Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power.. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Hey guys,
My HT/Music setup:
Onkyo Tx Sr 602
4 NHT Sb-2's
Rythmik DirectServo sub

The weakest link is the Onkyo, I love the sound of my speakers but the Onkyo has a hard time powering the NHTs. People tell me Nad and NHT go together well. So i've looked into getting a Nad receiver, like the T743 or T753. But they're very expensive and I am still saving money for other things at the moment...like moving out of my house once I graduate from college. One guy tells me that upon switching from a vintage Denon (year 98' model in the $1200 pricerange) to a panasonic sa xr55, he was able to attain much higher volume levels with less distortion running his SB-3s...The price of those digital amps is just right for my budget.The thing is, Id hate to kick myself in the butt afterwards thinking that maybe I should've waited for the Nad.

What would you guys suggest?

Edit: I posted this in the wrong thread, oops. you guys can delete this.

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 03:06 PM
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Quote:
Exocer wrote:

Edit: I posted this in the wrong thread, oops. you guys can delete this.
What thread did you originally post it in? It's fine here.

I don't much about the digital receivers other than I've heard they are nice. Erik should be along soon and can brief you on the NAD and maybe have a suggestion of where you can find a good price on one.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

I actually originally posted it here, then i read that this is the section for "reviews" and this isn't a review...or at least not until i get my new amp Right now its between the Panny xr 57 or a Nad T743. Id be able to get a T743 used for ~$400 which is a of a price from an authorized dealer.

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post #4 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 03:56 PM
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Like all things in audio, there are different opinions on what is the "right" answer.

I'll give you my version of the "right" answer:

Most brand name receivers will sound the same in the same price range.

Therefore, in the same price range, a Denon will sound the same as an Onkyo as a Yamaha as a Pioneer as a NAD as a...etc.

I haven't heard the Panasonic, but I've heard good things about it. Digital amps are supposed offer a good amp for a low cost. There are some downsides when you get to the high end stuff -- something about sampling frequencies not being high enough with today's semiconductors or some such thing.. As I recall, the person who made this point was someone wickedly smart about such things. Also, to put it in persepective, his system was probably in the $30k+ region, so a $250 receiver would never have entered his equipment list.

In the end, I'd see if there was some store that would allow you to audition the receiver in your home. For example, Best Buy or some other mega-store should have them with a good refund policy. If it doesn't make your system sound appreciably better, take it back. If it does make it better, I'd say go with the Panasonic and worry about the NAD (or other brand) later. I'd accept that the NAD will give you a better sound, but the incremental improvement may or may not be worth the expense.

Again, just my $0.02.

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 04:08 PM
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

I think JCD may have a good point here. The sound quality may only be marginal, however, you may get more headroom with the NAD Receiver to push your speakers better. They seem to usually offer more power than your massively marketed receivers.

Btw, I changed the description the read " + Product Related Reviews " ... which means we can discuss all components and speakers plus post product reviews that relate to the same.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Sonnie, thanks for adding that "+"
JCD,Man, an in-home audition would rock. you hit the nail on the head. As far as sound quality, I am sure the Nad would deliver the goods. The panny on the other hand, i've seen mixed reviews about as far as SQ. What I am really after is an amp hefty enough to push my NHTs and at a decent price. Ideally, a receiver with enough power would be perfect. Not interested in Seperates I just don't have the space. I feel like im looking for something that just doesn't exist...an inexpensive amp with headroom for speakers with low sensitivity.

Edit: I just read a review of the Nad T743, saying its meant to power speakers with high sensitivity in small/medium sized rooms. My speakers do not have high sensitivity so...would I clip this amp? I do like to listen LOUD. My Onkyo can get me there but struggling a lot.

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post #7 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 06:23 PM
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

I own a 743 in my family room HT and have used it many times and quite successfully in many a HT designs/installs I've done. Most recently replacing someone's THX certified Pioneer receiver. But like JCD said, it's in the "ear" of the beholder. NAD amps are VERY clean and can pound!

Don't worry about "sensitivity" with NAD products, I've run them with highly unefficient speakers (low 80's) and they work like magic.

I have access to almost every product out there...why do I choose NAD 90% of the time? Musicality...while NAD does not have the bells and whistles of other manufacturers...it puts the $$$ into the parts that count. The amp does not colour the sound, but just represents it as is. Compared to a Panny or Yamaha amp...it will sound "I hate this term," more laid back. But IMHO those other amps are more (another term I hate but folks understand) forward sounding, so depending on what sound YOU LIKE, go that direction.

Amps will sound differently with different speakers...so match according to your tastes. There is a point of diminishing returns as well. Buying a pair of little bookshelf speakers costing $500/pair and matching them with a $20,000 amp...IMHO makes NO SENSE! So again as JCD said, given your equipment you may or may not hear any differences.

BTW...$400 for a warrantied T743 is a GREAT PRICE! I'd jump all over that one!!!
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-21-06, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

First of all thanks for that post, it puts things into perspective for me.
Secondly, with the Nad I know i'll be getting a killer amp as well as preamp.This is what has me sold on the Nad thus far. For an incremental jump in price I get a nearly future proof option. If for example somewhere down the road I move into a bigger listening space (which I hope ) with the Nad the option is always there to add an external amp. This is not an option with the Panny, in fact it would defeat the whole purpose of using digital amplification wouldn't it? Assuming the external amp is an analog unit.

The NHT's by nature seem to be a laid back type of speaker and I love their sound, even when powered by the Onkyo. So, I am not affraid to go to a laid back amp only because I like the laid back sound.

NorwegianDawg,One thing I didn't quite understand was when you mention "There is a point of diminishing returns as well. Buying a pair of little bookshelf speakers costing $500/pair and matching them with a $20,000 amp...IMHO makes NO SENSE! So again as JCD said, given your equipment you may or may not hear any differences." Do you think the Nad is perhaps too much amp for the SB-2's? When I hear my Sb-2s or even see them, I hardly think of them as ordinary bookshelf speakers with 6.5" drivers. I think of a very refined, smooth, laid back, and nearly holographic speaker that requires more power than the typical bookshelf speaker to "sing" as some say...

I put this system together, assuming everything would work as intended. It does for the most part, but I did make a mistake by going with the cheapest option for amplification and now I am paying the price for it. Id rather buy too much amp than not enough amp this time around so as not to make the same mistake again...

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post #9 of 19 Old 04-22-06, 12:08 AM
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Ex...what I meant by all that dribble... was that you want to match your equipment. You wouldn't buy a Porsche and ask for the Chevy 4-cyl. engine. Therefore, if you have quality speakers you want to power them with a quality amp...or vise versa.

I think the NHT's with the NAD...will make a nice combo.

E
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-22-06, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Goal: To awaken my SB-2's with some real power..

Alright, I gotcha. So I made the mistake of buying quality speakers with an average amp the first time around...Well the amp was an average amp for intended for average speakers at first. Upgraded the speakers and the amp just couldn't hang anymore. I saw something about a next generation of Nads comming out in about 9-12 months or so, Maybe my current setup will suffice until the next series comes out. I wont be needing HDMI (which will be included in the next gen) so hopefully the T7*3's will go down in price!

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