Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What would give me better sound: a new centre speaker or a new receiver?
I'm trying to upgrade my Paradigm Speaker cc-370 v.4 which is connected to a Yamaha RX-V657 and I'm not sure if a new speaker (maybe the CC-290 or the massive CC-390) would give me the best results.
How about upgrading instead the receiver to a new Yamaha RX-A2000-A big jump I know...I considered the Onkyo TX-RS608 but not enough of an upgrade I think-
I know that lossless audio will sound better but I also want better sound with plain DD/DTS.
what would give me the best results- a receiver or a better speaker?
What's your experience? thanks in advance.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,566 Posts
Speakers usually provide more difference than an AVR. Of course the amount of change would depend on the makes/models involved, but in general that's the case, especially if you have a half-decent AVR to begin with, which you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
I'm a fan of using a power amp to upgrade SQ. Given that your existing receiver has pre-outs, I would suggest that you try connecting a power amp. I'd say you will not be disappointed by the SQ improvement.

Being in Toronto, you can probably ask some dealers about auditioning a few power amps.

I used to own an Anthem amp. Recently, I've purchased a bunch of amps from Emotiva. You can go for something like this 5-channel or this 7-channel. Other ID companies I looked at before were Outlaw Audio and Virtue Audio (really ugly website though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
I think a responsible answer requires looking at your total system makeup. What are your mains, rears and sub?

The cc370 is a pretty good centre channel, I have one myself. I am running Monitor 7's and left and right, cc370 centre, B&W sub (which replaced a Paradigm 2200 sub because the B&W has a front firing port vs the Paradigm's rear port. Since my speakers are in a closet, I require the front firing to avoid boominess). I am using Stylus 450's as rear /surround speakers. All are driven by a new Denon 4310 receiver which replaced a Pioneer Elite 54TXi as the Pio did not have HDMI or lossless decoding. Source is either a Denon 2200 DVD player or PS3.

The Denon allowed HDMI, lossless decoding, which I readily noticed the improvement on, and HDMI passthru, so I could get rid of the problematic Monoprice HDMI switch (didn't always self -activate). Any further upgrades will require a full 5 speaker upgrade, which IMO, I don't really need, just yet. The paradigm setup is pretty darn solid,IMO.

So, if we knew what the rest of your system was, we can suggest optimal upgrades. ie, if your mains are Titans or something, maybe a mains swap would be better. The cc370 is a pretty darn good centre channel if properly mated to the rest of your system. If the rest of the speakers are pretty good, then maybe a source upgrade or amp upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

I have paired the paradigm cc-370 v.4 with monitors 7v.6 and paradigm micros at the back. And velodyne 12". I think is a good budget home theatre and my Yamaha is a decent receiver. I just want a bit more out of the experience! I will try a new speaker and hear if that does it. Maybe i visit this forum too much!! I got envious! I should be happy with my set up. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Would THX loudness plus or dolby volume make centre speaker clearer?

One last question if i may. Some new receivers have new low volume listening modes that on paper sound better than the midnight cinema mode my current Yamaha Rx v657 have. Would THX loudness plus,dolby volume or audyssey dynamic EQ/volume make dialogue on my paradigm cc-370 v. 4 clearer and with more presence? Yamaha doesnt want to license those technologies and their midnight mode- I use the mid or high setting -helps but brings background sound too high. Watching Fast and furious, the first one, last night i had a hard time getting all the dialogue! The cars and all that was fabulous!!maybe the mix but i wish dialogue was clearer. I had the cc 370 abut higher than the rest but even so. I cant stand the highs and lows in many soundtracks. Maybe im getting a bit old!! Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,566 Posts
I'm not sure that Audyssey et al would help with dialogue. Many movies today seem to have way too much surround sound making dialogue difficult to hear. I boost the center channel a couple of dB to compensate.

One way Audyssey could help is if the dialogue frequencies specifically are adversely affected by your room acoustics, as Audyssey can compensate for that.

Placement of the center channel can also be quite important. Recommend to place it so that the speaker is angled directly to your ear position, not straight out, especially if it's near the floor or ceiling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I wonder if others are experiencing the same but I find that while I have excellent dialogues from my center speaker from Blu-rays, the same cannot be said for TV shows (Rogers cable in my case).

I was watching Fareed Zakaria GPS from CNNHD yesterday and once again I noticed that the dialogue was a little weak unless I crank the overall volume to about -10db on my Pioneer VSX-1019. Room already calibrated with MCACC. I could fix the 'problem' if I set Dialogue E. to ON but then I have the dialogue from all 3 front speakers vs just the center speaker. I normally set it to -19 with Blu-rays and even then the dialogue is way clearer/louder and that's why I think the weak dialogue from TV shows has to do with the original signal mix vs equipment issues on my side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Is Dolby Volume the"best" low volume listening technology? A must have?

Just trying to decide what the important features on a new receiver should be...I know that very few receivers have it-nobody wants to pay license fees to Dolby...
I wonder if the Yamaha RXA-1000 proprietary low volume listening are any good. I sure think the night mode on the RX-V line could be better.
Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
maybe the CC-290 or the massive CC-390
I certainly wouldn't downgrade to a CC-290.

I should be happy with my set up.
Most audiophiles experience this. Congratulations, you have just been promoted to the rank of audiophile. ;)

While the Yamaha RX-V657 is a decent receiver, it's a little underpowered and Yamaha does not provide much of what I would look for in a high end amplifier. Neither does the Yamaha RX-A2000-A. The Yamaha RX-A2000-A has lots of nice technology but Yamaha skimps on providing much detail on the amplifier section. That makes me think they might cut a few corners. You might want to consider another brand of receiver and going to separate components with a high end amplifier and preamp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thanks Scary!

would a HK AVR 3600 with Dolby Volume provide me with better overall HT sound? mostly dialogue at lower volume levels? or is the HK not as good as the Yamaha RXA2000?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
609 Posts
i used to have my CC recessed back from the edge of the HT stand, essentially pressed up against the LCD stand. leaving ..5-6 " (or whatever) between the front of the CC and the forward edge of the HT stand (top shelf) ...this caused deflecting of the sound off the top shelf.. not optimal situation.

experience has taught me, plus friendly PM (heads up) from a fellow HT'er, bring the CC slightly beyond (over) the HT stands front edge, flanked by the front L/R slightly ahead of the CC (what i have been doing) ..

gee .. upon initially doing so (with the CC) .. the change (improvement) was quite noticeable. this may apply to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
Just trying to decide what the important features on a new receiver should be...I know that very few receivers have it-nobody wants to pay license fees to Dolby...
I wonder if the Yamaha RXA-1000 proprietary low volume listening are any good. I sure think the night mode on the RX-V line could be better.
Any thoughts?
Personally I would love to have Dolby Volume...however I'm not sure it would provide the answer you are looking for to fix your HT issue:

"Dolby® Volume delivers a consistent volume to all your entertainment. It eliminates annoying volume differences, whether between TV shows and commercials or between different pieces of home theater gear."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
New receiver HK AVR 3600 and new CC-390 v.6

ok...sometimes we just have to go for the full monty!! or something like that!
I decided to get a Harman Kardon AV3600 and also a gently used Paradigm CC-390 v.6!
oh yes...I installed the set up this last weekend and here are my observations.
The HK AVR is a nice receiver with lots of clean power. I never really crank up the sound to near reference levels but I can feel the power of the amplifier. The HDMI switching is great and the ipod connection is good. Now to the sound.
The Dolby Volume is rather interesting. On my previous "classic" Yamaha RX-V657 (from 2005) I would use the night listening mode and I didn't find it to be very good at all. I could hear it adjusting the background sound accordingly and sometimes I could ever a sort of a hiss instead of improving the quality of the dialogue...maybe it was my previous CC-370 (which is now in my video editing suite).
So, using Dolby volume-it consist of 2 Dolby technologies- The leveler (consistent volume within a source) and the modeler which tries to recreate the reference presentation while we listen at lower volumes...so I tried 4 settings- off, low, medium and maximum.
On the low setting only the modeler is on, on medium both leveler and modeler are active and the leveler has a value of 3 and on the high setting, the leveler has a value of 9. So the sound is more compressed and that can make voices a bit screeching sometimes.
I find that Dolby Volume exagerates the bass since at low listening levels we can't hear bass (feel?!) very well...so, a control for bass trimming and LFE is provided to tame the bass...I think it works well..
listening to about -25db and with dolby volume at medium is very pleasant. Dialogue is improved but this is in great part due to the massive paradigm cc-390 v.6. I decided not to mount it on a shelf and instead I mounted my samsung on the wall and the CC-390 just below it. I may post a pic if i can. In any case, I do miss a bit the DSP modes Yamaha has to offer-specially the Sci-Fi setting. i didn't care about the rest really...

So, now I have a couple of questions for you guys:

1- I read a review of the CC-390 v.6 on Home Theatre Sound where the reviewer writes:
"I set up the cc-390 to large (full-range) to keep all the center channel bass front and center and with no additional crossover interfering with the sound, the dialogue was cleaner than I've heard it in system".
I know that the consensus among HT enthusiasts is to set all speakers to small and let the Sub do the work. (i have a 12 Velodyne sub)..but would I be running the risk of "damaging" my brand new HK receiver by setting the CC-390 to large and leaving the Paradigm Monitors 7 v.6 as small? If setting it to large provides more dialogue clarity then that would be the way to go...right?

2- Since my HK is still on the trial period- I could choose to return it within 30 days-Does anyone know if the new Yamaha RXA-1000 7.2 Channel Digital Home Theatre Receiver has improved their Dynamic Range Control to be as good as Dolby Volume? I know that the HK is one of the cheapest units around with Dolby Volume...and I can see using it a lot more than other features.

and finally, the high resolution bluray audio definitely sound better than "plain" DD/DTS. But not an OMG experience at least not at the normal volumes I listen to.
One thing I wish the AVR 3600 had is passive HDMI pass-thru ( but while is on there's a HDMI pass thru)-but I solved that by connecting component cables from my bluray to my TV so that I can watch a dvd without having to turn on the receiver. Very rarely but good to have.

thanks
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top