C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
So as the title suggests I'm looking for thoughts and help in rebuilding my HT. A little background........

I had (emphasis on HAD) my theater going for about seven years and was really happy with it. This all came to an end about a month ago when during a thunderstorm lighting struck my neighbors house. The resulting static discharge fried all my theater gear and microelectronics. The Emotiva Pre/Pro actually started to catch on fire approximately 30 minutes after the strike. All in all we were very lucky as nobody was hurt and we were home to shut the breaker off to kill the power to the rack components. I think if we had not been home my house would have likely caught on fire.

So fast forward a little over a month and I'm tasked to rebuild my system. I'm lucky that my speakers survived, still not 100% on the subwoofer as I have no way to test it yet. The original system consisted of the following.

Emotiva XMC-1 Processor
Emotiva XPA2 Gen1
Emotiva XPA3 Gen1
Emotiva UPA2 Gen 1
Panamax MB5400
Panasonic Blu ray player
Panasonic PTAE8000 projector with 110" screen
SVSound PB13 Ultra subwoofer

I was running in a 7.1 configuration but only standard HD and no 4K or UHD. I've been reading a lot, watching a lot of audioholics youtube videos but it's getting a little over complicated with all the new features that are offered. I think I would like to add 2 or maybe 4 Atmos speakers and upgrade fully to 4K and UHD. The insurance company is coming back with approximately $17k of which $13k was the retail values of the original equipment. I'm not sure what I want to spend any more. Should I stick with separates or go with AVR? I've had a Rotel HT processor and the Emotiva XMC, liked them both, but honestly though the Rotel had better overall sound but that's subjective to my ears. I only have one Stereo/Theater shop where I live which has very good people working there. They sell affordable up to sky's the limit. In talking with them they recommended the Anthem AVM60 or the newer Rotel.

So I'm all ears to opinions and suggestions. I appreciate the help.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Bummer that all happened! Glad you were able to prevent greater loss to the home!!!

What are your Speakers?

To touch on a few of your questions, there are many threads about what gear is better... this will be an eternal conversation. In the end, you will of course decide for yourself. Many feel, and I am inclined to agree that the differences between Separates and and AVR are negligible. At the quality of gear you are talking about, I haven't seen a convincing argument to make me rethink having my AVR. I might want a different AVR, but my focus is on bass management and amp assignability (including a way to turn off any amp channels not used due to external amps).
I have been interested in Anthem, myself. I am also pretty happy with my Marantz, and would possibly consider Denon too, if the right reasons existed. There are a lot of people here that like Yamaha as the reliability leader. I'm certain faults can be found with any.
I would advise not worrying too much about imax or whatever the next upgrade may be in the systems, and instead focus on the features that you need: proper 4K, UHD compatability, latest HDMI protocol, perhaps you want eARC, number of HDMI ports, Pre outs for amps, do you require analog inputs, etc...
I'm working towards Atmos in my system. Hoping I can do 7.2.4, wish I could do 5.2.6... so that, as alluded to above, is a consideration. I I could choose an AVR that would allow me to set up 6 Atmos channels instead of just 4... ;)
Depending on your preferences, you could easily run your Front 3 on a 3-channel Amp, or add in your surrounds and run a 5-channel Amp, thus leaving an AVR to do the remaining work with Rears and Atmos. (This is my strategy, only I am using Monoblocks for my 5-channels.) You could easily do the reverse of this too.

Let us know about your speakers... what they require will inform more input about the electronics!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
If I had that kind of damage to my HT (no I don't wish for one) that is covered by insurance, it would a great opportunity for me to go back to an AVR (that part is done already actually), and stick with a 3 channel power amp. I don't even need a power amp since I cannot stand reference level but it feels good to have one. My AVR-X4400H really sounds so good with my speakers that I cannot imagine any separate processor or other AVR can sound better in a blind test when expectation bias ceases to work their wonder. I am sure Ryan's SR6012 will do the same as I have seen bench test results and read their service manuals. Separates are obviously better, but the bottleneck is us, as human we cannot discern those "better" difference that are insignificant for humans, they are only "visible" but not audible. So if it was me, would spend less than $1,000 on a good last year model AVR and pocket the left over money, or may spend part of it for a nice small two channel system in a separate room.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If all you care about is pure sound quality (not bragging rights or pride of ownership or all that), I think AVR is the way to go.

AVR are designed to power just the right amount of speakers they are intended for - a 7Ch AVR will power 7 speakers, 9Ch AVR will power 9Ch, etc., just fine without needing extra amps IN THE REAL WORLD as long as you don’t require extremely loud volume and listening distance isn’t too far (> 18FT).

Some people have gotten great deals on brand new AVR. A fellow AH member just ordered a brand new Yamaha RX-A1080 for $698 w/ free shipping.

If you are interested in separates and want 11CH (Atmos 7.2.4) without having to buy a bunch of separate amps, I would get the Yamaha CX-A5200 11CH pre-pro and MX-A5200 11CH amp. Some stores might also have the previous model CX-A5100 pre-pro and MX-A5000 amp for a little less money.

Both Gene (President of Audioholics) and I have the Yamaha CX-A5100 and MX-A5000.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
subjective to my ears.
Got that right. Everything is subjective to everyone - you get a different opinion from everyone about both Audio and Video.
 
Last edited:
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
upgrade fully to 4K
I think for affordable 4K Pj, BenQ might be the ticket. I’ve owned a BenQ 1080p PJ for a long time (probably 8-9 years).

For high-end ultimate PJ (best colors and black levels), JVC is king.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Got that right. Everything is subjective to everyone - you get a different opinion from everyone about both Audio and Video.
Amplifier "bias" just cross my mind when I see the word subjective. Technically speaking, you can biased an amp differently enough to change the sound, just like how we can be biased by some convincing sales rep, reviews, measurements etc., to affect our "subjective" perception. The former could be real if done in certain ways, the latter, I don't know..:D
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
RIP to what sounds like was an awesome system. Your post almost brought a tear to my eye... *sniffle*
 
C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
Thanks for the input guys!
@PENG, @AcuDefTechGuy ,@ryanosaur

The speakers in the room are SVsound except for the main L/R which are GR Research Line Array. Those two speakers can basically handle anything, I'm always amazed with them.

I'm not about bragging rights when it comes to HT gear, I just want clean, dynamic sound. I never listen at anywhere close to reference levels but I love a great Scifi or action flic where the sound lifts you to another world and the voices are crisp and clean. I have in the past strayed away from AVR's because they didn't sound as good to me, that was 7-10 years ago. Have they really come that far??? I'm not opposed to going that route now.

Any suggestions for the Atmos speakers? I'm just starting to look at those now.

For the projector I don't want to compromise and the JVC sounds like the new king, I really miss my panasonic though, great image!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
In that case, how about the AT543NC for the LCR and a AT525NC for the surrounds? For processor I would get an AVR-X4500H (won't be long before they drop to $999 or less), or the CX-A5200 to make sure the pre out has high and clean enough output to match most power amps.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Both Gene (President of Audioholics) and I have the Yamaha CX-A5100 and MX-A5000.
Does the MX-A5000 properly drive his Status Acoustics T8's?!
If so, color me impressed!

AVR are designed to power just the right amount of speakers they are intended for - a 7Ch AVR will power 7 speakers, 9Ch AVR will power 9Ch, etc., just fine without needing extra amps IN THE REAL WORLD as long as you don’t require extremely loud volume and listening distance isn’t too far (> 18FT).
I think you should add a qualifier along the lines of:
"Assuming speakers of typical efficiency".
Speakers like Maggies and Gene's 8T's require a special diet!
 
C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
In that case, how about the AT543NC for the LCR and a AT525NC for the surrounds? For processor I would get an AVR-X4500H (won't be long before they drop to $999 or less), or the CX-A5200 to make sure the pre out has high and clean enough output to match most power amps.
Are you recommending these amps to drive the mains because you feel an AVR unit would be under powered? I'm not doubting you at all just wanting your thoughts for it. I've been looking over AVR's today as you all pointed to and they do seem to be packed with features and moderate power ratings.

My seating area is 12 feet from the screen where the speakers flank it so as long as they have enough power to drive it envelopes us in sound.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Does the MX-A5000 properly drive his Status Acoustics T8's?!
If so, color me impressed!

I think you should add a qualifier along the lines of:
"Assuming speakers of typical efficiency".
Speakers like Maggies and Gene's 8T's require a special diet!
I think it’s fine as long as you start the volume low and gradually increase the volume.

Like PENG says, according to Ohm’s Law, any amp can drive even a 1-ohm load as long as the volume is “low enough”.

So if the volume is low and you slowly increase it, you will know if there is distortion if the volume is high enough.

But even the 8T is a 4-ohm speaker:

Sensitivity:93db (2.83V/1Meter)
Recommended Power: 50-1,000 Watts
Impedance:4 Ohms


See, you only “need” 50W to power this thing when sensitivity is 93dB/2.83v/m. ;) :D



My five SX-T1R are 4-ohm speakers. The other 4 RBH speakers are 8-ohm. And the MX-A5000 has no problem powering all the speakers. I’ve stood at the back of the room which is 24FT listening distance. The volume is very loud from 24FT. The MX-A5000 has no problem powering all 9 speakers.

I just saw Terminator Genesis again, this time in 2160p/Atmos. Absolutely amazing dynamic loud sound.

The numbers and ACD in the lab is one thing. Real life is another.

A lot people talk about “not enough power this and that” too much and focus on the numbers too much. But I think it’s overrated and things are blown out of proportion.
 
Last edited:
G

Grandzoltar

Full Audioholic
Just goes to show there’s nothing a Panamax can do with a direct lightning strike. But through the end of things come great beginnings. I second the avr idea. Unless you have Dedicated lines I think separates with 2 or more amps and processor call for a lot of power. An avr simplifies everything and is a space saver. That is a large settlement check so hear are the top avr ‘s. They are in order of which ones in my opinion are best. Ask 5 different people get 5 different answers. Here’s my 2 cents.
1. Denon x8500
2. Marantz Sr8012
3. Anthem Mrx1120
4. Yamaha Rx A3080
5. Arcam Avr850
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Are you recommending these amps to drive the mains because you feel an AVR unit would be under powered? I'm not doubting you at all just wanting your thoughts for it. I've been looking over AVR's today as you all pointed to and they do seem to be packed with features and moderate power ratings.

My seating area is 12 feet from the screen where the speakers flank it so as long as they have enough power to drive it envelopes us in sound.
Not exactly but sort of.. I am recommending those amps now because:

- Not familiar with GR Research line arrays but googling it found the LS9 that are huge and can take up to 500 watts. Since you did say "Those two speakers can basically handle anything, I'm always amazed with them." so I made my assumption that's the model you have. Since those speakers are huge, I therefore assume you would sit at least 12 ft or further away from the speakers (you just confirmed that part).

- You also said: "I have in the past strayed away from AVR's because they didn't sound as good to me, that was 7-10 years ago." So right or wrong, factual or Placebo, you have preconception about the "AVR sound".

For processor though, I am quite confident with the X4500H because I have the X4400H that sounds as good as my separates, not just the former Marantz AVP but also my real preamp/power amps. It for sure has high and clean enough pre out to drive any 200-500 WPC power amps. If saving money is not your priority though, the CX-A5200 that @AcuDefTechGuy recommended is an excellent value. By the way, in my opinion you don't need to spend money on expensive power amps for the surround speakers, but the center speaker is a demanding on so you shouldn't short change it.
 
C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
Just goes to show there’s nothing a Panamax can do with a direct lightning strike. But through the end of things come great beginnings. I second the avr idea. Unless you have Dedicated lines I think separates with 2 or more amps and processor call for a lot of power. An avr simplifies everything and is a space saver. That is a large settlement check so hear are the top avr ‘s. They are in order of which ones in my opinion are best. Ask 5 different people get 5 different answers. Here’s my 2 cents.
1. Denon x8500
2. Marantz Sr8012
3. Anthem Mrx1120
4. Yamaha Rx A3080
5. Arcam Avr850
Yeah I'm mixed about the effectiveness of the Panamax. Considering these two facts I'm not sure if i'd buy another one.
1. It still shows power, I can't tell if it's still functional and Panamax also needs to evaluate it. I'm fine with that portion but don't be fooled by the replacement guarantee. They won't honor it if you have homeowners insurance according to the customer service rep. It's really there to help if you don't but the level of details you have to provide is out of this world. He even said they have denied some claims due to lighting traveling through coax, but I digress.
2. No breakers or GFCI tripped during all of this so I'm not sure what the surge protection actually catches.

Thanks for the input, everyone seems to be tipping towards AVR's. I'd be willing to be that if I heard some of you all systems with AVR's I'd be very impressed.
 
C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
Not exactly but sort of.. I am recommending those amps now because:

- Not familiar with GR Research line arrays but googling it found the LS9 that are huge and can take up to 500 watts. Since you did say "Those two speakers can basically handle anything, I'm always amazed with them." so I made my assumption that's the model you have. Since those speakers are huge, I therefore assume you would sit at least 12 ft or further away from the speakers (you just confirmed that part).

- You also said: "I have in the past strayed away from AVR's because they didn't sound as good to me, that was 7-10 years ago." So right or wrong, factual or Placebo, you have preconception about the "AVR sound".

For processor though, I am quite confident with the X4500H because I have the X4400H that sounds as good as my separates, not just the former Marantz AVP but also my real preamp/power amps. It for sure has high and clean enough pre out to drive any 200-500 WPC power amps. If saving money is not your priority though, the CX-A5200 that @AcuDefTechGuy recommended is an excellent value. By the way, in my opinion you don't need to spend money on expensive power amps for the surround speakers, but the center speaker is a demanding on so you shouldn't short change it.

I totally understand what you're saying and appreciate the input! I'm also of the opinion that surrounds do not need a lot of power pushing them but the LCR is where I should focus. You all have been suggesting the AVR so I'm going to start looking more seriously at them, 10 years is an eternity in the electronics world.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
1. $4000 Denon x8500
5. $6000 Arcam Avr850
$5K or $6K for an AVR is an oxymoron. :D

The main purpose of the AVR is to save money, not spend more money. :D

But it depends on what kind of price you can actually get for separates vs AVR.

A big theme around here is buying previous year models. If you can get separates (like CX-A5100 + MX-A5000) for cheaper than an AVR, that’s another thing to think about.

But $5K and $6K AVR should be removed from your thoughts. :D
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
But even the 8T is a 4-ohm speaker:
Sensitivity:93db (2.83V/1Meter)
Recommended Power: 50-1,000 Watts
Impedance:4 Ohms


See, you only “need” 50W to power this thing when sensitivity is 93dB/2.83v/m. ;):D
Those are the marketing specs that RBH provides, but Gene (who measured the speakers in the link below had this to say:
Because of the multi-driver array paralleling essentially three 8 ohm bass drive units, the Status 8T system can be a strenuous load for an amplifier, dipping down below 3 ohms in the lower bass regions.
In order to achieve the full potential this speaker system has to offer, it’s recommended that you select an amplifier that is as close to an ideal voltage source as possible, doubling down in power as impedance halves (ie. 300wpc at 8-ohms, 600wpc at 4ohms, 1200wpc at 2ohms). It’s a good idea to verify with the amplifier manufacturer of your choice if their product is truly stable down to 2-ohm loads. Using an amp not capable of sourcing lots of current into 4- and even 2-ohm loads will result in clearly audible inferior results especially at louder listening levels with bass intense program material. I had excellent results pairing these speakers with amplifiers from Classe and Pass Labs and I am confident you would too but also check out options from ATI, Anthem, Boulder, and Bryston to name a few.
https://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/titus-8t-review/titus-8t-measurements

That seems a far cry from "50W is all you need".
 
C

cgarlock

Audioholic Intern
$5K or $6K for an AVR is an oxymoron. :D

The main purpose of the AVR is to save money, not spend more money. :D

But it depends on what kind of price you can actually get for separates vs AVR.

A big theme around here is buying previous year models. If you can get separates (like CX-A5100 + MX-A5000) for cheaper than an AVR, that’s another thing to think about.

But $5K and $6K AVR should be removed from your thoughts. :D

Yes I have to agree that once that price is reached, might as well go back to separates. The Denon and Marantz have stellar reviews on this site and I'd lean to the Marantz if I go the AVR route. I loved my separates but the added simplicity of the AVR is really becoming appealing.
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top