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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I understand some AVRs sound more musical than others.

I listen to music most of the time and want my system to be able to extend to HT.

what is the difference between a "more musical" AVR vs a normal AVR?

what are the more musical AVRs available in the market today?

dl
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
about US$1.5-2K equivalent for the whole speaker + amp set-up

thinking of floor standers so I can negate the need for subs
 

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In my opinion, there's not a lot of difference in sound from one receiver to another, but some people disagree.


For example, there's some very insistent Harmon Kardon fans who will tell you they sound better than the other mass market brands.


Note that some people have preferred the sound of amps with high distortion, such as some single ended triode amps. So beauty might be the eye of the beholder.


The discussion is complicated by a number of blind tests where people could not tell the difference between two amps people would have claimed should have sounded obviously different. There are many articles on this never ending debate.


I think musical is a poor choice of words for an amp, if you think an amp's job is to exactly produce sound. As mentioned above, some people found nirvana in an inaccurate tube amp; a suggested reason is that they prefer the type of distortion some tube amps create (even order harmonics.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18309310


what is the difference between a "more musical" AVR vs a normal AVR?

Good question.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/18312443


Good question.

Some cabinets may resonate with a more pleasing sound when struck with a rubber mallet.


I think, it's a bit pricey, but given a large enough selection of receivers, and some judicious tuning of their chasis, you might be able to get a set with a nice tonal range. But I don't think they will ever replace steel drums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the responses.

let me bring this discussion a little further

is there any difference between the AVR-amp and the stereo-amp in terms of musicality and sound?

if different AVR-amps do not necessarily sound musically different from each other, would stereo-amps be different then?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18312526


thanks for the responses.

let me bring this discussion a little further

is there any difference between the AVR-amp and the stereo-amp in terms of musicality and sound?

if different AVR-amps do not necessarily sound musically different from each other, would stereo-amps be different then?

I think that's too general of a question. It would be better to say that amps can give you more power than receivers, as the chasis size of most receivers along with their price limits the power supply size. So if you want 200 watts / channel, you are likely looking to amps to provide that sort of power.


You may also note that receivers often rate their power differently than amps, so the differences could be larger than a casual reading of specs would show. For example, a 100x7 watt receiver might be able to do only 50 watts / channel continuous-all channels driven. A 100x7 watt amp, may actually do 100x7. See the Emotiva UPA-7, for example, which I believe can do 125x7 watts continuous with .1% THD. That's excellent performance, IMO, and VERY few receivers can match that in spite of their listed specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks MJHuman

how does all that you have shared translate into less technical terms?


if I subscribed to something like the Denon 2310 - does that mean I can have my cake and eat it too?
 

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Well, you should know I not a great believer in buying receiver's for their audio qualities. Other people would have different advice. My advice is as follows, for what it's worth -


* Avoid the most budget of models, they make the most compromises, mainly by using less powerful power supplies which limit power

* Either budget enough for decent speakers, or be willing to upgrade when money permits (decent is a very slippery area, and I am not knowledgeable on budget speakers; but there's plenty of ideas in the speaker forum and other forums on this site)

* Unless your budget absolutely forbids it, you want a powered sub. I think you can get a tolerable one for less than $300. At very least, plan on getting one when budget permits, because your budget bookshelf speakers simply can't produce adequate bass*, and they are the most popular option in speakers

* Make sure you know what your basic needs are, such as what inputs you need


* Try playing track one of Dark Side of the Moon to see what I mean, or Nine Inch Nails, any bass heavy rap, electronic with synth bass, or movies with explosions, etc.
 

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From what I have found is that receivers that don't sound loud even when they are playing loud are the ones that sound good. Like lets say you listen to two different receivers both at the same SPL, but one might hurt your ears where the other sounds good. Now at levels low enough there might not be a difference, but from what I found is that some receivers even ones that are supposed to be good might not be about to put that much clean power out.


I am not really sure if that makes sense. The problem is that your going to have a hard time finding which ones sound good without listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
just came from auditioning KEF and Heco speakers


1) yes, unfortunately for my pocket, there is a difference between the AVR amp and the stereo amp. tried this comparison out on the KEFIQ speakers - the speakers sounded very airy on the AVR, but has more body and is more distinct on the stereo amp. Is it a psychological conclusion, I don't know, because I'm listening to the difference after everyone tells me that the stereo amp's better


2) tried the speakers on lower volumes because I live in a small development and the neighbours will probably not tolerate high volumes. are the sounds supposed to still be well-defined and distinct while on lower volumes? I find I have to crank them both up to higher levels for the different sounds to start appearing. Or is it usual across the board that more detail is lost at lower levels because the volume is just too low?


3) one of the Heco speaker models, the Aleva, does not sound loud even at higher volume levels. it's nice and mellow, but unfortunately, the sounds are not as distinct and well-defined


so the hunt continues tonight....with Dali Ikon, Elac and hopefully Monitor Audio and the Missions.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18313009


just came from auditioning KEF and Heco speakers


Is it a psychological conclusion, I don't know, because I'm listening to the difference after everyone tells me that the stereo amp's better.

Yes, that is the typical sales tactic of those sort of "boutiques" to put the idea in your head that one amp sounds better than another.


To the best of my knowledge no one has ever been able to tell one amp from another during a double blind listening test. It is when you are told "Oh, well can't you hear that difference?" that people get led down the garden path, invariably to something more expensive.
 

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45 years ago, Marantz introduced solid-state (transistor) amplifiers with 0.2% distortion. As far as I know, nobody has ever been able to tell the difference (in carefully calibrated double-blind listening tests) as soon as distortion gets that low.


This double-blind listening also applies to better speaker wires and connections where individuals somehow perceive better 'sound' from high-end cables in contrast to monoprice cables and most dvd players.


Spend your money on better speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitting Bull /forum/post/18313162


Yes, that is the typical sales tactic of those sort of "boutiques" to put the idea in your head that one amp sounds better than another.


To the best of my knowledge no one has ever been able to tell one amp from another during a double blind listening test. It is when you are told "Oh, well can't you hear that difference?" that people get led down the garden path, invariably to something more expensive.

And then they come here to tell us how much better their new amp sounds, not even realizing that they are subconsciously trying to justify their purchase to themselves. It's almost sad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18309310


Hi

I understand some AVRs sound more musical than others.


Sorry, but you understand incorrectly


Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18309310


what is the difference between a "more musical" AVR vs a normal AVR?

Nothing


Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18309310


what are the more musical AVRs available in the market today?

dl

Any of them.
 

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hehe,


I was thinking about which AVR was not musical and after own over 20 different AVRs, all popular brands (except Marantz, I have no idea why
) I have concluded that they ALL play music just fine



Shocking isn't it




I would love to read a post from someone telling me the brand and the model that was not musical. Then I can read 20 threads from owners of that same brand and model that was musical to them.....another day in the world of subjective audio, isnt everyone tired of it?
 

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Are you in a townhouse/townhome? If so, in your situation, more likely the key is to get efficient speakers which can be driven at lower volume to produce more defined sound. Also whatever you choose to run the HT should feature room EQ, especially Audyssey variants. You want your bass to be more 'musical' as you are describing it, with less undefined/ill-defined bass energy so that it has greater tonality at whatever volume level.


I know you are more interested in auditioning, which is always best, but don't leave out considering online if the speakers have excellent, and more importantly, well described reviews as to sound qualities. Speaker sets like the EMPs at Audioholics are a great bargain but don't fit the high efficiency profile.

http://store.audioholics.com/section/66381/1/


Some perspective on speaker profiles:


I have Wharfedale Emerald 97s which sound a good bit like the EMPs. Both feature silk dome tweeters and polymer mids/Bass. Virtually the same size and shape. The 97s are front ported though which makes placement a bit easier. Point of the comparison being they both are around 87dB sensitivity and have similar power profiles. I drive mine with clean Parasound power and clean preamping featuring Audyssey and can achieve excellent results at all volume levels. The key for you will be what is the amping in the AVR you choose to go with. If it is stout and you also have room EQ to clean up the problems, then you should be able to get fine results at whatever volume level you situationally choose to listen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidesunny /forum/post/18313009


just came from auditioning KEF and Heco speakers


1) yes, unfortunately for my pocket, there is a difference between the AVR amp and the stereo amp. tried this comparison out on the KEFIQ speakers - the speakers sounded very airy on the AVR, but has more body and is more distinct on the stereo amp. Is it a psychological conclusion, I don't know, because I'm listening to the difference after everyone tells me that the stereo amp's better

DSP vs analog? EQing is different, level matching is really needed.


Also if everyone tells you something is better most likely it will be true (Placebo) in a sighted comparison (You knowing which one is playing)


Quote:
3) one of the Heco speaker models, the Aleva, does not sound loud even at higher volume levels. it's nice and mellow, but unfortunately, the sounds are not as distinct and well-defined


so the hunt continues tonight....with Dali Ikon, Elac and hopefully Monitor Audio and the Missions.....

Searching for speakers is fine, one thing I would recommend is that you budget all this properly. The best SQ comes from the speakers and the room so with that in mind $$$ should be maximized with those. I try to spend 2 or 3 times the money on speakers/room treatments as I do on electronics. Its not written in stone because speakers can be subject and you can find speakers 1/2 the price of others that you love but just remember speakers/room is 99% of the SQ once electronics is at a certain level of quality.


ie...

$2000 speakers, $500 electronics is better then $2000 electronics and $500 speakers.


Also If the room sucks then nothing matters, a little education on how to improve the response in room goes a long way to a better experience.
 
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