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Can you beat my option? KEF LS50 Wireless II + SVS SB-2000 Pro

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It is my understanding that SVS DSP gives control to the sub response in the same way that PSA (owner co-founded SVS) does. All of the functionality here is also implemented on the Rythmik plate amp in analog:

https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwoofer-setup-and-tuning/75346755-understanding-dsp

It does not measure the room so it does not replace room correction. It could offer convenience during setup, though.
The SB-2000 pro has a 3-band parametric eq. I believe the Rythmik plate amp offers a 1-band. This may be important if the op doesn’t end up using room correction.
 

hex168

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Since you are mainly interested in music, look into Auro 3D upmixing, available in the Denon 4700.
Denon 4700 is about $1600, less if refurb but may be hard to find for a bit. Add Qty 9 JBL Stage A130, frequently on sale for $180/pair (consider adding 1 resistor to the crossover to flatten the midrange bump per the review thread, call it another $20 for all nine). Add Qty 2 Dayton 1500 subs for $500.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x4700-avr-review-updated.14493/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/jbl-stage-a130-review-speaker.18260/
 

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Thank you so much for your very practical option. It does cover all features I need and it seems that the speakers are like a gem (ugly gem if there is a thing :D) .
Well you didn’t mention “speakers can’t be ugly” on your list of requirements! Although the gray genelecs can look good as part of an industrial decor and the white ones could work if you’re leaning modern. But otherwise you would need to add acoustically transparent cloth to conceal the unsightliness.
 

richard12511

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I don’t know about that. I don’t have a Denon but a Marantz with MultiXT32 and playing music though Audyssey, using the pre-outs into my Electrocompaniet in HT mode sounds remarkably worse than playing the same music but uncorrected from my DAC/streamer into the same amp.

I checked with UMIK and on paper it does measure better with Audyssey. A bit, it’s not a huge difference. But listening is a different story, it sounds mushy and unrealistic through Audyssey. The instruments (sax, cymbals) lose the natural sound.

For video content however it’s a different story. Audyssey clearly makes a positive difference in terms of the cohesiveness of the surround field, which sounds flat and lifeless without it engaged.

That’s my experience.
I've no doubt you are hearing real differences in this situation. My statement of "always" was definitely incorrect. As I often say, "absolutes are almost never true" :p.

"I don’t know about that. I don’t have a Denon but a Marantz with MultiXT32 and playing music though Audyssey, using the pre-outs into my Electrocompaniet in HT mode sounds remarkably worse than playing the same music but uncorrected from my DAC/streamer into the same amp."

Bolded is the reason. Playing with and without Audyssey will make a real difference that will hold under blind conditions. Very doubtful it has anything to do with the DAC. The fact that that you prefer the uncorrected response has everything to do with Audyssey messing up the sound, and nothing to do with the external DAC giving you more transparency. This is quite common with Audyssey in my experience. Unless you do some serious tweaking, Audyssey often does more harm than good.

I think one of the great points you made in your post was that you measured both situations and saw that there was a real measurable difference. I'm mostly speaking of situations where there is no measurable difference, yet people still "hear" differences.

BTW, I was talking about amps in the post you quoted, not DACs, though DACs are even less likely to make an audible difference(imo).

My assertion is not that there will be no difference in sound quality, but rather that there will be no real audible difference in sound quality that would hold under blind conditions. The human brain will ensure that one "hears" a difference, but that difference is unlikely to be an actual acoustical difference. Now, I do think some actual difference may exist in certain circumstances, especially with very difficult loads. However, unless there is a serious problem with one of the units(or additional processing), or one of the units simply can't handle the load, the difference (imo) will be very small. By small, I mean probably smaller than the difference between the left and right speaker of the same model. No doubt my right and left speakers sound slightly different, but I don't stress over it, and I don't buy multiple models of the same speaker just to get better sample. My view on amps is similar, only the difference is even smaller there.

This is all excluding the situation where one needs additional power, or one has an expensive Wilson with a 1 ohm load ;). There are certain situations like that where upgrading to a better amp makes real sense imo. Personally, I almost always go for an external amp, but for different reasons. I don't expect to hear any real differences at the levels I listen, but I like the idea of having a good amp that will last me many years and through many AVR cycles. I like the idea of keeping the processing and amplification separate for that reason. On a tight budget though, I wouldn't spend part of that budget on an external amp or DAC. I'd probably get the cheapest AVR with pre-outs I could get, with the intention of buying the external amp later.

I've never done a blind DAC test, but I tend to think most DACs are even more "perfect" than amps, and even less likely to make any sort of audible difference :). I think DACs should really only be bought based on feature set/connection needs. Human brain does the same thing with DACs, though, so "real" differences will undoubtedly be heard under sighted conditions ;).

As always, this is just my opinion so far. My mind can change with new evidence.
 

bo_knows

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I've no doubt you are hearing real differences in this situation. My statement of "always" was definitely incorrect. As I often say, "absolutes are almost never true" :p.

"I don’t know about that. I don’t have a Denon but a Marantz with MultiXT32 and playing music though Audyssey, using the pre-outs into my Electrocompaniet in HT mode sounds remarkably worse than playing the same music but uncorrected from my DAC/streamer into the same amp."

Bolded is the reason. Playing with and without Audyssey will make a real difference that will hold under blind conditions. Very doubtful it has anything to do with the DAC. The fact that that you prefer the uncorrected response has everything to do with Audyssey messing up the sound, and nothing to do with the external DAC giving you more transparency. This is quite common with Audyssey in my experience. Unless you do some serious tweaking, Audyssey often does more harm than good.

I think one of the great points you made in your post was that you measured both situations and saw that there was a real measurable difference. I'm mostly speaking of situations where there is no measurable difference, yet people still "hear" differences.

BTW, I was talking about amps in the post you quoted, not DACs, though DACs are even less likely to make an audible difference(imo).

My assertion is not that there will be no difference in sound quality, but rather that there will be no real audible difference in sound quality that would hold under blind conditions. The human brain will ensure that one "hears" a difference, but that difference is unlikely to be an actual acoustical difference. Now, I do think some actual difference may exist in certain circumstances, especially with very difficult loads. However, unless there is a serious problem with one of the units(or additional processing), or one of the units simply can't handle the load, the difference (imo) will be very small. By small, I mean probably smaller than the difference between the left and right speaker of the same model. No doubt my right and left speakers sound slightly different, but I don't stress over it, and I don't buy multiple models of the same speaker just to get better sample. My view on amps is similar, only the difference is even smaller there.

This is all excluding the situation where one needs additional power, or one has an expensive Wilson with a 1 ohm load ;). There are certain situations like that where upgrading to a better amp makes real sense imo. Personally, I almost always go for an external amp, but for different reasons. I don't expect to hear any real differences at the levels I listen, but I like the idea of having a good amp that will last me many years and through many AVR cycles. I like the idea of keeping the processing and amplification separate for that reason. On a tight budget though, I wouldn't spend part of that budget on an external amp or DAC. I'd probably get the cheapest AVR with pre-outs I could get, with the intention of buying the external amp later.

I've never done a blind DAC test, but I tend to think most DACs are even more "perfect" than amps, and even less likely to make any sort of audible difference :). I think DACs should really only be bought based on feature set/connection needs. Human brain does the same thing with DACs, though, so "real" differences will undoubtedly be heard under sighted conditions ;).

As always, this is just my opinion so far. My mind can change with new evidence.
Without looking at someone's room pictures it's hard to see how successful Audyseey will be. As mentioned here many times before, Audyssey works best in conjunction with the room treatments and good MLP (main listening position) to start with. Use the app to cut off correction FR below 500Hz, this way mid and high frequencies are untouched and may be a little less transparent than pure direct mode.
 

symphara

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Without looking at someone's room pictures it's hard to see how successful Audyseey will be. As mentioned here many times before, Audyssey works best in conjunction with the room treatments and good MLP (main listening position) to start with. Use the app to cut off correction FR below 500Hz, this way mid and high frequencies are untouched and may be a little less transparent than pure direct mode.
Unfortunately my Marantz is the last pre-app version (7010 I think). I would love to limit it Audyssey to bass only and I suspect this would improve the situation.

Like I said, Audyssey is very successful at correcting surround sound for video content. So much so that I can detect immediately when it’s off, which sometimes the Marantz does when changing inputs (my wife is amused by this, she thinks it all sounds the same).
I tried Anthem’s ARC and it was even more successful. But for music, ARC offered some degradation while Audyssey is a total disappointment. I did not expect it to be so.

Just my absolutely subjective opinion.
 

Chromatischism

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One more thing - if I was looking to buy an AVR-based system sometime this year, I'd probably wait a bit for reviews and measurements of the upcoming Pioneer and Onkyo AVRs to start coming in, as some of them will have a version of Dirac Live for room correction.
They will, but as these are budget units, and the Dirac license is so expensive, that makes it even more of a budget unit. We don't know what they're paying for volume licensing, but we know what the individual licenses cost. A $999 AVR with Dirac could be a $500-600 AVR hardware-wise. Therefore I've been cautioning people on their expectations for these units.
 

Chromatischism

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Without looking at someone's room pictures it's hard to see how successful Audyseey will be. As mentioned here many times before, Audyssey works best in conjunction with the room treatments and good MLP (main listening position) to start with. Use the app to cut off correction FR below 500Hz, this way mid and high frequencies are untouched and may be a little less transparent than pure direct mode.
That is a good approach to take, but I would argue it will become more transparent than pure direct. When I use it to linearize my bass, mids and highs become much clearer. Equalizing the bass frequencies, as small a range as that is, has an outsized effect on sound quality.
 
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Thread Starter #149
The SB-2000 pro has a 3-band parametric eq. I believe the Rythmik plate amp offers a 1-band. This may be important if the op doesn’t end up using room correction.
I am sold on the SVS subs even though they might be a bit lower performer or a bit more expensive but the fact that they are in stock, widely available and I can simply pick one up from Best Buy makes a huge difference to me. Plus their great customer service
 

Chromatischism

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Unfortunately my Marantz is the last pre-app version (7010 I think). I would love to limit it Audyssey to bass only and I suspect this would improve the situation.

Like I said, Audyssey is very successful at correcting surround sound for video content. So much so that I can detect immediately when it’s off, which sometimes the Marantz does when changing inputs (my wife is amused by this, she thinks it all sounds the same).
I tried Anthem’s ARC and it was even more successful. But for music, ARC offered some degradation while Audyssey is a total disappointment. I did not expect it to be so.

Just my absolutely subjective opinion.
I am a very vocal proponent of Audyssey. However, I try to make it clear that it is, in many systems, best to limit the frequency range. I don't agree with its in-room target curve. I believe it makes a lot of speakers brighter by boosting the highs. I do not think this is the best approach so I always limit the frequency range.
 

symphara

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I am a very vocal proponent of Audyssey. However, I try to make it clear that it is, in many systems, best to limit the frequency range. I don't agree with its in-room target curve. I believe it makes a lot of speakers brighter by boosting the highs. I do not think this is the best approach so I always limit the frequency range.
I detected no brightness when using Audyssey, it just didn’t sound right to me (for music). The effect isn’t subtle either. I can’t limit the frequency, the app doesn’t support my receiver, even though it has the latest Audyssey EQ type, as far as I know.

If I were the OP, unless I needed an AV receiver, I’d go with separates or active speakers.
 
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Thread Starter #152
Since you are mainly interested in music, look into Auro 3D upmixing, available in the Denon 4700.
Denon 4700 is about $1600, less if refurb but may be hard to find for a bit. Add Qty 9 JBL Stage A130, frequently on sale for $180/pair (consider adding 1 resistor to the crossover to flatten the midrange bump per the review thread, call it another $20 for all nine). Add Qty 2 Dayton 1500 subs for $500.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x4700-avr-review-updated.14493/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/jbl-stage-a130-review-speaker.18260/
Thank you for the comment. A few issues I have with these option though. Movies are not my main priority and this Auro 3D thing does not justify the price difference between the 4700 and 3700 for me. I rather have the cheapest AVR with a good room correction and just 2-3 channels audio with pre outs than a high end AVR with these features. For the speakers, which is the most important part of a system to me (that is what supposed to last the longest in a system) I rather spend more to get the best that I afford. As a beginner, If I could manage to integrate a sub or two in my system correctly that doesn't sound horrible I call it a success. Adding a resistor to flatten the midrange is defiantly not my thing. No offense.
 

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That is a good approach to take, but I would argue it will become more transparent than pure direct. When I use it to linearize my bass, mids and highs become much clearer. Equalizing the bass frequencies, as small a range as that is, has an outsized effect on sound quality.
Agree. :) Muddy bass will cover the mids and highs.
 

symphara

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Thank you for the comment. A few issues I have with these option though. Movies are not my main priority and this Auro 3D thing does not justify the price difference between the 4700 and 3700 for me. I rather have the cheapest AVR with a good room correction and just 2-3 channels audio with pre outs than a high end AVR with these features. For the speakers, which is the most important part of a system to me (that is what supposed to last the longest in a system) I rather spend more to get the best that I afford. As a beginner, If I could manage to integrate a sub or two in my system correctly that doesn't sound horrible I call it a success. Adding a resistor to flatten the midrange is defiantly not my thing. No offense.
You should definitely spend the most money on the speakers. It’s going to make the most difference to the sound quality.
 
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Thread Starter #155
Well you didn’t mention “speakers can’t be ugly” on your list of requirements! Although the gray genelecs can look good as part of an industrial decor and the white ones could work if you’re leaning modern. But otherwise you would need to add acoustically transparent cloth to conceal the unsightliness.
Well. The funny thing is I showed my wife the Genelecs last night and I was expecting a super hard "No No No !" but surprisingly she said " Aww look at those dumb looking speakers" [You never know the ladies]
 

Chromatischism

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We want sound quality, and bonus points if the speaker doesn't look too bad.

The spouse may want something that looks nicer.

When there is a spousal acceptance issue, that's when you get them involved in helping you pick a better-looking speaker, where they will develop the understanding that generally you have to pay more for that. So that's when you get their approval to get more expensive speakers. :)
 

richard12511

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I've definitely had both good and bad results with Audyssey. The good results have almost always come with limiting correction below 300Hz. Don't think I've ever had a positive full range correction with Audyssey.

Dirac is a bit better and more customizable, so waiting for those Onkyo units may be worthwhile. I've even had good results with Dirac letting it do full range correction on neutral speakers(though I've also had negative results doing that).

YPAO has almost always been negative :D.

I'm also still a big fan of just using REW to generate the filters.

1.Upload the target curve you want in your profile settings
2. Click on the measurement you want to correct, then click "EQ" on the top bar
3. Set the correction type "Full Range"
4. Move the target curve up or down so it best fits your measurements
5. Set the max gain to 0 and allow narrow filters below 200Hz
6. Limit the correction range to what you think works best for your room(generally 200-500Hz)
7. Match filters to target
8. Repeat for the other channel(make sure you set the same target level)
9. Close the window and do File > Export filters > Export Filters as .wav > select stereo > put left on left channel, right on right channel > save

I've had generally really positive results with those settings, but YRMV.
 

richard12511

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Thank you for the comment. A few issues I have with these option though. Movies are not my main priority and this Auro 3D thing does not justify the price difference between the 4700 and 3700 for me. I rather have the cheapest AVR with a good room correction and just 2-3 channels audio with pre outs than a high end AVR with these features. For the speakers, which is the most important part of a system to me (that is what supposed to last the longest in a system) I rather spend more to get the best that I afford. As a beginner, If I could manage to integrate a sub or two in my system correctly that doesn't sound horrible I call it a success. Adding a resistor to flatten the midrange is defiantly not my thing. No offense.
The AVR will only let you use Auro3D if you have *4 height channels, so I wouldn't worry about that.
 
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Thread Starter #160
We want sound quality, and bonus points if the speaker doesn't look too bad.

The spouse may want something that looks nicer.

When there is a spousal acceptance issue, that's when you get them involved in helping you pick a better-looking speaker, where they will develop the understanding that generally you have to pay more for that. So that's when you get their approval to get more expensive speakers. :)
That is what exactly happened today :D when I was showing her this thread, AVRs, Speakers and describing options to her
 

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