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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure which forum is right, but let me know if this system I am seriously considering would work together for a relatively dedicated theater (90% movies) set-up. I just realized it's very internet guided.


Source: HTPC (already have it)

Video: LT-150 (already have it)


Pre/Pro and Amp

Outlaw Audio 950 pre with either the 770 combo for $2,398 or taking advantage of their get 7 for 6 monoblock deal that would be $2,473. Alternative could be another used Lex MC-1 (have one in another room), which has great detail, but is a bit older technology, of course (and a bit more $).


Speakers:


6 Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s

1 Ascend Accoutics CC-240 center

1 HSU VTF-2 sub (possibly 2)


$1600 delivered


Can you think of a better way to spend $4k? I'd love to hear alternative suggestions, including possibly used equip at Audiogon and others. Thanks.
 

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No little known fact that I like the Ascends, I think that setup will sound great.


How big is the room?


It seems as though, since you have a Lex in another room, that you are not a newbie at this. What else have you considered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since the other room is only 5.1, but has two other zones, I've thought most seriously about moving the MC-1 into the dedicated theater and getting an Anthem for the family room (haven't research multiple zone capability of Outlaw enough), though part of me says just use the old Pioneer receiver from 10 years ago for the outdoor and dining speakers and get a simpler (less$ HT) receiver for the family room.


The speakers in the Fam Room are unmodified Newform Research 645s (told you I'm an addict), with some old JBL rears that I need to replace as well.


Will have to have more amplification in any event and have reviewed a used Bryston (inc. in Lex form) and other used options as well. Tough choices, since I'd rather not upgrade too soon after I do this one (too many other things in the house I need to do).


Of course, I've reviewed ELT, Axiom, Rockets, all that stuff, but honestly, I like the simple look of the Ascend, and the fact that they bundle the HSU sub. WAF actually went away from the wood grain look, if you can believe that. Then again, she doesn't mind the 645s, either.
 

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daflea - I'll agree the Ascend 170's are great bang-for-the-buck speakers, however, I don't think you're doing a good job allocating your $4K budget.


If you really like the Ascend/Hsu combo - you could easily drive them with a $1K or under AVR (Denon 3803, Elite 45, etc.) and you would only be spending ~ $2500.


On the other hand, if you have $4K to spend you can get a far superior system. I would recommend the following:


$1K on AVR

$2K on main/center/surround

$1K on sub
 

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Yeah, you could call Ascend and bump up to the left/right version of the CMT-340. Not yet officially announced, but available via phone call. I think worth the try.
 

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I agree with the other replies so far, in that I would spend a bigger percentage of your budget on the speakers than what's upstream. I think it's definitely more important to start there and work around it.


Ok, now, I've had the cbm-170's with the 340 center and the vtf-2. That is a great system indeed not just for the money. For both music and HT it performed admirably. But, if you do want to spend the extra money in the neighborhood of $2500, i would suggest a couple of other systems most notably off of audiogon and internet direct. In no particular order:

Paradigm Studio's 60's with studio center and adp's, Energy Veritas2.2, 2.0C, 2.0R, or the Axiom m60's with center and rears. Add a SVS or HSU sub and you'd be set. Now I'll be auditioning the rocket setup in a couple of days with the new crossover, but from what I've read, you can't go wrong with them either.


As far as the receiver is concerned, I'd go with a denon 3803 now and when and if you want to upgrade, you can do that later. You can even use the 3803 as a pre/pro if you get an amp. This is actually what I'm doing. I have my 3803 connected to an adcom 7500 and I get a great movie experience.


Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses. I agree I could step up a bit more for speakers and would be willing to, even if the overall budget goes up. My previous room had the Newform Research 645s up front, ADPs at the side and Active 20s rear (no center channel), with a Mirage PS-12-180 (currently in the Family Room), so I'm familiar with Paradigm sound and like it. I just found the ADPs a bit too diffusive. I'd rather go with direct firing speakers in the new room, and I like the idea of the same speaker all around for some reason.


The other question is, "will an AVR perform as well as the MC-1 and Outlaw amp (I had the MC-1 and Outlaw 750 driving the old room)." The steering effects of the MC-1 sold me on it over the B&K 30 at the time. And I guess I never felt that great about my old receivers (granted they weren't the same quality level). Let me know, and I'll definitely set up some demos. Just like the separates a lot.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by daflea
The other question is, "will an AVR perform as well as the MC-1 and Outlaw amp (I had the MC-1 and Outlaw 750 driving the old room)."
The real question is "will an AVR + $2500~$3000 speakers/sub perform as well as the MC-1 and Outlaw amp + $1000 speakers/sub?"


I think the resounding answer is YES! Separates are great... I have separates, and I love separates, but I only made that move when I knew it wouldn't compromise the speaker budget. In your case, an extra $1000 on speakers is doubling the price, and likewise will probably yield a large difference in objective and subjective performance. Another $1000 on pre/pro and amp (or receiver) will only result in a marginal increase in both objective and subjective quality.


So, my advice, like most others thus far, is to look at speakers that fall under roughly a $3000 budget. Make that decision first, and purchase them without regards to pre/pro/amp/receiver/etc. Then examine your budget again, and the requirements for the speakers you settled on (high sensitivity, low sensitivity, high impedance, low impedance, etc.), and make a decision of whether to go the $1K receiver route (or whatever the remainder of your budget) or to bump your budget up to accomodate your preference for separates.


IMHO, of course. :)
 
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