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  1. #1

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    Default Ever changing ideas

    I'm starting to have second thoughts on upgrading to separates. First, I'd really like to get a pair of Rti12's to replace my 10's. If anyone is interested, I'll be selling the 10's in January when I change my setup. I could still go w/ the Outlaw stuff, but is 200 wpc really necessary for the surrounds? Plus, 200 watts is only 2/5 of what the 12's can handle. All I'm really looking to do is improve my system w/in my budget, I'm not sure I'm really in the position to graduate to separates quite yet. What I'd really like to do is bi-amp the 12's to get the most out of them. I'm thinking about getting a nice receiver, better than my Onkyo, use that for HT/music, and get a separate amp to power the lower drivers in the 12's. So, couple of questions:

    First, is bi-amping the 12's really worth sacrificing the Outlaw system (950/770), or would 200 watts be enough to drive them adequately?

    Second, I'm thinking about the Harmon Kardon 7300 as my receiver. I know that will service me well w/ both music and movies. Any thoughts on other units? I can get the 7300 for about $1600 at onecall.com. Is there another comparable receiver at about that price that would work well? I was looking at the NAD T773, but I read that the freq resp. was 30-20kHz. That won't bode well for the 12's.

    Lastly, to drive the 12's woofers I was looking at two mono amps from Outlaw for $600. Is there another amp you can suggest, possibly one 2-channel rather than two monos in that price range that would be good? I was looking at the Carver site, and they had one for 300wpc, but I think those might be too pricey. Plus, they didn't have any links to US dealers on the site to get an idea of the cost.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I still have yet to spend a day looking and listening, but again the new system upgrade won't be happening for a few months. Thanks
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  2. #2

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    I'd be upgrading that 30" tv first thang - but that is just me......;)
    PS3 and HD Front Projection, life is good. Too bad Blu-Ray and the PS3 are already obsolete.....

  3. #3

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    Considering you want to power subwoofers, Sound Quality as a whole isn't THAT much of an issue. You just need something with a high damping factor and a lot of THUMP.

    First amp that comes to mind is the Adcom GFA 555 - Tons of power, and tons of THUMP with a 800 damping factor...

    Can be had fairly cheap and can be bridged...
    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

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the suggestion about the TV, but I'm more than happy w/ that right now. Sony Trinitron's still have the best picture to be had from conventional tube sets. A bit small, but I'm more about the sound experience right now. Thanks for the suggestion about Adcom, I'll check that out.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  5. #5

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    When you say the Adcom can be had fairly cheap, what's fairly cheap, and where can I find it at that price? Looked on a few sites, lowest I saw was $900. Couldn't find any used at first glance.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  6. #6

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    Here's my suggestions:

    #1. Don't give up on the separates route. If you buy amp(s) for your fronts, you'll eventually want amps for your other speakers (the upgrade bug will bite you big-time), so you may as well go all the way.

    #2. Don't buy a HK 7300. If you want the best sound, go with separate amps on your speakers and use your current receiver as a pre.

    #3. If you're considering spending $600 on Outlaw monoblocks, that's fine. I have a pair of them and they're awesome. Another option is to buy 2 used Rotel RB980BX amps (or something equivalent) and bridge them @ 360 wpc. These Rotels will be about $100 cheaper than the Outlaws and give you lots more power.

    #4. Forget about bi-amping. Just do it right.

    #5. Consider keeping your 10's. Not much advantage in going with the 12's, especially if you have a decent sub. I've heard some people say the 12's aren't as musical as the 8's or 10's because the bass drowns out the mids and highs. Maybe others will chime in. In the meantime, do a search on this forum.

    #6. If you're considering spending $1600 on a HK 7300, for that amount of money you could almost buy a HT system consisting of used separates and your existing gear that will smoke the 7300. Let's do the math:

    Amp(s) for front: $500
    Amp(s) for center channel and rears: $500
    Outlaw Processor: $600
    TOTAL: $1600

    You may need another amp if you have a 7.1 setup, but that one can wait. If you don't want to go fully separates, you can save money and not purchase the processor.

    #7. I agree - Upgrade the TV. Once you turn on those amps, the sound will dwarf the TV. Imagine going to the movie theater and the screen is only 1/8th the size. The sound should match the size of the screen. Bottom line -- it ain't home theater if you're using a 30" TV.
    I have a 36" TV with separate amps driving my speakers, and the sound is much larger than my screen. I had a 47" TV for about a week, but due to the limitations of our room layout, we were sitting too close to it and it was hurting our eyes, so we returned it. Otherwise, I'd definitely have as large a screen as possible.

    Just my $0.02.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  7. #7

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    Thank you for the very detailed list of suggestions. I realize you all feel separates are the way to go, but I was sort of dead set on getting the 12's and maximizing their potential. One of the reasons I've been itching for the 12's is because I find the 10's to be lacking for two-channel. (Aside--please no one suggest a separate two channel system, I'm not in the position to do that right now-I just want speakers that do HT great and music at least good). I've been using DSP surround modes for music, which helps to widen the sound field, but for music I just find the 10's a little thin. Perhaps I'll find that to be less the case once I feed them more power. Who knows, I'll mull it over some more and eventually decide. I've got a few months to go over it. If I do go separates, I'll not be using the Onkyo as a pre. They're just a bit too bright for music for my taste, which is why I was considering the HK. I think my next post in this topic will just be when I get the damn system, whatever it may be. Thanks to all.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  8. #8

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    One of the reasons I've been itching for the 12's is because I find the 10's to be lacking for two-channel. (Aside--please no one suggest a separate two channel system, I'm not in the position to do that right now-I just want speakers that do HT great and music at least good). I've been using DSP surround modes for music, which helps to widen the sound field, but for music I just find the 10's a little thin. Perhaps I'll find that to be less the case once I feed them more power.
    True. You gotta feed the 10's (or 12's) some power to really get a sense of what they are capable of doing. I have a pair of 10's powered by a Parasound amp (205 wpc), and they definitely don't sound "thin." I'd certainly understand them sounding "thin" if they were powered by virtually any receiver under $1,000.

    Good luck on your purchases, whatever you decide to do. You're definitely on the right track because you seem to know what you want. Keep us posted.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    Here's my suggestions:
    #7. I agree - Upgrade the TV. Once you turn on those amps, the sound will dwarf the TV. Imagine going to the movie theater and the screen is only 1/8th the size. The sound should match the size of the screen. Bottom line -- it ain't home theater if you're using a 30" TV.
    I'd definitely have as large a screen as possible.
    Just my $0.02.
    Me and Early B. agree on this a big screen TV IS HT. I nice big WS HDTV makes or brakes an HomeTheater. You can get away with a HTIB and a quality sub most of the time. I don't care how great the PQ is - it's not a HT until the sound meets the screen. The house is shaking and T-Rex is 4 inches tall..........
    PS3 and HD Front Projection, life is good. Too bad Blu-Ray and the PS3 are already obsolete.....

  10. #10

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    Adcom GFA-555 or GFA-555 II goes for 350-450 all day long on Ebay...
    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

  11. #11

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    Greg - This is the biggest, loaded question ever.

    You MUST pick a specific approach and go with it, period. If you are happy with your TV, then by gosh get the biggest baddest audio system your budget can handle. Too much talk about system synergy in HT gets you upgrading for the next 10 years. It's a worthless exercise. Go big or don't go at all.

    If you listen to us verbatim, you'll never buy a damn thing.

  12. #12

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    The problem IS i never stop buying. It goes on and on.
    Not trying to force ideals on people just upgrading in the right priorty is important. I figure a small tv, a person should just upgrade thier home computer. ;)
    PS3 and HD Front Projection, life is good. Too bad Blu-Ray and the PS3 are already obsolete.....

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    If you listen to us verbatim, you'll never buy a damn thing.
    You're right! Sorry to be so wishy-washy. I think my indecision is compounded by the fact that the upgrade is still a few months off. That's why I said my next post will be when I have the system, because I'm tired of changing my mind. I appreciate all the input, and I'm thankful for the suggestions from those more knowledgable than myself, but I'm sick of hearing so many different opinions that it's hard to make a decision. I'll take in what's been said, filter through what I like, and just go for it. Thanks for all the help guys (that's genuine, not sarcastic:) ).

    Just to put some of you at ease, I guess I'll wait until I get a nice system before I decide on getting rid of the 10's. I'll see what more juice does for them before abandoning them. Initially I was going to go w/ the Outlaw 950/770 combo, and then I started asking all these questions, which started me down this reeling path of uncertainty. I think my initial impulse was correct. Try separates w/in a modest budget, and go from there.

    As far as the TV, give it a rest guys! I know you're passionate about screen size, and if I could I'd go big, but I'm really happy w/ what I've got in terms of tv. It's widescreen HD, so it's enough for now. I make decent coin, but I live in the Bay Area, and it doesn't go too far. A new tv is a couple years down the road. Right now I'm more interested in better sound processing for my Polks. And that's definitive!
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Ever changing ideas

    Originally posted by gregure
    First, is bi-amping the 12's really worth sacrificing the Outlaw system (950/770), or would 200 watts be enough to drive them adequately?

    I would worry more about quality, than quantity in the watt category. Bi-Amping is for later, don't worry about that now.

    I read an Outlaw bent to you question, so I will not segway into 1000 suggestions and say, Yes, it would work very well for this application. The Outlaw brand has a following, great reviews and great specs...it's almost a can't lose situation.

    Second, I'm thinking about the Harmon Kardon 7300 as my receiver. I know that will service me well w/ both music and movies. Any thoughts on other units? I can get the 7300 for about $1600 at onecall.com. Is there another comparable receiver at about that price that would work well? I was looking at the NAD T773, but I read that the freq resp. was 30-20kHz. That won't bode well for the 12's.

    First, the RTi-12 at 30hz? It is so rolled off at that point it's useless for HT IMO. A subwoofer should always be present in HT, and it should bring home the bacon....with some children attached. HK is solid gear, it's a fine choice. Don't be in a rush to spend that kind of money. Read, research and review.

    Lastly, to drive the 12's woofers I was looking at two mono amps from Outlaw for $600. Is there another amp you can suggest, possibly one 2-channel rather than two monos in that price range that would be good? I was looking at the Carver site, and they had one for 300wpc, but I think those might be too pricey. Plus, they didn't have any links to US dealers on the site to get an idea of the cost.

    Another loaded question. There are a more than a few amps that would crush the RTi-12 drivers in that category, and have no need to be mono. The Outlaw M200, I think, is a neat amplifier, but it is what it is. It's no giant killer. A mono amp is a wanna-be stereo amp, but I would probably buy one also :) I'm Parasound oriented, but they are by no means the end all.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I still have yet to spend a day looking and listening, but again the new system upgrade won't be happening for a few months. Thanks
    Last edited by dorokusai; 08-29-2004 at 10:37 PM.

  15. #15

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    the new system upgrade won't be happening for a few months.
    If that's the case, don't even bother thinking about what gear you should buy. In a few months:

    1. you'll change your mind completely.
    2. technological advancements may lead you in another direction.
    3. cost and availability of amps, speakers, etc. could be different.
    4. you'll find a great deal on non-Polk speakers.
    5. your interest in HT may change.
    6. your financial situation could change.
    7. the WAF will audio-block.
    8. your rich uncle dies and leaves you a fortune...

    Kinda see where I'm going with this? The strange thing about this HT/audio stuff is that, when you're first starting out, it's hard to really know what you want until you experiment with different gear, set-ups, etc. Your tastes and circumstances will always change, so it's a fruitless endeavor to plan what you want now for purchases that may occur in a few months.

    For now, I'd enjoy what I have, settle on a budget, then once I saved up the money, decide what to purchase at that time.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  16. #16

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    For what it's worth.......

    I have the RTi12's and I'm running them off a B&K AVR307 and I have no complaints at all. Granted, I haven't had a lot of face time with them since they moved in, but music and movies kick ass. I personally prefer the minimization approach to a system.....of course that completely depends on what quality you're using.....

    I don't personally want to spend the money on all the interconnects necessary for the pre/amp......they're not cheap.....just don't forget to factor in all the incidentals.....
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  17. #17

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    Early - You could not be more correct :D

  18. #18
    Stronzo
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    Early hit it dead on....

    A living example here. :(

  19. #19

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    Originally posted by brettw22
    I don't personally want to spend the money on all the interconnects necessary for the pre/amp......they're not cheap.....just don't forget to factor in all the incidentals.....
    I've always factored in the interconnects. I've set aside about $600 in my budget for decent cables. This includes better speaker wire for my surrounds. As far as Early B.'s comments go, that is all a distinct possibility. The reality is I'll have about $4500 to work w/ in a few months, and I plan on getting a new processing/amp setup, interconnects/cables, and a better subwoofer (size of my new place will determine which brand--either Hsu or SVS). So, I'll mull it over, keep researching, and see what will give me the most bang for the buck at the dawn of the new year. Again, thanks to all.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

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