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  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (20)

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    Jan 2004
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    Default Upgrade question

    I'm building an addition on to our house sometime near the end of the year, a theater room at last. The room is going to be 20x18 with 10 foot ceilings and two or three rows of theater seating.

    I'm doing the whole thing on my own dime with no loan or anything. It's gonna be expensive, but I'll be happy when it's done not having a loan. By the time I start, I'll have $50k to work with (I've been saving for several years), all of which will be needed to build the addition. So I'm not going to have a great deal of money at first with which to purchase AV stuff.

    Alot of things with the theater room are still up in the air, but things are shaping up like this:

    I'm going to buy a projector. I'm not sure which one yet, but am budgeting $4000 for projector and screen. I know I won't get the best stuff on the market for that price, but I should be able get some decent stuff with that. I'm not worried too much about this part of the puzzle, I'm thinking this should be a fairly easy purchase with research...

    Aside from that purchase, I'm not looking to buy much more in terms of AV equipment, so I'll be using some of the stuff in my current, at least to get this room started.

    I've got an HK 525 and Denon 3801. I don't know which one yet,l but I'll be using one of those as a preamp for the theater room and keeping on in the living area.

    My RTi150s and CSi40 that I currently have are going to be used in the new theater room, along with a new set of surrounds, not sure which ones yet, but nothing huge. I'm only going with 5.1 to at least get things started, with intentions of going 7.1 a year or so down the road.

    So I'll need to get a pair of Polks to use as fronts in the living area (in place of the RTi150s). That's just going to be a causal listening area, maybe I'll check out the new monitor series for that area.

    Obviously, of greater concern for me now is the setup in the theater room.

    Here's where I'm pretty much set

    Speakers - I'm not worried about speaker choices since I've already decided to use the 150s in there for now. I'll just need to get some surrounds and that should be a fairly straightforward purchase.

    Preamp and Processor - I'm also not concerned with the preamp section right now either, becuase I really can't afford a high end preamp and processor right now...that will definitely be an addition down the road though. I'll be using either the Denon or HK receiver as a preamp/processor until summer of next year...that will be my first upgrade after I get everything built.

    DVD Player - I'll likely be grabbing the Denon 2900 and using that for DVD and SACD playback, as well as CD playback, with the knowledge that I'll be investing in better equipment for CD playback down the road. I think the 2900 will serve well for DVD and SACD playback for quite some time though...

    Here's where I need some help

    Amplification - I'll only be using the receiver as a preamp, so I'll need amplification for all 5 channels. I think I'll go Parasound all around. I'm looking at a couple amps and wanted to get some feedback.

    1 - Parasound HCA-855 is a 5 chanel amp with 85 WPC. This amp will power the surrounds and the center channel, and will power the mids and highs on the 150s. Question is: will 85 WPC be enough to drive the mids and highs on the 150s and completely drive the CSi40? I have concerns about 85 WPC being enough for the center and for the mids and highs on the 150s. Obviously something more powerful would be the better choice, but I'm tryng to bear n mind the cost to benefit ratio. If I can get away with the 855 for a while I'd like to do that, but I don't want to go that route if I'm going to have issues.

    2 - Parasound HCA-2200 I think is like 220 WPC into 2 channels - This will be driving the lows on the 150s, not worried about this match-up at all.

    Right now I'm using the Denon 3801 to power all channels and using the HK PA2000 to bi-amp the 150s, powering the lows. Will the parasound combo mentioned above be a better set up, or should I just save more and stick with the Denon HK combo until I can get monoblocks???

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm sure I'll be posting more questions as i get closer to building this...
    Last edited by AsSiMiLaTeD; 05-24-2004 at 03:49 PM.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

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    May 2004
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    NW Illinois
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    Default

    Since you intend to upgrade to 7.1 in the future why are you considering a 5 channel amp? I don't know your budget but, I would recommend getting an Outlaw 7100 ($899). I think an amp is a longterm piece of equipment, not like a pre/pro that will be out of date in a couple of years. I have a DVD-2800 and would like to upgrade to SACD but, I want to see if anything happens with Blu-ray or HD-DVD this year. You didn't ask about projectors but, I love my Benq 8700, and I bet you can get one and a screen for less then 4k, as soon as the 8700+ hits the market.
    Last edited by ch47d; 05-30-2004 at 02:23 PM.

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (19)

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    Sep 2003
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    I would prefer a 5-channel amp with a 2-channel amp driving the fronts for several reasons -- flexibility, upgradability, more power for the fronts, higher quality amp for the fronts, etc.

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

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    Jul 2001
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    seccond star to the right and strait on to morning
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    i say go with sunfire sig7 great amp and a great matching pre if you get the bug in the futhure. also with the pj i would say get a benq 8700+ or wait for the 8710 and get a deacent screen ir will be a little past the 4000 limit around 500 for the screen. good luck i would go with 3 rows i wish i had more food seats for when i have people over.
    Gonzo's World
    BenQ 8700+
    115in screen
    PS3,X-Box 360 and Wii
    Sunfire Theater Grand III
    ADCOM GFA-7607
    four avalanch 18 subs 26.12l of displacement
    Crown xti 4000

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