2 ch HT/music...hope to hear from the 2 ch purists

I myself do not have separate systems for music & HT...however, this is my quandary.

I'm currently home in Los Angeles visiting my father. He & my late mother purchased a Denon 5700 and a couple Pioneer Elite combi players that include laserdisc (dont ...these were of course purchased a few years ago and have never been taken out of the box. (Mom got sick & passed away, so for years he was focusing on caring for her rather than putting a system together) He now wants help with speaker selection. I think that he definitely put the cart before the horse on this one. He says he really doesnt care about surround sound and hearing bullets whiz past him, and his collection of 300 or so Laserdiscs are all 2 channel opera & classical.

So here's the deal...I was thinking that he should just get the LR speakers (probably B&W 703's...he does want floorstanders) and a sub. I also suggested that rather than getting a center speaker, to get a new dvd player that does the "phantom center" and would also end up having SACD to boot. I have a feeling that he will be just as satisfied with watching movies in 2 channel mode as I am, so I think that the next step should be to dump the Denon AVR-5700 and get a good integrated amp or pre/power setup for better sound and stick with a 2 channel setup.

Price is not the major concern here, but he is the kind of person that doesn't "need" nor want the Rolls Royce's of stereos. Please no over the top recommendations...hoping to keep everything at the 6-8k point including everything but the TV...and dont worry...that will be a projection system so there won't be a big box inbetween the speakers.

If it were me, being that I am happy with my Bryston B-60/B&W cdm1nt setup, I would recommend a used BP25/3Bst combo.

He says he likes a crisp, detailed sound, but this is coming from a 75 year old guy that has been listening to a Fisher 500c with EMI speakers from the 60's so I think that might be a moot point.

I'm sorry for the length of this post, but any replies would be greatly appreciated...what do you guys suggest?

Thanks for all your help on this one

Hello, my suggestions would definately be go to a different preamp, Proceed AVPS go for a song on here and are a great dual function piece, you can also get B&K 2 or 3 channel amps (depending on whether or not you want a center channel)

If your father likes detail he will LOVE soliloquy 5.3 which are also VERY reasonable and excellent speakers, i would rate them nearly as good as my Nautilus 804. Please beware,, i think they need at least 1000 hours break in to really sound sweet, but if he likes detail these are IT

Hope this helps, also probably look for some transparent plus or super interconnects and speaker wires, this is an economical system that will really be sweet.

Hope this helps.
I think it's great that you want to help your Dad assemble a new audio system. I wish my Dad was still able to hear music -- he's 87, and is nearly deaf.

While I have been a 2-channel purist for most of my audiophile life, I have come to enjoy HT surround as well. My system, however, is definitely built around 2-channel music enjoyment.

Given your Dad's age, it's unlikely that his hearing is acute as in past years -- infact, it's unlikely that he hears frequencies above 10 kHz, and maybe nothing much above 7-8 kHz. It might be useful to have your Dad take an audiology test before you spend a lot of money on equipment that will be of no benefit to him.

Having said that, I think you should strive to get the best value you can for your Dad. (I owned a Fisher 500C as my first receiver back in the mid-1960's, and wish I still had it!) If your Dad prefers to stick with 2-channel audio (and I think the benefit of 5-channel surround will be largely lost on him), then one of the setups you should consider would be a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Signatures, or Vandy 3A's, with a Bryston 3B-ST/SST or 4B-ST/SST power amp and a good quality tube preamp. While you could go with a good integrated amp, my concern is that most of the reasonably priced integrated amps don't have enough power to adequately drive the Vandies at the volume levels you Dad may want or need.

The two Vandersteen speakers I listed have the added virtue of reasonably extended low frequency response, which are in the range where your Dad's hearing is likely to be best. My bet is that your Dad has gotten used to a relatively "warm" sounding audio system (given his old equipment), and the Vandies plus the tube preamp and the neutral Bryston amps will retain those qualities while also providing more detail than his old rig.
Take him first to the listening room at the Good Guys. Se what he likes and have them write out an estimate. Next, take him to no more than two high end shops and try to let the salesperson better the deal. Then, go back to the Good Guys and listen to what he wants.

Give him a real good 'pat on the back' and tell him how perseptive he is.
Hey everyone...thanks for your replys...SD in particular...funny thing is that I once had a pair of Vandersteen 1b's and my dad is familiar with Vandersteen but only through the rave reviews...so...we're going with your recommendation...I just hope he realizes that the sound will be much better with the Bryston gear than with the Denon.

Uncle...I'm not sure what exactly you are recommending...I always thought good guys was mass market. My dad is actually quite perCeptive without my pat on the back...he is the wiser of the two of us.
Check out the amps, preamps and speakers at odysseyaudio.com
Best bang for the buck.
Just a suggestion. Try the speakers with the Denon and a better amp before you spend a wad on an amp. At your Dads age he may not, may not, but he may, hear no difference in the two.

Funny how age srcews up your hearing.

I say this because my Dad cant hear any difference. But then he listens to music to enjoy, not disect the eqiptment.

Again, just a suggestion.
In that LD is a 44.1 format--- Then hoping the LD transport has a digital out--- a good 2ch dac will do much, in such a setup.
I share your father's taste in music - I wish I had 300 software on it like him! May be by the time I am his age...

I too like B&W and Tannoy for classical music - sounds crisp and realistic to me. No offense to fastguy, but Soliloquy sounds a little mushy to me (although a beautiful speaker on vocals), and will not do it for him on strings and brass.

It is true that we lose hearing with age, but we can still appreciate quality. It just may be his last system, so you two might want to visit a few Hifi shops together, with his Laser disk player and his favorite music.

I too live in LA area, and there are many around this area.

Let me suggest to you what I like :

Old marantz receiver 2270 (on ebay for $200)
Old McIntosh Amp like this one (100 watts or over)


A used krell on here gon or ebay.

On the new pieces,

Arcam Diva A75 Plus
Sugden A21A
Bryston Bp20/4BST

On the speakers:

Axiom - m22ti with a sub.
Tannoy Revolution series and up.
B&W 800 series

Classical music lovers tend to know what they like - having been to live concerts. Hopefully he will like something he hears in a shop.

That reminds me - I should give nice things to my folks too.