I noticed an improvement, wonder what you guys think.

J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Hello again. I was trying to improve the sound I was getting while I was streaming, and I achieved it with a different setup. I had my Roku streaming Deezer to my Onkyo TX-RZ820, 2 Focal Chorus 726's as the main towers. When I listened to music, it was in the AV receiver's "2 channel stereo mode". The sound was, how should I say, "meh". I previously had 2 Wharfedale Diamond 225 bookshelves, and the Focal towers were no improvement. (Even though they were 3 times the price of the Wharfedale's.) I wrote you guys asking about the streamer, you responded, and I realized the streamer was not the issue. I kept the same Deezer subscription without paying extra for Deezer Hi-Fi. I tried something with my setup, and it worked, sort of. I had a Yamaha A-S801 lying around doing nothing, so I decided to connect it the Onkyo as a power amp for the 2 front channels. I connected two $10.00 RCA cables from the Onkyo's front channel pre-outs into the Yamaha's LINE IN input. I turned on both the Onkyo and the Yamaha at the same time and fiddled with both volume knobs for a while. I now have the Yamaha working as the power amp for the Onkyo AV receiver. There has been a noticeable improvement. Not a huge difference, but a noticeable one none the less. I do not understand. The Onkyo's 2 channel power rating is higher than that of the Yamaha, (on paper). But we all know how the AV receiver industry's advertised power ratings are fool of hooey. The current setup sounds a bit better. A bit more separation, more vocal clarity, more detail, slightly bigger soundstage. Bass is a touch clearer. The Focals are still a bit harsh in the high end though. Anyways, that was my update. I wonder what you guys think of it.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Hello again. I was trying to improve the sound I was getting while I was streaming, and I achieved it with a different setup. I had my Roku streaming Deezer to my Onkyo TX-RZ820, 2 Focal Chorus 726's as the main towers. When I listened to music, it was in the AV receiver's "2 channel stereo mode". The sound was, how should I say, "meh". I previously had 2 Wharfedale Diamond 225 bookshelves, and the Focal towers were no improvement. (Even though they were 3 times the price of the Wharfedale's.) I wrote you guys asking about the streamer, you responded, and I realized the streamer was not the issue. I kept the same Deezer subscription without paying extra for Deezer Hi-Fi. I tried something with my setup, and it worked, sort of. I had a Yamaha A-S801 lying around doing nothing, so I decided to connect it the Onkyo as a power amp for the 2 front channels. I connected two $10.00 RCA cables from the Onkyo's front channel pre-outs into the Yamaha's LINE IN input. I turned on both the Onkyo and the Yamaha at the same time and fiddled with both volume knobs for a while. I now have the Yamaha working as the power amp for the Onkyo AV receiver. There has been a noticeable improvement. Not a huge difference, but a noticeable one none the less. I do not understand. The Onkyo's 2 channel power rating is higher than that of the Yamaha, (on paper). But we all know how the AV receiver industry's advertised power ratings are fool of hooey. The current setup sounds a bit better. A bit more separation, more vocal clarity, more detail, slightly bigger soundstage. Bass is a touch clearer. The Focals are still a bit harsh in the high end though. Anyways, that was my update. I wonder what you guys think of it.
Your perception of better performance is all that really matters. Your amplification routing is not uncommon. I have routing to amplification which supports a multi-channel digital preamp, as well as an analog multi-channel preamp.
 
T

Trebdp83

Junior Audioholic
Check the "Music Optimizer" setting on the Onkyo. Turn it off. Compare the sound. I was getting ugly sound out of my Onkyo on some MP3 downloads and streams. It sounded a bit distorted even at low volume. Try the Onkyo Deezer app and compare it to the sound from the Roku app. Switch to "DIRECT" from "STEREO" mode to see how you like it with only the Yamaha handling tone adjustments. Have fun!
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I doubt it had anything to do with amplification so much as different dsp settings between the 2 avrs. You could probably dial one in to sound very close the other and vice versa with some peq or tone controls.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Sounds like a lot of time spent listening to gear tweaking rather than music. If it floats your boat, great.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Your perception of better performance is all that really matters. Your amplification routing is not uncommon. I have routing to amplification which supports a multi-channel digital preamp, as well as an analog multi-channel preamp.
I'd like to hear more detail about your set-up.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Check the "Music Optimizer" setting on the Onkyo. Turn it off. Compare the sound. I was getting ugly sound out of my Onkyo on some MP3 downloads and streams. It sounded a bit distorted even at low volume. Try the Onkyo Deezer app and compare it to the sound from the Roku app. Switch to "DIRECT" from "STEREO" mode to see how you like it with only the Yamaha handling tone adjustments. Have fun!
I will give it whirl, and see what it sounds like. Thanks.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Check the "Music Optimizer" setting on the Onkyo. Turn it off. Compare the sound. I was getting ugly sound out of my Onkyo on some MP3 downloads and streams. It sounded a bit distorted even at low volume. Try the Onkyo Deezer app and compare it to the sound from the Roku app. Switch to "DIRECT" from "STEREO" mode to see how you like it with only the Yamaha handling tone adjustments. Have fun!
Sorry. I will give it "a" whirl.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Sounds like a lot of time spent listening to gear tweaking rather than music. If it floats your boat, great.
You are right. Gear tweaking indeed. Gear tweaking is how you can achieve better sound. I think I have achieved a slightly better result with this new setup.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
I doubt it had anything to do with amplification so much as different dsp settings between the 2 avrs. You could probably dial one in to sound very close the other and vice versa with some peq or tone controls.
You could be right.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Check the "Music Optimizer" setting on the Onkyo. Turn it off. Compare the sound. I was getting ugly sound out of my Onkyo on some MP3 downloads and streams. It sounded a bit distorted even at low volume. Try the Onkyo Deezer app and compare it to the sound from the Roku app. Switch to "DIRECT" from "STEREO" mode to see how you like it with only the Yamaha handling tone adjustments. Have fun!
Any time I press the "Music Optimizer" botton, the unit interface screen reads: "Unavailable". I also tried the "Direct" mode. I did not like it that much because there is no subwoofer signal outputted when this mode is enabled. I thank you for the suggestion. Appreciated.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
There has been a noticeable improvement. Not a huge difference, but a noticeable one none the less. I do not understand. The Onkyo's 2 channel power rating is higher than that of the Yamaha, (on paper).
If you are comparing 2 channel power rating, I have no doubt the Onkyo has higher power output rating but the difference would make no difference, likely less than 0.1 dB.


But we all know how the AV receiver industry's advertised power ratings are fool of hooey. The current setup sounds a bit better. A bit more separation, more vocal clarity, more detail, slightly bigger soundstage. Bass is a touch clearer. The Focals are still a bit harsh in the high end though. Anyways, that was my update. I wonder what you guys think of it.
I think if the difference you heard was real, and you did a properly set up comparison then you are capable of telling the slight difference between the two power amps, like 0.05 vs 0.02 % kind of difference.

Or, your comparison session was not done in a way that it could be a reliable way of comparing noticeable but minor audible differences.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
You are right. Gear tweaking indeed. Gear tweaking is how you can achieve better sound. I think I have achieved a slightly better result with this new setup.
Gear tweaking is probably the least effective way of achieving better sound. Maybe EQ. More likely you could do better with changing speaker positioning, your seat, room treatments, that sort of thing. Or changing speakers altogether. How did you integrate the level of the different amp with the rest of the speakers?
 
T

Trebdp83

Junior Audioholic
Does the Roku have any sound enhancement features in it? I'm not familiar with them. You may be having issues with two sets of tone controls as has been mentioned. If you care to tweak a bit more, connect the analog cables to the CD input on the Yamaha and then press the "CD INPUT DIRECT" button. This will defeat any sound processing from the Yamaha and leave that to just the Onkyo. Adjust the tone controls on the Onkyo. Are you using any EQ presets on the Onkyo? Just tryin' to help find the source of the harshness.
 
Last edited:
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Gear tweaking is probably the least effective way of achieving better sound. Maybe EQ. More likely you could do better with changing speaker positioning, your seat, room treatments, that sort of thing. Or changing speakers altogether. How did you integrate the level of the different amp with the rest of the speakers?
Can you explain "the level of the different amp with the rest of the speakers?". I did not quite understand the question.
 
J

JCanada

Junior Audioholic
Does the Roku have any sound enhancement features in it? I'm not familiar with them. You may be having issues with two sets of tone controls as has been mentioned. If you care to tweak a bit more, connect the analog cables to the CD input on the Yamaha and then press the "CD INPUT DIRECT" button. This will defeat any sound processing from the Yamaha and leave that to just the Onkyo. Adjust the tone controls on the Onkyo. Are you using any EQ presets on the Onkyo? Just tryin' to help find the source of the harshness.
I do not know of any sound enhancement features on the ROKU, but there are different levels of digital audio formats you can stream from within the DEEZER App on ROKU. I am currently streaming DEEZER Premium, and there is a higher level, DEEZER Hi-Fi, that is double the price. DEEZER Hi-Fi is supposedly higher sampling, hight bit rate etc. I have not tried it out yet. The Onkyo has a pretty extensive EQ section for tweaking and personalizing the sound. I have not done any adjustments in that section yet. Maybe I should, and try to get the Focals to sound a bit smoother in the high end.
The further I progress into my audiophile journey, I am quickly learning that the quality of the initial recording plays a HUGE role. I have listened to different versions of the exact same song that vary in sound quality. I believe that when it comes to recordings and reproduction, the saying "Garbage in is garbage out" rings very true.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Can you explain "the level of the different amp with the rest of the speakers?". I did not quite understand the question.
Did you re-run AccuEQ? Or use an spl meter to level match the fronts with the other speakers/sub?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I do not know of any sound enhancement features on the ROKU, but there are different levels of digital audio formats you can stream from within the DEEZER App on ROKU. I am currently streaming DEEZER Premium, and there is a higher level, DEEZER Hi-Fi, that is double the price. DEEZER Hi-Fi is supposedly higher sampling, hight bit rate etc. I have not tried it out yet. The Onkyo has a pretty extensive EQ section for tweaking and personalizing the sound. I have not done any adjustments in that section yet. Maybe I should, and try to get the Focals to sound a bit smoother in the high end.
The further I progress into my audiophile journey, I am quickly learning that the quality of the initial recording plays a HUGE role. I have listened to different versions of the exact same song that vary in sound quality. I believe that when it comes to recordings and reproduction, the saying "Garbage in is garbage out" rings very true.
Indeed a good quality recording will shine thru on multiple types of media/bitrate. The provenance for a recording can be hard to ascertain too, so hard to know if you are indeed listening to the same mix/master.
 

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