Is High-End Audio Obsolete? - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MannyE View Post

BUT....as to the question of is high end audio obsolete? I don't think so. While I will agree that the system you have in your article probably sounds fantastic and is just as involving as any multi-mega-thousand dollar system, it's the same as a beater Camaro that's been souped up with great suspension, tires and running gear. It will perform just as well as a $240,000 Ferrari and involve the driver just as much as the Italian supercar, but at the end of the day, who is going to get the hand job from the hot blonde? (Seriously...why else would anyone buy a Ferrari? Relax..I know why else...I like cars too... but come on...everyone wants the hand job from the hot blonde)

Last time I checked the hot blondes really didn't go for high priced audio gear, and I have seen more women get into beat up old volvo's since most Ferrari owners think their car can make everyone not notice that they are complete *******s.
In fact I think the hot blondes would find that supe'd up camaro much more interesting than a boring stock pony car, that costs 5k$ to have the oil changed, at least the blondes I would be interested in would.
wink.gif

As for the topic, I believe that the last 15 years we have seen developments in micro electronics that have pushed the price so low for gear that we can now get the sound fidelity we once had to go 'hifi' for, for much much less than before.

Naturaly old brands would like to keep things going as they are used too but new brands and the internet are ripping away at old myths.

Sure High fidelity isn't going anywhere, in fact I think it's going everywhere but it also needs a rebranding, from meaning ridiculously expensive to focus more on the sound it is capable of producing than bling and the hole it left in your bank account. In fact I would people to rather ask the question of what room treatments you have done rather than ask how much your system costs.
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post #452 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 05:06 AM
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In response to the OP and those who agree, talk to these guys about it

AudioShark.org

and many other places where HE still prevails for those who can appreciate it and afford it.

Don't tell me that if someone gave you a megabuck system for free or next to nothing, that you would not enjoy and appreciate what it can do different than that little $20 Lepai. If anyone honestly thinks that sounds better than even a simple Stratos amp, let alone a Pass Labs or VAC, well maybe audio is not the right hobby.

Happy Easter!
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post #453 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

In response to the OP and those who agree, talk to these guys about it

AudioShark.org

and many other places where HE still prevails for those who can appreciate it and afford it.

Don't tell me that if someone gave you a megabuck system for free or next to nothing, that you would not enjoy and appreciate what it can do different than that little $20 Lepai. If anyone honestly thinks that sounds better than even a simple Stratos amp, let alone a Pass Labs or VAC, well maybe audio is not the right hobby.

Happy Easter!

 

I don't listen to the Lepai in my main system, that's powered by Crown and Pioneer Elite. The key factors with amps are linearity, distortion levels, and power output; not which one "sounds better." I never claimed that any amp sounds better than any other amp, because I know better. All amps essentially sound the same if they are properly designed and operating within parameters. 

 

If someone gave me a megabuck system, I can tell you exactly what I would do with it. Within one hour, you'd find that system on eBay and you'd find me shopping for new Pro gear (in terms of amps and speakers) at Parts Express and Amazon. I don't mind mixing in some so-called "mid-fi" gear for playback and processing, either.


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post #454 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 05:23 AM
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1. I am not an expert in audio.
2. My equipment:
jbl started as the synthesis 3 package about $30k) but I replaced the front speakers with electrovoice two way horns, which were much cheaper but TO ME, sound much better. (Proves that I am not biased with price.)
3. I replaced synthesis multi channel amp with bryston mono blocks and noticed significant improvement. Today, I would buy QSC. At that time, 17~ years ago, I had my friend set up a true blind study with identical everything, with a wired remote relay system, he challenged me to identify bryston vs crown and I did hear the difference but it was minimal. Today, that difference might not exist with good crown or qsc amps. The pro audio amps are very very cost effective and when paired with a high end audio processor, the sound TO ME, sounds much superior to a say, $3000 integrated receiver - assuming you have large cone "full range" speakers.
4. I started 20 years ago with a onkyo receiver + Bose speakers. Realized jbl synthesis 3 was far superior with a Fossgate analog processor. Then came digital. Lexicon dc1 was an improvement for digital source. Dc2 was bad. Mc1 $5000) processor was very good. Then came Dts ma etc. So, I sold my mc1 for $500 and bought onkyo processor that very many at avs raved about. It was supposed to be like amazing, beating all the "high end" processors. But in my personal opinion, it was bad! I regretted selling my mc1 for $500. The superiority of the mc1 was very obvious to me. So I went back to Lexicon and bought a MC12 (list $12000) "cheap". It was cheap because its not DTS HD MA. I really don't care about DTS HD because 95% of my viewing is dish.
In my second room, I have a 5 year old low end Sony receiver with 27 year old sansui speakers, both of which sound very good.
I did theaters for two of my friends 5 to 7 years ago. Chose anthem processor (as good as lexicon for half the price) and qsc amps. I auditioned several brands and decided on Legacy harmony speakers. There are many Other good speakers brands. I love the b&w 801 (I think is model number).

Bottom line: I do believe that a high end processor ($5000+) with crown/qsc amps is superior to a typical denon/onkyo receiver set up.

Even with speakers, I do appreciate the high end speakers (under $3000 Ea). I don't have a particular brand loyalty and I have not owned $15000 speakers but I do recall the expensive B&W (forgot model number.. 801 or 901 or something like that) - they sounded TO ME, far superior to my own speakers. I didn't buy them because they wouldn't have fit in my theatre configuration.
BTW, I use a 12 guage stranded speaker cable (cheap at automobile stereo store ) in parallel with a solid core home electric cable for speaker wire. Lol.
I do use an oppo blu ray player and I would never buy a $2000 player. I'm not sure if even the oppo is that much superior to a $100 Sony player but I have not compared them. Accurate comparison is very time consuming and it doesn't interest me. While some one, who is talented could possibly build a much more cost effective speaker, I don't believe that high end audio is dead or will die. I still don't understand why an onkyo or denon doesn't sound as good as a meridian/lexicon/anthem. I expected them to have narrowed the gap significantly but they have not (and I am comparing them to my 10 year old lexicon mc1 and subsequently the mc12)

And I do agree with the prior post about the importance of room treatment. The walls of my room have very good , acoustic panels but I should have done more.
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post #455 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 05:37 AM
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No comments on this set up?
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I find my Sennheiser HD 800 headphones, $1500, a great buy. Worth every dime.
Paired with a decent headphone amp/dac, you have audiophile sound on a budget.
IT sounds great even with a Behringer dac,,( $25), and a Superlux HA 3D amp,( $100.)

Get a couple of Sound Liaison Studio Master 96/24 files,( $15) or Reference Recordings Studio Masters (HD tracks ($30) and you are good to go and experience true audiophile sound,
comparable to systems in the $25.000 and up range. Spend a little more on the amp/dac, i.e. RME Baby face, $750 and you will be listening to the best sound money can buy.

HD 800 review; http://www.cnet.com/products/sennheiser-hd800/

Superlux HA3 review; http://headfonics.com/2011/11/superlux-ha-3d-headphone-amplifier-3-into-1-does-indeed-go/

RME Babyface review; http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr11/articles/rme-babyface.htm

Sound Liaison review; http://www.soundstagexperience.com/index.php/music-movies-a-shows-menu/by-category/download-music/444-carmen-gomes-inc-thousand-shades-of-blue

Reference Recordings review; http://www.referencerecordings.com/RR-130_DETAIL.asp
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post #456 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

In response to the OP and those who agree, talk to these guys about it

AudioShark.org

and many other places where HE still prevails for those who can appreciate it and afford it.

Don't tell me that if someone gave you a megabuck system for free or next to nothing, that you would not enjoy and appreciate what it can do different than that little $20 Lepai. If anyone honestly thinks that sounds better than even a simple Stratos amp, let alone a Pass Labs or VAC, well maybe audio is not the right hobby.

Happy Easter!
I am quoting you, hyfi, because I want to re emphasize your comments, which were very well put. While I do agree that Some got ripped off in the days of theta selling a rebadged pioneer player for $5000, and that the $100 bd player is probably superior to that $5000 theta.. I can't believe that the system shown in the picture used as a part of the suggestion of the demise high end audio. Seriously? Lol. Btw, I might agree that those behringer speakers might well be excellent (never heard them) and might be a much better value than some of the high end audio..

Yes, I agree with your comment that "audio might not be the right hobby" for some of those?
Off topic, video has improved more. today's $3000 dlp projector is superior to my electro home 9" CRT (list $35000 in 1995). I bought the first JVC DLA for $18000 in 1998 and today, even a $600 projector is better than that! I paid $4000 for a faroudja processor and today, a $100 bd player has s better chip. I use a Sony qualia 004, which listed for $30000 in 2007 but I bought it used, for a fraction of the cost. Video has been moving very fast but I think they perfected audio amps, 20+ years ago. That's why I have no plans to replace my bryston 5bst mono blocks and if I do, I would buy 10+ year old used high end xlr audio amps or new qsc amps
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post #457 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am quoting you, hyfi, because I want to re emphasize your comments, which were very well put. While I do agree that Some got ripped off in the days of theta selling a rebadged pioneer player for $5000, and that the $100 bd player is probably superior to that $5000 theta.. I can't believe that that those speakers on cement blocks are used as a part of the suggestion of high end audio. Yes, I agree with your comment that "audio might not be the right hobby" for some of those? Like.

 

 

Have a look at my thread on the B215XLs and see what others think: Behringer Eurolive B215XL 15" 2-Way as L/R Mains

 

Those Behringers are quite effective at making my point about the state of price/performance in high-end versus pro audio circles—that high-end audio offers no performance advantage to go along with the higher price.

 

Writing about audio is more than my hobby, it's a part of my job. Otherwise I would not have the experience of listening to so many different stereo systems over the course of each year.

 

I'm always glad to test my claims because I take great pride in providing accurate information. This year, I will take my Behringers on the road and compare them to other members' speaker systems.


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post #458 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post


Have a look at my thread on the B215XLs and see what others think: Behringer Eurolive B215XL 15" 2-Way as L/R Mains

Those Behringers are quite effective at making my point about the state of price/performance in high-end versus pro audio circles.

Writing about audio is more than my hobby, it's a part of my job. Otherwise I would not have the experience of listening to so many different stereo systems over the course of each year.
I would agree with you that the pro speakers are excellent. As I wrote, I figured it out 17+ years ago, when the electro voice pro two way speakers were far superior to the jbl synthesis speakers. I would agree with you that the Behringer speakers might well be superior to many high end audio speakers. But I would disagree that the denon/onkyo/Sony receivers are comparable to the high end processors. But I do agree with you that the pro amps are a much much better VALUE than high end consumer amps. While I have not experienced the very high end amps like mark Levinson $10000 amps, I would buy 4 qsc amps for $1600, rather than a $5000 7 channel condumer audio amp.
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post #459 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I would agree with you that the pro speakers are excellent. As I wrote, I figured it out 17+ years ago, when the electro voice pro two way speakers were far superior to the jbl synthesis speakers. I would agree with you that the Behringer speakers might well be superior to many high end audio speakers. But I would disagree that the denon/onkyo/Sony receivers are comparable to the high end processors. But I do agree with you that the pro amps are a much much better VALUE than high end consumer amps. While I have not experienced the very high end amps like mark Levinson $10000 amps, I would buy 4 qsc amps for $1600, rather than a $5000 7 channel condumer audio amp.

 

I'm not anti high-performance gear. If a pricey processor offers something beneficial the mainstream manufacturers do not, then it could potentially be worth the money.

 

I'm always willing to spend money on computation, and the high-end processors usually have high-end room correction and bass management capabilities that can make a difference in some situations. I happen to put my money into my HTPC and software. In fact, I am preparing to see what a MiniDSP NanoAVR can do for me when it comes to sophisticated DSP processing—specifically, bass EQ. 

 

It seems we are in general agreement about amps, speakers, and CD/DVD/Blu-ray players.


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post #460 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post

Don't tell me that if someone gave you a megabuck system for free or next to nothing, that you would not enjoy and appreciate what it can do different than that little $20 Lepai.
Why are you making those the only two choices? Of COURSE I'd take the megabuck system if it was offered. I'd sell it right away and do better things with the money (The Grande Utopias alone would pay off my mortgage!).
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post #461 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I'm not anti high-performance gear. If a pricey processor offers something beneficial the mainstream manufacturers do not, then it could potentially be worth the money.

I'm always willing to spend money on computation, and the high-end processors usually have high-end room correction and bass management capabilities that can make a difference in some situations. I happen to put my money into my HTPC and software. In fact, I am preparing to see what a MiniDSP NanoAVR can do for me when it comes to sophisticated DSP processing—specifically, bass EQ. 

It seems we are in general agreement about amps, speakers, and CD/DVD/Blu-ray players but not processors.
Yes, we are in general agreement about amps, speakers and cd/dvd/blu ray players.. but within a certain budget.. I would not say "Is High-End Audio Obsolete?", though! Mainly because the consumer audio receivers, that many people seem to praise so much, are not (yet) comparable to the anthem/lexicon/meridian audio processors, even if those processors were coupled with QSC amps.. The consumer audio receivers, seems to have reached the $4500 price point but without reaching the fidelity of a processor coupled with crown/qsc amps..

Regarding speakers.. We each have our preferences. I would say that your speaker preferences, based on the Behringer picture, would probably be similar to mine - because I also prefer a large woofer, coupled with a horn - since my listening is only in my home theatre. but again.. I would not say "Is High-End Audio Obsolete?".

If HD audio is not paramount for you, you should consider buying a used lexicon MC1. It would be very cheap. I would submit that it would be far superior to the system you have, or probably the system you intend to build.. As i wrote earlier, even Lexicon screwed up with their DC2 processor (came with DTS), as opposed to their DC1 processor (DD but no DTS).. proving that it is not that simple to build a high fidelity processor, even for an experienced company like Lexicon. As soon as I replaced my DC1 with DC2, I regretted it! As soon as I replaced my Mc1 with Onkyo processor, again, I realized it - within first few minutes! That's why I am making this friendly suggestion - consider buying an MC1 (only if HD master audio is not critical for you).. There might well be other older but high end processors which are as good or better but I am suggesting the mc1, only because of my experience with Lexicon, Onkyo and Anthem over the past 18+ years. Btw, the Anthem processors also are very good.. you can try one, used..
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post #462 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, we are in general agreement about amps, speakers and cd/dvd/blu ray players.. but within a certain budget.. I would not say "Is High-End Audio Obsolete?", though! Mainly because the consumer audio receivers, that many people seem to praise so much, are not (yet) comparable to the anthem/lexicon/meridian audio processors, even if those processors were coupled with QSC amps.. The consumer audio receivers, seems to have reached the $4500 price point but without reaching the fidelity of a processor coupled with crown/qsc amps..

Regarding speakers.. We each have our preferences. I would say that your speaker preferences, based on the Behringer picture, would probably be similar to mine - because I also prefer a large woofer, coupled with a horn - since my listening is only in my home theatre. but again.. I would not say "Is High-End Audio Obsolete?".

 

Where's the proof of that, and why do you think it would be the case? The prevailing theory is that AVRs enjoy such a large advantage when it comes to economy of scale.

 

Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer (Elite), Denon, Onkyo (Integra), and Marantz all make flagship receivers that may even be ahead of the higher-priced, more specialized units, in terms of processing power and capability. Usually, you get more bang-for-the-buck if you buy a top-of-the-line AVR from the big guys and use the preamp outs with Pro amps (if the extra power is needed).


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post #463 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:22 AM
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Where's the proof of that, and why do you think it would be the case? I have not heard anything to support what you are saying here. The prevailing theory is that AVRs enjoy such a large advantage when it comes to economy of scale, pre/pros can't compete. 

Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, Denon, Onkyo and Marantz all make flagship receivers that may even be ahead of the higher-priced, more specialized units, in terms of processing power and capability. Usually, you get more bang-for-the-buck buying a top-of-the-line AVR from the big guys and then using the preamp outs.
1. I am not an expert on this subject. Therefore, please consider this only as a personal opinion, which might well not have much value.
2. One experience was, as I wrote, with onkyo DTS MA processor that many here raved about. It was inferior to mc1.

3. Another was with a newer $3000 to $4009 avr,- i forgot model name and number. The pro amps, like qsc, combined with a high end processor like an anthem was far more superior (I designed two such for my friends) - but was probably $6000 to $7000 vs $4500 for high end AVR. So, its not a fair comparison. But I would spend max $500 on an AVR, if I couldn't afford the $6000 separates. Here I might submit with your own theory that the perceived audio superiority between $500 AVR and $4500 AVR might not be justifiable.

There are two separate issues which concern me about avrs. Their processors have every electronic gadgetry you can imagine but I find them to be inferior to the anthem/lexicons etc. for MY PERCEPTION of audio fidelity.. again, it might just be me! lol.

There might be some inherrent advantages that qsc/crown separates have, in terms of transformer size, weight, capacitor sizes, foot print etc.. that avrs, as big as they have gotten, have to compromise on. I don't know that for a fact. Just guessing. What I do know is that I have yet to hear a receiver I would buy, to replace my aging lexicon mc12 + bryston amps. They are not even close!
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post #464 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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1. I am not an expert on this subject. Therefore, please consider this only as a personal opinion, which might well not have much value.
2. One experience was, as I wrote, with onkyo DTS MA processor that many here raved about. It was inferior to mc1.

3. Another was with a newer $3000 to $4009 avr,- i forgot model name and number. The pro amps, like qsc, combined with a high end processor like an anthem was far more superior (I designed two such for my friends)

 

My take, after spending countless hours reading debates in the forums and many more hours listening to various systems, is that it's very, very difficult to compare AVRs or pre/pros to one another—much more difficult than comparing amps or speakers or transports.

 

Comparing processors is tough because of all the variables involved. If you buy a pre/pro, presumably you are going to process your sound in some way—otherwise what's the point? OK, then what do you compare? Various Dolby modes? DTS? Do you use THX mode settings? Are you comparing room correction systems? Unless all channels are precisely level-matched and the switch between the two systems is instantaneous, any conclusions from a comparison of two processors or an AVR and a processor is bound to be anecdotal and subjective.


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post #465 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I'm not anti high-performance gear. If a pricey processor offers something beneficial the mainstream manufacturers do not, then it could potentially be worth the money.

I'm always willing to spend money on computation, and the high-end processors usually have high-end room correction and bass management capabilities that can make a difference in some situations. I happen to put my money into my HTPC and software. In fact, I am preparing to see what a MiniDSP NanoAVR can do for me when it comes to sophisticated DSP processing—specifically, bass EQ. 

It seems we are in general agreement about amps, speakers, and CD/DVD/Blu-ray players.

I agree with you about the amps and Blu-ray players, but the most important piece of the puzzle is speakers. I have doubts that a $399 pair of speakers will perform as well as my PBN's....so I don't think High End is obsolete as far as speakers go. But since you have been in the hobby for a long time, and have more experience than myself, I respect your observations. Talk to ya soon!
B
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post #466 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree with you about the amps and Blu-ray players, but the most important piece of the puzzle is speakers. I have doubts that a $250 pair of speakers will perform as well as my PBN's....so I don't think High End is obsolete as far as speakers go. But since you have been in the hobby for a long time, and have more experience than myself, I respect your observations. Talk to ya soon!
B

 

I agree with you 1000% about the chances that a pair of $250 speakers would be able to compete with the sort of speakers PBN builds—that company's speakers strike me as pricey but well-engineered. On the other hand, if challenged by a Pro audio or commercial cinema speaker with comparable specs, I'm curious what the price point would be for equivalent performance.

 

I also think PBN's designs are a good template for a DIY project. After all, in its Master Reference speakers, the company states that it uses a combination of 10-inch Peerless drivers and "auditorium grade" subwoofers. No flim-flam there, you can buy the same stuff online. The woodwork in PNBs designs is impressive.


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post #467 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 07:51 AM
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1. Yes, you are correct. It is very difficult to compare AVRs.
2. Each of us have our own preferences. Some like Magnepan/ribbon type sound. You and I like Large woofer with a tweeter. I like these speakers because, at my age, I cant hear beyond 12 khz and horns provide the best option for me.
3. I have compared some of the aforementioned AVRs in my own sytem, with all else being equal.. same speaker and amp setup. Both with and without audio equalization. Initial version of Audessey in Onkyo was terrible. So, I chose to use the Onkyo, for that week, without equalization. After as week, I got rid of it and went back to Lexicon. Some say, equalization is much better now, in AVRs. Usually, I compared the processors with Dolby Digital and DTS (not with dts ma because my lexicon was not dts ma capable and 95% of my listening is DD). And yes, I use a 20 year old radio shack spl meter to level match my system.
4. Since it is so difficult to compare audio equipment, I tend to stay with and away from brands I have long term experience with. I say away from Onkyo/Denon. I stay with Anthem and Lexicon. I would like to consider a Meridian, because my friend, whose wisdom I respect, has owned various versions of it for 20 years. There might be other brands, which are as good or better but I won't buy because I don't want to spend the time auditioning them. At this point in my life, I don't want to spend too much time, evaluating systems.. I would rather use that time to enhance my enjoyment.
5. Even without dts ma, I am extremely appreciative of my lexicon mc12 + Brystons and will stay with them - because the new lexicon mc14 is about $10,000+.
6. It might be time to change my electro voice speakers. A friend, whose opinion I respect, said that these speakers would sound better (he was the one who suggested that the Electrovoice would be better than my jbl synthesys speakers, 17 years ago).
http://www.ispproaudio.com/portfolio/hdds-sm2110/
I have not heard these speakers yet.. and when I am ready to change, I will audition them. They have built in amps.. So, I am not sure what I would do with my Brystons.. I like the idea of built in amps.

While there are some fellow members here, who are very well informed and knowledgeable - they are few. I got taken in the past with "popular opinion" on AVS.. so, I tend to stay with the advice of only a few people on this forum and elsewhere.. those whom I have followed or known for 10+ years.. I give no value to the most of the rest (except for informative purpose) - because these are such subjective matters and I see people getting over excited about their "newest toy" being the latest and greatest..
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post #468 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:14 AM
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Where's the proof of that, and why do you think it would be the case? The prevailing theory is that AVRs enjoy such a large advantage when it comes to economy of scale.

Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer (Elite), Denon, Onkyo (Integra), and Marantz all make flagship receivers that may even be ahead of the higher-priced, more specialized units, in terms of processing power and capability. Usually, you get more bang-for-the-buck if you buy a top-of-the-line AVR from the big guys and use the preamp outs with Pro amps (if the extra power is needed).

I have done several back to back double blind subjectives compassion's of the best SSP.
To level the playing field-and is necessary for x-over and level matching of the Wisdom speaker- we used a Wisdom s Audyssey processor between the SSP and amps.
No room correction was initially used, all were configured and calibrated with the same parameters.
Tested were: Integra DHC 80.3, Marantz AV8801, Classe SSP-CT and a Datasat RS20i.

All performed exceptional well.

However the performance difference of the Datasat was startling.
I heard things in very familiar soundtrack that I had never heard before.
One example of this was down right creepy. The scene from the Matrix where Neo visits the Oracle. I heard a what sounded like a radio playing early jazz way outside the room.
I thought someone had turned one of audio zones. Upon investigating and finding nothing on I want back into the theater and hit pause. The music went away. Its was really surreal.

Every participant rated this highest in all categories.
The level of envelopment was just amazing as the speakers disappeared.
Dialogue intelligibility was a revelation.
It was so much more dynamic that our 500 watt amp driving the sub ran out of headroom.
Replacing with a Lab.Gruppen FP 10000 we had on hand quickly solved this issue:)
With 5,000 watts on tap the difference in performance was even greater.
After Dirac there was no reason to listen to anything else any further.
At around 1 a.m. we put on Pacific Rim and watch the whole movie

I fully realize the Datasat is a essentially pro gear but its still a high-end consumer focused product.
Can't wait to hear the LS10

In order or preference:
1. Datasat RS20i
2. Classe SSP-CT
3. Integra DHC-80.3
4. Marantz AV8801
Note: the Integra and Marantz were very close.
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post #469 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:25 AM
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Where's the proof of that, and why do you think it would be the case? The prevailing theory is that AVRs enjoy such a large advantage when it comes to economy of scale.

Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer (Elite), Denon, Onkyo (Integra), and Marantz all make flagship receivers that may even be ahead of the higher-priced, more specialized units, in terms of processing power and capability. Usually, you get more bang-for-the-buck if you buy a top-of-the-line AVR from the big guys and use the preamp outs with Pro amps (if the extra power is needed).

My friend bought the top of the line Onkyo, touted as the greatest value in home theater, etc. etc., a couple of years ago. He replaced it with a ten year old Rotel preamp/amp, and the Rotel trounced the Onkyo into the dirt. The Onkyo's only use for him right now is as a video switching station, as his OPPO does all the necessary digital processing for movie sources.

I had a couple of higher end Denon integrateds that were "okay" for movie listening, But when it came to serious two channel or even multichannel music, it was a piece of crap compared to the Arcam I replaced it with, and that was no match for my Ayre equipment. You get what you pay for. The Denon, like all jap-crap integrated boxes, made music sound like it was coming out of a tin can--and it had a higher wattage rating per channel than the Arcam. All amps do NOT sound the same, and there is a lot more to consider than just RMS wattage per channel.

Omar
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My friend bought the top of the line Onkyo, touted as the greatest value in home theater, etc. etc., a couple of years ago. He replaced it with a ten year old Rotel preamp/amp, and the Rotel trounced the Onkyo into the dirt. The Onkyo's only use for him right now is as a video switching station, as his OPPO does all the necessary digital processing for movie sources.

I had a couple of higher end Denon integrateds that were "okay" for movie listening, But when it came to serious two channel or even multichannel music, it was a piece of crap compared to the Arcam I replaced it with, and that was no match for my Ayre equipment. You get what you pay for. The Denon, like all jap-crap integrated boxes, made music sound like it was coming out of a tin can--and it had a higher wattage rating per channel than the Arcam. All amps do NOT sound the same, and there is a lot more to consider than just RMS wattage per channel.

Omar

 

I'm obligated to call you out on that one. Denon (and other Japanese) AVRs do not color music in the manner you describe i.e. "made music sound like it was coming out of a tin can" 

All amps do not sound the same, but solid-state amps operating within spec that cover the audible spectrum with low THD do sound remarkably similar to one another when operating within spec, regardless of price. They all sound transparent. Tube amps are a whole different category.

 

I do agree that high-end speaker makers have a fondness for difficult-to-drive designs that trip up AVRs that are only rated to power 6 or 8 Ohm speakers. There's no need to play such games, but they do. However, almost any Pro audio amp can easily handle those loads, and you can still use a Japanese AVR as a pre/pro.


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post #471 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:42 AM
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Can't wait to hear the LS10.
No Dirac in the LS-10, 10 band parametric EQ per channel only.
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post #472 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:43 AM
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All amps do NOT sound the same, and there is a lot more to consider than just RMS wattage per channel.
The question that quickly comes to mind is whether you've compared amps under double blind, level matched conditions. The supposedly large sound differences between amps don't manifest themselves when they're compared that way when the amps are operated within spec.
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post #473 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by OmarF View Post

My friend bought the top of the line Onkyo, touted as the greatest value in home theater, etc. etc., a couple of years ago. He replaced it with a ten year old Rotel preamp/amp, and the Rotel trounced the Onkyo into the dirt. The Onkyo's only use for him right now is as a video switching station, as his OPPO does all the necessary digital processing for movie sources.

I had a couple of higher end Denon integrateds that were "okay" for movie listening, But when it came to serious two channel or even multichannel music, it was a piece of crap compared to the Arcam I replaced it with, and that was no match for my Ayre equipment. You get what you pay for. The Denon, like all jap-crap integrated boxes, made music sound like it was coming out of a tin can--and it had a higher wattage rating per channel than the Arcam. All amps do NOT sound the same, and there is a lot more to consider than just RMS wattage per channel.

Omar
Omar, I agree with you - COMPLETELY! How ever, some experienced people with high end equipment - such as trans_lux above, are speaking highly of the integra 80.3 and based on his setup, he is not to be taken lightly - he is comparing them to the datasat (which is beyond my means). At least one other person, who has owned a lexicon mc12 has said that he liked the integra 80.3 (or some such model).. I am confused.. I don't want to give up my older mc12 for an integra 80.3 - relatively speaking, the integra is not too expensive..
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post #474 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:48 AM
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trans_lux,
Your evaluation system was impressive and I appreciate your writing..
I wish I could afford to buy the datasat.. which I can't.
Were you "happy" with the integra? Is the integra processor in the audio quality league of the Lexicon mc12/meridian 865/Anthem? Typically, the integra/maranz/denon don't seem to sound, TO ME, comparable to the Lexicon/Anthem based setup.
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post #475 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I'm obligated to call you out on that one. Denon (and other Japanese) AVRs do not color music in the manner you describe i.e. "made music sound like it was coming out of a tin can" 


All amps do not sound the same, but solid-state amps operating within spec that cover the audible spectrum with low THD do sound remarkably similar to one another when operating within spec, regardless of price. They all sound transparent.
Respectfully imagic, I disagree with you and agree with Omar. AVR amps are not comparable to the pro amps.. I don't know all the technical reasons but "head room" is one, which comes to mind.. There might be several other factors..
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post #476 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:53 AM
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No. The high-end is not obsolete, simply a hobby that should be treated as such. It is not for everyone smile.gif
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post #477 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Respectfully imagic, I disagree with you and agree with Omar. AVR amps are not comparable to the pro amps.. I don't know all the technical reasons but "head room" is one, which comes to mind.. There might be several other factors..

 

Sure, but in the third paragraph of that post you quoted, I already offered my rebuttal:

 

"I do agree that high-end speaker makers have a fondness for difficult-to-drive designs that trip up AVRs that are only rated to power 6 or 8 Ohm speakers. There's no need to play such games, but they do. However, almost any Pro audio amp can easily handle those loads, and you can still use a Japanese AVR as a pre/pro."

Headroom is only relative to a speaker's efficiency and the listener's seating distance + room size. If you sit far away from inefficient speakers then you will need a powerful amp, albeit there's no need for a pricey high-end amp when a Pro audio amp will do the same thing at a fraction of the price.

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post #478 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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imagic-

No. The high-end is not obsolete, simply a hobby that should be treated as such. It is not for everyone smile.gif

 

High-end audio absolutely is a hobby! That's exactly how I treat it.


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post #479 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 09:04 AM
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Where's the proof of that, and why do you think it would be the case? The prevailing theory is that AVRs enjoy such a large advantage when it comes to economy of scale.

Yamaha, Sony ES, Pioneer (Elite), Denon, Onkyo (Integra), and Marantz all make flagship receivers that may even be ahead of the higher-priced, more specialized units, in terms of processing power and capability. Usually, you get more bang-for-the-buck if you buy a top-of-the-line AVR from the big guys and use the preamp outs with Pro amps (if the extra power is needed).

I stumbled on this thread because of the banner on the front page. I haven't read it all and just skimmed your initial post. First off, I don't think high end audio is anywhere near dead, too much effort being put into keeping it alive and too many people with more money than brains. By that I don't mean they're stupid, just that they won't put the effort into learning what really goes into making good audio. As you suggest it's not as complicated or expensive as they would be led to believe. Further there seems to be a vinyl revival going on, and it's creating an interesting market sector with pricing that's astronomical...

I've been swapping out audio gear since I was a teen in the late 60's, and always bought low & sold high as I moved up the food chain. One thing I never lost sight of is my own infallibility, basically how pre-conceived perceptions of what I'm hearing can come into play. I have had so many experiences with swapping out gear to "upgrade" only to swap back and discover that there was much if any at all.
For me the revelation was joining this forum and learning about room acoustics on it, that's where I really started to make quantum leaps in actual audible improvements. Getting the bass "right" as the #1 priority for music.

I think AVR's changed for the better with the inclusion of quality room corrections, it took a while, and unfortunately it was at the same time as they were trying to figure out HDMI. When the need to decode the hi-rez formats like DTS HD MA came about it really increased the value/performance ratio of AVR's. Quality sound processing really moved down the food chain IMO. I've had cause over the last few years to swap out high-end AVR's & Pre-Pro/Amps for inexpensive (sub-$500) AVR's while in transition and the differences were far less than what pricing should indicate when operating within their comfort range.

I wouldn't swap out my Paradigm Signature S8's for pro speakers, mostly because the equivalent would be butt-ugly. If aesthetics wasn't in play I absolutely would consider it. In fact knowing what I know now, if I was staring out I probably would go with an XT32 equipped pre-amp or AVR & powered studio monitors & subs.

It's interesting when you look at pro gear on the e-commerce sites and you see sub-woofers where they state the +/- 3db FR of the units, as well as the SPL they're capable of. +/- 3db is excellent for a sub. Not too many consumer subs can do that, or for that matter publish FR specs. They live in the +/-10db acceptable world.
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post #480 of 1762 Old 04-20-2014, 09:08 AM
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I don't have the Pioneer Elite but I have the Pioneer VSX 512 5.1 at 100 watts per channel and happy with it.
Price ? I got it at best buy for only " drum roll please " as a open box special $ 145 .
I told the salesman that if they warranty as new I'll buy it.
I bought 2 pairs Sony's book shelf speakers at $ 50 a pair and happy with it at 100 watts.
Bought Sony's center channel speaker at $ 100.
Bought Polk's Sub for $ 180.
The total system about $ 400 and happy with it and laughing all the way to the bank.
Now if I can some how find the famed vintage later 70s Sansui amp and use it only as the power amp and pair it with the Pioneer and use the Pioneer as the sound processor then I would be a happy camper.
The most important audio equipment are your own ears, if your hearing goes bad it won't matter a hill of beans what high priced audio equipment you got.
The ears are the most important factor in a audio system, take care of them, same thing with your eyes.
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