Question 5000 for amp, proc'r & speakers for HT

I should start off by saying this isn’t for me. I’m still happy in a 2 channel world but, I have a friend who is looking at doing a HT system. I decided after Bose suckered him into an AM15 system last time he needed help. We have looked at just a few speakers – Sonus Faber Concerto and the B&W CDM series. These are the speakers that we have seen at two Atlanta area stores – HiFi Buys and Georgia Home Theater. My friend is not an audio purist. He is quite concerned with how cool things look and what cool technology does it have. He assumes a B&W Nautilus tweeter is better than those in other speakers because it has “Nautilus design.” Another example is he would rather have a receiver with Dolby Digital II and DTS ES rather than an older unit with plain DTS and a better amp. Personally I think that part is rather irrational.
I do understand the desire to have good looking speakers in you living room. For better or worse this kills Vandersteen and possibly NHT.
Also, he wants to purchase new to avoid the issues you have when buying used gear. I’m sure all of you on Audiogon would agree… ?

Currently his system of choice is:
B&W CDM9 –left and right
B&W CDM center – I don’t remember the designation but it’s the matching center
B&W 300 or 600 series as surrounds
Rotel’s current HT receiver – I know he likes the 100wpc model but I think he is more likely to get the 75wpc model due to reduced cost.

I don’t think I can get him away from the Rotel. Personally I like their products for the price. I think he would be better off going with a used surround preamp and amps but that wouldn’t give him DTS ES (any one know what the difference is?). I’m not a huge fan of the B&W stuff. Personally I think it’s price /performance isn’t as good as some other products. On the other hand I do like the looks of the CDM series.
He will use this system for rock and HT. Most of the rock is not high fidelity stuff but he occasionally will toss is classical stuff.
Please let me know what you think.
Hello Nikkidanjo,

I would agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion of the pre/amp seperates. Doesn't Rotel have a current model pre/pro with DTS-ES? The speakers I would recommend are the Dynaudio 1.3MkII for the L&R fronts and the 1.1's for the rears and the Dynaudio Contour center. They are not outragously expensive if you shop around and the sound is magnificent. If you can sell him on the Rotel seperates, you will be doing him a big favor. Generally, seperates are always better than a receiver. Good luck.......John
go with the outlaw audio's new pre/pro and amp combo- loads of power and every HT option all for 2100. I second the call on the dynaudio speakers- but you may want to opt for two pairs of 1.1's with the contour center and get a hsu research vtf-2 amp. killer stuff, looks good, and can be done under 5k with some haggling with the dynaudio dealer. Plus this will sound great with music, it may be a bit more then your friend needs, but at least you will appreciate it!
Looking at this situation again, i don't think dynaudio is a good idea. If you are stuck with the rotel, there is no way it would be able to handle the dynaudio's (they need too much juice), but you should look into the b&w cm series. They cost less and are probably the best looking speakers on the market. The monitor audio silver series would be the first runer up. Either of those two should keep your pal happy.

I think I am going to side with side with you as far as the Dynaudio speaker package is concerned. But I may disagree with you as far as Rotel is concerned. I say that because he doesn't have to get their receiver per se. They also have a nice pre/pro that retails for about $1,500.00 (which I like very much), as well as a matching six channel amplifier for just $1,000.00. I think that combination has more than enough power to drive the Dynaudio combination you are talking about. The pre/pro also has the DTS-ES capability he is looking for. The Outlaw package that you have mentioned is also nice, and is worthy of consideration as well, but I think he should consider the Rotel package as well. Just my thoughts and my $.02 worth.

Ever hear of the term *codependency*?
He's going to need a sub. It's just not HT without one.
Thanks for everyone's feedback. My friend has changed his mind again and now he's fallen in love with a pair of Nautilus 804s. He's decided great 2 channel is better than decent 5.1