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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, it's the same ole question, with a different twist. I have $5,000 to spend on AMP's and Receivers. I have onix rocket speakers (8 -- FR, FL FC, Right Surround, Left Surround, Rear Right, Rear Center and Rear Left), a bravo D1 DVD running DVI to an Infocus sp 7200, monster 2600 power center, X1 lighting control, remote IR controls with emitters (NO remote yet). I am ready to buy audio equipment and need help. I have $5,000 to spend -- TOTAL (Playing with my old receiver at present). Subwoofers are yet to be determined (2) and are not in the $5k nor is the rack. Remote should be included.


I will buy my setup based on the advice here on AVS forum -- Seriously. Give me your $5,000 system and tell me why it is the best for my hard-earned money.


I will watch mostly movies (75%) and sports on HBO/Showtime (Boxing), play limited video games and watch some other sports (limited). Music will be played but will be minimal (concert DVD's liek Fleetwood Mac).


I would prefer separate amps so when I upgrade I can still use the amps.



:confused: Give me your opinions and advice.


Thanks in advance (and don't be TOO HARD) on me for asking what I imagine is asked 10 times a month.


I hope to get a consensus (is that possible here?)


No, I have no preferences on brand.


Tks:D
 

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A good start would be the ATI 2005 or 2007 amp, and the ATI pre/pro might be worth a look also, though there are a lot good AV pre/pros out there, including the Anthem AVM20 or Fosgate FAP-T1+. You could do a lot worse than a used Bryston SP-1.7, with the balance of its 20 year warranty. You would need a separate video switcher, but that really gives you more, not less, flexibility, which is why Bryston does not build in video switching.


Dsmith
 

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I ended up picking up a used Lexicon MC-1 with version 4.0 software ($1400) and a B&K 125.7 amp ($1500). I am running everything to a Klipsch KSP 7.1 speaker setup. I also have an infocus 7200.


For movies the sound is incredible. For music the sound is probably %95 of reference. The only downside is there is no 5.1 analog input on the Lexicon. If you are not going to use SACD or DVD-A you can get away with this.


I am wondering if the older Lexicon product still holds up against the newer mid range stuff as AVM20, B&K ref 50 or Denon 5803. You know how technology goes down in price.
 

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8 speakers


can always do 4 crown XLS 402 or 602. More than enough power and prolly one of the cheaper alternatives which leaves ya some $ to upgrade pre pro ;).
 

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I am a firm believer that a good amp is a good amp. I also believe that preamps are separated much more by features and processing than by "sound quality," though I do think the sonic difference bewteen preamps is greater than that between power amps.


Thus, I think it is wise to spend much more on competent processing and preamp features than it is power amplification. Keeping with that reasoning, I'd recommend a used Lexicon MC-8 off the used market, and the best seven-channel power amp you can find for the remaining funds (probably used as well). To better the multichannel capabilities of the MC-8 you have to step up to either an expensive Meridian (which is debatable whether any are really better than the MC-8) or to its big brother the MC-12. The reason is simple - Lexicon has Logic7, other preamps don't. You can find good deals from time to time in the $3800 range. If the power amp is also used, you should stay close to your budget.


BTW... why 8 channels? How are you feeding information to both a rear center and to rear L/R surrounds? Do you intend to find a processor that can do that, or do you intend to create a manual summing circuit to place shared rear surround information to the rear center? Or do you plan to just use a 6.1 setup with side and rear surrounds receiving identical information?
 

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Used Ead Theatermaster 8000 - $2,500.

Used Aragon 2007 Amp - 7 X 200W or Aragon 8008X5 ($1,400) plus Aragon 8008X3 ($1,200)


These are Stereophile Class A components. They will crush anything you can buy new in the price range. The EAD is one of the best processors you can buy - its D/A converters are second to none, and it includes a jitter reduction circuit so that you can use any cheap DVD transport and Cd player as sources. They end up being bit readers only, and their signal is completely reprocessed and reclocked in the EAD prior to being put through the converters for stunning sound. The amps are monsters which will stand up to most any comparision. This is my system and it is amazing. Always buy good used components if you can. You get far superior pieces for the same price ($9,000? new - $5,000 used).
 

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I agree with Cobra that you can get a killer used system in that price range if you feel comfortable doing that. I'd add used Classe amps and processors to the look for used list (Classe 30MKII processor and CAV-150 amps).


For great new products

processors-B&K Ref 50 preamp just dropped to $1600

Anthem AVM 20 processor around $2500


amps-Parasound 5 channel 2205at amp, Sherbourn amps
 

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I was going to recommend the Halo but it is $1000 over your budget :(

Anyway, Audio Advisor is selling this package at $5990. Click on this link .


The other recommendation is the Arcam AV8 Preamp Processor and P7 Power Amplifier. But just checked on that and it is way over your budget (I thought it was not that expensive). Anyway check this link .


The final and most likely recommendation for your budget is Anthem, the AVM20 and the PVA7. The AVM20 retails for $$3,199 and the PVA7 for $1,499. I have not heard this combo yet but a lot of people in this forum have it and they love it! It will probably outperform any receiver today, including the Denon 5803 or the Pioneer 49/55 TXi. To go to Anthem's web site to look for a dealer click here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anyone recommend agood source for used equipment??
 

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 www.audiogon.com
www.audioreview.com
www.audioweb.com
www.*********


Buy with caution. Find a good Seller and the equipment will be as good as new.


I just bought an EAD Ovation at Audiogon for $1,400 last week. Original retail $5,000. Does not do 7.1 or ES/EX, and no multichannel pass through, but I wanted the best 5.1 performance available and got it. There are several EAD 8s and 8000s out there for $2,400.


Good luck.
 

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Though not upgradeable I would suggest the Pioneer Elite 59TXi and 59AVi combo at $4000 street.


This combo will keep up with the big boys and in many areas surpass them, IMHO.


As far as being future proof the unit is far ahead of most separates in terms of technology.... firewire, MCACC, DACs used, etc....


My .02


-Brian
 

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I am too embarrassed to post a recommendation in light of all this horrible advice.


Mind you there are a few solid rec's but they are diluted with uncertainty or over your budget and now people have you running after used gear you know nothing about. Not a good thing.


If you want new gear and you want it at the price points that will get you a factory warranty with that purchase.


Someone has made the exact rec I would make but he rambled over top of a good thing an made some trying to be esoteric recs that messed it up.


Give it time, I'm hoping for your sake the cream will rise to the top.
 

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To each his own.


I have a audio system that retails for over $15,000 wth a factory warranty and I only paid $8,000 used. All of the equipment was purchased from audiophiles, was less than two years old, and has served me well for close to five years. I only had one problem and it was handled by the factory under warrranty two years after my purchase. Most high end manufacturers will honor a warranty whether you are the original purchaser or not.


For the consumer willing to take a little mitigated risk, used high end gear provides the best value for dollar by a margin of 2X. Well funded audiophiles trade their stuff out almost annually, usually at a huge discount. Their loss is my gain.


I do agree it is not for everyone. Some do need a dealer to hold their hand. For me, it is the best possible solution, allowing me to own equipment I could only dream of if it were brand shiny new. But that does not mean it is right for you. It does not mean it is not right for you either.
 

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Also "I know the right answer but do not feel like sharing" does not help anyone. There is no correct answer to this question, only opinions. Anyone who thinks differently is sorely confused. Criticism without help is worse than nothing at all.
 

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It's hard to give you a recommendation without a little more info...how big is your room? What's more important, music or movies?


On about a total $5 grand budget for a 7.1 pre/pro and 7 channels of amplification, and if you're open to second hand gear, as it sounds you are, the three brands I'd first look at are Bryston, Sunfire, and Parasound. You can put together a pretty kick-butt system with those brands, and a little patience if you wait for your prices on gear from these guys. Prepros to look at include Bryston's SP1.7 (with a little patience, can be found on Audiogon from time to time for a little over $2500), the Sunfire Theater Grand III ($2200 - $2500), and for amps, look at the Bryston 9BST (5 channels) and a 3BST (2 channels, all 7 channels 120W each), those two should come to around 3 grand (or go for a 4BNRB for the front channels, to get 250 wpc for your mains, 120 wpc for the other 5, that'll only add a couple hundred more bucks). In Sunfire, there is a Cinema 7 on sale for under $1800 on audiogon right now(400 wpc, quite a steal at that price) that would be an excellent candidate, or the Parasound 2205AT (5x200wpc) and a Parasound HCA3500 (2x350wpc), total under $2600 on audiogon as we speak. I think you'd be happy with any of those.


Personally, I'm a Bryston fan. I had the priviledge of selling gear in a high-end audio store when I was in college (worked in the shop from 1997-1999), so I had AMPLE time listening to a variety of setups from a variety of brands. Bryston has been described as a poor mans Krell, I would have to agree with that. Their amps are powerful and clear, tons of overhead, and can drive absolutely the most demanding speakers. Their value for the dollar is very tough to beat. I have Bryston 7B series monoblocks in my system. I'm mostly a rock and roll guy who also likes Jazz and occasionally listens to classical, Bryston excels regardless. If you buy used, Bryston has a 20 year transferable warranty on all of their gear, no receipt or anything else required, which also makes them stand out if you go this route.


If I were you, I'd check the three of them out, look at what other users had to say about their functionality/user interface, see which setup looks the best to you, make a choice, run with it and don't look back. Any of those setups, or even a couple of others mentioned here (like the Anthem setup or ATI) will all perform magnificently. You'll most likely be happy regardless of what you go with out of those choices.
 

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To modify my reccomendation a bit, if you want to go with one manufacturer, you can look at the Powermaster amps from EAD to go with a Theatermaster pre-pro, or the Aragon Soundstage or Stage One to go with the Aragon amps.


Other reccomendations made here are also excellent.


Good luck
 

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To get the most value for new equt I think of the current pre/pro's the Sherwood Newcastle P-265 (I think that's the model) would be the one to beat. It's just coming out; has PLIIx, lots of inputs, video upconversion, etc, all for 1500 msrp. About the only feature missing for the mid-class would be balanced outputs. Also supposed to be firmware upgradeable. The Integra DTC 9.4 and the B&K Ref 50 are both msrp 2K; they do have the balanced outs; but not PLIIx (yet anyway); and the Integra isn't advertised to be upgradeable.


As far as power amps to fit in this price range, I think the Sherbourne 7 channel offers a lot of value. I've also heard good things about ATI.


Another option is the soon-to-be realesed Emotiva "twins". The power amp is 200 w/ch x 7; and the pre-pro is supposed to be based on a Sunfire "core", with a different look, etc. This has two Moto Symphony processors, and also does PLIIx and has balanced outputs. 2K for the amp, 3K for the pre/pro; or 4K for the two together. The pics I've seen look very nice; I'll be very anxious to learn more about them.


enigma
 

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Hi Engima,




The Emotiva is not based upon the Sunfire in any way. Mark S. confirmed this.


Just a FYI.


-Brian
 

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Brian,


Well, I am going off the info contained in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...a&pagenumber=3


"Just to set the record straight amongst all interested parties... This design is in a fact manufactured under license by and from Sunfire Corporation...


Their TG series product is built by their elves in Washington State... and our design is built in China for us...


We have licensed the "core" only... and that is where it ends... EVERYTHING else was designed by our team... We made our own decisions on parts, feature sets etc.


Thanks so much...


All the best...


mls"


as well as many at AV123. As you know, there is no product page on AV123 yet.


The understanding that I had was that the pre/pro was based on the Sunfire "core", which I believe (am guessing) will be the same as the core of the TG4 (which has also been announced at CES but is not shipping). The feature set for the two is identical, and the CES prototype had a Sunfire back panel (granted, this was pre-production and there are supposed to be some changes in the final product). The Sunfire product will be assembled in Sunfire's plant in Washington, while the Emo will be built at Mark's plant in China. My guess is the 'core' is the main board, including processors, DAC's, etc, but the analogue circuitry and other internal components will be spec'd differently.


Has there been a more recent announcement which states otherwise?


The amp, on the other hand, does not appear to have any Sunfire technology, afaik (although part of the description of the power supply has some similarity to Sunfire's it is obviously much different; having 7 seperate modules, including transformers, internal heat sinks and fans - plus it weighs 120 lb, IIRC.


enigma
 

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Looks like you are correct! One of the AV123 employees posted previously and stated that the processor was not related.


My apology.


This info is sad news, however, as the Sunfire is one of the noisiest units on the market.


-Brian
 
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