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New member - 2 channel room correction advice

JohnW

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New member here, please forgive me and move if this is the wrong location for my questions. I am shopping for a new receiver or amplifier for a simple two channel system, but I want room correction (Audyssey, Dirac, ARC or others) as part of the setup. I would appreciate any & all suggestions. I mostly listen to music but use the system for TV audio.

Current setup:
- new KLH Model 5 speakers, recently replaced my Dahlquist DQ8’s which I owned for decades. No subwoofer or surround sound is planned.
-older Denon AVR-1300W multi channel receiver that includes Audyssey MultiEQ-XT. I’m having multiple problems with this unit and want to replace.
-sources are Blue Rays, CD, and increasingly streaming Apple Music and Spotify through an older Apple TV. Considering a Tidal subscription for higher quality audio. Also plan to purchase a new 4K Apple TV as my hub for both audio and video apps.

Background: I am a music fan but not an audiophile and am struggling to make sense of choices. For years I listened to a simple 2 channel system, but at my prior home, my family room which was my listening room had terrible acoustics ; at that time I bought the Denon in order to get Audyssey which was a huge improvement across the board. Now at my newest home, my family room isn’t as bad from an acoustic standpoint but I still prefer the sound with Audyssey on, especially in the bass frequencies.

I would like to be able to tweak response curves which seems to be doable with the higher end MultiXT32 Audyssey, or with Dirac or Anthem ARC. But it seems like buying another multi channel AV receiver is the easiest way to get these programs without either a complicated setup, or a very expensive amp (Lyngdorf, ARCAM, etc.).

It seems silly to buy a receiver with 7 or 9 channels and only to be using two of them, just to get room correction software, which is what I did with the Denon. But I do like the easy eARC HDMI connections between Apple TV box, a receiver, and my Samsung TV….and this seems to be available only on AV receivers (?).

I would like to keep this to @$1500 or less if possible. I am aware of but not familiar with MiniDSP units, not sure how that might work in conjunction with Apple TV box and with video content? I’m hoping for as simple setup, with as few remotes as possible.

Currently considering:
Denon AVR X3800H - on sale for @$1400. It has MultiEqXT32. Also lots of unneeded channels.

Onkyo TX NR7100 - on sale for @$800, down from $1300. Has Dirac Live. Giant box with 9 channels.

Anthem MRX 540 - 5 channel receiver. Above my budget at $1800. Anthem room correction seems well reviewed.


I wish I could find a simple two channel amp with room correction and eARC HDMI connections. Any suggestions as to what to consider? Other models or setups that I should be looking at? All advice is welcome. Thanks
 

DVDdoug

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It seems silly to buy a receiver with 7 or 9 channels and only to be using two of them, just to get room correction software, which is what I did with the Denon.
Sometimes that's the most-practical, most-economical solution. You get a LOT of features with an AVR!

-sources are Blue Rays,
Note that without a surround decoder and a separate subwoofer you don't get the "point one" LFE channel. It's not included in the downmix. Of course you still get the "regular bass" from the other channels. Bass management can optionally mix the bass from the other channels with the LFE and re-route it to the sub, but it doesn't work the other way around.
 

Putter

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Sometimes that's the most-practical, most-economical solution. You get a LOT of features with an AVR!


Note that without a surround decoder and a separate subwoofer you don't get the "point one" LFE channel. It's not included in the downmix. Of course you still get the "regular bass" from the other channels. Bass management can optionally mix the bass from the other channels with the LFE and re-route it to the sub, but it doesn't work the other way around.
Come again. While I'm not doubting, the implication is that everything below 120 or 80? hz is omitted when using a 2 channel receiver on a multichannel recording without LFE processing? Personally it's not a problem for me because I would think of listening to multichannel CD or DVD or BluRay with anything other than a multichannel receiver.
 
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JohnW

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Given how much I have appreciated Audyssey, I am at a loss as to why room correction software isn’t available in simple two channel gear. There is a Lynddorf amp that seems to be exactly what I would want, with their proprietary RoomPerfect room correction…but at $2200 it’s completely out of the question. To get top of the line room correction software it seems you have to buy the biggest, most complicated AVR’s. I wish there was something simpler. Or am I missing something?
 

jhaider

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Given how much I have appreciated Audyssey, I am at a loss as to why room correction software isn’t available in simple two channel gear. There is a Lynddorf amp that seems to be exactly what I would want, with their proprietary RoomPerfect room correction…but at $2200 it’s completely out of the question.
TDAI-1120 is a nice box, but if you're not running subs you can go simpler. Why not AppleTV into your TV, optical out to a minIDSP Flex with Dirac or even (super-cheap) the old MartinLogan Unison (Anthem ARC Genesis 2-channel) and out to an amp, and done?
 

Timcognito

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JohnW

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TDAI-1120 is a nice box, but if you're not running subs you can go simpler. Why not AppleTV into your TV, optical out to a minIDSP Flex with Dirac or even (super-cheap) the old MartinLogan Unison (Anthem ARC Genesis 2-channel) and out to an amp, and done?
This is the kind of help I need. Stupid question: in that scenario, how do I control volume? Can an Apple TV remote control a two channel amp? A universal remote? I want to avoid multiple remotes as much as possible. Thanks
 

amper42

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New member here, please forgive me and move if this is the wrong location for my questions. I am shopping for a new receiver or amplifier for a simple two channel system, but I want room correction (Audyssey, Dirac, ARC or others) as part of the setup. I would appreciate any & all suggestions. I mostly listen to music but use the system for TV audio.

Current setup:
- new KLH Model 5 speakers, recently replaced my Dahlquist DQ8’s which I owned for decades. No subwoofer or surround sound is planned.
-older Denon AVR-1300W multi channel receiver that includes Audyssey MultiEQ-XT. I’m having multiple problems with this unit and want to replace.
-sources are Blue Rays, CD, and increasingly streaming Apple Music and Spotify through an older Apple TV. Considering a Tidal subscription for higher quality audio. Also plan to purchase a new 4K Apple TV as my hub for both audio and video apps.

Background: I am a music fan but not an audiophile and am struggling to make sense of choices. For years I listened to a simple 2 channel system, but at my prior home, my family room which was my listening room had terrible acoustics ; at that time I bought the Denon in order to get Audyssey which was a huge improvement across the board. Now at my newest home, my family room isn’t as bad from an acoustic standpoint but I still prefer the sound with Audyssey on, especially in the bass frequencies.

I would like to be able to tweak response curves which seems to be doable with the higher end MultiXT32 Audyssey, or with Dirac or Anthem ARC. But it seems like buying another multi channel AV receiver is the easiest way to get these programs without either a complicated setup, or a very expensive amp (Lyngdorf, ARCAM, etc.).

It seems silly to buy a receiver with 7 or 9 channels and only to be using two of them, just to get room correction software, which is what I did with the Denon. But I do like the easy eARC HDMI connections between Apple TV box, a receiver, and my Samsung TV….and this seems to be available only on AV receivers (?).

I would like to keep this to @$1500 or less if possible. I am aware of but not familiar with MiniDSP units, not sure how that might work in conjunction with Apple TV box and with video content? I’m hoping for as simple setup, with as few remotes as possible.

Currently considering:
Denon AVR X3800H - on sale for @$1400. It has MultiEqXT32. Also lots of unneeded channels.

Onkyo TX NR7100 - on sale for @$800, down from $1300. Has Dirac Live. Giant box with 9 channels.

Anthem MRX 540 - 5 channel receiver. Above my budget at $1800. Anthem room correction seems well reviewed.


I wish I could find a simple two channel amp with room correction and eARC HDMI connections. Any suggestions as to what to consider? Other models or setups that I should be looking at? All advice is welcome. Thanks

I would recommend the RME ADI-2 DAC FS along with a 2 channel Purifi amp. The Boxem 4215/2E or a Buckeye amp. I find the loudness option on the RME ADI-2 is wonderful and if you desire additional EQ it's available too. The ADI-2 DAC FS beats my AVR's by a mile when paired with a Purifi amp. The ADI-2/Purifi combo uses less than 30W to fill the room with music. That's about 5x better energy efficiency than any of the AVR's and sounds cleaner to my ears. If stereo is your mission, the ADI-2 DAC FS is an amazing tool.
 

JeremyFife

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This does seem like a hi-fi space where there are big gaps: affordable room correction, HDMI connectivity.

It's still AVR territory really. The new WiiM products are interesting but the room correction is not yet released so is untested.

One of the Dennons sounds sensible; good track record and features. miniDSP units are nice too, with probably more adjusting/fiddling than the AVR route.

Hopefully the market will catch up soon
 

amper42

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I have the Denon 4700 with a 9.2 configuration for movies. I A/B'd the Denon 4700 setup against the RME ADI-2 DAC FS with the Boxem Purifi amp for stereo only. I much prefer the ADI-2 setup on many levels.

1. The RME offers enhanced clarity of sound to my ears and more control.

2. The RME ADI-2 DAC FS uses 6W while idle. The Boxem 4215/E2 Purifi uses 14W while idle and automatically drops to less than .5W when no music is detected for 10 min. Compare that to my Denon 4700 using 132W while idle when not in full pre-amp mode. In full pre-amp mode the Denon internal amps are disengaged and power use drops to 46W. The RME ADI-2 is a clear energy efficiency champ over any AVR.

3. The RME and Purifi amp use XLR connectors which offer secure connections and significantly higher gain options than the Denon.

4. I prefer the RME software Remote application and using the Loudness configuration option compared to Audyssey. I don't mind using REW and the UMIK to help tune EQ and the RME loudness options allow me to tweak the music just the way I want it. With RME it's easy to modify and listen to the changes in real-time.

5. The foot print of the ADI-2 and Boxem Purifi amp is small compared to the Denon 4700. My Denon 4700 requires fans to keep it warm to the touch. The RME/ADI-2 doesn't need a fan and stays cool even after long listening sessions.

6. SINAD is significantly higher with the Purifi/RME. I don't have a noise issue with either one but the details of the music sound cleaner to me with the RME/Purifi combo.

For home theatre the Denon is fine. But when I want a detailed stereo listening session with options for 20 EQ presets, Loudness fine tuning capability, high gain, crossed and easy access filter options via software remote the ADI-2 DAC FS offers a whole new level of control.
 
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JohnW

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I have the Denon 4700 with a 9.2 configuration for movies. I A/B'd the Denon 4700 setup against the RME ADI-2 DAC FS with the Boxem Purifi amp for stereo only. I much prefer the ADI-2 setup on many levels.

1. The RME offers enhanced clarity of sound to my ears and more control.

2. The RME ADI-2 DAC FS uses 6W while idle. The Boxem 4215/E2 Purifi uses 14W while idle and automatically drops to less than .5W when no music is detected for 10 min. Compare that to my Denon 4700 using 132W while idle when not in full pre-amp mode. In full pre-amp mode the Denon internal amps are disengaged and power use drops to 46W. The RME ADI-2 is a clear energy efficiency champ over any AVR.

3. The RME and Purifi amp use XLR connectors which offer secure connections and significantly higher gain options than the Denon.

4. I prefer the RME software Remote application and using the Loudness configuration option compared to Audyssey. I don't mind using REW and the UMIK to help tune EQ and the RME loudness options allow me to tweak the music just the way I want it. With RME it's easy to modify and listen to the changes in real-time.

5. The foot print of the ADI-2 and Boxem Purifi amp is small compared to the Denon 4700. My Denon 4700 requires fans to keep it warm to the touch. The RME/ADI-2 doesn't need a fan and stays cool even after long listening sessions.

6. SINAD is significantly higher with the Purifi/RME. I don't have a noise issue with either one but the details of the music sound cleaner to me with the RME/Purifi combo.

For home theatre the Denon is fine. But when I want a detailed stereo listening session with options for 20 EQ presets, Loudness fine tuning capability, high gain, crossed and easy access filter options via software remote the ADI-2 DAC FS offers a whole new level of control.
Thank you for responding, interesting read about these products of which I was not familiar. But the RME is $1300 and the Bocxem amp is more than that…this combo would almost double my budget, correct?

Also I would like to stick with room correction that is straightforward and proven from a brand I can research. I may want room curves that I may tweak slightly but I want this as “plug & play” as possible versus the RME which is more of a digital equalizer correct?
 
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JohnW

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I found the NAD C 389 BluOS as another 2 channel amp with Dirac. But $2000 price, and more limited HDMI connections than the typical AVR. I really don’t want a giant black box 9 channel AVR but it may be my simplest solution in my budget. Any other suggestions appreciated.
 

bodhi

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I found the NAD C 389 BluOS as another 2 channel amp with Dirac. But $2000 price, and more limited HDMI connections than the typical AVR. I really don’t want a giant black box 9 channel AVR but it may be my simplest solution in my budget. Any other suggestions appreciated.
This has been discussed forever. AVR (Denon because of Dynamic EQ) is the best affordable option if you just want to be done with it and focus on listening to something and/or focusing on things that actually matter as in speakers, subwoofers, placements and acoustics.

If tweaking things is enjoyable to you in itself, then you can go with other options. Same if you want to believe that there are audible difference with "better" separates, most here really don't, but you do you.

Disclaimer: I went with Denon after pondering for quite a while. Not optimal, but close enough that I don't need to think about it ever again.
 

Waxx

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Thank you for responding, interesting read about these products of which I was not familiar. But the RME is $1300 and the Bocxem amp is more than that…this combo would almost double my budget, correct?

Also I would like to stick with room correction that is straightforward and proven from a brand I can research. I may want room curves that I may tweak slightly but I want this as “plug & play” as possible versus the RME which is more of a digital equalizer correct?
You can have that cheaper also. Use the RME ADI with an cheaper NCore amp, something like the Audiophonics AP300-S250NC (550€) based on the NCore NC252MP module. It's not Purifi quality, but the difference is so small that we can't hear it in reality. You could also replace the RME ADI with the much cheaper MiniDSP Flex with the Dirac option (850€), even if you only use 2 of the 4 output channels. It's a good preamp/dac/DSP in one device.

 
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JohnW

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This has been discussed forever. AVR (Denon because of Dynamic EQ) is the best affordable option if you just want to be done with it and focus on listening to something and/or focusing on things that actually matter as in speakers, subwoofers, placements and acoustics.

If tweaking things is enjoyable to you in itself, then you can go with other options. Same if you want to believe that there are audible difference with "better" separates, most here really don't, but you do you.

Disclaimer: I went with Denon after pondering for quite a while. Not optimal, but close enough that I don't need to think about it ever again.
There may be someone who can hear meaningful differences between amps, but it’s not me. I don’t have any concerns about the sound quality of an AVR. I wish they weren’t so big. And I feel like I’m paying for channels and features I don’t need, just to g room correction software in a convenient, easy to use system.

I will say I’m on my second Denon AVR that has had problems in the past 10 years. The “online music” feature no longer works, nor does volume on the remote. I’ve hoped that a simpler two channel amp might be more robust and reliable, given fewer channels and features crammed in the box. But I’m leaning towards buying another Denon whil it’s on sale.
 
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JohnW

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I found another option coming soon, as an “all in one” solution for 2 channel audio and video:

List price $1,099, I’m assuming the BluOS module with Dirac Live will add @$500 to the price?

At this point I’m thinking this new NAD vs the Denon AVR-X3800H. I really want a one box solution. Here’s how I’m weighing things, please let me know your opinions:

NAD C 379
Pro’s:
-Smaller , more elegant appearance
-Class D amp will run cooler
-Dirac Live - I don’t know if I will like this more or less than Audyssey XT32
-Better build quality? Possibly more reliable?
-Better DAC? (I don’t know if I would hear a difference)

Con’s:
-Has eARC HDMI but this is the only HDMI input. I would need to connect Apple TV 4K, and possibly a game player, etc to my Samsung S95D TV instead of the NAD. The Samsung has a separate input box so that I don’t have to run cables to the panel, but it does mean that I have to use the clunky Samsung OS more often.
-Am I overpaying for fewer features and connectivity?
-Dirac but no Audyssey. The Denon can have both if I want to pay extra for Dirac.


Denon AVR X3800H
Pro’s:
-cheaper on sale
-Audyssey has Dynamic Volume, a feature I use all the time that really improves low volume listening IMO. (Perhaps I could save a low volume loudness curve in Dirac instead?)
- more features and connectivity, lots of HDMI inputs.

Cons:
-Big ugly box will need to sit on top of my console because these Denons run so hot
-unit didn’t test well here on ASR
-7 channels I’ll never use
-possibly less reliable long term?

EDIT: one other difference, BluOS versus HEOS for multi room connections…I won’t use this initially but I may want some powered speakers on my patio at some point. I don’t know if there’s an advantage between these systems.

I would appreciate all opinions between these two. Thank you for all feedback!
 
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Eric Natural

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I'm just doing a 2 channel set-up similar to the OP's vision, this is for my stereo room as video/Atmos happens in the living room. Here's what I've come-up with so far : Airplay2 streamer and CD & phono sources > miniDSP Flexbox/Dirac/as a Pre via rca's > Fosi V3 amp > sub & speaks
 

Chrispy

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Come again. While I'm not doubting, the implication is that everything below 120 or 80? hz is omitted when using a 2 channel receiver on a multichannel recording without LFE processing? Personally it's not a problem for me because I would think of listening to multichannel CD or DVD or BluRay with anything other than a multichannel receiver.
The LFE isn't the same thing as bass in the L/R channels....
 

ddaudio

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I would like to be able to tweak response curves which seems to be doable with the higher end MultiXT32 Audyssey

The cheaper Denon receivers have the more basic MultEq XT which seems to do a good job in the bass in my room with my X1700H Denon, and the $/£20 app still allows you to adjust the curve and set a frequency cutoff point for correction. It's not massively powerful but it's adequate for my smallish room (5m x 4m) with not very efficient speakers. If your current Denon 1300 is powerful enough for you then it should be OK.

Biggest limitation is inputs: only 2 optical and 2 analogue (+ phono stage) and no coaxial digital.

Still far more channels than you require, but you could think of that as a bit of current in reserve when driving only 2 speakers.

In the UK I got my unit with a free 5 year warranty, don't know if US retailers offer that.

BTW, if configured without a subwoofer, any .1 LFE input channel (for instance from a blue ray) will be fed to the front L/R speakers.
 

Verig

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For easy and pretty Lyngdorf. For more advanced use and more power NAD M10. It has two sub outs and you can adjust Dirac curve however you like. The app works nicely but you can tweak with the pc software like I did setting up. After that you don't need it.
Both are reasonably priced used.

If you don't like to buy used then C379 is nice. You only need one hdmi. Much nicer that way too for my liking, much less hassle. I have M10 set up like that with AppleTV 4K, consoles etc.

BluOS has long support and it works great. Best experience I've had.
 
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