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malcolm
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$500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo?

I have a pair of Boston AR1 floor speakers for my living room-14'x24'. I was using a Denon DRA-395 receiver to play CDs on them until the Denon died last week. The receiver was ok, but it did tend to fatigue me and even hurt my ears at moderately high volumes, say, between 10 and 11 o'clock on the dial. I have about $500 to spend on the Denon's replacement. I don't get any classical stations where I live, so a tuner is not critical to me. I was thinking about buying a Yamaha RX797 receiver, but an integrated amp or pre amp and amp combo would no doubt be better. Any thing out there that can play symphonies with lots of guts and not hurt my ears or my wallet?

ohfourohnine
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

If you can stretch your budget about $100, I'd suggest the Marantz PM7001 for $600. Otherwise, check out the Cambridge Audio Azur 640Av2 at about $500. These two 70 and 75 watt, two-channel amps are about as good as you'll find in new equipment in your price range, and it will take the best part of another $1,000 to get appreciably better performance.

Although you've played down the importance of a receiver, the Outlaw, which is just a tad over your budget appears to be a fine performer.

Any of the above will be a better investment than the Yamaha you're considering.

Incidentally, what kind of CD player are you using. Some of the "fatigue" problems you've experienced might not have originated with the Denon receiver, but instead were an artifact of the CD player.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Cheapskate has given you some great suggestions. I would add a Jolida 1701 with 12ax7 vacuum tubes in the preamp section and Mosfet output stage at a very nice 50+ watts per channel.

This rig will not fatigue you at all. It has no remote, but get over it. It is the sound that matters, as you have found out.

garthr2
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo


Quote:
I have a pair of Boston AR1 floor speakers for my living room-14'x24'. I was using a Denon DRA-395 receiver to play CDs on them until the Denon died last week. The receiver was ok, but it did tend to fatigue me and even hurt my ears at moderately high volumes, say, between 10 and 11 o'clock on the dial. I have about $500 to spend on the Denon's replacement. I don't get any classical stations where I live, so a tuner is not critical to me. I was thinking about buying a Yamaha RX797 receiver, but an integrated amp or pre amp and amp combo would no doubt be better. Any thing out there that can play symphonies with lots of guts and not hurt my ears or my wallet?

Sorry to hear the Denon died. Modern electronics are just getting too poorly made.

I've auditioned in my home the DRA-395, as well as the Yamaha RX-797, Marantz PM7001,Harman HK 3480 ,NAD C372 and Outlaw RR2150. First, the Yamaha is just as tiring to listen to as the Denon. I don't know what adjective to use, other than just harsh. The Marantz was OK at lower volumes, but turn it up past 10 or 11 it too was harsh, but to a lesser degree than the Denon or Yamaha. The NAD sound was totally different, kind of heavy with a recessed high end. It reminds me of using the "high filter" switch that came on amps and receivers in the 70's and 80's. Yes, it cuts out the harshness , but at the expense of resolution. It was not for me.

The HK 3480 and Outlaw RR2150 sound similar ..... and these are best for my ears.I own both of them. They are well balanced(no over/under emphasized high/lows and no harshness. The Outlaw is more than double the HK, and wether or not this is worth it is up to the individual. The downside to the HK for me is the background noise of it. They appear to not filter noise out of the power supply very well, so with my Sennheiser HD-595's the background sounds like I'm living under a powerline. Through the speakers it's there, but you really have to listen for it, normally it's unnoticable. I gave the HK to a family member to use.

The Outlaw is a real keeper, it's got a bit more punch than the HK, and is dead quiet in the background. Headphones sound great, and it's just a pleasure to listen to with all music types. For the extra cost, the build is better, noise is gone, and I'm happy. What price is that worth?

Will it last any longer ? .... I hope so , but these days nothing is guaranteed .

I know $650 is well above your budget, but there are all sorts of ways to save a few dollars here and there . I've learned I'm not saving anything if I buy what I don't want. ..... I'm better of saving for what I do want:)

Of course , this is only my opinion, good luck in your choice !

malcolm
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Thanks for all the suggestions. After visiting the Outlaw website, I was so impressed that I ordered the RR2150 receiver. Its over budget, but that's better than living with something that bugs me to listen to. If it doesn't work out they'll let me return it. I'm sure it'll be great.

Also, be careful when buying electronics on the web, that you shop at factory authorized sites only. If you don't, your warranties could be void. I bought that Denon from Etronics for a great price, but Denon wouldn't repair it. It didn't even last a year.

malcolm
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Cheapskate, to answer your question, My CD player is a Sony Super Audio SCD-CE595. Regarding the fatigue, It seemed to lessen when I switched to my old, spare receiver--an AIWA SA-GX100--after The Denon passed away.

garthr2
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

A year ...... that's a real shame .... and even more that Denon would not repair it. It's also a shame these businesses can sell these goods and not be authorized to sell it. Many customers are not savvy enough to know what they're -not saving- by purchasing from these places. Live and learn though !! Who hasn't been burned at some time?

Good for you ordering the Outlaw ! The Outlaw saloon forum is also a good place if you have any questions about it, since it is model specific. Happy listening

ohfourohnine
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

So you bought the Outlaw, Good Show!! I love happy endings.

greenelec
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Please let us know how the Outlaw performs for you. I look forward to your review!

cbone2112
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

I second the Jolida 1701a. I have one and the sound is amazing. You can upgrade the tubes and power cord if you get the need to tinker. Check the reviews on this one at audioreview.com

CECE
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Yup, get that new line cord!!! These factories making this stuff never get the cords right!!!! Remember, line cords have sound, just use your ears.

malcolm
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

Well, I got my Outlaw RR2150 and have been trying it out with various CDs. First of all, I'm an audiophile with a very thin wallet. So, even this was a financial stretch for me. That said, I'm quite happy with the RR 2150. I can crank up the volume on recordings that used to sound harsh at almost any volume and and enjoy pain free listening. Problematic sopranos produce loud, rich, round, soaring, breathtaking highs, without that haze of harshness I was used to with the Denon DRA 395. The Denon sounded gutsier on some CDs, but the Outlaw seemed more natural and balanced overall. Some choral recordings that used to hurt my ears now sound more three dimensional and less painfull. Bad recordings are always going to have problems, but this receiver seems to help them clean up somewhat. The main thing is, I can live with this receiver. There may be more mellow stuff out there, but this is as far as my budget and time will go .

malcolm
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo

I just want to add one thing. My idea of "cranking it up" for the Outlaw RR 2150 is between 10 and 11 on the volume. Anything over 11--for CDs--sounds harsh to me. For my tape deck, between 11 and 12 was not harsh.

garthr2
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Re: $500 for a receiver, an integrated amp, or pre amp-amp combo


Quote:
Well, I got my Outlaw RR2150 and have been trying it out with various CDs. First of all, I'm an audiophile with a very thin wallet. So, even this was a financial stretch for me. That said, I'm quite happy with the RR 2150. I can crank up the volume on recordings that used to sound harsh at almost any volume and and enjoy pain free listening. Problematic sopranos produce loud, rich, round, soaring, breathtaking highs, without that haze of harshness I was used to with the Denon DRA 395. The Denon sounded gutsier on some CDs, but the Outlaw seemed more natural and balanced overall. Some choral recordings that used to hurt my ears now sound more three dimensional and less painfull. Bad recordings are always going to have problems, but this receiver seems to help them clean up somewhat. The main thing is, I can live with this receiver. There may be more mellow stuff out there, but this is as far as my budget and time will go .

Hey, I'm glad you're happy with the Outlaw. Sure, there's better sounding stuff for alot more money, but I found it to be the best overall in this price range.

10 - 12 is pretty loud ! . . . loud enough

I found the Denon 395 to be anemic compared to the RR2150. .. . . a lack of richness and just unpleasant to turn up. The "loudness" function was wickedly overdone to me, but without it ...... I kept asking myself "where's the beef ?"

CD's vary in their recorded quality that it's maddening somethimes ... but LP's and cassette's were the same ; some engineers have golden ears ..... some have too much wax in them

Live and learn . Happy Listening !!!

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