Advice on 2 channel upgrade path

ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,424
edited March 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
I had a similar post in the off topic section, but I will do it here as well. I admit, I love my R series setup for HT, but I can't really get into surround for music. I really find it annoying to be surrounded by all parts of the drum set in music. DVD-A is pretty cool, but I am not there yet. Anyways, I just can't seem to get into PL2 or anything surround for my music. I really enjoy it all more on my R40's in two channel.

So, my question to you all is, what would you do? Would investing in an amp help me out in my overall enjoyment of two channel sound or should I go with a nice pair of headphones and a headphone amp? Any specific suggestions for amp or headphones? Nothing too extreme, but I don't want to be too cheap either. Thanks for your help.
Post edited by Shizelbs on

Comments

  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    I'm interested in this one too.

    Mantis gave me some good advice on what to do with my system. I think I may do away with my HT and focus on 2 channel. Probably Rotel preamp and poweramp to replace my receiver.

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • rscamerrscamer Posts: 70
    edited March 2003
    why not just tell your receiver you have no rear or center speaker.
    I do this all the time depending on what I am listening to.
    some stuff sounds better with the center off other stuff is better
    with the rears off. It all depends on the mix that was put on the disk. what kind of setup do you have? I have a Denon with a carver runing my mains.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,130
    edited March 2003
    The better the power, the better the sound and nothing beats 2 channel hi-fi.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,424
    edited March 2003
    Rscamer,

    I do switch to 2 channel for music now. My receiver is nice and all I have to do is press a button on the remote to get only my two front mains. Just wondering if an amp or headphones would be the better upgrade for trying to get to two channel heaven.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,130
    edited March 2003
    Get the amp.

    Check out Rotel, Sony ES, Parasound, PS Audio, Arcam, Belles Hot Rod, B&K and Musical Fidelity. They all make decent amps or integrated amps. If you can demo any of the above and like one of them, but find the price for a new one is too much, then shop around for a used one on Audiogon or eBay.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • phuzphuz Posts: 2,413
    edited March 2003
    Originally posted by F1nut
    Get the amp.

    Check out Rotel, Sony ES, Parasound, PS Audio, Arcam, Belles Hot Rod, B&K and Musical Fidelity. They all make decent amps or integrated amps. If you can demo any of the above and like one of them, but find the price for a new one is too much, then shop around for a used one on Audiogon or eBay.

    I second that. That will be one of the greatest improvements at this point. Then you will be ready for some RTi or LSi speakers in the future when/if you decide to upgrade. (amps are timeless for the most part, buy one and keep it forever as long as it works)
  • ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,424
    edited March 2003
    And you all think that a nice amp will help my R40's open up?
  • phuzphuz Posts: 2,413
    edited March 2003
    A little bit, yes. It won't be a huge difference, but it will help.

    I was in the exact situation last year. I had a pair of R40's and a receiver. I was planning on upgrading speakers down the line, and I happened to find a good deal on an amp so I bought it.

    There was an improvement, nothing really dramatic but it is a great start to an overall upgrade path.
  • ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,424
    edited March 2003
    What amp did you go with Phuz?
  • phuzphuz Posts: 2,413
    edited March 2003
    Rotel RB-990BX :D

    The ones mentioned by F1nut above are really good choices.

    I'd ad NAD, Marantz, and Adcom to the list though. Just try to get at least 100 wpc @ 8 ohms, and get an amp that can handle 4 ohms so that you will not have to upgrade for a long... long time (if ever).

    www.audiogon.com and ebay will have tons of choices.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,130
    edited March 2003
    I concur with phuz's additions and there are even more, but one of those will get you closer to 2 channel heaven. I also agree that you should get one that will handle 4 ohm loads, it's one sign of a well designed amp and will open up any future speaker upgrades.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited March 2003
    Please tell us your current receiver situation. There has already been atleast one member that bought an amp for an expected upgrade only to find out that he couldn't hook it up.

    If you own a 5.1 receiver that has pre-outs for the front, try to buy an amp from the same company at least. If not, when you go back to 5.1 it'll sound less than optimal. If that's not a big issue, I'd look for power. I've never seen a 200w/[email protected] amp driving a 4Ohm load, but I've heard of less powered amps that are rated for 4Ohms go **** up when expected to do otherwise.

    My receiver has a 2nd zone with pre-outs. I've used this succesfully with a number of amps for a 2-ch rig. The speakers I used were seperate from (or in addition to) my HT rig. The different amps and speakers added sort of blend to the front.

    BTW: Someday my center and rears MIGHT match my fronts as far as make/model go. Then again I'd have to build those too if I can find the drivers.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • phuzphuz Posts: 2,413
    edited March 2003
    Good points Gidrah. I think he has an Onkyo TX-SR600, and I thought that receiver had preamp outs, but I was wrong.

    It'll be tough if not impossible to ad an amp with that reciever.
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited March 2003
    Once upon a time I was all into manufacturer specs and options. I've since decided to lapse.

    Onkyo generally makes good stuff! If he can't upgrade the amps, I'd look for better wire/cables and try to trim the sub/main speaker relation to what is best for his room. Try to get a good blend while putting the lower end on any applicable subwoofer amp.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • ShizelbsShizelbs Posts: 7,424
    edited March 2003
    Well, I guess that answers that
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited March 2003
    I win again!

    Well, I'm sorry to hear about your predicament, but glad it was caught it early on. There are a few amps out there (nOrh and a few others) that can be added to your speaker line but they cost money.

    [email protected] is always open.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,136
    edited March 2003
    If it were me, I would look at some used 2ch gear that can be had on the cheap to see if 2ch is REALLY the way you wanted to go.

    I'd think about perhaps, an older NAD (say 3020) integrated or something of like that. I think that there is a lot of merit to a good integrated amp.

    OR, I would look at the Marantz monoblocks, the MA500's (I think that's the model#) are 125wpc or so (I'm doing this from memory) and can be found pretty reasonable. The added bonus of the monoblocks is that they can be easily incorporated back into HT if you were to decide that you wanted to stick with HT. You could just pick up a third and have the monos for L,R anc C channels.

    Your options are nearly limitless....

    Just my .02.....

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 12,438
    edited March 2003
    I would look for an EL-34 tube based amp :)
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
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