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post #1 of 17 Old 06-21-2018, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Matching speakers to Denon AVR

So I just got a ridiculously good deal on the new Denon AVR-X1500H. I’ve never owned a Denon AVR and was curious about what speakers to consider buying.

Probably around 60/40 movies/music, standmount, will be purchasing LRC first, adding surrounds later. I have a few-years-old Klipsch RW-12D to pair with for now. Listen to metal, rock, hip hop, progressive, classic rock, ‘90s alternative/rock, experimental jazz, classic funk, and so on.

I understand that there a quite a few sets within my $750 and under range for LR. So I guess I was really wondering if there were any good pairings I should check out that work well with the “Denon sound”, since I’m new to the brand.

Does that make sense?


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post #2 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 05:10 AM
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In these days there is no such concept of "matching speakers to a specific brand AVR or AMP".
You need to search speakers that have compatible power and impedance parameters to your AVR.

Denon AVR-X1500H has around 80 watts per channel (8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% 2ch Drive), per manufacturer's published specs.
On multichannel music, you should not get more than 50 watts per channel (5/7ch Drive).
So keep that in mind when you shop around for speakers.
You need to listen to as much speakers brands and models that you can, so you can decide what kind of sound do you like.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfa973 View Post
In these days there is no such concept of "matching speakers to a specific brand AVR or AMP".

So you’re saying that there’s no audible difference between AVR brands? I know there’s not one special loudspeaker brand that was made for Denon lol.

I see plenty of advice across forums and reviews saying things like “these floorstanders would pair nicely with an X receiver” or “grab some Y speakers to go with this AVR and enjoy”.

I guess what I’m looking for is advice from experience with Denon units. I don’t want buy speakers that are going to immediately reveal that this is not a $4000 amp. And I’m sure that there are some that could be more revealing within my budget, no?

The music I listen to is pretty forward most of the time, with plenty of high end. Therefore, if this Denon leans toward a more sterile sound, I definitely don’t want to put some bright, forward speakers with it.



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post #4 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
So you’re saying that there’s no audible difference between AVR brands?
Since no amp or DSP/EQ/RC is 100% flat in FR or 0% distortion or another relevant parameter you can say that every AVR brand has some mild coloration to the produced sound.
Some like the sound of "that" brand or the "other" with the same speakers and in the same room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
I know there’s not one special loudspeaker brand that was made for Denon lol.
If you know this, then you will surely know that the most coloration of the resulted sound will be made by the speakers/room, not the AVR.
Not everyone has the same ears/brain, so the right coloration for you may not be the right coloration for me.
What sounds right is a very subjective matter.
This is why you need to listen to many speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
I see plenty of advice across forums and reviews saying things like “these floorstanders would pair nicely with an X receiver” or “grab some Y speakers to go with this AVR and enjoy”.
This kind of advice is specific to the person (ears/brain) that enjoys the sound of "that" speaker, with "that" AVR and in "that" room.
You do not have the same ears/brain and the same room as them, you can only get the same speaker and AVR, but the rest will be different.
This is why you need to listen to many speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
The music I listen to is pretty forward most of the time, with plenty of high end. Therefore, if this Denon leans toward a more sterile sound, I definitely don’t want to put some bright, forward speakers with it.
In that case, you can try for example a Wharfedale Diamond 2xx series speaker, it has a neutral-soft coloration, that suits well with bright content. Or something as Q Acoustics 3xxx series.
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:26 AM
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match speakers to your ears.


don't worry about the avr.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:35 AM
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NOTE: With some brands and models, if you use the room EQ, a non-flat curve will be selected by default, and this is actually true of some Denon models... I think they call it "natural" or something... they say it rolls off the highs a little and it is intended for use with movies... you can change the curve to "flat" which is preferable for music

But anyway, whether AVRs sound a little different or not, it has always been a ridiculous notion to match speakers to a receiver, other than basic specs like impedance. some people claim that you should match a bright receiver with warm speakers or vice-versa but, listen, everyone is different and even if you had a bright receiver and bright speakers, some people would prefer that sound. But frankly I think that, with modern equipment, the idea of warm or bright receivers/amps is ridiculous.

Anyway, the only person that can tell you what speakers are right for you is you.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:38 AM
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For an LCR that fits in your budget I’d look at these speakers, they have AMT tweeters which make them very detailed/clear even at moderate volumes.

Emotiva C2 ($369)

https://emotiva.com/products/airmotiv-c2

Emotiva B1 ($299)

https://emotiva.com/products/airmotiv-b1

They would fit under the split for movies/music well. Also Emotivas Airmotiv centers have been highly praised for having wonderful clarity/depth w/ vocals which is crucial w/ HT.

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post #8 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post
NOTE: With some brands and models, if you use the room EQ, a non-flat curve will be selected by default, and this is actually true of some Denon models... I think they call it "natural" or something... they say it rolls off the highs a little and it is intended for use with movies... you can change the curve to "flat" which is preferable for music

.

yup, you can choose either "reference" or "flat".

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post #9 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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So basically, it doesn’t really matter? I can look for speakers that fit my specs and budget?

No need to worry about any unique sound characteristics of Denon AVRs (if there are any)? I can check out speaker recommendations that fit.

Thanks for the Emotiva, Wharfedale suggestions, I will check them out. Should have been more clear — my budget is roughly $1000 give or take. I was just thinking up to $750 for mains and then whatever the matching center would cost.

Appreciate all of your inputs!


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post #10 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
So basically, it doesn’t really matter? I can look for speakers that fit my specs and budget?

yes.


look for speakers that make the sound YOU like to hear. and keep in mind that they will sound different once you put them in your room.


since i am fond of audyssey xt32, i lean towards denon. but that is dsp, it's not an "organic denon sound".


if you REALLY want to get into having your amplifier color your sound, then tube amps are where you need to go, and prepare to spend time and money rolling tubes.

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post #11 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
So I just got a ridiculously good deal on the new Denon AVR-X1500H. I’ve never owned a Denon AVR and was curious about what speakers to consider buying.

Probably around 60/40 movies/music, standmount, will be purchasing LRC first, adding surrounds later. I have a few-years-old Klipsch RW-12D to pair with for now. Listen to metal, rock, hip hop, progressive, classic rock, ‘90s alternative/rock, experimental jazz, classic funk, and so on.

I understand that there a quite a few sets within my $750 and under range for LR. So I guess I was really wondering if there were any good pairings I should check out that work well with the “Denon sound”, since I’m new to the brand.

Does that make sense?


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I just purchased a pair of ELAC B5 Debut Series 5.25" Bookshelf Speakers and a ELAC C5 Debut Series 5.25" Center Speaker to replace the fronts on a Energy Take 5 Classic set. Running through a Denon 2300. The sound has been amazing and after running Audyssey they sounded even better. These were last years models so they may be hard to find. The newer Debut 2.0 model would work also and be around your price range. Listen to all kinds of music and movies and couldn't be happier. These speakers are larger than expected so keep that in mind, good luck.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
So basically, it doesn’t really matter? I can look for speakers that fit my specs and budget?

No need to worry about any unique sound characteristics of Denon AVRs (if there are any)? I can check out speaker recommendations that fit.

Thanks for the Emotiva, Wharfedale suggestions, I will check them out. Should have been more clear — my budget is roughly $1000 give or take. I was just thinking up to $750 for mains and then whatever the matching center would cost.

Appreciate all of your inputs!


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NAD is renowned for the "sound" of their amplifiers...I've happily owned a NAD stereo receiver with separate amp for decades so several years ago bought one of their $1500 A/V receivers.

After it died prematurely I got disgusted and replaced it with a $500 Denon.

The Denon was as good or better in every way.

Here's a list of AVS favorites in your budget with larger woofers with pricing and size information; I'd concentrate first on those with free returns before then considering brands from Crutchfield with their $10/box returns.

AVS FAVORITES: MOSTLY BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIRS WITH >6.4" MAIN DRIVER AND UNDER $650 MSRP

**equals free returns ^^equals $10/ box returns

NOTES: >note that most speakers do not actually reach within 10hz of their stated bass extension; check pro reviews

>CRUTCHFIELD carries many speakers that Best Buy does not listed below. Their return policy is very inexpensive and longer in time.
$10 per package, (not tower speakers), within 60days.

>check center speakr prices before choosing a pair for a surround system as some companies have VERY high prices for centers


MSRP/PR PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH
$140 FRONT 30X7X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] DAYTON AUDIO T652-AIR TOWER

$235 REAR 14X9X11 2 way 6.5" [48hz] PHILHARMONIC AUDIO AFFORDABLE ACCURACY MONITOR

$299 REAR 14x9x12 2 way 6.5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2, Music Direct Price

$300 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 7" [55hz] JBL ARENA 130**

$300 REAR 15X9X14 2 way 6.5" [52hz] POLK SIGNATURE 20** bass extension as per Sond & Vision

$300 FRONT 15X8X11 2 way 6.5" [44hz] ELAC DEBUT B6.2***

$319 FRONT 16X9X12 2 way 6.5" [47hz] HTD LEVEL THREE**

$320 REAR 14X8X11 2 way 7" [38hz] CANTON GLE 436 Accessories4less pice

$330 REAR 12X9X10 2 way 6.5" [58hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CBM 170 SE

$350 SEALED 11X7X8 2 way 6.5" [56hz] NHT SUPERONE 2.1

$376 REAR 15X8X9 2 way 6.5" [60hz] HSU HB1

$400 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 6.5" [52hz] JBL STUDIO 230**

$450 DOWN 14X7X12 2 way 6.5" [45hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 225, often 10% off Best Buy**

$500 FRONT 14X8X10 2 way 6.5" [42hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2^^

$500 REAR 13X8X10 2 way 6.5" [48hz] SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF**

$500 REAR 38x9x12 2 way 7" [44hz] JBL ARENA 170 TOWER***

$548 REAR 14X9X8 2 way 6.5" [60hz] AXIOM M3

$560 REAR 14X8X11 2 way 7" [33hz] CANTON CHRONO 503.2 Accessories4less pice

$568 REAR 23X8X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [60hz] HSU HC1

$608 REAR 21X8X11 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CMT 340 SE

$650 REAR 14X8X12 2 way 6.5" [63hz] KEF Q 350***

$650 REAR 17x9x13 2 way 6.5" [45hz] KLIPSCH RP 160M***
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 09:52 AM
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With that budget, lots of quality options.

Chane, which is very highly regarded around here just released a new production run. 1.4 + center (2.4), towers + center, 3 x 2.4

Ascend audio, also very well regarded is another to consider. check out the 340 CMT

Hsu research - CCB 8 or the HB-1 / HC-1

philharmonicaudio could serve you well - AA monitors + the MTM center...

If you really want to stretch your budget and get a a LOT of bang-for-your-buck, and you are handy, look at DIY soundgroup kits. look at the volt kits or the HTMs

Good luck.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 10:06 AM
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Yes, some amp will color the sound allittle, but a properly functioning amp should produce the sound as faithfully to the recording as possible. The main consideration between amp and speakers is sensitivity and loudness of listening. If you like it loud, since the Denon has decent power, but not in bunches, you should look for speakers at 90db sensitivity or greater.

FYI I have the Marantz Slimline, advertised at 50watt/channel, so maybe like 30 watts available for each channel in multichannel mode and it is capable of driving my ~85db sensitive EMPtek speaker louder than I care to listen...

In other words, unless your desire is to be deaf in 10 yrs, must any reasonably sensitive speaker will work just fine up to moderately high volumes

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Marantz Slimeline 1504 AV receiver
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and EMPtek10i10i sub, Denon 1910 AV receiver
Set up #3: Philharmonics- BMR in a 2.0 system, music only, Yamaha RXV-363 AV receiver
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
NAD is renowned for the "sound" of their amplifiers...I've happily owned a NAD stereo receiver with separate amp for decades so several years ago bought one of their $1500 A/V receivers.

After it died prematurely I got disgusted and replaced it with a $500 Denon.

The Denon was as good or better in every way.

Here's a list of AVS favorites in your budget with larger woofers with pricing and size information; I'd concentrate first on those with free returns before then considering brands from Crutchfield with their $10/box returns.

AVS FAVORITES: MOSTLY BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIRS WITH >6.4" MAIN DRIVER AND UNDER $650 MSRP

**equals free returns ^^equals $10/ box returns

NOTES: >note that most speakers do not actually reach within 10hz of their stated bass extension; check pro reviews

>CRUTCHFIELD carries many speakers that Best Buy does not listed below. Their return policy is very inexpensive and longer in time.
$10 per package, (not tower speakers), within 60days.

>check center speakr prices before choosing a pair for a surround system as some companies have VERY high prices for centers


MSRP/PR PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH
$140 FRONT 30X7X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] DAYTON AUDIO T652-AIR TOWER

$235 REAR 14X9X11 2 way 6.5" [48hz] PHILHARMONIC AUDIO AFFORDABLE ACCURACY MONITOR

$299 REAR 14x9x12 2 way 6.5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2, Music Direct Price

$300 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 7" [55hz] JBL ARENA 130**

$300 REAR 15X9X14 2 way 6.5" [52hz] POLK SIGNATURE 20** bass extension as per Sond & Vision

$300 FRONT 15X8X11 2 way 6.5" [44hz] ELAC DEBUT B6.2***

$319 FRONT 16X9X12 2 way 6.5" [47hz] HTD LEVEL THREE**

$320 REAR 14X8X11 2 way 7" [38hz] CANTON GLE 436 Accessories4less pice

$330 REAR 12X9X10 2 way 6.5" [58hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CBM 170 SE

$350 SEALED 11X7X8 2 way 6.5" [56hz] NHT SUPERONE 2.1

$376 REAR 15X8X9 2 way 6.5" [60hz] HSU HB1

$400 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 6.5" [52hz] JBL STUDIO 230**

$450 DOWN 14X7X12 2 way 6.5" [45hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 225, often 10% off Best Buy**

$500 FRONT 14X8X10 2 way 6.5" [42hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2^^

$500 REAR 13X8X10 2 way 6.5" [48hz] SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF**

$500 REAR 38x9x12 2 way 7" [44hz] JBL ARENA 170 TOWER***

$548 REAR 14X9X8 2 way 6.5" [60hz] AXIOM M3

$560 REAR 14X8X11 2 way 7" [33hz] CANTON CHRONO 503.2 Accessories4less pice

$568 REAR 23X8X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [60hz] HSU HC1

$608 REAR 21X8X11 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CMT 340 SE

$650 REAR 14X8X12 2 way 6.5" [63hz] KEF Q 350***

$650 REAR 17x9x13 2 way 6.5" [45hz] KLIPSCH RP 160M***
Whoa. Killer list @gajCA . Thanks! A lot of these look familiar, but probably an equal amount do not. Should keep me researching for a bit.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Lemmons View Post
Whoa. Killer list @gajCA . Thanks! A lot of these look familiar, but probably an equal amount do not. Should keep me researching for a bit.
You have some great choices to be sure.

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post #17 of 17 Old 06-22-2018, 02:09 PM
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"Listen to metal, rock, hip hop, progressive, classic rock, ‘90s alternative/rock, experimental jazz, classic funk, and so on."

That suggests a tendency towards the LOUD.

Some of the bookshelf speakers (like the Emotivas) are spec'd at a sensitivity of 86 dB/2.83V RMS. (For 8 ohm speakers, that's be 86 dB/W.) At a reasonable listening distance, say 3m (10'), it'd take 715 W to get to the 105 dB peak required for THX certification. (For the 85 dB continuous level, 7.15 W.) Naïve arithmetic, I know.

A serious head banger might want to filter speaker choice by efficiency, as that has more leverage than AVR power. The main difficulty is that I doubt that published sensitivity numbers are to be trusted.
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