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Which Summit-Fi Headphone For Me? - Page 6

post #76 of 178
Thread Starter 

Informative as always obobskivich!  I'll take it in a few pieces:

 

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Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


It's enough to damage your hearing PDQ. Dolby specifies peaks (note PEAKS) should be around 105 dB on the topside, assuming 85 dB is your "average" - I think that's too high for all day use, so I'd knock another 10 dB off the top. Anyone who wants to listen to triple digit SPLs is nuts.

 

Of course it causes hearing damage! :)  I doubt I even listen near 85dB most of the time.  I try to keep things at the same volume I'd hear it live and unamplified.  Which is typically not loud for most of my music.  Orchestra can be, though sometimes I think HE-400 has a little TOO much DR available for the sound of a live orchestra at normal seating positions.

 

My point was when you run the calculations of how loud an amp can drive something and come up with the peak SPL, it always makes it sound like "amp x is too much because it would be too loud" as though it has no volume knob :)

 

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No, not really.
If it's been designed in the last 3-4 years and has Audyssey, 0.0 dB actually floats relative to the calibration. If it's older than that (say, ~2000) 0 dB represents an uncalibrated reference level. If it's much older (say, 1995), 0 dB is probably full open, and generally there is no gain to be had beyond it. Digital gain is always nasty, but it only exists on digital preamps - on a conventional receiver/amplifier (like the Yamaha IA I have upstairs) you can run it all the way up to 11 with no problems.

 

You're probably right about Audyssey, but I do remember some info (perhaps inaccurate info) from years ago that reported that driving over 0.0dB was either applying digital gain or overdriving the poweramp.   May by the old Onkyo piece that died a long time ago actually, I think it was in the manual.  It was definitively recommended to keep it at no more than 70% to prevent clipping and distortion.  Could have been poor design.  It wasn't the most expensive piece biggrin.gif

 

Perhaps its old audiophile myth, or perhaps its related to older gear, about keeping the knob between 11:00 and 1:00 as the sweet spot and not buying something too big or too small to keep it in that zone. 

 

All the way up to 11.... cool.gif

 

 

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No, not really. The signal and load are what determine this. For example if I feed a signal at -50 dB into an IA and run it up to 10, it doesn't matter - it won't clip. I can also push it into clipping with the volume on the lowest setting by driving the input stage too hot. Distortion rises as power output increases, which is determined by the load relative to the output voltage (which is what you're controlling with the volume dial).

 

Isn't that related to the "sweet spot" issues for the dial?

 

 

 

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Variables such as what? Yes, you could absolutely blow the transducers up with this amplifier - I'm not aware of any headphone that can take a ~10W input and live to tell about it.
The HE-Adapter is not a capacitor, at least not if I'm understanding their publications correctly. There is no "safety cap" that you could use here either - it's a series of resistors (you can build the thing yourself in an afternoon) to drop voltage and current. If you want to protect the cans you'd want PPTCs and fuses among other things - a really cheap (and very effective) implementation of this is used by Bose for their speakers, and I believe it was originally sourced from Tyco (who makes said PPTCs), involving an automotive lightbulb and a reasonably high value PPTC. It protects the tweeters (which have the least power handling) from overloading - that's what the "active speaker protection" they talk about is. I'm not aware of anyone else who does this though; shame. They're inefficient inasmuch as they're loading a higher resistance, but it's all dictated by Ohm's Law. I'm not sure what magical hidden variables you're worrying about - are we to believe that you disagree with all published specs, measurements, Ohm's Law, etc in relation to this set-up? Or what? (I'm confused).

 

Me neither.  My point about variables was if there's something else about HE-6 or about the interaction of a 53ohm load on an amplifier designed to drive an 8ohm load that means that the drivers aren't actually getting the 10W it would otherwise appear to?   There are reports in that HE-6 amp thread of some vintage speaker amps that simply won't drive the 53ohm load at ALL, it just won't play.  And since Fang seems to have no issues with crazy high power amps, and many users (subjective in the usual Head-Fi sense of course! Grain of salt required!) have reported great success with them, it makes me wonder if driving that kind of impedance causes any other inefficiencies in the amp (which would cause more power vented as heat as well...conservation of energy applies of course), meaning that the 45W @ 8ohm amp doesn't REALLY drive the 8-10W into 53ohms that ohms law would otherwise apply.

 

I'm not saying that is the case, I'm saying I would be curious to find out if anything like that is the case as it would explain why even higher powered amps are often apparently sought for HE6, and why Fang (who should know the drivers better than anyone) seems to have zero safety concerns below 50wpc to 70wpc depending on what day he talks about it, when wattages far lower than that, by the basics of ohms law should, on paper, blow the 8W capacity....unless it's not REALLY getting all of what ohms law suggests due to other factors. That's why I was wondering about maybe there's some variables missing that affect the equation beyond the basics.  More of a theoretical curiosity.  I wonder if Fang still responds to technical PMs?  bigsmile_face.gif  I know he was too busy a few months ago, but HE-300 & HE-400 were still ramping up back then. but it would be interesting to find out.  The specs state 50 (Tyll says 53) ohms, and an 8W max load.  Based on the basics of ohms law, that should mean, what, a 30wpc amp should be more than able to blow the drivers.  Yet Fang says that below 50 (or 70) it won't.  Either some factor we're not looking at is changing the numbers from the amps to lower watts than you'd think, or Fang got it wrong on the fly...always possible.

 

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So the question is, 6W into what? And then how hot is your source, and what's Lyr's sensitivity? And then what's Znom of the load, and so on, and then you can figure out how much power it's actually giving up. Dollar says it's under 10 mW.

 

Actively, or at max?  It can certainly push out more than 10mW at max, but your question is right, 6W into what, that I do not know.  I would think into 8ohm, but if it's a little marketing (and Jason IS good at the marketing!) it could be 4ohm.  It's a shiny, impressive number for a headphone amp that means little without knowing the impedance, and I never stopped to consider that.  However I do know it can put out crazy power for a headphone amp, but apparently doesn't do well with HE-6 despite driving it loud.  That is thankfully something I'll be able to do my own tests with in a week! biggrin.gif

 

The source seems fairly not.  I swear the Squeezebox locked at 100% must be applying digital gain still, and yet 100% is supposed to be the bit-perfect mode.  But no other digital source I have pushes things as hot as the Squeezebox digital out does.  It's feeding Bifrost, which should be 2vrms nominal.  And it's not an anomaly, I have two Bifrosts.  So it's a standard analog line level that seems to run extra hot when fed by the Squeezebox Touch.  I've been curious about that for a while but can't find information to figure it out.  If I plug another digital source into it, it's about HALF as hot as with the Touch.  I also have two Touches...same deal on both.  Either most other digital sources fudge the numbers and apply digital gain cut, or Logitech fudges the numbers and applies digital gain boost when it's not supposed to.  In either ccase it does it in 24-bit space, so at least that's good.  But it's still kind of unnerving.

 

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Quite honestly, you could plug them into an RMX5050 if you wanted to, and it'd work fine, as long as you could adequately attenuate the signal down (because 2Vrms on that will get you enough power to travel through time). The overall peak output of the amplifier in a given condition isn't really that relevant beyond figuring your target output goals. I think the PM6004 is a good match for the cans you've picked, as it allows you enough DNR to take your ears apart (and a 70W amp would get you nothing over that), and I like Marantz gear in general. smily_headphones1.gif

 

I do wonder what the difference, sound wise, would be between a higher powered amp and not.  If the power means anything or if it's just a higher qualitity piece of gear. Two things I like about 8004 is the power-direct so I could have fed Lyr's tubes into it as a pre (but I"m not sure I want to) and an extra tone control for mids that would have been nice, though most of the time I'd do source-direct and bypass the tone controls anyway.  Other than that, I'd be curious if they'd sound identical despite the output difference or if one's just a better amp.  I think the wattage difference is more important with lower impedance no matter what though...meaning real speakers.

 

And yeah, I've always liked Marantz.  I was going to get a Marantz for my main HT AVR when I ended up with the Denon instead, but that particular Marantz model that year had SERIOUS known issues that they were almost guaranteed to fry themselves within two years.

 

I like Denon a lot, don't get me wrong, but they have a much colder, more analytical, more O2 like sound to them.  Marantz tends to be smooth and warm if a little over-zealous on the midbass.  I have to say though my Denon amp is a good match to my already very warm, mid-centric JBL speakers (drives me nuts when people smite JBL, some of their lines suck, true,but...Studio L is a heck of a bargain....mass-market pricing for a really nice speaker overall.  It's the HD650 of the loudspeaker world (at its old pricing)....not the best thing on the planet, but for the money it's quite a performer, and scales wonderfully.)

 

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What do you mean "not in current" - ??? Current is dictated by Ohm's Law and helps to figure power. It's not arbitrary or independent. The user gets to adjust voltage, the load gets to set Z (as impedance aka complex resistance), the source gets to set freq, and that will give you (through Ohm's Law) a given power demand which the amplifier has to be able to deliver as a combination of Vrms output and current delivery; if it can't do one or the other it has a problem. I'm not sure how to address the complaints over the "low end" - are these actually validated, or just subjective claims made after whomever purchased something shinier and more expensive and "compared" (in a non-controlled manner) the two? It's hard to say what's going on without more information. redface.gif

 

We'll see.  I'll certainly test it on both the Lyr and the Marantz.  Both are known to drive it plenty loud, but Lyr is one of the mythical low-end lacking amps.  So if it's all about loudness both should be balanced since both can drive it loud.   I assume as a planar it has linear impedance.  I won't be comparing against other big amps though, at least not for a while.  My impression from just reading is that the complaints about low-end aren't mere subjective "hey the bass is tighter and deeper extension" type reports so much as "what's wrong with these things, they're bright and screechy" type issues.  It sounds more like complaints that it's definitively shifted in the tonal balance than just complaints about impact.  But I'll get to verify that for myself soon enough.

 

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None of the above is meant to attack, just to inform (including you informing me, because I'm confused by some of your statements).

 

I've had enough discussions with you to know that while your approach may seem accusing, you don't intend it that way.  Not everyone is familiar with your approach, but I know no offense is meant! beerchug.gif

post #77 of 178
One more question then I am all set. How about the ultrasone pro 900 balanced. Would that give what I want ? Only reason is I can get what I believe is a good deal from b&h. $450
post #78 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

I happen to personally like my Lyr with the HE-400 and my HD650.  But that's one option of many and isn't exactly a summit-level amp.  Still with some summit-level tubes it can shine quite well.  Mjolnir is Schiit's balanced amp but it's not yet being sold, it's a pending product you can sign up for.  There's a third tier from them coming out next year.

 

]Anything Woo is pricy but nice for the most part.  I wouldn't go with ANY OTL-tube amp for HE-400 or any planar, so WA6 for example is a no-no.  Any of the transformer-coupled tube amps from them and hybrid tube amps from anyone will do fine.  And any SS.  OTL tube amp doesn't handle the low impedance of planars well not even the HE-400 (though unlike other planars it'll actually work, but it's not idea.)

 

 

The mjolnir has already started shipping, plenty of units out in the wild. And the WA6 isnt OTL, i think that only the WA2 is OTL from woo.

post #79 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltucker305 View Post

One more question then I am all set. How about the ultrasone pro 900 balanced. Would that give what I want ? Only reason is I can get what I believe is a good deal from b&h. $450

 

You'll definitely have to wait for someone else's opinion on that, I'm decidedly not an Ultrasone fan.  Pro900 I've heard a lot of sibilance complaints however.  But it has its fans.  Also, it's a closed-back can so it'll definitely have a different presentation!

 

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Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

The mjolnir has already started shipping, plenty of units out in the wild. And the WA6 isnt OTL, i think that only the WA2 is OTL from woo.

 

Oops, hadn't realized they were shipping them already!

 

Are you SURE the WA6 isn't OTL?  I always get confused between WA6 and WA3...ugh, I thought I'd finally straightened those two out!  WA2 and WA3 are both OTL, but I always confuse it with WA6!

post #80 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

You'll definitely have to wait for someone else's opinion on that, I'm decidedly not an Ultrasone fan.  Pro900 I've heard a lot of sibilance complaints however.  But it has its fans.  Also, it's a closed-back can so it'll definitely have a different presentation!

 

 

Oops, hadn't realized they were shipping them already!

 

Are you SURE the WA6 isn't OTL?  I always get confused between WA6 and WA3...ugh, I thought I'd finally straightened those two out!  WA2 and WA3 are both OTL, but I always confuse it with WA6!

 

haha i actually thought about the WA3 as soon as i posted that, its the one that almost no one talks about so i had forgotten about it. but yeah the WA6 is definitely not OTL

post #81 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

haha i actually thought about the WA3 as soon as i posted that, its the one that almost no one talks about so i had forgotten about it. but yeah the WA6 is definitely not OTL


People used to talk about it more. But you're right redface.gif

post #82 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

You'll definitely have to wait for someone else's opinion on that, I'm decidedly not an Ultrasone fan.  Pro900 I've heard a lot of sibilance complaints however.  But it has its fans.  Also, it's a closed-back can so it'll definitely have a different presentation!

I haven't heard the 900, but the 2900 is a fine headphone - the headband sucks though (and that is identical on the 900). Not sure if balanced drive would improve anything, but given that the 900 are like $350-$400 normally, for $50, assuming you already have the amp, why not? Can't hurt.
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Are you SURE the WA6 isn't OTL?  I always get confused between WA6 and WA3...ugh, I thought I'd finally straightened those two out!  WA2 and WA3 are both OTL, but I always confuse it with WA6!

WA6 is output transformer coupled, or OTC, has a switch on the back. WA6-SE is as well, has a knob on the front. WA22 WA5, and WA-5LE are also transformer coupled. WA3 is the WA6 without the output transformer, and WA2 is the WA22 without the output transformer (very roughly on both counts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

My point was when you run the calculations of how loud an amp can drive something and come up with the peak SPL, it always makes it sound like "amp x is too much because it would be too loud" as though it has no volume knob smily_headphones1.gif

Aha! Yes I could see how someone would read that - I simply figure maximums to let you figure DNR. If it runs out of wind at 70 dB, you will never have enough. For example.
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You're probably right about Audyssey, but I do remember some info (perhaps inaccurate info) from years ago that reported that driving over 0.0dB was either applying digital gain or overdriving the poweramp.   May by the old Onkyo piece that died a long time ago actually, I think it was in the manual.  It was definitively recommended to keep it at no more than 70% to prevent clipping and distortion.  Could have been poor design.  It wasn't the most expensive piece biggrin.gif

On modern receivers, that follow a THX style (or are THX certified) 0.0 dB represents a calibrated 85 dB output. In other words when it runs auto-calibration, it figures 85 dB/ch (you can set to 75 dB if you have a nice receiver that you can play with on PC) and 0.0 dB represents that point. It's in keeping with THX's design guides, where 0 dB represents "reference level" (which is 85 dB nominal 105 dB peak). On receivers right before that generation, 0.0 dB represents an unreferenced zero attenuation point, and anything over it does indeed mean digital gain (which is usually noisy). But those units are relatively rare (like ca. 2000 to 2006), on units older than that, like say the Yamaha DSP-A2070, 0 dB is the top of the dial range, and represents a true zero attenuation point. Normally you get some noise there (even on something as clean as the A2070) because it's full open through the preamp, but it (on paper) should represent a straight-line to the amp (the same as plugging your unattenuated CD player into a straight up power amp and hitting go). Those units were from the early to late 1990s, and before that it was usually just the 1-10 or hashmarks to give you an idea of where the pot was at as you turned it up. All of them do a great job at confusing the hell out of people.
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Perhaps its old audiophile myth, or perhaps its related to older gear, about keeping the knob between 11:00 and 1:00 as the sweet spot and not buying something too big or too small to keep it in that zone. 

There's two schools of thought on this, and it depends on how your volume control is designed. On one hand, if you have a digital volume control (take a modern AVR for instance), it doesn't matter WHERE the volume control is set, as long as the control doesn't start adding digital gain (think about digital zoom on your camera), and it can run right up to 0.0 dB attenuation and be perfectly fine (because up to that point, it's just feeding the signal right into the gain stage, and it's not tracking noise into the signal). On devices with a mechanical pot, you get a bit more problematic. On one hand, if the gain stages (multiple) are designed right, and the pot is of high quality, it doesn't matter where you dial it, on cheap devices though, middle of the range is the absolute worst place for the wiper to sit, because the pot is half-way between purely resistive and purely open, and you get a lot of noise.

In terms of practical use, the amplifier's output and so on doesn't really influence where the position is - there is no "too big" or "too small" at this point, it's simply a matter of gain and what the pot provides in terms of attenuation. I like a system that can use more than the first 10% of it's volume control's range, but that's ergonomic, not functional. See here for a bit more:
http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=58829

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All the way up to 11.... cool.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVKWCpNFhY

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Isn't that related to the "sweet spot" issues for the dial?

No, the amplifier will actually go from relatively high distortion, to relatively low distortion, and then climb up to clipping as it's called upon to drive more output power. It's just a characteristic of amplification - they aren't static outputs (it's not like your wall socket that will give you 1850W all day and if you bump over that it shuts off). Here's a random (as in I grabbed the first graph I could find) example to show what I'm talking about:
700

If you kept increasing output power THD will go substantially up very quickly as you move along the X axis. That curve isn't identical for all amps, but the general idea behind it is. It's just like the SMPS in your computer - you don't want it running at 5% output, that 40-60% range is ideal. Power amplifiers aren't quite so simple, but the same general concept applies. Smaller load requirements should mean smaller amplifier. But not to the other extreme where it runs out of power. smily_headphones1.gif

BTW that graphic is yanked from here:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/nad-t-787-av-receiver (I did not even read the review - go ahead and read it and find out if it's any good lol).

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Me neither.  My point about variables was if there's something else about HE-6 or about the interaction of a 53ohm load on an amplifier designed to drive an 8ohm load that means that the drivers aren't actually getting the 10W it would otherwise appear to?   There are reports in that HE-6 amp thread of some vintage speaker amps that simply won't drive the 53ohm load at ALL, it just won't play.

This is plausible, but it would be variable from amplifier to amplifier. It depends on how "designed for 8 ohm load" the thing is - remember that most loudspeakers will break 50-60 ohms at some point in their impedance, and amplifiers should be able to deal with that. And good amplifiers should have no issues driving a transformer straight up either. Depends on what "vintage gear" we're talking about really.
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  And since Fang seems to have no issues with crazy high power amps

I've yet to meet a speaker or amp designer or salesman (Nelson Pass apart) that doesn't. This is not meant to denigrate him - it's just an observation. Power is super cheap these days, thanks to transistors, so why not? I mean c'mon, TI is putting out chips for a dollar or two that do 2W into 32 ohms - apart from having to compete with that (and even in audiophilia land, people still buy audio gear like they buy digital cameras - more megapixels and more watts!), it's not a big gorilla in the room to build amplifiers that can drive arc welders (at least compared to the days of tubes - I've seen pictures and have design documents for tube amps that can do 1kW/ch mono SET, but the tubes that can do it are museum pieces these days, and the devices were extremely complicated - you can buy an ICE module for a few hundred bucks that'll hand you 1kW and not burn your house down doing it).

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many users (subjective in the usual Head-Fi sense of course! Grain of salt required!) have reported great success with them, it makes me wonder if driving that kind of impedance causes any other inefficiencies in the amp (which would cause more power vented as heat as well...conservation of energy applies of course), meaning that the 45W @ 8ohm amp doesn't REALLY drive the 8-10W into 53ohms that ohms law would otherwise apply.

Because of Ohm's Law, it won't be creating a ton more heat. It's seeing a voltage sink, not a current sink (okay so if you're a JRC4556, the HE-6 wants A LOT of current, if you're a PM8004, the HE-6 wants almost no current whatsoever), so it's not cycling a ton of output power. This is the same idea as using the headphone jack on those components - the resistors have to be able handle a half watt or one watt through them, but not 100W. I think the confusion may arise from how poorly power amplifiers are measured and rated these days (most will not deliver half of their box spec, especially AVRs, even from hoity toity companies) - so you have an amp that's sold as "100W" or "200W" or even "50W" and it maybe delivers 10W or 30W into 8R, and throws a hissy fit into 4R (some will just smoke off, I've heard user accounts of Maggies and Logans letting the magic smoke out of many a Denon, Yamaha, and Sony cheapo-deluxe AVR), and probably throws a hissy fit into 40R or 80R too. The headphone jack is also probably an opamp (like the JR4556) so it's not up to the task either. And then you get some big ugly mother of an amp from Technics or Kenwood or whoever (you know, where the main xformer is the size of a child, and it comes with a warning that says you can't plug it in unless you live in an area that has a nuclear powerplant on the grid and you call ahead and let them know it's coming - those amplifiers), and it's also rated to 100W or 200W or 50W or whatever, and will deliver that all day long. The CE industry is great at confusing the heck out of its customers.
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I'm not saying that is the case, I'm saying I would be curious to find out if anything like that is the case as it would explain why even higher powered amps are often apparently sought for HE6, and why Fang (who should know the drivers better than anyone) seems to have zero safety concerns below 50wpc to 70wpc depending on what day he talks about it, when wattages far lower than that, by the basics of ohms law should, on paper, blow the 8W capacity....unless it's not REALLY getting all of what ohms law suggests due to other factors.

The thing is, 70W isn't significantly larger than 50W from a thermal or signal perspective. 100W is where we'd start talking, but 500W is where we'd start conversing. There's generally nothing wrong with hooking speakers up to much larger amplifiers either (to give you a random example, Bose specs those tiny little cube speakers on amps up to 200W, but suggests a continuous feed of around 50W) - and there's also the salesman side (like why Yamaha wires its speakers with Monster Cable - does it do anything? No. But if it makes one extra sale, why not do it? Same idea - nothing is going to be damaged, and if it helps someone make the purchase, why not do it?); again, not to denigrate (I've actually never seen "Fang" post - I just hear about him, I know he actually exists because people I know/trust have talked to him off-board, but I've never seen him post).

There's also the question of what that 8W spec is - is that maximum peak input? Or maximum continuous? Or what? To give you an example - JBL will provide two or three numbers for cabinets - music, peak, and continuous. Continuous is always lowest, and it represents what the system can do taking a 0 dBfs sine input. Peak is usually like two-four times that value. So you might have a subwoofer that has a continuous input of 1600W, and the peak is 6400W. That only represents 6 dB (which is sort-of significant), and it's not that you'd want to drive 6400W straight up, but if you have 5000W of amplification going into that cab, and you hit "big" maybe once a day, it's unlikely to blow up. Specs are usually stated so incompletely on products it's insane, again, back to the "confusing people" thing (there's a whole Rane Note on this issue, and whenever I read it, I find myself thrusting my fists in the air and going "PREACH IT BROTHER, HALLELUJAH, AMEN!").
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That's why I was wondering about maybe there's some variables missing that affect the equation beyond the basics. 

Sure. You're never driving 0 dBfs with music signals for one. And for two it depends on how the sensitivity match/mismatch between the amp and source - you can clip the signal before the amp itself is into clipping and it's the same nasty outcome (which will have you back things down). And then there's the whole bit where you probably cannot physically keep them on your head without a gun in your face and your hands tied.
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The specs state 50 (Tyll says 53) ohms, and an 8W max load.  Based on the basics of ohms law, that should mean, what, a 30wpc amp should be more than able to blow the drivers.  Yet Fang says that below 50 (or 70) it won't.  Either some factor we're not looking at is changing the numbers from the amps to lower watts than you'd think, or Fang got it wrong on the fly...always possible.

So I'm guessing it's probably 8W continuous, not 8W peak. Ribbons can usually sink a ton of power because Xmax is usually a non-concern, so you're running up until thermal kills you.
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Actively, or at max?  It can certainly push out more than 10mW at max, but your question is right, 6W into what, that I do not know.  I would think into 8ohm, but if it's a little marketing (and Jason IS good at the marketing!) it could be 4ohm.  It's a shiny, impressive number for a headphone amp that means little without knowing the impedance, and I never stopped to consider that.  However I do know it can put out crazy power for a headphone amp, but apparently doesn't do well with HE-6 despite driving it loud.  That is thankfully something I'll be able to do my own tests with in a week! biggrin.gif

So if it's into 4R, it's only giving up 1250mW into 16R, and around 650 mW into 32R. For your 50R load (and I'm lazy so it just became 64R) you're talking like 300 mW. That's about on par with your Maxim based chipamps. Very plausible it's current limiting at some point.
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The source seems fairly not.  I swear the Squeezebox locked at 100% must be applying digital gain still, and yet 100% is supposed to be the bit-perfect mode.  But no other digital source I have pushes things as hot as the Squeezebox digital out does.

Not surprising actually, it's a contemporary modern device - everything becomes loud.
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  It's feeding Bifrost, which should be 2vrms nominal.  And it's not an anomaly, I have two Bifrosts.  So it's a standard analog line level that seems to run extra hot when fed by the Squeezebox Touch.  I've been curious about that for a while but can't find information to figure it out.  If I plug another digital source into it, it's about HALF as hot as with the Touch.  I also have two Touches...same deal on both.  Either most other digital sources fudge the numbers and apply digital gain cut, or Logitech fudges the numbers and applies digital gain boost when it's not supposed to.  In either ccase it does it in 24-bit space, so at least that's good.  But it's still kind of unnerving.

I'm guessing it's probably just that the Logitech is going closer to fs (you can't break 0 dBfs it will just produce crap, the signal literally cannot get larger). This is a trend I've seen with newer devices, and before we say doom and gloom - newer receivers and preamps tend to be more sensitive, so it works out. It's the result of SNR marketing - you can jack the signal up and you see a higher SNR (you know that one TI/BB DtoA that claims like 136 dB SNR? It does that at 9Vrms).
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I do wonder what the difference, sound wise, would be between a higher powered amp and not.  If the power means anything or if it's just a higher qualitity piece of gear.

More power doesn't always mean more quality, unfortunately. And we also have to question if the numbers are straight up.
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Two things I like about 8004 is the power-direct so I could have fed Lyr's tubes into it as a pre (but I"m not sure I want to) and an extra tone control for mids that would have been nice, though most of the time I'd do source-direct and bypass the tone controls anyway.  Other than that, I'd be curious if they'd sound identical despite the output difference or if one's just a better amp.  I think the wattage difference is more important with lower impedance no matter what though...meaning real speakers.

Yeah the first part of this is why I would've suggested the PM8004: features. It has a process loop, a bypass, etc. It's more versatile. Regarding the power difference - nope, doesn't matter. Again, it's all about acoustic gain - <3 dB is just not audibly significant (regardless of Z) and <10 is nothing to write home for.
Quote:
And yeah, I've always liked Marantz.  I was going to get a Marantz for my main HT AVR when I ended up with the Denon instead, but that particular Marantz model that year had SERIOUS known issues that they were almost guaranteed to fry themselves within two years.

Which model? (I'm curious because I've never heard of a "bad" Marantz line - I'm a gossip and I like hearing all the dirt too). And yeah, in the world of AVRs, its another game entirely. Because now you're not just dealing with "is this a competent preamp, amp, and whatever other features (tone controls, process loops, tape loops, DtoA, etc)" but also "is this a competent video processor, video switcher, decoding computer, OSD generator, etc" and "can it do all of this without overheating/crashing/etc" - it's a lot more complicated. And because having the Dolby, DTS, etc logos on the front cost money, and you can't really compete without them, a lot of the BOM goes into licence fees and stuff like that, so on the lower end you get products that are basically the result of taxes and IP fees and eventually they throw in a transformer and some transistors for you. redface.gif And on the high end, you run into size requirements - sure, 1kW amp can exist in a normal 4U, but they have forced air cooling (LOUD forced air cooling), and nobody wants that at home, so there's compromises. I was sad to see Pioneer's ICE units die in fire.
Quote:
I like Denon a lot, don't get me wrong, but they have a much colder, more analytical, more O2 like sound to them.  Marantz tends to be smooth and warm if a little over-zealous on the midbass.  I have to say though my Denon amp is a good match to my already very warm, mid-centric JBL speakers (drives me nuts when people smite JBL, some of their lines suck, true,but...Studio L is a heck of a bargain....mass-market pricing for a really nice speaker overall.  It's the HD650 of the loudspeaker world (at its old pricing)....not the best thing on the planet, but for the money it's quite a performer, and scales wonderfully.)

I've heard that claim about Denon v Marantz sound for a while, I have to chuckle these days because they're the same company and their AVRs are the same platform and have a lot of common parts and hardware. Regarding older gear (as in Marantz Japan equipment from the 1980s up through around Y2K), I would probably be inclined to agree to an extent. I'm not sure where the current (I should say recently canned) Reference hardware fits into that equation, but any differences between modern Marantz and Denon hardware are done in software. I generally dislike Denon equipment though, because it usually costs more than I think it should. I don't care that they worked on digital audio, are 100 years old, or will include a free book signed by the CEO, I'm not paying 20-40% over market competitors for the same tuna sandwich.

I agree on JBL being generally good - I've never disliked their pro gear (never heard their consumer speakers though, keep trying to find an Everest or other Synthesis system to demo (no, I'm not spending $600,000 on a home theater in this lifetime wink.gif)). I think the bigger problem is there's too much Harman Industries in JBL (and harman/kardon, and AKG, and so on) these days.
Quote:
We'll see.  I'll certainly test it on both the Lyr and the Marantz.  Both are known to drive it plenty loud, but Lyr is one of the mythical low-end lacking amps.  So if it's all about loudness both should be balanced since both can drive it loud.   I assume as a planar it has linear impedance.  I won't be comparing against other big amps though, at least not for a while.  My impression from just reading is that the complaints about low-end aren't mere subjective "hey the bass is tighter and deeper extension" type reports so much as "what's wrong with these things, they're bright and screechy" type issues.  It sounds more like complaints that it's definitively shifted in the tonal balance than just complaints about impact.  But I'll get to verify that for myself soon enough.

So perhaps the issue is with the Lyr itself? I don't know much about that amp, but I tend to dislike and distrust dedicated amps on the whole, because most of them have some fatal flaw (or flaws) that make them a bad idea in general. Not saying this is or isn't the case here, but more of a general theme I've picked up on. So I would not be surprised if the Marantz is superior. At all.
Edited by obobskivich - 8/10/12 at 10:05pm
post #83 of 178

Tried out the HE-6s today. While an awesome headphone in itself, it just didn't connected with me as much as the LCD2s. Back to the drawing board.

post #84 of 178
Thread Starter 
Obbob: I won't confuse my poor little android device by doing a reply on all that.... but my hats off to you for a crazy-informative post, lots of great topics to research and chew on, and for besting my record as "longwindeus supremus" that...I forget who...assigned me i another thread smily_headphones1.gif

Just a few items from my short-term memory I figured I'd reply to

Fang (or Bian....I'm not sure if everyone has the Chinese name backwards, or if he already Anglicised the order of his name for convenience and everyone trying to be correct messes it up as a result....but most call him Fang, so I go with it.) He hasn't posted around the boards recently, but he used to do so more in the earlier days. I think his product line and number of manufacturing facilities and customer base has grown so much over the past year that he doesn't have time to much about the forums.....he's a very hands-on guy with his designs and hs a bad habit of designing too much too fast, so I think he's a bit of a mad tinkerer at this point with whatever new designs for things he has around the corner. He does respond to emails for those that have his address though....but it was taking a week or two for replies as of a few months ago. Some of the folks relaying his stories such as grokit I believe spoke to him in person about it while trying out prototypes t one of his show booths. Interesting guy, brilliant, tpical closed-mouthed Asian businessman who doesn't like talking too much about his product differences even when doing so would prrobably help sell them :

Also, Marantz/Denon. Last I checked at least a few years ago they do keep a lot of the designs separate, and I can assure you the PM6004 has no software manipulation in it....thebox advertises "not a single IC", and it delivers if you peer in the grille with a flashlight....it's all discrete stuff, no ICs. I think they definitely sound the same. Maybe the AVRs are the same and do it in software (or maybe not and they just have different circuit designs used in both.) But in the separates, they definitely seem to keep them different, and my Denon AVR (I have one TotL not yet in service, and one just below TotL in service) absolutely is a colder more analytical amp than the 6004....which is definitively warmer and possible a hint more midbass (yeah the 6004 arrived and I put the headphone amp part through its paces with the D5k and HD650s....haven't got the HE_6 yet. The 6004 headphone out is similar in terms of tonal balance to Lyr with the Matsu PCC88 tubes....very warm, more mids centric, a bit bumed in midbass, yet smooth and pleasing. VERY different from O2 which reminds me of the Denon amp. Haven't used the speaker outs yet other than to test them on some oldsat speakers.

I don't remember what model it was...the number in my head is 5007 or 7005 or something. It was the next-to-TotL model of the 2010 year I believe. It kind of had very poor consumer reviews everywhere due to known failing issues with a certain component, I can't remember which. It was well praised for performance but had a very specific uaranteed to fail defect. And D&M has this odd "new model every year" scheme so they fix nothing and just sell what they have and then break something else next year. From what I understand you do NOT want to do firmware flashes on those things either (Denon or Marantz.) Nott the online vesion anyway. But I have to say I'm quite happy with the Denon I got as a result, nd overall like the performance. The cold amp goes well with the JBLs. And it doesn't run as crazy-hot as Onkyos tend to. IMO, it sounds a lot better too. Onkyo throws too many features in at too low a price point and seems crompromise performanc to do it. Denon does features, performance, and reliabilit, all at a higher price, but seems to not flesh out the functionlity of more complex features to do it.


JBL. Yeah, Synthesis BETTER be good at that price. But their mid-range stuff can be consumer priced for good performance. Not sure if they're still selling Studio L butfor very modest prices, you get very heavy vinyl clad MDF cabinets (even the wall mounts are beastly heavy....no resonances in those things!) bi-ampable, 4-way (1-2 woofers, a mids driver, tweeter, and UHF horn), voiced the same as the pro gear (which is a voicing I find desirable since the venues I tend to see live performance tend to be JBL run) and overall jst great sound quality. The mids sometimes are a little less clear than I'd expect from the very highn but for the money, they were/are an amazing setup. You could get two wall mount front channels for $650 or so. Pair it with a good sub and it's an amazing $~1k 2.1 system. The floor towers ran closer to $800 a piece if I recall though. The wall-mount center channel is still one of the nicest centers I've seen for under $1k. I like it so much I usually do my stereo audiio as DPLII just to use that center channel :P WIthout nice room treatments it's better off in terms of soundstage. :P

Regading Lyr.....IMO the primary weakness it has is that it has difficulty with sensitive low impedance cans. That's its achilies Heel. It just drives too much noise into sensitive loads which hurts its versatility. Supposedly it does manage HE-6 and even sounds decent according to paradoxper....but just not good enough compared to speaker amps. So it's true weakness as an amp is just that it's noisy into sensitive cans, the preamp feature is supposedly so-so and it could have benefited from a better PSU. At $450 it's hard to complain for a nice sounding tube rollable amp with a lengthy warranty that looks pretty and has a GREAT volume pot. That's the most overllooked feature on an amp and one of the most used ones. Even the Marantz, which costs more, IMO pales compared to the vol pot on the Lyr. It's too jumpy. For headphones that matters more than speakers IMO.
post #85 of 178
Glad you got the PM6004 and thanks for the clarification on Fang (Bian?). On the Denon/Marantz thing - it's a recent convergence, part of the newest reorganization from the top. The AVRs are going unified to cut costs, just as McIntosh is starting to share with Denon Ultra Reference, again, to cut costs. But the separates (like your PM6004) are probably independent indeed while they stay in production (my understanding is they want Denon to remain as the A/V solution, Marantz to compete with something like Cambridge, and McIntosh to try and compete with Harman Luxury Audio - but remember that Bain's goal is to run their new toy up against Harman, not worry about audiophiles). And that's where I'm curious (I haven't played with a modern Marantz Reference component) - they should hold true to the "Marantz sound" you're describing. smily_headphones1.gif But then again, they wiped the entire Reference line off their site a few weeks ago (the real separates).

And yeah, the SR-7005 had a lot of issues associated with it in terms of availability and consistency - it's one of the few Marantz units still made in Japan, and was affected by the Tsunami among other things (so production went offline for a while, and it isn't surprising that the re-start wasn't making good quality units). Here I was hoping to hear dirt on one of the 8000 or 9000 series products, or some Marantz I've never seen. tongue.gif

And yeah, a good volume control is key to a good amp or stereo set-up in general - if it doesn't track right or work smoothly, you have a problem.
Edited by obobskivich - 8/11/12 at 12:24pm
post #86 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Glad you got the PM6004 and thanks for the clarification on Fang (Bian?). On the Denon/Marantz thing - it's a recent convergence, part of the newest reorganization from the top. The AVRs are going unified to cut costs, just as McIntosh is starting to share with Denon Ultra Reference, again, to cut costs. But the separates (like your PM6004) are probably independent indeed while they stay in production (my understanding is they want Denon to remain as the A/V solution, Marantz to compete with something like Cambridge, and McIntosh to try and compete with Harman Luxury Audio - but remember that Bain's goal is to run their new toy up against Harman, not worry about audiophiles). And that's where I'm curious (I haven't played with a modern Marantz Reference component) - they should hold true to the "Marantz sound" you're describing. smily_headphones1.gif But then again, they wiped the entire Reference line off their site a few weeks ago (the real separates).
And yeah, the SR-7005 had a lot of issues associated with it in terms of availability and consistency - it's one of the few Marantz units still made in Japan, and was affected by the Tsunami among other things (so production went offline for a while, and it isn't surprising that the re-start wasn't making good quality units). Here I was hoping to hear dirt on one of the 8000 or 9000 series products, or some Marantz I've never seen. tongue.gif
And yeah, a good volume control is key to a good amp or stereo set-up in general - if it doesn't track right or work smoothly, you have a problem.


Yeah it's a shame Fang doesn't participate as much in the community, but it's also good news, it means the company has grown so much that there's just too much for him to do to interact directly with customers regularly. But it's good because it means the company is doing well. He DESPERATELY needs a better CS department..."Mrs. T" at the US front-office that seems to be more an importer/exporter address for customs purposes than much else just doesn't cut it with the way the company is growing. smily_headphones1.gif That's his biggest weakness though. That and the dreadful earpads. He still does all his own demos at the shows though.

Not sure if it's the whole line or not but there's still several Reference components up on the site...maybe they're just doing the annual update? Denon did theirs in June. The 15S-Limited and 11S series are still on the site.

I don't dobut that the AVRs are consolidating. Honestly I don't know why they kept all the brands for AVRs anyway. Other than The Marantz Sound, why would anyone care about a Marantz AVR? Sure it has audiophile appeal, but audiophiles aren't buying AVRs for audiophile purposes. When I think AVR I think HK, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha. And that's for the good ones. But yeah I think the separates still seem to be the classic designs. They're still made in Japan too, thoughthe higher end Denon AVRs are still Japan as well

I think it was an older model than 7005....it was whatever was out in 2010, and it was more severe than availability or consistency issues. I wish I could remember what the specific failure was. But they were remarkably unreliable. The following year model of course fixed it and was being released a month or two after I'd bought. I don't regret it though. The 2310CI is a good unit. It's not a 3310, but it's good.

I'm scared to see where the "reorganized" Denon amps go if not made in Japan though.

Regarding "too much Harman" in JBL, I realy don't have the problem with Harman that some do. Yeah theire low end garbage tarnishes the brand names....but I respect Harman. The introduce low end garbage, but I see no indication that they damage the good products. In fact they seem to use the cheap stuff to fund the good products. They seem to leave the engineers alone, too. They keep the brand engineering teams seperate. They're an audio-only brand. Their own brand amps are well liked. I'm not really sure where they get such a bad rep other than the ipod docks they flood the market with smily_headphones1.gif And their CS is excellent. At lest the two people at JBL I've worked with. Just as helpful as a lot of the audiophile boutiques. Why everyone hates Harman, I don't know. Classic JBL is still clasic JBL cassic AKG is still classic AKG...
post #87 of 178

Cool you got the PM6004, IEMCrazy, looking forward to hear what you think of it with the HE-6. 

post #88 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorgDK View Post

Cool you got the PM6004, IEMCrazy, looking forward to hear what you think of it with the HE-6. 

 

Will certainly do! I intend to do a Lyr comparison as well!
post #89 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Not sure if it's the whole line or not but there's still several Reference components up on the site...maybe they're just doing the annual update? Denon did theirs in June. The 15S-Limited and 11S series are still on the site.

Yeah, I meant the golden colored stuff, the big iron. The Limited just came out (at least afaik), and it seems they're fine replacing the Reference with that. Then again, how many $15,000 amp pairs (or $25,000 amp/preamp stacks) do you figure they've sold in all of North America in the last five years? I mean really. redface.gif The really high-end stuff was dinosaur grade.

It doesn't even appear on the Japan site, so I'm guessing it's gone:
http://www.marantz.jp/jp/Products/Pages/ProductListing.aspx?CatId=HiFi&SubCatId=Amplifier

For reference, I mean this stuff:
http://www.audiocubes2.com/index.php/manufacturers_id/16?osCsid=765138f919495943b9c91756c64e535b (and more like it that AC2 doesn't sell).

Quote:
I don't dobut that the AVRs are consolidating. Honestly I don't know why they kept all the brands for AVRs anyway. Other than The Marantz Sound, why would anyone care about a Marantz AVR? Sure it has audiophile appeal, but audiophiles aren't buying AVRs for audiophile purposes. When I think AVR I think HK, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha. And that's for the good ones. But yeah I think the separates still seem to be the classic designs. They're still made in Japan too, thoughthe higher end Denon AVRs are still Japan as well

Marantz makes the 7005 series in Japan, and the Reference stuff, and the hi-fi stereo stuff, everything else is outsourced. Denon is much the same, only the 4000 series and above are JDM. As far as a Marantz AVR - they used to be pretty good components; not sure if that holds true today. Reliable, good sounding, lots of features, cool running, and RC-5 to top the entire package off. They got into home theater/automation in a pretty big way, a lot like Yamaha. I wouldn't touch Onkyo or modern HK with a 10 foot pole - it's not a question of IF they die, it's a question of WHEN. tongue.gif
Quote:
I think it was an older model than 7005....it was whatever was out in 2010, and it was more severe than availability or consistency issues. I wish I could remember what the specific failure was. But they were remarkably unreliable. The following year model of course fixed it and was being released a month or two after I'd bought. I don't regret it though. The 2310CI is a good unit. It's not a 3310, but it's good.

The 7005 series (AV and SR) have been out for a while, but I vaguely remember the gear that bridged from the SR-8002 and that was below the AV-8003 as being unremarkable/forgettable in all ways. Even the AV-8003 was pretty quickly rolled over.
Quote:
I'm scared to see where the "reorganized" Denon amps go if not made in Japan though.

Ultra Reference and flagship AVR aside, Denon hasn't been made in Japan in decades. They seem pretty good about QA on their outsourced products, but we are certainly seeing the tail-end of an era (Denon, Marantz, and Sony were probably the last "Big Japanese Hi-Fi" examples out there - and with Marantz seemingly closing up shop, that looks to be the final word of it).
Quote:
Regarding "too much Harman" in JBL, I realy don't have the problem with Harman that some do. Yeah theire low end garbage tarnishes the brand names....but I respect Harman. The introduce low end garbage, but I see no indication that they damage the good products. In fact they seem to use the cheap stuff to fund the good products. They seem to leave the engineers alone, too. They keep the brand engineering teams seperate. They're an audio-only brand. Their own brand amps are well liked. I'm not really sure where they get such a bad rep other than the ipod docks they flood the market with smily_headphones1.gif And their CS is excellent. At lest the two people at JBL I've worked with. Just as helpful as a lot of the audiophile boutiques. Why everyone hates Harman, I don't know. Classic JBL is still clasic JBL cassic AKG is still classic AKG...

Harman is a lot like EA. They buy a brand and then ride it until the wheels fall off. That's where they catch a bad rap. Sure, the super-esoteric stuff from Lexicon, Levinson, and JBL Synthesis is super high end, but it costs a lot more than it probably should (the world was obviously NOT ready for a $37,000 SSP, no matter how many subs it could EQ at once or how nice the touchscreen was, for example), and is inherently slow to be updated or revised in response to industry trends. Which means it starts to represent a bad value. Harman/Kardon itself has slowly descended in the last few years on the whole - the 7550HD and 990 were kind of their last hurrah, but their specs and testing are just as hilariously inadequate as any of their competitors as they've slowly let marketing take over. And AKG is gradually going to undergo the same changes. Don't get me wrong, a lot of GOOD stuff has come out of Harman over the years, but it's drowned out by the near-constant stream of junk they blast out perennially. Like EA. At least they pick good celebrity spokespersons - I don't think I could ever get tried of Jennifer Lopez and Tim McGraw trying to sell me hi-fi gear...
Edited by obobskivich - 8/13/12 at 8:55am
post #90 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


Marantz makes the 7005 series in Japan, and the Reference stuff, and the hi-fi stereo stuff, everything else is outsourced. Denon is much the same, only the 4000 series and above are JDM. As far as a Marantz AVR - they used to be pretty good components; not sure if that holds true today. Reliable, good sounding, lots of features, cool running, and RC-5 to top the entire package off. They got into home theater/automation in a pretty big way, a lot like Yamaha. I wouldn't touch Onkyo or modern HK with a 10 foot pole - it's not a question of IF they die, it's a question of WHEN. tongue.gifThe 7005 series (AV and SR) have been out for a while, but I vaguely remember the gear that bridged from the SR-8002 and that was below the AV-8003 as being unremarkable/forgettable in all ways. Even the AV-8003 was pretty quickly rolled over.
Ultra Reference and flagship AVR aside, Denon hasn't been made in Japan in decades. They seem pretty good about QA on their outsourced products, but we are certainly seeing the tail-end of an era (Denon, Marantz, and Sony were probably the last "Big Japanese Hi-Fi" examples out there - and with Marantz seemingly closing up shop, that looks to be the final word of it).

 

 

4000?  From what I've seen the "CI" models of AVRs (23xx, 33xx at least) are still made in Japan.  Granted those are the high end of their non-esoteric stuff, but still, those modes are still Japan as of last year I believe and they feel every bit of it.   There's a lot of noise out there disliking those units and the RMA process, but most of the issues seem to be with people trying to flash the firmware over the network feature.  The more "network" support these AVRs get the worse they behave.   A few years ago common wisdom was HK & Marantz sounded good but would fail fast, Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha didn't sound as good but lasted longer.  HK &Onkyo ran hot, the others did not.  I think it rotates.

 

I've always viewed Onkyo as one of the solid, reliable ones.  Never had an Onkyo truly fail.  One did, sometimes it wouldn't turn on, but it was their bottom of the barrel unit and saw a *LOT* of use at the time....it was a fair lifespan for it and technically it still works.  I do have a Denon sitting around for when my other Onkyo dies, but it's given no indication of death other than a sometimes buggy HDMI switch that was always buggy.  HDCP related abnomralities but it was the first generation of HDMI on Onkyo AVRs, so it's good considering.  That after a tempered glass TV stand shattered onto it, scraping some paint off the chassis.  I still find kibbles of glass every time I move it around.  I have no complaints about onkyo durability, the only shortcoming is they burn hotter than a binary pulsar embedded in a supergiant.

 

I can't speak for their equipment in the last 4 years though which seem to be newer designs and cram a lot more toys into them at ever lower pricepoints, so maybe it's not the same Onkyo that was a few years ago.  I could never get into Yamaha for some reason.  I liked their SACD players, but I had one that after 1.5 years stopped reading discs a few months ago. I don't trust their reliability much better anymore.

 

So now I'm on Denon.  When they let me down I guess I'll have to get into Rotel :P

 

So far they seem solid though.  Pricy, but maybe that's the price of getting 95% of the features working 75% of the time versus the others :P

 

Not sure who's replacing those big three these days.  Pioneer's out, Yamaha...can't even figure out what they're doing.  Sony hasn't produced something real in the audio world in years.  D&M is ok but the consolidation is scary.  Onkyo...they're holding stable but have rarely been TRULY high end.  I've heard NAD is these days one of the least reliable things around.  Short of Ray Samuels what else is there? :P

 

Quote:

Harman is a lot like EA. They buy a brand and then ride it until the wheels fall off. That's where they catch a bad rap. Sure, the super-esoteric stuff from Lexicon, Levinson, and JBL Synthesis is super high end, but it costs a lot more than it probably should (the world was obviously NOT ready for a $37,000 SSP, no matter how many subs it could EQ at once or how nice the touchscreen was, for example), and is inherently slow to be updated or revised in response to industry trends. Which means it starts to represent a bad value. Harman/Kardon itself has slowly descended in the last few years on the whole - the 7550HD and 990 were kind of their last hurrah, but their specs and testing are just as hilariously inadequate as any of their competitors as they've slowly let marketing take over. And AKG is gradually going to undergo the same changes. Don't get me wrong, a lot of GOOD stuff has come out of Harman over the years, but it's drowned out by the near-constant stream of junk they blast out perennially. Like EA. At least they pick good celebrity spokespersons - I don't think I could ever get tried of Jennifer Lopez and Tim McGraw trying to sell me hi-fi gear...

 

I think J-Lo is a great example for some of that mass market hi-fi gear.  It distorts in the upper registers just as badly as she does and is nearly as shrill! :p

 

Seriously though, Yeah JBL pushes out GARBAGE in waves. But they also push out the good stuff.  I don't mean Synthesis, but the Studio series, and even the ES series.  It's not hi-fi, it's more mid-fi (real mid-fi) than anything but for the price point it does a good job at what it should be expected to do.  I have the old Stadium series which has been replaced by ES and two ES rears on the big HT.  For "big theater sound" it's a great bargain.  It's not a music system by any stretch, but for an HT setup it's good value.  The Studio series is more into the hi-fi realm and priced reasonably.  There's a lot worse value out there, and not a whole lot better value, IMO.  Better gear...but for a lot more money.  The price points Q70x is running is just silly cheap.  I'm still not seeing the complaint.  They sell waves of garbage to the masses and still seem to provide good value to those in the know.  Yeah the really high-end stuff is a rip-off, but is there an example where it isn't? (HD700 anyone?)   I think anyone writing off Harman as a whole isn't looking at the whole product catalog, just the most visible stuff.  It's a "v shaped product catalog" :P HK receivers on the other hand I wouldn't touch if I had to build a receiver myself otherwise.  I know they sound fantastic, but they might as well be paper transistors in a dunk tank.  You get an hour out of them before they fall apart very_evil_smiley.gif

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