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I have a 13W X 17L room which will be my home theater/listening room. I've got a Marantz 12S1 and Firehawk screen on the way, but I still have an urge to upgrade my speakers, pre, and amp. Right now I'm using Sonus Faber Concertos for my main speakers and a Solo for my center. My rear speakers aren't worth mentioning. My amp is a Marantz MM9000 and the A/V pre-amp is their AV560 model. I also have a REL Strata III sub.


What I'd like to do with about 15K is get 5 new speakers, amp, and A/V pre-amp. However, the choices are making me a little dizzy.


What I know: Dynaudio


-I'm really fond of the Dynaudio Contour series. I've been wanting some 1.8s for quite a while (not enough bass in the Concerto). I'm considering the either the T2.5s for the fronts with T2.1s for the rears and center. Kinda pricey though and I haven't found a dealer who has them in stock to give them a listen. From the specs on the T2.5s they just seem like shielded 1.8s, but they cost 1000 more. Hmmmm.


-I like the 1.8s and I could use the 1.3s as my surrounds and maybe another 1.3 as the center. Anyone know why people buy the Contour Center instead of using another 1.3? This may be a dumb question, but can an unshielded speaker like the 1.3 affect the audio performance of your gear when it will sit on top of the same rack?


-It would be really nice to have a pre-amp with component switching.


What I don't know: What amps?


-The new Lexicon MC-12 sure is nice, but if I went this route I would blow my amp budget and be stuck using my Marantz. I want something that will perform well with music and movies. If you had about 8K to spend on amps what would you choose? The MC-12 with the Marantz or something less expensive paired with a new amp?


Thanks a bunch.
 

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There are MC-12 deals to be had. I got the dealer demo model for $6500, that would leave you room to breathe in your budget.
 

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For speakers I'd strongly consider ACI's new Veritas and Veritas V. These look to me to be the ultmate HT/Music speakers. With their internally powered woofers and built-in parametric EQ, they should easily be adjustable to sing in any room/placement. At around $1200 each, they are certainly an outstanding value. Because the woofers are powered, I don't think you'll need nearly as much amplifier power for the mids-tweeters, saving you some amp dollars. This would leave you around $7K for your other upgrades.
 

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I would look at VMPS speakers. A top setup for 5.1 would list for approx. 8,500 to 9,000 incld. Sub.
http://www.vmpsaudio.com

The MC-12 is very good. Many 4K pre/proc. are about to hit/hitting market:

Cinepro DTC-10 (I have high hopes for this one)

Bryston 1.7 (general opinion is good sound low features)

NAD

Arcam

etc.

(Not meant to be exhaustive)


Even, if your go VMPS & MC-12. Maybe you could sell all your leftover stuff on AVS Forum / audiogon and have enought left for a amp upgrade.
 

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Congrats on the very excellent set-up so far! I am a highly biased owner of the marantz + firehawk myself.


My front end is an Integra Research RDC7 pre-pro, Theta Dreadnaught amp, and B&Wn speakers (802n, l/r, HTM1 c,) and def tech surrounds.


I would highly recommend the integra research/theta front end (it sounds AMAZING with the B&Ws)...that would leave you about $6-7000 for speakers depending on your negotiating skills :)


You can probably get an amazing 5.1 channel speaker array for $6-7k. Mine was a touch more, but I bought new...you can get used 802Ns for about $5k.


Have fun with it!

TM
 

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How about used Dynaudio Contour 3.3s for the front, Audience series in the back? That would leave a nice piece of change for a center, pre/pro, and amp. Especially if you don't mind used electronics.


I am running that setup with the Sunfire Signature amp and a Theta Casanova. Got all that for less than $12k with the Audience rears, amp, and preamp being brand new.
 
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