Don't take this wrong (can you see the insult coming? I don't mean to), but you can spend all the money you want on an amp, but your Yamaha is gonna' suck the life right out of the music. Trust me. I thought that I could get by using an old NAD integrated that I had laying around until I could afford a REAL pre-amp. It just didn't cut it. I can only guess that you'll have similar (if not worse) results. You need a pre-amp...Or you need to separate your music system from your home theater system. As they say, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." At least, not on a budget, as most of us are.
i would say throw the yamaha in the ocean and buy the two cj pieces that just showed up on audigon. i think the seller is telescope trader. i do not know who this is but i can tell you that would make you a nice little system.
Ditto above, OR ("overkill"), buy yourself a GOOD PRE for Xmas and keep the Yamaha as a power amp for now. There are many (used) options in yr price-range, Adcom being one, Plinius another, cj yet another.
IMO, buy yourself THE BEST PRE for yr ears that yr pocket can endure (take a look at my post to yr other thread, if you wish).
The pre amp is more important then the amplifier and actually amplifies the signal more percentage wise then the amplifier. I would start with a good preamp.
Another possibility might be to buy a good integrated 2 channel amp for the music and use a speaker switch to switch the two main speakers to run either off the Yamaha or off the integrated.
$1000 will buy a nice integrated .... Creek, Cyrus, Audiolab, Densen, Arcam, Adcom, even Rotel. Speaker switches run about $100. That way your main speakers can be used for both HT with the Yamaha in command and 2 channel music with the integrated at the helm.
are you guys sure your not getting carried away? I'm talking about using a Cambridge D500SE source with Soliloquy 5.3 speakers.
I know receivers are not exactly welcome in high-end audio, but the Yamaha is a pretty good receiver. There's not much difference in the RXV- 995 and RXV- 2095, or the RXV-3000 for that matter except bells and whistles.
My local dealer recommends I keep the Yamaha and buy an amp, not an amp and another pre-amp. I appreciate your opinions, but if getting the fiance' to accept the Soliloquy over the cheaper paradigms wasn't easy... telling her I need another pre-amp and need to ditch won't fly.
You know what's odd about these forums... in this one everyone says the amp is the most important, in the Digital forum people say the source, in the speaker forum it's the speakers.
I understand the logic behind all of the arguements, but in the past 6 months I've gone from spending $1800 on 5 speakers and sub... to $2000 on mains and center channel... to $3000 on mains and center plus $400 for a CD player... to also considering an amp.... and now a pre-amp too! In 6 months, I've gone from $1800 to $5000!
So, with $4000, how would you split it?
Sorry ... it was an honest answer. I don't think the Yamaha will bring out the best in those speakers.
But I may be wrong (it's not uncommon !)
Is there any chance you could demo the various options ... if so then I'd do that. Take home a pre, a power and an integrated each costing around $1000 and see if any option is obviously better or worse than the others (noting that using both the $1000 pre and $1000 power is not an option since it blows your budget). I suspect that the question will then answer itself whether to get
1) New pre
2) New power
3) Integrated + speaker switch
4) Save it for the wedding.
Best of luck ... but don't take the dealer's advice without a home demo (or take your Yamaha to the dealer and listen to the Cambridge-Soliloquy setup at the dealer with various amps).
I can take all of it home for a few days and demo it, suppose I could do the same with the amp, and pre amp. Sounds like a good way to go.
I know the Yamaha won't get everything out of those speakers, that's why I plan to upgrade it eventualy. But I'd hate to buy speakers now to "match" the Yamaha only to upgrade it later and the speakers be the weak link then.
from what i've heard, this speaker is amp sensitive, that is with some amps it will sound boomy/shrill etc. with others it will sound wonderful. matching the amp to the speaker it in my opinion critical. there is a lot of info in this forum and in audioasylum on this speaker you should look at before you make any conclusions re what your upgrade, and future ones should be. good luck.
The 5.3s are very revealing in exposing the characteristics of upstream components. I agree with many of the above posts that the preamp is probably more critical at this point, especially since the 5.3s present a relatively benign load to amps.
I also agree that you should take some stuff home for a demo, and the decision will likely become an easy one. I'd highly recommend trying the Adcom GFA-750 preamp as it's very transparent and also has a home theater pass through feature that will let you seamlessly integrate it with your Yamaha, which can continue to do the surround processing for movies and surround music. You can then add a stereo amp later for the L/R fronts, which will leave you with high-end components throughout the critical stereo path while your Yamaha powers the center/rears and does surround processing.
As far as amps go(if you go that route instead), I'd consider Sim Audio, which Soliloquy has used to voice their speakers. I'm using a McCormack DNA-0.5 Rev. A that is in your price range(used of course) and works exremely well with the 5.3s--highly recommended if you can find one. Since you're obviously using your system for HT as well as stereo I won't bother with tubes.
As a fellow owner of 5.3s I can tell you that proper placement will be as or more important than your components in getting the most out of these speakers and your system. In my experience they don't really open up in terms of the soundstage and midrange unless you get them around 4 ft.(or more) from the back wall. This may not be possible in your situation, but the point is don't neglect speaker placement in your quest for better sound. Best of luck.
Now that you mention it, I'm a little worried about speaker placement. I move quite a bit with my job and who knows if I'll always be able to get them away from the wall enough. No way will my fiance' go for 4ft from the wall. One mistake I made was buying a 57" widescreen instead of a 50"-53" widescreen. The 57" overcrowds my 17 x 18 living room a little. The room is open past 18 feet except for a 5ft patition that seperaters another room and prevents putting furniture there.
I usually don't like monitors on stands, takes up as much room as a slim floorstander and without the bass.
Soliloquy sounds great with tubes. Try a Rogue 88, often on sale here for about $850.
Hi Gunbunny. Actually, I believe ALL the pieces of a system are very important. It will only be as good as your weakest component. And I agree with some of the other members here that it is your Yamaha.
3 1/2 years ago I dove into HT building a system around a Marantz AV550 pre/pro and an ATI AT1505 amp. Even though I never owned a single piece of high end 2-channel gear in my life, I KNEW this setup wasn't cutting it for me musically.
For the last two years I have been bitten by the audio bug big time! I still have my original HT gear, but have built a separate music system all together. Musically the two systems shouldn't even be compared.
My feeling is that when you replace your preamp and possibly your amp sometime in the future, then you'll really see how good your Soliloquy 5.3s are. You'll be amazed. Another option though is to get a preamp with HT pass through and use the Yamaha's amp for both music and HT.
I'm sorry this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I learned a few years back that for me I could never get satisfying music from an HT system. And I feel a bit guilty in suggesting you take this path because if you get snagged like me, you'll end up spending way more than you ever thought you would. Buy used gear if you can.
I don't know if you've purchased the Soliloquy 5.3's yet, but you may want to think really hard about them based on what you've said about frequent moving and the fiance' not being very understanding of having loudspeakers 4' out in her living room.
The 5.3's are rear-ported which is one of the primary reasons for their need to be placed away from the rear wall. Soix is dead-on when he says that speaker placement and room interaction are equally important (if not more so) as the components they're driven by.
I had a pair of Platinum Audio Solo's which I LOVED. Unfortunately, I moved to a new home where my listening room is about half the size of the old house and the Platinums are rear-ported. I tried for several months experimenting with placement, but could not tame the bass coming from the REAR ports. Interesting note...Platinums are mini monitors with TREMENDOUS bass output (32hz). Earlier you said that you're not fond of stand-mounted speakers because of the lack of bass. Not necessarily true. Also not true is the assumption that monitors are less critical with room placement.
You might want to look for speakers which are sealed rather than ported (or at least with a port on the front) and which seem less finicky about placement. I know you've got your heart set on the Soliloquys, but you'll probably be very disappointed and frustrated when you fire up your system knowing that your speakers are not performing optimally because they're sitting 1' from the wall where they "look" the best. Trust me, I've been there. It's all about tradeoffs. If you can't place them where they NEED to be and still keep the peace, then you're probably better off with something that "SOUNDS" better where they "LOOK" better, if you know what I mean. All the more reason for an in-home evaluation - Especially with speakers!!!
Maybe some of the other contributors can recommend speakers that are more forgiving of room placement so that you can compile a new audition list??
Hi Gunbunny, since you mention monitors on stands ... that would work very well if supplemented by a sub. For example a pair of LS3/5 on stands, plus a REL sub ... not much different in price to the Soliloquy I think and much higher WAF. I have Spica Angelus, so I know all about WAF !
Forget the amp...go with a good integrated. I would definitely look hard at the used market, you might even be able to pick up a good classic preamp...like the adcom 565 or 555, and then spend the rest on a used ROtel amp ( the best budget amps in my opinion). Forget going all the way to a dual music/theater system...to get music out of one is tough at any price...much less on a budget. You also should look hard at getting good cables...the right speaker wire can really up your bass output...apature makes a accu-flow wire that's cheap and has amazing bass...better than almost anything at any price. Good Luck.