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Need some direction with starting from scratch - Page 2

post #31 of 68
Check out the 1k and 2.5k speaker threads at hts. There is a lot of pro and con info on many of the speakers in your price range. Very informative reads for a lot of brands to give you of an idea of them in relation to each other. Your auditioning is great though to solidify what you really do and do not want for your setup.
post #32 of 68
Thread Starter 
Is it ok to use a 9.2 reciever for less than 9 channels? I'm not a huge movie buff so I was just going to run fronts,center,sub, and two rears.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Is it ok to use a 9.2 reciever for less than 9 channels? I'm not a huge movie buff so I was just going to run fronts,center,sub, and two rears.

That will be fine - you can even use the receiver for 2 channel stereo.

However, you do not need to spend for a 9.2 reveiver - for the sake of
getting good sound. 9.2 channels, do not guarantee better quality.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post


That will be fine - you can even use the receiver for 2 channel stereo.

However, you do not need to spend for a 9.2 reveiver - for the sake of
getting good sound. 9.2 channels, do not guarantee better quality.

I agree, a good bit of the extra money you're spending for the 9.2 set up is the AVR's ability to play 9 channels. It doesn't mean that it will have better sound quality. A good rule of thumb in buying AVRs is buy only what you want or think you will want in the next few years. If you don't ever intend on moving up to a 9.x HT set up then save the money and apply it to your speaker purchase. 

post #35 of 68
Thread Starter 
Update: landed some kef q900's and a monster q600 center. Looking for a good sub and a nice reciever. I'm thinking either the onkyo tx nr818 or the yamaha 1020. I've been reading up and found good stuff about both. Also I might go back and audition the htd level 3 sub again. Any thoughts on these combinations?
post #36 of 68
I like the HTD speakers but would recommend a different sub - you would very likely get more sub for your money from SVS, HSU, Rhythmik or Powersound.

What is your budget for the sub? (Will get you specific recommendations.)
post #37 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

I like the HTD speakers but would recommend a different sub - you would very likely get more sub for your money from SVS, HSU, Rhythmik or Powersound.

What is your budget for the sub? (Will get you specific recommendations.)


would like to stay well below 1k. I would say between $400-900, maybe find a used svs, hsu, rythmik, or psa.

post #38 of 68
Your budget for a sub is fine. If your room is 20x20 (how high are the ceilings?) the next choice might be do you want a single (would need to be large) sub or dual subs?

Note - dual subs is not for more/louder bass, but to even out the bass in the whole room.
post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Is it ok to use a 9.2 reciever for less than 9 channels? I'm not a huge movie buff so I was just going to run fronts,center,sub, and two rears.

Yes. That's fine.
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Your budget for a sub is fine. If your room is 20x20 (how high are the ceilings?) the next choice might be do you want a single (would need to be large) sub or dual subs?

Note - dual subs is not for more/louder bass, but to even out the bass in the whole room.


dual subs will also give you a little headroon also.

I'm not correcting you sdg4vfx just adding.. smile.gif
Edited by mark62 - 2/11/14 at 10:15am
post #41 of 68
Thread Starter 
Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.
post #42 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

How does a receiver have more punch? Pick the receiver by the features. I'd go with the Onkyo just for the Audyssey XT32.
post #43 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

Receivers don't have punch. That is a nonsensical term. Onkyo are well known for questionable reliability. Yamahas are well known for great reliability. For me it would be a no brainer.
post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

Receivers don't have punch. That is a nonsensical term. Onkyo are well known for questionable reliability. Yamahas are well known for great reliability. For me it would be a no brainer.

FWIW not all Onkyo models had questionable reliability (mostly HDMI board issues), and pretty sure the 818 is not one of them; that'd be like condemning GM for every car they make for some of their bad apples....and fwiw my Onkyo has lasted much longer than my last Pioneer did (and don't believe any of them do enough QC these days).
post #45 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

FWIW not all Onkyo models had questionable reliability (mostly HDMI board issues), and pretty sure the 818 is not one of them; that'd be like condemning GM for every car they make for some of their bad apples....and fwiw my Onkyo has lasted much longer than my last Pioneer did (and don't believe any of them do enough QC these days).

I own neither brand. I write not from experience but from what I read. I described the reputation that is available for anyone to read. i made no personal comments except that it is a no-brainer for me. GM would be a poor choice of brands to bring up to me since I had to sue GM to honor a warranty repair on the last GM car I owned - the very last.
post #46 of 68
I've owned 3 different Onkyo models over the past 8 years or so and two of them were models that were known for HDMI issues. I haven't personally had any issues with any of them. I think Onkyo definitely had a quality issue w/ their HDMI boards for a while but the newer models including the 818 seem to be performing much better than previously. One thing to also keep in mind is that Onkyo appears to currently be one of the more popular/well selling brands and as such has potentially many more units in the field than yamaha or some others so you will naturally get more complaints overall. Not saying this excuses defective units but something to keep in mind when trying to paint an entire product line as a poor quality.... I've also had sony and pioneer AVR in the past and both of those had catastrophic issues. There are unfortunately some bad apples in every barrel. Do your research and figure out what your must have features are and your price limits and you can usually make a pretty good informed choice.
post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

FWIW not all Onkyo models had questionable reliability (mostly HDMI board issues), and pretty sure the 818 is not one of them; that'd be like condemning GM for every car they make for some of their bad apples....and fwiw my Onkyo has lasted much longer than my last Pioneer did (and don't believe any of them do enough QC these days).

I own neither brand. I write not from experience but from what I read. I described the reputation that is available for anyone to read. i made no personal comments except that it is a no-brainer for me. GM would be a poor choice of brands to bring up to me since I had to sue GM to honor a warranty repair on the last GM car I owned - the very last.

Yeah, I get ya. Just feel that a blanket statement like that isn't quite fair. I guess the GM analogy doesn't work for you? smile.gif My GMC van (Savana 3500 LWB) has been pretty rock solid....but I'm not buying Pioneer for a long while!
post #48 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

I've had Onkyo and it died after three years which seemed a bit premature to me. I also have a friend who has an Onkyo and he had to have it's HDMI board replaced twice within six weeks. I've been seeing the rumors that Onkyo has fixed it's QC issues with HDMI but who knows for sure, only time will tell. Personally, once my one Onkyo died after three years and my friend started having troubles with his, I decided to sell my other Onkyo and I bought a Denon. I wasn't in the mood to take chances. 

post #49 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

I do not know about a receiver having so-called punch

I would prefer Marantz, Denon or Yamaha
post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

How does a receiver have more punch?
For example: a receiver's power amp and/or preamp could be intentionally designed to produce a slight "bump" at certain frequencies* (a frequency response chart doesn't reveal everything about a piece of equipment's real-world behavior) or, increased current output capability via the power amp, which usually tends to improve bass output with certain low-impedance speakers.


* this is easy to do from a circuit design standpoint & has nothing to do with "audio voodoo", "golden ear hearing", etc. Such "sonic tailoring" is common in the speaker world.........
post #51 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Marantz, Yamaha A series, or Denon

Second this recommendation ....
post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Any thoughts on the onkyo tx nr818 vs the yamaha rx a1020? All I can get from my research is the 818 will have more punch and the yamaha will have better reliability.

If those are the choices, Yamaha for better sound quality and better build quality.
post #53 of 68

I prefer Marantz or Denon simply because I like Audyssey over YPAO otherwise I would add Yamaha to my favorites list. But that's just my opinion and I know that Yamaha makes a very good product. 

post #54 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

How does a receiver have more punch?
For example: a receiver's power amp and/or preamp could be intentionally designed to produce a slight "bump" at certain frequencies* (a frequency response chart doesn't reveal everything about a piece of equipment's real-world behavior) or, increased current output capability via the power amp, which usually tends to improve bass output with certain low-impedance speakers.


* this is easy to do from a circuit design standpoint & has nothing to do with "audio voodoo", "golden ear hearing", etc. Such "sonic tailoring" is common in the speaker world.........

So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.
post #55 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post


So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.

I agree, I've never heard of any AVR being punchier than another so I too am curious about how it's determined. I'm not saying the phenomenon doesn't exist but I've never heard of it.

post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.
A receiver can have a punchy quality - as I alluded to previously, it is not a problem to build amps/preamps with a definite "sound"* - but that doesn't mean XYZ model actually DOES exhibit that quality. Determining such a sonic personality would require carefully set-up listening tests & most people can't be bothered to do this time-consuming activity. But IMO even if they did so & found their receiver to sound that way, I'm sure many of the people who trust only charts, numbers & spec pages would be sure to tell them that this scenario is "impossible". So I think many people just keep their real-world observations to themselves.

And a reminder: certain amps can react differently when paired up with certain speakers. For example, many amps do not "like" fully electrostatic speakers, since such speakers usually present a capacitive load vs. the resistive load conventional speakers present. And, many inexpensive receivers include a built-in current-limiting circuit to help prevent power amp damage if speakers with very low impedances are used: as volume goes up, current output goes down, and bass response is usually affected first since bass frequencies require the most power to reproduce (there's a reason so many receivers include impedance matching switches).

But just to be clear: these days it's relatively easy to design/build an amp with flat frequency response & I'm sure few engineers would design one with wildly inaccurate signal reproduction ability.......but to me a response that is subtly adjusted is a definite possibility. That's because in my opinion speakers ARE still the one audio component with wildly (and very audibly) varying sonic personalities & by selling amps with too much sonic coloration this would make building a complete system too confusing and frustrating for most people i.e. juggling the choice of speaker and an amp (and possibly a CD player or turntable's output) to result in the right sound would be a hair-pulling experience.

An extreme example of "amp sound" would be certain types of vacuum tube amps/preamps: such an amp's rolled-off high frequencies + the amp's inherent dose of even-ordered harmonics will result in a "warm", "velvety", etc sound. This sound is popular enough with many musicians that many recording studios feature mic preamps, compressors, etc that feature such designs and many software-based recording & post production tools include it.

Lastly: I can pull up spec charts for 10 different speakers with "flat" frequency response & I'll guarantee that they can still sound different from each other. Why? Choice of driver diaphragm material (metal, silk, kevlar, treated pulp, ceramic etc), type of crossover, enclosure type, etc etc etc all effect the final sound. And amp/preamp engineers also have a wide array of design choices at their disposal.

* check out an audio design book, particularly the sections about how to minimize certain problems ---> one person's problems are another person's goals! smile.gif
post #57 of 68
Forgot to add this: I use 16 gauge lamp cord for most speaker connection purposes; @$20 interconnects for my CD and dvd players; don't believe in "hi-end" power cords; I own a turntable and buy vinyl regularly, but relatively speaking I like digital playback sources better..........and Carl Sagan's Cosmos series is a favorite of mine. smile.gif
post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

For example: a receiver's power amp and/or preamp could be intentionally designed to produce a slight "bump" at certain frequencies* (a frequency response chart doesn't reveal everything
A FRD doesn't reveal everything, but a 'bump' at certain frequencies is exactly what it would reveal.
Quote:
I can pull up spec charts for 10 different speakers with "flat" frequency response & I'll guarantee that they can still sound different from each other.
If they sound different, they measure different. But a FRD in and of itself won't reveal that. That's why we have such goodies as polar and waterfall plots.
Quote:
So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.
Some receivers could sound different than others, mostly due to the stiffness of the power supply. Reserve power capacity is the reason why separate amps tend to have much more headroom than AVRs, even though they may have the same claimed wattage rating. AVRs do tend to use very optimistic ratings. They generally take that figure from the output that one of the amps could deliver if it was run by itself with a non-restrictive power supply, not what they're actually capable of with a single power supply driving five or more amps when it only has the capacity to run perhaps three to full output at the same time.
post #59 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.
A receiver can have a punchy quality - as I alluded to previously, it is not a problem to build amps/preamps with a definite "sound"* - but that doesn't mean XYZ model actually DOES exhibit that quality. Determining such a sonic personality would require carefully set-up listening tests & most people can't be bothered to do this time-consuming activity. But IMO even if they did so & found their receiver to sound that way, I'm sure many of the people who trust only charts, numbers & spec pages would be sure to tell them that this scenario is "impossible". So I think many people just keep their real-world observations to themselves.

And a reminder: certain amps can react differently when paired up with certain speakers. For example, many amps do not "like" fully electrostatic speakers, since such speakers usually present a capacitive load vs. the resistive load conventional speakers present. And, many inexpensive receivers include a built-in current-limiting circuit to help prevent power amp damage if speakers with very low impedances are used: as volume goes up, current output goes down, and bass response is usually affected first since bass frequencies require the most power to reproduce (there's a reason so many receivers include impedance matching switches).

But just to be clear: these days it's relatively easy to design/build an amp with flat frequency response & I'm sure few engineers would design one with wildly inaccurate signal reproduction ability.......but to me a response that is subtly adjusted is a definite possibility. That's because in my opinion speakers ARE still the one audio component with wildly (and very audibly) varying sonic personalities & by selling amps with too much sonic coloration this would make building a complete system too confusing and frustrating for most people i.e. juggling the choice of speaker and an amp (and possibly a CD player or turntable's output) to result in the right sound would be a hair-pulling experience.

An extreme example of "amp sound" would be certain types of vacuum tube amps/preamps: such an amp's rolled-off high frequencies + the amp's inherent dose of even-ordered harmonics will result in a "warm", "velvety", etc sound. This sound is popular enough with many musicians that many recording studios feature mic preamps, compressors, etc that feature such designs and many software-based recording & post production tools include it.

Lastly: I can pull up spec charts for 10 different speakers with "flat" frequency response & I'll guarantee that they can still sound different from each other. Why? Choice of driver diaphragm material (metal, silk, kevlar, treated pulp, ceramic etc), type of crossover, enclosure type, etc etc etc all effect the final sound. And amp/preamp engineers also have a wide array of design choices at their disposal.

* check out an audio design book, particularly the sections about how to minimize certain problems ---> one person's problems are another person's goals! smile.gif

I'm aware of colored amps like tube models, but we're not talking such esoteric receivers that have tube anything (are there any currently offered by a major brand?)....and electrostatic speakers aren't what the OP is looking at either, we're talking basic speakers and receivers here. In any case those tube amps can be measured for "bumps". So, again, what current avr's have this "punch" that was alluded to before?

In the case of different sounding receivers, sure, there can be slight differences in "sound" but can be attributed to other than tweaking fr or differences in capabilities for particular speakers but that's not what was being discussed here; most here who "compare" receivers have not done so under matching conditions from what I can tell. For the OPs purposes I think most receivers under his consideration can be considered relatively equal.



Your speaker analogy is ridiculous as fr alone doesn't dictate sound.
post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post


So what receivers are the "punchiest" since surely this is being measured somehow? Or is it just based on rumor, second hand experiences, myths, etc? Sounds like sonic male cow feces to me.

Hold that thought. ;-)
Quote:
A receiver can have a punchy quality - as I alluded to previously, it is not a problem to build amps/preamps with a definite "sound"* - but that doesn't mean XYZ model actually DOES exhibit that quality.

Agreed - it is easy to give a system or an audio component a punchy quality. Basically kick up the response at maybe 50-70 Hz and below a few or even more than a few dB.
Quote:
Determining such a sonic personality would require carefully set-up listening tests & most people can't be bothered to do this time-consuming activity. But IMO even if they did so & found their receiver to sound that way, I'm sure many of the people who trust only charts, numbers & spec pages would be sure to tell them that this scenario is "impossible". So I think many people just keep their real-world observations to themselves.

News flash! The kind of skewed frequency response that gives a punchy quality to a recording, a system, or a component is readily measurable. No time-consuming listening tests required. If you see a frequency response curve like this:



There is no, nine, nichts, nada audible coloration of any kind, punch or otherwise. If the noise and distortion measurements are comparably good, there is no audible coloration. Period.
Quote:
And a reminder: certain amps can react differently when paired up with certain speakers.

Can and do are two different things. If I want to blow smoke in people's ears then I tcan alk about things that can happen, no matter how improbable. If I want to be clear and honest then I only talk about things that happen often enough that at least a few people are actually going to experience.
Quote:
For example, many amps do not "like" fully electrostatic speakers, since such speakers usually present a capacitive load vs. the resistive load conventional speakers present.

Hey, we've got a new audio TRVTH: speakers present resistive loads. Nothing could be futher from the truth. Here is the impedance curve of a typical modern speaker:



Now I will overprint the impedance characteristics of an 8 ohm resistor onto the impedance curve of the same speaker:



Two questions:

(1) is the green line in any way similar to the dashed black line?

(2) Is the red line in any way similar to the solid black line?

If you answer no to either statement (1) or (2) then the claim that there is such a thing as " the resistive load conventional speakers present." is totally falsified.
Quote:
And, many inexpensive receivers include a built-in current-limiting circuit to help prevent power amp damage if speakers with very low impedances are used: as volume goes up, current output goes down, and bass response is usually affected first since bass frequencies require the most power to reproduce (there's a reason so many receivers include impedance matching switches).

Actually, all well made modern amplifiers have some kind of protective mechanism to prevent damage if speakers with a very low impedance or a accidental short circuit is encountered. If they don't, one case of shorted speaker leads and the the whole thing blows.

And contrary to what might be implied above, speaker impedance switches are not about impedance matching but squeeking amps through bench tests with pure sine waves and resistive loads that are used to develop power ratings. They are falling out of favor because its easy enough to make amplifiers that don't need them.

Quote:
But just to be clear: these days it's relatively easy to design/build an amp with flat frequency response & I'm sure few engineers would design one with wildly inaccurate signal reproduction ability.......but to me a response that is subtly adjusted is a definite possibility.

I only know of two ways to feel that a amplifier with audibly adjusted response is a possibility, and that is to (1) avoid testing amplifiers yourself and (2) avoid reading published independent technical tests.

Seems like a bad thing to do if you want to make global claims about how good modern amplifiers actually work! ;-)
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