Thoughts on potential new system?

Just went to a Magnolia Design Center and did some looking and listening. My wife and I started with the Sonus Faber 2.5 and 3.0. 3.0 was a big step up from 2.5, but still not great. (For reference, our stereo system is Magnepan 20.1 with AR Reference 3 and Cary Monoblocks). Anyway, tried the B&W speakers and liked them but my wife's ears found the treble a bit harsh at times. I thought they were good, but a bit sterile and brighter in character. Eventually settled on Sonus Faber Olympia 3 as our favorite. Thinking of the Olympia 2 in a HT setup to save a few dollars. Here is their recommended system with the TV (75" Samsung 8550).

Sonus Faber Olympia 2 fronts, Olympia Center, and some in ceiling rears (necessitated by room, unfortunately).
McIntosh 5 channel amp, 200wpc
Marantz pre/pro
Oppo 105 player
REL S3 sub

Any thoughts? I am pretty confident on the front speakers and the Oppo as being a good versatile player. However, I have never owned McIntosh gear and close to $7k for an amp is not cheap. The Marantz is under $2k so is reasonable. I have a Rel Britannia B1 sub in our stereo system for30hz on down so am pretty happy with Rel tho not so confident on HT use. My main concern is the McIntosh and whether I could get similar or superior performance for fewer dollars.....

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.
Take a look at the Emotiva XPR-5, 400 watts/ch., 5 channels, $2069. Or join their E-Club for $50 and get it for $1862...
I love my 6 channel Mac amp. However, it is a bit "laid back" when compared to some others. It is extremely reliable and never gets harsh or fatiguing.

The 400 watt Emotiva will only get you 3db more and will sound a bit dryer/more neutral (in my opinion).

I'm actually using the Emotiva UMC 200 pre with the Oppo and Mac amp. It sounds great but I definitely prefer to let the Oppo do all of the processing. With that said, I'm sure the Marantz is a nicer piece than my Emotiva pre. BUT, why spend all of the money on the bells and whistles of the Marantz if your Oppo will do all of the work. Having both is probably overkill. My preamp does little more than adjust the volume.

A-Can you lift the Mac amp to get it in the cabinet?
B-Should you spend that much more on an amp than pre? HT Preamps seem to be disposable these days.
C-The Oppo is awesome. I like having a preamp for volume and sometimes other sources.
I've had good luck with Parsound, I own a A-51 five channel amp for my HT, if money is a problem, the A-21 also performs well..much less expensive than the Mac, and very reliable. Sounds like you put together a nice new HT. Which Marantz did you get? Is that the Samsung 4k monitor? Any discussion on 4k content for your new monitor?
I'd consider one of the Class-D multi-channel amps from Wyred for sound... they will be significantly lighter, much more energy efficient, and will likely sound as good or better than any of the amps mentioned above.

They have a model that offers 5 channels with 221 Wpc into 8ohms or 368 Wpc into 4 ohms for $1999. Unless the other power-hungry amps or the aesthetic appeal of the McIntosh is worth another $5000, of course...
I like the Butler TDB5150 that my brother is using.
Planning on a Samsung 75" 8550 4K TV. Price is just under $5k. I thought about the 85", but we will only be about 9' away so not realley "needed" and wife thought 85 too big. I am waiting for a quote on rest of system to see how much room they have in pricing. They won't discount the TV, but should give 10% or more on the rest depending on the piece. I think 12% on speakers, but not sure on the electronics (I hope more). The amp is the hardest decision. Thx for the suggestions. Keep me coming! I was trying to stay to $25k but suspect wight the above equipment, I may be looking closer to 30k. This is at the tail end of a major (for us) home renovation. Been bleeding money for the last six months. At least this money will result in more fun than a new roof.....;)
I think the Marantz is the 7702 but not 100% sure. They were quoting $1699 so it might have been the 7701 and, if so, I know Crutchfield has them for 1199.....

Anyone have any thoughts on SF Olympica 2 versus 3? I am thinking with a sub, the extra 5 hertz may not be worth the extra money $3,500 more).
For what its worth, I went from Wilson Duette's to the Sonus Faber Olympia 2's for my fronts and I'm very happy with them. You could save some money on the amp by going with the Theta Intrepid.
Luvwine, it looks like you're replacing a two channel music system with a HT surround one, are you you going to continue using it for music too? If yes you're not going to be happy with this system. I come across this situation regularly with my customers. Personally I find spending big buck on surround sound electronics a total waste of resources when you can get the same or better from any Denon processor for a fraction of the price. I don't care who makes it a multichannel box will never sound good with music. As far as surround movie sound goes, its the same horrible heavily processed multichannel soundtrack getting reprocessed through the same chips, wether you spend 1k or 20k on the processor, you're not going make a silk purse out of sow's ear. For the most part there's very little but some background sound effects on the surround channels like a couple of bullets flying here and there, a fake explosion or the typical Volkswagon car door sounding like a Hummer's door and maybe a woosh of wind noise! What do you think you'll get by spending a lot of money on these sound effects by going for a so called high end brand vs the Denon.

Disclaimer, I'm a dealer but we don't sell any of the products discussed here and have no horse in the race. The reason I bring up Denon is because they make great products for the money, even better than most higher electronics manufacturers.

My advice, list what you want from the system first and then allocate resources accordingly. I think you're downgrading your sound with the proposed surround system here...

Hi David,

No, am not giving up my two channel Magnepan setup. That is in another room. This system will be for movies and occasional music listening. It is next to the kitchen and so I expect it will get turned on for music listening more than the two channel system that is farther away just due to convenience. We are pretty picky about speakers, however, and my wife went listening with me as she has greater sensitivity to harsh high frequencies than I do. She vetoed some speakers instantly. The processor is not that expensive ($1699 for the Marantz). I generally don't like to get integrated amps as my impression is that electronics/surround sound formats change pretty frequently, but amps can last indefinitely. For example, I used to have EAD Ovation and later Signature surround sound processors. They were very fine in many ways, but they got outdated and I ended up giving them away. I have had an ATI 1505 amplifier for years (paired with the EAD) and I expect it to continue going strong for years to come....

The sales folks have suggested a cheaper amp--Rotel 1585. Any thoughts on it versus the much pricier McIntosh?

Hey Luvwine, sounds like potentially we can have very similar systems. I am using Yamaha CXA5000 pre, Mac MC205, Oppo 103, SF Cremonas for the front three and two SF toy monitors for rears. FYI, I had the Marantz 7701 and it didn't play nice with my Mac, had a low hum at all volumes. I auditioned the 8801 and my Yam, liked the sound of the Yam better so kept that. If you go with the 7702, make sure there is no hum, the middle line doesn't seem to play nice with the Macs. Oh for sub, I went with two Rel T7s, found better balance and performance for movies and 2 channel.
Hi Luvwine,

My choice will always be Denon, its not what I sell but its what I happily listen to for a smaller system, and I'm used to systems starting around six figures. The same is true all my customers who use Denons in bedroom and surround situations. I'm knocking the Marantz which I don't, just recommending Denon because its very good.

You can pick any speaker or electronics that you like my point was that with HT you hit diminishing or zero returns very quickly.
Do you not think the ATI 1505 is sufficient? If not, why not consider the ATI AT2000 series?

The Marantz pre/pro has balanced outs, so I'd lean towards an amp with balanced inputs.
Well, the ATI is going to be used in an upstairs system.

I talked to another HT I staller who recommended the integra 60.5 processor over the Marantz 7702. They are the same price, and it probably doesn't matter, but any thoughts on that choice?

Thx again!
Oh, also Velodyne DD-10 versus Rel s3? Too many choices.....
Thanks Kalbi. Good info!
Sorry, it seems that the phone's autocorrect made jibbeish of my post. I meant to say "I that wasn't knocking the Marantz."
Outstanding to hear your wife listens and actually has valuable input. Your a lucky man. There is great essence in an unexpected gift for the one you love.

As to your choice of subwoofers. I've been a Velodyne customer for four generations of their subs. After one gains a good working knowledge of their new Manual EQ you can get a Velodyne to do your dishes...not really, but they are very adjustable.

You don't really need this degree of adjustability in an HT system. If your happy with REL then there you are. After a direct comparison I find REL lacking in almost all areas but this is certainly a matter of subjective taste. I use an old 15" Earthquake in my modest HT system. If I were to change anything it would be to add another sub for better room control. But hey, its just TV.

Happy shopping.
I have no direct experience with the Marantz or Integra models you are considering. I've owned a pre/pro from both brands (currently Marantz) and have been happy with both.

As far as Velodyne vs REL subs that's easy. Velodyne has a long history of minimizing distortion; REL is designed to support full range speakers. You can find measurements showing that in general REL does poorly in THD. This isn't a big issue with music for most people, but since movies can have more bass content I would avoid REL.

Depending on the size of your room I question the DD-10 choice. If budget is a factor, then look at SVS 12" and HSU 15" subs.
I ended up going with a Velodyne DD-12+. I actually have an SVS sub I may sell. It is a beast tho so I shudder at the thought of shipping it!
The DD-12+ should be a great sub. Its size and weight is about the limit for me and similar to my HSU ULS-15s.
I just got a Denon AVR X3100W...a new model. It does everything except shine shoes. ....and all of it very well. Highly recommended
I"m not sure, Luvwine, if you've been able to come to a decision on the amp question, but from what I've heard, the Rotel might be on the bright side. I'd second the suggestion to look into Parasound Halo A51. 5 channels at 250 watts per.

Parasound Halo amps are designed by a well revered engineer, John Curl. I've got the 2 channel version in my music only system, and the tonal character is really something. Your dealer may not carry Parasound, but I'd at least give it an audition.

I suspect you'll be quite happy with the Marantz, the Audyssey room correction is generally considered superior to what Yamaha offers though there are fans of each.

I've been told the components that John Curl designed are labeled JC, as in the JC-1 amp, JC-2 preamp, and JC-3 phono stage, but I'm not sure of that and I suppose he had collaboration. I have a JC-2 and JC-3. Their sound seems very transparent to the source, although stereo from my Oppo 105 sounds a bit better through the JC-2 BP than direct to the amps.

Db, Parasound states that the A21's(as well as all of the Halo amps) circuitry was designed by John Curl. I've read on line that his involvement in the A23 was minimal. Apparently he's been with them for a good while and had a hand in the development of their earlier generation amps well before any had a "JC" designation.

There is a lot of conflicting info out there on the net, as usual, so it's hard to be sure exactly what his involvement was in the Halos. Certainly the JC stuff is his signature stuff though. Either way, the Halo amps are quite good. I've owned Adcom, NAD, Harman Kardon, Emotiva and Outlaw amps, and to my ears the Halo is better than the lot.