I'm an audio enthusiast. I like two channel stuff, I like surround stuff.

I've found that opinions on audio equipment are like parts of your body, pretty much everybody has got one.

I have two Sony Receivers, one was free, one wasn't. One is a DB series, it wasn't free. One is a higher end of the DE spectrum, it was free.

I've owned an older Yamaha RX-V receiver, I gave it to my parents. I got it free too (corporate gifts, don't is free afterall).

I did a lot research on speakers. Finally bought a pair of JBS S38II's and a pair of S26II's. Boy am I disappointed. I'm currently not running any rears, because of some home renovations, so no need to discuss that at the moment. My KEF subwoofer just shot craps (boy am I mad about that)..but I digress.

I bought the 'hype' on the S38's, hell even Sterephile gave them a thumbs up. So far they sound compressed. The positioning is a nightmare, and I believe the tweeter and mid being side-by-side is a mistake. Now, I'm also thinking that being baited in believing that the DB series of Sony which suppossedly incorporated some of the features of the ES-DA series was a mistake.

Also, the equalizer section of the Sony's is nothing more then a pain in the butt to me. Without it, 2 channel sounds lifeless, with it, I just can't get it right. Frankly just give me a good old Bass and Trebble knob and I'll find my way thanks.

So far, I can't decide. Save the Sony's (as oppossed to giving them to family or keeping them hooked up to the PC) or start over. Use them as Pre's for a seperate amp (but that still leaves the dang equalizer). Or, junk the JBL's...or both.

So I read, Yamaha is gimmicky, uses lame power supplies until you get way upscale. Denon is great, Denon is compressed and tight, Denon is bright. Pioneer Elite is good, Marantz is good with less gimmicks, NAD and Rotel all give you the big iron seperate feel...etc. etc. blah, blah..etc. etc. Then out comes the new DA series stuff from Sony which the top of the line looks like it cooks your dinner on top of everything else.

So give me your opinions, new receivers/amp, new speakers..both. If both pretend you have a budget of $2000.

Now I don't want any touchy feely crap about individual choices and its all "really up to you and your tastes" No,'ve all got ideas, favorites, bias's and the like, fire at will, tell me what you think.

BTW I've got a tricky main room, so a receiver that self calibrates, or easily calibrates is a good thing. High Ceilings, angled walls etc. etc. I want 2 channel quality first, but somethign that does justice on DVD's and multi-channel music as well. Also something that allows 'bypass' features (heck even discuss DVD players, CD players) so as to allow the source material to be manipulated or not manipulated by the most capable DAC's and such.


I am going to suggest that your speakers aren't as bad as you think they are because a major source of your problem is the amplification. So, you may wish to try changing your amplification before you change your speakers. The "compressed" sound you are hearing is likely coming from the Sony(s). In fact, I don't think the Sonys are even worthy of being used as a pre/pro only (I have been very disappointed in the lack of quality in Sony audio gear). Now, those JBLs are meant to be laid on their side in a mirror image configuaration, so your positioning may need to be changed to get the most out of them.

I would start with changing the receiver. Your budget isn't big enough to go to separates, so try the next best thing--either an NAD 752 (can be had for $699) or a Marantz 7300. I think the NAD is better as it has much more power (it delivers far more current), but the Marantz is a very sweet receiver and should be considered, as well. Both will give you a much cleaner and more articulate sound out of the pre/pro section and the amp sections are just plain better and more dynamic than your Sonys.

Once you change the receiver, if you still are unhappy, I recommend a change in speakers. If you get the NAD, I highly recommend the Magnepan MMGs, available directly from Magnepan for $550/pair. I can guarantee that the MMGs are faster, more open and detailed than any speaker you have ever heard (they are flat panel "planar" speakers which have no cabinets and no cones). while Stereophile may have given the thumbs up to the JBLs, it is interesting to know that something like 73% of Stereophile readers have Magnepan speakers (the editors of Stereophile were astounded by this poll of their readers). The MMGs come with a 60 day in home trial and if you don't like them, just send'em back. I personally think that they are the best speaker available for under $2K a pair. You can fill out the HT system later with matching Magnepans surrounds and center speaker. Check it out at, and click on the link for "The Offer We Hope You Can't Refuse". There is no way I can describe how good these speakers sound and they will never sound compressed!

JOhnny the GUN
THIS is a simple fix. Before I begin I want to tell you thaT I own a Yamaha rx-Z9.

Nuff said, get the DENON avr 3803, or wait for the 3804 which is to come out soon. They deliver constant high current power and the sound is clean and "untouched" compared with comparable yamaha receivers. DO not get marantz. My buddy PUSHEs them @ reel time and you can get better.

As for the speakers I am not familiar with them I hope they are NOT JBL's because they do suck, unles they were stolen from the KRIKORIAN movie cineplex! (j'k_)
GET the Athenas. They will blow you away. Canadien company, UNbelievable sound from the cost.!!!!!!!! GO to BEST BUY ( of all places)!!!!!!!!!!!! thank me later

Hmmm. I have to disagree. I have the Denon 3803 (I am listening to it right now) and I usually don't recommend it unless you are buying it for the video switching. It does sound better than most Yamahas I have heard (which tend to be excessively "bright")--by a country mile. But the fact remains that the Denon's sound is dry and can get "grainy" sounding with many speakers. There is no doubt in my mind that the Denon would be an improvement over PWB's Sonys, but he can do better for the same or less money, sonically. The Denon is just not as spacious sounding as the other receivers I have recommended. After extensive testing, I know either the NAD's (742, 752, and 762) or Marantz 7300 (which is the only Marantz I feel is special) are a better sounding product than the Denon 3803. The Denon is still a receiver and sounds like a receiver. The NADs sound like quality separates, and the Marantz 7300's sound reminds me of a high quality integrated amp. Both are an improvement over the usual "receiver" sound.

I echo Hawk's comment. Do not get a Denon 3803.This is a very bright receiver and my experience with it was terrible. I agree that NAD and Marantz are excellent and I would throw in my personal favorite Elite line and the Integra line. IMO Denon and Yamaha and SonyES do not come close to the others.

I had the n26's and I thought they were just fine besides a little bass shy.

It was a type-o, they are JBL speakers, which in the latest Stereophile, still ranks as a Class D pick "i.e. not great, but still worthy for those on a budget".

I will eventually upgrade the speakers, but I'm starting to think the rec/amp needs to be the first improvement.

Just listen to hawk and take his advice, I assure you his advice is the best you can get around here. I also agree to get maggies. A NAD with a pair of maggies?? you cant go wrong, thats a no brainer...
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