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I always thought it was hogwash receivers had a specific sound.. boy was I wrong.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JeremyR, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. JeremyR

    JeremyR Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that the idea that one would sound differently than another was kind of silly. I chose to upgrade from my 6-year old Kenwood VR-507 5.1 A/V receiver however when I got my new HD-A2, and decided if I was going to upgrade, I was going to buy something that was seemingly a substantial step up. So I went with an Onkyo TX-SR805. A behemoth at 51 lbs and 130 watts of THXUltra2 certified power per channel, compared to my lightweight 100-WPC (HAHAHAHA) 18.5 pound Kenwood, I expected more clean power, but I didn't expect much difference in the tonal quality that my speakers were reproducing from similar sources.

    Boy was I wrong.

    In truth, it's going to take some adjustment for me. My speakers have taken on an almost completely different character, a much more toned down, more natural sound. Having grown accustomed to an almost piercing level of treble at even moderate volumes, I never realized how UN-natural my old Kenwood sounded pumping power to my Paradigms. Comparing soundtracks that I am used to with my old Kenwood, for example the battle scene in Pearl Harbor in DTS, I am shocked at the spaciousness and guts that the Onkyo adds at similar volume levels that wouldn't have even stressed the Kenwoods amps. I no longer struggle to hear dialogue at normal volume levels, I no longer have to crank it up to make it "loud". I know some of that is attributed to the amps being much more powerful, but I don't think that could be all of it.
     
  2. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Well-Known Member

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    When I work at Circuit City selling A/V equipment, people always look at me as if I'm nuts when I say that there is a difference in receivers based on more than features. Most assume that WPC is the only measure that matters.
     
  3. Seth=L

    Seth=L Well-Known Member

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    Wattage ratings on receivers doesn't mean squat anymore. The Onkyo should sound better, it has balls. I have personally owned that Kenwood, and it has no balls. I slight variance in impedance sends it into a fit (sounding like crap), but that is Kenwood. I would say any well designed current receiver will sound tonally the same, but the Kenwood is an rotten apple and the Onkyo is a tasty ripe orange.[​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    I owned a Kenwood intergrated stereo amp back in the late 80's that had balls but I would not own a Kenwood anymore. I would not be suprised that the Onkyo would be so much better. But still not a fan of the WRAT amplifiers! I used to own Onkyo Integra in the 90's and it had IMHO better sound than what Onkyo is kicking out today.

    I agree that sometimes people focus to much on WPC. They also exspect to pay as little as possilbe and get godzilla at the same time. I have allways been a firm believer that all amps and receivers do not sound alike. That is why I spend as much time listening to a amp or receiver before spending money on it and bringing it home. [​IMG] I have owned a number of brands of the years and what was top notch one year could end up not being as good many years later. A good exapmple of that is Fisher, they went from being great in the 70's to total junk in the 80's and they are basically non exsistant today.
     
  5. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    I think going from an old Kenwood to almost anything new should bring about a noticable difference. And while I do feel there is a difference from brand to brand, it's harder to notice (but still worth thinking about), especially at the same price point. Now anything from Rotel should certainly sound better than anything from Insignia.
     
  6. Seth=L

    Seth=L Well-Known Member

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    OMG, the coincidence![​IMG]

    The new Insignia receivers are made by Sherwood! And guess who used to manufacture most of Rotel receivers, SHERWOOD! Sherwood has been making stuff for everyone for a long time, but it is worth noting that Sherwood manufactured the Rotel receivers to Rotel's specifications, not their own. Rotel receivers have much better drive capability, so it stands to reason they would sound better unless they where both paired with the most efficient even loaded 8 ohm speakers.[​IMG]
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    I would think (or at least hope) the Rotel would sound better even if both were paired with the most efficient even loaded 8 ohm speakers.
     
  8. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    There is also the mater of Rotel using higher quality parts and designs that would make it sound better than the Sherwood. I would not put those two brands in the same catagory, more like lemons and oranges. [​IMG]
     
  9. Seth=L

    Seth=L Well-Known Member

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    No, they should sound the same. Doing a level matched DBT can prove this.
     

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