System Check Before I Pull The Trigger...

Aaron Kwekel

Aaron Kwekel

Audioholic Intern
Hard to source :confused: At A4L, they don't ship receivers outside of the USA and with the borders being what they are, I can't get to my drop point. There's a Yamaha RX-V6A for $780 Canadian, or a Denon AVR-S750H for $700. Worth it vs. the $500 Onkyo?




Thanks. I'm trying to audition multiple systems. There's not a lot of opportunity to do so; all the big-box stores seem to be focusing on demoing sound bars almost exclusively. Would you have any suggestions for alternatives around that price point?
Have you looked into the Onkyo TX-NR696?
 
Reclaimist

Reclaimist

Enthusiast
Speakers are total personal preference get what sounds good to you, its your budget and satisfies the WAF. Audition, audition audition. There were some good reviews for Energy speakers some year ago. They are made in Canada.
Thanks for the advice. I agree; a good strategy would be to go out and thoroughly listen to a ton of equipment, and try to work out the best personal fit. It would be an enjoyable use of time, especially thanks to all this recent research into the world of home audio which got me keener. But for now, with current circumstances (covid = stores not demoing; high-end stuff hard to track down; time constraints; showroom factors like acoustics and setup used; and more), I'm going to take a shortcut and benefit from others' experience and just get something experts agree is really nice at this price-point. I'm quite sure it'll be among the best things I've ever heard, and I'll be satisfied.

It's weird I didn't see much in the way of Energy everywhere I've looked. I'm getting the sense they've faded maybe?

Have you looked into the Onkyo TX-NR696?
From the outset, that model seems like it's got good stats for the price, but I think I'll be better off going with the Denon. It seems like it'll yield a higher quality and more reliable result, thanks to its build quality (as far as I can tell). Given how far I'm into it now, I don't want to wonder if my speaker investment is limited by something like a less-worthy DAC or power supply. But that looks like a good pick in that budget range.
 
Reclaimist

Reclaimist

Enthusiast
Nice receiver. Now you need speakers worthy.

View attachment 43350
View attachment 43351
The Paradigm choice I would second. As I own the 800F they are great sounding speakers. Also SVS will audition their speakers for 45 days. If not happy with them they will accept returns. But to get this you need to order direct from them.
After reading comments here and everywhere, I got set on going with the 800F/600C/PB-2000 setup. I asked for quotes from around a dozen places and and am pleased to have been offered 25% off the Paradigms (from $3750 to $2810) from one place, and $60 off the PB-2000 (down from $1259) from another place. That's before tax. Always worth it to ask. Barring new info, I'll probably order up tomorrow. Edit: Got the PB-2000 for $1143 + tax, which makes $1200 even, no ship charge.

Apparently, there are only 3 SVS dealers in Canada, and you can't order direct from SVS unless there aren't dealers in that country.

The X3700H that I ordered for $1650, down from $1900 (including tax), is going to be at least a couple weeks thanks to depleted stock. Big bummer.

I came across a new X3500H listed for $1350 that I could probably get today for $1050ish (same store as the Paradigms). Would it be worth saving $500-600 to get 2018's model? If it was the 3600, I'd probably do it since I think the big leap was from 35 to 36, and not so much from 36 to 37. Current-year models (x700 series) also seem to have a potential HDMI 2.1 frame-rate/up-scaling issue across brands, thanks to underdeveloped Panasonic chips, is that right? I heard mumbles there might be a warranty hardware fix down the line for Denon. (Not an issue for older models, which don't have 8k60/4k120.) Not a major deal for me since my projector doesn't go that high, but I could imagine going for a 4k/8k projector if they're cheap in a few years.

There's also a new X4500H for $2000 I could probably get for the same price as the X3700H I ordered. I'm thinking if those options are worth trading for.

Can anyone confirm the 600C comes with the stand? I don't want to hear "no, and that's why we're giving you a discount" from the shop, haha.

I grabbed 350ft oxygen-free 12AWG PrimeCables wire, a dozen Sewell Silverback terminations, 50ft PrimeCables RG59U (75ohm) RCA cable and a monaural 12V trigger wire for the sub, and some HDMI 2.0 (couldn't find big lengths of 2.1). That should do eh?
 
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Reclaimist

Reclaimist

Enthusiast
:confused: I guess it was wishful thinking. Now I gotta figure out what those are made of, and if I could make one.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
WOW what an Awesome System you put together. Congratulations!!!

Now let's talk Headphones :)
 
Reclaimist

Reclaimist

Enthusiast
WOW what an Awesome System you put together. Congratulations!!!

Now let's talk Headphones :)
Thanks for your help! You got me on the right track.

Haha here we go again. I have Sennheiser Momentum M2 AEBTs for around the house, and Momentum IEMs for work and exercise. They are not as good quality as some wired headphones I've tried. They have aptX HD, but it's poorly supported by devices in my experience. Using a Bluetooth booster I wired up, I can stream from the back garden all the way to the front yard. Good enough as far as convenience goes, and basic sound protection from tools. I haven't looked too hard into ways Bluetooth has improved since 3-4 years ago. I also haven't looked into the DAC/wired options yet, for desk use. That's a hole 'nother rabbithole. It would be cool to hear what you guys are using.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Looks like $2351 shipped.
Ultra Towers would be $2939 shipped. I added them above.
My choice would have been the SVS Ultra, but if you have already ordered the Paradigm I hope they are good too, but being made in Canada I hope you negotiated hard (like getting at least 30% off list price).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I went and pulled the trigger on an X3700H. I was able to bargain the price down from $1900 to $1650 (tax included), which made it more competitive with the X2700H at $1200. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a lead-time so I'm going to have to wait for it. But at least that's one piece solved, and it should be solved for good. It's triple what I originally thought I'd be spending last week, but now that I understand things a bit better, I feel more comfortable in that price range knowing my money's going to a good place. I hope it lasts a long time. I might put some noctua fans on it if I think it's running hot.

I auditioned some KEFs today. I tried the Q950s ($1499 not inc tax), as well as the R7s ($5399 not inc tax). There's a difference between the models, but not one that warrants the price difference IMO.

I found the Q950s to be a bit clearer than the Klipsch R-820Fs ($838 inc tax), which I also heard today. The Klipsch sounded good for the price, but I think I can do a bit better so I'm reading up on the above models. I'm also looking at subs.
Hard to believe the price of those Denon, Marantz AVR prices have gone up so much since Covid but since you can't wait there isn't anything you can do. $1650 tax in seems good, beating Amazon and Bestbuy's, as long as it is from an authorized dealer. It is one of the best measured AVR, regardless of price, so congrats for a good decision.

By the way, have you figured out your power requirements yet, based on your speaker's sensitivity, seating distance and your desired spl. That should have been the first step but it is still good to figure it out even now.
 
Reclaimist

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Enthusiast
So I was pretty shrewd this week and ended up playing some stores against each other. My total price for the 2x 800F and 600C was CA$3000 (including tax), down from $4200.

In addition to that, I said although I had already ordered the receiver at a good price, I'd be willing to cancel it if they could make a package deal that could beat the deal the other guy gave me. He asked how much, I said $1450 (which was the before-tax price, actually it was $1465). He came back with a quote for $1400 plus tax. I said no no no, that would be more than $1465 after tax; if you make it $1400 tax included, you have yourself a deal and I'll go cancel the other guy. He said sorry for making the assumption, that is truly a rock-bottom deal, I don't know how you got that but let me see what I can do. He came back to me with $1400, tax included. :D He got me to promise that when I go cancel the other guy, I don't mention where I shopped, because he doesn't want to make any enemies.

So I got the 2x 800Fs, 600C, and X3700H for CA$4400 including tax. Retail would've been $6100. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy with that, even if I do have to wait a bit for the Denon to ship in.

I'm currently building a simple centre channel stand to fit my area out of some nice looking wood, as well as an L-shaped corner shelf for the receiver, my turntable, and records. There'll be an extension for CDs and tapes that makes use of the box window, and I'll probably get some nice potted plants there too to complete the look. I've got all my wiring planned out and believe I can hide almost all of it cleanly. Everything's going really well.
 
Reclaimist

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By the way, have you figured out your power requirements yet, based on your speaker's sensitivity, seating distance and your desired spl. That should have been the first step but it is still good to figure it out even now.
I used the link lovinthehd gave me (peak SPL calculator) and ended up with this (attached image). 94 dB SPL was taken from the chart on Paradigm's 600C page (toward the middle). The towers have 92 dB SPL. Does that mean my peak output will be around 112 dB SPL? ...I guess that's pretty damn loud.
 

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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I generally use the away from walls mode but yes 112 dB is quite loud. THX reference peaks required from the speakers would be 105dB (85 dB average with allowance for 20dB peaks). Using 92 dB no walls I still get 105dB for your L/R speakers. Those are relatively sensitive speakers and makes your amp go further than with less sensitive speakers (keep in mind it takes a doubling of power to gain 3dB spl). After you calibrated the 3700 what volume levels are you listening at?
 
Reclaimist

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Enthusiast
I generally use the away from walls mode but yes 112 dB is quite loud. THX reference peaks required from the speakers would be 105dB (85 dB average with allowance for 20dB peaks). Using 92 dB no walls I still get 105dB for your L/R speakers. Those are relatively sensitive speakers and makes your amp go further than with less sensitive speakers (keep in mind it takes a doubling of power to gain 3dB spl). After you calibrated the 3700 what volume levels are you listening at?
Thanks for the helpful information! The Denon is a couple weeks out on backorder (huge shortage around the Lower Mainland), so I'm only able to do the prep for now.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for the helpful information! The Denon is a couple weeks out on backorder (huge shortage around the Lower Mainland), so I'm only able to do the prep for now.
In addition to HD's comments, I would add the following:

- the 800F's sensitivity is more like 89 dB/2.83V/1m
- THX's ref level is based on per speaker

So while your AVR should be fine but try not to get too close to ref level, I would say, assuming check the level settings after auto set up and if they are all within 1 dB then you should not crank the volume pass -10. Also, I would set XO to 90 Hz based on the impedance/phase angle graphs plotted by Shady.

And it goes without saying that you should put a fan on top of the unit, or two so you can set them to the lowest speed to minimize noise.
 

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