Dear AVS forum friends:
I have been lurking and reading and digesting your posts for months now and I feel that I know so many of you folks from your posts, you feel like family. I am a newbie in Michigan that is upgrading from a 36 inch CRT and a $300 Kenwood HTIB to a 50 in plasma with a 5.1 setup. I decided to start with speakers. I began researching and auditioning and eliminating and have been doing that for months. My budget, of course, has doubled and then tripled since I found out more and more about "hi-end" audio. My wife has gotten bitten by the upgrade bug as well and both of us have decided that since this is really important to us and we have to start from scratch anyway, we want to get the best system that we possibly can.
To give you guys a background: we have a 18x12 family room which our kitchen/breakfast nook opens into. The far side is a fairly large fireplace which is why we will be stuck with plasma being the only tv option (we like the format so that is not a problem). Although the system will be used 70% for HT, the 30% for music is more important to us which is why we want a really good set of mains. We have auditioned many brands including Paradigm Studio 100s, B&W 703s, 802s, Boston Acoustics, Martin Logan Aeons, JMLabs (I think Chorus, MSRP was around $4K), Dynaudios, PSBs and last but not the least - Von Schweikerts VR4 SE III, VR4 jr, VR2, etc.
Our favorite for musicality and a sweet tweeter were the VR4s. We loved the 802s of course but a lot of our source music is older poorly recorded ethnic music that just sounded terrible on the Nautilii. The VR4 SEs were much more forgiving and seemed to even bring the older stuff "to life". We are thinking of doing VR2 s for rears and LCR-15 for the center (until Albert VonSchweikert comes out with his matching center for the VR4s and then the LCR 15 can go to the rear for a 6.1). Our questions to you, my family for the last few months (trust me, I have been on this site so much, my wife feels like I have been out of town for months):
1) What opinions or experiences have you folks had with this particular speaker setup?
2) We were thinking of an Anthem AVM 30 for a pre/pro and Aragon Palladium monoblocks for both fronts.
3) We have an older HK DVD-101 that we will be upgrading early next year in favor of a good player that does DVD, DVD-A and SACD. This is not a priority right now but if someone has suggestions (should we do separate pieces for separate formats, etc) we would certainly like to hear them so that we can begin researching now.
4) For the rears we were trying to choose a 5-channel amp so that we can bi-amp now and/or expand to 7.1 later. Our budget is 1-2K for the rear amp. Thinking of either the Rotel RMB 1075 (120x5, around $1K) or maybe Sherbourn 5 channel (125x5, $1.8K) or Parasound A 52 (125x5, $2k). Any thoughts?
I am sorry for the long message. Just wanted to give you folks as much information so that you can help us.
Thanking you in anticipation,
PS. No matter what we get, in comparison to what we have, the future is sure GOING TO SOUND GOOD!!