AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 202 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just now really starting the quest in learning about AVR's and amplification. After a few days of reading through the threads I've noticed a lot of people praising brands such as Anthem, Cambridge Audio, and NAD [in that order I've found too,] when it comes to musical quality over Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, HK, and Yamaha. I have also heard plenty of people praise anything with a decent version of Audessey and therefore, always are recommending a Denon or Marantz unit from accessories4less while bashing the first three I mentioned for being too expensive or not having Audessey. I've also noticed that I think Audessey may be better suited if HT is the goal instead of musical playback...maybe I'm wrong.


The comparisons I have read seem that people who once owned the more popular Japanese brands, and then switched to the Anthem, NAD, CA AVR's, are much happier with the decision to switch. It seems that these three have better results powering harder-to-drive speakers with less wattage, and simply, sound better naturally.


Now I've heard about NAD and CA being the only brands that test their amps under stressed conditions and have heard many opinions on this whether this matters or not. Where as the Japanese brands don't test their amps under load when posting the specs. I don't know if Anthem does this but people have claimed that the MRX 310 is still a quite capable AVR.


I'm also aware of the power requirements to raise the SPL 3dB need to be doubled, and doubled, and doubled, from 1 watt, to 2, 4, 8, ect. So I know there isn't much difference between the 80-110 watt range.


The speakers I'm considering trying out are SVS Ultra bookshelves, Goldenear Aon 3's and Sierra 1/2's. The SVS, and Sierra's are 87 dB sensitive, and the GE Aon 3's are 90 dB. They'll be about 9' from the MLP in a room that is small - 14' X 9' X 8'. I will be getting a 5.1 system with an SVS PC12+ sub and watching movies, playing PC games in 5.1 hopefully, but my main priority is the best SQ I can get for music...and LOUD too on the weekends when having friends over. This is why I'm not really jumping on the Audessey band-wagon as a 'must have' for my setup. I hear ARC w/ Anthem is great. People like YPAO w/ the Yamaha Aventage line, but the NAD T758 only has a basic version of audessey, and not sure what Cambridge Audio have.


I know this is a lot but can anyone help me make a decision or aid in my education so I know what it is I'm looking for in an AVR? My budget was $1000 or under and I'd love to keep it under if possible however...there are some that slightly exceed that and if they are worth the extra cash...I can swing it. Here is what I am leaning towards:


NAD T748v2 - $599 80Watts x 2, 40watts x 7 and no room correction software? Not sure if it has pre-outs either.

NAD T758 - $999 110watts x 2, 60watts x 7, basic Audessey, and not sure about pre-outs.

CA Azur 551R - $1200 90watts x 2, 60watts x 7, think it has pre-outs and not sure about room correction software.

- I've heard these two brands are the only ones that test under load and have much better power output than other brands.


Anthem MRX 310 - $1200 80watts x 2, 60watts X 5, ARC room correction, no pre-outs I hear.

Emotiva Fusion 8100 - $699 110 x 2, 65watts x 7, Emo's room correction software (any good?,) and pre-outs I think. I know next to nothing about Emotiva's SQ or if this is a solid avr. Its so new that I'm guessing we are all going on Emo's reputation with this one.


Because of price and wattage, the NAD T758 and Emo Fusion 8100 are at the top of the list so far. I hear Anthem has the best sound though. Pre-outs aren't necessary, but might be nice later on if I can snag a good used amp if I want more juice.


I haven't crossed the Japanese brands off my list permanently, but I would really like to know if what I listed will give me better power output due to the power supplies they have, and if they have superior sound quality. If so, the then one of these will be my pick.


I think I can bi-wire/bi-amp the main two speakers with all but the Anthem MRX 310. Originally I was looking at a Marantz, Denon, or Yamaha but I honestly don't need ANY of those extra bells and whistles that those AVR's come with like Airplay, 2nd room, ect. And again, I will watch movies in 5.1 but my main goal with the AVR is AMAZING sound that can easily drive an 87 dB sensitive bookshelf speaker to very loud levels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,480 Posts
Sound quality is in the room calibration software. The amplifiers themselves won't color the sound. Power isn't an issue either because the difference between the lowest powered AV receiver and the highest powered is barely audible. Biwiring and passive biamplification accomplish nothing at all. The strength of the power supply is important only if your speakers draw way more than normal current. That is pretty rare. In other words these things that concern you shouldn't concern you. They are things that allow audiophiles and reviewers to have something to talk about. So my advice is always the same. Choose the receiver with the features you want and will use.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,866 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485167


Sound quality is in the room calibration software. The amplifiers themselves won't color the sound. Power isn't an issue either because the difference between the lowest powered AV receiver and the highest powered is barely audible. Biwiring and passive biamplification accomplish nothing at all. The strength of the power supply is important only if your speakers draw way more than normal current. That is pretty rare. In other words these things that concern you shouldn't concern you. They are things that allow audiophiles and reviewers to have something to talk about. So my advice is always the same. Choose the receiver with the features you want and will use.

Do you post everything utterly wrong?


1) Sound qualty = room EQ?? LOL

2) Amplifiers do colour the sound

3) Power is a issue, as amplifiers do over blow spec, and that is noticeable. Pioneer have poor rated output.

4) Passive bi-amping does make a slight difference

5) A amplifier that drops output all channels driven is a poorly designed amplifier, some drop in 4 ohm.


But then when you have a ATI that has more clean power into 4ohm in one channel alone, to a the whole of a AV amplifier...LOL
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,866 Posts
As to the OP if you're looking at sound quality, upgradability, and clean power, look at av pre-power.


Emotiva power setup isn't that expensive, and a hell of a lot more clean stable power than AV amplifiers, that's for sure. And you'll get the best from your speakers, and never run into clipping. My brother has burnt a couple of tweeters, and that's with high quality proper 60W amplifiers..(more power than AV amplifier)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,872 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music/0_100#post_24485170

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485167


Sound quality is in the room calibration software. The amplifiers themselves won't color the sound. Power isn't an issue either because the difference between the lowest powered AV receiver and the highest powered is barely audible. Biwiring and passive biamplification accomplish nothing at all. The strength of the power supply is important only if your speakers draw way more than normal current. That is pretty rare. In other words these things that concern you shouldn't concern you. They are things that allow audiophiles and reviewers to have something to talk about. So my advice is always the same. Choose the receiver with the features you want and will use.

Do you post everything utterly wrong?


1) Sound qualty = room EQ?? LOL

2) Amplifiers do colour the sound

3) Power is a issue, as amplifiers do over blow spec, and that is noticeable. Pioneer have poor rated output.

4) Passive bi-amping does make a slight difference

5) A amplifier that drops output all channels driven is a poorly designed amplifier, some drop in 4 ohm.


But then when you have a ATI that has more clean power into 4ohm in one channel alone, to a the whole of a AV amplifier...LOL



some people never learn....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,872 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music/0_100#post_24485167


Sound quality is in the room calibration software. The amplifiers themselves won't color the sound. Power isn't an issue either because the difference between the lowest powered AV receiver and the highest powered is barely audible. Biwiring and passive biamplification accomplish nothing at all. The strength of the power supply is important only if your speakers draw way more than normal current. That is pretty rare. In other words these things that concern you shouldn't concern you. They are things that allow audiophiles and reviewers to have something to talk about. So my advice is always the same. Choose the receiver with the features you want and will use.

FMW is correct.


There is nothing in any of the units mentioned that will offer so called superior music sound over another unit. the NAD and CA are nice for sure, but you are paying a premium for the "boutique" status of them. A good japanese branded avr will sound just as good (equal). Room correction, room treatments, speaker set up avr/processor dsp modes etc are what dictates what will improve sound quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485167


Sound quality is in the room calibration software. The amplifiers themselves won't color the sound. Power isn't an issue either because the difference between the lowest powered AV receiver and the highest powered is barely audible. Biwiring and passive biamplification accomplish nothing at all. The strength of the power supply is important only if your speakers draw way more than normal current. That is pretty rare. In other words these things that concern you shouldn't concern you. They are things that allow audiophiles and reviewers to have something to talk about. So my advice is always the same. Choose the receiver with the features you want and will use.
Well said and that would be my answer as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
Funny, because I wanted to upgrade my Denon 2313 with one of the above choices.


So, I would also be wasting time and money upgrading too?? Thanks


Was looking at Cambridge Audio Azur 351R, NAD T 748V2, or NAD T 758
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trace79  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24484717


Anthem MRX 310 - $1200 80watts x 2, 60watts X 5, ARC room correction, no pre-outs I hear.

mrx 310 does have pre-outs

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,866 Posts
Not full 7.1 set though. Still, you're most likely just add a 3 channel power amp for the stereo and center.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485350


Not full 7.1 set though. Still, you're most likely just add a 3 channel power amp for the stereo and center.

It's only a 5.1 receiver... If one would want 7.1, you'll need to upgrade to either the 510 or 710...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,815 Posts
The NAD T758 does have pre-outs.It also has multi-channel inputs if thats another connection type you are interested in. It's also one of NAD's MDC AVR's whereas you can change out boards instead of replacing the whole AVR, something none of the others do. Give the T758 a look over at Crutchfields or go to NAD's website and check it out. There is more to a good AVR besides it Eq method. The T758 does have a form of Audyssey and a program called EARS(IIRC) and its implemented differently with Audyssey. The NAD's and Cambridge brands can be purchased over the internet and the Anthem's are dealers only.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,866 Posts

Quote:
whereas you can change out boards instead of replacing the whole AVR, something none of the others do

But is it economical, are the cards vaporware? I remember Arcam Alpha 10 integrated, it was touted to get DAVE board (it did) but it was £800 or £1000 or something like that. Didn't Onkyo, Denon, and NAD offer slot in modules/cards but nothing ever happened? Or you'd need to ship the units back at great expense, and the cost was very high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,480 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerain  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485318


Funny, because I wanted to upgrade my Denon 2313 with one of the above choices.


So, I would also be wasting time and money upgrading too??

Not if one of them has features you don't have now and that you want and will use. But sound quality isn't a reason to change. Fatbottom's problem with me is personal because I often correct his nonsense. Sorry about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,815 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24485752


But is it economical, are the cards vaporware? I remember Arcam Alpha 10 integrated, it was touted to get DAVE board (it did) but it was £800 or £1000 or something like that. Didn't Onkyo, Denon, and NAD offer slot in modules/cards but nothing ever happened? Or you'd need to ship the units back at great expense, and the cost was very high.

The cards are not vaporware. There's a card out now that will change to a higher form of Audyssey in their units. The cost of the cards range from not so expensive to expensive depending on what you want to upgrade to. I am of the belief that different brand AVR's do have their own sonic signature. Now if you turn off all of their Eq programs they do sound pretty much the same. However most are buying these things due to their Eq programs which IMO sucks. There are too many people paying for XT32 and then turning it off to listen to music. Makes a lot of sense to me.Hey its ok if you want one for movies only to pay for the highest version of REQ from any OE. I don't make my purchases like that. I listen to different models in my room with my equipment and then make my decision. I'm lucky that I have a couple of dealers that I buy from that let me take my choices home to try out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24486051


Not if one of them has features you don't have now and that you want and will use. But sound quality isn't a reason to change. Fatbottom's problem with me is personal because I often correct his nonsense. Sorry about that.

I just want a powerful AVR for my 5.1. My present denon 2313 doesn't seem to pack that punch at higher volumes. So I take it that none of these would serve that purpose better than what I have (Cambridge Audio Azur 351R, NAD T 748V2, NAD T 758, or Amthem 510)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,480 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerain  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24486141


I just want a powerful AVR for my 5.1. My present denon 2313 doesn't seem to pack that punch at higher volumes. So I take it that none of these would serve that purpose better than what I have (Cambridge Audio Azur 351R, NAD T 748V2, NAD T 758, or Amthem 510)

It depends on what your purpose is. All AVR's are powerful these days. It is an unusual home audio installation that dissipates more than about 20 watts per channel. Amplifier power is one of the least important things in home audio. It was a big deal when 10 watt tube amps were the standard but not these days. Decide what you want and will use. I try to avoid giving specific product recommendations but I can assure you I wouldn't buy any of those personally. They would provide nothing that I can't get from a major manufacturer and they don't enjoy the economies of scale that the major manufacturers enjoy so they are just more expensive without being any better. I'm not trying to dissuade you from what you want to do. I'm just trying to have you understand some realities that you won't read in manufacturer's literature or magazine reviews.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,866 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerain  /t/1522614/which-of-these-avrs-are-best-for-music#post_24486141


I just want a powerful AVR for my 5.1. My present denon 2313 doesn't seem to pack that punch at higher volumes. So I take it that none of these would serve that purpose better than what I have (Cambridge Audio Azur 351R, NAD T 748V2, NAD T 758, or Amthem 510)

Borrow a 5 power amplifier and see what you think. Your Denon has a full set of pre-outs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
To the OP: I recently needed to upgrade a six year old AVR myself. So, I've been actively researching it for the last couple months. One thing you're going to find is that almost everyone is going to optimistically regard the brand or model they chose or have spent the most time looking at as the best or at least the best for the money, whether it's their 20th lifetime AVR purchase or their foray into the HT world. The brand and model I ultimately chose is irrelevant, as it was a subjective/personal choice. So far I'm very satisfied with the decision, but wouldn't dare suggest what I chose was the absolute best, best for the money, etc - I can't even guarantee it was the best for me yet.


There are plenty of quality products to choose from, no single brand being qualifiably the absolute "best". Some smaller, more boutigue brands might be built with a more personal touch, even better quality parts, but that doesn't unequivocally make them better either, as the while the bigger producers may adopt less reliable modern manufacturing, they still have a lot of experience in audio design, often with more features, lower profit margins due to the volume they sell in and lower production costs, and I think they tend to have greater HDMI stability or at least may be more responsive to fixing problems that arise from the every evolving (downward spiraling, aggravating) world of HDMI and HDCP. Some brands clearly try to pack in more for your buck, but have higher failure rates that may or may not ever impact you; but if you are the one who gets a bad unit, it'll leave a sour taste in your mouth fast. I personally don't take much pride in brand ownership, but I have some degree of brand bias I'm sure - I don't think much of Toshiba as a company, but that doesn't mean they don't make decent products, and I've become very leary of Panasonics design longevity in recent years. It's easy to get caught up in names and labels, especially in this hobby. So, if you have an especial attraction to any one brand, well founded or not, you're likely to be happy with it and expedite your shopping process by focusing your research there.


That said, in response to the thread title, I've always regarded speakers as having the most impact on "musicality." But, if music is of great importance to you in selecting an AVR, I think you'd do yourself a favor by looking closely at Yamaha. Their DSPs and the versatility of their implementation seems to be on another level from the other major AVR brands I'm familiar with. It's clearly a brand that seems to design their AVRs with some emphasis on their musical heritage. The Yamahas are also getting high praise at the moment for their ESS dacs, especially the 3030 AVR and 5000 prepro. I've never regarded DACs as having an incredibly profound impact, considering they're cheap enough that even many lower-end models use quality Burr Brown dacs; but a number of reviewers have been surprisingly enthusiastic nonetheless, seemingly concluding the ESS DACs made the difference in their evaluations - reviewers typically regarded as being experienced enough at evaluating these products as not to play to marketing hype.


Having owned four Denons myself (three of which were flagship models, including the 5805), I don't regard Denon as being musically tuned, so to speak. I don't regard them as bad for music per se, but I think movies are the companies chief design focus, like most AVRs these days. Based on a recent comparison of the Denon 4000, Yamaha 2030, and Marantz 7007, the sound in pure direct (same room, same speakers, level matched according to the salesman and at least reasonably close going by ear) for whatever reason the Denon didn't have the same quality of sound as the Marantz and Yamaha. That's not to say the 4000 sounded bad or isn't a good bang for your buck AVR, just that there was a clear difference in it's sound quality that I personally didn't find as pleasant to listen to as the others, when bypassing all internal audio and video circuitry, assuming there wasn't something defective with the unit or it's cabling that might have been the cause. Though another dealer did later corroborate what I heard (also to be taken with a grain of salt).


For me it came down to perceived reliability and a choice between Marantz and Yamaha with Marantz getting the nod if you're looking for a unit easy to EQ for movies with Audyssey XT32 and pro capability, and Yamaha getting the nod for some of its features and build aspects, if you don't mind doing a little more work, should YPAO not prove as effective for your listening environment as what XT32 is automatically capable of. I wasn't convinced I'd be satisfied with Denon this time around and wanted to try something new after spending over a decade with their products. Production problems and higher return rates reported by several dealers I spoke with made me shy away further. Pioneer is really the only brand I would have liked to look at closer, but I didn't have the time and never found any reason to make the time in my other research. I'm sure I would have been very satisfied with either brand, but was feeling especially adventurous, so I went with Yamaha, partially due to their reported HDMI stability - which I desperately needed - and the seeming rarity of problem reports here and from several dealers I contacted. Only time will tell if it was a wise decision, but so far it's been fun playing with the DSPs - which I've traditionally never liked DSPs - and I'm looking forward to learning more about room EQ to take advantage of the manual tweaking Yamaha provides, rather than trusting Audyssey to do that job for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: resfreq and Anode
1 - 20 of 202 Posts
Top