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Separates vs. receiver confirmation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ashford Little, Jan 28, 2002.

  1. Ashford Little

    Ashford Little Stunt Coordinator

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    So I had a little time to kill during lunch time and stopped by a local HiFi Buys/Tweeter. I was not planning on buying anything, but just wanted to check and see if there was anything new I might have missed - fat chance given the level of knowledge.

    My dilemma is that I desperately want to upgrade my preamp. I also want Firewire so I wondered if maybe, just maybe a receiver could hold me over for a while.

    I listened to a Denon 3802 & 4802 vs. a Ref 30 and matching amp (200/ch). I listened to audio only since my main concern was lack of confidence in all reciever's rated wattage.

    I first listened to a nice jazz selection on the B&K and a pair of Vienna Accoustics speakers. Sounded good, very good. Then switched over to the 4802.

    Difference? Huge. Music was muddy and the power simply wasn't there on the receiver. I'm not trying to bash Denon as it could have just as easily been another make.

    The power difference was noticeable as well. While the receiver was rated at something like 125/ch vs. 200/ch some may say that of course I heard a difference, but remember the math and how much power it takes to make a substantial difference. And I also wasn't listening at extremely loud volumes either.

    I'm actually disappointed though since I was hoping I could live with a cheap interim replacement, but it looks like I will have to wait a little longer.
     
  2. JaleelK

    JaleelK Second Unit

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    So I had a little time to kill during lunch time and stopped by a local HiFi Buys/Tweeter. I was not planning on buying anything, but just wanted to check and see if there was anything new I might have missed - fat chance given the level of knowledge.

    My dilemma is that I desperately want to upgrade my preamp. I also want Firewire so I wondered if maybe, just maybe a receiver could hold me over for a while.

    I listened to a Denon 3802 & 4802 vs. a Ref 30 and matching amp (200/ch). I listened to audio only since my main concern was lack of confidence in all reciever's rated wattage.

    I first listened to a nice jazz selection on the B&K and a pair of Vienna Accoustics speakers. Sounded good, very good. Then switched over to the 4802.

    Difference? Huge. Music was muddy and the power simply wasn't there on the receiver. I'm not trying to bash Denon as it could have just as easily been another make.

    The power difference was noticeable as well. While the receiver was rated at something like 125/ch vs. 200/ch some may say that of course I heard a difference, but remember the math and how much power it takes to make a substantial difference. And I also wasn't listening at extremely loud volumes either.

    I'm actually disappointed though since I was hoping I could live with a cheap interim replacement, but it looks like I will have to wait a little longer.

    _____________________________________

    That comparison you conducted at a the Hi-Fi store was unreliable, it was sighted, uncontrolled, not level matched.

    If you were to conduct a level matched blind listening test, those huge difference you reported would diminish a lot. Once your bias is eliminated and you have to rely totally upon your ears and nothing else. Comparing audio equipment in stores is kind of unreliable anyway.

    There is very little sonic difference between high-end audio and so-called Mid-fi gear(speakers excluded), the high-end manufacturers, know this is true that is why many of them are struggling to survive.
     
  3. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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  4. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Ashford,

    I have compared my Denon 3300 reciver's amp to my Rotel 1095. And yes their is a difference. A Big difference. Even at low volumes. Music has a much more airy sound to it and the detail and clarity is a lot better. There's also a much better seperation between left and right speakers in stereo mode. Instruments and backgroud vocals that relly were in the back before are now more pronouned. So for ME, yes a seperate amp did make a big difference over my receiver's amps and I was a real sceptic.

    And before someone says it's the placebo effect. Tell me how my wife and brother can pick the better sounding one(and pick out what sounds better, even though they don't know the correct words to use) when they don't know which one their listening too when I switch the cables back and forth. I've done this with them over and over and they can tell too and they don't even care about sound. Now my wife even says the amp was worth it. I had to do this with her because she wanted me to prove to her that the amp made a difference.
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I agree with Jaleel.
    No way to do a proper comparison in an audio store.
    You can never ever know if each component is set up exactly the same as the other (unless you go through each menu and confirm the settings yourself). Levels, crossovers, any eq's, etc.
    And, Jaleel also had it right, in that even a 0.1 dB difference in the sound level between two components will cause the louder one to be perceived as the "better" performer. It's called "psychoacoustics."
    The best way to do comparison shopping is get the component into your system, with your room, with material that you are familiar with. If you like it, you keep it. If not, most reputable stereo/HT stores will let you bring it back.
    And, I also agree with his statement that there is a very small difference between mid fi components and high end stuff. (Mid fi is a mis-namer here, because I actually definately don't consider Denon receivers "mid fi" ! [​IMG] ) I believe that the higher level Denons (3802 and up), used as pre/pros, can give pre/pros costing upwards of 50% higher a run for their money.
    (No, I don't own a Denon receiver. Got a Sony pre/pro.)
    Speakers are a different story, typically *much* easier to hear differences between speakers. Just up to you which ones you prefer.
     
  6. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Jaleel:

     
  7. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Marc:
     
  8. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Marc,

    You're a lot wiser man than I am. I guess I'm just a love the abuse.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm also with you mark...this should be interesting.

    i only have one thing to say:

    i wish people would stop ragging on someone else's observations. if that person hears/sees something, then that should be it. end of discussion.

    end rant... :b
     
  10. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    Jaleel, is it your mission in life to ensure that nobody comes to the conclusion that changing amplifiers can make a difference in the sound of a system? Every time anyone posts that they heard said difference there you are to "correct" them. What gives? It's insulting (and ridiculous) that you think you are some kind of authority on everyone's ability to hear.
     
  11. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Chris,
    Your welcome in my house anytime. [​IMG]
     
  12. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Well Done chris c!
     
  13. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Mark,
    For me it's more like 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
    1st, Sound and power: If the speakers I'm driving are power hungry sound and power are both a 10, because the amount of power it takes to drive hungry speakers can effect the sound.
    2nd, Features: I'll sacrifice something like DPLII if unit "A" has better sound, but no DPLII and unit "B" has DPLII, but doesn't sound as good. Sound is king. For me connectivity, ease of use and upgradability all fall under the category of features.
    3rd, Looks: I only consider this one when I find two units with comparable sound and features. ONLY when everything else is equal do looks play into my final decision.
     
  14. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Wow.

    looks actually matter? Oh well, I'm doomed to this infernal hobby/love anyway. I went from stereo separates (well not separates - CD and an amplifier) to a receiver and I want to harm myself everyday for doing it. The kind of harm only banging your head into a nice cold chunk of steel repeatedly for hours on end will suffice.

    We're all strong in our convictions so audition each in your home and let your ears decide. I can't argue/offer any more without getting into a debate and wind up acting like an intelligent monkey surrounded by angry/dumb gorillas.
     
  15. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    I find the analogy with sports cars interesting.

    In fact, you could get the same level of performance and driving enjoyment in cars costing much less than a Ferrari or Lamborghini. I won't go into the details, but let's just say that some relatively exotic and somewhat modified Japanese cars, as well as some lesser known and less expensive cars, would give a run for their money to any Ferrari. Think beefed up Supras and Skylines, Acura NSX, Ultima GTR, Porsche 911 GT2, etc... However, you will sacrifice big time in terms of luxury and prestige, at least most of the time.

    Now, I do not have enough experience to be the definite judge on that matter, but it seems to me like electronic gear works in the same way. You can get super high-end equipment that might sound A BIT better and give you A BIT more enjoyment of the music/movies, but you could also get some "mid-fi" gear that would sound almost as good for a lot less dinero. You would again cut down on such things as lasting quality and prestige, however.

    Whether it works the same in both cases is not mine to decide, however I find it interesting that such a comparison was made. I'm two cents poorer.
     
  16. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] .....must resist....can not jump in.... must remain calm.....stay away from Jaleel's threads...is so....difficult... [​IMG]
     
  17. Ashford Little

    Ashford Little Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I had no intention of touching off this type of reaction; I was simply reporting on an observation. I am sorry that I didn't have time to clarify things earlier, but I have obtained some sort of funk bug that has had me down for the count since my first post.

    That said, I do feel that I must clarify a few statements and or misconceptions.

     
  18. JaleelK

    JaleelK Second Unit

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    Once again, according audio engineering, there is nothing about amp that should make one sound airy or add clarity, all well built amps generally sound the same. Even times when you notice some differences in DBT they are so very subtle it not even worth mentioning.



    And before someone says it's the placebo effect. Tell me how my wife and brother can pick the better sounding one(and pick out what sounds better, even though they don't know the correct words to use) when they don't know which one their listening too when I switch the cables back and forth. I've done this with them over and over and they can tell too and they don't even care about sound. Now my wife even says the amp was worth it. I had to do this with her because she wanted me to prove to her that the amp made a difference.>>>>>>>





    That is not the proper way to conduct a blind level match test. I conducted my own test of two amps, a Bryston and a Parasound using the ABX comparator downloaded from the PCABX website and I couldn't tell which amp was which.
     
  19. JaleelK

    JaleelK Second Unit

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  20. JaleelK

    JaleelK Second Unit

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