"Based on the speakers i look at, are the amps i picked good enough?"
If you can't answer all of these questions on your own, you are most likely throwing your money away. If you must do it this way, take half of your money (20k) and use it to learn and make mistakes with, and then try and fix it with the other 20k. I know that this is not what you want to hear, and that other posters will blindly recommend gear, but looking at your situation, I couldn't come up with a better way to fail if I tried.
I was of like mind 5 years ago. Big amps etc. What I ended up with is a system that has 6 wpc and high efficiency speakers. Shindo, Decware, Leban, and others follow this route. The research and education is fun. Pure electricity.
Zd542 is absolutely correct, you have a real mess starting. I urge you to begin auditioning or take home demo equipment BEFORE you start buying. Your source information appears ill-founded and poorly put together.
Your deadline of one month is unreasonable at this point. I urge you NOT to make quick decisions based on a false deadline.
Education, education, education, will lead you to far better solutions for the substantial amount of money you have allocated.
Greatly appreciate if you can be more specific why I would be wasting the money? So if you think I made a mistake going this way then I am opened to recommendation how I should do it. Now that will be a valuable comment suppose to simply telling me I will be wasting money cause I won't learn anything from that. I am a newbie and yes I am here to learn so if you have a better way you think I should go with then please feel free to share. Thank you very much.
Well, if you are definitely going with Mcintosh, I can't comment on those amps, as I don't know much on them. I will say, I wouldn't spend TOO much on an amp for the surround channels. IMO, the main thing is the front 3 channels. You can always find a more moderately priced amp for the surrounds.
For the front three channels, my top choice would be:
Or, this Krell three channel for about two thirds the price.
This is a package that should also work pretty well. A pre/pro and 7-channel amp. BTW, Krell has announced an upgrade for the Foundation for compatibility with 4K/UHD video.
"Greatly appreciate if you can be more specific why I would be wasting the money?"
"The main speakers I am looking for is 802 Diamond (if new) or 800 Diamond if used or the used Scala Utopia III or Canton Reference Jubilee."
When you listened to all 4 of those speakers, how would you compare the high frequencies? Which did you prefer, and why?
Sautan, two pieces of advice ...
First and foremost, given where you are in your investigative process as of September 20, 2014 and the considerable amount of money that you plan to spend, PUT COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND ANY NOTION WHATSOEVER of getting "the system before the house warming party October 24, 2014." That is simply not enough time, period, exclamation point!
Second, don't worry about anything at this point other than the speakers. And to start that process you first need some sense of how much of your budget to devote to speakers. If total budget is $40k, that suggests to me a speaker budget probably in the $18k-$22k range). Whatever that budget number and whatever the number of speakers you are thinking about (2, 3, 4, 5, whatever), zero in on only those speakers models that fit within those constraints AND that you are in a position to audition in person. In other words, identify the specific speakers within your budget that you will be able to actually hear by going either to dealer showrooms or to audio shows or to the homes of other audiophiles.
Once you identify the speakers within your budget whose sound you like the best (based on your own in-person auditioning), then begin the process of investigating the remaining system components with the objective of selecting components that will fit within your remaining budget and provide the best synergy with your speaker choice.
+1 on the posts by Sdrconsultant and Zd542.
This is a fatal and disasterous train wreck waiting to happen unless
(1) you develop a careful plan as laid out succinctly by Sdrconsultant .
(2) fuggedaboud the house warming target date unless you are recklessly willing to tempt disaster with a very high likelihood of triggering it. Just remember that as soon as you waltz it out of the store, you just inked about a 50% depreciation loss w/o prejudice to the risk that you may find it difficult (at a minimum) to actually dump it on the secondary market.
(3) Welcome to the hi-end strata. As amply highlighted in the prior posts, if you haven't heard it personally, don't go there! Full stop!
Thank you for all the constructive comment. I have been researching since I started saving money and been auditioned since 2 months ago. I never believed more expensive means better to certain extend. This is really personal preference when come to how music should sound.
I have demo the MC152 on my PSB T6 and it sounds more to my liking than Yamaha reveiver even though the MC has less WPC. I also borrowed my friends 804 diamond playing on the MC152. Its sounds great but for some reason, I like the PSB better on clissical. But like the 804 better on movie, both without subwoofer. So it really come down to what I loke rather than price. I have auditioned the 800 and 802 and focal, but no chance for canton reference due to no demo store around my area.
My original plan was to get a great amp and keep the PSB since amp basically last a lifetime. Also will never have too much quality WPC to the speaker even for lower end PSB. If I started with great speakers, I do not have great amp to power it so I guess I will start with the amp first. For preamp/processor, I think I will go with something decent since they get outdated as technology improved, not like amp and speaker they basically last a lifetime.
So what do you think I stick with my original plan with just the great amp and decent processor like marantz av8801 or cx-a5000? I am just use my regular DVD player. Budget $17,750..
If 70% of your listening is music, you could use a separate preamp with one of the McIntosh amps. Then you would have a music system with very high SQ. Of course you'll need to decide on the best speaker to mate with the amp.
You could keep your RX-A3000 and run it thru a preamp with HT Bypass for HT/multi-speaker use.
And don't forget to add in the cost of cables, which can add up to a fair amount of coin.
With your budget, you are not locked into using only a processor/receiver. IMO, it would limit the quality of the music side of your system.
But I still do not understand why would it be a disaster for getting what I like within the budget I have set and save 2 years ago? Unless the amps and speakers I pick are tested to be bad matching, technically. However I thought you research, you have audition and from there you pick the setup best to your liking, am I correct?
But I still do not understand why would it be a disaster for getting what I like within the budget I have set and save 2 years ago? Unless the amps and speakers I pick are tested to be bad matching, technically. However I thought you research, you have audition and from there you pick the setup best to your liking, am I correct?"
There are always exceptions, but generally speaking, as the price goes up, the equipment becomes more specialized. You need to know what you are doing. For a beginner, its far easier for you to go out and spend $5000 and get a good sounding system than if you spend $40000. Yes, the pieces will usually work OK, but will you like the way they sound? It takes a long time to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to select components at the level you are talking about here. Opinions and reviews are useless for someone in your position. For example, say after 6 months or so, you come to find out that you really don't like metal tweeters. What are you going to do then? The only way to fix something like that is to get new speakers, or maybe do something very expensive on the electronics side of things. The only thing I can tell you for sure, is that it will be a very expensive fix. In my 1st post when I said its better to loose 20k first and fix the system with the other 20k, I meant that literally. Its easy to make a 20k mistake. I have, and more than once. I won't tell you how to spend your money, but you did ask for advice. I recommend that you do a lot of listening before making any major purchases. You need to find out what you like, and gain the skills necessary to put together a system that will make you happy. Its a lot of work, and unfortunately they don't mention this in magazine reviews.
if you REALLY want to assemble something fast get used Bryston gear which is still under warranty (and has what is neeeded for YOU to have coverage as well). They make processors and 5 channel amps which should exceed the quality of what you currently run and will play nice with the PSB and MANY other speakers including those you mention. SET-UP of your choosen speakers will NOT be easy as they all probably need much more breathing room than the PSB models, so unless your space is HUGE, good luck with that!
missed your source components if you mention them but am assuming digital since you are looking at "surround sound"
thank you so much! i don't know if i will ever get so deep to become a pro knowing the differences of speaker material , frequency, crossover, angle, room size and etc. I basically would like to have a very nice big quality speakers, amps that will last for long time (with proper maintenance). Once i am set then i am set. I do not continue checking and tell myself i should have got this or that system. Even i may get a new one, it will be at least 5 years later.
I appreciate your comment and I will give everything a very deep and thorough test.
Excellent post from Zd. To follow his advice, why not just concentrate on the speakers and the amp; nothing else. A mismatch here will cause many problems down the road.
As I said earlier, if your system will be 70% music then you should concentrate on this area first, the rest of the system will come later. Classical music in a system requires careful matching of components, as they are acoustic instruments and are not using amplifiers. IOW, you hear everything on the recording...the good and the bad.
BTW, what is the size of your room?
Definitely changing how I would choose the system now and take time to audition all the speakers and amps to find the best match.
Source, I assume you are asking component like DVD/CD player? It will be either from DVD or CD or iPhone. Just a normal player bought from bestbuy.
My room is about 500 sqft and 9' in height.
question. speaker frequency response is 18hz-40khz. amplifier frequency response is 20hz-20khz. does it mean speaker will only get what amplifier's frequency response?
Seems to me that any decent wide band amp should be rated lower than 20hz.
Reading through your responses to all this, I hope I didn't scare you away from putting together a new system. That wasn't my intention at all. My intention was to just avoid a train wreck. There's just a more sensible way to go about doing all this. The most important thing to realize is that there is a huge variety of components out there that all sound very different from each other. Some of it you will like, and some of it you'll probably hate. You just don't know what that is yet. The best thing you can do is to start listening to different equipment and form your own opinions. You don't need to be an engineer. From a technical standpoint, its not that difficult. You'll learn that as you go. Listening experience is what is really important. That, and make your own decisions. If you're not sold on something, or don't see the value in it, don't buy it. There is no one more qualified than you when it comes to selecting audio components for yourself.
well said. thank you all. it really comes down to what i like...period.
"I have auditioned the 800 and 802 and focal, but no chance for canton reference due to no demo store around my area."
Out of the 3, what one was your favorite?
I'm basically going to echo what everyone else has said. The most important item is the front speakers. Decide on those first and go on from there. My rule of thumb is 2/3 of the budget on speakers.
As everyone recommends, go with Oppo for the DVD/cd/usb DAC.
Why are you wedded to McIntosh amps? Nothing wrong with them, but just asking. Also, does your budget include the projector and screen?
" which one had the best treble??" .."which of the speakers tweeter sounded the best to you????" (Zb542 -aka, the cut-n-paste bandit) This is what some joker is referring you should decide your choices from?!!
..Yeah you can take anything ZB542 says with a great big grain of salt!! In fact, if anything that's about the only guarantee you'll find here!! Lol. What a joker! ("take half of $40k n then use other half to fix the mistakes ull be making!?!??" -ZB542)
Well enough about ZB542-8675309,er whatever his prison cell number was... If you buy any hifi gear at all these days, there's ZERO reason u need to take a loss if you decide to get something else n resell it. The used market is endless on the net, and many a bargain to be found if u take your time n wait for deals. That said, don't know anything about your acoustic space, the setup, your listening preferences, etc, to make proper recommendations to try. But, from your B&W n Mac considerations, I'll say that you'll probably be happy with the chemistry between this gear, yes. Still, only way to get strong dynamic and imaging performance out of those music first designed loudspeakers would be if u run them as small\80hz cross from ur processor for movies (best dynamic controlled from a 6ohm full range passive speaker), and I strongly recommend setting the speakers up so you sit closer than far from the speakers, such as a long-wall set up, sitting closer than back far from mains, or use in a high ceiling room application.(those open on top tweeters want more direct sound to ur ears than reflected sound from room boundaries.- Otherwise be prepared for smeared imaging, weak sound staging, and softened micro dynamics!
With typical acoustically challenging rooms and mmultich movie speaker systems, I usually recommend Dappolito config passive more movie dedicated loudspeakers, cause they generally work out better, where as your B&WS are harder to integrate.
Yeah, any more multi-midrage\bass driver sandwiching a tweeter or two, or focused propagation topology loudspeaker, even active designs, will usually yield a stronger presentation, sonically. Where as a single tweeter over a single midrange design offers dynamic limitations, more potential distortion a solid levels, less signal reinforcement for difficult material, needs narrower speaker distance setup than wide setup, and less acoustically friendly. (In fact, consider looking at older Mac HT-1 thx loudspeaker system design as a contrast for movies as a speaker design vs the 802s n find out the advantages n disadvants of one vs the other, n consider.
I personnaly would never own the 802 to keep, because I love superior dynamics n acoustically friendly loudspeakers myself.
But to each his own...just careful in setup otherwise, if u must
I like focal scala utopia and also find the 1038be is great too for much less on the demo. IMO, focal has better treble than 802 and 800. I like treble and I have problem hearing when people speak in low tone. In fact I think my cheapo PSB sounds to my liking than B&W. I believe it will sound even better with a better amp rather than receiver. Will try out few amps and go from there.
Already had the 85" 4K UHD TV. No plan for projector but looking at the Sony 4K short throw projector, maybe in late 2015
I hate to start talking negative in your thread, but I would recommend that you ignore Avgoround. I've dealt with him in other threads and he has no idea what he's taking about. More importantly, though, he's not here to help. For whatever reason, he enjoys coming into threads like this with the intention to mess things up for you. He enjoys doing it. I have absolutely no idea why he gets off on conducting himself in this manor, but he does. And he never stops posting, no matter how much he's not wanted. If you want to see what I'm talking about, have a look at his threads. They make for some very interesting reading. Again, I'm sorry to go negative, but in this case, I think its the right thing to do.
I bought the Canton Reference 3.2 Jubilees without hearing them.I've owned Cantons over the years and like their performance. The Jubilees blew me away with their ability to produce music unlike any speaker at that price or beyond. Highly regarded by Stereophile, class A for the "regular 3.2's. Too bad they are limited in production, I got the "99 von 100" of the series. I dented a driver with my vacuum cleaner but had a replacement shipped to me by the US distributor for $230, very reasonable. If you're in socal I'll let you audition them..
Sautan, my 18 years audio/videophile, 4 Ultra HIEND audio salon, 2 custom AV chain stores retail experience, litterally thousands of professional system design and custom system sales and installation worth of experience - not to mention I'm a pro acoustical engineer w a construction background - CLEARLY is evident in my postings history here on the Gon! Simply go through ZBD542s rank amateur opinionated posts that lack any real experience, on other hand, and your perspective is soon made self evident!! Well anyway, he knows what he is!...
Anyway, I suggest u eat the solid fundamental AV STEAK!!..not the unfounded uneducated fizzle from ZBD542! Enough said n good luck on making your OWN choices n judgements! Hope it all works out to ur satisfaction.
I use a McIntosh amp, Emotiva preamp and 802Ds.
My system takes no backseat to systems costing 5X as much
Speakers make the most difference