review my list please

Hello everyone. I am new to the high end world of home audio/video and am looking to build a system that i will be satisfied with for a long time and hopefully get it done on the first try. Music and Movies will have equal weight so i'm hoping for the best of both worlds. It will be going in our 2 story family room 23'x18'. The back wall is half open to the kitchen and the left side (facing the tv) is open partially to front rooms and upstairs rooms. I know this isn't a great room but I'm hoping it can sound great with only modest acoustic help. I would welcome any comments and suggestions in regards to the list of components I have so far. Thank is my list.
TV- Samsung 85in. Q90
Mcintosh MX123 Processor
Mcintosh 8207 AMP
Focal Kanta 2 towers
Focal Kanta center channel
Focal 300-ILWCR6 surrounds
Panasonic DP-UB900 Reference Blue Ray Player
Sonos Port Audio streamer
Audioquest cables
Hi ronboco

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with your list, but have you heard many speakers and HT systems?? What is it you like about your choices so far?  What else did you like?


I agree with erik. At this price level there are a lot of very good brands. What you have assembled is SWEET for sure, but what else have you heard?

I would maybe swap out the Sonos streamer with a Bluesound Node2i, but the rest is pretty nice!
thanks for the input. So far I have only listened to the B&W 702 S2 but I think they also have the 804 D3 so I will listen to them as well. They carry Sonus Faber Towers  too but I think they are above the price  point I would like to stay at. Should I find out and give them a listen? If there are any other brands you think I should listen to please let me know. I originally had a Bluesound  node 2i on the list but the salesman said the Sonos port supports high definition music now and has a few more options. I can switch back if you think the node would be the better option. 
If you really do care about music then you really do owe it to yourself to go and compare. Specifically, you need to go and listen and compare what your money will buy you in a good stereo integrated amp, compared to whatever it will buy with surround. Because I can tell you right now you absolutely shoot yourself in the foot and kill any chance you might have had at good sound when you go surround. Absolutely kill it. Forget about it. Stick a fork in it. Done. 

Why? Well for starters you're spreading the same funds across way more components. Sound quality is primarily about quality. Not quantity. The only place quantity matters is with bass. You do want four subs. Not two. Four. Its called a Swarm or distributed bass array. Do a search. Kind of money you're talking you definitely want this. Everything else you want 2Ch. No surrounds. No center channel. Good stereo already gives you a rock solid center image. Stupid to pay money for a speaker and amp for what two will give you for free.  
Second big reason you want 2CH is the sound quality is so much better. Just look at that Mac processor. Look at how much stuff is crammed in there. Every single one of those parts- power supply, processor, all of it crammed all close together. The noise from one going right into the others. Yeah they try and tell you shielding, isolation, separate this separate that. Right. Go and listen. You will hear the difference. There are no surround anything's that can touch 2ch, not without spending five, ten times, maybe not even then. 

Don't take my word for it. Go and listen. You will see. I sure did. That's why my solution is this And I tried and tried and tried. At one point I had full range surrounds, the works. Was so blown away by how much better stereo sounds its not even funny. Got rid of it. 

You said one and done. Good stereo integrated, good pair of speakers (Tekton, awesome) four good subs. These right here will save you more than enough - while sounding better! - you will be able to afford way better cables and conditioner, things that will take a system that already outperforms anything surround can do and takes it to a whole other level. 

Sorry, but I am so sick of the way marketing and CW has brainwashed everyone into thinking everyone needs 7ch to watch a movie. What you want with a movie, 3D soundscape to lose yourself in, you get better with what I'm talking about. Not even close. Go and listen. You sill see.
Check out comparable Monitor Audio
I would see if you can find an Oppo 205,its got sacd playback and was top of the pack until they ceased production.Still available if you look hard.
millercarbon pretty much posts the exact same message to anyone here who is asking a home theater question.  I wouldn't put that much importance on his views, unless you are a 2-channel person only.  You can definitely get an excellent multi-channel home theater system.  You have a very good list right now. 
I appreciate everyone’s point of view. Thanks again. I will definitely post when I have the system in and have been able to spend some time with it. Keep the suggestions coming! 
+ 1 for the Oppo 205.  ( Pjr )
Oppo was the Mac Daddy of Blu-ray and also has exceptional audio, you can play music by CD or DLNA. I have one and use it for movies as well as some audio.
You should be able to find one on Ebay, it will be used but well worth it.

Since you obviously know what you want which is 50/50 music and movies you are on the right path. As long as you understand that you will not get optimal audio with this configuration.

Only other thing I will add is take a look at the Marantz 8805, this is what I have. The 8805 has significant design changes from the previous model to improve all aspects including audio.
I watch movies in 7.2.4 Atmos, when I want to listen to music I switch to my music server and use Pure Direct. Or DLNA from Oppo.

In the future I plan on having a dedicated 2 channel, that way I can have the best of both worlds.

And as others have suggested listen to other speakers and components.

Good evening everyone. I had a thought from reading in the forums and regarding the music side of a system. When people talk about which brand of towers they like I have read very little about a good sub paired with them. Should I look for towers that provide all the bass I want or not be concerned as I will have 2 subs at my disposal. Thanks for your input 
List is fine but the weak link is definitely the Sonus. The Bluesound node 2i would be an improvement but it is still entry level and a better streamer/dac would be well worth the extra expense. There have been plenty of posts to look at re streamers.
-1 for Oppo.

Sound is good, but two samples I have had experience with freeze often. To the point that the only way to get the disc out is to unplug from the wall, plug in again, and hope it opens when you press the button. Sometimes it even works from the first try. There are more issues of similar/freezing nature with different commands/applications so I would stay away.

Again, that is based on only two particular machines (105 and 205) and their inconvenience. No complaints about the sound, though.
Glupson, Strange... I have the 103 and 203 and have never had that issue, never had any issue.

Have you updated the firmware?

Ronboco - The bass is preference. I have B&W CDM7 SE front speakers and they provide all the bass I need or want for 2 channel music. I have 2 subs that only come into use during tv and movies.



Those two Oppos are not mine, but I frequently use them and was the one who updated to the latest firmware and all that. It actually seems it has been getting worse. I always read about satisfied owners so these two may just be my magic touch. The sound and picture are just fine when they work. At least one of them I think it is 105 but am not certain at this moment, is Darby edition, if that matters for anything.

For general music, the Kanta 2 might be okay without a subwoofer.  I haven't had direct experience with these, but I seem to remember they are kind of light on bass (I could be wrong).

The REL subwoofers are extraordinarily clean and smooth.  If you want really good resolution, they are excellent.  If your primary purpose is music, they might be a good choice.  But they are not meaty sounding subs and if your primary purpose is home theater, I would look at a really good vented sub, like something from Rythmik.  There's a definite difference in sound between a sealed sub and a vented sub
Again many thanks for all of the great input! I’d like to touch upon the mx123 and get some advice. I’ve been reading that the marantz 8805 is every bit as good as the mx123 at a much cheaper price. And that they are also sisters in many ways using some of the same tech. Should I save the money and get the 8805? Is the 8805 a good pairing with the mc8207? 

I sent you a message, I know a Marantz dealer that could give you info on the 8805 vs the McIntosh.

I have a couple of Emotiva amps with my 8805, not sure how the MC8207 would work. Someone else may know.

I’d like get some input on the cables I have on my list too. Will the audio quest be adequate or is there a better alternative. Thanks ! 
I've tested the 8805 in my system.  It's an excellent processor for the cost.  Large power supply and discrete analog output stages.  Very good bass, punch and midrange body and fullness.  However, it is voiced slightly warm with slightly rolled off high frequencies.  It's a great product.

I haven't heard the MX123, but it's also very well built.  I don't know if it's similar to 8805 or if it has better high frequency response.  Either product will likely,

I wouldn't recommend Audioquest HDMI cables.  They did not perform well for the price you pay.  Audioquest interconnects and speaker cables are good.  So are the power cables.  There will be a million different opinions on the best cables and this is a "can of worms" question, lol.

I would recommend older WireWorld Series HDMI cables that do not have the DNA Helix design.  The older Silver Starlight 5-2 or Starlight 5-2 or 6 are excellent.  If you're on a budget, the Neotech NEHH-4200 HDMI is excellent for under $100 and will perform as good as the much more expensive WireWorld 7 Silver Starlight.

Thanks for the feedback. I’m leaning more and more towards the 8805. The savings would allow me to bump up to the kanta 3. I will definitely research the cables to make the best choice I can. 
I like Samsung but some of the larger tvs have an odd connection setup with all connections into a remote box (power too) and a scary thin umbilical cable to the back of the tv, like pencil thin. Saw one and I found it worrisome.
Timinphoenix. Thanks for the heads up I will look for that. 
Hello everyone. I think I’ve finalized my list. I’m going with the 8805 over the Mx 123 and switching to the blue sound node. Also Focal had a flash sale of 20 percent off so I upgraded to the Kanta 3. Thanks for all the great advice. I’m looking forward to seeing how it sounds. 
I spoke too soon ! I need some more assistance please. In regards to a dedicated 2 channel system I would be considering at a later date. Is a HT bypass amp all that I would need or is there more to it. Thanks ! 
You want a preamp with "HT bypass" mode.  The preamp would be connected between the Marantz 8805 and left/right chanels of the McIntosh 8207 amp.  When you switch the preamp to the bypass input, it essentially connects the 8805 directly to the amp, allowing you to do any movie/streaming as normal.

When the preamp is switched to another analog source, it would just play that source (such as DAC or turntable) through it's normal preamp gain stage and out to the left/right channels of the McIntosh amp.
Thanks for the help! I’ll start researching a good quality unit for pricing and compatibility 
Good day everyone. I did some last minute tweaking and would like some input on if I made the right decision. I have swapped out the 300 IW6 LCR in wall speakers for the Kanta 1 book shelves with stands for my surrounds. Sound quality and more adjustability was my reasoning. Did I make the right decision ? 
I forgot there was another reason I’m questioning myself. The in walls are a three way speaker compared to the two way Kanta 1. Will I get a fuller range  of sound with the three way ? Thanks again for your input.