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Onkyo getting acquired

Webninja

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#2
Hard to keep track of these mergers, but it sure seems like only a few companies now own the all the audio brands.

Samsung and this Sound United cover the majority of known brands. I'm not sure how to feel about it.
 

617

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#3
Samsung and this Sound United cover the majority of known brands. I'm not sure how to feel about it.
With the growing popularity of sound bars, headphones and Sonos type systems, one wonders if the home theater era is coming to a close.

As far as how to feel about it - it's not like these companies were really producing great products for audio enthusiasts to begin with. I have a denon AVR, but I almost got an Integra or a Yamaha. Do we really need 200 AVR models? When I was shopping around for AVRs, none of them had any really distinguishing features apart from maybe room correction systems, not that the differences between them are well documented. The difference between 80 and 100 watts is not significant, the DACs all probably outperform the amps, they all have 4k video and a million audio connections, and 100% of my video consumption is YoutubeTV for nba games and Netflix/HBO for everything else so I don't really care about all these surround formats and 13 speaker setups.
 

Webninja

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#4
With the growing popularity of sound bars, headphones and Sonos type systems, one wonders if the home theater era is coming to a close.
This is a good point, and I have to admit that a recent experience watching GOT at a friend's house with a sound bar, it was close to my 10 year old mid-fi 5.1.

I agree that the market is too saturated, so maybe these mergers aren't all bad.
 

Jaimo

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#5
Gotta agree that the value of big ass 55.5 (or whatever the flavour of the month Dolby marketers are promoting) receivers is questionable.

My wife who tolerated Quad ESL57’s and Maggie panels refused to let me add yet more speakers to my 5.1 system and it seems that Dolby’s go-to-market strategy of going from 5.1 to 7.1 to 9.2 to 55.5 or some other crazy speaker configuration is fatally flawed. This explains the growth of sound bars and single box “sound projection” pseudo surround systems - people want simplicity.

I now have two Onkyo receivers collecting dust in my basement and even though the newer unit was very highly rated, I could not justify building out a full blow HT system and went back to a simple stereo configuration with active speakers.
 

Sal1950

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#6
With the growing popularity of sound bars, headphones and Sonos type systems, one wonders if the home theater era is coming to a close.
No more so than the serious stereo system is coming to and end.
HT never had the power the stereo market had in the 70-80s, and always suffered much, much worse from the wife acceptance issues.
But no sound bar will ever replace any decent discreet 5.1 system any more than a soundbar or Sonos will replace a good stereo. If your expectations and quality concerns are filled by a much lower standard, you might be happy with just about anything. But the suggestion that a soundbar could replace my 5.2.4 rig is laughable in the same sense that one could replace a JBL M2 or D&D 8C stereo.
Never really understood the wife acceptance thing anyhow. I let her do anything she wanted with the house, but the livingroom was mine to populate with any media gear I desired, period.
 

Blumlein 88

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#7
Heck 5.1 has never had any serious market penetration. Lots of people by the AVRs and often end up with just stereo anyway.

I think rather than going for a soundbar, I'd just drop back to mono. Maybe have one K-horn, or Altec VOT and hang a projection screen across the corner to hide it all.
 

Webninja

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#8
I think for the less serious listener, let's say someone use to TV speakers, the sound bar with a sub can be a nice step up. Especially the ease of use and low cost of entry.

I didn't spend enough time setting up my 5.1, as it's temporary, but subjectively, I didn't notice a big difference watching GOT on my friend's sounds bar. Now I wonder what HBO is outputting for audio, maybe it's the source material that is the limiter.

Overall point is, the majority will be satisfied with a sound bar, and we should see a continued simplification of the market.
 

JJB70

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#9
I think that true surround set ups are just as niche as the traditional stereo hi-fi set up nowadays. The market has decisively shifted (for the time being at least) in favour of simplicity and convenience in the form of wireless speakers and soundbars. Very few people I know now have a stereo set up, and virtually nobody I know in person as opposed to on audio forums has a true surround set up. Audio gear has become commoditised and although most audiophiles will never admit it I think there are some very good soundbars and wireless speakers available. I've listened to a few soundbars over the last year or so and in all honesty found the sound to be more than acceptable and in some cases genuinely very good, and I can understand why most people have dumped traditional audio gear.
 

617

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#10
I'd contend it's never been a better time to be a 2 channel enthusiast. The Technics sl1200 is back in production, we have hires streaming, cardioid active speakers, Quad is making electrostatics, Cessaro is making horns, our DACs are amazing, great phono carts coming out, SET kits, Altec 604e reproductions, new high tech horn flares and waveguides, 100 dollar dsp boxes. 2 channel may be an enthusiast driven market but it seems to be flourishing. Who knows, maybe home theater will get better. The AVR was always a compromised product anyway.
 

Willem

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#11
My compromise has always been to connect my television and Bluray player to my 2 channel system with big Quad 2805 speakers and a good subwoofer. The combination sounds a lot more convincing that an AV system with multiple smaller speakers.
 

617

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#12
My compromise has always been to connect my television and Bluray player to my 2 channel system with big Quad 2805 speakers and a good subwoofer. The combination sounds a lot more convincing that an AV system with multiple smaller speakers.
Yeah I mean I watch Frasier a lot I don't need holophonic object based projectile mapping surround
 

Jaimo

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#14
To JJB70’s point, we have a HK aura speaker and nothing else in our lounge. That’s as far as we are prepared to go, favouring face to face conversation over the distraction of a TV or Stereo. The TV and stereo are relegated to our upstairs family room where we go to watch TV or listen to music.

The Aura speaker fills the room with amazing well balanced background sound and does a better job at this task than any stereo I’ve owned. It supports Bluetooth, Roon and has an Alexa connection via the aux port for Spotify. My wife and kids have taken to using this with great ease. This is more than any of my Mid/Hi-Fi Systems are capable of.
 
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Sal1950

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#15
To JJB70’s point, we have a HK aura speaker and nothing else in our lounge. That’s as far as we are prepared to go, favouring face to face conversation over the distraction of a TV or Stereo. The TV and stereo are relegated to our upstairs family room where we go to watch TV or listen to music.
But what is the overall point? You have more than one room available so your good media stuff is in the "family" room.
You didn't give up the good stuff in favor of a HK Aura speaker, only relegated it somewhere else.
I've got a nice little HK bluetooth speaker in the bedroom, but I wouldn't use it to watch a movie or listen to a high quality recording. It's only there to provide background noise.

Yeah I mean I watch Frasier a lot
That about says it all. LOL
 

Jaimo

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#16
The point is we don’t have 6 to 12 speakers dotted all over any of our rooms and powered by a ginormous receiver. In fact, we don’t even use a receiver- we are very happy with a stereo pair of active speakers and a futuristic looking BT speaker and the two Onkyo receivers we own have long been decommissioned. If this is the future norm, it does not bode well for companies that sell multi-channel HT Systems.
 

Sal1950

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#17
The point is we don’t have 6 to 12 speakers dotted all over any of our rooms
Your loss. There are many here would tell you a good multich rig is the SOTA in home reproduction.
But I guess your not interested.
 
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#18
Multichannel recording / playback is literally an order of magnitude "better" than stereo - my (relatively) low-end multichannel rig sounds so real it's almost spooky. Listening to a good orchestral or chamber recording is amazing :)

I would love for someone to build a really high-quality AVR that measures as well as a good stereo rig - such a device would be so desirable.
 

Sal1950

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#19
I would love for someone to build a really high-quality AVR that measures as well as a good stereo rig - such a device would be so desirable.
I wouldn't bet the house they don't exist but sadly we don't have anyone out there doing comprehensive measurements of the market. We can't automatically lump everything into the same basket that Amir found of the Marantz 8805. I would also make the point that there's a lot of room for debate on how audible the Marantz's measured shortcomings may actually be. A near impossible task to do any type of DBT comparing in any case. I will say that @Kal Rubinson at Stereophile didn't hear any major issues with it's sound and he has put together some really high tech alternatives to compare against.
I'm totally happy with my Marantz 7703 pre/pro. With a simple push of the button I can go from a pure stereo presentation, to one that includes my dual subwoofers and Audyssey's Editor enhanced digital room correction, all the way to adding on immersive upsampling using either Dolby, DTS, or Auro codecs.
True native multich mastered music playback is incredible and the experience of watching a well produced Atmos movie approaches that available at a local IMAX theater.
What's not to love ???

"I found that three Modi 2 Uber DACs from Schiit Audio didn't sound as full or as clear as the direct HDMI input. It says a lot for the AV8805 and its HDMI input that buying three Modi 2 Ubers ($149 each) and a U-DIO8 ($299) wouldn't be worth their total cost of $746. Swapping in three Cambridge DacMagic Pluses ($349.99 each) was equally fascinating—though they sounded different from the HDMI feed, it was hard to know which I preferred. By a tiny margin, the bass was fuller with the Cambridges—but I can't justify spending over $1000 on them as add-ons to the AV8805 just for that.
But a trio of Benchmark Media Systems DAC3 HGC DACs (see above) turned the tables. Now the HDMI input stream seemed a tad less detailed and open, and the bass, while as extended, had less impact. It seemed that adding a package of DACs costing over $6500 can beat the AV8805's built-in processing and D/A conversion—but that's good news for Marantz fans."
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-94-benchmark-marantz-page-2#P71cAGSTtgfLxXdt.99
 

March Audio

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