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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried posting this in the receiver, amps and processors area and mostly got the feedback that 2 channel will be terrible for my application and it is mandatory to go to multichannel. I figure someone over here might have a different opinion...

So after a month of a futile search for an aesthetically pleasing AND quality audio powered Soundbar I am now investigating 2.0 (maybe 2.1) solutions.

I have just put a TV in the bedroom and want better sound. Connected to the TV via HDMI are an Apple TV, a cable box and maybe a blu ray player. I am planning to run an optical out from the TV which will send a PCM stereo digital signal to one of the three mentioned integrated stereo amps.

I haven't picked speakers yet but possibly a james loudspeaker SPL3LR.

Which amp do you like and why?
 

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I have the D3020 and really like it. I think it is perfect for a bedroom or small office setup - it's small, reasonably powerful, and sound great. I have no experience with the other two options you have listed so I can't comment on them. One possible plus for the D3020 is that it also has Bluetooth, so you can stream music from your phone to it without turning on your TV (I assume you would otherwise have to run through the Apple TV). Not sure if that matters to you or not, or if the other amps you mentioned also have Bluetooth.

It seems odd that someone would only recommend multichannel for this setup?
 

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Why have you picked the equipment you've picked?

What is it you are trying to accomplish? That is, we specific needs are you trying to fill?

Any reason why you picked small amps?

Any reason why you picked low powered amps?

Again, what is it you are specifically trying to do?

Do you need Network Streaming of Audio?

Clearly you want to watch TV/Movies with a Stereo system, that implies you need an amp with a DAC (digital to analog converter).

How much money do you have to spend, and what equipment do you expect that money to buy you?

You have a TV and Amp (at some point), what about speakers, what are the requirements and limitations on speakers? What about a Player, CD/DVD/Blueray/other?

The Yamaha AS501 (85w/ch) is a powerful amp with a DAC and Optial/Coaxial inputs for $549 in black or silver -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022AS501B/Yamaha-A-S501-Black.html?tp=34948

The Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver (80w/ch) has AM/FM, Network Streaming of Audio for local network storage or from the Internet, with DAC & Digital Inputs, etc..., priced at $549, likely also in Black or Silver.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RN500/Yamaha-R-N500.html?tp=47041

Rather than suggest a list of equipment, explain to use your needs, requirements, restrictions, room size, preferences, and priorities, and let us suggest equipment to meet those needs and circumstances.

With a DAC, it is very easy to connect all your Video components (cable, Blueray, etc...) to the TV then take the audio from the TV's Optical Digital Audio Output and feed the DAC input on the amp.

If there are space limitations, then the NAD D3020 (30w/ch) or the Monitor Audio A100 (50w/ch) might be worth considering. Myself, assuming room is available, I would prefer a full sized full-powered amp.

Note the NAD 3020 does have a DAC but no Streaming capability. The Monitor Audio A100 does have Streaming.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why have you picked the equipment you've picked?

What is it you are trying to accomplish? That is, we specific needs are you trying to fill?

Any reason why you picked small amps?

Any reason why you picked low powered amps?

Again, what is it you are specifically trying to do?

Do you need Network Streaming of Audio?

Clearly you want to watch TV/Movies with a Stereo system, that implies you need an amp with a DAC (digital to analog converter).

How much money do you have to spend, and what equipment do you expect that money to buy you?

You have a TV and Amp (at some point), what about speakers, what are the requirements and limitations on speakers? What about a Player, CD/DVD/Blueray/other?

The Yamaha AS501 (85w/ch) is a powerful amp with a DAC and Optial/Coaxial inputs for $549 in black or silver -

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022AS501B/Yamaha-A-S501-Black.html?tp=34948

The Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver (80w/ch) has AM/FM, Network Streaming of Audio for local network storage or from the Internet, with DAC & Digital Inputs, etc..., priced at $549, likely also in Black or Silver.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RN500/Yamaha-R-N500.html?tp=47041

Rather than suggest a list of equipment, explain to use your needs, requirements, restrictions, room size, preferences, and priorities, and let us suggest equipment to meet those needs and circumstances.

With a DAC, it is very easy to connect all your Video components (cable, Blueray, etc...) to the TV then take the audio from the TV's Optical Digital Audio Output and feed the DAC input on the amp.

If there are space limitations, then the NAD D3020 (30w/ch) or the Monitor Audio A100 (50w/ch) might be worth considering. Myself, assuming room is available, I would prefer a full sized full-powered amp.

Note the NAD 3020 does have a DAC but no Streaming capability. The Monitor Audio A100 does have Streaming.

Steve/bluewizard
Great set of questions.

A few facts and figures. The set up is in a bedroom. No need to blow the doors off the hinges or to consider this the home theatre for the house, that is nicely set up elsewhere. The room is less than 15x20. All the AV components need to fit into a small cabinet 16"deep, 10" high, 30" wide. It is very well ventilated and exchanges air easily so no concerns about heat.

I want to set things up to sound better than just the TV. How much better you ask? I dunno. If it would sound as good as an NAD L73 powering B&W VM1s that would be fine. Maybe not even that good.

Primary use is with the TV for cable TV, Apple TV, blu-Ray movies. If it sounds good it will get used for music but sparingly.

Esthetics matter speakers limited to one speaker below the TV or two speakers one on each side of the TV. Preferably very low profile. Max 3.5" depth. Won't be adding any rear speakers not even wireless.

Small amps - to fit in the restricted cabinet space.

Low powered amps - due to space and $ constraints.

Network Streaming - not needed.

Budget - was hoping to spend around $1000 on a powered soundbar and call it a day. Couldn't find a Soundbar to do it. Closest was the focal dimension and it only failed on size. It was too wide. Sound was ample without a sub. I would go to $2000.

If I could write up the solution. 3.1 AVR that does all the switching and processing. Likely wouldn't use the .1 but I like the option. With a three channel passive soundbar under he TV. I know there won't be much right and left distinction as the soundbar would only be 40" long. I like the ability to turn up and down the Center channel for dialogue.

The only way I could come up with pulling that off was an OPPO-103 as blu Ray and quasi "pre-pro" with a 3 channel amp and a three channel passive soundbar. I think that blows through $2000 and I don't know of many 3 channel amps. And puts me pretty tight on space in the cabinet.

So I jumped from three channel soundbar to quality two channel. For right or for wrong. Just trying to figure it out.

Appreciate the time.
 

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Esthetics matter speakers limited to one speaker below the TV or two speakers one on each side of the TV. Preferably very low profile. Max 3.5" depth. Won't be adding any rear speakers not even wireless.
That's pretty small for a speaker. Might I suggest something like the Bowers and Wilkins MM-1? I have a set in my bedroom (strictly for music, no TV in the bedroom). They don't go real loud, but sound pretty good. They might be enough for your needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's pretty small for a speaker. Might I suggest something like the Bowers and Wilkins MM-1? I have a set in my bedroom (strictly for music, no TV in the bedroom). They don't go real loud, but sound pretty good. They might be enough for your needs.
Nice looking computer speakers! I might have to get some for my office.

That said they take input via USB and analogue minijack. I wonder if my tv outputs that way. They would also look a bit silly up on the wall.

I was thinking Totem Tribe I's but they are 2" higher than my tv so close but not perfect. So that pushed me to Leon passive soundbars or maybe James Loudspeaker options.
 

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Maybe you would do well with the Vanatoo Transparent Ones I heard at Capital Audio Fest. They are small powered speakers with DSP engineered into them. They had a very good demo with impressive bass at the show. Not going to rattle off your doors or cause bleeding ears, but get convincingly louder than you will likely want or get from your TV. 48Hz - 20KHz +/- 3 dB range.

Plug in your toslink and go. Can be configured to have Bluetooth or apple express streaming. Base priced at $499. up to $100 more for the streaming configs. Online company
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe you would do well with the Vanatoo Transparent Ones I heard at Capital Audio Fest. They are small powered speakers with DSP engineered into them. They had a very good demo with impressive bass at the show. Not going to rattle off your doors or cause bleeding ears, but get convincingly louder than you will likely want or get from your TV. 48Hz - 20KHz +/- 3 dB range.

Plug in your toslink and go. Can be configured to have Bluetooth or apple express streaming. Base priced at $499. up to $100 more for the streaming configs. Online company
Those are little deep for hanging on the wall!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oops, missed that piece of the puzzle somehow. I use the wall mounted Sunfire CRM-2BIP for my surrounds, and those would fit the size parameter, but they need a lot of power.
Great suggestion! I like the CRS-3s. Right height and just over 3.5" deep.

I couldn't find specs on their frequency response. Anyone know how low they claim to go?
 

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They are designed for use with a subwoofer. CRS-3 and CRM-2BIP are both listed as 80 Hz - 40 KHz in range. I have both in surround capacity and the CRS-3C center. Were I to do it all again I would choose to use 3 x CRS-3C centers for L/C/R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
They are designed for use with a subwoofer. CRS-3 and CRM-2BIP are both listed as 80 Hz - 40 KHz in range. I have both in surround capacity and the CRS-3C center. Were I to do it all again I would choose to use 3 x CRS-3C centers for L/C/R.
Would you pick three of the CRS-3c because of the extra woofer and the ability to focus the tweeter?
 

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I feel like it is a more robust speaker and with three they would be matched. The "lens" focus is part of the grill, which can be removed on the L/R and the center speakers seem to be available at discount from a lot of locations. Not that there is anything really lacking from the traditional set up.
 

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I don't see it hear, but I was sure I saw something in my in-box indicating you found a deal on the Monitor Audio A100 amp. Can you confirm this?

Really, it is down to the feature set that you need and the amp power. The A100 seems to reasonably tick all the boxes and then some.


Steve/bluewizard
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't see it hear, but I was sure I saw something in my in-box indicating you found a deal on the Monitor Audio A100 amp. Can you confirm this?

Really, it is down to the feature set that you need and the amp power. The A100 seems to reasonably tick all the boxes and then some.


Steve/bluewizard
I didn't mean to suggest that. I was just hoping you might check back into this thread.

I also happen to have a Rotel RB-1070 kicking around so now I am thinking of going with an OPPO 103 to use as a pre/pro. Same cost or less than the A100 and it gets me a blue ray player along the way.
 

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I... so now I am thinking of going with an OPPO 103 to use as a pre/pro. Same cost or less than the A100 and it gets me a blue ray player along the way.
I never thought about that. I've seen reviewers us the Oppo 103 and Oppo 105 as a pre-amp for a full home theater system. Just the Oppo and Power Amps. So, this is certainly a workable idea.

Unless I am mistaken, the Oppo also allows external access to the internal DAC. I think the Oppo 103 are about $500 and the Oppo 103D are about $600. If you have a power amp laying around, yes, this might be a workable option.

Actually, the Oppo 103 only has USB Inputs; no optical or coaxial, so limited access to the internal DAC.

Certainly worth investigating.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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