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Posts posted by Recusant

  1. 26 minutes ago, Gremrock said:

    Standmounts can do pretty impressive things if your room isn't too hard to drive, but they tend to like more power to really shine i've found. I wouldn't put too much against that centre speaker though, its mostly the vocal channel for things unless you have it set to "Large" on the receiver, if it can't handle the lower extension it'll likely sound better with just the fronts set to large for full range and everything else set to small.

    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.


    26 minutes ago, Gremrock said:

    Are you allowed to play with positioning with your speakers too? Many just plonk them in a spot the wife says is okay, and never move them around, Ideally you want them out from the walls probably more than you're allowed to give them breathing room so to speak.

    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.


    26 minutes ago, Gremrock said:


    Keep an eye out second hand though, its amazing what pops up at affordable prices around here, I effectively paid $5k for my ML3's which were $16k new about 4 years ago. Plenty of bargains to be had if you're patient and obversant :)

    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! :D



  2. 26 minutes ago, Gremrock said:

    Don't skimp if  you pick new speakers though, they are something you can have for 20years+ with no real changes to technology. Do it right with them :)

    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! :)

    • Like 2
  4. 13 hours ago, TerryO said:

    Thanks for setting the record straight about this, could you please provide links to all the expert opinions you have read on speaker cables so everyone else can also be so well informed


    regards Terry

    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.



    • Like 2
  7. 1 hour ago, cwt said:

    These high bandwidths are getting even more incompatible imho with scaling chipsets in avr's ; best done where the $ have been spent - the display :)


    btw ; The reviews I take more note of [ not What hifi ] do comprehensive spec testing including comparisons with other components through a standardised test  regime , not all do :winky:

    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? :)


    4 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

    I have a preference for the Denon sound to Yamaha but others here swing the other way. Still think you should drive to one retailer in western Sydney and listen to both.


    Some ten years ago, I put some weight on Whathifi reviews but after reading some dubious product of the year awards, now do a wide ranging search.


    I think you are referring to the 60Hz for 4K video? The debate on benefits of higher refresh rates for video is eternal and I suspect over hyped marketing.


    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. 8 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

    I always suggests trusting your ears over other people's opinions.  Many newbies (and you are not one!) think their ears are too old or too new etc...  My advice to them is that it is their hard earned money and, unlike people who post here, myself included, do not have to live with their equipment choices on a daily basis.

    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.



    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. 8 hours ago, cwt said:

    That was me recusant:) ; since then other makes have received hdmi 2.0a passthrough so your choice is wider . In fact certain Denon and Marantz models will be getting an upgrade to pass dolby vision [ if you prefer this ] but maybe only upmarket ones..


    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! :D





    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. 5 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

    Now that you have seen a few models online, suggest you go into a specialist retailer with your favorite movies and music. Some people prefer the Yamaha sound, others Denon, Marantz.

    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



    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?



    Denon, i can't tell which model i should be comparing, there's no RRP on their site. Same with Marantz.




    ..and i've just discovered a new term: HEOS, which i gather is very similar to Yamaha's impressive looking MusicCast.

  14. 20 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

    If you had the same email adress, your DTVforum thread would have been merged into SNA and you should see it in your activities.  If not, do a search and it should come up.


    Are you open to going second hand?  Or, being a geek, only the latest?  Will help if you define what is a must have and what is nice to have?  And given your movie focus, a Denon, Yamaha, Marantz will likely do the job.

    By golly you're right! The registration process here didn't really suggest that i already had an account. I put in a username (the same) and the old password and it asked me to create a profile including creating a password. I assumed it was all new.


    Anyway, here was my old thread. Seems i got my AVR more like 15 years ago :ohmy:


    There was some really great advice i received and i realise now how rude i was not to conclude the thread (stuff happened and my ToDo list got too long - when this dropped off the radar i plain forgot to go back). Sorry to all those who were so helpful!


    This time i am ready :D Money in the bank and hoping to purchase before the end of the school holidays (2 weeks time).


    For the wants, i basically want the latest version of things.

    • HDMI
    • HDCP
    • 4K
    • UHD
    • HDR
    • 5.1
    • DTS/Dolby
    • Auto-set up mic thingy
    • Streaming awesomeness (Plex, YouTube, Netflix, DLNA, Networking)
    • Would love to be able to power more speakers, like outside the house, or in another room. Not sure how to go about that.

    Are there more new standards i need to fuss over? It's never ending :(


    I will start looking at the Yamaha range, i remember it being highlighted in my old thread by someone.

  15. Hi,


    I've moved home and it's time replace my lovely Harmon Kardon AVR5000 from a decade or so ago to something with more modern connections and features. It sounds wonderful, but not even HDMI so it's time to go. Speaking of which, anyone want an audiably perfectly functional although with some signs of age HK (it hasn't been plugged in for over a year, but the front light on a selected item or two weren't working and the remote is rubbish)?


    I'm more a geek than an audiophile, so while stereo sound quality is important, i can sacrifice a little for a full feature-set. I have B&W 5.1 speaker system from about a decade ago - DM602 S2 (S1 rear) series, and a B&W 10" sub (their cheapest offering at the time). If my wife would let me, i'd consider upgrading the front speakers to floor standers one day... but she won't let me. Music is seldom played whilst sitting in front of it, so again the pure stereo SQ can come second place to the 5.1 and multimedia experience. Things like streaming are something i'd like to do - Ethernet, Plex, Netflix etc.


    I don't want to spend 3k on a system that becomes technologically obsolete in 3-5 years. HDMI2x, HDR, UHD, HDCP... which is why i've set a budget at around $1500. I'm flexible should something totally spectacular becomes available for marginally more than that.


    About a year ago, i asked some questions on DTVforum and got some helpful answers, but of course time moves on (turns out i couldn't spare the money at that time) and that place is no more so i can't refer to the responses, and i'm only now in a position to make a purchase. Seems Stereo.net grabbed my email from DTV in their acquisition and started emailing me.. had it been another time i would not have been amused. However as i'm in the hunt for a unit the trade-in from Arcam grabbed my attention... until i saw the price. :(


    Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for your views :)

  16. buy well and buy once. theres no need to wait 2 years to get what you want in an avr or processor. people have been enjoying 3D audio for years now. theres a huge back catalog to jump into and enjoy both with native mixes and upmixing as am finding out.

    of course there'll be some 2nd hand bargains too both in current gear and older. buying and then replacing in 2 years time isn't always a plan that works....mainly because the losses in resale - such is the world of av. gear doesnt have to be defunct either...

    if have a $2.5k budget as would appear on the previous page...and a perchance for yamaha just go with something like the 2050. seems to have all bases covered, am sure thered be a local specialist store keen to have their arm twisted for a good price well below. doubt be disappointed !

    I just don't update frequently so i agree with you. However, when i said i found the unit i wanted and it costs $2500 - that was just what i WANTED :D My budget is still supposed to be about $1200 but i'm considering going a bit higher for something that is drastically reduced like the BNIB 'second hand' Yamaha already pointed to. I'm still researching online, i haven't had a chance to go to the 'proper' hifi places yet. Thanks for all the help/advice i've received so far.

  17. The latest and greatest is a fine idea, if only things are stable this year - which they aren't..

    So unless OP wishes to enter the 4k TV realm, I would say, keep things simple..

    This new HDMI 2, HDCP 2.2 is getting a lot of news simply because even if one has the full chain of items, things still go awry.. call me a pessimist.. save some cash.. :)

    Gotta give myself the best chance i can of being 4k ready for when my TV or BluRay dies. Either one will be replaced with a 4K unit if it is at all affordable.

  18. Theres a brand new 1050 going cheap atm it has 2 switchable atmos speaker capability for a smaller room..


    That certainly appears to be pretty much what i'm i'm looking for, and at the right price. Call me a nervous nelly, but without an escrow system i'm pretty nervous about driving to Sydney (about 3hrs) and dropping $1500 on something without any warranty whatsoever. I've been playing DayZ for too long and my trust in people has subsided. 'Blu-ray bob' only has 17 posts to his name. Nevertheless, i have PM'd him.

    Sorry guys, i must be coming across as someone who can't be satisfied :( I don't mean to be. $1500 is an awful lot of money for my family and i've got to squeeze everything i can from it.

  19. UHD Bluray is in its infancy recusant with many more discs to come over the coming year . Bluray discs have a very small % of dolby atmos soundtracks and there is but 2 or 3 dts-x encoded discs so far . 4k blurays wont play back on your standard bluray player ; the player must have a HEVC decoder for a start .

    HDR is based on the new smpte spec that gives a wider colour gamut and more lifelike colours than we have had for ages ; good read here http://hdguru.com/ultra-hd-blu-ray-spec-released/ . The standard is still in flux ; only LG teles so far can handle hdr10 and dolby vision . Wait until you can afford some ceiling speakers and additional amps for this stuff ; the whole chain needs to be hdmi2.0a compliant..

    Today was the first i had ever heard of HDR, though i was aware of HDMI2.0a - which i was hoping to include 'just because' (i didn't/don't know for what it's required). Gah, how do you guys keep on top of this stuff?! :)

    So i decided the amp i want is $2500. I guess i wait until one of you guys buy it, get bored of it and sell it off cheap? ;) In all seriousness, i think i really should get a unit that has HDMI2.0a because one of my irritants with the HK is that i had wires going everywhere to try to get HD TV with the best audio i could - so i'd have the wiz using optical to the HK (no HDMI) and the HDMI video to the TV. Similarly for the other components. I'd rather avoid an HDMI cable to the TV (to get 4kHDR picture for example) and then some other cable to the AVR. I had the Wiz do some of the decoding because the HK couldn't, which meant that some TV stations wouldn't work through the Wiz to the TV unless the HK was turned on etc. Just annoying and complex and - messy! :) In my budget, the Marantz seems to be the right choice but maybe it's just perception but it seems a little meek.

    How does the Yamaha fair? The specs don't show if it has HDMI2.2a



    I realise this isn't quite related but as you raised UHD/HDR i'd like to ask: UHD is not the same as 4k (pixels), but now there's this UHD Premium badge to show it has HDR right? So is there a 4k UHD Premium? I read about the 'premium' thing here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/hdr-tv-high-dynamic-television-explained. A salesman was trying to sell my mum a TV today a "4k" TV that was in fact "UHD".

  20. I don't think it's fair to paint a negative impression on the whole of Asia, you may have had some negative impression, but I have had many good bargains, and all I would say is Caveat Emptor, and do your due diligence.. the sticky will give you a lot of info on where to go in Asia for HT gear if you ever consider that, cheers..

    Thanks - i did not know there was such a post. It's all moot besides, i simply don't have the money to fly overseas for any reason. Remember, my kit is 15 years old ;)

  21. If you fly into Asia, you can score a new Denon 4100 for $1000.. But in Oz, that will be a piped dream...

    Go 2nd hand if you can't increase that budget..

    I've seen people buy laptops from big 'reputable' chain stores in Vietnam and find out later that half the parts in it are sub-spec or faked (like "128gb" that is actually 16gb with some clever software hacks). Phones with firmware delivered malware (only fixable by changing the firmware - factory reset won't fix it). I'm not buying anything from Asia :) Not that it is really an option to travel there (paying over 1k for an AVR is a serious financial commitment for one on my income).

    Reading some reviews of various machines now. Having trouble tracking down a review for the Arcam (other models are covered though).

  22. Well you can actually re-cycle the 5000. It has inputs for 5.1 from a BR player like the Oppo. Then you can plug your other HDMI gadgets into it.

    Will be within your $1000 budget.

    I haven't gotten used to this multiquote stuff.

    I know of the Oppo brand, but not about their current offerings. Still, i'd rather not another link in the chain (3 devices doing stuff instead of 2). Is this BluRay player effectively a multi-media player with a BluRay player? The BeyonWiz or AVR or TV running Plex is really where the bulk of our usage would be.

    I'm a computer person rather than an audio person :homestar: <- looking for a propeller head emoji :) But i don't want the budget junk either. When i do sit down to watch or listen - i want it to be as lovely as possible within a reasonable budget. The 2nd Hand options do seem appealing for this reason.

  23. $1200 new isn't going to buy much brand new comparing even remotely to the hk5000. Look out for second hand an arcam or Cambridge unit of some quality should come up in budget :)


    Arcam 380 going for $1200 there probably wouldn't look further ...

    Thanks - i'll check out some reviews! :) Does that site have any escrow or the like? Reliability of it's members? Risky proposition for me to pop in and throw $1200 around as a new user.

    For memory, the HK cost about $2000 (new) back in the day. I guess the exchange rate would have been in the mid 80s then but i was hoping i could find something for around $1500 which, although perhaps not sounding as magical, had an updated feature-set and more of a home theatre/multimedia bent.

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