Integrated AMP w/ AVR bypass and DAC (add to my list?) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-12-2012, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick context: I picked up an Onkyo TX-NR818 a few weeks back and I'm reasonably happy with it for cinema (HDMI switching sucks but the XT32 is remarkable) but musically it left me totally wanting even though I was still putting it through my old McIntosh 7100 power amp. Missing that sweeter sound my old receiver (Nak) gave me. I decided to start looking at Integrated Amps (with AVR bypass) for the front two and dropping the Mac. All my music FLAC (or through the internet) so I'd ideally like a built in DAC. I'm going to buy a complete kit so the current speakers are not really relevant but future path is.

Below is what I'm planning to audition this coming weekend. The Naim Uniti is probably more than I want to spend so let's take that as my high end :-) but I want my next purchase to make me as happy as my McIntosh has for the past 20 years!
I would love your suggestions on units that I've not listed. I think NAD has some units that might be of interest (390dd and t187?) but I have to talk to my local dealer.

PeachTree - Hearing really nice things about the Grand and the Nova175. I imagine either would serve well and I'd be willing to spend the extra on the Grand if I hear the diff this weekend. The other dealer I'm seeing this weekend kinda poo-pooed the PeachTree (some comment about paying sportscar prices for a hyndai :-) ) I'll reserve judgement… obviously he's biased. As for me… i'm really excited to take them for a ride!

Music Fidelity m6i - Would need a DAC for this. Not sure this one is right for me but I'll be comparing it directly against the Peachtree and Arcam.

Naim - SuperNAIT and SuperUniti. The later would supplant the need for the Sonos.

Moon 340i - 10 year warranty? wow :-)

I'm also going to look at an Arcam 400 (with an eye towards keeping the McIntosh) but I don't know if it will stack up against the IA's

Should be a fun couple of days this weekend :-)
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-12-2012, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
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lol after reading some of the threads in this forum in more detail I feel like I just wrapped myself in fish and walked into an alley full of cats. eek.gif

I saw the charts and other comments by the "no significant differences crowd". I recently did a "one variable" change of my old Nak AVR (20 yrs old) with a newer Onkyo and it just sounded very different to me. The fundamental difference here wold be the pre-processor in the two receivers since the audio signal is going out the pre-out to the McIntosh AMP but it still sounds "lessened" to me. I've removed as much of the processing in the AVR as I could but well... there you have it.

Anyway... perhaps most of what you guys were talking about were the final amplification stages but my recent experience calls into question the quality of the path through the AVR. Subjective? Yeah... I'll cop to that. I agree with the point that speaker placement/choice and treatment have a lot do with it but I would have assumed that, across the spectrum, there would be variations in the way the electronics process the signal. I'm no EE (by choice thank you :-) ) so I don't have the training to know for sure but...

Anyway... have fun soapboxing :-) I'll stop by to watch
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-13-2012, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cfineman View Post

lol after reading some of the threads in this forum in more detail I feel like I just wrapped myself in fish and walked into an alley full of cats. eek.gif

I saw the charts and other comments by the "no significant differences crowd".

The above statement shows more than a little catiness itself.
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I recently did a "one variable" change of my old Nak AVR (20 yrs old) with a newer Onkyo and it just sounded very different to me

The above statement shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue.

Unless you just did a comprehensive set of bench tests on the 20 year old NAK AVR, and did your listening tests level-matched, time-synched, and bias controlled your evaluation was about 3,000 miles from being a "one variable test" The actual operational state of a 20 year old receiver can be logically expected to be anything from soup to nuts. The alleged test seems to have failed to control just about every relevant variable.
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The fundamental difference here wold be the pre-processor in the two receivers since the audio signal is going out the pre-out to the McIntosh AMP but it still sounds "lessened" to me. I've removed as much of the processing in the AVR as I could but well... there you have it.

The above statement shows that a complete misunderstanding of the issues that it purports to comment on.

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Anyway... perhaps most of what you guys were talking about were the final amplification stages but my recent experience calls into question the quality of the path through the AVR.

Pehaps we have a severe reading comprehension problem?

What is all that complex about doing comparisons of equipment known to be in original condition? Do you seriously believe that a 20 year old receiver that has not been checked out thoroughly is representative of anything but its sweet self in a totally unknown state?

What is all that complex about matching levels with simple measurements?

What is all that complex about actually listening to the identical same music and not being mislead by the fact that the tonal and detailed nature of music varies from second to second?

What is so complex about normal bias controls?

That's 4 strikes against your post, and it only takes one to put any conclusions it might present in serious doubt!

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Subjective? Yeah... I'll cop to that.

How about grotesquely flawed?
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I agree with the point that speaker placement/choice and treatment have a lot do with it but I would have assumed that, across the spectrum, there would be variations in the way the electronics process the signal.

In your test we see a comparison with two very different kinds of equipment. 20 year old AVRs are in general no way similar to current products. For example, Dolby Digital was introduced in a preliminary form no earlier than 1994 which was 18 years ago, so your 20 year old receiver couldn't have possibly implemented it in a form that would in any way comparable to what we might find in even a 10 year old AVR.
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I'm no EE (by choice thank you :-) ) so I don't have the training to know for sure but...

Perhaps you should have some respect for the consequences of your choices? One choice would be to educate yourself, but your post shows clear evidence of side-stepping that critical step.
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Anyway... have fun soapboxing :-) I'll stop by to watch

It appears that your soapbox is rather full of holes... Perhaps it was a Swiss Cheese box in a former life! ;-)
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-15-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm.... perhaps I brought that upon myself with the second post but this response (personal attacks aside) does not really address the question I intended to ask. At the risk of offending the net police, I'm going to re-state the question in a different thread and hopefully I'll get some friendlier feedback.

Arnyk: obviously I touched a sore point for you and your points are well taken; certainly I glossed over the "controlled nature" of my experiment. FWIW I was enrolled as a EE but switched to Math/CS because that's where my heart lay. Point being I'm not completely ignorant of such things but perhaps ignorant enough to be dangerous. I showed up at this forum in hopes that I would gain from the experience and knowledge of others, not to suffer personal attacks. For my part, I apologize for any personal affronts intended or otherwise.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-15-2012, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cfineman View Post

Hmmm.... perhaps I brought that upon myself with the second post but this response (personal attacks aside) does not really address the question I intended to ask. At the risk of offending the net police, I'm going to re-state the question in a different thread and hopefully I'll get some friendlier feedback.
Arnyk: obviously I touched a sore point for you and your points are well taken; certainly I glossed over the "controlled nature" of my experiment. FWIW I was enrolled as a EE but switched to Math/CS because that's where my heart lay. Point being I'm not completely ignorant of such things but perhaps ignorant enough to be dangerous. I showed up at this forum in hopes that I would gain from the experience and knowledge of others, not to suffer personal attacks. For my part, I apologize for any personal affronts intended or otherwise.

The block list works wonders. Makes this forum subsection somewhat bearable...

There are a few here that regurgitate the same agenda over and over. Really gets old after a while...
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-15-2012, 12:00 PM
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The block list works wonders. Makes this forum subsection somewhat bearable...

There are a few here that regurgitate the same agenda over and over. Really gets old after a while...

I know what you mean. No matter how many times those of us who know better point out the obvious fact that an incompetently set up and operated listening test will always be positive for audible differences, the same people again and again seem to want to brag about their inability to do things right. Its the same agenda, over and over again!
ccotenj and baniels like this.
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