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Discussion Starter #1
My new house is being built and I am incorporating a theater into it. I'm pretty new to the Hi-Fi world but I want to get a top notch setup. I want to have a nice in-wall setup. I have researched and it seems that Triad is constantly rated as the best in-wall speakers. I plan on using the New Mcintosh Processor MX-160, which seems to be one of the best on the market with the features I want. I plan on running it in a 9.2.4 systems as such:

3 x Triad Gold inwall/ 6 LCR
4 x Triad Gold inwall/ 4 Surround
2 x Triad Gold inwall/ 6 monitor (Rear)
4 x Triad Gold inceiling/ 8 mini-monitor (atmos)

The trouble I am having is determining what amplifiers to run the system. I would like to have a full Mcintosh amp setup but it would require about 6 different as far as I can tell to get the the punch from the power the Triads are capable of this is what I have in mind:

MC 303 for the LCR at 300w
MC 302 for the rears at 300w
MC152 x 4 for the surround and atmos at 150w

The only thing I am not set on in this setup is the fact Mcintosh does not make amps that that will fully push the the Triads. The LCR and the monitor are both rated for 400w and the surrounds are for 250w. Macintosh doesn't have amps that meet this range without going over and I don't want to much to risk damage to such an investment. I know Mcintosh to be a top notch company and I know they are probably the top of the market. However, I have considered making alternatives, they would save money and also provide more power to better push the Triads but I'm afraid may sacrifice quality and I need some opinions. I'm also consider this alternative:

Anthem P5 for LCR and Rears, this runs at 5 channels and 325w ( this is the closet I have found to 400w without going over)

And then using 2 x NAD M22 for the surrounds meeting at the 250w mark.

The Mcintosh MC152 meets the in cielings just fine.


Like I said this would push more power to the system but I'm not sure if these amplifiers are at the same quality, and if the power vs the quality is the way to go. I also don't like the idea of mix and matching the amps so much but if that would make the theater the to the top than so be it. Please comments on suggestions or any other ideas to my planned setup.
 

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Those McIntosh amps will be fine. Perhaps a better value might be ATI.

Speakers wattage specs are typically for recommended power and max power. There are many tools to calculate what is needed.

However there is some science (math) you could apply too. Google power amp requirements hopefully the tool on Crown's website will pop up.

The factors are a.) the sensitivity of the speakers, b.) how far you will sitting from them and c.) how load you will listen [85 dB is "reference" and that's pretty loud but some like a 3, 5, 10 or even 20 dB for peak.

Do you like the sound of your local commercial theater? If so a pro grade amp like QSC or Crown could fill the bill at less cost perhaps.

I suggest you visit the $20,000 equipment section under Display Devices forum section here on AVS. There is a thread on this processor.

The MX 160 has been buggy. For that $$$ it should not be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, I will check on the the amps that are posted. Although, what is the main difference between something that would be considered reference like the McIntosh and what these "pro" amps offer as far as sound quality? As far as the AVS goes I will do a little more reading, my second option would to go for the more expensive Datasat, which seems to be the best AVS out there. There is just a few things I'm not attracted to about this product, such as the connections in the back, and the delay of upgrades and support seem to be a pain for owners.

As far as the speakers go I have never heard of that company GTL Sound Labs, but I looked them up and its interesting the first review on their speakers is someone who has had Triad Golds and these were better. The only issue I see, is that its a smaller company and there is only one place in FL that has them and its about 2 hours away from me, so I would have to make a small trip out of it in order to demo them. Price wise they don't seem much off the Triad's however I'm almost curious as to consider what a custom job from them would cost if their speakers are really that good. Is there a thread already made about the best in-wall speakers?
 

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Fuzzy,

+1 on the earlier suggestion for ATI. They offer an excellent product with a 7 year warranty. You have your choice of power as well as a good selection of how many channels of amplification you need. If you desire an audiophile quality amp you can move up into their signature 6000 series. You cannot go wrong with ATI.

Regarding a processor, I will recommend the Datasat LS10. This is much more affordable than the rs20i and is more user friendly. Sonically the LS10 is virtually indistinguishable from the rs20i. Unless you need extra channels, or the ability to map your channels, the LS10 makes sense for most people. These can be had for a very affordable price if you talk to the right dealer.

Regarding customer service, I have always received prompt responses to any questions I have had.
 

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I will second the ATI recommendation...........................a pair of 3007's would do nicely! Skip the Mac's for amps! I first used in my theater a Krell S-1500 and a Krell Evo 403 which I sold a few years ago. I also use a Halo by Parasound A-31 to power my front mains..........IMHO, the ATI's sound just as good but at a fraction of the cost! I was fortunate to sell my Evo to a relative for $11,000 which I then purchased all ATI amps with money left over!;)

Since you are going all Triad, I'm a little confused on your selection of speakers..........:confused:

Why are you using Gold LCR's with Gold Surrounds and Monitors in rear?:confused:

You'd be much better off using Silver LCR's for side's and rear!!!!!! As far as Atmos ceiling speakers...................I spent extensive time working with Triad to find a solution for my room regarding ceiling speakers. As hard as we tried, could NOT get FR and dispersion spec close to what was needed for my room. In the end, I had to fabricate my own ceiling boxes using KEF Ci-200rr-thx speakers for Atmos and couldn't be happier! Extremely dynamic speaker on par with my Gold LCR's I use up front..................the Kef's are absolutely the best solution I ran into with off axis frequency response close to 90+ degrees from 60 Hz upto 5000 Hz. Nothing in Triad's arsenal would match those specs. I'd definitely skip the Mini Monitors...................no dispersion to meet multiple rows and F3 is above 90 Hz.

Also...........I'd skip the Datasat 20i or LS-10. Much better off looking at 24 channel Trinnov Altitude! ;)
 

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The Triad Gold 6 LCR is claimed to be 92dB efficient and have a 4 ohm impedance.

To hit a peak output of 95db at 16 feet you need just under 100 watts and that is with 3 dB headroom. So a 200-300 wpc amp at 4 ohms is more than enough horse to pull the cart.
 

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Datasat is solid even though the release of DTSX is lagging. If you only need 7.2.4 then the LS10 is the trick.

Like DW11 pointed out the Trinnov is another good option but pricey.

The Marantz 8802A is the clear budget winner.

Another new comer is the Indy Audio Labs ACT4 but it has no room correction (has multi band PEQ for tweaking).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You'd be much better off using Silver LCR's for side's and rear!!!!!! As far as Atmos ceiling speakers...................I spent extensive time working with Triad to find a solution for my room regarding ceiling speakers. As hard as we tried, could NOT get FR and dispersion spec close to what was needed for my room. In the end, I had to fabricate my own ceiling boxes using KEF Ci-200rr-thx speakers for Atmos and couldn't be happier! Extremely dynamic speaker on par with my Gold LCR's I use up front..................the Kef's are absolutely the best solution I ran into with off axis frequency response close to 90+ degrees from 60 Hz upto 5000 Hz. Nothing in Triad's arsenal would match those specs. I'd definitely skip the Mini Monitors...................no dispersion to meet multiple rows and F3 is above 90 Hz.

Also...........I'd skip the Datasat 20i or LS-10. Much better off looking at 24 channel Trinnov Altitude! ;)

Why would I be better off using the silver's? I can understand maybe for the rears, but for the sides would in not be better to go with a dipole surround sound speaker?
 

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Everyone has given me so much to consider. I'm glad i asked for opinions before i made the investment. I did some research on the Tinnov Altitude and boy does that seem the way to go. I don't think all 32 channels would be applicable for my 30'x25' planned theater but 24 might work out pretty nicely. It definitely seems like the top candidate.

As far as the amps go, ATI seems to be a well liked product, I'm still curious about the Anthem P5, no one seemed to mentioned good or bad.


Im just trying to get an idea of the components to go into my designer and ask for, instead of them trying to push me into just what they sell and making a compromise without me knowing the difference.
 

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The Triad Gold 6 LCR is claimed to be 92dB efficient and have a 4 ohm impedance.

To hit a peak output of 95db at 16 feet you need just under 100 watts and that is with 3 dB headroom. So a 200-300 wpc amp at 4 ohms is more than enough horse to pull the cart.
Mike,

Those Gold LCR's can handle transients in excess of 500 watts! I beg to differ but will agree if amp is in the 200-300 watt per channel in 8 ohms.....................besides, why overwork an amp? As an engineer, I know running equipment at 50-60% capacity always leads to long term life..............:D

The ATI 3007 or 3007 Signature can handle 400+ watts in 4 ohm which is perfect for Gold LCR's.........................heck, I even ran my Golds on my pseudo Hibachi grill ie. Krell EVO 403 and those Golds loved every watt..................BTW, that Evo is capable of 800 watts in 4 ohm! :eek::D
 

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Why would I be better off using the silver's? I can understand maybe for the rears, but for the sides would in not be better to go with a dipole surround sound speaker?
Depends...................if you're going full Atmos, you want monopoles, BUT if you have a narrow room then Silver LCR's might not be best due to room size. Besides, from my discussions with/about Triad, they are moving their surround line to bipole configuration but will still offer crossovers for dipoles

Erskine Group recommended my configuration of Triad speakers.....................at first I wasn't happy because I wanted Triad Plats but Gold LCR's were spec'ed/designed for my room. After much thought, I deferred to the professionals and am glad I did.
 

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They should not be overworked. Again the math was from the Crown website assuming the MLP is 16 feet. 95 dB is a peak SPL and even so that's very loud.

So if you have a 200 wpc amp and only need 100 wpc isn't that 50%?

Like you said if it is 200 at 8 ohms it is 400 at 4 ohms. Even better.
 

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Datasat is solid even though the release of DTSX is lagging. If you only need 7.2.4 then the LS10 is the trick.

Like DW11 pointed out the Trinnov is another good option but pricey.

The Marantz 8802A is the clear budget winner.

Another new comer is the Indy Audio Labs ACT4 but it has no room correction (has multi band PEQ for tweaking).
Do you know if Act 4 supports HDR?
 
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