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Decided on Speakers, need help with receiver...

 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-07
I am still in entry level stages with home audio and have made a pretty solid decision with my speakers for my 5.1 setup. I have done car audio for years and have fallen in love with Dynaudio. So, needless to say, I am looking at the Dynaudio Audience 122C, 42, and 82 and their sub as well. I am having tons of trouble deciding on a receiver though. I probably should go with a 7.1 receiver so I can expand later on if I decide to.

From the vast experience that I have seen on these forums, I wonder if anyone can tell me which brand of receivers tend to sound best with the Dyns. I have been looking into Denon, NAD, Marantz, and a few others. Most seem to have the necessary features and such, but I have not experienced what receivers sound best with what. So, what kind of suggestions might you guys have about receivers that sound good with the Dynaudios? Thanks.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5505
Registered: Feb-05
Those are Dyn's you will be driving, anything less than Arcam, NAD, or Rotel will not do the trick. I'm thinking Anthem, B&K or Lexicon.

Hopefully you've selected a good source.

Movies or music primarily?
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 641
Registered: Jun-07
I read that Dyn's like a warm receiver/amp, whatever. So id maybe give them a listen to on a Arcam, NAD, or a Anthem pre/pro. The Lexicon receiver is amazing. If its in the budget give it a listen to. The Arcam 300 series receiver is probably the best I have ever heard personally. WIll cost you 3500 cdn though.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-07
I would honestly say the system would be used mostly for movies and TV, but there would also be much music listening as well. I have been to B&K, Lexicon, Arcam, and NAD websites but am having trouble locating any of models mentioned. I have even looked on Ebay for something that has at least two HDMI inputs and an HDMI upconversion... I Googled the Arcam 300 series and came up with nothing. You guys have any links where I can get some good spec sheets and pricing? Thanks.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5511
Registered: Feb-05
If it's primarily for movies and TV, why spend so much. Buy less expensive and easier to drive speakers and you can get away with buying a less expensive receiver with more features.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-07
I know the quality of Dyn and love it. Not to mention, throughout my car audio experience I have found a Dyn dealer that gives me very good prices on their equipment...especially since he does car and home audio. When I mentioned to him that I wanted to get the Audience line, he immediately started giving me heavily discounted prices. The way I figure it, I can use the cash I am saving on the speakers for a high end receiver and high end wiring. I am shooting to stay around 5 grand for everything. As long as the receiver stays under $2500, I may go a little over, but if it sounds like I know Dyns will, I can live with it.

I started like most people do with the car audio, I bought the Wal-Mart brand stuff and grew tired of the system very soon and now have worked my way up to, what I consider, high end audio. I'd don't want to start that trend all over again with home audio. I have found that Dynaudio can sound exquisite with low power and volume or at high power and high volumes. They seem practically undestructable and I am 99% sure I will not be changing them out anytime soon.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5512
Registered: Feb-05
Then do your research and check the brands we've suggested. Use the manufacturers dealer locator.

Most Dynaudio systems require high current to sound good at low volume.

BTW I was not suggesting Walmart garbage...check my profile and it will become clear.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 644
Registered: Jun-07
lol Art doesnt mess around Nick. Art, bringing home some Rega stuff tonight.

Nick-Arcam 300 doesnt have HDMI, the new 350 does though. All the new NAD line due to be released in your neck of the wood in November does have HDMI. Anthem does. B&k, im not sure, but dont feel it would be a good mix with the Dyn's anyway. The Arcam 350 will cost you 3 grand American.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-07
Art, I know you weren't suggesting the WM garbage, I was just saying I didn't want something that I would grow tired of anytime soon. I have been looking into the brands you guys have mentioned and Nick is right, the Arcam 300 doesn't have HDMI and the 350 does. B&K does not, Anthem AVM50 is $4500, the Lexicon looks sweet, but I can't seem to locate costs, and NAD has everything I am looking for but may lack in power some. The Rotels don't have HDMI either. Are most of these older models and the manufacturer just hasn't released new products in the past years or so? I really don't want to have to get into amps and all that, if I can avoid it... You guys have any ideas on what the Lexicon RV5 runs?
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Oct-07
There is probably one more question I should ask about these Dyns...the website has their "recommended amplifier power" at two different wattages. Actually, three. A small, medium, and large room. I would guess my room as medium and it suggest 75w for some of the speakers and 100w for the 82's. I want to keep the power at least at 100w continuous, right? Also, I am seeing on some of the brands you mentioned different continuous power outputs based on "dbw?" I have no idea what that is.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 645
Registered: Jun-07
Nick- The Lexicon is the most expensive. It is built by Bryston and runs around 5-6 grand. Take a look at the new NAD T775 and the new T785. One is 100X7 and the other is 120X7, Minimum wattage. Rotel is due to release a new Line at the beginning of December with full HDMI support. They should be roughly the same cost as the NAD receivers and it seems the NAD receivers have shot up in price. The T775 will cost you around 2 grand american. Give or take a few.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2200
Registered: May-05
In higher end gear, wattage ratings aren't as important. A lot of the mass market stuff like Yamaha will inflate their numbers to attract customers. For example, a Denon receiver claims 170x7. According to one of the Bryston engineers, its mathmatically impossible. One channel may do 170 watts at a certain frequency and impedence load for a split second, but not all seven constantly.

The brands mentioned above publish realistic wattage figures. Forget about the 1000 watt car amps. Forget about 100 watts RMS. What really matters is if the receiver can handle low impedence and has the drive to keep going. An Arcam receiver rated at 75 watts shouldn't have any problems with the speakers.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 6
Registered: Oct-07
I was NAD T775 and T785 was what I was going to take a real close look at. I am going to call a local shop around here to see what they are running and when they will be in. If Rotel is coming out with a new line and runs about the same, how do they compare as far as SQ?

I hated that in car audio they have these rinky dink amps that claim high output but can't do half of it. I am not surprised that the same false claims exist in home audio, and I wouldn't expect if from more renoun companies. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected Denon to do this, but it is what it is...
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 647
Registered: Jun-07
Stu is dead right Nick. Home Theater Magazine just did a review on the 4 thousand dollar Denon. It claims to do 7 channels at 170 watts. When they put it on the bench with all 7 channels running at the same time, the wattage that the Denon actually produced was 65 watts per channel. Brutal. An Arcam at 75 watts will put a unit like that Denon to shame.


As far as Rotel and NAD SQ, both are basically in the same league, but sound totally different. Depends on what you like the best/ speaker match up and source. The Rotel stuff is Detailed and Neutral and a tad on the bright side, while the NAD stuff will have more bottom end and is warmer sounding, with the highs rolling off a bit. Both are good. The Arcam would be better.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 7
Registered: Oct-07
Well, I have been on the phone nearly all morning trying to find a Rotel, NAD, and Arcam dealers that are nearby. I also talked to Dynaudio and asked them what they thought was the best receiver for their Audience line. Arcam was their first choice as well. I called around and found a couple of dealers that would sell the AVR350 for a little over $2000 and the AVR280 for $1499, which is under my max so I think I will go for it. The major difference in the two is output wattage. the 350 is a 7 x 100 and the 280 is a 7 x 80, I think. Both have two HDMI inputs and HDMI upconversion. So I guess at this point it's more of a cost thing. The guys at Dynaudio even said their speakers would sound great with either receiver, despite the wattage. It has been mentioned in this forum that the higher power may be best for them though... any thoughts?
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 648
Registered: Jun-07
Nick, I have heard the 300 a few times which is basically the 350 without the HDMI. It is an amazing receiver. Very musical, very good sound quality. An all around achiever. Man 2000 dollars eh? With our dollar so good, I need to come to USA to buy some stuff.lol. That receiver here is 3000 CDN. Good deal man, buy the 350. The 280 will be good too though. 20 watts isnt going to make or break a deal. If you want to save some money, the 280 should be great.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 8
Registered: Oct-07
I have set up a "hearing" at an Arcam dealer later this week. They do not deal Dynaudio, but they do have Paradigm Signature series as there highest speaker model. I don't know how they will sound vs. the Dyns but even the person I set the hearing up with said he could swap out receivers and he too guaranteed that there would be a world of difference. We will have to see how it goes when I get there! I am really excited...

I have the notion that it will be worth the extra $500 to get the 350. I haven't even thought to ask this, but does Arcam make receivers in silver or black? My wife was looking over my shoulder and pointed out that the white won't go with her decor..(as my eyes rolled hard in my head)
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 649
Registered: Jun-07
LOL man the White looks so sexy in person. Bring her along. But you can get it in a smokey black as well. Still...white looks better. Its not really a white though, you'll see. If it were me, I would be getting the 350. The Paradigm Signature speakers are amazing. 3 or 4 times the price of your Dyn's though. Enjoy man, that will be a great hearing indeed.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5514
Registered: Feb-05
The Arcam AVR's can be quite impressive..enjoy your audition!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9022
Registered: Dec-04
And by all means, be sure to bring your lovely wife to listen with you!
Mrs. Nick is going to be enjoying the music too.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2461
Registered: Sep-04
Nick,

I know your speakers quite well and rate them highly. Bear in mind that they are single wired only so you can't biamp or anything like that. Therefore if you can go for the AVR350 it is the better choice. It's not just more powerful but it has a better preamp stage and more upgrade options (it actually has PreOuts which the 280 does not).

The HDMI support in the Arcams is just for switching as far as I know. I was not aware that it could upconvert signals. Check this out at http://www.arcam.co.uk/prod_diva_AVR350_intro.cfm where you can look at the technical specifications.

The Arcams are available in black. Black is a bit of a dust magnet and looks tired more quickly than the silver, so choose with care. Both colours sound the same. :-)

Factor in the price of a good source and cabling. Arcam isn't a cheap option, but the system you're looking at isn't exactly bargain basement! If you don't factor in a decent source, meaning a good DVD player of the ilk of the Arcam DV135 or Denon 2940 as minimum, you won't be getting anything like the true performance of the amplifier and speakers. Of course, we're assuming you have a decent display too, but it's amazing to me how much better audio performance you get from a better DVD player when all you're doing is transferring a bunch of bits to be decoded in the amplifier.

Regards,
Frank.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 9
Registered: Oct-07
Well, Mrs. Nick didn't think my Dynaudio System 342 with the Tru Technology amps sounded any better than the factory stereo! So needless to say, her opinion as far as what sounds better doesn't really play a role in my decision. To her it's how does it look with the rest of "her" stuff? Oiy!

Frank, I have thought very little about the wiring at this point since I have been stuck on finding a proper receiver to drive these Dyns. For my car audio use, I loved KnuKonceptz, but alas, they do not make a caliber of home audio cable that I'd like. I know of Monster and have honestly never been much impressed by them, low or high end wiring. What other brands are out there that would properly identify with this setup?

I have been looking at some of the Arcam DVD players as well. Upon talking with the Arcam dealer, he did ensure me that the AVR350 did upconvert to HDMI. That came up when I was asking about their DVD players. I didn't suspect that it would be necessary to buy an upconverting DVD player if the receiver I would be running it through upconverted to HDMI as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2464
Registered: Sep-04
On upconversion, it depends on the upconverting technology in the machine. Arcam's DVD players use among the most advanced upconversion technologies this side of Faroudja, but I don't know about the A/V amps. I do recall an early Arcam AV amp not being that good at this.

I use Chord Co. interconnects and speaker cabling. Price-wise they vary from inexpensive to "Oh my God how can you spend that much on a wire?" Mine are almost in the latter category, and the fact I say 'almost' means that I am seriously ill...

More seriously, the best sub cable is actually one of their least expensive ones - Chord Cobra 3. It's best because it's particularly good and optimised for low frequency signal transmission (according to them). 1m costs about £50 and add another £10 or so per metre. As to the digital interconnect, their Prodac Silver Plus is an excellent cable for the money, again £60 for 1m and another £10 per metre extra. For analogue interconnects the best value for money in their range is Chorus, recently upgraded with their microwave cable technology and a really excellent cable as you'd expect for the princely sum of £225 for 1m. HDMI-wise, their best cable is HDMI Silver Plus and is really good value, about £85 for 1.5m length. Longer runs are available but I'm not sure how much they cost. I've compared the HDMI Silver Plus to the WireWorld cables and only the £300 WireWorld cable convincingly beats it. No idea why an HDMI cable should make any difference since they're all digital signals, but it seems to!

I'm sure there are lots of other brands about that would probably also do the trick. I'd guess on Kimber Kable being a likely good one, as well as WireWorld, although I've only played with Wireworld's HDMI cables. QED make some fine cables too. I tend to favour the more neutral Chords (QED's cables tend to be a bit more lively), but there's no doubting that QED offer good value too.

Regards,
Frank.
 

New member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 10
Registered: Oct-07
I know that Kimber Kable is an excellent brand of wiring for car audio and I wouldn't expect any less for home audio. I believe that car audio is a newer endeavor for them. I am pretty sure they began with home audio in mind. Not to mention that they are quite reputable either way.

I went to my audition and WOW!!!! I am not quite fluent with audio terms as far as how to describe "sounds," but WOW! We started off with a B&K receiver on the Paradigm Monitors and I was fairly impressed with the sound. I put the Lord of the Rings movie in and it sounded great. Then, we put in some of my personal favorite music...most heavy metal, but I put in some softer sounds like James Blunt, Kelley Clarkson, etc... Unfortunately, I was using a burnt MP3 disc, so the recording imperfections were very present in such good speakers.

We switched the speakers to some Klipshe speakers and I couldn't pick up the imperfections and I felt the speakers weren't giving me the full spectrum of the sound...not impressive at all. Next, we hooked up the Arcam 280 to the Paradigm Monitors and they sounded better than the B&K receiver despite the lower power output. The imperfections in the recordings were there again, so I at least know the receiver and speakers were capable of getting everything out there.

Finally, the Arcam 350 with the Paradigm Signatures...Holy SH*T! The fellowship of the Ring sounded like I was there with Gandalf confronting the Balrog in Moria, I was completely sold on the 350 and Signature combo. The music was awesome as well, I did have some good, clean burned songs on the disc and they sounded as if I was in the studio with the band as they were recording it! I loved it. The 280 did very well, but the 350 filled the room (if that makes sense?). I could close my eyes and not pinpoint any one sound from any speaker. Words cannot describe the audible sensation I experienced.

All in all, I am completely sold on the Arcam 350. The sound was my primary objective but the video was exceptional as well...more than I expected. I forgot the ask what kind of cable the dealer uses, but I can figure that out later. I just hope my Dyns can come close to matching the Signatures...fellas, keep in mind, I haven't purchased any of this equipment yet, and I have to second guess the Dyns somewhat...Is there anything else out there that is in the same price range as the Dyns that could be better? The Sigs were astounding, but way, way out of my price range.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 653
Registered: Jun-07
Did you take the Paradigm Studio series for a listen to? SOund like you like the Paradigm sound. You went from the K-Car to the Porshe in the Paradigm Line. Try the BMW.lol Dyns are very nice though. Worth a shot though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 12
Registered: Oct-07
I am pretty sure I listened to everything he had in the Paradigm line. Honestly, I am surprised I remembered all the model of speakers. Studio...sounds familiar...let's see, oh yes, there were four different sets of Paradigm speakers...Monitor, Signature, and.... two were reference and two were "regular" models. I can't recall the series names. Sorry.

I saw the Arcam in Silver too, loved it and so did Mrs. Nick! LOL

I forgot to mention earlier in case anyone was wondering, we were listening to the Arcam DV139 DVD player. Wow, way out of my price range, but the DV27 or DV29 FMJ would work out right?
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 654
Registered: Jun-07
yup, they would. Arcam 350, Paradigm Studio 100's,590 center and some rears with a Servo Sub. Ahhhh yup, be a pretty nice sounding home theater Nick. Cheers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2213
Registered: May-05
Thed Studio 100's may not work out best with the Arcam AVR. Furthermore, adding a sub would most likely negate the need for the bass the 100s put out. I'd look at Studio 40 or 20 myself.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2469
Registered: Sep-04
Nick B,

The DV27 is quite old - about 3 years since I sold one last. The DV29 was an excellent update to the 27 and really cracking performance, particularly in audio, but that was replaced by the 139 which has one of the best pictures available from DVD irrespective of price. The sound is very good too, far better than many people are used to, especially froma DVD player.

The other Arcam DVD players that are current are the DV135 and DV137. These are fine players, particularly in their audio performance. Their video performance is good, but not great, unlike that of the 139.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 13
Registered: Oct-07
I'll have to look around and see what is what and how much I can budget for a good DVD Player. I would love to stick with any of the Arcam series DVD players, but frankly the new FMJ models are going to cost me as much as the 350. I hadn't originally budgeted for that kind of expense. I may stick with my cheapo until I can put back enough for a newer FMJ DVD player.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 660
Registered: Jun-07
Do not skimp on the source.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 141
Registered: Mar-06
Views on the source quality vary broadly; FWIW, I have posted these links before:
http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=2063

http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=7673

http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=1778

http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=5793
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 15
Registered: Oct-07
Interesting links, but that's a bear that I don't want to tackle. I can see both POV, but being a third party without much knowledge of either side I find it hard to believe that a $60 player can even come near a $1000 player. I just don't buy it. I know that the most expensive is not always the best. I saw this when I shopped around for car audio speakers. The Focal Be No. 6 had rave reviews, I bought a pair, hooked them up to my TRU amps, and they sounded trashy to me. The cymbols sounded like garbage can lids banging together. I had used the Morel Elate 3 Ways as a reference speaker set to find my amps of choice. I have yet to hear anything that compares to the SQ and build quality of Tru Technology. The Focals sucked, the Rainbow Germaniums just didn't sound right, and, even though surprisingly good, the Alpine F#1 sounded pretty good, but none compared to the Dynaudio Esotecs Sytem 342 and Tru Technology combo.

I have a feeling that shopping around for a good DVD player is going to be exactly the same way. I know what caliber of speaker I am going with, I know which receiver. Now I have to get everything together and start "auditioning" cd/dvd players and see what sounds best with the equipment I will have in my room. To save some cash, I would like to find an audiophile grade CD player that happens to play good DVDs as well. Even like many of the people in the links said, it is all a matter of opinion. I know plenty of audiophiles in car audio that swear the Focal Be No. 6 are creations of God himself, but I think they sounded like sh*t.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 662
Registered: Jun-07
lol in my car audio days I really enjoyed the Boston Acoustic stuff and the MB Quart Q-Line stuff(until they sold to Lightning Audio a.k.a CRAP) The Dynaudio suff was very nice as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2479
Registered: Sep-04
Nick B,

You'd be surprised how good the picture is on some relatively inexpensive DVD players such as the Denon DVD 1940. However, sound-wise, they really tend to suffer. Try to go for at least the next level up from the 1940 to the more serious things like 2940, Arcam 135 etc. You will almost definitely regret it if you don't since the clear and transparent 350 and highly revealing Dynaudios will lay bare the limitations of the source.

Don't say we didn't warn you...! :-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 16
Registered: Oct-07
Frank, I completely understand what you are saying as I have ran into similar instances with the whole car audio thing. Not to mention, I end up listening to more MP3 burnt discs than anything. Unfortunately, the burnt discs have all kinds of crap to reveal in good speakers. I'll look around outside of Arcam as well for now. So far I need to research the Denon 2940, Arcam 135+, and ??? What other sources could fall into the same class as these and in the same price range or lower?
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 666
Registered: Jun-07
I just sold my NAD T532 dvd player. The sound quality was great, better than my Blu-Ray player by far when compared on the same audio format. You can get one for around 350 refurbished. The Oppo is actually pretty good as well, and pretty cheap. Just some suggestions.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 18
Registered: Oct-07
I have to admit, I did go to another audition today. I listened to a Rotel 1058 (5x75w), Denon 2910 DVD Player, and B&W 600 and 700 series speakers. It was equally impressive as the Arcam audition. The denon lacked the CD audio the FMJ 139 did, but still delivered quite well. I also took a listen to the Definitive Technology SuperTowers and they did impress me greatly! There were no other speakers hooked up in the room, only those towers and they really did surprise me with the way they filled the room at moderate volume and completely consumed me when we cranked the volume up some. Needless to say, even with only 75 watts on the B&W vs the Stereo 90 watts with the Definitive Techs, I may have more decision making to make yet. What is your guys take on the Definitive Techs? The B&W 700s are a little out of my price range, but if I go with the Rotel and Denon DVD setup they would save me in that area and I could add it to the speakers portion of the budget. Any thoughts with either? Thanks!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2241
Registered: May-05
Nick,

You've heard some very good gear. The differences between most of what you've heard are a personal thing. There isn't an outright bad product you've heard.

My advice is to take your time and keep listening to more stuff. Figure out what qualities you like most, and take it from there. Everyone has their favorites. If you ask 10 of us what we'd buy, you'd probably get 15 different answers. Not that I think you're looking for our approval or anything like that.

You can't go wrong by hearing everything in your area and taking your time to figure out exactly what you're looking for.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 142
Registered: Mar-06
I'll tag along with SP becuase agree with his perspective.

Also, don't get hung up on status; if you want to be part of Club Rega, then you buy Apollo; Club Krell, buy it - they are highly rated brands. However, buy based on what your ears hear.

There is alot to audition and it is a wonderfully aggravating part of this hobby. FWIW, you are looking to spend a fair amount of money, so enjoy your new hobby.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 143
Registered: Mar-06
BTW, I love the Dynaudios, join Club Dynaudio.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9111
Registered: Dec-04
I like sandwiches. Does that mean I should join...never mind.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 144
Registered: Mar-06
I've been to Club Rega, beautiful beach south of Playa del Carmen.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 145
Registered: Mar-06
Nuck, I think we're back to Heidi Fleiss, again.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2494
Registered: Sep-04
South of Playa del Carmen?

WHEHEY!

(Sorry, my mind's a sewer...)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 19
Registered: Oct-07
You guys are funny:-)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 20
Registered: Oct-07
Wow! What a busy week it has been for me. I am completely torn between these speakers now. I managaed to get to a Dynaudio dealer and listen to the Audiences. They sounded awesome. I also went up to Cleveland and heard a new player...Totem Acoustics. Another awesome sounding set of speakers.

I have to admit, the Paradigms are out, they lack lower end where all the others do not. The B&W are very nice speakers, but unfortunately my wife's opinion has to have some leverage in all this and she hates the way the B&Ws look. :-( and quite frankly, the 700s are a little more than I'd like to spend even though they sounded phenominal.

The Dyns don't seem to lack anything other than we couldn't get them to really emphasize the sound of the midbass/range. We were listening on a Cambridge receiver that put out 125?W x 7 so a significant amount of power should've been present. Also, they have only one set of binding posts and not two for bi-wiring. At least the ones he had in the store only had one set. This concerns me as far a versatility and "fine tuning" goes.

The Totems were a delightful find on my ears and wallet. Just learning last night that Totem is using Dyn tweets was surprising but reassuring at the same time. Even a smaller tower with only two drivers sounded better than any of the B&W 600, Paradigm Monitor or Reference, and even the Dyn Audience. The Dyn Contour sounded as good if not better IMO. However, I could've gotten the Dreamcatcher theater system for $1500! I would upgrade the front bookshelves to towers, probably the Staff or Hawks. A complete surround speaker system of that sound quality for under $3000 with upgrades! That sounds like a deal that may be unbeatable, what is your guys take on Totems stuff. I have read about them much, but yesterday is the first time I have ever really heard them. I was very impressed, not only from the sound, but the size, finishes, and price. So how is the quality of their build?

Thanks!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9141
Registered: Dec-04
How is the build of Totems?
Hmmm, looking for the best wording here.

Nick, that you found the bass of Totem to outdo the Paradigms means that
a)you listened to the wrong Paradigms, or
b)you listen better than you, or I, thought.

Totems can do more than you think. The fact that you like them is a testament to what they do and how you listen.
Upgrade the mains? Yes.
Underpower them? Gawd, no.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9142
Registered: Dec-04
Now you are looking at a power amp for the mains.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5584
Registered: Feb-05
Totem has outstanding build quality and are a top tier speaker. They have a very distinctive sound and much like the Dyn's require plenty of current to really sing. Unlike the Dyn's slightly uunderpowering them doesn't usually lead to buyers remorse. If you like the Totem sound very little else will satisfy...keep in mind that folks often find that Totems require careful placement to retrieve all that they can do. Be sure to fully understand your dealers return policy before buying anything...sounds like your closing in on a decision.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9147
Registered: Dec-04
Without trying in my icky room, the Staffs are easier to place closer to walls, the Arro's like a little more air, but the bass suffers a bit for it.
Grand fun to play with!

sub sub sub
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 146
Registered: Mar-06
As a consideration, like Arcam, the resale value of Dynaudio sells at a premiium; can't imagine why upgrading is a part of this hobby.

Go Buckeyes, I'm from Parma, my brother's in Canton.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jaw

Post Number: 147
Registered: Mar-06
Dynaudio engineers don't want anyone messing with their product; few, I think, are in a position to question their design philosophy, why open another ugly can of worms:

http://www.dynaudio.de/eng/systems/faq3.php?sid=4735cd77cfddf

As previously mentioned, they need alot of power to be driven or it's a waste.

Aesthetically, they are ugly, but still so beautiful.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 21
Registered: Oct-07
When we listened to the Totems, I specifically had the dealer run directly off the receiver and not use any external amplification...or I tried to have it set up as I am attempting to do in my home. The Arros and Staff did very well without any amplification. The Hawks probably could've have used a little more push. I don't recall which amps he was using, but he put a Class A 125w amp on the Hawks and they sounded much better. I am trying to stay away from external amplification, but may consider expanding into it at a later time. Now I know the Staffs, Hawks, and Dyns sound great without amps, but even better with one. I can live without an amp until I get the Upgrade heebee geebies again .

In my car audio endeavors, I always liked a tight, clean bass and the Paradigms didn't do it for me at all, with the exception of the Sigs. I am not paying out that much for a tower, when I have now found others that are much cheaper and perform as well (IMO).

The Totem has an exponentially warm sound to them, and when the LOTR started, I got chills when the strings began to play... Simply incredible. The highs were crisp and clear. The Midrange was very forward and up front (which is what I like) when in stereo mode for CD and other audio.

I am still torn between the Totems and Dyns. I think my decision has definitely been narrowed down to the two for speakers and between the Arcam and Rotel for the receiver. Honestly, I think any combination of the four should meld well. I also realize that two of the four are a much cheaper route to go, but am I going to hate it in two months???? Oh God, here we go again...
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 5592
Registered: Feb-05
Oh you're havin fun and ya know it!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 22
Registered: Oct-07
Yes, I am thoroughly enjoying all the auditions. I did the same thing with the car audio and I can already feel the anxiety building up in me...Hopefully it won't take 5 years to find a system I love enough to never want to change as I finally did with the cars... I'll keep my fingers crossed...
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2501
Registered: Sep-04
Nick,

Let me put your mind at rest here. I'm a Totem and Dynaudio dealer, and also deal in Arcam - as well as used to deal in Rotel. So I have a fair bit of experience with these products, and I have read a few things here that I'm not too sure about. Both Dynaudio and Totem make excellent speakers. However, they have very different approaches.

Dynaudio's speakers are more usual of the type. They're well put together, the drive units are exemplary, fit and finish difficult to beat. All Dynaudios in any one range (such as Audience) are voiced similarly, and all Dynaudios present a very linear load to the amplifier. All Dynaudios are 4 ohm loads, but they almost always remain around the 4 ohm point only occasionally dipping a little below that. Dynaudio claim their crossovers are better quality at the price than anybody else's and this is why they only need single-wiring. Single-wiring is not a problem when the job is done properly and of course this means that you can afford a better single wire with the same budget, so you should have some benefits over the biwire model in this situation.

The Audience range is particularly linear. This means they are actually not that reactive a load, although they always draw a bit more than typical 8-ohm loads. They appreciate good amplification. Underpowering a Dynaudio is a bad idea since they'll show up the amplifier for what it is quite quickly.

Totems are very different animals. One Totem may not match well with another, so you must exercise caution here. The Dreamcatcher matches the Dreamcatcher centre, Arros, Rainmakers and Hawks, but not Sttafs (yes, that's the correct spelling), Forests or any other Totem. Sttafs match well with Mites and the Mite-T centre. Model-1s and Mani-2s suit each other along with the Model-1 Centre. Any Totem sub can be used with any of the rest of the range.

Totems are made quite differently to other speakers. They use a (as far as I know) unique system of lock-mitred joints which stiffens the cabinets immensely and add hugely to the cost of the speaker. They buy in the drive units and ensure that their suppliers will be able to supply units for a 15 year lifespan. They do not use Dynaudio tweeters! They use Dynaudio mid/bass units in the Forest, Model-1 and Mani-2. I believe they use SEAS tweeters generally. Totem is one of the very few brands who implement a metal dome tweeter in a way I can enjoy (I use Mani-2 Sigs at home).

Totems are arguably just as difficult to drive, if not more so, as Dynaudios. I have experienced situations where an amplifier cannot handle a Dreamcatcher as easily as a Dynaudio 42.

You are considering the Dynaudio 82 as the main speaker. This is the only cause for concern in terms of load. The 82 is more demanding than any other Audience speaker since it is also the top of the range. If you were considering the 72, then provided you were still thinking Arcam or Rotel, you would have no problems driving them. If you insist on the 82 (for very good reasons, it's excellent), then you should really be loking at the Arcam AVR350 as the minimum. The Rotel 1057 will also do fine.

Totem's speakers are biwirable. I have no experience of this since I only ever demo them single wired, and my Mani-2s are biamped thanks to their thirsty need for power. The brass links between the mid/bass and tweeter terminals are awful (along with everybody else's) so I always replace them with quality cable links instead, preferably of the same speaker cable I'm using - others here will vouch for the effectiveness of this approach.

In comparison, the Totem system at the same level is really the Hawk, Rainmaker Centre (not on the website strangely) and Dreamcatcher rears (or Lynks if you want Dipoles - which is a really good idea if possible). I think the Totem system would outperform the Dynaudio for delicacy and poise, but the Dynaudio would outperform the Totem in grip and power (that immersion into the soundstage). Difficult choice.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9193
Registered: Dec-04
You da man, Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 23
Registered: Oct-07
I am thinking I may have to go back to the Totem dealer and listen to the setup you've suggested, Frank. I did listen to all Dreamcatcher with the Arros fronts, Hawk Fronts, Forest fronts, and Sttaf fronts. We never switched out any of the centers, subs, or bookshelves. This may definitely be worth looking into with that setup.

Frank, I have to admit, I am not the best with audio terminology, but what is another way to describe "grip?" I understood the rest

I have been looking into the Dipoles as well. I have listened to some, but I don't think I am going to be able to make a solid decision until I have a pair in my house and setup with my room's acoustics. I had better make sure I can trade them back in if I decide to try them out! I have a rather small living room that has the "L" shape to it. The rear of the room opens up into a dining room. Why couldn't the builder just have make a rectangular room?

The Dyn 82 seemed more "alive" with the CDs than the 72. I seriously thought about running 82 up front and 72 for the rear, but I don't think I want to go that route. The 82 sounds very powerful and I loved them.

I am definitely going with either the Rotel 1058 or Arcam AVR 350. I have called several arcam dealers and asked the same questions and have gotten two different answers, can anyone clear up if the AVR 350 upconverts to HDMI? Some are saying it does and others are saying it only switches and not converts. What's the truth here?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9196
Registered: Dec-04
Nick, grip refers to control of the bass drivers.
If you ever watched a woofer doing loose, wobbly gyrations, then the amp lacks 'grip'.
The control factor really goes to the amp in the form of damping factor. The DF refers to the amps ability to reject back EMF, which is what the motor of a big driver sends back to the amp.

Without killing the attack of the driver, which is the tricky part.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 698
Registered: Jun-07
Very good post Frank, loved it. Nick Arcam 350 for god sakes.lol IMO.

Frank- Question, what do you think of the synergy between the Dyn's and NAD? It seems that 60 percent of NAD reviews I read are used with Dynaudio speakers, and Dynaudio reviews used with NAD receivers. And all the ad's im seeing lately in magazines for both are NAD and Dynaudio. Im actually just curious if these two companies feel that they both have a good synergy together? Seen a T785 ad just a few days ago with the Dyn 82's and a center channel complimenting it. What are your thoughts?
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2507
Registered: Sep-04
Nick,

As far as I know the Arcam switches only, but the 350 has a whole 'nother scale of performance over most of the competition. That said, have a close look at the bigger Onkyos if you want that knd of thing. I played with the 605 and my colleagues have played with the 875. The 605 is a peach and my colleagues were talking about putting up the 875 against the Arcam 280. Pretty impressed with these Onkyos.

I agree completely about the 82s over the 72s. I love them to bits. It's that midrange driver which makes them so sweet. The 1058 should have no problem driving them (Rotels - notoriously powerful), although I would still prefer the performance of the Arcam, much more musical in my book (Arcam owner alert). I ahve a friend who is driving an 82/122/62 system with an old Yamaha DSP A2 (remember them?). That amp's about as powerful as the Arcam AVR350 and it copes no sweat.

Grip - Nuck's description is far cleverer than mine would have been so stick with that. Sonically, it's the sensation that the system cans top on a dime. It's one thing to have loads of power giving you lots of output, but it's another thing entirely for a system to be able to deliver really good dynamic contrast (loud to quiet - which is where damping factor comes in), with snap, slam and attack. Most people only recognise after they've heard it the first time. Rega and Naim electronics are renowned for the ability to reproduce slam and attack. They're not particularly powerful and don't particularly like difficult loads, but give them a sensible load, and they show something which even very powerful amplifiers of the ilk of Krell and Audio research just don't seem to be able to do. The Arcams don't have quite the same get-up-and-go but they're not bad at this aspect too, while providing a bit more warmth.

Nick, I don't know of any accord between NAD and Dynaudio. Generally, they're a good match. NAD usually have very stiff power supplies, so it doesn't surprise me that a 785 is paired with 82s. Dynaudio offer 4-ohm loads only, but they're also very linear loads as described above so they're not as difficult as they could be. Obviously, there are limits. A 315BEE is not really going to make much sense of Dynaudio 42s, but a 325BEE might manage them ok. I have lots of respect for NAD - they make fine equipment. They had a fair bit of trouble with some of their xx2 AV receivers (although I didn't experience that), but generally they do make good kit. The latest is only deficient in that they don't support the TrueHD/Master Audio standards and I'm afraid that may hurt them unless they provide updates (but I believe that's difficult as it might be a hardware change).

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 700
Registered: Jun-07
Cool stuff. It appears that NAD is claiming that their new line of receivers can be upgraded. I contacted Ken from NAD(Just a tech) and he told me that it will be a firmware upgrade( im not sure how this is going to be possible and he said he would know more about it when the time comes). He also mentioned that NAD will be re-releasing the line again in February that will already come equiped to do the new Formats. But who knows with NAD these days. It seems like they may have finally got their $h!t together. Lets hope Frank. As far as pure sound quality goes, which im big on of course. I would say the Arcam A/V receivers sound, to me, the best. Next in line IMO would be the NAD A/V receivers. The Arcam 350 and 300 are very very musical, and for home theater lovers bring that nice Warm sound and bottom end that I think every home theater needs. For Music they do well too. Nobody wants to get a headache by watching a movie.lol They Arcam stuff is so inviting. I am also reading a lot of good things about the new Onkyo line. As far as SQ goes, they seem to be back. Their last lineup, to me, was slightly grainy. Glad to see they are improving on a large scale. And bringing the bells and whistles along with it to boot.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 24
Registered: Oct-07
I am going with the Dynaudio 122c and 82 for sure...I just got a sweet deal on them together! Bookshelves...Frank, 42 or 52 or should I tamper with the 72 in the rear? Dyn doesn't make dipoles, do they? I don't see any on their site. Are they even necessary?

I am 98% sure I will go with the Arcam 350. In an attempt to keep my overall costs down and leave me more money in the budget for good wiring, I am hoping to find a lightly used Arcam. I have seen them selling for around $1500-1800 used. Perhaps I can find a good one in this range and in Silver for the ol' lady.

I've never liked the sound of the Onkyo or Yamaha or really even the Denon's lower end. They sound too ......"Japanese" to me... if that makes sense. I'll stick with the Arcam...that I don't own yet...

Also, Frank, if I ever decided to upgrade the power to the 82, what would you recommend powering them at? Just as a reference, I was looking into the Arcam FMJ 35 which drives 170w at 4 ohms. I was on their site and came across it. Would it be better to amplify the whole system as opposed to only the fronts? This is for expansion later on of course, but I can assure you it will be in my head until it happens.. Hell, I could just throw one of my extra Tru Billet 2.200 on them !! !!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 25
Registered: Oct-07
I don't know why I hadn't done this before, but I just downloaded the Owner's Manual from Arcam for the 350 and is does not upconvert to HDMI, only switches. Also, the component signal inputs cannot be switched to HDMI output. This causes a problem to my initial setup. If I am understanding the HDMI section of the manual correctly, there are only two HDMI inputs and only those can be put throught the HDMI output. It says not even the High Quality connections can be routed to the HDMI output. If this is the case, I may as well save myself more cash and get the 300 and forget about the HDMI. Video is not my primary goal anyway. I'd rather have kick butt audio.

From scanning through both the 300 and 350 manuals, I cannot see many differences with the exception of the HDMI support. Are there any notable differences in the two other than this?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 26
Registered: Oct-07
After coming across the problem with the Arcam HDMI, I went back and started looking at some of the receivers you guys originally suggested. Specifically, B&K. The retail prices are out of my range but I have been seeing many of selling on second hand places or demo used for $1500 or better. The 507 particulary. There is no HDMI but it is 150 x 7 and does upconvert all inputs to component, which should be sufficient.

I did visit the B&K dealer here in town, unfortunately, he didn't have any in the show room but could order and give me pricing. They do look great and reputably sound good. I was thinking the 150w could make the dyns perform even better. Any thoughts?
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2509
Registered: Sep-04
Nick,

Some answers:

No, not 72s at the back. That's overkill, and the 72 is not that easy to drive so the extra strain on the amp doesn't make much sense in my view. Dynaudio make a smaller floorstander called the 62, kind of a 52 in a bigger box. It works relatively well closer to walls since it's front ported. That would be a good combination. The 52 and the 42 would also be good combinations, as would the new 42Sat or 42Wall for wall mounted surround duties. I'm not sure that Dynaudio make dipoles. I don't think so.

The Arcam FMJ P35 is a fine amplifier and although it's not particularly more highly rated than the AVR350, it actually has a lot more drive and grip than the 350 can muster. After all, it has an 800VA power supply which is 2/3rds of that of the AVR350 which is doing all 7 channels! But if you want real power and drive the FMJ P1 monoblocks are outstanding.

There is a great deal to be said for powering the fronts separately since this relieves the AVR from the duty and allows it to expend energy on just the rest of the channels and preamp. This has major benefits on sound reproduction.

The 350 is far more than just a 300 with HDMI switching. The 300 is a great AV receiver, no question, but the 350 puts it in the shade musically. The reason is that the 350 is basically a cut down AVP700 processor with the 300's power amp section combined into one box.

The 350 sounds much more like an AVP700 than the 300 so although it appears at first glance to be just a 300 with HDMIs it's anything but that! It's actually a far better receiver sonically which also gives you HDMI switching. We haven't sold a single 300 since the introduction of the 350. It's pretty much a no-brainer purely from the sonic point of view, so much so that we don't understand the rationale for keeping the 300 and we don't even stock it any more.

Arcam should make more of the AVR350's sonic prowess and AVP700 roots. They undersell it in my opinion. So for kick butt audio stick with the AVR350, unless you go B&K or other of course! :-)

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 27
Registered: Oct-07
So the B&K would provide better power and is just as musical as the 350? I should also be able to avoid external amplification as well with the 507? I spoke with B&K today and found the 5 year warranties are non transferrable, but a demo used from a dealer, I wouldn't tend to be as skeptical about buying it used. I believe the retail on the 507 is $3500, but if I can get it for $1500 it would give more room for better wiring and newer speakers in the budget. I guess what I am getting at is the B&K would be better for this setup than the Arcam 350?
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2511
Registered: Sep-04
I know nothing about B&K.
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 706
Registered: Jun-07
Who knows, the Arcam and B&K stuff is very close in quality, but sound different. If you heard the Arcam and you liked it, then buy the Arcam.

"There is a great deal to be said for powering the fronts separately since this relieves the AVR from the duty and allows it to expend energy on just the rest of the channels and preamp. This has major benefits on sound reproduction"

It sure does. When I did this in my system, the sound opened right up. And two channel listening benefited a lot as well.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 28
Registered: Oct-07
I just came across an add in the local paper for a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver. The guy is only asking $1200 for it. I went over to have a look and it looks flawless and works 100%. He had some speakers I have never heard of on it. I have read much about Bob Carver's Sunfires, but how do they match up to the receivers I have been looking at? I found the retail price for this receiver was at $4000! I know price doesn't always mean something but it does usually give somewhat of an indication of what kind of product you are getting. Any ideas about Sunfire? Thanks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 728
Registered: Jun-07
Sunfire is a very very good product. Did you like what you heard at his place? The Sunfire's are built like tanks. And sound very good. For 1200 dollars, I would be all over that. If I send u 1200, can u ship it up to Canada for me? thanks.lol.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 29
Registered: Oct-07
Whatever the setup was he had sounded great! I just got back in town earlier today and he had already sold it though. Oh well. I guess we are both out of luck on that one...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 30
Registered: Oct-07
Well guys, an update. I have purchased and got 90% of the system hooked up. So far, it sounds better than I ever could have imagined. I do have the Dynaudio Audience 82 and the Audience 122c center. I haven't used the center yet as I am still in search of a pair of surrounds that I am comfortable with. The B&W DS-3 dipoles are at the top of my list for now.

I ended up buying a Denon 2808CI strickly for video pass through as all my other equipment is HDMI 1.3v. I am running all the audio through a Sunfire Cinema Grand that I picked up cheap on Ebay. I originally didn't want to run an amp, but I honestly couldn't get any one receiver to do everything I wanted. The Arcam 350 lacked enough power to really drive the dyns (so I felt) and lacked v1.3 HDMI.

I am using all KnuKonceptz Wiring, HDMI cables and RCA and Speaker cables. I know it probably isn't the best way to go for a video source, but for now I am using my Playstation 3 60 GB for the Blue Ray player and HDMI. Also, the cable box is hooked up via HDMI through the Denon.

So far everything has been very enjoyable, the music sounds great from just the fronts and I am very pleased. So far I have sunk less than 2 Grand in this system and should be able to be a little less thrifty with the surrounds and such.

Frank, the Totem Mites are also on my list of surrounds to look at more closely. How do you thing they would match up with the Dyns?

The B&W dealer called me back and they just got the 683 in and I looked them up before going in to hear them. They are very comparible to my dyns! I was tempted to get them and use them as "backups" but my wife wouldn't permit that. The imaging was, dare I say, better than the dyns. I think I would've maybe gotten the B&W 683 over the Audience 82. Oh well, if something happens...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 31
Registered: Oct-07
almost forgot, I am still looking into subs as well. I was looking at the B&W, the Dyn, Velodyne, etc... but then I came across the JL Fathom. It has been tunnel vision ever since. I never have been a JL fan, but this sub freakin rocks. If you guys know where I can get the 10" somewhere cheap or used, let me know. I will not drop $1800 on a brand new one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2577
Registered: Sep-04
Frank, the Totem Mites are also on my list of surrounds to look at more closely. How do you thing they would match up with the Dyns?

Badly. The Totems have quite a different presentation to the Dyns. For something with that form factor look at the Dynaudio Audience 42 or Audience 42W (Wall version). You could possibly also look at Dynaudio's new 42Sat but the guys at the shop tell me they hated their sound, so not sure there. If you need something smaller, look at M&K's smaller Xenon series which match most things fairly well, although of course when you get that small it's difficult to keep up the scale of the front speakers.

As to the B&Ws, well, I'm fairly well convinced that if you setup the 82s well, they'll wipe the floor with 683s. 82s have better defined and deeper bass, they're more cohesive with better dynamic contrast. The B&Ws may be a tad sweeter in the midrange, but I'm not even sure of that. NOTE: 82s take ages to run in. Until then, they sound tight and a bit reticent, almost held back.

Run them in, and don't worry about running them in fairly hard. they'll open up in a couple of weeks, provided you play them continuously. Leave the radio on, or put a CD on repeat, and if you're worried about the neighbours, put them on low enough so they only just fill the room with sound, but keep playing them day and night.

Why haven't you plugged in the 122C? You can run a 3.0 system until you've chosen your surrounds. Then you can run a 5.0 system until you've chosen a sub and then you can go 5.1. You just need to tell the AV receiver what you're doing which is a snap. The 122C also takes a while to run in...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 32
Registered: Oct-07
I haven't hooked the 122C up yet, just because I haven't. They are used and should break in a little sooner than the 82 if they are not already. I know the other comparison from the 82 to the 683 was the sound in the auditions. The Dyns were phenominal all around, but the 683, even though new and not broken in, really lacked in the areas you pointed out, especially low end. I would agree that the mids are a bit more present in the 683, but do not rival the 82 in all around performance. Besides, I haven't actually heard the B&Ws in my home with my acoustics either.

The guys at Dyn told me the Sunfire should fit very nicely with the 82. The 82 were also used and should break in sooner than later. I have spent several hours setting up the right position, gains on the amp, etc... I think I have got it pretty close to perfect to me...until they completely break in at least.

I have been also looking at the Dyn 52. Either the SE or regular 52. I came across a pair of 52SE for $600 a couple of weeks ago, but the cabinet had quite a bit of damage to them and did not include the stands... Good price, but not cosmetically worth it to me. The 52 is on the top of my list, being that everything else is Dyn right now.

Perhaps if I get time tonight I will go ahead and hook up the 122c and get them going as well. I suppose it would be best to get them on their way of breaking in, if they need it, as soon as possible.

How much juice do you think the 82 can really handle? The Sunfire puts out 400w to them at 4 ohms now.

Thanks,
NB
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2579
Registered: Sep-04
Nick,

Ah, ok, if they're already run in then that should be it. Usually I figure on 100 hours run continuously at good level (meaning a good room filling volume). 82s can handle 300w continuous so if you set the volume as loud as is comfortable with you in the room, then that should be more than enough, especially as the dealer says they're run in. My experience with Dyns is that if they're left on a shelf for a few weeks without being played they need a little wake-up call of a couple of hours to get them going again. This happens to varying degrees with all speakers, but Dyns become really quite dull and lifeless when they go to sleep.

52s are a more natural match than 42s to be honest but I got the impression that the budget was being stretched so I didn't go there. The alternative if you prefer a floorstander at the back (neater) is the 62 for similar money to 52's on good stands.

It's worth putting in the 122C because the centre speaker is easily the most important in a movie watching environment, particularly off a 5.1 source such as DVD. If the 122C has been asleep a few weeks, it'll take a good 30 minutes to really wake up. Might as well wake it up. :-)

Damaged speaker cabinets are not a good sign! I think your decision to walk away was right. After all, if a cabinet's been damaged, you don't know that the seals are still effective, that the speaker hasn't been abused, etc.

I've played with our run-in 683s on a few occasions now. 683s get a little better after run-in but not by much! They're not a patch on 82s in my view.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 33
Registered: Oct-07
Well fellas, just an update. I have finally got everything put together and have discovered a few small tricks to really make my speakers and whole system as a whole sing beautifully. I did end up finding a pair of used Audience 62 and got them hooked up. I ended getting an incredible deal on a 12" JL Audio Fathom sub (((droooollll!!!!))) I finally got through all the setups on the Denon and had everything sounding great.

I started reading through the manual for my new Samsung Blu-Ray player and began to read about 5.1 PCM audio...something I had never heard of before. I began to look into it and was amazed by what I read. I began to look into all my equipment and discovered that I was able to run LPCM via multichannel inputs from the BD player to the Denon and pass the signal straight through to the Sunfire amp. I bought the necessary cables and tried it out. With some tweaking on the setup in the Denon and by changing the BD player to PCM instead of DTS-MA (bitstream) I was able to get it to work. What an amazing difference. It reminded me of hearing Dolby Digital for the first time all over again. I did try the hookup with HDMI but I couldn't get it to work properly for some reason, I think all the HDMI in/outputs have to be 1.3a. I know it is working now and it is 100x better than it was. It sounds as if I am right there in the midst of the scene in the movies. I have begun to listen to CD is PCM stereo as well. Amazing....Simply Amazing....


I just wanted to thank all you guys for your input, you really helped me build an amazing system that none have compared to yet that I have heard since I got it all together. I really believe I won't be changing anything around for quite some time...except maybe upgrade to a PS3, but then I'll have two BD players... :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1359
Registered: Jun-07
lol very good to hear Nick. I too love the uncompressed PCM audio provided on almost all of the Blu Ray movies now. Night and Day compared to regular DD or DTS audio. IMO Keep the Samsung blu ray player and buy a XBOX 360.lol. Way better games, and you dont need the PS3's blu ray capabilities. All I have to say is "Gears of War 2" November of this year. Reason enough for a 360. Cheers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2851
Registered: Sep-04
Hmmm, all I have is a PS3 for movie disc replay (I use a nice CD player for CD replay). I don't see the point of an X-Box 360, especially when you consider just how noisy the thing is and the fact it simply doesn't do Blu-ray.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 34
Registered: Oct-07
I have not been too impressed with the Xbox, ever. I play a lot of online gaming and I can't fathom why anyone would pay for that when we all (most of us anyway) already pay for internet access. Sony still offers this for free, so why pay for it? Not only that, but I have read articles on how to get 5.1 PCM uncompressed audio from the pS3 also and since I am currently on that kick, it also plays into a decision. I'd have to run into the TV via HDMI, but I still have capability to run movies and music via component and the gaming system via HDMI channles on the TV. I have never cared for Xbox...
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1361
Registered: Jun-07
lol yeah I hate Microsoft. But they own 74 percent of the online gaming population and the ONLY game I would ever buy a gaming console for. Gears of War. The only reason I bought it, the only reason I still have it, and the reason I will keep it as the second installment will most likely be one of the best games ever made. And it the best game ive ever played online as well. I don't care what console is better. The PS3 has more power under the hood AND is a Blu Ray player. Wicked. But the games so far have been lack luster at best and its online experience although is free, is dull and boring. I think this will change as they are starting to release much better games with more appeal. But Sony don't have Gears. Sorry to say.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1362
Registered: Jun-07
Frank- Your right, the 360 is as loud as a small weed whacker and its construction is pooh. Gears 2 November this year.lol. Enough said.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2856
Registered: Sep-04
Nick

I hate Microsoft. But they own 74 percent of the online gaming population

Really??? Wow. I thiought that with things like EverQuest, which is a huge online game, Sony would be the number 1 online gaming platform. Where did you get this statistic?

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2857
Registered: Sep-04
PS - of course now there are rumours of an incompatible Playstation4...!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1363
Registered: Jun-07
A PS4? ahhhhh man, just complicating things.LOL!!!

74 percent of the Online Console gaming that is. In North American at the moment only 3 percent of the gaming population is still owned by PC gamers. Which are all the Warcraft and EverQuest players. It is a pity. GameNation magazine was saying out of 6.4 million online gamers in Canada just over 5 million of them are from Xbox live with the 360. So for us to buy a PS3 at the moment would be boring online. Sony at the moment, is way way way behind with the online gaming. They have been since day one. They have done a piss poor job marketing the PS3 as anything other than a Blu Ray player, and the game titles are dry and dull in comparison to the 360, and even the Wii. I got that statistic from GameNation mag Frank, which I don't read but a guy at work has it. PS3 is gaining some ground though, and believe it or not, Nintendo Wii is actually winning the Console war in sales, with hardly ANY online gaming experience what so ever. lol Who would of thought. Cheers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 833
Registered: Feb-07
"...hen you consider just how noisy the thing is..."

My 360 is noisy as hell too. I thought it was maybe defective.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2861
Registered: Sep-04
Well, I bought a Wii before I bought a PS3 and I only bought the PS3 for movie playback and streaming. I use the Wii solely for social gaming - i.e. when the friends are around and we don't want to discuss work, politics or the state of the world...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nikeofnargothrond

North Canton, Ohio USA

Post Number: 35
Registered: Oct-07
I have to agree that Sony hasn't marketed the game side of the PS3 as well as the BD player. I remember when it first came out after Thanksgiving in 06, the raves about how it was the first and only (at the time) BD player that had uncompressed 7.1 PCM audio. I had no idea at the time what PCM was, but I do recall a lot of hype about the BD player and not so much about the gaming. I don't know if the Xbox does wireless networking as well, but I think this would be another great feature of the PS3 to use in my current setup. I already have so much wireless stuff in my house it's rediculous (TV, Printer, Router, etc...) I have to say that I saw Heavenly Sword (??) being played at a friend's house and I was really impressed with the graphics. Far better than anything I'd seen with the 360. But I guess a lot of that is how they have everything setup and what equipment they are using.

I can't imagine why they'd be looking at a PS4 already. PS3 has software updates via internet. I read somewhere that Sony is attempting to get THX certification and updates for THX for the PS3. As long as they aren't doing any major hardware changes, why come out with a whole new unit??

As far as online gaming with Sony, it's always kept me interested. I haven't done it with the PS3, but I have seen Xbox Live and it didn't seem any better or worse to me other than the fact you have to pay for it. Honestly, I have never even played an Xbox. I dislike Microsoft enough to where I don't even use their OS. Haven't used it for years...
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1365
Registered: Jun-07
lol Frank- sounds like a blast.

Nick- I hear ya, Microsoft is the evil of all evil. And then some.
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