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  1. #1

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    Default Re-Thinking Separates for HT

    I've been wanting to get into separates for HT for a long time. My goal was to buy the amp(s), then buy a pre/pro. However, I would want a pre/pro that has the latest new HD format decoders on them. Some of the latest receivers have them, and they can be had on-line NIB for as low as $600. A pre/pro with these decoders is likely to cost a whole helluva lot more than that, which would probably be too costly for me. My budget is a max of $600. I was originally thinking an Emotiva, a used Outlaw, or something like that.

    So here are my options:

    1. Do nothing. Cost = $0

    [NOTE: I have an older receiver, 2-channel amp on the fronts, other speakers driven by the receiver.] Sounds fine to me.

    2. Buy amps and use same receiver for a while longer until the used pre/pros with the features I'm looking for hit the market in my price range in another 12 - 18 months or so.

    3. Buy amps for other three channels and "upgrade" to a newer receiver with HD formats.

    4. Just buy a monoblock for the center channel and be happy.


    I'm leaning less towards options #2 & #3.

    I've had separate amps before on all speakers, but I've never tried an HT pre/pro.


    Any input?

    Thanks.
    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."

  2. #2

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    I will never own an expensive or large amplifier for surround channels -- it just... will not happen...

    Grab some cheap used 100 watt amps (GFA-545 from Adcom) -- and call it a day... all you need for surround channels

    Center... when I do it - probally a Stratos Mono Block...

    However, I've considered on multiple ocasions buying a receiver to do the Home Theater part of the show here -- but... now that I've come across a 990 at a literal steal... lol

    Things have kind of decided for me
    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

  3. #3

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    I'm kinda liking number 3 but with a pre pro instead.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    I've been wanting to get into separates for HT for a long time. My goal was to buy the amp(s), then buy a pre/pro. However, I would want a pre/pro that has the latest new HD format decoders on them. Some of the latest receivers have them, and they can be had on-line NIB for as low as $600. A pre/pro with these decoders is likely to cost a whole helluva lot more than that, which would probably be too costly for me. My budget is a max of $600. I was originally thinking an Emotiva, a used Outlaw, or something like that.

    So here are my options:

    1. Do nothing. Cost = $0

    [NOTE: I have an older receiver, 2-channel amp on the fronts, other speakers driven by the receiver.] Sounds fine to me.

    2. Buy amps and use same receiver for a while longer until the used pre/pros with the features I'm looking for hit the market in my price range in another 12 - 18 months or so.

    3. Buy amps for other three channels and "upgrade" to a newer receiver with HD formats.

    4. Just buy a monoblock for the center channel and be happy.


    I'm leaning less towards options #2 & #3.

    I've had separate amps before on all speakers, but I've never tried an HT pre/pro.


    Any input?

    Thanks.
    I vote no seperates.....

    Todays preamps suck. Right now most of them are all behind in technology(nothing new there) but the key is HDMI switching with full ability to decode all surround formats including sacd and dvd audio from HDMI. Enter HDMI 1.3a. This spec is whats needed to do everything correctly. If anything has anything less, you are already out of date and don't have the ability for a long life. rotel murdered it with there new receiver and preamp. I will not be buying one .
    Now depending on your speakers, pre/pro maybe not nessary to achieve the level your looking for. If you own all rti type speakers, then enter the world of Pioneer Elite. There is one on sale in the Flea market that fits your budget. The vsx84. It's a killer receiver and it very close to being current with HDMI 1.2.
    Going with a cheaper receiver just bring outs all the nastyness they have on your tone or sound quality. The preamp really makes a big difference in what you hear more so then most amps.

    So look around and think. Seperates are not all that unless you have speakers that are going to show them off. NAD has a very hot new receiver out which will run everything up to LSI and maybe alittle behond depending on your budget.(Yours would have to be extended to get into it but would be worth every penny).

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  5. #5

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    That's true.The Pioneer on the FM as well. It rocks and you can do all the high def audio via HDMI.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    I vote no seperates.....

    Todays preamps suck. Right now most of them are all behind in technology(nothing new there) but the key is HDMI switching with full ability to decode all surround formats including sacd and dvd audio from HDMI. Enter HDMI 1.3a. This spec is whats needed to do everything correctly. If anything has anything less, you are already out of date and don't have the ability for a long life. rotel murdered it with there new receiver and preamp. I will not be buying one .
    Now depending on your speakers, pre/pro maybe not nessary to achieve the level your looking for. If you own all rti type speakers, then enter the world of Pioneer Elite. There is one on sale in the Flea market that fits your budget. The vsx84. It's a killer receiver and it very close to being current with HDMI 1.2.
    Going with a cheaper receiver just bring outs all the nastyness they have on your tone or sound quality. The preamp really makes a big difference in what you hear more so then most amps.

    So look around and think. Seperates are not all that unless you have speakers that are going to show them off. NAD has a very hot new receiver out which will run everything up to LSI and maybe alittle behond depending on your budget.(Yours would have to be extended to get into it but would be worth every penny).

    Dan

    Thanks, Dan. You brought up some real good points.

    I have a PE receiver (no HDMI). I like it a lot.

    Can you expound or provide links on the whole HDMI 1.3 thing? Is it that important? I just bought a Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, so I assume it's 1.3 compliant. But I'm not sure about my Belkin HDMI cable (or even if it matters). Also, my TV was purchased about 16 months ago. Does it need to be 1.3, too? Aaarghhh!!!
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    Thanks, Dan. You brought up some real good points.

    I have a PE receiver (no HDMI). I like it a lot.

    Can you expound or provide links on the whole HDMI 1.3 thing? Is it that important? I just bought a Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, so I assume it's 1.3 compliant. But I'm not sure about my Belkin HDMI cable (or even if it matters). Also, my TV was purchased about 16 months ago. Does it need to be 1.3, too? Aaarghhh!!!
    It's my understanding that HDMI 1.3 provides a broader spectrum for more colors (which TVs do not have yet that I know). You can still do full HD Audio on HDMI 1.1.
    Sharp Elite 70
    Anthem D2V 3D
    Parasound 5250
    Parasound HCA 1000 A
    Parasound HCA 1000
    Oppo BDP 95
    Von Schweikert VR4 Jr R/L Fronts
    Von Schweikert LCR 4 Center
    Totem Mask Surrounds X4
    Hsu ULS-15 Quad Drive Subwoofers
    Sony PS3
    Squeezebox Touch

    Polk Atrium 7s on the patio just to keep my foot in the door.

  8. #8

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    I don't know, there's a lot of talk on other forums about the guys not giving a rat's ass about the HDMI debockle. Apparently quality issues pop up frequently & they just aren't interested in it yet. It'll probably be the way to go (eventually) but for now I'm standing pat.

    I'm more than pleased with my NAD T773 AVR for it's HT capabilities. And with my CJ preamp w/ HT bypass my 2 channel system is more than satisfing for me. I'm in the process of adding a 2 channel amp then I'll be set for quite some time. For right now I'm not the least bit interested in HDMI. There's too many issues to be ironed out & I'll wait till the dust settles.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

  9. #9

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    Well, after experiencing HD-DVD properly tonight, I may need to re-think my whole strategy. The SQ was great. No complaints. WAF was amazed.

    Option #1 or #4 is looking much more appropriate. In fact, I think I'm gonna abandon the idea of a separate pre/pro.
    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."

  10. #10

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    Ok,
    here is a link to explaining HDMI and what you need. Just rememeber to take it with an open mind and also consider the future. Right now is right now.

    If you buy anything brand new with anything less then 1.3a HDMI, then you are already behind despite what you need today. Also all HDMI 1.3a devices are backward compatible so they will work with past products.

    the Pioneer Elite receiver on sale is 1.2 which will get everything done going on today. It's a fantastic receive and I would use it myself for a preamp and get rid of my Rotel preamp. For that kind of money,having 1.2 HDMI is well worth it. I have Installed that receiver many times and it sounds excellent.

    It is stable down to 6ohms. It power Focal speakers very well which are 6 ohms. I found no reason to add any amps to it unless your going LSI.

    Good luck with your adventure, it's fun....

    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh..._Necessary/853

    Dan
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the link.

    engtaz

  12. #12

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    4. Just buy a monoblock for the center channel and be happy.


    Putting the Outlaw m200 on my center channel made all the difference in the world it's not even funny. Feels/sounds like a whole new home theater when you amp up that center channel.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    Ok,
    here is a link to explaining HDMI and what you need.

    http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh..._Necessary/853
    Dan,

    Thanks for the link. I actually read the whole thing and highly recommend others to do the same.

    Bottom line -- the more I read about HDMI 1.3 and the high def formats, the more it becomes clear that the majority of this stuff is marketing hype. Some manufacturers are just outright lying. Very sad.
    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."

  14. #14

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    Another vote for the Pioneer Elite VSX-84TXVi AVR; we've got one that's used as a pre/pro, we hang all our amps off of it (we have an all LSi setup) and is an outstanding piece of gear. Prior to this we ran an Integra AVR w/different amps and before that we ran an Onkyo AVR (727) with no external amps. The Pioneer Elite blows the previous 2 away, not even close.
    Last edited by G-2; 10-29-2007 at 10:15 AM.
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  15. #15

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    My vote is #2 or #4. Basically get amps for at least your front stage (if not all speakers) and then stand pat until something comes along with the features you want to upgrade to.

    This is exactly where I am at. My NAD does not do HDMI, but I will wait until pre/pro's or AVR's with HDMI start to hit the used market. By then we will know what features are important and what ones don't matter.

    Until then, I will eventually jump into HD-DVD or BlueRay and just use an optical cable (or 7. 1 inputs) to get sound. I think DVD's sound good now - I am sure I will be thrilled with the incremental upgrade that just an optical connection to a high def player will give me. When I do finally upgrade my electronics, I will have that much more media to re-watch and listen to. :)

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLoki View Post
    My vote is #2 or #4. Basically get amps for at least your front stage (if not all speakers) and then stand pat until something comes along with the features you want to upgrade to.

    This is exactly where I am at. My NAD does not do HDMI, but I will wait until pre/pro's or AVR's with HDMI start to hit the used market. By then we will know what features are important and what ones don't matter.

    Until then, I will eventually jump into HD-DVD or BlueRay and just use an optical cable (or 7. 1 inputs) to get sound. I think DVD's sound good now - I am sure I will be thrilled with the incremental upgrade that just an optical connection to a high def player will give me. When I do finally upgrade my electronics, I will have that much more media to re-watch and listen to. :)

    Michael
    Yeah, and don't forget about the upgrade requirement for your TV because if it can't handle HDMI 1.3 or whatever else comes along, you're out of luck. So a holding pattern makes a lot of sense.
    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."

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Early B. View Post
    Yeah, and don't forget about the upgrade requirement for your TV because if it can't handle HDMI 1.3 or whatever else comes along, you're out of luck. So a holding pattern makes a lot of sense.
    HDMI 1.3 is only a requirement if you want to pass a 1080p signal. I am sure my hitachi does not have hdmi 1.3 on it, but it is only a 720p set so it will still be fine for quite awhile I am sure.... :)

    I more into the audio side of home theater than the video at this point. I purchased the hitachi to get me by for a few years until things calmed down in the video market. I find that after owning it for 2 years - I really like it and don't have a burning desire to change to anything else. (although a projector and a REALLY big screen would be rather cool.... )

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

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