$200 rcvr beats $11k separates

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wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #120 on: 1 May 2011, 02:33 am »
This video is on the Pioneer UK website. They talk about their recievers use of ICE amps @1:22.


http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/page/products/av-receiver/home.html

Those are for the more expensive models and should be avoided. Only the hybrids have been tested and meet the performance criteria.

wilsynet

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #121 on: 1 May 2011, 03:11 am »
Looks like the VSX-1019AH-K is one of them then.  Just ordered an open box item from Amazon.  Should get it mid-week.  Will report back.

wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #122 on: 1 May 2011, 07:45 pm »
Yeah, the internal DAC sucks.  I thought wow, I could really make this whole thing very simple and run the Oppo into the receiver, well, not so much.  I need to actually download and read the manual to see if there is a better input or setting or something, but grabbing the Monster 1000 and plugging it into the first thing that said digital input resulted in a flat, lifeless sound with all the detail squashed.

Thanks for the update. Does the 912 come with 'Direct' and 'Pure Direct' modes, whereby any DSP is bypassed? (most receivers do this these days)

Letitroll98

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #123 on: 4 May 2011, 02:01 pm »
Thanks for the update. Does the 912 come with 'Direct' and 'Pure Direct' modes, whereby any DSP is bypassed? (most receivers do this these days)

Yes it does and it's where all of my listening is done.  It has a 'Stereo' and 'Direct' mode on the same circuit, both bypassing all the DSP circuits with Direct then also bypassing tone and balance controls.  Other than the brief foray into the coax digital input, which was the correct one BTW, I haven't played with any of the features other than FM which was crap reception using the the supplied wire antenna.

I've been playing Goldilocks with the SQ.  I put my standard ferrite on the power cord and DIY Ground Control on the speaker terminals and that dulled the presentation too much.  So off came the GC's and on went the teflon tape to the PC plug tweak, now that was juussst right.  Away went the listener fatigue I had been experiencing with that tad too much HF and I sat listening to entire albums, playing the pieces I always bypassed before, entranced with hearing them in a new way, details and nuances missed previously.  My main problem with finishing a comparison is that I don't want to hook up the old system.  I know I have to in order to confirm my impressions, but it's like a chore you don't want to finish, I'd rather clean the litter box.


wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #124 on: 4 May 2011, 03:23 pm »
I know I have to in order to confirm my impressions, but it's like a chore you don't want to finish, I'd rather clean the litter box.

Well that certainly sounds like a thumbs up! 8)


wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #125 on: 5 May 2011, 06:09 am »
I got a VSX 1019 delivered today. Lighter than I expected. I'm trying out the internal DAC first via an Audio-gd digital interface usb/spdif converter (source is PC). Know what, doesn't sound bad at all out the box. Some top end sizzle, but other wise I'm intrigued. For instance the flute concerto on my Chesky sampler is a great test for edginess and it sounds great right now.  With all my felixes and chokes in my setup it will take a good week for it to settle in I'm sure and I need to get my woofers configured for sub use, so it'll be a while before I have any real thoughts on it but so far it doesn't suck. I'll try out my external DAC as well.

werd

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #126 on: 5 May 2011, 06:17 am »
Yeah, the internal DAC sucks.  I thought wow, I could really make this whole thing very simple and run the Oppo into the receiver, well, not so much.  I need to actually download and read the manual to see if there is a better input or setting or something, but grabbing the Monster 1000 and plugging it into the first thing that said digital input resulted in a flat, lifeless sound with all the detail squashed.

I also have a problem with what might be high frequency emphasis.  I want to say it that way cause there's nothing harsh at all here, just more HF than I'm used to.  So far the amp seems to give you whatever you feed it and I have very bright sounding cables installed, Tuan's Sweet Spot Reveal, that "reveal" every bit of detail and musical texture, along with every single bit of both high and low frequency info you could want or need.  So I put some more "relaxed" cables in, Zu Wylde, which did tame the HF, but took away the glorious low level detail that makes this amp so engaging.  This is similar to what the internal DAC did, lowered the HF output but ruined the sound.  So back in go the SSR's and the amp goes back to sounding wonderful.  Caveat with all of the above, all just preliminary getting used to the amp (receiver) and it all may be subject to a change of opinion, but it's what I hear so far.

Speaking of which, how does it sound?  (Isn't that what you asked a while ago, hmmm)  Anyway, rather like a class A amp, clean and detailed.  I can only guess that it has to do with the low switching distortion, which would be the thing common to both, and with single ended tube amps.  Why do SET's sound so great despite their ostensibly horrible standard specs?  Low crossover distortion maybe.  Please forgive (and correct) any technical gaffes in my description, I understand this to be a reduction of the distortion at the zero crossing point in class AB push pull amps.  The end result is extraordinary revelation of low level details, brilliantly fast attack with fully resonant decay.  Everything is more easily and clearly heard, with bad recordings sound worse and good recordings sounding better.  With the work week over I'll have more time to compare and switch things around throughout the weekend.

Another short note, the OP had some reservations about ultimate output power when driven hard, in my albeit small listening room I cranked it up as high as I would want to hear anything and heard no compression.  In fact the amp sounds very dynamic at all listening levels, something I wasn't expecting with a receiver and it's puny power supply compared to my big amp.

I was going to give a one paragraph reply.  :lol:   
Well, it sounds like there are big differences between -  welll everything. I like that.... thats means its fully tweakable and relevant.  If its saddled in its own sound.... lousy....big lousy. To me its sounds like a great integrated with some great tweakable potential. Good integrated and i would love find its foul and its great points. Thats what i love and if it does that then......wooot  :thumb:

Tyson

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #127 on: 5 May 2011, 06:30 am »
I hear ya man!  Oh, if I sound bitter, it's only because I've been down the road of Xanadu new technology promise and been burned at the stake.  I rue the day I sold my class A amps for digital and hybrid stuff.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  But I'm back to tubes with a vengeance after that dalliance.

wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #128 on: 5 May 2011, 06:34 am »
Well, it sounds like there are big differences between -  welll everything. I like that.... thats means its fully tweakable and relevant.  If its saddled in its own sound.... lousy....big lousy. To me its sounds like a great integrated with some great tweakable potential. Good integrated and i would love find its foul and its great points. Thats what i love and if it does that then......wooot  :thumb:

With sensitivity and impedance being the catch. No free lunch.

Tyson

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #129 on: 5 May 2011, 06:41 am »
The problem, wushuliu, is you have a basic understanding of electronics and acoustics, and most people don't.

zybar

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #130 on: 5 May 2011, 12:09 pm »
I hear ya man!  Oh, if I sound bitter, it's only because I've been down the road of Xanadu new technology promise and been burned at the stake.  I rue the day I sold my class A amps for digital and hybrid stuff.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  But I'm back to tubes with a vengeance after that dalliance.

Amen!!

I can't see my Class A tube monos going anywhere.   :nono:

George

Letitroll98

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #131 on: 5 May 2011, 01:05 pm »
Amen!!

I can't see my Class A tube monos going anywhere.   :nono:

George

I understand and agree, but at $110 for the cost of entry (+ shipping), I don't think you'll need to pawn your present equipment if you had any interest in having some fun with this, maybe I'm wrong.  I'm not going to be selling anything, I may put some stuff in the closet though.

I think the whole idea of "$200 rcvr beats $11k separates" snags on some peoples belief systems, I know it did on mine.  I had expected to expose the OP as delusional or some kind of shill for Gedlee speakers or something, hasn't been the case, YMMV.

wushuliu, you really need to run it in stereo direct mode and bypass the internal processing to hear the thing.  With my setup using the Pioneer's DAC it sounded, yeah, like a decent integrated.  Worlds of difference in microdynamics through the analog CD inputs.  Enjoy.

wilsynet

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #132 on: 5 May 2011, 07:53 pm »
I received my Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K a couple of days ago.  It was a returned, open box item from Amazon.

It has many and varied inputs, including something like 4 analog input options, but only the input set labelled "multi-channel" are unaltered by digital processing.  There is an option on the unit to turn digital processing off for any and all inputs, but sound quality is clearly and obviously better with the multi-channel input set than it is with any other set of inputs.

The VSX-1019AH-K is surprisingly good for a HT receiver, and is one of the better solid state amplifiers that I've had in my system.

To my ears and in my system, it isn't a giant killer.  It's not better than my Sean Casper built 421a SET amplifier, and neither is it better than my Quad II Classic monoblocks.  And although without benefit of direct comparison, my opinion is that it certainly isn't better than the First Watt J2 I auditioned for a couple of weeks or the James Burgess 45 that I had on loan.

Don't get me wrong, the 1019AH is good, and I think a credible alternative, and I may even recommend it to my friends who want good music out of a home theatre configuration.  I recommend it, but it isn't going to replace my separates.

Russell Dawkins

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #133 on: 5 May 2011, 07:58 pm »
I have a friend with old Jantzen electrostats, which apparently have a low and wildly variable impedance at higher frequencies. Does anyone know how these receivers take to that kind of load? He is currently running a failing Harmon Kardon.

srb

Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #134 on: 5 May 2011, 08:17 pm »
The VSX-1019AH is rated for speakers impedances of 8 ohms to 16 ohms.
 
The manual states "We recommend using speakers of 8 Ω with this system, but it is possible to switch the impedance setting if you plan to use speakers with a 6 Ω impedance rating" (with a special menu procedure).
 
I would therefore be wary of using 4 ohm speakers or those with low impedance swings.  However, if the speakers are bi-wirable, using the bi-amp feature may lessen the load a bit on an individual amplifier channel, but that doesn't really circumvent power supply limitations.

Too low of an impedance might be a reason why the Harman Kardon is failing?
 
Steve
« Last Edit: 6 May 2011, 07:03 am by srb »

wilsynet

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #135 on: 5 May 2011, 09:49 pm »
Just to give full context to my findings.

My system is comprised of:

Zu Soul Superfly Speakers (101 db efficient, 16 ohm nominal impedance)
db Audio Labs Tranquility Signature DAC
JVC QL-Y66F turntable, Jasmine SE phono stage
Mac Mini and Pure Music

I compared the VSX-1019AH to:

Lightspeed LDR Passive Attenuator
Quad II Classic Monoblocks
Sean Casper 421a SET amplifier

I'd rate the VSX-1019AH to be somewhere in the neighborhood of a Dayens Ampino.  Pretty nice company.  But I like my tube amplifiers better.  If that leads some to believe that I like tube distortion, then so be it.  Although I would say about my tube amplifiers that highs are extended and sweet but non-fatiguing, the mid-range is beautiful, and the sound stage is remarkable.

wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #136 on: 5 May 2011, 10:10 pm »
Just to give full context to my findings.

My system is comprised of:

Zu Soul Superfly Speakers (101 db efficient, 16 ohm nominal impedance)
db Audio Labs Tranquility Signature DAC
JVC QL-Y66F turntable, Jasmine SE phono stage
Mac Mini and Pure Music

I compared the VSX-1019AH to:

Lightspeed LDR Passive Attenuator
Quad II Classic Monoblocks
Sean Casper 421a SET amplifier

I'd rate the VSX-1019AH to be somewhere in the neighborhood of a Dayens Ampino.  Pretty nice company.  But I like my tube amplifiers better.  If that leads some to believe that I like tube distortion, then so be it.  Although I would say about my tube amplifiers that highs are extended and sweet but non-fatiguing, the mid-range is beautiful, and the sound stage is remarkable.

Thanks for the feedback!

Letitroll98

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #137 on: 6 May 2011, 03:25 am »
I'd rate the VSX-1019AH to be somewhere in the neighborhood of a Dayens Ampino.  Pretty nice company.  But I like my tube amplifiers better.  If that leads some to believe that I like tube distortion, then so be it.  Although I would say about my tube amplifiers that highs are extended and sweet but non-fatiguing, the mid-range is beautiful, and the sound stage is remarkable.

Overall a fair comparison.  I think the 912 is a bit better than the Ampino, but certainly very similar in character, if you like one you would like the other. 

I have a question about the 912 unit vs the 1019.  I do not know the answer to this, it's a question, but the specs are very different, the layout of the back panel is very different from the units listed as having the PAC011A amplifier modules, and the 1019 inputs that bypass internal processing by your description are the opposite of the 912.  Given the proclivities for these manufacturers (marketers) to change product design on a whim, do we have any confidence we are talking about the same product here? 

If I recall there was one post by a person who thought Earl had switched to a 919, and then a post by someone who said if he had, surely he tested it and it was the same.  Hardly a confirmed kill.  I'd be a lot more confident if we had a note from Dr Geddes confirming the above.  Let me again reiterate this a question, not an indictment of your very thoughtful and informative post.     

wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #138 on: 6 May 2011, 03:38 am »
Yes, he did/does use the 919 and said it sounds the same. He says this directly in an avs forum thread but I am to lazy to find it ATM. Still, he states repeatedly he is not an amp guy and given a competent design does not feel there are significant differences, so... just a big old question mark unless the two models are heard side by side. Since the 912 has no HDMI I was reluctant to get it since my setup is also for tv/movies.


wushuliu

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Re: $200 rcvr beats $11k separates
« Reply #139 on: 6 May 2011, 04:25 am »
Here's the link: #107

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1099840&page=4

I am listening to multichannel in, which does sound miles better than the pure direct via coax, but not too far off the regular direct w/ coax. I'll have to do some more back and forth. There are things that the 1019 does better than my tube amp and vice versa. It has a very quiet background to my ear and does microdetail without fatigue. Yes there is a slight edge at the top, it's not bothersome per se but it is there and I'm curious if it will go away in time - everyone else gives their amps 100 hours of break-in, I won't treat this receiver any different. Let me add that I am using just cheap-azz cables for all this because the 1019 is too far from my other gear to use my shorter, awesomer wire.