Speakerquest (so far...) - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:36 PM
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Oh come on now. You gave the negatives of all the other amps, so pony up and give the negatives of the Anthem. I know you've got the guts!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:45 PM
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rydenfan -

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the different amps you auditioned.

I will keep an ear out for the types of differences you described when I find the need to upgrade again, which knowing me shouldn't be too long from now.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:46 PM
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Amps are an interesting beast. At a certain price point it gets MUCH harder to hear the differences between amps. And even if you can, they are VERY subtle. I think you'd probably agree with this Ryden.

The real trick is to find the cheapest, most neutral (least colored) amp with the lowest THD; in other words, find the least flawed amp. I would agree that the Cary Cinema 5 is an incredible amp for the price. I had the pleasure to hear one at the Wisconsin GTG and was very impressed by it. There was definitely a noticeable difference between it and the LPA-1. But considering the price difference, there better be.

My advice is to take your time with amps. Like I said, once you hit a certain price point, the differences become more of a preferred taste than anything else. Heck, some people can't even hear the difference between a $300 receiver and a $5000 amp while undergoing a blind level matched test. You just need to figure out which person you are and how good your ears are. Blind level matched testing is ideal for comparisons, but its not the most practical.

In the end, you'll certainly need to make sure you have enough juice to power your speakers, but the speakers and the room will actually effect the sound more than anything. The amp is 4th on my list of importance (behind the Source/Player, Speakers and the room). But don't let 4th fool you, because if you aren't feeding them enough power, you'll clip the amps and potentially damage those multi thousand dollar speakers that you spent so much time searching for.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

rydenfan -

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the different amps you auditioned.

I will keep an ear out for the types of differences you described when I find the need to upgrade again, which knowing me shouldn't be too long from now.

LOL!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

In the end, you'll certainly need to make sure you have enough juice to power your speakers, but the speakers and the room will actually effect the sound more than anything. The amp is 4th on my list of importance (behind the Source/Player, Speakers and the room). But don't let 4th fool you, because if you aren't feeding them enough power, you'll clip the amps and potentially damage those multi thousand dollar speakers that you spent so much time searching for.


It's funny you mention this as I gave the exact same 4th position to another member via PM today. I mentioned in the Emotiva thread that I had a Rotel 1095 and Emotiva IPS-1 in my house and we couldn't hear a notable difference. Especially not a $800 difference for 2 less channels. This seems to echo what rydenfan said about the two. IMO the point of diminishing returns comes at a much lower price then with speakers or pre/pros or avrs for that matter. I'm very happy with my $951 150w x 7 channel amp. Now I have money to join Funk in his great speaker search.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The amp is 4th on my list of importance (behind the Source/Player, Speakers and the room). But don't let 4th fool you, because if you aren't feeding them enough power, you'll clip the amps and potentially damage those multi thousand dollar speakers that you spent so much time searching for.

I think you need to insert one more thing before the imporatance of the amp -- um, the quality of the recording, hello?!
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:49 PM
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funk, would you mind giving your opinion on the differences between the songtower's and the ht3's? how much would you say the sound quality varies between the two? for example, many believe the paradigm studios and signatures have a very similar sound, even though the signatures are definitely superior. i think many prefer the studio's over the signatures because they don't believe the signatures are worth the increased cost, meaning the increase in sound quality does not equal the increase in price. can the same be said for the songtower's, or possibly the v3's? i realize you haven't heard the
v3's. thanks
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm back swingin' a hammer today, and will be working long hours for a while. So my posts will be limited to evenings, besides I need to work as much as I can, so I can afford the HT3's I plan on ordering...

The V3's may have to wait for a personal visit to Salk Sound.

The differences between the SongTower and the HT3's ?

Well... the short version would be to say that the HT3's do everything that the SongTowers do, but better, and they do not share any weakness's. I have mentioned a few times where I thought the SongTowers were lacking: extension in the low and high ends. The high end is good enough that if I would have never listened to a ribbon, or Be tweeter I would have been blissfully unaware that I was missing anything. The HT3's solve both of these issues. They use a ribbon tweeter (the smoothest one I have ever heard) that extends beyond what you actually hear. I think this is one reason why cymbals sound so good with ribbons, they capture the overtones. The HT3's ribbon tweeter manages to sound great without getting too excited about it, and ending up too far forward (my experience tells me that this is a difficult task for ribbons, or perhaps this is a result of the crossover, I don't know which is the cause). The HT3's provide incredible realism in the highs that the SongTowers just can't quite reach. The SongTowers would require the addition of a sub-woofer to play the lowest notes of a acoustic double bass, or 6 string electric without having a noticeable drop in volume (the basis for my 30Hz requirement from speakers for music, anything lower is very unusual). With the HT3's, they simply hit this mark, and then extend even further. And they do so without sacrificing definition (this is a major perk for me).

Those are the two major differences to me. The third would be the midrange. I am going to use an analogy for this one, and a cliche... think about the midrange of the SongTowers like a ripe, juicy apple... now, think about the phrase "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." On one hand you have the delicious, juicy apple... with the HT3's... you get the whole tree... full of those ripe, juicy apples.

Does that give you the idea? I hope so, because they are both excellent speakers. So do you want the $1500 apple? Or the $4500 apple tree... I want the tree

-Funk

->>>≈<<<-
Speakerquest
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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On the subject of amps, what do you guys think about Outlaws offerings?

->>>≈<<<-
Speakerquest
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:12 AM
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Funk,
Great thread! I was directed to this thread from audiocircle.com where Jim has his own manufacturer circle. I am a proud HT3 owners for the past two years and I have ordered a second pair .

I can understand the feeling of "No turning back". When I started shopping for speakers 2 years ago, I auditioned everything between $2k to $3k, but then I did something I shouldn't have done - I auditioned a pair of speakers in the $5k range - and I found myself losing all interests in those $2k speakers. As a results, my total budget for the entire rig ballooned from $5k to over $16kk.

The Salk HT3 is a very capable speakers, so capable that it can easily rival speakers up to the $20k mark. Hence the better electronics you use to feed them, the better they sound.

Many people would advise you to stop auditioning once you've bought your speakers, because of the fear of coming across something that's better than what you got. Well, I have not stopped auditioning since I bought the HT3, however the more I listened to other speakers, the more I realized just how good the HT3 are. More often then not, I came out of the audition rooms with a smile in my face, realizing that my speaker is at least equal or better than the more expensive stuff I've just listened to.

I got to confess, however, out of the hundreds of speakers I've auditioned, there's one that lights my fire more than any others, and it's a pair of Acapella Trilon Excalibur, thanks God, they are retails at US$150k a pair and I can't afford them

There's one speakers that you may want to listen, is Strata Mini made by **********. It retails for $2k, if you like them, wait for the sales ( you may get them for $1.5k or less). I have heard them, to my ear they are not in the same league as HT3, but they're closer to your original budget and have ribbon tweeters.
I have a friend in LA who owns the speakers and he may let you audition them.

Good luck!

Barry
Houston, TX
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:22 AM
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Funk -

One thing that I hopefully hasn't been overlooked in your quest for a full range speaker... that is proper placement of both the speakers and your listening position within your room.

You can't just plop full range towers down where they fit or look best (well, you can get away with this to some degree if you plan to use an EQ to address the FR issues). You typically need to place large speakers 2-3 feet away from the side and front walls and you have to randomize the distances a bit. For instance, if the woofer on the speaker is 24" from the floor you do not want the speaker to also be 24" from the side or front wall.

The listening position is also critical. If you put the main seat at the wrong point in the room you may end up in a null and hear little to no bass, or in a room-induced peak that will make the bass sound bloated, boomy or other bad words associated with bass.

This is one of the major benefits of going with a sub / sat system. You can place the sub where you get the best bass response and the L / R's where they image and sound best.

This is all audiophile 101, so forgive me if I'm preaching to the choir.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I can't wait for this! I really need to hear the HT3 and V3 ASAP. Similar WMT design with the V3 being a bit more budget friendly.

I have both V3's and HT3's and am having a GTG March 29. Come on out! You won't be disappointed.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

Wow, great review Funk. These speakers time and time again get nothing but rave reviews. Now you need to find a pair of V3s to review

Salk V3

These just might give you the HT3 performance at a number closer to your budget.

That pair is in my HT along with the monster center. I drive them in the HT with Emotiva amp and Onkyo SC885 pre.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:27 AM
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There are a few of us who have extensively paired amps with the HT3's. My first recommendation is to get 250 wpc+ so you have the headroom to drive them with ease and make sure they have high current output. I'm moving from 500 watt monoblocks to 600 watt Class A monoblocks in about a week. More power is best with these beasts to make them sing. They will reveal all and deserve the best you can drive them with. Hoopah!
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PAD View Post

I'm moving from 500 watt monoblocks to 600 watt Class A monoblocks in about a week.

sweet, which models?
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dlfromcanada View Post

sweet, which models?


Electrocompaniet Nemos

http://www.electrocompaniet.com/prod...-amp/nemo.html

You do NOT need to go to this extreme with HT3's. But in my quest to find electronics that can fully satisfy what the HT3's can deliver, I am venturing out to try these. Considered Pass Labs X350.5, but for a little more I could get these and they run Class A for the full 600 watts. 2 toaster ovens in my room!

Was running Belles 150A Refs in mono. Sold one Friday and the other one in stereo sounds good but cannot push the speaker like I want to at 125 wpc.

I think Jim will admit that I am one of the freaks out there who has pushed his speakers harder than most and wrung out more good sound than many care to try.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I think you need to insert one more thing before the imporatance of the amp -- um, the quality of the recording, hello?!

That would be what I meant when I said "source."
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Does that give you the idea? I hope so, because they are both excellent speakers. So do you want the $1500 apple? Or the $4500 apple tree... I want the tree

-Funk

Thanks for the camparo. Obviously I want the entire tree, but that won't be happening anytime soon for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Funk -

One thing that I hopefully hasn't been overlooked in your quest for a full range speaker... that is proper placement of both the speakers and your listening position within your room.

You can't just plop full range towers down where they fit or look best (well, you can get away with this to some degree if you plan to use an EQ to address the FR issues). You typically need to place large speakers 2-3 feet away from the side and front walls and you have to randomize the distances a bit. For instance, if the woofer on the speaker is 24" from the floor you do not want the speaker to also be 24" from the side or front wall.

The listening position is also critical. If you put the main seat at the wrong point in the room you may end up in a null and hear little to no bass, or in a room-induced peak that will make the bass sound bloated, boomy or other bad words associated with bass.

This is one of the major benefits of going with a sub / sat system. You can place the sub where you get the best bass response and the L / R's where they image and sound best.

This is all audiophile 101, so forgive me if I'm preaching to the choir.

This is so, so, so, so, so soooooooooooooooooooo true! Its going to be a lot easier to properly place a subwoofer than it will be to place those big HT3's. If you can't afford a subwoofer in the beginning - no biggie. But I always still recommend pairing speakers with a subwoofer, no matter how low they can go (for the reasons mentioned above). YMMV, of course.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

Electrocompaniet Nemos

http://www.electrocompaniet.com/prod...-amp/nemo.html

You do NOT need to go to this extreme with HT3's. But in my quest to find electronics that can fully satisfy what the HT3's can deliver, I am venturing out to try these. Considered Pass Labs X350.5, but for a little more I could get these and they run Class A for the full 600 watts. 2 toaster ovens in my room!

Was running Belles 150A Refs in mono. Sold one Friday and the other one in stereo sounds good but cannot push the speaker like I want to at 125 wpc.

I think Jim will admit that I am one of the freaks out there who has pushed his speakers harder than most and wrung out more good sound than many care to try.


PAD you are my hero!

A man after my own amp-loving heart. The nemo is a special, special amp. I have yet to hear it but the specs and reviews are incredible. Enjoy!
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:10 AM
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Funk, I would be most interested in what you thought about the HT3's in comparision with the Helicon 300's? You can always PM me if you prefer.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Oh come on now. You gave the negatives of all the other amps, so pony up and give the negatives of the Anthem. I know you've got the guts!

No way! Anthem owners are scary. You would think I had insulted their mother, not their component

All kidding aside, it was a very powerful amp but I found it to be dull and lifeless. It had tight bass but it was not good with midrange or imaging at all.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:35 AM
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For 2-channel listening only, the HT3 placement might not be such a big issue if:

(1) You have a dedicated stereo room with minimum size of 11ft x 13 ft

and

(2) You put enough absorption panels in that small room.

Which is exactly my setup, and it handily beat a $80k setup at a dealer store - with bigger room but zero treatment.

But of course, a bigger room than mine + room treatment will be better still.

One potential issue with the HT3 is the limited vertical dispersion of the tweeter. Meaning if you stand up and walk around the room, the sound will change significantly. There is such big difference between sitting at the sweet-spot and sitting just 2 foot away from the sweet-spot. Listening to the HT3 is like driving a F1 Ferrari, it's a one-man-show, but a (bleep) good one-man-show


For hometheater, it's a different ballgame and you will need a subwoofer regardless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

This is so, so, so, so, so soooooooooooooooooooo true! Its going to be a lot easier to properly place a subwoofer than it will be to place those big HT3's. If you can't afford a subwoofer in the beginning - no biggie. But I always still recommend pairing speakers with a subwoofer, no matter how low they can go (for the reasons mentioned above). YMMV, of course.

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:09 AM
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Just from a factual standpoint, the G2 ribbon has excellent horizontal dispersion, so changing the listening position while sitting should not make that much difference. (The vertical dispersion of the G2 is about the same as for an average 1" dome, but not as good as a 3/4" dome like the 0W1 in the SongTower.) Also, the crossover slopes are not sensitive to changes in horizontal position, as would be the case if first order acoustic slopes were used. And standing up should make less difference than with SongTower (or any other MTM), where the arrival times from the two woofers will start to change and cause some upper midrange cancellation. I can't say as I've noticed any real issue with either speaker unless you are only a few feet away from them. But I would be interested in the experience of others.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

That pair is in my HT along with the monster center. I drive them in the HT with Emotiva amp and Onkyo SC885 pre.

Interesting as that would be my exact HT theater(integra 9.8). If you don't mind and if you've heard the HT3 pls PM me your thoughts.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

I have both V3's and HT3's and am having a GTG March 29. Come on out! You won't be disappointed.

Very interesting, hopefully I finally get out this weekend to hear Dali, Revel, Paradigm, and Dynaudio. Hearing the Salks the next weekend would be VERY useful.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:28 PM
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I understand your wanting to be sensitive rydenfan, but a constructive critique should not incite anyone. The reason I'm being persistent is that several P2's have appeared on Audiogon and I was seriously considering picking one up. I would value your incite (pun intended). For funkmonkey, those Eryka Badu cuts have some serious bass. I downloaded a few and am using them to tweek the bass amp on my Gallo's. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by IcemanDallas View Post

I understand your wanting to be sensitive rydenfan, but a constructive critique should not incite anyone. The reason I'm being persistent is that several P2's have appeared on Audiogon and I was seriously considering picking one up. I would value your incite (pun intended). For funkmonkey, those Eryka Badu cuts have some serious bass. I downloaded a few and am using them to tweek the bass amp on my Gallo's. Thanks for the heads up!

I agree at first I was offended since I own an Emotiva, but then I realized he actually tried them all and his impressions are valuable. I was also defending a very inexpensive 7 channel amp. Rydendan your real world insights are much appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanDallas View Post

I understand your wanting to be sensitive rydenfan, but a constructive critique should not incite anyone. The reason I'm being persistent is that several P2's have appeared on Audiogon and I was seriously considering picking one up. I would value your incite (pun intended). For funkmonkey, those Eryka Badu cuts have some serious bass. I downloaded a few and am using them to tweek the bass amp on my Gallo's. Thanks for the heads up!

I did eventually comment on the Anthem amp. Just look back over tha last page or so and you will find it. Glad I could be of help.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

I agree at first I was offended since I own an Emotiva, but then I realized he actually tried them all and his impressions are valuable. I was also defending a very inexpensive 7 channel amp. Rydendan your real world insights are much appreciated.

ChicagoTC, I appreciate the kind words. Please know that every amp I tested was of a high caliber and would be a great addition to almost any system. Your results certainly may vary from mine. As much as reviews help, in the end they only thing that matters is how it sounds to us.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

On the subject of amps, what do you guys think about Outlaws offerings?

I'm using an Outlaw 750 - the first amp they released, and it does just fine at 165 X 5 channels. It's rated at 250W X 5 at 4ohms. I use it to power my mains and center, while using my Marantz receiver to power my surrounds.

Now, I'm one of the heretics that believes differences between amps are subtle at best, and indeed, I didn't notice much of a difference in sound between my receiver's amp and the Outlaw as far as sound quality goes. I upgraded to the Outlaw because I wanted a bit more headroom in the front channels and it does that perfectly.

In my experience, the room has a FAR FAR greater influence on the sound of a given system than the amp or other electronics in the chain. If your room is crap, the best speakers (or electronics) will sound like crap. Get the room right before worrying about if you need a 5k amp because the 1k amp 'isn't good enough' for your speakers. It's interesting to note that at least a few of the speakers you report on were driven by decent quality receivers, and they apparantly didn't have much trouble driving them.

Here's a link to one of a great many threads discussing whether amps make a difference in sound quality: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=982406
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:39 PM
PAD
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Um, most of the folks commenting in that thread seem to be intent on convincing themselves that they don't have to spend the extra dough to get good sound. If you own a pair of HT3's you'd better prepare yourself to wander out into the component world soon as the speakers will reveal all and you'll soon get the itch to upgrade to get more out of them.

I've had PS Audio, Moscode, Rowland, and Belles on my HT3's and ALL were significantly different from one another in sonic signature. The PSA was dry and brittle, the Moscode was tubby in the bass and rolled off in the highs, the Rowland only had midrange and no bass to speak of, and the Belles do everything right.

I know I can get more so I looked at Class A amps and then I chose the Nemos. Hopefully I can get these on a truck headed my way soon for a report. With the HT3's ALL the components make a difference including the amps.

OTOH I am perfectly happy driving my V3's with the Emotiva in the HT. 200 - 300 watts oer speaker is working pretty good. I want 500 w on each of the front three, but that will be later.
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