to the JBL M2 at your budget level. It has the SQ of the best audiophile speakers and the dynamics of pro speakers.

They measure better than the Revel Salon 2's and likely sound better too.

I can say for sure they are an amazing speaker and I haven't heard anything like it before. I've owned JTR, Danley, and Paradigm Signature speakers and have heard many more in blind and sighted comparos. The M2 is a special speaker for sure.
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post #24 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 09:09 AM
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If you're dropping down to the $10K level from the selections in your first post which are considerably more, also consider the Aerial Acoustics 7T. And yes, with your stated electronics and a decent room, you should still benefit from speakers in the price categories mentioned.

Perhaps drop to the $10K - $15K level and spend some of the money that would otherwise have gone to higher priced speakers on sources and anything else in the chain you think needs upgrading. The thought of giving yourself a full treat like the Salon 2s or the Magicos must be tempting ... but you might end up second guessing your SQ improvements(?) knowing there is still less quality in important areas. If it were me deciding at those levels, I would likely go with Thiel 3.7s at $14k. But the Focals are right there as well.
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post #25 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 09:18 AM
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I mixed with Genelecs for years before moving to PMC mains and PSI nearfields. While very nice, if I were looking at 1038's, I would spend the extra money and go with ME Geithain or ATC. JBL, while not necessarily as accurate, are definitely great bang for the buck. If you are into that kind of presentation, you might also like Quested. Any of the mentioned brands are good stuff, of course.

For my mains, I spent $20k on speakers (PMC) and $2k on amplification (W4S). Seems like a reasonable ratio to me.

@NAIM101 you must be confused, there is no DAC in the Wyred4Sound mAmp monoblock.
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post #26 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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If you're dropping down to the $10K level from the selections in your first post which are considerably more, also consider the Aerial Acoustics 7T. And yes, with your stated electronics and a decent room, you should still benefit from speakers in the price categories mentioned.

Perhaps drop to the $10K - $15K level and spend some of the money that would otherwise have gone to higher priced speakers on sources and anything else in the chain you think needs upgrading. The thought of giving yourself a full treat like the Salon 2s or the Magicos must be tempting ... but you might end up second guessing your SQ improvements(?) knowing there is still less quality in important areas. If it were me deciding at those levels, I would likely go with Thiel 3.7s at $14k. But the Focals are right there as well.

Well... the influx of $$$ is not a sure thing at this point....


It is likely, but not definite... probably 75% to 25% that it will happen...


If there is no additional cash... the Revel, Magico level of speaker will not happen.....


In that case, the $$ limit is about $10,000


Thanks for all the suggestions..... I will look into them...


Shelly
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post #27 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 10:08 AM
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Good Luck in your search. I envy you, even though it can be a daunting task. So much to consider and without home audition, still a roll of the dice. But most speakers can be 'made to work' in any decent room with patient fiddling.

Sorry, I meant to ask, what speakers you are using now? I don't think that was mentioned previously. Knowing that can be helpful to others in a similar situation, folks like myself who might consider doing that nice of an upgrade. I'm mulling over doing just that when we build our home for retirement very soon. Was previously fixed on the PSB Synchrony One Series, among others considered, but they are being discontinued. Now, with a larger budget, I'm thinking more along the lines of Aerials. Definitely check the 7Ts at just under $10K.
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post #28 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post
If you're dropping down to the $10K level from the selections in your first post which are considerably more, also consider the Aerial Acoustics 7T. And yes, with your stated electronics and a decent room, you should still benefit from speakers in the price categories mentioned.
I second the opinion for Aerial Acoustics 7T's. I have the slightly smaller 6T's for our room. Currently powering them with a small (half chassis) Naim NAP 100 amp, very simple dual mono design and just 75W into 4 ohms. For 98% of listening this is enough. The NAP-100 will be replaced eventually by something larger (see the Aerial thread for amp suggestions).

For the pre-amp I concur with an earlier post: on the low-power side, try to stay Class A if possible. I use the relatively new OPPO HA-1, a class A balanced pre-amp and great audio processing for 2 channel. OPPO is no slouch in DACs and electronics design and I think they did this right. Read the user comments and reviews. About the same $ as their Blu-ray players.

Also, I disagree with the comments re: class D amps. They are evolving fast. Take at look at the NAD M22 for example. Not that much money, esp. in the speaker class you are looking at. But the McIntosh is all you should need and you already have it.
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post #29 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 10:39 AM
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There is certainly a lot of debate in the audio world about diminishing returns. Where is the price vs performance line? I drive my Aerial Acoustics 7t's with a Mcintosh Mc252 that is fed by a marantz av8801. I bought the mc and 7t's used, that saved me a lot of money off new retail and both pieces are like new. If you are going to audition speakers, I seriously recommend you check out the Aerials if you can, along with as many other speakers in your price range as possible. If you have the means to buy your dream system, I say go for it. If others think you overspent, it's not their money.

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post #30 of 107 Old 09-22-2014, 10:49 AM
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I don't doubt the Ariel 7t is a fine speaker, but the OP has stated he wants high output. The Ariels may be a lot of things, but high output isn't one of them.

Same goes for many of the speakers mentioned. Great for moderate music listening but not for turning the volume knob to reference and above.
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