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L.A.kevin

home theater as foot in the door

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Hey All, newbie here. Been a lurker for a while. I've settled on getting a pair of RP600's for the living room with an ulterior motive to getting a turntable setup in the living room. Let me explain...

 

I have a modest (600 or so) LP collection that I've been building since the 80's and a wife who has been only listening to streaming for about 10 years. Also have about another 500 or so CD's. My current crappy turntable setup is in my garage and I spend a lot of time there listening while working on various other hobbies. We had a crappy magnavox home theater set up that finally bit the dust about 5 years ago and have been only using the tv speakers. The magnavox is on it's last legs and I have it in the garage paired with a set of garage sale Fisher 3 ways and a AT LP120 turntable. We have a pretty decent Visio smart TV that's about a year old. I'd like to get a turntable in the living room and want to use the home theater set up as a foot in the door to do so.. 

 

Our house is pretty small. My TV area is about 9 x 12 feet.

 

So here's my predicament: Should I get a Home Theater receiver or a 2 channel and run the RP600's through that? My idea is to get a pair of speakers and integrated and that will be a huge step up from listening to the TV speakers. I could go 2 channel or just use the 2 channels from a home theater receiver. I'm not a big fan of surround, but would a regular 2 channel will be sufficient for home theater? Most of the decent home theater systems seem to have a phono input. Are the phono inputs in HT integrateds that bad? 

 

My idea is to get the foot in the door with the home theater system and introduce a turntable. Small footprint is a must. The RP600's seem to fit the bill for sound quality and bass response. I like how they sound.

 

I'm a huge tinkerer and likely will upgrade- perhaps to a project (meaning one I'll restore or build) tube system at some point. 

 

So, what do you think the best strategy is?

Option 1: get a HT integrated, use two channel, add a turntable, upgrade later. 

       * if so, do you have a suggestion?

       * how easy are they to integrate with a 2 channel?

       * can you use just 2 speakers to start with?

       * is adding a subwoofer a big hassle- are they easy to tune out the bass overlap hump?

       * does any HT integrated have an especially decent phono stage?

 

Option 2: get a good used solid state integrated (Mcintosh?, Parasound? ) and use that as a HT system?

       * does a smart TV integrate well with 2 channel?

       

 

I'm still learning a lot about all this, and trying to understand home theater pass through. I'd like to be able to use whatever system with the best front 2 channel speakers I can afford for both music and HT. I may change my mind about surround sound and it seems that manufacturers are finally getting their s#!t together about wireless satellite speakers. I don't relish the idea of running wire through the ceiling. Maybe I could find a wireless upgrade in the next couple of years. 

 

So, thanks and I appreciate your time.

 

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

 

Welcome to the forum ... you'll probably get a wide variety of suggestions :D

 

A lot depends on 1) your budget and 2) space for "just" 2 speakers or a 3.1/5.1/etc setup.

 

If we try "low budget" and "no space" I would get a vintage receiver (like a Yamaha CR-620; 35W/ch, about $150, or a Marantz - good but more $$) and a pair of used Heresy speakers (about $300 - note "model I" - but in my opinion much better than RP600's ... bit larger though).  Don't know what sound outputs your TV has, but if not RCA, there are always converter boxes (optical-RCA or HDMI-RCA) to hook it up to the amp. Your TT will sound great through this and you can add a DVD/etc.

 

If you want HT sound you will need a HT receiver, which will be a minimum of $500 to get the bells and whistles you need. Check accessories4less.com for good prices. OK; now we start building and spending money. (You'll find the people on this forum love to spend other people's money :) )  Front L/R speakers:  due to your smaller space, I think the Heresy's will be fine.  Center speaker; another Heresy ("dedicated" horizontal center speakers are marketing BS ... if you can, use the same speaker as your L/R :)  If you want "thunder and lightning" from your TV, you will need a subwoofer.  Very good place to look is partsexpress.com ... they have DIY kits for about $3-400 ... get at least a 15 inch subwoofer.  If needed you can "veneer" it for the wife :D  Next add some rear speakers ... any high efficiency speakers will do ... cheapest are probably the KG series (I have some 1.5's, pretty small but I think they would suffice - 3.2/5's would probably be better ... pretty cheap on CraigsList, etc.).

 

HAHA ... once you get started you will be upgrading anyhow ... mostly bigger and more efficient speakers ... Forte's, Khorns, Pro speakers - depends on how much room you have.  (And FYI, if you start with the "low budget" route,  you can use the 2 channel amp for extra front speakers or etc ... )

 

Have fun :D 

 

Cheers, Emile

 

Oops; forgot ... you will need a "big" amp for the subwoofer, like a Dayton Audio SA1000 ($300+??). "External" amps are preferrred since the "build-in" plate amps do NOT last.

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5 hours ago, wuzzzer said:

You can get a powered bookshelf and record combo.  Send a message to @MetropolisLakeOutfitters

 

Yeah. I'm familiar with those. I'm more interested in separates. I want the ability to upgrade for example to a tube phono stage and preamp like a Mac C20 or build a PASX3 Dynaco. But thanks for the suggestion.

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4 hours ago, Emile said:

Hi Kevin,

 

Welcome to the forum ... you'll probably get a wide variety of suggestions :D

 

A lot depends on 1) your budget and 2) space for "just" 2 speakers or a 3.1/5.1/etc setup.

 

If we try "low budget" and "no space" I would get a vintage receiver (like a Yamaha CR-620; 35W/ch, about $150, or a Marantz - good but more $$) and a pair of used Heresy speakers (about $300 - note "model I" - but in my opinion much better than RP600's ... bit larger though).  Don't know what sound outputs your TV has, but if not RCA, there are always converter boxes (optical-RCA or HDMI-RCA) to hook it up to the amp. Your TT will sound great through this and you can add a DVD/etc.

 

If you want HT sound you will need a HT receiver, which will be a minimum of $500 to get the bells and whistles you need. Check accessories4less.com for good prices. OK; now we start building and spending money. (You'll find the people on this forum love to spend other people's money :) )  Front L/R speakers:  due to your smaller space, I think the Heresy's will be fine.  Center speaker; another Heresy ("dedicated" horizontal center speakers are marketing BS ... if you can, use the same speaker as your L/R :)  If you want "thunder and lightning" from your TV, you will need a subwoofer.  Very good place to look is partsexpress.com ... they have DIY kits for about $3-400 ... get at least a 15 inch subwoofer.  If needed you can "veneer" it for the wife :D  Next add some rear speakers ... any high efficiency speakers will do ... cheapest are probably the KG series (I have some 1.5's, pretty small but I think they would suffice - 3.2/5's would probably be better ... pretty cheap on CraigsList, etc.).

 

HAHA ... once you get started you will be upgrading anyhow ... mostly bigger and more efficient speakers ... Forte's, Khorns, Pro speakers - depends on how much room you have.  (And FYI, if you start with the "low budget" route,  you can use the 2 channel amp for extra front speakers or etc ... )

 

Have fun :D 

 

Cheers, Emile

 

Oops; forgot ... you will need a "big" amp for the subwoofer, like a Dayton Audio SA1000 ($300+??). "External" amps are preferrred since the "build-in" plate amps do NOT last.

Thanks for the suggestions, Emile. I am a huuuUUUUuggGGe fan of the Heresy series but I don't think I can pass the WAF (I think you audiophiles use that term- Wife Acceptance Factor). I need to boil this frog slowly. A speaker the size of a Heresy would be a no-go for a starter. A set of RP600's seems perfect. They are very sensitive on paper so I really like that for upgradability and tube compatibility. Other thing is though I love vintage stuff (for example when I met my wife I had a Curtis Mathes TV that i had rebuilt from two TV's) she likes new stuff. 

 

I like the suggestions about accessories for less and partsexpress. I also really appreciate the point about a separate amp for sub. I'm thinking of no sub for starters and that's another plus for the RF600. It's bass though not ideal is pretty good for the size. I would like to perhaps upgrade later to a sub.

 

Budget wise, I can swing a few bucks. My footprint has to be small though. I was thinking of a Marantz HT or go the  route of a Parasound or Mac integrated. I'm still trying to understand pass though and would like if someone can point me to a good tutorial, it would be appreciated. 

 

so like I was saying...

 

Option 1: get a HT integrated, use two channel, add a turntable, upgrade later. 

       * if so, do you have a suggestion?

       * how easy are they to integrate with a 2 channel?

       * can you use just 2 speakers to start with?

       * is adding a subwoofer a big hassle- are they easy to tune out the bass overlap hump?

       * does any HT integrated have an especially decent phono stage?

 

Option 2: get a good used solid state integrated (Mcintosh?, Parasound? ) and use that as a HT system?

       * does a smart TV integrate well with 2 channel?

 

Thanks very much again and looking forward to any and all advice.

 

Kevin

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I bought an Onkyo tx777 for $259 open box. It has phono stage, hdmi, networking, internet radio,usb and pile of features. I have it hooked to two dcm kx212 (big) speakers ,4 ohm I think. Gets really loud, has manual and auto EQ and sounds pretty good for that price. I'm sure there are some variety out there that would do it.

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Tube amps and home theater don't mix.  Both are OK but if you are building a system, you would do best to pick one or the other.

 

Since you seem to want the RP-600M for use with the TV and records I suggest you start with an AVR and make sure it has a TT input.  This will support 2.1, and every system needs a sub.  It is absolutely no problem for an AVR with room correction software such as Audyssey to make the speakers and sub blend perfectly together.

 

After the RP-600M's I think your next purchase should be a center channel, the best one you can afford.  Ninety percent of TV/movies is dialog and 90% of dialog comes out of the center channel.

 

Most TV signals these days are broadcast in Dolby Digital, 5.1.  The signal will send out discrete information to each channel, meaning mostly music will come out of the L/R and dialog will have its own specific audio track and come out of the middle.  Surrounds are mostly birds chirping and random crowd noise clapping if you listen to sports as I do.

 

If you try to listen to your show being broadcast 5.1 TV with 2.0 speakers the sounds are NOT balanced.  Instead of having nice clear vocals/dialog the music might drown it out, making voices difficult to understand.  That is the EXACT reason I got into multichannel speakers in 2014 because while watching 5.1 content I couldn't hear a dang thing.

 

A 3.0 system sounds pretty good and is my preferred way to listen to TV.  Here is my living room setup, RP-600M L/R with an Usher MTM center.  My AVR is a Marantz 6011 which supports 9 speakers but I prefer 3 or five.  For perspective that is a 65" Vizio PQ65 in the middle.

 

151202796_RP-600MJudgeJudy_small2.jpg.a686a14f871cb71f0f43f6bcbca5fa91.jpg

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Thanks very much, Dave and Fish. I appreciate your input. I guess I've decided on a home theater system with phono in and headphone out. 

 

I've been looking at suggestions from other threads and it seems that accessories for less has some great stuff on deep discounts right now. Does anyone have some opinions on these?

 

Seems like a lot of reviewers like Yamaha

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxa1080bl/yamaha-rx-a1080-7.2-ch-x-110-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html

 

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxa850bl/yamaha-rx-a850-7.2-ch-x-100-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html#!specifications

 

This Marantz seems like a safe choice but the price is higher than others. Is it worth more than the others?

 

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/marsr7011/marantz-sr7011-9.2-ch-x-125-watts-networking-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html#!specifications

 

very cheap price Onkyo

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/onktxnr676/onkyo-tx-nr676-7.2-ch-x-100-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html

 

Don't know anything about Integra but this looks pretty good:

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/intdtr404/integra-dtr-40.4-7.2-ch-x-110-watts-thx-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html#!specifications

 

So, any opinions? Any other ideas 

 

Thanks very much for your time, folks!

 

Kevin

 

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I’ve got the Yamaha RX-A1070, which is the previous model to RX-A1080. It’s a great AVR. It has the phono input for your turntable, it works fine for me. I’m using it for Surround and two channel. It does it all from Apple TV, PS4, Bluetooth to Vinyl. I’ve never had a single issue with it. (I do run a separate amp for the LF/RF). It powers La Scalas for Stereo duty or five Heresys for surround,  it should be good with the RP600s. I’m sure there are other great choices on your list too, but really like mine. Oh, btw this is in my separate “music room”. No way is my lovely wife EVER going to allow a pair of LaScalas and five Herseys in a common area. Zero WAF for sure. Good idea to start small with the RP600s and build from there. Over the last twenty years in the family room, I’ve managed to gradually go from small KSB1s to RP280Fs. However, if you are smooth enough talk her into it, Heresys are great speakers.

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@L.A.kevin

 

First, the RP-600M are an excellent start.  I have the prior generation at my retirement house I’m trying to get to.  The AVR’s I’ve had are Yamaha 1050 (sounded like crap, something broke, out of warranty when it started sounding awful).  A Denon AVR 4200 ( HDMI inputs started dropping out one by one, out of warranty). Bad luck.  Now I have a Marantz 6012.  It sounds the best out of all of the AVR’s I’ve had for music.  Just my opinion.

 

Also have a Parasound pre and amp.  That sounds the best for music, but it’s down south....get to it soon I hope.  

 

The RP-600 are excellent.  I have a friend that has the RP600’s teamed up with his grandfathers old Marantz tube amp.  Excellent sound. Get yourself an RC62 for your center. You can find them cheap, but you have to look.  That setup is great for home theater.  Good starter system.

 

Good luck...

 

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On 1/22/2019 at 10:34 PM, L.A.kevin said:

fan of the Heresy series but I don't think I can pass the WAF

Hi Kevin,

 

Haha ... understand :D  Most of us have WAF issues :) 

There are "some" ways to "get around" this problem :D  Borrow someones Cornwall's/Chorus'/Forte's for a week ... yes; she will hate the "size."  Then downgrade to "small" Heresy's and she'll be OK :D ... maybe :) 

 

Re your AVR selections, in particular the Onkyo 676.  Had one of those a couple of years ago; pretty good unit, very good to "get started" especially for $200. Haha; try it; you will upgrade anyhow - upgrading is the fun part of this hobby.  (Note; the HDMI inputs DO NOT :transfer" to pre-outs on this one - not sure; think it had pre-outs -  ... HDMI "transfer" will cost you at least 2-3x this to get that function.) The Denon supposedly is better ... the Yamaha much better.  My approach has been to try "cheaper" but good units first ... I think a couple hundred $$ is well spend to get up to speed and decide what exactly you want before spending the big bucks :) 

 

Last, re the subwoofer.  Very easy upgrade ... but hardly ever "needed."  I've got a 15 inch, 1000W sub ... nice to have, but maybe I turn it on once every 3 months :( 

 

Cheers, Emile

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23 hours ago, L.A.kevin said:

This Marantz seems like a safe choice but the price is higher than others. Is it worth more than the others?

 

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/marsr7011/marantz-sr7011-9.2-ch-x-125-watts-networking-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html#!specifications

The quick answer is "yes" the Marantz is better built.  If you do some Youtube searches you'll find the 7011 and similar models are consistently at the top of the top ten AVR lists.

 

It's sister brand is Denon.  Although owned by the same parent company they each have a characteristic sound, both good.  In general the Marantz is thought to be better with music, the Denon with movies.  My experience with my Marantz 6011 is that it is excellent with both.

 

Although not the exact models you're looking at, this is an excellent technical review and gives you some ideas of the build quality of the Marantz.  What sold me on the Marantz was the 6011 has nine discrete amps which are separated.  There is little power loss when additional channels are used.

 

 

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I really, really appreciate all you folks' input here. I'm zeroing down into my decision here. It turns out another WAF that I have to pass is that whatever unit I choose must fit into a cabinet with a 15 1/4" depth. That limits things a bit. 

 

So, the key things are phono input, headphone jack, max 15.250" depth. 

 

Marantz Refurb $699. Don't know about this safe and sound place, anyone have any dealings with them?

http://www.safeandsoundhq.com/Marantz-SR5013-7-Channel-4K-Ultra-HD-AV-Receiver-with-HEOS-Factory-Refurbished

 

Denon $449

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrx2500h/denon-avr-x2500h-7.2-ch-x-95-watts-networking-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html?gclid=E11AIaIQobChMIt4PAjNCH4AIVgo-zCh2U2gbnEAQYASABEg

 

Denon $299 smoking deal it seems, or why so cheap?

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrs940h/denon-avr-s940h-7.2-ch-x-90-watts-networking-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html#!specifications

 

I can't seem to find a Yamaha with the needed depth.

 

Kevin

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Here's a Yamaha for $379 with the depth that just makes it

 

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxv685bl/yamaha-rx-v685-7.2-ch-x-90-watts-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html#!specifications

 

I see a lot of reviews on this forum that tout the adventege system from Yamaha. I don't know if this one, without Adventage (or however you spell it) is worth it. Doesn't seem like any Yamaha with a phono input that has adventage meets my depth requirement.

 

Hmmm....

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You are now looking at an AVR/surround unit so, if you are leaning that way, alright. Looking at your opening post, it seems that you may want or need a receiver with tuner for radio or, an integrated amplifier. There are vintage units out there, of course, in either case. Integra, which is some say a higher end of brand Onkyo, I have read good things about. Some of both, I do believer are available with the Integra name. Some, like older vintage, non AVR, allow you to input/output 4 speakers from them. While you are looking at, non AVR/Surround brands, consider also Rotel as a brand. Either of these brand name units are mentioned by doing a search of the 2 channel archive here.

Same goes for a search of the home theatre sub-forum. Hope this helps...and Welcome to the forum.

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Thanks for the welcome, Billybob. Yep... I'm evolving my search as I go. Currently, I'm looking for something modern that I can get my tv hooked up for watching movies as well as accepting an additional phono input. Footprint is important. I'll add a turntable to it soon. At some later date, I will look towards integrating  decent amp/pre/phono stage into my existing two (possibly plus sub) system. Oh, and just for clarification, I need to start with a home theater system as a way to exploit my wife's interest in getting better movie audio. (Shhhh! don't tell)

Edited by L.A.kevin
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11 minutes ago, billybob said:

You are now looking at an AVR/surround unit so, if you are leaning that way, alright. Looking at your opening post, it seems that you may want or need a receiver with tuner for radio or, an integrated amplifier. There are vintage units out there, of course, in either case. Integra, which is some say a higher end of brand Onkyo, I have read good things about. Some of both, I do believer are available with the Integra name. Some, like older vintage, non AVR, allow you to input/output 4 speakers from them. While you are looking at, non AVR/Surround brands, consider also Rotel as a brand. Either of these brand name units are mentioned by doing a search of the 2 channel archive here.

Same goes for a search of the home theatre sub-forum. Hope this helps...and Welcome to the forum.

And btw, you of course want a decent phono section for your turntable in any case. @Harleywood...not long ago purchased a Rotel integrated that he may be happy with. Doing your homework here and getting the features you want for today or tomorrow will help with any buyer's remorse...

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4 minutes ago, L.A.kevin said:

Thanks for the welcome, Billybob. Yep... I'm evolving my search as I go. Currently, I'm looking for something modern that I can get my tv hooked up for watching movies as well as accepting an additional phono input. Footprint is important. I'll add a turntable to it soon. At some later date, I will look towards integrating  decent amp/pre/phono stage into my existing two (possibly plus sub) system.

Just know there are some non AVR units that allow you to incorporate the video as well. There is also the standalone for just going from the video to a non AVR with just audio...just sayin and others will surely chime in...

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Well, thanks for everyone's input. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this Integra:

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/intdtr402/integra-dtr-40.2-7.2-ch-x-110-watts-thx-networking-a/v-receiver/1.html#!specifications

 

The footprint was right and the online reviews were better than the equivalent Denon. It's got Audessy or however you spell it. It's got decent power, and a phono input. For $300 it seems like a steal. I also picked up the monoprice glass stands (on sale) and some stuff to make some new speaker wires. 

 

Thanks everyone. 

 

Oh... and I had to work today and  on the way home picked up the Roxy Music 8 LP boxed set in perfect condition for $40 at a used record store. 

 

Kevin

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