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Why are modern AV Receivers so terrible?

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#81
Expectation bias is about expectation, which means cost to you is not the only influential factor. Brand name or expectation about design differences can equally affect the perception of audio quality. Obviously, you had expectations that an integrated amp would sound better. That's what most people believe.
:facepalm: Please read the last sentence.
 

stunta

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#83
I'd want the digital Dolby Atmos ( or whatever multichannel decoder) decoded in a box then put out in standard pcm digital to active speakers with digital inputs .

All the room correction and subwoofer integration done in the main processor.

No need for analogue outputs or amps in the box.

But that's just me.
Not just you. In an ideal world we shouldn't have these things encoded in proprietary formats - they should all be open standards and open source. Version updates over the air like app updates. Keep things in the digital domain until you have absolutely have to go analog - as you said, at the speakers. I feel like we are still stuck in the last century :(

I have a miniDsp 8 channel device that has analog in and analog out. I have facepalm moments every time I think about my complicated configuration - digital in to pre-pro -> dacs -> analog out -> minidsp ->AD/DA -> speakers (JBL 708P) -> AD/DA -> ... :facepalm:
 

raistlin65

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#85
:facepalm: Please read the last sentence.
Whether or not you will have expectation bias is not a thing you can decide on ahead of time. Human brains don't work that way. Even though consciously you might tell yourself that you are not likely to hear a difference, you can still be affected by the idea that integrated amps are often thought to sound better. Consequently, if you hear a difference, expectation bias can be a factor.
 

StevenEleven

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#86
:facepalm: Please read the last sentence.
There is irony there, you are right. But you are in a position where you don’t know what you don’t know, so it’s not really a fair argument. There are some things most people don’t know off of the top of their heads that apply here. First: The frequency response of the amp of the Onkyo is probably (and yes, I’m guessing, based on experience) very close to ruler flat in the range you are using it, especially if you are using subwoofers. The distortion at the levels you listen is probably not audible. The exact same is probably true of the integrated amp you are now using. Even if these things are not true, then the odds are massive that the audible difference between the two is slight, and the odds that there is a huge audible difference, especially at the high frequencies, are extraordinarily low. So the probability of your assertion seems to be extraordinarily low. IMHO. The integrated amp may well measure much much better than the Onkyo receiver, but even so, the probability of your assertion, that there there is a huge audible difference, especially in the treble, between the two, is extraordinarily low, IMHO.

Based on the frequency response measurements of Sound & Vision, assuming those are even in the ballpark, there is room for huge audible improvement in your speakers, at a not very high price point. Having two subwoofers is a giant step toward really good sound, and I would guess you have nice ones, so pop in some better speakers and that is where you get your huge improvement in sound. On the other hand, if you are happy with the sound of your system, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I can even enjoy music on a transistor radio, no biggie.

Speakers do make a big difference. One thing this forum is buiding up to do is help us make good choices in loudspeakers. Most of the audio press is junk reading and nearly all of us have been flying blind in choosing speakers for many many years. :)

The advantage some people here have is they know what in audio is likely and what is not likely based on experience and book knowledge, and so when someone else makes an assertion that they understand to be exceedingly improbable, expectation bias becomes a very likely explanation. Even so, you see some of even their expectation biases being revealed after equipment tests in a way that contradicts their expectations or subjective impressions. And yes, they can get a little worked up about that. ; ) We’re all human that way.

I truly, sincerely, hope this is helpful.

Back to the smoking llama (I think) and megaphone monkey arguing about. . .filters? :oops:
 
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Sancus

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#88
I did the REW comparison between XT32 on a Denon X4400H and Dirac on a NAD658. Corrected frequency response was very similar between them with XT32 being slightly flatter. However, what's harder to measure is the corrections in the time domain. Dirac uses FIR and IIR filters which in theory is better. I couldn't really hear an obvious difference between them though.
Did you post this somewhere? I'm very interested to read it. I tried to Google for a comparison like this and I found this post, but unfortunately all the graphs are gone. However, it indicates that the performance is not that different and that with a little manual tuning XT32 can produce the same results.

IMO these types of comparisons are important because people pay thousands of dollars extra for Dirac, and if you can achieve the same results with a $500 Denon AVR and maybe REW to tweak your target curve, that's a lot of money that can be saved.

As far as I know there is strong evidence against the audibility of time domain corrections.
 
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#89
I wish we could get the Outlaw 976 tested. I seems like it's a reasonable price and should prove to be better than the mainstream A/V boxes.
My understanding of the A/V processor limitations has to do with the available chip sets. There just is not much choice. But there is a new chip set from New Japan Radio - used in the Marantz AV8805. Supposedly better than the Marantz or Rolm chip sets of old.
Review 8805: https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/receiver-processor/processors/marantz-av8805-processor-review/

Chip set discussion: https://hometheaterhifi.com/technic...vr-audio-video-reciever-build-quality-part-v/
 

Frank Dernie

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#90
I very much wish to keep a computer out of my listening system so if I wish to use a surround sound system I have used 2 possibilities.
The first is an Oppo disc player with decoder and multiple (7 I think) outputs via a multi channel Parasound P7 preamp outputting the front channels to pass-through on my stereo amp and rears and centre to active speakers. This is, in principle, the highest quality electronics I can use but it means using a hdmi switching box to connect TV tuner or disc player to my projector.
The second is the hdmi output of a Sony disc player (which plays more discs without freezing of skipping tha the Oppo) into a Marantz 7704 with the outputs connected the same as the P7.
The second is more convenient and if there is a SQ shortcoming I haven't noticed it. The hiss level is inaudible and I notice no added distortion.
 
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#91
Whether or not you will have expectation bias is not a thing you can decide on ahead of time. Human brains don't work that way. Even though consciously you might tell yourself that you are not likely to hear a difference, you can still be affected by the idea that integrated amps are often thought to sound better. Consequently, if you hear a difference, expectation bias can be a factor.
There is irony there, you are right. But you are in a position where you don’t know what you don’t know, so it’s not really a fair argument. There are some things most people don’t know off of the top of their heads that apply here. First: The frequency response of the amp of the Onkyo is probably (and yes, I’m guessing, based on experience) very close to ruler flat in the range you are using it, especially if you are using subwoofers. The distortion at the levels you listen is probably not audible. The exact same is probably true of the integrated amp you are now using. Even if these things are not true, then the odds are massive that the audible difference between the two is slight, and the odds that there is a huge audible difference, especially at the high frequencies, are extraordinarily low. So the probability of your assertion seems to be extraordinarily low. IMHO. The integrated amp may well measure much much better than the Onkyo receiver, but even so, the probability of your assertion, that there there is a huge audible difference, especially in the treble, between the two, is extraordinarily low, IMHO.

Based on the frequency response measurements of Sound & Vision, assuming those are even in the ballpark, there is room for huge audible improvement in your speakers, at a not very high price point. Having two subwoofers is a giant step toward really good sound, and I would guess you have nice ones, so pop in some better speakers and that is where you get your huge improvement in sound. On the other hand, if you are happy with the sound of your system, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I can even enjoy music on a transistor radio, no biggie.

Speakers do make a big difference. One thing this forum is buiding up to do is help us make good choices in loudspeakers. Most of the audio press is junk reading and nearly all of us have been flying blind in choosing speakers for many many years. :)

The advantage some people here have is they know what in audio is likely and what is not likely based on experience and book knowledge, and so when someone else makes an assertion that they understand to be exceedingly improbable, expectation bias becomes a very likely explanation. Even so, you see some of even their expectation biases being revealed after equipment tests in a way that contradicts their expectations or subjective impressions. And yes, they can get a little worked up about that. ; ) We’re all human that way.

I truly, sincerely, hope this is helpful.

Back to the smoking llama (I think) and megaphone monkey arguing about. . .filters? :oops:
I find amazing how you can guess my experience. We are talking about an almost entry-level receiver from Onkyo with a lot of digital processing and 7 channels of amplification stuffed in a box, designed to cost less than 499.00 and yet I was expecting to have a similar experience with a dedicated component. I've switched back and forth between them, and play the songs that I know very very well to make sure I was not being fooled by my subconscious bias. When I said that I was not expecting a big difference, and I was not, it is because I didn't want to change anything, I wanted to keep it simple. But now I cannot erase it from my head.

I can be new at this forum, not having more than 200 messages posted like you, but not to this hobby. I have more than 50 years old and with an engineer and law background, I'm very pragmatic. I've listened to hundreds of systems in my life, and they do not sound the same even when you change a single component. I trust the measurements and I do not believe in audible differences in most of the cables, just to use the good and right ones according to the specifications. But after my experience, I was looking for answers and the measurements of the HT components I've found here might be a hint.
 

Costas EAR

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#92
As far as I know there is strong evidence against the audibility of time domain corrections.
This is true, but only for the specific test methodology of the research, which did not include time domain problems between different speakers and multiple subs with cross and bass management, maybe different subs, and all of them working together.

I mean, you may not hear a thing by reversing the polarity of both your 2 speakers, or by introducing some delay to all of them, but what happens if you introduce delay to one speaker only, or to one sub? Only to one midrange driver maybe?

In complex immersive multichannel setups, i think that absolute time alignment is crucial and very much audible.

In a mono setup, with a full range driver, i really don't think that there is any meaning in time domain responce.

Or maybe you mean something quite different.
 
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#93
Did you post this somewhere? I'm very interested to read it. I tried to Google for a comparison like this and I found this post, but unfortunately all the graphs are gone. However, it indicates that the performance is not that different and that with a little manual tuning XT32 can produce the same results.

IMO these types of comparisons are important because people pay thousands of dollars extra for Dirac, and if you can achieve the same results with a $500 Denon AVR and maybe REW to tweak your target curve, that's a lot of money that can be saved.

As far as I know there is strong evidence against the audibility of time domain corrections.
I didn't save the Dirac to XT32 comparison apparently - sorry. This is the XT32 in room response (green) vs XT32 off (red). The suck out at 100hz is likely ceiling floor cancellation which can only be corrected for up to a certain degree. Apart from 100hz, +/-3dB in room is about as good as you can expect. Substantial output at 15Hz now!:)
1581882596145.png
 

mansr

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#94
Technically it is much more different than that.
The transfer function of a discrete-time LTI system is the quotient of two polynomials in z. If the denominator is 1, it has finite impulse response (FIR). Otherwise, the impulse response is potentially infinite. A filter engine capable of using IIR filters can thus also use FIR filters.
 

xr100

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#95
The transfer function of a discrete-time LTI system is the quotient of two polynomials in z. If the denominator is 1, it has finite impulse response (FIR). Otherwise, the impulse response is potentially infinite. A filter engine capable of using IIR filters can thus also use FIR filters.
Yes... but... length...?
 

mansr

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#96
Yes... but... length...?
Huh? If the filter engine supports IIR filters, you can input any FIR filter simply by setting the denominator to 1. The FIR equivalent of an IIR filter can of course be infinitely long. That's why it's called infinite impulse response.
 

xr100

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#97
Huh? If the filter engine supports IIR filters, you can input any FIR filter simply by setting the denominator to 1. The FIR equivalent of an IIR filter can of course be infinitely long. That's why it's called infinite impulse response.
I think you might like to explain what you mean by "filter engine"?

1581887338295.png


Source: CCRMA.
 

StevenEleven

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#98
I find amazing how you can guess my experience. We are talking about an almost entry-level receiver from Onkyo with a lot of digital processing and 7 channels of amplification stuffed in a box, designed to cost less than 499.00 and yet I was expecting to have a similar experience with a dedicated component. I've switched back and forth between them, and play the songs that I know very very well to make sure I was not being fooled by my subconscious bias. When I said that I was not expecting a big difference, and I was not, it is because I didn't want to change anything, I wanted to keep it simple. But now I cannot erase it from my head.

I can be new at this forum, not having more than 200 messages posted like you, but not to this hobby. I have more than 50 years old and with an engineer and law background, I'm very pragmatic. I've listened to hundreds of systems in my life, and they do not sound the same even when you change a single component. I trust the measurements and I do not believe in audible differences in most of the cables, just to use the good and right ones according to the specifications. But after my experience, I was looking for answers and the measurements of the HT components I've found here might be a hint.
For that type of equipment if you aren’t blind-testing, having someone else do the switching, haven’t carefully set things up so the volume levels are matched, and keeping track of your ability to differentiate on about 15 or 20 tries, what you’re giving is very unreliable anecdotal data known to be inconsistent with mountains of statistically valid data. I’m not trying to be hostile at all. I’m just throwing some stuff out there for you. You can grab on to the rope or not—your choice. I don’t care if you believe me or not. I’m trying to help. I felt kind of bad about being glib toward you in my first post to you. There was a massive body of knowledge (no credit to me) to back up what I said, and I knew that and you didn’t. It’s like playing chess against someone who’s never played before, and even if the new player is more intelligent—not fair, unless it‘s used as a learning experience. You can try to verify if what I say is true, or not—if I were you I’d be studying up. That’s how I’m “wired.” I was grateful to learn this stuff. I can’t be right about everything, right? Nobody is. Show me where I messed up.

By all means hang out here, and feel free to disagree with me. This is a great place and argument is one of the great pillars of learning—along with experience and study.
 
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