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post #31 of 46 Old 02-05-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Regardless, I don't think listening to 2ch music through a AVR is giving 2ch a fair shot.



Will agree......my experience as well.
Have given 2 ch thru AVRs more than one chance......Yamaha, Denon, Sunfire, B&K.
They just dont produce the depth, width or imaging that I get out of the 2ch setup I have now. Thats with the same source and speakers.
You dont have to spend the $ to get it....my current integrated amps new cost was less than the Yamaha and a lot less than the others.
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post #32 of 46 Old 02-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Good luck. Do what you deem best, but I would suggest you are getting conflicting advice in this thread. One school is suggesting you buy new electronics. The other is suggesting possibly measuring room response and experimenting with speaker placement and possibly adding a subwoofer. It's up to you to investigate and decide what is best for you.

Duds...I don't think anyone has suggested that the "two" approaches are mutually exclusive. By all means, Will2007...and the others...are right; experimenting with treatments, placement, etc...if you haven't already...is certainly worthwhile, and free! But I did get the impression...based on your OP...you were asking more about your gear.

I agree with some of the others, but never got around to asking (what, with all the important infighting); if you have no need for multi-channel, I'm not sure an AVR produces the best results with 2-channel either. No one is suggesting a mega-buck alternative. Some of these same guys who say "do nothing", seem to rave about the relatively inexpensive Harman Kardon HK3490; at ~$450, I'd bet my next paycheck it could give your SR-7000 a run for its money.

OTOH, you might find you like a certain $1k Integrated amp...if your budget allows...even better; that would be your call. As far as a sub...not to stick my head in the lion's mouth again...but I don't see where it would be necessary.

I find them particularly hard to integrate into most 2-channel systems (without a lot of futzing); and your VR-1s should have decent bass response, unless you listen to a lot of Orchestral or Organ music (which, clearly, you don't). Then again, a sub certainly doesn't hurt anything...so again, your call.

Sorry this thread didn't prove to be much help. Hopefully you were able to sit back, and amid the chuckles, glean some useful information. Good luck.

CD

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post #33 of 46 Old 02-05-2012, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

OTOH, you might find you like a certain $1k Integrated amp...if your budget allows...even better; that would be your call. As far as a sub...not to stick my head in the lion's mouth again...but I don't see where it would be necessary.

He might be listening to bass heavy music. Or he might be using his setup to watch DVDs every now and then. Without knowing his listening habits, you can't "know" whether or not it would be "necessary." And if either of those two are primary listening habits of his, he'll get more bang for his buck out of a sub. A new integrated amp cannot add the frequencies that a sub can.

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post #34 of 46 Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Sorry this thread didn't prove to be much help.

I don't know what you are talking about. This thread did prove to be a lot of help. There are some exceptions but the rest are very useful posts.
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post #35 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

How do you know he hasn't already voiced his system to the room?

I don't. How do you know he did? I raised it as a possible option. I think I even used the word possibly.

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He may have already gone through all of that.

Or not. Why are you making a fuss about this?

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Regardless, I don't think listening to 2ch music through a AVR is giving 2ch a fair shot.

I think that you are painting the hundreds if not thousands of different AVRs that have been on the market with an excessively wide, black brush.

Do you think that all amplifiers sound different but all AVRs sound the same?

Do you think that every AVR has some magic "Don't let 2 channel sound good" juice painted on critical components during assembly?

Can you show a sound, believable technical reason why an AVR can't do right by 2 channels?


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There are plenty of pre-amp and amp options available in the secondhand market, so it needn't be about spending lots of money. It's just covering the basic foundations.

I have some 2 channel preamps and amps on hand that I got second hand. Good stuff, Conrad Johnson, APT-Holman, Dyna, Sony, etc.

After I sorted out the trash and cleaned up the stuff that needed cleaning up, which included some bench time and soldering iron work, it all works pretty good.

Of course I'm a sentimental old fool and I know darn well that I could have run down to the corner and probably got a good AVR for a few $100 that sounded just as good.

Not everybody is an EE with 40+ years of experience with audio. For most people buying new stuff makes a certain amount of sense.

If you suggest just putting used equipment into service without checking it out, well you are either more optimistic or less discerning than I am! ;-)
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post #36 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, i didnt know i was going to start war! lol. Seriously though, i thank everyone for their opinions and advice.

HEre are some thoughts after reading through the replies.

I must first state that I am not an audio expert, so if i say something stupid or ask something dumb, dont slam me over it, lol.

Regarding adding a sub. I'm not a big bass guy, so i dont know if that would suit me. However, i've never listened to a 2 channel system with a sub so i dont know. Plus, some of the recommended subs are priced more than I paid for the Von Schweikerts, so does that make sense to spend more on a sub than the two mains in my system?

Also, I am not a big movie guy, so adding a sub to help with dvd viewing isnt necessary.

To sum up what I am looking for, it's more depth and soundstage. I'm pretty confident that's not lacking due to my speakers, but I could be wrong. So maybe I will play around with the speaker placement a little more to test that theory. Based on what i have read, some think an amp can add more depth and soundstage, some think changing the amp wont make a difference.

Like CD stated though, it's going to be up to me to test new gear out and decide for myself. i can ask for suggestions and opinions on which route to go, then i need to decide for myself.
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post #37 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duds72 View Post

Regarding adding a sub. I'm not a big bass guy, so i dont know if that would suit me. However, i've never listened to a 2 channel system with a sub so i dont know. Plus, some of the recommended subs are priced more than I paid for the Von Schweikerts, so does that make sense to spend more on a sub than the two mains in my system?

One of the things adding a sub does in a 2-channel, music-only system is that it takes much of the burden of generating the power to send low frequency bass sounds (including those in a lot of music, not just movie low frequency effects) off your receiver/integrated amp/amp and puts it on the amp in the subwoofer, which is designed specifically to be able to generate those power-hungry frequencies (and if you check the specs of most decent subwoofer amps, you'll see typically much higher wattages than you do in consumer audio amps, which reflects the power-hungry nature of generating low bass notes).

Why is that important? It frees up more headroom in your amp for the midrange and highs. It's a sometimes subtle effect for music only, but it's real and noticeable at mid-to-high volumes unless you have a mega wattage amp to begin with or you listen only at very soft volumes. This should be reflected in more clarity and definition, particularly in the highs and mid-range, as you won't be driving your amp into clipping as easily.

Quote:


To sum up what I am looking for, it's more depth and soundstage. I'm pretty confident that's not lacking due to my speakers, but I could be wrong. So maybe I will play around with the speaker placement a little more to test that theory. Based on what i have read, some think an amp can add more depth and soundstage, some think changing the amp wont make a difference.

You were doing great until the last sentence. Better speaker placement within your room, and specifically with respect to toe-in and distance from rear and side boundaries (and your listening position), will likely have the greatest effect on perceived depth and soundstage than anything else you can do to your system. Changing amps won't do much, if anything at all, in that regard.

In case you missed it the first time, I'll re-post a terrific little piece by Chesky regarding the specific audible effects you'll get from changing speaker placement and orientation, and how each change affects things like soundstage, imaging, and tonal balance. It's pretty eye-opening.

http://www.chesky.com/core/body_libr...cfm?newsid=141

These are changes you can hear right away and they're all free. Be patient while experimenting, however, as it may take you some time to find the sweet spot with respect to placement, and as with anything else, you'll have to compromise on some things in order to optimize others (you might sacrifice some soundstage width for clarity and definition in center stage imaging, for instance). As a process, it's iterative.
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post #38 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

One of the things adding a sub does in a 2-channel, music-only system is that it takes much of the burden of generating the power to send low frequency bass sounds (including those in a lot of music, not just movie low frequency effects) off your receiver/integrated amp/amp and puts it on the amp in the subwoofer, which is designed specifically to be able to generate those power-hungry frequencies (and if you check the specs of most decent subwoofer amps, you'll see typically much higher wattages than you do in consumer audio amps, which reflects the power-hungry nature of generating low bass notes).

Why is that important? It frees up more headroom in your amp for the midrange and highs. It's a sometimes subtle effect for music only, but it's real and noticeable at mid-to-high volumes unless you have a mega wattage amp to begin with or you listen only at very soft volumes. This should be reflected in more clarity and definition, particularly in the highs and mid-range, as you won't be driving your amp into clipping as easily.

Pretty great point actually. And FWIW...I suggested Duds get himself a roll of painter's tape.

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post #39 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Duds72 View Post

Wow, i didnt know i was going to start war! lol. Seriously though, i thank everyone for their opinions and advice.

HEre are some thoughts after reading through the replies.

I must first state that I am not an audio expert, so if i say something stupid or ask something dumb, dont slam me over it, lol.

Regarding adding a sub. I'm not a big bass guy, so i dont know if that would suit me. However, i've never listened to a 2 channel system with a sub so i dont know. Plus, some of the recommended subs are priced more than I paid for the Von Schweikerts, so does that make sense to spend more on a sub than the two mains in my system?

Also, I am not a big movie guy, so adding a sub to help with dvd viewing isnt necessary.

To sum up what I am looking for, it's more depth and soundstage. I'm pretty confident that's not lacking due to my speakers, but I could be wrong. So maybe I will play around with the speaker placement a little more to test that theory. Based on what i have read, some think an amp can add more depth and soundstage, some think changing the amp wont make a difference.

Like CD stated though, it's going to be up to me to test new gear out and decide for myself. i can ask for suggestions and opinions on which route to go, then i need to decide for myself.

Sounds like the sub is not the best option for you then. If you want better depth and soundstage, placement is definitely the first place to try. Then if that doesn't work, new floorstanding speakers might be in order, if you have room for them.

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post #40 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

One of the things adding a sub does in a 2-channel, music-only system is that it takes much of the burden of generating the power to send low frequency bass sounds off your receiver/integrated amp/amp and puts it on the amp in the subwoofer, which is designed specifically to be able to generate those power-hungry frequencies (and if you check the specs of most decent subwoofer amps, you'll see typically much higher wattages than you do in consumer audio amps, which reflects the power-hungry nature of generating low bass notes).

Nope.

Bass notes are actually likely to use less power because


1) They represent a relatively small portion of the musical spectrum. The IEC test signal approximating a musical signal is pink noise with a second order band-pass having corners at 40Hz and 5KHz. Only 1/7th of your power is below the 80 Hz high-pass filter of most sub-woofers.

Rod Elliot's measurements show little energy down there even in stereotypically bass-heavy music. Comparing peaks with an unspecified slope 40Hz low-pass filter applied to full-range peaks he found

Quote:


Music Type Relative Level at <40Hz
Rock music - 13dB
Maria Carey Song - 15dB
Rap Music - 14dB
R&B song - 12dB
Rave track - 12dB
Second Rave Track - 21dB
Vinyl Bass Track - 11dB
Rave track with bass sweep - 9 dB
Average - 11.875 dB (12dB)

2) They may be be somewhere around the bass enclosure's resonances (one for the driver, one for a port or passive radiator). The woofers in my bedroom hit their 40 Ohm peak impedance around 70Hz so at a given SPL a 70Hz note is using 1/5th the power of a higher frequency note below the enclosure baffle step with impedance close to an 8 nominal measurement.

Sub-woofer amplifiers are more powerful because

1) They're not subject to the same FTC rating rules as consumer mono and stereo sound equipment which require "preconditioning" for an hour at 1/3 rated output power where more heat is dissipated in the amplifier output devices than at full rated output power (this is the same reason consumer power amplifiers usually don't have a 4 Ohm rating that doubles their 8 Ohm rating).

2) Most people want their speakers to be a happy domestically friendly size but still have low bass and physics dictate speaker efficiency inversely proportional to size. .5 cubic foot spouse-friendly sub-woofer efficiency limits are about 8dB lower (you need 6X the power for the same SPL) than when you have the same low-frequency cut-off in a 3 cubic foot box.

3) The LFE channel in motion picture sound tracks has 10dB more headroom than the rest of the sound track and with equal efficiency needs 10X the power for a given average SPL.

Sub-woofers are a fine idea for 2-channel use with traditional 2-way speakers because

1) Driver excursion is quadrupling at a given SPL with each octave lower they play and you can't get acceptable distortion free output with a reasonable midrange polar response from such speakers. Either you make the mid-bass big and have narrowing dispersion crossing over to a tweeter at 2-3KHz or have a small mid-bass with a better directivity match to the tweeter that runs out of excursion. You can work around this with very beefy expensive tweeters that tolerate lower cross-overs or wave guides that match the tweeter's polar response to a larger mid-woofer's but those approaches aren't common.

2) The best placement for high frequencies which among other things can't stimulate discrete modes is not the same as for low frequencies.
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post #41 of 46 Old 02-06-2012, 05:32 PM
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Yikes; head hurts...too much science.

J/K; great post DE...very informative (assuming you're right )

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post #42 of 46 Old 02-07-2012, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Can you show a sound, believable technical reason why an AVR can't do right by 2 channels?

This is similar to a Perreaux pre-amp that I have... http://www.gzhifi.com/xinyi/images/2...3243939427.JPG (note, it is only a pre - not an integrated)

And this is under the cover of a typical Yamaha AVR like I also own... http://0.tqn.com/d/hometheater/1/0/a...rontinside.jpg

Obviously the AVR needs to accommodate more components like AM/FM tuner, video upscaling, digital processing circuitry, front panel screen display, and of course other channels. That must come at a cost to optimal 2ch design and implementation. i.e reduced channel separation and a sacrifice of capacitors for lack of available space.

The specifications for my Perreaux pre-amp have much lower distortion figures than my Yamaha 1065 and also higher maximum output voltages on the pre-outs. Clean high output voltage peaks on the pre-outs must be beneficial for the leading edges of notes that quite often demand a sudden peak compared to the rest of the note. This may be the reason alone that makes my 2ch pre-amp sound more dynamic and the AVR flat in comparison in 2ch playback.

Now I'm not just some kind of 2ch snob that turns my nose up at AVRs in general. It's more about the music and I couldn't care less about the gear that achieves the results I am after. A wide 3D soundstage with good separation and localisation of each instrument and vocal has always been important to me. As such I actually use my AVR for 2ch music, but played back in 5.1 with the AVR's processing. The AVR has many advantages like sub integration with phase and crossover and balance and distant settings as one example.

I have found through lots of trial and error and experimentation that the soundstage with the AVR's 2ch playback was somewhat flat... through a 2ch pre-amp was a lot better and was something I could have lived with... and with the AVR's 5.1 it was a bit better again, so I now use that.

So if it was strictly to be a 2ch system only, then I would be using a 2ch pre and power or integrated only and no AVR in the room.
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post #43 of 46 Old 02-09-2012, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Duds72 View Post


Regarding adding a sub. I'm not a big bass guy, so i dont know if that would suit me. However, i've never listened to a 2 channel system with a sub so i dont know. Plus, some of the recommended subs are priced more than I paid for the Von Schweikerts, so does that make sense to spend more on a sub than the two mains in my system?

I'm not a big bass guy either, but I have owned some pretty substantial subwoofers since the late 1970s. I'm of the opinion that if you really notice the bass, something might be wrong. Bass extension can be an almost-subtle effect that does not necessarily draw attention to itself. Things just sound better and more natural.

The one thing I can tell you is that the difference that a good subwoofer makes is very dramatic and obvious compared to the usual benefits of upgrades to amplifiers, DACs, music players and the like.
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post #44 of 46 Old 02-09-2012, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

This is similar to a Perreaux pre-amp that I have... http://www.gzhifi.com/xinyi/images/2...3243939427.JPG (note, it is only a pre - not an integrated)

Link seems to be broken.

Quote:


And this is under the cover of a typical Yamaha AVR like I also own... http://0.tqn.com/d/hometheater/1/0/a...rontinside.jpg

That link works.

Quote:


Obviously the AVR needs to accommodate more components like AM/FM tuner, video upscaling, digital processing circuitry, front panel screen display, and of course other channels. That must come at a cost to optimal 2ch design and implementation. i.e reduced channel separation and a sacrifice of capacitors for lack of available space.

Seems like a very weak argument. Heavy on intuition and very light on facts or evidence. You seem to have a very low opinion of modern technology. I'm an EE with over 40 years of experience with audio and I know of no reason why what you say has to be true.

Quote:


The specifications for my Perreaux pre-amp have much lower distortion figures than my Yamaha 1065 and also higher maximum output voltages on the pre-outs. Clean high output voltage peaks on the pre-outs must be beneficial for the leading edges of notes that quite often demand a sudden peak compared to the rest of the note.

Again, the use of that word "must". Fact is that just about every audio power amp in the universe can be driven to full power and even into clipping with only about 2 volts or less of audio. Apply more, and the amp clips.

I have SS preamps that easily put out more like 8-10 volts and tubed preamps that put out 30 or 40. That extra output voltage serves no practical purpose at all because every power amp I have clips with less than 2 volts at the input.

A preamp that puts out 8 or 20 volts when hooked to a power amp is like a car with a big engine and narrow tires. If you gun the engine you get a lot of wheels spinning and smoke, but if anything you would do better to modulate the throttle and improve the traction of the tires.

Quote:


This may be the reason alone that makes my 2ch pre-amp sound more dynamic and the AVR flat in comparison in 2ch playback.

I don't doubt that you perceive those differences, but in many cases they are due to listener bias. It is intuitively clear to you that the extra output voltage should make things sound better, but that may only due to your lack of a good technical education and actual hands-on experience with technical tools. If you understood how these things worked and actually measured voltages and looked at waveforms, the things I say would become abundantly clear.

Quote:


Now I'm not just some kind of 2ch snob that turns my nose up at AVRs in general.

So you say, but the lack of an actual viable technical argument and relevant facts and figures tells a different story.

Quote:


It's more about the music and I couldn't care less about the gear that achieves the results I am after. A wide 3D soundstage with good separation and localisation of each instrument and vocal has always been important to me.

That does not make your goals as a listener any different than mine. For me, knowing about the gear is only a means to the exact same end that you are searching for.

Quote:


As such I actually use my AVR for 2ch music, but played back in 5.1 with the AVR's processing. The AVR has many advantages like sub integration with phase and crossover and balance and distant settings as one example.

I have audio systems with AVRs and I also have audio systems that are very much 2-channel only. I have to admit that I don't use my multichannel system's facilities to synthesize multichannel out of 2 channel material.

Quote:


I have found through lots of trial and error and experimentation that the soundstage with the AVR's 2ch playback was somewhat flat... through a 2ch pre-amp was a lot better and was something I could have lived with... and with the AVR's 5.1 it was a bit better again, so I now use that.

In my multichannel systems I accomplish that by setting them for straight 2-channel operation.

Quote:


So if it was strictly to be a 2ch system only, then I would be using a 2ch pre and power or integrated only and no AVR in the room.

I do that too. I also have at least one system with a two channel receiver as its centerpiece. I have found through long experience that a good receiver can sound just as good as separate components, which I also have plenty of.
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post #45 of 46 Old 02-09-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Seems like a very weak argument. Heavy on intuition and very light on facts or evidence. You seem to have a very low opinion of modern technology. I'm an EE with over 40 years of experience with audio and I know of no reason why what you say has to be true.

I have no doubt that some AVRs have better amplifier/preamp/processing sections than others, but that generalization that an AVR can't be any good doesn't make sense to me either. I was using an old HK AVR 35 for my PC setup, but the digital processing side burned out. Would only run in direct stereo mode. Figured it was time for an upgrade to a new unit since it was about 10 years old.

So I spent some time comparing the HK AVR 35, HK AVR 1600 and the HK 3390 in 2 channel mode using the analog out from a Asus Xonar D1. The 1600 and 3390 were very similar, so similar I was afraid that any perceived difference was just some kind of bias or from turning them up where the 3390 has an advantage in maximum SPL. And both of them were fairly similar to the older AVR 35. Enough that if the AVR 35 hadn't had part of the receiver burn up, I wouldn't have upgraded. On the other hand, I also compared a Yamaha V367 to the AVR 35 before the other HKs and didn't like it all. I also liked the HK sound from all the units over an old Denon PMA-500v that I had laying around.

For me, the sonic character of a particular amp/preamp/audio processing design seems to be more of a factor in my "likes/dislikes" than whether or not one is a 2 channel device or multi-channel. And I'm not debating that a better integrated amp won't sound better (I've owned NAD integrated and power amps before). But if someone has an AVR that they really like the sonic character of, spending a ton more a new integrated amp may yield very little audio improvement for the money.

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post #46 of 46 Old 02-14-2012, 07:02 PM
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If the Marantz has pre outs he could use a separate power amp.
No one mentioned cables.
kiwi2000 is offline  
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