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Looking for a "warm" sounding receiver


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89 replies to this topic

#1 of 90 OFFLINE   Patrick Ford

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Posted August 05 2003 - 12:35 AM

Hi, guys! Been reading this forum for a few days as I am starting to get interested in HT. I have a question about matching the "sound" of a receiver to a set of 5.1 speakers. I am considering the Definitive Technology ProCinema 60 speaker package (9'x12'room with carpet and drywall) and am wondering which brand of receiver would sound better with this. Cost target for the receiver would be < $500. I want a "warmer" sound for music (mostly CD's but SACD's/ DVD-Audio discs in the future). I will also be watching movies on DVD.

Thanks for the help!Posted Image

#2 of 90 OFFLINE   RobWil

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Posted August 05 2003 - 04:07 AM

Awright Chu....I know you're out there......be a good boy, OK? Posted Image
that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#3 of 90 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted August 05 2003 - 04:08 AM

You're going to get replies along the lines of: Harman Kardon/Marantz/NAD are "warm" while Onkyo/Sony/Yamaha are "bright" while Denon/Pioneer are "neutral." I don't buy into these broad categorizations, as I've found that the amplification is way down the list of factors that influence the resultant "sound."

Instead, you should look at pieces in your price range from the perspective of features and connectivity, and then audition one or two of them in your room, with your speakers (if possible).

The good news is that there are not orders of magnitude of difference among the AVRs available near the $500 mark.


#4 of 90 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 05 2003 - 04:10 AM

This is a volatile topic, Patrick. But if the receiver(s) you have in mind provides adequate power and headroom for those speakers as well as the feature set and decoding circuitry you require then that's all. There is no "receiver sound"; transducers (speakers, phono cartridges) make the sound.

#5 of 90 OFFLINE   Patrick Ford

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Posted August 05 2003 - 05:33 AM

Okay, thanks for the clarification. I'll go do some more reading in the "HT Basics Area" to get more up to speed on what features I really think I need. Posted Image

#6 of 90 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 05 2003 - 02:11 PM

Sounds like a good plan!!

#7 of 90 OFFLINE   RobWil

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Posted August 05 2003 - 05:01 PM

Posted Image Posted Image
that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#8 of 90 OFFLINE   Michael R Price

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Posted August 06 2003 - 12:02 AM

I'm not so good at reading smileys, Rob. What is it?

#9 of 90 OFFLINE   RobWil

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Posted August 06 2003 - 04:17 AM

That's a jaw dropping open in utter shock at Chu's exemplary self restraint Posted Image
that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#10 of 90 OFFLINE   Michael R Price

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Posted August 06 2003 - 05:09 AM

Yeah, I thought it was something to that effect. Posted Image

#11 of 90 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 06 2003 - 05:20 AM

Chu has always exhibited self-restraint! (I think I have an idea how strong his feelings truly get at times. Posted Image)

#12 of 90 OFFLINE   Patrick Ford

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Posted August 06 2003 - 05:55 AM

Okay, guys; clue a newbie in on the joke. What is Chu exercising restraint about? Should I be - :b ?

#13 of 90 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 06 2003 - 07:32 AM

No, Patrick, you're new to the neighborhood. Chu, shall we say, is often of a different opinion from those who are fond of discussing amplifier "sound." Also, received your e-mail, though I was confused by the name on the e-mail address! Forgive my calling you "Debbie"! Posted Image

#14 of 90 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted August 06 2003 - 08:35 AM

Patrick:

There's a lobby around here, of which I am a card-carrying member, that believes that amplifiers have very little, if anything, to do with the "sound" of your system.

I rank the factors that effect "sound" this way: (1) your central nervous system/your biases, (2) your room/its treatments, (3) your speakers... Large gap... (4) source, (5) processing... Very large gap... (6) phase of the moon. I don't list amplifiers, cables, wires or various other things in my hierarchy; a distant (7) at best.

Welcome to HTF.


#15 of 90 OFFLINE   kevitra

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Posted August 06 2003 - 09:16 AM

Source is 4th? Are you referring to SACD (or vinyl) vs CD, or CD Player #1 vs CD player #2?

#16 of 90 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 06 2003 - 09:23 AM

You should be figuring out what features are important to you and deciding how to prioritize them to develop a short list of receivers for consideration. For example, everyone weights the capabilities of a receiver differently. Factors that may or may not be important to you include, but are certainly not limited to...
power (can the receiver drive my speakers to the volumes I desire in my listening space...if you've got 4 ohm speakers search out receivers that specifically state continuous power at 4 ohms)
sufficient # of inputs for what you plan on hooking up...TV, XBox, Playstation, etc.
warranty
is service convenient for you...does the store have a loaner policy...maybe Sony or whomever has a local service place
need a phono input for a turntable?
does the unit have pre-outs for installing an external amp?
see if any reviews have been done on the unit or others similar to it. lower end receivers are sometimes a bit optimistic on power.
like the way it looks?
what about the remote...piece of turd or something you can live with?
will it decode the formats you're interested in?
have any users found particular problems with the unit?
what about refurb units? heavy discounts but maybe only a 30-90 warranty?
what about last years model? good discounts?
crossover frequencies enough for tailoring things to your sub?
what about self-calibration features where the unit does a quasi-optimisation to your room? some users find this very indispensible and desireable.
labor day's coming...sales are too. it's a tough economy and you might find some very attractive deals.
what about buying online? good deals but are you prepared to deal with possible returns?

warm, cold, bright, forward...that's your speakers and your room but if you don't want to buy into that, why don't you buy into the above factors to consider first. then if it comes down to two receivers, buy the 'warm' one.

#17 of 90 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted August 06 2003 - 09:33 AM

Cmon Angelo you know better than putting amplifiers behind phases of the moon. I think amplifiers affect sound more than the moon's phases.Posted Image

Well I am from the middle camp. I think both camps i.e, the one that thinks amp A has a more liquid midrange than amp B and the other that think amps dont have a sound of their own are absolutely wrong. I think amps and other passive components do have a sound of their own otherwise how would a Polypropylene output cap sound different from a Paper in Oil output cap (to my ears that is). So when ever someone makes general statements like this (especially the extremists) be careful to take their opinions with a load of Sodium Chloride and listen for yourself before making a decision. Because its your ears that have to live with the sound. So let your ears be the final judge and don't base your purchases on any opinion, review or scientific experiment by some one else who doesn't have your ears. Only trust people who have your ears and that would be you and only you.

Best of luck.
The truth is not out there but within you.

#18 of 90 OFFLINE   DanaA

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Posted August 06 2003 - 09:48 AM

Because its your ears that have to live with the sound. So let your ears be the final judge and don't base your purchases on any opinion, review or scientific experiment by some one else who doesn't have your ears. Only trust people who have your ears and that would be you and only you.


Wise words to live by.

As Chu says, evaluate your needs and wants. How user friendly the receiver is, the price, the reliability, the way the company treats you if you have a problem also are big factors. Really determine how much power you're going to need given the room size, your listening preferences, etc. Personally, I always want excess power. Underestimating the power you'll need is one of the biggest potential pitfalls of choosing a receiver. Don't get enough and you'll be frustrated and even potentially damage your equipment. An important thing to note here is that you cannot trust the power ratings printed on the box. These can be very misleading.

After you've done the above, then see if one of the qualitying receivers sounds better to you. Different receivers do have different sonic footprints. Whether this is due to their chips, electronics, the layout in the receiver, or the power supply, I don't know, but choose one that sounds "right" to you.

Room accoustics, speakers, and source are main sonic concerns, imo, when setting up a system.

#19 of 90 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted August 06 2003 - 10:11 AM

Of course taking the contrary view would be considered non-extremist? Posted Image

Capacitor sound isn't so much capacitor sound I think as it has to do with various performance characteristics of capacitors. Whether they're lossy, have non-linear characteristics that haven't been compensated for given where they've been placed, and other well-known electrical characteristics apart from simply capacitance are matters for consideration. Considerations that are 'perhaps' best left to those who know how to design circuits.

In any event, the poster has his work cut out for him and with this weather, everything sounds warm.

#20 of 90 OFFLINE   CurtisC

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Posted August 06 2003 - 10:18 AM

I hate to be the one what ask but. Is everyone saying that the pre/pro section of an avr has no effect on the final signal headed for your speakers?I have owned many avr's all driven by the same ext amps,they sounded way different to me.I am not disputing ss amps sound very similar but not the pre/pro section of an avr.If you think an Onkyo and a Denon sound the same,well I guess I've said enough.