Which combo would you recommend?

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  • Trash
    Junior Member
    • Sep 2003
    • 19

    Which combo would you recommend?

    First off, I have to blame all of you for giving me upgrade-itis before I've even purchased anything other than speakers!!!

    I recently purchased (with the help of my wife's money), some new B&W speakers. The set consists of two CDM-9NTs, two CDM-1NTs, a CNT and ASW CDM. They currently sit boxed up waiting to be connected to some A/V gear for our new HT/stereo.

    I began this quest with naive thoughts of keeping things simple by purchasing a powerfull A/V receiver. Something along the lines of an NAD T762 or Rotel RSX-1065. Thanks to you guys I've gotten completely out of control and my sights are set a lot higher. Looking for some help.

    Option #1:

    Anthem AVM-20
    Anthem MCA-20 (fronts)
    Anthem MCA-30 (ctr and surrounds)

    Option #2:

    Rotel RSX-1065 (ctr and surrounds)
    Rotel RB-1080 (fronts)

    Option #3:

    Rotel RSP-1098
    Rotel RMB-1075 (ctr and surrouns with some spare channels)
    Rotel RB-1080 (fronts)

    Option #4:

    Rotel RSP-1098
    Rotel RMB-1095 (I know, I know...some have had issues, but this amp is so dog-gone appealing to me.)


    I'd really like to keep the fronts at around 200 watts.

    Which would you recommend and why? I'm really struggling here.

    Two more quick questions regarding the RSX-1065. Does it have the BM issues like the 1055 and 1066 had? Can it be software upgraded like the 1055? Haven't been able to find any solid documentation regarding these issues.

    Thanks
  • sdecker
    Senior Member
    • Jun 2002
    • 122

    #2
    Trash,

    First of all welcome to Club Rotel.

    What is your budget for your electronics? Each option has a pretty big price difference.

    Option 2 is definatly the least expensive option. I use a RSX 1055 as a preamp and am very happy. If your budget is tight this would be a great setup.

    If these were my choices and $$$ wasnt a issue I would go with option #3. You get a great preamp with 7 solid channels of power. The 9NT's will sing with the 1080 amp. I have listened to this combo at my dealer. Of course this is a Rotel forum so I'm slightly biased.

    Nothing wrong with option #1, Im not familiar with Anthem products.

    Yes, the RSX-1065 is software upgradable. The 1065 shares the same BM issues as the 1055.

    Hope this helps

    Earle

    Comment

    • Andrew Pratt
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 16507

      #3
      Assuming music is a priority I'd go for option 3 if HT's your game the 1098/1095 would be sweet as well (though you'd still need some sort of amp for the rears)




      Comment

      • Trash
        Junior Member
        • Sep 2003
        • 19

        #4
        Thanks for the responses.

        As far as budget, I don't have one per se. Options #1, 3, and 4 are pretty close, with option #2 being the least expensive. Since the 1065 has the same BM issues as the 1055 and 1066 I will probably eliminate it. I know there are fixes, but just don't want to deal with it. Besides, the only local Rotel dealer knows nothing about the BM issue. I was frankly shocked since this place has a lot of very high end gear.

        Andrew, I'm not sure what would take precedence in our new system, music or HT. Do you think there would be a big difference between the 1080 and the 1095 in pure two channel? I have NO desire to expand to 7.1. Simply focusing on a solid 5.1 setup.

        Thanks

        Comment

        • Azeke
          Super Senior Member
          • Mar 2003
          • 2123

          #5
          First of all, welcome to Club Rotel, don't worry we have all bitten by upgraditis.

          I currently own the RSP-1098 with the RMB-1095 and beautiful combination in both HT and stereo.

          The options I would consider are #1, 3, and 4, not to dismiss the 1065, but the 1098 has been much improved with upgraded processors and DACs, beautiful piece of machinery. I have yet to hear of a dissatisified user as far as sonics are concerned. The Anthem is lovely piece of equipment as well and should not be discounted, although this thought is based on user testimony and web research.

          If you're not considering 7.1, I would choose option #4, you can always upgrade later, but I would rather have too much power than not enough, this will help minimize upgraditis, that was my logic when I purchased the RMB-1095.

          However, there will be others who suggest Option #3, just so you will have a dedicated amp to power the fronts for stereo, and with the RMB-1075 the noise issues are minimal, (and still allows for upgrading to 7.1, without purchasing another amp, if you forsee that it the future, scalability factor).

          We can make suggestions, however the true test lies with you. Ensure that whomever your vendor that they allow home testing, return policy, and the dreaded one year upgraditis policy. Your mileage and taste may vary.

          Hope this helps,

          Azeke

          Comment

          • Andrew Pratt
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 16507

            #6
            Apparently the 1080 (and 1090) do have a slightly different sound then the 5 channel brethren and are a little more tailored towards 2 channel reproduction. Now that's not to say the 5 channel amps don't sound wonderful for music just that be design they're geared towards movie soundtracks. I really like the sound I'm getting from my 1075 for music so I can say from first hand experience the 5 channel versions do sound great. Given that you're only going to do 5.1 I'd say get the 1095. As others mentioned you can always add a 1080 later if you want to try bi amping, zone two or a 7.1 (or 6.1) setup.




            Comment

            • Joseki
              Member
              • Sep 2003
              • 36

              #7
              Those choices are all very attractive and it will come down to your priorities. My choice ended up being the AVM-20 paired with a 1090 for the L+R and the 1095 for all of the other channels. For the first time in my decade of HT acquisitions, I can actually say that I am finished.

              The sound quality of the AVM-20 is absolutely fabulous. This ended up as my choice because I got it for nearly half off at audiogon. The hidden benefit was the ease of use. It is amazingly tweakable yet my wife can run it without any glitches at all.

              As for Andrew's comments about sound variances between the multichannel and the 2-channel amps, I can safely say that I don't hear it. There were a couple of reviews that criticised the 1080 as being a bit dry and I have not had the opportunity to listen to it. However, the two amps that I do have integrate very well for movies. You never hear any tonal differences on pans.

              But where this setup really shines is on music material. Even good ol' cd's sound terrific! I found out through this process that the B&W's really need a bunch of real power before they start to 'sing'. I know that sounds like audiophile hooey, but there was a night and day difference from my old system.

              I hope that this helps. Good luck with your choices! Please do let us know what you ended up with.

              David

              Comment

              • Azeke
                Super Senior Member
                • Mar 2003
                • 2123

                #8
                For the first time in my decade of HT acquisitions, I can actually say that I am finished.
                Sure David that's what they all say :LOL: .

                Azeke

                Comment

                • art vandeleigh
                  Member
                  • Oct 2003
                  • 49

                  #9
                  i say befroe anyone gives you an oppinion, i really thinnk you should go and AUDITION. its fine to get an idea where everyone stands, but to be fully happy with your very large purchase, YOU have to go and listen to what you like. maybe you like a little brighter sound...maybe a warmer more laid back sound.

                  we all hear things differentlr so before spending 5 grand, please do yourself a favor and listen to what you plan to buy. make sure they also use the 9nt as well so you knwo EXACTLY what you are getting into. good luck and hope you come back and let us all know what you end up getting!!!

                  Comment

                  • Trash
                    Junior Member
                    • Sep 2003
                    • 19

                    #10
                    First off, thanks again for all your responses. I do understand it is important to audition because the listening tastes are different for everyone. This can be problematic since not all the gear is at the same store. I value the input here as over time there usually is a consensus as to what sounds good and what doesn't, despite the heavy Rotel bias.

                    I have heard the following combos but not in an A/B fashion. Usually weeks apart so discriminating is difficult.

                    Rotel 1066 and 1095 via CDM-9NTs
                    RSX-1065 via 9NTs
                    Rotel 1098 and 1075 via the new 704s? (new 'equivalent' to the 9NT)
                    AVM-20 and MCA 50 via Paradigm Studio 100 v3

                    The only differences I 'think' I've heard is in the new unbroken in 700 series B&W and obviously the Paradigms.

                    Comment

                    • art vandeleigh
                      Member
                      • Oct 2003
                      • 49

                      #11
                      well if you went through a thorough audition, and you could not detect which you liked better, or if they all sounded the same to you, then save yourself some money and get the cheapest option. then with the few hundred that you save invest it in a better display device...if this is going to be for HT use.

                      i personally like the anthem a little bit over the rotel gear. didnt seem as bright to my ears...but it could also have been the speakers and all other factors involved. good luck...hard choices.

                      Comment

                      • Trash
                        Junior Member
                        • Sep 2003
                        • 19

                        #12
                        I can't say there wasn't a difference in the systems I auditioned because of the amount of time that elapsed between all the listening sessions. It would be weeks if not months between them. I don't have the luxury of doing an A/B comparison with all this gear at the same store and same day. To complicate things I have to bring along my kids (3 and 1) which limits my time auditioning.

                        I do agree though that IF I could not tell the difference in sound then get the less expensive option.

                        Comment

                        • mazuly
                          Senior Member
                          • Feb 2003
                          • 238

                          #13
                          Hi,

                          Hard choices.

                          I own 1098 with 1075 and I am very pleased with it.

                          I have another recommendation for you. Sometimes, some dealers will allow you to take a gear home for in-home audition. All you have to do is to take those B&Ws out of the box and set them up. This way, you will know for sure, which gear is for you. Just remember that the B&Ws will probably sound brighter than usual since they are not broken-in yet.

                          Good luck and please let us know which gear you ended up with.

                          Maziar

                          Comment

                          • art vandeleigh
                            Member
                            • Oct 2003
                            • 49

                            #14
                            what mazuly said is a great idea!! if you are ready to plop down 5+grand on this setup, they should be more then willing to let you demo these things in your home. I think with all the other factors that you have mentioned, this will be your best bet to get what you really want.

                            you should try and oush this as much as possible. especially at the same store that you purchased the speakers. most if not all, store that sell b&w should also carry rotel gear....but as for anthem, i think that will be much harder. i dont even think they have any dist. in the US..do they??

                            anyway hope you decide soon, because i would love to hear your reviews on your new system. good luck

                            Comment

                            • Trash
                              Junior Member
                              • Sep 2003
                              • 19

                              #15
                              Art and Mazuly,

                              You all have great ideas and suggestions and I really appreciate the input. Agreed the B&W's will sound a little edgy when first run.

                              As far as trying the products out at home I have another issue to contend with. We are in the middle of a remodel for the room that will house the HT/stereo gear. I have scaffolding up, paper on the floor, the chimney face torn up, and have to wait 6 weeks for the cultured stone and Arizona flagstone hearth to arrive before we can finish that project. Having said that there is no room to break out the B&Ws so for now they'll remain boxed up in our master bedroom. Heck, I've got a brand new couch crammed in there still in the wrapper!!!

                              I do have a local Anthem dealer, but he doesn't have any CDM speakers now as he's transitioning to the 700 stuff. He doesn't sell Rotel. That's another dealer. So to A/B Anthem and Rotel is impossible.

                              Home audition is probably the way to go, but will have to wait until the room is done. For now I'll continue to do research on 'paper', audition when I can and save more money. I still have to get the 65813 and CD/DVD player yet!! Help me!!!!......Stop the insanity!

                              Comment

                              • mazuly
                                Senior Member
                                • Feb 2003
                                • 238

                                #16
                                Hi,

                                How about unpacking the B&Ws in the bedroom since you already have the couch there

                                Anyways, for a CD player, RCD-1072 is a very capable unit from Rotel. I have a write-up on RCD-1072 here .

                                There is also this article about progressive DVD playback which is very informative. They have tested numerous DVD players as well. I personally own the RDV-1080 and I am very happy with its progressive playback capabilities.

                                Good luck,
                                Maziar

                                Comment

                                • Trash
                                  Junior Member
                                  • Sep 2003
                                  • 19

                                  #17
                                  I must say it is totally tempting to break out the speakers and just hook them up, but I'm going to resist. What I meant to say is the couch is wrapped up in the new room with scaffolding etc. The speakers are boxed up in the bedroom. What bugs me the most is waiting for material to finish the darn fireplace!!!!

                                  Don't get me started on DVD players!!! I do a lot of digital video, home movies and DVD authoring. I want a player that will support all DVD formats (DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW). Players seem hit or miss. The Rotels I've tried will play the +RW format but not the +R, which is opposite of what I expected. Ideally, I'd like a universal platter type, but none exists to date that I'm aware of.

                                  Comment

                                  • mazuly
                                    Senior Member
                                    • Feb 2003
                                    • 238

                                    #18
                                    Well Linn Unidisk will do that including DVD-A and SACD, but cost you over $10,000 . Also the Sony DVD recorder (don’t remember the model now) should play all disks since it can record all formats.

                                    Actually you can answer this for me then, which DVD players you tested (RDV-1080 or RDV-1060)? So if I get a DVD recorder that can record DVD+RW, I can playback the recorded DVD on the DVD player you tested or is there other problems I might encounter?

                                    The interesting thing was that the software upgrade disk used by my dealer to upgrade my RDV-1080 was a DVD +R disk. Go figure.

                                    Thanks,
                                    Maziar

                                    Comment

                                    • Trash
                                      Junior Member
                                      • Sep 2003
                                      • 19

                                      #19
                                      Maz,

                                      Every Rotel DVD player I tried (1080 and 1060) only played the DVD+RW format. It would not recognize the +R disc. I did not try the -R/-RW disc. At the time I was auditioning speakers and receivers so I didn't pay too much attention to the player or its performance. It was a quick stick the disc in, hit play and see what happens. Once it worked or showed an error, I stopped the test. I tried one Pioneer model (don't remember the model number but it was an Elite version) and it did recognize both discs.

                                      I tried a few Denon models and it was a crap shoot the entire way. The 1600 played +RW but not +R, the 2200 did just the opposite, next model up (2900) switched the results again. Haven't tried the 5900.

                                      The Yamaha S2300 only played the +RW but not the +R. So much for universal. The CX-1 and DVD-C940 was the same. The C-740 DID play all my disks. Go figure, the lower model number did better. The ironic thing is that Yamaha is in the +R/+RW camp and their players had difficulty with my disks. The other strange thing is that the +RW format is allegedly the more difficult to read due to it's lower reflectivity yet worked more often in more expensive models.

                                      The Sony 665 or 685 platter model played all types but I think it's a chroma bug machine.

                                      I have succesfully played the +R disk on some family lower end model Toshiba and Mitsubishi players. These models would not play the +RW discs.

                                      Bottom line, regardless what the manufacturer states, take your authored DVDs in and try them. My gut feeling is the Sony and perhaps the Pioneer models to be the most reliable regarding what they say they'll play and what they actually will play. However, Rotel and Denon never made any claims as to being able to play either of my formats, and if they did they were heavily caveated.

                                      There's a lot of great machines out there, but I have a unique picky laundry list of things the player must do.

                                      I recently purchase another DVD burner for my computer and now I can do all formats. Time for more testing.

                                      Comment

                                      • art vandeleigh
                                        Member
                                        • Oct 2003
                                        • 49

                                        #20
                                        well seems like you have a pretty long time to wait until you can really start setting anything up!! thats good and bad, because then there will just be that many more options that you will find in your on going research. :LOL:

                                        have you looked into other amps besides that rotels and anthems? classe i have heard and sounds very inviting...bryston, aragon,...oh man there are just way too many to name. as for the dvd player. just my oppinion, i dont see why there would be any reason to purchase a rotel. there are so many out there that are just as good and many that rival the rotel. honestly any of the upper series denon universal players will rival any rotel.

                                        also what kind of display will be outputting from this dvd player? bravo and samsung both have dvd players that have DVI output...there is alos this chinese or taiwanese brand that also has DVI and is a region free player. there are just so many options for dvd players i would not bother to look at rotel, but that is just my oppinion. and you know what the saying is...

                                        so what kind of display are you using for the HT

                                        Comment

                                        • Trash
                                          Junior Member
                                          • Sep 2003
                                          • 19

                                          #21
                                          Art,

                                          I am beginning to look more and more at other amps. I briefly listened to the new NAD 163 and 973 combo. It was okay but I really don't want a pure 7 channel amp.

                                          I still have those Musical Fidelity M250 mono blocks in my sights for the 2 ch. stuff. I might pair that with something like the MCA-30. The Bryston and Classe stuff is appealing the price starts skyrocketing. I haven't ruled them out.

                                          I have no desire to purchase a Rotel DVD player. I didn't mean to give that impression. I was leaning towards a few Yamahas. I might have to get a cheapo Sony 5 disk platter for the home movies and perhaps something more elegant for the real stuff. I was costing things out and it's actually cheaper for me to buy two Sony 300 disk carousels and link them than it was to buy some media storage cabinets! That may not be the solution for critical listening, but would be great for parties and solve the storage problem!

                                          For now things are on hold until this room gets complete.

                                          Comment

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