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post #13741 of 15275 Old 09-17-2018, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Is anyone here running F208’s on a tube amp? The PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP amp or integrated amp has me interested.


Check the Stereophile measurements. https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements


It sounds like it can be done if the tube amp can handle a 4 ohm load.
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post #13742 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 07:51 AM
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^^^ The PrimaLuna has a 4-ohm tap, as do most tube amps. It has >1-ohm output impedance so will "color" the FR of the Revels (or most any other speaker); you'll have to try it to see if you like the change. But, for a conventional speaker, the F208's impedance excursions (magnitude and phase) are not hideous. Using a sub would help as you could crossover above the LF dips, though the actual impedance magnitude hits lows at several points across the frequency spectrum. You may desire a little more power depending upon how far away you are from the speakers and how loudly you like it. Tube amps clip more softly so you may be fine.
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post #13743 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
^^^ The PrimaLuna has a 4-ohm tap, as do most tube amps. It has >1-ohm output impedance so will "color" the FR of the Revels (or most any other speaker); you'll have to try it to see if you like the change. But, for a conventional speaker, the F208's impedance excursions (magnitude and phase) are not hideous. Using a sub would help as you could crossover above the LF dips, though the actual impedance magnitude hits lows at several points across the frequency spectrum. You may desire a little more power depending upon how far away you are from the speakers and how loudly you like it. Tube amps clip more softly so you may be fine.
Thank you! Great info.

I’m still early in the thought process but am intrigued by the Primaluna gear I’ve heard. This would be for a two channel music only setup.

I’m debating something along the lines of these three options:

PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated, 2.0 setup. Lowest cost, least amount of wires, mess, shelf space and fuss. But, even in Ultralinear mode, w/EL34’s, it’s only 70 watts and the F208’s are only 88.5dB sensitive. Neither are horrendous, but I’ve been in a home theater mindset for so long, with several hundred waffs going to each speaker, and bass managed to a multi-sub syste, this feels odd

PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP amp with a Parasound P6 pre and my two small JL subs. On the one hand, I love the convenience and stability of Parasound gear and the P6 has solid bass management, just like my current Parasound HINT. Plus the bass management helps with both the power needs and impedence issues in the lower frequencies.
On the downside, I’ll nevwe use the DAC or Phono sections in the P6 as I like my Mytek Liberty and Sutherland KC Vibe. I dislike paying for features I know I won’t use as I’d rather that money went to better components or sated in my pocket.

The third option is a Rogue RP-5 or PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium preamp with either a Parasound A21 or a used Hegel H20/200. Again, no bass management but a beefy amp for the F208’s and a bit of that “tube character.” Is most likely not use the JL’s with this setup and sell them to help pay for the new gear.

This system is a my living room, where I tend to listen to music while I work from home. The primary sources are a modified/restored AR The Turntable” and Streaming via Tidal HiFi/NAS through an Auralic Aries Mini via the Mytek DAC. I listen at moderate levels mostly, I listen to a lot of Jazz, classical, classic rock and Americana/folk, but have plenty of more modern bands/genres I listen to as well.

So there’s my dilemma.
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post #13744 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
^^^ The PrimaLuna has a 4-ohm tap, as do most tube amps. It has >1-ohm output impedance so will "color" the FR of the Revels (or most any other speaker); you'll have to try it to see if you like the change. But, for a conventional speaker, the F208's impedance excursions (magnitude and phase) are not hideous. Using a sub would help as you could crossover above the LF dips, though the actual impedance magnitude hits lows at several points across the frequency spectrum. You may desire a little more power depending upon how far away you are from the speakers and how loudly you like it. Tube amps clip more softly so you may be fine.
That's a lot of "ifs"....

My suggestion is if you love the tube sound, use a tube preamp. Not sure if there are any surround preamp/processors with tube stages.

I prefer to drive my F208's with a good solid state amp that can handle the load.

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post #13745 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Check the Stereophile measurements. https://www.stereophile.com/content/...r-measurements


It sounds like it can be done if the tube amp can handle a 4 ohm load.
Myself and multiple friends own 208s, all of them including me drive them with tubes. They need powerful tubes though, every one of us are using tube mono blocks, Rogue audio m180s and they are a great match.
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post #13746 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 11:32 AM
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@Snowmanick : What equipment do you have now?

My experience has been mixed on whether a tube preamp or power amp gets you "that tube sound"; I think it depends on the components and system. I used to recommend a tube preamp with a SS amp but that did not always work, especially with some of the better (lower distortion) tube preamps. That said, if you pick up one of the current crop of tube preamps or hybrid units (e.g. Luxman etc.) you could try it out.

My advice would be to look for used gear if you want to try tubes to see if you like them or not. I love the sound, but it is not usually (as) accurate, and too often I found tube amps just didn't provide good bass and HF sound (midrange was gorgeous). And that was with Maggies, which provide a pretty flat load over frequency; with conventional speakers, and IME, mating a tube amp to the speaker is very much an iterative personal journey to find the match you like. I also got tired of fussing with tube replacements, and my old ARC preamp liked to destroy its power supply about once every year or two, so I have not pulled out the preamp (SP3a1) in ages (need to sell it) and sold my ARC power amp (D79) a few years ago. Years ago I had Magnepan MG-IIIa's (in storage now) and used the D79 on the mid/tweeter panels with a Counterpoint SA-2220 hybrid (tube input, MOSFET output) amp on the bass. I used a DIY passive crossover (wired into the preamp) for the Maggies, and a DIY active control box (rossover + servo) for the (DIY) subwoofer. Awesome system, not as accurate as my current one, but lovely sound. As last set up I used a dbx analog crossover between Maggies and subs with a single power amp (SS or tube) driving the Maggies.

Ultimately I decided I wanted more accurate sound, with tighter bass and better extreme highs (which I can no longer hear, alas), got tired of the fussing with tubes and crossovers to set up multi-amped systems, and went with a single big SS amp and subs using my AVR for bass management. Doing the same now I've switched to Revels (which are a more demanding load than my Maggies). Dynamics and bass are just better with the SS amp (as evidenced by my measurements and ears, don't really care what the rest of you think ).

If you have subs now, I would keep them, and add a line-level crossover after the preamp. That is what I did for decades, using everything from passive DIY designs (Marchand makes nice passive and active crossovers albeit a bit pricey) to active analog (e.g. an old ARC tube crossover, inexpensive dbx 223, etc.) to DSP-based filters.

I couldn't say which is best for you. Keeping the subs should help the bass, so I would do that, though IME a tube amp will not provide as tight of midbass. A SS preamp and crossover (whether part of the preamp or not) with a decent used tube power amp on the Revels might work. Hopefully you could sell the amp without too much loss and pick up a SS amp if you didn't like it. Alternatively, pick up a used tube preamp with SS crossover and power amp and see how it sounds; that may be a cheaper choice, but may not be as "tube-y" as using a tube power amp. My favorite place for tubes was in the phono input stage since they didn't clip the way SS phono preamps always seemed to (with a few rare exceptions). Going with new components is always nice but makes for an expensive trial. In the 70's and 80's there was a lot of Dynaco and other tube gear around in good working order; not sure what's available today.

Rex likely has more and more recent experience.

FWIWFM - Don
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post #13747 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Is anyone here running F208’s on a tube amp? The PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP amp or integrated amp has me interested.
I am running my F208's through a VTL 5.5 tube preamp and a Parasound A31 SS amp. For me the combination works well. I will note that the VTL 5.5 is the first version and has the phono stage & HT by pass.
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post #13748 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 02:42 PM
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@DonH50

Currently I’m all solid state. In this system I have:

Parasound Halo Integrated
Sutherland Engineering KC Vibe phono-pre
AR “The Turntable” w/ Hana EL cartridge (table modded by Vinyl Nirvana)
Mytek Liberty DAC (w/LPS)
Auralic Aries Mini (w/LPS)
Ifi iUSB 3.0 Micro
Sony BDP-S790 for the rare shiny disc
Revel F208
JL Audio Dominion D108 subs (2)
Some acoustic treatments but very little as this is primarily the living room.

Like I said earlier, this is a secondary, stereo music only setup. I don’t want to go too crazy with this system, but I think of it as my “test bed” to play with things. The only tubes I’ve ever had were in a Rogue Sphinx V1 Integrated amp. It was nice but the Halo Integrated beat it out. I’m still curious about tubes though, which is always dangerous. So I’m early on and trying to either narrow the field of possible amps/preamps or rule them out with this setup.

I’ve read a lot of good things about Primaluna and their autobias feature makes tubes less intimidating.

Thanks for all the advice and comments. It’s very helpful.
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post #13749 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by slsmusic View Post
Myself and multiple friends own 208s, all of them including me drive them with tubes. They need powerful tubes though, every one of us are using tube mono blocks, Rogue audio m180s and they are a great match.

Good to know, thanks for the info!
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post #13750 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 03:43 PM
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Ultimately I decided I wanted more accurate sound, with tighter bass and better extreme highs (which I can no longer hear, alas), got tired of the fussing with tubes and crossovers to set up multi-amped systems, and went with a single big SS amp and subs using my AVR for bass management. Doing the same now I've switched to Revels (which are a more demanding load than my Maggies). Dynamics and bass are just better with the SS amp (as evidenced by my measurements and ears, don't really care what the rest of you think ).

I couldn't say which is best for you. Keeping the subs should help the bass, so I would do that, though IME a tube amp will not provide as tight of midbass. A SS preamp and crossover (whether part of the preamp or not) with a decent used tube power amp on the Revels might work. Hopefully you could sell the amp without too much loss and pick up a SS amp if you didn't like it. Alternatively, pick up a used tube preamp with SS crossover and power amp and see how it sounds; that may be a cheaper choice, but may not be as "tube-y" as using a tube power amp. My favorite place for tubes was in the phono input stage since they didn't clip the way SS phono preamps always seemed to (with a few rare exceptions). Going with new components is always nice but makes for an expensive trial. In the 70's and 80's there was a lot of Dynaco and other tube gear around in good working order; not sure what's available today. Rex likely has more and more recent experience.
I agree 100% with what Don says and it is based on my experience with tube gear as well. We had some of those early Dynaco tube power amps. I drove them too hard trying to get more level than they could produce and burned them up, lol. I chose to use vintage tube microphones and solid state gear everywhere else. The sound of a great tube microphone is essential for many sources, especially vocals. Guitar amps are another case where there is no comparison between tube and solid state. Nothing like glorious tube sound for electric guitars. However, these days, modelers like Axe-Fx, Line 6 Helix, Kemper etc are being used by many guitarists who do not compromise for the ease of use.

Sorry that's off topic, but it relates to where I think tubes make most sense from an aural perspective as an audio engineer.

I have not heard a tube power amp that can deliver the goods like solid state. Not saying I have heard them all though...
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post #13751 of 15275 Old 09-18-2018, 04:18 PM
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Myself and multiple friends own 208s, all of them including me drive them with tubes. They need powerful tubes though, every one of us are using tube mono blocks, Rogue audio m180s and they are a great match.
With 0.33 ohm output impedance instead of 1+ ohms for the PrimaLuna unit I would expect them to do better. Still high compared to most SS amps that have Zout of <0.1 ohms. Transformer coupling and low feedback make it very difficult for tube amps to achieve damping factors much higher than 10 whereas SS amps typically achieve >100. That said, opinions vary as to its importance (like everything else audio).

@Snowmanick : If you like the look of the PrimaLuna, have the funds and interest, then by all means try it out and let us know what you think. For me, too often it's the new car effect; sounds great at first listen, but over times loses its luster. Kinda' like Bose 901's I've heard; impressive sound, but a little listening leads me to think I just do not like their signature sound ("big" sound but lousy imaging, fairly high distortion at frequency extremes, and nine-foot-wide vocal or instrumental soloists gets old after a while -- to me, anyway).

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post #13752 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 05:59 AM
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Mark H (imagic) posted the Harman CEDIA Booth Tour: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ia-2018-a.html

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #13753 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
@DonH50

Currently I’m all solid state. In this system I have:

Parasound Halo Integrated
Sutherland Engineering KC Vibe phono-pre
AR “The Turntable” w/ Hana EL cartridge (table modded by Vinyl Nirvana)
Mytek Liberty DAC (w/LPS)
Auralic Aries Mini (w/LPS)
Ifi iUSB 3.0 Micro
Sony BDP-S790 for the rare shiny disc
Revel F208
JL Audio Dominion D108 subs (2)
Some acoustic treatments but very little as this is primarily the living room.

Like I said earlier, this is a secondary, stereo music only setup. I don’t want to go too crazy with this system, but I think of it as my “test bed” to play with things. The only tubes I’ve ever had were in a Rogue Sphinx V1 Integrated amp. It was nice but the Halo Integrated beat it out. I’m still curious about tubes though, which is always dangerous. So I’m early on and trying to either narrow the field of possible amps/preamps or rule them out with this setup.

I’ve read a lot of good things about Primaluna and their autobias feature makes tubes less intimidating.

Thanks for all the advice and comments. It’s very helpful.
You might want to look at the old standbys such as ARC, VAC or VTL. See this month's Stereophile for a review of the ARC Reference 160M. I used ARC for decades, since Bill Johnson was in business. Also go way back with VTL. Also give Kevin Hayes with VAC consideration. Great guy and great company and might be the best sounding of the all tube equipment these days.
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post #13754 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 11:13 AM
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^^^ While I suspect the new 160M sounds great, I also suspect it will violate Snowmanick's "not too crazy" plans... A used ARC, CJ, VTL, etc. amp might be a good thing to try and is what I had in mind when I suggested picking up something used. Haven't tried a VAC that I remember, and AtmaSphere is another contender.

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post #13755 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 11:36 AM
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Anyone know where I can find freq response measurements for the B112?

EDIT - I found the Sound & Vision test results.

Last edited by mart541; 09-20-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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post #13756 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
^^^ While I suspect the new 160M sounds great, I also suspect it will violate Snowmanick's "not too crazy" plans... A used ARC, CJ, VTL, etc. amp might be a good thing to try and is what I had in mind when I suggested picking up something used. Haven't tried a VAC that I remember, and Atmosphere is another contender.
Atmasphere. I'd forgotten that I had MA2s at one point. Nice thing is that if your HVAC breaks in the middle of winter, just turn your amps on.
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Anyone know where I can find freq response measurements for the B112?

EDIT - I found the Sound & Vision test results.

Revel just updated to B112 v2


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post #13758 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
^^^ While I suspect the new 160M sounds great, I also suspect it will violate Snowmanick's "not too crazy" plans... A used ARC, CJ, VTL, etc. amp might be a good thing to try and is what I had in mind when I suggested picking up something used. Haven't tried a VAC that I remember, and AtmaSphere is another contender.
Yes, while the 160M is gorgeous even just to look at, yet alone hear, it’s beyond his system’s goals.

Based off the thoughts shared so far, I’m leaning towards a SS amp, the Hegel H20 is in the lead at the moment, and either a Rogue, PrimaLuna or ARC tube pre. All equipment would be used.

The funny thing is since I’ve gotten the Revel F208’s and the AR turntable in this system my music purchases have more than quadrupled, which puts a damper on hardware changes. Of course, that’s probably as it should be. Vinyl and Tidal sound fantastic on his relatively simple system already. Why that’s makin me want to explore something “more” is honestly escaping me, but the itch is there.

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Yes, while the 160M is gorgeous even just to look at, yet alone hear, it’s beyond his system’s goals.

Based off the thoughts shared so far, I’m leaning towards a SS amp, the Hegel H20 is in the lead at the moment, and either a Rogue, PrimaLuna or ARC tube pre. All equipment would be used.

The funny thing is since I’ve gotten the Revel F208’s and the AR turntable in this system my music purchases have more than quadrupled, which puts a damper on hardware changes. Of course, that’s probably as it should be. Vinyl and Tidal sound fantastic on his relatively simple system already. Why that’s making me want to explore something “more” is honestly escaping me, but the itch is there.
I think you will not find extreme differences in most equipment except loudspeakers and phono cartridges to some degree. Transducers have the most extreme variance in frequency response, timbre, sound quality, whatever you want to call it. Amps, preamps, sources etc should all measure and sound neutral. Of course that blows the audiophile theories all to heck....

Not sure what your budget is for a tube preamp, but look at BAT (Balanced Audio Technology). Consider a used Bryston 3B SST2 power amp or even a 4B SST2 if you get the right price.
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post #13760 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Yes, while the 160M is gorgeous even just to look at, yet alone hear, it’s beyond his system’s goals.

Based off the thoughts shared so far, I’m leaning towards a SS amp, the Hegel H20 is in the lead at the moment, and either a Rogue, PrimaLuna or ARC tube pre. All equipment would be used.

The funny thing is since I’ve gotten the Revel F208’s and the AR turntable in this system my music purchases have more than quadrupled, which puts a damper on hardware changes. Of course, that’s probably as it should be. Vinyl and Tidal sound fantastic on his relatively simple system already. Why that’s makin me want to explore something “more” is honestly escaping me, but the itch is there.

There's an ARC GS150 on Audiogon, which I believe is still in production. I can PM you the link if you'd like. I remember a complaint about links to classifieds and then a bunch of posts disappeared so I'll not post the direct link.

Edit: I just found some Hegel H20s and they're still considerably cheaper. OK, that makes sense that you're leaning this direction.

And IIRC, the balance of the original factory warranty from the date of first sale is available to subsequent owners

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post #13761 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post
Yes, while the 160M is gorgeous even just to look at, yet alone hear, it’s beyond his system’s goals.

Based off the thoughts shared so far, I’m leaning towards a SS amp, the Hegel H20 is in the lead at the moment, and either a Rogue, PrimaLuna or ARC tube pre. All equipment would be used.

The funny thing is since I’ve gotten the Revel F208’s and the AR turntable in this system my music purchases have more than quadrupled, which puts a damper on hardware changes. Of course, that’s probably as it should be. Vinyl and Tidal sound fantastic on his relatively simple system already. Why that’s makin me want to explore something “more” is honestly escaping me, but the itch is there.
Yes.

Scratching an itch can be painful. Sometimes it's better to ignore it until it goes away.

Over time, would you enjoy more a new amp, or hearing a plethora of new music? What do you really want out of the system? For some it's the car; for others, the destination. Neither choice is right or wrong, but I hate having to schlepp new equipment and set it up. It used to be a Big Deal, but now I'd rather listen to the music.

(OK, says the guy who just schlepped four big heavy new speakers into place; but that's the last, trust me! )
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Yes.

Scratching an itch can be painful. Sometimes it's better to ignore it until it goes away.

Over time, would you enjoy more a new amp, or hearing a plethora of new music? What do you really want out of the system? For some it's the car; for others, the destination. Neither choice is right or wrong, but I hate having to schlepp new equipment and set it up. It used to be a Big Deal, but now I'd rather listen to the music.

(OK, says the guy who just schlepped four big heavy new speakers into place; but that's the last, trust me! )

We've all heard THAT before....
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post #13763 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Yes.

Scratching an itch can be painful. Sometimes it's better to ignore it until it goes away.

Over time, would you enjoy more a new amp, or hearing a plethora of new music? What do you really want out of the system? For some it's the car; for others, the destination. Neither choice is right or wrong, but I hate having to schlepp new equipment and set it up. It used to be a Big Deal, but now I'd rather listen to the music.

(OK, says the guy who just schlepped four big heavy new speakers into place; but that's the last, trust me! )
Over time I'd enjoy all my music, new and old, with better sounding electronics. However, sometimes it doesn't work out this way as I've gone backwards a time or two. Or electronics that sound quite different from one another, but I like both and keep both. That gets to be an expensive experience.

All I can recommend is that if you're going to do new (to you) electronics, get into it at a price that you can get out if you don't like the results.
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post #13764 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 03:43 PM
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Hi Guys, what would be a reasonable price/offer for a Concerta2 F35 pair and 2x M16 pairs buying all together at a local dealer? I'm wondering what others here have snagged them for.
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post #13765 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886

All I can recommend is that if you're going to do new (to you) electronics, get into it at a price that you can get out if you don't like the results.

true advice!
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post #13766 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 04:09 PM
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Hi Guys, what would be a reasonable price/offer for a Concerta2 F35 pair and 2x M16 pairs buying all together at a local dealer? I'm wondering what others here have snagged them for.
Price talk other than MSRP isn't allowed here...
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post #13767 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 04:18 PM
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Hi Guys, what would be a reasonable price/offer for a Concerta2 F35 pair and 2x M16 pairs buying all together at a local dealer? I'm wondering what others here have snagged them for.

Contact the dealer of your choice for price quotes.

Last edited by Rex Anderson; 09-20-2018 at 06:42 PM.
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post #13768 of 15275 Old 09-20-2018, 05:53 PM
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Atmasphere. I'd forgotten that I had MA2s at one point. Nice thing is that if your HVAC breaks in the middle of winter, just turn your amps on.

Ha ha, much the same with my Krell FPB class A amp!

FAMILY ROOM--Legacy Signature II tower speakers(Front L/R), PSB Image 5T tower speakers(Surrounds), Denon AVR-X5200W, Krell FPB 400cx, AR ES-1 turntable w/ Audioquest 404-B cartridge, Oppo UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray Player, RCA HD-DVD player, Samsung HL67A 750A TV
MASTER BEDROOM--Dynaudio Audience 82 tower speakers, Outlaw LFM-1 sub, Yamaha RX-V1800 receiver, Sherbourn 5/1500A 5-channel amp, Oppo BDP-83 Universal Disc Player, Panasonic 60-ST60 plasma TV.
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post #13769 of 15275 Old 09-21-2018, 12:10 AM
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Price talk other than MSRP isn't allowed here...

My mistake, that's bizarre considering displays have dedicated deals forums as well as the general deal talk forum. Is it allowed there?
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post #13770 of 15275 Old 09-21-2018, 04:34 AM
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My mistake, that's bizarre considering displays have dedicated deals forums as well as the general deal talk forum. Is it allowed there?
Price talk other than MSRP is generally forbidden on AVS, with the exception of the deals forums and classifieds where one obviously has to reveal the deal or price of the thing they're trying to sell. Part of the reason for this is that AVS itself is a dealer and part is to keep discussions more technical. This has been the policy for a very long time and gets enforced by the moderators to varying degrees depending on who's monitoring each forum and how many people click the report post button.


That said, I'd definitely suggest contacting any of @SteveH , @Rex Anderson , and @jdsmoothie before making a purchase. There are other dealers around on the forums, but those are the 3 I have experience with. I purchased all of my Revel speakers and my Marantz AV8805 from @SteveH and can't say enough good things about working with him (just make sure you have some time available if you call him). I've purchased a few items from JD (who works for the AVS store) and was pleased with those transactions. I had been in contact with The Screening Room (which Rex is associated with) regarding something else that I didn't end up buying, but was extremely impressed with the communication and their ongoing contributions on the forums.
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