AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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The fundamental problem with 99% of HT receivers is that the money all goes into the big long list of gee-whiz features, rather than the amplifiers or power supply, which get lowest priority in the design process.
The result is that you get about $20 worth of the cheapest possible parts to build each amplifier channel, and a power supply that is barely able to keep up with the current demand on peaks when the volume is turned up. It's not a pretty picture, from an engineering standpoint, and sometimes it don't sound all that good (as you have already noticed...lol).
A dedicated amplifier, on the other hand, has nearly 100% of the engineering time and money put into providing the best quality amplifier circuits and a very large power supply with large current reserves to prevent distortion when the amp is pushed hard. Your added amplifier naturally sounds better. It also takes a lot of load off of the receiver, so the reciver is not working as hard.
You should have your amplifier problem pretty much under control now. Now your problem is your speakers.
I hate to say this, but if I was going to purchase a set of speakers tomorrow, Mirage would come in dead last on my personal shopping list, in terms of best sound quality for the dollar.
If I was buying, I would concentrate on KEF, PSB, Monitor Audio, Epos, and other brands that have been praised consistently for their well-engineered good-sounding products over the years. Mirage quality went in the toilet at least 10 years ago, and the OMD-15 is a terrible-sounding speaker IMO.
If you want some really good sound, my advice would be to sell all of your Mirage speakers and audition something that sounds a lot better. Let your ears do the walking.