Please help newb put a system together
I have a quandary that I don’t have the experience or knowledge to solve. I’m hoping to get some help from the collective wisdom of the group and save myself some mis-steps.
Here is my situation.
I married into a stereo system that I’m haven’t been terribly fond of, but was what we had. It consisted of a low-end Denon AV receiver, Onkyo cd changer and Klipsch RF-7 speakers and Klipsch powered sub. As the speakers were the only part of the system with *any* quality, my plan was to use them and upgrade components. I should state that the goals are quite modest relative to what many here have, as my means are limited. My plan was to get a cheap Oppo universal player to use as a transport (which have done), and a Peachtree iNova. That way we’d be able to use a simple iPod full of lossless files for a “server” of sorts, and be able to play SACD/DVD-A on the Oppo—all using the DAC in the Peachtree for a significant upgrade in the quality of the digital stuff. (Analog is already set—I got a pretty good deal on a barely used Clearaudio Concept/Virtuoso wood setup and we’re delighted with that.)
The problem is that while waiting for the iNova to come out, I have been forced to come to grips with the fact that really don’t want to build a system based on the Klipschs. I simply don’t like their sound much. My Wonderful Wife likes them, and on some material they sound good, but more often, to me, they are brassy and harsh and fatiguing. I have some Kef 104/2s that I don’t love, but like better. WW doesn’t like them at all—boring and dull, says she. That is important, because while she may not be as far gone as I am, she is into it and we do a lot of listening together. We *both* have to like things. So I took a chance and picked up a used set of Sunfire CRM-2s. They seem pretty good. Surprisingly, WW likes them a lot. So, assuming the Sunfires work, my nice, simple plan is messed up. They need to be crossed over at 95 or higher, and they need more power than the iNova has. Now what do I do? How to do a crossover? (sub doesn’t have a high-pass output) So I came up with this idea. Get a big, older AV receiver of decent quality—probably a B&K 305 or 307, and the Peachtree iDAC. (I’m not stuck on Peachtree, but they do seem to have good stuff (well reviewed, anyway) and I do want to use the iPod for a high quality source (digital out), so options are very limited). I would be good with that, if it works. My question is, will it work—or more accurately, does it make any sense? Specifically, is there any point getting nice DAC? If I am using the B&K to do high pass duties, does that mean it is converting the analog signal to digital? (and then of course, back to analog). So I pay all this money for a DAC to get a nice analog signal and then send it to the receiver, is that a complete waste of the DAC? Would it be just the same as sending the digital output straight to the receiver, since it converts (I assume) to digital anyway?
Thanks very much for any help you can provide. I need to get this as good as I can on the first try.
Also, if even a higher end AV receiver seems like a bad way to try to get good sound, please make suggestions. I’m essentially starting with a turntable, a sub, and the CRM-2s. How to build a system that will cross over the CRM-2s, and get us “good” sounding digital?
We listen to most everything. Sometimes we listen carefully to small ensemble/solo acoustic instruments or individual vocalists where we want to feel “there”, at others we rock out to Rush, AC/DC and the like and volume and dynamics are what matters.
Budget is around $2000. Lower would be better.
Thanks again everyone.