Is a new reciever the way for me to go?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mark Hedges, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    I have about $650 to spend on upgrading my system, which consists of:


    Reciever: Sony STR-DE485 (actually a HTIB reciever)
    Mains: JBL S36II
    Center: JBL S-Center
    Surrounds: Sony kit satelites
    Sub: Sony SA-WM20 (100W version from HTIB)
    DVD/CD: Sony DVP-NC655P

    I am most keen on improving 2 channel stereo with a CD as the source. I am leaning towards replacing my reciever with a DA4ES.

    Any thoughts?

    Mark
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    The 4ES is a good choice.

    However, you might want to consider the 2ES, and use the money you save toward a pair of S38s for your mains, and then you could move the S36s to the rear.

    There is not a large sonic difference between the 2 and the 4ES, and you'd be upgrading both your front and rear soundstage. You can find the 2ES for around $400, and you can also find good deals on the S38s (? Best Buy clearing them out).
     
  3. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I'd upgrade your sub to a SVS, HSU, Aperion, or eqiv. Or if you want to get complicated you could get a 2 channel integrated amp for your music or even upgrade your mains. I guess it depends on what you would upgrade after that.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 4ES is a good choice, especially coming from the 485...but I agree that you will see most of the same improvement by going to a 2ES and putting that other $$ towards other upgrades. Most often, I would say spend more on the receiver, but in this case, I would say you will gain more by getting a decent, separate CD player.
     
  5. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    My overall plan has been:

    Now: Reciever

    - move into bigger place at some point in time

    Afer that:

    Upgrade mains and put s36's in back
    Buy a SACD player (C222ES or equivalent)
    Upgrade sub

    If I upgrade the mains now I would have to store or sell the S36's as there is just no room for them in the back right now. The sub upgrade is a no-go with my GF. She is not too hot on the sub I have now, and a better sub would be much bigger. I am considering a seperate CD player though.

    Mark
     
  6. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I was a "seperates" owner for many years, back to the mid 70s. a receiver for the bedroom or garage but absolutly not for my main system. . . Recently I sold my Marantz AV-9000 and Rotel 985Mk2 THX amp because I just did not use them anymore. . . With some of the proceeds I bought a middle of the road Pioneer Elite VSX45TX to just get by whenever I might want to watch a movie. . . At 750 NIB I thought it would work OK as I still had my speakers and SVS sub in the same place. . . I hooked up this receiver and after a full day figuring out how to setup the damn thing I ended up with a spectacular system for 30% of what my other componets cost. . . Chips are cheap I guess and modern receivers have a lot going for them. . . You would have never heard me say that even a few months ago. . . Now I have the bug all over me again. . . I will say you are hard pressed to hear any difference in my room anyway. . I am not a critical listener anymore but after all the years I have been fooling with this stuff I am reasonably competant at listening. . . And for my money a 750 dollar receiver sounds as good (for the most part) on my speaker/room combination as 3000.00 worth of seperates. . .
     
  7. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I will go the sub way, it is dramatically what an SVS can do for your setup, maybe a 25-31PCi or a 20-49PCi or even the PB1. And then save for a reciever, and finally the mains.
     
  8. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    I went ahead and got a DA4ES reciever. So far I am very happy with it. My speakers are probably the next thing that I will replace, but not for a while.

    You guys seem really hot on subwoofers. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the advice but I just don't see how a sub is going to improve music a whole lot. Movies certainly but not music.

    Mark
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    A sub does add to the music experience (impact!), but this entirely depends on the frequency response of your mains, the music you listen to, and what you are listening for. If the mains handle bass into the 40 and below region, a sub will not benefit quite as much as mains that only go to 50-60Hz. A good, musical sub can definitely add to music's presence.

    I use no sub in my 2ch system. I am not looking for slam from this system, just clean, clear music.
     
  10. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    Good choice on the DA4. I noticed a big difference for HT when I MATCHED my front and rear speakers. In other words, 2 identical pairs (close just wasn't close enough). As for the sub, I can't describe the difference you'll hear, even with music if you have a "good" sub. I moved from an Infinity HPS500 watt sub to an Infinity HPS1000 watt sub. Initially it was a trial since I already thought I had a more than capable sub but I was still curious. I couldn't move from the couch 10 seconds into the 1st song and never looked back. Do a lot of research, and get the best sub you can afford.
     
  11. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark:

    If you really want to improve your sound, you won't get it with another Sony receiver, IMO. I have demo'ed them and several others as I also wanted to get much better two channel sound. I strongly recommend that you try out an NAD receiver before you buy anything else. In fact, find a dealer to let you compare the sound of the lowest priced NAD against any other receiver under $1K, and you will hear how much better two channel sound can be. NAD uses much better parts inside the receiver where it can make a difference in the sound.

    I heard the NAD 742, their least expensive receiver (MSRP:$649; Street: $525), head to head against a $1K Onkyo and a $800 Denon. The NAD has much better resolution and detail--you can hear things clearly that are muddy or partially obscured when played by the other receivers. This is more noticeable on two channel sound, but is still very noticeable on 5.1 channel HT material. In the head to head comparison I heard, it wasn't even close.

    Very few of these receivers make anywhere near their rated power when driven into all channels. NAD and Harman/Kardon are the only ones under a grand that can meet or exceed their rated power, a sure sign of quality under the hood. Check out http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Holl...1/ratevsac.htm and you will see what I mean (Sony had particularly poor results). So do a little research and don't be fooled by all of the bells and whistles put onto most of the receivers out there. Get good sound. That is what a receiver is for.

    Enjoy!
     
  12. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  13. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure about what that S&V listing is saying with regard to the Sony DA4ES.

    they indicate they could not get a measurement... why not?
    I don't see any reason for them not to be able to obtain a measurement other than if they actually didn't acquire the reciever. I wonder what thier method of measuring is? Do they measure current and voltage while the speaker is connected and driven? If so, how would anything prevent them from driving it with 5 channesl and taking readings? Did the reciever shut down at that point? 'Sony says' is not really a convincing argument from a technical standpoint.


    Given that Sony has indicate there is almost no chance of a black 3000ES being delivered to the US for the 2003-04 model year, I'll be picking up a 4ES. A reciever is purchase because of the features and not specifically for the AMP part. The AMP is important, but if you want a super amp, use the preamp outs and runn it to a separate high-end amp. I want a receiver for the inputs supported, processing provided and then a good quality amp for all the channels. I'm no audiophile, the house isn't set up to allow such dedicated listening anyway, and I'm not sure it will make that much difference in listening to AC/DC for me anyway [​IMG]
     

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