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Discussion Starter #1
I have the video half of my new HT finished --

Pioneer 503CMX Plasma

Faroudja NRS for 503

Sony 9000ES


My budget for next part is $4K


The Faroudja works well as both video switcher and processor -- so I really don't need any of the video switching of normal A/V receivers


Do i just take the normal A/V receiver and not use the video capabilities or move in the direction of PreAmp + Amp mode (like a Lexicon - DC1?)


I am also looking for high performance "low profile" HT speakers - as I am in conflict with my wife -- about keeping a very very clean look around the wall the 603 is mounted on?



Suggestions Please


Michael
 

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go for separate pre and power combination.


Might cost you more but you should acheive better results. If I was buying I'd go for the dc 1 or 2 or mc1.



can always up your power if you move to larger home. Dont have to change whole system. As I am doing such.


ben:)
 

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You're going to have a gorgeous, sexy setup with the Pioneer plasma and the NR to go with it. Given the quality of your video equipment, I'd recommend that you get the best quality you can afford for the audio side of things. For that reason, and for future upgradeability, I'd go with separates with an emphasis on sound quality and stereo analogue pass-through (for that 9000ES SACD player!). Lexicon, Bryston, and Classe are all good names known for their sound quality. Because you don't need video switching or lots of other bells and whistles, you may want to look at older or used models to keep the $$ within budget. Same thing with amplification. Check out my sig for an example of what I'm doing so far -- an upgrade to a dedicted pre/pro is high on my list.


As for speakers, you might check out the AR Phantoms here. They're flat and sexy, but may suffer somewhat in sound quality compared to more conventional speakers. Another possibility is to go with floor-standing or stand-mounted speakers with furniture-quality finishes that would complement your (wife's) decor. It's not low-profile, but hopefully it could be made to blend with everything else. A final option is in-wall, but that would require some serious installation work.


Good luck and post some pictures.


- Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally posted by K-Wood
I'd go with separates with an emphasis on sound quality and stereo analogue pass-through (for that 9000ES SACD player!).

- Ken
Ken: I was wondering about analog versus digital sound inputs?


Both the Sony 9000ES and the Sony TIVO DirecTV have digital sound outputs?


Would I be better with a preamp that will take digital input rather than analog?


Michael
 

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Michael:


ALL HT preamps/processors accept digital inputs (usually both optical (toslink) and RCA). Most, but not all, accept multi-channel analog inputs. All accept 2-channel analog inputs.


With digital inputs, the processor handles the digital/analog (DAC) conversion as well as any decoding (e.g., Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Prologic II, etc.), digital signal processing (DSP; e.g., those nasty "Hall" and "Stadium" modes), and bass management. Your DVD player, DSS box, and CD player generally will all be capable of outputing a digital audio stream.


With analog inputs, the D/C conversion occurs in the source device. The Sony 9000ES, for example, has digital outputs for DVDs, DTS CDs, and redbook CDs, BUT NOT for SACDs due to copyright issues. To hear SACD playback, you'll need to use the analog inputs of of your processor. Bass management, if any, will be handled by the 9000ES.


When audiophiles talk about sound quality in the HT context, they're generally referring to the quality of the D/C conversion and the cleanliness of the analog pre-amplification stage (i.e. taking the line-level input from the source and stepping it up to be routed to the amplifiers). The top brands use high-quality circuitry, parts (capacitors, resisters, wiring, circuit boards), and power supplies to minimize noise and distortion. The difference is real and definitely noticeable, even to a non-audiophile, with good speakers.


To me, experiencing high-fidelity audio playback for the first time on my buddy's system was like the difference between grocery store wine and an Opus One cabernet. Of course, YMMV.


- Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ken:


Thanks for the advice!


I did order the Phantom Speakers -- after taking a hard look at Triad inwalls


Also I went with a used Lexicon MC-1 and the Outlaw 750 Amp.




thanks again


Michael
 

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Michael:


Congratulations! I think you'll be very happy with your decisions. I saw a review a couple of months ago in one of the HT magazines (perhaps Stereophile Guide to Home Theater) of the AR Phantoms. I remember they reviewer being pleasantly surprised at how good they sounded. They certainly look sexy, particularly if paired with a wall-mounted plasma.


The Lexicon is a solid choice with a great reputation for sound quality.


You MUST send pictures of the setup. As soon as my basement remodeling is finished (by the end of November), I'll publish a website with pictures of mine.


Regards,

Ken
 
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