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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hello all,

i am very new to all this so i would really apprechiate some help... "Need Imput". This is a significant investment for me, so thanks for helping.

 

I am UK based and have a ps3, HD 1080p TV and PC laptop with music on it. I am looking to link all this to an AV reciever and buy some good quality 2.0 speakers to start out with instead o buying a cheaper 5.1 surround system. I'm not a bass head.

 

First the AV Recievers i've been looking at (again i'm uk based)

I'm looking at the highly reccommended £170: http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/yamaha/rxv375/yama-rxv375-blk ; due to its excellent reviews and Yamahas' consistant reliability, sound quality and lack of outsourcing in construction(I may be wrong).

 

Ideally i would like some networking facilities such as internet radio on the: http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/yamaha/rxv475/yama-rxv475-blk but it seems a little expensive for £80 more. For a bit cheaper at £200 is this Harmon Kardon: http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/harman-kardon/avr171/harm-avr171 ; but i havn't done extensive research like i have with the yamaha's.

 

Secondly the Speakers I'm looking at using. My aim is the best sound quality for the money, not a fan of Bass, i don't want to have to play music loud to hear the quality of the speaker.

 

I will be using the speakers for TV (+Netflix), Film and Music (from laptop & cd). I decided to spend a little more than i originally intended as through my research this seems to be a wise investment. So instead of £80-100 i am looking to double that, up to £200.

 

I am Interested in the Dali Zensor 1's as they  have superb reviews and are "easy to drive" (whatever that means). I'm off to listen to them this week at a store, where i was recommended trying them against the Monitor Audio BX1's.

 

http://www.richersounds.com/product/standmount-speakers/dali/zensor-1/dali-zensor-1-lgtwal

http://www.richersounds.com/product/standmount-speakers/monitor-audio/bronze-bx1/moni-audio-bx1-wal

 

I would apprechiate any opinions on the two or any others from the richer sounds list you would reccommend, or another speaker from their list to compare when i go in.
 

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Wharfedale Diamonds are another speaker you might consider that Richer Sounds carries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Hi cel,

 

thanks for the reply i apprechiate it. I am going to try the WD 122's as well as the BX1/2 and Dali 1's. The WD are redused in the UK so I'm hoping the £50 saving is worth the extra cost overall. I'm Thinking of the Yamaha 475 AVR for now as a store guy didnt reccomend the extra £30 for the 575 and the 675 is a bit too much money for me. I may be able to push to the  DENON AVR-X200 but really i'm already straining at the limit. any thoughts?
 

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People buy the Wharfedales here in the US and love them, even with the increased prices we pay over what you would (since it is a UK brand). They are regularly recommended here on AVS as one of the best buys for a speaker. You might like another speaker better because of personal tastes, but there's no doubt that the Wharfedale bookshelves are an excellent value.


Spending more money on receivers often gives the least return when purchasing a setup. Generally, even entry level receivers can do a good job driving speakers to a decently loud volume (unless you have a cathedral of a room lol). Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon, Marantz, and Pioneer are all good brands. Pick the one that seems best to you in terms of the features you want. And don't get too caught up in trying to compare wattage because (a) the AVR manufacturers are not always measuring the same and (b) the difference between say 50 watts and 70 watts is way less significant than most people commonly believe. It takes double the wattage to get 3db more sound, whereas a 10db increase is necessary for a perceived doubling in volume by the listener. So with my example, going from 50 watts to 70 watts is only maybe 1.5 db at most, which is fairly insignificant.


Then save your money toward a good sub. You don't have to be a basshead to appreciate how the bass can fill in well with some music, but more importantly with games and movies. Because a sub is a big speaker with a big enclosure that also has a built in amp (not cheap to make, so cheap doesn't get you that much), actually there is good return on spending more. I don't like the sound of cheap subs, but good subs make kick drums sound better, bass guitar notes sound distinct, and movie and game special effects more immersive. When you get ready to buy your sub, check with the AVS subwoofer forum . Particularly you might post in the budget subwoofer thread , although we don't know the prices where you are.
 
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I would suggest the Dali Zensor 1.


I think it may be the best-sounding, and as they say, it is fairly easy to drive.


AVRs seldom do well with lower-impedance speakers, and the Dali is probably better overall in that respect than the others. The impedance of the Diamond 10.1 drops to less than 4 ohms at some frequencies, and that is a problem for any AVR except possibly a NAD or Arcam.


Another excellent speaker I would recommend is the Focal 807V or 806V. The MA BX-1 is too small IMO; I would concentrate on the BX-2.


My experience is that the Harman-Kardon AVRs will have less distortion driving typical speakers compared to the Yamaha, and therefore sound better. I do not recommend any Yamaha.


What most people don't know is that AVR amplifiers are tested and rated based on using a simple 8 ohm resistor for a load. This results in nice-looking figures for good power and low distortion, for almost ANY amplifier.


It is also not much of a test, and tells you very little about what you will hear when you hook up a real speaker system, which has inductance and capacitance as well as resistance.


When driving a real speaker system the actual distortion figures can be 10 or 100 times higher, depending on the amplifier and power supply design.


This causes sound quality to audibly decrease.


It is well known to all engineers and audio professionals that there are many well-designed 40 or 50 watt amplifiers that will sound great driving most speakers, while many AVRs rated for 3 times as much power will sound lousy.


The bottom line is that the published power ratings tell you nothing about sound quality; comparing power ratings is foolish and the worst way to shop for an AVR or amplifier.


I recommend the Harman-Kardon AVR; the price looks very good and it should sound good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Thanks for yor further thoughts cel. the wattage info is one thing i havn't looked too closely at so far for two reasons. 1. The rest of the AVR stuf is so confusing to learn outright. 2. i won't be going that would, i really want clarity of sound without having to crank it up. I'll investigate Subs when i go in for my speaker listening test on tuesday. I have heard a good is important, but had though, "nah". i will rethink that now, thanks. The WD 122 (£239) are in the running i can also get the 121's (£180)

 

Hi comsysman, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the Focal 807V or 806V here in the UK seem a lot more expensive than the speakers i've been looking at, so they must be good, no way i can afford them though. Re your MA BX1/2 advice I have found a pair of BX2's for£225 so i can give them a listem now.(for some reason i can't do £250 for speakers).
Quote:
 AVRs seldom do well with lower-impedance speakers, and the Dali is probably better overall in that respect than the others. The impedance of the Diamond 10.1 drops to less than 4 ohms at some frequencies, and that is a problem for any AVR except possibly a NAD or Arcam.
This is all news (and greek) to me, i will have to try and work it out.

 

I have been Warned off the Harmon Kardon's by two people in a uk forum:
Quote:
1.the Yamaha option will beat the Harman Kardon option hands down. HK receivers are fidly to setup and operate as well as being unreliable.
2.If so then would second Username's comments on HK receivers.
I've been recommended two models. I asked a retailer in the UK to choose between the Yamaha 475 and the marantz 1504 (both same price £250) and he pretty much laughed off the marantz and couldn't recommend the yamaha enough.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjitb  /t/1520269/dali-zensor-1-vs-monitor...gradually-upgrade-music-film-tv#post_24430175


This is all news (and greek) to me, i will have to try and work it out.

I would recommend ignoring what Cman said--almost all of it.


You had things figured out. Don't get derailed now by someone with opinions that most people on AVS would not share.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1520269/dali-zensor-1-vs-monitor...gradually-upgrade-music-film-tv#post_24429360


I would suggest the Dali Zensor 1.


I think it may be the best-sounding, and as they say, it is fairly easy to drive.


AVRs seldom do well with lower-impedance speakers, and the Dali is probably better overall in that respect than the others. The impedance of the Diamond 10.1 drops to less than 4 ohms at some frequencies, and that is a problem for any AVR except possibly a NAD or Arcam.


Another excellent speaker I would recommend is the Focal 807V or 806V. The MA BX-1 is too small IMO; I would concentrate on the BX-2.


My experience is that the Harman-Kardon AVRs will have less distortion driving typical speakers compared to the Yamaha, and therefore sound better. I do not recommend any Yamaha.


What most people don't know is that AVR amplifiers are tested and rated based on using a simple 8 ohm resistor for a load. This results in nice-looking figures for good power and low distortion, for almost ANY amplifier.


It is also not much of a test, and tells you very little about what you will hear when you hook up a real speaker system, which has inductance and capacitance as well as resistance.


When driving a real speaker system the actual distortion figures can be 10 or 100 times higher, depending on the amplifier and power supply design.


This causes sound quality to audibly decrease.


It is well known to all engineers and audio professionals that there are many well-designed 40 or 50 watt amplifiers that will sound great driving most speakers, while many AVRs rated for 3 times as much power will sound lousy.


The bottom line is that the published power ratings tell you nothing about sound quality; comparing power ratings is foolish and the worst way to shop for an AVR or amplifier.


I recommend the Harman-Kardon AVR; the price looks very good and it should sound good.

Link to any measurements showing this increased distortion when driving a real-world speaker load? It's easy enough to test, so I would expect lots of data out there showing distortion "10 or 100 times higher," assuming what you say is correct.
 

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I have the Zensor 3's and adore them. expectional speaker for the money. nothing fumbles them up, they just perform. Buy them!


They crush the Focal 807v's in every way. I have those too and they being relegated to the home theater (which is where they shine)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
 I have the Zensor 3's and adore them. expectional speaker for the money. nothing fumbles them up, they just perform. Buy them!

They crush the Focal 807v's in every way. I have those too and they being relegated to the home theater (which is where they shine)
Don't start me on those MoHarmony! I would love them. But these below are a bit more my price range - In the UK (up already from my original £100-120)

 

$335 / £199 Dali Zensor 1

$376 / £225 Monitor Audio BX2

$398 / £238 Diamond Wharfdale 122

 

$501 / £299 Dali Zensor 3's

 

The Dali's look great, i completely agree but It just seems lik an awful lot of money (to me) for speakers. I will decide my fav out of the 3 above on Tuesday (listening day!) and see if i can compare it to the Zensor 3's. But really I put it to you and anyone else to force me to spend more.

Convince me!

 

Thankyou all for you help thus far. The UK values you're opinions over there. -You have far too many good speakers in your picture, ship some over to wet and windy Britain!
 

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Since you are just starting out with building your first setup, the speakers you have selected will be very nice in comparison to what you pointed out at the beginning about cheap HTIB setups.


Plus, you can always upgrade your fronts to Dali Zensor 3s in a year or so and move whichever speakers you buy now to surrounds. While it is very important for the front soundstage to timbre match (generally this means buying all three speakers from the same make/model line), not that crucial for rear speakers. A lot of us run different brand speakers for surrounds. Plus, once you buy this first set and get comfortable with them, you'll better be able to tell people what you like about them and what you are looking for an upgrade.


There's a reason why home audio is hobby for many of us. It's a journey of buying equipment and enjoying it, and then eventually upgrading. Since it is a journey, you definitely do not have to try get there all at once
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hello everyone, thought i'd update you after all your help. I went in and listened on a yam 675 (no 475's out) to the 3 speakers.


I started with the Dali 1's and they were very nice sounding, clear with excellent quality. Then i put on the BX2's and they were absolutely fantastic. The more i listened to them the more i liked them, and at just £25 more, completely worth the increase (the dali 3's are £75 more). I listened to a variety of music and the rock, acoustic and instumental grew on me.

I then tried the Wharfedale 121's and although for one song they sounded good, they couldn't compare the rest of the time.


Of course the BX2's are slightly larger speakers so it is a little unfair on the other two. The sound quality was, for me a lot clearer, especially in pinpointing the left/right speaker and individual instuments. Overall they filled the room and were a pleasure to listen to.
 
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