5.1 McIntosh tube (or SS) system (with 3D HDMI and media streaming) is not possible for $2000 and maybe not even for $20,000. The only Mac prepro with modern HDMI is the MX150 at $12,000 and the amps will add significantly more.
May be I was not clear in listing my intent.
I had a 10+ yrs old 5.1 setup with a Kenwood Receiver. However, after upgrading from DVD to BD Player & speakers to Tyler Acoustics Linbrook, I'm considering going for a Pre, Amp, processor (separates) type of a setup instead of an all-in-one receiver.
Since Oppo 95 also has a dedicated processor for Audio along with HDMI 1.4, I was wondering if I can use that along with the McIntosh since having that on Mac is very expensive.
I have around $2000 budget!
OK. So, it seems that you have the Oppo and the speakers and that you want to replace the Kenwood receiver with Mac separates. If you are willing to use the analog audio outputs of the Oppo, you can buy a used, older non-HDMI Mac processor but I still do not think you can get one of those plus a multichannel Mac amp (or monoblocks) for $2K.
If anyone else has an insight or suggestions, I hope they will contribute.
I think a MX130 or C39, plus a MC7106 amp, can easily get you there on that budget. Make sure the processor has been modded for a six-channel input (or it's a later MX130 that came with one stock).
You can then use the 5.1 analog outs from your Oppo and run HDMI directly to the monitor. The main drawback is that your other sources (i.e. cable TV) will be in Pro Logic only.
Yep, Kal . . . I've had this exact combo offered to me several times for less, and this was 4-5 years ago.
These systems were very nice, but they were traded in by the ton when Dolby Digital and DTS came along. You'll of course find premium dealers like Audio Classics, and they'll charge more. But this is a very reasonable price for a private-party or a prudent local dealer sale . . . especially given that they're delicate and heavy to ship, and may not have original cartons.
If you are not dead set on Mac, then there will be lots of options. I would suspect that the tube amp requirement is for better (as respects those qualities that tube fans like) 2 channel audio playback? In that case, consider a 2 chnnl tube amp for the mains and a cheap multi-chnl SS amp for the rest of the spkrs. For movies, there is no need or value to tube amps, IMHO. I don't know the sensitivity or impedance range of your spkrs, but that info would probably help determine good amp matches. While Mac is good at pre/pros, these are not tube designs (afaik), and I think there are far better and more cost effective pre/pro solutions than Mac. Many, many easily within your budget (especially used). Will post some actual equipment ideas later or tomorrow. Good luck.
@ Iformorris, Jeffkad: I like your suggestion. In fact I was toying with that idea even before I read your comments.
I'm thinking of using Oppo 93 Analog feed to existing Kenwood receiver (as a Pre/pro) & connect to
- Mc Tube Amp for Stereo (say MC240)
- Emotiva XP-3 for the remaining 3 channels
However, I'm not sure how will that work since MC240 is rated at 40W whereas Emotiva XP-3 is rated at 200W into 8 ohms. Will the surrounds & center overpower the fronts during movies?
Here's the speaker specifications:-
Tyler Acoustics - Linbrook System II (Front & Center)
Frequency Response: 32-25k
Impedance: 8 ohm
JBL - S312 (Surround)
Frequency Response: 35-20k
Impedance: 8 ohm
Power: upto 250w
It will cost you $600+ just to retube a Mac amp. Maybe look at Proceed or Lexicon or Anthem or Rotel separates. You may be able to get a good 5.1/7.1 pre pro and a warm sounding 5 channel amp combo here on the Gon.
As far as Mac goes, I would forget it unless you increase your budget significantly. Newer gear from the above mentioned brands may sound better than the really old Mac gear that may fit into the $2000 budget. I am not trying to steer you away from Mac (I am a proud owner of tube pre and mono blocks), it's just that Mac ain't cheap, and their gear tends to hold their value fairly well over time--meaning that even the older gear is not inexpensive.
Again, champagne taste on a beer budget!!
Cary tube amps are not inexpensive. I believe the v12/i/r amps at 120/60 watts still command at least $1500+, and those have not been current for some 4-5 years. And that only gets you a stereo amp. You will need 5 channels, not 2 if I understand correct.
Go for a Proceed 5 channel amp here on Agon. They sound fantastic for the money and can usually be had in the $1000 range depending on power (5x100/125/200).
Have you noticed that there are not many (Butler audio comes to mind) 5 channel tube power amps on the market? Most folks reserve the yumminess of tubes for critical listening through a dedicated 2 channel system. I use the high end Macgear for 2 channel and use a Rotel stack (RSP-1068 pre/pro and 5x125 power amp) for my TV and theater and use the theater bypass on the MC2300 preamplifier to pass through. It works beautifully.
BUT...if you are still hell bent on a 5 channel tube amp, look at Butler Audio. They sometimes come up here on the Gon and may be had for your price range.
BTW, the Butler gear is very easy on the eyes. They also make tube amps for car audio...sweet.
After reading various threads, I'm no longer hell bent on 5.1. Stereo seems like the way to go.
So considering the above price point, any advice on make / model?
Ho much of a difference a dedicated Tube Pre-Pro will make compared to using the Pre Outs from SS Kenwood VR-4090 receiver?
Thanks for your time!
I can't recommend a home theater with tube amps. Tubes take time to come up to operating condition. A theater needs instant on. You don't want to miss your sound if you dash for a show. Also five (5) tube amps will get toasty in most rooms. If you run a fan to cool the room you increase your noise to sound and lose quality.
Tube amps also diminish in power and performance with time played. All 5 amps might have different output after a years use. That will definitely affect sound track balance.
Lastly, you will not get that fabulous SLAM factor with tubes that you get with solid state. Tubes just are not the right tool for the job in my opinion. How do I know this? I did a theater with a McIntosh MX136, MVP861, and five (5) MC275 tube amps in mono. Looked cool, was hotter than hell, and sounded flat!
Hey guys! I took all your advice & finally ended up buying Parasound Halo A51 from AudioGon for $2100. I also upgraded to Oppo BDP-105, which servers as a PrePro.
After listening to various types of music (stereo, XLR) & movies (2 XLR + 3 RCA), I must state that though I did hear background music that I'd not heard/noticed before, nothing significant while listening to music in stereo.
Am I missing something? Do you think adding a Sub or a dedicated PrePro will help? Any recommendations?