Which of these AVR's are best for music? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 199 Old 03-18-2014, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Are these the computer processors? Like in the Emotiva UMC-200's "Twin Cirrus® 32-bit dual-core fixed-point DSP’s." I read in a review about the bits and Khz that this processor was capable of...while it was french to me, the reviewer was very impressed with what it is capable of.

@ jaeelarr - No one said Denon has a bad sound. I'm just trying to find the right AVR with the right features, and also if the DAC makes a difference, which it's safe to say it very well does when listening to music, then there is a lot more out there than just Denon. As of yet, the only Denon I would get would be the x4000 since it has the Sub EQ AND pre-outs. Because of that, I really don't need to consider any other model they offer right now.

ESS 9016: http://www.esstech.com/PDF/ES9016%20Product%20Brief.pdf

ESS 9006: http://www.esstech.com/PDF/SABRE%20DAC%20PB%20Rev%200.61%20120726.pdf

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post #92 of 199 Old 03-18-2014, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Are these the computer processors? Like in the Emotiva UMC-200's "Twin Cirrus® 32-bit dual-core fixed-point DSP’s." I read in a review about the bits and Khz that this processor was capable of...while it was french to me, the reviewer was very impressed with what it is capable of.

@ jaeelarr - No one said Denon has a bad sound. I'm just trying to find the right AVR with the right features, and also if the DAC makes a difference, which it's safe to say it very well does when listening to music, then there is a lot more out there than just Denon. As of yet, the only Denon I would get would be the x4000 since it has the Sub EQ AND pre-outs. Because of that, I really don't need to consider any other model they offer right now.

Not "safe" to say, at all, that the DACs make an audible difference. It's at most a controversial statement, and most likely just flat-out wrong in most cases. In other words, pretty much all the DACs are modern receivers are so good that they don't really impact the sound quality.
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post #93 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 06:46 AM
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Not "safe" to say, at all, that the DACs make an audible difference. It's at most a controversial statement, and most likely just flat-out wrong in most cases. In other words, pretty much all the DACs are modern receivers are so good that they don't really impact the sound quality.

+1. That is also true of what some people would call "vintage" equipment. When we did our bias controlled tests in the late 90's, we weren't able to get a sonic difference between any two DAC's from a Sony Discman to a $5000 high end external DAC. You can view DAC's as a pretty well perfected technology.
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post #94 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 11:45 AM
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+1. That is also true of what some people would call "vintage" equipment. When we did our bias controlled tests in the late 90's, we weren't able to get a sonic difference between any two DAC's from a Sony Discman to a $5000 high end external DAC. You can view DAC's as a pretty well perfected technology.

I'm not disputing this mind you, as I've never qualifiably heard any difference between AVRs that I could directly attribute as being a result of the DACs alone. I also put so little faith in the hype of modern marketing that I tend to approach most of it with extreme skepticism, though cynicism might be a more apt way to put it. Still, it seems a bit of a leap to suggest that a study based in the late 90's - when stereo was still the dominant audio provider and comparitively low-fi discrete multi-channel DD and dts were just really getting started making inroads into the kind of mainstream home market that tends to propel greater research and advancement - is perfectly relevant today. Almost every aspect of the technologies surrounding home theater and related automation have been evolving at a rate only surpassed by the computer industry, if there, since they're so closely related. So, what exactly is it about DACs that makes them so immune to the very possibility of improvement over a very aggressively changing, roughly 15 year time period?

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post #95 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

I'm not disputing this mind you, as I've never qualifiably heard any difference between AVRs that I could directly attribute as being a result of the DACs alone. I also put so little faith in the hype of modern marketing that I tend to approach most of it with extreme skepticism, though cynicism might be a more apt way to put it. Still, it seems a bit of a leap to suggest that a study based in the late 90's - when stereo was still the dominant audio provider and comparitively low-fi discrete multi-channel DD and dts were just really getting started making inroads into the kind of mainstream home market that tends to propel greater research and advancement - is perfectly relevant today. Almost every aspect of the technologies surrounding home theater and related automation have been evolving at a rate only surpassed by the computer industry, if there, since they're so closely related. So, what exactly is it about DACs that makes them so immune to the very possibility of improvement over a very aggressively changing, roughly 15 year time period?

There hasn't been any real sound quality improvement in anything over the past 15 years. Technology is slicker, things are cheaper thanks to chinese manufacture, but things don't sound any better.. I really don't understand what you are asking. The very early DAC's up to late 1980's were of variable quality. Those since the late 80's all produce the same sound. they are cheaper, easier to implement in a circuit, smaller etc. etc but they don't make the converted data sound any better.
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post #96 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 12:26 PM
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There hasn't been any real sound quality improvement in anything over the past 15 years. Technology is slicker, things are cheaper thanks to chinese manufacture, but things don't sound any better.. I really don't understand what you are asking. The very early DAC's up to late 1980's were of variable quality. Those since the late 80's all produce the same sound. they are cheaper, easier to implement in a circuit, smaller etc. etc but they don't make the converted data sound any better.

That is particularly true of amplifiers, preamplifiers, and DACs. Virtually every present-day power amplifier design for Class AB amplifiers can be found in equipment of the 1990s. Power transformers haven't changed appreciably since then. Toroids have gotten cheaper. Filter capacitors have gotten smaller and cheaper and have better performance at high frequencies but all that did is reduce or eliminate the need for small value capacitors paralleling them. Most of the power transistor part numbers I find in modern equipment existed in the 1990s.

The very best DAC chips have better noise, distortion, and frequency response performance, but they were good enough to be audibly in the 1990s. The major change is that DAC chips of a good quality level that used to cost $30 in the previous century now run a dollar or less. DAC chips from 10 years ago that ran $30-50 now cost $3-5. There's a new generation of DAC chips that outperform those chips and they now cost $30-50, but their added performance is more for instrumentation than sound quality.
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post #97 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

There hasn't been any real sound quality improvement in anything over the past 15 years. Technology is slicker, things are cheaper thanks to chinese manufacture, but things don't sound any better.. I really don't understand what you are asking. The very early DAC's up to late 1980's were of variable quality. Those since the late 80's all produce the same sound. they are cheaper, easier to implement in a circuit, smaller etc. etc but they don't make the converted data sound any better.

I'll have to assume your statement about no sound quality improvement over the past 15 years is directed solely in relation to the fundamentals of automation (ie. amps have become more efficient, but ultimately don't sound any better than the beefier designs of yesteryear), which I can't dispute or confirm, as dvd is what drove me into this hobby, but I've taken to it in a big way since 1997.

I wasn't really asking a question per se. It was rather rhetorical, as I assume only an audio engineer - which I am not - with a fairly broad familiarity with the products available today might be able to attempt a reasonably conclusive answer. If that applies to you, please forgive me. I tend to assume that most active professionals in their field don't have a lot of time to devote to answering novice questions and entering into lengthy debate on boards such as this, unless they have some underlying agenda, like pushing some product. At least that's been my experience with the professional engineers or company spokespersons I've encountered or personally known. But, unless you've actually done comparible evaluations with the latest and greatest in DAC technology, what makes you so certain they haven't improved? As fast as everything else is changing, I find it rather hard to keep up, and very very expensive to try. Though, I agree, a lot of modern evolution has been toward making stuff smaller and more sleek, which is often to the detriment of fidelity.

I'll try to say it another way: Assuming home audio can be related to computers, as late as the early 2000's, laptops were still lagely being built using crucial parts originally designed and engineered for more spacious tower systems, even by major, more costly, custom built brands. They weren't just bulkier than modern models, they offerered less capability, were less efficient, and ultimately even less reliable than much cheaper devices today, using modern corner cutting, manufacturing with pooer QC. It took quite a few years before demand was such as to aggressively drive the pursuit of parts specificially designed uniquely to operate within the confines of the laptop environment. With significant advancements in audio fidelity just since late 2006, with higher bandwidth audio becoming more mainstream, not to mention the ever changing landscape from stereo to 6-channel, to 8-channel, and now 8-channel plus simulated "presence" multichannel surround, are you saying that the DACs of principle stereo design still likely most common in the late 90's - the ones most affordable or available for home automation that is - are without question just as capable as newer designs that should be engineered with a better understanding of the demands of audio technologies used today?

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post #98 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 01:34 PM
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Misinformation? Sorry, I'd never dream of criticizing someone's setup. We've all gotta make the most of what we've got, can afford or justify for our needs. But that's kind of asking for it, don't you think? I'd agree that the Denon's I've owned have been very capable AVRs for music. But I've never been biased by what I personally own, or at least I try to keep such obviously unavoidable bias in check as much as is humanly possible.

Asking for what? OP had a question, some folks gave misinformation...thats all i was pointing out. I then proceeded to give him an opinion, MY opinion, which is what he asked about in the first place. Nothing more.

I used to own NAD, i now OWN Denon becuase they are cheaper. If people want to go out and spend $2000 on amps/AVR's that offer many of the same features on models/brands that are a fraction of the cost, be my guest. Its not my money.

FMW's first post in this thread is more or less spot on and i agree with him 206%. You want to achieve better sound? Invest in speakers and room treatments, where it will be audibly noticeable.
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post #99 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 02:05 PM
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But, unless you've actually done comparible evaluations with the latest and greatest in DAC technology, what makes you so certain they haven't improved?

Because the measured "improvements" are still in the inaudible range. Noise floors are lower but they were low enough to be inaudible before. Jitter numbers are better but jitter isn't audible. The DAC in my 2012 AV receiver sounds exactly the same as the one in my 1996 CD player. Those kinds of things.
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As fast as everything else is changing, I find it rather hard to keep up, and very very expensive to try. Though, I agree, a lot of modern evolution has been toward making stuff smaller and more sleek, which is often to the detriment of fidelity.

That hasn't happened with audio electronics. They continue to be linear and free of audible distotrtion.
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I'll try to say it another way: Assuming home audio can be related to computers, as late as the early 2000's, laptops were still lagely being built using crucial parts originally designed and engineered for more spacious tower systems, even by major, more costly, custom built brands. They weren't just bulkier than modern models, they offerered less capability, were less efficient, and ultimately even less reliable than much cheaper devices today, using modern corner cutting, manufacturing with pooer QC. It took quite a few years before demand was such as to aggressively drive the pursuit of parts specificially designed uniquely to operate within the confines of the laptop environment. With significant advancements in audio fidelity just since late 2006, with higher bandwidth audio becoming more mainstream, not to mention the ever changing landscape from stereo to 6-channel, to 8-channel, and now 8-channel plus simulated "presence" multichannel surround, are you saying that the DACs of principle stereo design still likely most common in the late 90's - the ones most affordable or available for home automation that is - are without question just as capable as newer designs that should be engineered with a better understanding of the demands of audio technologies used today?

There is no question that we have new ways of encoding and decoding digital audio and we have DSP and other things that can alter the sound of music. But the point is we could get the same results in the 1990's using the technology of the time. Having 8 channels relates to the way we respond to movie sound track but it isn't a sound quality issue. We could create the same sonic environment in a recording studio 15 years ago and it would have sounded the same.

The audible sound signatures these days is with speakers and room acoustics, just like they were 15 years ago. You are talking about technology and I'm talking about sound quality.
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post #100 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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So there is ZERO difference between the ESS and Burr Brown DACs and it is simply all just a marketing ploy to get people to keep upgrading?

Assuming the listening environment and speakers are the same, what is it that people are hearing differently when comparing an AVR if it isn't the DAC or amp? Is it 100% a placebo effect when people think they hear one over an other?
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post #101 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Because the measured "improvements" are still in the inaudible range. Noise floors are lower but they were low enough to be inaudible before. Jitter numbers are better but jitter isn't audible. The DAC in my 2012 AV receiver sounds exactly the same as the one in my 1996 CD player. Those kinds of things.
That hasn't happened with audio electronics. They continue to be linear and free of audible distotrtion.

I am not so sure that we can make that claim and apply it universally to all/nearly all amplifiers. I'm not trying to pick a fight with this so please hear me out. On a different thread someone mentioned Negative Feedback and amplifiers. Plugging in "effects of too much negative feedback amplifier" into google brings back a huge amount of information about the do's and don'ts of Negative Feedback.

Based on this article:
http://www.edn.com/design/consumer/4418798/2/Negative-feedback-in-audio-amplifiers--Why-there-is-no-such-thing-as-too-much
as well as this thesis paper: http://www.dancheever.com/main/cheever_thesis_final.pdf which includes reference to tests the author conducted/was part of it certainly sounds like the amount of feedback, and the type of feedback can have a profound effect on the perceived quality of an amp.

The short story was that amps that used larger amounts of NF in order to achieve better measurements (THD, slew rate, etc.) were repeatedly proven to sound worse than amps with poor measurements yet used zero or low amounts of NF.

It was interesting reading...thought I'd pass it along.
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post #102 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 09:10 PM
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Asking for what? OP had a question, some folks gave misinformation...thats all i was pointing out. I then proceeded to give him an opinion, MY opinion, which is what he asked about in the first place. Nothing more.

I used to own NAD, i now OWN Denon becuase they are cheaper. If people want to go out and spend $2000 on amps/AVR's that offer many of the same features on models/brands that are a fraction of the cost, be my guest. Its not my money.

FMW's first post in this thread is more or less spot on and i agree with him 206%. You want to achieve better sound? Invest in speakers and room treatments, where it will be audibly noticeable.

First you said you've owned "nothing but Denon's" and now you're saying you've owned NAD. Make up you mind.

Don't try to pretend your post was innocent or even motivated toward being helpful. You didn't point out anything. You only made a vague reference, alluding that you had this esoteric knowledge, but then you apparently couldn't be bothered to be more specific as to what the OP had been "misinformed" about, with the implication that you were the one being genuine, not those who actually put some thought and effort into their advise or simple relaying of their personal, subjective experiences. You didn't just respond to the OP, you led off with an unnecessary, personal, and uncalled for jab insinuating that any negative opinion provided by anyone in this thread regarding your seemingly favored brand was flat out wrong and inferior to your own personal (seemingly biased) opinion - without regard to whether or not such information you were vaguely referencing was better qualified or even genuinely negative in the first place.

Then you failed to even attempt to qualify such an arrogant and intentionally insulting statement in any way other than sounding like some child who just got bent out of shape at the very notion that his $200 AVR might not offer the same level of performance as a $2000 model. The discussion wasn't even really about price point, it was about brands, maybe with some subjective observations mixed in, but mostly about the features offered by the brands in question, which the higher you go, the more that's included. But since you brought it up, do you really think that these companies would be able to sell $2000 AVRs, if they offered no viable sonic benefit over the very cheapest alternatives? I've owned models from every relevant price point and installed many more, yet I keep going back to ones usually $1000 and up for my own system, and it certainly isn't because I'm rich - which I'm far from rich, in case you didn't get the sarcasm. I pay dearly and sacrifice a lot to be able to buy the products I have. I shop around and in some cases, the only reason I was able to justify their expense was the industry I worked and the professional accomodation I sometimes received from select brands because of it.

No $200 to $400 Denon will include preouts, which the person you say you were trying to advise has already indicated he needs or at least wants that option for the future. Yet you decided to step in and advise him toward a model that can't possibly meet that need, and you think that's being helpful?

I've owned four Denon AVRs - three of which were flagships (5700, 5800, 5805), the later of which was the most over-built, massive AVR they or possibly anyone has ever made. That's not bragging (it's barely lower mid-end for that matter), it's qualifying an opinion well enough to offer a better chance of helping someone figure out if your experience might be relevant enough with their situation, needs, or interests to merit paying any heed. Sorry, but emotionally charged, say-nothing posts as confrontational and deliberatly ambiguous as yours (to phrase it in the same overly juvenile manner) are 206% worthless to me. I would have overlooked it entirely, if not for the affront you opened with. And I still bit my tongue.

Furthermore, you then provide no indication that you've actually put your own money where your mouth is, not if you've only spent $1000 for an entire multi-channel surround speaker array. That's, of course, assuming you didn't build your own, or that you have more than a simple stereo system, considering the OP has clearly indicated he intends to use the AVR for HT in addition to music, so any advise not taking that into account is also largely irrelevant and misplaced. Am I missing something? Because I certainly didn't take your post as being informed, much less genuine or sincerely motivated in offering any insight that might prove helpful to the OP or even valid to the discussion, like you now profess was your goal.

Apologies to the OP for helping to derail the thread again.

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post #103 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

First you said you've owned "nothing but Denon's" and now you're saying you've owned NAD. Make up you mind.

Don't try to pretend your post was innocent or even motivated toward being helpful. You didn't point out anything. You only made a vague reference, alluding that you had this esoteric knowledge, but then you apparently couldn't be bothered to be more specific as to what the OP had been "misinformed" about, with the implication that you were the one being genuine, not those who actually put some thought and effort into their advise or simple relaying of their personal, subjective experiences. You didn't just respond to the OP, you led off with an unnecessary, personal, and uncalled for jab insinuating that any negative opinion provided by anyone in this thread regarding your seemingly favored brand was flat out wrong and inferior to your own personal (seemingly biased) opinion - without regard to whether or not such information you were vaguely referencing was better qualified or even genuinely negative in the first place.

Then you failed to even attempt to qualify such an arrogant and intentionally insulting statement in any way other than sounding like some child who just got bent out of shape at the very notion that his $200 AVR might not offer the same level of performance as a $2000 model. The discussion wasn't even really about price point, it was about brands, maybe with some subjective observations mixed in, but mostly about the features offered by the brands in question, which the higher you go, the more that's included. But since you brought it up, do you really think that these companies would be able to sell $2000 AVRs, if they offered no viable sonic benefit over the very cheapest alternatives? I've owned models from every relevant price point and installed many more, yet I keep going back to ones usually $1000 and up for my own system, and it certainly isn't because I'm rich - which I'm far from rich, in case you didn't get the sarcasm. I pay dearly and sacrifice a lot to be able to buy the products I have. I shop around and in some cases, the only reason I was able to justify their expense was the industry I worked and the professional accomodation I sometimes received from select brands because of it.

No $200 to $400 Denon will include preouts, which the person you say you were trying to advise has already indicated he needs or at least wants that option for the future. Yet you decided to step in and advise him toward a model that can't possibly meet that need, and you think that's being helpful?

I've owned four Denon AVRs - three of which were flagships (5700, 5800, 5805), the later of which was the most over-built, massive AVR they or possibly anyone has ever made. That's not bragging (it's barely lower mid-end for that matter), it's qualifying an opinion well enough to offer a better chance of helping someone figure out if your experience might be relevant enough with their situation, needs, or interests to merit paying any heed. Sorry, but emotionally charged, say-nothing posts as confrontational and deliberatly ambiguous as yours (to phrase it in the same overly juvenile manner) are 206% worthless to me. I would have overlooked it entirely, if not for the affront you opened with. And I still bit my tongue.

Furthermore, you then provide no indication that you've actually put your own money where your mouth is, not if you've only spent $1000 for an entire multi-channel surround speaker array. That's, of course, assuming you didn't build your own, or that you have more than a simple stereo system, considering the OP has clearly indicated he intends to use the AVR for HT in addition to music, so any advise not taking that into account is also largely irrelevant and misplaced. Am I missing something? Because I certainly didn't take your post as being informed, much less genuine or sincerely motivated in offering any insight that might prove helpful to the OP or even valid to the discussion, like you now profess was your goal.

Apologies to the OP for helping to derail the thread again.

There are burns...and then there's this! biggrin.gif Can't thank you (and the others that contributed such great info in this thread,) for all the info shared, and now, for this highly entertaining read lol. I'd buy you a beer if I could wink.gif
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post #104 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 09:38 PM
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^^^^ Excellent reply(Chad). Something I've always wanted to do was spend $2k to $3k on speakers then power them from something like a Denon E400 or Yamaha 375. Then get the cheapest Bd player,CD player and then impress everyone how it all matches beautifully. Plenty of power from those AVR's to do my speakers justice. Oh wait a minute let us also spend big bucks on room treatments to make that $400 AVR sound like a million bucks. Sometimes the logic from members here amazes me. I still don't understand how professionals here like Kal Rubison and Kris Deering can hear the differences in the AVR's and amps they test and review when others tell them there is no difference in amps when they all sound the same. Real message to the OP is try different AVR's with the features you want and will effectively drive the speakers you want. Some here are right in don't waste your money but they are also not the ones that have to listen to your underpowered, no sound quality(because its not important enough of reason to purchase) gear. JMHO and that's it.
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post #105 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Real message to the OP is try different AVR's with the features you want and will effectively drive the speakers you want. Some here are right in don't waste your money but they are also not the ones that have to listen to your underpowered, no sound quality(because its not important enough of reason to purchase) gear. JMHO and that's it.

Yeah, I've got the power issue bug behind me at least. With all the confusion about SQ and AVR's, I'm really just going to try and narrow the list by focusing on the features I need while eliminating the one's I don't [example I have no use for the 2030, 3030 Yamahas.] Like I said, the information in this thread has been very valuable. I still am going to research the DAC issue a bit for my own knowledge.

Right now, it's the Yamaha RX-A830, A1020, A1030, Denon X4000, or Emotiva UMC-200 with UPA-500. It'll really come down to what I can demo to sway my opinion, what's available for the cheapest price when I'm ready to buy, and what features I need. Can't wait to get back to the states and start building biggrin.gif
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Yeah, I've got the power issue bug behind me at least. With all the confusion about SQ and AVR's, I'm really just going to try and narrow the list by focusing on the features I need while eliminating the one's I don't [example I have no use for the 2030, 3030 Yamahas.] Like I said, the information in this thread has been very valuable. I still am going to research the DAC issue a bit for my own knowledge.

Right now, it's the Yamaha RX-A830, A1020, A1030, Denon X4000, or Emotiva UMC-200 with UPA-500. It'll really come down to what I can demo to sway my opinion, what's available for the cheapest price when I'm ready to buy, and what features I need. Can't wait to get back to the states and start building biggrin.gif

Great just make sure that the AVR you choose has the capabilities(pre-outs) to add an amp if you feel you need it. You will get the bug to add an amp if for nothing to try one out for yourself. Been there done that. It took me a while to find out that most well made AVR's can supply the power and feature needs. I finally settled on the H/K 7550HD. And I hope it last forever. Connectivity, power, ease of use and everything it does is as feature laden as I need. And you know something else about it is I don't have to turn any Eq program off to enjoy music. It allows me to set it up for each input. Two IPods and a Zune player connected and Logic 7 for listening. Multi-channel analogs in for a Pioneer Elite 79avi for SACD and DVD audio. Oppo BDP83 for blu-ray and even have a Toshiba AX-1 for HD-DVD. So get the one that has the connectivity, features, and power you need. And sound quality is very important no matter what some here say. Good luck and enjoy the search, it's part of the fun for this expensive hobby.
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post #107 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

^^^^ Excellent reply(Chad). Something I've always wanted to do was spend $2k to $3k on speakers then power them from something like a Denon E400 or Yamaha 375. Then get the cheapest Bd player,CD player and then impress everyone how it all matches beautifully. Plenty of power from those AVR's to do my speakers justice. Oh wait a minute let us also spend big bucks on room treatments to make that $400 AVR sound like a million bucks. Sometimes the logic from members here amazes me. I still don't understand how professionals here like Kal Rubison and Kris Deering can hear the differences in the AVR's and amps they test and review when others tell them there is no difference in amps when they all sound the same. Real message to the OP is try different AVR's with the features you want and will effectively drive the speakers you want. Some here are right in don't waste your money but they are also not the ones that have to listen to your underpowered, no sound quality(because its not important enough of reason to purchase) gear. JMHO and that's it.

Woah, woah, woah. Professionals? I mean no disrespect to Kal, but he's a paid reviewer. It's his hobby. It's not his profession. He does something else by day.

There are others on this forum for whom it is their job - to design equipment, to test it, etc.

Furthermore, Kal acknowledges (at least I would think he does) that it's the room correction/EQ/processing that accounts for most - if not all - of the sound quality differences between different units.
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post #108 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

^^^^ Excellent reply(Chad). Something I've always wanted to do was spend $2k to $3k on speakers then power them from something like a Denon E400 or Yamaha 375. Then get the cheapest Bd player,CD player and then impress everyone how it all matches beautifully. Plenty of power from those AVR's to do my speakers justice. Oh wait a minute let us also spend big bucks on room treatments to make that $400 AVR sound like a million bucks. Sometimes the logic from members here amazes me. I still don't understand how professionals here like Kal Rubison and Kris Deering can hear the differences in the AVR's and amps they test and review when others tell them there is no difference in amps when they all sound the same. Real message to the OP is try different AVR's with the features you want and will effectively drive the speakers you want. Some here are right in don't waste your money but they are also not the ones that have to listen to your underpowered, no sound quality(because its not important enough of reason to purchase) gear. JMHO and that's it.

Works for me. My sound system is just fine with my $300 Denon.

As someone pointed out in another thread, most of the time under 100 DB, your speakers are being driven by very minimal wattage...but hey, if you want to add 300W amps to your system, do whatever the hell you want. Some of you people take this stuff to personal.
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post #109 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 10:37 PM
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Well, there certainly is a lot of misinformation in this thread, mostly in the first two pages. Fortunately they were quickly smoked out.

Chad might not even be the offender (his posts are too long for me to bother reading! biggrin.gif).

I don't see where jaeelarr said specifically that the misinformation came from Chad's posts, so why the furor?
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post #110 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

First you said you've owned "nothing but Denon's" and now you're saying you've owned NAD. Make up you mind.

Don't try to pretend your post was innocent or even motivated toward being helpful. You didn't point out anything. You only made a vague reference, alluding that you had this esoteric knowledge, but then you apparently couldn't be bothered to be more specific as to what the OP had been "misinformed" about, with the implication that you were the one being genuine, not those who actually put some thought and effort into their advise or simple relaying of their personal, subjective experiences. You didn't just respond to the OP, you led off with an unnecessary, personal, and uncalled for jab insinuating that any negative opinion provided by anyone in this thread regarding your seemingly favored brand was flat out wrong and inferior to your own personal (seemingly biased) opinion - without regard to whether or not such information you were vaguely referencing was better qualified or even genuinely negative in the first place.

Then you failed to even attempt to qualify such an arrogant and intentionally insulting statement in any way other than sounding like some child who just got bent out of shape at the very notion that his $200 AVR might not offer the same level of performance as a $2000 model. The discussion wasn't even really about price point, it was about brands, maybe with some subjective observations mixed in, but mostly about the features offered by the brands in question, which the higher you go, the more that's included. But since you brought it up, do you really think that these companies would be able to sell $2000 AVRs, if they offered no viable sonic benefit over the very cheapest alternatives? I've owned models from every relevant price point and installed many more, yet I keep going back to ones usually $1000 and up for my own system, and it certainly isn't because I'm rich - which I'm far from rich, in case you didn't get the sarcasm. I pay dearly and sacrifice a lot to be able to buy the products I have. I shop around and in some cases, the only reason I was able to justify their expense was the industry I worked and the professional accomodation I sometimes received from select brands because of it.

No $200 to $400 Denon will include preouts, which the person you say you were trying to advise has already indicated he needs or at least wants that option for the future. Yet you decided to step in and advise him toward a model that can't possibly meet that need, and you think that's being helpful?

I've owned four Denon AVRs - three of which were flagships (5700, 5800, 5805), the later of which was the most over-built, massive AVR they or possibly anyone has ever made. That's not bragging (it's barely lower mid-end for that matter), it's qualifying an opinion well enough to offer a better chance of helping someone figure out if your experience might be relevant enough with their situation, needs, or interests to merit paying any heed. Sorry, but emotionally charged, say-nothing posts as confrontational and deliberatly ambiguous as yours (to phrase it in the same overly juvenile manner) are 206% worthless to me. I would have overlooked it entirely, if not for the affront you opened with. And I still bit my tongue.

Furthermore, you then provide no indication that you've actually put your own money where your mouth is, not if you've only spent $1000 for an entire multi-channel surround speaker array. That's, of course, assuming you didn't build your own, or that you have more than a simple stereo system, considering the OP has clearly indicated he intends to use the AVR for HT in addition to music, so any advise not taking that into account is also largely irrelevant and misplaced. Am I missing something? Because I certainly didn't take your post as being informed, much less genuine or sincerely motivated in offering any insight that might prove helpful to the OP or even valid to the discussion, like you now profess was your goal.

Apologies to the OP for helping to derail the thread again.

As the kids would say, "you sound butthurt".

I got one word...reading comprehension.

Thanks.
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post #111 of 199 Old 03-19-2014, 11:19 PM
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If you were able to run your speakers of an inexpensive receiver...Great! You got lucky.

My experiences showed me that pairing an inexpensive denon or a mid-priced pioneer with a pair of very inefficient speakers (no sub either so full range) in a big room was not ideal. I did try an ancient HK receiver which actually sounded better than the modern equipment. Still, the HK ran out of steam way to easily and you clearly knew when it just couldn't do any more. Interestingly the denon and pioneer are rated for around 110 wpc. I think the HK is around 50 wpc. Powering the speakers with dedicated amps was a night and day improvement. The amp I used was rated at 80 wpc.
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post #112 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Because the measured "improvements" are still in the inaudible range. Noise floors are lower but they were low enough to be inaudible before. Jitter numbers are better but jitter isn't audible. The DAC in my 2012 AV receiver sounds exactly the same as the one in my 1996 CD player. Those kinds of things.
That hasn't happened with audio electronics. They continue to be linear and free of audible distotrtion.

I am not so sure that we can make that claim and apply it universally to all/nearly all amplifiers. I'm not trying to pick a fight with this so please hear me out. On a different thread someone mentioned Negative Feedback and amplifiers. Plugging in "effects of too much negative feedback amplifier" into google brings back a huge amount of information about the do's and don'ts of Negative Feedback.

Based on this article:
http://www.edn.com/design/consumer/4418798/2/Negative-feedback-in-audio-amplifiers--Why-there-is-no-such-thing-as-too-much
as well as this thesis paper: http://www.dancheever.com/main/cheever_thesis_final.pdf which includes reference to tests the author conducted/was part of it certainly sounds like the amount of feedback, and the type of feedback can have a profound effect on the perceived quality of an amp.

Two words: Sighted evaluations.

Papers like the above ruled the roost in audio in the 1970s and spectacular claims were made about vanishing amount of measurable distortion being audible to a select few. I'll reveal a hidden agenda: ABX was invented in the late 1970s in order to bring reason back to power amplifier design and resolve the exceptional claims in favor of science. Influential members of the AES review board were close to begging that something like ABX be invented and gave expedited handling to my good friend David L. Clark's paper describing it when it appeared. I was an innocent naive pawn in that game, which I in no way regret.
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The short story was that amps that used larger amounts of NF in order to achieve better measurements (THD, slew rate, etc.) were repeatedly proven to sound worse than amps with poor measurements yet used zero or low amounts of NF.

First off the above statement contains an obvious serious flaw that positions it right into the middle of the realm of audiophile mythology. That flaw is the phrase "zero amounts of NF". Practically speaking there is no such thing. There is no known way to build anything nontrivial in electronics that is even marginally stable without it having appreciable amounts of NF. I've reviewed the schematics of dozens of exotic audio power amps that claimed "Zero negative feedback" and that claim was false.

The less obvious flaw is mentioning Slew rate. Slew rate was symptomatic of the technical mania that naturally arises when inherently unreliable and grotesquely flawed testing methodologies are used to test ideas and equipment. For one thing it had been around forever and was well known to many as "High frequency, high level nonlinear distortion".

The third point has already been made once but just in case I'll reiterate it. Two words: Sighted Evaluations.
Quote:
It was interesting reading...thought I'd pass it along.

Old news, particularly the Cheever paper. Anything written by BP needs to be evaluated based on some of the incredible claims that he has posted on other usually DIY related forums.

It is clear to me that in the supermarket of audio ideas someone has been spending too much time in the fruit and nuts aisle. ;-)

I try to make sure that science and sanity get some time.
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post #113 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by urapnes1 View Post

If you were able to run your speakers of an inexpensive receiver...Great! You got lucky.

A contrary view mihgt be that he did not stray too far from the middle of the road.
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My experiences showed me that pairing an inexpensive denon or a mid-priced pioneer with a pair of very inefficient speakers (no sub either so full range) in a big room was not ideal.

Everybody who is surprised by that should find a pointed cap and a corner to sit in! ;-)

What good purpose is there in trying to make questionable and no doubt unplanned (in the technical sense) system non-engineering into a general rule about amplifiers?

Back in the real world the wise man plugs his expectations for SPL, listening distance, speaker efficiency and speaker placement into one of the many online calculators like this one:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

And bases his next move on that.
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post #114 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 06:37 AM
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I personally do not like room correction and do a manual set up with a sound meter.

It blew my speakers and sub as it significantly upped low end frequencies. That cannon scene in war horse killed me.

Three dealers I know who build hundreds of thousands of dollars systems don't use it. I also hate that sound it makes. The test tones sound damaging.

When I have a b compared with and without it Just seems to boost frequencies and I can get the same effect by just messing with channel
Volumes. I'll admit it sounded more open and increased dialogue, but off sounded more balanced to me. Room eq felt like I turned on a sound mode like "hall" or something.

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post #115 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Sound quality is not in the REQ software. If you have a crappy AVR with crappy amps,DAC's, and other crappy parts there is no software that will make it sound good. That's like saying a very good AVR with the very best Eq software will make bad speakers sound good. Can't happen you and I both know it. Also with proper room treatments and your own measurements with a cheap Rat Shack meter you can accomplish as much as the best REQ out there and not have to deal with an AVR that sounds good with movies and sounds like garbage with movies. Yes REQ's do work but they are not a reason to purchase an AVR whatever flavor you choose. Sometimes these "features" work against you more than they help. JMHO.

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post #116 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

Sound quality is not in the REQ software. If you have a crappy AVR with crappy amps,DAC's, and other crappy parts there is no software that will make it sound good. That's like saying a very good AVR with the very best Eq software will make bad speakers sound good. Can't happen you and I both know it. Also with proper room treatments and your own measurements with a cheap Rat Shack meter you can accomplish as much as the best REQ out there and not have to deal with an AVR that sounds good with movies and sounds like garbage with movies. Yes REQ's do work but they are not a reason to purchase an AVR whatever flavor you choose. Sometimes these "features" work against you more than they help. JMHO.

You could have said the same thing with this saying

"You can't polish a turd"

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post #117 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 07:03 AM
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Ha! Good one

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post #118 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 07:53 AM
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Interesting but lengthy reading on build quality of AVR'S. This is why they all sound the same and sound quality doesn't matter:rolleyes:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/technical-articles-and-editorials/technical-articles-and-editorials/options-by-supplier-and-price.html

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/technical-articles-and-editorials/technical-articles-and-editorials/audio-video-receiver-build-quality-part-ii-design-of-high-performance-avrs-and-pre-pros.html

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/technical-articles-and-editorials/technical-articles-and-editorials/audio-video-receiver-build-quality-part-ii-design-of-high-performance-avrs-and-pre-pros.html

Some here may have already read this, but there are others here that should read it. Very interesting since there have been no advancements in sound quality since the 90's and they all sound the same. OP should read it in its entirety and then form judgements to begin his search for an AVR/pre-pro/amp(s).
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post #119 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerain View Post

I just want a powerful AVR for my 5.1. My present denon 2313 doesn't seem to pack that punch at higher volumes. So I take it that none of these would serve that purpose better than what I have (Cambridge Audio Azur 351R, NAD T 748V2, NAD T 758, or Amthem 510)

I doubt it. I'm not sure what it means to "seem to pack that punch at higher volumes." If the amp is distorting, then it isn't powerful enough. If it is not distorting then it is powerful enough. "that punch" , whatever it is, doesn't have anything to do with amplifiers as far as I know. It probably has something to do with expectation bias. It might make you feel better to have a different amplifier stage, but it isn't likely actually to sound any better. Feeling better could well resolve any expectation bias. It works for a lot of people.
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post #120 of 199 Old 03-20-2014, 08:52 AM
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In my opinion you should listen for clarity, details and dynamics at moderate or lower volumes. If the amp can drive the speakers with good headroom it should be powerful enough.

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