Originally Posted by CDLehner
Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion, and I'm entitled to mine.
True. Everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts. Facts are facts, regardless of your opinion of them or whether they happen to be inconvenient for your present worldview or belief system.
I just find it hard to believe that anyone...with a straight face...can say to the OP "no...your Marantz AVR cannot be bettered, at any price...so don't bother trying".
You should recognize that your assertion here is a straw man argument. I did not assert in this thread or anywhere else what you incorrectly attribute to me. You don't have to be sophomoric in your rhetoric. If you wish to engage in a productive discussion here, then it would be helpful to be mature about it and debate honestly, rather than to erect straw men so that you can knock them over and declare victory.
Just seems unnatural to me.
That's fine, and I certainly won't argue with your preference or taste. It's your opinion of course, not fact. You are stating your preference or lack of it for the Marantz AVR you had (and if I recall correctly from back when you used to discuss it here, you had the same model that I still do -- yes, CD, I actually read what others write, and I believe I remember your discussing it a good bit in a relevant Marantz thread in the Amp forum here at AVS).
The fact is that in well-conducted double blind tests listeners have been unable to distinguish between one modern comparably powered and operating correctly and within its limits (i.e., not clipping or being overdriven)
amp or integrated amp or receiver and another modern amp or integrated amp or receiver under the same conditions. This is another way of saying, "Once you build a minimally competent and capable amp/integrated amp/receiver and power it sufficiently, it will be audibly transparent in your system." Please note that "audibly transparent" means it will output what is input to it, without coloration or distortion, but with amplification sufficient to drive the speakers connected to it.
Please note that the above statement is not equivalent to your strawman argument you made above, or the one often seen at AVS by the subjectivist crowd that some of us at AVS believe that "all amps sound the same." A careful, thoughtful, and informed reader should be able to tell the difference between the two statements.Of course
there are differences among amps/integrated amps/receivers. Most of them, however, are in build quality, aesthetics, features, and specifications beyond the limits of human audible perceptibility. If the amp/int/rec is built to trivially and minimally competent modern electronics standards, however, the differences among them should not be audible, except in cases in which you need to be mindful of output power capabilities and impedance loads. Apart from those considerations, it is a fact that a $300 AVR can sound audibly transparent to human beings in an appropriate system. It is also a fact that a $25,000.00 amp can sound audibly transparent in an appropriate system.
One ironic fact is that it is more likely that the $25,000 amp will audibly color or distort the signal than the $300 AVR will. Much of the high end audio industry is built around that fact. The industry also relies heavily on customers believing in differences in audibility and/or on their preferences for audible coloration and distortion (it sounds better to them with distortion than without). If everyone knew and believed the facts, however, fewer persons would spend big bucks on very expensive amps. Some persons still would, but there are some other psychological reasons for that, not ones grounded in physical facts about human audibility and our ability to distinguish among electronics components or parts within them.
Now...does that mean "more expensive is always better"? Of course not; nor does it mean "anything more expensive than his Marantz AVR is likely to better it". But if no one really thinks he could do better than his SR-7000...then I hope you're all lining-up to buy one for yourself?
Duds, you know how I feel; I wish you system happiness, in whatever form it takes, for you.
My first post to the OP in this thread was suggesting that perhaps his money would be better spent measuring his speaker/room interaction and seeing if he has any glaring problems he can address with affordable room treatments, rather than on new electronics. If his present gear is operating correctly and not malfunctioning, spending more money on newer electronics in an attempt to get "better sound" is likely to be an exercise in futility. He'll be chasing his tail.
Addressing possible deficiencies in his speaker/room frequency response curves and energy time curves is much more likely to yield audible
results. It's more work than simply shopping for and buying new electronics, and it's not as sexy, but it is more likely to result in an audible difference in his present system if it is working already. That's not just my opinion.
I stand by my first suggestion to the OP, with the caveat that if he really feels something is lacking in his system right now and he doesn't want to bother to measure his system's acoustic response, then adding a decent and appropriately sized and powered sub for his room would be his best bet, in my opinion.