Time to get a new setup. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Time to get a new setup.

johnny p
11-19-2007, 06:46 PM
1st post, looking for some help. I currently have the Cerwin Vega Re 30's, so two 12" fronts, the center channel, two CV bookshelfs for the rears, and a downward firing 15" CV sub. I'm obviously not an audiophile, and I purchased these 10 years ago while in College (they served their purpose well) I'm looking at possibly getting a new B&W Mini-theater (M1's, then the cheapest of the three subs) I think the price tag was $1200-$1500 for the set.... I came across a used set of B&Ws (my brother has B&Ws and like them, so that much I know) but I don't know anything about these..... here's what the guy has:

a B&W ASW 600 subwoofer, 2 B&W DM600 S3 loudspeakers for the rear, 2 A&W DM601 S3 loudspeakers for the front, B&W LCR60 center channel speaker, and the front and rear speakers come with stands , it also comes with the cables need, and a Denon AVR-1604 surround sound receiver. (the old Cut-N-Paste job there)

So... I was thinking about calling this guy up and running over there and checking out his set up. I know nothing about that model of receiver for one....... and then, the speakers, I believe are about 5-7 years old? based on the models???? am I right? He says he purchased them new 1 year ago, but anyways, if their in good shape, I shouldn't worry about is should I ?

Anyways, this guy is asking for $1500 for the whole set up (from the pictures he sent me, the stands look good, but they aren't B&W stands from what I can tell) He told me OBO in his email, and I'm thinking if I pay him in good old fashioned hard currency, he may jump at $1200 or $1300 It seems like a good deal to me...... I guess I just need to know if this is a good price, and if these are good speakers? (I don't know if B&W makes anything that is really bad right??)

Also, I primarily use my surround setup for movies, and I RARELY listen to music anymore, and when I do, it's certainly not at a volume that justifies the setup I have. The Room size I would classify as "small to medium" I don't see us purchasing another house within the next 2 years, because the next one will have LARGE living room in mind...... or basement theater..... we'll see!

I'm just looking for an affordable upgrade to what I currently have, and I want SMALLER speakers.... and the wife is on the fence about these, so I need to know if it's worth it to get these, or just get the Mini-Theater setup from B&W. In Wall/Ceiling speakers are out of the question also....

ALSO.... as I said, I'm looking for AFFORDABLE......so although I appreciate the fact that yeah a $3,000 Marantz receiver is better than this Denon model I don't know anything about, and better speakers are out there........ I'm not trying to get divorced!

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11-19-2007, 07:14 PM
Hey johnny p.,

Welcome to the forum. In short, yes you are looking at a nifty little upgrade there, especially for a small room. While you may not currently listen to a lot of music the B&Ws may change that. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the increase in clarity and, potentially imaging should you forgo the wall mounts and stick with the stands. Don't worry if it turns out the speakers are a few years old. Speakers tend to last for a very long time--10,12,15 years.

Right now is a great time to buy secondhand, basic systems with all the new formats coming out. True, the Denon is not the "next big thing", but it is a solid performer and can be had on the cheap. You won't have any of the HD Hi-Rez signals and maybe not ProLogic2 but you'll be utilizing DTS and Dolby Digital for 99% of everything anyway.

Now, one word of caution. Don't expect the Beemers to have the slam and oomph of the Cerwins. They are a different animal, perhaps a tamer, more refined one. You can still get the kick you want out of them it's just going to take a little work. After having plugged your DVD player via digital connection to the receiver, access the player's menu and switch the speaker setting to 'small". This will route the bass signals to the sub . Make sure that the sub's crossover point is set to meet the 600's lower threshhold and you should, with a little tweaking, be ready to have a night at the movies.

Have fun and let us know how everything works out.

Mr Peabody
11-19-2007, 07:58 PM
You could Google the speakers to see what they sold for and other info, maybe a review. The receiver's really not worth much for resale, as I believe it was the lowest in the line that year. But if the speakers are worth what he is asking the receiver would be gravy. You can get some decent HT receivers, better than the 1604, for $499.00 or less new. As Bobsticks mentioned you could probably do without some of the very latest in decoding, run video directly to the TV so the latest switching wouldn't be needed but to keep current with maybe a HD disc player down the road you should hold out for multichannel analog inputs. Preamp outs is a nice feature for future upgrades too.

11-20-2007, 01:52 AM
I have an earlier pair of 602s2's THAT ARE ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD and still going fine.
Currently the plate amp is out on my sub, but I get plenty of bass out of my s2's.
B&W is known for their bass, these speakers really intensified my love of music at a time when it was fading.
Sounds like a decent deal

johnny p
11-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Anyone with experience on the B&W mini-theater setup, or am I better off going this route?


11-21-2007, 06:54 AM
One more for buy the speakers - see if you can delete the reciever and reduce the price...

The Denon is unimpressive and i have had reliability issues with them. The Denon may not be powerful enough to fully drive the speakers IMHO.

Telll us about your current receiver. It may be better than the one he includes...

Mr Peabody
11-21-2007, 07:05 PM
My brother has the 1603 and it drives a pair of Infinity Kappa 7's, a Kappa center and RS rears, I don't think the B&W would present any more of a problem than those Kappas. I was not aware Denon had any particular reliability problems.

I didn't have issues with the quality of the 1604, I just wanted the poster to get a feel for what it was, it's a Denon but the entry position, which usually still is pretty good for the money. It's just the resale of a piece like that wouldn't be much. From the systems I've heard Denon and B&W are a good match.

johnny p
11-22-2007, 08:58 AM
my current receiver is probably worse than the Denon (I'm not audiophile as you can tell) I'm currently using a Sony STR-DE698 So it looks like I should have sprung for the Harmon Kardon or Marantz when my last receiver crapped out. I had a lot going on etc, and I had zero budget.... so Sony is what I got!

I think the Wife is o.k. with me getting this Setup.... so I guess I should pull the trigger on it? He won't sell it without the Receiver. I was thinking about offering him $1,200 without the receiver, or $1,300 with it, and see if he bites on either one.


I'm kicking around the ideal of slowly transitioning my system to a new one (the front speakers are HUGE and that seems to be the largest complaint from the wife) There is bound to be a Hi-Fi Home Theater shop in my area (Cleveland) so If I were in the market for Front Speakers only at this time..... say, under $700 ea. what's the most bang for my buck? (Can I even buy anything good at the price???) I would want to eventually replace my entire set up, so I was thinking fronts, then maybe the center channel, rears, then new receiver, then sub last (as I'm sure it'll have the highest price tag) I want to make sure I get good quality stuff the first time, so I'll get as many years of enjoyment out of it as I did my last set.

johnny p
11-22-2007, 09:22 AM
O.K. sorry to keep this going on, and on, and on..... but after a quick search, I found a local shop that has a "consignment" list on their website, and a Marantz SR870 receiver caught my eye, for $350 and they also have two Pioneers, one VSXD903 and One VSXD35 both under $500 I don't know anything about Pioneer as far as high end "Anything" goes though. They list a lot of other goodies for new stuff, and I'm definitely going to stop by and check them out after the holidays....

Mr Peabody
11-22-2007, 03:01 PM
Marantz is a good receiver. I don't have much good to say about Pioneer, they'd be near the bottom of my list.

B&W are decent and offer a good budge line. Paradigm is also a line to give a listen to.

johnny p
11-24-2007, 08:04 PM
I think I'm going to start with an HTM7, and pair it with a pair of 686's and 685's and keep my current sub until the budget allows me to replace it...... I wanted the DS3's for the surrounds.... but the wife won't allow wall mounting (you can see what I'm up against) If I got the DS3's would they be able to be placed on stands? I'm going to the store tomorrow to price a few things out and compare to what I've found online. For the Fronts, and Center, I've been given a $1,500 budget (hence why the HTM7 isn't going to be married up with some 705's) should I abandon the HTM7 since I can't afford the 705's ? I'm so new to this.... but from everything I've seen, the Center Channel is the MOST important one

Mr Peabody
11-24-2007, 09:24 PM
Your center and mains should match for seamless left/right panning of sound.

johnny p
11-25-2007, 02:02 PM
O.K. update. I purchased two 686's, and the HTM7 today. (I am going to suck it up and use these all up front, until I am ready to purhase a pair of 705's and move the 686's to the back) This should sound good in the meantime right? it might take me 6 months to get the green light to purchase the 705's

johnny p
11-25-2007, 03:50 PM
I purchased the speakers I stated above New, awaiting delivery to the Dealer, then I'll pick up...... they said they did consignments every year also, and had a big trade-in sale, etc. What's a reasonable price I would expect to pay for a set of 705's ? I know they're $1,500/pr new. so $1K about right? or less? if it's more, I'm buying new.


Mr Peabody
11-25-2007, 04:13 PM
That sounds about right to me. You can check Audiogon to see what they sell for used. Or, if you know anyone with a Bluebook. Bluebook usually gives gear a beating but it's a guide.

johnny p
11-25-2007, 05:59 PM
one listing.... $1,200 for the pair including the stands.... so right around $1k sounds right... Thanks for the help!!!! Can't wait for the new speakers!

johnny p
11-27-2007, 12:05 PM
O.K. speakers should be here tomorrow...... although a new receiver is in the plans.... I may not have it for 2 or 3 months...... will my Sony STR-DE698 be o.k. for these speakers, or is it under-powered, and I'm risking harming the speakers???? Sorry for the ignorance in this.... I just don't want to ruin good speakers with a piece of junk receiver.

thanks in advance.

Mr Peabody
11-27-2007, 06:01 PM
You won't ruin your speakers. Enjoy them. Just be careful that you don't turn the Sony up past what it is capable of doing, this will cause distortion (clipping) and that, will, damage speakers.

johnny p
11-28-2007, 06:29 AM
Great! Can't wait to get them..... I don't listen to anything loudly (especially with a new baby in the house) so damage from pushing the limits of my receiver is not an issue....I was mainly concerned with damage due to under-powering.


11-28-2007, 09:57 AM
No problem. Back In The Day you could buy a 10W/ch reciever and it would clip at normal volumes.

johnny p
11-30-2007, 11:20 AM
O.K. with the speakers on the way..... which receiver do you guys recommend (I watch movies, listen to cds, and have NO IDEA about audio stuff)

Denon AVR-2805

Both on consignment for right around $400 or little less.

johnny p
11-30-2007, 11:24 AM
disregard.... I looked up these on audiogon..... seems 'off'

Mr Peabody
11-30-2007, 05:55 PM
No doubt the 2807 for the following reasons.

The 3300 is a 99/2000 model with a MSRP of $999.00 and I don't think it's worth $400.00 at this point the technology is way behind compared to the 2807 as far as useful decoding and video switching. The 2807 has 2 HDMI inputs and upconverts analog signals to 480p to pass via the HDMI. 2807 is also 7.1 vs 3300 5.1. There may be other feature differences as well but I'm not sure of all. The 2807 sold for around $800.00.

I don't know how it would compare in sound but the Onkyo 605 can be had at www.crutchfield.com for $429.00 new with much of the latest technology. My best guess is the 605 may have a better punch but the Denon may have an edge in clarity. Crutchfield will allow you to return the receiver within 30 days if not happy with it.

johnny p
11-30-2007, 06:07 PM
appreciate the info! I think I'm going to connect everything, and wait for a good unit to come via consignment (1-2 year old high-end model) I know I'm not going to pay $2k for a unit right now, so I'll see what's out there.... besides... I'm ready to pull the trigger on some B&W 705's and that's gonna hit the checkbook, and I'll have some explaining to do to the wife! (then there's a new sub, then new stands...... when does it end????)

Mr Peabody
11-30-2007, 07:04 PM
What you described is the 2807. It's not very old and the asking price is half retail. You might even offer less to see if they will bite.