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post #1 of 2 Old 05-19-2020, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Recommendations/Upgrades? Advice Needed

Looking for some input/recommendations

Background. I live in a condo. It was a converted factory so I have high ceilings (12-13ft high) the the kitchen/living room is combined. The dimensions are roughly 26x18ft. Living area is about 16x18. (so theres roughly 12 feet of open space to the side of my speakers. The other side has about 3-4 feet of space from the wall which is almost entirely windows.

Turntable: Denon DP 300f
AppleTV 4k for everything else

Everything has been pieced together little by little through either hand-me-downs or used purchases from craiglist/local stores

Pre-amp: Rotel RSP 1066.
Also use an old adcom GTP-500 for its phono stage.

Rotel 5 channel RMB 1075 driving the fronts.
Adcom 2 channel GFA-535 driving the rears.

Fronts- Cambridge Soundworks Tower 1. (Found them at my local record store for $125. Mint condition, not a scratch)
Center- B&W HTM7
Rears- Kef q150

For speaker settings on the rotel. I have the rears and center channel set to small and the towers set to large.

Usage wise. Music is by far the most important aspect of the stereo. 75% listening is vinyl, the rest through various streaming options. Genres are mostly rock, funk, jazz (Some favorites: Phish, Zappa, floyd, Snarky Puppy, Talking heads, little feat, etc).

Having said that- I watch a decent amount of movies and wouldn't mind getting the more out of the system if possible. I definitely notice the lack of a sub - i might be open to getting one if there are recommendations that won't disturb the neighbors to much.

Budget $1K

1) The B&W HTM7 was passed down from my old man (as were the pre-amps). Sound is decent but I find it lacks some crispness with vocals. Also would it make sense to get 3 way center given my lack of a sub and fairly large room? I pride myself on finding solid used gear if that helps at all. Don't think i'll find an exact match for the Tower 1 fronts so any help there is appreciated.

2) Any thoughts as to the way the system is set up? Wasn't sure if I should i run all 5 channels out of the rotel 1075 or am I good with the old adcom driving the rears? Adcom is only 60 watts a channel vs the rotel at 120. Would running all 5 out of the rotel degrade the the fronts at all?

3) As an aside to the configuration i have the 12v trigger set up and turned on between the rotel amps but I get a nasty pop when using it as it powers both down at the same time. I've always powered the amp down before the pre-amp to avoid this. The pop is pretty bad regardless of volume before powering down. The amp is plugged directly into the wall. The pre-amp is into a power strip. Any ideas as to what could cause this?

3) Given my lean towards music/vinyl - would it make more sense to upgrade the turntable? I figured in order to get a noticeable sound difference I'd have to spend a lot more than 1K but I have no idea. Hence the post!

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post #2 of 2 Old 05-19-2020, 09:23 PM
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Turntable/cartridge | center | sub

Divide your budget among these items.

That turntable has been faulted for inaccurate speed. That is a serious defect. If you are having any issues in this area, then a new rig is indicated. If the TT is fine, then an upgraded cartridge can improve things tremendously.

A new center, with better voice recognition seems to be in order. You aren't going to "match" the Cambridge, so don't even try. Just get yourself an Emotiva C1 or Chane A2.4 and things should improve.

A sub will help those Cambridge speakers play more cleanly and give your amp a bit more headroom, not having to reproduce the deepest bass. Rythmik has very nice options, the L12 or LV12F. A bit less expensive would be the RSL Speedwoofer 10S. Cheaper still, the Emotiva Airmotive S8. Budget stretched to the hilt, the OSD Nero 8" sub. A sub for every budget!

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 05-19-2020 at 09:58 PM.
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