Originally Posted by zeejayzee
So now that I've had a couple of weeks to test out the AVP, I thought I'd post my feelings (and concerns).
Overall as a movie system, it's great. Lots of depth, soundstage, gobs of configuration options, Audyssey is really cool. Never heard my system sound anywhere close.
For music, it's a different story altogether. So far, I'm very
underwhelmed by the 2-channel performance. I've read a lot of positive reviews on this site, so it is entirely possible that I've screwed up some setup in the AVP, or just as possible that my ears are just wired differently, but in a nutshell the sond is not as refined or smooth as even my 10-year old Denon 3300 used as a preamp.
I've done a lot to change configs. The first thing I did was to switch the audio from HDMI to optical. Though this makes no sense to me, the Optical inputs sound vastly superior to the same audio delivered via HDMI
!!! I tried this on both my DVD player and my Apple TV, and in both cases I heard (as did 2 other people in the room) a tremendous improvement when I switched off of HDMI. Could it be that the HDMI devices are doing the D/A conversion and then passing those signals to the AVP whereas the Optical is passing pure digital? Whatever it is, I'm not using the HDMI anymore. Try this, I assure you you'll be blown away.
Anyway, that helped the sound a lot. But in general the sound is still 'thin'. My golden-eared friends agree. Since it used to sound great, and the only thing that's changed is the preamp, this has me concerned. I know people have had great results, so I wonder if there's a config trick I should try. I have used Audyssey on and off, direct on and off, etc. and it's pretty consistent.
One thing I note is that the Sub out does not work with the Optical input from the Apple TV. It says it's on, but no sound is coming out. This could be contributing to the thin sound. But even with the sub on my DVD player it's not great.
My setup is the AVP through Tara cables to an Outlaw 5x150 to tara bi-wire cables to B&W 804n speakers. The amp's not great, but it used to sound really good with the old pre. I'm going out the unbalanced outputs, could this make a difference? Maybe the AVP is so revealing that the old amp's limitations are being exploited? Is this wishful thinking?
Would really appreciate advice - I'm on the edge of returning/selling the AVP. For $7k it should sound like liquid gold, and instead it sounds like an inexpensive piece of Japanese AV gear. Help? Thoughts?