New home theater setup

I'm using some old and new equipment to set up a basement home theater. I have a great old Yamaha DSP-A2070 with lotsa power but prehistoric surround sound circuitry. Bought a new Yamaha Aventage RX-700 with nice surround circuitry but minimal power (90W?). I'm driving a pr. of B&W Matrix 3s, matching center channel and Paradigm Atoms for surround. Sub is a B&W ASW1000. I also have a 2nd speaker set-up out by the pool with some NHT Outdoor Ones. My thoughts are to pre-amp out the front channels to the A2070 and let the RX-700 handle the rest of the surrounds, as well as drive the NHTs. I would love input from folks who play with this stuff more than I do...
I need some input here. What do you think about the 2 receiver approach?
Why? 100w vs 90w. None sense. I believe the new receiver would smoke your old one and then some.
Regardless of size of speakers, cross em at 80hz, and make sure they're placed well for 80hz coupling in the room, and with sub, from the seats. Regardless of what receiver you use, or amp for that matter, you'll get better dynamics from those speakers if you just drive em above 80hz, I promise u!
Also, DITCH THE DSPA2070! It's time for that piece to go, and the amp section in that unit is still nowhere near as good as better dedicated multich amps! (that included the dspa3090's amp sections, which were not so great). For $200-350 used you can pickup a number of superior sounding 5 or 6 channel amps, from Parasound, Rotel, Adcom, etc. All of these blow your receiver's amp sections in the dust, no contest!
If you must keep you latest receiver, this is the route I'd go, as long as you got he preouts. OTherwise, you might consider upgrading units to more beef?
I think your idea will work. It wouldn't be my first choice though. I would eliminate the old receiver from the set-up, and add a good power amp. Chances are the seperate amp will be much better than the old receiver is. Most, receivers don't have the greatest amp section. There are a few I have heard that are very good though. (I don't know if your old Yammy is one of them) I would put the old unit in my bedroom, or a 2nd system somewhere. If that really isnt an option, try your idea and see how you like it. You have nothing but some lost time if you don't like it. Good luck.
Maybe it's just my ears, but my Matrix 3s driven by the old Yamaha amp seemed fuller, while the new receiver sounds somewhat thin. I have to admit I haven't put carpet in the room yet or worked to "tune" the system in... If you've ever picked up a's a bear. Weighs something like 46 lbs. And while I'm sure there isn't a linear relationship between weight and power, that kind of solid build has to count for something.
"Why? 100w vs 90w. None sense. I believe the new receiver would smoke your old one and then some" (Audionuts)

"...while the new receiver sounds somewhat thin. I have to admit I haven't put carpet in the room yet or worked to "tune" the system in... If you've ever picked up a's a bear. Weighs something like 46 lbs. And while I'm sure there isn't a linear relationship between weight and power, that kind of solid build has to count for something." (Nohav)

I'm stating for the record that I never recommended driving the RXV700 ALONE! I'm most definitely recommending a 5/6 channel dedicated power amp to be added to your receiver, driven from the preouts! This is clearly the best sound you'll get, if you must stay with the RXV700 (if it even has them..not sure). And, in keeping either the RXV700 (processing/switching dubties) or the old DSPA2070 (amp dubties - suggested in this case), it only makes sense to keep the RXV700, which clearly has superior, up to date processing, meaning superior detail and processing of all new digital formats, superior video swiching, etc, etc. There's no debate there. And yet, all things considered for sonic properties, IT'S STILL JUST A RECEIVER ...on it's own. I was just saying ,"if you had to", I'd stay rxv700 and add a bargan power amp avail on the used market, for dirt cheap!
To be clear, even the much heavier, near 50lb DSPA2070 - which I sold in at least 2 audio/video shops in the mid 90's - had an amplifier section that was only adequately stout, and not so refined. For an av receiver, however, driving smaller speakers, it worked nicely, sure (speakers that matched the bit cold, slightly hollow and bit upfront treble.
Keep in mind, as someone who spent litterally thousands of hours in AV stores and hi-end audio shops, my position is that NO mass manufactured AV receiver really ever offered an amp section that's been anything to brag about! Not only is/was the power section dedicated to having to not only run the speakers, but also the preamp section, the digital circuitry, power volume controls, lights, and so on! All that, and out of country made parts and cost restrictions (face it. AV receivers pack a lot of features for the bare minimum amount of profit margin for low cost!), and what suffers is the quality of the amp section!
I remember years ago, when we compared flagship Yamaha and Denon 50+lb AV receivers, on their own, vs using even modest entry level same line receivers driven by separates power amps, and the sound quality of both music and movies - driving either small or large (especiallly much better for large) speakers - WAS CLEARLY SUPERIOR USING THE LATER COMBINATION, OVER THE STANDALONE AV RECEIVERS!
So, I typically am always going to recommend not only not spending big bucks on an AV amp but, if you do have to use one, either drive small efficient bookshelves with them, or drive your speakers out to a better multi-ch amplifier for vastly superior sound!!
I eagerly dare any av enthusiest to try and take their AV receiver and compare to separates. I think you'll find the later to beat up on the appreciative sound quality and power vs what comes included in just the receiver! That's all I'm sayin.
Yes, the 2070 is too old and too out of date, processing wise. And, unless you absolutely can't come up with $200 more dollars to get better amplification to mate with it instead, then sure the 2070 will make a better amp than your 23 lb rxv700's amp section.
Avgoround, just for the sake of arguement, all seperates will not beat all AVR's, and yes, I know from experience. I could bring you an AVR that will beat up on many/most seperates.
Zydo, respectfully, an intriguing statement. Could you simply tell us which AVR it is?
Thanks for everyone's input. This is, after all, a secondary system. My primary setup is Rotel separates w/ Ascend Acoustics. For now, I'll make do with the RX-A700 (which does have pre-outs, btw) pulling full stereo duty and the old A2070 assigned to power my pool speakers (which are over 200 feet away....lotsa resistance ) until I get carpet and furniture in the basement. Then I'll balance and reassess.
Arcam AVR 600. It beat the pants off of my all Sunfire seperate system in every way, and I really liked that set up. I had one (AVR 600) for quite some time. I ended up selling it to a customer that "had to have it" or I would still be using it. I'm currently running all Arcam seperates. (I'm a seperate guy at heart) I'm not saying it's inexpensive, but, great sound can come from an AVR. (that includes 2 channel) I'm sure there are others, I just have not had the pleasure of useing one that's better myself.
No, no Arcam AVR600 is going to take the place of anyone's high end audio separates, to driver their speaker system! Yes, it's a nice receiver, with newer AV processing, including higher end digital Dac's than what even older ultra high end digital front ends offered 15 years ago, sure. And yet, it's still not driving full range speakers with authority, or full bodied refinement or control, purity, and so on. As a receiver goes, it's good product for driving some small monitor speakers, and an assisted sub. I grant anyone that. Is it better than older receivers, sure, that too.
I have to laugh when people get behind ANY AV receiver, flagship or otherwise, and think they have something super special, world beater, all audiophile equipment equiped and so forth! I laugh! And my exerperience is that if you simply put any descent even Parasound, Adcom,B&K, Emotiva, and even Rotel outboard power amp at the end of any AV pre/pro or receiver, and you already beat up sonically on what is capable from the all in on receiver units on their own merit! All things considered, of course. The receiver or processor needs to be current digital technology, that posseses descent enough audio pass through direct for analog dubties, if applicable. But, at very least, you cannot compare any older digital process vs newer, when it comes to detail and resolution, compared to older products. So, in that respect, yes, even newer AV receivers surpass older products on both sides of the board, sure.
Problems with AV receivers- still can' tbe avoided, and which degrade things compared to separates systems, is electronic interference between power sections and delicate pre/pro sections, affecting signal to noise, channel separation and so on. Separate the power amp from the preamp and you get strong noticable bennefits.
Also, dediated power amps, as I stated, offer current delivery and quality control and better parts than what you'll get from some Chinese receiver. I've simiply played with all of this stuff mostly, simply way too many hours to know otherwise. Basically, separates systems simply offer too many benefits, when combined with current digital process properties's a team effort of parts.
Yes, it's simply amazing what is being offered in todays digital AV recievers and processors, I agree. I still lean towards higher audiphile grade, full range system attributes with the separates. People can swear by their receiver to be "all that" for sound, but I know otherwise. Just too many side by side comparisons and hundreds of hours of tinkering with different combos and equipment choices in this hobby to think otherwise.
I mean I see no serious AV magazine reviewer ditching their high end AV pre/pro and separates power amp combinations to think or be persuaded otherwise! And you can't get me to believe that the otherwise excellent Arcam products are going to beat out some Krell, Theta, Simm, Meridian, Macintosh, Anthem, Parasound Halo, or even Denon or Marantz separates processor and amplifier combo, all around! I think these perform at another level than just a "receiver".
that's all I'm sayin..

You are wrong. The AVR-600 WILL beat most seperates. Will it beat the Krell amp, or Anthom, I really don't know. If you care to believe what a reviewer says, yes, Peter Moncrieff, in widescreen review, said it was THE BEST sound he has ever heard, at any price. So I guess he would trade his seperates for it. He used 7 B&W 802's in his review. You are not speaking from experiance on this. I drove a pair of ProAc response 3's in my own room at home. Also drove 2 pair of Dahlquist, PSB platinum T6's, Sinclair 460T towers, and several others. (All of which are my own speakers) Your ASSUMPTION that this will only drive small monitors is totally wrong. I'm not saying this is the "holy grail" of audio. I will say that it out performed a Sunfire signature, and a Sunfire 300 for stereo, that's 2 channel, music only. (Also my own amps) We sold Sunfire for many years. When I replied to the OP, I was compairing it to the likes of his Yamaha. (I'm also a dealer for them by the way) We have sold almost everything out there. I have owned Lexicon in my own home, Sony, Yamaha, Harmon, Denon, Adcom, Parasound, NAD, Hafler, Belles, and several others. We have sold, or do sell, all of those. (along with countless others) Do I believe everything that Peter said in his review? No. My current Arcam seperate sytem at home is better than the 600 was. The big Arcam amp has a little, and I do mean little, better hold on my speakers. Mainly better bass response. (it's also twice the price) Your comments sound, and read, like someone that knows what they are talking about. I know better, because I have actually listened to them side by side. I now know you haven't. I'm not talking about the latest codecs for HT, that's a whole different thing. That's why I said 2 channel. I'm a Krell fan, as well as Classe, Theta, and many others. I can't say the 600 would beat them out, I simply don't know. As I said, I'm a seperates guy at heart. My gut feeling is I would prefer the really high end seperate system. Your comment that those cheap amps would beat out a 600 is crazy. You don't know that.(I do)I'm willing to open one up, and compare it to what you have anytime. I'd be willing to bet you can't show up here with seperates that are anywhere near the price, and beat a 600. End of rant.
Hey you don't happen to be a rep for Arcam, are you Zydo? I'm just checking
Zydo, I think that's wonderful that you enjoy(ed?) the Arcam. I sold Arcam for over 2 years from 2000-2002, in a High end Esoterica Audio Video salon, that sold 150K/pr speakers and 50K mono blocks! The Arcam makes great higher end mid-fi, entry hi-end Audio Equipment, yes. I like their products. I am also very familiar with their story, and their products, by enlarge. I also sold that Arcam line along with the likes of Aragon, Krell, Theta, Pass Labs, Audio Research, VTL, Wadia, Audible Illusions, Koda, and a lot more! The Aracam is not what your reviews are trying to sell, I am most certain! But then that comes from over 20 years with litterally 1000's of hours of hands on experience with some of the best audio equipment in the world, and from spending time with the same industry reviewers you are refering to!

".. If you care to believe what a reviewer says, yes, Peter Moncrieff, in widescreen review, said it was THE BEST sound he has ever heard, at any price. So I guess he would trade his seperates for it." *(Zydo)

Zydo, NO I do not believe what any reviewer says! And the Arcam 600 is will not replace a good separates system, accross the board. Any industry professional experienced audiophile in this industry, who knows anything, will agree with that position too! A receiver is simply an all-in-one box compromise, that's got a lot of audiophile tweaks done to the unit. It's not going to replace what better components where designed to do. I'm sorry.
REVIEWERS WRITE REVIEWS WITH AN AGENDA, AND FROM INCENTIVES FROM MANUFACTERERS..BELIEVE IT!! And if you doubt for one second that reviewers don't write OVERLY glowing reiews, because they're getting offered incentives and perks you're kidding your self! (if you owned an audio products company, and wanted to garantee a great review -to sell the most products you could - YOU MOST DEFINITELY WOULD BE TAKING CARE OF ANY REVIEWER WHO WAS WRITING YOUR REVIEW! ..that's life, and that's business).
You can say all like about how the AVR600 replaces all other audio equipment -so we can all stop looking, and all others can just go out of business now, cause Arcam is the only product to have - but I, and most every other audiophile industry person know better! And I don't have some tin ear,either! I can't tell you how many years I've read OVERLY GLOWING REVIEWS in Stereophile, Home Theater, Ultimate AV, AV Interiors, etc, where they put some $250/pr speakers in "Class B" or some AV receiver as class AAA (Ultimate AV), and I LAUGH!! Then, a year or two later that same products slips down to class C or D, and so on. IT'S ALL ABOUT SELLING PRODUCT PEOPLE! Haven't you ever noticed that Definitive Tech and Paradigm are always reviewed as the greatest loudspeakers in existence! (with reviews saying "best speakers I know of", or "you'll get no better sound than these", and so forth? Yeah, and all these years, reviewers have been trying to get us to believe that some Denon flagship AV receiver, or Bryston amps, Lexixon Processors, or Definitive Technology loud speakers were the best you could buy, Class A stereophile rated products! Well that's not been the case either, and neither is it the case with your receiver, no boubt.
When the Arcam 100, then 200, then 300, came out, those were otherwise excellent AV receiver were ALSO touted as being the greatest things sinced sliced bread too! I had them in my store, side by side with better products, and those Arcam's couldn't compete then, and they can't can't compete now. I assure you!
You cannot simply believe everything you're reading, especially when they come out and say "it's/they're the best ever!" or, "Nothing else even compares!.. so go out and buy it now!" -YOU SHOULD RUN FOR THE HILLS!! Cause they just got $100k and a free complete system, to go write those words in that review, and then they went right out and put a down payment on a house with that money! HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS BUSINESS, AND TIME AS WE KNOW IT IN THIS INDUSTRY!!!! I know far too many people, and been around too many years in this industry to know different. Sorry
Yeah, I put about as much credit on an audio review, as I do in Consumer Reports! But, hey, maybe to you it is the best. So I'm glad your happy. Just don't try to sell me on how Arcam is all I'll ever need to drive my Electa Amator's, cause i already know it can't drive em, and isn't strong enough as good separates, let alone refined enough. PPLLLLLLEEEEEASE!
I'm sorry. I missed that! DID SOMEONE JUST CHALLENGE ME TO AN AUDIO SYSTEM THROW DOWN?! LOL! That is funny. Yeah, let me just throw my audio system in a car and make the trip! LOl!
I'm sorry, but I apparently missed the last part of your CHALLENGE, Zydo! BBUUAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Wow. that has to be THE BEST response comment I've heard on this forum in a long long time! Lol lol lol ..Good suff, indeed. And, NO, the Arcam will never ever ever be able to do full justice to my very power hungry Electa Amators, nor some Appogies, or other full range 4ohm difficult load speakers. IT'S A RECEIVER! Albeit a nice one for what is is, admittedly.
Zydo, you didn't quantify what kind of music, source material, and also how you set up your system (crossed over as small?), and how loud you play your system! All that makes a difference - especially if you only listen to small instrumental cuts, light chamber music, and vocals, all played at "mouse" volume levels?
Are we driving those larger speakers full range with heavy volume, full scale orchestra, rock, heavy rap/world, metal, or heavy percussive pieces? How about Dolby Movies cranked up? Cause all that makes a huge difference as to whether your Arcam amps can handle the current, big time! It sounds to me like we might be dealing with an opinionated Norah Johnes, Dianna Krall, James Taylor guy, who likes small commedy movie pieces, and maybe Docummentaries, yes? I'm assuming no Metalica, Massive Attack, Floyd, Bob Marley, or Block buster Avengers movies at THX levels? Just curious.
Well anyway, if I could drag a system over to compare the Arcam (again, I know their products well enough) , I'd merely bring over some budget separates setup, like a modest used Harman Kardon AVR354 ($175 used market) receiver, driving out to a parasound HCA1205a ($400 on used market), THAT WOULD BLOW THE DOORS OFF YOUR RECEIVER IN FULL RANGE OPERATION, I'M CERTAIN!...and save a heck of a lot of money in the process! You bet!
My motto is never ever ever spend more than $1000 on some AV receiver, which will be mostly outdated and nearly obsolete in the near future! I always say, anyway.
Put the money into the speakers, first and foremost for the gear! $6000 for A receiver? BBUUAUAAHAHAHAHAH! ...NO! DON'T DO IT! Peace
Av, you really have blown my comments out of proportion.

-My first response to the OP was to add an amp to his set-up.
-I also said I didn't believe everything I read in Peters review. You said "nobody would trade their high end seperates for a recvr" I simply gave you an example of someone that went on the record saying basically just that.
-I also never said it would drive any and every speaker out there. You said it is fine for small bookshelves. I disagree, and gave you examples I had used when I had the 600.
-I also said it isn't a cheap alternative.
-I also said I'm a seperates guy myself, and that my current seperates are better. The 66 was better than my Sunfire seperates, and my Lexicon. The lexicon was quite some time ago however.
-I also said it's not the holy grail of audio.
-I listen at all different volumes, and play a pretty wide range of music. (Yes, Metallica, Floyd, Megadeth) All CD's or DVD's. Classic rock, jazz (both new and classic) Blues. VERY little rap of any kind. No dance or country. Concert DVD's are usually played quite loud. And yes, I play many, many movies of all sorts at different volume, depending on my mood, or the movie.

Your budget system you mentioned won't beat the 600 though. I would be more than willing to give you the chance with it however. And it is as good as average seperates any day. (to me, thats most of them) The old Arcam recvrs you mentioned are not the same thing. Have you even actually listened to a 600, or, are you just assuming?
Av and Zy, when you consider the subjectivity and component synergy that confronts people in this hobby, let alone what the OP is considering, then to a large degree you're guys are both correct. You are also both making a few generalities that seems to be the reason for your disagreement. In any event you're both providing information to the OP.

I auditioned an earlier version of the Arcam and it did sound better than the other receivers I was considering but its feature set was stunningly lacking. It was also a model that I later learned had some reliability issues. I've become quite content with a receiver running my HT only system. Compared to the fidelity of my two channel system it's a joke as are most HT systems. Even so, the room correction, modern codecs, and a massive sub, make my HT very entertaining.

Just how Arcam compares to separate multi-channel power amplifiers is, again, subjective at best. Depending on speaker selection I would agree its almost a given that adding an outboard amp will be an improvement over a receiver. At the same time I've heard some real crapy multi channel amps.
All posturing and bantering aside, I think Vicdamone hits the key points...honestly. ]
I think that should about end things on the Arcam vs separates discussion here, yeah? Lol!