thanks Brian: what's the audible sound during break in? i measured with SPL, 5-6 feet away from speakers is in the range of 70-80 dB. is this ok? i see you are using denon 3803. have you tried audition other receivers? if yes which one? i am trying to replace my low-end pioneer with a better receiver to prevent any damage. marantz sr7200 is my initial thought. any leads on that?
I have used a Yamaha RX-V495, Denon 1801 and now Marantz AV560U prepro/Rotel RMB1066 amp. All have worked flawless with my Paradigm Mini Monitors and CC-350. As long as your not cranking the volumes to excessive levels for lengthy periods of time you shouldn't damage anything.
Monitor 7, CC370, Atom rears driven by Denon 1603. Not enough power in my opinion. I will be upgrading possibly to NAD T752, or mayeb Rotel RSX 1055, HK 525 or Denon 2803/3803 not sure yet but I think I need more power.
Yup Nova Scotia is as far on the east coast of Canada as you can get without going into the atlantic. Lots of fun stuff to do in seasons other than winter (very yucky).
I initally thought 80W wow you can get a lot more than that for the price BUT that is 80W into 5 channels at the same time. Many cheaper brands rate only 1 channel at a time. This means they might be rated at 100W but whene you watch a surround movie you really only get 30 W x 5.
Rotel and NAD maybe HK all are proven to meet or exceed their ratings all channels driven. Other are not.
I use the Monitor line's little brother, the Performance line: Phantom mains, Atom surrounds, CC-270 center. I am driving it with a Pioneer Elite VSX-26TX, soon to be a VSX-45TX.
When the 26 is functioning, it has no problems driving the speakers at very loud levels.
The speakers sounded amazing right out of the box. As far as breaking them in, I just watched a lot of TV at normal volume levels. I can't say that I've noticed any tonal changes over the past ~6 months of using them.
andy: what happen to the 26? what's the receiver's characteristic? warm? neutral? bright? i am currently using VSX-D711 do you think i should stick with it? or upgrade to a higher end pioneer? or H/K 325? or marantz SR7200?
What happened to my 26 is the same thing that happened to many, many owners of the 20 series elite (and I believe the 33 and 35): bad solder joint on the DSP board. Read this, if you really want to know more: My 26TX Saga
The flip side is that Pioneer has had amazing customer support.
I haven't done loads and loads of side-by-side comparisons, so I have a hard time characterizing system "brightness." I demoed a Yamaha B&W 602/601 system and it sounded a bit bright and thin to my ears. Using that as my baseline, I'd probably say that my set-up is neutral to warm. I listen to my system for hours on end without ear fatigue.
Should you upgrade? Why do you think you need to? Are you lacking features that you want? If so, then an upgrade may be warranted. Are you just concerned that you won't be able to drive your speakers? If you're trying to fill a music hall, then your 711 probably won't work. I have a hard time believing, however, that it would fail in trying to drive what are fairly common mid-grade speakers.
If it were me, I'd opt not to upgrade my receiver. I don't think the 711 is that crappy that it couldn't handle driving a modest load.
At first, the speakers are a little harsh and bright. The tweeters and woofers do not blend quite as well. These are very minor. They still work perfectly great. But after awhile you will start to notice them blending a little better and mellow out a bit.
"i measured with SPL, 5-6 feet away from speakers is in the range of 70-80 dB. is this ok?"
Definatly. That is a very average volume. I have never know anyone damage speakers by playing them too loud at first, but I wouldn't push it right away. Anything over 95-100 db might be a little hard on them at first, but they still should be fine.
"i see you are using denon 3803. have you tried audition other receivers? if yes which one? "
Yes, I love my 3803. When I was looking for receivers, Denon Marantz and H/K were on my list. The Marantz was very close, and the H/K slightly warmer, better amp. But in the end, I needed all the features of the Denon. I use all 7 video inputs, which no other receiver has in this price class. I also wanted multi-zone, which the H/K had (But the H/K only had 4 video inputs). And I felt the Denon had the best pre-amp section with the Burr-Browns and Hammerhead SARC processor. (Yet it is almost impossible to tell if it is any better) The Denon is very detailed and fairly neutral.
"i am trying to replace my low-end pioneer with a better receiver to prevent any damage. marantz sr7200 is my initial thought. any leads on that? "
Marantz, along with all the other receivers mentioned are very good. Truthfully, in the ~$1000-$1500 price range almost everything is pretty good. There are bigger differences in the low end and ultra high end, but everything in the mig-range is a decent contender. It will be up to you to audition and see which you like best, and what will satisify your needs best.
I have Studio 100's, 20's, CC, and servo-15 powered by a Denon 3803. I thought of the sound as a bit bright right out of the box, but after ~50 hours or so, they are much more neutral. I feel the addition of an external amp would give the 100's the power they need to push the lower end a bit better. With my 7SEMK3's, the sound was too bright, but with my newer mini-monitors, the sound was a bit muddy in the mid-range to get the excellent bass response the mini's have for a bookshelf speaker at that budget. I think a newer monitor line floorstander or studio 20's do well with just a mid-range AVR like the 3803, if you can call it only mid-range.
I don't know that there is any "Break in period" designated by Paradigm. I own Studio 100's up front and a studio CC (20's in the rear). My 100's are not even a year old and they are still warming up and improving. I'm contemplating getting rid of them (M&K's are on the way). I'm running an Integra/Onkyo and its not powerful enough to push these speakers. I also had a Sony es receiver (prior to the Integra) and the integra kicks sonys butt. I've also hooked up a Pioneer (not Elite) which I was not impressed with. Depending on your buget I would either go with Integra, or Denon if you want to spend $1,000 or less. I think the Denon 2802 who a friend let me borrow sounded better than my integra and seemed to decode the surround modes slightly better.
Chun, which monitors are you running with your 711. I have a pioneer 811 and run monitor 7's, cc-370, mini monitors. The 811 powers them pretty decent, as for break in, I just put in one of my favorite cd's hit repeat and let it play all day while I was at work. However I think that they would all sound a little bit better with some more power so very soon I will be ordering a parasound 2205.
Brian's advice was very good. Just to add a little more, I'm running mini-monitors off a Marantz 5300, and an NAD 521i cd player. The receiver is very nice for music, although the 'digms are not punchy, and mixed with the sweetness of the marantz the resulting sound is not a rock-out type of sound. It's more the perfect sound to go with a rich cd like buena vista social club rather than with pink floyd or metallica. As for my break-in, i broke them in on a crappy cd player, so i didn't notice the break in at all. By the time i got the NAD they were well worked in (the NAD improved the sound by a surprising amount). The jury is still out though on the dacs in the marantz. They are great, but there's a sizzle in the very highs that can be irritating on the paradigms. Using the NAD's dacs, this goes away, but so does some of the detail, and sometimes the NAD can be muddied up. That's my only pickyness, is that i can't mix both realms perfectly. This sizzle also makes me leave HT EQ on all the time, regardless of whether or not EQ has already been applied to a DVD. Paradigms are great bargains, and while one speaker here and there might have a slight edge in detail, or bass or whatnot, overall, they do everything right, and for the price, DAMN what a bargain. As said, almost any receiver in your price range should be solid, you should try to audition them and see how they sound.
Marantz SR6200 with M5s & CC370 up front, Titans in the rear, Sony 222ES SACD. The Monitor series and Marantz pair very well.
While I agree they are not punchy in the midrange, I think this setup does quite well with the Dark Side of the Moon SACD I get no sizzle on the highs on anything. The Marantz' DACs are good, but not the best out there.