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post #91 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

I am curious, after running Audyssey where do you listen in relation to "0" on the Main Volume with 5.1 material?

Presuming Audyssey adjusts to something close to reference level, my numbers may have some meaning...

Movies off optical disc : -10 dB or lower is normal
Music - Bit louder than -20 dB when listening a bit louder than background - at the moment -19 dB, and it's pretty loud at that level
XBox 360 - -25 dB I think is normal. XBox probably runs their output hotter than other sources
TV (Tivo) - Not sure, but probably like -25 dB for normal viewing

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #92 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Hey Crusin' there, how is your Sound Quality?

What changes did you make that made the biggest SQ changes to your setup there?

Friend came over last night here, and thought this setup sounded Totally Awesome -- I sold him my very old 1995 Yamaha 1070 (no HDMI back then) - it had all that DSP junk for Rock, Jazz, Concert Hall, etc. built into it by Yamaha, that in my opinion was a waste. I was glad to get rid of it, just was collecting dust here.

My speaker are what has given me the greats improvement in SQ
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post #93 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

Did you rerun Audyssey after repostioning the speakers? Also, I'm not sure what you did with the dual subs but if you are talking about the Low Pass Filter for the subs it is recommeded to raise that to 120 Hz.

Yes, ran Audyssey again after moving front mains out.

Denon is set as:

Bass Setting
========
SW Mode = LFE
LPF for LFE = 120 Hz.

Crossover Frequencies
==============
Fronts = 80 Hz.
Center = 80 Hz.
Surrounds = 80 Hz.

ALL speakers set to SMALL.

What were you thinking of changing?
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post #94 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

My speaker are what has given me the greats improvement in SQ

What Mfg. and Model Speakers do you have?
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post #95 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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MJH --

"I'm getting a NAD T770 digital decoder with 70-watt amps and Burr-Brown DACs...speakers so loud they blow women's clothing off"

MJH -- whew... must of been a Typo, what is 70-watt amps in your Quote, and if you correct it to make it Fact, you better put "DPS" in quotes for Correction [[GRINS]]
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post #96 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

My speaker are what has given me the greats improvement in SQ

Biggest Improvements Here So Far are:

1.) Adding the EMO XPA-5 to system -- if you have not tried an external Amp yet, try it you might like it -- I LOVE IT ... gave me what I need for my room size 18' x 24'. More cost for the amp than the AVR!

2.) Getting FRONT MAINS FL/FR out away from the Wall by approx. 12" from Rear of Speaker to Wall. Totally changed the Front SoundStage Presence. Reran Audyssey after chg.

3.) Getting the DENON AVR-3311CI setup correctly:

with

Bass Setting
========
SW Mode = LFE
LPF for LFE = 120 Hz.

CrossOver Freq. Setting
===============
Advanced Setting
F/C/L all at 80 Hz.

On SUBS, opening up Low Pass Filter to MAX., and Phase = 0, and adjusting Gain where you like it for each sub.

4.) Adding the Second SUB.

5.) Adding the BD Player for a clean source streaming Napster/Pandora into system for Stereo, or BD Discs for Movies.
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post #97 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

What Mfg. and Model Speakers do you have?

In the HT I have a set of Odins for the mains and Froys for the surrounds. They are a DIY speaker design that was commissioned by Seas, the company that manufactures the drivers. I also have a DIY version of the old Focal Daline 5.1 in my woodworking shop. Then there is set of DIYs in the setting room upstairs that are a Bamberg Engineering design. And last in the living room is a DIY design I did myself that turned out way better than I thought it would that uses some very inexpensive budget Vifa drivers I caught on sale at Madisound years ago. It is the only design that I ever did myself that I didn’t eventually scrap. The fact is I don’t have a single store bought speaker is my house. The last set of speakers I bought was a set of Klipsch KG5.5s. If I remember right they had a sensitivity rating of 101db/w. I am a firm believer the 2 biggest things anyone can do to improve SQ in the home is room setup and speaker quality. Just MHO I almost forgot, a set of BAs outside by the pool.
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post #98 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 12:35 PM
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DPS -

Over the past 3 years or so, I conducted my own personal investigation into what has the greatest affect on audio quality, and the conclusion I came is the same as many others have already stated here.

From the thread I started back in 2009:

Quote:


I’m an avid audiophile, that’s a given, but I have always been very skeptical of many of the claims made about high-end gear, especially tweaks. Until about 5 years ago, I fell squarely into the objective / measurement / hard-science audiophile camp. You know the type, if you can't measure it, then it didn't happen.

Through a lot of reading and hands-on experience from early 2000 to present, I felt I had gained a strong grasp of what was needed technically for a audio component to sound good. Based on what I knew or thought I knew, it also seemed that most of what was being peddled by the high-end just didn’t make sense. But one can’t really argue the one side if they have never experienced the other, so with an open mind, I set out to find out for myself if there really was something to all of the seemingly outlandish claims being made by professional reviewers and the "subjectivists" in the hobby. “This amp changed my life”, “that cable made the sound more liquid”, “this CD player sounds much more musical”, etc., etc. , etc.

The search begins….

Starting with a base point of a Denon AVR5800 and Paradigm Signature speakers that I owned in ~2005, I started trying out different high-end processor/ amp combos. First up was the NAD M15 prepro and M25 amp, then the Anthem D2 and matching Anthem Amp, and a few years later the Lexicon MC12HD and the Lexicon LX7 amp. In regards to innate sound quality (sans processing) I heard slight differences between them, but none of the differences were significant enough to result in a strong preference from me. The NAD stuff was a little smoother, the Anthem a bit brighter / more clinical, and the Lexicon being somewhere between. However, the Logic 7 surround processing in the Lexicon was significantly better than the processing in the other two, so I stuck with that for a while.

In my next attempt to take my system to the next level, I borrowed a Linn Unidisk and a Classe Delta series CD player from a local dealer. I ran both players into the Lexicon prepro via coax digital and analog connections. Again the differences were so slight (none at all?) that I felt no compelling reason to buy these to replace the Lexicon RT-20 player I owned at the time, which incidentally is a re-badged Marantz player.

After the CD players, I decided to try out a few different amps. The Lexicon LX-7 amp was my current amp (Lexicon design, Crown made), which I compared to a pair of Bel Canto Ref 1000s, a Parasound Halo A51, and a pair of Classe CAM-400 monoblocks. Four very different designs, and four very different price points. At the time, these amps were all paired to the Lexicon MC12HD prepro and Revel Studio2 speakers. You would think that the $10K a pair Classe monblocks would have stomped all over the other amps. I mean, these are small-refrigerator sized, 400-watt amps that run in pure Class A mode for the first 100 watts! An audiophile wet dream if there ever was one. Even though I'm skeptical of high end gear like this, there is a part of me that really wanted them to sound clearly better than any other amp I'd ever heard. But, sigh ... they didn't. I honestly had a very hard time telling these four very different amp designs apart based on their sonics. Were four amps identical? No. Were they within 15% of each other? To me, yes.

Not being completely satisfied with the sound quality of the Lexicon / Revel combo; on the recommendation of a friend, I bought the Classe SSP-800 and CA-5100 amp to try out. I did find the sound of the Classe stack to be a bit smoother and more “analog” while also more resolving than the Lexicon with the Revels, but it still wasn’t what I was after. The Revels still sounded too clinical. It wasn’t until I switched from Revel's to Wilson Benesch speakers that got my sound system closer to where I wanted it than I ever had before. But the funny thing is, when I auditioned the Wilson Benesch speakers, I was waiting for the Classe gear to arrive and the only thing I had to power the Wilsons was a $400 Harmon Kardon AVR borrowed from my bedroom! The truth is, in stereo, I liked the sound of the Wilson Benesch speakers + $400 HK AVR better than the Revels with a $19K Lexicon processor and matching amp! Looking back on that really does help cement the importance of speakers vs. electronics for me.

Even though my faith in high-end audio was waning by this time, I still stuck with the Classe front-end because I wanted a system that looked "the part" as much as it sounded "the part". No brainer there, the Classe / Wilson Benesch system looked and sounded fantastic. While I was happy with the sound of this beautiful system, all was not well. The Classe prepro was full of operational bugs, and my particular unit exhibited several hardware problems that required dozens of hours of troubleshooting and months of waiting while it was repaired and later replaced. Combine this with some speaker issues that also took months to get resolved, and I was getting fed up with high-end audio. So much so that I said f**k it, and sold it all off. I didn't need the heartache, and I figured that I could do just as well sound quality wise in the "mid-fi" category.

The trend of hearing only small differences between front-end components didn’t change when I auditioned several AVRs and separates in 2010 to replace the Classe, though I was surprised that with the quick switching available at the dealer it was a easier to hear the differences that where there. Between the Denon AVR5308, Arcam AVR600, Primare separates, Naim, Classe, Plinius, Audionet, Amarra and Marantz AV8003, the only two that really stood out of the pack were the Primare (not favorably) and the Marantz (favorably), but again this is in relative terms. There was no quantum shift in sound quality between these pieces to my ears. That’s not to say that I would just randomly choose one, as every little bit helps, BUT based on my preference for the affordable Marantz, "moving up the ladder" and spending more money is no guarantee of subjectively better sound.

I know that this all probably sounds like just another all-amps-sound-the-same, whistle-blower, but I would be the first in line to drop $10K on a new processor, amps or whatever, if the sound quality was CLEARLY better than mass produced AVR. Not just some incremental, subjectively questionable difference.

As for what I consider more tweaky solutions, I’ve tried an assortment of power cables, ICs and power conditioners, including XLO, Kimber, Van Den Hul, AudioQuest, PS Audio, Element Cable, Wire World. If there were differences between these things, they were lost on me. The only one that made even a slight difference (I think) was the PS Audio Power Plant and I believe that is because it is not just a passive device. It converts the AC to DC and back to AC again. In my experience, it made low level details easier to hear like being able to see fine shadow detail in a video display, but don't hold me to this. Further investigation is probably needed.

Based on this collection of experiences, my focus remains on speakers, recording quality, proper calibration / set-up, the room, EQ, build quality and style (the components must be well made and look good ). The rest is gravy to me.

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post #99 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

DPS -

Over the past 3 years or so, I conducted my own personal investigation into what has the greatest affect on audio quality, and the conclusion I came is the same as many others have already stated here.

From the thread I started back in 2009:

Tim,

Excellent post. I have followed your journey and I appreciate your honesty in that AVRs, prepros, amps and sources really are not the best bang for the buck for desired SQ improvements (which I agree). I have also tried a number AVRs, prepros, amps and sources with no significant changes in SQ. If I thought there was it really comes down to whether it was an actual improvement or the old placebo effect.

As with you the biggest SQ improvements in my system have been with speaker upgrades (subs as well). Along with that the placement of the speakers and sub have also yielded incremental SQ improvements as well. In the near future I hope to add some room treatments to my room to help with the issues of my small room.

Bill

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post #100 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
Tim,

Excellent post. I have followed your journey and I appreciate your honesty in that AVRs, prepros, amps and sources really are not the best bang for the buck for desired SQ improvements (which I agree). I have also tried a number AVRs, prepros, amps and sources with no significant changes in SQ. If I thought there was it really comes down to whether it was an actual improvement or the old placebo effect.

As with you the biggest SQ improvements in my system have been with speaker upgrades (subs as well). Along with that the placement of the speakers and sub have also yielded incremental SQ improvements as well. In the near future I hope to add some room treatments to my room to help with the issues of my small room.

Bill
I will have to strongly disagree with you guys on this one as I just found out first hand. I have spent the last several years building up a pretty good system in my opinion over the past several years. I moved from one level of Dynaudio Speakers to a level that I had sort of dreamed of (well I got into the monitors anyway) and I felt at the time the biggest change was the kick ass center channel speaker that goes with that series I moved up to. I upgraded my multi-channel amp because at the time I felt I needed to do this with my upgraded speakers. I always have had a very good seperate CDP and have never used a dvd/blu-ray player for cd's. I have always had the NAD M15 pre/pro thru all of these changes. I thought it was very good and I guess I still do and movies always sounded excellent no doubt. I always thought stereo was pretty dang good but over the past two years I just didn't listen to CDs that much. Much more a blu-ray concert if I wanted music.

After three years of building up my system, my pre/pro was the last piece to change. I moved from my one and only NAD M15 to the Classe SSP-800. You think the sound quality didn't change and electronics have no affect? You better think again. I wish I was a scientist that could tell you why but I can't and there is no placebo here for me.

Not only is there a sonic character difference and yes there is (from a touch warmish smooth NAD sound) to a fantastic crystal clear but not harsh image but this is the kicker for me and it is so obvious in my set-up that it is a 180 degree turn and I even posted it in the Classe thread. Before the Classe, and with my NAD and in stereo, I had pretty good imaging. I thought perhaps the best I could get in my untreated room and with a component cabinet and a 55inch display stuck in the middle of the speakers although I pull them forward from the cabinet a bit without looking like crap in the room.

The Classe brought me imaging that I cannot believe. Nothing else in the room changed. The speakers have vanished. Vocals are dead center. Instruments are in space where I perceive they should be. So let's put my sonic perception aside (NAD sound vs Classe) mentioned above but there is no placebo for imaging, sorry. It's a fact.

I have no problem saying this. When I upgraded from my Dynaudio Focus to Dynaudio Confidence speakers but still using the NAD the greatest change at the time was the awesome center channel. I enjoyed the C1s in stereo but was perhaps a little perplexed with stereo and perhaps settled as I always thought imaging was speaker placement and treatments and room. Those things are important of course but the best change EVER in my system and perhaps it is just tying it all together is when I changed from the NAD to the Classe piece. You cannot deny the imaging I have now and it was not there before. Nothing else has changed (except I also added an after-market power cord to my amp and moved to Kimber Select XLRs between the Classe and Simaudio amp. Couldn't use XLR with the NAD. Yes, I use after-market cords, power conditioning and cables everyone hates to talk about). Now I need to work on treatments and really see where this takes me.

I have no scientific reason for you sorry but this proves to me that yes there are different sound qualities within electronics and yes imaging can also be improved by some electronics.

I don't know if I found the secret sauce and my speakers and electronics are perfectly gelling together or what. But the new pre/pro has changed the entire sound of my set-up.

I have been up and running for just over a week. I have watched two movies and a few concerts. You know now many CDs I have listened to? Countless. The stereo enjoyment that is here now with the imaging(and yes that clear crisp voicing) has flip-flopped my listening habits. Strange indeed. I am now just really appreciating what great speakers I have(my opinion only of course) and getting the sound I have imagined I SHOULD have had for the last two years. Perhaps the center is a favorite change(really) but perhaps we can add imaging to the DAQ choices? My speakers have vanished with the upgrade.

So Tim and I have a little difference of opinion here but that is cool (-:

Rick

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post #101 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 06:14 PM
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How do you know its not placebo? Where you able to do some double blind testing?
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post #102 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post
How do you know its not placebo? Where you able to do some double blind testing?
Have you heard speakers at a nice audio store and the vocals and instruments are detached from the speakers? Do you need a blindfold? Or is that how it is supposed to be or what we strive for? My imaging improved greatly.

No I didn't...not necessary.

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post #103 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 07:18 PM
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[quote=Mr.SoftDome;20103580]
Quote:
I will have to strongly disagree with you guys on this one as I just found out first hand.
It is good to have a difference of opinion. If everyone thought the same what fun would that be.


Quote:
After three years of building up my system, my pre/pro was the last piece to change. I moved from my one and only NAD M15 to the Classe SSP-800. You think the sound quality didn't change and electronics have no affect? You better think again. I wish I was a scientist that could tell you why but I can't and there is no placebo here for me.
I do not believe I said electronics make no difference just that it was not a noticable difference like you are hearing. I do not have to think again as I my impressions were for the components I tried in my system. There are so many variables with prepros such as various settings and volume differences that can be the reason you are hearing such improvements. To me going off memory without being able to do an instant A-B comparison does not give a very accurate comparison of components like a prepro.

Quote:
The Classe brought me imaging that I cannot believe. Nothing else in the room changed. The speakers have vanished. Vocals are dead center. Instruments are in space where I perceive they should be. So let's put my sonic perception aside (NAD sound vs Classe) mentioned above but there is no placebo for imaging, sorry. It's a fact.
The bottom line is that you are happy with the upgrade from the NAD to the Classe. But to say there is not a possibility of a hint of placebo without doing a direct A-B comparison with both level matched is not a fact but an opinion IMO.

Quote:
I have no problem saying this. When I upgraded from my Dynaudio Focus to Dynaudio Confidence speakers
I went from Focus 140s to C1s as well, excellent speakers no doubt.

Quote:
You cannot deny the imaging I have now and it was not there before.
If you say so.

Quote:
I have no scientific reason for you sorry but this proves to me that yes there are different sound qualities within electronics and yes imaging can also be improved by some electronics.
No need for a scientific reason and if your changes prove there are SQ gains with electronics then thats all that counts. On the other hand I did not see such huge gains but I have not heard the Classe' or have I had one in my system. Maybe the Classe' would change my thoughts on it.

Quote:
The stereo enjoyment that is here now with the imaging(and yes that clear crisp voicing) has flip-flopped my listening habits.
I have also changed my listening habits to mostly movies to mostly music now. But what has done that is the upgrading of my speakers not electronics.

Bill

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post #104 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 07:27 PM
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Hey Bill,

Cool. I won't turn this into a Classe thread as that is not what the thread is about but if you are using a pre/pro for BOTH stereo and HT duty I do hope you can try the SSP-800 with the C1s and a good amp sometime. It is a great pairing.

I don't know if you have the Confidence Center as well but that is a strong reason why I leaned towards concerts over stereo in the past but the upgrade has really made me appreciate stereo listening again. I did not realize how much imaging I was missing (in my set-up) and what a difference it made.

You may really like it or perhaps it is just another "can't tell the dif"? pre/pro

And once again system synergy plays such a key role. I really do believe this.

Rick

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post #105 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I will have to strongly disagree with you guys on this one as I just found out first hand.

After three years of building up my system, my pre/pro was the last piece to change. I moved from my one and only NAD M15 to the Classe SSP-800. You think the sound quality didn't change and electronics have no affect? You better think again. I wish I was a scientist that could tell you why but I can't and there is no placebo here for me.

Congrats, if you are happy that's all that matters. The Classe SSP-800 is a great piece, but I can't say that it or any other piece of good quality electronics I've owned ever made a quantum shift. And I don't have to "think again", as I've owned both the C1's and the SSP-800... and much more.



Quote:


The Classe brought me imaging that I cannot believe. Nothing else in the room changed. The speakers have vanished. Vocals are dead center. Instruments are in space where I perceive they should be. So let's put my sonic perception aside (NAD sound vs Classe) mentioned above but there is no placebo for imaging, sorry. It's a fact.

You don't have to spend Classe-level money to get all of that. I get all of that with a Denon AVR-5308 at a third of the price. You could have moved sideways from your NAD to Integra or Marantz and realized an equal change in sound quality, well that is if it isn't the Classe badge and reputation stimulating your endorphins.


Quote:


I have no scientific reason for you sorry but this proves to me that yes there are different sound qualities within electronics and yes imaging can also be improved by some electronics.

I didn't say there were no differences, rather that there are bigger fish to fry.


Quote:


I have been up and running for just over a week.

This says it all right there. Your on a new gear high right now. Give it a couple of months.

Quote:


So Tim and I have a little difference of opinion here but that is cool (-:

Just be careful not to chasing rainbows. Enjoy what you have and understand that the grass is not always as green as it appears on the other side.
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post #106 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

Hey Bill,

Cool. I won't turn this into a Classe thread as that is not what the thread is about but if you are using a pre/pro for BOTH stereo and HT duty I do hope you can try the SSP-800 with the C1s and a good amp sometime. It is a great pairing.

I don't know if you have the Confidence Center as well but that is a strong reason why I leaned towards concerts over stereo in the past but the upgrade has really made me appreciate stereo listening again. I did not realize how much imaging I was missing (in my set-up) and what a difference it made.

You may really like it or perhaps it is just another "can't tell the dif"? pre/pro

And once again system synergy plays such a key role. I really do believe this.

Rick

Hey Rick,

Unfortunately I do not have the C1s anymore. I did not have the Confidence center as I was using the Focus 200C when I had the C1s. I found that in my small room that the C1s were just not getting the room they needed to shine. I have Salk SongTowers now which is an excellent speaker but not the C1s. I have an Onkyo 886 for movies and a Parasound 2100 for analog 2CH. Not on a par with the Classe' but not too bad.

I would very much like to try the Classe' but right now its not in the cards. You never know maybe some day I will have the Classe' and I will be pleasantly surprised. If there was a shopclasse'.com (like shoponkyo.com) maybe I could afford one.

Bill

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post #107 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Hey Rick,

Unfortunately I do not have the C1s anymore. I did not have the Confidence center as I was using the Focus 200C when I had the C1s. I found that in my small room that the C1s were just not getting the room they needed to shine. I have Salk SongTowers now which is an excellent speaker but not the C1s. I have an Onkyo 886 for movies and a Parasound 2100 for analog 2CH. Not on a par with the Classe' but not too bad.

I would very much like to try the Classe' but right now its not in the cards. You never know maybe some day I will have the Classe' and I will be pleasantly surprised. If there was a shopclasse'.com (like shoponkyo.com) maybe I could afford one.

Bill

Hey Bill -

No need to play down the quality of your gear. If there is one thing that has held true through all of my gear swapping, it is that there is virtually no correlation between price and sound quality and you don't always have to move "up" to get closer to what you are after. Often times a sideways move to a different sound will do.
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post #108 of 263 Old 03-05-2011, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Congrats, if you are happy that's all that matters. The Classe SSP-800 is a great piece, but I can't say that it or any other piece of good quality electronics I've owned ever made a quantum shift. And I don't have to "think again", as I've owned both the C1's and the SSP-800... and much more.





You don't have to spend Classe-level money to get all of that. I get all of that with a Denon AVR-5308 at a third of the price. You could have moved sideways from your NAD to Integra or Marantz and realized an equal change in sound quality, well that is if it isn't the Classe badge and reputation stimulating your endorphins.




I didn't say there were no differences, rather that there are bigger fish to fry.




This says it all right there. Your on a new gear high right now. Give it a couple of months.



Just be careful not to chasing rainbows. Enjoy what you have and understand that the grass is not always as green as it appears on the other side.

Yeah but that is what makes this a great hobby. No chasing rainbows for me. Took me two to three years to upgrade. I am set. Glad you found peace. They are all really good HT pieces no doubt but from my auditioning I wanted a little more in the analog relm (my opinion). I am sure it was nice to get off the very confused merry-go round you were on. Enjoy the music. Did you have a center or are you going phantom when you were auditioning all of these speakers and pre/pros? Not only the imaging has improved but boy so did some of my blu-ray concerts. When I want to test my center and any changes I have done I reach for k d lang "Live in London". "Wash me Clean" is my test. The vocals on this track are just fantastic and I am enjoying it so much on the new pre/pro. The crisp and dynamic sound are wonderful. The disc is great as a whole if you want to give your system a little audio ride on the concert side. Just how good can a female vocal get? I am also scrambling for anything acoustic guitar I can find. Putting focals aside, this instrument in my upgrade is so obvious in improvement. The sliding of fingers and the sound of the pick. I have noticed on everything I can dig up. John Mayer to some songs I have heard on a digital music channel on Tivo.

I stated a compare of my system with upgrade, my CDP and compared to one pre/pro my NAD. The differences are great to me. Imaging is so enjoyable now. So despite your findings and you owned the same NAD M15 I can't agree with you at all.

The topic of the thread is what has worked best for you to improve sound quality. I laid out my response.

Your set-up looked similiar to mine. Sorry for the cable mess. I have been busy back there the past couple of weeks. My Denon blu-ray pooped via HDMI so I am waiting for my new player and back there once again and then cable clean-up and not to mention I suck at photography.

Greatest changes:
1. Confidence Center
2. Classe pre/pro
3. Confidence C1s (they were not at their best with NAD. Moves them to third). Wow.
4. REL Subs
LL

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post #109 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 01:22 AM
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Here's my experience.

I wen't from using a Pioneer AX2 reciever to drive my 7.2 system to now using a 5 channel power amp from Primare, the A30.5. I still use 2 channels in my reciever, for the surround back channels.

Mu old system was audiovector + Vienna center channel, now I'm using Dynaudio focus 220 and a Sonus faber center channel along with Dynaudio surrounds.

I did not expect huge improvements with the power amp but I was impressed with the upgrade. Call it placebo or whateever you want but from the top of my head the following was observed:

* Better channel seperation.
* Better dynamics.
* Larger soundstage.
* Simply overall better sounding.

Overall I detected a noticable upgrade that even my wife could tell. Perhaps she was being kind, not sure :P

I'm a firm believer in a power amp instead of the somewhat limited amps in mediumpriced recievers.

I was a little unsure what I bought the amp, as it's expensive tbh, but I havent regretted that particular upgrade ever since and I think it will follow me to my next surround processer upgrade
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post #110 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I stated a compare of my system with upgrade, my CDP and compared to one pre/pro my NAD. The differences are great to me. Imaging is so enjoyable now. So despite your findings and you owned the same NAD M15 I can't agree with you at all.

The topic of the thread is what has worked best for you to improve sound quality. I laid out my response.

No worries mate. I'm not out to convince anyone that my way is the right way, or that I have a monopoly on the truth. Just sharing my experience.
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post #111 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Presuming Audyssey adjusts to something close to reference level, my numbers may have some meaning...

Movies off optical disc : -10 dB or lower is normal
Music - Bit louder than -20 dB when listening a bit louder than background - at the moment -19 dB, and it's pretty loud at that level
XBox 360 - -25 dB I think is normal. XBox probably runs their output hotter than other sources
TV (Tivo) - Not sure, but probably like -25 dB for normal viewing

What explains why we have to go from -20db Music to -10 or so for Movies with an external amp?
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post #112 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

DPS -

Over the past 3 years or so, I conducted my own personal investigation into what has the greatest affect on audio quality, and the conclusion I came is the same as many others have already stated here.

From the thread I started back in 2009:

Tim -- HiFiSponge,

That was a phenomenal writeup for sure and to say the least for improvements in SQ.

Back to speakers, room improvements, and the source of recording. I am sure many of us can and will learn from what you have done on your Audiophile Quest for the Best SQ vs. the dollars spent.

I am curious have you ever heard the High-End Klipsch P-34F, at $20K for just the tower Mains?

Thanks again, nice writeup Tim.

DPS
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post #113 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

Yeah but that is what makes this a great hobby. No chasing rainbows for me. Took me two to three years to upgrade. I am set. Glad you found peace. They are all really good HT pieces no doubt but from my auditioning I wanted a little more in the analog relm (my opinion). I am sure it was nice to get off the very confused merry-go round you were on. Enjoy the music. Did you have a center or are you going phantom when you were auditioning all of these speakers and pre/pros? Not only the imaging has improved but boy so did some of my blu-ray concerts. When I want to test my center and any changes I have done I reach for k d lang "Live in London". "Wash me Clean" is my test. The vocals on this track are just fantastic and I am enjoying it so much on the new pre/pro. The crisp and dynamic sound are wonderful. The disc is great as a whole if you want to give your system a little audio ride on the concert side. Just how good can a female vocal get? I am also scrambling for anything acoustic guitar I can find. Putting focals aside, this instrument in my upgrade is so obvious in improvement. The sliding of fingers and the sound of the pick. I have noticed on everything I can dig up. John Mayer to some songs I have heard on a digital music channel on Tivo.

I stated a compare of my system with upgrade, my CDP and compared to one pre/pro my NAD. The differences are great to me. Imaging is so enjoyable now. So despite your findings and you owned the same NAD M15 I can't agree with you at all.

The topic of the thread is what has worked best for you to improve sound quality. I laid out my response.

Your set-up looked similiar to mine. Sorry for the cable mess. I have been busy back there the past couple of weeks. My Denon blu-ray pooped via HDMI so I am waiting for my new player and back there once again and then cable clean-up and not to mention I suck at photography.

Greatest changes:
1. Confidence Center
2. Classe pre/pro
3. Confidence C1s (they were not at their best with NAD. Moves them to third). Wow.
4. REL Subs

Can and will those speakers for the Mains (Stereo Mode) really compare to my Klipsch RF-82II Towers, in your honest Opinion?
To me they look so small, but great things I know can come in small pkgs.

DPS
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post #114 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Hey Rick,

Unfortunately I do not have the C1s anymore. I did not have the Confidence center as I was using the Focus 200C when I had the C1s. I found that in my small room that the C1s were just not getting the room they needed to shine. I have Salk SongTowers now which is an excellent speaker but not the C1s. I have an Onkyo 886 for movies and a Parasound 2100 for analog 2CH. Not on a par with the Classe' but not too bad.

I would very much like to try the Classe' but right now its not in the cards. You never know maybe some day I will have the Classe' and I will be pleasantly surprised. If there was a shopclasse'.com (like shoponkyo.com) maybe I could afford one.

Bill

Ah you experts blow me away. I have a new Emotiva XPA-5, and am very happy with it, but have not even tried another amp so have no idea how a Classe or for that matter even a Mark Levinson would sound vs. the $899 XPA-5.

Have any of you tried an EMO Amp?

I do a lot of streaming through my LG BD-590 Player for Napster and/or Pandora which is HDMI connected to my Denon AVR-3311CI, and to me it seems that is my Best Source for Stereo Audio, maybe excluding some good CD's.

I might move the Denon AVR into the Mstr. Bdrm. to setup the 5.1 HT, and what would you put on the Front End for Pre/Pro if I decide to move the Denon out of the rack? By years end, EMO will have out the XMC-1 so I am told, but probably will be buggy like a lot of new complex gear.

DPS
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post #115 of 263 Old 03-06-2011, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Tim -- HiFiSponge,

That was a phenomenal writeup for sure and to say the least for improvements in SQ.

Back to speakers, room improvements, and the source of recording. I am sure many of us can and will learn from what you have done on your Audiophile Quest for the Best SQ vs. the dollars spent.

I am curious have you ever hear the High-End Klipsch P-34F, at $20K for just the tower Mains?

Thanks again, nice writeup Tim.

DPS

It wasn't my original plan to conduct an investigation, it just happened to turn out that way after I kept coming up cold with each attempt to upgrade.

I haven't heard the high-end Klipschs. I would like to though. They sure look fantastic.
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post #116 of 263 Old 03-07-2011, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post


I do a lot of streaming through my LG BD-590 Player for Napster and/or Pandora which is HDMI connected to my Denon AVR-3311CI, and to me it seems that is my Best Source for Stereo Audio, maybe excluding some good CD's.

DPS

Those formats are about convenience that requires sacrificing quality in order to compress the audio. It sounds like you could save yourself lots of money if you did some double blind tests.
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post #117 of 263 Old 03-07-2011, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Zen, one hell of a lot higher than two channel. Around -12 to -10db for 5.1 DD PLII Cinema, and around -20 to -15db for 2 Channel, but then again when I used to drink it would go to above reference +db for 2.1(2) [[GRINS]].

How about yours?

Hey Den, I have a Denon AVR-4806 and run a 7.1 Home Theater (RF-7s/RC-7/RF-3s/RB-75s/RSW-12 & 15) in a less than 2,000 cu ft room. I listen to multichannel music and movies between -18 to -15 on the MV (sometimes as high as -13). All of my speakers are set to Small and the RC-7 is crossed at 80 Hz and all others at 60 Hz...LFE only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Yes, ran Audyssey again after moving front mains out.

Denon is set as:

Bass Setting
========
SW Mode = LFE
LPF for LFE = 120 Hz.

Crossover Frequencies
==============
Fronts = 80 Hz.
Center = 80 Hz.
Surrounds = 80 Hz.

ALL speakers set to SMALL.

What were you thinking of changing?

That looks about right and the only thing I am curious about is at what volume you listened at before adding the amp...You really seem to be enjoying your Emotiva but after following your other thread I was curious if you ever level-matched the AVR (either with spl meter or Audyssey) to the amp to see if the SPL at which you normally listened changed?
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post #118 of 263 Old 03-07-2011, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by generalhead View Post

Those formats are about convenience that requires sacrificing quality in order to compress the audio. It sounds like you could save yourself lots of money if you did some double blind tests.

Yes, it is about convenience, but the larger issue is THE QUANTITY OF TUNES (Listen instantly to your choice of over 12 million full-length songs as often as you like, and in the order you want, including new releases and old favorites) that I have at my disposal just with Napster.

Do you know that Napster is Compressed (Lossy) Audio? If so, sounds pretty darn good.

Found something on Napster == > Streaming via Napster Web Service
Music is streamed at a bit rate of 128 kbps.


To BAD it's not Streaming in at 320Kbps!! As at 128Kbps we are all losing some information from the tracks.

Do you have a better idea(s), if so, I am all ears?
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post #119 of 263 Old 03-07-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

Hey Den, I have a Denon AVR-4806 and run a 7.1 Home Theater (RF-7s/RC-7/RF-3s/RB-75s/RSW-12 & 15) in a less than 2,000 cu ft room. I listen to multichannel music and movies between -18 to -15 on the MV (sometimes as high as -13). All of my speakers are set to Small and the RC-7 is crossed at 80 Hz and all others at 60 Hz...LFE only.



That looks about right and the only thing I am curious about is at what volume you listened at before adding the amp...You really seem to be enjoying your Emotiva but after following your other thread I was curious if you ever level-matched the AVR (either with spl meter or Audyssey) to the amp to see if the SPL at which you normally listened changed?

Honestly I never did a level match here, as I was just to much in a hurry to install the new Amp.

Wife has been around Audio for around 30+ yrs. and she noticed the difference Right Away, and so did I after installing the Amp. Why? I do not know, but after install it just had the Punch, and you could almost Feel It In the AIR that it Opened Up the Front SoundStage. I guess that is why most Audiophiles love their separates!! Must be some truth there, so it seems to me.

Check out the Emotiva Forums... they sure have a lot of FANS there.
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post #120 of 263 Old 03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Yes, it is about convenience, but the larger issue is THE QUANTITY OF TUNES (Listen instantly to your choice of over 12 million full-length songs as often as you like, and in the order you want, including new releases and old favorites) that I have at my disposal just with Napster.

Do you know that Napster is Compressed (Lossy) Audio? If so, sounds pretty darn good.

Do you have a better idea(s), if so, I am all ears?

well... y'know... you might want to learn a few things about this, since you are "all about sound quality"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenPureSound View Post

Honestly I never did a level match here, as I was just to much in a hurry to install the new Amp.

Wife has been around Audio for around 30+ yrs. and she noticed the difference Right Away, and so did I after installing the Amp. Why? I do not know, but after install it just had the Punch, and you could almost Feel It In the AIR that it Opened Up the Front SoundStage. I guess that is why most Audiophiles love their separates!! Must be some truth there, so it seems to me.

Check out the Emotiva Forums... they sure have a lot of FANS there.

"fans" is the appropriate word... to be honest, you'll never convince me of your above assertion, because the numbers simply don't back it up (not to mention your "test" is wholly invalid)...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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