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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll soon be in the market for some new components and am seeking some advice for a new 7.1 setup.


My setup will be for 50% DVD and 50% HD (no music) in a 14 x 25 room. I have the rocket 550's (package #3) with a SVS 20-39 and am considering 550's for the rear speakers too.


Based on research from this and other forums, here are my top candidates:


1) Outlaw 950 & 770

2) Pioneer 45TX & multichannel amp

3) Denon 3803 & multichannel amp


If I go with a separate pre/pro, I think the Outlaw is the only option in my price range. If I went with a receiver, would I be better off going for a 7 channel amp and take the load totally off the receiver, or is a 5 (or even 3) channel amp enough? Everyone says that separate amps make a huge difference, and I don't want to minimize the benefit by skimping on the amp! If I don't go with a 7 channel amp, do either of these receivers work better in conjunction with an amp?


If you think I should go with #2 or #3, amp suggestions are much appreciated!


Thanks!
 

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I would definitely recommend #2 over #1. In fact I would say just buy the 45TX receiver and see if you feel the need for an external amplifier. Very likely you would not. I have also heard good things about the Denon 3803 and the Sony 4ES. You may want to consider them as well.


The Outlaw amp (7100) is very good but the pre/pro (950) is simply not good in stereo mode. My $300 Sony receiver produced a much better sound. In my personal experience, the 45TX was far superior to the Outlaw combo in terms of producing a clean sound.


In terms of an external amp, I think a 3 channel amp should be good enough (for the L+R mains and center). I think the receiver amps should be good enough for most surround situations.
 

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Bill:


I am not sure what Petiteface was listening to, but I own the 950 and I can tell you from experience that it is a far more revealing processor than the Denon AVR3802 (which is very similar in sonics to the 3803). I ran the 3802 with a 5 channel amp (Parasound 1205A) and I can tell you with complete certainty that in both 2-channel and 5.1/7.1 the Outlaw is much more detailed and dynamic. I personally do not believe that a mid-priced receiver can compete with the Outlaw 950 and a good multichannel amp in pure sound quality. This is of course only my opinion. My advice would be to listen to entry level seperates and the receivers you mentioned and see which you prefer.


John
 

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Nohjy:


I actually ordered the Outlaw 950 + 7100 combo in March 2003 and ended up returning them. Its possible that I got a bad unit on the 950, but in my opinion the sound on the stereo mode was simply not acceptable. The sound on the bypass mode with the 950 was very good on the other hand. In fact thats why I came to the conclusion the Amplifier is very good but the pre-amp is not that great.


Bill:


You can always order the Outlaw 950 and see if you like it. If you dont, return it back to Outlaw. At most you will lose $20 of shipping. Good Luck!
 

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I own a 49txi and find it excellent. If the 45 is only a third as good, it still rocks at its price, especially if you consider buying on the net.


I'd tend to follow petiteface. Get the 45, try it out. The advantage of buying in a BM store is that you can ask them to borrow a good three channel amp and try it out. The 45's amps are definitely more than enough for the surrounds, particularly if you take the front three load off its shoulders. The money invested in 5 or even 7 channel amps is better spent in a really superior three channel or even only a two channel.


You say you don't listen to music, right? So you are not a high-ender per se if I may presume. In that case really take the 45 from a BM AND ask him for a three channel AND better speakers. I could bet you keep the 45 alone with better speakers because you'll find out that's what gives you the best sound for your buck. Use Rocket's 750's since your room is definitely big enough. I am sure the people at rocket let you upgrade at an ok charge.


I've been into high-end stereos for 15 years and amps don't make such a humongous difference if you don't have either really highly resolving speakers starting at 3000$ a pair (or Magnepans they are the big exception) or very demanding speakers. If your amp section costs the double of your front speakers you've in most cases set the wrong priorities unless you have speakers as described above and still.


Good luck.


Till
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for your replies!


Till is right: I'm not so concerned about music, so stereo mode performance is really not important to me. However, I am prone to upgrading, so resale value is important.


I've pretty much decided on the 45TX at this point, and think I'll take the advice of borrowing an amp and see how much the performance is enhanced. Does the 45TX has a configuration setting to let it know which channels are being driven by an external amp, or how does that work?


As far as the speakers go, I mentioned I am looking to purchase another pair of rockets anyway, so I could buy a pair of 750's and move my 550's to the rear. However, when researching the speakers, most people seemed to think that the 550's were ideal for HT and the 750's were better for music. I take it you disagree with this Till? I'm more concerned about performance than the incremental cost, so maybe I'll try ordering a pair and take advantage of the return policy if I'm not satisfied (though I am psychologically adverse to this for some inexplicable reason).


Anyway, thanks again guys.
 

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"I would definitely recommend #2 over #1. In fact I would say just buy the 45TX receiver and see if you feel the need for an external amplifier."


IMHO, petiteface hit the nail on the head. Take into account that I'm a separates kind of guy, from WAY back. I put together my first separates based system in 1976. Modern receivers make darn good pre-pros. And they have a tendency to stay as current, if not more current, than affordable pre-pros. Just my opinion.


FWIW, I plan to order a Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX myself in a couple of weeks. I have a Bryston 4B ST that I plan to use for the 2 front channels.
 

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"If you think I should go with #2 or #3, amp suggestions are much appreciated!"


I'd recommend the Outlaw 755 ($1299 + shipping) 5 channel amp to go with the Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX ($900 shipped), connected by 5 BetterCables interconnects. Use the internal 100w amps for the back 2 channels. I believe you should be able to get all that for $2500...
 

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Bill,


good to see you are making progress on the subject. It always helps to talk things through a little before buying.


The 45 will automatically recognize that you plugged in RCA connectors to its pre-outs. It will see that some channels are not used and therefore be more stable for the other channels.


A five channel amp is definitely not needed, I repeat. Three good channels will give a better result than five where you hardly hear the difference.


I think your idea of buying 750's for the front and moving the 550's to the back is exactly what I'd do. You will get more soundpressure and a smoother treble, both of which I find desirable for HT. You will most likely also get better soundstaging and timbre. I've not heard that the 550 is better for HT but I only spent some twenty hours on the Rocket forum and not half of my life. The Rocket system was mainly developed with HT in mind and the 750 is the biggest and best speaker in their family. And, take it from someone who has upgradeitis just as you, if you buy what you already have, you'll always wonder if the other thing is not better. If you buy the 750 you will most certainly be pleased. And if ever you still want to upgrade from that you put the 550 in the bedroom or give them to someone for whom they are an upgrade, then you put the 750 as back speakers and get something even better for the fronts. I love dreaming of overkill systems.


Have fun,


Till
 

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Elite 45 with a used Sunfire Cinema Grand can be had for under $2500. They are a great pair; thats what I've got. :D


Sorny
 

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In the range that you are looking at, Rotel should be on your short list. Here are some possible combinations, all below $2500 MSRP:


1. 1055/1075

2. 1066/1075

3. 1055/1070

4. 1065

5. 1065/1070 MSRP = $2700


I am probably going to go with option #1, 1055 receiver paired with 1075 amp but as you can see, there are many possible combos to consider.
 

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Since you are not into music you are obviously not into DVD-A and SACD, so you have plenty of good options. Consider this one - a used Bryston SP-1 can be had for about $2,000 and you have a long warranty. I can testify to its outstanding HT sound quality. It does not do video switching if that is important, but you can get good outboard video switchers for a couple hundred dollars. As for the amp there are tons of good one out there, and you can always upgrade later as your budget allows. Here is one I recommend for your current budget: For $688 you can get a H/K Signature 2.1 (100 X 5) will full warranty at harmanaudio.com (specials).


As to reselling - with its warranty you can't beat a Bryston for resale value.


Dsmith
 

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FWIW - I bought the 45 with a B&W CDM 5.1 setup. After about a week of listening to HT and music I auditioned a Rotel 5 channel amp along with the 45. I found it almost impossible to tell the difference with HT and only a slight difference with music - on very demanding passages played at high volumes. Unless your speakers are difficult to drive IMO spend your money on speaker upgrades.


Having said that, I've auditioned several AVR with my speakers and noticed a difference with every combination - I find that the pre/pro portion of the receiver has more impact on the sound quality. The benefit of having separate amps however, is that you can upgrade your pre/pro when new surround or connection options become available - without losing your investment in the amps.
 

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"As to reselling - with its warranty you can't beat a Bryston for resale value."


That's IF you can get a Bryston owner to sell. I LOVE my Bryston 4B ST!
 

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Billfold,


If you buy on the Web and do your homework you should be able to get the 49TXi for around $2500 if it makes a difference to you on the features.


That means purchasing from a fully certified authorized Web dealer. Do not purchase it on the Web without it being authorized or your warranty will be non-existent.
 

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I would go with the rotel Combo for overall ease of use, and sound Quality. just rember to get a good set of interconnects and a good power conditioner andyou should be all set
 

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I would go with the rotel Combo for overall ease of use, and sound Quality. just rember to get a good set of interconnects and a good power conditioner andyou should be all set
 

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I would go with the rotel Combo for overall ease of use, and sound Quality. just rember to get a good set of interconnects and a good power conditioner andyou should be all set
 

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Hello


You can't go wrong with seprates. The main factor is upgradeability. You can trade in the preamp while holding on to the amp. Both the Pioneer and Denon are good recivers. What I would do is get the receiver which is best for you and slowly upgrade to separates. Bryston, Anthem, Rotel, B&K all make excellent amps and preamps. Plus with Bryston's 20 year warranty you can not go wrong. My dealer told me that serarates will always outpreform recievers. ATM yes but as time goes on and with recivers getting better that view might change IMO.


Good luck with your purchase.


GOLDEN-EAGLE!
 
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