Oppo BPD-95 analog output SQ vs. the EMU-0404 External DAC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I apologize if this is in the wrong thread, but I couldn't find a thread on DACs, so I figured you all would be the most informed/experienced.

I am considering upgrading my bluray player from a cheap Sony bitstreaming to an older Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver to an Oppo BDP-95 (using analog out to receiver's discrete input) to improve sound quality.

I did an experiment by putting my headphone amp/external computer DAC, the Creative Pro EMU-0404, to use as an external DAC from the Sony BDP to the Yamaha's discrete analog inputs. The sound was considerably more detailed and overall better than using the Yamaha's internal DACs. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent solution, as I don't have full range front speakers, so I was missing most bass frequencies below 80Hz, but the mid bass, mids, and highs were better.

So, how does the analog output of the Oppo BDP-95 compare with the Creative Pro EMU-0404? What are the strengths of each? I get the impression at this level, one might be better at A, B, C, and the other might be better at X, Y, Z. I appreciate your thoughts and especially experience with both.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 07:40 AM
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^^^

if you really want to improve "sound quality", you'd ditch the whole idea of being worried about dacs and replace your avr with something that uses modern dsp...

your "experiment", while likely a fun way to spend some time, really didn't tell you anything valid...

edit: i just looked at your previous posts... you are DEFINITELY barking up the wrong tree... 1000 dollars worth of disk spinner for 1000 worth (if that) of speakers is not a judicial use of discretionary income...

you should be focusing on two things... a "modern" avr with good dsp, and better speakers and subwoofer...

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post #3 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I was asking about the sound quality of Oppo BDP-95 vs the EMU-0404 External DAC. With all else being equal, that is all I wanted to know.

I already have the EMU-0404 in another application, but was just testing to see if it made a difference. Both my wife and I agreed that the mids and highs sounded better using the EMU-0404 than using the Yamaha's internal DACs.

I cannot get new speakers. I just bought new speakers and got a REALLY GOOD DEAL on them. I spent a considerable amount of time researching and auditioning "kid friendly" speakers, and figured I got the best I could get without getting special in-wall/on-walls costing an arm and a leg, not to mention possibly affecting resale of my house. I have little kids, and I cannot have super expensive speakers that I will worry about them destroying (question is not IF, but WHEN). In any case, I do not have $1k speakers. The retail/MSRP value of the speaker package was closer to $3k, and they sounded much better than pretty much anything offered in the specialty section of local big box stores. I can throw money at electronics, since they are shut away in a cabinet when not in use. The Oppo will also improve video performance of legacy DVDs.

I am quite pleased with the way movies and TV sound, but want to optimize music listening.

FWIW, I do plan to get "better" speakers in ~5 or so years.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 08:27 AM
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^^^

you may do what you like... if you want to light cigars on fire with $100 bills, far be it from me to stop you...

fwiw, your speakers retail for $250 apiece... i REALLY hope you didn't buy that thing they call a "subwoofer"....

i won't even get into the "both my wife and i" routine... as it's completely uncontrolled, and of no validity whatsoever...

you have 2 options when it comes to improving sound quality, and you have chosen neither...

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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You are insulting me and responded with arrogance, neither of which I appreciate. I asked a specific question, which you didn't answer, but instead chose to belittle and insult my decisions.

The Paradigm MilleniaOne speakers are the best sounding speakers I could find at any price (other than super high end) that are small enough with hard grills, and sounded much better than many speakers above their price range. Sure, I agree there are better and much better sounding speakers out there that cost far more and that my kids would readily destroy. I am aware of that, and I wasn't asking that. I most certainly did not buy their MilleniaSub. I bought the Paradigm Seismic 110 and the matching Perfect Bass Kit, which worked very well. Sure, it's not a $10k sub, but it's very good for what it is.

Here's the logic why $1000 on a BDP-95 would be money well spent:
I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 that DOES NOT have the latest surround formats, but IT DOES have Dolby Digital, DTS, Pro Logic IIx, etc. My only other sources are AT&T U-Verse and a computer, both sending signals via optical digital. They would not benefit substantially from a new AVR or Pre-Pro.

An Oppo BDP-95 would give me the decoding for high-res formats on blu-rays, which is the only source I have that will benefit from this. Why spend $1.5k - $3k on a receiver, when I only need the formats for blu-ray? The Oppo (arguably) has better DACs and analog stage than many mid-price AVRs ($1.5k-$3k) pre-pros/AVRs out there. Why spend that much, when the Oppo is only $1k?

Furthermore, my older blu-ray downstairs just died after 4.5 good years, so I need to buy another blu-ray player anyways, so I figured I would move my existing Sony downstairs and put the Oppo upstairs.

I do not appreciate you judging and insulting me without knowing my full situation. I agree that an external dedicated musical DAC would be a waste of money for my system, as I don't have large full range speakers. I need a blu-ray player in the base case.

All I wanted to know was what people thought of the Oppo BDP-95's DACs and analog performance vs. the Creative Pro EMU-0404, with all else being equal. That is all I asked.


Thank you, and I wish you the best.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtam2005 View Post

but I couldn't find a thread on DACs,

Instead, try a search on "level matched" in the "CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports" section of this forum. Make sure to pick "Posts" instead of "Threads". You will get tons of info on DAC.

ccotenj is trying to help you. He may sound negative to you but sometimes good advice isn't sweet sounding.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 12:48 PM
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yes i am...

but with his most recent post that is filled with bad assumptions and reversed priorities, i give up... someone else can tilt at the windmill...

- chris

 

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 01:34 PM
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When you compare DACs, you mostly hear differences in digital filters. Emu uses Asahi Kasei DAC with internal filter. None of the receivers on the market, which I know about, uses that brand. Oppo uses ESS, your Yamaha is likely uses their proprietary design. If you really want good sound, get good Denon or Onkyo receiver (both brands use TI DACs, but Denonn uses custom filters in some models) with retail price over $1000 (that will give you room response correction, bass management and DAC), and use HDMI connection from your player. For universal player, you can get Oppo 93, if you want.
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear all,

I appreciate the advice. While ccotenj's first post was certainly helpful, I found his second post insulting and belittling. It's not that I disagree with his first post (quite the opposite), it's just not the advice I asked for. I'll try to explain.

I definitely agree that my speakers and current AVR are limiting my system from being "high end". No doubt there, but that's not what I was asking. My speakers (in my opinion) sound better than anything out there in their price range and somewhat higher. If I had $2k to spend on a pair of speakers with no kid restrictions, could I find something better? Absolutely - I'm well aware of that and I'm not arguing that point at all. I have little kids that would destroy anything that is not at least 30" off the floor with a hard grill. Now, if you know of any speakers that are less than $3k that are small enough to be 30" off the floor that have a hard grill and sound great, then I will certainly take advice.

I performed an experiment with my EMU-0404 vs using the Yamaha's internal DAC. Did I notice a difference? Yes. Was it night and day, no, but enough for me to take notice. If I had better speakers, would a better DAC (whether external or through the Oppo BDP-95) be more noticeable? Almost certainly yes, but I'm not arguing that point either.

The point is that since my old blu-ray broke, I need to buy another blu ray player. At the very least, I want the Oppo BDP-93 for its video quality. The reason why I asked to compare the DACs and analog output stage of the EMU-0404 vs. the Oppo BDP-95 is that it would be worth $500 extra for me to get the Oppo 95 over the 93, if it's DACs and analog out are in the same league as the EMU-0404. It probably would not be worth the extra $500 for some, but it is for me, given that I'm very limited with speakers at this time.

While a new AVR would be a nice upgrade, I still need a blu-ray player, and I only need the high res formats on blu ray, so the better/newer features of an AVR would be mostly utilized on blu-ray. If I were to get the BDP-95, I would just use the 5.1 analog out on the Oppo to the receiver's discrete input.

The point is that there was a lot more to the story. I didn't want to go into all of these details, and while I appreciate good advice, I didn't appreciate being judged/insulted (IMHO).

I just wanted to know if the 95 was in the same league as the EMU-0404 or how the two compared. If they are close (with all else being equal), then the $500 extra is worth it to me, as I cannot upgrade much else at this time. I still haven't heard how they compare to each other, so I would really appreciate any comments from someone who has heard both.

Thanks for your advice.
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the logic of "i can't spend more on something that will actually make a difference, so i am going to burn it on something that doesn't" is lost on me...

what you are failing to recognize, is that other than to satisfy your need to spend money, there is zero value in what you are trying to do...

a new avr with modern dsp will actually do something to help...

as noted earlier, it's your money... you can piss it away or do something useful with it... your call...

- chris

 

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post #11 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

the logic of "i can't spend more on something that will actually make a difference, so i am going to burn it on something that doesn't" is lost on me...

what you are failing to recognize, is that other than to satisfy your need to spend money, there is zero value in what you are trying to do...

a new avr with modern dsp will actually do something to help...

as noted earlier, it's your money... you can piss it away or do something useful with it... your call...

Why are you being so rude to me? That is uncalled for. Maybe it's sarcasm or "obvious advice" to you, but it's downright insulting and disrespectful to me. I asked for advice on a specific question, which you didn't give.

I need a new blu-ray player, since my other one broke. That is information that should not be necessary for me to give. The Oppo BDP-93 has good video performance. If I'm already gonna spend $500 on a source component that I need, I'm trying to determine if the incremental $500 for the 95 would be worth it. That is all that I'm trying to do.

Please show me some respect, and stop insulting me. I have not argued (nor do I disagree) that spending $2k or $3k on better more high-end speakers would be a substantial improvement. If you can show me speakers that will be a substantial improvement that are also kid friendly that will not require modifying my house, then you have my full attention.

However, spending $2k-$3k, or even $1.5k on better sounding speakers that I know my kids will destroy within days would certainly be "pissing money away", as well would be spending thousands on home modifications that I will not get back in resale, as I typically move every 3-5 years for work. I just asked for advice on a specific topic, please stop harassing me.

I wish you peace of mind.
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 07:11 PM
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If you are asking whether the DACs in the OPPO 95 are as good as the EMU-0404, you will find the majority view here expressed either as "yes" or "it doesn't matter"--which amounts to the same thing in this case. While there are measurable differences between DACs on various measuring equipment, in a level-matched, blind test (the only way to control for conscious and unconscious biases), there should be no audible differences (assuming each DAC is in proper working order). There are people who claim to be able to tell the difference (when I first started getting serious about audio, I believed I could do so as well--I've since learned about other factors at play in generating the perceived differences and level differences are the most significant). Few, if any, of those bother to level-match the devices before listening (mostly because they don't know to do so, as was my case 8 or so years ago and earlier).

The above is why people will offer other options than DAC substitutions as a way to change your sound (presumably for the better ).

Now, leaving aside whether there would be any audible difference between the OPPO 95 and the EMU-0404 (or with your AVR) with respect to DACs, let's examine your specific setup.

You have chosen your speakers and do not wish to change them (said change would be the biggest difference-maker, but it is off the table). That's fine. The question then becomes what would be the next best way to make a change in the sound quality of your system. After speakers, room treatments would be the most effective thing (but I suspect they would face the same "dangers" your speakers face ). The next thing would be some form of room EQ. To get an effective room EQ system, you need not spend 1000$--half as much can get you something that would be quite helpful. That would leave you enough for an OPPO 93. This option would yield a bigger change in your sound than an OPPO 95 by itself. It would also benefit all your sources rather than just a few.

All of that said, an OPPO 95 is certainly a solid choice. I gave serious thought to doing exactly what you propose (adding an OPPO 95 to my old AVR via its MCH analogue inputs). I would have then purchased some sort of 2 channel integrated amp/receiver for my living room. Instead, I moved the old AVR upstairs and got a new AVR (Yamaha RX-A1000) for the HT (and with the difference between the OPPO 95 and the AVR, I got a Cambridge Audio DVD99).

Of my choice,

Pros: Room EQ added to my existing sub EQ and room treatments. Can fully exploit my PS3's capabilities via HDMI. Now have DVD-A via HDMI (though the DVD99 was not part of my original plan, so that's a bit of a bonus). Have back-up SACD via DVD99.

Cons: OPPO 95 would have given me better picture quality for SD DVDs (of which I have many). Cost of an extra HDMI cable (needed for DVD99). Customer service of OPPO is said to be top-notch (Sony doesn't have that reputation).

The pros outweigh the cons for me (if I were more of a videophile, I would likely have gone with an OPPO 93--same as 95 for video--and gotten lesser speakers for my living room).

I understand that I did not directly address your question. I have tried to explain why alternatives were offered to you (based on views on audible differences due to DACs held by a majority of people here, including myself). I have also offered an alternative of my own. None of this, though, should be seen as a disdainful view of your choice to go with an OPPO 95, if that is what you choose. It is merely intended to present you with choices.

In the end, we must (or should) feel comfortable with our choices. We should not buy gear for a hobby to satisfy others but for ourselves. But it is good to be able to make informed choices. However you decide, enjoy the tunes and movies (and the "destructo-man" kid phase will go away--I lived with a very low-cost bare-boned "music system" in my living room until my son reached a point where I didn't have to worry about putting nice speakers in there. It gets better.).

Good luck.
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post #13 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 12:32 AM
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look ccotenj's post perhaps insulting. but I think what he is getting at is its all about having a well balanced system.

if aiming at good 2ch performance the gains from a good pair of left and right mains speakers is going to out run very easily anything a dac is going to bring in benefits.

look thats not to say the speakers you ahve are nto the best can afford. but thats the benefit of it. keep what you have. just surplant with a good pair of mains with the money you intended to spend on the player.

the beauty about upgrading your mains is it will only bring further forth any gains you might make in the dac department.

also re oppo 95 vs any other player trying to do well over analog. its the analog quality of your avr or processor that is going to be the limiting factor. most dont really do analog that well. keep the avr you have. add a 2ch integrated amp with ht bypass. will give you a 2ch pre and pwr amp upgrade in one hit. and quite a hit it will be !

anyways some things to think about

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post #14 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 06:26 AM
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yes, i guess being told you are throwing away money is insulting... oh well...

another interesting read...

click me

methinks the op has read too many "audiophile" magazines and websites...

i am not knocking the choice of speakers (although they would not be my first choice), if that's the best he has to work with, so be it... what i am saying is that spending boatloads of money on the electronics he is considering really is like lighting cigars with franklins...

c'est dommage...

- chris

 

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post #15 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

If you are asking whether the DACs in the OPPO 95 are as good as the EMU-0404, you will find the majority view here expressed either as "yes" or "it doesn't matter"--which amounts to the same thing in this case. While there are measurable differences between DACs on various measuring equipment, in a level-matched, blind test (the only way to control for conscious and unconscious biases), there should be no audible differences (assuming each DAC is in proper working order). There are people who claim to be able to tell the difference (when I first started getting serious about audio, I believed I could do so as well--I've since learned about other factors at play in generating the perceived differences and level differences are the most significant). Few, if any, of those bother to level-match the devices before listening (mostly because they don't know to do so, as was my case 8 or so years ago and earlier).

The above is why people will offer other options than DAC substitutions as a way to change your sound (presumably for the better ).

Now, leaving aside whether there would be any audible difference between the OPPO 95 and the EMU-0404 (or with your AVR) with respect to DACs, let's examine your specific setup.

You have chosen your speakers and do not wish to change them (said change would be the biggest difference-maker, but it is off the table). That's fine. The question then becomes what would be the next best way to make a change in the sound quality of your system. After speakers, room treatments would be the most effective thing (but I suspect they would face the same "dangers" your speakers face ). The next thing would be some form of room EQ. To get an effective room EQ system, you need not spend 1000$--half as much can get you something that would be quite helpful. That would leave you enough for an OPPO 93. This option would yield a bigger change in your sound than an OPPO 95 by itself. It would also benefit all your sources rather than just a few.

All of that said, an OPPO 95 is certainly a solid choice. I gave serious thought to doing exactly what you propose (adding an OPPO 95 to my old AVR via its MCH analogue inputs). I would have then purchased some sort of 2 channel integrated amp/receiver for my living room. Instead, I moved the old AVR upstairs and got a new AVR (Yamaha RX-A1000) for the HT (and with the difference between the OPPO 95 and the AVR, I got a Cambridge Audio DVD99).

Of my choice,

Pros: Room EQ added to my existing sub EQ and room treatments. Can fully exploit my PS3's capabilities via HDMI. Now have DVD-A via HDMI (though the DVD99 was not part of my original plan, so that's a bit of a bonus). Have back-up SACD via DVD99.

Cons: OPPO 95 would have given me better picture quality for SD DVDs (of which I have many). Cost of an extra HDMI cable (needed for DVD99). Customer service of OPPO is said to be top-notch (Sony doesn't have that reputation).

The pros outweigh the cons for me (if I were more of a videophile, I would likely have gone with an OPPO 93--same as 95 for video--and gotten lesser speakers for my living room).

I understand that I did not directly address your question. I have tried to explain why alternatives were offered to you (based on views on audible differences due to DACs held by a majority of people here, including myself). I have also offered an alternative of my own. None of this, though, should be seen as a disdainful view of your choice to go with an OPPO 95, if that is what you choose. It is merely intended to present you with choices.

In the end, we must (or should) feel comfortable with our choices. We should not buy gear for a hobby to satisfy others but for ourselves. But it is good to be able to make informed choices. However you decide, enjoy the tunes and movies (and the "destructo-man" kid phase will go away--I lived with a very low-cost bare-boned "music system" in my living room until my son reached a point where I didn't have to worry about putting nice speakers in there. It gets better.).

Good luck.

Ovation, thank you for your comments. I do appreciate them, and this is exactly what I was looking for.

Just out of curiosity, what was your old receiver, and how do you think the sound quality compared to the old one when listening to music in 2.0 or 2.1?
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post #16 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

yes, i guess being told you are throwing away money is insulting... oh well...

another interesting read...

click me

methinks the op has read too many "audiophile" magazines and websites...

i am not knocking the choice of speakers (although they would not be my first choice), if that's the best he has to work with, so be it... what i am saying is that spending boatloads of money on the electronics he is considering really is like lighting cigars with franklins...

c'est dommage...

Seriously, do you feel better about yourself knocking other people's previous posts? In this forum, I asked a specific question, which you did not answer, and took it upon yourself to look at previous posts and use them against me. I do not appreciate that, and find it distasteful.

I appreciate any and all advice, including constructive criticism and disagreement, when it is given with common courtesy, is not sarcastic and condescending, and it respects the limitations and restrictions of the other person's situation.

I can afford the BDP-95, and I do not consider that to be "boatloads of money".

I don't know if you currently have or have ever had little kids, but I now look at other parents with a lot more understanding and compassion than I did before I had them.

Now, I am curious. If you had little kids and had my same restrictions (cannot custom build in-walls due to future home sale, etc.), what system (speakers, AVR or Separates, Blu-Ray, etc.) would you get? Do not consider anything I currently have. That is if you have a blank slate but had my restrictions. You also have up to $10k for the whole thing.
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alebonau View Post

look ccotenj's post perhaps insulting. but I think what he is getting at is its all about having a well balanced system.

if aiming at good 2ch performance the gains from a good pair of left and right mains speakers is going to out run very easily anything a dac is going to bring in benefits.

look thats not to say the speakers you ahve are nto the best can afford. but thats the benefit of it. keep what you have. just surplant with a good pair of mains with the money you intended to spend on the player.

the beauty about upgrading your mains is it will only bring further forth any gains you might make in the dac department.

also re oppo 95 vs any other player trying to do well over analog. its the analog quality of your avr or processor that is going to be the limiting factor. most dont really do analog that well. keep the avr you have. add a 2ch integrated amp with ht bypass. will give you a 2ch pre and pwr amp upgrade in one hit. and quite a hit it will be !

anyways some things to think about

Alebonau, thanks for your response. There's no doubt that upgrading my mains would provide the biggest gains. I spent many months researching forums, professional reviews, and visiting multiple dealers to find "kid friendly" speakers. The conclusion was essentially that unless I want to do a custom installation, the Paradigm MilleniaOnes (the satellites, NOT their sub) are the best there currently is. I can afford better speakers, that's not the issue. The issue is if such a speaker that is kid friendly actually exists.

Now if you or anyone else knows of a kid friendly (it must have a hard grill) non-custom install speaker that sounds great, I will certainly take it into consideration as a future upgrade.

Since I actually need a blu-ray player right now, and I am more of a videophile with movies, I think that buying at least an Oppo BDP-93 would be a good choice (I have >300 DVDs and only ~15 blu-rays). I will probably just get a BDP-95 even if 99% of people think the extra $500 is a waste of money, as I do eventually (but not now) plan to upgrade the AVR (likely will go with separates in the future) and the speakers to something that will benefit from better DACs and a pre-pro/amp, after my kids are older.

Also, thanks for your comment that most AVRs don't do analog very well. That is a concern I have had. Manufacturers are charging similar prices for products with much more features (that carry licensing fees) than older AVRs years ago. Something has to give. Unfortunately, from what I have read and heard, that is the analog and amp stage of most modern AVRs.

A 2 channel integrated with HT bypass is certainly something to think about in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-12-2012, 01:40 PM
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Ovation, thank you for your comments. I do appreciate them, and this is exactly what I was looking for.

Just out of curiosity, what was your old receiver, and how do you think the sound quality compared to the old one when listening to music in 2.0 or 2.1?

My old receiver is an Integra DTR 6.4. It is currently being used in a 2.0 configuration in my living room, driving a pair of PSB Imagine B stand mount speakers.

I didn't do a significant A/B of my Integra with my Yamaha in the HT but I did make sure to first listen to my HT speakers with the Yamaha in Pure Audio mode with 2 channel material to see if there were any obvious differences in sound. None that I could detect. I then ran YPAO and I've compared the various forms of YPAO to each other (Flat, Front, Natural and Through). I can definitely hear differences between these four settings (Through being no EQ). I find Flat better than the others. Flat tames some of the mild high frequency harshness that has always been there and has other salutary effects on the overall sound. My Anti-mode 8033 takes care of the sub.

I don't do a lot of 2 channel listening in my HT (I often run 2 channel material through Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode, after adjusting its settings to my tastes), so straight through 2 channel performance has not been a major concern in the HT. I did pay a lot of attention to 2 channel performance when selecting my new speakers for the living room. I might one day go to 2.1 in there, but never a full MCH setup (no room for it to be done right). If I wanted to further improve my living room sound (though it's already WAY better than it used to be), I would likely add a subwoofer with another 8033 for sub EQ. Or perhaps get another AVR with room EQ (or an outboard version, if affordable and practical) as the potential for effective room treatment is minimal given the multipurpose use of the living room. I could also upgrade my speakers. These points are hypothetical at this point, as I'm quite happy with the current living room setup. In my view, DACs are not an audible concern (unless they start breaking down somewhere in the system).

I don't usually upgrade gear all that often. My Integra is 8 years old and I'm planning to get at least another 5 years out of it. My Marantz DV6400 SACD/DVD-A player (now in the living room) has been running for 8 years without a hitch. As has my Cambridge Audio 540Dv1 DVD player (still in the mix for region-free DVD playback). I plan to keep my Yamaha for at least as long as I've had my Integra. I've had my HT speakers (Boston Acoustics VR-M60s, VR-M50s, VRC and PV900 sub) for 8 years as well and I'm in no hurry to change them (I might upgrade the sub, but that can wait a few more years). My previous speakers to the Bostons were Celestion DL6s that I had for 17 years. I could go on with other gear, but I think my point is clear--I buy things for the medium to long term (7-10 years, if not longer).

I actually only have one more major audio "itch" to be scratched. Someday (probably when the Integra finally gives up the ghost), I'd like to play around with some tube gear. Not because I think it will sound better--a proper tube amp should be like a proper solid-state amp: as little colouring of the sound as possible. It's purely an aesthetic/wanna try it for myself kind of thing (a friend of mine has some tube gear and I like the warm glow it gives off visually). However, it's not a "must have" and it can certainly wait.

Probably too much of a digression. To answer your question more directly, I notice a difference in the sound of 2 channel music between my HT and my living room. In order of what causes the difference, I would rank things as follows:

1--different room
2--different speakers
3--various home-made room treatments/traps in the HT
4--room EQ in HT vs. none in living room
5--everything else (including DACs)

I would not consider point 5 significant. With each receiver set in Pure Audio/Pure Direct mode (no processing of any kind), level matched with identical analogue connected sources, I would expect no difference caused by the receivers themselves (same thing for level matched digital connections).
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Xirtam2005, most of the people on this forum do not believe that using an external dac will provide better SQ then the existing dacs in various avrs. They also like to try and make the people who do think that external dacs sound better, well they make them look stupid. There are plenty of people who agree that external dacs do indeed sound better, but most of them are not avs'ers. If you want my personal opinion, get the Oppo and enjoy the DDtruehd and dtsMA. Or you could buy a reciever that will decode those codecs and also get the benefit of room correction which will also help a lot on the overall SQ.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-13-2012, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by xirtam2005 View Post

Alebonau, thanks for your response. There's no doubt that upgrading my mains would provide the biggest gains. I spent many months researching forums, professional reviews, and visiting multiple dealers to find "kid friendly" speakers. The conclusion was essentially that unless I want to do a custom installation, the Paradigm MilleniaOnes (the satellites, NOT their sub) are the best there currently is. I can afford better speakers, that's not the issue. The issue is if such a speaker that is kid friendly actually exists.

Now if you or anyone else knows of a kid friendly (it must have a hard grill) non-custom install speaker that sounds great, I will certainly take it into consideration as a future upgrade.

~

well am glad you agree that upgradign your mains would bring biggest gains. look it doesnt mean throwing out all you have. can keep the bulk of it for surrounds and the like. just surplanting with a good quality mains will take things up immediately without question into another league.

xirtram, I have little kids myself one 3.5year old and one 7 year old all have grown up around my system. guess what ? kids are are actually very good around systems. Its just a matter of teaching them from young that the system is not to touch. its daddys stuff you dont touch. and as far as being kid friendly a set of floor standing speakers are actually very kid friendly. theyre solid stable and hold their ground. as far as hard grills go have a look at any of the paradigm floorstanders their grills are very solidly made with a solid backing. but again teach your kids to not touch in anycase. and if they are so tiny as kids you should be supervising them 100% of the time in anycase for their own safety around the house.

have a look at my system pics in the link in my signature. my current mains have had last few years before that a pair of mission 753s which are a medium size floorstanders about the size of a paradigm studio ref 60. and if hadnt upgraded to my current mains would have been happy to go the likes of the studio ref 100 floorstander.

ps I myself grew up in a house hold with music systems. kids and systems go hand in hand. you dont have to deprive your kids !

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Originally Posted by xirtam2005 View Post

~

Since I actually need a blu-ray player right now, and I am more of a videophile with movies, I think that buying at least an Oppo BDP-93 would be a good choice (I have >300 DVDs and only ~15 blu-rays). I will probably just get a BDP-95 even if 99% of people think the extra $500 is a waste of money, as I do eventually (but not now) plan to upgrade the AVR (likely will go with separates in the future) and the speakers to something that will benefit from better DACs and a pre-pro/amp, after my kids are older.
~.

the thing is the 95 with your avr and your current speaker set is wasted. I know you dont believe so or seem to agree. but please I have had a 95 myself and own a $8000US av pre amp sold off my 95 as really found didnt provide the gains I thought it would over my 2 ch gear.

the big thing to keep in mind is BD players come and go. just like oppo has a new player every year just about. the 95 will soon be surpassed with something better. I have myself owned a new BD player just about every year since launch of the format. spending so much on something like a BD player at expense of the rest of the system really doesnt make a lot of sense. when instead you can invest in stuff like speakers that are timeless, bring you immediate gains and be around a long long time. decades even while bd players and disc players might come and go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xirtam2005 View Post

~

Also, thanks for your comment that most AVRs don't do analog very well. That is a concern I have had. Manufacturers are charging similar prices for products with much more features (that carry licensing fees) than older AVRs years ago. Something has to give. Unfortunately, from what I have read and heard, that is the analog and amp stage of most modern AVRs.

A 2 channel integrated with HT bypass is certainly something to think about in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

that is a reality. building in 2ch and analog ability in avrs costs money which not everyone is keen to pay especially in the lower price ranges. the benefit is the avr you have is likely quite adequate on digital front and will turn in a good performance regardless of level of player hooked upto it. even it were an oppo 93 or 83 ! again thinking long term a good analog integrated amp with ht bypass will last decades and something guaranteeing 2ch analog ability regardless of the avr that might move through your system. and again with better speakers you use give you an immediate and automatic 2ch analog pre amp and power amp upgrade

for 2ch and analog prowess in a system consider that the entire path is important. source, amp (pre and pwr or integrated) and speakers. just surplating a good source in will not realise gains if the rest of the system isnt up it. surplanting speakers usually give a immediate improvement that is only bettered with better source and amps to drive the speakers to best ability. surplanting the amp on its own unlikely to give much gains either unless have the speakers to go with it or the source

good luck one way or the other

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