Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Sneak Peek into Axiom’s Current Research and Development

Axiom’s Newest Speaker: The In-Ceiling M3

Outdoor Speaker Placement

Wall'O'Fame
Experimental Atmos
Greetings fellow Axiom owners...
Who's Online
2 registered (CV, MarkSJohnson), 48 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
13317 Members
11 Forums
22877 Topics
404367 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17775
pmbuko 16274
SirQuack 13333
CV 11202
MarkSJohnson 10886
Meanwhile On Facebook

So much going on in this month's newsletter - new product announcements, a new v...

Love this comment from Doug T! "The M22 bookshelf speakers sound so clean and a...

󾓶 Andrew has spoken! Big update on the AxiomPlay Wireless Platform on the Axiom...

A New Look For Our Amps and Pre-amps? Adding yet another level of customization...

Page 9 of 12 < 1 2 ... 7 8 9 10 11 12 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#252731 - 03/19/09 10:57 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: Zimm]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10388
Charles, not only has this been a topic anewed every month, but also every year. The answer is always essentially the same and will continue to be the same unless there's some major new discovery(Nobel prize in physics class)in the relevant technology(truth has no expiration date). As to amplifiers, the relevant factors(again)are audibly flat frequency response with inaudibly low noise and distortion. If this is accomplished the result is transparent amplification with no added sonic characteristic. The editor of the Audio Critic summarises it quite well in "Electronic Signal Paths Do Not Have a Personality!" .

As to the DAC matter, it's also been pointed out, several times by Alan, that DACs are now a mature technology. Relatively small measurable differences in specs such as the SNR have no audible effect when the typical inexpensive DAC(available to manufacturers in quantity for less than $1 each, as you correctly point out)has a dynamic range more than sufficient for source material which almost never has a dynamic range of more than about 60dB and which has an inaudibly low noise floor.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



Top
#252748 - 03/20/09 04:02 AM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: JohnK]
davekro Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Discovery Bay, CA
Peter,
I too will selfishly REALLY like you to test a 3808 too. PLease. Pretty please? ;o) I am pretty close yo buying one and would love to hear your opinion compared to the Pion. & Onkyo.
Thanks for all your efforts and posting your thoughts!

If I do get the 3808, I'll be able to test it with my 1909, M80's M60's and report back.
_________________________
Dave

"In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice they're not."

Top
#252785 - 03/20/09 10:25 AM A temporary conclusion. [Re: davekro]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Tinkered around more with both the SC-05 and 876 last night. I have nothing new to add to that discussion. Same observations as before. But for grins and giggles, I also hooked my old VSX-43TX back up, *without* the LPA amp.

Recalibrated it and did a little bit of listening. Now in the past, I have had a few problems with this receiver driving my M80's. Sure enough, at loud volume (90-ish db peaks @ 0db on the volume scale) the SQ starts to go downhill. It's almost *exactly* like the way the 876 sounds @ 95-ish db peaks. So if I've described the 43tx's problems as clipping in the past, or at least straining then that's what's going on with the 876 too. The 43TX is rated for 100w/channel (8ohm), vs 140w/channel (8ohm) on the 876, FWIW. But at normal listening levels, I was actually pleasantly surprised at just how good the old girl still sounds. Very much a case of, 'you don't know what you have until it's gone'.

So then I hooked the LPA-1 back up to the 43TX, bi-amping my M80's (shuuush, I like it that way), as I had it before. As critical as I want to be about SQ, I can't honestly hear any tonal differences up until that 90-ish db ceiling. It sounds lovely. Past there, the LPA holds it together beautifully until about 100-ish db, at which point it (and my ears) may be starting to strain. Yes, these are *extreme* volume levels that I would only peak at when doing a wide-open demo for friends and family. So the practical relevance is low. But then again, it also pleases me to know that my car is capable of 155mph (on the Autobahn), even though 99.999% of the time I'd only need half of that. Boys and their toys.

I was particularly surprised with the soundstage from the 'sweet spot'. My TV is aligned with the center seat of my couch. I have a few Diana Krall albums where she's mixed to be more-or-less smack dab in the middle of the soundstage. Right in front of you. Straight direct stereo sound modes, with the 876 (Audyssey on/off), the SC-05 (MCACC on/off), she was right in front of me, but I could detect that the sound was coming from the speakers. I could dial in a little + trim on the L or R channel and the sound would shift to that side, as expected, but the overall presence didn't change much. With the 43TX+LPA, she sounds like she's coming *from* the TV. There's no sense that it's being produced from the speakers. I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it, but my first thought when hearing that was, "ahhh, now that's the way it should sound". Oh dear.... If I similarly purposefully mis-adjust the trim, then it quickly falls apart and her voice snaps to the L or R and the effect of coming from the TV vanishes. With the MCACC, that's even doing the setup at one primary spot, where it should not be doing any sort of 'averaging' for other spots. On the 876, it was on that averaging mode where I took 3 measurements, each seat on my couch. I didn't know how to tell it *not* to do that. I'm sure there's a way, but I didn't explore it. And yes, to be fair, I bet that one could tweak MCACC/Audyssey to get that same feeling.

So where do I go from here? The 876 is boxed up and on it's way back. Now that I've re-listened to my old 43TX+LPA combo, trying to be as objective as I can, it's harder than I thought to justify spending the $1k on the SC-05. Is it worth $1k to have one HDMI cable going to the TV? Worth $1k for DDHD/DTSHD (via PCM, since my PS3 cant pass that bitstream). I struggle to say yes. Yes, the SC-05 is an amazing AVR for SQ. And yes, it can do that amazing sound on it's own *without* the LPA. So that's very cool. It is a *stunning* upgrade for anyone with a low-to-mid range AVR that wants a sonic kick in the rear. But the lack of a few features (discussed, ad nauseum), grates on me a bit.

So it's likely that the SC-05 is *also* going back this weekend. When the SC-05 goes back, it's possible that I'll come home with a 3808. Although my good friend that owns one says that as soon as March Madness is over, he'd be happy to let me borrow his 3808 for a weekend to see if I like it without having to buy one. As of right now, that sounds appealing to me, as it'll give Emotiva a few more weeks to maybe bring the UMC to market. Even if I fall in love with the 3808, I know that I'm going to have to buy a UMC when it comes out just to bring some sense of closure to this year+ of waiting.

I could spend $500 on the upcoming Oppo BR player and get DDHD & DTSHD via analog 7.1, plus an amazing upscaler for the only source that I have that ought to be upscaled (DVD), probably get a good improvement on SACD SQ, and I'd be ready with a player that supports bitstreaming those new formats too. That seems like a more prudent use of funds.

And if it's just great SQ at absurd volume levels that I'm after, $1,000 would go a long way towards upgrading the LPA-1 to something even more powerful.

So I think I'm just going to wait a little bit longer for what this spring/summer brings in the way of new AVR's/processors. The fabled UMC/XMC. A Denon 3809 perhaps? Outlaw's 997 looks quite interesting too. Unless, of course, the 3808 proves to be as good as everyone says it is. ;\) We shall see.

I hope I haven't ticked anyone off with any of this. This is just me 'blogging' about the experience. I don't mean to ruffle any feathers about amps vs DACS vs Onkyo's vs {whatever}. Just trying to post my thoughts & feelings as honestly as I can. And I'm just a guy with his own ideas, so keep in mind that all of this is just my opinion. I'm not an expert on any of this, just a guy that knows what he likes to hear. Nothing more, nothing less. I also like incredibly stinky cheeses and have been known to enjoy balsamic vinegar sandwiches, so my tastes are skewed towards the weird.

The best thing to do is go out and buy what you want and listen to it in your house with your ears. Seriously. \:\)

Peace & cookies.


Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/20/09 10:42 AM)
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#252789 - 03/20/09 10:57 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3904
Loc: Up yonder
One point of clarification worth mentioning…….

John does, month after month, year after year discuss the virtues of sound in relation to amplifiers. The key word however, is “amplifiers”, and not “receivers”. That distinction is, month after month, year after year, overlooked. I am in complete agreement with John in regards to amplifiers. I’ve done enough testing on my own (completely un-controlled), to determine that amps do not sound “different”. Tubes are a different animal, and do not pertain to this. The only discernable difference I have been able to make out between amplifiers is in regards to high dynamic peaks. It is at these times when a more robust amplifier does in fact give the perception that there is an improvement in sound quality. However, at normal listening levels, I can not make out any difference in “sound”.

The other half of this perpetual “receivers sound different” topic, is the processing section of the receiver. It is this part that I believe separates one receiver from another and leads a person to the conclusion that one sounds “different” or “better”. Even when they are put in a “Pure” or “Pure Direct” mode, I find it very difficult to believe that each does not add some form of processing to the data stream which could lead to one sounding different than another.

I am not surprised at all to hear that Peter prefers the sound of the Pioneer over the Onkyo. Pioneer fans love their Pioneers and continually speak to how they just sound better. I have not owned Pioneer since the late 70’s, so I have no opinion to share.
_________________________


Top
#252796 - 03/20/09 11:42 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8288
Loc: Tacoma
Nice work, Mike.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

Top
#252812 - 03/20/09 12:35 PM Re: TX-SR876, in the house (and back in the box) [Re: JohnK]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
JohnK, thanks for the article link and repeating your points - I know it is tiresome. I'll give the article a read. I'm not at a point in terms of technical knowledge or experience with enough processors and amps to disagree with you beyond the theoretical, so I'll let it rest until I can find some useful bit of information to advance the discussion.

Thanks for the input. ;\)
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

Top
#252906 - 03/20/09 10:09 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: michael_d]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10388
Mike, you wouldn't find it "difficult to believe" that none of these processing features could possibly have an effect in a "direct" type of mode if you fully took into account the fact that the processing features are totally bypassed in that mode.

As to the effect of the pre-amplifying section as distinguished from the amplifying section, certainly that's in no way being overlooked, either here or in the test labs. If you check the lab tests on receivers run by Sound&Vision and HomeTheater Magazine, you'll note that they test with the various low-level inputs in use, so therefore the audibly transparent results that they've measured include the effect of both the pre-amplifier and amplifier in the receiver.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



Top
#253265 - 03/23/09 11:51 AM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Just an update for anyone following this crazy thread...

Both the SC-05 and 876 have been returned now. Amazon credited the full amount back plus the return shipping, which I thought was pretty amazing. So that endeavor didn't cost me a dime. The SC-05 was from Best Buy, so that was easy to return.

I thought about coming home with a 3808, but ultimately didn't. I was somewhat lukewarm to the idea of re-moving/connecting all of my gear *again* to start with. Lazy, I know. But Best Buy was packed and there were no Magnolia drones around, so just sort of gave up on the endeavor for this week.

A local shop that is widely known for doing car stereos has recently (12 months ago) opened a new 'higher-end' showroom. They carry many fine brands, including B&W, Pioneer Elite, Integra, Rotel, Adcom, NAD, etc. I finally stopped by there to say hello and to see what they had. I am now somewhat more inclined to believe that perhaps my 876 may have actually have a problem, because an Integra DTR9.8 + B&W 703 combo sounded absolutely lovely. While it's not the identical amp section, I know that Integra is Onkyo's high-end brand, and so they share some of the same design philosophy.

The owner was pretty cool and said he completely understood the need to want to demo an AVR/pre-pro at home, and said he wouldn't have a problem letting me demo some stuff at home. It's been a long time since my area has had a 'nice' home theater shop, and so I'm kind of inclined to throw some business their way to start up a relationship with them. We are chatting about an Integra DHC-9.9, as I mentioned that I liked the DTR9.8's sound but had my own amp. Nice, but not sure I want to spend $2k on a pre-pro just yet. And the numerous complaints of Onkyo/Integra tech support over on AVS have spooked me a little bit.

Oh, this place's main 2-channel listening room had a pair of B&W 802's. Good lord, I love those speakers. I've heard them before, but not with my own demo material. Wow. I don't know if they're worth TEN pairs of M80's, but they're pretty spectacular. \:\)

I'm still pretty sure that I'm going to wait until the Emotiva UMC/XMC and/or Outlaw 997 see the light of day before I make a decision. The 997 in particular seems pretty awesome.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

Top
#253289 - 03/23/09 02:44 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: PeterChenoweth]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Aren’t the B&Ws nice. I just couldn’t justify the price tag.

Thanks again for posting your thoughts. Your experimenting has come at a good time for me.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

Top
#253301 - 03/23/09 04:57 PM Re: A temporary conclusion. [Re: grunt]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
There are some nice speakers out there but once you get North of $2-3000.00 the law of diminishing returns starts applying, exponentially speaking, of course.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

Top
Page 9 of 12 < 1 2 ... 7 8 9 10 11 12 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.