What amp/pre-pro/receiver for a "brighter" sound with Paradigm Reference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JeffHayes, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. JeffHayes

    JeffHayes Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,
    I am looking to buy a new setup for my dedicated A/V room in my house. I am currently running Paradigm Reference Studio 40 (fronts), Studio CC (center) and ADP-450 dipoles (side surrounds). Thus far the only signal source I have listened to through them is my Marantz SR8000 receiver. Now, I THINK that Marantz has a reputation of having a "warm" sound. That being the case, I think I prefer a "brighter" sound. I want to here the metal *clack* *clack* sound of the shells hitting the tiled floor on the lobby scene of "The Matrix". I want the window shattering sound of "The Haunting" to sound like someone through a rock through a plate glass window. I was NOT able to get that experience with the Marantz unit and the Paradigms.
    Here are the things I am thinking about. Please feel free to comment on which of these you THINK might give me the audio experience I am looking for.
    1.) Pioneer 49TX receiver (possibly with an outboard 5-Channel Amp and maybe a two channel later - see below)
    2.) Denon 5803 Receiver
    3.) Rotel 1066 pre-pro
    4.) Rotel 1065 Receiver
    5.) B&K Ref 30 Pre-Pro
    6.) B&K AVR 307 Receiver
    7.) Acurus Power Amp?
    8.) Parasound 2205AT power amp
    9.) Rotel 1095 Power Amp
    10.) B&K Ref40 or AVR 407 if/when it comes out.
    Any thoughts? Does any of this equipment tend to lean towards being "brighter"? I have heard that the Rotel stuff is "warmer" than the Outlaw 950, which sounds like i would not like it as much. Plus, the lack of HDTV bandwidth on the component video really ticks me off. I've alos heard that Parasound stuff mates well with Paradigm Reference. Anyone care to give me a tonal coloration feeling for this combo... i.e. "warm" or "bright"?
    Thanks for any suggestions,
    Jeff
    PS - I know that I am going to get alot of "go listen for yourself" suggestion... unfortunately, not a SINGLE ONE of my choices is available at the ONLY Paradigm Reference dealer locally. I've even looked as far as San Antonio and Austin and Dallas... nothing doing. [​IMG]
     
  2. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Well, how far do you want to travel? In Ft. Worth one dealer is Marvin Electronics (www.marvinelectronics.com). They carry Rotel and Paradigm (as well as a whole host of other brands). Down the street we have Sound Idea which carries Denon and B&K.
    The major problem with Marvin's (altough they have great stuff), is that they will not budge from List (I assume if you wanted to buy $30K worth of equipment, they might budge), but if you just want a couple of pieces, they will charge list, especially for Rotel equipment.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    You might want to put Onkyo on your list too.
     
  4. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Jeff,
    I really enjoy the synergy of my Denon receiver (5700) and Studio 40s. I would classify the sound as 'neutral' yet very detailed (for a receiver). When I last listened to Yamaha receivers I felt they were bright (so you may prefer them).
     
  5. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,

    You might want to consider a Sherbourn 5/1550A with the B&K B&K Ref 30 Pre-Pro. I communicate with a person who has this setup and he's extremly happy with the results. Paradigm/Sherbourne/B&K

    I do not own the B&K yet, but am waiting till the 40 series hits the marketplace.

    However, the Sherbourne is a very warm, powerful amp for my ears. They can be had for a good price new if you know where to look.

    I've run the Aragon 8002 with the Studio 100's and the Sherbourne is much warmer. However, the 8002 did a nice job, but does not have the raw power to drive the 100's.

    Good luck,
    Charles
     
  6. Mike Peveler

    Mike Peveler Stunt Coordinator

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    I run the B&K reference 7270 amp with a Pioneer VSX49 and could not be happier, I also have Paradigm ref 40's. This is the best rig I have heard, and I've owned a lot of high end ht equipment.
     
  7. JeffHayes

    JeffHayes Stunt Coordinator

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    George,

    Well, DFW is not out of the question. And as for purchasing it at a B&M store... most likely I would pass on that. I am lucky enough to be able to order most stuff from authorized dealers for significant discounts through a connection in the business, so paying MSRP is STRICTLY out of the question. I DO have a slight possibility of taking my Studio 40s to a similar B&M store here in town... and I MIGHT actually purchase something from them, based on the quality of customer service I have enjoyed thus far without purchasing ANYTHING from them as of yet. The dealer carried B&K and Denon and Pioneer, but not Rotel. Perhaps I should look into this idea.

    Thanks for your help.

    Later,
    Jeff
     
  8. JeffHayes

    JeffHayes Stunt Coordinator

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    Bobby T:
    Yeah... I'd thought of them as well but have since decided against them since I really would only consider the Integra Research RDC7 from that line of products and it is clearly in a different price category. Thanks.


    Greg_R:
    The only concern I have with the Denon stuff deals with some issues I've had with some of their past products. My general feeling was that the Denon (5700 I think at the time) really came across as sounding artificial and processed to my ears. Of course this was NOT listened to through Paradigms, rather Mirage OM series speakers. Denon is still in the running though. As for Yammy stuff... I really am biased against them. I'd rather stick with one of the other brands I mentioned, but thanks.

    Chas_T:
    Well, your characterization of the Sherbourn amp being "warm" is kinda turning me off from this idea. I have heard a few decent things about that amp, but almost all of the articles and reviews I have read classified it with the "warm" term. I am looking to get AWAY from "warm" and back to "bright" with my audio deires. Thanks, though.

    Mike:
    So, do you think the B&K amp "warms up" the sound of the Pioneer at all? I assume you ran the MCACC on the Pioneer first, right? I'm a hobbyist musician and I understand the desire to have a "neutral" sound when mixing and producing musics tracks, however, the movie and music LISTENER in me is telling me that I like "bright" stuff.


    Thanks alot guys,
    Jeff
     
  9. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Jeff, your listening tastes are the same as mine. To me, "warm" equals dull, too laid back, and uninspiring. I have no need for what some describe, and what I have experienced as being "warm". I would recommend the following componennts to give you the desired results: Acurus amps (which I own and love), Yamaha receivers (owned), Adcom amps (extensively demoed), Sony ES receivers and amps (owned), Nakamichi receivers and amps (demoed). All of these will give you the results that you are looking for.
     
  10. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I forgot to mention Pioneer and Pioneer Elite lean towards the bright side.
     
  11. Mike Peveler

    Mike Peveler Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff I bought the Pioneer knowing I would be buying an amp, yes I ran MCACC and I continue to run it occasionally as the amp and receiver break in. I wouldn't call the sound bright. what I consider bright is the sound of a horned tweeter like a Klipsch. I have the sound you described in The Matrix and The Haunting, but I would consider my system to be on the warm side but not overly so.
    I am very pleased with combination. Let me say also that I have had a Lexicon MC-12 and Anthem MCA5 on the same speakers and consider the Pioneer and B&K to be superior and not by a short stretch.
     
  12. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Jeff,

    I have a paradigm/Yamaha combo at home. I noticed you said you are biased against Yamaha. Not sure why that is, but you might want to check them out again.

    Marantz is known for making very musical receivers. Yamaha is known for making great HT receivers. Yammies sound great for movies (not to mention Yamaha knows their DSPs better then anyone) and I think you'll get that glass shattering sound you're looking for. In fact, just last weekend a buddy of mine hooked up his brand new Studio 100s to his Yamaha RX-V995. We watched some combat scenes from Black Hawk Down and it blew us away. It was pretty intense, it sounded like we were being shot at. I recommend checking out the RX-V3200 or the RX-Z1.

    The only down side to Yamaha is the lack of adjustable crossovers (unless you're happy with 90Hz).

    - Mike
     
  13. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    Kevin, it's funny you mentioning Pioneer Elite being "bright". I have a Pioneer Elite receiver (39-TX) mated with horn-loaded Klipsch Reference series speakers. According to conventional wisdom among audiophiles, mating Klipsch with a bright amp should produce sounds about as pleasant as bat sonar, yet I find that I get an extremely neutral response from my system which has led me to believe that Pioneer Elites must be warm amps.

    Of course, my listening room being heavily carpeted and draped goes a long way to taming "harsh" and "bright" sounds.

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  14. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Lyle, unless your 49TX differs in a major way from the Elite 24TX that I owned, I found it to be, not overly bright, but what I would describe as being pleasingly detailed.
     
  15. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    The combo you want is the Atlantic P2000 Pre/pro and the CineNova Grande (by Earthquake)

    I recently heard this rig with VMPS 626R speakers and I have to say nothing but "silence and signal".

    The P2000s should be shipping in about 10 days and the CineNovas are available now.

    That combo should "street" for about $3800-$4000 and will do some very cool dissapearing acts when it comes to adding anything to the sound source.

    John
     
  16. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    if you want bright, get an ati amp for your paradigms.
     
  17. AntonS

    AntonS Stunt Coordinator

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    As an owner of Sherbourn 1500/5A and Paradigm 100s (matched to H/K AVR8000 acting as pre/pro) I can tell you guys that you don't know what you are missing when saying that the Sherbourn it too "warm" for you. You are missing completely on the "warm"/"bright" issue. It's not that matching to a "warm" amp would give you less details. It's that matching to a "warm" amp will give you a whole lot more mid-to-low details and finesse making the overall sound more uniform down to almost subwoofer levels, therefore much more "warmer".
    I've run side by side tests with much "brighter" amps, namely AV8000 internal amps. The high frequencies (details that make the "brightness") sounded virtually identical, but the low- and mid-bass sounded so much fuller and smoother with the Sherbourn that it made the whole sound a lot more uniform and, well, "warmer". So are the Paradigms bright? Hell no. Give them enough juice, they will prove it.

    The whole issue may be a moot point if you are running bookshelfs as "small" (Studio 20's or 40's ) and the sub is taking care for everything from 100Hz down. In this case you may be actually overdriving the speakers , but the sub cannot keep up with them in MID-bass (around 200-80Hz). Careful calibration should take care of this.
     
  18. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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    i have a pioneer elite tx33 mated with Infinity Refrence speakers equipeed with EMiT tweeters.. definatly NOT a bright sound that i had before with a sony receiver.. the elite actually tamed the EMiT beast.. Pioneer's new stuff is pretty warm sounding i've found.. YMMV.
     
  19. Chas_T

    Chas_T Supporting Actor

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    Anton..

     
  20. Ariel

    Ariel Stunt Coordinator

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    to have a "brighter" sound, try to look around your room. there might be too much high-freq. sound absorbing materials around. this maybe a cheaper alternative.
     

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