Good receiver for Classical Music (B&W Speakers) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-06-2008, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi.

I need to replace an old Yamaha RX-V 2092 receiver that I have in my living room connected to a 5 set of B&W speakers (CDM 1, CDM Central and Rear ).

I like classical music and care more about the quality of the sound than the power.

I want to spend between $500-$800 for the receiver and am deciding between:

Denon AVR 1908 or 2308
Onkyo TX-SR 605 or 705
Yamaha RX-V 663
Nad T-744

Can you give me some suggestions.

Thanks

Isaac
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-06-2008, 11:36 PM
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Probably one of the best "musical" AVR choices out there under $800 would be a Marantz 7001 . These can be found refurbed for under $700 , heck you might even be able to score a new one for under $800 (I lucked into a new one for $699) . This is one of the best sounding AVR's that I have ever heard/owned and should surpass those that you mentioned when it comes to Sound Quality (it sounds better than the Onkyo 805 which outclasses those AVR's you listed) . Keep in mind the difference for a refurb is a 1 year warranty (vs. 3 years for new) .

Best of Luck ,
-- Jason
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-07-2008, 05:41 AM
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accessories4less

Marantz 8001, refurb fits your budget

new one will cost slightly higher than budget from Second Act, or a bit more from accessories4less

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-07-2008, 06:49 AM
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Harman Kardon.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-07-2008, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Would you also recommend the MARANTZ SR7001 or the SR8001 is much better?

I am not so sure of buying reconditioned equipment.

To dsmith

Which Harman Kardon and why?

thanks
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-07-2008, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaskenazi View Post

Would you also recommend the MARANTZ SR7001 or the SR8001 is much better?

I am not so sure of buying reconditioned equipment.

I would post this in the 7001/8001 thread.

The biggest difference is the use of the toroidal power supply in the 8001.

I have no experience myself on refurb, and have seen a wide range or experiences spoken of on this site.

If I had budget to spend today it would be the new 8001 from Second Act (slightly over your budget).

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-07-2008, 10:14 AM
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I think my Yamahas sound nice for classical, but it could be just my speakers (old Polk RTs).

I'd consider a used Rotel RSX in that price range. RSX-1055/1056 would be around $650. 5 year warranty so if it's not older than that you'd be fine.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I have spent 3 nights reading hundreds of pages of forums and searching for reviews to get a good receiver.

The more I read the more confused I get. I am trying to make an "educated buy". Now I understand that a receiver with .05% of THD is better than a .07%, but there are so many alternatives that I am lost in the way.

10 years ago I bought a Yamaha in a store. There were few alternatives and no internet. I just spend what I had in budget with a salesman recommendation.

Last week I went to a best buy store and a guy in the Magnolia area told me that for my B&W speakers I needed a high end receiver (Yamaha, Onkyo or denon) all of them over $1,200.

Now I am thinking this might be like commodities. Maybe all of them are very similar and all are good choices.

I dont have a good place where I can hear different receivers so I am trying to get some help from people that know more than I do.

thanks
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaskenazi View Post

Hi,

Maybe all of them are very similar and all are good choices.

Bingo !!!!

Through your speakers, in a blind listening test, with all the receivers within your price range set up exactly the same way, I doubt VERY MUCH, if ANYONE would be able to tell the difference from one receiver to the next.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

......it sounds better than the Onkyo 805 which outclasses those AVR's you listed.

How do you know that? If one receiver is playing just 3dB louder than another (and there is no way to tell by the position of the volumn knob), than than the receiver that is 3dB louder will have a tendency to sound "better".

The ONLY way to really tell if one is better than the other is in a blind listening test where all the controls are set identically the same, unless of course you are comparing AVR's that are at drastically different price points, and even then, it could be a tough call.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all speakers are voiced differently, and where one receiver my compliment a particular speaker, that same receiver may not compliment a different pair.

WAYYYYY toooo many variables to categorically state that one receiver is better than another, especially within the stated price points.
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaskenazi View Post

Hi,


Last week I went to a best buy store and a guy in the Magnolia area told me that for my B&W speakers I needed a high end receiver (Yamaha, Onkyo or denon) all of them over $1,200.


thanks

Typical salesperson pitch. I have my B&Ws hooked up to a $400 Yamaha 663 and they sound great.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaskenazi View Post

Hi,

I have spent 3 nights reading hundreds of pages of forums and searching for reviews to get a good receiver.

The more I read the more confused I get. I am trying to make an "educated buy". Now I understand that a receiver with .05% of THD is better than a .07%, but there are so many alternatives that I am lost in the way.

I gave up buying off specs years ago. Useless, really, in my opinion. You are clearly not looking for a feature oriented receiver either, so that's not really a good focus for you.

Sounds like you might be most interested in a receiver which delivers a good surround mode for a 5 or 5.1 speaker setup? (just guessing as you mention more than two speakers, music and no movies.)

The Yamaha 5 or 7 channel stereo mode is excellent in my own opinion. Please, no one jump on me about playing two channel sources through 7.1 speakers. This is my preference, it may not be yours

Denon has Audyssey which has gotten some nice reviews. Yamaha's auto setup, YPAO is fine, but I find I have to manually adjust some of it's choices otherwise I don't like the low end (I set all speakers to small, when YPAO sets them to large for example.)

You may want to narrow down to just two choices and try both receivers given a liberal return policy on both.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwien View Post

How do you know that? If one receiver is playing just 3dB louder than another (and there is no way to tell by the position of the volumn knob), than than the receiver that is 3dB louder will have a tendency to sound "better".

The ONLY way to really tell if one is better than the other is in a blind listening test where all the controls are set identically the same, unless of course you are comparing AVR's that are at drastically different price points, and even then, it could be a tough call.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all speakers are voiced differently, and where one receiver my compliment a particular speaker, that same receiver may not compliment a different pair.

WAYYYYY toooo many variables to categorically state that one receiver is better than another, especially within the stated price points.

Ummm I know that because I had both units in my system and calibrated to the same db level [ 85 DB @ reference ] . The Onkyo 805 had a bit more headroom than the Marantz 7001 but the Onkyo also gets distorted sooner than the Marantz . With both calibrated to 85 db the 805 was harsh and tinny , tough to listen to at reference honestly , even though it was very dynamic due to the headroom of that massive amp section .

Obviously there is a variable to consider with speakers but when you are comparing 2 AVR's on the same set of speakers in the same room and both have been calibrated to the same DB level and one sounds better than the other then there is not much left to say .

Granted at lower DB levels the two would be near impossible to tell apart in a blind test but I even had my wife listen without knowing which AVR was connected and she could instantly tell there was a difference at higher DB's .

I am not saying the Onkyo is bad , I actually enjoyed it , it's just that the Marantz sounds a bit better IMHO .

-- Jason
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-08-2008, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

...I am not saying the Onkyo is bad , I actually enjoyed it , it's just that the Marantz sounds a bit better IMHO .

-- Jason

Could you briefly compare their (Onkyo vs Marantz) "video abilities" .
Thanks
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-13-2008, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi.

I went to a Av store and they showed me an Arcam AVR-250 on sale.
Its more expensive than the more commercial brands like Onkyo or Denon but the salesman insists that the quality is unbelievable.

I've been reading and it appears that it is very good quality receiver but I dont know if its worth the difference (may be 600 us more ).

any opinions?
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-25-2008, 05:46 PM
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I have Arcam equipment, and I can attest to the quality and "musical" sound they have.

I'd recommend a listening test -- if your dealer is worth their sale, you'll be able to "borrow" the Arcam unit, then swap it out for another brand, and see which you like the best.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-25-2008, 06:32 PM
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Do musical receivers sound A above middle C when struck firmly ?

"But this one goes up to 11"
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