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New receiver for my Paradigm Studios (Help Hawk)

 

Unregistered guest
I have begun looking for a new receiver to pair with my Paradigm Studio 60 v.2 fronts, 20 v.2 rears, CC v.2 centers, and a Hsu Sub. I am running them with a Denon 3803 right now, but have also have a Yamamha Rx-V630 that I haven't hooked up to them. Any suggestions on a new direction? I have thought of Outlaw seperates as well. Any thoughts?
 

New member
Username: Bigfan

Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2004
I'm considering the same speakers you have. Do they not sound good w/the Denon (I'm also considering that receiver)? Also - which Hsu do you have, and how does it perform vs. Paradigm sub?
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 220
Registered: 12-2003
Shawn:

Your speaker set-up is absolutely first rate, right down to the Hsu sub. As a Denon 3803 owner who has tried your speakers at home with my receiver, I can honestly say it is not a combo I wanted to live with. Thus, knowing the speakers are so good, I came to the conclusion that the receiver was wrong. Although rated at 110 wpc x 7, I tested it against a 50 wpc x 5 NAD and the Denon lost. It just does not have the power to do justice to the Paradigms. The 60s need a lot of very clean power, and I have not found that the Denon is capable of delivering it.

The Yamaha 630 is easily among the worst sounding receivers I know of. I auditioned that model extensively when it was being blown out for the model year changeover and I thought I wanted to get a Yamaha, but I found the receiver is very bright sounding and hard to listen to. I just could not tolerate it for any extended listening. Then I learned that despite its 75 wpc rating, when driving five speakers that Yamaha clipped at 37.5 wpc. Apparently, the reason I had a hard time listening to that receiver is because it was straining near the clipping point. Now I can tell you that those Paradigms are not going to sing with so little power driving them, so I really wouldn't risk damaging the speakers by trying to drive them with that Yamaha.

Now the Paradigms are a speaker that is very detailed, but somewhat laid back sounding. Listening to them is like sitting in the 25th row of a great concert hall. What the Paradigms need is something warm sounding that also has a more forward sound--pushing the listener up to the 5th row in that same concert hall. That makes them a much more engaging speaker to listen to and enjoy.

You haven't given me your budget, but I would endorse the Outlaws as having the right amount of "forward" sound. Now, the 950 paired with the 7100 amp would run about $1700 ($1598 for the pair and another $100 for Outlaw interconnects), and the amp is a true 100 wpc x 7, so there would be plenty of power. However, that amp is a little cool sounding, almost clinical--it isn't for everyone. I would recommend you step up to the Model 755, which is 200 wpc x 5 and has a much warmer, more liquid sound. Now, I am not looking to bust your wallet, but this would be a noticeable improvement in the sound and worth the difference over the 7100 amp. The 755 with the 950 would be about $2K ($1898 for the gear and another ~$100 for interconnects), which is not cheap, but a huge step up from your Denon and a very good match with the Paradigm speakers.

However, if this is out of your league (it certainly is out of mine, price-wise), I would strongly suggest the NAD T763 receiver. It has an MSRP of $1399, but can be readily purchased for about $1100. It is a true 100 wpc x 6 and it will deliver more than enough power. I double checked and it has 210 wpc of dynamic headroom into 8 ohms, so it can really make the Paradigms give you everything they have. My local Yamaha/NAD/Magnepan/Paradigm dealer recommended the 763 to drive an all Maggie HT system (all 4 ohm), so you know it has the power to drive the more stable Paradigms. Furthermore, at that dealer I have heard this combo with your speakers and believe me, it works beautifully. Now the Outlaw combo of the 950 with the 755 would be my first choice as it has much more continous power, but if you can't or won't spend that much money, you can get all you need with the NAD receiver and it will be more than enough. In fact, it would make for a very special system, IMHO, and a huge improvement in sound over the Denon 3803.

Good luck!
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 225
Registered: 12-2003
Shawn:

I just had another thought--you can tell that its late and my brain isn't firing on all cylinders. But, in your situation, I might suggest that you simply get an outboard multi-channel amp and run your Denon as the pre/pro only. The Denon has a pretty good pre/pro section--its real weakness is the power supply and the amp section, both problems you would bypass by getting an outboard power amp.

Good choices would include the Outlaw 755 for $1298; an Adcom GFA-7700, which can be had for about $1200 (175 wpc x 5); an ATI 1805, which would also run about $1200 (180 wpc x 5); and, a B&K 125.5, which would also come in about $1200 (125 wpc x 5). Each of these would have the right sonic charecter and enough power to make a big improvement in your system. You can probably get each of these (other than the Outlaw, which is sold only by Outlaw) from Kiefs (www.kiefs.com).

Oh, and one more choice would be the Anthem PVA7, which you should be able to get for about $1200.
 

New member
Username: Eddy13

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2004
hey guys I just bought some Paradigm mini monitors and wanted to pair it with either the yamaha rxv1400 or the denon 2803. Which one would you think would make a better fit as those 2 are the ones that I have narrowed my choice to. Can anyoen tell me which of the 2 they would pick and why
 

New member
Username: Eddy13

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2004
Let me say that my room is a little bright as it is 15x12 and i have 12 foot ceilings. I just want the best reciever out of the 2 for my mini monitors cc370 and atom for rears
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_t

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2003
I have had my Paradigm Studios for 2 months now and found NAD is a great match with them, Hawk is on the money with his advise.. Did a side by side comparison with my old Yamaha receiver here at home and found the NAD was much warmer and detailed.. I believe the Denon would be a lot like the Yamaha.. I'd go NAD, Outlaw, Adcom or Rotel with Studios.. Also the Studios like lots of power and many manufacturers out there do not give true specs on their receivers, again Outlaw, NAD, Rotel and Adcom are at or above they're rated specs..
 

Unregistered guest
Yeah, there is a reason that the Yamaha is relugated to collecting dust in the corner of my apartment. I bought it for $199 at the Wiz/s Bankruptcy Sale and didn't have much of a chance to hear it. I figured I could always sell it if I hated it. I hate it, but have been too lazy to sell it.

Hawk, thanks for the advice. I went to try to listen to an NAD yesterday, but no one in the city (NYC) sells Paradigm and NAD. Lyric Audio brought me to a Rotel amp that is the predeccessor for the one coming out next month. It didn't strike me as the answer either. That combo was so laid back it almost lulled me to sleep. I wasn't all that impressed. But it may be because I am not a huge B & W fan, and that was all they had for me to listen to on it. The only store here that doesn't charge you $50 to have the paradigms "demoed" to you has the paradigms hooked up with a Denon 5803 and a Sony ES I forget the number of. Neither of which impressed me too much. I have heard my speakers with the Denon 4802 and a Denon 1804 that my friend owns. To tell you the truth, I liked the way the 1804 sounded the best. I can't say why, but it made me like my 3803 even less. I have long considered Outlaw, but I haven't thought too much about price yet. I start a new job in 3 months that is paying me more than I can fathom, so thus I am beginning my search for a receiver/pre-pro. Do you think it would be worth using the Yamaha as a pre-amp? I have always liked its operation more than the Denon, but hated its amp. I suppose I could just buy an amp and try them both. Right now I am leaning towards Outlaw.

Bigfan, I have a Hsu Vtf-2 just because I didn't need a big sub for the room I am in. In fact if I had to do it all over I would probably get the Hsu Stf-2. I really don't need the variable tuning option.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 229
Registered: 12-2003
Shawn:

Hey, congrats on the new job! That is great to hear.

1. Given the low cost of the Yamaha, I think I see where you are going. The Yamaha should be able to be made into a pre/pro without any difficulty (figuring you are going to change it later), thus allowing you to sell your Denon. So, you will only need a good power amp in the near term. Also, there is no question that the human-pre/pro interface is very important. I hate the remote on my 3803, part of the reason it has been given a pink slip.

2. Now, B+W is pretty close to Paradigm in its sonic charecteristics, so if you didn't like the Rotel with the B+Ws, it probably won't work with the Paradigms, either. BTW, I would agree with your assessment of Rotel. I am home testing a Rotel RX-1050 (stereo receiver for my study) right now, and it does seem to need a speaker with a little more sparkle.

3. If you get an Outlaw, defintely get the 755. The 7100 is going to sound more like the Rotel, where the 755 sounds more like an NAD, which is a great combo with Paradigms. Outlaw comes with a 30 day trial period, too, so if it doesn't work for you, you can always send it back. But I think you will like it and end up keeping it.

Good luck!
 

Marc F
Unregistered guest
Shawn F: I am also in NYC and having trouble finding stores that sell Marantz with more than B&W. Care to share the names of the stores you've visited in NYC.
 

New member
Username: Bigfan

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2004
Shawn,
I am also seeking an NAD/Paradigm dealer in NYC. Cross referencing their websites, I have found 2: Audio Video Center at 133 Bowery, and Royal Music at 31 Canal St. I haven't been to either yet and don't know anything about their reputations, but plan to check them out.

Is your dissatisfaction w/the Denon 3803 due to the interface, or is there something about its sound w/Paradigm that you don't like?
 

New member
Username: Eddy13

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2004
guys whats a perfect fit for the paradigms in a bright room. I had a old denon 1800 with my old infinity sattelites and to me the sound was always bright and thin. Shoudl i go with a yamaha rxv1400 or denon 2803
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 232
Registered: 12-2003
eduardo:

Neither receiver (Yamaha 1400 or Denon 2803) is going to sound markedly different from the Denon you had. I currently have the Denon 3803 and it sound "thin" which is why I have decided to replace it. The current Yamaha and Denon lines sound almost exactly the same to me--at least Yamaha got rid of the brightness that plagued their earlier receivers. But neither has the kind of power supply or output transistors to give you that full range sound. Look elsewhere.

If you want a fuller sound from a receiver, you need to seek out an NAD, H/K, or Marantz receiver. For Paradigms, I highly recommend the NAD--it seems to be the perfect fit, IMO.
 

New member
Username: Eddy13

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2004
where does one get nad. Local store or what. Also for under 600 dollars what hk can i get and the only marantz that i can get for under 600 is the sr5400. Will any of those sound beter than the yamaha and denon. I have looked at nuemrous revies online and the yamaha and denon are gettign rave reviews. Maybe it wasnt a perfect match for your speakers.
 

New member
Username: Eddy13

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2004
well i dotn know about you but any reciever that was amde 5 years ago in the bottom of the line will sound worse than any of the new receivers now a days that have better chips and all. Have the yamaha 1400 since they got rid of there brightness a tad do they sound better than the denon 2803 though with my paradigm I at least want to know that . the thing is that my local dealer is offerign 15 months no intrest no payment and thats hard to pass up
 

Unregistered guest
Regarding NAD receivers, would like to add this spin. I recently home tested the following 3 receivers with same speakers, Snell E.5 Towers (a true 4 ohm load), same room acousics 13x18 open on 1 end, same interconnects.

1)HK525: The dog of the lot, very disappointing,even checked the connections 3 times thinking I must be missing something. The sonic qualities were overly warm producing a thin, smeared and dark sound. The display lit up like the Hong Kong shoreline and would, however, make a great night lite.

2)Yammie 1400: Surprisingly good. Sonically robust, punchy, smooth and balanced at normal listening volume. At high volume, however, the piercing treble was strident on saxophones and Julia Fordham's wonderful (soprano?) voice.

3)NAD T752: Superior sonically in every way. The overall sound STRUCTURE with a full-bodied width, height and depth of soudstage,is amazing. With a very slightly warm presentation, it is unparalleled at providing the balanced, seamless layers of complete sound that an amplifier should. Detailed, pin point imaging is included.

NAD's are quirky machines that have QC control problems. If they ever got their act together, they would be dangerous. However, what you get is entry level audiophile stuff on a limited budget. End result, the sonics are so good that alot of us put up with their pitfalls.

The above is my opinion and to my ears only.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 237
Registered: 12-2003
eduardo:

NADs are available from quality dealers, as are H/Ks and Marantz.

For Marantz, here is a very good Marantz receiver well within your budget:

http://accessories4less.com/Amazing/itemdesc.asp?CartId=11493-EVEREST-630ZDZZD15 &ic=MAR+SR6300&cc=&tpc=

For under $600, you can get an NAD 743, which is an excellent receiver and would be my choice for your Paradigms. Here is the link for the NAD dealer locator:

http://www.nadelectronics.com/dealers/index.htm

I know you can get the NAD 743 from Kiefs for about $560--www.kiefs.com
 

Unregistered guest
Marc F,
Cosmophonic on 84th and 1st sells Marantz and at least PSB. They also claim to sell NAD, but all I saw was a 743 there. Stereo Exchange sells Marantz as well, but I have no clue if they sell it with B & W or some other brands as well.

The stores I have been to are pretty much those on the Upper Eastside and Midtown. Also Stereo Exchange and a few others. I haven't made it down to either of the stores you listed Bigfan, but I know you should stay away from the AUDIO/VIDEO SALON on 2nd ave. in the 80's. Well, unless you want to drop $50 to hear speakers before you buy them. As for the 3803, it is the sound. I can get over a crappy interface, but I cannot handle losing the detail that I know these speakers can produce. I think the Denon sound isn't as full as these speakers can produce. The 3803 was plenty for the Polks I once had, but lets face it, I bought those while in law school and didn't know any better. In the long run, I should have waited and bought something better. But hey, the speakers made me happy for 5 years and the amp did a good job until I hooked up the Paradigms. I mean the speakers are worlds ahead of where the polks were, but I know I can get more. And if it costs a bit of money to do it, I will.

Hawk, I listened to the Rotel 1050 as well. I thought it might be good if I wanted to do two channel. It was so mellow I could never see myself owning it. As for the receiver, it isn't the money aspect on the Yamaha vs. the Denon. I am sure I will get peanuts for either. I just like Yamaha's interface/remote better. In actuality, I will probably deal with the Denon until I can lay the $2k out for the Outlaw. I have wanted to get a set of their interconnects for my SACD player anyway. I can save on shipping by holding out a bit longer. Heh. I went to a place in the city where they tried to sell me Sunfire Seperates for about $3500. It was only 5 channels and I don't remember all the specs, but I couldn't audition the thing because it wasn't set up. Do you have experience with Sunfire? A friend of mine had the first sunfire seperates that came out in the mid-90's, but I haven't heard anything about them since then. I am open to hearing all of the equipment out there, but am somewhat upset that it is impossible to find a place that will let me listen to the speakers I own with a receiver I would like to buy. Yeah, New York may have everything, but people can sure be idiots about simple things too...

Shawn
 

Anonymous
 
Ok I want to be in the 5th row, so I am posting in this thread where that was mentioned! Help me get there, Hawk or whoever.

I just (today!) got a steal on a Marantz 5300, so there is my starting point. I may buy either a Mirage or HSU sub. Speakers are next up for me and where I need the help. Which will get me in the 5th row is what I want to know! That is what I am looking for. Also I want detail, but not too bright and not too laid back. I want a full sound and a great soundstage for my rowhouse living, open floor plan and high ceilings, not big though.

My budget is about $1000-$1500 for the speakers.

This wkd I listened to B&W CM600s and DM303s, a Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 80, the Totem Dreamcatcher (with Mites substituted as the front mains), and Energy Coniessueres C-2 (sp?). I wanted to check out KEF and Dynaudio at a dealer, but they were closed. Those may be out of my budget and maybe my Marantz is not up to par for that in any event.

Ideally I am looking for 4 bookshelf speakers which are 11 inches tall.

I read here that Monitor Audio speakers match well with the Marantz, but I have no place to listen to them locally. Is it worth buying them blind?

I know you are going to say listen to your ears and choose. But my ears are not helping me out so much in my auditions. I can hear the differences between speakers but not so great that I can easily tell which I prefer. I want detail and fullness, but not crazy bright. Which are perfect for me? If I was your wife and you were giving me a surprise bday gift, which ones would you decide would be perfect? Your wife, btw, doesn't listen to classical or jazz, but women with guitars kinda stuff (but some occasional hip hop and I even have an Audioslave CD!).

Other than the brands listed above, I really would have to be going blind because no local dealers for say Paradigm et al (maybe Athena and Polk, but I am not interested).

So?
 

Anonymous
 
Oh to add to that, I need a center as well, but I will get the same brand as the other speakers I choose.

Couple further thoughts/questions. I will spend a bit more money if it gets me significantly/noticeably better sound. Is there a huge step up from the DM303s to the CM600s? Would the Dynaudio be a huge difference and worth the money from the rest? If I go with MA, is the Silver a noticeably and worthwhile step up from the Bronze? Thanks!
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