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ryanja

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#35089 3-Jun-2009 16:21
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Hello all,

I'm thinking about setting up a new HT and wanted some advice on the components I've been considering. My main goal is to create a system that plays DVDs very well, as I have a large collection of Region 1 discs. I'd also like something that does a halfway decent job on music.

Primary source will be an Oppo 980, as I've heard the audio and upscaling are very good for the price. In the future I'll consider purchasing a PS3 in order to play blue-ray.

For a receiver I'm thinking of either the Onkyo 576 or 606. Will I need the video upscaling or audio decoding of the 606? From what I've read the 576 will pass through any 1080p content to the TV, and the PS3 takes care of its own audio decoding. But what about the Oppo?

Speakers will be either the Wharfedale Diamond 9 set (http://www.lvmartin.co.nz/public/products/ProductViewDetails.aspx?productcode=DIAMOND9PK+R&level1code=L1ENT&level2code=L2STE) or Jamo set (http://www.jamo.com/eu-en/products/s-606-hcs-6-description/)

And for the TV I'm thinking of the Sony KLV-40S400A (http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/home_av/tvs/0,39037585,43427449p,00.htm) I don't need the Freeview on the V models, so this looks like a reasonably cheap set but still has 1920x1080.

Any thoughts on this setup? Any recommendations are appreciated, and I'm open to suggestions on other equipment in this price range.

Thanks!

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jonathan18
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  #221498 4-Jun-2009 08:12
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You may also want to post on www.audioenz.co.nz/forums - this site is dedicated to audio/HT, and has a bunch of really knowledgeable and helpful people who hang out there.

ryanja

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  #221508 4-Jun-2009 08:46
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Funny you should say that. I just registered there and was about to copy this message to their forum.

serafis
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  #222020 5-Jun-2009 15:15
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A lot of it comes down to personal taste (and room dynamics) - and I would suggest auditioning if you can before purchasing or have the right of return. I've owned a couple of Onkyo's (5.1 & 7.1) and they were superb for multichannel movie soundstage direction and dialogue, but I found them just a little disappointing musically in stereo. Because I also listen to a lot of music, I ended up swapping (god bless Trade Me) for a similar spec'd Yamaha (7.1) which is very musical to my ear, and has good multichannel too, at the same price point. So Yamaha may be another option to consider. By the way, with both receivers, I found manual setup gave much better results than the auto (microphone) setup because of some rather odd room acoustics.

When I looked at speakers, I was seriously considering the Wharfedales but ended up buying Q-Acoustics from Graham's Hifi in Whakatane, on his recommendation and without auditioning them - he's a great guy who really knows his stuff but doesn't try to do a sales number on you. Nervously awaited their arrival (free shipping) but I was not disappointed - absolutely blown away at the sound / price quality, a lot of speaker(s) for the money. Called in to see him last time I was up that way to say hi & thanks. Anyway, they may be another option to consider.

Good luck and good hunting and let us know how it turns out!



Batman
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  #222436 7-Jun-2009 12:43
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you'll need to find out the power ratings of the 576. Some cheap amps have really bad distortions way before you get to their rated max output. the 606 rates at 140W at 7 channels at 20-20Khz at 0.08% total harmonic distortion, which is clean sound at high volume (explicit) or, implicitly, clean sound all round.

also i suggest you dont buy the Diamond pack you suggested if you want awesome sound - the only good things about that pack is the 9.5 and 9.1. find a shop that sells a Diamond 9.6, 9.CM - way superior to the CS. The sw150 does 35Hz at min - not good enough for movies - get a sub that can go down to 20Hz or lower. there are a few on TM.

but it's up to you :) awesomeness costs a bit of money, just a bit when you go for wharfedale diamond 9s, other setups will cost heaps more!




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


Batman
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  #222455 7-Jun-2009 14:33
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Looks like the 576 does this:

Rated Output Power
North American:
75 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 8 ohm
loads, 2 channels driven from 20Hz to 20kHz, with a
maximum total harmonic distortion of 0.08% (FTC)
100 watts minimum continuous power per channel, 6 ohm
loads, 2 channels driven at 1kHz, with a maximum total
harmonic distortion of 0.1% (FTC)
European:
7 ch x 130 W at 6 ohms, 1kHz, 1 ch driven (IEC)
Asian and Oceanian:
7 ch ? 160 W at 6 ohms, 1kHz, 1 ch driven (JEITA)

That means you have 75 W of clean power for playing stereo only. When you play 5 or 7 channels you're going to get quite bad distortion due to clipping. It doesnt state explicitly but the rating implies that the power (current) supply of the amp is quite bad and you could even get quite distorted sound even playing 2 channels at loudish volume. Worse if you use the Diamond 9's which have 6Ohm impedance (harder to drive).

Get the 606.




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Jaxson
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  #222587 8-Jun-2009 09:14
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I have the Onkyo 576 matched to some Wharfedale speakers at the moment.  In the past I've owned both the 9.5 and 9.6 speakers.  Both are good/great for what you pay for them.

With this Home Theatre bit, there's no real uppper end to what you want to spend, it's entirely up to you to pick what you're after yourself and then go about creating a system that will provide that.

In general, I'd say pay for the next model up if you can afford it.  The 9.6's ARE better than the 9.5's, but it's up to you if you want to go that extra step.

Likewise with the 576 vs the 606.  If you can afford it, go with the 606.  The 606 is a step up on the 576, expecially if you use it with something other than a PS3.  The PS3 does all the HD audio decoding and sends the decoded info out to the receiver.  No matter what receiver you plug a PS3 into, it will always be the PS3 itself that is decoding the HD audio. 

If you use another type of Bluray player you may need the receiver itself to be able to decode the HD audio, which the 576 can not do, but the 606 can.

Over to you.  The 576 and wharfedale 6.5 pack will sound very good in a smaller room.  If it's a bigger room then you may want to go to a bigger amp and swap the 9.5 fronts for the 9.6s.  Either way I think the SW150 subwoofer is the let down, but that's just me.  In a small room it's probably fine, but in a larger room I think you would really benefit from going to a larger subwoofer.

The choice is really yours and yours alone, so good luck and enjoy!

Dingbatt
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  #222604 8-Jun-2009 10:14
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I have a 606. Just be aware that Onkyos seem to run quite hot. I was originally going to put mine in an enclosed cupboard but have had to modify my plans until I upgrade the ventilation. Additionally you can't change the names of the input labels (reducing WAF). It does have hdmi pass-through in standby. And works well with Viera-link (panasonic cec).




“We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. Carl Sagan 1996




ryanja

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  #222611 8-Jun-2009 10:45
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I was in LV Martin this weekend and had another listen to the wharfdale 9.5's. The two main speakers were hooked to an Onkyo two channel amp and we played a few cds through them. They sounded bright and a bit harsh. Not nearly as warm as the Jamo's I heard at JBhifi. I'll probably go with a Jamo set.

I'm also thinking I'll go with a Marantz 5002 amp as recommended by a few folks at the AudioENZ forum. I can pick it up for just under $1000. From what I hear it'll be a lot better with music than the Onkyo amps.

Batman
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  #222767 8-Jun-2009 17:38
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sound like a great buy!




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


jjnz1
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  #222857 8-Jun-2009 23:07
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ooooooo wharfdales with onkyo? onkyo and b&w pair very nicely. i think wharfdales sound a bit muffled.

My setup is an onkyo 604 (does get very hot, i use it to heat the room), 2x b&w 603's, and when using a digital source, it just sounds amazing!! I borrowed a mates floor standing series 9? diamond? whalfdales and it didn't sound as full bodied as the B&W's.

richms
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  #222884 9-Jun-2009 02:12
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All the HT amps I have tried have lacked in current from the power supply and do that 1 channel driven carry on - but its not a major since the rears seldom get much use and the center is mainly dialog etc so hardly demanding. It seems they budget for 3 channels driven and then connect 7 to the PSU in them.

The most lacking thing on cheap recievers is the parameters you can configure - I had a play with one that only gave options of 80-100-120Hz highpass on the mains if you had them set to small, if they were on large then they got full range and the sub only got the LFE sent to it.

And other braindead cuts in functionality inorder to justify the higher end ones.




Richard rich.ms

serafis
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  #222913 9-Jun-2009 06:44
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The point about current is a good one, especially if you listen at high volumes with a lot of dynamics on all channels and if your speakers are low efficiency, when lower current amps will tend to run out of ooomph. While it's not particularly scientific, I often compare the power consumption to the power outputs. For example, if the outputs are 7 x 100W then even if there were no internal power loss, you would expect power consumption of 700W with all channels driven continuously. If the consumption is only 450W then unless there are really big capacitors in the power supply there's possibly going to be  a bit of a  shortfall when all channels are driven high with peak dynamics.

BTW where did you find the Marantz for under 1000? Getting envious here!

Batman
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  #222931 9-Jun-2009 07:52
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yup. for example yamaha rx-v673 = 90Wx7, max power consumption = 430W. playing anything more than  (-25dB) (below) reference, i got such noticable clipping. brought back to HN to swap for an rx-v663 rated 90Wx7 max cons = 830W!!! but after searching decided to go with my current denon as it has audyssey plus 9-band manual EQ for each channel. couldn't get a super deal as it's an 'upgrade' - oh well! some things money can't buy! denon's marantz's sister company ...




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


serafis
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  #222988 9-Jun-2009 09:35
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yeah, doesn't always work though - I had a an Onkyo TX-SR603, 90W x 7 = 630W, power consumption 630W so it should have had plenty of power, but found it got "thin" at high volumes (and ran very hot too, as some Onkyos do).

Traded to Yamaha RX-V750, 100W x 7 = 700W, power consumption only 450W (greener!) but biiig capacitors and copper power bus, and I don't find it running out of grunt. However, while "breaking in" some speakers by running a 10Hz sine wave through all channels at around -5dB, after leaving it a few hours the transformer was hot enough to fry an egg - would have been gutted if I'd blown the thermal fuse! Under normal conditions, runs only warm.

My family budget unfortunately won't stretch to Denon / Marantz (yet) - but the 5002 sounds like a snip at under $1000 and the OP couldn't go far wrong with that at the price.

Jaxson
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  #223002 9-Jun-2009 10:01
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Just another little thing to consider too is that most speakers will sound fairly off if they have just simply been plugged in only. Most shops do this so you have to beer this in mind when you go to sample them.

When you get your speakers home you'll run some sort of auto/manual speaker calibration within your amp/receiver and you will notice a significant difference between the raw and calibrated sound.

I only mention this because I've had many speakers that sound too bright or rubbish initially that sound stunning when paired with the calibration of the amplifier. So you really do need to ensure you're sampling close to what your end result/setup will be.

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