Which of these AVR's are best for music? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Which of these AVR's are best for music?
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 04:32 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?

joecmess's Avatar joecmess 04:35 PM 03-21-2014
Thanks. You can run it off your laptop right? Definitely worth it once new gear gets here.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 04:38 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

I'm running focal Aria 948s with a 250 dollar pioneer av receiver and it sounds awful.

Can't wait for mcintosh gear to arrive.

Do you guys think it will sound the same?

It won't sound the same, not to you! With the money that is at stake, here those Mac components have a "Halo Effect" going for them. The interesting question is what's really wrong. It's possible that your old AVR is broken.

Those Focals look like they have a lot of potential, but your SQ problems are probably due to problems with the acoustics of your listening room or how you have them set up. Also, while they are fairly robust for modern floorstanders with those dual 8 inch woofers, a really good subwoofer near the top of the SVS or Rhythmic lines, for example, would beef the sound up.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 04:38 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?

First guess: shorted speaker leads.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 04:54 PM 03-21-2014
Had a an elite before that and room eq worked perfectly. I forgot about that. I sold the elite for the nad for 3 d pass.

I did notice a difference in sound quality, clarity, imaging and low Rez details, but not loudness.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 04:56 PM 03-21-2014
So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?
kiwi2's Avatar kiwi2 06:04 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Had a an elite before that and room eq worked perfectly. I forgot about that. I sold the elite for the nad for 3 d pass.

I did notice a difference in sound quality, clarity, imaging and low Rez details, but not loudness.

Again, would that be comparing with different automated REQs...?? If it is then of course they're going to sound different. Heck, two calibration runs with the same receiver could have it sounding different.


Quote:
So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?

Any differences are very small compared to the way your room and speakers are altering the sound.

I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

Over time I have learnt how to use its bass management better and learnt how to work with room measurements and EQ and PEQ. As a result using the AVR's DSP features I have been able to get the audio quality much improved in my room over just straight 'Pure Direct' and therefore also what I could have achieved with my older 2ch preamp.

The room, room placements, room treatments, frequency response measurements and PEQ is what has tremendously improved the sound quality for me.
urapnes1's Avatar urapnes1 06:12 PM 03-21-2014
Personally, I wish they would sound the same when exposed to the same conditions. My opinion/experience is that in the real-world they do not sound the same. I have owned with about a dozen different amplifiers over the past 20 years and 8 pairs of speakers...all purchased second hand. The tube amp...sounded very different, but in a good way. The bigger SS amps sounded good too, the class-a SS that I had blended the two together pretty well in my opinion. All of the amps that I have had sounded great at moderate levels, but it was when I wanted more volume, some amps+speaker combinations became rather unpleasant, while others practically dared you to keep going (the big-class a did this the best). I finally found a setup that I am happy with which was an acceptable compromise to me. Recently I purchased a new mid-level AVR...for fun, I popped it into my main system. I do not feel that it is anywhere near the same sound quality as amps that I have had in the past. or the ones that I currently own...but it is so much more convenient and that is worth a hell of a lot, because it means that I actually can use it every day. Currently the avr is the hub of my ceiling system that is used to watch TV through it. It also does all my video switching...which is great...too bad I'd have to sell a kidney or become a crack dealer to afford one of the luxury brands which is capable of playing with HDMI.

I would like to add, that I did not decide which amps to keep and which to sell based purely on sound alone. There were other variables which I based my conclusions on which to some will seem foolish, while others may agree. For me, the size of the amp was an issue...my big class-a went away because it was too freaking big, and the thought of recapping it should it need it was a worry, not to mention that I did notice a change in my power bill by a few $ each month. Additional factors that I based my decisions on included the ability to remotely switch the amp on or off, resale, aesthetics (I cannot stand the way some amps look with all the blinky lights on them), number of channels, whether or not I needed a friend to help move the amp, balanced or unbalanced inputs, how hot it ran, fan noise,reliability was a huge one, etc. I don't think I am wrong for preferring 1 amp to another based on those criteria. At the end of the day the sound is only part of the experience...the system has to be something that you can live with too.

Kiwi is correct, the room affects things a lot...so do the speakers, and then there is the interaction between the speakers and the amps....some work well together and some don't.

All, opinon...all YMMV

Flame suit on.

EDIT: in the world of $500-1500 AVR's I suspect that the differences will be small.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 07:18 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Again, would that be comparing with different automated REQs...?? If it is then of course they're going to sound different. Heck, two calibration runs with the same receiver could have it sounding different.
Any differences are very small compared to the way your room and speakers are altering the sound.

An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.



I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

Over time I have learnt how to use its bass management better and learnt how to work with room measurements and EQ and PEQ. As a result using the AVR's DSP features I have been able to get the audio quality much improved in my room over just straight 'Pure Direct' and therefore also what I could have achieved with my older 2ch preamp.

The room, room placements, room treatments, frequency response measurements and PEQ is what has tremendously improved the sound quality for me.[/quote

An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.

arnyk's Avatar arnyk 07:57 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

So you guys truly believe all amplifiers sound the same? The same headroom, decay, details, transparency, etc?

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd 08:05 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Audiophile equivalent of the dog ate my homework? You had nothing to do with it?
Really?

Maybe. I bought a brand new nad t787. All connections 100 percent accurate.
I turned it on, followed on screen instructions to the letter. When it was done it put in blu ray and the sound was completely distorted at a low volume level. I immediately shut it down. I turned it back on and it was still distorted. I shut off all the eq functions and everything sounded normal. Except for a blown sub and one woofer.

Not my first rodeo, but yes my first audyssey experience. What do you think happened?

How loud did you play it? Can't imagine this being enough at "a low volume" level to blow drivers (what exactly happened to the drivers?). If it indeed was at a low volume level and everything was done per their instructions I'd have been really pissed at NAD, though hard to tell from the information what might have happened....
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 08:06 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post


An old school audiophile friend swears his iPod playing through 99 book shelf speakers sounds the same as his linn and thiel hifi system with turntable.

That's an insult to the iPod and I mean this quite seriously. If absence of noise and distortion is part of your definition of high fidelity the iPod playing uncompressed files is far cleaner than any vinyl playback system that is even imaginable.
Quote:
I once did a A/B comparison with a well regarded 2ch preamp against a Yamaha AVR in 'Pure Direct' mode with both feeding to the same poweramp and speakers while receiving the same track from a CD player as I could use its optical and coaxial output at the same time. I could not detect any difference in sound whatsoever and was confident enough that the AVR was at least not downgrading the audio quality when bypassing all of its DSP.

If the levels aren't matched, the switching isn't quick and easy and the identities of the exact item being listened to isn't concealed during the listening session then there was no valid comparison of the equipment. What was being compared were the stronger influences caused by the mismatched levels, the perceived differences caused by people forgetting what they heard the time before, and the effect of their preconceived notions on their perceptions.

We call it a sighted test, but the test that we really object to is the classic audiophile listening evaluation where someone listens to something and then reports back their perceptions, usually in the form of a comparison such as "component xxx sounds better (or worse) than component yyy" or just a qualitative statement like "You should audition component zzz because it sounds better than anything else you have ever heard."

There are three general objections:

(1) The equipment is not level matched. Since the same equipment sounds different at different listening levels the equipment being compared will of course sound different. The difference is strong and it is due to the mismatched levels.

(2) There is a lengthy time delay between amplifier listening sessions often minutes, hours, days or even weeks. In fact the human brain forgets small details about a listening experience, and this loss of details is subsequently interpreted as a different sound.

(3) There are a wide variety of biases going on in our brains and nobody knows what of all their biases are. We are all biased all of the time. One form of bias is reflected in the old adage that "People hear what they want to hear".

The most revealtory experience takes place when all of these influences are removed from the listening experience.

When there are audible differences, removing these spurious influences allows hearing really small differences that one may not even believe can be reliably heard.

When there aren't audible differences one can finally experience two different components sounding the same.
Jack D Ripper's Avatar Jack D Ripper 08:22 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

 

Many people have an affinity for committing logical fallacies.  In this case, the fallacy name you are looking for is "straw man."  Since your real position, Arny, is troublesome for some people, it is much easier to instead argue against a different position and pretend that you took that different position.  As far as I know, NO ONE believes that all amplifiers sound the same.  Yet people repeat this nonsense over and over, as it is much easier to refute that position than the position that all decently made amplifiers operating within their design limits sound the same.  This other position is more subtle and complicated, and some people have trouble with subtlety and complexity.  Forum rules prohibit me from characterizing the intelligence of these people.

 

It may be that they are the same people who have trouble confusing "in general" for "always," which is a problem I have encountered in the past.  I have also encountered people who, when I specifically stated "most," reacted as if I stated "always."

 

The long and the short of the matter, Arny, is that no matter how many times you state your position clearly, there will always be someone who will react as if you stated something importantly different.  In other words, for the rest of your life, you will never be able to stop repeating your position, as there will always be someone who reacts as though you stated something quite different from what you really stated.  It is annoying, to be sure, but that is the world in which we live.  On the bright side, eventually, one will receive the sweet release of death, and no longer need to deal with imbeciles.


joecmess's Avatar joecmess 08:30 PM 03-21-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

Relax buddy. I'm legitimately asking your opinion on this and not judging. Maybe I put too much stock in branding.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 06:12 AM 03-22-2014
People will hear what they want to hear regardless of how closely built components are. Even in double blind forced comparisons. The disconnect is how the resondent, like everyone here, rationalizes the stimulus to select an opinion and tries to articulate his or her experience.

Let's wire people up to biometric measuring equipment, EEG caps, facial emg and look at the physiological responses to different gear double blinded and look for differences in the brain's emotional response without asking anyone what they think.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 06:14 AM 03-22-2014
Your brain may like something totally different than what you say you like.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 07:43 AM 03-22-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Please don't be so insulting. No we don't believe that all amplifiers sound the same. How many times does this have to be repeated or are people just getting their rocks off by intentionally ticking us off?

Relax buddy.

If you are so relaxed why all the stone throwing?
Quote:
I'm legitimately asking your opinion on this and not judging.

The above post and what follows it tells me a different story.
Quote:
Maybe I put too much stock in branding.

Especially the part where knowledgeable audiophiles who may disagree with you are branded in public as idiots.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 07:48 AM 03-22-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecmess View Post

People will hear what they want to hear regardless of how closely built components are. Even in double blind forced comparisons. The disconnect is how the resondent, like everyone here, rationalizes the stimulus to select an opinion and tries to articulate his or her experience.

Let's wire people up to biometric measuring equipment, EEG caps, facial emg and look at the physiological responses to different gear double blinded and look for differences in the brain's emotional response without asking anyone what they think.

This was done to a degree here:

http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548

"Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect"

ABSTRACT

"Although it is generally accepted that humans cannot perceive sounds in the frequency range above 20 kHz, the question of whether the existence of such “inaudible” high-frequency components may affect the acoustic perception of audible sounds remains unanswered. In this study, we used noninvasive physiological measurements of brain responses to provide evidence that sounds containing high-frequency components (HFCs) above the audible range significantly affect the brain activity of listeners. We used the gamelan music of Bali, which is extremely rich in HFCs with a nonstationary structure, as a natural sound source, dividing it into two components: an audible low-frequency component (LFC) below 22 kHz and an HFC above 22 kHz. Brain electrical activity and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured as markers of neuronal activity while subjects were exposed to sounds with various combinations of LFCs and HFCs. None of the subjects recognized the HFC as sound when it was presented alone. Nevertheless, the power spectra of the alpha frequency range of the spontaneous electroencephalogram (alpha-EEG) recorded from the occipital region increased with statistical significance when the subjects were exposed to sound containing both an HFC and an LFC, compared with an otherwise identical sound from which the HFC was removed (i.e., LFC alone). In contrast, compared with the baseline, no enhancement of alpha-EEG was evident when either an HFC or an LFC was presented separately. Positron emission tomography measurements revealed that, when an HFC and an LFC were presented together, the rCBF in the brain stem and the left thalamus increased significantly compared with a sound lacking the HFC above 22 kHz but that was otherwise identical. Simultaneous EEG measurements showed that the power of occipital alpha-EEGs correlated significantly with the rCBF in the left thalamus. Psychological evaluation indicated that the subjects felt the sound containing an HFC to be more pleasant than the same sound lacking an HFC. These results suggest the existence of a previously unrecognized response to complex sound containing particular types of high frequencies above the audible range. We term this phenomenon the “hypersonic effect.”


The consensus reaction to this paper among knowledgeable audio professionals after about 14 years seems to be: FAIL.
joecmess's Avatar joecmess 08:49 AM 03-22-2014
I regret that you have interpreted a bit of friendly cynicism as stone throwing. By branding I meant justifying purchases because of brand names, not branding fellow posters as idiots. I admit I can fall victim to that myself.

Your example is very interesting. What I wonder is if you set up a system and the only variable is the av receiver. You play a song that the subject enjoys so there is no creative bias and measure the experience to understand how engaged they are and what kind of emotional response there is to the way each receiver delivers. Using gsr and facial emg to capture the data. I would hypothesize that each receiver would add its own personality (or lack of neutrality) and the question would be if there would be significant differences.

This reminds me of the wine study where wine professionals always favored the more expensive bottle. But when the price and labels were not shown, many chose a 12 dollar bottle of wine over a 200 dollar bottle of wine and used all the buzzwords to describe its nose, finish, tannins, etc.
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