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Having been a long-time lurker on AVS of course I turned to it looking for input on my current dilemma as to upgrade my HT setup or not. I'm running a 5.1 system with a B&K Ref 50, Rotel amps, Klipsch CLF-3s (Front L/R), Klipsch KV-4 (Center)/RS-7 (surrounds), and a Velodyne sub. I've had the CLFs for close to 20 years and picked up the KV-4 (moved up from a KV-2) and RS-7s about 12 years ago along with the Ref 50 (moved up from a Ref 20) to enable a fully matched speaker system to enjoy DVD-A (and later SACD when I bought a universal player).

My current "upgradeitis" started with the addition of a Mac Mini as a HTPC solution to host PLEX and move away from my current DLNA solution (streams to my Blu-Ray or Micca media streamer). I was searching for the best way to support FLAC on the Mac Mini and this lead me to USB 2.0 audio and in search of an offboard DAC. Of course this then lead to "why not a new prepro which supports USB 2.0 audio?" Oh and of course finally HDMI switching and audio as the Ref 50 is before that generation of technology.

Since I have been keeping my eye on Marantz's AV7701/AV8801 and often recommending them to friends to put on their short list for evaluation depending on their needs I started looking at the new AV7702/AV8802 and doing online research. Unfortunately, neither apparently support USB 2.0 audio via a computer. So I started looking for alternatives in similar price ranges and have come up short on finding anything of interest. In the process though I did discover NAD's T-187 as a potential (I had replaced a fabulous NAD receiver with the original foray into HT via the Ref 20 and Rotel amp purchase).

What has kept me away from a prepro upgrade for HDMI support is the slot in my HT credenza (which a 65" plasma suspends off of via an integrated mount) is the slot for it can only support a 7" high unit. Hence, the Marantz are too tall which then triggers a cascading amp purchase to collapse my Rotel amps - dedicated Front L/R (as I'm an audio buff by heart and the Ref 50 delivers), 3-channel for center and surrounds, and a 2-channel I used for 2nd zone distribution. Getting rid of the Rotel stack (which has going on strong now for close to 20 years) I'd be able to get a 7-channel amp to support the 5.1 and have space in that area of the cabinet to house it as well as either Marantz unit.

Taking all of this into consideration I've been researching the T-187 as much as possible given it fits the height profile to match the slot housing my Ref 50 but of course keeping my eye on the AV7702 thread and information on the AV8802 as it comes in. The T-187 received some great reviews on Sterophile and Sound & Vision but I have also found some threads on AVS where some folks had a few issues back in 2012/2013. It's MDC design allows for upgrades so right now NAD is including the 4K HDMI upgrade for free and I have the opportunity to pick up a factory refurbed unit at a great discount. I've also found some factory refurbished AV7702s for a good price as well but that triggers an amp purchase so the short list I've been considering is either a MM8077 or NAD T-977 both of which can be had at refurbished discount pricing.

So after that long rambling of background to set the context my questions are:

1) Are there any current NAD T-187 owners out there with any current feedback on the units?
2) Keeping 4K, possibly Atmos (not so worried about DTS:X), USB 2.0 audio, and a few other technologies in mind for future use are there any other prepros in the $3K range anyone can recommend that meet the 7" height profile? I could probably squeeze in something in up to 7.5" but I'd prefer to keep the 1" breathing room on top of the prepro.
3) In lieu of a traditional prepro I started looking at Denon's X4100W or X5200W to run as a prepro utilizing their pre-amp outs. However, based on some thread discussions prior models apparently run pretty hot regardless of whether the internal amps are in use but I was wondering how the new ones do. I pulled down the X4100W manual and a skim through it doesn't look like there is a setting you can make to disable all internal amps so I assume that the preamp out connections in essence automatically disable them. However, if so in my case I'd only preamp out 5 channels which means the remaining 4 may stay on.

I should add that I believe I have found a suitable DAC solution to nullify the USB 2.0 audio for direct connectivity from the Mac Mini so it doesn't have to be a supported item in a prepro recommendation. Thanks in advance for any guidance!
 

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I have a velodyne impact hgs 12bv subwoofer, and it makes a loud popping noise when the decibels reach a certain level. Is this something that can be repaired ?? I have 3 other velodyne subs, all minivees and no problems at all with them. I am just getting started with my av addiction!! It hit me like a train. All I want to do is keep upgrading my system. Can my sub be fixed ?? Please help !!
 
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