HT system with Best Possible Redbook perfornance

I am about start purchasing USED gear to assemble a
Home Theater System that also provides the best possible
2 channel audio playback. I play mainly classic rock and
80s music. I have come up with the following system that
I would like to build to accomplish this:

Onkyo SP1000 (DVD video and Redbook source)
B&K AVR-307 (Best 5ch A/V Receiver under $1000 used?)
B&W 802 Matrix S2 (Stereo Fronts)
B&W Center/Rear Speakers (Haven't picked out models)

Any comments? I have read that Denon has poor redbook
performance hence the Onkyo but I am willing to hear
suggestions of better choices...

Arcam AVP-700
Cambridge Audio DVD-87
Blue Sky Big Blues with Pro desk rears.

Sounds better and costs less than your proposed used system and you can buy it new. B&W, your taste in music and the B&K are a poor match.

BTW the processor is good enough you won't have to listen in two channel to your music the PLII on the 700 is very good and can be tuned to outperform the 2 channel performance of any comparable system.

If you prefer rock music, you may want to look into a far more dymanic speaker, like horns.

The Klipsch heritage line is a good example. These's a great review of the new Klipsch LaScala in this months Stereophile.

I run LaScalas and find the Sunfire signiture sub to be a great mate for them.

Happy hunting....
D- Thanks for the input.. You have me re-thinking

I've heard Arcam gear and I find the sound a little
too dry for me.. I prefer a warmer sound with maybe
even a rolled-off top end. This is why I like the
B&K. It uses mosfets and in my opinion, mosfets
sound more like tubes. Between B&K and Arcam, I'll
take the B&K. On Speakers I am very open to other brands.
If the Denon is harsh sounding Redbook-wise, I'll
gladly get the Onkyo; but I am still open to other DVD
players that do Redbook justice...

How would you describe the Sunfire sound to B&K's sound?
Sunfire has come to mind as a potential receiver. Does
the Sunfire use Mosfets? Is it warm sounding?

Klipsch... Now that's another interesting sugestion..
I was always lead to believe that they were very "loose"
sounding and lacking in refinement..???? Yes, No?

Has anyone heard ATC? I heard some ATC speakers 6 years
ago drivin by BAT Tube gear and was very impressed back
then... I see a pair of ATC SCM35 on Audiogon right now.
They look real nice... And I remember ATC's sound as
being very dynamic and great with Rock music...
Eastside guy,

You ask many good questions, as far as Klipsch go, I would stick exclusively to their heritage line.

The current review in Stereophile will explain their sound far better than I.

I of course like them, hence I own them.

As far as Sunfire goes, I would stick to their subs only. For price and performance, especially with rock, they're hard to beat.

The only other sub I'd consider would be a REL, just because their generally considered to be the best.
Although I've never personally heard one.

If you're considering a receiver, I personally prefer seperates, you may want to consider Musical Fidelity's new one. It ever includes a CD player.
Redbook is easy, your surround processor is the DAC, so spend all the money on the processor and you will get better results than splitting the money between a Cd player and a processor. If you can find an AV8 or 568 or Anthem all super good prepros that you will be hardpressed to find better sound CDplayers in that price range. The Arcam prepro are essentially the same as their cd players d to a wise.

The Blue Sky's have their own amplifier built in, they are awesome for Depeche, Elvis, Gun's& Roses, because they will not clip and flap until insane volume levels the Arcam I suggested is just the prepro not a receiver. To be honest its just a smidge smoother than the B&K Ref50II which I also like very much.

So it doesn't matter which pre pro or receiver you buy its a win win. (B&K Arcam)

Just focus on the speakers, I too am foremost and 80's new wave rock guy too, Metallica, Sisters of mercy, Nitzer Ebb all bite it on mass market/ high end speakers that you see in Stereophile. Stereophile speakers rarely have the Cajones to hold it all together even with a solid receiver driving them like the B&K. mainly because they lack a solid dynamic midrange. I use ATC speaker because of that, the Blue Sky's are a poorman's ATC (forgive the lack of a better description)

BTW I listen in surround all the time, makes the music liquid and easy on the ear, even early REM and Smiths albums sound pretty good played in surround, better than the LP's that's for sure.
I'm not so sure about the Denon's lack of Redbook performance. My buddy and I had a shootout 3 weeks ago between my Denon 2910 and his Marantz 8260 using Redbook and SACD and the Denon matched the Marantz step for step and surpassed it in some ways.

In no area was the Marantz superior, and that's according to *him*, a known-to-be-fussy true audiophile. The icing on the cake? I paid $500 for my Denon from Agon (with a 4 year warranty!). They are currently available for $325+ right here, right now. And, the 3910 is also available here for $650+ and is supposed to have superior audio capabilities.

BTW, the video performance of the Denons is *superb*, DVDs look like HDTV via the 1080i upscaling...

For Best Redbook 2 channel, I would chose Arcam over B & K (its way smoother to my ear) and I wouldn't bother with a universal player (unless it was modded unit). For the source I would opt for a decent used CDP ($600 to $800) and buy a cheaper DVD player for video ($200 to $400). But if you must a have a universal source, I agree with RLWainwright, the Denons arent that bad. Though, I havent heard the Onkyo, nor have I heard that it was good, or bad for that matter.

I like the Speakers, they should work well for 2 channel, and when you begin upgrading later they should hang in there for a little while. Just make sure the drivers are in good order. I have heard that the replacement drivers are hard to come by.