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post #1 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

I am trying to find the best receiver for my needs, which are probably different than most of you. I am more interested in getting the best sounding music than I having amazing, wall shattering sound for my blu-ray movies. Dont get wrong, I would like to have a nice surround sound, but I am more interested in the quality of the sound for listening to music...this is my priority. I want to be able to hear/feel the kick drum like it is in the same room as me (not just feel a heavy but cheap boom from the bass). I also want to be able to clearly hear a singer's voice(s) and identify all the various instruments.

Most of my music, dvd and blu-ray watching will come through my HTPC. I have a number of high quality audio/video outputs and will purchase any new audio card needed to support my listening needs (for music or video).

I was considering getting the Marantz SR6003 or Onkyo TX-SR806. I almost pulled the trigger last Friday and decided to wait. When I decided to go ahead an buy the Marantz a day later I see that both receivers have now jumped up price by ~$300...this is almost full price. I would like to stay under $700 and I am considering the TX-SR606 at this point, or maybe the TX-SR607. I really need some advice though.

What would you suggest in this scenario?

I have posted a similar message on another board and have heard I should sway away from Onkyo due to my interest in music, but I still need help finding an optimal receiver.

Thanks
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:13 AM
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I would think a solid kick drum would be helped by a decent powered sub.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhensley View Post

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to find the best receiver for my needs, which are probably different than most of you. I am more interested in getting the best sounding music than I having amazing, wall shattering sound for my blu-ray movies. Dont get wrong, I would like to have a nice surround sound, but I am more interested in the quality of the sound for listening to music...this is my priority. I want to be able to hear/feel the kick drum like it is in the same room as me (not just feel a heavy but cheap boom from the bass). I also want to be able to clearly hear a singer's voice(s) and identify all the various instruments.

Most of my music, dvd and blu-ray watching will come through my HTPC. I have a number of high quality audio/video outputs and will purchase any new audio card needed to support my listening needs (for music or video).

I was considering getting the Marantz SR6003 or Onkyo TX-SR806. I almost pulled the trigger last Friday and decided to wait. When I decided to go ahead an buy the Marantz a day later I see that both receivers have now jumped up price by ~$300...this is almost full price. I would like to stay under $700 and I am considering the TX-SR606 at this point, or maybe the TX-SR607. I really need some advice though.

What would you suggest in this scenario?

I have posted a similar message on another board and have heard I should sway away from Onkyo due to my interest in music, but I still need help finding an optimal receiver.

Thanks

I believe as for the prices of the receivers you were looking into, if you were looking at internet prices, websites have been ordered by Onkyo to display MSRP. If you call you get the discount prices. This is what was told to me by a CSR from Onecall. It was supposed to have taken place by April 1. I know most websites are now showing MSRP on Onkyo. You get the discount prices by placing a call. There are some good prices on Marantz's older models at Accessories4less. These are refurb units but carry a manufacturers warranty. They also have some Onkyo's. This year and last year models. As for their music quality only you can decide what sounds good to you. You may also want to look into the Pioneer Elte model SC-05 at Videogon. The owners form that thread say that the SC-05/07 sound great with music and DVD.
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 04:16 AM
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I am more interested in getting the best sounding music

Cambridge Audio 540R
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 04:36 AM
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I do enjoy the sound of my Marantz, but as stated only you can decide what sounds good. The Onkyos I have owned and heard were overly bright and a bit harsh to me. The sound seemed almost like the midrange was compressed. The marantz is not as bright yet the details in the high frequencies is very good, the midrange is much more open and many say warm. Not muddy warm but pleasing and detailed. Mind you this is my opinion and my ears so take it for what its worth. You may also think about using a 2ch preamp and amp combo, bit more expensive but if you go used it can decrease price a lot and you'll get the sound your looking for. Go check out some of those threads it may be worth your while. There is a good one started by zissou you should search for as it is about best sounding 2ch with H/T being secondary. Good luck and enjoy!

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post #6 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 05:41 AM
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Marantz...

I have tried Harman Kardon (8500), Arcam (350), Onkyo (905), Rotel (1560) and finds my current CHEAP 7002 from Marantz is the winner on music and HT performance. It runs cool too but lacks in video processing, latest audessey and ability to matrix HD codecs...
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I would think a solid kick drum would be helped by a decent powered sub.

lots of discussion on this over the past couple of years. Most discussion has been in threads talking about Midbass solutions.

First,
Solid kick drum has nothing to do with receivers and all to do with speakers and SPL.

Secondly, its actually the low end of the main speakers that is more important here....the 60Hz to 120Hz region is where most people fail to improve their systems and that is where the "kick in the chest" feelings happens.

So if the OP wants "solid kick drum" he needs to make sure he has main speakers that do that FR justice and he needs the power to driver his speakers to the SPL levels needed for the greatest impact. You will not feel the kick drum unless you do this right! I know because I spend years perfect that feeling!

The OP has lots of choices since he only wants Music he can look several years back for quality Receivers saving himself a great deal of money and putting it into a serious power amp, like the Class-D amps that put out 500W/ch.

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post #8 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

lots of discussion on this over the past couple of years. Most discussion has been in threads talking about Midbass solutions.

First,
Solid kick drum has nothing to do with receivers and all to do with speakers and SPL.

Secondly, its actually the low end of the main speakers that is more important here....the 60Hz to 120Hz region is where most people fail to improve their systems and that is where the "kick in the chest" feelings happens.

So if the OP wants "solid kick drum" he needs to make sure he has main speakers that do that FR justice and he needs the power to driver his speakers to the SPL levels needed for the greatest impact.

The OP has lots of choices since he only wants Music he can look several years back for quality Receivers saving himself a great deal of money and putting it into a serious power amp!!!

Can't say I agree 100%, but my comments are based on my memory. I will try to do some testing to see if my results agree with my memory or not.

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post #9 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Can't say I agree 100%, but my comments are based on my memory. I will try to do some testing to see if my results agree with my memory or not.

Thats cool, my comments are based on my own tests with mains and ending up building my own mains. There are lots of threads out there to read on it and we have had lots of DIY discussions on mid-bass lacking. The DIY crowd are the ones with the best sub systems out there but still we lack that kick in the chest feeling. The problem is that the mains seldom keep up with the subs, you can not have wimpy mains if you want that kick in the chest.

Read what Dr. Geddes says about all that stuff too. Heck, Dr. Geddes Summas are probably what the OP needs....best dynamic CD speakers out there!!

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 07:02 AM
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I forgot to mention that room setup/room treatments have a lot to do with a great kick feeling....harmonic distorition/ringing causes problems in most rooms.

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post #11 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I forgot to mention that room setup/room treatments have a lot to do with a great kick feeling....harmonic distorition/ringing causes problems in most rooms.

Yes, room setup is going to be a problem for me. I am in a very funky room. It is a split level with a couple of half walls, 18 foot ceiling, and the equiment/tv is in the corner of the room. I dont expect to be able to account for this...I know I will have to live with a certain amound of distortion.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback so far.

One thing I forgot to mention, and I want to make sure comes across is that I would like to be able to hear the music well at different sound levels. I would like to be able to pump the system up once in while to really get into it and feel it, but I would also like to be able to have some soft music playing in the background while I work on my computer. I would still like to "hear" all the details in the music at lower levels. That is something I worry about as I have heard nice systems at friends houses and they sound great at very high volume but A LOT of sound disappears at lower levels.

Any specific help on this issue?

Thanks
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 12:21 PM
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what are your speakers? as others are noting, that will make a bigger impact on the "musicality" of the system vs. the receiver.

Quote:


I would still like to "hear" all the details in the music at lower levels. That is something I worry about as I have heard nice systems at friends houses and they sound great at very high volume but A LOT of sound disappears at lower levels.

make sure you get a receiver with Audyssey Dynamic EQ then. For the price range you are looking at you are close to a Denon 2809CI or 989 model ($800ish).

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post #14 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:44 PM
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Can't say as if I agree you need EQ nessacarily. I am not saying I totally disagree either as I haven't personally used any. However with the right speakers and processor you can certainly have detailed music at all volumes. Just one experience I had that shocked me a bit... I was waiting for my local dealer to finish up with a customer and was walking around the store a bit. I noticed some music playing in the "listening" room, mostly what shocked me was how low the volume was yet how clear the sound was. The room is not what some would call a listening room, basically it is just a room with demo speakers on the wall, some different amps, and the processor and transports etc. They use Mac gear with no EQ or tone controls. I could not figure out what speakers were on, I had to actually walk around with my ears right next to each speaker to figure it out! This happened on several occasions with different speakers, mind you they were all 1500 and up speakers. So you can achieve your goal without the EQ it just takes the right gear. I know that takes you above you pricing so I would say get good speakers that can grow with the rest of the system, then buy a receiver that fits your needs (I recommend Marantz) and has pre outs so you can add an amp down the road, then move into a pre/pro with good 2ch performance. You may not get exactly what you are looking for right away so be patient and buy wisely. Happy listening!!

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post #15 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhensley View Post

Thanks for the feedback so far.

One thing I forgot to mention, and I want to make sure comes across is that I would like to be able to hear the music well at different sound levels. I would like to be able to pump the system up once in while to really get into it and feel it, but I would also like to be able to have some soft music playing in the background while I work on my computer. I would still like to "hear" all the details in the music at lower levels. That is something I worry about as I have heard nice systems at friends houses and they sound great at very high volume but A LOT of sound disappears at lower levels.

Any specific help on this issue?

Thanks


Room treatments is the best way to achieve music clarity at low levels.

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post #16 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:46 PM
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Sorry for rambling a bit there.

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Can't say as if I agree you need EQ nessacarily. I am not saying I totally disagree either as I haven't personally used any. However with the right speakers and processor you can certainly have detailed music at all volumes. Just one experience I had that shocked me a bit... I was waiting for my local dealer to finish up with a customer and was walking around the store a bit. I noticed some music playing in the "listening" room, mostly what shocked me was how low the volume was yet how clear the sound was. The room is not what some would call a listening room, basically it is just a room with demo speakers on the wall, some different amps, and the processor and transports etc. They use Mac gear with no EQ or tone controls. I could not figure out what speakers were on, I had to actually walk around with my ears right next to each speaker to figure it out! This happened on several occasions with different speakers, mind you they were all 1500 and up speakers. So you can achieve your goal without the EQ it just takes the right gear. I know that takes you above you pricing so I would say get good speakers that can grow with the rest of the system, then buy a receiver that fits your needs (I recommend Marantz) and has pre outs so you can add an amp down the road, then move into a pre/pro with good 2ch performance. You may not get exactly what you are looking for right away so be patient and buy wisely. Happy listening!!


Several experts out there like Dr. Geddes and I think Toole actually discuss EQing like its the worst choice. If people can not treat their rooms can not pick the right speakers and place them properly then maybe EQing is needed.

I doubt you would have the same experience in house, I never care to listen anywhere myself because you can not trust anyone

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post #18 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 02:06 PM
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Not sure what you mean you can't trust anyone. Eveytime I've gone to demo anything I can always see where the interconnects go so what can they hide? They also give me control over the processor, again hard to hide something. Of course you will not get exact results that is why most offer in home as well. Sorry but that comment is unnecessary and can put peole off, especially those who don't have money to just throw around. It can give them a good peace of mind before they buy.

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post #19 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Not sure what you mean you can't trust anyone. Eveytime I've gone to demo anything I can always see where the interconnects go so what can they hide? They also give me control over the processor, again hard to hide something. Of course you will not get exact results that is why most offer in home as well. Sorry but that comment is unnecessary and can put peole off, especially those who don't have money to just throw around. It can give them a good peace of mind before they buy.

Not putting anyone off, I just do not trust sales people (its their job to sell you, its the job of the store to sell you), sales room demos are there to sell you.. Heck I wouldn't even trust my ears in that situation. Lets just say there is a scientific way and there is a faith way.

Also, if money is important then people need to educate themselves on the science. Education is free (it just takes time) and people can save big $$$ when the realize what is truely important.

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post #20 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 03:36 PM
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Yes their job is to sell a procuct, that does not mean they all lie in order to do it. One should certainly educate themselves before venturing out to visit these salemen so as not to get caught off gaurd. You can only educate yourself in science and such matters for so long until you need to venture forth and put some faith into your learnings. Hence the sales people and their demo gear. It is very easy for one to get caught up in the hype people create on forums and advertisements so it is very important to be abel to go hear/see for oneself what they think of the hype. Science will take you so far then no matter how hard one may try there is always personal thought and feelings, especially when it comes to music. So again one needs to be able to go and do it for themsleves. I will not disagree that many slaes people are frauds who are there just to sell, but I have come across a few that are there to make you happy as they know a happy customer comes back. Just like there are people who will tell lies on these forums that you need to wade through. Happy listening!!

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Rotel is a very musical receiver. If you can pull the trigger on a used one, it will fit your needs.

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post #22 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Thats cool, my comments are based on my own tests with mains and ending up building my own mains. There are lots of threads out there to read on it and we have had lots of DIY discussions on mid-bass lacking. The DIY crowd are the ones with the best sub systems out there but still we lack that kick in the chest feeling. The problem is that the mains seldom keep up with the subs, you can not have wimpy mains if you want that kick in the chest.

Read what Dr. Geddes says about all that stuff too. Heck, Dr. Geddes Summas are probably what the OP needs....best dynamic CD speakers out there!!

I set my levels automatically through YPAO. I made a few tweaks. Speakers are set to small, probably via speaker size skip. YPAO suggest a 60hz xover, which I used.

Main Speakers are ACI Sapphire 25th Anniv. ed. Are they full range? Probably not by many people's definition. But they do put out bass.

In Pure Direct mode, on the NIN track closer, bass is much better with the sub on. It's tricky to say that that the sub is not introducing higher levels of bass. But it's clear on the Closer kick drums ( which could be electronic, or electronically augmented,) bass is improved, IMO. Pure Direct sounds weak in comparison.

So in my experience, I would say a powered sub is important. Rock and roll songs always sound better to me when Pure Direct is not engaged.

Songs with a lot of synth bass practically demand a sub, unless your speakers are excellent performers.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #23 of 35 Old 04-07-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I have heard comments on speakers from this thread and others. I was going to post another thread about speakers after I came to a conclusion on a receiver, but it seems like now may be a good time to bring it up.

I would like to keep my speaker budget under $1000 and I need to keep them as small and unobtrusive as possible. Additionally, any "rear" speakers are not going to be able to be behind me, they will have to be next to my head (far from ideal, but is what I have to live with). I know this does not leave me with a lot of great options, but I would think that for just under $2000 I should be able to pick the right components to get a very nice sounding system.

Ideally, I would not have large speakers next to my TV. I think something the size of bose speakers are smaller than what I a shooting for, but I would also like to keep them smaller than regular bookshelf speakers if it is possible to do so while getting nice/clear sound.

Thanks again.
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post #24 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 03:49 AM
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Mirage nanosat 5.1 system. Far from ideal but a good qualty sound with seamless itegration of the included sub for well under 1000. If you can still get them. Also the Prestige which is a bit bigger but still pretty small. Nice thing about them is you can mout them pretty much right on the ceiling if you had to and wouldn't have an issue.

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post #25 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Nice thing about them is you can mout them pretty much right on the ceiling if you had to and wouldn't have an issue.

well, other than the part he specified about "very nice sounding system"...

and that's not a commentary on the ability of the speakers you mentioned... i have no experience with them, so i do not know how they "sound"... but regardless of the speaker, unless it's specifically designed for it (and a lot of other thought goes into design of the rest of the setup), "very nice sounding" is unlikely to be achieved with the speakers stuffed up against the ceiling...

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post #26 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I set my levels automatically through YPAO. I made a few tweaks. Speakers are set to small, probably via speaker size skip. YPAO suggest a 60hz xover, which I used.

Main Speakers are ACI Sapphire 25th Anniv. ed. Are they full range? Probably not by many people's definition. But they do put out bass.

In Pure Direct mode, on the NIN track closer, bass is much better with the sub on. It's tricky to say that that the sub is not introducing higher levels of bass. But it's clear on the Closer kick drums ( which could be electronic, or electronically augmented,) bass is improved, IMO. Pure Direct sounds weak in comparison.

So in my experience, I would say a powered sub is important. Rock and roll songs always sound better to me when Pure Direct is not engaged.

Songs with a lot of synth bass practically demand a sub, unless your speakers are excellent performers.


Subs are definitely important I would never listening to music or movies without a sub but Im not sure what your posts intent was but I agree all along with what you are posting. Did my post about indicate that he didnt need a sub? I just believe the OP requires not only a good sub but better mains if he truely wants to have the best experience.

The kick drum will sound good with a decent sub but it will sound better with better mains that handle the 70Hz to 120Hz range. If mains can not do it then MidBass Modules are needed. Again, this is for the ultimate setup.

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post #27 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbare View Post

Yes their job is to sell a procuct, that does not mean they all lie in order to do it. One should certainly educate themselves before venturing out to visit these salemen so as not to get caught off gaurd. You can only educate yourself in science and such matters for so long until you need to venture forth and put some faith into your learnings. Hence the sales people and their demo gear. It is very easy for one to get caught up in the hype people create on forums and advertisements so it is very important to be abel to go hear/see for oneself what they think of the hype. Science will take you so far then no matter how hard one may try there is always personal thought and feelings, especially when it comes to music. So again one needs to be able to go and do it for themsleves. I will not disagree that many slaes people are frauds who are there just to sell, but I have come across a few that are there to make you happy as they know a happy customer comes back. Just like there are people who will tell lies on these forums that you need to wade through. Happy listening!!

Thanks cool, I just think they are out to make money period since its is just business anyways. They do not care at all about your needs, saving you money, etc , they just want your $$$ and hence they should never be trusted. I will never buy audio equipment from a B&M sales person again in my life....well not true, going out of business sales are fun

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post #28 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 07:32 AM
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Buy a used Arcam AVR 300 from Audiogon. 7-800 dollars...

Very few if any AVR receivers work better with music than an Arcam, just google and read up.

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post #29 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg View Post

Buy a used Arcam AVR 300 from Audiogon. 7-800 dollars...

Very few if any AVR receivers work better with music than an Arcam, just google and read up.


I have no idea about what is the best for music but Russdawg has the right idea.

The OP definitely needs to think about used high end products, he does not need any of the latest HD audio or video stuff so its a waste of money to recommend NEW products.

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post #30 of 35 Old 04-08-2009, 09:36 AM
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Not to interrupt the sidetrack discussion and actually talk to the OP but.....

this:

Quote:
I am more interested in the quality of the sound for listening to music...this is my priority. I want to be able to hear/feel the kick drum like it is in the same room as me (not just feel a heavy but cheap boom from the bass).

and this:

Quote:
I would like to keep my speaker budget under $1000 and I need to keep them as small and unobtrusive as possible. Additionally, any "rear" speakers are not going to be able to be behind me, they will have to be next to my head.... Ideally, I would not have large speakers next to my TV. I think something the size of bose speakers are smaller than what I a shooting for, but I would also like to keep them smaller than regular bookshelf speakers if it is possible to do so while getting nice/clear sound.

are going to be inherently contradictory.

you better readjust your expectations about the quality of the sound and "impact" of the kick drum if you are aiming for a tiny sub/sat setup. that's going to be a tough one to reconcile.

you can't take some tiny speakers and pair them with a "musical" receiver and suddenly have full bodied smack-you-in-the-face-awesome music performance. there is going to be a hole in the upper bass in almost any sub/sat setup...

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