sure don't have the answer to your first question. but i only spend a couple of hours a day on audiogon... i don't think thats too much... or is it???
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The key to your whole problem are the words: "Went to home theater year and half ago".
I have 10t's as well.....on a separate 2 channel system.
Can you put it back the way it was, and pass your HT through the 2 channel preamp? Or is the old stuff gone? I use a Mod Squad Line Drive Deluxe passive on my HT system to get good 2 channel out of it. Only way. HT preamps make horrible 2 channel. I fell into the same trap. If you are used to good two channel HT just won't cut it.
Good luck, I feel your pain.
I think "I" spend to much time on Audiogon, but here I am responding to your email on a Sunday after watching the 49er's walk over the Saints.
Anyhow I currently use the EAD TM Signature with two NHT SA3 sub amps and a EAD PM500(nice amp) soon to moving to a more powerful amp. Either,EAD PM1000, CAV180 or if I can swing it the Dreadnought, but that is wishful thinking. In my case upgrading my speakers may be better suited, but that's another story.
Now I have heared the Ovation, but not the Encore. The Signature is obviously better then the Ovation for two channel. It campares with my VTL preamp in soundstage, but a bit more forward. The combination with my NHT 2.9 speakers is quite good. I realize the 2.9's are not quite in the same league as the Ariel 10T, but they do well in my room and they were cheap. Using the PM2000 you got yourself a great amp. Your Preamp being the EAD Encore uses similar components the B&K uses. IMHO, For HT it should do well however for 2 channel moving to the Signature would be a great improvement will add the 3D sound stage and liven up the music. Now that EAD is owned by Taralabs you may want to look into warranty issues on older products and upgrades.
Another option is to get a two channel tube pre amp with Ht pass through and save the money on the upgrade.
I am off to wash my car!
Bemmer, Never heard of Mod Squad line driver Deluxe. Tell me about it and what else you have with it Thanks. Audionut, thanks for the advice. I know you dont spent much time on Audiogon and my name is BILL GATES Ha Ha I told my wife i was just going to look at the show famous last words Jimmyrod,I am thinking strongly of going with the upgrade to sig. I have heard goods things about this pro, If it is as good as your VTL tube pre amp I will be very happy. What kind of amp are you using and interconnects ,power cord