I am using snell E3's
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I'm not going to be of much help but I do own a pair of Snell E's, they are great speakers for the money, hope you hold on to them.. they can benefit from the best amps but are really easy speakers to drive and live with.. I think you can do better than Carver but the 80 watter should be enough. For example, Rega Mira3 or music fidelity or Creek destiny all of which pop up here regularly I think might sound better. I am very happy with the two Rega Mira's I use, only 60 watts per side but very sweet, open, clean, transparent, just not good for finicky power hungry inefficient monitors (I've got a few of those) but should work wonders with Snell E.
You really can't predict the sound quality of amps by the wattage only. I haven't had any experience with Carver amps since the late 90's when a Carver TFM45 (rated at 375 w/ch) went non-linear and blew the ribbon tweeters out of a brand new pair of Apogee Stages. Maybe their newer stuff is better - don't know.
Marantz has a reputation for good sound quality and good reliability. Your Marantz AVR is rated at 105w/channel. Your Snell E3s are known to be very efficient so you should not need more power than that for your medium-sized room. Focus on quality not quantity (watts) when you decide to trade up to more hi-end equipment.
If you sell your Marantz AVR and buy a Carver (or any) amplifier, what are you going to use as a preamp/processor?
My advice is to keep the Marantz, save your pennies, do more research on Audiogon and Audioasylum (and other) forums, go to several reputable audio salons and listen to a lot of different equipment, and then buy something that you know more about. Don't get in a hurry!
well i was planning to upgrade to hd audio using a pioneer vsx 819 as a pre amp. I wanted to do this so i can get all the new hd audio while having a seperate amp to power everything. I have a snell hcc-500 for a center and little sony bookshelfs for the rears. I read up on the carver and it seems to be a good buy for the price, 350$ for 5 channel amp. I am really doing this so i can get the hd audio and still have a great power source in the carver since the pioneer is not really that good for sound, just hd audio. Any other adnice would be awesome. Thanks for the replies.
I think at your pricepoint you may end up with a bunch of antiquated junk if you are not careful. The only way to get the latest features at that price is an AVR.
I had a Onkyo 805 for a while and it is a nice AVR with all of the most current features - bitstream D/A conversion of CD/SACD, Dolby TrueHD, DTS Master Audio, etc. and Audyssey room correction. It is also very powerful and has a very good power supply (it weighs over 50 lbs!). Just pair it up with a Oppo 980H universal player ($150 on Amazon.com) and you are good to go.
Since the 806 just came out, you should be able to find a 805 cheap ($400-$500) if you are patient. This unit does run hot so you will need fans - I used dual fans that I bought on ebay - they plug directly into the AC outlet on the back of the AVR. Very nice. You will be pleased.
i totally understand where you are coming from, but what is wrong with having a new pioneer with the carver supplying the power, it has all the same features with updated hd audio, and the carver would supply good power, am i missing something in this whole thing? Wouldnt an amp be better sounding than an avr receiver, and i can still get the hd audio with the pioneer? Would this happen to be your ad on ebay?
Hey man, that hurts! I would never try to solicit a sale on a post without saying so - my ebay ID is 'crossramz28' - you can see that I am not the seller.
As for the Pioneer VSX 819: it retails for $299. That means the dealer pays $180 (60%). That probably means that the total cost to manufacture it is about $75 (COGS) if that. How good do you think a full-featured AVR can be for $75 COGS?? The best amp in the world cannot sound better than the preamp driving it. Think about it.
But this is the most important concern: I looked at the 819 on Pioneer's website. The spec page only says that it has "sub/surround back L/R" preamp outputs. If that is true, you cannot do what you are trying to do if there are no L/C/R/LR/RR preamp outs.
haha you know i was just messin with you, yea that hurts bad about that pioneer...i did not even see that! You know anyone trying to get rid of that onkyo around audiogon or anyone you know? OR do you have any other suggestions about recievers in that price range...i heard that it doesnt do dolby THD?
The 805 does do Dolby TrueHD as well as DTS Master Audio.
I gave my 805 to my son-in-law and he just sold it to a friend. He 'upgraded' to a Denon 4308ci ($2800 retail) and I think I like the 805 better.
Here's the best deal I could find on a new one:
There are two 806 (current model) AVRs for sale on Audiogon right now. A silver used one for $595 and a new-in-the-box black one for $670. Can't beat that.