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  1. #1

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    Default AV receiver-Onkyo, Marantz or Denon for SDA's?

    I'm thinking of getting either an Onkyo, Denon or Marantz AV receiver in the $700 range. Anyone have the Marantz 5003, Onkyo 806 or Denon 889 paired with SDA's? If so, what's your opinion. I listen to lots of 2 channel music but also love movies. No I don't want seperates or two systems. Have to have on av receiver that does both well. Thanks for your opinions.
    Mike
    Fronts: SDA1C's
    Rears: SDA2's
    Center:CS400i
    Sub: PSW505

  2. #2

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    I have the Marantz 5003 w/ SRS 3.1s. I'm running them through a Carver 1.5 (non-t) though for more power.

    I think it sounds great, it's better than the Pioneer that it replaced, and running back to back tests with the same source running direct, and same speakers, I liked it a lot better than the similarly spec'd Pioneer Elite in the showroom.

    I don't know about the other two, but I do know that you can set up the 5003 to bi-amp by using the 6th and 7th channel amps, there is a switch on the back.

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    I can only speak for Marantz, but it definitly has good power. I'm still getting mine dialed in as I've only had it for a couple weeks though. FYI , check accessories4less. I just got my SR6001 from there. It has plenty of power. I got the factory refurb with a one year warranty for $370.

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    I know it's not what you want to hear but...........you'll never do the SDA's justice with a receiver. Especially (2) pairs. That's just a fact.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  5. #5

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    Heiney9 is right. So I'd go with the Onkyo 806 because it has pre-outs!

    I know the Denon does NOT. And I'm not sure about the Marantz...if it does that's a factor. Also, is the Marantz the entry level receiver that will decode blu-ray sound formats through 1.3 HDMIs? Because that's a factor as well.

    cnh

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    I ran my SDA 1Bs via a late-'70's JVC receiver for the first ~7 years I owned them. When I switched to a separate power amp; I thought I noticed slightly better bass; and as the JVC was having problems with the protection circuitry; going to the separate amp was a good move. Aside from the problems caused by overheating and old age, performance-wise the JVC was powerful and clean--and they "don't make 'em like that any more".

    I'm not sure you can buy a receiver today that has enough snort to appropriately drive the 4-ohm nominal 1Bs. Maybe there are--what I see on the shelves is Communist Chinese lightweight J-U-N-K; most of which doesn't even carry a wattage rating for 4-ohm nominal loads even though they may claim >100 watts into 8 ohm. It seems most of the stuff on the shelves is low-current, high-distortion crap. First Guess: the output transistors (and there won't be many of them; or they'll be part of an IC) are driven into Class B--or some variant of Class D--to reduce the bulk, weight, and expense of heat sinks and the big sheetmetal box to house it all. Costs less to make, costs less to ship from the factory to the store. Doesn't sound as good, though. They seem to have a high VOLTAGE power supply (to generate lots of watts if the speaker impedance is high enough), with almost no current delivery. CURRENT (amperage) costs money; voltage costs very little.

    If I HAD to buy a receiver, I'd at least be looking at Harman-Kardon. Historically, they've cared about audio performance more than marketing "numbers"; but even H-K is made in China now. Scary.

    You say you don't want separates--but--dollar for dollar, MY choice would be a used-but-nice processor and similarly used-but-nice amps--probably multiple stereo amps (more common) but a multi-channel at the right price would work, too.

    When it was my money and I wanted multi-channel, I bought a batch of "high-end" used 2-channel amps at well under 1/2 original price (closer to 1/4 or 1/3, really) and a new but "closeout" processor. I've got power up the wazoo, and it has worked flawlessly since '03. I've since sold the older 2-channel amps and gone with a pair of monoblocs--also purchased at about 1/3 original cost.

    "Used" gear can be VERY advantageous if your objection to separates is cost-based.

    If you do go with a receiver, you ABSOLUTELY want preamp-out jacks for each channel so you can use the receiver as a processor only at some later date.
    Last edited by Schurkey; 02-20-2009 at 02:41 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schurkey View Post
    I ran my SDA 1Bs via a late-'70's JVC receiver for the first ~7 years I owned them. When I switched to a separate power amp; I thought I noticed slightly better bass; and as the JVC was having problems with the protection circuitry; going to the separate amp was a good move. Aside from the problems caused by overheating and old age, performance-wise the JVC was powerful and clean--and they "don't make 'em like that any more".

    I'm not sure you can buy a receiver today that has enough snort to appropriately drive the 4-ohm nominal 1Bs. Maybe there are--what I see on the shelves is Communist Chinese lightweight J-U-N-K; most of which doesn't even carry a wattage rating for 4-ohm nominal loads even though they may claim >100 watts into 8 ohm. It seems most of the stuff on the shelves is low-current, high-distortion crap. First Guess: the output transistors (and there won't be many of them; or they'll be part of an IC) are driven into Class B--or some variant of Class D--to reduce the bulk, weight, and expense of heat sinks and the big sheetmetal box to house it all. Costs less to make, costs less to ship from the factory to the store. Doesn't sound as good, though. They seem to have a high VOLTAGE power supply (to generate lots of watts if the speaker impedance is high enough), with almost no current delivery. CURRENT (amperage) costs money; voltage costs very little.

    If I HAD to buy a receiver, I'd at least be looking at Harman-Kardon. Historically, they've cared about audio performance more than marketing "numbers"; but even H-K is made in China now. Scary.

    You say you don't want separates--but--dollar for dollar, MY choice would be a used-but-nice processor and similarly used-but-nice amps--probably multiple stereo amps (more common) but a multi-channel at the right price would work, too.

    When it was my money and I wanted multi-channel, I bought a batch of "high-end" used 2-channel amps at well under 1/2 original price (closer to 1/4 or 1/3, really) and a new but "closeout" processor. I've got power up the wazoo, and it has worked flawlessly since '03. I've since sold the older 2-channel amps and gone with a pair of monoblocs--also purchased at about 1/3 original cost.

    "Used" gear can be VERY advantageous if your objection to separates is cost-based.

    If you do go with a receiver, you ABSOLUTELY want preamp-out jacks for each channel so you can use the receiver as a processor only at some later date.
    I have to agree, I have an old Kenwood 1st generation Dolby receiver. It's essentially a stereo receiver with 20watts/channel for the 2 rears. It weighs close to 40lbs. Has a massive transformer in it primarily for the L/R channels which are an HONEST 130 Watts each. A switch on the back allows you to power 4 ohm loads. The actual peak wattage for the amp is about 260 watts to each of the front channels. I've never been able to turn up the volume much past half way without fearing for my house and causing everyone on the first floor to run for cover. That was about one grand worth of amp in the late 80s and is still running.

    They don't make them like they used to, which is why you need the pre-outs!

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I have to agree, I have an old Kenwood 1st generation Dolby receiver. It's essentially a stereo receiver with 20watts/channel for the 2 rears. It weighs close to 40lbs. Has a massive transformer in it primarily for the L/R channels which are an HONEST 130 Watts each. A switch on the back allows you to power 4 ohm loads. The actual peak wattage for the amp is about 260 watts to each of the front channels. I've never been able to turn up the volume much past half way without fearing for my house and causing everyone on the first floor to run for cover. That was about one grand worth of amp in the late 80s and is still running.

    They don't make them like they used to, which is why you need the pre-outs!

    cnh
    The switch on the back is for current limiting since the amp would not be able to handle a 4 ohm load without this limiting feature. It's not a good thing.

    Sure in general things from the 70's/80's were built a little better.....remember technology has come a long way in 25+ years and just because something form back then weighs a lot doesn't equal great sound or able to drive anything.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I agree. But I can assure you that this receiver can drive every speaker I've owned to thunderously clean levels and has done so. I used to run it with an old set of JBL studio monitors and it put out incredible sound, better than most AVRs in the 1-2K range.

    Of course it won't compete with a really good high end power amp. But it's not bad.

    The distortion levels are far below currrent amps. Remember when Marantz used to list THD of .003 percent. That's what we're talking about.

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I agree. But I can assure you that this receiver can drive every speaker I've owned to thunderously clean levels and has done so. I used to run it with an old set of JBL studio monitors and it put out incredible sound, better than most AVRs in the 1-2K range.

    Of course it won't compete with a really good high end power amp. But it's not bad.

    The distortion levels are far below currrent amps. Remember when Marantz used to list THD of .003 percent. That's what we're talking about.

    cnh
    Not to debate because I'm sure it's a nice unit..........if it could drive anything thunderously......it wouldn't need a current limiting circuit to drive a 4 ohm load.........also low THD is no indication of quality or quantity output. :)
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I don't disagree. As to current limiting what that switch actually does is prevent you from being able to drive A and B speakers simultaneously. Which I always thought was a way of directing all current to one set of speakers rather than (limiting it).

    Since your profile indicates a life-long concern with audio, feel free to correct me above if I am wrong.

    Because I'm merely trying to work this out logically, if I prevent current from being used by two sets of speakers then I'm channeling all of what's available to one set at 4 ohms. No? Or am I missing something?

    One of the best amps I ever heard was a late seventies tube amp that only put out 65 watts/channel. Which is another thing that has always puzzled me because I've listened to power amps that put out more than twice that and cost thousands that do not sound as good?

    Just curious?

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 02-20-2009 at 03:49 PM.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Heiney9 is right. So I'd go with the Onkyo 806 because it has pre-outs!

    I know the Denon does NOT. And I'm not sure about the Marantz...if it does that's a factor. Also, is the Marantz the entry level receiver that will decode blu-ray sound formats through 1.3 HDMIs? Because that's a factor as well.

    cnh
    Anyone have an opinion on the Onkyo 876? Here are the specs:
    http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=s

    It's supposed to be very powerful and you can bridge the front speakers to put out 200 wpc to the fronts. I've read some great reviews of it and it can be had from Amazon for $1000.
    Mike
    Fronts: SDA1C's
    Rears: SDA2's
    Center:CS400i
    Sub: PSW505

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    Get a separate amp, you won't regret it. There are plenty to choose from that won't break the bank.;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
    Anyone have an opinion on the Onkyo 876? Here are the specs:
    http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=...s=Receiver&p=s
    Note that they don't list an output power and distortion spec for 4-ohm speakers, and even the 6-ohm spec is limited to a single frequency (1K) rather than full-range (20--20K). A sure sign of bass problems when driven into lower impedances.

    Down at the bottom of the amp specs, they claim it's usable with 4--16 OR 6-16 ohm speakers; but they don't tell you why they have a dual rating like that.

    FIRST GUESS: Current-limited; in that it supposedly will push 320 watts into a 3-ohm load--but--they don't tell you how much distortion is going along for the ride, AND that is with ONE CHANNEL being driven. They also DON'T tell you how long the impulse is that generates that 320-watt spec. Which is a sure sign of an undersized power supply. So, yeah, it probably won't BLOW UP if used with 4-ohm speakers--but it may not sound like it should, or be anywhere near as powerful as you'd expect.

    SECOND GUESS: Made in Communist China, and made to a price point, not to a quality point.
    Last edited by Schurkey; 02-21-2009 at 03:06 PM.

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    Before I bought that Onkyo I would look at this one...A factory refurb NAD T755.

    http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/T755.asp

    Don't let the 80wpc scare you. That is 80 continuous all channels driven minimum.

    Here are the full specs from the NAD website;

    http://nadelectronics.com/products/a...Receiver/specs

    $699 with free shipping and NAD factory warranty comes in at your original price. It's only 5.1 but that seems to be what you are using now. Has all the bells and whistles you need for HT and there is plenty of power for 2 channel as well.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    remember technology has come a long way in 25+ years and just because something form back then weighs a lot doesn't equal great sound or able to drive anything.
    True enough; there's always a way to make a heavy, expensive product sound bad.





    Still, the "gold standard" for amplifier operation is to have the output devices running in Class A (high bias) mode. And that absolutely requires lots of heat sink; or a fan; or both. And it's inefficient as hell--it pulls a lot of current from the wall socket which is mostly used to heat up the listening room.

    Add in low-impedance drive capacity and you're buying a HUGE power transformer (or several big transformers) along with big capacitors to supply the power rails that supply the output devices.

    Add up the big heat sinks and the big power supply--and the sheetmetal to enclose it all--and you've got a big, heavy, expensive ('cause copper and steel ain't cheap anymore!) component. It can sound VERY, VERY GOOD, however.

    EVERY circuit innovation that works around those "Class A--big power supply" constraints is going to have an effect on the sound quality.

    Going to Class B will enormously improve the efficiency, but you produce notch distortion. Class D until very recently wasn't fast enough to be useful into the midrange, let alone the treble. Subwoofer only until about three or four years ago. Tripath claims to have "fixed" that; I'm not ready to jump onto that bandwagon yet.

    Sliding- or staircase-voltage power supplies also improve efficiency and reduce weight, but they have their own problems.

    EVERYTHING that the designers know to do to increase the efficiency of the power conversion from 110 AC to music will also increase distortion although we don't understand every possible form of distortion. And the common forms--THD and noise, primarily--are so well understood that it's easy to build a circuit that measures well for those distortion forms. It may not sound right because of other distortions that you aren't measuring, though.

    What I'm trying to get across--and probably using too many words to do it--is that designing a small, lightweight amplifier is easy enough if you're willing to sacrifice low-impedance drive and sound quality; OR you're willing to make it expensive as hell.

    Building it in some reprehensible third-world repressive Communist nation can dramatically drop the dollar cost, but there's the ethical cost of supporting neo-slavery. You save a lot of dollars, but it costs you your soul.

    Making a small, lightweight, powerful amp that is inexpensive, sounds good, and will actually drive "real life" loudspeakers is difficult indeed.

    Which is why I don't recommend small, lightweight amplifiers if I have any choice about it.
    Last edited by Schurkey; 02-21-2009 at 03:48 PM.

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