$2,000 reciever to match Athenas

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Allen Marshall, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I still need some simplicity for the next few years which is why i've decided to upgrade my reciever to another reciever instead of a pre amp and an amp. I have a Yamaha HTR-5640 (75x6) hooked up to Athenas and i couldn't be more unsatisfied [​IMG]

    I need help in figuring out what recievers would sound good on Athenas cause they're bright, and yamaha is bright, and it's just one bright and sunshiney day.

    I want to spend about $2,000 on the reciever and would rather it be 6.1 or 7.1 incase i ever decide to put a rear center in the center of the back of the room standing out like a sorethumb right infront of the entrance way.

    I definetly want more watts (and dont think i havent seen 75 watt recievers that cost over $2,000!!!!!) despite my 91-93db sensitivity range of the speakers, i run my reciever hot alot....OK almost everytime.

    A little bit over $2,000 is good to. I was hoping for something CLOSE to twice the watts i have like 120 or more cause my speakers just dont go loud enough without the reciever getting super super hot followed by it shutting down.

    I dont plan on getting it until December or January so if any good recievers are supposed to come out during that time dont be shy.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    There is a rumor of the 4805 going around on AVS and this was from Denonjeff the head dude at Denon. If it is a beefed up 3805, I'm in.

    Btw,
    A great $2,000 receiver based on these thought:
    Will not fix the issue you have. The Athenas would be the issue. I too find them pretty bright. You could probably invest in some room treatments but I feel they are a waste on the Athenas. You'd be better served selling the Athenas and going shopping for some new speakers which are not bright.

    It is possible that the receiver is being driven into clipping and causing the brightness and only if you borrowed a good external amp would you really know. Perhaps you should talk to a dealer and see if he will let you take one home to try. If he does, then be prepared to drop some change with him. If you do like it but don't drop the money with them he might get a little irritated.

    OTOH, Outlaw has a nice no questions asked return policy and they produce amps with tons of power. That is a fairly risk free way to see. If the brightness doesn't go away, its the speakers I'm sorry to say.
     
  3. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I like the speakers and for now my ears are to inexperienced to hear anything but a little difference between $600 a pair speakers and $5,000 a pair speakers and for me the price difference is to large for the small sound difference. Even $1,000-$2,000 a pair speakers and whichever center doesnt add up for me. I've come to realize that for now im fine with my speakers, they keep up just fine and have no reasonable limitations like my old speakers did. I know the reciever is playing a big part in making a sound im no to fond of because i've hooked my speakers up to a kenwood we have and they sounded much much better....unfortunetly that reciever has a major screwlose thats why i dont use it.

    My budget is expendable up to $2,500. I've asked myself some questions, i could get an Outlaw 950/755 combo since i only have 5 speakers current anyway, but eventually will go to 6.1 or 7.1 and when i do then i could get a 2 channel amp for the fronts and keep the other amp for the other 5 channels. But i'd want a pre amp that has Pro Logic IIx or THX Ultra2 so i dont have upgrade later on. And im not a very big fan of the 950 pre amp and i dont know of any good pre amps that would fit my price range if i got Outlaw's 200x5 amp (love the 200 watt idea). Or if anyone can suggest an amp that puts 200x5(or more) into 8 ohms that cost cheaper then the Outlaw's does. The outlaw amp is $1,300 that leaves me like $1,000 left, what nice pre amps could i get for that.

    I want more watts too, that's why i dont want to get a really nice pre amp and then buy an expensive weak amp (comparing expensive 100 watt amps to inexpensive 100 watt recievers). I'd settle for an amp that does as low as 120 watts if i could get a nice pre amp with it in my budget range.

    I dont know enough pre amps and amps to make a decision on my own and the one's i do know im not well versed on there MSRP.
     
  4. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    If you grabbed a Yamaha HTR5690 or RXV1400 (same deal, different aesthetics) strictly for preamp duties, and paired it with a Rotel RMB-1075 as your amplifier, that would:

    1) Come in well under $2000 if you shop smart. It'll come in under $2000 anyways since MSRPs are lower than that, but it will come in *WELL* under $2000 if you shop smart.
    2) Give you all sorts of great features that the Yamaha has, including THX post processing which makes *ALL* the difference in my Athena setup, though I am running it off of a Pioneer Elite VSX-53TX. The THX does its job and tames the SOUNDTRACK so that it can be reproduced without all the harshness that would otherwise be associated with playing a soundtrack that was intended for a movie theatre half the size of a football field. The Yamaha is also 7.1, so you're ready to do that with your system, and you can use its internal amps to power the back channels. It has Dolby Prologic IIx, DTS96/24, a 12v trigger which will automatically turn your amp on along with the receiver, multizone (3) if you want to put music elsewhere in the house...and it has YPAO. That's the little microphone that you drag out into the middle of the room, set it to do its stuff, go get some coffee and come back. By then, it will have adjusted the speaker levels, distance delay parameters, and performed some equalization based on the acoustics of the room. Using a similar feature on my Pioneer Elite yielded excellent results.
    3) Give you the incredible sonics and power reserves of the Rotel. The Athenas are efficient speakers, and you will be able to drive them to earsplitting volumes without the amp even breaking a sweat. Not only that, but the sound quality of the Rotel will rival that of high end receivers.

    The rest of the money can go into your DVD collection.

    P.S. I didn't recommend a Rotel receiver simply because a logical upgrade path from here would be getting the RSP-1068 or 1098 preamp and going full separates. RSP1068+RMB1075 = $2700 MSRP though...might be pushing the budget a little much. I run a Yamaha as a preamp for my Rotel, and it works very well.
     
  5. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Oh, I just read that you can push your budget to $2500. Well the in that case, with the "standard" dealer discount of 10%, the Rotel 1068+1075 is an achievable combination. If you want to go 7.1 now though, you'll have to add another amp. I'd suggest either a larger amp (1080 would be my choice, the 1070 will only be marginally better than the 1075) for the mains, or a smaller amp for the rears.

    That will, of course, make your Athenas sound better. The Rotel preamp though doesn't have post processing, and I'm unsure of its equalization capabilities. You'd really have to audition and see which you'd like better as a preamp.
     
  6. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I'd take a good look at the Harman Kardon DPR 2005(120Wx7). It's a receiver with a digital amp and it is described as having a warm sonic signature. Besides the digital amp it also has their 4 way bass management allowing an independent crossover setting for each speaker group. It can be had online for $1299.

    It looks very impressive paper and the digital amp module has DSP control & feedback to take the impedance curve of your speakers into account.

    DJ
     
  7. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Personally, if you're looking for a receiver to work well with the "brighter" Athena speakers, check out the H/K AVR-7200 which is available for under $800 (shipped) from OneCall.

    Trust me, it will provide the power you are looking for.
     
  8. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Dang, my original reply didnt go through.

    How much does the Rotel RMP-1068 go for?
    How much does the Rotel RMB-1075 go for?
    How much does the Rotel RMB-1095 go for?

    and/or can i get them anywhere cheaper.

    Im assuming the pre amp and the amp ontop of speakers plays a big roll in the sound to? Cause the Oulaw amp has ALOT of watts for a low price, is there any trade off there, like...higher watts lower quality or something? Just wondering.
     
  9. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    The RSP 1068 is $1699, the 1075 is $999, the RMB 1095 is $1999

    It's all here: http://www.rotel.com/products/retail-prices.htm

    Doubling wattage will only gain you +3dB of output. Granted the additional headroom is nice, but I'm sure the Rotels are underrated. It has a huge power supply and huge capacitors that can easily deal with any dynamic peaks. Average use will have you using a very low wattage anyways.

    I wonder if anyone's ever put a Rotel on a test bench and seen what it actually cranks out. I have a feeling 5x125 is very conservative.
     
  10. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Oh. You should aim for a 15% discount on any electronics, those Rotel pieces included. Sometimes you'll be able to do better, but 15% should be the "norm"...at least it is in my books.
     
  11. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Well i usually sit at or +1db higher then the Reciever's capabilities and most of the time not willingly. So even 3db would help alot and having headroom would be cool so i dont feel like the Amp's doin everything it's got for 2 hours. Im not sure how many db my reciever can do continious but i know that from my distance, 93db music will cause the reciever to start clipping after just a minute of usage and then it would eventually proceed to turn off. So i'll start lower with music then eventually turn it up into uncharted territories hoping it'll play the music without clipping but of course it does and i always have to turn it down to an unsatisfied level. And that's 93db on 6ch Stereo so PL II: Music and Stereo is even lower. I'd imagine from where i sit, 93-94db is how loud i like to listen to music when i have it goin and my reciever cant do it so there's an identifable problem.

    I havent done any tedous testing to figure out how much more db i want but i do know that i watch movies at -24 volume on my reciever (not putting it in reference terms cause there's something screwy there) and i'd like to watch movies at -22 (excluding loud mixed movies) but it cant sit there or eventually it'll shut off.

    I dont like the dynamic range my reciever does, or maybe it's just how the movies are mixed. I dont like how i have to have 80-85db dialog for 95db peaks instead of below 80db.

    Most of my speakers dont have much of a higher power handling then the 1075 anyway.

    Fronts: AS-F2 250 watts, 93db Sensitivity
    Rears: AS-B1 125 watts, 90db Sensitivity
    Center: AS-C1 150 watts, 90db Sensitivity

    (i think they should make an AS-C2)

    Perhaps seperate amps suited to the speakers could work to, if anybodies got suggestions. Maybe like..100 watts for rears and then 200 for fronts and center or something if that's more cost effecient. Anywho, im hittin the sake, gonna drop dead on the keyboard.

    Oh by the way, even though this is an amp thread, does anybody know why the heck they add an inch to all the driver sizes on the Athena site?
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    So more women will buy it?
     
  13. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    hmmmmm how much is the Anthem 2.0?

    What are the most famous choices for pre amps $2,000-
     
  14. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    The above suggestion for H/K is a good one, and I would add Marantz to the list for auditioning... either of their top two -- SR8400 or SR9300 -- are loaded with features, and might tame your speakers some... or maybe an outboard power amp with a design known to have rolled-off highs -- like a Rotel -- might work in that regard... and you can do any of those things for well under $2500.

    BUT... that's speculative at best.

    Tweaking for subjective qualities like 'bright' would be better addressed with new speakers and / or room treatments, despite your stated preference to stick with the Athenas... if you do pursue this with a new receiver, make sure your retailer has a liberal return policy... I'd bet that a receiver upgrade will not make the significant difference you seek.

    What's your floor like?... throw a nice cushy rug on it.
     
  15. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    But it does, unless Kenwood makes the nonbrightest recievers known to man. _>

    Even so, i need a new reciever more then i need new speakers. It's all one big upgrade step by step, i just analized what i need more and i need an amp that can handle me.
     
  16. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    *cough* Rotel *cough*

    Find a dealer who will let you take one home. You'll need a preamp too, so borrow the 1068+1075 from a dealer overnight and try it out in your system. That's how you know if this is what will work for you. Or well, you can try with other stuff and see. Good dealers will let you overnight with their demos. How else will you know if you're making a sound high $ purchase?
     
  17. Chris Sherman

    Chris Sherman Second Unit

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    I third the recommendation of the HK AVR7200 it's a $2000.00 receiver that happens to be on clearance for $800.00. After that I'd try the Outlaw $1598.00 950 pre 7100 amp combo . 100 watts all channels driven. You bought budget speakers they are overachievers but still budget speakers. It doesn't make sense to pair them with a flagship receiver unless you get it at a large dicount like the HK AVR7200. I think the Yamaha is causing the excessive brightness not the Athenas , goes against every review I've read on them. Is it just on movies or music too? Have you tried Cinema ReEQ?
     
  18. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I've detected some brightness in the Athena F2s at Best Buy. Then again, they were being driven by a 3-year-old Yamaha receiver, which definately producted a large part of the brightness. Had the demo models been paired with one of the new Yamaha receivers, I very highly doubt that the speakers would have sounded so bright in the store when I heard them. Plus, it was kind of hard for me to tell if the tone controls were set to flat or not. For all I know, there might have been an adjustment made to the treble output.
     
  19. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    Same story that Paradigm had for years, don't pair them with "bright" amps. That doesn't say anything about the quality of the speaker, the as-f2s are way under priced, closer to $900 a pair would be my thinking.

    I think the Marantz units would be a nice match, that's what I'm looking to pick up in the next 6 months.

    I'd love to recommend Outlaw, but I've never heard them only the great reputation they have on here.

    Brent

    Seperates is a always good choice
     
  20. Larry Hoffman

    Larry Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne, I'd be willing to bet that at least the loudness control was on. It's the easy way to pump up both bass and treble, so it sounds "good" to many who shop for speakers at this type of store. Flat doesn't have the kind of punch that sells speakers in a big room, to people that have little experience listening to speakers critically.

    Larry
     

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