You are here

Log in or register to post comments
venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Bowers and Wilkins B&W 705 speakers_matching center and AVR?

Hello,
I recently acquired a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 705 speakers, in rosenut finish.

I already have a B&W CMC center (in rosenut) that I had with a pair of rosenut CM2s…however, those 2 speakers are no longer in my possession.

Therefore, for the time being, I can use the CMC with the 705s.

However, as I can be patient and wait for a better-paired center to appear on the market, what is the best B&W center to use with the 705s? A single 705? An HTM7 or some other HTM center?

In addition, could you kind people provide some suggestions for a good AVR to use with these? I would like an AVR for budget reasons; because while the primary use for these will be music, occasionally I will watch TV/DVD/Netflix; and because I know nothing about (nor can I afford) “separates”. I assume the AVR will need to have HDMI, correct?

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for a good AVR and the appropriate center.

Thank you.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
I should add the following:

Use will be 60/65 music and 40/35 TV, etc.

Room size is ~ 14' x 14' x 8' (living room).

I have read that B&W have a relationship with Rotel, and also with either Harman-Kardon or Marantz perhaps. Is there any reason to "stay in the family"?

What is the minimum wattage an AVR should have for these speakers, including the center (and possibly 1 or 2 subs in the future)?

I would like to not spend more than $500 on the AVR, so I am looking at H-K factory refurbished from H-K and at Marantz/Yamaha/Denon/Onkyo factory refurbished from accessories4less.

While all these AVRs (with HDMI) seem to start at 5.1 and go to 7 and 9, I am fairly certain I would never expand beyond 3.1 or possibly 3.2.

It looks like the appropriate center for the 705s is the HTM7 and possibly the HTM4s. Are there other HTM models to consider?

The center is not an urgent need, while the AVR is.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
The HTM7

Is your best choice. You really want to match your fronts as best you can and that is the correct speaker.

I personally like Marantz the best among the ones you've mentioned other than Rotel. If you can get a unit that will power 3 channels from Rotel for $500 or less, do it.

Based on the other brands you suggested, Marantz has a touch of warmth to it that I really like. Harman would be my second choice as it is a hair on the warm side especially if youplan not to exceed three speakers. Denon would be my third choice and it is very neutral. I would swap Denon and Harman in 5 channel due to Denon having superior room correction. Room correction is irrelevant with 2 and 3 channel.

This is my personal preference and if you prefer a more neutral amp to a warmer one, I would rank them in the opposite order. I would buy the nicest unit I could from one of those three manufacturers. You should be able to get a better value with older models. Don't bother with anything that is Dolby Atmos enabled.

I find Onkyo sounds really digital and don't love their sound. Yamaha to me sounds bright and to me is fatiguing.

commsysman
commsysman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
RECEIVER

The only AVR I would recommend to drive those speakers and do their sound quality some justice would be the Cambridge Audio 651R.

The vast majority of AVRs on the market have very wimpy power supplies that cannot supply the kind of peak current your speakers need for proper dynamics.

Cambridge and NAD are the only ones that have the ability to drive most speakers well. The others sound like crap to me.

This results in distortion on peaks and a very poor sound quality; some call it bright, but it is simply distortion on peaks and it sounds like crap.

Yamaha and Onkyo are horrible, and Sony and Pioneer and most of the rest are not very good.

DO NOT pay any attention to their power ratings, which are ridiculously overstated and misleading!

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
I would agree with commsysman

Both NAD or Cambridge make better receivers for your application though they will likely be above your price point.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Thanks for the time; I appreciate it.
bierfeldt wrote:

Is your best choice. You really want to match your fronts as best you can and that is the correct speaker.

I personally like Marantz the best among the ones you've mentioned other than Rotel. If you can get a unit that will power 3 channels from Rotel for $500 or less, do it.

Based on the other brands you suggested, Marantz has a touch of warmth to it that I really like. Harman would be my second choice as it is a hair on the warm side especially if youplan not to exceed three speakers. Denon would be my third choice and it is very neutral. I would swap Denon and Harman in 5 channel due to Denon having superior room correction. Room correction is irrelevant with 2 and 3 channel.

This is my personal preference and if you prefer a more neutral amp to a warmer one, I would rank them in the opposite order. I would buy the nicest unit I could from one of those three manufacturers. You should be able to get a better value with older models. Don't bother with anything that is Dolby Atmos enabled.

I find Onkyo sounds really digital and don't love their sound. Yamaha to me sounds bright and to me is fatiguing.

Thank you; that is very helpful.

Yes, since I am in no rush for a center I will look for a rosenut HTM7.

I really have no plans to go beyond 3.1/3.2, also because of finances. First, I need the AVR. Then, if I find an HTM7, that will cost some (although at that point I would sell the CMC). Then, depending, I may want a sub (I think sealed). So, any further speaker expansion will likely never happen, and 5.1, etc. really do not interest me in any case.

Re: the AVR, I did have a Marantz AVR (5005, I think) with my previous B&W CM2s. I really liked the Marantz, but unfortunately, it is with the CM2s now.

I think we like similar-sounding components, so I will look specifically at Marantz and H-K first.

Looking at AVR specs, what are the most important criteria to evaluate?

H-K are very interesting to me. There are 5 models on the H-K factory outlet (1650, 1700, 1710, 2650, 3600) ranging from 95-100WPC, selling for $350-$400.

I’m looking at Marantz on accessories4less: There are quite a few models, ranging from 100WPC to 110WPC (so no difference), and ranging in price from $420 to $500. Obviously the less I have to spend, the better. These are all Marantz factory-refurbished, with warranty. All have HDMI, Audyssey, at least 1 sub-out, etc. Some have optional or even built-in BT capability. I do use BT.

Rotel intrigue me greatly, perhaps most of all. They have a solid reputation, especially with B&W. However, it does not appear that there is a ready source for B-stock/refurbished Rotel. There is nothing on Audiogon.
The only Rotels I have found so far are 2 1057 AVRs on eBay, for ~$450. Are those worth considering?

I agree: Dolby Atmos does not interest me at all.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
@commsysman; @bierfeldt

Thank you both.

I will spend some time this evening researching NAD and CA.

Unfortunately from what I have seen so far, those brands do look to be out of my range. I would really like to keep the AVR under $500, as long as the thing is decent, sturdy, and will perform well for awhile.

I'm sure NAD, CA, etc. are better, but I just cannot afford those prices.

I am definitely not averse to factory-refurbished, or even good used, but I'm not really sure what to look for, especially among the more esoteric brands.

Any good CA, NAD, Rotel, etc. used suggestions...I would definitely consider.

Thanks again.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Wow...

...first searches are showing the Cambridge Audio 651R at $2000 new. DEFINITELY out of my range; even a good used one would be, I fear. Ugh....

??? Used Cambridge Audio Azur 640R (3 options) on eBay...worth considering???

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Crutchfield

Crutchfield has an NAD T 748 v2 for $599. They also have a Cambridge unit for $799. They are very musical units, but above your budget

Accessories4less has the Marantz SR5008. Frankly, bi amping might be a perfectly good option. 200w of power, even with a liberal rating should be plenty to drive those. I looked at the specs from the Sreophile review - it never drops below 4 ohms which means the Marantz should be fine.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Thanks again...leading to more questions.

I will look at the NAD and the CA. My problem is that every dollar which goes to an AVR is a dollar I won’t have for the HTM7, and later for a sub.

That said, I will consider them and do some research. Are both the NAD and the CA significantly better than any of the H-K or Marantz? I assume the answer is yes, on both “musicality” and build-quality levels?

There is a Rotel RSX 1057 available on Audiogon for $250. Is that something to consider?

Regarding bi-amping (and not bi-wiring, correct?) is that very effective through an AVR? I will look into that, but conceptually how does it work for 3.1? Are the 2 mains connected to both “Front L/R” and “Surround L/R”? What about the center? Would it be connected to “Center” and…what? One of the “Surround back” terminals?

I am curious as to how this might work. The few threads I have read on this just now seem to generally indicate that “passive bi-amping” through an AVR is a waste of time, but after that things get too technical for me.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
NAD and CAMBRIDGE AUDIO

@bierfeldt and @commsysman.

You have both been very kind, and you both agree on NAD or Cambridge, above the other brands mentioned here.

I simply cannot afford the Cambridge Audio 651R; it is just too much.

However, the quality of both products looks good to me.
(I only learned now that CA is an English company; for years I thought they were from Cambridge, Mass because of the audio companies in that area.)

So, here are one of each (both models recommended by bierfeldt) that I could squeeze in. New, current, and warrantied, which would give me peace of mind.

Apparently, I cannot post links here, so:
Cambridge Audio Azur 551R; $500 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 3-year CA warranty; from accessories4less.

NAD T 748 (v2); $400 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound).

In addition, spearit_sound is selling the NAD T 765 "GEN1" for $450 and the NAD T 757 V1 for $570....

Finally, accessories4less are selling a refurbished CA Azur 650R (I guess the step below the 651R) for $700...I don't know if these extra dollars ($200 more than the 551R) are worth it, though.

Are we getting somewhere? Any recommendation for one over the other?

Thanks again.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
sloppy statement on my part

you are right - you would be bi-wiring not bi-amping. I was being sloppy in my statement. My apologies.

With bi-wiring,what you are doing is sending two channels of power to the speakers instead of one. This increases the amount of power available to them. I would bi-wire them even with the NAD or Cambridge, just to get a bit more power to those 705s. Commsysman is right though, it is less about absolute power and more about drops in variable impedance and the corresponding spikes in power consumption. The relatively small power supply on the Marantz is incapable of handling 4ohms for any extended period of time while both the NAD and Cambridge can deliver 4 ohms continuously.

If I had to pick one of these units, I would go with the NAD T 757 v1. I think that is the best unit among these.

Next best choice would be, The Cambridge 551R followed by the NAD T748. Especially, these two units, I would bi-wire.

The NAD 765 lacks support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD master. These are lossless audio codecs and you are going to want support for them. I wouldn't bother with this unit.

The Cambridge 650R has a lot more power but was an odd miss on Cambridge's part. It is one of the few receiver I would absolutely avoid by them. It gets 3 out of 5 stars from WhatHiFi and evidently has HDMI issues and lacks refinement. WhatHiFi said it sounded like the amp was "shouting" at them.

Just to chime in on choice of subwoofer, I would look at three brands seriously. You are going to want a sealed sub, not a ported sub to match with those B&Ws as they will require a bit of refinement. The NHT B-12D at $799 is a darn nice 500w unit. The Sunfire HRS 10 or HRS 12 are $950 and $1050 respectively and are 1000w sealed subs. The distinct advantage of the Sunfires is that they go deeper is frequency. The NHT goes to 27hz while the Sunfires deliver 20hz and 18hz respectively. This makes no difference for music that doesn't include pipe organs but does make a difference for home theatre. If you buy the Sunfires from a local dealer, odds are they will haggle the price down.

SVS also makes nice subs and represent a good value. I don't know the SVS line as well but I know they make a real nice sub for the money.

I personally own two Sunfire subs - an HRS 12 in my home theatre and a Tru Super Junior in my 2 channel - and can say with confidence that they are perfectly refined and can deliver subtle and detailed music while also delivering big sound in home theatre.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Wow!

bierfeldt, that is an incredible reply, friend.

Concise, articulate, and with very clear supporting arguments. I think it might be the best reply I have ever received on a forum where I posted as a relatively uninformed guest. Kudos to you!

I actually just printed it out, in order to read with the NAD and CA literature I had printed out earlier. Your reply really helps me focus my decision. You really know a lot about these things!

I will focus on the NAD 757, and either a Sunfire or SVS sub down the line, after the HTM.

One other reason I like the NAD is that they apparently make great CD players. I have a Sony CD player, which I will use for the time being, but down the line the NAD CD player looks like a very solid upgrade.

Is the NAD AM/FM tuner (in the 757, etc. AVRs) good? I will read up on that, as I do listen to a lot of radio.

Regarding bi-wiring, I have read so many arguments for/against. I think it is almost 50/50.

However, I do have extra cable and extra Nakamichi banana plugs, so it can’t hurt to try it, right? One should bi-wire both mains and the center, correct?

Thank you again. You have been most helpful.
I will let you know what I decide.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
By the way....

Can I assume that you would recommend your list above over a used (mint) Rotel RSX-1057 from Audiogon ($250)?

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
@bierfeldt

You mentioned pipe organs, in your last post.

I am an architect, and I was fortunate enough to work briefly on the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Gehry. It is a great music hall. The building acoustician was an amazing person, Yasuhisa Toyota, perhaps the best in the world.

The organ itself was designed by Frank Gehry, with major input from organ consultant and tonal designer Manuel Rosales (a very nice person and organ expert). The organ was built by the German organ builder Caspar Glatter-Götz, under the direction of Mr. Rosales.

It is a truly phenomenal thing.

I am unable to post images here, but photos are widely available on Google, Wikipedia, etc.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Thoughts

Thank you for the kind words, I am glad I could be of help.

Regarding bi-wiring, it does not hurt to try it. I am not sure if the center will be bi-wirable and that isn't necessarily required. Often times, a center channel will have function at a different impedance. I know the center channel in my system is much easier to drive than the front speakers. Additionally, I have never bi-wired, I have bi-amped an old set of Infinity speakers. They were obscenely difficult to drive with impedance dropping to 1.7ohms and I had two power amps driving them.

I would pass on the Rotel. It lacks the latest audio codecs like Dobly TrueHD and based on the specs, I don't have a high level of confidence that it will deal with drops in impedance to close to 4 ohms. I would take an NAD or Cambridge over it.

I have never heard the AM/FM tuner on the NAD and have no idea how well it works. Someone else may be able to comment.

It sounds like this is going to be a media center and although I agree that NAD makes a fine CD player however a CD Player and BluRay player are redundant. What kind of BluRay player do you have now? If you don't have one or have a mediocre one, I would look seriously at the Oppo BDP 103. It will cost about $100 more than a comparable NAD, but will deliver superior video and audio where the NAD will only deliver superior audio. Alternatively, I have found a Playstation 3 is a surprisingly good BluRay and CD player. Not quite at the same level as the Oppo, but far better than your mainstream BluRay players.

Very sweet that you were able to work on such a cool project at Disney. My wife and I are DVC members and at some point intend to hit Disney Land and I will make sure I get a chance to see that. I live in CT so most of my vacationing for Disney is in Florida.

Good luck to you and I look forward to hearing about your final system.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Great.

I see, thanks. Whenever I buy a new center, I will ask the seller or BW if it can be bi-wired.

Good point on the Rotel. I will buy one of the NAD or Cambridge. I will decide by Friday.

I read up on the NAD models last night; the tuner generally gets very good reviews.

I do not have a Blu-Ray player. I listen to a ton of CDs on my old Sony player. I do check out DVDs from the library and for that, I use an old Toshiba DVD player.

I just looked at the Oppo BDP 103. I did not realize that a Blu-Ray player could also play DVDs and CDs as well as Blu-Ray. That is great. I will consider the Oppo now.

Oppo are selling the BDP 103 for $500 new and $415 refurbished.

Spearit Sound has these:
NAD T 557 Blu-ray player (List ($599) $249 Refurbished
NAD T 577 Blu-ray player with multi-channel analogue outputs (List ($999) $299 Refurbished
NAD T 587 Blu-ray player (List ($1,499) $249 Refurbished
NAD T 567 Blu-ray player (List $599) $349 Refurbished

Is the Oppo a better value than any of those?

Yes, if you are ever in LA you should go to a concert at Disney Hall; it is well worth it.

Thanks again for all the advice.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Some questions regarding the NAD t757

That Oppo Blu-Ray player looks great!

I also like the NAD t757 so far. It is also aesthetically beautiful.

In reading up on the NAD 757, several reviews stated (as a negative) that “the T 757 does not perform any sort of video up conversion or processing like what you might find with other, similarly priced, AV receivers.” The Oppo does do that, so does that fix the issue with the NAD?

Second, some cited the lack of MultiEQ; but I assume that is not really an issue with a 3.1 set-up, correct?

Also, one concern/complaint that I read in quite a few pro and user reviews was that ”when using HDMI for two channel audio signals there was a slight delay that preceded every track resulting in a half second of silence.” People said that this was extremely annoying. This complaint was also stated regarding the t748, as well as the CA 551r. It appears to be a common problem among HDMI AVRs.

The lack of any USB port is a concern, but since the Oppo has 2 ports, can one plug an iPod into the Oppo USB and listen through the NAD?
Since there is no USB port on the NAD how does one install any firmware updates?

One thing I read is that the Surround Rear jacks can be re-assigned, so the 2 mains can actually be bi-amped, and not just bi-wired. However, I need to research bi-amping and bi-wiring more, to see if that is a real advantage.

Finally, in some of my reading I cam across Arcam and Anthem, both of which also get great reviews. Both also do have USB ports.

Are refurbished Arcam FMJ AVR250 and Arcam Diva AVR300 (both $500) worth considering? They both seem to support the various codecs you mentioned earlier.

Similarly, what about the Anthem MRX300 or 310?

Edit: hmmm, it looks like none of those except for the Anthem 310 support Dolby True HD and DTS HD, which you have stated is quite important. The 310 is too expensive for me though.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
NAD t757 v1 versus v2

Is the NAD t757 v2 (with ARC and CEC) worth $80 more than the v1?

Ugh...$$$ keep going up! Spearit is also selling a refurb NAD 758 for $700. "The buyer of this NAD T 758 will be eligible to purchase the NAD 4K video upgrade module for $199 (a savings of $400) when it becomes available later this year."

Is 4K a substantial improvement?
My brain is starting to ache!

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Interesing

The major gaps with the Arcam's are a lack of HDMI support which is a pain and limits your video to 1080i meaning you would not get the most of any video unit. Alternatively, they will sound the best out of all of these units. If you don't care about HDMI switching, then the DIVA AVR300 would be a cool unit and probably explains why it is $500 while being 11 years old.

Anthem is going to be like Rotel. They sound great but lack the ability to handle speakers at lower impedance.

NAD v1 vs v2 is about advance video processing and ARC and CEC. Here is an explanation or ARC and CEC.

http://hdguru.com/what-is-hdmi-arc-and-what-does-it-do-for-your-hdtv/

I disagree that this is "one of the most useful features" since HDMI was introduce. I find it maddeningly irritating in that when I turn off my PS3, it automatically turns off my TV even if I am just switching sources and the volume control doesn't even work right. If set up just right I suppose it could be cool, otherwise it is irrelevant to annoying.

4K only matters if you are upgrading to a 4K TV. If you are considering taking that leap, then it would seem highly valuable.

MultiEQ or any Audyssey service is only relevant in 5+ channel applications. 2 and 3 channel applications are irrelevant. If Audyssey was important, I would strongly advocate looking at Denon.

Regarding USB, not important if you get an Oppo BluRay and I would not consider an NAD over an Oppo. IMO, the only alternative to an Oppo is a PS3 with a Pre/Pro or very high end receiver to handle the advanced processing. The PS3 is a very good transport. NAD and Marantz at best are at Parity with NAD and cost more. The next best option after the Oppo BDP 103 is the Oppo BDP 105. If you want to get something better, expect to spend thousands.

The Oppos are a media center. Not only can you plug in your Apple device, it will also stream Pandora and offers other network features. It is a nice compliment to a feature poor receiver like the NAD. You will need to attach it to a network to get the most our of it. I believe that Oppo offers a wireless adapter that will allow you to connect to your WiFi. I would encourage getting the Oppo adapter as that will ensure compatibility.

NAD is not a network receiver and it lacks USB so I doubt they offer firmware upgrades. That being said, it lacks most of the features that typically get updated on a receiver so I am not sure I would worry about it.

I think that covers them all. I personally would go with the NAD 757 v1 with an Oppo BDP 103.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Excellent…and very clear as always.

This really helps. I am 99% sure I will do as you suggest and buy the NAD t757 v1 + the Oppo 103 (the 105 is too expensive for me).

I will forgo researching further on Arcam, Anthem, and Rotel.

I do not have (and never will) a PS3, but even so I really am not sure that ARC+CEC are worth it to me. Likewise, with 4K…I doubt I would ever go there. Same thing with Audyssey; I am just not interested in 5, 7, etc.

I just read the article you linked: ARC is definitely not useful to me since my TV does not have ARC built in.

I just spoke with Oppo customer service (very nice) regarding the 103. The fellow there cleared up some things for me. He explicitly stated that the Oppo 103 is not compatible with Apple. I cannot plug my iPhone 5s into the Oppo USB), nor does the 103 have BT capability, so using my iPhone in any sense at all appears out of the question. He said it would work if I had an Apple TV, but I do not and have no plans acquire one.

Regarding the wireless adapter, Oppo use the Roku Stick. However, the CS fellow said that that is only for streaming wireless services such as Netflix, Pandora, etc. Most of those programs are already installed on my Samsung Smart TV. He said that in that case the Roku Stick would be completely redundant.

The fact that I cannot stream music from my iPhone to the Oppo, either via USB or BT, is a bit of a bummer, but all told the unit looks great to me.

Oppo CS could not, obviously, advise me as to whether or not to buy the 1 Year Extended Warranty + 2 Year Standard Warranty for BDP103 (+US$ 79.00) or the Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark 3D Blu-ray/DVD 2nd Edition (+US$ 29.97). “Customer choice.”

What do you think of those 2 features? I would be inclined not to buy the additional 1-year warranty, and I do not how if the calibration disc is necessary. If anything, that seems like something Oppo should supply for free, if it is really required.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Sorry for the misinformation

I really thought that the Oppo was compatible with Apple. My mistake and kudos to you for doing your due diligence.

I am not a fan of warranties. I never buy them, but that is my feeling. Others feel differently and I would suggest doing whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

I am not familiar with the Benchmark DVD. Someone else may be and might be able to offer an opinion.

I am a bit surprised still about the feedback on the wireless. The reason I say that is that Oppo says that there is a Wireless N adapter included on the Oppo Website. Under Features & Specs, Ethernet and Wireless on the following page.

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/blu-ray-BDP-103-Features.aspx

Last time I researched these, I was under the impression that the wireless adapter was not included. That either changed or I remembered wrong. The latter is highly likely. I don't understand how the Roku adapter fits in.

Regarding streaming, you have two options. One would be to add an Apple TV. I have four of them, one for each TV and am a big fan. That being said, I have only one smart TV and I need consistent interfaces from TV to TV. Apple TVs are $64 on Amazon. They offer AirPlay which is slick technology and you can stream from any wireless apple device and from a computer running iTunes. Also, if you have an iTunes account, you can rent movies and ones you have bought can be streamed from the cloud. There is some redundancy with your Smart TV but it does resolve your streaming issue.

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-TV-MD199LL-Current-Version/dp/B007I5JT4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1432175733&sr=1-1&keywords=apple+tv

They have a bundle for $69 including an HDMI cable which is a good deal.

Alternatively, you could get a Bluetooth adapter. Logitech makes one. I do not have one of these but the reviews are great with 4.5 stars from 702 reviewers.

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-980-000910-Bluetooth-Audio-Adapter/dp/B00IQBSW28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432175833&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+bluetooth+adapter

It is $27.95 and you will need an RCA cable with it. It seems like it would be an excellent solution.

Sounds like you are close. Good luck with your final decision.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
No need to apologize at all; you have been most helpful.

I agree regarding the extended warranty and will likely forgo the calibration disc as well.

I am quite surprised regarding the wireless issue as well now. I will call Oppo again tomorrow and ask them to clarify that paragraph. I will let you know what they say.

I also spoke with Samsung today, and they were extremely helpful in explaining TV/AVR/BDP connectivity. It all seems quite simple, actually.

OK…now my total lack of knowledge is going to really show up! I thought that Apple TV was…well…an actual TV! What is odd is that when the Oppo CS guy mentioned Apple TV, I replied that, “Oh, I cannot afford a new TV now, my Samsung TV is only 6 months old.”, and he did not clarify Apple TV at all.

Both the Apple TV module (and I do already have iTunes) and the Logitech BT adapter look interesting. I think you’re right: the BT adapter might be just the ticket. And I have quite a few RCA cables that are now unused (don’t we all???).

Yes, it does seem I am close. I am really liking both the NAD t757 and the Oppo BDP.

By the way, is there any reason to consider Oppo BDP-83, -93, or -95? They get great reviews as well (in some cases more positive than the -103) and are available all over the place for half the -103 or even less (used though, not refurbished).

You have been a lifesaver, bierfeldt. I posted this same question on 4 different forums. 2 received 0 replies. 1 received very different replies (Onkyo! No, Denon! NO! Marantz! NOOOO! Pioneer!) and then dwindled out after a few replies.

Here, commsysman helped focus on Cambridge/NAD (I do wish he would post re: the t757), which you supported. That really clarified my thinking. It has been exhausting researching all new products/terminologies, but your replies have really been the most helpful, and I feel good about the direction.

As always, thanks so much.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Compliments to bierfeldt.

I just searched for “NAD AVR” on this forum, and…you have really helped MANY less-experienced people like myself out, with very consistent and situation-specific replies. That is fantastic. The compliments you receive in the threads I have read are a credit to your passion and communication.

I like this forum; it seems very civil, compared to so many others (not just hi-fi). I do find it more difficult than most to post, add links or photographs, etc., but that must be me, because others post links, etc. all the time. I also like the pro reviews re: speakers especially. I enjoyed your reply on the “The Making Of A Sound Mutt” thread:…“Welcome and anyone interested in great sound is in this league.” Very nice, very kind.

I think I am honing in on a choice which will be good for my needs/budget.

Besides my Oppo -83/-93/-95/-103 question (above), I do have another, though. So far, the NAD 757 v1 is my leasding candidate for the AVR. However, I see that in a few threads, both you and commsysman recommended the NAD t758.

Should I look into that?

And what about the NAD t775 (v1, I think)? S and V (whose reviews I read on various NAD AVRs) is selling one (used, but mint from what they say) that will sell for a very good price, I think. It looks like it has great power; many features; MDC like the 757 v1; the addition of Audyssey MultEQ XT (not my main need, but who knows). It has lots of Dolby features, but no Dolby True HD and DTS HD master, from what I can tell. Is that a deal-breaker?

Thanks.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
responses

the T758 is the new model of the t757. If you could get the t758 for the same price as the t757, by all means. It will be newer, have less wear and tear, etc... That being said, those new features aren't likely to directly benefit you.

Regarding the NAD T 775, it is much more powerful which is appealing. If you look at the bottom of the page it says 110V models in north America are shipped with the AM200 and VM100 MDC modules installed. This has all the video processing and advanced audio codec processing in it. If those modules are included, then you would have Dobly True HD and DTS HD Master.

That being said, I have given the Dolby True HD and DTS HDMaster some thought and the more I think about it, the less I am convinced you would need it. This is driven by your choice of BluRay.

With an Oppo, you are going to let the Oppo do all the decoding of these advanced audio codecs like TrueHD. It is just better at it than the NAD will be. This means, the NAD will receive a decoded 2, 3, 5 or 7 channel signal, depending on what you ask the Oppo to output.

This means you will never take advantage of the capability to process TrueHD by the NAD receiver. If you had an inexpensive BluRay player or say a PS3 like me, you would send an unprocessed signal to the receiver and the receiver would do the decoding as it would do a superior job. In practice, this means the Dolby TrueHD light will never be displayed on the receiver but it also means it is an irrelevant feature for you.

If you were to opt for an Apple TV, I believe the highest quality audio it will stream as part of video is Dolby Digital. Thus, even from that source you wouldn't need the receiver to process those codecs.

Regarding which Oppo model to get, this is a balancing of age and dated features vs. premiumness. This is my personal bias but I would go with the BDP-103. It supports progressive scan where the earlier versions do not so 1080P vs. 1080i which is a crisper video. At lease according to this summary.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/Oppo-BDP-103-Vs-Oppo-BDP-95-/10000000177822254/g.html

You have an option as to whether or not you send an analog signal to the NAD via RCA or using the DAC in the NAD via HDMI. I would try both ways to see which sounds better.

Alternatively, you might want to ask this question in the Digital section and others may have a different opinion.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Great reply, as always. (+OPPO response)

Friend, that is so clear, thank you.

For the AVR I will see if I get lucky on the NAD 775 v1. If not, I am sure I will be happy with the 757 v1, or even the t748 v2.
As far as the BDP is concerned, I will take your advice and go for the Oppo BDP-103. I think, from what I have read, that having 1080p versus 1080i is worth it.

To answer our question from yesterday, regarding iPhone 5s and Oppo BDP-103 compatibility, I just got off the phone with Oppo.

It is very clear now.

The BDP-103 DOES have both a built-in wireless-N adapter and a built-in RJ45 Ethernet port.
I am most interested in wireless, for use with my iPhone 5s.
Here are the replies from Oppo:
1) Using the Apple TV adapter, connected to the wireless port on the BDP-103, one can most certainly stream music, etc. wirelessly from an iPhone to the Oppo, over Apple Airplay.
2) The accessory Roku Stick simply supports MANY more streaming sources than the built-in Oppo card does…not necessary at all in my case (really only using Netflix and Pandora, both of which the Oppo and my TV do support).
3) The Logitech, etc. BT adapter will NOT work for that purpose, because unlike BT-enabled devices, the Oppo BDP-103 has no built-in BT driver, and will therefore not receive any BT signal.

So, it looks like one of the NAD + Oppo BDP-103 + Apple TV adapter is the way to go!
I will let you know. Thank you again for all the advice.

PS: how are you attaching those links here? I cannot figure it out. When I use [url] [/url} Stereophile will not accept the post.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Just so I am clear

Given your advice regarding using the Oppo BDP-103 to do all the decoding of codecs like TrueHD and DTS HDMaster:

Even if the NAD t775 does NOT have the AM200 and VM100 MDC modules installed, it would still be preferable to the t757 v1, etc., correct? I think that this t775 may not have those modules installed, as it appears that if they are installed the model is then labeled "t775 HD". I will clarify with the seller.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
The Oppo is superior

Even if it lacks those two modules, I would take the T757 because it has superior amplification and the Oppo would be used for decoding TrueHD.

You can attach the Bluetooth adapter directly to the receiver. The Logitech adapter will send an analog, line level signal via an RCA jack and you would have no need to attach it to the Oppo. I believe the Apple TV will sound much better and if it is in your budget, I would deffinitely go with it but you could use Bluetooth if you wanted too.

Finally, I am copying and pastin links into the text field as if it was text. I am using the option for filtered HTML Text.

Glad to hear you are close. I think you will end up with a great sounding system.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
A bit confused....

Did you mean to write that "even if it lacks those two modules, I would take the T775 v1 because it has superior amplification and the Oppo would be used for decoding TrueHD."?

Isn't the t775 the AVR with more amplification than the t757 v1?

That's good to know re: the Logitech connecting directly to the AVR. I do think I agree that the Apple TV would be better. I do use BT, but I am not particularly enthralled with the sound.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
ARCAM question

You wrote above:
“The major gaps with the Arcams are a lack of HDMI support which is a pain and limits your video to 1080i meaning you would not get the most of any video unit. Alternatively, they will sound the best out of all of these units. If you don't care about HDMI switching, then the DIVA AVR300 would be a cool unit and probably explains why it is $500 while being 11 years old.”

Is that HDMI switching (whatever that is) still an issue since the Oppo BDP-103 will be used?

I found this link, but I am still not sure if the Oppo would handle all that rather than the ARCAM.
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-fULgYb4Z89s/learn/blogs/av_tips/archive/2008/09/05/tech-terms-demystified-hdmi-switching-and-hdmi-repeating.aspx

If the Arcam CAN be used with the Oppo BDP-103, with no loss of HDMI functions, then my list might be:

1) NAD t775 v1 (used mint).
2) ARCAM DIVA AVR-300 (ARCAM refurbished with 1-year warranty).
3) NAD t757 v1 (NAD refurbished with 1-year warranty).
4) Cambridge Audio AZUR 551r (CA refurbished with 3-year warranty).
5) NAD t748 v1 (NAD refurbished with 1-year warranty).

4) and 5) probably not so much.

Does that list make sense?

1) Is about more power and 2) is about better sound, as you explained. Would you flip 1) and 2)?

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
ARCAM again....

In reading some other NAD reviews, ARCAM comes up many times as having, as you stated already, “better sound”.

I really felt I was down to NAD, but the ARCAM very much appeal to me, visually as well. I also came across a couple of reviews specifically praising the ARCAM with B&W 705 speakers, even over NAD.

I honestly do not know which brand is “better”, but if the ARCAM does indeed produce better sound, I am interested.

The HDMI switching seems to be the main issue with ARCAM, so I went online to research that.

What I came across immediately was a fellow who had sold an “Arcam AVR300 & QED HDMI Switching Box”, and then a reply to a forum question regarding the AVR300 which stated, “I have thought of just getting an HDMI switch…”. Additionally, this: “ARCAM AVR300 + HDMI Switching box? Is this the best option? I'm being told by the nice man at SSAV that I should buy an Arcam AVR300 amp despite the fact it does not have HDMI switching and that to combat this I should buy a separate HDMI switching box.”

To which someone replied, “I'd make very sure that the switching box you're buying can 'drive' 8m of cable to the TV. IME such boxes can be a bit fussy about the components connected either side of them.”

Now, my AVR would never be 8 meters from my TV…at the most 4 feet or so. So, is an HDMI switching box an option? If so do you know of a good brand?

Alternatively, would you forgo the AVR300 + Switching ox, and instead look seriously at the ARCAM AVR350 (which does have HDMI).

However, a review from Sound and Vision states, “But many AV receivers and pre-pros lack HDMI audio capability, even when they provide HDMI video switching. The AVR350 is one of them. Its HDMI circuits are video switching only; they cannot extract and play the PCM audio that can ride along on the HDMI audio-video connection.

We feel that audio-over-HDMI capability is important for any modern AV receiver or preamp-processor. And much of the Asian AV receiver competition is now ready for multichannel PCM on HDMI. Arcam has not ignored this, but rather argues against it. In their opinion, audio carried on HDMI provides poor performance.”

So, I guess that HDMI is an issue even on the AVR350?

I really am sorry to bombard you with so many questions, but you are the only one helping (a very good thing, I think, as I’m not receiving tons of conflicting replies).

Also, this research is really exhausting, because I understand so little of the terminology, so I would like to do this once and then be done with for quite a few years.

If I can decide today, great, and then I’ll leave you in peace!

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
No need to appologize

757 vs 775 was a typo. The 775 is the more powerful amplifier.

You are trying to do your due diligence to ensure that you are spending your money wisely. I am glad to help.

So, as best I can tell, the DIVA 300 doesn't have HDMI inputs at all. The issue with this is if you send a video signal component over component cables - the five channel RCA cables - you are limited to 1080i. No progressive scan.

The Arcam is going to be limiting. You could connect the HDMI cable directly to your television from the Oppo. You would then run a 2 channel analog cable or a digital coaxial or optical cable to the Arcam. This will limit you to 2 channel stereo or Dolby Digital as those are the signals that the digital outputs on the Oppo can handle and the Arcam does not have multi channel analog inputs. These connections cannot handle a lossless signal like TrueHD or a PCM signal greater than 2 channels.

If you want the Arcam, stick with 2 channels. Forget about any advance audio codecs and a center channel. Spend the money on a nicer subwoofer. This is a perfectly viable solution. Nothing says you have to do 3 channel. I find 3 channel makes it slightly easier to follow speech in a soundtrack but in my opinion, that is the only real benefit.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
OK, thanks.

No, the ARCAM AVR300 has no HDMI inputs, but the AVR350 does (see above).

I guess what I meant is this: is the NAD t775 still the way to go, or the ARCAM AVR350 or even the AVR400 (which has many HDMI inputs)?

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Well...that was that.

I did not bid on the NAD t775. I was going to, as it looked in mint condition, and it was sitting at $105at 3;45 PM today. I thought, perhaps I'll get lucky.

While the item looked mint and was described as such, and the seller is an AV store with 100% feedback, I still corresponded with the seller, since I had some questions.

There was no remote, so that would have cost more.

I did confirm that it had the AM200 and VM100 MDC modules installed. However, there was no Audyssey mic, but the seller said he confirmed with NAD that any Audyssey mic would work, and would throw one in. However, I had read that NAD had worked directly with Audyssey to install a NAD-specific profile for this model, so a generic Audyssey mic did not interest me too much. (other than the fact that Audyssey itself is not so important to me in 3.1).

Most importantly, however was that the seller mentioned the fans were noisy. I had read that this was a common NAD problem. I believe there are 5 fans on the t775. The seller could not give an estimate to repair the fans.

So, when the bidding jumped from $105 to $300, I was still interested. However, when it leapt (as often happens) from $300 to $600 in the span of 1 minute (literally) I ducked out and never bid. It sold for $610 + $53 shipping. Add a remote ($40), plus the fan repairs, and the cost would have approached $800. Too much.

I am still looking at NAD and ARCAM, not really at Rotel, Anthem or CA.

There is a NAD t775 7.2 refurbished for $699 (OBO) shipped, with all accessories. I could offer $610 or so, if it would be worth it.

There are also the refurbished NAD t748 v2 and CA 551r I had listed way up above, all around $400-$500.

Spearit Sound is selling the NAD T 765 "GEN1" for $450, refurbished. You had written that the NAD t765 “lacks support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD master”, which was a concern, but then you thought that the Oppo BDP-103 (which I certainly will purchase) can take care of all that.

The ARCAM AVR250 and AVR300 look like no-gos, because of the HDMI issues. I think at these prices, an HDMI capable AVR is important.
I cannot figure out if the AVR350 is HDMI-capable. Do you know?

There is an ARCAM AVR350 on eBay at $270 shipped (0 bids) but when I asked the seller some questions, the reply was “it works fine”. That was it…not too reassuring.

There are also a couple of ARCAM AVR400 (which have even more HDMI ports) on eBay for $800. That is beyond my original budget, for an AVR, but the AVR is still important, and I would rather spend a bit more for something of high quality, that will last a long time, and is fully compatible, than $500 for something less so. I would simply have to put off any sub and center purchase.

Any suggestions you might have, will be greatly appreciated as always.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Arcam models

The AVR350s HDMI inputs are just pass thoughs. This offers no benefit. To get an audio signal to it, you still have to run an analog or separate digital cable. This is an inconsequential step forward from the AVR300.

The AVR400 is completely different. you can send either a multichannel PCM Signal from the Oppo to it or an lossless signal like TrueHD a via HDMI. Based on the specs and the circuitry in the Arcam, I would test letting the Oppo doing the decoding and the Arcam doing it. Seems like an amazing unit. In 2011 it was a recommended component from Sound and Vision.

I would take the AVR400 over either NAD unit. I can't imagine you will get this for $500 but it will be your best sounding unit based on the specs. I have never heard it but it sure seems like everyone just raves about how good they sound.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Fantastic as usual

That's very clear, thanks.

OK, I will ignore the AVR350 as well. Thank you so much for helping me pare this down.

The AVR400 really appeals to me, even though it is more money than the NAD. But, that NAD with defects sold for $610! That is eBay craziness, in my opinion. I know I will not get an ARCAM AVR400 for $500, but even at $750 it seems that it would be better (more current, better build quality, best sound with 705 speakers) than any NAD or CA at $500-$600. I'll look into it more.

I also prefer the aesthetics of ARCAM over NAD, but I wouldn't let that drive my opinion unless I also thought it was the best unit.

I am comfortable now with either the AVR400 or one of the NAD units. Definitely not looking at Rotel and Anthem any longer, and for some reason CA doesn't really push my buttons: I do not know why.

To sum up, you feel that an ARCAM AVR400 at $800 is worth the extra cost over a NAD t765 Gen1 at $450 or the NAD 775v2 at $700, correct?

That the ARCAM 400 not only would provide better sound, but is also more compatible, more current, and therefore a better long-term investment?

I'll look into my options a bit more, but I think you have given me enough basic knowledge as well as only a few models to really look into. I truly appreciate all your excellent advice. Have a great weekend!

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Time to pare down....

I was going crazy, so I made a list for myself, with links, etc.

I have all removed all that info to simplify things here, but basically all these units are either refurbished from ADs, or from eBay private sellers with a lot of 100% positive feedback (no thrift stores, etc.) and described as mint, including all accessories.

I have organized my list according to price. All these prices are hard, being BIN, except for one NAD T748v2 (AUCTION).

While I am in love with the ARCAM AVR400, it is of course the most expensive! I would probably not consider the ARCAM AVR360 too seriously, since 3 AVR400s are selling for less.

I wonder (if you have the time) if you could skim through this list and perhaps offer recommendations for the best cost/value, given my desires (3.1, good music, good HDMI, all with an Oppo BDP-103), which you know by now.

I am still liking the AVR400, but with that and the Oppo, that's a lot of $$$, so any sub and/or center will definitely have to wait. Still if those represent the best long-term value, I don’t want to skimp out now just to regret it later.

Most of these units we have discussed (other than the ARCAM AVR360 and the CA 640R), so you do not need to spend time on comments, unless you feel so inclined.

I really do appreciate it.

///

Cambridge Audio Azur 640R; $295 shipped; black; used; 100 watts. BIN.

NAD T748 V2; $300 shipped; black; new other; 100 watts. AUCTION.

NAD T748 V2; $400 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound). BIN.

NAD T748 V2; $460 shipped; black; used; 100 watts. BIN.

NAD T765 "GEN1"; $450 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound). BIN.

Cambridge Audio Azur 551R; $500 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 3-year CA warranty; from accessories4less. BIN.

Cambridge Audio Azur 640R; $560 shipped; silver; new other; 100 watts. BIN.

NAD T757 V1; $570 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound). BIN.

NAD T758 V1; $699 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound). BIN.

NAD T775 7.2; $750 shipped OBO; black; used; 100 watts. BIN OBO.
Seller will definitely go below $700.

ARCAM FMJ AVR400; $840 shipped; black; used; 100 watts. BIN.
Reply to my question: “Hi. Yes, we test everything we sell, and everything was working fine. Thanks.”

ARCAM FMJ AVR400; $895 shipped; black; used; 100 watts. BIN.

NAD T775 V1; $899 shipped; Factory-refurbished with 1-year NAD warranty; from Audiogon (spearit_sound). BIN.

ARCAM FMJ AVR360; $899.00 shipped; black; Factory refurbished with 1-year ARCAM warranty; 75 watts. BIN.
Is the AVR360 HDMI pass-through only, as on the AVR350, or is it a step up from the 350, and so closer to the AVR400 HDMI performance?

ARCAM FMJ AVR400; $900 local pick-up; black; used; 100 watts. BIN.

ARCAM FMJ AVR400; $999 shipped; black; Factory refurbished with 1-year ARCAM warranty; 100 watts. BIN.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
The options....

This is how I see it.

I have great speakers (BW 705) and one day will augment them with a great center (BW HTM7).

One day, I will add a great sub (Sunfire, SVS, REL, HSU sealed).

This system needs a very good AVR and a great BDP, or a great AVR and a good BDP.

I am on a budget.

So, I see three scenarios for the AVR/BDP.

1) Best (but definitely most expensive): ARCAM AVR400 + OPPO BDP-103. These might, however, be a bit redundant.

2) Very good (but possibly very expensive, or perhaps not): A good, but lower-priced AVR from that list above + OPPO BDP-103 to handle what the AVR cannot. This would be good, but at least half the money goes toward the BDP. It sort of makes sense only if it is a good combo at a decent total price, since the AVR will not be as good as the ARCAM 400.

3) Very good (and possibly less expensive): ARCAM AVR400 + some other, less fancy, maybe even used, Oppo or other BDP.

Since I've read up on the AVR400, it seems amazing, and can handle all the HDMI + Dolby requirements you have listed. I like it the best, on all levels.

So, all told, I'm not sure that $500-$700 for a NAD AVR + $415 for the Oppo BDP-103 is the best combination.

Wouldn't $800-$900 toward an ARCAM AVR400 + $200 or so (or even less) on a good, but not necessarily great BDP (used -83, -93, -95, or NAD, or other brand) be something to really consider?

Or is that scenario not good for some reason I'm not seeing? I'd love to see what you think.

Thanks.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
If you don't get an Oppo

The Oppo is the best unit and even if you aren't using all the features, the mechanical parts like the motor and the laser matter. Just as a raw transport, the Oppo is outstanding. If you aren't going to take advantage of the processing capabilities you still need a high quality Disc transport.

I would look at the Marantz UD5007 available from Accesories4less for $299 refurbished. They make a superb disc player and you can have a high level of confidence that the unit is in great condition.

Alternatively, you could get a brand new PS3 for about $200. Nothing says you need to use the game functionality. It is a darn nice Disc transport and you will want to buy the remote with it. The irritating part is there are perpetual software updates for it, you need to login in to the Playstaion Natwork which is free to get those updates and to link to Gracenote. This is what I use for my BluRay player.

Those would be two, high quality alternatives to The Oppo.

There is always redundancy in these systems. If you were to look at my home theatre, I have a TiVo, a smart TV, an Apple TV, a PS3 and my Marantz Pre/Pro. The number of redundant features between those devices is absurd. Redundancy seems to be the nature of today's systems.

It sounds like you are going to be happiest with the Arcam AVR400 and all the reviews say it really excels at 2 channel audio for music. One of these other two other disc player options with an Apple TV would be pretty darn good. I believe the Oppo would be better, but if you are trying to decide how to piece things together and optimize a limited budget, this would still give you an outstanding solution and that few hundred dollar difference might get you a nicer subwoofer.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
I think you’re right.

I really do like the ARCAM AVR400.

What do you think of the Cambridge 640r? Is it bad like the 650r, or worth considering?

Other than that, I’ll look at the NADs still. Depending on what I buy (if it’s not the AVR400) I will buy the Oppo 103.
If I buy the AVR400, I will look at the other BDPs you suggested, but might just still bite the bullet on the Oppo.
Durability is important to me.

Have a good holiday!

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Cambridge Audio 640r

I guess this one is to be avoided, because of the HDMI, right?

For
Power output
Sound performance
Build quality

Against
No HDMI upconversion or RoomEQ

Should my AVR list then be this?
1) ARCAM AVR400
2) NAD T775 V1
3) NAD T757 V1
4) Cambridge Audio Azur 551R
5) NAD T748 V2

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
The 640r

Based on the review at WhatHiFI the 640rwould be a bad choice. They suggest that it is a bright amp and that would be a poor choice with a B&W speakers as they tend to be forward. This would be irritating combination and likely would be the definition of harsh and fatiguing. Don't even need to get to specs to say don't buy it.

http://www.whathifi.com/cambridge-audio/azur-640r/review

Looks like your order is right. Good luck getting the Arcam or the NAD T775 at a fair price. Those will be great units. The others will be very good, but you will want to bi-amp.

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Perfect.

OK, great.

So, I will confine my list to these, and probably the Oppo BDP (or the Marantz).

What I like about the ARCAM is that it has the power, plus all the Dolby and HDMI features you listed, including Dolby Volume (which I think I will like). I will look for all those features on the others on my list, and that will help winnow it down.

One last question: we had taken the NAD 765 off of the list because of the lack of Dolby/DTS support. However, you then taught me that the Oppo could handle those (re: the T775). So, should I put the T765 back on the list? If so, where? Below the T775, but above the T757? There are just so many more NAD available, and relatively few ARCAM.

That list gives me some things to look for, without having a zillion options.
I have also learned a lot by reading your replies.
I really don't have any other questions at this time, so I'll leave you in peace for awhile!
I'll let you know what I finally end up going with.

Thanks again, and have a good Memorial Day.

bierfeldt
bierfeldt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
You are correct

With the Oppo, the NAD 765 would be a fine choice in that it has a 7.1 channel analogue input plus HDMI audio depending on what modules it has in it. That will work. I would put it below the 775 but ahead of the 757

venessian
venessian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
Hello bierfeldt,

Hello bierfeldt,
This is probably a long-shot, but are you still around?
Is there no PM or email option on this forum?

  • X