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post #1 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Dear readers,

I recently purchased an Outlaw rr2150, two PSB T65s, and Blue Jeans terminated bana cables. I am using my system exclusively for music.

I set up the system, and was pretty disappointed. The sound is not full and engaging at all. The vocals are way to high, and when i want to hear the orchestra in a symphony roll over me with heavy depth and a lot of volume (not as in how high the sound is, but as in "fill"), it just comes out mediocre. The instruments which should be overwhelming, warm and powerfull, just seems weak. Like a color that has faded.

Unfortunately my $150 usd Klipsch ProMedia THX system (sattelites speakers and sub for pc connection) sounds better. It is ridiculous. Am I doing something wrong here? I have connected everything properly and even measured the speaker positioning with a measuring tape.

Could it be that the receiever and speakers are such a bad match? Both are supposed to be warm and laid back, not bright. Or might it be that I am simply lacking a sub, and that the main speakers should in fact produce mostly vocals? I wanne hear those amazing instruments coming out warm and filling. It is amazing how the T65 has 3 elements below the tweeter and still the latter seems to be making 90% of the sound.

The jumpers are in place on the speakers.

I am no audio expert, but this just doesnt sound very good. Anyone have any ideas? Is it the speakers, or the amp, or the combo?

Thank you very much for reading my post.


Best regards,

M
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post #2 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

Dear readers,

I recently purchased an Outlaw rr2150, two PSB T65s, and Blue Jeans terminated bana cables. I am using my system exclusively for music.

I set up the system, and was pretty disappointed. The sound is not full and engaging at all. The vocals are way to high, and when i want to hear the orchestra in a symphony roll over me with heavy depth and a lot of volume (not as in how high the sound is, but as in "fill"), it just comes out mediocre. The instruments which should be overwhelming, warm and powerfull, just seems weak. Like a color that has faded.

Unfortunately my $150 usd Klipsch ProMedia THX system (sattelites speakers and sub for pc connection) sounds better. It is ridiculous. Am I doing something wrong here? I have connected everything properly and even measured the speaker positioning with a measuring tape.

Could it be that the receiever and speakers are such a bad match? Both are supposed to be warm and laid back, not bright. Or might it be that I am simply lacking a sub, and that the main speakers should in fact produce mostly vocals? I wanne hear those amazing instruments coming out warm and filling. It is amazing how the T65 has 3 elements below the tweeter and still the latter seems to be making 90% of the sound.

The jumpers are in place on the speakers.

I am no audio expert, but this just doesnt sound very good. Anyone have any ideas? Is it the speakers, or the amp, or the combo?

Thank you very much for reading my post.


Best regards,

M

Did you hear PSBs before you bought them? Speakers are responsible for 80% (other 20% are mostly room acoustic) of sound quality. You may decide to return them and buy something else, that better match to your taste.

Another option will be to get receiver with advanced sound correction (like Audyssey), or add stand-alone audio processor (Behringer DEQ2496) and fine tune your system with it.
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post #3 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 07:17 AM
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Room setup and room acoustics are the most likely culprits.

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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #4 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 07:31 AM
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On the back of your outlaw rcvr is a bass mgmt switch for use
when you connect a powered sub woofer. If you aren't using a
sub make sure that the switch is at the "BP" setting.
This will send a full range signal to your speakers.

Also double check your connections from the rcvr to the speakers.
Make sure that + to + and - to - are correct.
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post #5 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. I have hardwood floors etc., but I also have the Klipsch ProMedia THX ($150) system in the same room, and it almost sounds better. The sound is more engaging and "large".

I will double check the switch in the back when i get back home.

When the amp sais left speaker and right speaker, does it mean the left and right when i look at the speakers, or the opposite?

Thanks.


M
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post #6 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 12:38 PM
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If the room is the problem why do his PC speakers sound better? Moving the PSB speakers around to find better sound quality is definitely worth a try, as well as placing some carpets in front of the speakers to tame some brightness, or placing some acoustic treatment on back and side walls (if the wife allows). New speakers can take a while to break in, especially in the lower frequencies. If that doesn't help I would try swapping a different receiver or pre and power amps to see if that helps. If not, the speakers (if broken in) are just not up to your wants. Not many speakers will have impressive bass using 6 1/2" woofers - the exception being the Digital Phase AP-2 (which I own) or AP-4 (which I would like to own). Adding a sub below 80 Hz might help otherwise, if bass is the problem.

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post #7 of 39 Old 05-28-2010, 02:58 PM
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The equipment listed should not present a big issue in sound quality. Although there is the possibility you are also not accustomed to listening to a flatter and more neutral sound.

I would double check connections, reset the equalizer settings, and make sure the speakers are setup correctly as full range so that there is no cutoff on the bass frequencies. Take your time and plumb though the manuals if you can. I suspect the thing is setup for 2.1, not the 2.0 that you're going for.

The lack of a sub is definitely something that catches my attention. Personally, I don't find music anywhere near as engaging or fulfilling without a good sub, even with competent towers.
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post #8 of 39 Old 05-29-2010, 04:29 PM
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You need some low-end, period.
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post #9 of 39 Old 05-29-2010, 07:18 PM
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I agree with this post...in addition if the klipsch was sybilant to begin with the first thing you notice is lack of brilliance resulting in flat and nondescript sound. Give it some time
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post #10 of 39 Old 05-29-2010, 07:25 PM
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Try moving the speakers around and see if it helps.

Right on the AVR is right at the listening position. That is, the AVR's right speaker output should connect to the speaker on your right as you are at your listening position.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #11 of 39 Old 05-30-2010, 07:26 AM
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Rinnan,

What's your room and speaker layout? Please provide a diagram, including windows and whatever's on the walls. If you have a lot of hard surfaces, that'll cause problems due to reflections and echos, especially if flat surfaces are at the speakers' first reflection points. Too many large, soft objects will cause the sound to be dull and lifeless.

As Kal mentioned, placement of speakers matters a lot. The two sets obviously aren't in the same location (two objects can't occupy the same position at the same time ) so that'll make them sound different.

Small diameter speakers can't provide much in the lower frequency ranges. That's why good subwoofers are so large. Speaker manufacturers' low frequency specs usually are, shall we say, optimistic. If you don't have a subwoofer connected, make sure that the bass management is disabled in the receiver.

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post #12 of 39 Old 05-30-2010, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

If the room is the problem why do his PC speakers sound better?

I cannot know for sure without knowing more about the room. However, one trick used in cheap computer speakers that really lack bass is to have a midrange suck-out and rolled-off treble, both of which serve to restore a semblance of balance. Such speakers would also not exacerbate the hard acoustics of his room. Since the the PSBs do not suffer from the suck-out or the roll-off, they are letting him hear those unfortunate acoustics.

Again, just a guess.

BTW, I agree with your suggestions.

Kal Rubinson

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #13 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 04:29 AM
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Outlaw amps are a little on the bright side as are metal dome tweets.However you do have good stuff there.To fill in the bottom with depth/fullnes,a good sub may be all you need.Here is my stuff,lots of bass and rich sound.
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post #14 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rampage123 View Post

Outlaw amps are a little on the bright side

Do you have any real proof of that? I could not get my outlaw amps to show any FR measuements tilted up (That would mean bright).

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post #15 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Do you have any real proof of that? I could not get my outlaw amps to show any FR measuements tilted up (That would mean bright).

I did say "a little bright". I had the outlaw M200's and to my ears and taste were too forward for me.I've found Nad,Proton,AMC to be warmer.
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post #16 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rampage123 View Post

I did say "a little bright". I had the outlaw M200's and to my ears and taste were too forward for me.

They do not at all to me so Im curious. (I have 9 M2200s and the 7075).

I have even ran speaker measurements with all my amps so I have the data to check. Just want to know if you are just being subjective or you have real proof. I can then find out if its an impedance issue. I want to know why it would be bright to you and not to me.

So who should the OP use as a reference in this case?....your tastes and maybe bad listening tests or my measurements?

HINT: I do not think you are helping the OP at all by posting extremely subjective "what you like" opinions

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post #17 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

They do not at all to me so Im curious. (I have 9 M2200s and the 7075).

I have even ran speaker measurements with all my amps so I have the data to check. Just want to know if you are just being subjective or you have real proof. I can then find out if its an impedance issue. I want to know why it would be bright to you and not to me.

So who should the OP use as a reference in this case?....your tastes and maybe bad listening tests or my measurements?

HINT: I do not think you are helping the OP at all by posting extremely subjective "what you like" opinions

The Op says vocals high also no depth or fullness.These are terms that suggest brightness.A good subwoofer would help fill in and add the fullness the outlaw doesn't provide.
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post #18 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 04:46 PM
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I think the OP needs to double check his speaker wiring (and that 80hz switch on the back). If both are correct he/she might as well go back to what they started with and like better. Then perhaps instead of buying over the internet go to an actual store where they can pick stuff they like, and have staff willing to help with support and setup questions.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #19 of 39 Old 06-01-2010, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I did not realize so many posts had been made in the thread when i posted the new thread, and I would like to thank everyone very much for their input.

I still have not been able to figure out the reason for the unsatisfying sound, and the speaker cables looks right to me dk (unfortunately, as i whish something like that was the issue).

I think i might try what i posted in the new thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1253796), with the separate DAC and such, to see if the source is indeed the issue.

I will take some pics of my setup and the room and post it, as requested.

Again, thanks a lot for all your insight.


M
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post #20 of 39 Old 06-02-2010, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinnan@online.no View Post

the speaker cables looks right to me dk (unfortunately, as i whish something like that was the issue).

Looks right does not mean they are right. You would not be the first person to receive cables that were improperly terminated (i.e. red instead of black).
Either try switching them on one speaker to see if you can hear a difference, or, confirm that the cables are actually wired correctly.

I cannot recommend any alternative. There is no reason what you have now should sound worse than what you had before - unless it is not properly set up, or, you just prefer your old setup because that is what you are used to hearing.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #21 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Speakers are responsible for 80% (other 20% are mostly room acoustic) of sound quality.

I'd disagree. At most I'd say it's 50/50, if not weighed more heavily on the room side. I mean, a really expensive pair of speakers is going to sound bad in a bad room, but a cheaper pair will sound a lot better in a good room.

Frank

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post #22 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rampage123 View Post

The Op says vocals high also no depth or fullness.These are terms that suggest brightness.A good subwoofer would help fill in and add the fullness the outlaw doesn't provide.

He needs to run any other amp to only find out that he still has issues.

I would bet you any $$$ you want that it isnt the Outlaw amps. There isnt a measurement out there that agrees with your subjective conclusion. Produce the measurement and then you will start to convince us.

I know my outlaws run my speakers with GREAT BASS. They drive my 12" woofers to insane levels so Outlaw handles bass well enough. THe OP does not even have remotely close to the speakers I have so its not the outlaw amp.

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post #23 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

He needs to run any other amp to only find out that he still has issues.

I would bet you any $$$ you want that it isnt the Outlaw amps. There isnt a measurement out there that agrees with your subjective conclusion. Produce the measurement and then you will start to convince us.

I know my outlaws run my speakers with GREAT BASS. They drive my 12" woofers to insane levels so Outlaw handles bass well enough. THe OP does not even have remotely close to the speakers I have so its not the outlaw amp.

Hey Penn, what is the sensitivity and impedance of one of the most demanding speakers you own and have driven with the Outlaws? I had some issues with clipping on mine, but my speakers are pretty horrible in terms of overall effeciency.
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post #24 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

If the room is the problem why do his PC speakers sound better?

They're acoustically small which gives them more uniform off-axis response thus greatly improving the listener's chances of hearing something like the nominally flat on-axis sound once they're placed in a room.

Conventional 6.5"+ midranges with a 2.5KHz+ cross-over point are getting acoustically large while the tweeter is still acoustically small so that's not the case. The original poster's speakers also employ a 500Hz cross-over to the woofers with the distance to the midrange creating additional polar response problems.

I deep-linked to polar measurements of the original poster's polar response here and provided Linkwitz's Pluto measurements of what natural sounding speakers' should look like.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post18727166

Natural sound and listener preferences come from the direct and reflected sound spectrums, from the former being flat and the later to reflect a smooth directivity increase with frequency.

I've seen suggestions that the guys at Harman have an actual formula to predict it which isn't published to my knowledge; although Toole and Olive have published on the subject

Sean Olive's blog post on Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences:

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2008/1...udspeaker.html
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post #25 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Results from my tests at the dealer can be seen at post number 48 here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1253796&page=2


I really appreciate all the insightful posts, I have learned a lot. I will keep listening and researching to expand my knowledge base.


Best regards,

Magnus
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post #26 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

Hey Penn, what is the sensitivity and impedance of one of the most demanding speakers you own and have driven with the Outlaws? I had some issues with clipping on mine, but my speakers are pretty horrible in terms of overall effeciency.

My setup is active so the amp just drives the woofers and the TD12Ms have around 94dB sensitivity ratings.

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post #27 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post

I'd disagree. At most I'd say it's 50/50, if not weighed more heavily on the room side. I mean, a really expensive pair of speakers is going to sound bad in a bad room, but a cheaper pair will sound a lot better in a good room.

Frank

Cheap and expensive are not relevant. $200 worth of drivers with flat on-axis response and monotonically increasing directivity will eclipse $2000+ without although they may have less low frequency extension and SPL capability from fewer/smaller low frequency drivers. Cost differences can come from advertising budgets, distribution chain markups, cabinet design and finish, or other non-performance enhancing things that just help the product sell.

Our current understanding of timbre perception is that at higher frequencies the brain identifies the direct sound, things that it thinks are reflections, and combines the spectrums together.

Where you have uniform off-axis behavior, the reflections are more likely to be close in spectrum to the direct sound and suppressing or diffusing them isn't that important. Disregarding the modal region, such speakers will well in most rooms you'd want to live in especially when you stay away from asymmetrical placements. The room doesn't matter that much. Add increased directivity to the equation and you gain tolerance for nearby objects and less uniform reflecting surfaces so the room matters even less.

Where you don't, the room becomes increasingly critical. For instance large planar speaker room and placement sensitivity has a lot to do with avoiding bad combinations of reflections from their multi-lobed high frequency response.

Conventional speakers can't do much about bass in the modal region; although catch/throw planar wave arrays, multiple sub-woofers (Welti/Toole/Geddes; commercially available in products such as the Audiokinesis swarm), and dipole bass (open baffle speakers like the Linkwitz Orion, Audio Artistry series, and Carver Amazing; the new Martin-Logan system which transitions from dipole to monopole at low frequencies) can do a lot to make the room and placement less relevant.
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post #28 of 39 Old 06-04-2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

My setup is active so the amp just drives the woofers and the TD12Ms have around 94dB sensitivity ratings.

Ah, worlds apart. The spec'd rating on mine are 90db/4ohms but are more like 87/3.7 so they certainly aren't the last word when trying to listen at more exciting levels for HT without compression. I do listen to more 2 channel now though (I am fully aware of your opinion on such an such an outdated format )
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post #29 of 39 Old 10-31-2012, 12:01 PM
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hello everyone, regarding the outlaw receiver, I had a very similar experience originally but something changed after a few days of having the outlaw receiver. I remember the process very well. I would play the Harman Kardon avr and it was a beautiful sound. Then I would play the outlaw and it was bright. It was difficult to understand all the praise.

What happened over the next few days was very interesting. While I don't have any scientific proof of this, I think my hearing and perception of sound changed so that my mind was willing to take in all the information that the outlaw was presenting. Once my brain was willing to accept all of the sound that had been missing or damped by the Harman Kardon, I realized how stunning and magical be outlaw receiver is. The metaphor that I drew was that listening to the Harman Kardon was like driving at night with only a single point in the road in front of you. The Harman Kardon has a mesmerizing centerpoint. However the outlaw receiver is like driving through Manhattan at lunchtime with taxis and buildings and bicycles and sounds and lights all around you. To the uninitiated this could be very daunting as it was for me.

Now here I am, two years later and I still have the outlaw. I have been putting my toes into the pond of more expensive amplification. Currently I am playing with a Bryston B60R, Behringer EP4000 and an Exposure 2010S2. All of these amplifiers have distinct musical signatures. I won't go into the details of each because it does not really pertaining to the topic of this thread but suffice to say I appreciate them all for their individual characteristics. Having lived with the outlaw for two years I cannot say that any of the other amplifiers are superior. The Bryston offers more definition to the instruments. The Exposure has a certain sort of nebulous glow. The Behringer has a dark quiet and powerful beauty - yes I say beauty of this not so beautiful amplifier. But at the end of the day, I reach for the outlaw immediately.

The outlaw does so many things right. I am a person who listens to FM radio via a powered FM antenna. The outlaw does radio well. I have a tunable AM antenna. The outlaw does that. I have a turntable. The outlaw has a fantastic phono stage. I send USB audio from my computer to play FLAC. Oh my God the sound is incredible. I stream Internet radio off of a SONOS through a dac into the Outlaw. Clean amazing sound.

I've spent the last six months looking down my nose at the outlaw because I was bitten by the expensive amplification bug. I started shopping fancy names, cnc milled face plates, imported handmade electronics. My hunt brought me to the Bryston and the Exposure. I can honestly say I love them both but I cannot fair mindedly say they sound better than the outlaw. I paid a lot for them but I truly feel that I have reached the cusp where the diminishing law of returns takes hold.

So yes, I am a fan. But I can say that they are a fantastic company. The only other multitasking products out there that I can find that would compete with this amplifier are the Harman Kardon 990 but that lacks a tuner and people have been ho-hum about its top end. Another option would be the Arcam AVR600 which has been lauded for its two channel ability but I have heard reports of a buzzing in the photo section, glitchy software, shutdowns. And it costs $3000 - $4000.

so if you have come on this journey with me all the way to the end of this post, thanks for following my comments. If my RR2150 ever breaks, I will buy another one in a heartbeat. thanks.
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post #30 of 39 Old 11-01-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

If the room is the problem why do his PC speakers sound better?

(1) Because when he listens to them, he sits a lot closer to them and that helps shut out the ugly noises from the room?

(2) Because he has lower expectations (as he should).

(3) Because better speakers have wider response range and thus engage more nasty things that the room does?

....

Umm add a few bucks to my paypal account (arnyk@comcast.net) and I'll give you proper a top ten list! ;-)
Quote:
Moving the PSB speakers around to find better sound quality is definitely worth a try, as well as placing some carpets in front of the speakers to tame some brightness, or placing some acoustic treatment on back and side walls (if the wife allows).

Now you're talking. Of course carpeting is horrible sound treatment because it doesn't work much below 500-1000 Hz. But you did mention proper room treatments, didn't you? Kudos!
Quote:
New speakers can take a while to break in, especially in the lower frequencies.

Speaker break in is not a significant audible effect. However listener break in is. You were doing great with the comments about proper sound absorbers! ;-)
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