Suppose… you are a music guy first, and a TV or movie lover second.
You want your system to serve music well FIRST. But you also need to run a cable or satellite box and blu-ray player through your system. You might even want local radio. You only want to run two channels, and maybe a sub. You don’t really care about the tricks of surround sound.
What’s the best way to approach this?
Marantz NR-1508 $550
If you read the fine print, you’ll see NR-1508 is a surround receiver, 50×5. You’re thinking, I don’t want surround channels so this doesn’t make sense for me. IT DOES!
Marantz was SO SMART in designing the NR-1508! They gave us right/left & subwoofer outs. TWO sub outs. Further, the audio out provides high quality performance.
So while you can use 1508 as a modestly priced surround receiver, it makes a wonderful choice as a pre-pro in the stereo domain- supporting L/R/Sub(s).
Consider running the Marantz as the heart of your system. You have HDMI (6!), Optical, Coax, Ethernet, 3 Analog ins, with AM/FM tuner.
By using the Marantz, you have the proper HDMI and Optical hand shakes to use a cable or satellite box, or the digital out of your TV. Run your blu-ray HDMI. If you have a high end CD player, run that analog RCA. But of course you can play your music CDs through the blu-ray as well.
You’ve probably heard that an affordable pre-pro can’t sound good in the two channel domain. That would be WRONG!
We have gone so far as to install the Marantz in a Bryston system! We had a customer move from a house to a condo. The house had room for a big 2CH system and a video system in another room. The condo only has room for one system. Downsized.
We ran the Marantz into the Bryston power amp and speakers. While the audio isn’t 100% up to snuff compared to the Bryston BP-25 it replaced, the performance is OUTSTANDING. It is much closer than I would have ever dreamed! It… is CRAZY, that the Marantz can feed a state of the art Bryston power amp worth thousands, and still offer the connectivity and wide array of features our
If you have high performance speakers, you’ll want a better amp than what’s built in the 1508. We offer a stunning array of power amps from Emotiva and Bryston. We will definitely have one appropriate for your speakers, and it won’t cost as much as you would have expected.
If you’re willing to spend a grand, it will be made in the US and have a 5 year warranty.
If you’re willing to spend 4 grand, it will be made in Canada and have a 20 year warranty.
Emotiva A-300 $400: 150×2
Emotiva XPA2G3 $1000: 300×2
Bryston 2.5B Cubed $4000: 135×2
The world is your oyster. With an appropriately matched power amp, there is no limit to how fine a speaker you can buy. If space is limited, why not get some GoldenEar towers? They’re sleek
and have built in subs.
GoldenEar Triton 3+ $2500pr
GoldenEar Triton 2+ $3500pr
Have your cake and eat it too. The above described formula will give you GREAT two channel audio. It will also give you the ability to enjoy video based programming with amazingly good sound. You’ll be shocked at how clean the sound is on high budget TV shows and sporting events. Concerts on blu-ray or DVD- or even TV channels like Palladium and AXS- are very high quality!
If you’re on a short leash for space and $, kill two birds with one stone using the Marantz as the heart of your system.