NAD C 356 VS Outlaw RR2150 vs marantz PM8004 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-31-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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i have it narrowed down to these from my research, i have heard NAD and i have heard Marantz but not these models.. around here there is not much for audio video stores, the one around here does not appear to carry NAD or Mirantz anymore. at one time they did. so basically i am ordering something without hearing it. i would imagine moving up from a low line denon i will be super happy with any of them..

rock and roll is what i listen to most. but its going to be one of those 3 models..
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-31-2013, 04:22 PM
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I have owned several NAD amplifiers, starting with the iconic classic 3020 in the 1980s. Some were very good, and some not so good.

My most recent were the C325BEE, which was very good, and the C356BEE, which just didn't float my boat. I have since sold them and gone to the Musical Fidelity M3i, but that is $1500, so that may not be in your price range.

The Marantz would be my choice for best of that group; no question about that; but it does cost $1000, last time I checked.

If it were me, I would buy the Harmon-Kardon HK 3490 Stereo Receiver. It is an incredible value; hard to believe.

It costs only $500, and it is excellent. It would be my first choice; even if it is cheaper. I think it is every bit as good-sounding as the Marantz, and half the price, and has more power.

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post #3 of 32 Old 01-31-2013, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Denon DRA 397 now. its a good sounding receiver but i want to upgrade and try out something a little more high end.. 1K is the most i want to spend.

i have owned at HK surround sound receiver a while back. it was a good receiver , that is a good price for the one you mentioned, i see you get some digital inputs too which is nice because when i watch a movie i watch it on my 2 channel stereo and movies with analog dont sound right, the wattage is also good on that receiver too but i really want to get something different but i will read up on it. thanks.
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post #4 of 32 Old 01-31-2013, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I have always had lower line receivers that cost a few hundred bucks. I would imagine going up to a model in the 1k price range or a little less would make me happy for a long time

The next amp i buy i want to be happy with it and not feel the need to replace it till it goes bad. I figure for 1000.00 i should beable to get that. i am looking for the best i can get in that pricerange and hope to be happy with it till it dies.

I have always wanted a marantz but there also seem to be a few other good options. I really want 75 watts a channel or more.

Sent from tapatalk. spelling will probably be worse than usual
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post #5 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

I have always had lower line receivers that cost a few hundred bucks. I would imagine going up to a model in the 1k price range or a little less would make me happy for a long time
I am very unsure about that.

I've spent the last six months or so fussing with my own (low end) AVR, reading user manuals, reading service manuals, and listening to people talk about their experiences.

I remain mystified why people are spending more than $500-600 for AVRs, particularly for 5.1 systems.

The only thing that drives my financial high water mark for AVRs as high as it is, is Audyssey Multieq XT32. If it wasn't for more refined automated room tuning, I don't know why people don't just stop with something that runs under $250.

I find nothing in the feature sets or the stuff inside the box, that justifies spending more.

Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

At the price point I've indicated, you seem to get some very nicely refined hardware and software. After that, what?
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post #6 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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go to a high end audio store and take a CD, have them play you a song on the same set of speakers with a lower line receiver, than have them play the same CD on the same set of speakers with a much better amp and i think you will hear a huge difference. maybe not but i definately can, i have never owned a high end receiver but i have friends with expensive receivers, integrated amps, AV/receivers and they definitely sound awesome.

i personally am going for a 2 channel integrated amplifier. surround sound receivers do not seem to make music sound the way a good 2 channel, a surround sound receiver processes things differently and they just never seem to sound as good for music. now movies on a 2 channel receiver will not always sound good because all you have is analog inputs and movies are made to play in digital, music sounds best in analog and at one time music was recorded in analog but digital recordings are less expansive and allot easier. so you get a DAC (digital to analog converter) and a good one of those can really make your music come to life. a crappy one will help

first off you have wattage. you can have a low line amp that puts out 150 watts per channel or you can have a high end amp that puts out 50 watts a channel, 50 watts from a high end amp sounds allot better than 150 watts on a low end amp.. the quality of the wattage is a huge factor in sound.

when buying a receiver you have things built in like a tuner and some other bells and whistles and your paying for all that stuff so a 200.00 receiver is not going to have the quality that a 200.00 integrated amplifier would have.

when your like me and never happy with the sound your getting out of your low line stereo receivers even with a pretty awesome set of speakers than its time to upgrade to a better amp.

things like this is why people spend so much money on stuff.
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post #7 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dannylightning View Post

go to a high end audio store and take a CD, have them play you a song on the same set of speakers with a lower line receiver, than have them play the same CD on the same set of speakers with a much better amp and i think you will hear a huge difference. maybe not but i definately can, i have never owned a high end receiver but i have friends with expensive receivers, integrated amps, AV/receivers and they definitely sound awesome.

The hidden agenda in the above suggestion is the issue of level matching. If you want to be sure that the amp comparison is on level ground, the outputs of the amp need to be matched within +/- 0.1 dB across the audio band. This takes a source of test signals (a CD or DVD can do this) and a voltmeter that is monitoring the voltage across the loudspeaker terminals. Using a SPL meter is a non-starter because acoustic measurements are inherently unstable for this level of precision.

While I can't predict how each and every person will respond to a comparision that is mismatched, I can tell you that as a listener you will also be highly susceptible to suggestions from many sources including the sales guy, your visual perceptions of the two pieces of equipment being compared, and whatever you have been told or read about the equipment.

Unfortunately there are probably only a few thousand people in the world who have ever had the privilege of participating in a well-run comparison of amplifiers. I seriously doubt that you will ever hear one in a store or at a hifi show because the results of a good comparison can be guaranteed to upset many people's thinking about sound quality differences due to different pieces of electronic equipment. They would essentially throw the usual sales process or a hi fi show on its ear.
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post #8 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 08:26 AM
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The fundamental problem with HT receivers is very simple; they skimp on the power supply.

Most HT receivers (Cambridge excepted) have power supplies that are only 400-500 watts TOTAL. They barely have enough juice to run 2 channels well, and 5 or 7 channels is a joke. power drops off dramatically, and the amplifiers are usually lousy designs too.

A good-quality stereo amplifier will have a power supply 3 or 4 times as large; which provides the low-impedance high-current reserve power that you need to drive speakers well and sound good.

The Harmon-Kardon 3490 is unusual in that it actually HAS a large power transformer and filter caps; very unusual in ANY receiver these days. That's why it sounds as good as it does.

If you want an amplifier with a really serious power supply, however, it will be hard to find for under $1000. My system is an Audio Research preamp and a Bryston power amplifier, and if you don't want to spend the $10K, it just ain't gonna sound this good. I spent years of weekends in a hi-end store owned by a friend listening EXHAUSTIVELY to all kinds of amplifiers, doing level-matched careful comparison tests, and eventually I just had to spend the money to get what unquestionably sounded best to me.

If you will spend $1195, however, you can get a pretty damn good amplifier; the Creek Evolution 2 amplifier may be what you want.

It will deliver 10 amperes peak and is rated 80 watts at 8 ohms and 110 watts into 4 ohms. I think it definitely would sound great and make you a happy camper.

It also has a very unusual feature; a phono stage for both moving-coil and moving-magnet phono cartridges.
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post #9 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
The fundamental problem with HT receivers is very simple; they skimp on the power supply.
Sadly, there are no published objective listening tests which support this bit of audiophile conviction.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #10 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 08:47 AM
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I have done hundreds of objective listening tests, and I know what I know through extensive personal experience.

You can either choose to benefit from my experience, or go learn on your own through the kind of diligent exploration I have done. Or you can do nothing and make know-nothing statements of no significance.

If you are a slave to what is "published", I pity you. Sitting on your butt with your mind closed will never get you the personal experience you need to have an intelligent opinion on this subject. Go; Listen; Learn!
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Sadly, there are no published objective listening tests which support this bit of audiophile conviction.
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post #11 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I have done hundreds of objective listening tests, and I know what I know through extensive personal experience.

You can either choose to benefit from my experience, or go learn on your own through the kind of diligent exploration I have done. Or you can do nothing and make know-nothing statements of no significance.

Please define objective as it applies to the tests you did.

If possible how about a little anecdote about the last time you compared say, two amplifiers?
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post #12 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:10 AM
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Arny, I know as much about doing objective tests under carefully controlled conditions as anyone you can name.

I did acoustical testing and analysis of the cabin interior and ducting of the DC-10 when it was under development, and was one of the senior instrumentation technicians there for years.

I am not about to jump through your hoops to convince you or anyone else what I know about acoustical perception or stringent test protocols.



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Please define objective as it applies to the tests you did.

If possible how about a little anecdote about the last time you compared say, two amplifiers?
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post #13 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The fundamental problem with HT receivers is very simple; they skimp on the power supply.

It is only skimping if there isn't enough power to run the equipment as actually used.
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Most HT receivers (Cambridge excepted) have power supplies that are only 400-500 watts TOTAL. They barely have enough juice to run 2 channels well, and 5 or 7 channels is a joke. power drops off dramatically, and the amplifiers are usually lousy designs too.

You are no doubt talking about bench testing.

Bench testing generally involves pure sine waves and resistive loads. This is per industry standards (DIN, JIS) and sometimes legal due to requirements (The USA Federal Trade Commission - FTC)

Real world usage involves loudspeakers and music, dramatic sounds, and speech.

Music has far less energy in it than a pure tone of the same amplitude.

The difference is no less than 3, and can be 10 or more. IOW music with instantaneous peaks of 100 watts can contain the same average power as a pure sine wave of from 5 to 30 watts.

For example here is a musical selection I picked randomly:



Here are its statistics:



Lots of numbers. The ones to watch are "peak amplitude" (should stay the same +/- 0.5 dB and "average rms power" which is the energy in the signal as compared to direct current with the same amplitude.

Here is a pure sine wave:



Here are its statistics:



Note that I approximated "peak amplitude" within +/- 0.5 dB. Compare "average rms power" here for a sine wave to the same number for my music sample.

Notice that there is an approximate 10 dB or more difference in the average rms power contained in the sine wave as there is in the music. The sine wave has about 10 times as much average power as music with about the same peak amplitude.

Speakers are a load whose impedance varies with frequency and is often higher than its rating which is usually taken at a minimum or near-minimum.

This is especially true of the Q900s whose impedance curve looks like this:



The speaker's actual impedance is 6 ohms or more over almost half of the audio range.

The bottom line is that bench tests are far more stressful to an amplifier than actual real world usage with speakers and music. Thus theories and suppositions about the capabilities of power amp power supplies that are based on bench testing with pure sine waves and resistive loads are hyper-conservative to the point of being nearly irrelevant.
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Arny, I know as much about doing objective tests under carefully controlled conditions as anyone you can name.

I did acoustical testing and analysis of the cabin interior and ducting of the DC-10 when it was under development, and was one of the senior instrumentation technicians there for years.

I am not about to jump through your hoops to convince you or anyone else what I know about acoustical perception or stringent test protocols.
commsysman, objective tests, you mean this?: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1385487/oppo-95-or-sony-xa5400es/120#post_21718356 You've been explained why what you did was a wrong way to do objective listening test. Don't you remember?
Plus, you posted this basic acoustic info wrong: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412685/seeking-advice-regarding-low-power-receiver-and-nht-speaker-match#post_22075870 Why should anyone trust you?
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post #15 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Arny, I know as much about doing objective tests under carefully controlled conditions as anyone you can name.

I would like to see some indication of that other than posturing and unsupported assertions.

For the past several months I've been entertaining and educating people around here by pointing out the numerous obvious technical flaws in your posts. I do it again in post 13, above. Please provide a cogent rebuttal at your earliest convenience. ;-)
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I did acoustical testing and analysis of the cabin interior and ducting of the DC-10 when it was under development, and was one of the senior instrumentation technicians there for years.

Irrelevant.
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I am not about to jump through your hoops to convince you or anyone else what I know about acoustical perception or stringent test protocols.

Fail!
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post #16 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:27 AM
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Arny, when it comes to listening extensively to amplifiers, I am definitely NOT talking about bench testing (although I have done a lot of that too).

I am talking about doing level-matched A/B comparisons using the same familiar musical passage repeatedly played to a listener or small group in an acoustical environment well-isolated from extraneous sound.

You can throw 7 pages of graphs and huffing and puffing at us, and those of us with extensive experience still KNOW that we can easily hear great differences in the realism and tonal purity in musical reproduction. This applies not only to amplifiers, but also CD players and speakers etc. etc.

I damn well know it, and Danny seems emphatic about his listening experiences too.

The thing that amazes me is that you will go on and on endlessly about theory and this and that, and yet you seem incredibly ill-informed on the reality of listening and perception.
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post #17 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:33 AM
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You may be entertaining, Arny, like Bob Hope was, but anyone who thinks your comments are educational has IMO been led far from the land of the truth, and into the wilderness of confusion and nonsense.

As for your opinions of my background and experience, they are irrelevant, immaterial, and uninformed.

But this is a very democratic place; please feel free to continue amusing us.
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post #18 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Arny, when it comes to listening extensively to amplifiers, I am definitely NOT talking about bench testing (although I have done a lot of that too).

I am talking about doing level-matched A/B comparisons using the same familiar musical passage repeatedly played to a listener or small group in an acoustical environment well-isolated from extraneous sound.

You can throw 7 pages of graphs and huffing and puffing at us, and those of us with extensive experience still KNOW that we can easily hear great differences in the realism and tonal purity in musical reproduction. This applies not only to amplifiers, but also CD players and speakers etc. etc.

I damn well know it, and Danny seems emphatic about his listening experiences too.

The thing that amazes me is that you will go on and on endlessly about theory and this and that, and yet you seem incredibly ill-informed on the reality of listening and perception.

Four words: Double Blind Listening Test.

I am referenced within it as a contributor to this JAES paper, which is considered to be a landmark in the audio field. The author was later made an AES Fellow.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=3839

High-Resolution Subjective Testing Using a Double-Blind Comparator

Also:

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx.htm

"May 7, 1977 SMWTMS did the first ever audio double blind subjective listening tests. An argument over the audibility of differences between amplifiers at a club meeting in November 1976 resulted in an agreement that a double blind test could settle the question. Just six months later, Arny Krueger gave a lecture on his design of a double blind comparator and the first three double blind tests were done. The results include the first three listed in the Power Amplifier Comparison Table in the data. Thus we credit Arny Krueger and his opponent in the argument, Bern Muller, as the inventors of the ABX Comparator. The agreement to create a company to manufacture comparators was informally made the following summer"

I recently posted a picture of an ABX Comparator that I helped build in a picture from the fairly recent Meyers and Moran JAES paper about high resolution audio on AVS.

So my friend, what is it that you want to educate me about subjective testing of audio gear? ;-)
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post #19 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Arny, I know as much about doing objective tests under carefully controlled conditions as anyone you can name.

I did acoustical testing and analysis of the cabin interior and ducting of the DC-10 when it was under development, and was one of the senior instrumentation technicians there for years.

I am not about to jump through your hoops to convince you or anyone else what I know about acoustical perception or stringent test protocols.
commsysman, objective tests, you mean this?: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1385487/oppo-95-or-sony-xa5400es/120#post_21718356 You've been explained why what you did was a wrong way to do objective listening test. Don't you remember?

Yup, in that thread we find a claim that level matching with a SPL meter is some kind of a SOTA procedure.

Fail!

Quote:
Plus, you posted this basic acoustic info wrong: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412685/seeking-advice-regarding-low-power-receiver-and-nht-speaker-match#post_22075870 Why should anyone trust you?

In this thread we see someone who does not know the difference between twice as much power and twice as loud.

Fail!

Is it too early to say that our correspondent has completely sloughed post #13? ;-)
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post #20 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 09:55 AM
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Without a doubt, Arny, if someone asks me who is the absolute expert on being Doubly Blind in the audio field, I will refer them to you.

And if you think the invention of a simple switch box 40 years ago was the highlight of your career, who am I to quibble?

I am sure that the audio field has never been the same since that day.
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As I predicted what commsysman was going to do: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449729/nuforce-dda-100#post_22797432
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post #22 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

As I predicted what commsysman was going to do: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449729/nuforce-dda-100#post_22797432

I have to admit that I await his elevation to the same degree of responsiveness of our other hit-and-run artist, Mr SloughM himself!

Since he has sloughed the mention of his slough of post 13, does that make him slough-squared? ;-)
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post #23 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You may be entertaining, Arny, like Bob Hope was, but anyone who thinks your comments are educational has IMO been led far from the land of the truth, and into the wilderness of confusion and nonsense.

As for your opinions of my background and experience, they are irrelevant, immaterial, and uninformed.

But this is a very democratic place; please feel free to continue amusing us.

BTW isn't the DC10 you helped develop the plane that put McDonald Douglas out of business? ;-)
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post #24 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 01:10 PM
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Once again (over and over...), you are totally uninformed on the facts. McDonnell-Douglas never "went out of business". As a matter of fact, the company's facilities in Long Beach are still operating, as a division of Boeing. They build the Air Force C-17 and various sections of several current Boeing planes. The USAF has taken delivery of all of the C-17 aircraft they had on order, but they are still building more planes for NATO and several foreign countries at the Douglas plant at this time. The USAF wants more C-17s, but they are not currently in the budget.

Boeing bought out Rockwell Aerospace and McDonnell-Douglas in the 1990s; after DC-10 production ended
( production was from 1969 through 1989). Almost all of the 450 DC-10s and Air Force KC-10 tankers are still flying in regular service; mostly as air cargo carriers. FedEx has a huge fleet of them.

But don't get discouraged; you may get something right some day if you keep trying.
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BTW isn't the DC10 you helped develop the plane that put McDonald Douglas out of business? ;-)
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post #25 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 01:24 PM
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Once again (over and over...), you are totally uninformed on the facts. McDonnell-Douglas never "went out of business".

cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas

In fact McDonnell Douglas merged with its rival, Boeing, in 1997. People who are knowledgeable about Mergers and Acquisitions know that 'merged" is tax-advantaged finance-speak for the weaker entity (MD) being bought out by the stronger (Boeing). They used to be head to head competitors, but most of us know what happened between then and the "merger".
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post #26 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 01:32 PM
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The significant fact is that the airline business was depressed at that point, and the success of Airbus meant that the C-17 and a few MD-80 orders were all MD had left to produce, so Boeing essentially bought them out . I guess it could be called a merger, but that would be a stretch....lol. Boeing was always a much bigger company in terms of commercial aircraft sales from the 1970s on.

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post #27 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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well this thread has gone off in a different direction that i expected but that is ok

i bought a amp today, the cambridge 651A, i did not realize that these were as high quality as they are. some how i stumbled on a video of whats inside the camebridge amp i bought and the local HiFi shop does carry cambridge and Denon, they did have marantz as well they just started dealing marantz stuff again.

so i listened to all of the integrated amps on a 15k dollar pair of speakers, and a 7k dollar pair of speakers. so i was not quite sure what to think about the amps, i asked and they said i had 15 days to return my amp for a full refund so i decided to take the 651A home and i am quite impressed as of so far, i have my External creative sound card ( which is a excellent DAC and EQ for the money) hooked in to the media players RCA Inputs on the back of the Receiver, and the DAC is working great, when i plug it into any of the other RCA imputs the sound is totally different and not full and natural. you also have a USB and a head phone imput to plug your computer/MP3 player into that will also use the DAC built in to the amp. I have not even listened to a actual CD Yet, right now i am streaming music from spootify or what ever you call it and it actually sounds pretty darn good for once.

my Definitive BP8B speakers seem to match up quite well with this amp, i have my polk PSW sub hooked to the sub out port on the back and set to 80HZ and it sounds awesome with or without the sub

as far as the sound the highs are clear and crisp, the Low midrange is very warm and it also stands out which is what i like, The high Mid range is kind of lacking a little bit but i can live with that, the bass is tight, clean and kind of laid back but yet quite deep and pronounced, this is the way i think a receiver should minus the slight lack in the high end midrange, that might be a issue for some people but i am quite happy with this amp, i think this thing is almost exactly what i was hoping for.

the thing is excellent IMO , there is a lack of bells and whistles but i expect that from a integrated receiver. the one thing i wish it had but it does not is a volume control for the sub. my denon has that and it was very nice but not needed, its quite easy to get up and walk over to the sub and twist the volume knob on there if i need to..

so that is what i have to say, i am really glad i finally decided to break down and start looking for a new amp..
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post #28 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The fundamental problem with HT receivers is very simple; they skimp on the power supply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Sadly, there are no published objective listening tests which support this bit of audiophile conviction.


Here's one:
http://www.iavscanada.com/Articles/art_receiver_shootout.htm
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post #29 of 32 Old 02-01-2013, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rntlee View Post


Here's one:
http://www.iavscanada.com/Articles/art_receiver_shootout.htm
Am I missing the point where power supplies are discussed?

It's an interesting result, certainly worthy of a little more exploration. But 8 trials aren't enough to be sure. Wish he'd followed up with a direct ABX test between the Pioneer and the Yamaha.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #30 of 32 Old 02-04-2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

commsysman, objective tests, you mean this?: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1385487/oppo-95-or-sony-xa5400es/120#post_21718356 You've been explained why what you did was a wrong way to do objective listening test. Don't you remember?


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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Plus, you posted this basic acoustic info wrong: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1412685/seeking-advice-regarding-low-power-receiver-and-nht-speaker-match#post_22075870 Why should anyone trust you?




Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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