The Revelation of Being a Newbie ( help! )

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen_E, Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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    first i would like to thank this forum and all of its members who contribute for doing so and existing. i've spent the last few months here just absorbing everything i can.. to the Founders, thank you SO MUCH for that search button, i've now spent DAYS of my life in an alternate state of mind as i attempt to quench that everlasting thirst for knowledge on everything in the HT realm. THANK YOU ALL.. but now on with the show..
    Although i've spent my entire life listening to music at better and better quality levels, it was not until i arrived at this website and launched into the "seperates" discussions tonight that i realied some of you people are downright scientist of audio components. albiet very very opinionated ones. [​IMG]
    Well, just as any would be apprentice i'm going to do something my brain has mixed feelings about. I'm going to ask for "sound" advice using my eyes and fingers.. weird concept.
    My current situation is this, i'm listening to about 60/40 music/movie ratio and something in my system just doesnt please me.. My money is on my receiver. Please take a look at this current configuration and let me know what you think. Disect, pick apart, analyze and rip my system apart, i want to know what you all think about this setup, especially my current thoughts towards upgrade. Please tell me what you think even about my current system including speaker selection, even the pro's and con's if your patient enough to do so.
    Here is my main problem / focus in a very short description.
    It doesnt sound... CLEAN.. no hissing no popping nothing crazy, it just doesnt sound like the audio is pristine. like the kind of sound i heard on an old pioneer elite amp ( no receiver ) fed from a sony es cd player going out to some Definitive Tech speakers.. the thing had like 20 watts or something and playing Clapton's unplugged i was in AWE that the sonic purity and crispness of everything.. i could hear the guitar pick as it struck a string..
    Speakers:
    Left Speaker: Infinity RS-8
    Right Speaker: Infinity RS-8
    Center Channel: Infinity CC-3
    Left Surround: Infinity RS-3
    Right Surround: Infinity RS-3
    Subwoofer: Using the two 8inch 150 self-amplified watt'd woofers located in the RS-8's on a Y-Cable/Splitter fed from the receiver's sub out port. No actual independant subwoofer currently because there are people downstairs that just dont like bass.
    All speakers are run with MonsterXP cable.
    On a side note, i love the way these speakers sound, even after hearing Klipsch, B&W, Legacy, and others. I wasnt spoiled by top dollar speakers.. well.. ok maybe K-7's were slightly intimidating sonically... as well as definitive's stuff..
    Components: ( this is where i think my problem is )
    Receiver: Sony STR-SE391 - This is a receiver from one of Sony's first home-theater-in-a-box setup. From my research this is the thing i think is holding me back. This is the first thing *i* think i should upgrade. Btw, this has no DD/DTS only pro-logic. It also has no optical connections available. Honestly i hate this thing. Although i do love the fact that it has performed solidly EVERY time i've wanted to play something ( daily ) and has me hooked on Sony.
    DVD AND CD Player: Sony DVP-S3000 ( i really like this player and although i'm not the expert i dont think this is causing me any problems in either HT ( aside from no DTS ) or stereo. Obviously no SACD or DVD-Audio.
    This is completely an audio based plea that is in regards to what its going to take to reach crystal clear music. If i'm correct in pointing the finger at the el-cheapo first time buy receiver, then exactly what should i expect when going to:
    Sony STR-DA5ES reciever.. this so far is my #1 pick in receiver over the Denon and Onkyo rivals. I havnt heard Marantz and yes i know you all RAVE about stereo on that brand. Seperates are not an option here, i dont have the money for it. ( i dont like to upgrade, i want to buy in big chunks that make DEFINITE upgrades to the system. )
    on an off note, i played with a Sony model 700 dvd player in home and noticed little difference in audio.. from s-video to component video ( esp progressive on my panny 47 ) was.. remarkable to say the least.. although i returned it looking to get a Panny RP91 for the scaling feature sometime down the road.
    a bit about myself.. 21 year old college kid with an absolutely massive hunger for quality audio. however, i'm not to quick to make any purchase often putting MONTHS of research into any given component.. and i'm not ballin'outta'control with infinite reserves and few if any "hook-ups" in the biz..
    oh and i'm a virgo.. look up virgo and you will know exactly what my habits are.. namely being the most analytical person there is, but also having a bit of reserve in saying yes! product "a" IS noticeably different than product "b".. but i cant tell which actually sounds BETTER lol..
    To everyone out there who likes to crittersize/help/boost/troubleshoot people in situations like this. Please help me out. Send this thread to friends and family if it suites you so. I dont want to spend months trying out different receivers in home and cd players if they arnt going to honestly make an IMPACT difference.. let me know what you think.
    Thank you in advance. ( First post! )
    - Stephen Ellis
     
  2. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    Hello Stephen,
    The best thing for you to do is to trust your own judgement. You already have the answers you seek. Go with the DA5ES. When you can afford it, get a Sony DVD player which will give you SACD to maintain system compatibility. If the player issue is more open as you have indicated go with the RP91 and DVD-A. You will love it either way.
    BTW, I'm 25 years a practicing Astrologer. You are more than your Sun Sign. [​IMG]
     
  3. Darrel McBane

    Darrel McBane Second Unit

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    Welcome to the Forum Stephen.

    I'm not a receiver guy. But, my main interest is in how music sounds in my system. And if I were to use a receiver with music as my main interest. Then I would find the most musical receiver that matches up with my speakers. You may end up with the Sony when all is said and done. But I'd look at the Marantz, Pioneer Elite, B&K and Denon. I did have the Sony 30ES receiver in my house for about a year and just didn't like the match-up with my then Klipsch speakers. I added a Rotel 1095 five channel amp to the Sony and all it did was reveal even more why I had to move away from the Sony.
     
  4. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Second Unit

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    AS My old Boss said Buy the best and Cry once. Separates would be the way to go. that way you can find a pre amp with the options that you need/don't need and an amp that will fit your power/sound needs. match Preamp "X" with amp "Y" etc etc. They don't have to be new either you would be amazed how many good deals are lurking out there. you just need to know where to look.


    Good luck and welcome to the Club
     
  5. Tommy Rodgers

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    If sound quality for music is your main concern, stay away from the Sony DA5ES. I had one for about 2 weeks, really wanted to love it because it had every connection I needed for a great price. But in the end the thin sound it gave on any type of music was too big a drawback. I ended up with a Yamaha RX-V2200 and am much happier. The Yamaha is actually more user-friendly, with a better remote (the Sony is a torture device and very unintuitive), and although Yamaha has a reputation for a "bright" sound, I don't hear it with this receiver- just very clean, full reproduction, with much less thin, digital-sounding coldness than the Sony. I agree with the above poster that seperates would be ideal, but being a student it might not be a good option cost-wise.
     
  6. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    What is your budget?

    Also if music is your main interest you might consider moving away from a full blown Ht setup for now.

    If you focus on 2 stereo channels, you can get a lot of high quality stuff for music compared to the same dollars spent on a receiver and 5.1 speakers.
     
  7. Matthew Speed

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    Since yuor listening ratio is 60/40 music/movie, you'll still need a 5.1 receiver. I am quite happy with my DA333ES and would have replaced it with the Da5ES but decided instead to add teh TAN9000Es power amp. I vote for DA5ES because of its ability for adjustment that you don't tend to find with the denons or yamahas. The fully adjustable crossovers, with 5 different saveable configurations is key to a versatile set-up. Yes, the remote is designed for sado-masochists, but after a while one becomes comfortable with its operation.
    My 2cents
     
  8. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Stephen,
     
  9. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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    Great number of response's.. here's what i've noticed so far..

    #1 the push to go from all-in-one receiver to seperates is pretty large. Thanks GordonL for the tipoff for the setup on ebay. I wasnt one of the bidders, but i'm sure i can contact him if i decide to go that way.

    Question 1: regarding seperates.. is there any companies i should stay away from?

    Question 2: will even a "decent" set of seperates obliterate a ~$1000 receiver such as the DA5ES/3200/787? Btw, i know those receivers are not all $1000 anymore but i'm ball parking it.

    BUDGET: $1000 and thats pretty firm.

    I want the most i can get for my money obviously, but if crystal clean 2 channel and damn good 5.1 can be had for 500, sign me up.

    I'm not that interested in 6.1 because nothing for the next year will REALLY be out there supporting it. I dont buy HT equipment to listen to 3-5 dvds..

    The thought of having a nice amp then just replacing the preamp down the road when 6,7,X.1 is more common in media is nice.. rather than blowing several K's to replace receivers.

    *a note about my system, those infinity speakers are already in place and i have no desire to rid myself of them. so i dont need speakers in this budget, just a receiver/seperates for now.

    a final note would be that i really would like DPL2 or Neo6 or something that could really make all my speakers sing from a stereo media source. Thanks!

    I'm also going to revise my ratio.. its about 50/50 now a days.. but if i had to push one end it would be music just because of my passion FOR music.. *super clean!*

    Mathew Speed: the idea of taking the DA5ES now and just using it until i can afford an external amp is nice, especially for all the features the 5ES gives, but that just seems an expensive road to go on.. Although that option is definatly in the cards.
     
  10. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are interested in used equipment, I would recommend the Sherwood Newcastle 9080 amp and preamp. I've seen them listed for under $1000 as a combo quite frequently on audiogon and ebay. I own the Newcastle amp and have nothing but nice things to say about it. The preamp is a bit dated but it has the essentials for 5.1 and 2 channel.
     
  11. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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    Thanks for the tip... i'm starting to lean heavy towards seperates.. i figure if i'm going to upgrade from a POS receiver, i might as upgrade big.. at least within my budget.
     
  12. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Location:
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    Greg
     
  13. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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