Also check out www.avsforum.com
Lots of input there.
Lots of input there.
Go with Mark Levinson!!!! Runco, Lexicon, Lin, B&W, or Wilson. Go used on most...I did and I have assembled a system that would have cost well over 100K and I spend around 35K.
Mark Levinson is on here all the time and good deals. If you are going analog, I suggest you buy new turntable, arm and cartridge, However get a Manley phono preamp! If tube then I do not know...I own a Cary SP98 preamp and Rocket 88 amp. And love the tube sound.
Stay away from Proceed. It was great gear, but the company is having
trouble servicing it. For your surround processor, get the Lexicon 12B.
For your amps, Levinson 436's. Get them used. I believe the warranty
is transferable. Speakers? B & W N802's. I'd buy those used, too. With
Levinson 436's, those N802's would sing, sing, sing.
I'm not crazy about B & W until you get to the N803 and especially the N802. I also think a lot of people buy B & W and then fail to provide the
amplification necessary to make them work properly. But, I was just throwing out suggestions -- there are plenty of other speakers that would work given that budget. I would strongly suggest Wilson Watt/Puppy7's. If you liked the Revel Salons, those are also fine speakers.
Speakers are the hardest things to recommend because they are all different and everyone hears them differently. I can recommend the
Levinson amps because I own and love them. I also own Proceed gear
and I can pass on that when I tried to get some repairs recently, it was a
hell of an ordeal.
Sabailey: In comparing the B&W 802 & 800 I have found similarities. In both models it is easier to produce a sound spectrum that is more seamless top to bottom (to my deaf ears, of course) than with the 801. In the 801 the difficulty I had (at a friend's house) was to get rid of the sub-woof's dominance in the lower mid region. Not so with the other two.
Although I would definitely choose the 800 over the 802 (for more extension, an "effortless" mid-range, higher spls & dynamic possibilities...), the price differential is important...
In a similar vein, another British manufacturer that you may consider is Tannoy: I listen to classical so, IMO, Tannoy's top models are better performers than the B&W equivalents. Their Dimension series apparently is conceived for dual, home theatre/audio, use. Good as the TD12 is (the only model I know rather well), the Prestige & Kingdom series have better (musically) offerings.
Video, my theory on video is to buy at the last possible second and buy the cheapest projector you can use and still enjoy watching your material. The reason for this is technology changes so fast, you will probably want a new projector in 3 years no matter how much you spend on it.
Audio. I think you should also check out the vandersteen line.
2 5A's or 5's
2 or4 VSM Sig surrounds, with 2 2WQ subwoofers
1 LFE Sub, your choice :). Make it one that can kick but though, as you will have all the "musical" subs you will ever need.
With this setup, you will have flat frequency response in all speaker positions down to 20HZ. You will also be able to play music every bit as well as HT.
As far as amps go, I had good results with the Theta Dreadnaught II. My system is like the one described above.
As far as prepros go, If you are really serious about music, I would get a cheaper prepro and buy a high quality cd player and a good 2 channel preamp. You will get better sound in 2 channel than the best SSP can provide and you will spend a lot less. If you just want one box to do it all and not try to optimize your 2 channel sq, I would look into Theta, Meridian and Lexicon. You will be giving up a lot of sound/$ spent by doing this in my opinion though. I own a Theta btw...
If you're going to go the cheaper surround processor route -- I would suggest the Anthem AVM20. Much less expensive than the Lexicon, and
you have to go up to something like the Lexicon to beat it -- for Home
Theatre. Now, take the savings and buy a two channel pre-amp and you
*will* get better two channel music performance and home theatre performance will also be great. But, i agree -- if you want a one box solution and if Home Theate is of equal or greater importance -- get something like the Lexicon MC12B.
You guys have been great! My new fear is setup. I have always paid out the a## for this and if I build this system on my own are there people who will dial in a system for me? If I go with a local shop I will be forced to use what they sell which limits my options.
I am considering the Krell FPB 700 to drive either the 802's or 800 sig, or the Wilson Watt 6. Lexicon 12b as my prepro. Any thoughts?
That sounds like a nice system. Shouldn't be that hard to set it up.
Tuning it to the room is another story. Here's what I would do. I would
buy all of those components used. All of them appear regularly on
Audiogon and can be had for about 60% of MSRP. Take the savings and
hire an independant acoustics consultant to tune your system to the room. I would also make sure to install dedicated circuits to your system and do something about your AC. I would recommend Balanced Power Technologies BP-3.5 for your system. I doubt you'll find one used -- spring for a new one. It's the last one you'll ever buy.
If you are building a 2/5 system can you have a dynamic system that is still warm to the ears? Can Krell with Dyn c4 make this happen. Does the Lex 12 make his possible. I want a system that is easy to listen to, but siill gives you a punch. too much to ask? The 800's actually seemed a little flat to me.
IMO, Krell is definitely punchy, but can sound a little analytical.
If you have a warm system, pairing it with Krell might give you
all the punch for which you're looking, while also bringing your
system back towards neutral. IMO, Levinson amps a touch warmer
than Krell and without the "edge" that *can* make Krells sound
fatiguing in the wrong system. I've had both Krell FBP350 MCX's
and Levinson 436's in my system and the Levinsons stayed, but
I wouldn't hesitate to pair up the Krells in another system. Just
that for my system, the Levinsons were like baby bear's chair --
Just right. Excellent detail, solid bottom and top extension, detail
without fatigue, just a touch of warmth -- perfect -- brought
everything into balance. Personally, I would be hesitant to match
up Krell with B & W, but plenty of others do -- so take my opinion
with a grain of salt. I think the analytical B & W's sound good with
a slightly warm amp. I heard the N802 with a Plinius SA250 Mark IV
and that was a great combo -- the plinius added a little warmth to
the analytical B & W sound, while pumping enough class A juice to
make them sing. B & W need lots of juice, so -- IMO -- tube gear
is out. This is why I originally suggested Levinson 436's with the
N802's. The Lexicon is pretty neutral to my ear. In your price range,
I would encourage you to audition Watt/Puppy7's. Kharma is another
speaker youy might consider, and -- again -- Joseph Audio Pearls.