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  1. #1
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    Receiver/Integrated amp suggestions? Newbie here

    I have the Focal 706V speakers on order. The specs for the speakers can be found here: http://www.focal-fr.com/accueil_en.htm

    Here is where the speakers will be placed and this is what my apt. looks like:



    I will not be listening to really loud music, don't want to bug the neighbors. I am hoping to find a used receiver/integrated amplifier, so if you can recommend products from mainstream companies I feel like I'd have better luck finding something used; however, I am open to suggestions.

    Ideally I want a two channel receiver with a sub out. I will never be upgrading to a full HT setup.

    I have been looking at the Yamaha RX 797, I can get this for a price in my budget. Is this a good receiver?

    I have been looking at this list: http://hometheater.about.com/cs/topp...p2channela.htm


    Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks,

    Ryan

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Hi Ryan,

    I wouldnt plae my system the way you have it planned. I dont exactly know how your room is layed out, so cannot really comment. But based on on what I see from your duiagram, I would turn it 90 degrees to either right or left.

    What is the highest amount you think you can spend? http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ran&1172453589

    Good luck and welcome,

    JRA

  3. #3
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    As far as receiver vs. integrated amp, will you be needing something with digital inputs? Do you need a built in radio tuner? Is there any kind of wall behind the speakers? They are front ported so that's less of an issue, but even still I'd prefer to have them backed up near a wall.

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    focal eh? nad goes well with focal, so does rotel, check them out too.
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  5. #5
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    I used a Yamaha RX-596 receiver (which is an older model of the RX line you're looking at) for about 5 or 6 years. I was pretty happy with it overall. I now have an NAD C720BEE stereo receiver. Although I'm pleased with the NAD, the NAD is at least $100 to $150 more. I've put the receivers side by side and although I like the NAD better, I'm not sure that so many people would find a huge difference, and in fact, some folks might prefer the Yamaha. Is a tuner important to you? If so, a receiver might be the way to go instead of having to shell out for a seperate integrated amp & a tuner. If a tuner is not important, a good integrated might be the way to go. If you're interested in just an integrated amp, I would suggest the NAD C320BEE ($399) which is basically my receiver (the C720BEE) without a tuner. Both NAD's have a main amp input & a pre amp output for future upgrades. The Yamaha might have this also, I'm just not familiar with the 797. The NAD's 50 watts per channel should drive those Folcals nicely, especially since the Focals have a sensitivity of 90db. Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by emorphien
    As far as receiver vs. integrated amp, will you be needing something with digital inputs? Do you need a built in radio tuner? Is there any kind of wall behind the speakers? They are front ported so that's less of an issue, but even still I'd prefer to have them backed up near a wall.
    I do not need a radio tuner. What are digital inputs? At this point I want to go with something that will work well (very well) with my system at a very moderate price, if this is possible.

    There will not be a wall directly behind the speakers. They will be placed on either side of my TV facing the couch in my small living area, with no wall behind. I can work it out so that the speakers are backed up behind a wall, but they would not be in the ideal location. Any other alternatives? How much of a factor is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Hi Ryan,

    I wouldnt plae my system the way you have it planned. I dont exactly know how your room is layed out, so cannot really comment. But based on on what I see from your duiagram, I would turn it 90 degrees to either right or left.

    What is the highest amount you think you can spend? http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ran&1172453589

    Good luck and welcome,

    JRA
    If I face the speakers to the left they are facing a sliding glass door that leads to a balcony, facing the right they will be projecting into the kitchen. How important is the placement? I guess I should toy around with it when I get the speakers?

    As far as my budget, $450 is going to be it (unless I can't find something nice in this range). I would hope to spend around $300 or $350, which is why I would be inclined to buy a used unit. So if there are new units in this price range, I'm open to suggestions, otherwise model numbers or brands will help, I'll search for used units.

    What you showed me in the link is well within my budget.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark111867
    I used a Yamaha RX-596 receiver (which is an older model of the RX line you're looking at) for about 5 or 6 years. I was pretty happy with it overall. I now have an NAD C720BEE stereo receiver. Although I'm pleased with the NAD, the NAD is at least $100 to $150 more. I've put the receivers side by side and although I like the NAD better, I'm not sure that so many people would find a huge difference, and in fact, some folks might prefer the Yamaha. Is a tuner important to you? If so, a receiver might be the way to go instead of having to shell out for a seperate integrated amp & a tuner. If a tuner is not important, a good integrated might be the way to go. If you're interested in just an integrated amp, I would suggest the NAD C320BEE ($399) which is basically my receiver (the C720BEE) without a tuner. Both NAD's have a main amp input & a pre amp output for future upgrades. The Yamaha might have this also, I'm just not familiar with the 797. The NAD's 50 watts per channel should drive those Folcals nicely, especially since the Focals have a sensitivity of 90db. Good luck with your decision.
    A tuner is not important. I was looking at NAD initially but had a hard time finding an aboundance of used product. The NAD C320 for $399 is in my price range. Would this compliment my speakers very well? If I were to spend more would I be blown away by any differences? I'll take an integrated amp or a receiver, whatever will give me the most for my money.

    As far as the NAD's 50 watts per channel... I see my speakers are max 120watts max. Does this mean that the receiver will not power my speakers as well as a 100 watt per channel receiver? I believe some receivers may be 50 watts per channel, but you get more 'clean power' and better sound than you would out of a higher output receiver. Is that correct?
    Keep in mind I am not an audio guy, I'm half deaf, and anything sounds good to me.

  8. #8
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    I think the NAD C320BEE would be an excellent combination for those speakers as I have heard the 806 V which is essentially identical, hooked up to a NAD amp. That 50 watts from the NAD should be plenty to fill your room.

    If you've got twice the watts, you can certainly crank it up more but the question is an issue of will you really have to? I own the C320 right now and for a relatively efficient speaker like the 706 it should be loud enough without distortion as long as you're not at the opposite end of the room. It's really a matter of distance and room size in combination with the efficiency of the speaker.

    Digital inputs means if you have a CD player or computer (or something else) you can connect via optical (sometimes) or a digital coax connection to let the receiver convert from digital to analog. The C320 is entirely analog, so it requires that whatever you hook up to it have an analog output, which shouldn't be a big problem.

  9. #9
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    I have found a good deal on the NAD C325BEE Integrated amp. It doesn't appear to be much different from the NAD C320BEE, so I'm going to try and pick this one up. How is it different? http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers

    Should I feel good picking one of these up for around $300?

  10. #10
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    I have been a Focal-Jm Labs user for several years now.Have you looked at Cambridge Audio?They have 2 or 3 integrated units in your price range,they sound very good and work well with Labs.I power my Cobalts with the 540r and am very happy with the sound,very musical.Labs will also sound better if you keep them clear of room boundries so your set up looks good.Have fun.

    bill

  11. #11
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpt998
    I have found a good deal on the NAD C325BEE Integrated amp. It doesn't appear to be much different from the NAD C320BEE, so I'm going to try and pick this one up. How is it different? http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers

    Should I feel good picking one of these up for around $300?
    As far as I know, the 325 is just an updated version of the 320... anyway, NAD makes good budget integrateds, so you should be fine with the 325.... but also check out Cambridge Audio (as was suggested by another poster)....

    Good luck....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Reid
    As far as I know, the 325 is just an updated version of the 320... anyway, NAD makes good budget integrateds, so you should be fine with the 325.... but also check out Cambridge Audio (as was suggested by another poster)....

    Good luck....
    Will the NAD 325 have an auxillary in (For an mp3 player or external device? Or would I be hooking it up to left and right inputs? Excuse my naivety)? Am I going to be getting the most, or close to it, out of my Focal 706's with the NAD 325? Should I wait and purchase a different receiver? For $100 more I can get the NAD C352 integrated amplifier, is this REALLY worth the extra cash?

    I'm going to need a CD player. I believe I will run into a problem because the amp is analog and a CD player will be digital? What would happen if I hooked a $50 portable cd player to the amp? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Maybe I should go for a receiver with a built in CD player? I'm not sure what the most cost effective method would be.
    Last edited by cpt998; 12-29-2006 at 11:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpt998
    Will the NAD 325 have an auxillary in (For an mp3 player or external device? Or would I be hooking it up to left and right inputs? Excuse my naivety)? Am I going to be getting the most, or close to it, out of my Focal 706's with the NAD 325? Should I wait and purchase a different receiver?

    I'm going to need a CD player. I believe I will run into a problem because the amp is analog and a CD player will be digital? What would happen if I hooked a $50 portable cd player to the amp? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Maybe I should go for a receiver with a built in CD player? I'm not sure what the most cost effective method would be.
    As far as I know... all CD players have an analog output (and most now have a digital output as well)... so you will have no problem connecting a CD player to the NAD...

    Here is the link to the NAD site for info on the 325:

    http://nadelectronics.com/products/h...ated-Amplifier

    Apparently, it is as I thought just an updated version of the 320.... but with an "MP3 input"... (which seems unecessary, since you can just buy a special cable for connecting your MP3 or portable CD player to an Amp anyway)...

    So yes... you won't have any issue connecting a CD/MP3 player to an integrated amp...

    I would not recommend getting a combined CD player/amp.... better to keep them seperate in case you want to upgrade one later on....

    As for whether you should get a different amp/receiver.... well that's really up to you... but keep in mind that to step things up a "significant" level in this audio hobby normally means spending a LOT more money..... The best thing you can do is listen to a number of Integrated Amps/Receivers in your price range and buy the one you like the most...

  14. #14
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    cpt998-

    Don't let the 50 watts per channel fool you. I went from an 80 watt Yamaha receiver down to the NAD 50 watt per channel receiver and found their to be little difference in the NAD's ability to drive my speakers. I really don't listen to loud music, but I don't think that I have ever pushed the NAD past the 12 o'clock mark and it is still loud. Also, my speakers are harder to drive than the Focals with a sensitivity of 86db. More watts doesn't always necessarily mean better sound. By the way, $300 for the C325BEE is a good deal. It usually lists for $399.

  15. #15
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    Picked up a brand new NAD C325BEE on ebay for $350 shipped. I think I will be very happy with the receiver and the speakers, I'll post when I get everything hooked up. Looking forward to taking a listen! Thanks for the advice everyone.

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