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holmancv

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I have often wondered where the best place to invest in a home system upgrade should be? Would you invest in a state of the art pre/pros, a state of the art power amp or a pair of Summits or B&W 802/803D? I should think the answer would be what does the most good but I'm trying to think long-tem here. OK, I was kind of kidding about the B&W's ... kinda
 

Joey_V

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I always think that speakers make the biggest difference in the sonic reproduction change and one should base your system and tweaks around the speaker... not say, an amp or a source component.

Once you have the type of sound covered via speaker, then it's time to mate it with a good amp, dac, source, and interconnects.

All in my opinion.

;)
 

attyonline

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Agree with Joey on speakers. Next would be a great amp, then pre/pro then DVD player. This is upside down from the Ivor Tiefenbrun theory of thirty years ago regarding the primacy of the source, but digital media has had so many changes in the last decade, it seems to me that putting a lot of money on a player or pre/pro is a fool's errand unless you can afford to replace it every two years or it is really an upgradeable component. I still tend to believe the source is most important but the constant changing of decoding alogorithms makes the decision to go with the best very expensive unless you have lots of money to replace it frequently. Others may differ. :)
 
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twich54

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I'm in agreement with Atty and "the kid" aka Joey. Once you have selected your speaker of choice the appropriate Pre-amp and Amp follow, both having equal importance for it's the pre-amp that provides such an important signature in the sound chain. BTW no need to kid about B&W, I too like the "D" series very much !!
 
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Khanhrad

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I think that once you have the "acceptable" level of speakers, pre/pro, amp, cables, source... the next most important component is your ROOM. For example, the lack/presence of carpet will change the sonic characteristics of your system, room treatments to eliminate standing waves, reflections, and bass "suck-outs". In fact, of all places, I find that the Polk Audio web site has good info on these subjects. The ML manuals also touch upon this. I'm sure professional designers like tsd on this board will opine also.
 

Craig

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Polk Audio Room Acoustics Info
The acoustic characteristics of your room and the placement of the speakers within it have a far greater effect on the quality of the sound you will hear by changing any single piece of electronic equipment. While acoustics can be a confusing subject, and extensive room treatments and alterations can cost thousands of dollars, there are a few simple, inexpensive things you can do to maximize the performance of your room and setup.
I agree that room acoustics are usually overlooked, underestimated and misunderstood when seeking to improve the sound of an audio/HT system. I know a lot can be improved upon in my rooms. I have rooms in my house that are naturally better/worse than others. The big challenge is making improvements in room acoustics without making the room look like a recording studio since they often serve multiple purposes besides optimal listening.
 

holmancv

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Thank you for your great insights

What great input, especially the recommendation that the pre/pro could possibly be obsolete in a few years. The room is of course important but I'm permanently disabled with a back condition that requires I pump opiodes into my spinal canal 24/7 thus moving things around is not as easy as it sounds. My other problem is auditioning speakers. I would like to compare summits with the higher end B&W but I have no dealer nearby that carries both and just dropping in and picking them up for the weekend is not as easy as it sounds. But my goodness that's +/- ten-grand! I am now going to consider looking at the Mac MC207 as the next upgrade. Its technology should remain a non-issue for decades and it really is the heart of the system. Comments?
 
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Erictrostatic

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As much as I like my ML, and most newer ML like Ascent, Prodigy, once I listened to that perfect 801D, I knew that was a BIG MISTAKE! My next speakers will "have to be" the 801D. I know exactly what you mean by "kinda kidding"...

Beside sonic enjoyment, most high end speakers also showcase the beautiful woodwork which I truly think is worth my hard earned money. Amps, however, do not give me that visual enjoyment. So I always start with a dream speakers which has my taste of tonal balance, than match it with amps of my reasonable budget and then CD...

I don't have emotional feelings when parting with amps, but sure do when I part with speakers... shhhhh don't tell my ML that I'm thinking about B&W, she will get jealous...
 

holmancv

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Thank Goodness, I'm not alone

Do you think it's necessary to maintain a one-brand philosophy when it comes to matching speakers? When I was going to pick up a Sonus Faber center speaker to match my Mosiacs the guy at Magnolia freaked. I wasn't too familiar with the Vignette but once I heard it I was OK with keeping it. Anyway the 80(X) (I really like the 803D) system that I could end up is going to tap the old wallet pretty much out for this year's budget. The 803D are eight-grand a pair. You're so right about the appearance and besides I'm using 200W Outlaw Monoblocks for amps and they are doing a wonderful job, why just chuck 'em for the sake of meters, black glass and the "grace" that is McIntosh? Anyway, thanks for giving me some sympathy on the B&W issue. Mumm's the word!
Craig
 
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