Disappointed with Denon AVR-1912 – looking for an alternative! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I decided to upgrade my old NAD C340 stereo amp to a modern surround system, and picked up the Denon AVR-1912. After a week of playing around I came to the conclusion that this is not what I am looking for. The Denon sounds just ok, but for music playing, it isn't as musical and dynamic as my good old NAD. The crappy UI and the buggy software/control took the fun out of it. I returned it to Amazon and now I need some help to choose a decent alternative that fulfills the following:

- Superb warm sound, especially for music playing.
- Network FLAC/MP3 player, internet radio
- Has a mature Android app
- Intuitive to control with the supplied R/C

Not important to me:
- Video scaling
- Airplay

The alternatives I'm considering:
- Yamaha rx-v671
- Onkyo tx-nr609
- Pioneer ?

Which one shell I pick up?

David
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 05:53 AM
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On the 1912, did you run Audyssey based on the Audyssey Setup Guide linked in my sig to get the best EQ possible? Also note the Audyssey in the 1912 (MultEQ) can EQ the sub whereas the alternatives you are considering cannot EQ the sub.

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post #3 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 06:16 AM
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^^
Have you looked at a NAD AVR? I used a T773 and thought it was the best AVR I've ever owned for music. I've heard that their AVR line-up is tilted towards music, maybe I'm wrong. . .

Steve
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 06:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal9911 View Post

I decided to upgrade my old NAD C340 stereo amp to a modern surround system, and picked up the Denon AVR-1912. After a week of playing around I came to the conclusion that this is not what I am looking for. The Denon sounds just ok, but for music playing, it isn't as musical and dynamic as my good old NAD. The crappy UI and the buggy software/control took the fun out of it. I returned it to Amazon and now I need some help to choose a decent alternative that fulfills the following:

- Superb warm sound, especially for music playing.
- Network FLAC/MP3 player, internet radio
- Has a mature Android app
- Intuitive to control with the supplied R/C

Not important to me:
- Video scaling
- Airplay

The alternatives I'm considering:
- Yamaha rx-v671
- Onkyo tx-nr609
- Pioneer ?

Which one shell I pick up?

David

Amplifiers don't sound "musical". All they are supposed to do is amplify, nothing more. Buy the receiver that meets your needs.
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 07:35 AM
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Some amplifiers have relatively low distortion and some do not. That is why pro audio people, including recording engineers, routinely spend several thousand dollars on very-high-quality amplifiers from Bryston, Boulder, Audio Research, and other companies that do an exceptional engineering job on their amplifiers to minimize distortion. This costs money to design and produce. People whose livelihood depends on sound quality are not foolish enough to think that all amplifiers sound the same; they know better from experience!

The typical low-distortion amplifier costs from $150 to $1500 per channel to produce. Anyone who thinks that the typical $30 per channel amplifier in most mass-market AV receivers costing under $1000 is going to have the same kind of sound quality is living in a fantasy world and is badly in need of some education regarding amplifier design and performance.

98% of the AV receivers on the market have poor-quality amplifiers that deliver mediocre sound quality. The gentleman who made the original post here has obviously listened to his receiver and found its sound quality to be less than adequate. That kind of second-rate sound quality is certainly what I hear when I listen to almost all A/V receivers.

The ONLY AV receiver that I am personally familiar with that actually has some high-quality low-distortion amplifiers is the Cambridge Audio 650R. IT is the one receiver that you can buy that has exceptionally good sound quality. It comes from a company that is experienced at engineering and producing low-distortion amplifiers and makes that a high priority in their receivers.

Anyone who doesn't want to believe me might want to read the Home Theater magazine review of the 650R. They also said that it is the best-sounding receiver on the market.

Low distortion may not be needed if you only want to listen to childish slam-bam movies and video games; listening to music is something entirely different.




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Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

Amplifiers don't sound "musical". All they are supposed to do is amplify, nothing more. Buy the receiver that meets your needs.

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post #6 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Some amplifiers have relatively low distortion and some do not. That is why pro audio people, including recording engineers, routinely spend several thousand dollars on very-high-quality amplifiers from Bryston, Audio Research, and other companies that do an exceptional engineering job on their amplifiers to minimize distortion. This costs money to design and produce. People whose livelihood depends on sound quality are not foolish enough to think that all amplifiers sound the same; they know better from experience!

The typical low-distortion amplifier costs from $150 to $600 per channel to produce. Anyone who thinks that the typical $30 per channel amplifier in most mass-market AV receivers costing under $1000 is going to have the same kind of sound quality is living in a fantasy world and is sadly in need of some education regarding amplifier design and performance. 98% of the AV receivers on the market have poor-quality amplifiers that deliver mediocre sound quality. The gentleman who made the original post here has obviously listened to his receiver and found its sound quality to be less than adequate.

The ONLY AV receiver that I am personally familiar with that actually has some high-quality low-distortion amplifiers is the Cambridge Audio 650R. IT is the one receiver that you can buy that has exceptionally good sound quality. It comes from a company that is experienced at engineering and producing low-distortion amplifiers and makes that a high priority in their receivers.

Anyone who doesn't want to believe me might want to read the Home Theater review of the 650R. They also said that it is the best-sounding receiver on the market.

Read the specs on any decent receiver and you will find that distortion is so low as to be non-existant for all practical purposes. No reputable manufacturer sells a receiver or amplifier with bad distortion, or even audible distortion for that matter. The only time you can hear distortion is when you get into clipping. An amplifier that is working properly should not impart a sound of its' own.
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 08:14 AM
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The published specs on any amplifier have very little to do with the way the amplifier reproduces music. Those specs are ridiculous to any electrical engineer with design experience.

Actual harmonic distortion when music is being amplified typically exceeds 2% at anything but the lowest power levels in lower-quality amplifiers and this is quite audible during music peak sound levels.

Read the tests that John Atkinson does on amplifiers reviewed in Stereophile and you will see what i am talking about. He does actual tests with a high-quality distortion analyzer to get some appropriate data. That is a lot different than the BS specs you are talking about.




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Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

Read the specs on any decent receiver and you will find that distortion is so low as to be non-existant for all practical purposes. No reputable manufacturer sells a receiver or amplifier with bad distortion, or even audible distortion for that matter. The only time you can hear distortion is when you get into clipping. An amplifier that is working properly should not impart a sound of its' own.

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post #8 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The published specs on any amplifier have very little to do with the way the amplifier reproduces music. Those specs are ridiculous to any electrical engineer with design experience.

Actual harmonic distortion when music is being amplified typically exceeds 2% at anything but the lowest power levels in lower-quality amplifiers and this is quite audible during music peak sound levels.

Read the tests that John Atkinson does on amplifiers reviewed in Stereophile and you will see what i am talking about. He does actual tests with a high-quality distortion analyzer to get some appropriate data. That is a lot different than the BS specs you are talking about.

I place absolutely no credence in "Stereophile".
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Actual harmonic distortion when music is being amplified typically exceeds 2% at anything but the lowest power levels in lower-quality amplifiers and this is quite audible during music peak sound levels.

The Denon 2112 and 1912 have the same amps and here is the test bench on the Denon 2112.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/d...-labs-measures

"This graph shows that the AVR-2112CI's left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion..."

So your specially trained audiophile ears would have to be able to hear .1% distortion.
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post #10 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

Read the specs on any decent receiver and you will find that distortion is so low as to be non-existant for all practical purposes. No reputable manufacturer sells a receiver or amplifier with bad distortion, or even audible distortion for that matter. The only time you can hear distortion is when you get into clipping. An amplifier that is working properly should not impart a sound of its' own.

Is the distortion mentioned on the specs constant at all volume levels, including peaks introduced in the input signal?

The way it handles the various peaks and valleys, the way it transitions from one to the other is what makes it "sound" differently.
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

Is the distortion mentioned on the specs constant at all volume levels, including peaks introduced in the input signal?

The way it handles the various peaks and valleys, the way it transitions from one to the other is what makes it "sound" differently.

I gave the OP good advice. Whether he takes it or not is up to him.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal9911 View Post

I decided to upgrade my old NAD C340 stereo amp to a modern surround system, and picked up the Denon AVR-1912. After a week of playing around I came to the conclusion that this is not what I am looking for. The Denon sounds just ok, but for music playing, it isn't as musical and dynamic as my good old NAD. The crappy UI and the buggy software/control took the fun out of it. I returned it to Amazon and now I need some help to choose a decent alternative that fulfills the following:

- Superb warm sound, especially for music playing.
- Network FLAC/MP3 player, internet radio
- Has a mature Android app
- Intuitive to control with the supplied R/C

Not important to me:
- Video scaling
- Airplay

The alternatives I'm considering:
- Yamaha rx-v671
- Onkyo tx-nr609
- Pioneer ?

Which one shell I pick up?

David

Out of that list I would go with the Yamaha. Of course every specific model is different, but in general I have found HK and Yamaha to be better for music than Denon and some other brands. I don't know if HK has a model with all the features you are looking for. Like you I have found Denon to be lacking in musicality. As mentioned above, you might want to look at NAD as well.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 11:33 AM
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If you don't like the way a particular receiver sounds, it's more likely that you don't like the pre-amp settings as opposed to the amplifiers themselves.

As someone above suggested, try running the audyssey setup before returning it. You only have have about 30 minutes of your time to lose. It's worth a try.
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post #14 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Some amplifiers have relatively low distortion and some do not. That is why pro audio people, including recording engineers, routinely spend several thousand dollars on very-high-quality amplifiers from Bryston, Boulder, Audio Research, and other companies that do an exceptional engineering job on their amplifiers to minimize distortion. This costs money to design and produce. People whose livelihood depends on sound quality are not foolish enough to think that all amplifiers sound the same; they know better from experience!

The typical low-distortion amplifier costs from $150 to $1500 per channel to produce. Anyone who thinks that the typical $30 per channel amplifier in most mass-market AV receivers costing under $1000 is going to have the same kind of sound quality is living in a fantasy world and is badly in need of some education regarding amplifier design and performance.

98% of the AV receivers on the market have poor-quality amplifiers that deliver mediocre sound quality. The gentleman who made the original post here has obviously listened to his receiver and found its sound quality to be less than adequate. That kind of second-rate sound quality is certainly what I hear when I listen to almost all A/V receivers.

The ONLY AV receiver that I am personally familiar with that actually has some high-quality low-distortion amplifiers is the Cambridge Audio 650R. IT is the one receiver that you can buy that has exceptionally good sound quality. It comes from a company that is experienced at engineering and producing low-distortion amplifiers and makes that a high priority in their receivers.

Anyone who doesn't want to believe me might want to read the Home Theater review of the 650R. They also said that it is the best-sounding receiver on the market.

Low distortion may not be needed if you only want to listen to childish slam-bam movies and video games; listening to music is something entirely different.

Totally agree. Whenever I say I can hear a difference between my NAD amp and my receivers, I'm told I'm crazy and double blind tests have proven no one can hear any difference between any amp unless it's clipping.
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Everything in this world has a personality. Folks who insist that machines do not have any since they are mass manufactured to "standards" have really not looked hard enough. Every material used to build these machines have different characteristics. If they were all the same, then what is the difference between HK, Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, et al? the difference is in the chipsets used. The combination of the various electronic components will impart an underlying characteristic that is unique to that design.

Take a step further and you will also find folks who will say that a speaker is a speaker. It makes sound based upon the input signal. Really?
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 02:09 PM
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I just took a peek at the NAD c340 specs and I see some interesting info that could be the reason for the "difference" in sound due to all the electronics involved which the newer Denon may have or have different circuitry.

Quote:


Rated distortion (THD 20Hz - 20kHz) ----> 0.03%

Design: Impedance Sensing Circuit (ISC)
The NAD C 340 is one of the first products to benefit from one of Bjørn Erik Edvardsen's latest developments: ISC topology
The ISC topology allows the C 340 to deliver maximum performance under
virtually any circumstance, independent of the loudspeakers it is driving.
The circuitry automatically recognizes the impedance characteristics of the
loudspeaker and will then adjust its power supply settings to best cope
with that specific load. This also gives it an unusual characteristic
compared to traditional amplifiers when measuring its continuous output
power; the RMS output power remains the same at 50 Watts with either an
eight or a four ohms load.

The C 340 also incorporates NAD's acclaimed switchable “Soft Clipping”
circuit which significantly reduces the risk of damage to loudspeakers due
to prolonged high power operation.

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

Everything in this world has a personality. Folks who insist that machines do not have any since they are mass manufactured to "standards" have really not looked hard enough. Every material used to build these machines have different characteristics. If they were all the same, then what is the difference between HK, Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon, et al? the difference is in the chipsets used. The combination of the various electronic components will impart an underlying characteristic that is unique to that design.

Take a step further and you will also find folks who will say that a speaker is a speaker. It makes sound based upon the input signal. Really?

I have never heard anyone say that a speaker is a speaker. The speakers and room will determine most of what you hear. Then you need a good source and enough power for your speakers. The next thing would be to treat the room and run a room eq program. There are many receivers with different features and room eq systems that will give you a different sound. Adding something like Dynamic EQ will change the sound so of course there are differences from brand to brand. If you just hook up there receiver and use the out of box settings then I don't see much of a change from receiver to receiver unless one of them is underpowered.
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post #18 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 02:13 PM
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I have never heard anyone say that a speaker is a speaker.

I was referring to the common man, of course. The one who watches movies on his TV, and then when comes into wealth, approaches a Home Theater specialist who sets up his home theater to flaunt around. that person does not know or care to know or even realize that so many speakers are constructed of so many different materials.
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post #19 of 35 Old 04-30-2012, 02:52 PM
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How about another NAD. Might not have everything you want but it seems to check a lot of the boxes, plus it has a NAD amp of course.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_745T748...48.html?tp=179

Or maybe go up in price and try out a Cambridge-

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_779551R...1R.html?tp=179

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post #20 of 35 Old 05-01-2012, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments. The Cambridge and the NAD are definitely interesting, but they are above my budget and lack of network capabilities. I think I’ll give Yamaha rx-v661/771/ upcoming v573 a try. I Know it’ll be hard to beat the old NAD.

David
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post #21 of 35 Old 05-08-2012, 08:04 AM
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Personally, I'd recommend getting the 748/551, *and* a Squeezebox Touch for the FLAC/MP3 file source and Internet Radio (which of course makes the Android option covered also). Let the box designed to do a singular, proper job, do just that, IMHO!

If you can't stetch to the 748/551, then again, the SBT with one of the Yams might do it, but I suspect you'll need the 748/551 to be happy about replacing the old NAD (I suspect the cheaper AVRs won't be able to compete with the old NAD on musical sound quality terms). Having said that, from what I've read, some of the Yams seem to be the semi-secret budget musical choice, but I haven't personally heard any of them.

I've got the 551 and an old Squeezebox 2, using the DAC in the 551, with pre-outs to a bunch of old Audiolab 8000a's, and it sounds fantastic (for films (where I'm using a BluRay and also a Dune streamer, both over HDMI), but especially for music). The 748 doesn't have pre-ins, so you're potentially limited for expansion for multi-channel input, which may or may not be important to you (I like having options (I haven't used this to test if the 551 DAC or my BluRay DAC is better, yet)).

I've not tried the amps in the 551 yet, which I guess I will do at some point, as a test, but by all accounts, they are very decent, and nearly as good as the old 650R (which also got rave reviews). The 551 DAC and analog stage is certainly top drawer, which of course is where CA is supposed to be way above the rest in the AVR field, and at this price point, I don't think that there is a competitor to the 551/748, if music quality is your goal (it certainly is mine! ).

HTH!

Matt
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post #22 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Just a follow up: I got the Yamaha rx-v671 and I’m going to keep it. It sounds better than the Denon, still not as good as my old NAD, but not so far from it. Considering what it offers, it covers all my HT needs, internet radio, net streamer (FLAC…), great GUI on the TV, easy to use android App, clever Pass through HDMI (with a very low power consumption). The Yamaha is definitely a decent solution for the time being. Getting a much better sounds quality like the NAD, would require other budget.
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post #23 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyal9911 View Post

Just a follow up: I got the Yamaha rx-v671 and I’m going to keep it. It sounds better than the Denon, still not as good as my old NAD, but not so far from it. Considering what it offers, it covers all my HT needs, internet radio, net streamer (FLAC…), great GUI on the TV, easy to use android App, clever Pass through HDMI (with a very low power consumption). The Yamaha is definitely a decent solution for the time being. Getting a much better sounds quality like the NAD, would require other budget.

You should be very happy with the RX-V671. Congrats!!!

One thing to keep in mind. Aural memory is something in the area of several seconds. It is impossible for anybody to "remember" what their old amplifier sounded like in comparison to their new amplifier without having it set up on an A/B comparison. In short, you can't trust your memory to remember how your old amp sounded when listening to your new amp.
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post #24 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

One thing to keep in mind. Aural memory is something in the area of several seconds. It is impossible for anybody to "remember" what their old amplifier sounded like in comparison to their new amplifier without having it set up on an A/B comparison. In short, you can't trust your memory to remember how your old amp sounded when listening to your new amp.

How do you think one remembers and recognizes someone's voice after years and perhaps even decades? To remember them you have to reject thousands of other voices you have heard since. I know in person I have heard simply a voice (not seen them) and instantly knew who they were and I hadn't heard them in more years than I would care to remember. Heck even listening to TV at times I'll heard a voice I haven't in years and look up only to spot a actor that once again I haven't heard in years.

Not quite a few seconds.
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

How do you think one remembers and recognizes someone's voice after years and perhaps even decades? To remember them you have to reject thousands of other voices you have heard since. I know in person I have heard simply a voice (not seen them) and instantly knew who they were and I hadn't heard them in more years than I would care to remember. Heck even listening to TV at times I'll heard a voice I haven't in years and look up only to spot a actor that once again I haven't heard in years.

Not quite a few seconds.

You obviously know very little about audio.
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post #26 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

You obviously know very little about audio.

I know if I audio record someone's voice I can recognize it years later.
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post #27 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

How do you think one remembers and recognizes someone's voice after years and perhaps even decades? To remember them you have to reject thousands of other voices you have heard since. I know in person I have heard simply a voice (not seen them) and instantly knew who they were and I hadn't heard them in more years than I would care to remember. Heck even listening to TV at times I'll heard a voice I haven't in years and look up only to spot a actor that once again I haven't heard in years.

Not quite a few seconds.

you might not want to use this example...

hint: there's a reason why the pstn was designed around 64kbps channels...

- 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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post #28 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I know if I audio record someone's voice I can recognize it years later.

sure... but completely irrelevant...

- 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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post #29 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

you might not want to use this example...

So you disagree? It's some what easy to recognize recorded voices years apart? Of course if they are the extremely close it would be difficult but that isn't the topic at hand. Rather one can only identify a sound for a few seconds.

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Aural memory is something in the area of several seconds.

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post #30 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 08:12 AM
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How do all these threads about receivers end up talking about amplifiers? Receivers are much more than an amplifier and should be easy to tell the difference between them when listening.
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Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

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