Understanding DAC - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 11:10 AM
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What's the beef? One can have a reasonable "best of both worlds" with AVR and integrated amp. in their HT. Convenience, specific application for movies. Better sound for 2CH music. Move along everyone, nothin' to see here.

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post #62 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Most affordable Blu-ray players, which I use primarily for 2ch CD playback, look like this on the back these days:


Analog is simply not there so to connect this and a lot of other newer gear, even if just for 2 channels of sound, requires HDMI inputs.

Analog Sunset
If you chose to lock yourself into HDMI for the formats that do not need proprietary decoding algorithms (like atmos) well, that is your choice.

I can play all those audio files from my PC perfectly fine into one of the thousands devices available on the market with any input/output choices.
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post #63 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
If you chose to lock yourself into HDMI for the formats that do not need proprietary decoding algorithms (like atmos) well, that is your choice.
I do not choose to be locked to digital connections; I am slowly, over time, being forced.

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post #64 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 12:01 PM
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In my opinion ... do not get an AVR unless you specifically have use for an AVR, that is to say -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.


But get purpose drive system. One does not buy a Mini-Cooper to haul Cargo Freight.

Just off the top of my head I can think of three Stereo amps that have HDMI Inputs. Though only one is on the higher caliber end.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_410SR2...cam-SR250.html

But one does not need HDMI to listen to movies through a Stereo. This has already been covered, you just need a DAC. Connect the Digital Audio Out of the TV to your the DAC, and set the TV output to PCM - DONE.

There is a reason why you are seeing more and more Stereo Amp equipped to accommodate Movies and TV, because many prefer a Stereo but still love Movies. To most that simply mean adding a DAC to the Amp to others and more recently, that mean adding HDMI Inputs to a Stereo. By the way, there are HDMI to Stereo DACs available.

As to digital becoming dominant ...well.. yes and no, mostly no, but sort of yes.... As mentioned - CD Player/BluRay Players/Network Players - are predominantly Digital, however Network and CD Player have DACs built in, so functionally they are Analog Out. Higher End BluRay have quality DACs and Analog Outs, but most low to mid BluRay will have HDMI, and Optical and/or Coaxial Out for Stereo. For those in a pinch, who need DVD/BluRay plus CD/SACD, a good BluRay Player can be a reasonable choice as an all-in-one Universal Player. The best of these were the OPPO, sadly no longer in production, but Pioneer, Panasonic, and I think Sony, and I'm sure others, have higher end BluRay that have Analog Outs with Universal Disc capability as well as Digital Out.

The Cambridge Audio CXUHD is classed as a Universal Player, but only has HDMI, Optical, and Coaxial Outputs, no Analog, but that is also true of the CXC CD Transport, they depend on a DAC being outside the player or in the Amp. But this is still a very good player, and with more Amps coming with DACs built in, this is not a problem.

https://cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/cx/cxuhd

https://cambridgeaudio.com/usa/en/products/cx/cxc


As to Media, rather than players, Digital Music is becoming more dominant. Streaming is pretty much taking over, but I and many feel this is a substitute for physical media, which means at some point in the somewhat near future, there is going to be a day of reckoning, artist are simply not compensated adequately, billions of streams generate pocket change in revenue, and why buy music, then you can get all you can consume for $10 per month. The point is, the cost is going to go up to generate more revenue for the artists.

Digital Downloads are also replacing physical media. But ownership rights are very different. If you own a Vinyl Album or a CD then you own that physical thing, you can buy it, sell it, trade it, record it for personal use, but with downloaded media you don't own anything, you are merely leasing the right to play the music for your lifetime. However, technically, you can not leave your digital non-physical media to your children. The lease technically only lasts a lifetime.

Given that the Original Poster posted in the 2-Channel forum, I think it is safe to assume he is looking for a Stereo. Which Stereo will depend on his specific needs. If he feels he might need to add Bass Management at some time in the future, then either a Pre-Amp/Power-Amp or a Amp/Receiver with Bass Management built in. If he doesn't think he will need Bass Management/Subwoofer, then any Integrated Amp with a DAC will do.

Again, rephrasing, you have to understand your needs in order to get what you need.

As to BluRay with ONLY HDMI, yes there were a few, but I suspect they were and are in the Minority.

Focus on the Objective and buy to that objective.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 08-11-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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post #65 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
In my opinion ... do not get an AVR unless you specifically have use for an AVR, that is to say -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.


But get purpose drive system. One does not buy a Mini-Cooper to haul Cargo Freight.
I don’t think the ubiquitous and sometimes overused analogy to motor vehicles works well here.

There’s nothing inherent in the design of an AVR that makes it less capable of playing 2 ch music vs. a “stereo-only” music system. If anything, an AVR is often a better choice, especially when incorporating a subwoofer, because of superior bass management and room correction.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Marantz 7013 AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #66 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
I don’t think the ubiquitous and sometimes overused analogy to motor vehicles works well here.

There’s nothing inherent in the design of an AVR that makes it less capable of playing 2 ch music vs. a “stereo-only” music system. If anything, an AVR is often a better choice, especially when incorporating a subwoofer, because of superior bass management and room correction.
Clearly my posted tend to get long, so I can't address everything. Most people are dealing with a Fixed amount of money budgeted for their system.

With Surround, you are buying 7, 9, or 11 Amp Channels and by extension you are buying 5, 7, 9, or 11 Speakers plus an expensive Subwoofer (or 2 ...or 5 ...or 10).

Conversely with Stereo, you are buying 2 Amp Channels and 2 speakers.

Which of those do you imagine gives you the better sounding system, one where a fix amount is spread across 7, 9, or 11 components, or where that same amount of money is spread across TWO components? Myself, I'm betting on the TWO components.

However, if you have 3 or 4 times more money for an AVR relative to a Stereo Amp, and 3 or 4 times more money for Speakers, then you can come pretty close. I've heard $2000 AVRs that sounded stunning, I couldn't have asked for more, but even with the sound quality, I ask myself what would that same $2000 buy me in a Stereo Amp?

This tends to spring to mind -

https://www.abt.com/product/108678/R...r-FR51740.html

And this -

https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...mber=PAHAHINT6

HOWEVER, if you want a predominately movie system that delivers the full Home Theater experience, then you are crazy if you don't buy an AVR. If you want a Movie System then get a Movie System.

It is all about priorities. There are certainly times when a AV is the right choice even for a system that does not go beyond Stereo or 2.1, but just because it can be the right choice under some circumstance, doesn't mean it is always the right choice.

I still stand by this -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.


But get purpose drive system. One does not buy a Mini-Cooper to haul Cargo Freight.

And the Car Analogy does very much hold up. The point is make your purchase directed at your purpose. The purchase of a Mini-Cooper is NOT directed at the purpose of hauling Cargo Freight. That's not that complicated.

Steve/bluewizard

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It is worth mentioning that with all those digital formats a PC with an audio interface as a source can work really great.
It is also can be a very powerful sound processing device with great room correction, bass management, etc, very "modular" and upgradable to any number of channels (it can't decode things like atmos so if you want to process that you would need to decode atmos and do ADC conversion.)

Fan noise might be a problem though, but its manageable.
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post #68 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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bluewizard I completely understand your rationale of getting a 'purpose driven system'. In my case I want the best I can get for 2 ch audio listening with my limited budget BUT I am damn curious what an AVR would sound like watching an occasional movie and aren't TV programs broadcast in 5.1? And I did prewire the room with two in wall speakers at the rear so a 5.1 system would be easy to do.
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post #69 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Clearly my posted tend to get long, so I can't address everything. Most people are dealing with a Fixed amount of money budgeted for their system.

With Surround, you are buying 7, 9, or 11 Amp Channels and by extension you are buying 5, 7, 9, or 11 Speakers plus an expensive Subwoofer.

Conversely with Stereo, you are buying 2 Amp Channels and 2 speakers.

Which of those do you imagine gives you the better sounding system, one where a fix amount is spread across 7, 9, or 11 components, or where that same amount of money is spread across TWO components? Myself, I'm betting on the TWO components.

However, if you have 3 or 4 times more money for an AVR relative to a Stereo Amp, and 3 or 4 times more money for Speakers, then you can come pretty close. I've heard $2000 AVRs that sounded stunning, I couldn't have asked for more, but even with the sound quality, I ask myself what would that same $2000 buy me in a Stereo Amp?

This tends to spring to mind -

https://www.abt.com/product/108678/R...r-FR51740.html

And this -

https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...mber=PAHAHINT6

HOWEVER, if you want a predominately movie system that delivers the full Home Theater experience, then you are crazy if you don't buy an AVR. If you want a Movie System then get a Movie System.

It is all about priorities. There are certainly times when a AV is the right choice even for a system that does not go beyond Stereo or 2.1, but just because it can be the right choice under some circumstance, doesn't mean it is always the right choice.

I still stand by this -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.


But get purpose drive system. One does not buy a Mini-Cooper to haul Cargo Freight.

And the Car Analogy does very much hold up. The point is make your purchase directed at your purpose. The purchase of a Mini-Cooper is NOT directed at the purpose of hauling Cargo Freight. That's not that complicated.

Steve/bluewizard
1) On the manufacturing side, it doesn’t work the way you say. That’s the fallacy. Say we have a $1,000 AVR and a $1,000 2ch integrated amp. There’s *nothing* to suggest that the 2ch was built better because there’s only two channels. On the contrary, the 2ch integrated amp nearly is always priced higher because it’s a boutique item that doesn’t have near the potential market as an AVR. Economies of scale make a big difference here.

2) The cat analogy fails because an AVR is more than capable of playing stereo music, while a Mini Cooper isn’t capable of towing anything substantial. The premise itself is faulty—there’s no technical reason to support the contention that a 2ch only amp is by its nature better at playing 2ch sources than an AVR.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Marantz 7013 AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
1) On the manufacturing side, it doesn’t work the way you say. That’s the fallacy. Say we have a $1,000 AVR and a $1,000 2ch integrated amp. There’s *nothing* to suggest that the 2ch was built better because there’s only two channels. On the contrary, the 2ch integrated amp nearly is always priced higher because it’s a boutique item that doesn’t have near the potential market as an AVR. Economies of scale make a big difference here.

2) The cat analogy fails because an AVR is more than capable of playing stereo music, while a Mini Cooper isn’t capable of towing anything substantial. The premise itself is faulty—there’s no technical reason to support the contention that a 2ch only amp is by its nature better at playing 2ch sources than an AVR.
Not to get picky but my cat doesn't care to tow much at all.
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post #71 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:41 PM
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1) On the manufacturing side, it doesn’t work the way you say. That’s the fallacy. ...
I understand you point, but only the degree of difference shift, the point itself remains the same. There is an ecomonics of scale factor, but not as great as you are making it out to be.

Quote:
2) The cat analogy fails because an AVR is more than capable of playing stereo music, while a Mini Cooper isn’t capable of towing anything substantial. The premise itself is faulty—there’s no technical reason to support the contention that a 2ch only amp is by its nature better at playing 2ch sources than an AVR.
Exactly, get a purpose directed system. The point is that the purpose of a Mini-Cooper is NOT to haul cargo freight. It is a metaphor not an example.

There is a reason why a low to mid AVR is not as good as a Stereo, and that is because, you are buying a lot more amps and potentially a lot more speakers for a fixed amount of money. This isn't exactly rocket science.

Now most certainly I can see circumstances where a person is on a rock bottom budget, but still wants Streaming and Bass Management for a Sub, in that case, an AVR could give all those features at a modest price. But that is one rare example.

Yes, AVRs do play music, but so do $150 record players. And yes Stereo amps can do a fantastic job for movies within a reasonable context. It is all about priorities, simple as that.

Overall, I stand by what I said -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.

On that, I am NOT backing down.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #72 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:41 PM
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Here’s a more appropriate analogy IMHO:

An AVR is like a smartphone. A 2ch integrated amp is like a old flip phone. There’s nothing to suggest that the flip phone is better at making calls than the smartphone simply because that’s all it’s designed to do.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Marantz 7013 AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
Here’s a more appropriate analogy IMHO:

An AVR is like a smartphone. A 2ch integrated amp is like a old flip phone. There’s nothing to suggest that the flip phone is better at making calls than the smartphone simply because that’s all it’s designed to do.
So the old flip phone sounds better?
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post #74 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:44 PM
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Some people use cats for bass management so you don't necessarily need to buy that feature if you have a cat:
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post #75 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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Speaking cats and tows. Here's more on cats and toes.
https://www.hemingwayhome.com/cats/
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #76 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.

On that, I am NOT backing down.
Will science ever find a way to do both through one system, without compromise, or is it fundamentally impossible?

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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Some people use cats for bass management so you don't necessarily need to buy that feature if you have a cat:
https://youtu.be/VGS7R_-XqCk
Video unavailable. I really wanted to see that.
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post #78 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
I understand you point, but only the degree of difference shift, the point itself remains the same. There is an ecomonics of scale factor, but not as great as you are making it out to be.



Exactly, get a purpose directed system. The point is that the purpose of a Mini-Cooper is NOT to haul cargo freight. It is a metaphor not an example.

There is a reason why a low to mid AVR is not as good as a Stereo, and that is because, you are buying a lot more amps and potentially a lot more speakers for a fixed amount of money. This isn't exactly rocket science.

Now most certainly I can see circumstances where a person is on a rock bottom budget, but still wants Streaming and Bass Management for a Sub, in that case, an AVR could give all those features at a modest price. But that is one rare example.

Yes, AVRs do play music, but so do $150 record players. And yes Stereo amps can do a fantastic job for movies within a reasonable context. It is all about priorities, simple as that.

Overall, I stand by what I said -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound, it will still work for Music.

On that, I am NOT backing down.

Steve/bluewizard
Doesn’t make your argument any more sound. If we want to talk anecdotal evidence, my brother-in-law replaced his Graaf integrated amplifier with a Marantz 7012 AVR, in a 2 ch system. He added a sub to make it a 2.1 system. By his own admission, his *stereo* has never sounded better. The improvements came from features that tangibly improve performance—bass management and room correction. He’ll never go back to just an integrated amp again.
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My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Marantz 7013 AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
So the old flip phone sounds better?
No.

My humble main system:
Vizio M75-E1; Oppo 203 universal UHD player; Marantz 7013 AVR, Dual PSA S1801's; Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 mains, RX center, and RX surrounds; one pair NHT mini Atmos speakers; Home-built HTPC (Xeon E1230, 16gb RAM, Crucial M500 480gb SSD, GeForce 980Ti, Corsair CX600, CoolerMaster mini-ITX case); Roku Premiere+; Amazon 4K Fire TV
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post #80 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
Video unavailable. I really wanted to see that.
oops. Does it work now? [click the "Youtube" in the top of the image to be taken there.]

[It's a cat attempting to manage the bass.]

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post #81 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
oops. Does it work now?
Yes. I am able to view it from the link in the quote. It's hilarious. Can't get enough of cats doing silly stuff.
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post #82 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
Can't get enough of cats doing silly stuff.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sill...Address&ie=&oe=



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #83 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaking cats and tows. Here's more on cats and toes.
https://www.hemingwayhome.com/cats/
Well now I've learned something aside from audio jargon- polydactyl cats.
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post #84 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
bluewizard I completely understand your rationale of getting a 'purpose driven system'. In my case I want the best I can get for 2 ch audio listening with my limited budget BUT I am damn curious what an AVR would sound like watching an occasional movie and aren't TV programs broadcast in 5.1? And I did prewire the room with two in wall speakers at the rear so a 5.1 system would be easy to do.
You are letting your thoughts get cluttered by too many options. I'm trying to make this simple for you -

If you want a Music System, then get a Music System, meaning a Stereo. It will still do Movies very nicely.

If you want a Movie System, then get a Movie System, meaning Surround Sound. It will still work for Music.

It sounds like you want a Music system, which is precisely what I have, and as I said previously, I have hit 110db peaks and felt bass so intense it ruffled my hair and cause my pant legs to flap. How much more movie do you really need? My priority is Music, but my system can still bring both the Thunder and the Lightning to movies.

Again I point out - The more you get, the less you get.

We can argue economics of scale on amps, but not on speakers. If you buy 5 speakers and a Sub, then you will either spend considerably more money, or you will get considerably less speakers.

I choose a fixed budget (because I had no choice) and for that budget I maximized the quality rather than the quantity of my components. My priority was a Music System ...so... I bought a Music System, and as you can tell from my comments, it is impressive for Movies. I don't need more.

Now if Movies were my priority, and my budget was fixed, I would have had to make compromises, but those compromises are directed at a goal. But having to buy more amps and having to buy more speakers means I would get less of a system, but that is the compromise I would have chosen to make.

Everything is Audio is a compromise, what are you willing to give up to get what you want. We are always trading away one thing in favor of another.

BUT ...make sure the compromises you are willing to make are actually giving up something you are willing to lose.

Personally I'm very content with the choices I've made on my system -



You posted in the 2-Channel Forum, you spoke of considering 2-Channel Amps, subtly that implies your underlying priorities.

Still, the final decision is up to you. You know your preferences and priorities better than anyone.

There are half a dozen ways to solve this problem -

- AVR/Passive speaker
- Stereo/Passive Speakers
- Pre-Amp/Active Speaker (AV or Stereo)
- Speakers that are embedded in the wall and plastered over so they are completely invisible
- More... etc...

I say Stereo, someone else says AVR, but what we think you should do is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what you want to do relative to your personal requirements, priorities, and limited resources. We are not here to talk you into or out of anything, we are here to make suggestions that might be helpful, but we can't read your mind, we only know what you tell us, so certainly there are going to be a range of suggestion given. An AVR is a valid suggestion, now you have to decide if it does specifically what you need done, or does the RN803 do more specifically what you need done?

We don't know, we can only suggest, you have to make the decision yourself.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 08-11-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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post #85 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
Well now I've learned something aside from audio jargon- polydactyl cats.
And humans. https://www.google.com/search?rls=co...w=1366&bih=690



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #86 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Some people use cats for bass management so you don't necessarily need to buy that feature if you have a cat:
https://youtu.be/VGS7R_-XqCk
That is the one typical AVR feature I would like to have, but I also want to use subs in stereo.
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Last edited by Scotth3886; 08-11-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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post #87 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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Just get ten people to buy the $90,000 model and then early retirement. Seems easy enough.
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post #88 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
That is the one typical AVR feature I would like to have, but I also want stereo bass.
As you know I don't believe in stereo subwoofers [althogh having two or more subs instead of one has numerous advantages] but what my question to you is: "Do the people you read, like for example Fremer, advocate this position or is it just your own thing?"

Yamaha had some AVRs I sold with stereophonic subs as an option. Not sure about how they do it these days (and this feature was only an option on the upper end).

Last edited by m. zillch; 08-11-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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post #89 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
That is the one typical AVR feature I would like to have, but I also want to use subs in stereo.
I think the best approach for you would be to limit your choices to separate preamp and power amps [or integrated amps with pre-out and main-in loops] and use external crossovers which you've verified ahead of time don't mono-ize the signal going to the subs.

P.S. DBX may make such crossovers. [the stereo/mono switch on the back indicates this should work]

Last edited by m. zillch; 08-11-2019 at 03:06 PM.
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post #90 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sk373 View Post
... my brother-in-law replaced his Graaf integrated amplifier with a Marantz 7012 AVR, in a 2 ch system. He added a sub to make it a 2.1 system. By his own admission, his *stereo* has never sounded better....
I think the improvement is more likely that he bought a $2000 Amp and not necessarily that he bought a AVR. Though, as I have admitted, an ARV comes with features that some people find handy.

But, you can get those features in a Stereo System to if you are willing to pay for them. Room EQ and Bass Management can be bought as a separate device.

Now if he is happy and if the system met his preferences and priorities, then more power to him.

But for everyone the important things it to KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. You can't get what you want until you know what you want. Your Brother-in-Law knew what he wanted and bought that specific thing. That is the correct choice for him, but not necessarily the right choice for everyone.

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