HT Help [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : HT Help

11-17-2005, 07:47 PM
Im looking to build a HT / home audio system. I've been doing my homework and i have some questions, that hopefully some of you can answer for me. Im interested in buying a receiver, power amp, and some speakers (clearly). Im interested in spending about 1k on a reciever, 1k on a power amp, and im very interested in Paradigm Studio series speakers. Im looking for something that will suffice for a system that will be used for 75% HT and 25% music. So many variables to tackle. Rotel, Yamaha, Denon seem to have viable products for around the 1k mark (am i right?). As for Amps i have no idea, my old man has an ancient bryston refurbed SS amp, i think i would prefer a v-tube, presonally.
So to the point. Between Rotel, Denon, Yamaha what would be the wise choice @ the 1k mark? What is a reputable 5ch v-tube amp @ the 1k mark (if any)?

On a more technical note. Im trying to learn as much as possible, but some questions i can't find the answers to. When a power amp is used w/ a receiver, is the signal amplified before or after the digital processing in the receiver? Would it be advisable to power the surrounds from the amp and let the receiver handle the sub? What would be the ideal plan of attack?

Sorry if my questions lack clarity, im still learning.

Any insight would be most appreciated!

11-17-2005, 11:42 PM
It just so happens that I was looking at an audio flyer the other day. And a Yamaha RX-V2500 was listed at just under a $1000 cdn. I seen if memory serves me correct a 1500 for $750, this is as good as the 2500 with a few less bells and whistles. IMO this is the av receiver to get. Mind you they are coming out with the new line that is very tempting but also alot more money.
In any case I would just use your dad's refurbished Bryston. These things are built like tanks and they were consider hi quality SS amp back when I purchased my first Bryston is '79. I don't think the other power amps you mentioned would be better.
Your av/receiver serves as your pre-amp. You simply connect the receivers out to the amp and connect your speaker to the power amp. You can connect a center channel speaker to the receiver and the sub as well. If you get a sub get one that allows you to bypass the sub crossover and use the receiver's crossover. This makes for smoother intergration of the sub. With this receiver amp combination you can hook as many as 10 speakers. It is up to you to find the combinations that works best for you and your budget.

11-18-2005, 06:40 AM
vs this newer one.
It sounds just as good as my HK does and from what I hear it runs cooler and better quality control. It's right in your price range for a AVR.

11-18-2005, 10:10 AM
A few observations:

1) Why buy an AVR and a 5 channel amp, especially if this is mainly for HT? Unless you are planning of powering two 5.1 rigs, all you're doing is paying a lot of money for amps in the AVR you'll never use. Get a pre/pro from Rotel, Adcom, or Outlaw (to name a few). If you really want the tuner, buy one or get XM/Sirius. Seriously tho, for HT a decent AVR will more than suffice. Save your dough and put it into the speakers. Which segways nicely to...

2) Pick your speakers first. This way, you'll know what kind of power you'll need to drive them. Once you find a speaker that you like, check to see what its minimum impedence is and, if possible, what kind of swings will be presented to the amp. I'd also look into the efficiency (expressed in dB's/1 watt/1meter) as this give you a good idea how much power you'll need to properly pressurize your room. Most speakers these days are around 88-92dB/w/m. IOW, they present around 90dB's for 1 watt of power measured at 1 meter distance. 90dB's is pretty loud btw, so you can see how overrated watts are on avr's. That said, some speakers can be a real challenge if they dip into the < 2 ohm range. Heck, a lot of avr's will have problems with speakers that go < 3ohms if it's trying to drive 5 of them concurrently. Just use your head, experiment a lot, and you'll be fine.

3) There is no such animal as a 5 channel tube amp. The heat from that thing would warm a small house. Most manufacturers known for tubes, such as ARC, BAT, and Cary, all offer multichannel amps utilizing either ss or switching technologies. A multi-channel tube amp would just be a monster.

4) If HT is your primary goal, why do you want to go tubes anyway? Do you enjoy tweaking with equipment? I'm asking because a lot of audiophiles do and like to futz around with different tubes, caps, etc. This is a hobby after all. OTOH, I haven't run into many HT guys that are the same way.

5) Most mid-level HT's comprise an AVR, source equipment, 5 or 7 speakers, and a powered sub (or two). Some of us add a two or 3 channel amp to drive the mains for music. In this case, the signal is processed by the avr and then fed into the external amp which drives the mains. The center and surrounds are driven by the avr while the powered sub, as the name implies, has its own onboard amplifier.

Hope this helps.

11-19-2005, 07:09 PM
Thank you all for your insight!

After some thought i realized that i don't need a tuner, i can enjoy radio at work in the car etc. The reason i thought about going with a tube amp (they warm up bright speakers, no?) is, i read that Paradigms can come off as bright at times w/ their aluminum tweeters powered by a SS amp, i don't think brightness would appeal to me. Im interested in running a pair of Paradigm Studio 60 for L/R fronts, and decents speakers for the other channels. After burning through threads on various forums, i also read that A/V receivers can cause interferance within themselves caused by 1 pwr supply and all transformers / amps in one box (i can see with my basic elec knowledge how all those magnetic lines of flux can impede on one another), whereas separates have these components seperate as well as a little higher quality. My reason for wanting an A/V reciever / Power amp combo is i also read that all channels being drawn from one receiver box can cause strain on the components, which can't be overly good. So now im thinking on separates, but i have no previous experience with say a pre/pro / power amp combo. Do Pre/pro's have the same processing capabilities as receivers? is there any real difference besides a tuner being separate?

I have come to a new conclusion, through careful thought and analysis of all of your input, 4ch SS pre/pro (power sattelites, center ch. sub) 2 ch tube amp power 2 floorstanders? does this seem to be a more viable train of thought?

I've looked at the outlaw pre/pro's in the review section, and JoLida 2ch tube amps both seem to get good reviews, what do you gents think?

As for this being a hobby? who knows im just starting out.

Thanks again for your help.


N. Abstentia
11-19-2005, 07:45 PM
I definitely wouldn't bother buying a receiver when it's actually seperates you want. You can get the Outlaw 990 with a 7 channel amp for around $2k, plus the Outlaw has a tuner built in.

11-19-2005, 07:47 PM
...I frankly doubt the jolida's will have enough power to derive the best the speakers can deliver. You might want to seriously rethink your strategy here.

I mean, it's like MG TDs are cute little anachronisms, give a warm, fuzzy feeling and are fun to drive but they really can't keep up with today traffic. ..and believe me, with a HT you better be ready to run, ...particularly with those speakers.

11-19-2005, 08:20 PM
Being the beginner that i am, HT seems a little daunting at the moment, thats why im putting out my ideas. Personally, Paradigms sound good to me, im sorry i didn't fully understand your simile. Perhaps im wrong, i don't know, thats why i joined the forum, for insight from people who know better. The only sure thing is, the speakers i want to drive. Paradigm Studio 60 Front L/R, Monitors Back L/R, Monitor CC-370 center, perhaps Servo Psub or MK. What im trying to find out is the most efficient way to power them. I dont want to walk in a Hi-Fi shop and look like an idiot, where at the moment i could get taken advantage of, knowledge is the best weapon especially when someone is trying to sell you something.

Thanks for your patiens with my apparent ignorance.

11-20-2005, 04:28 AM
Overall, speakers (and their placement in the room) contribute so much to the overall sound of a system it renders the amp's contribution virtually null, assuming it has sufficient power to drive the speakers to the level you wish.

"bright" speakers are an issue of the speaker itself, not the driving amplifier. You can't expect an amp to compensate for perceived deficiencies in the speaker.

Well. that's not quite true, You can expect it, but don't be too disappointed when it doesn't happen.

So, if you like the sound of the speakers in your home*, give them an amp with sufficient clean power and you'll be home free.

*Your home, somebody else's home and a dealer's showroom are three totally different acoustic environments.

11-20-2005, 12:05 PM
I have a good Hi-Fi shop nearby, i'll spend some time there auditioning equipment, and see what i can come up with, i'll post back when i find something that works. Thanks again guys, i appreciate the help!