The X-Meridian 7.1 Thread - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 01:42 PM
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No, actually that discussion was yesterday.

I was speaking of the overall op-amp review....

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post #152 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I, C, my mistake.
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post #153 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 03:45 PM
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Has anybody heard anyone who has actually tried the AD8620 in the X-Meridian? I have heard a couple guys speak highly of them being great for the X-Meridian, but I heard of no one who has actually tried them. They are on the expensive side and they only come in SO packages, but there are companies who mount SO packages on DIP adapters.


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post #154 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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People you talking about were probably using the in a headphone AMP. They will probably get pretty pricy using adapters and all. If you decide to go for it let us know how it turns out for you. You may have more luck asking about these chips in DIY AMP audio forums.
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post #155 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 04:41 PM
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I was thinking about ordering these after reading that thread at HardOCP. I probably will order them this week. Pretty expensive chips. They better materialize Nora Jones in my room to do my bidding!
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post #156 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 04:41 PM
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I have a receiver with 6 channel discrete input, 5 channel and 1 subwoofer channel. My question is, is this discrete input the same as the bypass feature that was discussed a few pages earlier? I plan on getting a new soundcard and connect it to to my receiver using both optical and analog outputs from the card. I notice on my receiver the discrete input does not allow any manipulation of the audio, it's just pure audio from the soundcard's output ports. Here's a problem I run into when using discrete connection; when using dts/dd sources such as DVD or movies with ac-3, the audio works fine, all the speakers will work as expected. However, other stereo sources such as mp3, flac, ogg, etc.. using the same discrete connection only the 2 front speakers will work and the subwoofer won't. I have 2 ways to remedy this problem at the moment and none of them are optimal.
1) I set my audigy 2 to play the audio in surround mode (enabled by using the CMSS option), therefore all channels will receive signal, and this allows the subwoofer to work because i split the center channel into 2 using a Y stereo to 2RCA cable. I don't like doing this because I only want to listen to music through their native audio source and work in conjunction with my sub ;-).
2) Splitting the 2 front channels coming discretely into the receiver into 2 more additional channels. In effect this allows the 2 front channels to go into discrete mode, as well as stereo mode (into a different input selection on my receiver, CD in this case). Now whenever I wanna listen to stereo sources, I just switch my receiver's input to CD and allow it to manipulate the audio and the woofer kicks in. Again this is probably not optimal since i'm splitting an analog into two.

Will the XM allow me to use a 5.1 discrete connection and when listening to stereo or 2 channel sources automatically send the LFE frequency to the subwoofer channel ? Theoretically this will be 3 channels operating in stereo sources, LR and s/w. Earlier posts hinted at this being unlikely. If this doesnt work the only other way to get the s/w to work with stereo sources is by sending the signal through the s/pdif and let the receiver work its magic, right? Aside from doing the two other methods I stated earlier.

*** for people who do not like their sound card outputting stereo sources into surround mode, there's a way to do that. For me anyways, using audigy 2 zs, in the creative console i disabled CMSS under the CMSS3d tab. I don't know if CMSS is a Creative proprietary option or standard, but if such an option exists in the XM's driver option, all your stereo sources will return to their true 2 channel sounds. But then again, this won't put your subwoofer to work using analog out. Just a note, disabling it in winamp does absolutely nothing
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post #157 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 04:49 PM
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Ok, I ordered 2 of them. I just want to see what they do. They were $16 each premounted to the DIN adapter.
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post #158 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Can you let me know how they sound AVOpus? This card and changing opamps is gonna be a regular pastime with you now AVO? Where did you order them from with the adapters? Can you link me to this info you are talking about?
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post #159 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 05:20 PM
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post #160 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 05:47 PM
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Honestly, I don't expect these to best the LM4562s. I have read a bunch of threads where people have compared the LM4562 to the AD8620s and they preferred the LM4562 in almost every case.
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post #161 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Can you let me know how they sound AVOpus? This card and changing opamps is gonna be a regular pastime with you now AVO? Where did you order them from with the adapters? Can you link me to this info you are talking about?

It is cool that you can upgrade your system for $20-$40. It is almost like being able to try out a new reciever every couple weeks until you find the one that best suits you. The stock op amps sound real good, but I have only watched a couple movies on them. I really haven't done much music on them. I just got the LM4562's in the mail today and haven't tried them yet. I want to get a better feel for the stock op amps before I replace them. I will probably wait until I get back from vacation and make the switch.


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post #162 of 2138 Old 02-26-2007, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, it is nice. My card sounded amazing right out of the box. Now with the LM4562's installed it has a totally different card and sound so much better. The LM4562's are amazing in this card. I tried 3 other amps before these and I like these the best so far. I have tried the
OPA2227, OPA2134, OPA2107 and the LM4562's. These seem the be the popular Amps people are trying. The LM's are pretty nice IMO.
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post #163 of 2138 Old 02-27-2007, 06:28 PM
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Hello Meridian card fans! Just aquired my XM w/LM4562's a week ago and much overwelmed with the improved audio performance over my X-Fi. Thanks to many including AVOpus and a few others. My system consists of a Yamaha RX-V1600 receiver, Energy Take TWR fronts and Paradigm Ultracube 10 Sub. My HTPC is used for stereo analog playback only. If there are any future upgrades to consider it would the Lynx Studio 22 sound card and or the Arcam AVR 350 reciever. Thanks to all. Keep up the great work.
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post #164 of 2138 Old 02-27-2007, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to the Club, It seems to be getting bigger and bigger everyday.
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post #165 of 2138 Old 02-27-2007, 06:44 PM
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Good to hear that so many are enjoying this combo. I was hoping that I wasn't losing my mind.
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post #166 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 12:38 PM
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I have read trough this thread and I am still wondering which card would serve me best. My Audio system is:

- Integra 7 Preamp - I will be using the analog inputs
- Sunfire Signature amp
- Revel Salon/Studio/Voice speakers

Despite all of the above I have only recently become interested in sound from my HTPC since and that would be for Blu-Ray and HD DVD playback. The LPCM and lossless audio tracks sound better from the HTPC analog outputs (Asus An8-SLI Premium with ALC850). The trouble is it does not have any bass management and the sound level seems a bit low. There is also a far away quality to the sound that does not sound *right* to me.

I am looking for a card that has:

1) Good DACs since I will be using the analog outs

2) Bass Management:
the ability to send the bass to the front speakers in a no sub configuration

3) Excellent handling of lossless and LPCM 5.1 audio

The audio quality of my rp82 with DVD-Audio is acceptable to me so I PC solution that did better would be just fine with me.

The X-Meridian looks like a viable option. I have to say, I am also trying to evaluate it against the X-FI Audio boards. I have no need for outrigger inputs panels or some such.

Thanks,

-- Rich

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post #167 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

I have read trough this thread and I am still wondering which card would serve me best. My Audio system is:

- Integra 7 Preamp - I will be using the analog inputs
- Sunfire Signature amp
- Revel Salon/Studio/Voice speakers

Despite all of the above I have only recently become interested in sound from my HTPC since and that would be for Blu-Ray and HD DVD playback. The LPCM and lossless audio tracks sound better from the HTPC analog outputs (Asus An8-SLI Premium with ALC850). The trouble is it does not have any bass management and the sound level seems a bit low. There is also a far away quality to the sound that does not sound *right* to me.

I am looking for a card that has:

1) Good DACs since I will be using the analog outs

2) Bass Management:
the ability to send the bass to the front speakers in a no sub configuration

3) Excellent handling of lossless and LPCM 5.1 audio

The audio quality of my rp82 with DVD-Audio is acceptable to me so I PC solution that did better would be just fine with me.

The X-Meridian looks like a viable option. I have to say, I am also trying to evaluate it against the X-FI Audio boards. I have no need for outrigger inputs panels or some such.

Thanks,

-- Rich

Well...looking at your equipment list, I assume it's safe to guess that money's not a huge concern. From reading on this board, it seems the LynxTwoB is the king of analog outs from a PC, but it retails for about $1000. The comments about distortion at volumes greater than 60% on the X-Meridian, and its super-hot output voltages makes me hesitant to pull the trigger on this one. If you combine the Lynx with Vista, you'll get the bass management you're looking for (and room correction thrown in for good measure), with undisputed great analog sound.

That's what I'd do in a money-no-object system.
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post #168 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

Well...looking at your equipment list, I assume it's safe to guess that money's not a huge concern. From reading on this board, it seems the LynxTwoB is the king of analog outs from a PC, but it retails for about $1000. The comments about distortion at volumes greater than 60% on the X-Meridian, and its super-hot output voltages makes me hesitant to pull the trigger on this one. If you combine the Lynx with Vista, you'll get the bass management you're looking for (and room correction thrown in for good measure), with undisputed great analog sound.

That's what I'd do in a money-no-object system.

Well, actually money is an object

In the future, I will be upgrading to an HDMI 1.3, by then we may have other sound options so while I think you are correct, I am looking for a step up from the ALC850 with some volume control. I still might cheap out and get the X-FI extreme audio. I would rather save that grand for the preamp

- Rich

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post #169 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I would say for the price the XM is the best out there.
Are you sure you get Bass redirection and room Correction with a Addin soundcard?
I am not sure about that one...
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post #170 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:17 PM
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What about for non-audiophiles?

Hey all, very interesting thread, I'm thinking about getting the x-meridian for my HTPC. Right now I'm running just digital out off the onboard chipset and letting my cheap-o pioneer 5.1 receiver handle the surround sound. I do have some nice Klipsch speakers, and reading this thread expect I'd get much more realistic results running analog with the meridian card, and just using the pioneer to amplify.

Do you think even for non-audiophiles the price of the meridian card would be justified by the increase in sound quality and surround sound abilities?

What about the LM4562 upgrade? Would that be worth it? (And where do I find more info on it, or where to purchase?)

Thanks all!
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post #171 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

Well, actually money is an object

In the future, I will be upgrading to an HDMI 1.3, by then we may have other sound options so while I think you are correct, I am looking for a step up from the ALC850 with some volume control. I still might cheap out and get the X-FI extreme audio. I would rather save that grand for the preamp

- Rich

There is also the Bluegears card, which is similar to the X-Meridian. I don't think it has the same issue with the high output voltage that the X-Meridian has but I am not sure. The high output voltage is not a huge issue, you just need to keep your volume in Windows below about 70%, then you will get very clear and detailed analog out to your amps. The X-Meridian is a great card that produces awesome sound. The fact that you can easily switch out op amps means you can alter the quality of the sound t your taste. The Bluegears card is under $100 and for a temporary solution may be the route to go.

The good thing about the X-Fi is that it can decode external digitial inputs. That feature makes the X-Fi more like a reciever-type capability, but all my sources are in the computer.

I don't think I would spend the money on the Lynx card either. It is a 5.1 format card that doesn't do things like DTS.


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post #172 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, It 's not like you have to be a "Audiophile" to hear that it sounds awsome. Get the card first and then decide if you want to do the upgrade. I would say do it...

@Jonmx, Doesn't the Audigy 2 decode digital inputs aswell?
I have been getting differnt answer on this...sorry to go offtopic..
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post #173 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:30 PM
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I'm not an audiophile but I think that the price of the X-Meridian is really worth it. Actually it is really subjective to say whether the price is worth it or not but for me the price is more than worth it since I like its analogue sound more than my Onkyo receiver that has twice its price.
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post #174 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eu_phorix View Post

What about for non-audiophiles?

Hey all, very interesting thread, I'm thinking about getting the x-meridian for my HTPC. Right now I'm running just digital out off the onboard chipset and letting my cheap-o pioneer 5.1 receiver handle the surround sound. I do have some nice Klipsch speakers, and reading this thread expect I'd get much more realistic results running analog with the meridian card, and just using the pioneer to amplify.

Do you think even for non-audiophiles the price of the meridian card would be justified by the increase in sound quality and surround sound abilities?

What about the LM4562 upgrade? Would that be worth it? (And where do I find more info on it, or where to purchase?)

Thanks all!

The LM4562 are available through Digi-Key online. They are about $5 a pop. You need four of the chips, so by the time you add shipping and handling it costs about $30 (There is a $5 fee for orders under $25). Make sure you get the 8-pin DIP version, because there are a couple other package options.


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post #175 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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They are the LM4562NA -Those are the 8Pin Dip. You can try others aswell. Guys have been getting amazing results with these chip and they are failry new to the market.
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post #176 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 04:32 PM
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They are the LM4562NA -Those are the 8Pin Dip. You can try others aswell. Guys have been getting amazing results with these chip and they are failry new to the market.

Just ordered 4 of those overnight, hope to post this weekend as to how they sound. Never tried this card before, but after reading this post, I figured what the heck, might as well try it out.


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post #177 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Your just ordering the amps and the card together and installing them and going for it?
Cool. Most people listen to the card first so they have a idea of what it sounds like stock. The LM4562's do a very good job of unveiling the quality of the card.
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post #178 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Your just ordering the amps and the card together and installing them and going for it?
Cool. Most people listen to the card first so they have a idea of what it sounds like stock. The LM4562's do a very good job of unveiling the quality of the card.

I could find no store in my area that sells the card to listen to up front, so just jumped in head first.

I really like the digikey site. Made my order an hour ago after reading the thread. Got a call a few mins ago from sales letting me know that ups couldn't overnight but fedx could. Heck it's almost 6pm pacific and they're going to be at my door tomorrow. Card won't even be here that fast from newegg.

As I run vista64, I realise there are no drivers as of yet, but expect them soon is what the website says. I have the x-fi and downloaded the new beta drivers last night, and that card sounds like crap. No way it's anywhere near audiophile, so figured this one must be better by what everyone here says about it. Worst case... I'll send it back. Heck to get audiophile for only $300, can't go wrong trying.

Currently I use a heavily modified denon 3910 dvd player for my music. It sounds fantastic for what it does. As I have ripped everything I own to my server, dvd's, hd-dvd's, and lossless music, I figured it's about time to make the move to htpc based media.

I do have a couple of questions though:

1. I have hddvd and blueray setup on my computer... Will this card do the new audio formats like dolbydigital+, dolbyhd (whatever it's called)?
Reason I ask is that I can't find a receiver anywhere at any price that will give me these wonderfull new formats.

2. Equipment is denon 5800 for preamp, and monitor audio gr60's up front, actually 7.1 monitor audio gold setup...... is it worth removing the caps that people talk about and hardwiring?
(I've never touched a soldering iron before so wondering what kind of place I would goto in order to have it done, prob some kind of stereo repair shop I guess)

3. Is there anything else I should know reguarding audiophile sound from this card?

thank you and add me to the xm crowd


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post #179 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamhost View Post

I could find no store in my area that sells the card to listen to up front, so just jumped in head first.

I really like the digikey site. Made my order an hour ago after reading the thread. Got a call a few mins ago from sales letting me know that ups couldn't overnight but fedx could. Heck it's almost 6pm pacific and they're going to be at my door tomorrow. Card won't even be here that fast from newegg.

As I run vista64, I realise there are no drivers as of yet, but expect them soon is what the website says. I have the x-fi and downloaded the new beta drivers last night, and that card sounds like crap. No way it's anywhere near audiophile, so figured this one must be better by what everyone here says about it. Worst case... I'll send it back. Heck to get audiophile for only $300, can't go wrong trying.

Currently I use a heavily modified denon 3910 dvd player for my music. It sounds fantastic for what it does. As I have ripped everything I own to my server, dvd's, hd-dvd's, and lossless music, I figured it's about time to make the move to htpc based media.

I do have a couple of questions though:

1. I have hddvd and blueray setup on my computer... Will this card do the new audio formats like dolbydigital+, dolbyhd (whatever it's called)?
Reason I ask is that I can't find a receiver anywhere at any price that will give me these wonderfull new formats.

2. Equipment is denon 5800 for preamp, and monitor audio gr60's up front, actually 7.1 monitor audio gold setup...... is it worth removing the caps that people talk about and hardwiring?
(I've never touched a soldering iron before so wondering what kind of place I would goto in order to have it done, prob some kind of stereo repair shop I guess)

3. Is there anything else I should know reguarding audiophile sound from this card?

thank you and add me to the xm crowd

Wow.. nice gear. I love the Monitor Audio Golds. Both Denons have excellent analog playback as well.

I'll attempt to answer your question.

1. Yes, but you need a program like PowerDVD Ultra (which I use). It has excellent quality decoding and will decode the next gen formats for output over analog. No method exists to output these formats digitally from a PC so a good quality analog is your only bet. The XM is a good fit here.

2. Will you hear a difference with your equipment. Absolutely. Is it worth it ? That I can't tell you. The question you have to ask is if you ruin your card, can you live with it. Personally, I would probably try to find someone who could do it for $50 or near that price. It would be worth that easily for me. The XM with the LM4562s are way beyond the sonics of the typical consumer cards as it is, but with the mod they are better than many pieces of very high end audio gear and I would wager would be better than your Denons Oh, and you dont have to remove the caps, just solder a wire on the + and - terminals of the caps to effectively bypass them (path of least resistance).

3. Not much really. Some points though: There is distortion at 60% + total output from this card. (note, the volume at this point is already higher than the maximums from most other cards). I would not use the card as a preamp replacement. Keep your Denon 5800 and use its multichannel imputs. As far as typical "audiophile" descriptions of the sound; It has a very spacious soundstage and the imaging is very holographic. I hear the ambience from the different venues from which the music has been performed / recorded. The bass is a bit less warm. If you like big loud boomy bass. You will notice a slight deficit here. The bass is very tight, precise, and musical. The detail in the midrange and treble is incredible. These is where other OpAmps and cards fell short that I compred it to, and the X-Fi Elite Pro was completely dominated in this area. Even my Outlaw 990 Preamp fell short compared to the level of detail my card revealed. Bad tracks are ruthlessly revealed for what they are. They became hard to listen to because the harshness in the recordings.

I would love to hear how it compares to your gear and on your speakers. Let us know!
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post #180 of 2138 Old 02-28-2007, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamhost View Post

2. Equipment is denon 5800 for preamp, and monitor audio gr60's up front, actually 7.1 monitor audio gold setup...... is it worth removing the caps that people talk about and hardwiring?
(I've never touched a soldering iron before so wondering what kind of place I would goto in order to have it done, prob some kind of stereo repair shop I guess)

I am in the same boat with the Denon 5800, basically just using it for its amps right now. Great reciever with good amps. I have an old Kenwood amp I will try out to see how it sounds. I always liked having the Denon 5800 for volume control to protect the speakers. Hooking the computer directly to amps is a bit scary, so I will make sure the windows volume is turned way down to start out with. If I get things the way I like them, I may upgrde to an Aragon amp for at least the front three speakers.


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