If all receivers sound the same, then... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Little background: I've owned a Pioneer SC1522 for around six months, and been mostly very happy with the sound... Things got even better since I paired it with an Emotiva XPA-200, although I'm still planning on getting an amp with a bit more power, and a different sound signature, something a little smoother. But I digress.

Recently, I was slobbing about in Magnolia and a salesman offered me a deal on an Arcam AVR360... Roughly $600, basically exactly what I paid for the Pioneer. Figuring I could always return it, I bought it on the spot. Before I even hooked it up, I posted a thread here asking which most people would go for (I didn't mention I technically already owned both, because I wanted uncolored answers)... To my surprise, several people responded that they didn't think there would be any audible sonic difference between the two. I did a search here and on other sites, and this appears to be a fairly widely-held belief. Coming from mostly the headphone side of things, I can say that many headfier's believe the DAC to be of utmost importance, and claim to hear wide and varied sound signatures from DAC to DAC.

So here's the crux of my question... If a widely held belief is that all integrated receivers sound the same, from high to low, what then is the belief with regards to digital pre-amps or HT processors? As they are using DACs as well, indeed the only difference being that they don't have integrated amps, wouldn't it stand to reason that they all sound the same as well? And by extension, the only main component that WILL change the sound is the amplifier? And if this is so, why don't we see more systems comprised of ultra high-end speakers, ultra high-end amplifiers, and budget receivers/pre-amps/HT processors?

Sorry if sound thick, just trying to figure it out.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 06:46 PM
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All recievers don't sound the same, amps do. Even with 2 identical receiver don't sound the same because of the dsp being applied. Your first calibration is often a little bit different than your second calibration because of mic placements or environmental noises. Amp on the other hand are just amps. It should only amplify its sources unless it's a crapy design.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 06:56 PM
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How do you pair a preamp and an amp? Is that like having some red wine with a steak? Or is pairing some strange word for connecting?

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Starter View Post

Little background: I've owned a Pioneer SC1522 for around six months, and been mostly very happy with the sound... Things got even better since I paired it with an Emotiva XPA-200, although I'm still planning on getting an amp with a bit more power, and a different sound signature, something a little smoother. But I digress.

Recently, I was slobbing about in Magnolia and a salesman offered me a deal on an Arcam AVR360... Roughly $600, basically exactly what I paid for the Pioneer. Figuring I could always return it, I bought it on the spot. Before I even hooked it up, I posted a thread here asking which most people would go for (I didn't mention I technically already owned both, because I wanted uncolored answers)... To my surprise, several people responded that they didn't think there would be any audible sonic difference between the two. I did a search here and on other sites, and this appears to be a fairly widely-held belief. Coming from mostly the headphone side of things, I can say that many headfier's believe the DAC to be of utmost importance, and claim to hear wide and varied sound signatures from DAC to DAC.

So here's the crux of my question... If a widely held belief is that all integrated receivers sound the same, from high to low, what then is the belief with regards to digital pre-amps or HT processors? As they are using DACs as well, indeed the only difference being that they don't have integrated amps, wouldn't it stand to reason that they all sound the same as well? And by extension, the only main component that WILL change the sound is the amplifier? And if this is so, why don't we see more systems comprised of ultra high-end speakers, ultra high-end amplifiers, and budget receivers/pre-amps/HT processors?

Sorry if sound thick, just trying to figure it out.

No, all receivers don't sound the same. However, the amplifiers in those receivers will sound the same if isolated from the processor and if used within their design parameters. Actually, the purpose of the processors is to change the sound and they all do it pretty effectively and somewhat differently.

Why don't we see high end speakers with mid fi electronics? Because the people who buy them believe that more expensive electronics will produce better sound and they can afford it. That is what audiophilia is all about. I lost my taste for high end audio after a bias controlled listening project several years ago. For a short time I did have high end speakers with mid fi electronics simply because I had sold all the electronics after discovering they didn't work any better than mid fi electronics. I finally got the speakers sold and closed the book on what was a nearly 40 year obsession at that time.

I now have very good sounding mid fi speakers to go along with my mid fi electronics simply because I quit caring how the equipment sounded and got back to listening to music. Great music is great. Second class music heard through high end speakers - not so much. Is there an audible difference between the high end speakers and what I have now? Of course. Did the high end speakers sound better? Yes they did. Do I care? Not all that much. What I have is definitely high fidelity and sounds terrific. The fact that there are better sounding speakers available doesn't really matter to me any more. I can get lost in the music or the movies just fine. It is a question of priorities and attitudes, I think.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the responses, but they are a bit strange insomuch as many of them seem to imply that I am the author of the "all receivers sound the same" argument, when in fact I hadn't even heard it until my previous thread concerning one receiver's sound quality versus anothers... And as I said, a follow-up search of the forums revealed this to be a fairly wide-held belief with some people.

So I guess my question could probably be better answered by one of the members who believes all receivers sound the same? No offense to anyone, it's just that debating a statement as if it's my own is kind of pointless, as I have no dog in that fight, and am in fact only interested in how the logic might follow for someone who does adhere to the belief that all receivers sound the same...

@lovinthehhd: yes, "pair" is indeed a strange and exotic term for connecting.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 08:42 PM
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Are you running a sub and if so are the speakers set to small (what crossover)?

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post #7 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Are you running a sub and if so are the speakers set to small (what crossover)?
Hi, yeah, I run a sub... Just a 2.1 system. After much fine-tuning of the Pioneer, I arrived at the speakers set to Large, the sub to Plus, and the crossover at 50khz (which is the lowest option the Pioneer has)... My speakers go down to 40khz... This setup seems to deliver the most definition and clarity (particularly in the mids, which was an issue on the Small setting) while also retaining a healthy helping of bass. One time I ran the Pioneer's room adjustment program, and it ended up producing a setup that was very, very thin... I'm not some bass-head or anything, it was just acoustically incorrect. So I re-did the speaker setup manually, and now I think it's pretty dialed...

As to how this relates to the point of the thread, however... I'm definitely aware that receivers sound differently when various different setup options are executed... My point is that I have always been under the impression that beyond Pioneer's particular take on setup options versus Arcam's, or Marantz's vs Rotel, etc. etc. etc... That there were fundamental differences to how receivers sounded just based on the various chipsets and board designs. That even if you were to take say ten receivers from ten manufacturer's, and wire them into the same generic setting option program, and use the same speakers... They would produce different sound signatures, even if they were all "adjusted" the same, if that makes sense. To put it plainly, I have always thought that different manufacturer's receivers sounded different, period.

The belief I am investigating is that beyond the various proprietary setting option programs, that all receivers sound the same, that there is no discernible audible difference between one DAC and another, assuming the receivers they are in have their sound/speaker settings adjusted identically... Again, not my belief, just an idea I came across in a thread I posted comparing two receivers... An idea that was so odd to me, I ended up investigating it, and discovered that apparently quite a few people on this forum and others share it...
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-26-2014, 11:54 PM
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I started reading your old threads where you started with a query about how to increase bass from some new speakers you had via the different feet they came with and also had the idea that it took 60-100 hours for your speakers to "find their voicing" I believe you said. Then in another thread looking into better subs some salesguy sold you on the idea your receiver was inadequate without much of a basis for that conclusion then I saw something about bi-amping and I just stopped. Do you read a lot of audio magazines or something? Hang out on salesfloors of audio stores? Polk forums?

Can you please link the threads where people are saying the avrs all sound the same? You sure they weren't talking about the amp sections within their limits?

Personally I think the avrs and electronics generally sound more alike by far than different these days as the electronics have hit that area of limited returns on "improvements" (whether or not there's a spec that changed), and that you'd be better off spending your time/effort elsewhere than trying to find a magic avr or amp/preamp combo that has some sort of sound that appeals to you over others. The dsp options give you a pretty good chance of making things to your liking (those who try and compare them based on only a "direct" or "pure" mode for 2 channel sources to me is a complete waste). I think improving the speakers and customizing response to my room(s) is where I'll be spending more time and effort.....just thinking of all the necessary demoing, under what will undoubtedly be less than ideal circumstances anyways, boggles my mind as to how little benefit there is to the whole exercise of searching for a particular sound in an avr or preamp/amp.....in my experience. YMMV.

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post #9 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I started reading your old threads where you started with a query about how to increase bass from some new speakers you had via the different feet they came with and also had the idea that it took 60-100 hours for your speakers to "find their voicing" I believe you said. Then in another thread looking into better subs some salesguy sold you on the idea your receiver was inadequate without much of a basis for that conclusion then I saw something about bi-amping and I just stopped. Do you read a lot of audio magazines or something? Hang out on salesfloors of audio stores? Polk forums?

Can you please link the threads where people are saying the avrs all sound the same? You sure they weren't talking about the amp sections within their limits?

Personally I think the avrs and electronics generally sound more alike by far than different these days as the electronics have hit that area of limited returns on "improvements" (whether or not there's a spec that changed), and that you'd be better off spending your time/effort elsewhere than trying to find a magic avr or amp/preamp combo that has some sort of sound that appeals to you over others. The dsp options give you a pretty good chance of making things to your liking (those who try and compare them based on only a "direct" or "pure" mode for 2 channel sources to me is a complete waste). I think improving the speakers and customizing response to my room(s) is where I'll be spending more time and effort.....just thinking of all the necessary demoing, under what will undoubtedly be less than ideal circumstances anyways, boggles my mind as to how little benefit there is to the whole exercise of searching for a particular sound in an avr or preamp/amp.....in my experience. YMMV.
What's your angle for coloring questions I've asked, as well as just full-on making up quotes to make me appear foolish? If you want to see people stating that all receivers sound the same, check out the thread I posted directly before this one. Kind of weird that of all my threads (and there aren't that many, I think like four) you didn't read that one.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 06:22 AM
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I don't think all amps sound exactly the same as I've heard very minor differences between them. I would say they sound 99% the same. I doubt I could pass a double blind test between the majority of amps. I think it's foolish to spend a lot of money on an amp unless you need one that can play extremely loud. Money is better spent elsewhere. I don't think DACs sound different either. Conversion between digital and analog was mastered many decades ago. You can't hear a difference between a 24 bit and a 32 bit DAC. It's all marketing.

The biggest bang for the buck is in speakers and room adjustments. Unfortunately not many of us can do anything about the room. The second biggest thing is automated room correction software like ypao, audyssey, etc...
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Starter View Post


What's your angle for coloring questions I've asked, as well as just full-on making up quotes to make me appear foolish? If you want to see people stating that all receivers sound the same, check out the thread I posted directly before this one. Kind of weird that of all my threads (and there aren't that many, I think like four) you didn't read that one.

 

I think this is what he is referring to:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467490/speaker-base-options-for-maximum-bass#post_23182390

 

Quote:
 

Forums noob here... So I recently bought a pair of Kef XQ10 bookshelf speakers. I realize they are not a very bass-oriented speaker to begin with, and it will take 60-100 hours for them to find their voice regardless, but I'd like to maximize what bass they do (or will) have...

 

The speakers come with two base options...

 

The first are three thick metal spikes which screw into the bottom of the speaker, and can be used alone or on the included protective metal discs. I'd use the discs to protect my credenza top... They are basically just small discs machined down so that the point of the spike rests in the center, and they have thin fuzzy fabric on the side which makes contact with whatever they are placed on.

 

The second option can only be described as concave rubber wedges... They are rectangular, maybe 7 inches long by 5 inches wide and have a curved or concave top portion. Since these Kefs have a rounded bottom portion, they basically fit on top of / into the wedges, where they can be slid forward or backward to position the speaker either level or slightly up. The rubber is nice and thick, maybe 3/4" at the thickest and 1/3" at the thinnest. The speakers feel very stable on top of the wedges.

 

My gut tells me using the rubber wedges may produce better bass, but what do I know. I'd love it if some speaker experts would give me their opinions...

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467708/recommend-a-sub-for-use-with-kef-xq10s#post_23194556

 

Quote:
 

UPDATE with solution...

 

Turns out I didn't need a new sub, but a more powerful receiver. Talked to one of the local Kef dealers, and he mentioned that to fill out, the XQ10's need plenty of power. The Denon AVR-1613 was only putting out 75 watts, so I picked up a Pioneer SC-1522-K (great deal at Costco, as I'm sure many of you know), which puts out 130 watts, and now everything is copacetic...

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1519199/potential-downsides-of-bi-amping

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post #12 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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^^Yeah, I'm aware of what he's referring to, but speakers needing time to break-in is not some absurd statement, and a Kef dealer (who doesn't even sell components) noting that the XQ10 needs plenty of juice does not equate my being "sold on the idea" that my receiver was inadequate, insinuating that I was somehow talked into buying a receiver I didn't need. I ended up scoring one of the Costco $599 SC1522's, for God's sake. We should all be so lucky to have someone "sell us" on that purchase.

Regardless, people come here to learn. Picking through someone's first questions here and vibing them is beyond lame. Someone with 5000 posts should have better things to do.

So do you harbor the belief that all receivers sound the same, and have an explanation to the questions I posed? Or...?
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starter View Post

I appreciate the responses, but they are a bit strange insomuch as many of them seem to imply that I am the author of the "all receivers sound the same" argument, when in fact I hadn't even heard it until my previous thread concerning one receiver's sound quality versus anothers... And as I said, a follow-up search of the forums revealed this to be a fairly wide-held belief with some people.

So I guess my question could probably be better answered by one of the members who believes all receivers sound the same? No offense to anyone, it's just that debating a statement as if it's my own is kind of pointless, as I have no dog in that fight, and am in fact only interested in how the logic might follow for someone who does adhere to the belief that all receivers sound the same...

@lovinthehhd: yes, "pair" is indeed a strange and exotic term for connecting.

No , all receivers don't sound the same , i have a Onkyo and Pioneer and for sure they don't sound the same , but maybe you are confused with external amplification ?
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Again, I have never held the belief that all receivers sound the same. I posted an earlier question, comparing two receivers. Within that thread I received these replies:

"I have no reason to believe there would be a sonic difference at all between them. I tend to avoid high end electronics because of natural bias I have against the high end audio industry. On the other hand I have used Pioneer products happily for years. I would still take the Pioneer." - A forum member since 2007 with 3660 posts.

"Where is the 'all receiver sounds the same' thread? smile.gif" - A forum member since 2003 with 9391 posts.

After reading those replies, I did some Google searches, basically variations on "All HT receivers sound same" etc., and got enough results that it appeared to me that it was a fairly widely-held belief among some people that basically all DACs will sound the same. Not all people, some people. Not me, other people. It was based off this that I figured I'd ask the questions. Still waiting for someone who thinks all receivers sound the same to weigh in.

One more time... I've always held the belief that DAC's sound different from one product to another. I've also held the belief that amps sound different from one product to another. But what the hell do I know.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starter View Post

Little background: I've owned a Pioneer SC1522 for around six months, and been mostly very happy with the sound... Things got even better since I paired it with an Emotiva XPA-200, although I'm still planning on getting an amp with a bit more power, and a different sound signature, something a little smoother. But I digress.

I'll start out with you on the wrong foot. ;-) Seriously, the EMO UPA 200 is an amp that I love to make fun of because its really not that much different than the amps in the Pioneer SC1522. There isn't that much difference in power. It takes 10 times the power to make your system twice as loud given that you are already pushing your existing amp into clipping, which is actually pretty rare.
Quote:
Recently, I was slobbing about in Magnolia and a salesman offered me a deal on an Arcam AVR360... Roughly $600, basically exactly what I paid for the Pioneer.

I'm totally surprised. The Arcam is like a $2500 SRP piece. Yes it is discontinued, but that might reasonably push its street price down to maybe $1K on a really good day. You sure this wasn't a trade in deal?
Quote:
Figuring I could always return it, I bought it on the spot. Before I even hooked it up, I posted a thread here asking which most people would go for (I didn't mention I technically already owned both, because I wanted uncolored answers)... To my surprise, several people responded that they didn't think there would be any audible sonic difference between the two. I did a search here and on other sites, and this appears to be a fairly widely-held belief.

Some crazy thing about science. The basic idea is that SS power amp technology hasn't changed much since the 1990s at the latest. AVRs are a tremendously competitive market. Someone told me that of all the AVR manufacturers, only Yamaha is making money.
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Coming from mostly the headphone side of things, I can say that many headfier's believe the DAC to be of utmost importance, and claim to hear wide and varied sound signatures from DAC to DAC.

Two words: Sighted evaluation. People hear what they want to hear unless you do some careful experiments that include certain errr, human factors.
Quote:
So here's the crux of my question... If a widely held belief is that all integrated receivers sound the same, from high to low, what then is the belief with regards to digital pre-amps or HT processors?

A little adjustment to your thesis statement: The actual belief is that all good audio electronics sounds the same because all good audio equipment whether a DAC or an AVR or a power amp has really good frequency response, low distortion, low noise and all that jazz.

Yes, there are all kinds of audio gear that doesn't fit the definition of good equipment (frequency response, distortion, noise), but it is either very cheap, or pretty rare.
Quote:
As they are using DACs as well, indeed the only difference being that they don't have integrated amps, wouldn't it stand to reason that they all sound the same as well?

If one takes the time to do a good listening test (Blind, level matched, quick switched under listener control, time-synched recording(s)) one finds few audible differences as long as you stick to good equipment.
Quote:
And by extension, the only main component that WILL change the sound is the amplifier?

Actually, the class of audio devices that is most likely to sound different is amplifiers, and your SC 1522 is in that class because it is a switchmode, Class D amp. Sorry! I'm not saying that your SC-1522 necessarily has audible problems, I'm saying that based on what it is and how it is made, it is more likely to sound different than even my cheapie Yamaha conventional AVR a RX-V371. Likely does not mean certain.
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And if this is so, why don't we see more systems comprised of ultra high-end speakers, ultra high-end amplifiers, and budget receivers/pre-amps/HT processors?

Trust me, consumer behavior is not the ultimate arbiter of rational behavior.

The question that you need to ask is why don't we see more systems with lots of money carefully spent on the speakers and not so much spent on the electronics because frankly, that is what makes good sense. The related question is why consumers don't go ga ga over the part of their system that likely dictates its sound quality more than anything else, which is the listening room.

Your listening room dictates the actual sound quality of any reasonably good system more than anything else. Move in a different good system and that system will probably sound a lot like the last one. Move your existing system into a different room and I virtually guarantee that it will sound different, and not just a little bit.

Well, some people around here actually do obsess over room acoustics. Good for them!
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Starter View Post

One more time... I've always held the belief that DAC's sound different from one product to another. I've also held the belief that amps sound different from one product to another. But what the hell do I know.

One more time - DACs are among the most perfected of all kinds of audio components.

I'll cut people who use headphones some slack because a lot of headphone amps have relatively high source impedances and that means that their frequency response can change significantly and audibly. But, they are still betting the world on sighted evaluations, so that is a lose-lose.
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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@arnyk- Thanks for the well-thought-out reply! Makes more sense to me now... If no better mouse-trap comes along, all existing mouse-trap designs are fine-tuned until they are essentially identical... Same deal with receiver design, yes? Or perhaps I completely misunderstood you. Very possible, ha ha. As to the XPA-200, yes it's not much of an upgrade, if any at all. It was basically free though... I'm planning to upgrade to something with around 200-300 watts. And the AVR360 was either a store return or a display... Great shape though. If you're interested I can PM you the store details. I ended up returning it...
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Starter View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Are you running a sub and if so are the speakers set to small (what crossover)?
Hi, yeah, I run a sub... Just a 2.1 system. After much fine-tuning of the Pioneer, I arrived at the speakers set to Large, the sub to Plus, and the crossover at 50khz (which is the lowest option the Pioneer has)... My speakers go down to 40khz... This setup seems to deliver the most definition and clarity (particularly in the mids, which was an issue on the Small setting) while also retaining a healthy helping of bass. One time I ran the Pioneer's room adjustment program, and it ended up producing a setup that was very, very thin... I'm not some bass-head or anything, it was just acoustically incorrect. So I re-did the speaker setup manually, and now I think it's pretty dialed...
The best location for your speakers (off the back wall and in from the side...see for example the article on Cardas' website) which will produce acceptable imaging and soundstage, is invariably not the same location for good bass. While there is always a strong temptation to run one's speakers large with the thinking thar you'll be damned if you don't use as much Hz as you paid for, it may well speak that something is fundamentally wrong with your setup. Perhaps it's where the sub was placed or it may be that your sub is just dinky and can't keep up with your mains.

The thing is, Starter, that it takes some care in properly placing and securing the microphone to have the receiver's correction system give reliable results. Relying on one's ears is certainly important but unless you also measure (use an SPL meter if that's all you have), you won't really know what your room correction system is doing and you won't be able to track how differences in sub placement affect the listening position. Having the best knife in the world doesn't mean you can carve a turkey properly. Takes practice.
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As to how this relates to the point of the thread, however... I'm definitely aware that receivers sound differently when various different setup options are executed... My point is that I have always been under the impression that beyond Pioneer's particular take on setup options versus Arcam's, or Marantz's vs Rotel, etc. etc. etc... That there were fundamental differences to how receivers sounded just based on the various chipsets and board designs. That even if you were to take say ten receivers from ten manufacturer's, and wire them into the same generic setting option program, and use the same speakers... They would produce different sound signatures, even if they were all "adjusted" the same, if that makes sense. To put it plainly, I have always thought that different manufacturer's receivers sounded different, period.
saying that two amps sound the same under specified condition DOES NOT MEAN that they perform the same. Getting hung up on manufacturer's marketing jargon is just what they want you to do.
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The belief I am investigating is that beyond the various proprietary setting option programs, that all receivers sound the same, that there is no discernible audible difference between one DAC and another, assuming the receivers they are in have their sound/speaker settings adjusted identically... Again, not my belief, just an idea I came across in a thread I posted comparing two receivers... An idea that was so odd to me, I ended up investigating it, and discovered that apparently quite a few people on this forum and others share it...
iMO, you need to think more about your fundamental setup and earnestly work on it.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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^^Appreciate it, but not really interested in improving anything, beyond maybe getting an amp with a bit more juice... I really like the sound I have now. I picked up the Arcam because it was a steal, and I figured "who knows, maybe it'll make a good thing better"... The questions posed in this thread were just out of curiosity, based on others saying there would be no difference in sound quality between the Pioneer and the Arcam, and that all receivers will sound the same. To me, this sounded contrary to what I usually see on this forum, where discussing the minutia between various components as if they are the key to massive differences in sound seems to be the norm, ha ha.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 09:29 AM
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@arnyk- Thanks for the well-thought-out reply! Makes more sense to me now... If no better mouse-trap comes along, all existing mouse-trap designs are fine-tuned until they are essentially identical... Same deal with receiver design, yes?

Hold that thought!
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-27-2014, 10:02 AM
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^^Yeah, I'm aware of what he's referring to, but speakers needing time to break-in is not some absurd statement, and a Kef dealer (who doesn't even sell components) noting that the XQ10 needs plenty of juice does not equate my being "sold on the idea" that my receiver was inadequate, insinuating that I was somehow talked into buying a receiver I didn't need. I ended up scoring one of the Costco $599 SC1522's, for God's sake. We should all be so lucky to have someone "sell us" on that purchase.

Regardless, people come here to learn. Picking through someone's first questions here and vibing them is beyond lame. Someone with 5000 posts should have better things to do.

So do you harbor the belief that all receivers sound the same, and have an explanation to the questions I posed? Or...?

Read this article on speaker myths about breaking in sets of speakers. Interesting.

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/loudspeaker-myths-and-truths

Also I can't help with the AVR thingy. I do believe they don't sound alike due to their REQ programs. If you are never going to go to a 5 or 7 speaker setup look into the H/K 990. Very powerful and it also has a very good Eq program. Expensive when it came out but can be found for a lot less now. Hope you get the info you want and need but I'm sorry that many members here can't make suggestions without starting debates that have been hashed and rehashed so many times it's nauseating. Good luck.
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