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Advice for Chorus II speakers - dedicated Music Room


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I have a pair of Chorus IIs that I upgraded with both the Crite's crossovers as well as the tweeter diaphragms.  They used to be the FL/FR speakers in my 5.1 surround sound system and were driven by a Denon AVR-X3300W (105W).  When I wanted to listen to music, I would switch to 2.1 with a 80 hz pass to a  R-10SW. 


Current Story:

New house and now have a room just for music! Will be replacing the FL/FR in the 5.1 with TBD and my Chorus IIs are now in their own room. The new room with my old AVR driving the Chorus IIs sounds very good to me (with full spectrum to 2.0 and sub removed) and one option is to keep the Denon AVR on the Chorus IIs and spend ~ $500 on new AVR for the home theater.  The other would be to get a good receiver/DAC combo for the Chorus II and move the Denon AVR back to the theater.


Given the sensitivity of my speakers, and my desire for wireless connectivity, I tried to go cheap and ordered a Yamaha RX-V485BL to drive just the Chorus IIs and it sounded like crap. I returned it. 


Criteria important to me:

  • Wife would like to not see subwoofer in new room, so initially will not have one, would like to have enough good clean power to not need one
  • I primarily only listen to lossless or 320kb/s streaming over my network
  • I would like to spend < $600
  • Probably would prefer non-tube because of cost
  • Want to be able to take the optical out from chromecast audio to hit a decent DAC in the amplifier ( I ordered the CCA today with the thought of a good 2 or 2.1 amplifier.  If it doesn't work, I will up the budget for a Sonos Connect instead or some other option)
  • I want to be able to at least do bass/treble/loudness adjustments without having to buy a preamp
  • Would like some kind of processing on amplifier such that I can listen to levels well below reference and still sound good

For new I was considering this at the top of my price range: Yamaha A-S501BL Natural Sound Integrated Stereo Amplifier (Black)


I would love your thoughts and opinions on that item given my criteria above.

I would also love to hear about used options that would meet those criteria

I am very much an audiophile noob; please correct me on terminology :)


Thanks in Advance.


Edited by Biscuit
grammar and corrections
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I should add that the kind of music I listen to is somewhat eclectic and that I'm in the very early stages of educating myself about amps, preamps, discrete vs. integrated, tubes etc... I've always just been a run of the mill Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon AVR type with a deep appreciation for Klipsch since my Forte II's (1995 through last year) and now Chorus IIs that I bought from my father when he got his K-horns.  I am just now branching out into better fidelity. I tend to prefer warm with strong bass and clear vocals over exact precise and I don't listen to a lot of jazz or orchestra. 


Example music in a given day: 

Rush, Foo Fighters, Anne Bisson, Dire Straights, Floyd, Supertramp, Holly cole, Joe Bonammassa, Mark Knopfler, Queen, Acoustic Alchemy, Joy Williams, Peter Bradley Adams,  etc...


To drive the Chorus IIs, for new I am considering the following (if I go up to 1000)

  • Rotel A12
  • Outlaw Audio RR 2160 stereo receiver
  • NAD C 368


For less money, considering.

  • Yamaha A-S501BL
  • NAD C 316BEE (would I still get good strong bass at sub reference listening levels?)
  • Emotiva TA-100


I would consider an amp/preamp combo but have really no good knowledge of options. I also know very little of great used  in my price-point of up to 1000. 


p.s. Can a moderator please move this thread to "2 channel audio"


Edited by Biscuit
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I like that Outlaw integrated on your list, good power and bass management (which won't matter if the Mrs. won't allow a sub), but unsure if it will have the eq capability you want.  If that loudness control is essential, then one of the Yamaha networking receivers/integrateds would be the ticket. R-N803d for $499 at A4L right now.


None of the NAD, Rotel, or Emo kit has the eq you want.

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19 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

I have access to a fully restored, capped, cleaned, bench tested 83 watts per channel before clipping pristine Marantz 2270 for 1500.....I'm torn in spending that much money.  Listening tomorrow.


Although I haven't followed the vintage market for a while that seems like a lot of money for a vintage receiver. Unless there is some historical/emotional desire to go there, I would consider more up to date options. The Outlaw receiver is highly regarded and depending on where you buy you may have a trial period to audition. Problems down the road with vintage gear can get expensive and frustrating unless you have the technical skills to service and a source for parts or a reliable, relatively close tech so you're not getting hit with shipping too.  

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Thanks @veloceleste. I was kind of thinking the same thing. I've NEVER heard vintage sound through my Chorus IIs. I'm paying him for his time to come over with a 2226b and the 2270, both fully restored to see what those sound like. Then heading to listen to some of the choices I listed above on some forte III's in a local audio store. I'm hoping the forte III's will be similar enough to my Crited Chorus IIs to compare without having to take home. 



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On 1/5/2019 at 7:23 AM, baron167 said:

FWIW, the Yamaha A-S801 has better specs for $649 @ accessories for less.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Specs are not representative of sound quality.  Another myth is good "specs" equates to good sound. About 30 years ago, Dr. Hirata published a paper that showed the differences between a number of discrete amplifier designs, both tube and transistor. It made a difference in these cases. As I recall, the best amp was the Marantz tube 8B, and the worst amp measured was the Crown DC-300. Why? That is the question. It was certainly different than harmonic distortion tests made with the same components, that tended to predict the opposite result. This is WHY we like to note and even develop tests that show SOMETHING not seen by harmonic distortion measurements and its relatives. In solid state nulling the 7th and 9th harmonics are crucial to take the edge off the sound as presented in the old HP book from the 30's. This has been discussed with myself, Scott Franklin, Bruce Moore and John Curl on more than one occasion. Though I admit I have not tested 40 years worth of amplifiers.


https://linearaudio.nl/sites/linearaudio.net/files/Hirata test engineering report 1981.pdf



Edited by Ossidian
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