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  1. #1
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    So if you have a receiver like Denon 2805 you don't need a seperate amplifier?

    Clarifying something earlier, if you have a good receiver like a Denon 2805 and you say live in an apartment & your receiver is in a normal size carpeted living room, buying an amplifier for this receiver or something similar, would not improve the sound quality, correct?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Clarifying something earlier, if you have a good receiver like a Denon 2805 and you say live in an apartment & your receiver is in a normal size carpeted living room, buying an amplifier for this receiver or something similar, would not improve the sound quality, correct?
    You know, Herson...
    There are some who would argue that there is no evidence to show a seperate amp would EVER improve sound quality, so long as both the amp and the receiver were being operating in their normal rated ranges when the comparison was being made between the two units. I'm not from that camp but I do tend to believe that claims for drastic sound improvement can be overstated. That being said, IMO there are times when a seperate amp is an appropriate, even a necessary investment. Reviewing your question...

    "...if you have a good receiver like a Denon 2805..."

    Good is a relative term. If by that term you mean a receiver with a very capable amp section then I would say yes; under some circumstances a "good" receiver's amp section will be on par with a seperate amp.

    "...and you say live in an apartment..."

    I think the key issues here are that generally apartments do not provide huge living spaces (just as you mentioned) and because of the need to peacefully coexist with nearby neighbors, there will be an inherent limitation placed on how loud one is likely to play one's system. So factoring in these limitations, once again a "good" receiver's amp section will be on par with a seperate amp.

    But just as there are appropriate settings and circumstances for using a "good receiver", there are also situations where the use of a seperate amp is really called for as well. Those can be listed or described if you like.

    I do think it is safe to say that you can never have something which is too capable. The addition of a "good amp", although possibly deemed as not necessary, will probably not be viewed as detracting from sound quality either. As I've said many times before, few who go the seperates route ever go back or have regrets for having done so. But it would be sheer foolishnes to not point out that for very many people, a "good receiver", such as the Denon 2805, offers and absolute tremendous value that will be more than capable of providing for most all of their listening needs.

    What makes me uncomfortable is the concrete statements that some folks want to make like: "receivers are just as good as seperates, no one ever needs seperates, they're only for audio snobs." or coming from the other side: "all receivers are peices of junk, if you don't own seperates you don't own "real" audio equipment" as spoken by an audio snob. To me, both of these positions are uninformed and incorrect. Just as there are different types of vehicles for different types of terrain, so there is different types of audio equipment for different types of situations. It isn't that one is always "better" than the other, but rather that each may be better suited for a particular purpose. Does that make sense? Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on.

    Q

  3. #3
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    Quagmire A Little More Help Please

    Thanks for your info. A few questions here that I tried to post on a seperate thread and some people were annoyed implying I was beating a dead horse!

    I'm glad you understand my volume limitations of living in an apartment. What I need to know given that is, in your option, 1. If I stick with my JVC 500 watt DVD receiver which to date I hear the best Cd sound with my Orb Audio Mod 1 speakers ( I tried several high end receivers such as Denon 2105 & sound quality was either the same or worse with them) will playing this through an amp, improve sound quality noticeably enough to warrant purchasing an amp?

    2. Alternatively, if I bought say a Denon 2805 for the volume level I'm limited with in my apartment (I play loud enough that I can't hear my voice if I speak but not loud enough to get the neighbors to complain) would an amp produce noticeably better sound quality?

    If the answer is yes on any of these then I'll definately consider buying one.

    I realise these are your opinons only.

    As an aside, which receivers in your opinion have the best built in amps?

    Thanks for your input.



    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    You know, Herson...
    There are some who would argue that there is no evidence to show a seperate amp would EVER improve sound quality, so long as both the amp and the receiver were being operating in their normal rated ranges when the comparison was being made between the two units. I'm not from that camp but I do tend to believe that claims for drastic sound improvement can be overstated. That being said, IMO there are times when a seperate amp is an appropriate, even a necessary investment. Reviewing your question...

    "...if you have a good receiver like a Denon 2805..."

    Good is a relative term. If by that term you mean a receiver with a very capable amp section then I would say yes; under some circumstances a "good" receiver's amp section will be on par with a seperate amp.

    "...and you say live in an apartment..."

    I think the key issues here are that generally apartments do not provide huge living spaces (just as you mentioned) and because of the need to peacefully coexist with nearby neighbors, there will be an inherent limitation placed on how loud one is likely to play one's system. So factoring in these limitations, once again a "good" receiver's amp section will be on par with a seperate amp.

    But just as there are appropriate settings and circumstances for using a "good receiver", there are also situations where the use of a seperate amp is really called for as well. Those can be listed or described if you like.

    I do think it is safe to say that you can never have something which is too capable. The addition of a "good amp", although possibly deemed as not necessary, will probably not be viewed as detracting from sound quality either. As I've said many times before, few who go the seperates route ever go back or have regrets for having done so. But it would be sheer foolishnes to not point out that for very many people, a "good receiver", such as the Denon 2805, offers and absolute tremendous value that will be more than capable of providing for most all of their listening needs.

    What makes me uncomfortable is the concrete statements that some folks want to make like: "receivers are just as good as seperates, no one ever needs seperates, they're only for audio snobs." or coming from the other side: "all receivers are peices of junk, if you don't own seperates you don't own "real" audio equipment" as spoken by an audio snob. To me, both of these positions are uninformed and incorrect. Just as there are different types of vehicles for different types of terrain, so there is different types of audio equipment for different types of situations. It isn't that one is always "better" than the other, but rather that each may be better suited for a particular purpose. Does that make sense? Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on.

    Q

  4. #4
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    there is also a key element to consider (you touched on it) is your speakers. After all, the speakers benefit from the amp quality.
    Another consideration is your living future. Will you be in an apartment for years or will your listening room change?
    Keep in mind a good quality amp can be moved from place to place and rarely goes out-of-style while a 'good' receiver will lose its luster after a few years.

    Even at low volumes a quality amp will bring speakers to life and reveal sounds unheard from most receivers.

    from my view, i owned a Denon 2801 AV receiver which powered a pair of Polks floorstanders. NOw, the setup was good, not great. When i added a NAD 218 (220x2) the speakers moved into a new area or realize,soundstage,etc.

    Moral to the story, when adding a quality amp and using a receiver as a pre-amp, i feel the sound improves no matter where you live. Hope this helps and post your decision and the results.

  5. #5
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    No to everything so stay with what you have. Havent we gone round and round on this. You like your setup and didnt like stuff you looked at so i'm not sure what your trying to do. Living in an apartment leaves you limited so way add anything? Stay with your little speakers that you like and your JVC that you like{sorry,forgot the 500 watts} and just enjoy. I think its ok for where you live.
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  6. #6
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    there is also a key element to consider (you touched on it) is your speakers. After all, the speakers benefit from the amp quality.
    Another consideration is your living future. Will you be in an apartment for years or will your listening room change?
    Keep in mind a good quality amp can be moved from place to place and rarely goes out-of-style while a 'good' receiver will lose its luster after a few years.

    Even at low volumes a quality amp will bring speakers to life and reveal sounds unheard from most receivers.

    from my view, i owned a Denon 2801 AV receiver which powered a pair of Polks floorstanders. NOw, the setup was good, not great. When i added a NAD 218 (220x2) the speakers moved into a new area or realize,soundstage,etc.

    Moral to the story, when adding a quality amp and using a receiver as a pre-amp, i feel the sound improves no matter where you live. Hope this helps and post your decision and the results.
    Tarheel and Q are both right here. Your speakers in large part will dictate whether an extra amp will be beneficial. I haven't heard the Orb speakers, but I will imagine they are fairly easy to drive. If you get a good receiver, like the Denon, or something as good or better like a NAD, this will probably be all you need, given your speakers, and given your listening environment. If your speakers are very efficient, adding a tube amp would allow your front speakers to certainly have a different sound, whether it is one you like or not, only you ears can tell.

    I believe that there is a certain amount of diminishing returns. Adding an external amp like a Bryston would probably improve the sound, but given your conditions, I wouldn't expect it to be that dramatic. For some people, the slightest improvement in sound (or at least any audible change) can be worth huge amounts of money. That is something you will have to decide. But, as Tarheel pointed out, your speakers may change, your location may change, and adding a good quality amp like a Bryston - this should serve you well for many years. I think they have a 10 year warranty, maybe more.

    I am going to be buying a NAD receiver soon. Nice thing about it, is that it has the best of both worlds. Very good amplifier section, not many bells and whistles that I don't want anyway, and it is preouts so I can add an amp later on if I desire. The problem with some receivers (probably most) is that even with an outboard amp, if the preamp isn't of high quality, adding an amp will only result in a small increase in quality. You are still stuck with what the preamp is doing. Another reason why I am leaning towards the NAD as my next purchase. By the way, their least expensive HT reciever, the t743, is "only" 5.1 (I don't have room for more than that anyway) and is rated at "only" 50 watts per channel. Yet this receiver ways over 36 lbs, almost double what the JVC, Sony etc weigh. Important? Yes, to me that means there is some quality parts inside, especially the amps. And this receiver will drive even 2 ohm loads, and easily 4 ohm. Not many can claim this. In fact there was a comparison done with a NAD receiver, and another well known company claiming over 100 wpc x7 and the reality was, that it could only drive close to 12 watts when all channels were driven. Pathetic. Don't get caught up in the hype of watts either.

    The other options is to get a nice pre amp/processor with a separate 5 or 7 channel power amp, and then you can upgrade either when it is warranted. Most expensive option. It seems though, for your circumstances, the Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, NAD, Arcam receivers will give you quality sound for your speakers and room. You can always try out an amp after you get the receiver to see if it indeed does make an improvement. Just don't buy a cheap amp, as that will probably not be much of an improvement over the receivers mentioned.

  7. #7
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    Hershon,

    I agree with IRG on so many points that I could just cut -N- paste his entire post. I won't do that, but I agree with this particular section enough to insert it here...

    "I believe that there is a certain amount of diminishing returns. Adding an external amp like a Bryston would probably improve the sound, but given your conditions, I wouldn't expect it to be that dramatic. For some people, the slightest improvement in sound (or at least any audible change) can be worth huge amounts of money. That is something you will have to decide."

    Now, answering your specific questions -- to question #1 I would say that if you've already tried several high end receivers, such as the Denon, and you were not convinced of any significant sound improvements, IN MY OPINION, it is doubtful that adding an outboard amp to your current setup will result in any significant improvement either. I would point again to the last part of IRG's statement, the value of ANY improvement is a highly subjective matter. It's like the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Just how much value achieving any improvements has to you and how much you are willing to pay for those improvements, only you can decide. Obviously, you were able to try out several high end recievers. Can you try out several high end power amps too? If so, give them a whirl and tell us if there is an improvement that is worth the price you'll have to pay. We can't do that for you.

    To answer question #2...

    "...if I bought say a Denon 2805... ...would an amp produce noticeably better sound quality?

    Once again, that depends on who is going to do "the noticing", doesn't it? It does no good for me to hear an improvement and for you to not hear it when the amp is residing in your home. I think you get what I'm saying here.

    The bottom line... IN MY OPINION, for the circumstances that you've described to me, I'm doubtful that you're going to hear any real significant improvements. But I can tell just from your line of questioning that you are really wanting to branch out with this audio hobby. The bug bites hard, I know. I wouldn't be offering advice here on these boards if I had never done my share of experimenting and hadn't owned a few peices of audio equipment in my time. I don't want to discourage you from branching out and discovering for yourself the answers to these questions. I believe that what you really want is for someone to come along and justify your desire to do this -- to give you permission as it were. I say, go ahead. Just know that I've had my successes and I've made my mistakes too, but with this hobby, BOTH will cost you. There is no way of getting around that. Helpful? I hope so. Good luck.

    Q

  8. #8
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    We tried to help before and he likes the orb speakers. I think he could improve with new speakers and for now,keep the JVC but unless he's changed his mind,he wants better sound from tiny orbs.
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  9. #9
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    I'll assume part of the blame

    I've been nudging Hershon to move to a receiver (we also had a discussion on amps). Not only do I believe that a receiver, albeit the right one for the bright sound he likes, will be an improvement, but also an improvement in the quality of use. His JVC has atrocious volume control, which today's receivers would be a leaps and bounds improvement. I would also poinnt out the very real limitations that the JVC has when it comes to controlling acoustics output, whereas a current receiver, Hershon would be able to exercise far more control over the sound output of his system. I also pointed out to him that video switching through a receiver is a fabulously convenient feature. We all know Hershon likes his current system, so to me, the selling point comes with the quality of use between the listener and his system that he would get from a receiver and not from his JVC.

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    I'm still waiting for someone who had Orbs and prefers other Speakers

    The one thing I've totally noticed on this board is that I haven't seen any post where someone said they had Orb Speakers but dropped them for another Speaker, so its hard for me to put them in proper perspective. Albeit, maybe not that many people have Orb speakers here. I also have problems with the concept of people who state that my problems are with my Orb Speakers, without having used/tried the speakers & just based on their technical appraisal of the speakers specs. I'm not saying they might not ultimately be right.


    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    We tried to help before and he likes the orb speakers. I think he could improve with new speakers and for now,keep the JVC but unless he's changed his mind,he wants better sound from tiny orbs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    The one thing I've totally noticed on this board is that I haven't seen any post where someone said they had Orb Speakers but dropped them for another Speaker, so its hard for me to put them in proper perspective.
    No, it's not. The only perspective you need to worry about is yours. It doesn't matter if we have heard Orbs or not. It doesn't matter if we like them or not. The question is: Do you?

    I also have problems with the concept of people who state that my problems are with my Orb Speakers, without having used/tried the speakers & just based on their technical appraisal of the speakers specs. I'm not saying they might not ultimately be right.
    You're taking this way too personally. They aren't "my Orbs," they are just speakers. You don't have to defend your purchase of them by hanging on to them for dear life. The bottom line is that to affect a change in your system, and I've said this far too many times now, the easiest and most cost effective change will be to replace the speakers. You'll note, I didn't say "your" speakers. I don't care if they are Orbs, B&W's, Paradigms, or Wilson's. The SPEAKERS have the greatest influence on sound quality! Now, room acoustics play a huge roll as well. If you aren't happy with the sound, have you tried moving the speakers or tweaking your room acoustics? If you have and still aren't happy, buy new speakers...period.

    If you are happy with your system, consider yourself lucky and quit f**king with it.

  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    No, it's not. The only perspective you need to worry about is yours. It doesn't matter if we have heard Orbs or not. It doesn't matter if we like them or not. The question is: Do you?

    You're taking this way too personally. They aren't "my Orbs," they are just speakers. You don't have to defend your purchase of them by hanging on to them for dear life. The bottom line is that to affect a change in your system, and I've said this far too many times now, the easiest and most cost effective change will be to replace the speakers. You'll note, I didn't say "your" speakers. I don't care if they are Orbs, B&W's, Paradigms, or Wilson's. The SPEAKERS have the greatest influence on sound quality! Now, room acoustics play a huge roll as well. If you aren't happy with the sound, have you tried moving the speakers or tweaking your room acoustics? If you have and still aren't happy, buy new speakers...period.

    If you are happy with your system, consider yourself lucky and quit f**king with it.
    Great advice!!!

    Hershon: Just curious, why not take this opportunity to do some more experimenting as you have done with the Denon etc, and try upgrading the one piece of gear the majority of people are recommending to you. Find some speakers from a dealer with a good return policy, and do a demo in your own home next to the Orbs...you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Return them if you don't like them, and try another set of speakers. After awhile you'll get a great feel for the feasibility of a speaker upgrade.

    Worse case scenario, you rule out a possible speaker upgrade; best case scenario, you undertake the most cost effective upgrade available. Win-win situation.

    Alternatively, have you considered just buying 2 speakers for 2-channel only (hi-rez or otherwise)? Maybe the Orbs can satisfy HT requirements and another set of speakers could satisfy music requirements, giving you the best of both worlds?
    If not, speakers come in all shapes and sizes, I'm sure there's a few potential candidates out there for you.

    Good luck, and if you decide to take this approach, report back with your results.

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    Sorry I'll never be happy!

    I always feel the grass is greener in the other side unfortunately. I'm happy with my sound until I actually hear with my own ears something better which is sometimes hard to do as I'm limited by various stores setups. My problem has nothing to do with acoustics but thinking that with the right system, CD's will always sound like my holy Grail. An example of a more current recording artist than I've mentioned in the past: I just bought on Amazon Elvis Costello's Armed Forces & First Album, both remastered & latest greatest best original recording source (where have we heard that before!. )These were recorded in the late 1970's. I put the CD's on & I'm expecting a nice thick sound, instead I'm getting a perfectly good but thin sound. This may be how it was recorded. I'm trying to make chicken salad from chicken sheet and it looks like this can't be done. In this case, there is nothing wrong per se with the recordings but I keep thinking that with a better system, it will somehow sound alot better & maybe I'm knocking my head against a wall and can't grasp the concept that it can't. I can't be bothered by someones suggestion of just trying out various systems from stores by buying and then setting up their system at home & then returning it if its not what I'm looking for as its a royal pain in the ass and a store will only tolerate so much from me. So my main philosophy has been, to at least get leads from this board and if I do enough research on them & like what I read, hear the system in a store & if I like that, then try the system out. But to do that, I've had to ask an endless barrage of questions to at least get a ballpark or rough idea of things. I sincerely appologize for picking everyones brains on these matters and then selectively chosing which answers sound best for me/my situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    No, it's not. The only perspective you need to worry about is yours. It doesn't matter if we have heard Orbs or not. It doesn't matter if we like them or not. The question is: Do you?

    You're taking this way too personally. They aren't "my Orbs," they are just speakers. You don't have to defend your purchase of them by hanging on to them for dear life. The bottom line is that to affect a change in your system, and I've said this far too many times now, the easiest and most cost effective change will be to replace the speakers. You'll note, I didn't say "your" speakers. I don't care if they are Orbs, B&W's, Paradigms, or Wilson's. The SPEAKERS have the greatest influence on sound quality! Now, room acoustics play a huge roll as well. If you aren't happy with the sound, have you tried moving the speakers or tweaking your room acoustics? If you have and still aren't happy, buy new speakers...period.

    If you are happy with your system, consider yourself lucky and quit f**king with it.

  14. #14
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    And you have gotten alot of good ideas,havent you? I told you to come over and listen to what i have,not so you would buy my brand but to listen to something different from what you have in a real life living room instead of a retail store to get a better idea of what it might sound like. Its still there for you. Your orbs are not going to give you a rich sound but more thin and detail as a small speaker can only do. A small speaker can only do so much. A nice sub would help them alot but in an apartment,most likly a bad idea i would think. I really think another reciever or amp or both wont change that much.
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    Thanks for the offer but as I recall, correct me if I'm wrong on this, you live a bit away from me in Chatsworth & I'm kind of limited as I don't drive (I'm from new York originally that's my excuse) I don't think you were by public transportation. If there's a way to get to your place by bus let me know as I definately would like to hear your system & appreciate the offer. I'm hopefully going to hear Paul's, Yamaha system this weekend and go with him to a place called the Sound Factory I think on Ventura Blvd.

    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    And you have gotten alot of good ideas,havent you? I told you to come over and listen to what i have,not so you would buy my brand but to listen to something different from what you have in a real life living room instead of a retail store to get a better idea of what it might sound like. Its still there for you. Your orbs are not going to give you a rich sound but more thin and detail as a small speaker can only do. A small speaker can only do so much. A nice sub would help them alot but in an apartment,most likly a bad idea i would think. I really think another reciever or amp or both wont change that much.

  16. #16
    IRG
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    I always feel the grass is greener in the other side unfortunately. I'm happy with my sound until I actually hear with my own ears something better which is sometimes hard to do as I'm limited by various stores setups. My problem has nothing to do with acoustics but thinking that with the right system, CD's will always sound like my holy Grail. An example of a more current recording artist than I've mentioned in the past: I just bought on Amazon Elvis Costello's Armed Forces & First Album, both remastered & latest greatest best original recording source (where have we heard that before!. )These were recorded in the late 1970's. I put the CD's on & I'm expecting a nice thick sound, instead I'm getting a perfectly good but thin sound. This may be how it was recorded. I'm trying to make chicken salad from chicken sheet and it looks like this can't be done. In this case, there is nothing wrong per se with the recordings but I keep thinking that with a better system, it will somehow sound alot better & maybe I'm knocking my head against a wall and can't grasp the concept that it can't. I can't be bothered by someones suggestion of just trying out various systems from stores by buying and then setting up their system at home & then returning it if its not what I'm looking for as its a royal pain in the ass and a store will only tolerate so much from me. So my main philosophy has been, to at least get leads from this board and if I do enough research on them & like what I read, hear the system in a store & if I like that, then try the system out. But to do that, I've had to ask an endless barrage of questions to at least get a ballpark or rough idea of things. I sincerely appologize for picking everyones brains on these matters and then selectively chosing which answers sound best for me/my situation.
    Look, the bottom line is that better equipment will make your music sound better. Cheap stuff (like JVC) will be fine for the casual listener but it will sound, "thin" to quote you. This might not equate to bad sound to you, but my buddy (and my plumber) would probably find it quite objectionable compared to his $25k system. You will simply not have the same sound quality on your orbs/JVC combo as his Classe/Kef combo.

    And I think deep inside you know this. I made the mistake some 10 years ago of buying a Bose cube system, and ditched my nice separates. Worse move ever. I knew immediately my sound was "thin" to say it nicely. Really small speakers have their limitations, it is just that simple. But as Topspped mentioned, your room acoustics are also very important. You can take a good system, and make it sound pretty mediocre with a bad listening environment. The reverse is seldom if ever true - you can't take a crappy system in a good room, and make it sound great.

    A good system is based on synergy. The right amp/receiver with the right speakers in the right room setup. The speakers make the most obvious difference in your sound. I would start there. If you are satisfied with them (and I don't believe you are), get a new amp first. Get a good one, like NAD, Denon, Onkyo. Don't worry about adding an external amp for a while. You mentioned before that you didn't hear a difference between the Denon and the JVC. I found this hard to believe at the time. There are three reasons for this. 1. Your hearing isn't that sensitive 2) The setup wasn't done right 3) your speakers aren't very good. I am guessing it is #3. Anyway, get a good receiver if you are using this for HT as well. Spend about $500-$900 on this. Hook up your Orbs, and listen for a while. The difference won't be night and day, it almost never is. But there should be some subtle difference. If not, time to try new speakers.

    Look at quality bookshelves and a decent sub for full range. Hell I am looking at getting a pair of Athena As-2b only $200. If you don't like them, which is doubtful, you could resell them on ebay and probably not lose any money. Look at others like Energy (I like the ones I have), B&W, PSB, Axiom, the usual suspects in your price range. This should make a difference in sound quality when hooked up to your new receiver. If not, then I suspect your problem could be #1 - not everyone hears the same thing after all.

    Also, start with a realistic budget. You can get a decent sounding system for $1000 - a NAD integrated amp, and a pair of PSB speakers for example. If you bump your budget to $5k, things get interesting as your level of speakers will jump another level in refinement.

    My friends $25k system is yet another level up in refinement, but as I mentioned before, there are diminshing returns here. I can't justify $600 speaker cable, but he does.

    Resign yourself to know that if you want really great sound, you will need better equipment. I realized that within a half hour of getting my Bose cube system. It just wasn't right for music. OK for ht, but even then, there was so much better. You live and you learn. Now it is time for you to learn, and to have some fun with this.

  17. #17
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hershon
    Thanks for the offer but as I recall, correct me if I'm wrong on this, you live a bit away from me in Chatsworth & I'm kind of limited as I don't drive (I'm from new York originally that's my excuse) I don't think you were by public transportation. If there's a way to get to your place by bus let me know as I definately would like to hear your system & appreciate the offer. I'm hopefully going to hear Paul's, Yamaha system this weekend and go with him to a place called the Sound Factory I think on Ventura Blvd.
    I'm sure they have a bus with a few transfers that comes to lakewood shopping center right by where i live.
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    Chicagoland area (Streamwood, IL)
    Posts
    489
    Hershon-

    I know plenty of people said it before...all that matters is what you like. I have Mirage FRX speakers and love them- I know they are entry level and I know there are plenty out there that sound better. I'm sure some people here would like how they sound and many others won't. However, they are just about perfect for me. I have some money to spend better speakers (my wife gave me the okay!), but I may not upgrade very soon- the biggest reason why is because I am happy with what I have!! You're right about the grass always being greener on the other side- human nature is always wanting something you don't have- my 3 year old niece demonstrates that every time her older brother is playing with a toy- she always wants what he's playing with!!

    One more thing to mention- when I auditioned different speakers at stores and in my home, I was very used to my Mirage speaker sound. Since I was so used to it, I thought other speakers didn't sound as good- I think it would just take some time to get used to a different sound (which eventually will sound better).

    This is the fun with Home Theater- there is always something new and more expensive, but does that make it better? It all depends on what you like and what your goal is.

    As always, good luck- remember to have fun with it, too- it's a hobby and shouldn't feel like a job!!
    Eric

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