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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:crying: another amp blew up on me. First the Onkyo TX s 608 decided to have HDMI's go bad, got a full refund that funded the new stereo system for my Z3 Bimmer. Then came the Yamaha Aventage 700 ... amp blew up, great video, no sound, currently for repairs under warranty by BB, will be sold upon return as refurb, which it will be. Had to have HT sound ... picked up an Integra 20.3, brand new form a high end dealer in town and I have to say, sounds incredible, video is phenomenal, any experiences out there with Integra's? If this one blows up, I am bringing back a Sony trinitron and give up on HTS!!!! Your thoughts? :yikes:
 

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What Speakers are you using? The 700 is not exactly a Powerhouse and if overdriven or placed without proper ventilation, it can be a recipe for disaster. The 20.3 is nice, but you might need a more powerful AVR.
Are you using a Subwoofer and if so, where do you have the Crossover set? Also, how big is your Room?
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey JJ, I am driving the swans m 5000 rears and center with vintage Thiel cs2 fronts. The dealer that sold me the integra is where I got the thiels in 1986 and I am assured the integra has enough guts to handle the speakers. this is a very high end reputable dealer. All speakers are rated at 6 ohms. Three year warranty so I believed them, guess they should know?
 

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Hello,
Theil's are definitely not AVR Friendly. I love Theils, but their Time and Phase Coherent Design, the CS means Coherent Source, makes them a pretty tough load. Primarily because they use 1st Order Crossovers. Regardless, I can see how you have overdriven AVR's.

I would add a Subwoofer if not already using one. And if using one, crossover all Speakers to 80hz. This will take some strain off the AVR. Integra is close to identical to Onkyo and the 20.3 is pretty low on the Integra Lineup. I would consider a more powerful Integra AVR. And ideally, outboard amplification.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Jack is correct, Those speakers are a tough drive to say the least. Its like pulling a trailer with a Pinto. Just to much for a small receiver to handle.
You want a receiver that has pre outs and use outboard amplification and the amp needs to be stable to at least 4 ohms, 2 ohms would be even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello JJ, Hi Tony, thanks for the input.
JJ, I know what CS means, I have owned them since 1986 and bought them from the same high end dealer I got the Integra from, who still assures me it has enough power to deal with the Thiels, although I agree that they are extremely inefficient and suspected it could be the issue. I am running a HSU Research sub and the crossover is set at 80. The guy that sold me the Yamaha also swore it had enough power for the Thiels, he is now repairing it under warranty :rofl: I am considering replacing all speakers in the HT with Focal Chorus', (efficiency in the low 90"s), and matching the Thiels to my vintage Sansui Au 717 integrated amp along with a vintage Thorens table as a fourth HiFi system. Other considerations for the HT are Mordaunt, Phase Tech, Epos, Monitor Audios, maybe even Tannoy. We'll see which way I go. Shoot, vintage Klipsch Cornwalls and Heresy's would blow up the room :nerd:
Thank you guys, let you know which I way I go. I do love the Integra, so I will be looking for the right speaker match.
Hit them straight!!
 

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I am considering replacing all speakers in the HT with Focal Chorus', (efficiency in the low 90"s), and matching the Thiels to my vintage Sansui Au 717 integrated amp along with a vintage Thorens table as a fourth HiFi system. Other considerations for the HT are Mordaunt, Phase Tech, Epos, Monitor Audios, maybe even Tannoy. We'll see which way I go. Shoot, vintage Klipsch Cornwalls and Heresy's would blow up the room :nerd:
Out of those, the focals would be my choice, although tannyo's 12" Coaxial PROFESSIONAL offerings are quite nice if you can rebuild the box for low diffraction, like one person i'm aware of has done. I've heard nice things about Phase Tech, too.

One really cool speaker that I think is perfect if you've got subs to handle the bottom end, is this guy
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=6332
Excellent sensitivity, barely any power compression, and it measures/sounds better than much of what's out there.

As for the Theils, I recommend an Emotiva XPA-2
 

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Hello,
Focals are right up there with Thiel as my favorite Conventional Speakers. Dynaudio completes the trifecta.
However, the Chorus will be far easier to drive with your 20.3. I am sorry, but for any Salesmen to recommend a relatively inexpensive AVR to drive a pair of Thiels after you have had multiple AVR's fail specifically in the Amplifier Stage is just not sound advice.

It would be one thing if you played at really low volumes, but I am guessing you like to listen at fairly high SPL's from time to time. The Focal's will be so much easier to drive as the Chorus's do not use a 1st Order Crossover and are Designed with AVR's in mind. Something that cannot be said for Theils or Focals upper range Utopia Series.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I'm torn between Focal and B&W. The Focal Chorus' new V speakers are beautiful speakers for a moderate price. You know the sponsors for the Marantz giveaway have a long list of Focal Home Audio speakers at decent discounts. I have not listened to the Utopia series or the BE except in cars but I think I will have to get there one speaker/driver at a time. I can build the cabinet's.

But getting back to the Thiel speakers. I do not have the info in black and white but the Thiel speakers are notoriously difficult speakers to drive. Liken to driving planar speakers. If you listen to classical music at all you can find your system trying to drive a power hungry one ohm load out of your left speaker while the string section drifts innocently out of the right with a typical 4-6 ohm demand and you don't know you just think its great that the Thiel's give back everything in the source programming.

If the Thiel's were just inefficient you just kick up the db's but because of the coherent source if your amp cannot play a one or two ohm load eventually you will have the volume too high and the voice coils will just bubble from heat or just as bad the volume when low will never be enough to satisfy you. Thiel's are for tubes..., a little pause for you to scream......................... I don't care what your salesman tells you 90 watts is not enough to drive complex, uneven and demanding loads through digital electronics. It might work with a 200 watt amp with all else equal in this case your amp should have enough guts but still not enough for complex and uneven. It might not pop but it will never sound as good as Tubes.

I'm just sayin...,

Greg
 

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I'm torn between Focal and B&W.
Between those two, to me focal is a lot better.

It might not pop but it will never sound as good as Tubes.
Sure it will, there's nothing inherent about tubes that makes solid state sound worse, unless the tubes are coloring the sound, which some may prefer but it is less accurate.
 

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Hello,
I agree about the Focals if you are considering the 600 Series which I would guess would be the closest in price. However, the CM Series is quite close and if considering them, I would audition both and decide which you prefer. I suppose the same should be said for the 600 Series. However, I personally prefer Focal's Inverted Dome Tweeter that has been used in a number of mega buck Speakers. Wilson Audio uses a Custom Designed Focal Tweeter in their uber expensive Speakers.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Hello,
I agree about the Focals if you are considering the 600 Series which I would guess would be the closest in price. However, the CM Series is quite close and if considering them, I would audition both and decide which you prefer. I suppose the same should be said for the 600 Series. However, I personally prefer Focal's Inverted Dome Tweeter that has been used in a number of mega buck Speakers. Wilson Audio uses a Custom Designed Focal Tweeter in their uber expensive Speakers.
Cheers,
JJ
Focal's inverted dome is a very nice dome tweeter, but at the end of the day it's still a dome tweeter. Have you ever heard a RAAL tweeter?
 

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I hope you don't think I actually know what I am writing about..., I don't. I wrote my note fast because if I stopped to think I would not have sent the note. I cannot tell you exactly why all of what I said is true. Some of the info I possess is hearsay, but hearsay info that has been repeated often enough by reputable people who do possess the precise knowledge that now to me it is fact.

I wrote because everybody made good points but were only hinting about the effects of complex and demanding 1 and 2 ohm passages/riffs. A solid state preamp/amp doesn't like differential loads or low impedance loads. For example a solid state amp will overheat if you turn the balance knob all the way to the left. With no signal going to the right and all of the signal going to the left. In another example..., you do not want to turn a solid state amp on without speakers connected to all active channels. Most of the new amps won't let you turn on any feature that does not have speakers enough to meet the demand.

Both of these are extreme examples, you don't want to play a program thru a tube preamp/amp without the speakers connected. In either scenario I don't know where overheating becomes a problem

Engineers have designed solid state audio electronics to play 20hz to 20-30khz (exceptions are available)
Solid state electronics will play higher and lower for a price. Maybe a Krell Preamp/Amp will play these low impedance, differential and complex loads with ease..., I don't know. I do know from knowledge I've been given from reputable people (my Dad, Ben Wood etc) that Tube amps/preamp's will handle low impedance loads out of one or all speakers at the same time and/or with varying impedance at the same time.

But, I am not saying tube amps/preamps sound better than solid state. I am saying you will probably hear more of the original recorded program with tube.

The truth is in here somewhere I could have used better examples maybe. I hope you see what I am saying. Maybe I'll open up some books to find better examples or maybe illustrations (I love the pic's) for my own edification if for nobody else.

I love solid state and digital. This digital stuff is otherworldly..., out of this world. I am having so much fun, having fun......, Ohhhhhh enough said. I'm gonna make myself sick or somebody will burst this bubble.

In any case..., Good Night.

Greg :coocoo:
 

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Focal's inverted dome is a very nice dome tweeter, but at the end of the day it's still a dome tweeter. Have you ever heard a RAAL tweeter?
Hello,
The RAAL Tweeter definitely has me impressed as it seems to have only the positives of a Ribbon Tweeter, but with none of the negative aspects (Dynamics, Dispersion, Low Sensitivity, etc) Nonetheless, it seems mostly to be used in DIY Circles at this point. There are a few Boutique Manufacturers that are employing them as well. Gotta say it seems like there is very little downside with it.

At least with the Inverted Dome Tweeter, you get more Surface Area. Moreover, they have always blown me away.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi everyone! Yes definitely leaning towards Focals as you can put together a full HT set from epray for less the the cost of a mid range AVR, and they are new in a box. What drives me crazy about the Thiels is I drove them for 20 years with a 100 watt Amp, which is not too different from the Yamaha that blew up. In all fairness, the Thiels did not harm the original Onkyo, HDMI connections developed problems, as in no sound or video, that is why it was returned. The Thiels were never connected to the Onkyo. The Yamaha blew one of my Swan fronts, that's when the Thiels came in to play and eventually the Yamaha amp blew up ... makes me wonder, the Yamaha fries a Swan speaker, then the amp burns up when Thiels appear ... I am thinking the Yamaha had issues to begin with. Neither here nor there, the CS2's were not designed for HT, shoot HT did not exist when I bought them! Besides they are intended for my vintage HiFi system. Someone suggested an Emotiva amp? That would not qualify as "vintage", Sansui does. Anyway, I am down to Focals, unless I can work up a good deal form Jack's neighbors in Sarasota for either Totems or PSB's.
Hit them straight!!! :clap:
 

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The RAAL Tweeter definitely has me impressed as it seems to have only the positives of a Ribbon Tweeter, but with none of the negative aspects (Dynamics, Dispersion, Low Sensitivity, etc) Nonetheless, it seems mostly to be used in DIY Circles at this point. There are a few Boutique Manufacturers that are employing them as well. Gotta say it seems like there is very little downside with it.
There are a few different RAAL tweeters, although for the most part they "sound" similar. Each RAAL tweeter is also available with an amorphous core transformer if one should so choose.

There is the RAAL 140-10D, which has extremely wide horizontal dispersion, and reduced vertical dispersion (which can be a good think, like an MTM) and lots of surface area, the RAAL 70-10D, which has the same excellent horizontal dispersion and superior vertical dispersion at the cost of surface area (needs to be crossed a bit higher; around 2.5khz). The last one is actually -not- available to DIYers - the RAAL 70-20XR. It's available only to speaker manufacturers. It trades off some horizontal dispersion but the surface area allows it to play as low as ~1.8khz (4th order crossover) for an extremely good mating to a small dedicated midrange. A custom spec'd version of the 70-20XR is used in the Salk flagship speaker, the Soundscape. WHen I say it trades off horizontal dispersion, I mean that 20mm of width is .78 inches - that's about the same dispersion as the best 3/4" tweeters!!!!

At least with the Inverted Dome Tweeter, you get more Surface Area. Moreover, they have always blown me away.
My audition of the Scala Utopia told me it was an unbelievably smooth tweeter!

omeone suggested an Emotiva amp? That would not qualify as "vintage", Sansui does
That's unfortunate, because I would feed power hungry speakers with power, not vintage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are you aware that 70's power ratings were "understated"? That means a Sansui AU 717 rated at "100 watts" actually can be measured at over 350 watts by todays standards? Think that's enough power? By the way for those that do not know, Sansui was known as "The japanese McIntosh" in it's heyday and even today, I would love to find a modern amp that sounds as clean, clear and powerfull as a Sansui. I guess we should move to a different forum for this discussion as this one is for home theater. But I will close by saying a properly maintained Sansui will blow away any Emotiva anytime! Question is, have you ever really "listened", (notice, did not say heard), a true vintage powerhouse? Great evening everyone!
 

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Are you aware that 70's power ratings were "understated"? That means a Sansui AU 717 rated at "100 watts" actually can be measured at over 350 watts by todays standards?
And you have access to quantifable proof of this?


By the way for those that do not know, Sansui was known as "The japanese McIntosh" in it's heyday and even today, I would love to find a modern amp that sounds as clean, clear and powerfull as a Sansui.
The company that used output transformers on its solid state amplifiers? If you say so :huh:

Question is, have you ever really "listened", (notice, did not say heard), a true vintage powerhouse?
Sorry, no, unfortunately I listen to music on my speakers - I have never listened to the sounds amplifiers make. Luckily, mine make no sounds and has negligible output impedance so that it's not changing the sound of my speakers... although my subwoofer amp does have a a quiet fan sound. :T
 

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Hello,
I will agree that there certainly were some very nice Stereo Receivers from the 70's. Pioneer made some classics (SX or Siver Series), as did Onkyo and many others. The Pioneer SX-1980 is just plain insane for its time and I would love to check one out. My primary concerns with such Components are Speaker Cable Attachment, and condition. Also, if it needs Repair, it is becoming harder and harder to find Repair Facilities where the Technician knows what they are doing with them. Definitely makes for an awesome Garage Sale or Flea Market find as well. It is not for nothing that Marantz's Tube Based Amplifiers from a decade prior still can bring some amazing prices today. Transistor or Solid State Amplification did need some time to iron out the kinks so to speak.

And there are certainly some really depressing AVR's made today in respect to Amplifier Stage. The thing is, prices have remained more or less level while Licensing Fees for HDMI et al have become truly daunting for Independent AV Companies. Just HDMI is enough to cause major issues as has happened with Outlaw, and others. I must say the forthcoming Outlaw SSP looks amazing to me and if it is stable, I am finally going to switch over to an SSP.

All the same today's Outboard Amplifiers are really quite good. I often look to folks like Bob Ludwig or Steve Hoffman and their usage of both new and old Audio Equipment. However, the bulk of it does seem to be current and what is older is almost always Tube Based.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And you have access to quantifable proof of this?

Easily found anywhere on line, please read JJ's reply below.


The company that used output transformers on its solid state amplifiers? If you say so :huh:

Again, have you ever listened to solid state amp that reproduces like a tube amplifier? Never mind, you do not hear differences from amplifier to amplifier, only speakers.

Sorry, no, unfortunately I listen to music on my speakers - I have never listened to the sounds amplifiers make. Luckily, mine make no sounds and has negligible output impedance so that it's not changing the sound of my speakers... although my subwoofer amp does have a a quiet fan sound. :T
Well if you tell me that a pair of Wilson Sashas will sound the same either with a 250 watt Audio Reserach as it will with a 250 watt Conrad Johnson ...all I can say to that is that you have enlightened and made me a better audiophile and I certainly appreciate your candor and knowledge.
 
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