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Any input and opinions on the following would be appreciated:


I'm in the process of upgrading my system, working to achieve a balance between two-channel listening and surround for movies. I have Legacy Audio Focus 20/20 speakers, with Legacy’s center, surrounds, and sub.


My quandary comes with the amp. One option is to get a Krell KAV 3250 for the front three channels, which appeals especially on the two-channel side of things. The Krell’s control of the low-end is a great match for the Legacy’s. But current budget constraints would require me to keep two of the five Marantz MA 700s I have on hand for the surround channels, which would be used primarily for movies. (While I may play around with multi-channel music in the future, it’s not a priority for me right now.)


The other alternative is to go with a Theta Dreadnaught II, configured with 3 mono modules (3x225) for the front three and one stereo module (2x100) for the surrounds. This appeals for the total package (matched amps all the way round) and movies, but I’m not sure the Theta is quite up to the Krell when it comes to low-end control. (I’ve heard the Krell with the Legacy speakers, and it sounds great, but can’t audition the Theta/Legacy combo.)


So, two questions:

How big of an issue is it to use the MA 700s for surrounds? Will I notice a big difference in quality, or will they work just fine for the surround channels?


Or is the Theta a better all around bet?


Any opinions, experience, input is much appreciated.
 

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While I can't necessarily comment on your exact scenario, I can add a similar experience that I recently had along the same lines.


I run a Lexicon MC-12 with 5 identical M&K S-150's and a pair of SS-150 Tripoles at the sides. I just added a Parasound 5 channel amp that matches exactly to my current Parasound 3 channel amp - i.e. same watts per channel, current, etc. Before this, I was using a mis-match of amps along with my 3 channel Parasound. All good amps, but different wattage, etc.


I listen to a lot of music on my system - including DVD-A and SACD - and of course, many movies. With the switch I made above on the amps, I've noticed a very nice difference in terms of "seamlessness" in the sound. Everything is just more "tigher" now, and the speakers really shine. I would say the biggest difference has been in high-rez music - DVD-A and SACD. Having matched speakers and amplification has really taken these formats to the next level. My goal is to replace my sides with another pair of S-150's (or S250 Tripoles) to get a better match with the fronts and rears. Then, EVERYTHING will be equal, which will increase the performance - I feel - even more.


Hope this helps!
 

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I hope my experience helps you. I have a Krell KAV3250 running the front three channels and my Deon 3803 receiver running the rest of the 7.1 rear and side surrounds. I have B&W N802 and HTM1 running off the Krell and B&W 601s3 for the rest. The KAV 3250 sounds very good with great base and wonderful soundstage. I run both 2 channel and full 7.1 with this set up , switch back and forth often and do not have any problems with the different amps. I did calibrate with DVE and a Rat Shack SPL meter. I am very pleased with this setup. I do not have any experience with the Theta Dreadnaught II but I know the Krell sounds great. Good luck!!
 

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I have very capable speakers for my mains and surrounds ( Waveform Mach 17 and Waveform MC ), and have had many amps driving this setup over the years. I have no problem spending the bucks on an amps for L-C-R, but have "downgraded" the amps for my surrounds on 2 occasions.


I currently have a used ( $1200 ) Parasound HCA-2205AT driving my surrounds. I think is a fantastic amp for the money, and have no desire to upgrade them. Like the previous poster, I have also used receivers ( Denon AVR-3801 and flagship Onkyo TX-DS989 ) as processors, using the pre-outs for L-C-R but letting the receiver drive the surrounds.


So ... I am beleiver in spending the bucks for some GREAT amplification for the mains & centre, and scrimping a little on the surrounds -> just my 2 cents :)


If you have the space and intend to show off your beastly amp, also consider a 7-channel Sim Audio Titan -> great sound & control, and imposing looks. http://www.simaudio.com/moontitan.htm


- Andy
 

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I use a Dreadnaught as follows:

3x200 watts each to B&W 802N's l/r and HTM1 center

2x100 watts each to def tech surrounds


I can't speak to how the DN will sound with your speakers, but I can assure you that the DN is a complete and utter beast and makes my HT array sing...


TM
 

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I went Krell, but the newer Krell has better bass still, but it does not have as good as the prior Model the 250a and a/3 did, and I wanted to make sure you arean't basing the new krell decision for bass on what you heard with the prior gun metal colored one. I came down to the exact same two and the ability for the rear modules was what kept me looking at Theta, pus I have a C2 so matching was a issue there.


Both very good amps and the krell does have the better bass, but I jsut didn't want you to assume the new was the same, because if you ask Krell they claim it is even better when in reality a chimp could tell it is not, so they are insulting your intelligence as a multi Krell amp owner.
 
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