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  1. #1

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    Default Yamaha RX-A3000 or Marantz SR7005 or....?

    I'm looking to upgrade my Yamaha HTR-5990. It's been a great unit but I've recently upgraded from the speakers in my signature to RTi A9's CSi A6 and FXi A6's. While they sound great, clarity, range, and detail have all improved while removing most of the chestiness that bothered me about the RT series, they seem to be lacking some depth, punch, and don't actually sound as 'big' as the last setup did. IE the sound doesn't seem to expand beyond the speakers in the same way as did with the RT's. Furthermore, with louder than reference volumes the sound becomes strained where with the other speakers it just got louder until it was so far past reasonable to listen to anyway.

    So, I'm thinking it's time to upgrade the receiver. I'm looking at spending $1000-1200 and for now it has to be a dual purpose unit, good for home theater as well as two channel music listening (separate two channel rig to come later) So far these to have really caught my eye:

    Yamaha RX-A3000
    http://www.hometheater.com/content/y...receiver-specs <--RX-A2000 Review, mainly just less WPC?

    Marantz SR7005
    http://www.hometheater.com/content/m...receiver-specs

    I linked those because it's got full reviews, specs and lab tests.

    I can get either in my price range, both got good reviews, and both make a bit more power than my current amp, along with all the newer features, namely Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD. The Yamaha from Ebay, the Marantz from a friend/installer who gets dealer pricing, so price is basically a wash. Immediately the extra power of the Yamaha attracts me. With all 6 drivers in the A9's all the power I can get seems like a good thing, and I'm already familiar with Yamaha amps as I've owned several. The Marantz, while lower power appears to drive 5 channels with less distortion than the Yamaha, but more distortion when driving just two, though seems to get the same Five Star rating for performance.

    So, I'm stuck. Any experience/opinions on one or both would be incredibly helpful, or if there's another better option at that price point I'm all for it.

    What say the Polkies??
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  2. #2

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like your current receiver has pre-outs, which is good news for you Another option to consider is getting a powered amp for the prices of the AVR's that you are considering. I'm considering a new powered amp myself, the Emotiva XPA-5 (1000 watt amp; or 200 wpc) is a good start.

    There are many other powered amps that others will also recommend. Let us know what you do decide on though, and good luck :-)

  3. #3

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    I'd agree with justlord above - if *all* you are looking for is more dynamic presentation of the music, then a good external amp might be just thing.

    However, you also mentioned new features for the lossless audio codecs for movies - which, imo, is worth considering for an upgrade.

    You may find, though, that even with either choice of the newer yamaha or marantz - your speakers would *still* benefit from good external amplification.

    So a newer AVR may just be one step along the upgrade path

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  4. #4

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    I agree with Erick. If it were me, I would try to find a lowest end AVR with the features (Lossless audio, Audyseey XT, etc) I needed AND pre-outs and then spend the leftover money on a good dedicated amp and some Signal Cable Analog 2 interconnects.

    I would suggest given your budget that you look to start with for a good 3 channel amp for your fronts and let whatever AVR you use power your surrounds. That combo should give you the best bang for your budget.

    If you feel the need later on to add a amp for your surrounds you can, but I think you would be fine without one.

  5. #5

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    In taking some additional time to think this out I guess here is my question.

    Do you really NEED lossless or do you just WANT it? It sounds like some of the issues your having would be better suited with just a amp upgrade to one with BALLS (like this one).

    If you have a decent blu-ray player (with analog outs) you could always use the 5.1 analog inputs on your current AVR since you dont have 7.1 currently anyway. That way the blu-ray player would do the decoding. It might tide you over and give you back the punch you need for your setup.

    Just another option.

  6. #6

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    sorry, but with your current setup, very similar to mine, there is no AVR out there that can drive them well at near reference level. My AVR can do 125WPC and things change so dramatically when I added an amp, just for the front. AVR still powers the center/rears.

    If you current AVR has pre-outs, the cheapest way is to get a 2 channels AMP to drive your fronts and let the AVR does the rears/center. Something with 250W+ will do. Remember, those big towers has the rating of 500W or so. Even the best AVR out there, when all channels are driven, you probably get around 100W each.

  7. #7

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    Since my AVR is in a cabinet behind a glass door, heat was an issue for me, and the Yamaha ran considerably cooler. That, and I just love the Yamaha sound. Btw, I'm running with an external amp, too. I agree with the others who've suggested an amp for the 9s.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : MFW-15 (RIP): Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 : Adcom GFA-7500 : PS3 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @120"
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  8. #8

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    Are you only using 5 speakers? If so try bi-amping, you should notice an immediate difference that will really open up your speakers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuSh View Post
    Are you only using 5 speakers? If so try bi-amping, you should notice an immediate difference that will really open up your speakers.
    In the range of opinions regarding the effects of bi-amping with an AVR, yours seems to be an outlier, but that's just my opinion.

  10. #10

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    However, you also mentioned new features for the lossless audio codecs for movies - which, imo, is worth considering for an upgrade.
    That's a big reason for wanting an upgrade, and for more HDMI Inputs, I've got two, optimally need three. Plus I've noticed a slight degredation in video quality running the HDMI through the receiver, so I'm currently running direct. Hoping a newer receiver would help that. If not, then I get better YPAO/Audessy calibration and said lossless audio.

    I agree with Erick. If it were me, I would try to find a lowest end AVR with the features (Lossless audio, Audyseey XT, etc) I needed AND pre-outs and then spend the leftover money on a good dedicated amp and some Signal Cable Analog 2 interconnects.

    I would suggest given your budget that you look to start with for a good 3 channel amp for your fronts and let whatever AVR you use power your surrounds. That combo should give you the best bang for your budget.

    If you feel the need later on to add a amp for your surrounds you can, but I think you would be fine without one.
    This sounds like the best option, there's even an Adcom GFA-5503 locally for sale right now, $650 for 200wpc, I'm guessing that would open things up in the front a bit? It could be an excellent step up from what I've got now, and upgrade the receiver later for the lossless decoding and other techy features...

    You guys are great, really getting me thinking. I hadn't actually considered the setups you guys are suggesting, but they sound more appealing.
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  11. #11

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    Mdaudioguy, have you tried it? It's a free tweak...and you can easily do it and dismiss it if it doesn't improve the sound.

  12. #12

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    Get an amp for the 9's, let the receiver handle the rest. Get a bdp with analog outs if you want lossless for movies. Those 9's need current, not wattage, there is a difference.

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    Get an amp for the 9's, let the receiver handle the rest. Get a bdp with analog outs if you want lossless for movies. Those 9's need current, not wattage, there is a difference.
    +1. Listen to tonyb.

    That's why I started off w/ Parasound amps. They give you the peak current of each amp in the specs. Anything that's ~45 amps peak or more will help the 9s shine. The Halo A21 was 60 amps, and I believe my NAD amps are >50A.

    It's the current you're looking for!
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

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  14. #14

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    Ok, so you guys have me leaning more and more towards a separate amp.

    Two options I've found so far:

    Adcom GFA-5503 $650, 200Wx3 so I'd use it for the front three. Used locally so I get to see/hear it first, seller says its 5-6 years old, claims minimal use, but can't seem to find any current rating?

    Or, Parasound 2125 I can get wholesale for about $500 125Wx2 and listed as 35A.

    Knowing wattage isn't everything, which would better power the A9's and why?
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    I found that w/ Parasounds (I've had a number of them ranging from 125wpc -> 250wpc), around 45amps peak current seems to be the point where at my A7s shined. Above that it was more about details. I used my 2125 for my CSi A6 if that says anything ;)

    I've never used an Adcom amp, but I'd guess that in this case the GFA-5503 > Parasound 2125. Plus you get to power all 3 of your front stage, which is good.
    ALL BOXED UP for a while until I save up for a new place :(

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  16. #16

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    Inspector - did you try my suggestion?

  17. #17

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    After re-reading the OP's post, I'm wondering what "louder than reference level" is ? Are you saying that everything starts to run out of juice when you crank the volume dial into the + area ? Also, have you re-calibrated the system after changing the speaks ? Seeing what you have, an amp is definately needed, or a receiver with ICE amps in them like the Pioneer SC's, they don't tend to fall off a cliff power wise in surround mode. Cranking on that volume dial above reference point is risking doing some damage so keep it down unless you like buying tweeters.

    Lush, just my opinion but bi-amping off the receiver may not be his answer. While it may provide alittle more to the fronts, the remaining speakers will get substantialy less power from an alread taxed AVR.
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  18. #18

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    Tonyb, it may not be his answer...but it's free to try...I don't understand why one wouldn't simply try.

  19. #19

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    Lush, I have not tried it. I assume you mean to use the 'B' speaker section to power the woofers while the 'A' section powers the mids/tweet? If so that would be tough to do, the reciever is on the opposite end of the room with all the wires routed through the ceiling, and I'm not really up for running more wiring right now.

    After re-reading the OP's post, I'm wondering what "louder than reference level" is ? Are you saying that everything starts to run out of juice when you crank the volume dial into the + area ? Also, have you re-calibrated the system after changing the speaks ? Seeing what you have, an amp is definately needed, or a receiver with ICE amps in them like the Pioneer SC's, they don't tend to fall off a cliff power wise in surround mode. Cranking on that volume dial above reference point is risking doing some damage so keep it down unless you like buying tweeters.
    My reference level for stereo music listening with the RT800's was -10. Above that it was louder, too loud for me personally but sounded good up to about +1 where the quality quickly diminished. At -10 the A9's are already sounding strained, and sound best at about -15 but lack the size, depth and punch that the 800's had.

    And yes, I definitely re-calibrated everything after the new speakers. Ran the YPAO and then applied my personal tweaks to the EQ, they were just a bit bright and sometimes harsh in the upper midranges so I softened them up a bit, mostly around 2.5k.

    Oooh, and a Adcom GFA-5503 just popped up for less than the other one, still no response from the seller, but if it's as new I'm all over it.
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  20. #20

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    Have you checked what your speaker levels are set to for the A9's ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector 24 View Post
    Lush, I have not tried it. I assume you mean to use the 'B' speaker section to power the woofers while the 'A' section powers the mids/tweet? If so that would be tough to do, the reciever is on the opposite end of the room with all the wires routed through the ceiling, and I'm not really up for running more wiring right now.
    Even though you have no interest in trying it, what he's suggesting is using an AVR with 7 channels to "bi-amp" by running it in 5-channel mode and setting the back channels to "bi-amp" the fronts. Read up on it. The consensus is that there is little to no difference, definitely not an immediately noticeable difference. I haven't tried it either, because I also run 7 channels, and have no interest in going back to five.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : MFW-15 (RIP): Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 : Adcom GFA-7500 : PS3 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @120"
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  22. #22

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    I've bi-amped HT receivers 3 times. The results were evident right away. Output transistors on an AVR can only output so much voltage and are regulated, adding two more output transistors lightens the load, you then have more headroom as the overall load is halfed. Just try it if you can. I've read all amplifiers are the same, digital is digital and cables sound the same unless broken. The neat thing about audio is the experience of trying.

  23. #23

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    Tony, the YPAO set them to -1 for both left and right.

    Lush, I'd be happy to try it if it were easy, to hide the speaker wires they're run through two walls and the ceiling, and until I drastically change the setup, I won't be running new wiring.

    Regarding the amps, It's easy to find the current rating for Parasound amps, but I haven't had any luck with Adcoms, any thoughts?
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