Originally Posted by lovingdvd
Can you elaborate more on what the sound stage issue is that you're now experiencing? What changes between then (when it was presumably much better) and now? Without having to go back and reread the thread please remind me of the changes you've made and what you think has led to the current issues aside from the possible amp issue.
The detailed story,
So, I original bought the Integra DHC80.1 used on ebay "broken for parts" for $200 back in 2013. I was a betting man that it just needed the HDMI board replaced as this is a known issue(that's right, I am looking at YOU Onkyo
). Bought a new board for $100. Upon receiving the preamp, it seemed to work fine. But I did not really use it much for just a movie or two with other speakers in another room. After this room was built to the point of being used(basically as you see it now) I had my system in the form it has been for about three years, Integra DTR 9.9 receiver with and without the Bryston's hooked up with the AT450s but the center was much higher. I would say almost two feet off the ground and more inline with fronts. Watched some movies and it sounded amazing. Now, amazing would be, anytime something moved across or in the front stage it was seamless and smooth. More importantly, it was MUCH more dynamic. I do not mean dynamic in the frequency domain, but in the amplitude range. More of the scare you dynamics and music sound tracks were far more enveloping.
I left everything the way it was(but I wanted my new screen to be as close to the floor for that enveloping feeling, so the center had to be dropped to less than a foot high) hooked up the DHC 80.1 and one Bryston 9BSST amp to run some tests. At some point(was not doing anything but test tones at very low levels) front left speaker made a loud pop and the preamp was dead
Pulled out the HDMI board and replaced it, nothing
. So, I went to Integra/Onkyo in MD, had them look at it and it was fixed with a pay-stub statement $189 bad output stage buffers board. Okay, well thats good, moving on, and ran some tests and was not very impressed(keep in mind at this stage I never had it really working for very long to compare too a working model) so turned some setings on and off. Ran auto cal double checked the values it ran. Yeah, time and freq domain good, looks good 20-20khz. But no matter what I would try, sound stage sounded flat and not dynamic, center channel not imaging well, break up sound as something moves across the front. Dialog compress-y almost like the entire front stage had Dolby volume at max compression(and all that stuff was off including the THX filters). So this is when I stated to think about that receipt saying bad buffer on output stage. If that was not calibrated right after fixing or replacing the board I know their would be some impedance issues going on with the output stage. So, until I replace the preamp or get it fix(not likely) then I will be able to make the decision on if the center channel needs to come back up and hence new AT screen.
So, that is where I am at now. I am sure I will get the time and money to continue later.
The guy I just sold my older Lexicon amp to was given a demo and said I was being OCD and that he thought it was the best sounding home theater he had heard. All of my friends have said the same, but I know what I am hearing and I will prove it latter