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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am waiting for my 7 Rocket speaker setup but am kind of stuck on what to do about powering these speakers. I bought the 750(2), 200, 300, plus two 550s in back.


well, I only have an old 5.1 Sony DE885 receiver. Got it 4 years ago for around $500. It claims 100x5 though I'm not sure if that's realistic even... :(


So what can I do, keeping max performance on a limited budget in mind?? I consider buying a new receiver but after buying the speaker package I can't afford much when it comes to 7 channel receivers. Plus I want reasonable power. I can't afford more than $1500 and might be better served spending significantly less than that and using the rest toward the HTPC that I really would like soon for my projector.


Any way to use the sony 885 w/ this package? I'm not even sure it can handle the loads...the 300s are 4 ohms it looks like.


Is it possible to buy a processor for the 7 channel work and use the sony885 w/ another 2 channel amp? How does this work when you turn the volume up? How would that not get the relative volume of each set of speakers out of wack without undue fiddling w/ the separate volume controls? Or do both the sony and the unnamed/unpurchased amp connect to the processor and that has only one volume control?


As you can see I'm far out of my league in this area and any advice would be very appreciated. I've put alot of what little $$ I have into these speakers and now I want to make sure I don't screw up by underpowering them or limiting myself to poor quality sound. Like the thread on the Onkyo versus the NAD...I don't know anything about that stuff.


As an additional bonus to the knowledge I'm seeking above on the setup options, can you throw me some names and models of GOOD amplifiers? Maybe I can get a 2 or 3 channel good USED amp and processor to go w/ the somewhat simple sony 885?


Well, I'll leave it at that but I feel like there must be a GOOD idea for me and my situation so that w/i a few months and another component purchase or two, I can have top notch sound-for-buck.


This site showed me the Sony hs10 pj, the Rockets, and now I'm hoping you all can point to the kernal of sweetness w/i budget amplifcation!!!



Thanks a ton,


~Rob
 

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I would suggest three options: go a little over budget and get the Outlaw 7 channel amp with a lower model Denon reciever. Sean uses the Outlaw amp I believe. Get the HK 8000 which recently sold for $1,227 shipped from OneCall (at the time it was a www.gotapex.com special), or look at the Denon 3803 (around $900) for the time being until you can get some good amplification and use it as a pre/pro. Dawn (a fellow Rocket owner) has the HK 8000 with the Rockets and she loves it. Also check out under $1000 receiver's and look for Tom B.'s comments. He makes some excellent suggestions.


As far as the different amps and using the older receiver, I would suggest upgrading to above. As far as the ability to use the old receiver (and control volume), it would depend on the outputs/inputs of that receiver.


Also, if the Sony is 4 years old it will lack the current 7 channel processing that you will need/want to utilize all 7 channels. DTS-ES/ THX-EX/ 7 Channel Stereo/ Logic 7 (in the AVR8000), etc.
 

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You can also look into the new Sony 4ES, it is a 7 channel receiver that can handle 4Ohm loads. This receiver can also be had in the 6 to 7 hundred dollar range. Good luck and congrats on your speakers.
 

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The HK8000 is a good choice and comes in at just under your $1500 price range.


If you are hoping to stay well under that, then another option is the Sony STR-DA4ES. It is a 7-channel receiver that is rated at 110 watts per channel. There is a good chance that it can actually approach that number, unlike your DE885, which isn't likely to even do 50 watts per channel with all channels driven. And it can be had for under $700.


With the DA4ES, if you come up with more cash in the future, you can use it as just a pre/pro, and add external amps as you please.


The DA4ES isn't going to have the current driving capacity of the HK8000 or a separate power amp, but it will drive those Rockets much better than your current receiver, plus it will give you several additional decoding modes.


I also like the Denon AVR-3803, for it's feature set. The amp probably is a bit weaker than the DA4ES. It would be nice if you added a 2- or 3-channel amp - that is, if you plan to push those Rockets to high volume levels. The standard amp in the 3803 is no slouch and may well fully meet your needs.


Another lower cost option is to pick up an HK520 and a two channel power amp. The 520 now sells in the low-500's. You could use its 5-channels to drive the center, surrounds, and rears, and the 2-channel for the fronts. It lacks a few features of the 3803 & DA4ES, like EX-decoding.


Tom B.
 

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Juan -


Speaking of Sony ES receivers - how would you consider their sound? Bright? I only ask because I've owned two Sony receivers, and while they weren't ES models, the one is in the DB series which shares a lot from the ES line. Oh yeah, the point :D ... I found them to be a tad bright (read, fatiguing) in my system.


I own a pair of Boston Acoustic T series speakers for my front L&R. This was from before BA went mainstream (VR series) ... and started using that harsh aluminum dome tweeter. While I suppose that tweeter works well for HT, I hate it for music. My speakers have soft dome, ferro-fluid filled tweeters, and are relatively neutral.


I just wonder if a Sony ES (or other Sony) might be a bad pairing with the detailed high-end the Vifa Ring produces? Anyone have experience with a variety of Sonys?




Tom B. -


Read the above! ;)
 

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Tom,


Have you heard a few people say the Sony is a little brighter than the Denon and with the Rockets Vifa tweeter being said to be on the brighter side by some owners that the Denon , being warmer, seems to be a better match with the Rockets. That was the impression I got, but I doubt I could tell a difference if there even was one. With a budget of around $1500 he could also step up to the 4802 for a few dollars more. If I was in his situation I would wait around til the HK 8000 deal came around again for $1227 shipped.


Clint
 

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I was using a Sony 5ES with Diva speakers (6.1, C3, 2.1X2) and I never thought they sounded bright to me. Now I have never heard the Rockets but a person I know from another forum had some rockets hooked up to his 5ES, and when he discribed the sound to me he never told me that they sounded bright. I know that the 4ES is a little bit different so who knows. I suggested the Sony because he is looking to save some money and use it towards an HTPC, for the price of the Sony he could build an HTPC with the difference.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Raistlin_HT
I just wonder if a Sony ES (or other Sony) might be a bad pairing with the detailed high-end the Vifa Ring produces? Anyone have experience with a variety of Sonys?
I will in just a few hours! My Rockets are sitting in boxes in my living room, and my Sony DA5ES is waiting to drive them (as soon as I jettison my current Infinity speakers!).


Rob -- I have a proposition for you, if you are interested.


I'll have my Rocket 750 / 200 / 300 hooked up to my Sony 5ES shortly. You would be welcome to drop by and see how you feel the Sony makes them sound -- since you have the same speakers that I do! My 5ES is a 7-channel decoder, but only has internal amplification for 6 channels. I also only have a 5.1 setup.


However, in my garage, I do have my older 2-channel Sony power amp (100 WPC) that I used with my old setup before I bought the new 5ES this summer -- so if needed, I could pull that out to hook up 2 more speakers. However, it is not an "ES" line amplifier.


Does your older Sony 885 do 7-channel decoding? If not, I am not sure how you would be able to use it as a 6-channel amp with a pre-pro, since that would require your old Sony to have 5 channel inputs. If it does, then you could use it, paired with another 2 channel amp (a good one for your 750 front speakers?) -- and a 7.1 decoder pre-pro. Using an SPL meter, you should be able to tune the volume of each speaker to match.


Let me know if you're interested in listening to the Rockets with a Sony ES. I am quite happy with the receivers, and the 4ES is a very good product - in terms of its specs / price. I bought my 5ES right before the 4ES came out - but still would have preferred the 5ES since I use a 3-zone setup (and the 4ES can only do 2 zones).
 

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In terms of using an AVR8000 and a two channel (I have an AVR8000 myself), is that the way to go? I'm about to replace my 5 speakers with 7 new ones, and the front 3 are harder to drive ones. Is getting a more powerful 3 channel amp (ie. Adcom GFA-5503, Earthquake CineNova Grande 3 channel) worth the extra cash over a 2 channel? I'd personally love to save the money if it won't make an appreciable difference.


My suggestion would be to stay away from the AVR8000, at least until oh say, about the 17th or so.
 

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I personally don't like sony. i had the same sony with a set of divas and it was bright even in the mid band.i went with a denon 2802 and there was no comparison.the denon rocked .smooth sound and much better bass management.I now own a 3801 and could not be happier.if you go with a denon go with at least a 3803 or higher.i just got a price on the 3803 from **************.com the guys name was Paul miguest 999.00 free shipping authorized dealer full warranty new !!!!!. btw all my sonys broke at one time .denon has a good rap for build quality.the denon 3803 is a discreet 7.1 with the good processor .it would make a great pre amp in the future.just my personal experience. good luck......
 

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In limited experience in listening to the Sony 5ES and 4ES, I did not find them to be overly bright. That wasn't through Rockets or Divas though. And these receivers actually share very little in common with the Sony DE or DB lines. For example the DB-1070 is rated at 100wpc and really can only do something like 30. I believe they are even made in different countries. And the sound of the 4ES/5ES is very similar to the 9000ES processor, which many did not find to be too bright.


This is always so much of a personal thing, that I hesitate to make these pronouncements. For example, I cannot stand to listen to Thiel speakers. I know they are superbly engineered and built, I have great respect for Jim Thiel, and I have friends who love them. But to me they are too bright and give me headaches. However I would describe them as detailed, with a lot of high frequency energy. Don't know if they would be too bright for any particular listener.


Perhaps the best thing is that no one buy them from a reseller that doesn't allow you to return for a refund. You never know until you set everything up in your own room and listen for a few days.


Tom B.


PS Note that there is another thread where a new owner of a 3803 is finding it too bright as compared to his old Sony ES receiver.
 

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The worst thing I ever did was hook up a used Adcom GFA545 to my HK 8000. This ridiculously priced $200 amp made it sound so much clearer that now I'm forced to fork over even more cash for more amps (used), because the sound is just so fantastically good with the combo. :) The HK internal amps are certainly no slouches but once you've had external amplification you'll never want to go back.


And this was on home theater too... I'm not a music freak.


But definately get outboard amps and a lower spec receiver if you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Boy, you guys are so helpful. Thanks.


I'm gonna have to look into each of the ones you guys have listed, but a question that comes to mind is whether any of them can handle HD video? I see the avr8000 has a 30mhz freq response (?) and I thought I have read you should look for higher than that. Is that right?


Glen, I'm definitely looking forward to checking out your setup. How much was the Sony you bought? It's great that you have a receiver, I feel pretty silly now, and Monday or Tuesday when my rockets get here I'll really feel bad! :rolleyes:


I thought I liked the 3803 but I'm a little worried about it not being thx spec'ed, whatever the heck that means. Anyone think that is important? I guess I need to research what all these acronyms and terms mean! EX? THX ultra? etc...


From my car audio experience I am strongly leaning towards some manner of upgrade that allows a separate amplifier. But maybe these integrated amps aren't so bad in HT. Wildfire, I see you feel it is a good thing and I bet you're right, but on my budget is it the way to go?


I could wait until, oh say around the 17th ( :D ), and pick up a avr8000 and spend some more on some kind of used amp but both the wait and the total cost are a little hard on me. Though I bet that's a VERY nice sounding setup w/ lots of features and upgradability. Kinda puts a crimp in my htpc though. Hmmm, maybe I could pimp my sister for some extra cash...j/k



any more input?? and thanks again for the help so far.


Oh, and btw, are there any thx certified receivers w/i my price range besides the avr8000? If I could find really nice processing w/ separate amps (used) then I might have a chance??


bah, goodnight all!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob4x20
Glen, I'm definitely looking forward to checking out your setup. How much was the Sony you bought?
I paid like about $800 for my DA5ES early summer, from J&R. It worked out well for me, because I needed a 3-zone receiver. The DA4, though better because it does 8 channels of amplification internally (as opposed to the 6 for the 5ES), is only a 2-zone, so would not have fit my needs.


Basically, if I turn on my outside (zone-3) speakers, then it "robs" the center channel from the main. This is not a problem - because if I am sitting in the hot tub listening to music, I can't really be in the living room watching a 5.1 movie at the same time!


I got my main Rockets hooked up this evening. Watch about 2/3 of Moulin Rouge with it - so far, quite impressive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Sa-dono
I vote for the HK 8000 with a used Adcom 2-channel amp for the fronts.


Is the HK8000 a 5 channel receiver or do you just think the sound or added power of the adcom would help?


I saw the HK8000 at Fryes, very nice looking. didn't get to hear it though. How is this unit's rep for sound?
 

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H/K is a 7 channel receiver but only 5 are amplified. You can assign the amps to different channels, in other words you can add a 2 channel amp and use it for either the back surrounds or for your front mains.


So you would need an external amplifier if you wanted a 7.1 setup.


Rob, do NOT forget about Logic7. It amazes me everytime I play this thing. Then again, you could also save some cash and go for the 525 or 520. Both use Logic7, just not for the DD/DTS. They have less powerfull amps, I guess it all depends on what you want.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob4x20
Is the HK8000 a 5 channel receiver or do you just think the sound or added power of the adcom would help?


I saw the HK8000 at Fryes, very nice looking. didn't get to hear it though. How is this unit's rep for sound?
What HighDefness said. Also, while the HK8000's amps are quite capable, I still feel the benefit of the added 2-channel amp is greatest to the two mains. And HK's rep for sound is good.
 
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