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Recusant

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About Recusant

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  1. That is how it's set up. I don't blame the Denon, i remember it being similarly uninspiring with the Harmon Kardon. It's also my ears, they are very adept at hearing higher frequencies but mid-ranges tend to be a little muted. The result is i find a lot of movies to be too 'loud' (in the EQ sense) in order for the dialogue to be nicely audible to me. I think it's also why i've always preferred female vocals to male vocals (broadly speaking) in music. The Denon has done a wonderful job with surround sound. Avatar sounded like a whole new experience compared to my old viewing experience. The base was well controlled and not boomy and the rears (5.1) really brought far more life compared to my old analogy HK. Speaker positioning is similar, but it's a different house and of course the Denon has the Audyssey calibration the HK did not have. I can move the fronts around a bit, the rear not so much as there's a window in exactly the spot i would have placed the rear right speaker. However, in doing the Audyssey setup, i was confused by the surround options. I always thought 5.1 rear speakers were... rear speakers. But the set up seemed to imply they're far more to the side than the rear, which is incidentally how it is set up. It did confuse me but the results seem very good and a big improvement over the old system in the old house. Yes. I really should. But i will have to wait at least another year before i do so. It will take some time to replenish my savings for another shot at improvements. My wife is absolutely hopeless, we sat down and watched part of Avatar last night and she was like "i prefer it just through the TV". WTF?! Impossible!
  2. Too late. I made the mistake 15 years ago when i bought the B&W large bookshelf speakers - and then stands to put them on!! Idiot me. I should have just paid 1k more to get the floor standers back then. I've regretted it almost ever since. Plus the centre speaker is too meek IMO. To upgrade now will cost some 4k... i just don't have that kind of money.
  3. Oh. And i would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. At my price-point of $1500 i did not want this to drag on for ever and i didn't want to do what i so often do: procrastinate for months and months and spend dozens of hours researching when i might as well be earning a wage and just spending more! At $1500 i have a good amp, that will suit me for many years and if i can one day convince my wife (and bank account) to allow me to upgrade my front speakers (centre included) at that point i can look at modernising the amp. I have learned that for my modest means, spending a reasonable amount more often is better for my circumstances than spending big less often, and not having features that are available in more recent offerings. I went 15 years without HDMI!!! Thanks everyone!
  4. G'day Terry, I'm not going all climate change on this. The facts are that unless you're willing to spend thousands of hours learning about this stuff - you're not qualified to have an informed opinion (and nor am i). I have chosen to put my stock in my limited understanding of the basic principals and the odd expert opinion who i happen to agree with because it suits my circumstances and already held beliefs about how business operates, self-interest and the 'laws' of diminishing returns (confirmation bias rules our subconscious). I have no doubt that *some* more expensive cables will be better than *some* cheaper cables in some *small* way. I am also very mistrustful of marketing claims (remember $300 HDMI cables perform no better than $5 HDMI cables in the vast majority of use-cases - as tested by Choice Magazine - i know people duped by this) made by business in the interests of their shareholders and quite simply no one else (for that is THE nature of a corporation). I also understand the principal of diminishing returns and how that relates to the value proposition. Perhaps a $10/m wire is 0.5% less resistant than a $2/m wire, and have a 0.2% improvement of musicality over the distance i run them. I have a $1500 AVR with $2000 speakers. Not $20,000 amp with $50,000 speakers. The 16AWG $25 speaker cable i bought (30m) is not even OFC, and it is a stop-gap, so even i have some standards That 14AWG in-wall wire i linked to seems like good value; good quality cable that would be perfectly suitable to a set up that will never be audiophile but will be more demanding than perhaps the average, yet you notice i have enquired about 12 AWG because 'why not' - depending on the price, it's value proposition may remain strong (though i'm mainly just curious - 12AWG is simply not necessary for any system i can envisage running myself). FWIW, i have found "Audioholics" to be a fairly good source of information, but there were several others i found via duckduckgo. Never trust a single-source of course.
  5. I've been reading a bit and it seems that really the only things that matter are gauge and (less so) OFC. Everything else is bullsh!t. And gauge matters more the longer it is run or the power being delivered (and the ohms it is being delivered at). The other issue that people sometimes talk about is capacitance, but that appears to be so utterly insignificant that it's really just a marketing ploy. At least, this is what i've been reading/watching. Looking at the figures, i should be able to get away with 16 AWG of OFC. I might look at getting 14 AWG, for a little extra 'headroom'. Maybe my replacement for the Denon in 10 years will be better and by then i might even replace the speakers which by then will be 25 years old. To that end, these cables seem quite adequate: http://www.cablechick.com.au/cables/avencore-50m-platinum-series-in-wall-14awg-9998-ofc-speaker-cable-2-core.html I've asked them if they also have/can get 12 gauge because why not. For now, i've just grabbed some 16 AWG not even OFC from Bunnings to run around the room. It was $25 and it was almost exactly the length i needed and now i've heard my stereo for the first time. It sounds pretty good. Much the same as i recall from a couple of years ago with the old system - my Centre speaker really needs an upgrade It always has sounded 'strained' and weak against the fronts. The set up identified it as a 'small' speaker, and the L/R speakers as 'large' speakers. Which is interesting because the L/R are bookshelf speakers (granted, large ones). Sadly, vocals are almost... distant. Certainly less full bodied. But hey, i've only played a few minutes of Avatar. I'll try something with some powerful voices - Sauron might be a good start. Followed by Dustin Hoffman in the amazing "conscious" scene in The Messenger.
  6. Well, i bit the bullet - i got the Denon 2400H. It was on 'introduction special' which i hope doesn't mean 'we've found something wrong with it so we're getting them off the shelves quickly to introduce the fixed version shortly'. I didn't intend to purchase right away, but i got it for $1270 which i think is quite good for a $1599 RRP. I also purchased it from one of the few specialist audio places still operating in Canberra, and where i have previously purchased stuff in years past. Now... i've discovered that i have no speaker cable! I think i'll just go to Jaycar to get something reasonable. I don't believe the hype when it comes to expensive speaker wire. Unless it has some amazing shielding to reduce induced noise if there is some then i don't see the value in it. Still - what gauge or thickness would people recommend for that Denon, and a 5.1 system (i do have a 10" sub) and we'll pretend i have floorstanding front speakers for now, as i do plan to wire these through the wall. Cheers!
  7. Thanks for that background. Forgive my ignorance, if i have a BluRay player connected to the AVR, then the AVR to the TV, does the AVR just pass the signal through totally and the TV does the magic? Or does it 'constrain' the signal going to the TV in some way? Have you got some more advanced reviews of the Denon/Yamaha i'd like to have fight in a bowl of jelly for my wallet's contents?
  8. I will try what i can here, then may well travel to Sydney for a look and listen. I know what you mean with WhatHiFi, i'm not as sold on their reviews. They seem to find it hard to criticise a unit. I have experienced higher refresh rates on PCs (gaming) and it is better to my eyes, but it seems very subjective; some people report no difference. I do not know if there is any benefit to TV/BluRay.
  9. All things being determined, yes i totally agree. But it is difficult, when the market here is too small (apparently) and only chain retailers stock one of the brands i'm most interested in. Also if someone says the video processing is 'defective' then i'll instantly remove that unit from my options. Something like that would be difficult to determine without an expert. Lucky me - i found a Denon review. None for the Yamaha as yet. It's good when the same reviewer tests both units. https://www.whathifi.com/denon/avr-x2400h/review I read on one site that the Denon may do higher than 60Hz, which may be a plus in the near future, and the Yamaha does not. I have not been able to verify this anywhere else though.
  10. Dolby Vision, eh? At my price-point i've not seen this mentioned anywhere. Is this going to be another thing to upgrade to in 3 years when it becomes affordable. Is it a thing now? I haven't heard of it in 'normal circles'... is it already on BluRays? I've checked the two models i'm looking at and they both have Dolby Vision. W00t! https://au.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/av_receivers_amps/rx-v781/features.html#product-tabs https://www.au.denon.com/au/product/homecinema/avreceiver/avrx2400h Oddly, the Denon does not have DLNA certification. Not sure how that impacts things atm.
  11. G'day cwt! I'm really liking the multi-room thing. My parents would have loved this kind of thing when they upgraded their stereo equipment about 10 years ago. At the time, there really wasn't anything other than 2-zones. Plus, they need simple. I've given them my old Beyonwiz PVR and they have no idea how to use it At this preliminary stage, i think i've narrowed it down to Denon and Yamaha. The Sony doesn't have ethernet that i can see, and the Marantz doesn't seem to have any multi-room HEOS/MusicCast equivalent, which i've decided is a big deal. I was leaning towards the Yamaha because i think their multi-room offering is more 'mature' and versatile (though not without it's problems - non-existent searching for music for example has been copping a huge amount of criticism on the Google Play feedback and forums). I will research more about HEOS in a shop that will try hard to sell the Denon to me (they don't sell Yamaha). I'm a person that relies heavily on reviews. In Canberra, i simply don't have the luxury of testing gear so i have to rely a lot on reviews (plus, tbh, i respect expert opinion when it comes to sound or video processing quality in many cases over my own ears - which become used to whatever is in front of me). I haven't read any for literally years, but Stephen Dawson of Sound + Image is someone i trust entirely. Problem is, seldom is the model i'm considering reviewed. Previous versions of the Denon seem to have been awarded "best under $$" by both Sound + Image and What HiFi which tells me to seriously consider it - but i know that pros and cons can completely change with each version released. Example: http://www.avhub.com.au/product-reviews/sound-image/denon-avr-x2300w-av-receiver-review-472905 I remember reading AVR reviews many years ago in The Canberra Times (Monday paper i think) and Stephen would identify shortcomings in video processing that no one else even mentioned. This concerns me when choosing a unit. He used to identify units passing through poorly, or incorrectly interlacing, or using poor bob/weave de-interlacing and all kinds of video processing degradations in units costing more than what i'm considering. Is this still a problem? Note i'm referring to probably approaching 7-10 years ago - probably the early days of HDMI - certainly no newer than 1.4. Maybe this just is a non-issue these days?
  12. That might be difficult I've looked for Yamaha in Canberra and there's only the Good Guys and Harvey Norman. There's some music shop (as in for players) that seemed to have a bunch of old models. That's it. Marantz i know a place, Denon too. Sony, i suspect Good Guys and such. Noisy places, focussed on the lower-end and with no time for someone with difficult questions. They'll order whatever i want, i'm sure, but i doubt they'd know much or have much on display. I will check them out all the same, i might get lucky.
  13. Going through the Yamaha that seems to hit the sweet spot: RX-V781 https://au.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/av_receivers_amps/rx-v781/index.html I realised a feature that is a bit of a must-have for me: gapless playback. The vast bulk of my audio is in FLAC, and when gaps are introduced it drives me nuts. Surely this is just standard? But for Yamaha to spruik it suggests otherwise. What appears to be a rough equivelant from Sony seems to lack multi-room capability and no ethernet port? https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/av-receivers/str-dn1080/specifications Denon, i can't tell which model i should be comparing, there's no RRP on their site. Same with Marantz. https://www.au.denon.com/au/product/homecinema/avreceiver http://www.qualifi.com.au/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1098 ..and i've just discovered a new term: HEOS, which i gather is very similar to Yamaha's impressive looking MusicCast.
  14. You wouldn't believe what else i get away with though moves and counter moves
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