Chucke....I just replaced my set of three speakers with Magneplanar 1.6. It seemed like a good time to do other updates.
1. My interest in a surround sound processor (in general) really evolved from my long time use of a center channel, and the desire to get better isolation of the center from the Left and Right. A dealer demo showed me that the matrix Logic systems included in SS processors do a good job in this regard. I only got into SS because I had enough speakers and amplifiers on hand to try it out without buying anything (except wire, and a DVD/SACD player). As yet I don't do movies or TV, except briefly to verify proper operation of the 1066.
2. I chose ROTEL because (a)..I have had good luck with their equipment in the past, (b).. there is a local dealer,..(c)...ROTEL equipment is designed to a price point that provides most if not all of the benefits of "High End" stuff, without the absurd cost. Reviews, good or bad, were not a factor.
3. At the dealer I listened to a McIntosh SS system. I think that Rotel does the processor job just as well.
4. The amplifier for the set of three MG1.6 is an ADCOM 5503. 350 watts/channel at 4ohms.
5. I biamp the MG1.6, crossed over at (presently) 90 Hz, 24dB. This is a Richter Scale LF Eq and X/O. Between the Richter Scale and the ADCOM amplifier I have about 20 feet of low capacitance coax which I purchased in a 100 foot spool. With the Richter Scale output impedance at 50 ohms, I don't think that I am vulnerable to interconnect problems that might afflict those with tube preamps and 600 ohm output impedance.
6. Between the ADCOM and the MG1.6 I have very short wires, Home Depot's finest 12 gage. They are free not only of Oxygen, but also of hot air!
7. The low end of my biamp setup is still evolving. I have three sets of SW drivers in 7 ft sealed enclosures embedded in the wall of my living room, directly behind the Magneplanars. Each SW consists of a 15" JBL LF prosound driver and a 12" Dayton Titanic II specialized subwoofer. (The design concept is to have a lot of driver area lightly
driven...like the Magneplanars). It works.
8. SW amplifiers are 250 watt (4 ohm) SW amps from Parts Express. Although they exhibit no distress, they aren't really designed to drive a 2.7 ohm load (JBL + TITANIC), so I am about to replace them with a QSC pro amp that likes 2 ohm loads.
9. And in the rear I have Dynaudio Gemini monitors which, when I get enclosures built, will be augmented by NHT1259 subwoofers. The Gemini's are driven by Kenwood LO7M monoblocks, about 250 watts at 4 ohms.
10. For source I use a Pioneer DVD45A which does both DVD-A and SACD (as well as CD). It sounds as good or better than my old ROTEL CD player, probably because the disc media is better to start with. Of course I also have a FM tuner, cassette tape, and LP playback, Shure V15 in linear-tracking arm. (I used to have MC pickups, but the stylus replacement costs were ridiculous).