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Would you buy?

  • Marantz SR7007

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  • Emotiva XPA-3

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,


Currently I'm driving a 5.1 setup with two Polk RITA9's in the front, and the CSI A6 in the centre. My back towers are decent infinities, but nothing special.

I've been told my Pioneer Amp VSX-926k is holding my setup back, and the Emotiva XPA-3 was recommended.

This is a very small dedicated home theatre with 4 walls and a door, 400 SQFT.


My local futureshop is offering the Marantz SR7007 for $950 CDN, which looks like a heck of a good deal.

It features 7.2-channel AV receiver with 125-watt per channel fully discrete amplifiers. Would this be a good upgrade for my Pioneer?


The problem is my Pioneer has no pre-outs, so I don't think i'll ever be able to add a dedicated amp without buying a new AVR anyway.

Will I notice a different on my A9's and A6 with the new amp? Its a small room so I don't need crazy volume, I just want the best experience.


Here are all the links


AVR On Sale

Marantz SR7007: http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/marantz-marantz-7-2-channel-network-multi-zone-receiver-sr7007-sr7007/10206203.aspx


My Current Setup:

Pioneer: http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/Home/AV-Receivers/FutureShop/VSX-926-K

RITA A9 FL & FR: http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Floorstanding-Speaker-Single/dp/B000V2SEXW

CSI A6 center: http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Center-Channel-Speaker/dp/B000V2UBUG/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1394543235&sr=1-2&keywords=CSI+a6

Infinity towers BL & BR: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s3/sh/2095e773-ca08-4676-b02e-aa605ef36701/42a72988f7d1d265e41b1242b97ca4fc
 

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The Pioneer is a 90W AVR into 2CH while the 7007 is 125W into 2CH, so you will not notice any difference adding the 7007 while adding the XPA-3 at @200W into 3CH will provide another 3db of loudness over your Pioneer. Bottom line is that unless you have the Pioneer volume maxed out and you hear clipping/distortion from the speakers ... the Pioneer is providing more than enough power especially in your small room, rather you've just got a sales guy that needs a commission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So just to make sure I understand, the extra power is only needed at higher volumes correct? I've tried turning the speakers up on my pioneer to near deafening levels and I can't hear any clipping.

Thanks again for your help.
 

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All of those AVRs have much more POWER than you can use.


POWER is not the issue; sound quality is the issue. Power ratings are not generally useful for defining or predicting sound quality. Buying more power to get better sound quality is about like buying a car with more power to get better reliability; two completely different things.


ANY AVR or amplifier will have essentially ZERO distortion when connected to an 8 ohm resistor on a test bench, and they all have enough power for all but the most insensitive speakers. That makes comparing power ratings a totally ineffective way to shop for a better-sounding AVR.


When you connect the amplifiers to real SPEAKERS, which have varying impedances at different frequencies due to the inductances and capacitances they exhibit at different frequencies, distortion goes WAY up!. An amplifier has to work 100 times as hard to drive a speaker system, as compared to a resistor. That is where the good designs distort less, and the poor designs distort more.


Some amplifiers are cheap designs that do not drive speakers well, while others have better-designed amplifiers and power supplies that keep distortion fairly low. The best way to hear how much distortion is present is to listen to a female voice or piano at moderate volumes and see how close it sounds to a live performance. If A sounds worse than B, that is because A has more distortion.


Lower distortion and better sound quality are the exact same thing.


The best-sounding AVRs are made by NAD and Cambridge Audio; the worst are made by Anthem, Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo etc.


I would put Marantz, in general, one notch above the worst ones, but below the sound quality of the best ones.


BTW- According to posts from owners, Emotiva has reliability problems, and it seems that it is nearly impossible to even CONTACT anyone in their customer service department, let alone get any assistance with problems. You should investigate that before considering them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So at $950 would you say this is still over priced? $1,000 is probably the absolute highest I would ever spend on an AVR.
 

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I would look into NAD AVRs.


I know that the prices and market are totally different in Canada, but I know that the T-758 is around $1000 in the US and the T-748 is around $600.


If you can't get a NAD at a reasonable price, then maybe Marantz is your best bet.


Since NAD is owned by a Canadian company (Lenbrook Group, Ontario), There are many Canadian NAD dealers.


Call 905-831-6555 for info or go to nadelectronics.com/dealers and enter your postal code.



I also looked at the Crutchfield Canadian website (crutchfield.ca) and they are selling the T748 receiver for CA$699. That seems like a good one for you; a very good AVR at a nice price.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1522022/is-this-marantz-sr7007-as-good-as-the-emotiva-xpa-3#post_24468039


The best-sounding AVRs are made by NAD and Cambridge Audio; the worst are made by Anthem, Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo etc.


I would put Marantz, in general, one notch above the worst ones, but below the sound quality of the best ones.


BTW- According to posts from owners, Emotiva has reliability problems, and it seems that it is nearly impossible to even CONTACT anyone in their customer service department, let alone get any assistance with problems. You should investigate that before considering them.

Commy, you give some good info and advice, however I must really question the last few statements you made. I surely would like to know where you've obtained such information, or rather disinformation. How have you come to the conclusion that Anthem and Emotiva are makers of poor amps? I use Emotiva and am very happy with it. In fact, when I was buying one, I would estimate that 85-90% what I read and the conversations I held with owners were of the positive feedback variety.


Please do not misunderstand, I am in now way bashing you. Nor am I in wants of an argument. I am genuinely interested by your comment because it simply surprises me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOandME  /t/1522022/is-this-marantz-sr7007-as-good-as-the-emotiva-xpa-3#post_24475370


Commy, you give some good info and advice, however I must really question the last few statements you made. I surely would like to know where you've obtained such information, or rather disinformation. How have you come to the conclusion that Anthem and Emotiva are makers of poor amps? I use Emotiva and am very happy with it. In fact, when I was buying one, I would estimate that 85-90% what I read and the conversations I held with owners were of the positive feedback variety.


Please do not misunderstand, I am in now way bashing you. Nor am I in wants of an argument. I am genuinely interested by your comment because it simply surprises me.

I would even question the sound quality difference between NAD/Cambridge and "Anthem, Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo etc."


Show me proof (double blind audio tests and/or measurable SQ differences with speaker loads).
 

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The emotiva xp-3 is a great amp for the price, having experience with it I will say that the amps distortion jumps pretty high when the amp is pushed. Test results show the same thing. The marantz SR7007 is a good receiver for $1000.00, but like most other receivers made these days lack a decent power supply and don't put out anywhere near there rated specs with 5/7 channels driven.


Some people will say since when does a receiver need to push a lot of power to all speakers at the same time during a movie, most of the time they won't but they sure do for 5/7 channel music modes. There's a substantial improvement in sound quality with a good power supply as well.
 

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An amplifier has to work 100 times as hard to drive a speaker system, as compared to a resistor. .
Hi commsysman,
could you please explain this in a little more detail ? I am not able to understand how a speaker with the same impedance as a resistor presents a much more difficult load ? By simple ohms law that cant be possible but obviously I am oversimplying it and not understanding. Can you please help me understand ?
I know speaker impedance varies wildly across the whole frequency band but at a given impedance say 8 or 6 or 4 it would still be same as a resistor of the same impedance ?


Thanks.
 

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All of those AVRs have much more POWER than you can use.

POWER is not the issue; sound quality is the issue. Power ratings are not generally useful for defining or predicting sound quality. Buying more power to get better sound quality is about like buying a car with more power to get better reliability; two completely different things.

ANY AVR or amplifier will have essentially ZERO distortion when connected to an 8 ohm resistor on a test bench, and they all have enough power for all but the most insensitive speakers. That makes comparing power ratings a totally ineffective way to shop for a better-sounding AVR.

When you connect the amplifiers to real SPEAKERS, which have varying impedances at different frequencies due to the inductances and capacitances they exhibit at different frequencies, distortion goes WAY up!. An amplifier has to work 100 times as hard to drive a speaker system, as compared to a resistor. That is where the good designs distort less, and the poor designs distort more.

Some amplifiers are cheap designs that do not drive speakers well, while others have better-designed amplifiers and power supplies that keep distortion fairly low. The best way to hear how much distortion is present is to listen to a female voice or piano at moderate volumes and see how close it sounds to a live performance. If A sounds worse than B, that is because A has more distortion.

Lower distortion and better sound quality are the exact same thing.

The best-sounding AVRs are made by NAD and Cambridge Audio; the worst are made by Anthem, Pioneer, Yamaha, Onkyo etc.

I would put Marantz, in general, one notch above the worst ones, but below the sound quality of the best ones.

BTW- According to posts from owners, Emotiva has reliability problems, and it seems that it is nearly impossible to even CONTACT anyone in their customer service department, let alone get any assistance with problems. You should investigate that before considering them.

In a blind listening test, setup correctly, between all these without eq, you couldn't tell the difference.
 

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Hi commsysman,
could you please explain this in a little more detail ? I am not able to understand how a speaker with the same impedance as a resistor presents a much more difficult load ? By simple ohms law that cant be possible but obviously I am oversimplying it and not understanding. Can you please help me understand ?
I know speaker impedance varies wildly across the whole frequency band but at a given impedance say 8 or 6 or 4 it would still be same as a resistor of the same impedance ?


Thanks.
The IMPEDANCE of a speaker is a complex combination of resistance, inductive reactance, and capacitive reactance. The reactances change with frequency.

A resistor is simply a resistor; its only characteristic is resistance.

When an amplifier is tested with a restive load, on a test bench, it has a constant load with no reactance to deal with.

A speaker system has an overall change in not only resistance, but also reactances as frequency changes (due to the complex interaction of the driver coils and capacitors and inductors in crossover networks).

A typical speaker will have many frequencies where the load on the amplifier is capacitive, and many f where the load is inductive. Amplifiers struggle with this kind of load, and distortion will result that can be hundreds of times as large as with a simple resistive load.

At frequencies where the speaker's overall characterisic is inductive, the amplifier must supply a load current that peaks after the output voltage does. At frequencies where the overall load is capacitive, the amplifier must deliver peak current before the peak voltage occurs. Only by having tremendously large power supply capacitors can the amplifier avoid producing a lot of distortion when it must supply current that is out of phase with the voltage. Amplifiers don't like this; especially less expensive ones that don't have enough reserve capacity in the power supplies. An expensive high-power amplifier may have the same POWER rating as a much cheaper one (with only a resistive load), but its power supply capacitors and power transformer may be 10 or 20 times as large, and it will produce much less distortion driving a real speaker (much larger and heavier too...lol).

With a resistive load the current is always perfectly in phase with the applied voltage, so the amplifier has a much easier time of it, and distortion will be extremely low.

With a real speaker for a load, even the best expensive amplifiers with huge power supplies produce some distortion. Lower-cost amplifiers with smaller cheaper power supplies can produce low distortion with an easy resistive load, but huge amounts of distortion with a real speaker to drive. Some speakers have lower reactances, and are easier to drive; some are horrible, and the amplifier had better be very good!

The variation in the speakers impedance as frequency changes is certainly an issue, but the extent to which the speaker load becomes highly capacitive or largely inductive is even more significant in the interaction between amplifier and speaker. Some speakers are worse or better in this respect, which means some absolutely MUST have a top-quality amplifier to drive them well. The degree to which speaker designs are reactive varies a lot.

To determine the REAL distortion, one must connect a particular speaker to a particular amplifier and connect a distortion analyzer. The distortion specs given on spec sheets are meaningless, because performance with a resistive load is meaningless.

One can put a car on a dynomometer and test its horsepower. Using the weight of the vehicle and its horsepower one might draw some general conclusions about how fast it will accelerate on dry pavement in a straight line under ideal conditions. This is not very useful in predicting overall vehicle performance on road or track. Same problem with testing an amplifier with a resistive load; it gives you no clue what the distortion will be driving a particular speaker.

On the other hand, if one wants to predict how fast that vehicle will get around a racetrack, one has many many other variables to deal with; the same as driving a speaker.

The dynomometer test is like a load test of an amplifier with a resisitor; limited information based on an one-dimensional test which does not even begin to simulate real-world conditions.

Some magazines, such as Stereophile. publish a frequency curve showing both the reactances and overall impedance of the speaker over the audio frequency range, because this shows THE RELATIVE DIFFICULTY OF THIS SPEAKER AS A LOAD ON AN AMPLIFIER!

Some speakers are more difficult loads, some are not so difficult. This plays a large part, along with amplifier quality, in determining system distortion.
 

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Thanks for your response and explanation.
Only by having tremendously large power supply capacitors can the amplifier avoid producing a lot of distortion when it must supply current that is out of phase with the voltage.
I get the reactive load and the current lagging/leading part. Sounds similar to Power Factor v/s VA thing. But what I dont get is what has filter capacitance to do with this rather than just the current rating of the transformer and rectifiers itself. If this basically translates to more actual current than thought then I'd imagine if the transformer and rectifier are able to deliver it then it should be fine. I understand more current would mean need for more filter capacitance to keep the ripple low enough at high current but how would more capacitance by itself deliver more current ? Unless this is more than just about more current.
 

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All amplifiers sound the same below clipping. Buy whatever one is cheapest and more reliable though your AVR is likely plenty of power unless you have odd speakers.
 

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All amplifiers sound the same below clipping. Buy whatever one is cheapest and more reliable though your AVR is likely plenty of power unless you have odd speakers.

Tell this to ANY competent engineer who has actually designed amplifiers, and he will laugh so hard he may hurt himself; you are incredibly ignorant both technically and in terms of listening experience.
 

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Thanks for your response and explanation.

I get the reactive load and the current lagging/leading part. Sounds similar to Power Factor v/s VA thing. But what I dont get is what has filter capacitance to do with this rather than just the current rating of the transformer and rectifiers itself. If this basically translates to more actual current than thought then I'd imagine if the transformer and rectifier are able to deliver it then it should be fine. I understand more current would mean need for more filter capacitance to keep the ripple low enough at high current but how would more capacitance by itself deliver more current ? Unless this is more than just about more current.
The size of the transformer is related more to average current than peak current.

The size of the capacitors is a measure of the instantaneous current demand capability, particularly out-of-phase current demands.
 

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Tell this to ANY competent engineer who has actually designed amplifiers, and he will laugh so hard he may hurt himself; you are incredibly ignorant both technically and in terms of listening experience.
Actually, an engineer, like the ones who've done this, would say let's do a double blind test and see if what you're saying is true. Save the personal insults tough guy.

The only people who laugh at things like this are marketing folks. The ones who make money on stupid people making poor purchasing decisions.
 
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