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I am not much of an "audiophile" so I don't know much about recivers, and it looks to me like other than video proscesing there isn't much difference between a 500-600$ reciver and a 1500$ one? can anyone tell me if I will be able to hear any difference between say a higher model Pio or Denon in that price range? or am I just paying for video proscesing at that point? will there be a big jump in sound quality?


thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr stroke /forum/post/0


I am not much of an "audiophile" so I don't know much about recivers, and it looks to me like other than video proscesing there isn't much difference between a 500-600$ reciver and a 1500$ one? can anyone tell me if I will be able to hear any difference between say a higher model Pio or Denon in that price range? or am I just paying for video proscesing at that point? will there be a big jump in sound quality?


thanks

My opinion:


With most consumer/mass market brand receivers, as you pay more, you end up with more features (i.e. things that translate to to bullet points that a sales dude at circuitcity/bb will be able to pitch), like hdmi 1.3 ports/ipod support/internet radio/video upconversion. There isn't much increase in sonic quality between a $500 denon receiver vs a $1500 one. I felt the same was true for yamaha and pioneer elite (can't say for other brands as I have not heard their $1500 receivers). However, if you care about sonic quality, if you move from any Denon/Yamaha reciever ($500-$1800) to, say, an Arcam receiver (AVR100/200/250/300/350 price range $1000-2500) or Rotel, you will get much better sound quality even if you move to a reciever that is cheaper.
 

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The Yamaha RX-V2700 does use better parts then say the RX-V659. The obvious difference is more power though; but 140 vs. 110 or so is not going to be dramatically louder. The 2700 certainly has a beefier power supply and should better be able to handle transients.


It's completely possible you would not be able to hear the difference better parts make though. As the other poster said, sometimes the features make a lot of the difference from one price to the next.
 

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I had the same question myself. I can say, a quality receiver make a huge difference in sq versus an entry level one. You also have to look at the quality of speakers you are using, connections, quality wire, speaker location and room accoustics. Each of these things can make a tremendous difference. To be honest, I haven't heard any NAD or Rotel avr's, so I can't comment on their sq quality one way or the other. Even in the $500 range, there are major differences in SQ and features between say a Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer and Harman Kardon. You have to listen to them all and decide for yourself which best suits your taste.


I have to through a plug in for the Pioneer VSX-1016 in the sub-500 range (you can find them online for around $360). What a great receiver!!! I had looked at the HK AVR-245 and 445 and I have to say, the pioneer offer's more bang for the buck. Coming in at a heft 35 pounds, the pioneer packs a wallop, in terms of both sound quality and features. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!
 

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If you look at Yamaha's Z9, the biggest difference in it is the amps power. Yes it IS over twice as loud even at 170 w/ch than a $600 unit at 100-100 w/ch. because it can deliver more of that power to the speakers. And by loud I mean good clean sounding loudness and deeper stronger bass. At low levels the sound is better and to me fuller as well. I personally think all these companies have to many models but in essence, you get what you pay for. So just get the best you can afford.
 

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You know, I used to think that. 6 years ago I pony'd up for a $2800 MSRP AVR. There is so much to it, beyond even audio quality. Heavy, well built, well designed, ect..ect.. Really a work of art. Everything is better, the connectors, the volume controls, everything.



One thing is for sure, after owning such a piece, you sure get picky.


I don't think any lower end AVR cost wise than what I paid for my Marantz SR7001 would of made me happy at all. I seriously considered the $500-ish AVR, as I use all external amps, so the internal amps are waisted on me.
 

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9 years ago I struggled with this question when I bought my first AV receiver. Being an aerospace engineer, I had some knowledge of electronics. After reviewing specs and what not, I ended with one of the first Pioneer VSX receivers. The reason? It used A type low noise power supplies as well as having a copper chassis. What these do is reduce the overall noise on the power going in to the electronics. This results in a cleaner output signal from the boards. Look at the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) to see how different receivers fare. Oh, the VSX was only $450 from a mail order place in NY. Retail was $1200!


If you're thinking about dropping that kind of green, consider getting a good $500 receiver and use the rest of the money to upgrade your speakers. Good speakers make a heck of a lot more difference than an expensive receiver!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakar80124 /forum/post/0


If you look at Yamaha's Z9, the biggest difference in it is the amps power. Yes it IS over twice as loud even at 170 w/ch than a $600 unit at 100-100 w/ch. because it can deliver more of that power to the speakers. And by loud I mean good clean sounding loudness and deeper stronger bass. At low levels the sound is better and to me fuller as well. I personally think all these companies have to many models but in essence, you get what you pay for. So just get the best you can afford.

Note that 170 w/channel is not twice as loud as 100 w/channel. Every doubling of watts is only a 3Db increase in SPL.
 

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Quote:
Look at the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) to see how different receivers fare

Need some education on this. Denon, for example, seems to go from .08% THD in their lower priced made in China models, while the higher priced made in Japans have THD of .05%. I've read the technical descriptions of what THD is, but what I don't know is if it is reasonable to think that I will hear that .03% difference.
 

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Not only can you not hear the difference between .08% and .05% THD, there are people who prefer the sound of tube amplifiers, which put out plenty of audible distortion -- but, tube lovers enjoy it. Numbers only go so far, you have to listen and buy what you like. If you can't hear the difference between a $500 piece of gear and a $1,500 piece of gear, do not spend the extra money -- and don't let anyone try to goad you into buying the higher priced piece of gear by intimidating you into thinking you're supposed to hear the difference. Contrary to the "everything makes a difference" school of thought, the truth is -- very few things make a real audible difference. Studies show that people often percieve differences because they believe they are supposed to. For example, there was an infamous study done where audio reviewers were invited to a lab to hear the differences between various speaker cables. As the technicians showed the reviewers different speaker cables, the reviewers waxed poetic about the various sonic differences they were hearing. The problem? The technicians never really changed the cables at all -- the reviewers were listening to the exact same cables the entire time. Trust your own ears -- only pay for improvements you can hear and only pay the difference if the improvement is meaningful to you.
 

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Well, I will continue to stress the differences that do not have anything to do with audio quality here. Better connectors, better built, better volume controls, better everything.


Really have you looked at some of these in person? You can get a sense of it in the show room, but in your theater, the differences start jumping out at you more. I am not even talking about audio quality here.
 

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I love what you wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck /forum/post/0


Not only can you not hear the difference between .08% and .05% THD, there are people who prefer the sound of tube amplifiers, which put out plenty of audible distortion -- but, tube lovers enjoy it. Numbers only go so far, you have to listen and buy what you like. If you can't hear the difference between a $500 piece of gear and a $1,500 piece of gear, do not spend the extra money -- and don't let anyone try to goad you into buying the higher priced piece of gear by intimidating you into thinking you're supposed to hear the difference. Contrary to the "everything makes a difference" school of thought, the truth is -- very few things make a real audible difference. Studies show that people often percieve differences because they believe they are supposed to. For example, there was an infamous study done where audio reviewers were invited to a lab to hear the differences between various speaker cables. As the technicians showed the reviewers different speaker cables, the reviewers waxed poetic about the various sonic differences they were hearing. The problem? The technicians never really changed the cables at all -- the reviewers were listening to the exact same cables the entire time. Trust your own ears -- only pay for improvements you can hear and only pay the difference if the improvement is meaningful to you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/0


Note that 170 w/channel is not twice as loud as 100 w/channel. Every doubling of watts is only a 3Db increase in SPL.

You didn't quite read what I said, go listen to both and the Z9 is WAY louder than their mid-tier models. Its not just rated power but power that gets to the speaker and dynamic power. Its more like taking a Krell amp thats rated at 100 wpc and comparing to a $500 receiver that has 100 wpc. The Z9 can deliver a lot more power than a 100 wpc receiver can to 5 speakers. The less efficient the speaker the more you'll hear the difference as well. When you turn it up very loud, the difference becomes more obvious because of the distortion levels. Smaller receivers start distorting and clipping much more quickly. The 3Db rule is the most misinterpreted thing in audio. At low listening levels you may be using 5 watts, turn it up to 10 watts and you notice a small increase in sound. do so again 20, 40, 80 160 etc. until you get up to 112 Db rock concert. That much is true. But the problem is these small receivers can't really even maintain their 100wpc, especially with multiple speakers.

Compare side by side and you'll notice the difference and its not a barely audible 3Db.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakar80124 /forum/post/0


If you look at Yamaha's Z9, the biggest difference in it is the amps power. Yes it IS over twice as loud even at 170 w/ch than a $600 unit at 100-100 w/ch. because it can deliver more of that power to the speakers..


Total BS. Show some data, any data, any study, anything at ALL that will support the fact that 170 w/ch is twice as loud as 100 w/ch. That is anything other than your ears. Once you provide the supporting documentation, then dialog can begin. Other than features, and with some exceptions, I defy you to tell the difference in a blind test, between a $500 and $1500 receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakar80124 /forum/post/0


You didn't quite read what I said, go listen to both and the Z9 is WAY louder than their mid-tier models. Its not just rated power but power that gets to the speaker and dynamic power. Its more like taking a Krell amp thats rated at 100 wpc and comparing to a $500 receiver that has 100 wpc. The Z9 can deliver a lot more power than a 100 wpc receiver can to 5 speakers. The less efficient the speaker the more you'll hear the difference as well. When you turn it up very loud, the difference becomes more obvious because of the distortion levels. Smaller receivers start distorting and clipping much more quickly. The 3Db rule is the most misinterpreted thing in audio. At low listening levels you may be using 5 watts, turn it up to 10 watts and you notice a small increase in sound. do so again 20, 40, 80 160 etc. until you get up to 112 Db rock concert. That much is true. But the problem is these small receivers can't really even maintain their 100wpc, especially with multiple speakers.

Compare side by side and you'll notice the difference and its not a barely audible 3Db.

So your saying that the Yamaha is rated with all channels driven or another method perhaps? If it's anything other than all channels driven then there might not be such a dramatic comparision as you have shown betwen the two receivers. Ex: H/K uses all channels driven to test their amps' power. They tend to have what would seem to be lower test results for power provided by their amps compared to other brands that do not use All Channels Driven as the testing method. If Yamaha tested their receiver with All Channels Driven then it would be so.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakar80124 /forum/post/0


You didn't quite read what I said, go listen to both and the Z9 is WAY louder than their mid-tier models. Its not just rated power but power that gets to the speaker and dynamic power. Its more like taking a Krell amp thats rated at 100 wpc and comparing to a $500 receiver that has 100 wpc. The Z9 can deliver a lot more power than a 100 wpc receiver can to 5 speakers. The less efficient the speaker the more you'll hear the difference as well. When you turn it up very loud, the difference becomes more obvious because of the distortion levels. Smaller receivers start distorting and clipping much more quickly. The 3Db rule is the most misinterpreted thing in audio. At low listening levels you may be using 5 watts, turn it up to 10 watts and you notice a small increase in sound. do so again 20, 40, 80 160 etc. until you get up to 112 Db rock concert. That much is true. But the problem is these small receivers can't really even maintain their 100wpc, especially with multiple speakers.

Compare side by side and you'll notice the difference and its not a barely audible 3Db.

Ok, let's say for argument sake that the Z9 can do 170 watts / channel with all channels driven, and the 100 watt receiver could only drive a single channel. Let's say the 100 watt rating was under %1 THD as many reasonably priced AVRs are. Let's say the 100watt receiver is really putting out 35 watts, and has zero headroom. You would need to increase the power by a factor of 10 to double the SPL, or 350 watts. Are you suggesting the 170 has 300 watts of headroom? What am I missing here?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by atdamico /forum/post/0


Total BS. Show some data, any data, any study, anything at ALL that will support the fact that 170 w/ch is twice as loud as 100 w/ch. That is anything other than your ears. Once you provide the supporting documentation, then dialog can begin. Other than features, and with some exceptions, I defy you to tell the difference in a blind test, between a $500 and $1500 receiver.

That's a very simplistic take on things and i don't agree with it at all, having heard a large variety of equipment. One rule that I have learned is that audio equipment specs are completely meaningless and all you can do is trust your ears.


What I read from the above post is that the Z9 is in actual use twice as loud as a mid-tier 100 w/channel, and I believe it. Why? Because the Z9 isn't 170 watts per channel and mid-tier receivers aren't 100 watts per channel. The specs are completely bogus and tell you very little about real-world performance. As such, the "170 watts isn't twice as loud as 100 watts" statement has nothing to do with audio reproduction, it's just a statement of scientific fact within a vacuum of an environment. A 170 watt-rated amp can most certainly be twice as loud as a 100 watt-rated amp.


One reason that may explain the uselessness of RMS power specs is the fact that in actual listening, you don't listen permanently at those volumes. So what happens is that you listen at, say, 40 watts per channel. When you get to a portion of the CD/movie that has a huge dynamic leap, what you will hear will be your receiver's ability to react to large dynamic shifts and hit dynamic peaks that are much higher than rated specs. As such, who cares if it's 100 or 150 watts per channel RMS? I say this because in my 2-channel system, I am currently running a 70 watt per channel amp that seems to have more power reserves than my previous 120 watt per channel amp. And both of these amps tested over their rated specs by a similar amount. The 70 watter honestly seems more powerful and effortless than did the 120 watter, if that makes any sense. As such, the power ratings mean nothing to my ears. And with audio, there's nothing other than my ears! I can't hear "empirical proof".


The only time that watts per channel mean anything is when comparing different amps within a line. For example, the Bryston 4BST is more powerful than the 3BST. Compare it to a Krell, though, and you have to use your ears because the specs are not meaningful.


Anytime somebody asks for empirical proof of sonic superiority, it just seems ignorant to me. There is no such thing as sonic superiority since we all have different ears. That's why there's such a variety of different audio equipment out there - to match the huge variety of different types of sound that different people would like.


On to my opinion on the sonic differences between a $500 and a $1500 receiver. I think that there will be a difference, but that it's hard to determine in an AVR what is causing that improvement. It could be the added features that result in better processing, it could be the beefier power supplies, it could be lots of things. All I know is that it's completely subjective whether that difference is worth the money. Some will hear it clearly, some won't hear it at all.


It's different in the 2-channel audio world IMHO - in that realm, there is a HUGE difference between a $500 and a $1500 integrated amp and this discussion would not even be taking place.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by countingbackward /forum/post/0


That's a very simplistic take on things and i don't agree with it at all, having heard a large variety of equipment. One rule that I have learned is that audio equipment specs are completely meaningless and all you can do is trust your ears.


What I read from the above post is that the Z9 is in actual use twice as loud as a mid-tier 100 w/channel, and I believe it. Why? Because the Z9 isn't 170 watts per channel and mid-tier receivers aren't 100 watts per channel. The specs are completely bogus and tell you very little about real-world performance. As such, the "170 watts isn't twice as loud as 100 watts" statement has nothing to do with audio reproduction, it's just a statement of scientific fact within a vacuum of an environment. A 170 watt-rated amp can most certainly be twice as loud as a 100 watt-rated amp.

You are right, specs don't tell the tale of how anything will sound. But they are not meaningless. Sorry but the 170 w/pc Z9 can not be twice as loud as a 100 w/pc channel amp. That's all there is to it. Math is math. I won't agree that the Z9 will sound that much better than many 100 w/pc receivers, but I will agree that is open to opinion and will grant you that opinion, even if I don't agree with it. But before you start throwing around words like "ignorant" perhaps you should study up a little before you start stating that you believe that a 170 w/pc amp can be twice as loud as a 100 w/pc amp. Sorry, but you are flat out wrong. And anytime somebody tells me I should disbelieve science and just trust my ears, I start running for the hills. Cause that's where the snake oil cable manufacturers make their living. On the BS, unproven, claims that wire is somehow different and that solid state electronics need to break in, and speakers get better the longer you allow them to break in. There is not a shred of proof for any of those claims and there is no basis in fact that 70 w/pc can double volume.


Now if you or the original poster wants to say that the Z9 "sounds" better than a 100 w/pc receiver, then name the receiver and your listening experience and we have a discussion. But don't start throwing around claims that it's twice as loud and not back it up. It makes you look silly from the start and in fact, is simply not true.
 
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