Need a stereo recv for Nice Bookshelves - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-04-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Kinda new at this entire thing but here goes, currently have a 3- yr old Sony STR DE 345 either 5.1 or 7.1. I'm looking to get 2 nice bookshelves...considerations are Ascend Sierra 1, Revel New M105 which are similiar to Ultima series, Golden ear Aons..figure around 1000 per pair pricepoint..need a good Recv or power source...don't need a fm recv as Ill use internet for streaming. Price point..500 or so..will consider used. Please advise
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-04-2013, 11:58 AM
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Why not just use the current avr? (btw, specs say it's 5.1) It'll work just fine as you want, unless you're looking for something in the way of a particular feature or connections?

If you don't want the radio that's fine but a new avr will come with that these days plus likely it's own internet radio/streaming apps. If you'd rather have an integrated amp they're likely to cost more for essentially the same features vs an avr. Is this just for 2 channel?

Personally my vote's with the Ascends, have those as L/C/R in my 7.3 setup.

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post #3 of 17 Old 03-04-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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This is just for 2 channel. Any thoughts on the Revel M105 which retail for 1500..can get them for 1300 plus tax. I am leaning otherwise towards the Ascends. Why not just use the AVR 5.1 I have..cause some have said the quality of sound would be better with a dedicated 2 channel and better quality.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 07:44 PM
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Never listened to Revels altho they're on my list to get around to one day.

Some think cables and interconnects are magic or that you must get higher quality if you spend more and then there are those who just have golden ears and talk about av gear as if it were a fine wine. YMMV. When your avr is in stereo mode it is dedicated to two channels (or in direct or pure modes when fed a 2.0 source). I think you should just keep your avr and spend the money on speakers.

BTW I bought my Sierra-1s used, the center only had been upgraded to the NrT tweeter; after a while I installed the NrT tweeters in the L/R also. Subtle difference, may or may not be worth the extra expense. Then you might also consider their new Horizon speakers, too (or the towers), if you want to up your budget.

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I haven't heard the Revels or the Ascends, but I've heard good things about them. That written, an extra $300 for the NrT tweeter seems rather steep. You may also want to consider speakers from Dynaudio and Focal which are two of my favorite current speaker brands.

Regarding electronics, for a $500 budget I'd probably recommend the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp. It should be a nice upgrade over your Sony, although more money will buy you better gear. To my ears, electronics and, to a much lesser degree, cables make a difference, but speakers are the biggest factor.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 09:43 PM
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Here is yet one more alternative interwebs say it sounds pretty good Harmon Kardon HK 3490 2 ch stereo reciever no affil.

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post #7 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 10:30 PM
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I bought this little NAD for that purpose. Its basic but seems fine.

http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers/C-326BEE-Stereo-Integrated-Amplifier
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

I haven't heard the Revels or the Ascends, but I've heard good things about them. That written, an extra $300 for the NrT tweeter seems rather steep. You may also want to consider speakers from Dynaudio and Focal which are two of my favorite current speaker brands.

Regarding electronics, for a $500 budget I'd probably recommend the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp. It should be a nice upgrade over your Sony, although more money will buy you better gear. To my ears, electronics and, to a much lesser degree, cables make a difference, but speakers are the biggest factor.

Please explain how the Music Hall amp is an upgrade? That thing doesn't even have digital input or a DAC? Where is the dividing line where cables make a difference?

Money does not necessarily buy you better gear, but of course you know that already, right? I can find some silly expensive gear that does nothing but empty your wallet very easily. Your ears are suspect in any case, as is the brain connected to the ears....that's simple human nature, nothing against you. Speakers are the most important issue in this discussion, not the avr/amp involved.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

I haven't heard the Revels or the Ascends, but I've heard good things about them. That written, an extra $300 for the NrT tweeter seems rather steep. You may also want to consider speakers from Dynaudio and Focal which are two of my favorite current speaker brands.

Regarding electronics, for a $500 budget I'd probably recommend the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp. It should be a nice upgrade over your Sony, although more money will buy you better gear. To my ears, electronics and, to a much lesser degree, cables make a difference, but speakers are the biggest factor.

Please explain how the Music Hall amp is an upgrade? That thing doesn't even have digital input or a DAC? Where is the dividing line where cables make a difference?

Money does not necessarily buy you better gear, but of course you know that already, right? I can find some silly expensive gear that does nothing but empty your wallet very easily. Your ears are suspect in any case, as is the brain connected to the ears....that's simple human nature, nothing against you. Speakers are the most important issue in this discussion, not the avr/amp involved.

It's "nothing against you" either, but I don't need to justify my post to your ironically condescending post, but I will elucidate for the purpose of the thread. Features do not signify quality. In terms of features, the Music Hall is clearly lacking compared to the Sony. If one is looking for a one-box solution that includes everything under the sun then by all means go for the cheapest A/V receiver you can, because according to most on this forum, and probably you, all electronics sound the same. The Music Hall is a purpose-built, no-nonsense integrated amplifier with good parts and sound quality considering the price. The Sony has numerous features yet doesn't really sound very good comparatively speaking. I haven't A/Bd the two, but I have A/Bd the Music Hall with a circa $1,500 Denon A/V receiver and the Music Hall sounded better to my ears. I've heard Sony A/V receivers and I haven't been impressed, so I'm guessing the Sony won't do so well against the Music Hall. Of course you amusingly called my hearing and brain into question and yet I'll continue to rely on them as they've yet to fail me. If you truly think all amps and cables sound the same, nothing I or anyone can say can convince you. As humans, it's natural to want to "prove" everything with science and measurements and while our understanding of things has advanced exponentially in recent times, there are many things we can't and never will be able to prove or measure.

I agree with you that more expensive gear doesn't always sound better, but it often does. Synergy, in my opinion, is just as important as price.

As to the last part of your post, the title of this thread is about electronics, not speakers, although the OP did mention them and so I offered my input, just as you did.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-07-2013, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

I haven't heard the Revels or the Ascends, but I've heard good things about them. That written, an extra $300 for the NrT tweeter seems rather steep. You may also want to consider speakers from Dynaudio and Focal which are two of my favorite current speaker brands.

Regarding electronics, for a $500 budget I'd probably recommend the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp. It should be a nice upgrade over your Sony, although more money will buy you better gear. To my ears, electronics and, to a much lesser degree, cables make a difference, but speakers are the biggest factor.

Please explain how the Music Hall amp is an upgrade? That thing doesn't even have digital input or a DAC? Where is the dividing line where cables make a difference?

Money does not necessarily buy you better gear, but of course you know that already, right? I can find some silly expensive gear that does nothing but empty your wallet very easily. Your ears are suspect in any case, as is the brain connected to the ears....that's simple human nature, nothing against you. Speakers are the most important issue in this discussion, not the avr/amp involved.

It's "nothing against you" either, but I don't need to justify my post to your ironically condescending post, but I will elucidate for the purpose of the thread. Features do not signify quality. In terms of features, the Music Hall is clearly lacking compared to the Sony. If one is looking for a one-box solution that includes everything under the sun then by all means go for the cheapest A/V receiver you can, because according to most on this forum, and probably you, all electronics sound the same. The Music Hall is a purpose-built, no-nonsense integrated amplifier with good parts and sound quality considering the price. The Sony has numerous features yet doesn't really sound very good comparatively speaking. I haven't A/Bd the two, but I have A/Bd the Music Hall with a circa $1,500 Denon A/V receiver and the Music Hall sounded better to my ears. I've heard Sony A/V receivers and I haven't been impressed, so I'm guessing the Sony won't do so well against the Music Hall. Of course you amusingly called my hearing and brain into question and yet I'll continue to rely on them as they've yet to fail me. If you truly think all amps and cables sound the same, nothing I or anyone can say can convince you. As humans, it's natural to want to "prove" everything with science and measurements and while our understanding of things has advanced exponentially in recent times, there are many things we can't and never will be able to prove or measure.

I agree with you that more expensive gear doesn't always sound better, but it often does. Synergy, in my opinion, is just as important as price.

As to the last part of your post, the title of this thread is about electronics, not speakers, although the OP did mention them and so I offered my input, just as you did.

You still haven't explained how the Music Hall integrated amp is an upgrade. How do you know what parts went into it? Are you a tech and have gone through one? How does one judge sound quality except subjectively? What sounds good to you doesn't necessarily sound good to someone else. However, if the OP doesn't want the advantages of digital input, perhaps that might suffice for his $500. I do have a Sony AVR and it sounds quite nice. I have several AVRs, as well as several power amps and a couple of preamps. I'm familiar with a variety of gear. They all sound nice, but they're set up in different rooms with different sources and speakers so hard to say how they sound comparatively. I've certainly never gain or level matched different avr's or preamps/amp combos, not worth the time, there are much better ways of working on better sound and the speakers and room are far more important. Cables as long as they are properly constructed of proper gauge and length for the use are fine, there is no magic there. Your brain and ears are not reliable, either are mine but if you want to believe otherwise you're welcome to. I just think the OP should consider the speakers as the most important part of his current equation rather than looking for the electronics (or cables) to justify the expenditure on a unit to replace what his current one will do well.

Now what the heck does ironically condescending mean?

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-07-2013, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-08-2013, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justindo View Post

I haven't heard the Revels or the Ascends, but I've heard good things about them. That written, an extra $300 for the NrT tweeter seems rather steep. You may also want to consider speakers from Dynaudio and Focal which are two of my favorite current speaker brands.

Regarding electronics, for a $500 budget I'd probably recommend the Music Hall A15.2 integrated amp. It should be a nice upgrade over your Sony, although more money will buy you better gear. To my ears, electronics and, to a much lesser degree, cables make a difference, but speakers are the biggest factor.

Please explain how the Music Hall amp is an upgrade? That thing doesn't even have digital input or a DAC? Where is the dividing line where cables make a difference?

Money does not necessarily buy you better gear, but of course you know that already, right? I can find some silly expensive gear that does nothing but empty your wallet very easily. Your ears are suspect in any case, as is the brain connected to the ears....that's simple human nature, nothing against you. Speakers are the most important issue in this discussion, not the avr/amp involved.

It's "nothing against you" either, but I don't need to justify my post to your ironically condescending post, but I will elucidate for the purpose of the thread. Features do not signify quality. In terms of features, the Music Hall is clearly lacking compared to the Sony. If one is looking for a one-box solution that includes everything under the sun then by all means go for the cheapest A/V receiver you can, because according to most on this forum, and probably you, all electronics sound the same. The Music Hall is a purpose-built, no-nonsense integrated amplifier with good parts and sound quality considering the price. The Sony has numerous features yet doesn't really sound very good comparatively speaking. I haven't A/Bd the two, but I have A/Bd the Music Hall with a circa $1,500 Denon A/V receiver and the Music Hall sounded better to my ears. I've heard Sony A/V receivers and I haven't been impressed, so I'm guessing the Sony won't do so well against the Music Hall. Of course you amusingly called my hearing and brain into question and yet I'll continue to rely on them as they've yet to fail me. If you truly think all amps and cables sound the same, nothing I or anyone can say can convince you. As humans, it's natural to want to "prove" everything with science and measurements and while our understanding of things has advanced exponentially in recent times, there are many things we can't and never will be able to prove or measure.

I agree with you that more expensive gear doesn't always sound better, but it often does. Synergy, in my opinion, is just as important as price.

As to the last part of your post, the title of this thread is about electronics, not speakers, although the OP did mention them and so I offered my input, just as you did.

You still haven't explained how the Music Hall integrated amp is an upgrade. How do you know what parts went into it? Are you a tech and have gone through one? How does one judge sound quality except subjectively? What sounds good to you doesn't necessarily sound good to someone else. However, if the OP doesn't want the advantages of digital input, perhaps that might suffice for his $500. I do have a Sony AVR and it sounds quite nice. I have several AVRs, as well as several power amps and a couple of preamps. I'm familiar with a variety of gear. They all sound nice, but they're set up in different rooms with different sources and speakers so hard to say how they sound comparatively. I've certainly never gain or level matched different avr's or preamps/amp combos, not worth the time, there are much better ways of working on better sound and the speakers and room are far more important. Cables as long as they are properly constructed of proper gauge and length for the use are fine, there is no magic there. Your brain and ears are not reliable, either are mine but if you want to believe otherwise you're welcome to. I just think the OP should consider the speakers as the most important part of his current equation rather than looking for the electronics (or cables) to justify the expenditure on a unit to replace what his current one will do well.

Now what the heck does ironically condescending mean?

I agree that speakers make the most difference, which is what I wrote in my first post. The OP would probably be better off adding $500 to his speaker budget and get a better quality speaker and keep the Sony, but that's not what he was asking for. Behind speakers comes electronics and lastly cables. Both can be relatively subtle and often virtually unrecognizable to the average person if one isn't a critical listener or the speakers are low in resolution, just as the average person would have difficulty distinguishing between various brands of vodka. Still, I can fairly easily distinguish between the sound of various A/V receivers at Best Buy through their mediocre speakers, and I don't consider myself "golden eared".

As I made clear in my previous post, the Music Hall is an upgrade from the Sony because it sounds better to me, which is, admittedly, subjective, as people often hear differently and have different preferences. In the A/B comparisons I've done with fellow audiophiles, it's pretty easy to come to a consensus in the differences in sound but it's more difficult to agree on a favorite due to individual preferences. For example, one person might prefer the Krell for its tight bass while another might prefer the Classe' for its lovely midrange while another might prefer the increased soundstage depth as revealed by the Plinius. As I previously stated, I'll continue to trust my ears and brain, but you're welcome to put no faith in yours.

Below is a pic of the internals of the Music Hall. How does the Sony compare?

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-08-2013, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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What are the differences between a music hall and let's say Harmon Karmon and NAD..thanks again..let's assume similiar price points
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What are the differences between a music hall and let's say Harmon Karmon and NAD..thanks again..let's assume similiar price points
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-11-2013, 06:15 PM
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What are the differences between a music hall and let's say Harmon Karmon and NAD..thanks again..let's assume similiar price points

I haven't heard the H/K or that specific NAD, but I would probably rank the Music Hall first followed closely by the NAD with the H/K last based on what I've heard of their gear recently, although all should be a nice upgrade over your Sony.

Here's the internals of the NAD mentioned:

http://www2.crutchfield.com.edgesuite.net/pix.crutchfield.com/ImageHandler/fixedscale/400/300/products/2012/5/745/x745C326BEE-o_guts.jpeg
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-11-2013, 07:36 PM
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Justindo you are so full of it your ears are brown.

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM
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IF it were me I would get some 8' passive studio monitors a decent integrated 100-200wpc amp, a powered sub 10-12" and treat the room and enjoy.
It would probably sound way better than a $3-$500 receiver and probably the speakers mentioned. . I have one room with that set up and a 10" powered sub IMO it sounds way better than most systems at the same price or even way above not to mention many larger more complicated fairly expensive ....(to me anyway) systems I've had over the years as with all subjective things audio and visual YMMV.

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