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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I have into this home theater thing for the last 20 years. In the last 5 years my room got converted to a large bedroom and then was used for other purposes. I have finally began to rebuild my system.
It started in November 1989 when I purchased a Sony AV receiver, a Sony 27" XBR TV, a laser disc player and a pair of Infinity studio monitor speakers. Within a year I had purchased a CD changer, a linear drive turntable, dual cassetted deck, and a vcr. By the end of 1990 I upraded my receiver. If memory serves me correctly it had a digital input.
In 1991 I began going to specialty high-end audio stores and auditioned a lot of speakers in the under $2,000 price range. I ended up purchasing a pair of Infinity RS8 Kappa's. When I got them home a ran into a problem, my receiver was running hot and didn't have enough power to drive them properly.
The search for seperates began. I then picked up a Sony TA-E1000ESD preamp/processor, a Sony TA-N55ES stereo amplifier and a Sony TA-N220 multi-channel amplifier. I believe my fiance' had actually put one of these on her credit card at the time. I had also had surround speakers by this time and would use my TV as the center channel. I also wanted a better CD player so I picked up a Sony CDP-X33ES single disc player.
In 2002 I got married and moved into a small apartment on the side of my in-laws house. I had equipment racks on both sides of the TV, dual Panamax surger supressors, a dedicated center channel speaker and my surrounds were wall mounted.
By the end of 1994 we had our first baby and the plans began to get a house. When we were searching for a home we decided to have a house built and convert the garage to a dedicated theater room during construction. During this time I purchased three pairs of Infinity ERS840 in-wall speakers. I wanted (4) used for side & rear surrounds and the other pair to be used for my center channel.
I can remember seeing a demo of a Runco/Lexicon/Bryston/B&W THX system at the time a being blown away. I had also demo'd the B&W 801's and wanted them.
In September 1995 we moved into our new home and in January 1995 I had a Runco CinemaPro 760W professionally installed and set up by an ISF tech. It still plays wonderfully today.
Not long after I was also searching for a dedicated processor that coud handle (7) speakers instead of splitting the signal to the (4) surround speakers. I had done a lot of demo's and had to have the new Citation 7.0 when it came out. I remember telling my wife that this (and new amps) would be my last upgrade. I also purchased 4x Acurus A-150 amplifiers. I had a problem with the Acurus amps as they had troubles driving my Infinity RS8 Kappa's.
My search to a good amplifier led my to Classe'. I ended up purchasing a Classe' CA-200 & CAV-75.
Now the system was sounding great but I also fell in love with the Infinity IRS Sigma speakers that I demo's the Classe' amp with along with the Classe CD player.
Sometime in 1997 I was searching for a great pair of "audiophile" speakers and was auditioning everything I could. My favorites at the time were the B&W 801 and the Infinity IRS Sigma when I ran acrossed a brand called Dunlavy Audio Labs. I auditioned their SC-IV speaker in Rosewood listed at $6,800. These were the speakers I had to have but I didn't have the funds. Approx 1 year later Dunlavy upgraded the SC-IV to the SC-IVa and the cost shot up to over $8,000. I drove about an hour and a half for a demo. After the demo I had preferred the older version. About a week later I called up the salesman and asked if they still had any of the older SC-IV Dunlavy's. He said they had a demo pair that he would let go for $4,000. SOLD.
Now my system sounds great...Classe' CD player, Citation processor, Classe amp, Dunlavy speakers front & center, Vifa Madisound surround speaker using the same drivers as the Dunlavy's.
The announcement of dolby digital had me waiting for the new Citation 5.0, unfortunately Lexicon released the MC-1 and I decided to go for it instead of waiting for the Citation. I personally believed the Citation had much better sound.
Finally a subwoofer...the REL Stadium II.
I also purchased a Pass Labs X-150 amp sometime in 2001, along with a Muse model 5 CD transport. I was really interested in the announcement of the Lexicon MC12B.
My obsession turned around and I sold almost everything and purchased a Harley Davidson. Later that year my father came down with cancer. I had no ambition to ride the bike anymore so I decided to sell it and use the money to put my theater room together again.
I ended up purchasing an Anthem AVM-20 processor and the MCA20 and MCA50 amps. I ran the system with balanced cables and purchased a B-P-T Balanced power conditioner. I also added (2) Vandersteen 2wq subwoofers to my Dunlavy speakers that I will not part with. For DVD's and Laser Discs I was using the Elite DVL-91. Overall this was the best my system ever sounded.
About 2 years later my father passed away, my mother moved in and my home theater room got converted to a bedroom. All of my AV equip was sold again with the exception of my Dunlavy's and my Elite DVL-91. All my cables were boxed and thrown in the attic.
Now I am re-building my system around my Dunlavy's and an old Outlaw 1050 receiver/preamp that I had in my basement. I am looking for great cost-to-performance ratio without going way overboard. I still have the Runco projector and Stewart filmscreen mounted on the wall as these will be my last upgrades.
The processor I am most interested in is the Anthem D2V but I am also considering other cost alternatives like the projected Outlaw 997 and the new projected Emotiva....the processor must have balanced outputs.
I just purchased the Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks and the XPA-5 to drive the Dunlav's. very nice amps......
I picked up a Cambridge DVD99 for DVD's and SACD's, and a Emotiva ERC-1 for CD's and HDCD encoded discs. I also purchased a SVS PB13 Ultra subwoofer. Eventually the SVS will be used exclusively for LFE as I want to get (2) Vandersteen 2WQ's (again) to blend with my Dunlavy's for music.
The theater room is back.....for good.
other equip:
Sony PS-LX520 turntable ...since around 1989
Cambridge Audio 640p phono stage
Harman Kardon cd changer (to be upgraded)
Sony DTC-700 (DAT) since around 1990
Sony EVS-7000 Hi8 vcr
Elite DVL-91

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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes the Dunlavy's are truly amazing speakers. I'm sorry that John Dunlavy passed away. If I ever had to consider new loudspeakers they would probably be Vandersteen or Thiel. I really like time/phase coherent loudspeakers. At one time I was considering trying to find a used pair of Dunlavy SC-V's or VI's, but once you hook up a pair or Vandersteen 2WQ subwoofers to them they are truly monsters. I wish I would have kept the 2wq's that I once had.... I have to start saving for another pair.
As far as HDTV goes, I have a Westinghouse 42" 1080p in the living room with a cheap Magnavox blue-ray player, and just recently upgraded to hi-def DirecTv. I've had DirecTv since moving into my house in 1995.
It will probably be a year or so before I'm able to upgrade my projector. As far as a blue-ray player for the theater room, i'm considering the Oppo and the soon to be released Cambridge 650BD. I will use the Cambridge I already have preprogramed for 2 channel SACD and my next one for multi channel SACD.
As far as the processor is concerned , I want to make sure that the digital room correction functions in a manner that I want before making a decision. My speakers are time-phase coherent designs and I don't want the processors equalization to interfere with this. There used to be a 2 channel room correction system years ago by a company called Sig-Tech that corrected room abnormalities without interfering with the time/phase coherance of loudspeakers. I believe the technology in the Anthem and soon to be released Outlaw 997 uses this type of technology, but i'm not 100% positive. I like the way Anthem lets you have seperate room correction set-ups for music and movies. I would be able to to eq about 5-6 different positions with the LFE included and have them averaged for movies, and EQ the central seating position minus the LFE for music.
I need to plant a money tree.

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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the welcome...
I mentioned in my intro that my favorite speakers are Dunlavy's, Thiel's and Vandersteens.
I just learned of the passing of Jim Thiel on Sept 18. The loudspeaker industry just lost a wonderful designer of loudspeakers. He will be missed.
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