My Report : Cambridge 551R vs Denon 4308 vs Anthem MRX300 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 47 Old 04-21-2012, 08:09 AM
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LOL! One of those. Poor guy. So desperate; but will never find that satisfaction.

Even online.

It's tough when you don't get the respect you deserve. All these idiots in the world. So many people are just plain wrong. If they would just listen to you. Many of them get insulted, but that's THEIR fault. They need to educate themselves, that's all!

I feel......I feel But I think your last post helps everyone understand. If only just a little better.

All your (audio related) responses read like the compilation of way too many articles. Many of your read theories are right, in general, but wrong with individual cases. Such as the center channel. If you read the RIGHT article you'll find the interesting way Canton got around the MTM center channel weakness, by NOT doing MTM.

Still no word on what great sound is, or is not, from a "what you hear" POV.

But since this could go on forever...........I've done this before.....no more.

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post #32 of 47 Old 04-21-2012, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dean-l View Post

I'm mostly interested in the 400. Is that manu'd in the UK too? What's your opinion?

Never seen or heard one myself and no sure where it's made but reactions in the Arcam forum have been mixed and generally felt not in the same league as the 600. It seems to be based on Broadcom IIRC, similar to Anthem. Used 600s are under $3k not much more than what a new 400 costs. Maybe CA will do better next time too.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #33 of 47 Old 04-21-2012, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

I don't know if you're with Anthem any longer, but if so one thing to look at for future runs is the mechanical integrity of the shields on the RCA preouts. They seem to fall off if one breathes on them.

Still there but wasn't involved with MRX until design was almost complete, though as with all models I do what I can about reported problems if there's a trend. The RCA jacks are the same ones used on many major brand AVRs. Some cables from specialty manufacturers have very tight connection and I suspect this is the common thread. If you haven't named the cable brand in your message to tech support, please do. For the record it's been reported just a handful, not an epidemic or anything like that.

The most important noise floor is in your head. Always remember to protect your hearing.
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post #34 of 47 Old 04-21-2012, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

It seems to be based on Broadcom IIRC, similar to Anthem.

Wherever that info came from had things mixed up with discontinued Blu-ray players.

Earlier in this thread I touched on how each manufacturer can prescribe QC. There's much more to this because a manufacturer can also change a stock design in any number of ways. For over a year we had half our engineers on the MRX doing that. For example, one DSP allows ARC or Dolby Volume but not both so we added a second. The amp section underwent some pretty heavy fine tuning as well in terms of protection and cooling, and met all the safety standards without resorting to a voltage-reducing switch to handle 4 ohm loads.

In other words, these AVRs are not made from repackaged modules - far from it.

The most important noise floor is in your head. Always remember to protect your hearing.
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post #35 of 47 Old 04-22-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick @ Anthem View Post

***The RCA jacks are the same ones used on many major brand AVRs. Some cables from specialty manufacturers have very tight connection and I suspect this is the common thread. If you haven't named the cable brand in your message to tech support, please do. For the record it's been reported just a handful, not an epidemic or anything like that.

Thanks for the note, Nick. Perhaps your factory just got a bad run of them, because a few of us have had the issue. And I probably should let Andrew know formally, though I haven't yet. Just sticking it back in seems to make it work just fine, so I haven't been inclined to ship it back for a new set.

I didn't mention the wire brand because, well, I didn't want to give the brand extra hits, because that might play into their idiot mythology that different wires sound different from one another. But you're right that it's material and relevant, so here we are The RCA ends I use are the audioquest ITC-24, because they make it so quick to assemble custom-length wires. (I'm too OCD to use standard-length wires...)

They're reasonably secure but not exactly a death grip like some out there I've seen.

FWIW, I've used them without issue on a bunch of other gear, ranging from other AVR's (Panasonic XR-55, Denon 3808, Denon 4308, Pioneer Elite EX500) to SACD/DVD-A players (Pioneer Elite DV-50A, a Samsung unit), to separate amps (Sherwood Newcastle A-965, Dayton SA1000/Snell SPA-750, Adcom 5800, Adcom 535II, Adcom 2535, Marantz MA700, NHT A1) and even subwoofer plate amps (Dayton SA240, Oaudio 500W), and the only piece of gear that has ever had an RCA shield come off was the MRX 300.

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post #36 of 47 Old 04-23-2012, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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[EDIT 23/04/2012] I have returned the 551R to my dealer. He call me to say this issue come from my amplifier. he gets few in stock and only my mine has HDMI issues. I don't want to try again, I prefer to stay with my 'old' Denon 4308. So I let you make a try and maybe add your experience in this thread.
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post #37 of 47 Old 04-23-2012, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I considered the CA650R when it came out, went to the dealers but it hadn't arrived. Had a look at the 540R and 650BDP and wasn't impressed by the metal finish. I never went back.



To be fair HDMI problems aren't always the receiving end's fault but here if the same brand BDP is having problems then it looks bad and frankly embarassing. I hear the CA751 works with the Arcam, so here you are. CA receivers are largely designed by Anem Electronics so it explains why CA staff aren't quick to respond to problems.

Kilian, are you talking about the CA751BD? I have this and it, along with the DuneHD (Media Streamer) are both having HDMI drop-outs, so I assumed that the problem was the 650R. CA have stated they beleive the 650R to be faulty, but not explained why, yet, as I assumed they know the 751BD to be reliable. Do you have a reason (or evidence) to suggest otherwise? (v.interested to hear! ).

Quote:
Life is too short to be doing free beta-testing and constantly dealing with dealers (however nice and sympathetic they may be) and manufacturer(/distributor if you are abroad), not for me anyway. I'd rather be enjoying the movies and music.

Indeed and agreed! Trouble is, it's very hard to find out the "truth" about these products, and so often, you end up finding out the hard way yourself. Often, problems you read about on internet fora either don't apply in your setup, or are inaccurately reported. Sifting what you read and reading between the lines can only help you so far.... Everywhere you turn, you can find someone complaining about a problem with the alternative product you find yourself forced to be considering for your replacement to your current problematic bit of kit...

It would help if companies would hold their hand up to known problems, but I guess you can understand why they (usually) don't.

Cheers,

Matt.
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post #38 of 47 Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 PM
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Matt, yes I meant the BDP and I possibly get it mixed up with the newer 651BDP, I think it is someone (Damian?) on AVForums who has one of those with an Arcam AVR600. Here, someone has a 751BDP and 650R and here someone has a 751BD and a Denon. The 751BDP is based on Mediatek so it's unlikely to go wrong when the Oppo equivalents are fine.

If other 650Rs work but in your case two or more sources have problems with your 650R then it does point to the 650R being faulty. You already tried SPDIF without audio problems so it does suggest HDMI rather than the rest being the culprit. You might also try analogue video and if that works without hiccups then again it points to HDMI. Another thing I'd try is try SD video resolution. Or HDMI video and analogue MCH audio - using analogue audio with upsampling is the reason to get the 751BDP in the first place. That's as far as you can go at home. It still leaves you wondering why there are good and other 'bad' units. If as CA say it's firmware issue it should affect all using HDMI. So by logical reasoning I'm leaning towards hardware issue, maybe a faulty batch. Only CA can tell by serial numbers whether it's from a batch.

I do feel your frustration and for this reason I don't usually buy components during initial launch or in CA's case when internet feedback is scarce. It's unfortunate you bought the last one. If you don't want to be kept waiting then move on. Just one bad feedback from Fabiolander is enough to put me off trying the new line.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #39 of 47 Old 04-24-2012, 06:34 AM
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Just wondering if anybody has any suggestions for a similar AVR, as the 650R/551R used just for it's analog stage, it's HDMI inputs, DACs and multi-channel in and outputs?

The 650R sounds very good to my ears, in my system (using external amplification), and has become a very useable pre-amp for all sources (which wasn't it's original remit), and now I feel stuck without spending a lot more on something even remotely similar.

Anyone?

Cheers,

Matt.
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post #40 of 47 Old 04-24-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutant_matt View Post

Just wondering if anybody has any suggestions for a similar AVR, as the 650R/551R used just for it's analog stage, it's HDMI inputs, DACs and multi-channel in and outputs?

The 650R sounds very good to my ears, in my system (using external amplification), and has become a very useable pre-amp for all sources (which wasn't it's original remit), and now I feel stuck without spending a lot more on something even remotely similar.

Anyone?

Cheers,

Matt.

Harman Kardon AVR 3600. Can be had for around $500 and has everything you listed. It's a discontinued model so don't know how long they'll be around new.

Check em out.

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post #41 of 47 Old 04-30-2012, 02:26 AM
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Update. I swapped the old/end of line/last one, 650R, for a new 551R. As I'm using them as a pre/pro, and in that sense, they are exactly the same, the 551R sounds as good as the 650R it replaced (i.e. fantastic, to my ears (and others that have had a demo), in my room, with my other kit)).

I haven't (yet) found any bugs or problems, and I've tested (for some hours, it was basically on all weekend):

Over HDMI
5.1 LPCM (96/24 and 88.2/24)
2.0 PCM (44.1/16)
DD (2.0 & 5.1)
DTS (5.1)
DD TrueHD and DTS-HD MA (with 1080p/24 video)

SPDIF/TOSLINK
2.0 PCM
2.0 DD

The Cirrus Logic DSP is slow to lock onto 5.1 bitstreams (a couple of seconds), as per the 650R, but that's not a fault, just a non-perfect design limitation. It locks onto PCM 2.0 pretty quickly though and I haven't yet found any problems with changing sources (or changing the channel on my TV which is connected to it via TOSLINK), which often also have a change of audio stream type.

Like the 650R (it has the same DSP, DACs, power supply and analog stage), using it as a pre/pro, especially at the price, as long as I don't find any problems, it can't be beat (unless the Emotiva UMC-1 is any good, but that seems to be a whole 'nother "can of worms"! ).

It also runs really cool, where the 650R ran quite hot, even though they both have what looks to be a very similar version of the CA "X-Tract" exhaust system.

Cheers,

Matt.
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post #42 of 47 Old 11-01-2012, 07:22 PM
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The 551R seems interesting to me. I'm mostly a hifi-enthusiast (or tending to become one) with a little bit of need for surround sound.

My living room is a bit unconventional, I have two floorstanding speakers on opposite ends of the TV, but the fact is I don't watch TV much, either for programming or for movies, and I don't usually sit anywhere in the center of those stereo speakers. There are basically three locations in my room where I normally sit, and all three are very close to a single sound source. Having stereo sound therefore kind of defeats the purpose of having stereo sound, so I have 3 more surround speakers (center, surround left, right) and another center (surround back) placed around the room and I normally feed stereo PCM or analog to the Dolby Pro Logic IIx on my Onkyo receiver so that I'll have 6.0 sound. In most cases this works best, although the surround set has a lesser sound than the stereo + center back speakers.

For example, right now I'm listening to the Onkyo's stereo "pure audio" mode, but because of my desk placement I'm basically just hearing sound coming from one speaker, the front right, masking the sound of the front left.

Picture:
speaker-layout.png

I'd prefer to have a speaker layout with just the FL, FR, and CB as well but the Onkyo doesn't support having multiple configurations (not sure any receiver does) and you can't have surround back unless you do center and surround left right as well, so if I want to have that Center Back to be my 3rd speaker (3.0) I'll have to connect it as center and then disconnect the rest.

Point is my setup is more 'surround hifi' than 'AV surround'. My only AV needs for the receiver are to accept HDMI from my computer (could be 7.1 over analog for audio or 5.1 over digital), and probably HDMI from a BDP located near the TV (maybe just 5.1 over digital). The audio stack is sitting between the SR and the Desk. Therefore, shortcomings on the 551R won't be as noticeable to me as they would a home theatre user, and my use case fits "hifi quality AVR" perfectly.

I'll be keeping an eye on these receivers. I'm planning an upgrade in about 3 years.
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post #43 of 47 Old 11-04-2012, 12:01 PM
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Well,

I read your post, and to properly understand it, I'd have to read it again! wink.gif

Regardless, if the 551R is still around, they will be quite mature by then. Personally, I've had pretty much zero problems with mine over 6 months, though I have had approx 3 HDMI glitches in that time, but seeing as hours used must be in the several hundreds by now, I'm not bothered.

As previously stated, I haven't used the power amps in the unit, though by all accounts, they are not half bad for the price, but I continue to be extremely happy with the quality of the pre amp/analogue/processor stage. I have had a good few friends who are hifi/music fans be very impressed with the sound, including one who works for an equipment manufacturer in a Dev capacity.

It is my opinion that a good musical system, walks it with AV, and this unit is no different. When I upgraded this unit from an old Rotel processor, I didn't realise just how much musical improvement, I was going to get from my collection, especially not the improvement in the quality of music via Dolby Digital and especially, DTS music DVDs (mostly concerts).

I have no idea how common or popular the 551R is (or the 651/751R), nor how well it's selling, but I'd recommend it to anyone, either as a pre/proc like I'm using it, or as a full AVR.

HTH!

Cheers,

Matt smile.gif
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post #44 of 47 Old 11-04-2012, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dean-l View Post

Response from Cambridge.

651r and 751r hardware is final. SW is still testing.

"couple months".


I posted this April 20th.

Hard to believe. Nearly 7 months ago.


Last I heard was that Cambridge Audio tweeted on Aug 8th -- Our 651r & 751r will be shipping in the next few months.

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post #45 of 47 Old 11-06-2012, 08:53 PM
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I have a couple of simple support tickets on their website. Someone responded to the tickets right away, but no response to my further replies.

A bit disappointing I must say. It's nothing important, but I would at least expect a little conversation from a company like that. One of my replies was even "I bought your unit and I'm happy with it". No response to that. Does not bode well for any serious support requests, that's what I'm thinking!

Could be wrong, could be right! Doesn't matter at this point. I'm happy to hear some people have very good experience with the unit though. Can't wait till the 3 years are gone and I get to buy one wink.gif. Or one of the successors. I think it will be a second handd 551R.
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post #46 of 47 Old 03-11-2014, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dean-l View Post


Canton Ergo Line. Decent line, especially for the price.


I bought them for the excellent tweeters. Clear/delicate yet not harsh.


"subs" you assume I have MORE than one?


If I had excessive subs I would probably need LOTS of.......oh, um, never mind.


Leaving off room correction is a "preference for low-fidelity reproduction"?

You mean I SHOULD add processing to IMPROVE SQ? it's ASSUMED they ADD to SQ?

You assume ARC does not distort the sound. I find it "thins" the mid-range and harshens the upper end a little.

All of these things have give and take. Usually, more take.


Charts are nice. Do flat lines mean good sound? or just flat lines?

I've seen a lot of terrible speakers with nice flat lines. They mean little to me, except maybe to point out blown drivers and such. Some of the best stuff I've heard would do poorly "by the numbers" but sound fantastic. Numbers are for your "Denon" type folks. The "on the toilet" spec sheet readers.


subs, subs, subs. What's your high-end sound like? Voices? hear the pluck of strings? echo off the walls? wind instrument player inhaling? "See" the drummer BEHIND the singer? THAT's great sound. I've heard 2 channel systems with room filling sound like surround. Sounds that come from BEYOND the speaker, literally a couple feet past it. THAT's great sound.


What about dialog? The center channel. I can hear BIG diffs in speakers. That's a MUCH more important question than "what are your subs?" in a HT setup. No chart is going to tell you that. No sub will give it to you.


But that's the age old battle between audiophiles and HT guys. Clear upper end/warm full mid-range vs. bass, lots and lots of bass with muffled dialog.

Youve gotta love this guy...looking to disprove and discredit other peoples peoples subjectivity and opinions by using exactly the same kinds of rediculous, FACTLESS subjectivity.

Were you looking to make a strong point?? Please try again.

BTW which one am I? HT guy or audiophile? I own a Denon 4308...so I guess you know all there is to know about my audio/fidelity knowhow and prowess.

Let me turn my bass down so I can properly process your response. lol
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post #47 of 47 Old 03-11-2014, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dean-l View Post


Canton Ergo Line. Decent line, especially for the price.


I bought them for the excellent tweeters. Clear/delicate yet not harsh.


"subs" you assume I have MORE than one?


If I had excessive subs I would probably need LOTS of.......oh, um, never mind.


Leaving off room correction is a "preference for low-fidelity reproduction"?

You mean I SHOULD add processing to IMPROVE SQ? it's ASSUMED they ADD to SQ?

You assume ARC does not distort the sound. I find it "thins" the mid-range and harshens the upper end a little.

All of these things have give and take. Usually, more take.


Charts are nice. Do flat lines mean good sound? or just flat lines?

I've seen a lot of terrible speakers with nice flat lines. They mean little to me, except maybe to point out blown drivers and such. Some of the best stuff I've heard would do poorly "by the numbers" but sound fantastic. Numbers are for your "Denon" type folks. The "on the toilet" spec sheet readers.


subs, subs, subs. What's your high-end sound like? Voices? hear the pluck of strings? echo off the walls? wind instrument player inhaling? "See" the drummer BEHIND the singer? THAT's great sound. I've heard 2 channel systems with room filling sound like surround. Sounds that come from BEYOND the speaker, literally a couple feet past it. THAT's great sound.


What about dialog? The center channel. I can hear BIG diffs in speakers. That's a MUCH more important question than "what are your subs?" in a HT setup. No chart is going to tell you that. No sub will give it to you.


But that's the age old battle between audiophiles and HT guys. Clear upper end/warm full mid-range vs. bass, lots and lots of bass with muffled dialog.

FACT: Multi channel systems which utalize more than 1 sub, do so in many cases to BALANCE the bass response in the room (weed out holes in the room).
What thia means: Having more than 1 sub serves a far more sophisticated purpose than simply adding more bass. In some systems, multiple subs are added ONLY for balance, thus rendering your assertation that they are looking for more bass eroneous and speaks to your limited knowledge of multi channel systems being set up in rooms that are not optimally constructed for audio fidelity.

I believe its is far more of a question of UP TO DATE info, vs OUTDATED info...as opposed to a "new school bass head" vs "old school refined listener".
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