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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Is it better to get a good receiver or good speakers ??


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TattooedMac

 
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Oops double post Look below

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Im looking at building up my Media centre ATM and i noticed the Denon has bought out Airplay Compatible Receivers Denon AVR-3311CI 7.2 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver with HDMI 1.4a (Black) . . . I like the look of it and the price seems to be ok as well.

Now my question is for all the Audiophiles is, should i lash out on a good receiver or do i get good speakers ??
I have a AE (airport express) and have a good Edifier ~ Aurora 2.1 notebook speakers for my sound atm.
So is it best for me to buy good speakers 5.1/7.1 and hook them through my AE or do i get the Denon receiver and get moderate speakers ??

What do the Audiophiles think ?? OR do i save more and get both ?? What are the pros/cons or getting one or the other ??
I also want the ability to use the Optical Audio out on my ATV2 as well because i just have the TV sound via a HDMI cable ....
What direction should i be taking. Is Denon decent. The reviews look very good and positive, but i would rather ask members i trust here in the forum . . .

Any advice would be great.

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This can be a tough question. Some folks will say...to get the best sound...you first must have a good receiver (which is probably right). A good receiver + good speakers = great sound.

If you don't have a huge budget...I look at it this way. I think that you will get better overall sound quality with an average receiver & good speakers....than a good receiver & average speakers.

In other words (to me) if you can't afford to get "good everything"...get the good speakers first!

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I'm not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination -but I do enjoy quality in my music reproduction. What I have found is that the speakers and the quality thereof will play the biggest role in quality listening. If you've got crap speakers you're going to have a crap listening experience despite the fact you have the best, most expensive Amp driving them. Conversely, even an average Amp is well capable of driving a quality set of speakers with vastly improved results.

I reckon for short-term "bang-for-the-buck", lash out on the very best speakers your budget will allow. In future, you'll be able to upgrade your Amp to something more capable whilst still enjoying all the benefits of decent speakers.

Yep, Denon are a well-respected manufacturer. Others may include Kenwood, Bose, Yamaha etc. Personally I would steer well clear of anything bearing the Sony label. For speakers, again Kenwood, Tannoy amongst others... your potentials are almost limitless.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
This can be a tough question.

In other words (to me) if you can't afford to get "good everything"...get the good speakers first!

- Nick
Yes i agree Nick. Is why i posted here as im in 2 minds ATM. I looked at these Denon only because of the AirPlay compatibility. I do know that *good speakers are good* just havnt delved into the Amp/Receiver side of things . . . .

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Originally Posted by RadioSaigon View Post
Yep, Denon are a well-respected manufacturer. Others may include Kenwood, Bose, Yamaha etc. Personally I would steer well clear of anything bearing the Sony label. For speakers, again Kenwood, Tannoy amongst others... your potentials are almost limitless.
Thanks for the input RS ...... I tend to stay away from the Bose/Marantz side of the spectrum. Yes they are good brands and people swear by them, but the "bang for buck" you mentioned IMO is over rated for these 2 manufactures . . .

Still in 2 minds lol I really do like the AirPlay compatibility

I could go this way DN7 - Multi Media System With IPod Dock & Internet Radio as it combines the 2 in 1 (Speakers/Receiver) but not keen on white Hard to please here lol

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Speakers first, linked with decent cable, not the cheap bell wire they normally come with (but not stupid expensive stuff, some cost thousands!) and then receiver.
Even low end receivers use decent chips these days (often the same ones as the high end models from the same company) so the main differences then come from processing etc.
For speakers (here in the UK anyway) B & W and KEF rule. Tannoy and Meridian are both excellent too.

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Note: I haven't been able to afford being an audiophile for a number of years. So, I haven't kept up with that type of equipment. For those of us that can't afford true audiophile status, the middle of the road equipment today does offer a lot better than what we could find from the 60s to 80s.

Good points by Kev - Speakers first with good wire a close second - I use 12 gauge and don't recommend anything smaller than 16 gauge. And, the length should be the same to all your surround speakers.

Speakers are a personal taste issue to a great extent also and require some time listening to them and listening to music/movies you're familiar with to make an educated decision. I never purchase speakers without carrying my own stuff into the showroom to hear it. I don;t believe I've purchased any speakers in 40 years that I haven't listened to a half dozen times before I take them home with me. Also note, they never sound the same as they do in the showroom either, due to the varying acoustics of the settings.

I use to have one speaker dealer that had a couple of dedicated listening rooms. One with carpet and one with hardwood floors. You wanted to hear a set of speakers, he set that pair up in the room. Want to listen to another set, the first set was removed from the room and the 2nd set was put in there. Listening to speakers in a room full of speakers like most of those big box places - you're hearing not only the ones that are turned on, but every other speaker in the place is putting out resonating tones also - makes it very hard to know if you're making the right choice or not.

It really depends on money though and what you're moving from. If you're moving from low end equipment, it doesn't take a whole lot to be impressed with the improvement from your previous setup.

Denon makes some fine middle of the road equipment, although, I've ended up with Onkyo over the last 20 years when looking at that price range. I was selling hifi gear when Onkyo started out and have always been impressed with the quality for the money.

If you're looking for something to start with to build from and your budget is under $1000, then I'd probably look at receiver first and get some speakers that will do. Because, you're not going to get any really nice speakers for much under a grand.

The Denon you're looking at, at that price point, that's probably a good starter kit at a modest price and the speakers will be the weak link in the chain - good enough for most folks, but they're cheap enough it won't bother you to toss them or give them away later on if/when you're ready to make a step up.

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One other thing to note about speakers.
They need "bedding in". By that I mean they never sound their best for quite a while, after they have had a few good work out to remove any manufacturing stiffness in the components.

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I like Bob have Integra (Onkyo's installers brand) and they seem to have all the bells and
whistles without the added cost along with being able to play 4ohm impedance loads speakers often go to in the lower Hz. For speakers bring your favorite piece and demo
as many brands within your budget that you can. I found at the time Paradigm Studio's
fit the bill. I would get the speakers first because they will have the most affect on sound.
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I've found that good speakers can never be broken by a less than stellar receiver--however, a powerful receiver can push less than stellar speakers over the edge and then you'll be looking for another set of speakers...

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Thanks for all that info to try and digest Kev and Bob

I am going to look for some good speakers then first. Now i am wondering how well they will work with my AE ?!?!?! Being i only have the single input plug to hook into. BC the connection is to accommodate *self powered speakers* . . . . .
Will look more into that problem . . . . I might have to go the receiver 1st if AE wont work with with the speaker RE: Connection

I am coming from nothing special speakers Bob so it wont take much to impress me lol
I did have a good set up with Kenwood but **she** got the lot. Im starting from scratch, and it will be all mine so ill get it right the first time .....


Quote:
Originally Posted by gmaust6 View Post
I've found that good speakers can never be broken by a less than stellar receiver--however, a powerful receiver can push less than stellar speakers over the edge and then you'll be looking for another set of speakers...
Good point as well Thanks g6


Hmm decisions decisions haha

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Don't want to make it too hard on you - and only bring some of this up because you're the one that mentioned audiophiles.

What are you primarily going to be listening to: music (and what genre) or movies?

With music, and primarily stereo sources, a good receiver and a pair of nice speakers is typically enough (maybe a sub here).

If movies are your prime interest, then you'll want at least a 5.1 setup and the sub is a very important part of the picture. Note: you will have to replace the piece of junk sub that comes with any "home theater" combo package in a relatively short period of time. Well, maybe not - I have friends that are tickled pink with the $4-500 receiver/5.1 speaker package they bought.

What volume do you use? As an old ex-musician, I still believe that music is meant to be "listened to", at the volume at which it was played.
If you're actually going to get into the testing mode to find speakers, this is the volume at which you need to conduct your listening tests. At lower volumes (what I call just having background noise for while you're doing things other than listening - and this is what most people do) you'll find much less "difference" between them and their importance can very quickly become almost insignificant.

I'll also reiterate - budget is the first consideration here. Because most of us just simply cannot afford what we really want when it comes to sound reproduction. My own guess - you could very well be happy with that Denon you posted for several years, although if you can listen to both of them, you might compare with the Onkyo at the same price point.

imho: With a budget at $700 - $1,000: go for the receiver you want - verify it has all the inputs you'll need, especially if you may want to use it for audio/video switching - then the best speakers with what you have left - planning to replace them in a couple of years. With a $1.5-2k budget, look at speakers first and then receivers. And for the true audiophiles, the price can go much higher (I paid $1,200 just for the needle on my turntable back in the early 70s - another reason not even the wife was allowed to touch the vinyl).

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I'm sure I just heard Brent's head explode.....

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Quote:
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I'm sure I just heard Brent's head explode.....
roflol - he asked for it

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For speakers on a budget try fluance. they are well built, and after a modest breakin period they sound better than anything in their price range. Receivers, go for a pioneer elite, onkyo, marantz, NAD, the newer H.K. the older stuff dies horrible, horrible deaths on a regular basis.
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