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  1. #1

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    Unhappy 2 channel music RT-800i musical ?

    Ok, I'm confused Looking to have better 2 channel sound. Equipment used is Onkyo 898 in pure audio, RT-800i speakers. Want is best an add on amp or speakers?

    Spent some time at Sound Advise and now more confused then anything.

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  2. #2

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    I would look for a good used amp
    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
    Sony DVP-NS999ES - SACD player
    ADS 1230 - Polk SDA 2B
    DIY Stereo Subwoofer towers w/(4) 12 drivers each
    Crown K1 - Subwoofer amp
    Outlaw ICBM - crossover
    Beringher BFD - sub eq

    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  3. #3

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    That's what I was thinking at first, but at Sound Advise I heard for my self that some speakers are designed for HT some are better at music.

    So is RT-800i musical? Another way of putting this is can you tell who sits behind who in the group by listening ?

    Am I better off with speakers if this is true, Amp 10% Cables 10% Speakers 80% ?

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  4. #4

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    Dedicated components often result in much better performance. I will echo Hoosier's recommendation of sourcing an amplifier.

  5. #5

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    Ok, I think I will look for an good used amp, to add to my system.

    Any brand I should look for ?

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  6. #6

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    That is such an open ended question, I barely want to get involved.

    The first step here, is to set a price range, because that whole question, with the resulting answers, can get wacky. If you are not opposed to used gear, www.audiogon.com has some real nice choices, that would allow you to get in a higher end bracket.

  7. #7

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    What's your budget on the amp? You might want to look for an integrated tube amp. The 800i and tubes is very, very musical. I'm telling you, the 800i's and tubes can really sing. I prefer the sound of my 800i with tubes over the LSi9 powered by a NAD amp.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  8. #8
    Stronzo
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    DisneyJoe,

    Onkyo has quite a loyal following, you will find that many members here proudly tote the gear.

    It appears as if you want to take things to the next level. The receiver you have was never made for absolute critical listening in 2 channel mode, so you may be looking at re-approaching how you wish to design this rig of yours.

    Seperates *ie: pre amplifier / amplifier * is usually the recommended way to travel, but its not the only way. You can also purchase real nice intergrated amplifiers.

    As Mark (dorokusai) suggested, you need to begin with a price range. Set an absolute limit on what you are willing to spend. Then go from there. Just for reference, here are the names of some brands to look out for:

    NAD
    AMC
    ROTEL
    ADCOM
    CARVER
    PARASOUND
    B&K

    ...and much much more..

    One piece of advice .... before you go out and start buying on blind faith - get out and demo all the gear you possibly can from local (assuming you have any) hi-fi shops. Its best to listen to the gear first before you take the plunge. You end up saving money that way, and you know what you are getting...

    As for "musical". Difficult to define. Each person feels a certain sound is "musical". Lets just put it this way, its whatever gets your foot tapping...you listen to the music, and not the gear. It just depends on what gear will take you there..

    You are just beginning my friend - - - take your time... have patience, and learn!

    Sean

  9. #9

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    Sorry I have to agree about the open ended question.

    The question should be, should I be looking for an amp that has input gain adjustment ?

    I looking at an used amp that doesn't have adjustment, and thinking I would / may have a level problem. Some amps seem to spec for 1.25 or 1.5 volt for full rated power, but my 898 says 1 volt ? Just more confusing here for me.

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  10. #10

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    Don't get too caught up in the information. Just set a comfortable price level for your wallet, and let the forum know what it is....then some recommendations will be made.

    Input level bias/volume adjustment is certainly a nice feature, but by no means neccesary unless you are running speakers, with different sensitivity and specifications.

    I ran Parsound HCA-1500A's with adjustable gain, but had zero use for that feature, due to the fact I was running 2CH(Stereo) only. Same situation would apply to my current 2CH amplifier.

    Sydney's Dad(Polk Audio forum user), however, has a classic example of the advantage of adjustable gain output. He is planning on using 4 Sony ES amps, to run 2 different Polk speakers...this may be helpful in fine tuning them at reference levels or below.

  11. #11

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    My price level is about $800, used.

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  12. #12

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    Hello DisJoe,

    I understand about Sound Advice, went to the one near me in Jacksonville, Fl. and I think the salesman got fired from Circuit City;)

    I started much the same as you with the Onk, they do a great job with HT but 2 ch is not their forte, I have gone to separate amp and although it is seven channel amp my 2 ch listening experience has improved using the Direct mode on the ONK thereby passing all of the processing and sending the signal to just the front speakers. Things are definately better, however, I still plan to upgrade the pre/pro since things are still just a little to "bright" for me, listening fatige usually occurs after 1.5-2 hr. depending upon volume level.

    You can get a lot of really good quality used 2 ch amps for 800 over on audiogon, but the problem is you cannot usually hear them before you buy, it is a process, but I try to enjoy it and not be hasty. You might want to get a really good 2ch amp and use your ONK as the pre/pro for a while. You could add a 5 channel amp later to go to 7.1 if you want to or just stay 2ch and use the receiver for the rest of your needs.

    I think your speakers are fine for now and would put the money into seperate pieces.

    The brands previously mentioned are all good choices they are quality equipment in the same general class, they may sound somewhat different from each other but not necessarily better, just different.;)
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  13. #13

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    Ok, here what I'm thinking now.

    Adding a ADCOM 5802 amp used for say $850, wiring with Signal cables :p (think I'm be happy with that).

    All above will be wired to my Onkyo preamp output / using the pure audio mode for 2 channel. If this doesn't please me in the future perhaps a ADCOM preamp before amp bypassing the onkyo for my CD player.

    For the record i'm happy with the HT mode with Polk / Onkyo / Servo 15

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  14. #14

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    I'm not particularly fond of the 800is without a sub, if that's what you're talking about.

    Two Channel Setup:

    Speakers: Wharfedale Opus 2-3
    Integrated Amp: Jolida JD1502
    DAC: Arcam irDac
    Source: iMac
    Remote Control: iPad Mini

    3.2 Home Theater Setup:

    Fronts: Polk LSiM 703s
    Center: Polk LSiM 703
    Subs: SVS PB 12 NSD X 2
    AVR: Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030
    Blu Ray: Sony BDP-S790
    TV Source: DirecTV Genie

  15. #15

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    >I'm not particularly fond of the 800is without a sub, if that's what you're talking about.<

    No, but maybe i'm missing something. I listen to my CD player 4 / 5 hours a day with the RT-800i's only. Onkyo pure audio mode to me sounds best. The pure audio mode shuts down all other electronics in the receiver and shuts off sub output. In stereo mode will work sub, but colors music too much for me.

    Or is it that Servo 15 is too large for RT-800i's can never find a level / setting that I like for HT & 2 channel music?


    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  16. #16

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    I always had that problem too, but after reading some advise from 'tha docta', I was able to get the sub dialed in nicely for all listening modes. I started off by adjusting the preamp (Denon 2802) gain for my subwoofer to -7 (-5 for DD & DTS) on a -10 to +10 scale and adjusting the volume on the sub's plate amp to just about the halfway mark. Receiver's crossover at 80Hz. Of course placement is also a huge issue, but I found that corner loading it in the right/front of the room produced fine results. The 800is produce a quality midrange and high, just keep them from attempting much below 80Hz and and integrate that sub properly; if you can accomplish that, they be 'musical'.

    Two Channel Setup:

    Speakers: Wharfedale Opus 2-3
    Integrated Amp: Jolida JD1502
    DAC: Arcam irDac
    Source: iMac
    Remote Control: iPad Mini

    3.2 Home Theater Setup:

    Fronts: Polk LSiM 703s
    Center: Polk LSiM 703
    Subs: SVS PB 12 NSD X 2
    AVR: Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030
    Blu Ray: Sony BDP-S790
    TV Source: DirecTV Genie

  17. #17

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    Onkyo 2 channels lets say fair.

    2 channel stereo OK in pure audio, sucks in stereo mode. LFE works only in stereo mode, not pure audio. Like the sound of Pure Audio, but not stereo. So with the sub issue, hooked up the sub to right preamp output, like that maybe because i hear it in PA mode. So how should i hook up the sub on an onkyo 898?

    Sub Paradigm Servo 15 with X-30 control.

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  18. #18

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    Disney,
    If you're willing to give something a try. I will let you in on a setup thing.

    If your receiver has preouts, buy a 2 channel amp and buy some bookshelfs like the RT5 or RT35i and wire them up, and use them on the receiver amps, and the 800i on the seperate amp, turn the bookshelf upside down and turn them on at the same time. I have never tried this with receiver amps and a seperate amp. My suggestion would be to find an Onkyo amp for this if you decide to try it, but I use Adcom amps for this. Anyways, try it out. I did this to solve my problems with the RTi70, you might like it as well.
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  19. #19

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    Or just not try that idea at all.

  20. #20

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Or just not try that idea at all.
    AMEN!!

  21. #21

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    What kind of source are you using? You might be surprised how much of a difference a simple dedicated CD player could make. Why waste money if your source is the weakest link?

    Just a thought.

  22. #22
    Old School
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    Back on topic...

    The 800's are not high on my list of 2ch Polks.
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  23. #23

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Or just not try that idea at all.
    Yall the most stubborn people I know. Two people have seen the light! Juice21 and I, we are the ONLY people on this forum that isnt scared to try something new????????????????????????????????????? Yall will stack 2-3-4 centers across your front stage but wont stack speakers for your mains? ok...

    anyways, back on topic
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  24. #24

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    >Back on topic...

    The 800's are not high on my list of 2ch Polks.<

    Ok so what do you suggest ?

    Equipment used in HT

    L-R polk RT-800i's

    C polk CS-400i

    SL-SR polk RT-600i's

    Sub Paradigm servo-15

    Onkyo 898
    Last edited by disneyjoe7; 02-06-2004 at 03:38 PM.

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  25. #25
    Stronzo
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    I am going to be as straight-foward as possible.....

    Disney, you have a killer HT rig. Very difficult to beat for the money. Onkyo was made for theater, as are the Polks you have.

    But none of the gear you have, except for maybe the Servo-15 (which Ive never heard), is suited for critical listening. It appears as if your critical listening tastes go beyond that of what you have now.

    Go to some hifi shops, and demo your ass off. See what it is that tickles your fancy. Dont just wait for someone to make the decision for you, you make it for yourself.

  26. #26

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    Originally posted by disneyjoe7
    >Back on topic...

    The 800's are not high on my list of 2ch Polks.<

    Ok so what do you sugguest ?

    Equipment used in HT

    L-R polk RT-800i's

    C polk CS-400i

    SL-SR polk RT-600i's

    Sub Paradigm servo-15

    Onkyo 898
    If your receiver's pre is THAT bad, that simply switching from direct to stereo makes such a disturbing difference in sound, and it isn't about the sub's integration (which we discussed), then you need a new receiver. The 800is sound nice when they aren't asked to reproduce anything below 80, or so, Hz. Or maybe you should try another speaker instead, one that doesn't muddy up when played "full range."

    There's nothing wrong with the way the 800is express mids and highs, objectively, unless you want to say that a great many $1,000 and under speakers aren't "musical."
    Last edited by Loud & Clear; 02-06-2004 at 03:43 PM.

    Two Channel Setup:

    Speakers: Wharfedale Opus 2-3
    Integrated Amp: Jolida JD1502
    DAC: Arcam irDac
    Source: iMac
    Remote Control: iPad Mini

    3.2 Home Theater Setup:

    Fronts: Polk LSiM 703s
    Center: Polk LSiM 703
    Subs: SVS PB 12 NSD X 2
    AVR: Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030
    Blu Ray: Sony BDP-S790
    TV Source: DirecTV Genie

  27. #27

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    The 800i is the best speaker ever built and if you don't have a pair I feal bad for ya;)

    HBomb
    ***WAREMTAE***

  28. #28

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    Ok sorry for the hand holding here.

    I'm not sure what I should do, but maybe your right I need to make the decision. Thanks I do think for the money this setup ROCKS :p

    My 2 channel taste have changed, getting older maybe? But not too old that I don't like to ROCK the house.

    So I don't wish to put money where it will not make the most sense. If the RT-800i's are not real good 2 channel speakers it's ok. But if it's best to add a nice amp or Zone 2 my self to another room in this house for my 2 channel needs. This is the big picture so to speak. It was all I was trying to do sorry.

    With a 250 CD collection I don't wish to redo so Zone 2 from the Onkyo maybe best. Or AMP. Or Speakers. OR?

    Speakers
    Carver Amazing Fronts
    CS400i Center
    RT800i's Rears
    Sub Paradigm Servo 15

    Electronics
    Conrad Johnson PV-5 pre-amp
    Parasound Halo A23
    Pioneer 84TXSi AVR
    Pioneer 79Avi DVD
    Sony CX400 CD changer
    Panasonic 42-PX60U Plasma
    WMC Win7 32bit HD DVR



  29. #29

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    *sigh*

    No one listens to me........

    I've never owned the RT800i, but I own the RTi70 - if their performance is similar, I RECOMEND you buy 2 2 channel amps or a 4 channel amp and STACK a speaker on top of them. For all thats great! It does SO much for the speaker, sound wise. The mids greaten, the soundstage greatens, the highs are sweeter (which is the top reason why I do it) and the entire setup just sounds......FULLER!

    Juice21 tried it with the RT35i and RT800i and swore by it!

    I've tried it with the RT35i and RTi70, RT5 and RTi70 and I want to try other combos. I hope to get ahold of a pair of RTi6 in the near future to give a test run.
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro

  30. #30

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    I think he has already stated that his listening needs are beyond what he now has experienced....namely the RTxxi series. The stacking of speakers is not anywhere close to a fix, for this issue, why keep bringing it up? I am sorry, I do not subscribe to a 2 person experience of "Audio Nirvana".

    Disney - I think your Zone 2 idea is a good one. It utilizes your existing equipment and allows you to set up another listening area. That being the working idea, I would suggest a separate amplifier for that room or area. If you are a Polk fanatic, like most on board, I would recommend checking out the LSi series to satisfy your changing ears. They are suited for critical listening and given proper amplification, should take care of your every need.

    Just an idea.

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