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Mike V

Three Forte IIIs purchased, now need Amp match

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I am converting a game room into a music listening room, and have decided on three Forte IIIs (L, C, R) and a large 75" TV on the wall.  I will be using the room more for music and also doing learning / playing drums via DVD & Internet lessons.  My wife will be mostly watching TV.

I hope to use the Forte IIIs without purchasing a subwoofer - I do not need rear channels - we have a media room for that.  Because I am using the speakers with a TV, I have been told I should probably get an AV receiver like the Marantz SR5012 or SR6012.  I do not want to mess with a pre-amp/amp configuration for now.  

What type of integrated AV receiver do you all recommend?  I really want some good sound for all types of music, and will be playing my old LPs after a near 30 years of silence, plus CD, DVDs, and iTunes.  I would also like to experiment with streaming.  What say ye, all you audiophiles with mega years of listening experience?

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Typically "Hi-Fi" is going to be two-channel, and surround systems usually deploy a subwoofer.  

 

I'd be looking at Emotiva or NAD, but somebody more knowledgeable could chime in.  3-channel is not a typical rig (although it should work)  

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You will need a AVR with phono and that is rare. I got a refurbished integra from accessories 4 less at awesome price. Not sure why you bought 3 unless its a large room. But for that serious stereo listening your turntable is going to be critical purchase also. 

I thought they only made Forte iii in matched pairs??? 

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i have the Marantz AV7702mkII in my 5.0 system which looks pretty similar to the features of the SR6012...  I am really pleased with it and it can do everything you're wanting to do.  Both of those Marantz look like they would fit the bill nicely.  You can setup them up for bi-amping for more power to each speaker, as well.  good thing your Forte's have dual binding posts.

 

i have Forte III's in my 2.0 system: McIntosh MX-113/MC752.  don't feel a need for a sub myself, but bass for your face is a pretty "sub"jective topic. 

 

 

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I want to want Marantz but everytime I look deeper into their receivers I see a trend of issues (Denon as well - sister companies).  I've owned Denons in the past and been underwhelmed.

 

I keep coming back to Yamaha for an AVR because they are very reliable and I tend to like their "sound" (yes different amps/AVRs/preamps have their own sound)  But I make sure to get one with pre-outs so I can use an external amplifier.

 

The thing is with almost all AVRs, the amp sections have become less and less as the features stack goes up and up.  For 2.0 only this isn't so bad, as all the watts per channel ratings of the receivers are specifically for 2 channel.  Once you start adding more channels to the weak AVR amps the wpc goes way down.  Yeah technically you don't need a lot of power to play at moderate to loud volumes, but there is more to it than just getting loud.  Higher quality amps will sound better - cleaner, better control of bass, depth of sound,  blah blah blah it goes on and on :)

 

3 channels makes sense for TV, and sometimes for some types of music - I enjoy multi channel stereo. 

 

No phono preamp isn't that big of a deal as you can buy a pre separately or buy a player with a built in pre.

 

Anthem seems to make nice stuff, but I haven't used it.

 

For receivers I've used Onkyo, Denon (a few), NAD, Yamaha (several), and Pioneer.  Only the Denon really disappointed me for the money, and only the Yamahas have stood out above the ones I've used - for my use and taste.    

 

Maybe there are some better boutique brands out there that still make AVR's with excellent amp sections, but if not I'd recommend AVR + external amp to get the most out of the Forte III - or any decent speakers for that matter.

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I know you don't really want separates,  but I would go with a marantz 7703 pre amp and a parasound a31 amp. A solid and powerful 3 channel amp and a pre  with separate menu functions that will make dialing in a 3.0 system easy. There is a 3 channel front array setting and a center channel complete control for adjusting dialogue level when watching tv. I have been using marantz pre amps for many years and never been disappointed.  Just my opinion. 

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20 minutes ago, gary p said:

I know you don't really want separates,  but I would go with a marantz 7703 pre amp and a parasound a31 amp. A solid and powerful 3 channel amp and a pre  with separate menu functions that will make dialing in a 3.0 system easy. There is a 3 channel front array setting and a center channel complete control for adjusting dialogue level when watching tv. I have been using marantz pre amps for many years and never been disappointed.  Just my opinion. 

 

It's good to hear positive experience with Marantz.  I think what happens to me is when I research a Marantz I want to buy (AVR) I unintentionally find all of the negative things with reliability.  What you don't find are all the attaboys, as when things work well people don't generally talk about them much.

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We talked about this on the phone but since other people may be confused, what you're looking for is just called a receiver, what is typically called an integrated amp usually does not have surround processing which is what you need.  Maybe some exist so I'm tiptoe'ing around my words but the common ones are usually for 2 channel listening.  

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31 minutes ago, gary p said:

parasound a31 amp.

 

If anybody were looking at Parasound for such a thing, there is actually a new 5 channel Halo amp that is more affordable, if I remember right it's actually cheaper than the A31 and you still have more power than what you need.  Thought it would be out by now but I've been told it will be January now.  Anyway, you could just use three channels then you'd already have two more ready to go when you add surrounds.  

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To the point - you said you don't want to mess with separates.  As @MetropolisLakeOutfitters says, you just need a receiver (or AVR).

 

Personally I lean towards the top of the line of whatever brand (Yamaha for me), even though it costs a lot more and has way more channels and other features you just don't need. 

 

My reason is simple, the TOTL gets the best DACs and audio processing effort that mfg has to offer.

 

You can save a bit by buying previous gen models (especially if you don't mind refurbished).  In my case I'll probably pick up the Yam 3060 as I need an upgrade.  The stuff that matters to me hasn't been changed. ($2200 receiver for $1200).  The Marantz example is the SR7011, a $2200 for $1100 (at accessories 4 less) which is another one I'm considering.

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On 10/26/2017 at 7:54 PM, Mike V said:

I have been told I should probably get an AV receiver like the Marantz SR5012 or SR6012.

The 6012 was Marantz TOTL 2016 model.  It has features you will pay for and never need.

 

I suggest the next model down, the Marantz SR6011.  It also has features you will not need with a 3.0 setup and is $500 cheaper than the 6012.  It is $1000 because the 2017 models just came out, a few months it sold for $1400.  It is a good value right now.  It is known to work well with Klipsch and It has the phono section you want as well as pre-outs for all channels.  The 6011 is the same price as the 5012 but the 6011 has a little more power and can support more speakers.

 

The Marantz sR6011and Denon X4300h are sisters these days, but the Marantz is considered better for music listening with the edge to movies going to the Denon, generally speaking.

 

Edit and disclaimer:  I almost forgot to tell you, I own the SR6011.  I used it with Khorns (recently sold) and a full 5.1 setup with RF-83, RC-64 and RS-62.  I use it most of the time in a 3.0 or 3.1 setup in bi-amp mode with the center setup in bi-wire mode.  It sounds great with everything and has been 100% reliable.  A very cool feature is there is a Marantz app I use on an iPhone which controls everything in the AVR.  It works perfectly, no glitches.

 

Marantz Announces SR6011 9.2 AVR with 11.2-Channel Processing

 

Yamaha Aventage RX-A1060 or Marantz SR6011 for audio stereo only


Denon X4300h vs Marantz SR6011 (x3300 clone)

 

AVS Forums Search results for the Marantz SR6011

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Thanks for all this great advice - I gives me a lot to think about.  I wish I was either going for just 2-channel or the typical media room 5.1 or higher - it would make this decision much easier.

Turns out you can get Forte IIIs in a group of three - not sure if I will be getting three consecutive serial number speakers, or two with a third strangler thrown in.  I will be satisfied with either.

Now that I think about it, if I later decide I want more bass, and maybe want to add rear channels later, then the decision is easier to make, though I agree it seems wasteful to a receiver in which I will not use 90% of its options / capabilities.

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I'd go with separates, there's a few nice 3 channel amplifiers out there to choose from or get a 5 channel for future use. Congrats on the new speakers!

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The three Forte IIIs have arrived.  I replaced my 1989 Polk tower speakers on a Yamaha RX-V377 (I am giving to my son as he sets out on his own).  I must say they sounded incredible!  The cork flooring did not create as much bouncing echo as I expected, and I did not experiment with the location of the two speakers that I played via 2-channel stereo mode.  I could not be happier.

I am now 95% positive I will not be needing a subwoofer in the final setup.

IMG_7872zz.jpg

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Mike V:

 

Congrats on the Forte III.   Beautiful!

 

You don’t need an AVR (or surround-sound pre-amp/processor) to play multi-channel digital recordings (e.g., SACD,  Pure Audio Blu-ray, and Blu-ray video).   An Oppo universal player (e.g. UDP-205) will play any digital recording, and has built-in "pre-amp" functionality, including selectable downmixing (e.g., 7.1, 5.1, 5.0, 2.1, 2.0), bass management (i.e., configurable subwoofer crossover), and volume control.   (I use the Oppo's analog line-level RCA connections to my vintage tube power amps - in other words using the Oppo's DACs and pre-amp.)   Stereo recordings play through the L&R channels, plus optional subwoofer (based on configurable bass management parameters such as crossover frequency).   Multi-channel SACDs and Blu-ray play through all 5 channels, assuming the recording has content in all channels.    (Also, the Oppo has the capability to use DSPs to generate "pseudo-surround-sound" from stereo recordings via DTS Neo:6 Mode, if you wish.)

 

You can configure the Oppo for 5.0 (or 5.1), and not connect the rear channels.    (Most music has little rear channel content.  And – IMO - the rear channels are a gimmick in movies.)   You can connect any power amps (or integrated amps) you want.  (I’m a tube guy, so I suggest 3 McIntosh MC30s for your 3 Forte III.  Or, perhaps a Scott 296 stereo integrated amp for L&R, and a Scott 210F mono integrated amp for the center.) 

 

For LPs, you’ll need a stereo preamp (e.g., McIntosh MX110), or an integrated amp (e.g., Scott 296).   (It might sound confusing, but it’s relatively simple.)

 

I’m just offering a different perspective … in case you don’t want an AVR …  :)

 

 

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A good avr can handle everything for the most part.  Get a Pioneer Elite.  It will have a phono and discrete amps for the channels.  This will not skim on power, provide and excellent DAC and great connectivity.  These avr's also have a very black floor with no undue coloration.  I have the Oppo 203 and there are some less costly BDP that are just as good.  The only reason to get the Oppo 203 or 205 is for analog outputs for an external amp or to play SACD's.  The Oppo's do not offer streaming like many other BDP's.

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Hate to be the one to say it but the pic of your setup is not going to work very well. :ph34r:

 

Need to do some kind of rearranging, the speaker for the center needs to be under or above the tv, the voices are going to sound way off from the picture.  I don't see an easy way to fix it with that TV stand, sorry. Wall mount the tv and move the speakers ?

 

Sorry just trying to help

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20 minutes ago, dtel said:

Hate to be the one to say it but the pic of your setup is not going to work very well. :ph34r:

 

Need to do some kind of rearranging, the speaker for the center needs to be under or above the tv, the voices are going to sound way off from the picture.  I don't see an easy way to fix it with that TV stand, sorry. Wall mount the tv and move the speakers ?

 

Sorry just trying to help

Let's hope this arrangement is only temporary.

 

Bill

 

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17 hours ago, Mike V said:

The three Forte IIIs

IMG_7872zz.jpg

 

 

You're right... no one like symmetry anyway. :P

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