Well I finally went with the Denon 4520CI. Got it for a great price that I couldn't refuse (partial gift too) and hooked it up to my new Emp Tek speakers with the SVS subwoofer.
Man, I was so excited since these Emp Teks look so sexy and the Denon is a nice looking, heavy receiver.
So I this is what I have setup with the Denon 4520CI:
2 - R55Ti Tower Speakers
2 - R5Bi Bookshelf Speakers
1 - R56Ci Center Channel Speaker
1 - SVS PC12-NSD Subwoofer
I also purchased a pair of R55Wi Surround On-wall Speakers
, but didn't hook them up yet since I wanted to hear how this standard setup sounded first with the bookshelves before installing these on the wall.
I hooked up everything and ran Audussey. I must say how impressed I was with Denon's onscreen instructions in setting this up and the excellent remote control. Also, I put the SVS subwoofer in the back instead of the front for the simple reason that it's a large tall standing tube and it was too crowded in the front. Also, during the calibration I was wondering if the sound from the fan on the Benq projector hanging from the ceiling might have an effect on this. Lastly I moved the bookshelves from the left and right corners pointing diagonally out into the room, to placing them at direclty to left and right walls instead at ear height.
Afterwards, I popped in 2 songs by Ariane Moffatt called "
" and "
". The sound was clear but didn't move me at all. I then tried my favorite rock band called Rush from their 2112 album and was very depressed by the sound. Not good at all! I began going through all the different music modes on the Denon receiver, but none of them called to me at all.
Then I ran for the films and pulled out
. I was impressed by the sounds I never noticed before, like cables snapping and bending, devris falling all around, etc. but again not moved by the overall sound.
I then tried
but I changed the movie mode to "MULTI CH STEREO". It was very good! But then got up and listened to each speaker while the film was playing. The bookshelves on the side were really pumping out loud, good sound, much better and more than the front towers and center! I mean, for the size of those bookshelves and what they were putting out was impressive, but I could not get the towers or the center to do so, unless I manually made changes I guess to the calibration settings. I also felt like these bookshelves weren't really made to handle films like this, which I thought should be coming more from the fronts and center(I do realize that the center is mainly for dialogue, but still). I mean, the towers and center can handle more power and they each have more speakers. I tried to find a movie mode that would pump more from the fronts and center on the Denon, but nothing yet.
I then watched a few scenes from Dark Knight and again wasn't too impressed.
Yet afterwards I played classcial/middle age music from a CD I have called
(Highly recommended...a must have!) and it sounded very lovely indeed!
Flipped on over to a song called
. Both did not shine here.
Can't tell at this point if it's the receiver or the speakers or the combo of both, or maybe me not tweaking outside of the Audussey calibration.
To be honest I think these speakers are what they are supposed to be...neutral. Correct me if I am wrong, but for most action movies, rock, or music that I might want to feel a bit more, these Emp Tek speakers are not the right choice, so far.
I was warned that these speakers were not warm at all and that person was right, saved by what the SVS sub has delivered. I am also believing in what some people have suggested which is that it doesn't really matter which receiver you buy, just as long as it has all the options you want in a receiver. Please let me know otherwise and what I might be able to do to change things.
The only things that I liked very much so far was the the SVS subwoofer, which really is worth every penny ($499). I started at half volume as Denon recommened before calibration. I just moved it slightly beyond that and it just began to fill the entire room with beautiful bass!
I was surprised that the movie and music modes in the Denon 4520CI weren't that great at all except for that "Multi-Channel" movie mode. I was going to start making manual adjustments, but one of the whole points in buying this receiver was the Audussey calibration, so I did not want to undo what it had done. If I had to, then it very much defeats the point of buying this unit and I probably should have listened to get a lower end unit instead (which I can still do).
At this point I think I have until Monday to send back the speakers, which will probably cost quite a bit to send back. It would also be sad to send back the Denon because of the price I bought it at, but so far I haven't been getting right I guess.
Any suggestions on settings that I can try, for either? I did make one change from 8 ohms to 6 ohms, but that didn't help much.
Thank you all very much again.