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In Reply to: RE: Biggest Improvement in HT Sound: Going to Separates posted by JerryS on December 02, 2018 at 07:53:27
May years ago I owned the flagship Pioneer Elite receiver and ran very VERY easy to drive Wharfedale Vanguard horn loudspeakers 95dB sensitive and sat mostly 10 ohm.
The receiver was 125 watts per channel and one of those silly 0.00025%THD specs sort of things.
Like you - muffled voices and not the best sound at all - I was ready to sell my speakers in fact. My dealer at that time said the speakers should be pretty good and he lent me a Bryston 3B power amp to take home. Even though I could not afford it back then.
So I brought it home and connected it up and WOW. Like a completely different loudspeaker - tight controlled bass - pin drop speed.
In fact that amplifier was what got me interested in high end audio.
Like the other poster noted though - the preamp processor can make even more difference and my dealer noted the same - BUT the power amp - even on HE speakers in spite of having worse specs than my Pioneer Elite still won the day.
I didn't sell the speakers - I sold the Pioneer Elite for a two channel Arcam (as that is all I could afford).
I have yet to really go after Home theater properly. I have spent most of my time doing two channel which has involved SET amplifiers etc. But when I do go home theater I will probably start with something like the Anthem AVM60.
I replaced/upgraded my home theater speakers 3 times with no real improvement in speech intelligibility. It wasn't until I went to separate pre-pro and multi-channel power amplifier that this improved.
I, too, looked at the Anthem AVM60. One nice feature is the large volume setting readout. The Marantz's is too small to see from across the room. I reduce volume at almost every commercial, and during the non-singing parts of The Voice, etc. So increasing the volume back to the original setting is important. The Marantz iPhone app is flaky, frequently losing contact with the pre-pro.
I would also agree. Once I replaced my top-of-line Pioneer Elite HT receiver with separates, I never looked back. Separates is the only way to go in HT for clear speech, a powerful presentation with detail.
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