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  1. #1
    Forum Regular denontillidie's Avatar
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    Is there a difference?

    Ok.

    This is not a troll moan, but a general curiosity.

    I 'think' i have a resonable setup, it is probably entry level at best but i am curious as to how much better the sound is on say a arcam avr350, which has a price tag of 1200 pounds, which is a lot of money.

    Does this mean that the sound is 4 times better that my current amp, or it just has extra features etc. I am a bit confused on this as i cannot see how this would be feasibly possible.

    BTW, i have no chance of getting into a decent demo room round these parts
    Denon AVR-1602 Reciever
    Denon DCD-715 CD Player
    Denon DVD-1730 DVD Player
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    Jamo Surround Speakers

  2. #2
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denontillidie
    Ok.

    This is not a troll moan, but a general curiosity.

    I 'think' i have a resonable setup, it is probably entry level at best but i am curious as to how much better the sound is on say a arcam avr350, which has a price tag of 1200 pounds, which is a lot of money.

    Does this mean that the sound is 4 times better that my current amp, or it just has extra features etc. I am a bit confused on this as i cannot see how this would be feasibly possible.

    BTW, i have no chance of getting into a decent demo room round these parts
    There is a point of diminishing returns that pops up very fast with audio equipment. As a guess, it seems that each time you double your cost, you only get about a 5-10% increase in quality. But if you can afford to pay 1024 times as much, you can get a 50-100% increase.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular denontillidie's Avatar
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    ahh, i see.

    well, i have just had another one of my hifi experimental afternoons and have found this wonderful setting on the amp.

    I did have the surround mode set to matrix, but was finding it a bit unruly. so i had a flip through my settings and landed on jazz. If this is not set up properly it sounds like poo, but i set the room size to med-s and the effect level to 3 and bingo. Much punchier and refined sound just by pressing a button.

    neighbors must hate me
    Denon AVR-1602 Reciever
    Denon DCD-715 CD Player
    Denon DVD-1730 DVD Player
    Denon SC-C555SA Centre Speaker
    B&W 683 Floorstanders
    QED Original Bi-Wire on the 683's
    Jamo Surround Speakers

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    you'll indeed get an improvement, just not 4x as good, it doesn't work that way

    the improvement is not just 'more features', in fact, some of the really expensive (exotic) products have less features than your average mid priced H/T receiver...


    but the sound will most likely improve & overall buid quality (usually, dunno with H/T receivers, but arcam is pretty respectable ), maybe longlivety and such...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yep, what these guys said - your sound quality will improve as you upgrade, but it's small changes disproportionate to the cost difference. IMO 4 X the cost would be a big upgrade and I really hope you get more than 10%, but translating to numbers or % is sorta just a gut feeling system anyway. You might place a high value on these small changes. Being an audiophile tends to financially penalize how anal you are.

    I left my system largely alone for about 3 years. It was better than "good enough". Recent circumstances have led me to being infected with the bug again...

  6. #6
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    There is a point of diminishing returns that pops up very fast with audio equipment. As a guess, it seems that each time you double your cost, you only get about a 5-10% increase in quality. But if you can afford to pay 1024 times as much, you can get a 50-100% increase.
    Based on my experiences so far, I'd say you get about a 50% increase (this all subjective and meaningless though, but fun to say) by paying 10 times as much... I base this mainly on the difference between a $200 Mini-system and a good $2000 2 channel setup...

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    There is another "cost" that creeps up, especially with "anal" types, and that is the irritation of knowing that something that one owns doesn't sound as good as something else that someone doesn't own. After hearing a much better setup, even without knowing the price tag, this is a sure road to upgraditis. The biggest problem with this road are:

    - that there is no upper limit for quality
    - different sounding doesn't necessarily mean better sounding
    - synergy between components plays a big part
    - there is a lot of snake-oil and pixie-snot out there

    And after all these are taken into consideration, price becomes very much subjective. Then there is the thorny issue of second hand pricing. The ratio of an item's quality to it's used price is far less comparable to that of a new item. Notable examples of manufacturers who's gear performs well above its second-hand price would suggest are Monarchy Audio and Odyssey Audio, two manufacturers I have been very impressed with of late.

    Actually if there is one gauge that has seemed to hold true is that gear from smaller manufacturers who provide very personalized service, typically sells for far less than it should on the second-hand market. Typically it offers, IMO, far more bang-for-the-buck than used gear from larger manufacturers. That this should be so defies common sense.

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denontillidie
    Does this mean that the sound is 4 times better that my current amp, or it just has extra features etc. I am a bit confused on this as i cannot see how this would be feasibly possible.
    Indeed better exists, but I think it is important to set a goal as to what you want to attain. Do you seek more headroom (power)? It appears by your system description that you run the F30s full range. Perhaps you should look into getting some powered sub woofers to add first octave bass to your system - which tends to be more important for HT systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by denontillidie
    BTW, i have no chance of getting into a decent demo room round these parts
    That is unfortunate, because I've found it certainly helps to have a point of reference.

    rw

  9. #9
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by denontillidie
    Ok.

    This is not a troll moan, but a general curiosity.

    I 'think' i have a resonable setup, it is probably entry level at best but i am curious as to how much better the sound is on say a arcam avr350, which has a price tag of 1200 pounds, which is a lot of money.

    Does this mean that the sound is 4 times better that my current amp, or it just has extra features etc. I am a bit confused on this as i cannot see how this would be feasibly possible.

    BTW, i have no chance of getting into a decent demo room round these parts
    its more "mid fi" than "entry level".
    Heres the rule grasshopper, let it serve you well.
    MAINLY that if you're stuck with mid price equipment there is one thing you can do, mainly get some really nice speakers
    Speakers will usually be one of the most expensive sections of your gear anyway, might as well buy some really nice ones.
    As long as your basic amp is decent (if a bit mild) good speakers
    can make your system sound really good, this is because except for golden ears the differences between amps is slight
    And sources are mostly digital, wont be much difference there.
    But hot speakers...
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  10. #10
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    its more "mid fi" than "entry level".
    Heres the rule grasshopper, let it serve you well.
    MAINLY that if you're stuck with mid price equipment there is one thing you can do, mainly get some really nice speakers
    Speakers will usually be one of the most expensive sections of your gear anyway, might as well buy some really nice ones.
    As long as your basic amp is decent (if a bit mild) good speakers
    can make your system sound really good, this is because except for golden ears the differences between amps is slight
    And sources are mostly digital, wont be much difference there.
    But hot speakers...

    I'd rather have 'cheaper' speakers with exellent gear to drive them than the other way around...

    good speakers make a big difference, but when driven by (less than) average gear, the difference may end up being rather negative...

    and saying sources & amps only make a 'slight' difference is pure nonsense, coming from one who probably hasn't experienced any of the gear that's supposed to go with those 'really nice speakers'.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Whoa! the PIX is right

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    its more "mid fi" than "entry level".
    Heres the rule grasshopper, let it serve you well.
    MAINLY that if you're stuck with mid price equipment there is one thing you can do, mainly get some really nice speakers
    Speakers will usually be one of the most expensive sections of your gear anyway, might as well buy some really nice ones.
    As long as your basic amp is decent (if a bit mild) good speakers
    can make your system sound really good, this is because except for golden ears the differences between amps is slight
    And sources are mostly digital, wont be much difference there.
    But hot speakers...
    With an entry level system speakers deserved are your first concern. Sensible choices must be made for other components, but speakers are the top priority.

    The primacy of speakers reaches up into mid-level systems too, but amplifiers in particular become more and more important and source also become significant.

  12. #12
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I'm going to chime in with my usual balance argument. Your system will only be as good as your cheapest (or lowest grade) part. Try to budget your system so that 35% of what you send is on the speakers. Then 25% for amps, processor or receiver. 25% for source. 10% for room acoustics, and then 5% for wires & cables. (give or take a few points)

    But starting with your speakers is the best bet. It would suck to buy a receiver and then find out that the speakers you love take more power than that receiver can give. Once you pick out the speakers you like, then you'll know what kind of power you'll need to drive them. Take your time though. Do your homework before buying anything. Getting it right the first time can save you a bundle down the road.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Chas Underhay's Avatar
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    How good can it get?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    There is a point of diminishing returns that pops up very fast with audio equipment. As a guess, it seems that each time you double your cost, you only get about a 5-10% increase in quality. But if you can afford to pay 1024 times as much, you can get a 50-100% increase.
    I agree with you on the point of diminishing returns but I would analyse it in a different way.

    We know that we are all aiming for the band, orchestra or whatever to be in our living room but in reality the best that can be had is the original studio play back of the finished recording. Maybe there will be some who disagree but as far as I'm concerned, that is the best available of any recording, so let's call that 100%

    Now we all know that even the best cartridges and speakers will produce about 1% distortion (OK some digital advocates will say their CD players produce less than 1%distortion) but if we consider the whole replay chain from source to speaker and include room acoustics; I don't think it would be unreasonable to say that around 98% would be the best possible.

    OK, so lets look at the other end; complete silence or unintelliable noise could be considered as 0%.

    Now if you can hear the music to the quality of a domestic transistor radio; you are already half way there, maybe more, so let's call that 50% and that will cost less than 50.00 ($100.00)

    Let's look at a reasonable mini system; considerably better than the transistor radio - the sound quality may well be 75% and that would cost about 200.00 ($400.00) For 99.9% of people, a system like this would be fine.

    With a good modern budget system, it might not quite sound as if the band is in the living room but it will be getting very close, probably close to 90%. and that will cost around 1,000.00 ($2,000.00). Most people would be blown away by such a system and would never need to consider anything better.

    Now lets consider a quality system but not an exotic system. That could cost upto about 6,000.00 ($12,000.00) for a CD based system or about 8,000.00 ($16,000) for an analogue system. Now that type of system will very often sound like the band or orchestra is actually in the listening room so thats got to rate a good 95%. A very big jump in cost from the budget system but a system of this ilk would be capable of providing great pleasure and satisfaction for many years and could probably be justified for a serious music lover who was prepared to make that sort of investment.

    So where does that leave us? Oh yes, the other elusive 3% (maybe) and the requirement for an open cheque book. Not for me thanks, life's too short and there are too many other things to do!

  14. #14
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas Underhay
    I agree with you on the point of diminishing returns but I would analyse it in a different way.

    We know that we are all aiming for the band, orchestra or whatever to be in our living room but in reality the best that can be had is the original studio play back of the finished recording. Maybe there will be some who disagree but as far as I'm concerned, that is the best available of any recording, so let's call that 100%

    Now we all know that even the best cartridges and speakers will produce about 1% distortion (OK some digital advocates will say their CD players produce less than 1%distortion) but if we consider the whole replay chain from source to speaker and include room acoustics; I don't think it would be unreasonable to say that around 98% would be the best possible.

    OK, so lets look at the other end; complete silence or unintelliable noise could be considered as 0%.

    Now if you can hear the music to the quality of a domestic transistor radio; you are already half way there, maybe more, so let's call that 50% and that will cost less than 50.00 ($100.00)

    Let's look at a reasonable mini system; considerably better than the transistor radio - the sound quality may well be 75% and that would cost about 200.00 ($400.00) For 99.9% of people, a system like this would be fine.

    With a good modern budget system, it might not quite sound as if the band is in the living room but it will be getting very close, probably close to 90%. and that will cost around 1,000.00 ($2,000.00). Most people would be blown away by such a system and would never need to consider anything better.

    Now lets consider a quality system but not an exotic system. That could cost upto about 6,000.00 ($12,000.00) for a CD based system or about 8,000.00 ($16,000) for an analogue system. Now that type of system will very often sound like the band or orchestra is actually in the listening room so thats got to rate a good 95%. A very big jump in cost from the budget system but a system of this ilk would be capable of providing great pleasure and satisfaction for many years and could probably be justified for a serious music lover who was prepared to make that sort of investment.

    So where does that leave us? Oh yes, the other elusive 3% (maybe) and the requirement for an open cheque book. Not for me thanks, life's too short and there are too many other things to do!

    I see it as an amitotic slope. At very low low costs, each time you double the cost you move much closer to the ideal 100% perfect sound that we'd love to have. But as you move closer to that 100% each doubling of cost moves you closer, but at a much slower rate.


    Cheap-as-system = 20% of the 100 we want (that's crap)
    Double that moves us half way to the 100 leaving us at 60% of 100. (still crap, but much better)
    Double that moves us to 80% (getting there now)
    Double that moves us to 90 (I live around this point)
    Then 95 (for the serious listeners)
    Then 97.5 (for serious listeners with more expendable cash)
    Then 98.75 (Seems like a lot of cash for very little change)
    Above this, you are just too rich and should be giving some of it to charity (joke, joke. No letters please)
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Chas Underhay's Avatar
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    Yep, above 90% hard to justify and above 95% it just becomes academic!

    Oh and to anyone who's that rich, don't give it to charity give it to me so that I can spend it on sensible things like fast cars, fast women, exotic holidays, booze and then fritter the rest away!

    Cheers

    Chas

  16. #16
    Forum Regular denontillidie's Avatar
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    hoho, looks like a right can of worms

    i think i need to find a decent hifi shop in the area and go and have a listen to what is out there. I think my speakers could do with an upgrade, as they sound nice but the bass clarity could be better (tends to sh*t it a bit when you get a combination of bass drum and guitar at the same time).

    But, just to turn up the heat at bit. would a higher end denon av reciever, say the avr 2808, pitched toe to toe with my amp on stereo on the same set of speakers on the stereo setting with ton defeat on and the same piece of music on the same cd player sound better or are you paying for the HD video features?
    Denon AVR-1602 Reciever
    Denon DCD-715 CD Player
    Denon DVD-1730 DVD Player
    Denon SC-C555SA Centre Speaker
    B&W 683 Floorstanders
    QED Original Bi-Wire on the 683's
    Jamo Surround Speakers

  17. #17
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denontillidie
    hoho, looks like a right can of worms

    i think i need to find a decent hifi shop in the area and go and have a listen to what is out there. I think my speakers could do with an upgrade, as they sound nice but the bass clarity could be better (tends to sh*t it a bit when you get a combination of bass drum and guitar at the same time).

    But, just to turn up the heat at bit. would a higher end denon av reciever, say the avr 2808, pitched toe to toe with my amp on stereo on the same set of speakers on the stereo setting with ton defeat on and the same piece of music on the same cd player sound better or are you paying for the HD video features?
    This is usually due to the amp not being able to keep up with the speaker's demand for juice.

    Edit: I don't know much about your Celestion F30 Floorstanders, but they don't seem to be all that hard to drive. Don't know if they have any resistance swings though.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  18. #18
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    A few worms, yes.

    GM is right, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to go out and start looking for a new receiver. Frankly, for the kind of money it costs to get a new unit with modern processing and even a decent amp stage you would be better at looking at seperates. If your current Denon has pre-outs you could probably benifit from a power amp connected through the "pre-outs", which would be a significant savings.

    Celestion's bread-and-butter has always been their professional grade speakers for musical equipment. I'm not wholly sure that home applications are their niche. First and foremost I would recommend auditioning some new speaks. In your part of the world probably KEF, Wharfedale, maybe Dyneaudio and B&W. For the same kind of money that it would take to seriously upgrade the amp section in a decent new receiver you can get into an entry level or above set from any of these makers which, I believe, would yield a greater percentage of improvement.

    Peace

  19. #19
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    y=(4x+2)/(x^2+1)

  20. #20
    Crank it up, dude! huh? hydroman's Avatar
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    ^Exactly! (But only for very large values of '1') ....

    One more vote for powered sub.
    H/K AVR635 7.1
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    15" Titanic III Sealed Enclosure Sub
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  21. #21
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydroman
    ^Exactly! (But only for very large values of '1') ....

    One more vote for powered sub.
    And a very fine sub you have there.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular winston's Avatar
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    hi denontillie seems you are having a equiptment prob. on the other side of the atlantic smile, cant find a demo room in your area- how about 30 days return rule do you have that over there try it. that said i read the quotes & replys that were offered to you and its all good stuff but you should look 2 to 3 more times at chas underhay quote ? also at bobsticks,reply and gmicheal quote. as for my rule spaekers/amps/receiver then the source. hope that helps until nxt winston

  23. #23
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    You don't know how good your receiver is until it drives very good speakers. My approach would be to prevail on one of my mates who's got some killer kit to lend his speakers for a demo. It might cost you some favors, but it's all a trade, isn't it?

    I agree that the speakers are the first thing to consider. For one thing, speaker tech does not advance at the rate of change of virtually any other component, so it's a lasting investment if you do it right. If you go cheap or accept "good enough" you'll be itching to switch before long. For another, very good speakers will highlight any improvements in other gear that you buy. Small changes that might be insignificant or lost on lesser speakers will become discernible and important with very good ones.

    Bobsticks makes a good point that separates are an alternative to receiver giantism. The preamp/processor is the most rapidly changing part of audio/video tech, so it makes sense to separate it from the amplifier when you're ready to move up. A great amp will last for many, many years.

    The amp in a receiver is virtually worthless once the technology in the rest of the receiver falls behind the times. You have to replace the whole thing to get up to date.

    Better to have a long lasting, bullet-proof amp and change the pre/pro as technology advances than to keep buying receivers trying to keep up.

    Short version for you:
    1) Very good speakers
    2) Very good amp
    3) Good to very good pre/pro changed out every few years
    I like sulung tang.

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