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Old 06-13-2016, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Upgrading from my current setup

Hey everyone,

I've been enjoying my current setup (shown below) for a couple of years, and now I realize after all this time that in order to get really immersed into the media I'm enjoying, whether it's movies, games or music, that the best way to do so isn't with a wonderful TV (although that will definitely help) but with a decent audio setup.

Anyways, the last time I posted, I had a paltry budget of just $500, but this time, it's much, much higher at $2500+ because I've been saving my money up. As I've said before, due to budgetary and space constraints, I'd never go above a 2.1 setup, so I've been researching (kinda aimlessly) about the best that would be ideal for my rather small bedroom (15'x15'x10'). Right now, I have 2 JBL LSR308's, and an SVS SB-2000, both of which are wonderful. You guys here at AVS helped me choose these, so I'm very thankful!

Moving forward, since I'm sure I'm becoming an audiophile, I've been looking at Floorstanding Speakers mainly because I love that they have numerous drivers and actually look quite elegant. In addition, I'll need an AVR to drive these, one that's compatible with the SVS sub that I'm planning on retaining. So, without further ado, I'd love your opinion on these:

Floorstanding Speakers (in no particular order):
1) ELAC UF5 ($1000/pair)
2) Paradigm Reference 11 ($1400/pair)
3) JBL L890 ($1200/pair)
4) B&W 683 ($1400/pair)


AVRs (in no particular order):
1) Yamaha RX-V679BL ($400)
2) Denon AVR-X2200W ($500)

I've been flirting with the idea of getting a different sub, something like the VTF 3 MK5 HP ($900) or maybe even something crazier like the PSA V1800 ($1300), or the JBL EON618s ($700) but that might be reaching a little bit. Not fiscally, but audio-wise cause my small room can only handle so much. I'll be listening to a lot of dubstep, electronica, and non-lyrical music so (for the first two genres at least) bass is a priority. I'm aware that the SB-2000 is no slouch, but I'm looking for something that will literally punch me in the chest somewhere down the line. Anyways, thanks for reading and please offer any and all suggestions. Now that my budget is much, much higher, I'm sure there are numerous possibilities!

Mr. Mysterious
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Wanted to add one more AVR to the list, the Onkyo TX-NR747 ($500), which is getting rave reviews but people are having problems with customer support.

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Old 06-13-2016, 01:58 PM
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I'm partial to Denon but any of the AVR's look good.

Of the speakers you listed I think the Paradigms or JBL's might be best for your style of music.

Another option, these are being blown out right now for 1/2 price.

May not need another sub.

https://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Te.../dp/B00422L39Y

http://www.cnet.com/news/definitive-...at-sounds-big/
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:59 PM
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How long have you had the SVS? If your within the first year it would be more cost effective to trade up to a better sub through them.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:43 PM
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If you're becoming an "audiophile" you might want to take a look at some speakers from here for starters

http://philharmonicaudio.com/

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I'm partial to Denon but any of the AVR's look good.

Of the speakers you listed I think the Paradigms or JBL's might be best for your style of music.

Another option, these are being blown out right now for 1/2 price.

May not need another sub.

https://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Te.../dp/B00422L39Y

http://www.cnet.com/news/definitive-...at-sounds-big/
Wow, those look amazing. They're definitely on my short list, and it seems like people love the extra bass. No opinion on the Onkyo? Thanks!

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Originally Posted by boomhower View Post
How long have you had the SVS? If your within the first year it would be more cost effective to trade up to a better sub through them.
It's been a couple of years, I'm out of the time window when I can upgrade them. I got the SVS in the summer of 2014.

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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
If you're becoming an "audiophile" you might want to take a look at some speakers from here for starters

http://philharmonicaudio.com/

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/
Man, those are super expensive. Remember, I gotta buy an AVR as well, so you've gotta factor that into the price. Still, I'll check out the reviews.

Edit: Wait, I won't even need an AVR with the Def Techs, right??

Mr. Mysterious

Last edited by Mr_Mysterious; 06-13-2016 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Just realized something
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:25 AM
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I have the JBL 890's and I love them...look and sound good..



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Old 06-14-2016, 07:59 AM
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Just make sure with the Def Tech bipolar speakers that you have the space to place them properly. They need more open space than other towers.
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Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:02 AM
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SBS Prime Tower also fits your budget
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Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend CBM-170 SE, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsmith013 View Post
I have the JBL 890's and I love them...look and sound good..
Wow, those look amazing. How are the output levels, do they get loud and clear enough for you? Enough bass to shake your couch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Just make sure with the Def Tech bipolar speakers that you have the space to place them properly. They need more open space than other towers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
SBS Prime Tower also fits your budget
Yeah, I was thinking about that. I mean, ideally, they'd be flush against the wall but I gotta have that bass in there; it's a tough compromise. Everything I've read about them just makes me fall in love with them more. What about bolting them to the floor with some wooden contraption I build? I mean the biggest thing I'm worrying about is that they might tip over in case I'm not careful and bump into them.

I think you mean the SVS Prime Tower, if I'm going the SVS route, I'm gonna try to buy something from their Ultra series if I could afford it. And those are $2000/pair, which gives me only $500 for a DTS:X and Atmos AVR.

Mr. Mysterious
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post
Wow, those look amazing. How are the output levels, do they get loud and clear enough for you? Enough bass to shake your couch?




Yeah, I was thinking about that. I mean, ideally, they'd be flush against the wall but I gotta have that bass in there; it's a tough compromise. Everything I've read about them just makes me fall in love with them more. What about bolting them to the floor with some wooden contraption I build? I mean the biggest thing I'm worrying about is that they might tip over in case I'm not careful and bump into them.

I think you mean the SVS Prime Tower, if I'm going the SVS route, I'm gonna try to buy something from their Ultra series if I could afford it. And those are $2000/pair, which gives me only $500 for a DTS:X and Atmos AVR.

Mr. Mysterious
thanks...they get loud and clear..i dont think ive really turned them up loud enough for them to distort,,but for as loud as ive gotten them..they sound great..the bass is fairly good..it can be enough to shake the couch. of course not like a good sub, but still pretty dam good for tower speakers..and they are HEAVY..

Chad
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post
...
I think you mean the SVS Prime Tower, if I'm going the SVS route, I'm gonna try to buy something from their Ultra series if I could afford it. And those are $2000/pair, which gives me only $500 for a DTS:X and Atmos AVR.
For optimum performance, that's about where you want to be with your budget split Mr_M.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post
Edit: Wait, I won't even need an AVR with the Def Techs, right??

Mr. Mysterious
How are you driving your speakers and sub right now?

The Def Tecs are powered for the subs but not the mains so yes, they need an amplifier...preferably an inexpensive AVR as the Def Tecs are quite sensitive at 92db.

With any modest AVR those speakers will put out 100db+ at 10 feet which is LOUD.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:00 AM
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@Mr_Mysterious ,
Go with the V1800. You could demo it, as I am sure that you would not send it back!
Russ
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsmith013 View Post
thanks...they get loud and clear..i dont think ive really turned them up loud enough for them to distort,,but for as loud as ive gotten them..they sound great..the bass is fairly good..it can be enough to shake the couch. of course not like a good sub, but still pretty dam good for tower speakers..and they are HEAVY..

Chad
Excellent! I'm glad that they're working out for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post
For optimum performance, that's about where you want to be with your budget split Mr_M.
That's a good point, I just hope I'm not skimping on anything by buying such a cheap AVR. $500 is on the cheap side for an AVR, right?

So to recap, these are my preferences (from most liked to least liked):

1) Def Tech: These are a $2000/pair of speakers knocked down to $1000/pair, they are heavy on the bass and multidirectional which is huge. I believe they're actively powered, which is equally as huge because I won't need an AVR; if I don't need an AVR, I might as well get the 9060 ones because i won't need to save money for the AVR, right? Plus, everyone loves them.
2) SVS Ultra Towers: Heavy, really expensive at $2000/pair, not a big fan of the design, and are a little skimpy on the bass according to some reviews. On the plus side, they'll pair really well with my SVS SB-2000. I know from experience that SVS has amazing, excellent Customer Service, which is important. Something that concerns me is that someone mentioned that the Ultra bookshelf speakers provided the same quality of sound, just with a little less bass, and they were half the price! A bit of a red flag.
3) JBL L890: Another $1000/pair speakers, these look the best (aesthetic-wise) out of all of them, and I really like JBL's sound quality because I own a pair of LSR308's.
4) Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers: Most expensive out of all of them at $2200/pair, I'm wishy-washy/on the fence with the looks, and I can't find that many reviews that test just the towers alone by themselves.

As for the AVR, I'm pretty much set on the Onkyo TX NR-747, I decided to get a better one because $100 extra is defintely worth the THX2 certification. There are some issues with quality control according to people, but with Amazon's amazing return service (and I'm planning on getting the extended warranty too), that shouldn't be a problem.

Edit: Responding to more posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
How are you driving your speakers and sub right now?

The Def Tecs are powered for the subs but not the mains so yes, they need an amplifier...preferably an inexpensive AVR as the Def Tecs are quite sensitive at 92db.

With any modest AVR those speakers will put out 100db+ at 10 feet which is LOUD.
Right now, both the SVS SB-2000 and the JBL LSR308s are not being driven by anything since they're active components. I just have them hooked up to my TV and that's it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
@Mr_Mysterious ,
Go with the V1800. You could demo it, as I am sure that you would not send it back!
Russ
I'm not sure if my room is large enough to accommodate that. I might get it for my massive living room, which is rather cavernous with 30 feet vaulted ceilings, 25'x25' overall space, there it would be more appropriate. I'm thinking I might stick with my SVS sub, perhaps it just needs to be properly calibrated.

Mr. Mysterious

Last edited by Mr_Mysterious; 06-14-2016 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:24 AM
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No, you need an AVR.

I replaced an NAD AVR that in its day was state of the art and in today's money about $2,000.

It's inputs failed so I replaced it with a $400 Denon AVR.

The $400 Denon AVR is an outstanding AVR and head and shoulders better than that very expensive NAD.

AVR's are NOT "so so" if they don't cost a lot of money.

It's competition that drives major brand AVR prices down.

The quality is there IMHO.

My Denon AVR puts out "only" 90 watts/channel and drives speakers that are not highly sensitive at 89db.

I do have a great sub which helps the AVR to concentrate its power to the 5 other speakers and getting "neighbors are gonna call the cops" volume is no problem whatsoever.

Most AVR's have plenty of power; the difference in price is usually to features including upgraded EQ systems.

If I were buying an AVR right now I'd buy a factory reconditioned unit directly from Denon.

https://usa.denon.com/us/denon-outlet

If they didn't have the particular feature set I wanted at the time I'd buy from accessories4less.

Happy hunting.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
No, you need an AVR.

I replaced an NAD AVR that in its day was state of the art and in today's money about $2,000.

It's inputs failed so I replaced it with a $400 Denon AVR.

The $400 Denon AVR is an outstanding AVR and head and shoulders better than that very expensive NAD.

AVR's are NOT "so so" if they don't cost a lot of money.

It's competition that drives major brand AVR prices down.

The quality is there IMHO.

My Denon AVR puts out "only" 90 watts/channel and drives speakers that are not highly sensitive at 89db.

I do have a great sub which helps the AVR to concentrate its power to the 5 other speakers and getting "neighbors are gonna call the cops" volume is no problem whatsoever.

Most AVR's have plenty of power; the difference in price is usually to features including upgraded EQ systems.

If I were buying an AVR right now I'd buy a factory reconditioned unit directly from Denon.

https://usa.denon.com/us/denon-outlet

If they didn't have the particular feature set I wanted at the time I'd buy from accessories4less.

Happy hunting.
Just curious, which Denon AVR do you have? And the sub?

Can't find a refurbed/reconditioned S920W on the Denon site, though Accessories4less has a refurbed S910W for a nice price point. I'm pretty sure I don't need 2 video outputs (found on the S920W) though.

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Old 06-14-2016, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post
That's a good point, I just hope I'm not skimping on anything by buying such a cheap AVR. $500 is on the cheap side for an AVR, right?

So to recap, these are my preferences (from most liked to least liked):

1) Def Tech: These are a $2000/pair of speakers knocked down to $1000/pair, they are heavy on the bass and multidirectional which is huge. I believe they're actively powered, which is equally as huge because I won't need an AVR; if I don't need an AVR, I might as well get the 9060 ones because i won't need to save money for the AVR, right? Plus, everyone loves them.
You ABSOLUTELY will need an AVR as the only "active" components on the DefTechs are the powered subs. You will need to connect the speakers to the L/R outputs on whatever AVR or amp you use. As well, modern AVRs (mostly) have quite accomplished room-correction software (Audessey, YPAO, MCACC) that (more-or-less) adjust the outputs of all the speakers in your system (L/C/R/RS/LS/RR/LR/Atmos) for optimal playback.

The other advantage is that you should connect ALL your devices (BluRay player, cable box, Roku/Apple TV/Kodi, PS4, XB1, etc) to your AVR via HDMI, and from your AVR to your TV/projector via HDMI. This will allow the AVR to handle all the audio-visual information sent from your devices. That is what they do best, no need to use your TV to process all that information.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:41 AM
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^+1
I run everything thru the Marantz SR7008!
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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You ABSOLUTELY will need an AVR as the only "active" components on the DefTechs are the powered subs. You will need to connect the speakers to the L/R outputs on whatever AVR or amp you use. As well, modern AVRs (mostly) have quite accomplished room-correction software (Audessey, YPAO, MCACC) that (more-or-less) adjust the outputs of all the speakers in your system (L/C/R/RS/LS/RR/LR/Atmos) for optimal playback.

The other advantage is that you should connect ALL your devices (BluRay player, cable box, Roku/Apple TV/Kodi, PS4, XB1, etc) to your AVR via HDMI, and from your AVR to your TV/projector via HDMI. This will allow the AVR to handle all the audio-visual information sent from your devices. That is what they do best, no need to use your TV to process all that information.
Right, I had mistakenly thought that since the subs were powered, the whole thing would be as well. Now I know better

I'm more partial to the Onkyo because it seems to put out more power per channel. I mean, I'll only be driving two floorstanding speakers, the SVS can handle itself.

Quote:
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^+1
I run everything thru the Marantz SR7008!
Too expensive for me, but it looks like a good component

Mr. Mysterious

Last edited by Mr_Mysterious; 06-14-2016 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Responding to another post.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
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Just curious, which Denon AVR do you have? And the sub?

Can't find a refurbed/reconditioned S920W on the Denon site, though Accessories4less has a refurbed S910W for a nice price point. I'm pretty sure I don't need 2 video outputs (found on the S920W) though.

Mr. Mysterious
Denon AVR1912; excellent mid priced AVR from 5+ years ago, going strong.

5.1 is my stopping point; I'm very happy with the surround effect and have no desire to fill my HT room with more speakers.

Sub is a Velodyne DD15+.

Velodyne makes great subs but they are pricey.

There are many great choices for much less money.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:19 AM
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my Sony STR-DN1050 has served me well...got it on open box at best buy.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:19 AM
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The Denon is at a decent price:
https://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-X22...enon+receivers


I do also have a Denon 4311and it is great. Good luck.
If you have a Fry's near you, they have the Denon AVR-X3200W 7.2 Channel 4K Network A/V Receiver for $498
http://slickdeals.net/f/8831031-frys...archBarV2Algo1
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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my Sony STR-DN1050 has served me well...got it on open box at best buy.
Not a fan of Sony's, sorry. Just from personal experience

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Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
The Denon is at a decent price:
https://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-X22...enon+receivers


I do also have a Denon 4311and it is great. Good luck.
If you have a Fry's near you, they have the Denon AVR-X3200W 7.2 Channel 4K Network A/V Receiver for $498
http://slickdeals.net/f/8831031-frys...archBarV2Algo1
Unfortunately, I did a google maps search and there were no Fry's near me, so it looks like I'm out of luck.

The Denon looks great, but it has 95 watts per channel as opposed to the Onkyo's 105 watts per channel.

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Old 06-14-2016, 11:46 AM
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Mr_Mysterious,
Bummer about the Frys. Did you see if you could add one to cart for shipping? I did not try that, as some items have free shipping.
I had an Onkyo once, now I have a Denon and Marantz. My Onkyo always ran hot.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
Mr_Mysterious,
Bummer about the Frys. Did you see if you could add one to cart for shipping? I did not try that, as some items have free shipping.
I had an Onkyo once, now I have a Denon and Marantz. My Onkyo always ran hot.
Well I'd have to sign up for Promo Codes (none of which apply for current deals, only future one). Besides, it's all moot. I'm in Mass, so the closest Fry's is in...Illinois. Dang, it's such an amazing deal.

Mr. Mysterious
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post

The Denon looks great, but it has 95 watts per channel as opposed to the Onkyo's 105 watts per channel.

Mr. Mysterious
That is virtually zero difference in power.

Here's a thread where the thread starter upgraded from Elac Bookshelves, (well regarded here on AVS...him and his wife hated them), to Def Tecs.

He's mighty pleased.

2.1 HT Setup Under $1,500. Suggestions

Here's a tool for you to see how little difference there is between 95 and 105 watts in terms of volume level...they both produce 105 max spl's at 10 feet with a speaker of 92db sensitivity.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

BTW, there are far more threads on AVS about problems with Onkyo AVRs than any other brand.

Last edited by gajCA; 06-14-2016 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr_Mysterious View Post
The Denon looks great, but it has 95 watts per channel as opposed to the Onkyo's 105 watts per channel.
Mr. Mysterious
I wouldn't let 95 vs 105 watts be a determining factor as you probably couldn't hear the difference.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
That is virtually zero difference in power.

Here's a thread where the thread starter upgraded from Elac Bookshelves, (well regarded here on AVS...him and his wife hated them), to Def Tecs.

He's mighty pleased.

2.1 HT Setup Under $1,500. Suggestions

Here's a tool for you to see how little difference there is between 95 and 105 watts in terms of volume level...they both produce 105 max spl's at 10 feet with a speaker of 92db sensitivity.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

BTW, there are far more threads on AVS about problems with Onkyo AVRs than any other brand.
Thanks for the link, it showed me that I shouldn't have gotten the Onkyo. Guess I'm going with the Denon then!

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I wouldn't let 95 vs 105 watts be a determining factor as you probably couldn't hear the difference.
You're right, I'm still learning about audio products, heh.

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Old 06-14-2016, 02:28 PM
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You're right, I'm still learning about audio products, heh.

Mr. Mysterious
I'm a relative youngster here; got my first stereo in 1968.

Still learning stuff!

Back in my day audio tech progressed relatively slowly in terms of feature set.

Today it's light speed!

But one thing holds true.

A good set of speakers hooked up to decent electronics can put a big smile on your face!

That is, after all, the goal.

Smiles!
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