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  1. #1
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool choose

    There has been an ongoing argument in this forum and others, mostly from
    audiophiles and audiophile wanna-bes, mainly, sound or video?
    Great if you can afford two systems, but if you cant then what?
    Most audio enthusiasts accept the compromises inherent in an HT system,
    and admitedly they are small, but it suddenly occurred to me the other day that
    it is really a non problem.
    My receiver is a bit long in the tooth but will work fine if the player does the decoding.
    While trying to figure out my "upgrade" path for when my vacation pay comes in
    later this year, I decided that it is rather silly to sacrifice a decent audio system
    so that you can hear a movie soundtrack in perfect quality.
    Sure its exciting , but does it have to be precise?
    A movie soundtrack is totally put together anyway, the very definition of fake.
    So I have decided that my current HT receiver is fine.
    I am going to take my fronts(602s2 B&W, oldies but goodies) and replace them with my rears(305 B&W floorstanders).
    And it will take quite awhile but I am going to buy a nice integrated , a decent CD player,
    both probably from Cambridge or somesuch, add my turntabe and a preamp,
    stack it on my lovan rack , and start the process of building a decent audio system.
    Which is the point of this thread, mainly that if you had to choose one system,
    and had to bias it toward either audio or video, which would it be?
    which would you choose?
    So choose.
    Because unless you are very well off, having two systems will involve compromise.
    Having a combo system likewise.
    We cant all have a no compromise system like the one posted in the audiophile thread on this page, owned by a certain Micheal Fremmer, but, as much as he spent on his gear
    there is NO video anywhere near it.
    He didnt choose, there was simply no question of which was which .
    But most of us arent fremmer.
    So choose.
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    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  2. #2
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    No choice for me, either

    I'll never be in Michael Fremer's league, but it's no choice for me, either. My upgrade path is primarily 2-channel. I rarely give much thought to the HT system. It's a rather pedestrian Denon, five JBL speakers and a Mirage sub. It rocks sufficiently for its movie-watching intent, but will some day be upgraded to decode the high-def audio formats.

    In my 2-channel setup I do have video but I use it for music concert DVDs that I may or may not actually look at while they're playing. When more of those are available in Blu-ray I'll probably get another BDP for the 2-channel system. If and when I replace the Harman Kardon DVD player in that system it will likely be a player chosen with heavy consideration of its sound quality...unless I run it into a DAC.

  3. #3
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    If I could only have one it would be stereo for music. Although I'd really miss my surround sound, it adds a lot of fun to movies for me. I listen to far more music though.

  4. #4
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I love watching TV with surround sound. I wouldn't be able to give that up. But music is very important as well. I need a system that is a Jack-of-all-trades. What I have put together makes me very happy on both fronts.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  5. #5
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    For me, it's always been the music!

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    On a tight budget, I'd stick with an HT based system.

  7. #7
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    My system was put together for 2 channel music listening. All the surround sound stuff is an afterthought. I'm just lucky enough to have a decent room that I can dedicate to sound. 4 ESL's do tend to over power most any room size wise. Right now I have an old 31" CRT based TV. Eventually (soon) it will be replaced with a flat screen of some type.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  8. #8
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I love watching TV with surround sound. I wouldn't be able to give that up. But music is very important as well. I need a system that is a Jack-of-all-trades. What I have put together makes me very happy on both fronts.
    What he said

    If I had to go one way though, it would be HT.

  9. #9
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    Stereo

    My choice would be a good two channel. With good equipment and speakers that throw a big soundstage, you don't need much else until you want the rear effects from a movie.

    My system was a 2 channel system and I morphed it into a combined HT system by purchasing a HK635 receiver and sending the front pre outs to my main rig eliminating the need for another set of fronts.

    If I had to choose because I could not afford to do both, (I have been criticized because I still use a VCR and have not purchased a HD or DVD recorder...) it would always be a good 2-channel rig.

  10. #10
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    Easy...

    2 Channel audio all the way! I do run cables from the DVD player into the amp to have better sound for movies, but it's still 2-channel.

    To me (only my opinion!) modern movie audio mixes through surround sound are way too unnatural and pumped up. Sheesh...a car door slams and the whole room shakes. No thanks, just not my thing.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I went the HT route to start off, but I went with a high end 5.1 Adcom AVR. I needed something that had the power to drive my Maggie 1.6's.
    I think that if your on a budget and you like both HT and 2ch its the way to go. But I would make sure it had preamp outs for upgrading to a 2ch power amp.

    Personally, I don't get all the hype about having to have all the latest and greatest HT audio. Its audio for a freakin movie! Most of the time I get engrossed in the story and dont pay much attention to the sound quality. If I ever have to replace my AVR, it will be with a low end unit that has enough power to drive my Maggies and not shut down.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  12. #12
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thanks for all of the responses guys, gave me some perspective.
    So its the start up a tall hill to a decent audio system.
    Amazing how problems become non problems with a new look on things.
    When I first got into surround sound I fouond it fascinating and exciting, and its still fun.
    But I have never enjoyed anything more than a decent 2 channel system properly set up
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  13. #13
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    I just made this choice after stressing first and then finding a way to integrate stereo & H/T together with the proper pre/pro and three seperate 2-ch amps for a system in the basement. I already have a decent Integra/Infinity 5.1 system in my living room that everyone enjoys and finally decided I wanted what I would enjoy in the basement, higher quality stereo. Selling three amps, a 7.1 pre/pro and six speakers will turn loose money to buy much better sound in 2-ch.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I bought a Niles audio amp switcher so that I can use my Magnepans with
    my 2ch system and HT system.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  15. #15
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    I bought a Niles audio amp switcher so that I can use my Magnepans with
    my 2ch system and HT system.
    I have thought about the Niles but my worry is anytime you route the signal through another component you risk signal loss. Do you notice any difference between hooked direct and thru the Niles?

  16. #16
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    What's up Pix, why don't you go with a pre/pro, and save your money?

  17. #17
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I got into HT because of my music listening. Guess I really appreciated movie soundtrack quality and DVD made it more fun to have surround sound than pro-logic ever did..

    I'm of the opinion you can have your cake and eat it too. I certainly do. I do make a bit of a compromise on the placement of my front mains - they're positioned for stereo listening instead of being placed at some of the recommended angles various HT specs call for. The rest falls into place after that. My HT gear augments the 2-channel rig.

    I don't notice any ill side effects during movies so I'm happy. I have a second stereo system that's full of better gear that I use infrequently in my studio. Mostly when I'm trying to learn a new song sipping on some wine after a bad day. But to be honest I do more stereo music listening on my HT. For me, enjoying music has never been about the quality of the gear or even sound quality. I listen to more music on my iPod when I travel or my Zune when I'm at the gym or running than I do my systems at home. I probably listen to more music in my car than at home too. My lifestyle just doesn't afford me as much time to dedicate to music at home as these others places. When I'm at home, I have to watch TV and movies with my wife, watch sports for me, play some PS3 or xbox 360 and listen to music.

    I couldn't give a sweet crap about whether the the nylon strings were 1% more velvety smooth during the performance, I'd much rather the songwriting be 1% better.

    Music first, reproduction second.

  18. #18
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    No question

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    Great if you can afford two systems, but if you cant then what?
    As for me, having heard what is available, I choose quality over quantity or effects. That dictates starting with the best two channel system I could afford. Since I do have the luxury of owning two systems, that is my choice. I have a decidedly higher quality two channel music system than the HT. TtT and I had very different approaches on this topic a while back. It is his assertion that one should invest in a single multi-channel system that would involve few compromises. I couldn't disagree more - unless of course I had a multi-six figure budget - which I do not. Had I invested in a single equal quality speaker-amp system, it would most assuredly had been compromised over what I was able to achieve with fewer than half the channels. Converting my two channel to five while maintaining the quality would be prohibitive in cost. A single speaker would cost more than my entire mid-fi HT system.

    Different strokes for different folks. And it allows the wife (who is more the videophile) to watch and enjoy her stuff while I am able to listen to music separately. Marital bliss.

    rw

  19. #19
    Ajani
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    I listen to a lot of music and watch very little TV/movies, so it's really a no-brainer:

    2 Channel only.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I havent noticed any difference using the niles switcher!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  21. #21
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    What's up Pix, why don't you go with a pre/pro, and save your money?
    I have always had an "upgrade path" in mind when buying anything.
    My Integra was supposed to be my prepro, it would make a pretty good one, even tho HDMI has pretty much rendered the video section obsolete, there are work-arounds
    for this.
    So you get a five channel amp, and in a year or two a decent pre-pro, and you have a seperates system, that was the idea, anyway.
    It has been a long range dream to get to a seperates system, and my upgrade path is
    aimed at that.
    But it just occurred to me the other day that the amps on my Integra were pretty nice,
    as far as receivers go its pretty nice.
    SO maybe I would be happier with an integrated amp or prepro/amp two channel system in
    a listening room, I could canibalize my fronts for now, and get decent audio grade speakers later.
    But the decision has to be made before I abandon my current path, and I think I have just about decided to go two channel for my most important system.
    My current system will do just fine for Movies and TV, my 305 b&w floorstanders
    will actually probably be better for HT, I can keep my CC6 for a center, get two cheaper speakers for rears.Put the 602's in the two channel system, they are very accurate
    and musical
    That is probably going to be my new upgrade path, the vagaries of the economy permitting.
    Audio/ video systems are the one thing where what you buy is not only dictated by what you currently have, but what you will have in the future.
    You need an upgrade path, a master plan, or you are just farting in the breeze.
    And you only need to change it after much consideration.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  22. #22
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Well...

    Certain "high end" HT receivers have options for you to run a separate set of fronts in 2 channel. You'll give up 7.1 in the process but how many soundtracks have discrete 7.1 anyway? With my Onkyo 905 I could run a set of high quality stereo speaks right next to my HT mains in "pure audio" and do a pretty good job approximating a dedicated 2 channel rig. But I've neither the room nor budget for a seperate set of mains so my Platinum Audio Studio 3's do double duty and I live with it.

    Da Worfster

  23. #23
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    HT and high end two channel

    are different animals. I like HT for movies but don't care to listen to music with instruments playing behind me.

    I've never heard an AV receiver that could come close to a high end two channel amp.

    One reason Tweeter's closed was they tried to sell Martin Logans driven by jack-of-all-trades AV receivers.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    are different animals. I like HT for movies but don't care to listen to music with instruments playing behind me.

    I've never heard an AV receiver that could come close to a high end two channel amp.

    One reason Tweeter's closed was they tried to sell Martin Logans driven by jack-of-all-trades AV receivers.
    YAH, wasnt that stupid?
    But that is my point, enraptured by multichannel audio I took the compromises with it,
    gave up my Denon 2 channel (all they had then) and went with HT.
    But I am tired of compromise, so I think I will work towards a decent 2 channel system.
    Budgetary restraints prohibit a high end system, but, hey, my car is only eleven
    years old so I am covered as far as transportation is concerned.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

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