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Is the ability to set independent crossover settings for speakers important

 

Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 26
Registered: Jul-05
Have read that certain receivers do not offer the ability to set different crossover settings for speakers. On the other hand some people say they just set them at 80 and let the sub do the lower frequencies.

Also some don't EQ the sub even though it sets the volume, distance and crossover between the sub and speakers at least according to comments by some. What else is there to EQ the sub?

Would like to understand if the inability to do these is really an issue.
In your opinion would the inability to do either of these by themselves or together be a deal breaker?

Thanks
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 15982
Registered: May-04
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"Have read that certain receivers do not offer the ability to set different crossover settings for speakers. On the other hand some people say they just set them at 80 and let the sub do the lower frequencies."


80Hz is the THX standard for crossing main speakers to a powered subwoofer. Assuming you don't have a full THX certified system from source player through to speakers, making the leap to 80Hz as a standard for any other system is rather likely to provide less than the most satisfactory cross from main speakers to sub. That doesn't mean that's not where you'll end up setting your crossover but it's less likely with a non-THX system. The crossover filters on most non-THX certified systems are too shallow and there will be substantial output from the sub all the way up to around 200Hz with an "average" sub. This will make placement of the sub and correct set up of the system more tedious and possibly still not to your liking. With output well into the male vocal range coming from the sub, it is probably going to be easy to locate the position of the sub as a sound source independent of the center/mains. So, if your system isn't THX certified from top to bottom, don't assume an 80Hz crossover will work.


"Also some don't EQ the sub even though it sets the volume, distance and crossover between the sub and speakers at least according to comments by some. What else is there to EQ the sub?"


EQ the sub? I have to admit I am not into video and therefore I've not heard of this feature existing on a HT receiver. EQ is, for the most part, your least best option for adjusting the system to your room. There are a few automatic adjustment systems being included in the higher priced HT receivers that would also EQ the sub. If this is what you're talking about, then those systems are a far better way to go than a conventional EQ system which has only a few adjustment points and tends more toward large peaks and valleys in response centered around preset EQ "centers". All rooms have their own personality in terms of frequency response errors which can make for some lousy bass response. The "traditional" approach to solving these problems would be through absorptive room treatments. These have their own problems and are typically a first step but not always the best step. If you can afford a HT receiver with auto-adjust room EQ, you'll probably be happy with the results. Otherwise, we've lived without auto-adjust room EQ for decades.

It's a toss up as to how much you can afford to buy and how much you can afford to throw away when the HT receiver craps out. By inserting more and more features into a receiver, the manufacturer ultimately must make sacrifices to meet a price range. The all to typical way for manufactureres to do this is to take away something less visible to the consumer in order to pay for the inclusion of another "LOOK AT ME" feature. The power supply has for decades been where manufacturers tend to scrimp on cost as most buyers wouldn't know a power supply and what is need to build a good one than they would know how to build their own car. This constant lowering of the bar in terms of the most important piece of a receiver - the power supply - has led to many HT receivers not being worth the money to repair when their less than well built HT receiver craps out in a few years time. If the EQ feature leads to a more heavily taxed, lower quality power supply, the inevitable occurs. At that point, new features will be on the current crop of HT receivers and you'll send your old unit off to scrap and go buy a new HT receiver with even more features and an even less reliable power supply.

The only way around this IMO is to invest in a fairly high end HT product from a more than mass market manufacturer. If the only way a company like, say, Yamaha can have you continue to buy their product is to build in predetermined obsolesence, you should be able to figure out what not to buy. If a company like, say, McIntosh can remain a viable company through sales of their other (two channel) products which are aimed at the serious music lover, my money would be on a company like McIntosh not building a HT product designed to be thrown away in few years time. Of course, you'll not find Mac in the big box stores - yet - and you'll pay a good sum for the priviledge of owning a reliable product.

You pays your money and you takes your chances.



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Bronze Member
Username: Klaussner

Post Number: 27
Registered: Jul-05
I went to a very small independent shop as I had read very good reviews about it. When I told him I was looking for a receiver he started talking and went on and on including simple stuff I already knew. Don't know if he was trying to impress me or what. He also claims he designs and builds amps. His recommendation was a Denon AVR-2311. I said you sell Anthem and I was curious about the new receivers they have out. That is the reason I went there in the first place. Without mentioning any price I was willing to pay he says, I would not recomment the Anthem for a thousand because you give up too many bells and whistles and also a lack of power. He recommends the Denon but can't recommend the Anthem because of lack of power? He also said that being an Anthem dealer he would love to sell me one and then repeated the above reason for not recommending that one. Needles to say I left there confused about his opinions.

Some years back I remember people claiming that Nad had reliability issues including humming issues. I like and prefer quality when within reason but I am not sure that spending more than a thousand on a receiver is worth it. Maybe at that point one should start to consider seperates instead.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16007
Registered: May-04
.

Everyone has their own opinions. Though I do find it offputting when a salesperson relies on an "argument from authority" in an attempt to sway a listener in one direction or another. You're the one who has to be happy, not the salesperson. It is, in and of itself; first, a logical fallacy; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority, and, IMO it's lousy salesmanship to say the customer should feel honored to have this person assisting them because you know so little and they know so much. I've worked with other salespeople like that. One guy's favorite line was, "It's good enough for me so, why shouldn't it be good enough for you?" All of us in the store rolled on the floor whenever he pulled that one out.


Some people are attracted to bells and whistles and some are not. I am in the latter camp, I prefer the most straight forward, gimmick free products. For quite a few years my cassette deck had more buttons on it than the rest of my system components combined. So take that as my two cents and combine it with the other guy's two cents and you still don't have enough to buy a cup of coffee. IMO, when you eliminate frills there is more of the budget to put into the quality of the product rather than simply filling out the features list with quantity. I have no idea why this person would place an emphasis on power since power isn't tremendously important in the average HT. The difference between 100 watts and 150 watts from the same manufacturer amounts to almost no real and useable difference between the volume potential of the two amps. To begin with, not all watts are equal and a receiver's power (watts are made up of both voltage and amperage [current] and most receievers have a problem with that amperage part which can be critical to good sound) are notorious for not being fully available when driving a real world loudspeaker.

I'm not sure what to tell you since you admit to being confused and I do believe I would have left with a less than satsifactory sense of being heard - and not at all listened to - by this salesperson. From your description he sounds more as though he liked the sound of his own voice and the word "I" at the start of every sentence.


If the shop has the product you are interested in auditioning, I would suggest you make an effort to give the Anthem a chance before you take anyone's word that you will not be happy with its ... uh, ... "austerity". Call the shop and make an appointment to audition the product during a slow weekday afternoon or morning. If you feel uneasy dealing with this same salesperson, ask to speak to the manager. Explain your situation and ask for another salesperson. If the sales staff is not on commission, it really shouldn't matter who makes the sale - if it happens. If the staff is on commission, the two salespeople will simply split the commission from any sale. If the first salesperson asks for any reasons, just tell him the truth - you don't feel he was serving your needs or listening to your desires. Who knows? you might end up with something unexpected afterall. Just don't allow the first guy to gloat if you buy the Denon. Be courteous and gracious as best you can. No need to get down to his level.



NAD hasn't had the sort of problems which for awhile seemed all too frequent just a few years back. Buy from a reputable dealer - even if you pay a few dolars more, find a dealer who is willing to work with you. For the most part, all repairs are made by NAD at the service center so a dealer can do nothing more than swap out a unit if it fails early. This is how just about every manufacturer of HT equipment operates today.

There is a fairly good sized gap between HT receivers and HT separates when it comes to pricing. If you can afford separates, I would say they are your better alternative. If nothing else, you have far more flexibility in buying exactly what you feel you need/want, there is more flexibility in upgrading, and a general sense of better design and construction if you're dealing with a line that doesn't change the faceplates every six months. I would say do your homework and you should have covered yourself as much as possible. Remember, every manufacturer makes a lemon from time to time. That's why all manufacturers have some sort of repair facility. That may not be the most comforting thought but it is a reality. Ask about local service before you make a purchase and you can proceed from there.



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