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Picking up my LaScala's next week, what next?!


JAGX
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I plan on buying my first OLED TV this year, and hope to use these LaScalas for double duty, music and home theater. This is my first time trying to coordinate all these components and frankly it is starting to get confusing, so please forgive any foolish questions that I may have failed to find answers to researching on my own!

 

I bought a pair of gently used AL5 trade-ins and am picking them up next week from the store. Any tips on what to look for/ask when inspecting them? This and the TV are the are breaking my bank so the rest of the setup is going to be budgeted as best I can.

 

I think it makes sense to hook these up to an AV Receiver pre-amp, then hook the AV Receiver with HDMI eARC to the TV's HDMI eARC. I will also connect a 4k Blu-ray player, FiOS cable box, and 4k Apple TV using HDMI to the (Receiver or directly to the TV), not sure which is optimal?

 

Back to the LaScalas, I will use an amp (~$1,200 budget) to power them because it should be better/worth it to match a stand-alone amp quality/watts the LaScalas versus using the AV receiver powered channels, right? 

 

Will connecting the LaScalas to an AV receiver degrade the experience, or cancel out the benefit of using pre-amps and a stand-alone amp? Basically, am I an idiot for trying to spend big bucks on nice speakers and a matching amp only to hook them into an AV receiver? 🥴

 

Lastly, in terms of Home Theater, what is most critical to me is adding a subwoofer for bass and also considering a center channel (budget permitting). I have a 10" monolith powered subwoofer I plan to use for now (I know it is probably not worthy of the LaScalas but I am broke now) and also some Klipsch fives I could cannibalize for surrounds perhaps. My main issue is that dialogue these days seems shoddy so I was hoping to add a center and don't know where to start. I read THIS from Paul but my bank account slapped me (and I have no room).  

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The LaScalas deserve better than an AV receiver. Plan accordingly.

 

If you have to use one for the short term just to get some sound, that’s fine. But look to a good tube integrated or tube separates. That will be when you discover just how good the speakers are that you bought.

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I agree with @Shakeydeal regarding AVRs and quality speakers. La Scalas deserve better.

 

The dilemma is that the features available in AVRs to enhance TV watching, such as multi-channel, make it problematic to use the same speakers for TV and 2-channel.  After trying to watch movies using our 2-channel Klipsch Heritage setup with 4 Exodus Anarchy subs, we grew tired of no center channel for dialogue, and no rear speakers for 5.0.

 

Our solution was to use five DIY Fostex FE103 bass reflex for TV/movies and a separate system for 2-channel.   To accomplish, this I ordered a basic Yamaha AVR from Accessories4Less (A4L).  The “open box” unit was less than $250.  Unfortunately, the center channel did not work. 

 

A customer service person at A4L was very helpful.  He quickly agreed that my diagnostic efforts confirmed the dead center channel.  He asked what kind of speakers I was using.  When I told him about the Fostex drivers he hemmed and hawed before asking me, “Why are you using such a shitty AVR with audiophile speakers?”  He went on to say that true audiophiles never use an AVR for music.  

 

Ultimately, he seemed satisfied regarding my plan to use the “shitty” Yamaha AVR for TV viewing, and to use a dedicated 2-channel system for music. The replacement “shitty” Yamaha AVR works perfectly and provides 5.0 when available.

 

BTW, several dealings with A4L have been excellent.  I highly recommend them for any “shitty” AVR you might need.

 

image.jpg

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I used La Scalas II mains in a 5.1 set up that included a Cornwall main and Heresy II's as sides/rears. I used them equally as a 5.1 Music and 5.1 home Theater set up with a AVR (Pioneer SC85) front end with GREAT success and listening reward. The set up sounded awesome but I did use the preouts for the front stage and let the AVR power the rears.

 

an MODERN avr works good... but it is not the pinnacle of sound quality, though it is pretty darn good.

 

Starting with an AVR will allow you to implement in stages as oppose to putting out the total cost up front...

 

 

50944365457_04d95b23b8_k.jpg

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I've been plenty happy with La Scala's and my Marantz SR-8015 for both movies and music.  I previously had a Marantz NR-1605 and two Outlaw 2200's.  Both sound great.  I was on a mission to declutter, so I bought a flagship receiver and have a lot less clutter, cables, and outlets.  The receiver uses more power than my previous setup, including the Emotiva 12v trigger I needed to turn on both Outlaw amps, AND the BASH 300 I used to power my subwoofer (I have an SVS-PC13 now and is plugged into the wall where it sits).

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On 3/26/2022 at 10:32 AM, JAGX said:

 

 

I bought a pair of gently used AL5 trade-ins and am picking them up next week from the store.

what kind of deal did you get -for the AL-5

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The speakers are 99% of the equation ,almost any competent amplifier powering your Lascala’s  will essentially sound the same as any other  ,so any decent AV receiver will work just fine with your new speakers  ,IMHO. Enjoy your awesome new speakers , another Lascala or at least another big heritage speaker would work for center , another Lascala being by far your best choice .Be careful about crossing over those high output speakers with an undersized subwoofer ,because it won’t keep up , and you’ll be very weak below crossover point .(very bad).To avoid this problem run your speakers full range and augment the Lascala’s where they naturally fall off .Congrats on your very fine new speakers and welcome to the forum🤓

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7 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

 

 

 

The LaScalas deserve better than an AV receiver. Plan accordingly.

 

If you have to use one for the short term just to get some sound, that’s fine. But look to a good tube integrated or tube separates. That will be when you discover just how good the speakers are that you bought.

I was at a decware zen triode tube amp and denon AVR-X3700H. That way the zen could power the Lascalas through the pre-amp connections. I am not sure if running this tube amp through the denon makes sense from an "audiophile perspective?" Would that degrade the quality of the tube amp powering the lascalas? Then I could also play with expanding to subs/center/surrounds later.

 

My source would be FioS cable TV, Netflix/app Streaming, and a 4k BluRay player for HT. For music, likely airplay 2. I like owning music and casting it from the phone is just so convenient, but I might consider a HiFi subscription service if it would make a significant difference. I likely won't ever use a turntable or CDs.

 

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2 hours ago, 001 said:

what kind of deal did you get -for the AL-5

I paid 8k flat. That seemed good assuming they are in like new condition, those are what 2018 prices?

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33 minutes ago, JAGX said:

I was at a decware zen triode tube amp and denon AVR-X3700H. That way the zen could power the Lascalas through the pre-amp connections. I am not sure if running this tube amp through the denon makes sense from an "audiophile perspective?" Would that degrade the quality of the tube amp powering the lascalas? Then I could also play with expanding to subs/center/surrounds later.

 

My source would be FioS cable TV, Netflix/app Streaming, and a 4k BluRay player for HT. For music, likely airplay 2. I like owning music and casting it from the phone is just so convenient, but I might consider a HiFi subscription service if it would make a significant difference. I likely won't ever use a turntable or CDs.

 


I would never use a receiver as a preamp. But that’s me.

 

So when you are casting from your phone, this is Bluetooth no? If so, another bottleneck for you to overcome.

 

I will get plenty of flack for this, but you need to decide which is more important to you, movies or music. Pick one, design your system around that choice and let the chips fall where they may for the other one. Because there are compromises to be made when you attempt both in the same system.


 

 

 

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Quote

The speakers are 99% of the equation ,almost any competent amplifier powering your Lascala’s  will essentially sound the same as any other  ,so any decent AV receiver will work just fine with your new speakers 


You couldn’t be more wrong. You could certainly try, but success would elude  and mock you.

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2 hours ago, Tom05 said:

almost any competent amplifier powering your Lascala’s  will essentially sound the same as any other

Not true in my experience. My La Scalas produce a significantly different sound through my CJ MF2550SE than through my Carys with 300Bs or KT88s. All my speakers have different intonation depending upon what pre/amp combination I run. 

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55 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:


You couldn’t be more wrong. You could certainly try, but success would elude you.

Well,I said in my honest opinion ,and I said a decent quantity avr, I stand by my opinion. It is very difficult for most people , to discern differences  in amp sound quality , and if they can we are talking about very  subtle differences.  It’s hard  to find listeners who can consistently pick out the “better”sounding amplifier in a A/ B blind comparison .This  goes along with my own experience through the years, not saying that your opinion is any less valid than mine , but I like to put my money on the really important stuff like making sure that a guy with a left and right Lascala puts in a Lascala center, cause no amplifier will fix that mistake.

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Trying to reason with the “it all sounds the same” crowd is like banging your head against a wall. I have never had two amplifiers in any system I’ve owned that sounded the same. A receiver isn’t even in the same area code as a high quality preamp/amplifier. Even the best one you can think of.

 

To each his own.

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9 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Trying to reason with the “it all sounds the same” crowd is like banging your head against a wall. I have never had two amplifiers in any system I’ve owned that sounded the same. A receiver isn’t even in the same area code as a high quality preamp/amplifier. Even the best one you can think of.

 

To each his own.

Sure , to each his own , Some people swear that cables make a difference too , the more expensive the better the sound.

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47 minutes ago, Tom05 said:

Sure , to each his own , Some people swear that cables make a difference too , the more expensive the better the sound.

Thud!

my noodle against a concrete barrier.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom05 said:

Well,I said in my honest opinion ,and I said a decent quantity avr, I stand by my opinion. It is very difficult for most people , to discern differences  in amp sound quality , and if they can we are talking about very  subtle differences.  It’s hard  to find listeners who can consistently pick out the “better”sounding amplifier in a A/ B blind comparison .This  goes along with my own experience through the years, not saying that your opinion is any less valid than mine , but I like to put my money on the really important stuff like making sure that a guy with a left and right Lascala puts in a Lascala center, cause no amplifier will fix that mistake.

Did you notice the part where I said  that your opinion is not any less valid than mine? You guys keep banging your heads

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