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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some 20+ years after I went from 2-channel audio to surround sound, I want to go back and set up a 2-channel audio system again. My local A/V store wants to sell me the NAD M12 preamp/NAD M22 stereo amp combination along with a Bluesound system (which sounds great in their sound room) but I am seeking advice on whether I can somehow adapt the audio gear I currently have and set up a good 2-channel audio syste,


My current system consists of an Oppo BDP-105D bluray player connected to an Integra DHC 80.2 preamp-processor for 2-channel audio via balanced connectors (bluejeans cables). The Integra in turn is connected to a McIntosh 3 channel amp which plays my left/right B&W speakers. I have an SVS subwoofer as well which is directly connected to the Integra.


My Oppo has trouble seeing my network hard drive so I've been copying my hirez music files onto a thumb drive and then plugging it into my Oppo. The music sounds fine but not as nice as I would like it to be. The room is set up optimally for watching movies using my surround sound system and I've got all the room treatments that are necessary for movie watching.


So my question to all of you is this: can I do something with my existing audio gear to make the system sound better, or do I need a dedicated 2-channel set up like my local store is telling me I need? They obviously want me to buy equipment from them, but I want to look at all of my options before I plunk serious money into setting up a separate 2-channel audio system. Also, is there gear from other manufacturers that is as good as NAD but less expensive? The M12/M22 combo comes to $6500 before taxes and that is not cheap!


Thanks for your help and advice.


Cal68
 

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The music sounds fine but not as nice as I would like it to be

How would you describe 'not as nice' to someone who doesn't know what that means?


Are you using the Integra to 'correct' the sound?


Do you have measurement tools?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How would you describe 'not as nice' to someone who doesn't know what that means?


Are you using the Integra to 'correct' the sound?


Do you have measurement tools?
It is hard to describe what "not as nice" means except to say that the music in the A/V store sounds clearer, with crisper highs and lower lows. In short, if I close my eyes, it sounds like I am sitting in front of the stage. My system does not give me that same experience. I recently (2 weeks ago) had the 2-channel audio system calibrated by one of the calibrators on this forum but that has not helped much. I do not know if the room treatments that are optimized for surround sound movie watching are having an adverse impact on my 2-channel audio experience.


I'm sorry that I cannot describe how the music sounds better.


Cal68
 

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It is hard to describe what "not as nice" means except to say that the music in the A/V store sounds clearer, with crisper highs and lower lows. In short, if I close my eyes, it sounds like I am sitting in front of the stage.


My system does not give me that same experience. I recently (2 weeks ago) had the 2-channel audio system calibrated by one of the calibrators on this forum but that has not helped much. I do not know if the room treatments that are optimized for surround sound movie watching are having an adverse impact on my 2-channel audio experience.


I'm sorry that I cannot describe how the music sounds better.

I like clarity.


Maybe that calibrator would like to speak up for his work, or provide an opinion on why you might be dissatisfied.


I understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If my local A/V store was willing to let me demo a system before I decide to buy it, I might bring in the system they are pushing and give it a try. But they are not willing to do that and I do not want to spend almost $8000 for the two NAD pieces plus the Bluesound equipment without some assurance that it will truly be an upgrade.


Cal68
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RayDunzl;33023281 Maybe that calibrator would like to speak up for his work said:
Just to set the record straight, the calibrator did a fantastic job with my 7.2 channel surround sound system. It sounds much better than it ever did before. So I've no reason to believe that he did not do an equally good job with my 2-channel audio system. The reason for my original post is that if my current system sounds as good as it is going to get, is it because my equipment is not what it needs to be? Or am I missing something in the way it is set up?


Thanks for your help.


Cal68
 

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McIntosh should provide proper amplification.

The Integra - I don't have anything like that here. Source digits to DAC to amps to speakers. miniDSP available for tweaking, not always used.

The Bluesound - music server - shouldn't make a qualitative difference from what you have at home now.

You could bypass the Integra - the Oppo could drive the L/R speakers directly balanced. The subwoofer could probably be driven by the RCA output.

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I bought what I recommended to myself without demo. I would be less inclined to buy what someone else recommended without one.

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Give the model numbers for the speakers and amplifier and sub, just to see what you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Give the model numbers for the speakers and amplifier and sub, just to see what you have.

The front L/R speakers are B&W 802D-2's, the amp is McIntosh MC303 and the subs are two SVS PB-13 Ultras. Decent gear I think for movies.


Thanks for your help.


Cal68
 

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I'd run the Oppo straight into the Macintosh as a sanity check on the calibration and the Integra. Skip the subs for that test.

Make sure the Oppo is set for variable volume control and turn it all the way down before playing anything the first time.

I wouldn't think the dealer has anything useful for you right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd run the Oppo straight into the Macintosh as a sanity check on the calibration and the Integra. Skip the subs for that test.

Make sure the Oppo is set for variable volume control and turn it all the way down before playing anything the first time.

I wouldn't think the dealer has anything useful for you right now.

Thanks again for your help. I will give it a try over the weekend.


Cal68
 

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i don't think you really need subs with an 802D, really. room setup may be the issue, since it is easy for subs and speaker to cancel each other out some unless very carefully matched. i'd get rid of the subs to set up the speakers up well, perhaps implement some room correction with basstraps and other room treatment, then go from there and very very carefully match in the subs and check if you even need them. you have the gear, there is no reason why it shouldn't sound sublime. truly sounds like a room setup thing. your gear should sound godly.
personally i think 2 channel is the only way to go - it's tough enough to set up, so i can't even imagine doing it with more speakers, plus my personal preference is merely music, movies and surround blah me out. but that's my very own priority, more power to those who go set up more than one pair of speakers and succeed. :)
PS: i own the NAD M22 and think it is phenomenal, but i don't think you need it given what you already have - you should find a way to set it up so it absolutely sounds great. it's odd. 802Ds should sound phenomenally, so maybe you have a very challenging room?
 

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I'd get some 100 dollar studio monitors and set them up, they're very flat in response usually. Then change their locations, toe and rake angle until it sounds like the musicians are in front of you. If you can do that, then I'd be confident enough to spend extra dollars on a stereo which would presumably be even better. Otherwise the equipment isn't going to be the thing holding you back in 2.0 sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i don't think you really need subs with an 802D, really. room setup may be the issue, since it is easy for subs and speaker to cancel each other out some unless very carefully matched. i'd get rid of the subs to set up the speakers up well, perhaps implement some room correction with basstraps and other room treatment, then go from there and very very carefully match in the subs and check if you even need them. you have the gear, there is no reason why it shouldn't sound sublime. truly sounds like a room setup thing. your gear should sound godly.
personally i think 2 channel is the only way to go - it's tough enough to set up, so i can't even imagine doing it with more speakers, plus my personal preference is merely music, movies and surround blah me out. but that's my very own priority, more power to those who go set up more than one pair of speakers and succeed. :)
PS: i own the NAD M22 and think it is phenomenal, but i don't think you need it given what you already have - you should find a way to set it up so it absolutely sounds great. it's odd. 802Ds should sound phenomenally, so maybe you have a very challenging room?

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I have a feeling that it is the room that needs some treatments. The room is treated for surround sound audio because it is primarily set up for movie watching, but perhaps I need additional treatment to get the best out of audio. Unfortunately there is only so much I can do to the room because it is not my man cave and the WAF needs to be taken into account, but perhaps I should check out the forums discussing room treatments and find a company that can help me figure out what room treatments I need. Then I can see if they meet the WAF.


Cal68
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd get some 100 dollar studio monitors and set them up, they're very flat in response usually. Then change their locations, toe and rake angle until it sounds like the musicians are in front of you. If you can do that, then I'd be confident enough to spend extra dollars on a stereo which would presumably be even better. Otherwise the equipment isn't going to be the thing holding you back in 2.0 sound quality.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've got some cheap speakers boxed away somewhere in my basement, so I can give it a try.


Cal68
 

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SRSLY NAD would be a downgrade from McIntosh NAD is OK nothing wrong with them but not McIntosh by any stretch of the imagination ..........although I don't think you have an amp problem either way .


Do what Ray Dunzi says and have a coke or at the most just get a new Sony networked hires /network player or something like that or maybe the Blue sound thing .

http://store.sony.com/500gb-hi-res-...es-Audio?vva_ColorCode=000000&_t=pfm=category

http://store.sony.com/hi-res-music-...ES/cat-27-catid-All-Res-Audio?_t=pfm=category
 

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Some 20+ years after I went from 2-channel audio to surround sound, I want to go back and set up a 2-channel audio system again. My local A/V store wants to sell me the NAD M12 preamp/NAD M22 stereo amp combination along with a Bluesound system (which sounds great in their sound room) but I am seeking advice on whether I can somehow adapt the audio gear I currently have and set up a good 2-channel audio syste,

Also, is there gear from other manufacturers that is as good as NAD but less expensive? The M12/M22 combo comes to $6500 before taxes and that is not cheap!


Thanks for your help and advice.


Cal68

I recently bought the NAD M12 digital preamp fitted with the BluOS network board. There's no need for any separate Bluesound kit as the M12 with board does all you need if you have your music stored on a NAS.


I'm very pleased with it, but I won't be getting the M22 only because it's far too powerful for my horn speakers and the Benchmark AHB2 was recommended as a better alternative. I've ordered the Benchmark and should have it in the next couple of days.


I found the M12 on Ebay UK for £2000 - it's list price here is £3300 including 20% tax, so that was a pretty good deal from a dealer who had had it out on demo twice only.


Peter
 

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I would just pick up the Bluesound piece and connect it to the system you have. I am currently using a Bluesound node with an Oppo HA-1 for the DAC and it sounds great. The DAC in the BDP-105D is the same as the HA-1. This would let you keep the rest of your system in tact and simply add a more reliable network streamer. I have been very happy with the Bluesound BTW, for both streaming off of my local NAS, as well as Tidal FLAC streaming.
 
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