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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, all!

I'm trying to construct a new two-channel mostly-music system, and was hoping to find a receiver or, much more likely, an integrated amp that has pre-outs and main-ins in order to integrate a subwoofer. By that, I mean something like this, using the NAD C 326BEE as an example (image from Crutchfield):

I'd connect my subs to the Sub1 and Sub2 outputs and set their low-pass filters to 70 Hz, and then between the pre-outs and main-ins, I'd insert a pair of Harrison Labs FMOD 70 Hz high-pass filters. I'd do that since this integrated (like most) has no bass management. This, I hope, would enable me to send just 70 Hz and up to the amplifier and thus the speakers. (I'd prefer an 80 Hz crossover, but Harrison Labs doesn't make FMOD filters at 80 Hz.)

Any other amps you know of that have pre-outs/main-ins that are affordable? Seems like the going price for a used C 326BEE is around $350, but something up to $500 would work.

My one hesitation about this amp is that I've heard it described as being very bright or forward, so I'd have to be careful when picking speakers. Wharfedale Diamond 11.2s or similar come to mind...

Thoughts? Recommendations? It seems like if I don't want to spend a lot on this kind of amp, I'm definitely going to have to go used, if not "vintage." I'm planning on buying the iFi Zen DAC and iFi Zen Blue for my digital connectivity needs. Thanks much!

—Chris
 

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Take a look at the Marantz NR1200

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Take a look at the Marantz NR1200

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Thanks, but I’m not looking for an AVR. I know, it’ll have bass management, etc. But for various reasons I’m only interested in stereo gear. My dream amps would be either the Anthem STR integrated amp or the Parasound HINT6, but my whole system budget is about $3k, so...


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The nr1200 is a stereo integrated amp that can also take HDMI input. It is not a multichannel avr

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Discussion Starter #5
The nr1200 is a stereo integrated amp that can also take HDMI input. It is not a multichannel avr

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Oops! The search result I clicked on took me to the NR1710. The NR1200 is interesting. Know if it has any kind of bass management or calibration?


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---Outlaw Audio RR 2160--

The 2160 has the pre-out/main-in but you won't need it because
It has selectable bass mgmt (60-80-100-off) on the dual sub-out puts.

Cons-no room EQ (Audyssey etc)and no HDMI. Price $999

I've had the rr2150 for several years now and am very pleased with it.

https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2160_about.html
 

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I don't understand why you worry about all these if you have not bought amps or speakers yet. Why do you want to make it complicate about filters at 70Hz or 80Hz? When come to hifi, less is more, find the speakers first, find one that doesn't need extra help, then buy the amp and you are done. Save the money of all these fancy filters and put it in for a better amp or a better pair of speakers that work down to 40Hz. In your description of what you have, you said you are going to replace with a floor standing speakers, what make you think yo even need a sub? For music, sub is not even that important. Even if you get a sub, they usually have it's own filter you can adjust, what make you think you get better result buying your own external filter? Don't anticipate a problem before you even have a problem. Concentrate money on the pair of good speakers first, then the amp and be done with it.

My system don't even have any tone control or any filtering, literally a volume pot straight into the power amp that drive the speakers. Less is more. Any tone control or filter in the signal path just degrade the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
---Outlaw Audio RR 2160--

The 2160 has the pre-out/main-in but you won't need it because
It has selectable bass mgmt (60-80-100-off) on the dual sub-out puts.

Cons-no room EQ (Audyssey etc)and no HDMI. Price $999

I've had the rr2150 for several years now and am very pleased with it.

https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2160_about.html

Been looking at this one since it came out, but the price is at the very top end of what I’d want to pay, especially since the latest price increase.

Another one I’ve been considering is the Yamaha R-N803 receiver, which has some basic bass management via an app/YPAO.

Finally, also considering the Bluesound Powernode 2i, but a bit concerned that it may not be powerful enough at 60W/ch into 8 Ohms. If there are any owners reading this who can address that question, I’d really appreciate it!


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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I don't understand why you worry about all these if you have not bought amps or speakers yet. Why do you want to make it complicate about filters at 70Hz or 80Hz? When come to hifi, less is more, find the speakers first, find one that doesn't need extra help, then buy the amp and you are done. Save the money of all these fancy filters and put it in for a better amp or a better pair of speakers that work down to 40Hz. In your description of what you have, you said you are going to replace with a floor standing speakers, what make you think yo even need a sub? For music, sub is not even that important. Even if you get a sub, they usually have it's own filter you can adjust, what make you think you get better result buying your own external filter? Don't anticipate a problem before you even have a problem. Concentrate money on the pair of good speakers first, then the amp and be done with it.

My system don't even have any tone control or any filtering, literally a volume pot straight into the power amp that drive the speakers. Less is more. Any tone control or filter in the signal path just degrade the sound.

I’m “worried” about that stuff because, for me, a subwoofer or two are essential, and properly integrating them with the main speakers without any kind of high-pass filter on the amp is nigh on impossible. Tone controls aren’t enough to get the job done right.

To your comment about the filter on the sub(s), those are low-pass filters and only affect the frequency range being played by the subs. Without a corresponding crossover/high-pass filter on the amp, the speakers will be playing much of that range as well, causing muddy/boomy sound. To get the best results you need to blend the speakers and sub, and take some strain off the amp and speakers by letting the subs handle those low, low frequencies.

And whether I get bookshelves or floorstanding speakers, I know I need subs because I’ve heard them before. Sonic bliss when done right.

Oh and finally, the Harrison Labs filters (https://www.hlabs.com/products/crossovers/ —ugly but informative site) are $28/pair, so not getting them won’t help my speakers budget much!

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I use a sub, I never have issue, I think you are imagining an issue that likely not going to happen. Like I said, I don't have any of this in my system, work really well. I would concentrate on the quality on the speakers then the amp. If there is still deficiency, then worry about it. Maybe wait to save up more money for better speakers and amp. The more stuffs you add in the signal chain, it will only degrade the sound.

Put all the money to get your speakers first, try it on your system first and go from there.

BTW, a sub is NOT a must for music. Yes, for movie and you want some boom and shaking, a sub is important. My sub is set very low volume. A good pair of floor stander will give you all the bass you need. Save up for a better pair of speakers. Instead of budging $1000 for the new system, spend $1000 on a pair of speakers and put it into your existing system and go from there.

I know all about wanting to adjust bass, treble, been through all these. I am so glad I had an amp before that had bypass of the tone control. At first, I felt it's kind of flat without the tone control particular the "loudness" button. But when I sit and listen with bypass, I notice all of a sudden, the sound is more transparent, it's just sweeter. Putting back the tone control just destroy that even though I got more bass and treble.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BTW, a sub is NOT a must for music. Yes, for movie and you want some boom and shaking, a sub is important. My sub is set very low volume. A good pair of floor stander will give you all the bass you need.
Wanted to mention that if all your sub is providing is “boom and shaking,” you’re doing it wrong.


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Wanted to mention that if all your sub is providing is “boom and shaking,” you’re doing it wrong.


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No, I have been in this for a while, I have amps and speakers coming out of my ears and they are high quality. A good speakers can give you all the bass you want. You'll learn.
 

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No, I have been in this for a while, I have amps and speakers coming out of my ears and they are high quality. A good speakers can give you all the bass you want. You'll learn.

Would love some recommendations for sub-$1,000/pair towers that’ll play down to ~20 Hz with authority. I’ll wait.


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Would love some recommendations for sub-$1,000/pair towers that’ll play down to ~20 Hz with authority. I’ll wait.


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What do you mean? A sub for $1000? Or a pair of towers that play down to 20Hz?


NO, I don't think towers alone can play down to 20Hz, but you don't need to do that. 40Hz is plenty good already. My pair of speakers have such strong bass sometimes I feel like stuffing the bass port and see what happens. You can get good tower speakers that can do it. If you are willing to buy used, you really can get some higher end speakers. I buy used, save a lot of money

I went on ebay and I filter from $700 to $1500 for used speakers. You can make low offers. I pick Focals because I own two pairs. I put Sonus Faber as I listened to them before. I include Klipsch even though I really don't like it because of the horn tweeter. But the few I listened to have strong bass that I think you'd like.https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fsrp=1&_udlo=700&_nkw=speakers&_sacat=32852&_udhi=1500&_from=R40&LH_ItemCondition=3000&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0&Brand=Sonus%20faber|Focal|Jmlab|Klipsch

You can get some really nice used speakers for this amount. It will be a huge step up from your Yamaha A2835. Go listen to Klipsch, people use them in disco back in the days, the bass is quite amazing. I just don't like the rest of it. Klipsch speakers are easy to drive also, some speakers are very hard on the power amp. I had a friend that own the top of the line Klipsch and he used just a small Pioneer receiver to drive it and it was good and loud.


If you talk about $1000 for a sub, my Rythmic is pretty amazing http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12SE.html


I have the aluminum cone one, it's very pretty. The bass is truly amazing. I am not say sub is not important, but for you budget, it's not. I would spend the $1000 on a pair of used tower first, worry about the sub later. You compromise, you'll be itching for new ones in two years. You end up wasting more money.
 

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my expensive focals only do 100db at 30hz....but Im sure some less expensive models that can do better. my 20 yr old klipsch towers can play loud and deep from avr.
 

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my expensive focals only do 100db at 30hz....but Im sure some less expensive models that can do better. my 20 yr old klipsch towers can play loud and deep from avr.

Yes, that's what I am trying to tell OP, put all the money on a good pair of speakers. But $1000 is not even close to touch your Aria in used market. That would be a really good pair.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yes, that's what I am trying to tell OP, put all the money on a good pair of speakers. But $1000 is not even close to touch your Aria in used market. That would be a really good pair.

I think one’s need for subterranean bass depends in large part on the types of music one listens to. I’m guessing that you aren’t listening to much dubstep or EDM. That’s not all I listen to, but it’s a sizable percentage of it. Check out Bassnectar or Deadmau5 or even Daft Punk. Towers can definitely play them well, but they won’t pressurize the room the way a pair of SVS SB2000s or Rythmik L12s will.

I should probably update my signature, because I’m not married to the idea of replacing my crumbling Yamahas with another set of towers. A nice set of bookshelves and dual sealed subs would work for me.

Thanks for your advice and research on eBay. Once this whole COVID-19 thing is over and the stores open back up, I’ll go listen to some bigger towers you mentioned to see if they do indeed play low/hard enough for me sans subs.

Oh, and I was asking about a pair of towers for $1,000 or less. Subs I’m likely to get are in the $450-650 each range.

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I think one’s need for subterranean bass depends in large part on the types of music one listens to. I’m guessing that you aren’t listening to much dubstep or EDM. That’s not all I listen to, but it’s a sizable percentage of it. Check out Bassnectar or Deadmau5 or even Daft Punk. Towers can definitely play them well, but they won’t pressurize the room the way a pair of SVS SB2000s or Rythmik L12s will.

I should probably update my signature, because I’m not married to the idea of replacing my crumbling Yamahas with another set of towers. A nice set of bookshelves and dual sealed subs would work for me.

Thanks for your advice and research on eBay. Once this whole COVID-19 thing is over and the stores open back up, I’ll go listen to some bigger towers you mentioned to see if they do indeed play low/hard enough for me sans subs.

Oh, and I was asking about a pair of towers for $1,000 or less. Subs I’m likely to get are in the $450-650 each range.

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If you get bookshelf, you definitely need sub and you have to worry about the crossover point and all. Bookshelves start to roll off at about 70Hz.



If you want bookshelf this is a pair of Aria that Torii talked about, his has the Aria 948, much higher model. This one is Aria 906:https://www.ebay.com/itm/Focal-Aria-906-2-Way-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair/184295355759?hash=item2ae8dbf56f:g:ePsAAOSwRWRbOkd0&LH_ItemCondition=3000

Make a low offer.


One thing, Focal speakers are not easy to drive, I don't know your existing receiver can do it. I know Klipsch are efficient and easier to drive. You can get away with lesser amp. I really don't want to be offensive about your existing components, but it's important to know this before diving in.


It is very important to note I am not an expert on speaker brands, I suggested these 3 because I have personal experience, there are plenty of good speakers that I don't know of. So listen to others too. BUT buying used is what I really try to convince you to stretch your money. I just did and I paid 1/3 of the original MSRP. $1000 will get you into the low end of audiophile speakers if you buy used.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Focal speakers are not easy to drive, I don't know your existing receiver can do it. I know Klipsch are efficient and easier to drive. You can get away with lesser amp. I really don't want to be offensive about your existing components, but it's important to know this before diving in.
No offense taken. My current receiver (~1979 Pioneer SX-680) is cranking out a healthy 30-35W/channel, so probably won’t cut it for the Focals.


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No offense taken. My current receiver (~1979 Pioneer SX-680) is cranking out a healthy 30-35W/channel, so probably won’t cut it for the Focals.


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It is not about how many watts, a bad amp that is 200W doesn't make it better. My amp is only 60W, it's plenty to do wall shaking already, it's the quality of watts that matter, how well it control the speakers. When you buy an amp in the future, don't just look at the watts. I'd take a good 100W amp over a bad 300W amp any time of the day. You need only like 5W to play loud music, the rest is just for headroom so you don't clip the amp on some attack.


Some of the we called SET amps that are only 5 to 7W, they work plenty good with certain kind of speakers.
 
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