ASR review of Pioneer VSX-LX505 (Onkyo RZ50)

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dlaloum

Audioholic
I'd love to have that experience of the power amp making that immediate difference, since so many claim to have it....but I've tried it with many amps over the years and the amp just hasn't had that kind of impact (let alone magic audio qualities otherwise). The Quads are supposed to be "current dumpers"....what speakers do you/have you used?
Yes the Quads are "current dumpers"

Current mains are
Gallo Reference 3.2 L&R
Gallo Reference AV Center

All three use the CDT tweeter, which tends to have substantial phase variance and impedance drops to 1.63 ohm

Amps that are not stable into low impedances can get into trouble.

These speakers sounded fine on:
Onkyo TX-SR876
Integra DTR 70.4
Quad 606
Crown XLS2500

Did not sound good on Integra DRX 3.4

Prior to the Gallo's I had Quad electrostatics (ESL989 and ESL63)
Those are relatively easy to drive.... very transparent, and will expose quite subtle differences in the signal chain - for the most part I found any halfway decent amp sounded like every other halfway decent amp.

With the Gallo's this was/is not the case - amps definitely sound different - and really (I am guessing) it comes down to whether the amp can handle the difficult phase/impedance.

Ultimately my experience (including some years working in audio retail in the 80's) - has led me to the conclusion that all amps sound alike as long as they are run within their design "operating envelope".
Some amps have a very wide operating envelope ... some amps are more limited.

If you want to hear amps sounding different, do the comparison with some of the 1 ohm impedance Acoustats or Martin Logans (or the Gallo's).... many (most?) amps will audibly (and measurably at a guess!) misbehave... when trying to drive those loads.

The Crowns are, in my environment, effectively "infinite" power, and they are specified down to 1 ohm - so they are completely within their performance envelope (Like those old Aston Martin adds from the 70's: "more than adequate power for any circumstances"!).

The Quads are limited in their power output at 1.6ohm - but for my SPL requirements, this is not a concern - very difficult to differentiate between the Crown and the Quad.

The previous generations of Onkyo/Integra that I had were beasts weighing 3 times what my current one does, with massive power supplies - they too seemed to handle the speakers well. (my subjective listening tests tilted towards external amps... but the difference was slight, and possibly would fail DBT.... insufficient difference to really justify external amps)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yes the Quads are "current dumpers"

Current mains are
Gallo Reference 3.2 L&R
Gallo Reference AV Center

All three use the CDT tweeter, which tends to have substantial phase variance and impedance drops to 1.63 ohm

Amps that are not stable into low impedances can get into trouble.

These speakers sounded fine on:
Onkyo TX-SR876
Integra DTR 70.4
Quad 606
Crown XLS2500

Did not sound good on Integra DRX 3.4

Prior to the Gallo's I had Quad electrostatics (ESL989 and ESL63)
Those are relatively easy to drive.... very transparent, and will expose quite subtle differences in the signal chain - for the most part I found any halfway decent amp sounded like every other halfway decent amp.

With the Gallo's this was/is not the case - amps definitely sound different - and really (I am guessing) it comes down to whether the amp can handle the difficult phase/impedance.

Ultimately my experience (including some years working in audio retail in the 80's) - has led me to the conclusion that all amps sound alike as long as they are run within their design "operating envelope".
Some amps have a very wide operating envelope ... some amps are more limited.

If you want to hear amps sounding different, do the comparison with some of the 1 ohm impedance Acoustats or Martin Logans (or the Gallo's).... many (most?) amps will audibly (and measurably at a guess!) misbehave... when trying to drive those loads.

The Crowns are, in my environment, effectively "infinite" power, and they are specified down to 1 ohm - so they are completely within their performance envelope (Like those old Aston Martin adds from the 70's: "more than adequate power for any circumstances"!).

The Quads are limited in their power output at 1.6ohm - but for my SPL requirements, this is not a concern - very difficult to differentiate between the Crown and the Quad.

The previous generations of Onkyo/Integra that I had were beasts weighing 3 times what my current one does, with massive power supplies - they too seemed to handle the speakers well. (my subjective listening tests tilted towards external amps... but the difference was slight, and possibly would fail DBT.... insufficient difference to really justify external amps)
I have no particular interest in speakers with such low impedance requirements, could well be why the amps haven't made any difference with any of the speakers I've used in such a manner. The difference comes apparent at what sort of volume level? The Crown has significantly more oomph at 2 ohms than that Quad, tho.
 
D

dlaloum

Audioholic
I have no particular interest in speakers with such low impedance requirements, could well be why the amps haven't made any difference with any of the speakers I've used in such a manner. The difference comes apparent at what sort of volume level? The Crown has significantly more oomph at 2 ohms than that Quad, tho.
Yes the Crown can put out 1200W @ 2 ohm, the Quad drops off to only 90W @ 2 ohm

But the Crown is clearly massive overkill - I purchased them because I saw a great deal used... and wanted to experiment with amplification (including biamping) - I think I paid something like US$350 for the pair.

I was previously running a pair of Quad 606's (which I still have) - and I love those amps, great sound, run cool, passive, reliable, easily and simply serviceable... but my subjective impression, is that with my current speakers, the Crowns have a marginal edge.

Perhaps at a later date, when I get a substantially more capable, probably Class-D, AVR, and find that the sound from the AVR alone is fine, and does not require an external amp - I will look for a new home for the Crowns and ease the budgetary pain of the AVR upgrade.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yes the Crown can put out 1200W @ 2 ohm, the Quad drops off to only 90W @ 2 ohm

But the Crown is clearly massive overkill - I purchased them because I saw a great deal used... and wanted to experiment with amplification (including biamping) - I think I paid something like US$350 for the pair.

I was previously running a pair of Quad 606's (which I still have) - and I love those amps, great sound, run cool, passive, reliable, easily and simply serviceable... but my subjective impression, is that with my current speakers, the Crowns have a marginal edge.

Perhaps at a later date, when I get a substantially more capable, probably Class-D, AVR, and find that the sound from the AVR alone is fine, and does not require an external amp - I will look for a new home for the Crowns and ease the budgetary pain of the AVR upgrade.
I was just looking at the Quad manual, don't see a 2 ohm rating, that from a bench test?

I would think the advantage would be with the Crowns; I do like my Crown XLS amps (I have five). I'm surprised more avrs haven't gone class D yet....
 
D

dlaloum

Audioholic
I was just looking at the Quad manual, don't see a 2 ohm rating, that from a bench test?

I would think the advantage would be with the Crowns; I do like my Crown XLS amps (I have five). I'm surprised more avrs haven't gone class D yet....
Look at the power / impedance graph, provided towards the end of the manual. It extends to 2 ohm, and has both continuous and peak identified... very useful !
 
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Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
I was just looking at the Quad manual, don't see a 2 ohm rating, that from a bench test?

I would think the advantage would be with the Crowns; I do like my Crown XLS amps (I have five). I'm surprised more avrs haven't gone class D yet....
I've always wondered that too Lovin. You'd think with all the channels they stuff in there now and the issues with heat and reliable power that class D would be a good solution to all 3 of those issues
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I've always wondered that too Lovin. You'd think with all the channels they stuff in there now and the issues with heat and reliable power that class D would be a good solution to all 3 of those issues
That is coming soon though, if you look at the signs:

- ATI started offering the class D alternative a few years ago.
- Monolith started last year.
- Anthem started using them on the surround/height/Atomos channels.
- Marantz started a few years ago using class D in their flagship integrated amp, and now in the power amp "Amp10".

That's just a few examples I can quickly think of. Now that Marantz is doing it, you can tell for sure Denon will be following suit too soon.

I suspect it may take one more model year, so that the big guys like D+M, Yamaha, Onkyo and Sony to purge their class AB power amp boards, and power supplies inventory. For those mass produced AVR amps, they must have been keeping a large inventory that will take some time to deplete.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
I disagree.

If I remember correctly, Amir has at one time or another claimed that he ignores what may or may not be audible, precisely because he thinks his measurement methods are superior. Yes, he buys state-of-the-art measuring equipment – but he doesn't seem understand that no test gear, or measurement method, has unlimited capacity. You can push audio gear to power or volume levels beyond which they can respond in a linear fashion. The same is true for the test gear – something he doesn't recognize or respect in his reviews. It's not scientific, its arrogant.

There is a difference between something that is the best that money can buy, and something that is good enough to do the job. I know there are plenty of people who confuse the two. But I cannot believe or trust audio gear reviews from someone who ignores the difference.
After all test gear is far more sensitive than hearing. Not realizing the intended market and use for a DUT make's his testing approach almost useless. I find ASR is the exact opposite of an audiophile. Specs are all important, even if the measured results are far below the point of audibility. Amir is a shrill with expensive test gear, nothing more.
 
G

Golfx

Full Audioholic
After all test gear is far more sensitive than hearing. Not realizing the intended market and use for a DUT make's his testing approach almost useless. I find ASR is the exact opposite of an audiophile. Specs are all important, even if the measured results are far below the point of audibility. Amir is a shrill with expensive test gear, nothing more.
Oh I believe he is providing a valuable service and a reliable method of helping us separate out and narrow our choices.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Common Gene, you are more fair, open, and objective minded than that. No one is perfect, Youthman said things that may not make sense to me either but I wouldn't label him with anything based on a few things he said. Just because someone put too much focus on SINAD does not mean there will be backlash to ensue...., and, if there are, they just need to be educated by knowledgeable people like you.:)
Gene is being honest. I was a member of ASR and over there, SINAD rules. All the examples that you posted in his defense lands on deaf ears in that crowd.

As an EE, I respect measurements but I always kept context in my back pocket to see what the measurements really mean. Amir does not. The Pioneer review is just another one of many MANY examples of meaningless measurements with no context around it.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Oh I believe he is providing a valuable service and a reliable method of helping us separate out and narrow our choices.
Without context around these measurements, there is no service being provided.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Gene is being honest. I was a member of ASR and over there, SINAD rules. All the examples that you posted in his defense lands on deaf ears in that crowd.

As an EE, I respect measurements but I always kept context in my back pocket to see what the measurements really mean. Amir does not. The Pioneer review is just another one of many MANY examples of meaningless measurements with no context around it.
There is some truth to what you are saying, but coming from you I am really surprised you can get so biased, or extreme in expressing your view.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
There is some truth to what you are saying, but coming from you I am really surprised you can get so biased, or extreme in expressing your view.
I got burned out on that site trying to get the crowd to put context around the measurements and it left me somewhat bitter. I read the Pioneer review and I see nothing has changed. As much as I don't like "nanny circuits", the failure of Amir to acknowledge this fact makes the whole amplifier test rather useless from a contextual standpoint. Its a feature (not really a feature but it was purposely designed) that was designed into the Pioneer and not because it simply couldn't perform to Amir's expectations. What Amir is doing is wrong. Amir doesn't work with the industry like Gene. He works against it. I have no use for people like that and the crowd that follows him.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I got burned out on that site trying to get the crowd to put context around the measurements and it left me somewhat bitter. I read the Pioneer review and I see nothing has changed. As much as I don't like "nanny circuits", the failure of Amir to acknowledge this fact makes the whole amplifier test rather useless from a contextual standpoint. Its a feature (not really a feature but it was purposely designed) that was designed into the Pioneer and not because it simply couldn't perform to Amir's expectations. What Amir is doing is wrong. Amir doesn't work with the industry like Gene. He works against it. I have no use for people like that and the crowd that follows him.
Amir does have several manufacturers that send him gear and he converses with as well. He's offering articles explaining the measurements, he doesn't repeat that in each review, tho. His intended market are people who want measurements, and will even test your gear for you. You don't have to agree with his interpretation of measurements (or comments in general, which are few anyways). It is what it is, not necessarily what you or what particularly subjective type "audiophiles" want perhaps....
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Amir does have several manufacturers that send him gear and he converses with as well. He's offering articles explaining the measurements, he doesn't repeat that in each review, tho. His intended market are people who want measurements, and will even test your gear for you. You don't have to agree with his interpretation of measurements (or comments in general, which are few anyways). It is what it is, not necessarily what you or what particularly subjective type "audiophiles" want perhaps....
I'm not aware that several manufacturer's give him gear? Can you list them for me? Most of his reviews are on equipment loaned to him by his readers. Can you post examples where he worked with manufacturers?

I know he offers articles explaining measurements but in the Pioneer example, he specifically omitted the fact that it was a nanny feature that was the cause of the poor amplifier bench mark tests. Omitting that fact whether on purpose or accidentally puts a slant on the review like so many of his other review. Its only telling half the story.

Lastly, I'm far from a subjective audiophile that you have just lumped me into. Read any of my posts and you will not find any audiophile remarks in them. Like I stated previously, As an EE, I'm well aware of the importance of measurements but I'm also cognizant of the context of measurements in real world applications. Are you?
 
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Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
I'm not aware that several manufacturer's give him gear? Can you list them for me? Most of his reviews are on equipment loaned to him by his readers. At least I don't see it in the review. Can you post examples where he worked with manufacturers?
Most of the reviewed devices are from customers, though some from manufactures. That is easy to miss since there so many and very frequent reviews on ASR.

Here is a recent one from an European manufacturer of monitors and headphones:


Topping regularly sends him samples as this search shows:


There are a number of others manufacturer as well, but here you’ll have to search for yourself. :)

It’s not only small manufactures that loans Amir test samples, even Denon has done so for the AVR-X6700H:

 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Most of the reviewed devices are from customers, though some from manufactures. That is easy to miss since there so many and very frequent reviews on ASR.

Here is a recent one from an European manufacturer of monitors and headphones:


Topping regularly sends him samples as this search shows:


There are a number of others manufacturer as well, but here you’ll have to search for yourself. :)

It’s not only small manufactures that loans Amir test samples, even Denon has done so for the AVR-X6700H:

Thats good. A few manufacturers send ASR stuff for review. However that is not what I consider working with the industry. Where is the work by ASR that Gene does when measurements don't add up?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Most of the reviewed devices are from customers, though some from manufactures. That is easy to miss since there so many and very frequent reviews on ASR.

Here is a recent one from an European manufacturer of monitors and headphones:


Topping regularly sends him samples as this search shows:


There are a number of others manufacturer as well, but here you’ll have to search for yourself. :)

It’s not only small manufactures that loans Amir test samples, even Denon has done so for the AVR-X6700H:

The Anthem unit was also sent by Anthem to him:

Anthem AVM70 Review (AV Processor) | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

@3db, if you don't visit that site frequently, you will also have missed the many times Amir told members that the relatively low SINAD were not audible issue and emphasized time and again that his recommendations are based on "engineering excellence", we are both engineers, so I think you would value engineering excellence too, therefore would like to aim higher than practical needs in many cases. Often enough, he has also told people to buy the reviewed product (e.g. the $6000 AV8805) if they.....blablabla..., despite from engineering excellence stand point he did not recommend the product.

He also told people his a Klippel THD listening test that showed he could not detect THD at as high as -40 dB if I remember right, actually must higer (probably even -30 dB lol..) but I am not going to search for the number.

Every forum has extremists, so yes there are people there that would get to your nerve (and mine too), that much I do understand. And he himself can be brunt.., Gene is much more tactful for sure even when he offered his harsh criticism at times.
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Thats good. A few manufacturers send ASR stuff for review. However that is not what I consider working with the industry. Where is the work by ASR that Gene does when measurements don't add up?
He does work with manufactures and has posted about it. Their relationships may be different but ASR has a working relationship with factories that extends beyond just a set of measurements.
 
isolar8001

isolar8001

Junior Audioholic
Every forum has extremists, so yes there are people there that would get to your nerve (and mine too), that much I do understand. And he himself can be brunt.., Gene is much more tactful for sure even when he offered his harsh criticism at times.
Gene is quite the gentleman...even when he is trying to edjamacate everyone.
Amir is kinda snotty. But knowledgeable for sure.
 
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