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Thread: Amplifier decision

  1. #31
    Senior Member JuniorJBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblfreeek
    Ah! The 777!
    To bad they do not make it any more!

  2. #32
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Balanced = differential = high common mode noise rejection, hum mostly. Essential for long signal-level lines and/or the snake pits that comprise my equipment stacks.

    I've never had any problems mixing unbalanced and balanced, converting to balanced as early in the signal path as possible, though others' difficulties are abundantly documented here.

  3. #33
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    BALANCED

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilch
    Balanced = differential = high common mode noise rejection, hum mostly. Essential for long signal-level lines and/or the snake pits that comprise my equipment stacks.

    I've never had any problems mixing unbalanced and balanced, converting to balanced as early in the signal path as possible, though others' difficulties are abundantly documented here.
    So do you think im headed in the right direction then by using balanced outs from cd player to preamp to amp? This may seem like a silly question to you, but i value your opinion. I dont have the expertise and experince that you do. THANKS JIM

  4. #34
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Everything balanced is best, but that limits your equipment choices.

    Once the signal is converted to balanced in the chain, I avoid converting it back to unbalanced, though, in theory, that's workable also. The lower the signal level, the more benefit accrues from using balanced interconnects.

    My $99 unbalanced output CD player is connected to my balanced input EQ with short (18") conversion cables, RCA on one end, XLR on the other. All interconnects after that are balanced XLR or TRS cables.

    If I wanted a preamp/processor in there, I doubt I'd be willing to pay for a pro balanced one, and it'd likely run that unbalanced too, in which case I'd use the shortest unbalanced interconnects that would fit.

  5. #35
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zilch
    My $99 unbalanced output CD player...
    Hey Zilch, How come you of all people never bought one of those $10-$15 Playstations? I could see a few thousand posts about how to tweak it.


    Widget

  6. #36
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    How come you of all people never bought one of those $10-$15 Playstations?
    HUH?

    I read YOUR review of them, of course....

  7. #37
    Nightbrace
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    What did I start??

    I guess some of us old folks resist change
    I wasn't even born when these receivers were made, I am 22 now. My first receiver was a 90's Kenwood, and at the time I thought it was great, going from my Sony boom box to it with a couple homemade Radio Shack speakers.

    When I was 16 I saved up my money and bought a Sony receiver and Cd player from Best Buy, both served me well, although now I realize how horrible both these units are. And I paid more for the monster cables the guy sold me then, than what I paid for the Pioneer I have now .

    My first true Hi-Fi receiver was bought when I turned 18, a Marantz 2226, I paid $20 for it at a pawn shop at the recommendation of the owner, since then I was hooked, I went from about 70% to 90% of whats possible overnight, it was a sort of revelation to the wool that was pulled over my eyes or my ears I should say. God forbid I begin a debate about IPods, audio has been crappy, at least in the consumer realm, for quite some time now, I have lived through it first hand and know all too well that "video killed the radio star"

    The next thing I bought was the JBL L100's at the advice of my grandfather and a better CD player than the Sony I bought at Best Buy. I still have it today, a Sony CDPC701ES, and its nearly as good as my reference NAD player. Both of which are nearly as good as even the Sony SCD-1. (Sorry all you Playstation fans, but both my players were definitely better, although the Playstation did sound eerily similiar to the Sony changer I bought at Best Buy thats in my garage).

    Mr. Widget is right. I think it would be real difficult to find a Receiver, or Separates for that matter that will be better for under $200 than what I have with the Pioneer now.

    He even goes as far as saying that I would need to spend upwards of $3,000, while I don't agree entirely with that, the fact of the matter is, that if I were forced to buy NEW 2006 components it would cost me that much to get to where I am at now.

    And what receiver at any price today can even come close to comparing to the tuner on my Pioneer? Let alone the Sansui TU-717 I have? But hopefully all you guys know the answer to this.

    Let me first stress that the Pioneer is NOT being used for my reference system, but to use in my extra room (study), I moved my Sony CDPC701ES cd player in there, and kept my NAD as my reference player, I know all to well the benefits of getting an external DAC, but I cannot afford anymore than the $200 I paid for NAD .

    The receiver (amp) I use in my reference system is a Sony GX10ES.

    http://www.thevintageknob.org/SONY/s...STRGX10ES.html,

    You guys might linch me here but infortunately JBL's are NOT my reference speakers either. I use a pair of 12" Plus PAudio drivers in custom 2.8 cabinets. They are at least as good as every JBL speaker I have owned, and have all the same characteristics that have made JBL great for 60 years and counting. In the true tests of a great speaker--realism, clarity, accuracy, speed, truth of timbre, lack of distortion, phase accuracy, time delay, imaging, soundstage, dynamics, and efficiency. No speaker system that I have heard has rivaled these PAudios, and oh believe me, I know how good JBL is, but these are truly better, why else would I have replaced my JBL's with these in my reference system? As you guys can probably tell I am not one who likes change.

    As of right now, I truly doubt I could get anything that sounds any better for a reasonable price. The other amplifier I use sometimes is my Fisher 400, its just not as convenient, but I do use it occasionally. I bought it before the Sony and have not been able to get myself to sell it, it sounds too good.

    When doing blind A/B comparisons with my Niles switcher (don't be alarmed I only use it for comparisons) I cannot tell them apart. I can hear a slight differnce when I do an A/B with the Pioneer, but it does take me a bit to distinguish them too. I can't even begin to imagine what the difference would be if I tried the Kenwood I once had.

    The question I have to ask is how can 2 receivers (amps) made 30 years apart using completely different components for amplification sound identical? Nothing I have heard has yet to sound quite as good. Could I have the luckiest 2 units on the planet, or could it be true that a GREAT amp is a GREAT amp regardless of what it uses? Or am I just as naiive as I was thinking the Kenwood I bought when I was 16 was the Bee's Knees?

    I think you guys are all splitting hairs here. The equipment matters little compared to the speakers, why do you guys think I listen to JBL?


    In my experience in audio thus far there are 3 types of amps, good ones, bad ones, and boutique. And no Pioneer does not make BAD ones or boutique amps as someone suggested before they are very good, nor does Marantz, they are good also, not the BEST, but definitely good. As to the argument that separates are necessary, I don't buy into it unless music is being played at very high levels. I have heard the best Pioneers ever and to me, at low levels, they sounded identical to the SX-780 I had which I sold to get the Pioneer SX-737 I presently own. All sounded the same, and thats not a bad thing.

    And yes thats why I LOVE JBL, they are as true to the actual recording as possible and you can really tell when something sounds good or not. No other speaker that I have listened to really brings out the flaws to my attention or makes great recordings sound even greater like JBL, well maybe except for my PAudios.

    Seems as if this animal I created is swallowing up everyone, all I was asking is if it was worth it to try a Sansui, I have yet to hear one. Since I wasn't alive during the time I can only gather that you guys think. And from what I hear, not too many of you are too privvy for my amp selection. The Sansui I mentioned turns out not to be Direct Coupled, so I think I'll pass on it.

    I am not bound at the hip to any of my receivers. I'd glady sell any of them, but it would have to be better, althought as I stated it will have to take a lot of convincing.

    If anyone has any suggestions on what would be worth my time to evaluate that would eclipse my Sony GX10ES or Fisher 400 for under $500, I am all ears. I can always replace my Pioneer with one of these units in my study /

    I think that may be the better route. As I know quality audio enough to warrant it.

    Thanks, EVERYONE, for your input.

  8. #38
    Nightbrace
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    Oh by the way, I am looking extensively for a Sansui AU-X711. This is the model I REALLY want. I have heard it, all be it at another person's house, another JBL fan of course, and was thrilled, if anyone has any ideas where to look for this unit, I'd love to get it to try against my Sony.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbrace
    As of right now, I truly doubt I could get anything that sounds any better for a reasonable price.
    Hi Nightbrace-

    I really liked your last post. It kinda went along with what I was trying to illustrate in an earlier one. Man, if what you have gives you that little tickle inside- keep it!! That feeling is elusive to some of us- and we persue it to great lenghts and expense. I said it earlier- I envy you. I swear- I wish I could be satisfied with readily available gear at a reasonable price- so does my wife and kid! lol. You are lucky. Perhaps it's pychosomatic - deep down you know you can't get the stuff you want- so you've learned to acentuate the pros and values of what you have. Not a thing wrong with that- It's an admirable trait.

    I used to envy my friends that could get drunk on 3 beers, too! I would have saved a ton of money (actually, I woulda blown it on something else, I'm sure). Come to think of it- audiophilia is kinda like alcoholism: the more you indulge- the more it takes to get you off. My advice- SLOW DOWN! Don't be in any hurry to upgrade your gear if it's making you happy. Milk it for all it's worth- the upgrade bug SUCKS!

    I do know of one great value in amplifiers- usually around the 2-3 hundred dollar mark- sometimes less. I think (IMO) it's one of the biggest sleepers in audio- but others may stongly disagree (without actually hearing one, probably). Check out a used Nakamichi STASIS amp. This technology was used by Nakamichi (to great commercial success) as a more affordable version of Threshold amps. Usually integrated- SR2A and SR3A and up. Nowhere near the tuner of your Pioneer- but a much more accurate sound reproduction. It's smooth, clean, flat, focused, well engineered (Pass circuit), and (best part) usually dirt cheap! Try eBay.

    That's just my opinion- like all others, take it with a grain (or pound) of salt.

    Regards,
    Mike.

  10. #40
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Balanced

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilch
    Everything balanced is best, but that limits your equipment choices.

    Once the signal is converted to balanced in the chain, I avoid converting it back to unbalanced, though, in theory, that's workable also. The lower the signal level, the more benefit accrues from using balanced interconnects.

    My $99 unbalanced output CD player is connected to my balanced input EQ with short (18") conversion cables, RCA on one end, XLR on the other. All interconnects after that are balanced XLR or TRS cables.

    If I wanted a preamp/processor in there, I doubt I'd be willing to pay for a pro balanced one, and it'd likely run that unbalanced too, in which case I'd use the shortest unbalanced interconnects that would fit.
    Well I think I see where my money is going to be spent in the next year or so. I am going to upgrade my 2 channel system. I was initally thinking about upgrading my 2 front speakers. But when i hooked up the Altec amp from the preouts on the sony earlier, It was like getting a new set of speakers they sounded that much better. and thinking over what you and bo said earlier about the GFP-750 preamp. considering it does have xlr inputs and outputs, And im sure much better analog abilitys, Than my sony. it only seems to make sense to me to purchase it, to use for 2 channel stereo stuff. cds and music off the tuner. then purchase a quality cd player with xlr outputs also. Is there any quality seperate tuners that you can recomend that utilize xlr outputs? THANKS JIM

  11. #41
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbrace
    The receiver (amp) I use in my reference system is a Sony GX10ES.

    http://www.thevintageknob.org/SONY/s...STRGX10ES.html,
    SPONTANEOUS TWIN DRIVE!!!! ...and it came from the same company that brought us the Playstation!




    Damn I love this stuff!

    Widget

  12. #42
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbrace
    In my experience in audio thus far there are 3 types of amps, good ones, bad ones, and boutique. ... all I was asking is if it was worth it to try a Sansui, I have yet to hear one.
    Unlike the boutique guys, I don't go for comparing amps like vintage wines, but I'd suggest there may be 5 levels of amps... anyway, you answered your own question about the Sansui... to use your scale it will be in the first category... "good amps".

    Good listening... hey, any idea why 90% of the audio nerds are old farts like myself?


    Widget

  13. #43
    Nightbrace
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    I am always up for suggestions and thanks for your recommendation, heck I even tried the Playstation, and as crazy as it may sound at my young age, was the first Playstation I ever owned. I kinda stopped at SNES, but I was definitely was a stellar video game player.

    If I come across one, I might give it a shot, I got a Nakamichi tape deck, I have all but 5 tapes, but my mom visits and listens sometimes, and heck I paid $20 for it! I think it sounds great, well at least for a cassette player.

    I enjoy trying new things as much as I do listening to what I have now. And I don't think my feelings are psychosomatic, I am happy (for now), but know there is better stuff out there. I will slowly get there, but I'm in no hurry, and need to be happy with what I have now in order to be even happier when I get the means to make improvements. Maybe a lesson you should consider?
    From here on out its all just small moves up the ladder anyways. Few "normal" people have even had close to as nice of a set-up as I do, well maybe some did back in the 70's, but certainly not now. I have gone into Tweeter and actually laughed at the people working there saying this is the best speaker in the world, or this is the best amp, truth be told a million units and speakers made in the 70's were better than what they have.

    Hopefully the prices for a great DAC to go along with my Sony or NAD will start to fall. But with the interest in audio switching to convenience more than quality I doubt they will. Not to mention more and MORE channels, 5,6,7, when will it end?. 5 is more than enough for Home theater, and I doubt anyone can name 10 DVD titles that are recorded in 6.1, so whats the point of 7? All it does is mirror the 6th channel.

    SACD however was a great concept and was really a way to set the benchmark for the future of quality recordings, but it wound up being a gimmick to utilize 5.1 as they couldn't fit the rcordings onto a regular disk. Why would I want to hear Eric Clapton behind my head? I could maybe see it to mimic the reverberations of an orchestra, but hey my Sony has a Hall feature with a reverb, whoopee, I have never used it .

    I may start another debate, but I think 24-bit, 192 KHz is perfection, and would really shine if the SACD's and players were intended for 2 channels. I tried a Sony ES SACD player versus the same recording at 44.1 KHz, 16-bit played on my Sony CDPC701ES and the normal CD actually sounded better on the 701ES, and (the 44.1 Khz recording) was noticably worse on the SACD player as compared to the 701ES.

    With a better DAC know I could have noticed the difference as the potential for a noticable jump is there, but there's no way to harness it without spending big bucks, what a shame. its like having a restictor plate on a car with 1000 horses. Argh!

    Maybe its time for me to roll up my sleeves and do some more CD player modding cause I doubt the SACD format will stick. My NAD is loaded, but could always get drunker

  14. #44
    Nightbrace
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    Good listening... hey, any idea why 90% of the audio nerds are old farts like myself?
    Um, because you were actually alive when audio meant something to people.

    Are you knocking my Sony?

  15. #45
    Nightbrace
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    Mr. Widget, would you care to indulge me on the 5 levels?

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