FAQ  •  Register   •  Gallery •  Login

It is currently Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:28 am

I want to upgrade my system

<<

JeffL

Newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:34 am

Location: Florida

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:15 pm

I want to upgrade my system

Folks,
i was hoping I could get some unvarnished advice. I own a Carver CT-17 preamp/tuner, a Carver TFM-35 amp., and a Carver AV-634 3/4 channel power amp. I have a Bose Accustimass 10 speaker system, and I really love the set up. I've owned them since they are new, and have been using them for about 13 years now.

Now I am finally buying a Plasma TV for that room, and I want to have the capability to install a digitgal media server/media center pc, and I want to be able to proceess all of today's digital formats as well as utilize the digital hook ups, i.e. HDMI, that my Carver equipment does not have.
I was thinking of buying a home theater preamp/processor, and hooking it up to the CT-17's "external processor" jacks on the rear panel. On the other hand, maybe I should just buy either a home theater tuner/preamp, like the Boston Acoustics AVP-7, or a home theater receiver, and sell the Carver CT-17.
I can't get an unvarnished opinion from the audio guys here locally, they just want to sell me something. What do you think? Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.

Jeff
<<

tfm75

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1191

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:37 pm

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:30 pm

First you need to let us know your price cap $.

You can get on E-Bay right now a used Sunfire Theater Grand 1 for
$ 759.00 Buy-It-Now.

It will do the digital that you want but this unit will not have the latest greatest Digital Ex DTS ES DTS NEO6 But unit comes Dolby Prologic Dolby Digital And DTS Theater modes.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SUNFIRE-THEATER-GRA ... dZViewItem

All the Anolog/Digital inputs most people will ever need.

Or you could get a Parasound Halo C2 7.1- Channel Surround Processor for $ 3995.00 that will do the trick.

I use a Sunfire Theater Grand ll off my Music/Video server through digital hook-up and sounds great.

Can you give a little more info on where you stand and I will try to help

TFM-75
<<

JeffL

Newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:34 am

Location: Florida

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:23 pm

Thanks for the prompt reply. I'd rather not spend more than $1500. I saw that Audio Advisors is advertising a Boston Audio avp-7 for less than half price, $800. Also I saw the Outlaw Audio Model 990. I'd rather get as much of the latest stuff as i can within my price range, since technology is evolving so rapidly. Thanks again for your input.

JeffL
<<

tfm75

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1191

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:37 pm

Post Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:07 pm

Hey again

You might also look at a Denon Receiver as some of them have so much on them I don't think you could ask for more.

Also nice choices that you listed.

Also the Sunfire Theater Grand lll on the used market is about $ 1300.00
to $ 1800.00 There is very little differance from the TG lll to the TG lV.

Hope that you can listen to some of these and get what sounds good to you + price.
<<

Flash Gordon

Newbie

Posts: 9

Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 3:43 pm

Location: Central Jersey

Post Tue May 23, 2006 4:13 pm

You have some of the same equipment that I had, CT-17 and the rear 3/4 channel amp. I am still using the Carver rear amp for about 13 years also. I would recommend you get the Outlaw preamp. It has high ratings and reviews! I would not suggest that you get a receiver. By doing that, you are trashing all your Carver equipment! Keep Carver amps and the get Outlaw. You will be happy with the system O:)
Equipment---too long to list
<<

Dreamer

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1616

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:17 am

Location: Washington, NC

Post Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:13 am

Most of the folks who are responding are, from the way I understand your post, missing the mark. When I hear the phrase "digital media server", I don't think of some sort of Super AV Receiver that you can plug ALL your AV gear into, I think of a device with which you can send streaming digital music into your stereo from your PC or iPod. Is that what you're really looking for?

The current "Holy Grail" of these devices is the [url="http://www.slimdevices.com/index.html"]SlimDevices Transport[/url], which is the ONLY audiophile-quality streaming device on the market. It will accept any digital music format, from hyper-compressed MP3s to high-resolution Apple or WMA Lossless files, and can sample at rates as high as 96kHz. It has digital ins and outs, as well as the normal analog ins and outs, and it is also Ethernet-capable, so you can hook it directly to your router/switch, and stream files over a network into it. (unfortunately it does not currently have wireless networking capabilites). Also, it doesn't have a hard drive, but you can get a monstrous Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ Network Accessable Storage box with a huge 1Tb of hard drive space. That should be enough to store every single piece of music your entire family could aquire in your lifetime... :P

Of course, if you don't want to drip $2000 for a Transport, you can get their lower-end unit, called the Squeezebox, for $300 retail. (you can usually find them on Ebay, NIB, for under $250) It's not as high-end, and doesn't have all the audiophile bells and whistles, but it's a pretty damn good unit by all accounts. (much better sounding and easier to set up and use than a Roku!)

Of course, if you're running iTunes (on Mac or PC) you can get an Apple Airport Express (which IS wireless), plug it into a power outlet on the back of your receiver, and hook it up to an Aux input, and there you go! These units are about $180 new, or you can get them on Ebay for under $90 if you watch...

Now if what you ARE looking for is just a hyper-souped-up receiver or preamp--something that can handle high-end audio signals AND do AV switching including HDMI, then I'd suggest the Sunfire TGP-V. You can keep your Carver amps, and it will do just about anything you want, including upconvert non-HD video to Compnent Video signals. And it has a Digital version of Sonic Holography (which is supposed to be WAY sweeter than the old analogue version of SH), and as per most Carver gear, a VERY respectable AM/FM tuner as well...

Of course this is a new unit, and they retail for something like $4000. And there aren't many on Ebay yet, because it's new. If you can live with just Component Video (RGB), get a Sunfire TGP-IV. It's essentially the same as the newer TGP-5, but without the HDMI ports...

Hope this helps,
--Richard C.
<<

garcianc

User avatar

TFM-35

Posts: 404

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:37 am

Location: Washington DC

Post Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:25 am

Having owned both, I would recommend the Outlaw 990 over the 970. The 990 also has a USB input that allows you to use it as an external sound card on steroids if you want to plug in a PC directly via USB. If your media center PC has a decent sound card, I would opt for optical connections.

However, the Outlaw preamp/processors intentionally do not use HDMI switching, instead opting for DVI. The next HDMI standard was up in the air for a while, so they decided to play it safe (and cheap).

If you can work it out financially, and if HDMI is something you really want, wait until you can afford an Anthem Statement D2 ($6,500, ouch!) or a Sunfire TG-V. I almost bought a TG-V for $2,600 at surroundcity.com before I bought the Outlaw 990 for less than half that price.

If you are contemplating going down the HD-DVD/BlueRay path anytime soon, you might want to consider if you really want to support the new 7.1 digital surround formats (Dolby True HD, DTS HD, and Dolby Digital Plus), in which case your choices are *very* limited and *very* expensive. Even though all the pre/pro's I have mentioned here are firmware-updatable, these new 7.1 formats I believe will only be available via HDMI 1.3 connections (not thru the optical connection) - which really means that your hardware will need to support them. Of course, HD DVDs will support legacy formats, so if you are not in a big hurry for those new formats and you like 5.1 sound, no worries.

The specs I have seen on the Boston Acoustics AVP-7 make it comparable to the Outlaw 990 (no HDMI mentioned) and I saw one in Audiogon.com for $649. To be honest, it looks suspiciously similar to the 990, hmmm.....
<<

maddmaxxx

User avatar

(Pair of Silver 9t's)

Posts: 2985

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:18 pm

Location: the World We Skate Our 'Choppers' Thru

Post Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:13 pm

-Holy Smokers-

-WOW , more info than my micro & macro economics classes and geometry & trig.......don't stop !.........Thanx......./mx
-* © Küül ®™ /mx...
-Too hip gotta book
-"Don't BAN me Bro!"...el/doro
<<

Bill

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1175

Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:41 pm

Location: Chanhassen, MN

Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:16 am

If you decide to go the reciever route, make sure to check out the Marantz line. They are somewhat similar in price to the Denons, but I think that they sound a lot better.
<<

Dreamer

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1616

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:17 am

Location: Washington, NC

Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:24 am

garcianc wrote:If your media center PC has a decent sound card, I would opt for optical connections.


I'm assuming you're referring to the "TOSLINK" connections on most consumer electronics these days. The TOSLINK interface is, well, to be polite, a rancid piece of crap, and it uses plastic optic fiber in the cables. TOSLINK was never meant to carry high-end audio signals--it was orginally designed to carry very simple digital packet information. Why audio manufacturers adopted this interface is mind-boggling. The ONLY reason to put a TOSLINK on any piece of equipmetn is for the "wow factor" of saying your gear has a fiber-optic link...

In all but the most RFI-saturated environments, a coaxial digital link will outperform a TOSLINK, every trip of the train. Good old copper wire, RCA connectors, and braided sheilding...

Now if you want to talk about some sort of fiber link that WILL outperform a coaxial digital (copper) conection, you want the AT&T-ST link. The AT&T-ST interface circuitry was designed for high-frequency, high bit-rate, high bandwidth transmissions with the lowest possible loss/distortion, over the longest distances. The cables us REAL glass fiber, and the connectors are VERY precicely aligned. Carver and Sunfire have never used these links on any of their gear (which is lamentable), but you see it occasionally on ultra-high end digital gear like Theta, Krell, Proceed, Mark Levinson, Audio Research, and the like.

As the name inplies, this interface was developed by AT&T, and is what they use in all the new telecom (and Internet backbone) networks that use fiber optic cabling. If they can send 1000 phone calls over a single strand for tens of miles, it should be able to handle your CD signals for a meter or so...

So anyway, I don't know what you base your recommendation on for using a plastic-fiber Toslink connection on, but believe me, from a specs POV, a pure engineering POV, and most importantly, from a LISTENING POV, the coax digital connection will almost always sound better...

--Richard C.
<<

garcianc

User avatar

TFM-35

Posts: 404

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:37 am

Location: Washington DC

Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:35 am

Sorry. Perhaps my punctuation did not make it very clear that I was referring to the limitations of the Outlaw 990 and not proclaiming TOSLINK to be the absolute best connection available.

I'll just quote myself:

garcianc wrote:...if you want to plug in a PC directly via USB. If your media center PC has a decent sound card, I would opt for optical connections.....


I probably should have cleared that up by saying:
If option A is to use a USB connection and option B is to use TOSLINK, go with the TOSLINK because the Outlaw 990 does a much better job with those compared to the USB connection. The limitations are explained on page 20 of the Outlaw 990 user's manual.
<<

baddfingerz

Newbie 50+

Posts: 63

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:27 pm

Location: Sunny Tucson, AZ

Post Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:01 pm

PUT AS MUCH MONEY INTO LOUDSPEAKERS AS YOU CAN.

The rest of your equipment can be modest, as long as you

PUT AS MUCH MONEY INTO LOUDSPEAKERS AS YOU CAN.
Better a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front o' me...
<<

Dreamer

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1616

Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:17 am

Location: Washington, NC

Post Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:30 pm

baddfingerz wrote:PUT AS MUCH MONEY INTO LOUDSPEAKERS AS YOU CAN.



I would agree with this with a caveat...

My speakers were definitely the most expensive component in my rig for years. If you buy good speakers, and don't abuse them, they will outlast the rest of your rig by decades, which allows you to take your time upgrading the rest of your rig. My speakers are about 16 years old, and they still hold their own. Every time I make an upgrade in my Rig, the speakers just sound better and better.

New cables? Cleaner sound. New CD player? More resolution. Outboard DAC? Bigger soundstage and even MORE resolution. New preamp? Dead quiet noise floor and tighter details in the harmonics. But the speakers just stand there and take it all--sounding great.

Now for the caveat. If you buy speakers that are notorious for high-resolution sound--Martin Logans, Magneplanars, Innersound, Finals, Carver ALS (which BTW, are all electrostatic or ribbon speakers), you might find your desire to upgrade the rest of your rig becomes a neccessity, because these sort of speakers will reveal EVERY deficiency in your rig--with annoying truth and detail...

But yeah, good speakers will give the rest of your rig room to grow, AND they will outlast just about any component in your rig if you treat them right.

--Richard
.....HT Rig • Sony STR-DG600 Receiver • Carver M-500t • Sony BDP-S1 • Sony DVP-NS3100ES • Apple Airport Express •
..............................• Martin Logan Scenarios, Logos • Realistic Minimus 7's • Velodyne F-1500b •

2 Ch. Rig • Carver C-4000t • Silver 7t's • Krell KAV-300i • Oppo DV-981HD • Benchmark DAC1-USB • MacBook Pro 17", iTunes •
......• Technics SL-1350 turntable with Sumiko headshell, leads, and Bluepoint cartridge • Martin Logan Sequels •

.........................................................-+-Click Here to see my system-+-
<<

baddfingerz

Newbie 50+

Posts: 63

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:27 pm

Location: Sunny Tucson, AZ

Post Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:41 am

Dude, like I say at least once every time I'm at this site:

LOUDSPEAKERS, baby. The difference is in your LOUDSPEAKERS.
Better a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front o' me...
<<

Bill

User avatar

SILVER-7t

Posts: 1175

Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:41 pm

Location: Chanhassen, MN

Post Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:01 am

The difference can be loudspeakers all day long, but if you have a crap source, it is a crap-in crap-out situation. Speakers make a huge difference, but you need to pay attention to your sources/amplification as well.....
You can't fix stupid.
George wrote:In certain configurations you need a permission slip from your Mom to bridge amps.
Next

Return to Carver Home (Theater)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2011 phpBB Group.