AVR's vs Audio phile 2 chanel equipment

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Reduff2288

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#1
I currently have an entry level Denon AVR 1400. I want to upgrade the receiver. I have Martin Logan Motion 40's. I will be upgrading my center with a motion 30. Will be upgrading sub to ML Dynamo 700W. I have been introduced to Arcam stuff. I am familiar with Marantz, Yamaha, etc. My goal is to have the have a good movie experience and "near" audiophile quality 2 channel music listening experience. My novice mind says Arcam could solve this need.


These forums have always been very helpful. Any advice you could provide would be awesome.

Regards,
Eddie Duff
 
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MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
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#2
and "near" audiophile quality 2 channel music listening experience. My novice mind says Arcam could solve this need.


These forums have always been very helpful. Any advice you could provide would be awesome.

Regards,
Eddie Duff
Amps have been the least noticeable change with all of the combinations I toy with. I have multiple 2 channel systems ranging from about 40 years old to current. In spite of my efforts, the cog in this gear ends up being the source (or lack of) with music. All of my amps/speakers are more capable than what is generally offered with main stream recordings.

Knowing what I know now, which is still not a lot, I could almost drive what is generally available recording wise, with a gainclone or some little Class D amp board from China. I actually have some of the cheap boards and they can make one feel a little foolish spending too much on amplification these days.

So, usable (or not)features of the amp ends up being more important than the sound/power (provided there is enough headroom) of one, it seems.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

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#3
You are the audiophile, not the gear. Arcam is merely a boutique brand offering much the same thing as others in the hi-fidelity gear scene such as Denon, Marantz Yamaha, but at higher cost due mostly economies of scale. What Arcam unit do you see as fixing your issues? What is wrong with the sound now? If anything consider that the most influence on what you hear is your speakers and room so concentrate on those first.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
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#4
I currently have an entry level Denon AVR 1400. I want to upgrade the receiver. I have Martin Logan Motion 40's. I will be upgrading my center with a motion 30. Will be upgrading sub to ML Dynamo 700W. I have been introduced to Arcam stuff. I am familiar with Marantz, Yamaha, etc. My goal is to have the have a good movie experience and "near" audiophile quality 2 channel music listening experience. My novice mind says Arcam could solve this need.


These forums have always been very helpful. Any advice you could provide would be awesome.

Regards,
Eddie Duff
What do you feel is holding your current system back from being all you want it to be...what's missing"

I've heard the Motion 40s detail and I like this speaker a lot for smaller listening spaces...in comparison with some speakers that I thought were better...the 40s are a tad warm but really smooth in the midrange and you are running them with a sub so I wouldn't be concerned the low end.

I was always taught for the best playback SQ...room> source > source player > speakers > all other system components...whether that hierarchy is 100% accurate or not Idk, but one thing I'm pretty confident in saying...the Amp/AVR/Pre/pro is not more important than the 4 items I listed.
 
R

Reduff2288

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#5
What do you feel is holding your current system back from being all you want it to be...what's missing"

I've heard the Motion 40s detail and I like this speaker a lot for smaller listening spaces...in comparison with some speakers that I thought were better...the 40s are a tad warm but really smooth in the midrange and you are running them with a sub so I wouldn't be concerned the low end.

I was always taught for the best playback SQ...room> source > source player > speakers > all other system components...whether that hierarchy is 100% accurate or not Idk, but one thing I'm pretty confident in saying...the Amp/AVR/Pre/pro is not more important than the 4 items I listed.
I think my room is OK. I love the 40's I completely agree about the source. I am using Tidal for some streaming music. I am not aware of any other lossless streaming sources. My biger plan is to get the Rega planar-3 turntable. I have imediate planns to update my center and sub. I have been told aside from the source the speakers are next important investment. As far as what is holding me back, I guess I feel I want more detail and richer "not louder" low end. I feel their has to be better performance than my $500.00 entry level AVR. As I said earlier, I do not have a dedicated listening room. So I need an AVR that will provide good quality suround but also serve as a good 2 channel music listening station. I am a bit of an audiophile. I am just new to the high end equipment because until now i didnt have the budget. I dont want to buy equipment for the sake of buying equipment or for some bragging rights. I just want somewhat highend music listening and good sound experience for movies. I love the marantz, Yamaha and even like my entry level Denon for suround. The lowend could be better but I know that is the lowend sub I am using. I am not married to Arcam. I just heard the system and liked it. From what I have read I think for quality music listening a class D amp may not give me what I am looking for.

Thank you for reading my post and any other advice is always appreciated.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
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#6
My goal is to have the have a good movie experience and "near" audiophile quality 2 channel music listening experience. My novice mind says Arcam could solve this need.
If you are asking if Arcam sounds better than Denon/Marantz, Yamaha, Sony, etc., the answer is "No". Arcam (Audio Control, NAD, Anthem, etc.) does not sound any better in Direct or bypass mode.

And in terms of power output, you actually get less with Arcam (Audio Control, NAD, Anthem) for the same price as the other AVRs.

If you are asking if 2Ch "audiophile" equipment sounds better than Multi-Channel AVR, the answer is still "No". AVR sounds just as good.
 
M

mtrot

Audioholic
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#7
I currently have an entry level Denon AVR 1400. I want to upgrade the receiver. I have Martin Logan Motion 40's. I will be upgrading my center with a motion 30. Will be upgrading sub to ML Dynamo 700W. I have been introduced to Arcam stuff. I am familiar with Marantz, Yamaha, etc. My goal is to have the have a good movie experience and "near" audiophile quality 2 channel music listening experience. My novice mind says Arcam could solve this need.


These forums have always been very helpful. Any advice you could provide would be awesome.

Regards,
Eddie Duff
Well, what baseline of experience do you have as to what "near" audiophile quality sounds like? You cannot know what "excellent" audio reproduction sounds like until you hear it. If you have not attended a high end audio show like AXPONA or RMAF, you might check one out. Now, this idea will be vigorously challenged and/or attacked here, but I think, before making spending decisions, you owe it to yourself to pretty thoroughly familiarize yourself with what two-channel sound quality is out there.

I would agree with above comments that call into question whether Arcam is going to give you noticeably better sound quality than a nice Denon/Marantz/Yamaha AVR. My Denon AVR-X5200 produces excellent sound quality to my ears. I always like to get a mid-level to upper-level AVR that has multi-channel analog outputs, so that I can employ separate power amps if I so choose. I'm currently using a class A Krell FPB 400cx power amp for my front L/R channels, which sounds great.
 
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Reduff2288

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#8
Well, what baseline of experience do you have as to what "near" audiophile quality sounds like? You cannot know what "excellent" audio reproduction sounds like until you hear it. If you have not attended a high end audio show like AXPONA or RMAF, you might check one out. Now, this idea will be vigorously challenged and/or attacked here, but I think, before making spending decisions, you owe it to yourself to pretty thoroughly familiarize yourself with what two-channel sound quality is out there.

I would agree with above comments that call into question whether Arcam is going to give you noticeably better sound quality than a nice Denon/Marantz/Yamaha AVR. My Denon AVR-X5200 produces excellent sound quality to my ears. I always like to get a mid-level to upper-level AVR that has multi-channel analog outputs, so that I can employ separate power amps if I so choose. I'm currently using a class A Krell FPB 400cx power amp for my front L/R channels, which sounds great.
Thank you this is the info I am looking for. I dont want to buy equipment and then regret it later. I am not married to any equipment. Arcam is just one higher end brand I have looked at. I will take your advice and look at AXPONA. I have never been to an audiophile event.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
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#9
I think my room is OK. I love the 40's I completely agree about the source. I am using Tidal for some streaming music. I am not aware of any other lossless streaming sources. My biger plan is to get the Rega planar-3 turntable. I have imediate planns to update my center and sub. I have been told aside from the source the speakers are next important investment. As far as what is holding me back, I guess I feel I want more detail and richer "not louder" low end. I feel their has to be better performance than my $500.00 entry level AVR.

Thank you for reading my post and any other advice is always appreciated.
More detail...an AVR upgrade might give you what you're looking for, but in my experience it won't. I know you like the 40s and I do as well, but more detail and richer lowend really sound like a speaker upgrade.

Don't shoot the messenger!

There are a lot of reasons to upgrade an AVR..improving SQ is not one that would be real high on my list. I had an old Onkyo AVR powering my B&Ws before I made the upgrade to the Salks...my AV7702mkii and Outlaw m2200 arrived 1st so I dumped the Onkyo...the SQ did improve...notably stronger bass, but I had a 50wpc AVR moving to a 200 wpc monoblock.

When the Salks arrived and were connected...they blew the lid off the B&Ws, detail, clarity was very evident.

I'm not saying you need to run out and buy new speakers, but I really like the idea of taking in a hi end audio show if there are no dealers in your area and listen to a few speakers and electronics.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
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#10
Thank you this is the info I am looking for. I dont want to buy equipment and then regret it later. I am not married to any equipment. Arcam is just one higher end brand I have looked at. I will take your advice and look at AXPONA. I have never been to an audiophile event.
FWIW these are audio shows, more about sales than anything. You can definitely listen to some expensive gear that way, and some esoteric electronics as well. Electronics just don't add to the equation as much as you think it does....altho for some folks that's important to think it does. The placebo effect....
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
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#11
As far as what is holding me back, I guess I feel I want more detail and richer "not louder" low end. I feel their has to be better performance than my $500.00 entry level AVR. As I said earlier, I do not have a dedicated listening room. So I need an AVR that will provide good quality suround but also serve as a good 2 channel music listening station. I am a bit of an audiophile. I am just new to the high end equipment because until now i didnt have the budget. I dont want to buy equipment for the sake of buying equipment or for some bragging rights. I just want somewhat highend music listening and good sound experience for movies. I love the marantz, Yamaha and even like my entry level Denon for suround. The lowend could be better but I know that is the lowend sub I am using. I am not married to Arcam. I just heard the system and liked it. From what I have read I think for quality music listening a class D amp may not give me what I am looking for.

Thank you for reading my post and any other advice is always appreciated.

I'm listening to Pass DIY 8 watt mono blocks that cost under $150 to complete. The circuits are crude by today's standards. When I come across threads about expensive gear, I keep getting distracted by the irony of what is playing in my space. It makes me want to throw rocks at where this hobby constantly tries to, and has lead me.

Not everyone likes AVR's. I could see me buying higher end equipment if I liked it, as long as it performed at least as well as it's competitors regardless of features. I have a good sense about buying things I will keep interest in for the long term. All it has to do is last that long or, at least be reasonably serviceable. I have an older Adcom amp and preamp and I like those, mostly because it has a lot of headroom, was able to be rebuilt/improved into it's second life and it just goes well with my larger, 3-way speakers.

I have a pair of consumer grade, JBL S312 speakers with 12" woofers. I currently have them connected with no subs playing, to an older Denon (3805) AVR in Pure Direct mode. These speakers have a remarkable mid/sub bass for music, especially for their age. I have other 3-way speakers that deliver the lower realm with neighbor thumping authority too. A friend of mine recently bought the JBL Studio 590's. He had plans for two subwoofers and is now holding off. I don't think he needs subs either. The 590's are pretty potent on their own. I could definitely hear/feel plenty bottom end from those too. I am shocked I do not own a pair of those yet. We were listening to them near field and it was pretty amazing. I think he still has them set up like that.
 
P

PENG

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#12
There are a lot of reasons to upgrade an AVR..improving SQ is not one that would be real high on my list. I had an old Onkyo AVR powering my B&Ws before I made the upgrade to the Salks...my AV7702mkii and Outlaw m2200 arrived 1st so I dumped the Onkyo...the SQ did improve...notably stronger bass, but I had a 50wpc AVR moving to a 200 wpc monoblock.

When the Salks arrived and were connected...they blew the lid off the B&Ws, detail, clarity was very evident.

I'm not saying you need to run out and buy new speakers, but I really like the idea of taking in a hi end audio show if there are no dealers in your area and listen to a few speakers and electronics.
That 50 W Onkyo would have been fine in a small room for 70-75 dB average 90-95 dB peak listening level, otherwise the M2200 would definitely make a noticeable difference even for people without the golden ears.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

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#13
There are a lot of reasons to upgrade an AVR..improving SQ is not one that would be real high on my list. I had an old Onkyo AVR powering my B&Ws before I made the upgrade to the Salks...my AV7702mkii and Outlaw m2200 arrived 1st so I dumped the Onkyo...the SQ did improve...notably stronger bass, but I had a 50wpc AVR moving to a 200 wpc monoblock.
I have a Yamaha P2500 [ClassH] amp that I like to use for "let's hook up these speakers and listen". It's been hooked to... well, a great deal.

I also had a McIntosh 2120 [Class A/B] amp that weighed a ton. Had a short time with a Krell 150A as well.

The *only* speaker I noticed a difference between my Yamaha and McIntosh was a B&W. 801 Nautilus to be precise (I also owned an 801 Matrix III and could hear no difference between the amps on that); and the area of massive change was the bass.

I don't know which B&W you had, and unless it was one of those 801s, I wouldn't be familiar with its demands on an amp... but there are a few speakers out there that, to my experience, demand more than a "normal amp". I think, to be specific, the issue with the 801N was the resistance curve that dropped below 2ohm and then rose like a wall. I believe this was difficult for my Yamaha (or any AVR I've owned) to scale.

When the Salks arrived and were connected...they blew the lid off the B&Ws, detail, clarity was very evident.
I own the SCSTs from Salk. Interestingly, the speaker I think they sound most like (except in bass where, though the SCSTs are amazing for the drivers they use, they cannot keep up with the B&W's 18" woofer) are my 801s.

I'm not saying you need to run out and buy new speakers, but I really like the idea of taking in a hi end audio show if there are no dealers in your area and listen to a few speakers and electronics.
The think most people seem to pay not enough attention to in their setup is the room. Positioning and room treatments make a lot of difference. EQ calibration to the room as well.
 
2

2channel lover

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#14
That 50 W Onkyo would have been fine in a small room for 70-75 dB average 90-95 dB peak listening level, otherwise the M2200 would definitely make a noticeable difference even for people without the golden ears.
The room did increase in size, but the Onkyo was decreasing...lol a front ch was out...not that I have them, but no GE needed on this one.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
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#15
I have a Yamaha P2500 [ClassH] amp that I like to use for "let's hook up these speakers and listen". It's been hooked to... well, a great deal.

I also had a McIntosh 2120 [Class A/B] amp that weighed a ton. Had a short time with a Krell 150A as well.

The *only* speaker I noticed a difference between my Yamaha and McIntosh was a B&W. 801 Nautilus to be precise (I also owned an 801 Matrix III and could hear no difference between the amps on that); and the area of massive change was the bass.

I don't know which B&W you had, and unless it was one of those 801s, I wouldn't be familiar with its demands on an amp... but there are a few speakers out there that, to my experience, demand more than a "normal amp". I think, to be specific, the issue with the 801N was the resistance curve that dropped below 2ohm and then rose like a wall. I believe this was difficult for my Yamaha (or any AVR I've owned) to scale.



I own the SCSTs from Salk. Interestingly, the speaker I think they sound most like (except in bass where, though the SCSTs are amazing for the drivers they use, they cannot keep up with the B&W's 18" woofer) are my 801s.


The think most people seem to pay not enough attention to in their setup is the room. Positioning and room treatments make a lot of difference. EQ calibration to the room as well.
Last gen 804m...not the most difficult speaker to drive, but they benefited from the power increase. The Song3-A is only slightly more enhanced on the lowend, I knew I would be running with a least one sub...not sure I really care to have a true 2.0 speaker now.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
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#16
@Reduff2288,

Listen to AcuDeftechGuy . You sound really new to this and I feel you've been influenced by the shiny advertising glossies that are running rampant in the audioworld. Ignore the word audiophile as it really stands for gullable and uninformed. Do you research. Everyone here is willing to provide you with some guidance and show you that the pricey shiny expensive amps/AVRs have no better sound than then main stream components. The ONLY TWO thing you should worry about is matching the AVR's power delivery envelope to the environment its going to be used in and its feature set. Environment includes speaker impedance, size of room, desired listening levels and seating position distance from the speakers.
 
Ataraxia

Ataraxia

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#17
I went through this whole process of researching AVR vs. Integrated Amps for a movies/music system. I ended up with the system in my signature and it sounds excellent for both movies and music which I play in both Straight mode (2.2) or Pure Direct mode (2.0) depending on the time of the day.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
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#18
Last gen 804m...not the most difficult speaker to drive, but they benefited from the power increase. The Song3-A is only slightly more enhanced on the lowend, I knew I would be running with a least one sub...not sure I really care to have a true 2.0 speaker now.
A good full range speaker should work good with or w/o a subwoofer. Some full range speakers just end up being kind of a shame to hand their bass duties off to a sub. Some of the better ones, the lower reaching woofer may have a more potent mid bass, which is often left seemingly dangling by a thread on some of the smaller stand mount or bookshelf speakers. With my own listening style and typical living space, it's larger displacement that ends up taking the fuss out of the low range, or, that transition from mid to sub bass at least.

I have dual subwoofers hooked up. The ideal sonic placement for them is not the least bit convenient. When I listen seriously, I have to move them for the best performance, with one out "in" the room. Basically, a coffee table subwoofer would be more ideal. That's kind of a lot to go through (not to mention the size of them) just for sub bass, never mind what EQ a system often wants to inflict on one's room in which to make subwoofers work.

In my situation, subwoofers end up kind of being the long way around for good bass performance in this not so open floor plan of mine. Kind of sucks to admit it now that I own 7 of them. :D
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
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560
#19
A good full range speaker should work good with or w/o a subwoofer. Some full range speakers just end up being kind of a shame to hand their bass duties off to a sub. Some of the better ones, the lower reaching woofer may have a more potent mid bass, which is often left seemingly dangling by a thread on some of the smaller stand mount or bookshelf speakers. With my own listening style and typical living space, it's larger displacement that ends up taking the fuss out of the low range, or, that transition from mid to sub bass at least.

I have dual subwoofers hooked up. The ideal sonic placement for them is not the least bit convenient. When I listen seriously, I have to move them for the best performance, with one out "in" the room. Basically, a coffee table subwoofer would be more ideal. That's kind of a lot to go through (not to mention the size of them) just for sub bass, never mind what EQ a system often wants to inflict on one's room in which to make subwoofers work.

In my situation, subwoofers end up kind of being the long way around for good bass performance in this not so open floor plan of mine. Kind of sucks to admit it now that I own 7 of them. :D
Now that I've run 2.1 or 2.2 in this case, imho, and heard a lot of speakers in the 3-6k range, most of them would benefit from a sub for music. The B&Ws I played 2.0 for nearly 20 yrs and I enjoyed them. While waiting for the Salks, I played them 2.1 and was like wow...subs have come a long way.

The speakers that I wouldn't bother to add a sub to...a handful....most are considerably more than the Salks+HSUx2. I think that's what makes the Phil3s such a value.

Admittedly, I'm a basshead, genres all over the map.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
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#20
Forgive me: I'm going to re-order your post a little

A good full range speaker should work good with or w/o a subwoofer. [...] I have dual subwoofers hooked up. The ideal sonic placement for them is not the least bit convenient.
So. There are several problems with using mains for LF; but the nigh-insurmountable one is the one you just mentioned. The ideal location for your LR or LCR speakers is not, generally speaking, the ideal placement for your LF subwoofer.

Some of the better ones, the lower reaching woofer may have a more potent mid bass, which is often left seemingly dangling by a thread on some of the smaller stand mount or bookshelf speakers.
This is really a separate issue. Speakers which cannot perform down to their crossover [a bit below it actually, how far depending on crossover slope] will not sound as good as they should. Speakers which can will.
 

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