The **OFFICIAL** DENON AVR-4520CI thread - Page 73 - AVS Forum
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post #2161 of 10793 Old 01-13-2013, 10:24 PM
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What blu-ray players are you guys using with the 4520? I'm torn between the Oppo (best player on the market, IMO) and the matching Denon DBT-3313UDCI .

I would imagine the Denon would be a better bet as you get Denon Link and matching asthetics. I'm guessing the Denon can also hold its own against the Oppo when it comes to video quality as well.

Thoughts?

-Brian

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post #2162 of 10793 Old 01-13-2013, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post


AustinJerry - have you updated this?
Can you post the excel file here? I'd like to use that for a base comparison list for the extended surround formats.
btw, where is DTS Neo:X?

 

Mike, I am attaching the Excel file for you.  I don't know why I didn't include Neo:X in the previous version, but I have added it now.  One somewhat confusing thing about the 4520 menus is that they are context-sensitive.  Sometimes not all choices are displayed.  Maybe that is why I didn't see it previously.

 

 

 

4520 Modes.zip 7k .zip file
Attached Files
File Type: zip 4520 Modes.zip (7.3 KB, 47 views)
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post #2163 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

What blu-ray players are you guys using with the 4520? I'm torn between the Oppo (best player on the market, IMO) and the matching Denon DBT-3313UDCI .

I would imagine the Denon would be a better bet as you get Denon Link and matching asthetics. I'm guessing the Denon can also hold its own against the Oppo when it comes to video quality as well.

Thoughts?

-Brian
For PQ, the difference is minimal for BR, did a shootout of BR players in 2010 (see my blog for details). Likewise for HDMI connection SQ.
If you are into stereo / analogue music, then the difference will be more significant. Don't go nuts over the Denon Link feature, IMO.
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post #2164 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

What blu-ray players are you guys using with the 4520? I'm torn between the Oppo (best player on the market, IMO) and the matching Denon DBT-3313UDCI .

I would imagine the Denon would be a better bet as you get Denon Link and matching asthetics. I'm guessing the Denon can also hold its own against the Oppo when it comes to video quality as well.

Thoughts?

-Brian
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post #2165 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:09 AM
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I'm using an Oppo 93. I bought it because it can play DVD-A and SACD.
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post #2166 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bghead8che View Post

What blu-ray players are you guys using with the 4520? I'm torn between the Oppo (best player on the market, IMO) and the matching Denon DBT-3313UDCI .
I would imagine the Denon would be a better bet as you get Denon Link ...
The Oppos are very popular for good reason. I was wondering if I should replace my Oppo with a DenonLink player. So some time ago I started a thread, "Does DenonLink really matter?". Others posted hearing SQ improvements so I bought a DBPA100/4010 univ Bluray to connect via the prior top version of DenonLink (Cat5) to my AVRA100/4311. I then did level-matched A/B tests using identical discs, Oppo HDMI vs Denon via DL, and confirmed for myself that it distinctly improves SQ for CD, DVDA and SACD (both 2ch and MC). I did not hear or see a diff for regular DVD or BluRay concerts. I posted my results in the 4010 thread and sold the Oppo.

Note: I hear a nice bump in SQ, but it's not "night and day". It is most apparent on well-recorded music in a quiet house. IMO DL is well worth looking into if you are someone who does considerable serious music listening.

So far there hasn't been much discussion or reporting of the new Denon LinkHD. It'll be interesting to get some reports.

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post #2167 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:43 AM
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I love my old DenonLink4 which I felt improved the soundtracks of PCM encoded BR movies and also for SACD/DVDAs

But my old 4010 is now having the hardest time reading discs (it did from day one) so I am not sure if I want to chance it again. Oppos on the other hand have no problems reading discs.

ps the Denon 3313 is also a universal player (hence UDCI moniker) so it also plays DVDA and SACD
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post #2168 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:56 AM
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I know cables are a bad subject , but I added a 1.5m AudioQuest Coffee from the 3313 to the 4520 and to me it made a diffrence. I have also had Oppo for years and there customer service is awesome but I feel the 3313 is a better unit .

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post #2169 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Woof Woof View Post

I love my old DenonLink4 which I felt improved the soundtracks of PCM encoded BR movies and also for SACD/DVDAs...
Interesting point. As I recall, I was bitstreaming everything I could to the AVR so may have missed that.

As for SACD, I'd also noted and enjoyed a slight improvement in SQ (not as big as from DL) sending DSD vs PCM from my Oppos to various Denon AVRs (2809, 4310, 4311). But the come to find out from AustinJerry, a very astute listener indeed, that the MC DSD .1 sub channel is decoded at -10dB from reference in the 4311. IIRC it's the same for the 4520. So for MC SACD I just boost the subs a bit.

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post #2170 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 06:37 AM
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Just curious about a couple of things related to the Denon Link:

1) Am I correct that DL4 (and earlier versions) and DLHD (newest version) are not compatible? If so, then only the 3313 will work with the 4520's Denon Link?

2) I've noticed that the 3313 has no analog outs. I don't understand why Denon dropped the analog outs in their top player. Is it only the Oppo 105 that benefits from better sound quality though using analog output or does DL make analog out obsolete? Am I missing something here?

So I guess the ultimate question for me is how the 3313 with DL compares with the Oppo 105 playing through analog outs? I don't imagine there would be a huge difference but perhaps something to consider if, like me, you haven't bought a new BD player yet.

Feel free to untwist my thinking:)
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post #2171 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Woof Woof View Post

Oppos on the other hand have no problems reading discs.

Not entirely true. I have had several occasions in which my 93 had trouble reading a BR disk. What differentiates Oppo IMHO is that they are always very quick to release firmware updates to address disk compatibility issues which, for BR disks, can be a moving target.
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post #2172 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 08:37 AM
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I just opened the box to my 4520 and my Panasonic bluray a few hours ago. I considered the Oppos briefly but since I don't listen to DVDA/SACD and don't have a use for analogue outputs I couldn't justify the extra few hundred bucks.
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post #2173 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 08:56 AM
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I just opened the box to my 4520 and my Panasonic bluray a few hours ago. I considered the Oppos briefly but since I don't listen to DVDA/SACD and don't have a use for analogue outputs I couldn't justify the extra few hundred bucks.
Just out of curiosity, and need of a new player, which panasonic did you buy?

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post #2174 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 09:03 AM
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Just out of curiosity, and need of a new player, which panasonic did you buy?

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1383183/235-build/240_60#post_22826167
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post #2175 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Audio Bob View Post

Just curious about a couple of things related to the Denon Link:

1) Am I correct that DL4 (and earlier versions) and DLHD (newest version) are not compatible? If so, then only the 3313 will work with the 4520's Denon Link?

2) I've noticed that the 3313 has no analog outs. I don't understand why Denon dropped the analog outs in their top player. Is it only the Oppo 105 that benefits from better sound quality though using analog output or does DL make analog out obsolete? Am I missing something here?

So I guess the ultimate question for me is how the 3313 with DL compares with the Oppo 105 playing through analog outs? I don't imagine there would be a huge difference but perhaps something to consider if, like me, you haven't bought a new BD player yet.

Feel free to untwist my thinking:)
1. AFAIK no one has tried to convert DL3 or 4 to DLHD. It's theoretically possible.

2.IMO DL does make analog obsolete. I did a lot of level-matched comparisons when I had an Oppo83SE (with its reknowned DACs) with both my AVR4310 and the A100/4311. Comparing Oppo stereo analog outs vs HDMI I could detect a VERY slight benefit to the analog path SQ with the 4310, but no audible benefit with the 4311.

Also, Audyssey is what makes great SQ possible in my room. So although I don't mind listening a bit, for test purposes, to a "pure" analog path (using Ext In inputs on the AVR), I'd eventually end up switching the analog to the regular CD AVR inputs. That way I could use the AVR ADCs to convert the signal into PCM so Audyssey could work its magic. With the 4310, I kept the Oppo connected that way for stereo music. With the 4311, there was no gain so I've abandoned analog completely.

Instead I've focused on optimizing the digital path and better speakers. The two SQ improvements that matter for me are DenonLink and Audyssey Pro.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #2176 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post


Not entirely true. I have had several occasions in which my 93 had trouble reading a BR disk. What differentiates Oppo IMHO is that they are always very quick to release firmware updates to address disk compatibility issues which, for BR disks, can be a moving target.


This has been my experience as well.  I very much like my 93, but it has hiccuped a time or two with some blu-rays.  I tried the same discs in a PS3 and most of them played better.  I stick with the 93 unless it has an issue, but it is not without occasional issues.


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post #2177 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post

There is no real answer to your question.  The 4520 will make your speakers sound as good as they can sound.  Would the 4520 sound better if you had better speakers?  Of course.  Are you "wasting money" buying the 4520?  Only you can be the judge. 

However, a good rule of thumb is that if your budget is limited, you will always get better quality sound if you invest in better speakers with a modest receiver than you would with modest speakers and a really good receiver.  Spend your money wisely.

Edit:  To give you an idea how important speakers are, consider how I spent my home theater budget:

Ouch, really surprised by the ratio of money spent on speakers vs AVR vs TV... but I think that also speaks of priorities for different people.

I am definitely not changing my speaker setup any time soon, so.... any other views on my dilemma? Will 4520 be a good match for my setup (Dali Ikon 6 + MA Silver sub), or 3313 will be a more "logical" one (price- and performance- wise)? Thanks.
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post #2178 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Stepalex View Post

Ouch, really surprised by the ratio of money spent on speakers vs AVR vs TV... but I think that also speaks of priorities for different people.

I am definitely not changing my speaker setup any time soon, so.... any other views on my dilemma? Will 4520 be a good match for my setup (Dali Ikon 6 + MA Silver sub), or 3313 will be a more "logical" one (price- and performance- wise)? Thanks.

I'm definitely sold on the value of the 4520 as a pre-pro. Haven't used the amps built into it but it makes a fine pre-pro. I don't have Dali speakers but my active speakers use some of the best and most expensive drivers available.
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post #2179 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:18 PM
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Ouch, really surprised by the ratio of money spent on speakers vs AVR vs TV... but I think that also speaks of priorities for different people.

well, you can say it's different priorities but most knowledgeable people in audio will tell you the same thing if you want the best performance out of a system, regardless of whatever budget range you're in.

in my own case, I spent about 1/3 of the total on speakers, well within the range that most audio dealers would suggest. I have about $35K in gear, and speakers account for ~$12K of that total, so the ratio is not quite as high as AustinJerry's.

the most common mistake I think most people make is buying TV and electronics 1st then spend whatever is left over on speakers so they are the ones that get skimped when in reality, the opposite is true. listen to various speakers, decide which ones you like the sound of, budget for them & the TV first, then buy the electronics needed to adequately drive them & give you the features you're looking for.

if improving audio quality means anything to you, I completely agree with AustinJerry's advice - you'd be better off upgrading speakers than buying a new electronic toy wink.gif

but to each his own smile.gif

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post #2180 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 04:39 PM
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Ouch, really surprised by the ratio of money spent on speakers vs AVR vs TV... Will 4520 be a good match for my setup (Dali Ikon 6 + MA Silver sub), or 3313 will be a more "logical" one (price- and performance- wise)? Thanks.
Stepalex, yes the 4520 is a good match. A less expensive alternative is the 4311, which doesn't have all the new features but has equal SQ to the 4520.The 3313 does not have Audyssey MultEQXT32, and that is crucial for best SQ IMO. Seethis post s post by batpig for a features comparison of 4311 vs 3313, see beginning of this thread for 4520 vs 4311.

I have spent far more on Dali speakers than any other part of the HT and every upgrade has been clearly audible and well worth it IMO. Current 7 speaker array: Euphonia MS5/CS4CC, Helicon c200 wides and surrounds (MSRP total about $25K, purchased used for less than $8K). New 65" display $3K, new cabinet $1.4K, AVRA100/4311 $1.2K, DenonLink DBPA100 univ Bluray player $1.2K, used Halcro MC30 3ch amp under $2K, Emotiva XPA5 5 ch amp under $1K, used Pro kit/license $.5K, used Velodyne DD10 subsX2 under $2K.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #2181 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 05:42 PM
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My 4520 told me there was a firmware update to make. Afterwards the firmware number is showing as 3325-0792-1453...I don't see this number on the page 1 firmware section of this thread. Just sayin'

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post #2182 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post


in my own case, I spent about 1/3 of the total on speakers, well within the range that most audio dealers would suggest. I have about $35K in gear, and speakers account for ~$12K of that total, so the ratio is not quite as high as AustinJerry's.
 

 

My ratio is high because I don't have an expensive projector with outboard video processing gear.  I could easliy change that ratio with a nice leading-edge 4K projector, though....  wink.gif

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post #2183 of 10793 Old 01-14-2013, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post

My ratio is high because I don't have an expensive projector with outboard video processing gear.  I could easliy change that ratio with a nice leading-edge 4K projector, though....  wink.gif

+1 & I don't have a projector either wink.gif
both of us are making the same point, that the speakers are where more money should be spent than many people seem to want to spend on them. but they'll obsess over things like DAC's instead tongue.gifwink.gif

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post #2184 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 06:01 AM
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The materials for my DIY speakers cost about $3,000, so my ratio for speaker to electronics costs is rather high.
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^Theresa, IIRC you are not using paaive xovers and are using very high-quality drivers. So I'd imagine the cost for similar-quality speakers @ retail would be many times higher. Have you ever posted design details/pics of your build somewhere?

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #2186 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 06:13 AM
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What about the acoustic analysis, measurements, deciding your small room acoustic model, and then applying appropriate acoustic treatments for sound quality?

I'm about $1k into the acoustics side, all DIY.

So many times in the sound quality discussions people never mention acoustic treatments, why?


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post #2187 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 06:31 AM
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^Theresa, IIRC you are not using paaive xovers and are using very high-quality drivers. So I'd imagine the cost for similar-quality speakers @ retail would be many times higher. Have you ever posted design details/pics of your build somewhere?

No I haven't design details or specs but did post some pictures a while ago. I will try to provide some design details and performance graphs in the near future. As for what they would sell for retail, its hard to even estimate. I don't know of any other active speakers that use ScanSpeak drivers.
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post #2188 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 06:33 AM
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^Very good point on room treatments, Mike.

I think the lack of attention to this is because the audiophile-oriented retailers and mags have no way to market room txs effectively to the average hobbyist. Because every room is different, you can't just walk into a store, pay a grand or two and get effective/appropriate txs.
Another major factor is that Acoustics is a complex science, the learning curve for hobbyists is steep and the amount of time and knowledge necessary to accomplish the task is considerable. Even the measurement tools needed to do room txs have only recently become more user-friendly, as with OmniMic and the brand new developments with REW/usb calibrated mics.

It's been much easier for me to buy a new AVR with the latest improved version of Audyssey. And I'm not alone in this, as we can see from the enthusiasm for the 4311 and 4520 with XT32. That said, as you tx the room properly, your DSPRC will be able to do an even better job. DSP alone is no substitute for txs, if you're aiming for best SQ, as you well know. I did a few informal treatments to the room such as "acoustic" curtains and a large padded area rug but no measurements or formal treatments so far. I'm interested but daunted by the complexity and time required.

Yes, I still like playing with Dalis.

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post #2189 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^Very good point on room treatments, Mike.

I think the lack of attention to this is because the audiophile-oriented retailers and mags have no way to market room txs effectively to the average hobbyist. Because every room is different, you can't just walk into a store, pay a grand or two and get effective/appropriate txs.
Another major factor is that Acoustics is a complex science, the learning curve for hobbyists is steep and the amount of time and knowledge necessary to accomplish the task is considerable. Even the measurement tools needed to do room txs have only recently become more user-friendly, as with OmniMic and the brand new developments with REW/usb calibrated mics.

It's been much easier for me to buy a new AVR with the latest improved version of Audyssey. And I'm not alone in this, as we can see from the enthusiasm for the 4311 and 4520 with XT32. That said, as you tx the room properly, your DSPRC will be able to do an even better job. DSP alone is no substitute for txs, if you're aiming for best SQ, as you well know. I did a few informal treatments to the room such as "acoustic" curtains and a large padded area rug but no measurements or formal treatments so far. I'm interested but daunted by the complexity and time required.

Good points and I understand, it's taken me a while to get up to speed, and the immersion process involved reading 2 key books, "Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest, a perfect follow-up book is "Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms" by Floyd Toole.
Then lots of other online reading.

“best” audio/sound in a listening room, these parameters are tackled in prioritized order:
1. Speaker location, 2. Listener position, 3. Acoustic treatments, 4. Electronic correction.

Just people shy away from the best bang for buck, IMO, the speaker/room interaction management by acoustic treatments.
Being an engineer mindset, I've tried to de-mystify acoustics as much as possible in posts, and always give information/education to help people understand/grasp for themselfs.

I'll step off my acoustics soapbox, for now.
(in my HT after I'm "done" with the 11.1 upgrade and multi subwoofer integration, I'm looking at re-doing my acoustics from absorption to absorption/diffusion, most likely make my own BAD panels.....)

Fun hobby, always learning.
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post #2190 of 10793 Old 01-15-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I think SoM is right on the money. Room acoustics is just too difficult and inaccessible of a topic for most hobbyists. It's complicated, it's time consuming to do it right, and as SoM notes (unlike AVR's or speakers) there is no off-the-shelf solution that you can give someone and say, "here, buy this and it will sound good".

In addition to the steep learning curve, there is also the issue that most people do not have dedicated rooms where they can go buck wild with treatments. The vast majority of "home theaters" are really somebody's living room, where they have to contend with the constraints of WAF, aesthetics, furniture, etc. Remember that the folks on this thread buying a $2k+ receiver are a very small, niche subset of the A/V populace. Most people's jaws would drop at the dollar figures being thrown around here, myself included.

If you are spending that much moolah and have the luxury of being able to install good treatments, and the wherewithal to learn how to understand and measure acoustics, then by all means it should be a path you pursue; as you note it's hard to match the bang for the buck of improving room acoustics. Lots of people just throw more and more money at nicer speakers and electronics without addressing this.

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