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#1314 - 02/01/02 07:14 AM 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


What is the difference between the M60's and the M80's? Is the quality different or just the loudness. and I'm planing on getting one of those and the qs8 and vp150. I was planing on either the Onkyo 797 or the Denon 3802 but I read that the 3802 should not be used with 4ohm speakers. Would this matter if I get the above setup? I might try and hold out for the Onkyo 898 but thats about 1,000 and I don't have that considerning I'm getting the speakers as well. Which one of the receivers would best go with this setup



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#1315 - 02/01/02 03:09 PM Re: 2 questions please
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
Sonically, these two loudspeakers are very similar, but there is a dynamic difference. The M80s do go lower than the M60s, with a bit more snap, and more power, as you noted.

As to the receiver question, we have a lot of experience with Denon receivers and we find them very very good. We feel that they have no problem driving 4 ohm loads, as we drive them very hard in our labs and we haven't ever have a problem with them (and our customers seem to feel the same way).

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#1316 - 02/01/02 05:36 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
Keep in mind that "have no problem driving 4 ohm loads, as we drive them very hard in our labs and we haven't ever have a problem with them" does not in anyway mean this piece will sound good. Resilient, yes, quality, maybe.

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1317 - 02/01/02 10:43 PM Re: 2 questions please
KevinS Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Ontario
Subjectiveness counts alot in music/movie fidelity, if you want to go with the Denon, I guess it all depends on the quality of equipment you had before.

I had an Akai for 17 years before I purchased my Denon 1800 and of course there's a huge difference, but everything you buy is subjective to your likes/dislikes and how much you want to spend.

My Denon powers the M80, VP150 and QS8, all stated to be 4ohms and I have no problems pushing them very loud, clean levels with a meager 75 watts - 8 ohms (110W - 6 ohms)

If you like it, buy it, don't worry what other people have to say about it.



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#1318 - 02/01/02 11:34 PM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the replies ppls. The fact of the matter is this is my first system and I want to make sure I get something that will sound good, last a while and not have to be upgraded in a year. However, I can't go crazy because I'm buying everything at once. No sence of having a receiver sit for a few months while I save for speakers or vise versa. I have the 1300.00+ needed for the M60, VP150 and QS8's and about 700 + for a receiver. In a week I will have the 455 for the sub I want. (Polk PSW650) It's the best I've read for the price.
I would love to hold out for the Onkyo 898 but I don't know if I'd be able to meet that price. It's about 250+ more than the system with the Denon 3902 or the Onkyo 797. Including the 898 that's about 2800.00 total. I can do about 2500.00 or so but I'd have to wait for the other 200 for about a month. SO I guess the 2 remaining questions are. 1) Do I buy either the 3802 or the 797 now and if so which one or do I bide my time and hold out for the 898 or something comprable? Decisions decisions arrrrrgggggg!!!
I really appreciate your taking the time to reply to my questions.
Joe



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#1319 - 02/02/02 06:21 PM Re: 2 questions please
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
Actually it sounds very good. The sonic differences between amplifiers are relatively small if any. Generally the perceived sonic difference is in fact good dynamic headroom and thus the lack of any distortion on those high-powered peaks that music and movies require to be reproduced.

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#1320 - 02/02/02 10:37 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
I can not comment on movies, as HT is a minor role in my way of life. However the statement that "the sonic differences between amps is relatively small if any", is completely dependent upon the quality and design of the amp. A Denon amp would be vastly outperformed in every conceivable way buy any number of amps. This is not a fair comparison based on price points, but a Krell, YBA, Levinson, SimAudio would be leagues ahead. I know I have always posted praising price point comparisons, but I also state that this is to be noted before comparisons. The Denon would be much better than a Jutan (remember Candle?) by comparisons sake, but not in terms of being held strictly to your statement.

Anyway, not trying to pick an arguement, just a little conjecture!

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1321 - 02/12/02 07:52 PM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, I guess Krell, YBA, Levinson, SimAudio would be "leagues ahead" of Denon. In the same way Wilson Audio speakers would be leagues ahead of Paradigm, NHT, or, dare I say it, even Axiom. But who has $100,000 to blow on a pair of speakers? The point is that you'll eventually hit a point of marginal returns--where a perceptible increase in sound quality will require you to spend not hundreds, but thousands of dollars--the area of hi-fi reserved for golden-ears and professionals, NOT necesarily for home audio. Anyone can name high priced brands, but only few can or should own them.

I agree with Ian, at this point and for this audience (i.e. the average consumer) the sonic differences between amplifiers is fairly small. But by all means, if you are one of those with the ears and the cash to demand better sounding equipment, go for it. Just remember, spending more on quality speakers (moving up in the line from m60s to m80s) will probably yield a much more perceptible increase in sound quality than going overboard with the amp. Take home note: don't go overkill with the amps because you don't need to, just make sure it will drive your speakers without clipping, shutting off, overheating, and at the volumes you like to listen at.



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#1322 - 02/13/02 12:26 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
I think that you have taken a very broad approach to commenting on the issues you address. If you believe that you must spend heavily to achieve hifi, you have not done your homework. There are many amplifiers that are in the $600-$1k range that are the equals of many costing 3-4 times that. However, stating that sonic quality is reserved for a select few, and not for home audio is completely wrong and misguided.

....I remember the day when, sitting upon Mount Olympus, the Greek god of Auido, reached down and spoke thusly " From this day forward, you, by virtue of your extra sensory quality of your hearing are elevated into.....(wait for it)....the Golden Ears Realm. Please.....

Thos who know of my posts, will recognize this:
- I recommend the source be the most important decision.
I have not wavered from this principle. In building a system, the source should be the best quality, and the rest of the system addressed in due time. Most big box stores emphasize speakers and receivers. However if a source can not reporduce the music on the mdeia, the downstream components CAN NOT add this missing information. In terms of impressions, most consumers hear and see the speakers first, so they are inclined to purchase them. Will they make a bigger impression with end users...of course. But adding hifi speakers to a mass market amp and source will in no way be as musical as adding mass market speakers to a hifi source and amp.

You are correct, Wilson is leagues ahead of all the models/brands you mention. But again as those who know my posts:
- price points in the market demand that products be delivered that are strict to the cost=product+profit.

For this reason, it can be gauged that with less restrictions placed on delivering a speaker at a price point, the designer can use a better quality of internal parts. Does this always gaurantee a better performance? Not by a long shot.

Another edict I profess is:
- go and listen to an expensive system.
Do you like the sound? Perhaps you can not afford it, and no person will condemn another for not being able to do this. But most have not heard to line pieces, and are of the opinion that Best Buy/Futureshop (to cover both the US and Canadian big box store niche) contains the best there is. Another misconception. I urge you to seek out a true midfi/hifi dealer and listen. Don't take anyones word on the sound you hear....do you like it? Was it musical?

The bottom line is that some pieces are better than others. This is no different than any other consumer product.

But enough rambling....(sound of BBIBH jumping down off soapbox)

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1323 - 02/13/02 12:48 PM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


Actually, most professionals (not just big box stores) assert that spending more on speakers will give you a more noticeable increase in sound quality. And the fact that "speakers can't add information that components upstream don't provide for it" is true. I'll concede that point. This is true in theory, but not necessarily in a real listening room. However, amps don't provide the signal, they only amplify it so that the current can drive the speakers. Therefore, you're really advocating spending more on CD players than on speakers, which I doubt many people will agree on, but which may fit your personal listening tastes more. The second point is that it is not usually the amp that is the LIMITING FACTOR to good sound. Many lower priced receivers (NAD, Denon, Onkyo) will reproduce a very similar digital signal when amplifying from a CD player. But it is how the speakers translate this signal into sound that makes people who appreciate good sound spend big bucks. That's why many professional reviewers say that spending more on speakers will yield an incrementally (again with marginal returns) larger increase in sound quality than spending more on cd players, amps, or processors as long as the components upstream are of at least decent quality and can drive your speakers without distorting or overheating.

Finally, I'm not saying that hi-fi audio is only for a deserved few. The post was about, and is still about, the notion of marginal returns, not about the establishment of an audio elite. If you can afford more and you can honestly hear sound quality differences, then more power to you. But unless you've been professional trained to listen for sonic differences, most consumers will reach a point where they honestly won't hear a substantial difference in sound quality, and especially not substantial enough to justify spending thousands more. At this point, at the point where you yourself can't hear any difference in sound quality or at least you can't justify to yourself spending thousands more to get an infinitesimally small increase in sound quality, that is where you should stop spending, purchase the product, and be happy with what you purchased without ANY regrets about not purchasing those $100,000 Wilson Audio speakers.



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#1324 - 02/13/02 01:08 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
I think we will "agree to disagree". I also think we can see the others point of view, and I respect the fact we both have open minds about it.

I think you misunderstood me. I in know way proposed that the amp was the main piece. I have always and will always recommend favouring the source. Good speakers and bad source will let you hear with uncanny accuracy how flawed the source is. If I may, putting a Chevette engine into a Porsche does not give you Porsche quality and performance. The limitations will be all too clear....(gee, that was fun!!!I thinks' I be dramtizin' more in da future!!!)
The nature of this beast is that it is personal, and subjective.

The one thing I would like to comment on is that it is more than theorectical that source makes the biggest impact. Simply line up pieces from different price points (assuming the higher priced are in fact better...as I discussed in the last post, this is not always the case), set them up and listen. This can be in your house, my house or the local dealer. It will be proven.

Magazines,...well another source of information that provides opinions. But really, can you trust magazines that praise everything, or slam everything? Not everything in the world is that defined.

Anyway, nice chatting with you.


Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1325 - 02/14/02 10:06 AM Re: 2 questions please
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
I must say your post concurs completely with the double blind listening tests we conducted at the NRC on CD players, cable, amplifiers, and speakers. The big gains come from the speakers. Well designed speakers, not necessarily related in anyway to price, will give you large performance gains in relation to any of the other components. The linearity of the reproduction and amplification is very consistent from the CD player and the amplifier. Quality amplifiers will almost all concentrate their improved performance around improved dynamic head room in order to play those required high power peaks of music and movies without distortion.

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#1326 - 02/14/02 10:59 AM Re: 2 questions please
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3187
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hello,
I would like to point out as well that there is no necessary correlation between speaker cost and perceived sound quality, especially when comparisons are carried out under controlled scientific conditions.

There's lots of inept speaker design in high-end circles (and at the low end as well). But, for illustration, there is a highly esteemed American speaker that sells for about $10,000 per pair that I've auditioned and it simply has no bass output below 35 Hz. Now for that kind of money, I expect transcendently clear midrange and highs, and bass down to subterranean levels! Apart from this speaker's severe bass liabilities, it also had aggressive highs.

During some of my double-blind listening sessions at the National Research Council (and I have the supporting data and listener comments in my files), a highly reputable and expensive British speaker was seriously downgraded for fat, tubby bass and a nasal sort of horn-loaded coloration on midrange material. The speaer was $6,500 per pair and was greatly exceeded in scores and sound quality by two Canadian designs selling for $1,000 (and less) per pair!

Certainly there are trade-offs in performance vs price at very competitive price levels, and above about the $2,000 mark improvements in performance, when they're audible, are usually marginal.

Incidentally, the British speaker's fat, "tubby" bass was a simple design problem. The large woofer was much too close to the floor (it was a floorstanding design and the proximity effects of the woofer/floor interaction produced and unnatural hump in the upper bass). Simply raising the speaker a foot or so above the floor cured the problem. The floorstanding speaker looked ridiculous at that point, with its castors dangling in free air, but its sound vastly improved, and so did its scores in the blind listening tests.

Alan Lofft
Axiom Resident Expert
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#1327 - 02/14/02 04:52 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
I would like to find out what equipment was reviewed and used? I find it completely unbelievable that a $200 cd player could not be discerned from a $2k CD player (of quality).

How can speakers replace, or reduce mistracking turntables, or eliminate strident surface noise?

I think it was misread about my thoughts on amps, as I was implying that the amps in question may have been solidly built, but that does not imply good sound....as you mentioned.

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1328 - 02/14/02 08:03 PM Re: 2 questions please
tran Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/14/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Penfield NY USA
Have you looked at the Outlaw Reciever. I have helped 2 friends with their home theater both using that reciever and its a significant bang for the buck. Dont go by the power ratings, its sounds much more powerful. The money you save may be better spent on a better pair of speakers. Good Luck



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#1329 - 02/15/02 01:35 AM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


indeed. i find it kind of weird, bbibh, when you say you think a $1000 cd player will perform better than a $200 cd player. is there really that large a difference? i mean, $200 i think is sufficient for a decent cd player and i don't think most people would be able to tell the difference.

you know, i just read an article about how much brand bias and the pay-more-get-more mentality sometimes colors our objective judgement. reviewers for a professional magazine conducted a double-blind listening test with 5 speakers of different brands and different price points. surprisingly, without looking at the brands or cabinet finishes, the professional reviewers ranked some less-expensive models higher than some of the more expensive models. and the difference in sound quality between the very expensive and budget priced models was much smaller than expected...A LOT SMALLER...especially considering the price difference. any thoughts?



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#1330 - 02/16/02 11:47 AM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
Sure plenty of thoughts. The main one that comes to mind is to correct Ian, Alan and others as to their apparent paraphrasing of my comments.

In my many posts, I have espoused the fact that manufacturers designing to price points (say $500) must make a product to sell for $500 that includes product and profit. Limitations of this price point are implied to be lesser profits or lesser quality materials. If the designer has a $5000 price point, the restrictions are much less, and he can either increase profit margin, or increase quality of materials and design. I have stated on many posts, that this does not ensure a better product, and the examples of this are ample. BUT, the restrictions that are not as strict can allow a good product designer to make a better product, as he/she is not limited. Does this always happen?....not on your life! Does it happen?....absolutely!

So, on to the source discussion. A Walmart $200 Memorex CD player is governed by these same rules. As is a $2000 Rega (to choose names at random). As with any product, there are inherent design issues within the realm. CD players in particular suffer from an number of design issues. These include:
- vibration and rigidity
- Transient Intermodulation Distortion
- ground currents
- lense clarity and quality
- clock jitter
- error correction slew rate
- analogue circuits and output preamps
- digital to analogue converters

I could go on and on....I am an engineer! ;)

All of these affect the sound. All of these are both audible and measureable. Have they been addressed? For the most part they can be addressed.....but certainly not in a $200 player. Perhaps not completely in a $2000 player, but more attention has been paid to at least reduce them.

For many years the CD community has built products around an Op Amp (and it's lineage) called the LM741. This chip is slow reaction wise, meaning that output voltage cannot keep up with the slew rate of the requests of the input signal. The TL084 was better, but still not great.

My attempt is not turn this into a technical lecture. I can if required, but on occasion and personal request only. A good speaker can not correct any or all of these problems. The source must do this. In the vinyl world, good speakers will not remove surface noise, or correct incorrect arm height causing strident upper frequencies, or correct mistracking by the cartridge......again, I could go on.

Your comments that "most people" or as others have said " people who hang out on this board" may be correct, but I have never placed myself above the crowd. To reveiw my comments, yes, I too have heard very good products in lesser price categories, and I have heard very expensive equipement I would not wish on enemies.

I would ask you this: have you experienced the better products? What was your thoughts? If you don't like them, fine with me. But to be closed minded and not venture into a true midfi, or hifi store, and proclaim there to be no difference...or to take the word of the press exclusively is being close minded.

Go and listen, you might be suprised! ;)

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#1331 - 02/18/02 03:31 AM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have listened. I think the Wilson Audios are too analytical, too unforgivable with poorly recorded cd's, and not musical enough. As for the price difference, many times the extra cost doesn't go into sound reproduction but rather for aesthetics (i.e. speakers for example, will have hand-crafted, hand painted veneers that really don't affect the sound that much) Just because a cd player is $2000, doesn't mean there's any AUDIBLE difference in sound, although the manufacturer may try to justify the price with theoretical physics. I guess what it all boils down to is that the laws of physics aren't the only things determining how good a product sounds. In fact, it's a complicated relationship between physics, psychoacoustics, and preference (which happens to be unique to every individual) that determines how good a product will sound to the listener. A $2000 Rega CD player may sound better to you, if that's your budget, why not just go with SACD/DVD-audio?



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#1332 - 02/18/02 03:32 AM Re: 2 questions please
Anonymous
Unregistered


I HAVE listened. I think the Wilson Audios are too analytical, too unforgivable with poorly recorded cd's, and not musical enough for my tastes. As for the price difference, oftentimes the extra cost doesn't go into sound reproduction but rather for aesthetics (i.e. speakers for example, will have hand-crafted, hand painted veneers that really don't affect the sound that much but look classier). Just because a cd player is $2000, doesn't mean there's any AUDIBLE difference in sound, although the manufacturer may try to justify the price with theoretical physics. (i.e. I saw speaker cables for $6000/ft. I doubt most listeners would be able to perceive the difference between those cables and generic 10 gauge cables, although I'm sure the cable manufacturer has some rationalization for charging so much.) I guess what it all boils down to is that the laws of physics aren't the only things determining how good a product sounds. In fact, it's a complicated relationship between physics, psychoacoustics, and personal preference (which happens to be unique to every individual) that determines how good a product will sound to the listener. A $2000 Rega CD player may sound better to you, but if that's your budget, why not just go with SACD/DVD-audio player?



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#1333 - 02/18/02 01:24 PM Re: 2 questions please
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1039
Loc: Canada
That is great that you have listened...because now we are starting to agree. I said quite clearly that while more expensive pieces CAN sound better....they do not always - you have said that as well.

Cables are more of an enigma. I agree with your comments on those. Above medium quality, I can guess there would be, and measure differences, but I have great difficulty discerning them. So I choose to stay away from purchasing them.

(See, our thoughts are very similar)

The point about aesthetics is another area we seem to agree on. I feel that finish is an important factor in speakers. The fact of the matter is that I have invested considerable time and money in decor, and will not sacrifice this with cheap looking speakers. But as you say, often times this is the area the designer will move to. Some are not simply great looking speakers with little or no extra attention placed on the internals, but more completely designed, with known areas targeted for improvement. This goes back to the expensive and good or bad sounding point.

Another area you mention is about individual preference.....something I state in most of my posts - that audio is subjective. Again, we agree.

Also, I have stated from day one that measurements are not the definitive item to choosing pieces. Many people look solely at specs, and decide from these. As I have said time and time again...what did it sound like? You seem to agree here too.

As for your closing comment, about a combination machine, if the designers can't get a 1 function machine correct, what chance have they of getting a multi function machine correct? I keep my systems separate, and view combo players as convenience appliances - again stated many times in posts.

But I still have not heard anyone explain how the speakers can repair the problems caused by sources.

I think we are going in circles on this. We seem to agree on most of the points in the thread! If I may paraphrase you :
"it's a complicated relationship between physics, psychoacoustics, and personal preference (which happens to be unique to every individual)" is EXACTLY my thinking, and have posted this many times.

Nice chatting with you. ;)

Regards,

BBIBH
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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