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  1. #1
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    The Good Guys Worst Chain Store Ever (At least LA Woodland Hills Store)

    Thought I'd just share my wonderful experience at the Good Guys with you. I will never ever go to this store again unless they have something I know I need beforehand at the cheapest price, I don't know if this is typical of all the Good Guys Stores, if it is, I don't know how they stay in business, but I went to the store in Los Angeles- Woodland Hills today with the intent on checking on their Denon receivers. I called the store ahead of time, and while they had the model I wanted, it wasn't hooked up on the floor, but instead had the next highest price model hooked up. The person I spoke to on the phone stated there would not be much difference in the sound quality of the cheaper one I was interested in and the more expensive model that was hooked up. Wrong, but that's not why I'm angry. I got to the store and had to look around to get help and the guy who helped me out was a total brain dead idiot who knew less about his product than I did. He then couldn't even get the power to go on and after about 10 minutes of standing around while this guy couldn't even turn the system on, I lost my cool & as a result got help. It seems like in all of these places, unless you creaste a scene and act like a maniac and azzhole no one will help you out Anyway, the supervisor got it turned on in about 5 seconds, but the trouble was, and I don't know how they can demonstrate any stereo product to anyone with an IQ over 2020, the set up was in the "middle" of their floor & sounded like an airplane runaway and their systems are connected to crappy speakers that are built inside their walls. As the sound therefore sounded crappy, I suggested they
    let me have a pair of headphones to get a better idea of the sound. The salesman said they had no headphones on the floor to listen to any system. Needless to say I walked out and that place will never ever get my business again. I don't get it..
    Last edited by hershon; 02-13-2005 at 06:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    This is my take

    Trust me, that Good Guys is far better than the one in Northridge. But anyways, that's where I got my receiver, primarily because it was such an incredible financial deal, not because I went in there to listen and ask questions. See, I figure that is already a lost cause. If I have real audio gear questions, I'll come here or go to a high end, independent store. I'll go to GG, BB, CC when I know what I want and don't have any substantial questions. I don't get frustrated because I don't expect much from these guys. For instance, take that Yamaha universal player I mentioned in the other thread. If I go there to buy it's because I've aleady made my decision. If I want to hear or see its performance, I might go elsewhere.

  3. #3
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    I agree with paul.I don't expect much from big retail chain stores be it wal mart, best buy, good guys, etc. You just can't expect much from people making a poor wage. I worked for a hardware store, I knew the basics but I couldn't go in depth on alot of things.

    I do my own research and if a salesman at a smaller store helps me out with some actual good info I don't mind spending a little extra money to keep them in business and for helping me out.

  4. #4
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    It's not just the idiots working at Good Guys, its the fact that their equipment the way it is set up is impossible even to get a ballpark idea of how their audio systems play. Having to hear their stuff played through crappy generic built inside their wall speakers on the middle of a sales isle which makes any sound no matter how good, obscured by their airplane runway accoustics is inexcusable and then to top it off, when I did these morons a favor and offered to hear their systems via headphones, they had none in their million dollar store to connect. What gets me about stores like this and Tower Records, etc., is that unless you definately know what you want to buy, no one with half a brain, will shop there because these stores won't pay for decent help and a decent showcase for their systems-
    it doesn't dawn on the morons who own these places, that they'd do better business and get higher revenue by hiring decent staff at good wages, etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by sc03979
    I agree with paul.I don't expect much from big retail chain stores be it wal mart, best buy, good guys, etc. You just can't expect much from people making a poor wage. I worked for a hardware store, I knew the basics but I couldn't go in depth on alot of things.

    I do my own research and if a salesman at a smaller store helps me out with some actual good info I don't mind spending a little extra money to keep them in business and for helping me out.

  5. #5
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    I agree with the other two posters... If you want super discount prices (definitely no crime in that) then the chain stores are a great option for *just* buying the product. Just about anything more than just buying from these stores (a meaningful audition, questions, etc.) should not really be expected at their price points.

    If you buy from a high-end boutique, then you most likely will pay a higher price (although not always), but they will be much more prepared to give you useful answers to your questions, and a more properly setup demo on better speakers. That is what some of the extra money you pay buys you...

    As for the headphones comment... I admit that not having a single pair of headphones in a Good Guys is rather comical, but it would not have done you much good anyway. You need to test the power amp section in the receiver to get a handle on its sound quality (unless you are just using it as a pre/pro), and the headphone op amp is not going to give you any idea of what the receiver sounds like... So ultimately, you would not have received any meaningful result anyway.

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  6. #6
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    GG is better then CC or BB by far. None is a first choice for A/V equipment.
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  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    That's not how you play the game, guys.

    If you're really, really serious about wanting to "hear" what you are going to live with, it's a two way street.

    1) They don't have the enviroment, equipment or time for you to satisfy your every listening need in the store. You wil need to listen to it in your home for a few days.

    2) You can't really expect them to let you walk out of there with a nice, new unit without any sort of guarantee it will be returned in perfect shape.

    That's where plastic comes into play. You put the unit on your charge card, they hold putting it through for a few days (or issure a credit, depending) and you will be essentially "borrowing" the unit. If it doesn't please, you bring it back in perfect working order with all materials

    Of course, this assumes you would be open to owning a pre-opened unit that someone else brought back to the store under the same terms. Fair is fair, right?

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    You can't be serious

    I don't have any problem with using plastic and then returning a unit but the problem is, I need to at least hear the unit to know this is worth my while in the first place, and this can not be done at the Good Guys under the circumstances I described.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    If you're really, really serious about wanting to "hear" what you are going to live with, it's a two way street.

    1) They don't have the enviroment, equipment or time for you to satisfy your every listening need in the store. You wil need to listen to it in your home for a few days.

    2) You can't really expect them to let you walk out of there with a nice, new unit without any sort of guarantee it will be returned in perfect shape.

    That's where plastic comes into play. You put the unit on your charge card, they hold putting it through for a few days (or issure a credit, depending) and you will be essentially "borrowing" the unit. If it doesn't please, you bring it back in perfect working order with all materials

    Of course, this assumes you would be open to owning a pre-opened unit that someone else brought back to the store under the same terms. Fair is fair, right?

  9. #9
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Yes I am serious

    Particularly in light of the FACT that audiable differences in quality receivers of the same class are quite subtle and would not be exposed in their listening environments. I've always found big box stores worthless for any listening evaluations.... and I don't depend on their sales staff for their product knowledge, at least any more than if it's in stock or not.

    You don't ask the guy at Micky D's what type of fish they use in their fish sandwiches or exactly what part of the chicken a McNugget is.

    One would think you would have picked up on these tidbits of knowledge by now after having been involved in sound as long as you claim.

    And the guy on the phone was most likely correct since many receivers of the same maufacturer tend to share certain family traits. You went in there knowing the way it was and proceeded to make a big scene anyway. The guy in the above post was right about your headphone suggestion. ...sheer stupidity on your part. and posting about it here certainly doesn't take away from that opinion, either.

    I'll generally go in after having done my homework by reading all I can in the press, gotten a consensus from reading the reviews here and other "civilian" based forums on what should be usable and gotten a good, authorized local B&M price.

    Then, I simply use them for a warehouse type store. I walk in, smile, make a little friendly talk, ask a few general questions, and walk out with the merchandise to play with at my leisure at home. We all have a grand time and part friends. If I don't like something and need to return or exchange it (and it HAS happened), no problem. We all knew the rules up front.

    ...seems to work for me. ...wound up with a NIB Denon 2802 from an authorized dealer for $395 and you becha bippy it NEVER went back in da box.

    From your description, it sounds like there will be many there willing to help you out in the future. ...the way you came in.
    Last edited by markw; 02-14-2005 at 01:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Thought I'd just share my wonderful experience at the Good Guys with you. I will never ever go to this store again unless they have something I know I need beforehand at the cheapest price, I don't know if this is typical of all the Good Guys Stores, if it is, I don't know how they stay in business, but I went to the store in Los Angeles- Woodland Hills today with the intent on checking on their Denon receivers. I called the store ahead of time, and while they had the model I wanted, it wasn't hooked up on the floor, but instead had the next highest price model hooked up. The person I spoke to on the phone stated there would not be much difference in the sound quality of the cheaper one I was interested in and the more expensive model that was hooked up. Wrong, but that's not why I'm angry. I got to the store and had to look around to get help and the guy who helped me out was a total brain dead idiot who knew less about his product than I did. He then couldn't even get the power to go on and after about 10 minutes of standing around while this guy couldn't even turn the system on, I lost my cool & as a result got help. It seems like in all of these places, unless you creaste a scene and act like a maniac and azzhole no one will help you out Anyway, the supervisor got it turned on in about 5 seconds, but the trouble was, and I don't know how they can demonstrate any stereo product to anyone with an IQ over 2020, the set up was in the "middle" of their floor & sounded like an airplane runaway and their systems are connected to crappy speakers that are built inside their walls. As the sound therefore sounded crappy, I suggested they
    let me have a pair of headphones to get a better idea of the sound. The salesman said they had no headphones on the floor to listen to any system. Needless to say I walked out and that place will never ever get my business again. I don't get it..
    I think you're barking up the wrong tree. What are you expecting to find out by having the receiver hooked up? The sound quality differences are typically subtle at best, and don't really come out until you push the receiver to a fairly high level. You won't find out much by playing them at the store. With some of the questions that you've been asking lately and the assortment of purchases that you've made, I think rather than spending more time in audio stores, I think you need to spend less time looking for new purchases to make, and more time at home getting to know your system and setting it up so that you're getting optimal performance out of what you already have. Dumping more money into the system after you've already made all these other investments is not a good idea.

    Markw is correct in that if you're going to obsess about that last nuance of difference between different receiver models, then you should just buy it, try it, and if you like it, keep it. Good Guys has that 60-day return policy, so you got a lot of time to figure out if the new receiver's a big step up over what you currently use. If you want a store that has more of the Denon receivers available for audition and doesn't have everything patched through a selector switch, then forget about the chain stores and seek out an independent retailer that stocks Denon.

    Good Guys is actually a huge step up from Best Buy and Circuit City, so I don't know what your expectations are. You once mentioned that you liked your shopping experience at Fry's, so why not go back there and look at their Onkyo, h/k, and Yamaha models? Denon is stocked at Ken Crane's which you also like, so why not shop there instead? For what you're expecting the stores to provide you, I doubt that those stores will be much better than GG. Fry's doesn't have the majority of their receivers hooked up either, and their demo rooms are even more limited in the options that they provide. The help that I've had at Fry's is much worse than anything I've ever seen at Good Guys.

    Also, with GG you need to keep in mind that they went to a two-tiered system with their commissioned sales reps about a year ago, and it's now more of a crapshoot with the quality of help that you get over there. They kept their top commissioned sales reps and laid off everybody else, replacing them with lower paid and less experienced sales reps.

    Everybody at some point has had their fair share of bad shopping experiences at electronics stores, but calling Good Guys the worst ever? That's quite overboard.

  11. #11
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    Your partially right & partially wrong

    The only reason I went to Good Guys in the first place is its only a 15 minute bus ride from me (I don't drive, I'm from New York originally, that's my excuse) and they were the only place nearby. Incidently, I will be going to Ken Cranes in the next week or 2- my sister will give me a ride. What I was expecting was, given that Good Guys sells higher end stuff than Circuit City or Best Buy, was at least a sound experience where I would have a good rough idea if the overall sound quality was noticeably better, fully realizing that the speaker and CD/DVD set up and accoustics are different from my home. I would bring my own CD in to test the Denon system and play it at the same volume I do in my apartment. If it was only subjectively better, I wouldn't bother with it. Sorry, I had no desire unless there was an apparent difference in sound quality to my ears, of buying the system, unpacking it, disconnecting my system, connecting the new system and then if I wasn't impressed with it, disconnecting the new system, reconnecting my old system, repacking the new system and then go through the further hassle of returning it to the store. If you don't see that, well one of us is in left field looking in right.




    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I think you're barking up the wrong tree. What are you expecting to find out by having the receiver hooked up? The sound quality differences are typically subtle at best, and don't really come out until you push the receiver to a fairly high level. You won't find out much by playing them at the store. With some of the questions that you've been asking lately and the assortment of purchases that you've made, I think rather than spending more time in audio stores, I think you need to spend less time looking for new purchases to make, and more time at home getting to know your system and setting it up so that you're getting optimal performance out of what you already have. Dumping more money into the system after you've already made all these other investments is not a good ballpark idea of the sound quality of their systems, in this case the Denon receiver.
    I realise that the speakers and CD/DVD player and accoustics would be different to that of my home, but if I brought my own CD in, I would notice if the quality was noticeably, note I did not say subjectively, better. As far as the volume, you lost my on this one, I was going to play it at the same volume I listen to in my apartment. The offshoot was, under these conditions, if I noticed a substantial difference, I'd then compare prices online and get/try out the best deal provided, there was a return policy. If I did not hear a noticeable improvement, I did not want to go through the hassle of opening up a system, unhooking my system, connecting the new system, unhooking the new system, reconnecting my old system, repacking the new system and then returning it to the store. Do you see where I'm coming from or not? Unless there was potential for improvement I wasn't going to mess around with this & my experience at Good Guys set up did not allow me to make any determination. I will go to Ken Krane's next week. Even Circuit City had a better environment for trying audio equipment out. I considered Good Guys to be a step above Circuit City and Best Buy, till this experience and stand by my words.




    Markw is correct in that if you're going to obsess about that last nuance of difference between different receiver models, then you should just buy it, try it, and if you like it, keep it. Good Guys has that 60-day return policy, so you got a lot of time to figure out if the new receiver's a big step up over what you currently use. If you want a store that has more of the Denon receivers available for audition and doesn't have everything patched through a selector switch, then forget about the chain stores and seek out an independent retailer that stocks Denon.

    Good Guys is actually a huge step up from Best Buy and Circuit City, so I don't know what your expectations are. You once mentioned that you liked your shopping experience at Fry's, so why not go back there and look at their Onkyo, h/k, and Yamaha models? Denon is stocked at Ken Crane's which you also like, so why not shop there instead? For what you're expecting the stores to provide you, I doubt that those stores will be much better than GG. Fry's doesn't have the majority of their receivers hooked up either, and their demo rooms are even more limited in the options that they provide. The help that I've had at Fry's is much worse than anything I've ever seen at Good Guys.

    Also, with GG you need to keep in mind that they went to a two-tiered system with their commissioned sales reps about a year ago, and it's now more of a crapshoot with the quality of help that you get over there. They kept their top commissioned sales reps and laid off everybody else, replacing them with lower paid and less experienced sales reps.

    Everybody at some point has had their fair share of bad shopping experiences at electronics stores, but calling Good Guys the worst ever? That's quite overboard.

  12. #12
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    I bought my Denon from GoodGuys and my experience was the exact opposite. The salesman was friendly, knowledgeable (he ran Matrix 801's), and their sound rooms were far better set-up and equipped than similar B&M stores. At least GG carries Energy, Monitor, and other mid-fi brands. They are a definite step-up from CC and BB.

    Perhaps your experience was directly related to your expectations? In this situation, you might have been better served by hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Most of the time, these places are populated with college kids trying to make enough money for the next party. They know more about THC than THD.

    Personally, I wouldn't write-off GG as they are one of the better places out there. Maybe you can try another one or, as others correctly suggested, try a hi-fi boutique or store you're comfortable with. FWIW, the differences between good receivers is so small that psychoacoustics will likely play a larger role than actual acoustics.

  13. #13
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    Topspeed What Set Up Do You Have?

    Can you please tell me your Denon Model number and your DVD/Universal player model.
    Do you know if there are major differences in the sound quality (assume you are going to listen to 5.1 sound) between your system and the more expensive and/or cheaper models,
    Thanks for your info. I'm glad you had a better experience at Good Guys then me. I could have even accepted college help but the accoustic set up at the store in Woodland Hills in LA was a true joke, even worse than Best Buy's.


    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    I bought my Denon from GoodGuys and my experience was the exact opposite. The salesman was friendly, knowledgeable (he ran Matrix 801's), and their sound rooms were far better set-up and equipped than similar B&M stores. At least GG carries Energy, Monitor, and other mid-fi brands. They are a definite step-up from CC and BB.

    Perhaps your experience was directly related to your expectations? In this situation, you might have been better served by hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Most of the time, these places are populated with college kids trying to make enough money for the next party. They know more about THC than THD.

    Personally, I wouldn't write-off GG as they are one of the better places out there. Maybe you can try another one or, as others correctly suggested, try a hi-fi boutique or store you're comfortable with. FWIW, the differences between good receivers is so small that psychoacoustics will likely play a larger role than actual acoustics.

  14. #14
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Can you please tell me your Denon Model number and your DVD/Universal player model.
    Click on my moniker and you'll see an equipment list for my main rig.
    Do you know if there are major differences in the sound quality (assume you are going to listen to 5.1 sound) between your system and the more expensive and/or cheaper models
    Well, the only time you'll hear "major" differences is when switching out your speakers, IMO. However, there are subtle differences between receivers given the same gear and environment. Personally, I found my B&W's to present a tough challenge to the Denon and it couldn't keep up. Subsequently, I was forced to purchase an outboard amp to re-energize my music. For HT, the receiver is more than adequate, but in critical 2 channel listening, it was found lacking. I can't comment on 5.1 music as I'm an old-school kind of guy and only listen to music in 2 channel. If the hi-rez formats survive, I'll probably get a Denon 2900 or similar universal player but as of now, the outlook is less than stellar.

    Keep in mind that when you climb the ladder on AVR's, you are mainly paying for increased processing power and/or better DAC's and DSP's. The increased wattage is for marketing hype and largely insignificant. Which sound better and whether they are worth the extra dough only you can decide.

    Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    What do you mean your 3805 could'nt keep up with your B&W's?
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    Shokhead

    I originally went to Good Guys to hear your Denon 2805 which got incredible reviews but in all fairness to them they said though they had the system in stock it wasn't hooked up but they had the next expensive set after that hooked up which was a 3805 and they said there was not that much difference in the sound. Are they correct? I'm going to go to an excellent place in LA, Ken Cranes, sometime in the next 2 weeks that carries Denon, Assuming I don't hear the 2805 but the 3805, if you were me would you get the 2805 if the 3805 impresses me? I will be using the receiver for watching DVD's in a 5.1 surround mode and listening to CD's in a natural non prologic 5 speakers & sub mode.

    Also would you recommend I still get your Denon 2815 DVD player or should I get another Universal Set- my main purpose to get the best CD sound.

    Thanks for your input.


    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    What do you mean your 3805 could'nt keep up with your B&W's?

  17. #17
    Galactic Patrol Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    I originally went to Good Guys to hear your Denon 2805 which got incredible reviews but in all fairness to them they said though they had the system in stock it wasn't hooked up but they had the next expensive set after that hooked up which was a 3805 and they said there was not that much difference in the sound. Are they correct? I'm going to go to an excellent place in LA, Ken Cranes, sometime in the next 2 weeks that carries Denon, Assuming I don't hear the 2805 but the 3805, if you were me would you get the 2805 if the 3805 impresses me? I will be using the receiver for watching DVD's in a 5.1 surround mode and listening to CD's in a natural non prologic 5 speakers & sub mode.

    Also would you recommend I still get your Denon 2815 DVD player or should I get another Universal Set- my main purpose to get the best CD sound.

    Thanks for your input.
    Of course, I'm not Shokhead, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in. Every Denon receiver (even the cheapest, the 485) offers a quantum leap in performance over your JVC in terms of power, distortion and quality of D/A conversion. Given your choice of the 2805, here are the receivers in Denon's line you should consider.

    In addition to the 2805, there's also the 1905 and 2105. All are 7.1 capable receivers. The 1905 and 1705 both have essentially the same class of amplifier. The amp in the 2805 is slightly better, but you will be pressed to notice the difference. All use the same DACs for digital/analog conversion. The 1905 and 2105 each have less inputs/outputs and less wattage than the 2805. But given the 89db efficiency of your Orbs, the difference between the 80 watt 1905 and the 100 watt 2805 will probably be too slight to be noticeable. It's possible you may find the 2805, 2105 and 1905 sound different, but the difference between them may be too small to be worth the difference in cost. You may also find they all sound about the same.

    The 3805 and the 2805 share the same class of amplifier. There is negligible difference between these two in terms of power. The 3805 has 2 room zone control and yet more inputs/outputs. But the major difference between the 3805 and the ones above is that the 3805 uses Burr-Brown DACs which is a better grade of digital/analog converter. This is also the most significant difference between the 3805 and the others. You should give it a listen and if you can't tell the difference, there's probably no other reason for you to choose it over the others.

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    Thanks Lensman One More Question for You If you don't mind

    Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it and will be following up on it. Two questions for you,
    1. what is more important in terms of sound quality- a good DVD/CD/Universal player or a good receiver, if you had to choose just one? 2. Is there a Universal Player or progressive scan DVD player that you'd recommend for sound quality for CD's, again SACD or DVD-A features are not important to me. Thanks again for your help.

  19. #19
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Not enough difference in watts between the 2105,2805 and 3805 to make any difference in which one to get. Unless you have more then a DBS,cable,DVD player,CD player,cassette player to hook up,you'll have enough in's and out's with plenty left over. Dont think you here any difference between 2105 and 2805. I think the 2105 is one of the best buys right now. Depending on what equipment and speakers you use,you might here some difference with the 3805 but that vs cost,thats your call. You can get on Denon's website and do a side by side of the reciever's spec's. I wouldnt buy from K C's,to $$. Mine here in lakewood just closed. I dont have any problem getting BStock as i did with mine,full factory warr. I think i paid $671 for my 2805 and i'm very happy with it.
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  20. #20
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    What do you mean your 3805 could'nt keep up with your B&W's?
    For lack of a better term, the music was "flat." The sound was sterile and univolving with very little pace. It's a little hard to describe but the difference was immediately apparent. My guess is that the receiver was having difficulty coping with the large impedence swings that the CDM NT's are famous for. I think that for 99% of the public it would have sounded just fine, but if you're on an audio board, it's safe to say you don't fall into that group, right ?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it and will be following up on it. Two questions for you,
    1. what is more important in terms of sound quality- a good DVD/CD/Universal player or a good receiver, if you had to choose just one? 2. Is there a Universal Player or progressive scan DVD player that you'd recommend for sound quality for CD's, again SACD or DVD-A features are not important to me. Thanks again for your help.
    1. The receiver, no question about it. Because...

    2. If universal playback isn't important, you can use any inexpensive DVD or CD player (or even your DVD recorder). The trick is to hook it up to the receiver via digital coax or optical cable so that the digital signal (consisting of ones and zeros) goes from the player straight to the receiver without being modified in any way. Unmodified/unconverted ones and zeros are the SAME, whether they come out of a $49 Apex DVD player or a $1,000 Arcam CD player. Hooked up this way, you're only using the player to read the signal and not to messing with it in the process. This is because you're bypassing the crappy DACs in the player and using the superior ones in the receiver to convert the signal to analog.

    Unless you buy a player that has better DACs in it than the ones in the receiver, you will not hear any difference in the sound. But to beat the DACs in any of the Denons you're considering, you'd be looking at spending at least $800 or more on the player alone. That same amount of money will get you much more put into the receiver.

  22. #22
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    Lensman One More Clarification of the Food Chain Please

    I got your point about the receiver. Assuming I'm going to connect my DVD/CD/Universal Player digitally through optical cable to one of the Denon receivers you discussed, are you basically saying that whether my CD/DVD/universal player is a $200 JVC model or a $1000 Marantz model, the sound quality will be basically the same (i.e., if someone were blindfolded they couldn't tell the $1000 player from the $200 player) as it is the receiver alone that is making the difference or am I misconstruing something?

    What do you think of Yamaha as well? I'm going to a great store in LA called Ken Krane's where the salesman are excellent and the equipment is first rate and the salesman who sold me my HDTV there recommended I try both the Denon and Yamaha sets out.

    Thamks again for your help.




    Quote Originally Posted by Lensman
    1. The receiver, no question about it. Because...

    2. If universal playback isn't important, you can use any inexpensive DVD or CD player (or even your DVD recorder). The trick is to hook it up to the receiver via digital coax or optical cable so that the digital signal (consisting of ones and zeros) goes from the player straight to the receiver without being modified in any way. Unmodified/unconverted ones and zeros are the SAME, whether they come out of a $49 Apex DVD player or a $1,000 Arcam CD player. Hooked up this way, you're only using the player to read the signal and not to messing with it in the process. This is because you're bypassing the crappy DACs in the player and using the superior ones in the receiver to convert the signal to analog.

    Unless you buy a player that has better DACs in it than the ones in the receiver, you will not hear any difference in the sound. But to beat the DACs in any of the Denons you're considering, you'd be looking at spending at least $800 or more on the player alone. That same amount of money will get you much more put into the receiver.

  23. #23
    Galactic Patrol Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    I got your point about the receiver. Assuming I'm going to connect my DVD/CD/Universal Player digitally through optical cable to one of the Denon receivers you discussed, are you basically saying that whether my CD/DVD/universal player is a $200 JVC model or a $1000 Marantz model, the sound quality will be basically the same (i.e., if someone were blindfolded they couldn't tell the $1000 player from the $200 player) as it is the receiver alone that is making the difference or am I misconstruing something?
    Yes, that is precisely what I am saying. Any player, regardless of price, will sound the same when connected to the same receiver by a digital cable because all will be using the DACs in the receiver instead of their built-in ones.

    If you connected a player through the analog RCA inputs, the sound would be different because you would then be using the player's DACs instead of the receiver's. Through analog connections, a cheap player would sound worse and an expensive player, with DACs superior to those in the receiver's, would sound better.

    Given your budget, this basically gives you two cost-effective choices. Buy a $800+ CD player to connect analog to a relatively cheap receiver. Or buy a relatively expensive receiver and connect a cheap player to it with a digital cable. I believe going with a better receiver will provide a much more substantial improvement in your audio and give you a much better base to build on for potential future upgrades to your system.

    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    What do you think of Yamaha as well? I'm going to a great store in LA called Ken Krane's where the salesman are excellent and the equipment is first rate and the salesman who sold me my HDTV there recommended I try both the Denon and Yamaha sets out.
    I agree with the salesman. Both make excellent receivers. I chose Denon over Yamaha because the sound was more to my personal preference. But, I place Yamaha a close second. You might find this otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Thamks again for your help.
    Glad to be of assistance.

  24. #24
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    KC is great. They just closed the lakewood store. Only problem is they charge top dollar.Good sales and discontinued sales.
    Look & Listen

  25. #25
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    They'll match any price in the area though.

    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    KC is great. They just closed the lakewood store. Only problem is they charge top dollar.Good sales and discontinued sales.

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