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Will I notice the difference? Opinions, please.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by glenmus, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. glenmus

    glenmus
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    I've currently got a Technics pro-logic receiver (SA720?), a Panasonic A350 DVD, an Eltax centre, Gale fronts and Wharfedale rears.

    The DVD has an on-board Dolby digital decoder, but cannot output DTS (or so I've been told).

    I was looking at getting a sub-woofer, some speaker stands, a new amp and a new player (purely for DTS - I'm very happy with the quality of picture), but, obviously not all at once!

    I'm happy with the sound of my current system both for music and movies, but technology marches on, and I wonder if a newer system would sound better - especially for movies.

    The reason for this (newbie) question is when I were a lad me and my housemates used to avidly buy What Hi-Fi. They all bought seperates and I bought a (supposedly) inferior midi system. They were always coming into my room to compare the sound and then nipping back down to the second hand shop to tune their system. I on the other hand was perfectly happy. Therefore will I notice the benefit?

    Sorry for the long post. I don't think this has been asked before but I've spent a couple of weeks reading the forums already and can't afford to go back any further!
     
  2. WBC

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    You'll definately notice the difference!!! :D

    There are loads of options to open your world to Dolby Digital and DTS. Before you purchase, make sure you listen to and demo everything on your hitlist.

    I've got an old kenwood midi system that is probably 9-10yrs old. Cost about £1000 in its day and still sounds great (its been used in the garage for years) but that doesn't mean its not past it!!!!

    Before you jump in to speaker stands etc, work out your budget. If you can get a good deal on your amp and dvd player, you may be able to purchase new speakers. Although I'm sure your happy with what you have, I doubt they match tonally (if thats a word!?!?!) at all. You might be able to purchase a full set of speakers & sub that will improve your system no end.

    Think about what you want and your prioritys. Personally I'd start with a new Amp!!!

    Happy shopping :D !!!
    Stace
     
  3. Garincha

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    If you are happy why changing? Wanna be happier? Add a sub, buy new amp, change source . . . and by then it is too late, you're bitten by the bug and your whole income for next thousand years is booked out for upgrades.
    Welcome to the club!
     
  4. glenmus

    glenmus
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I guess my concerns are:
    1. I might have cloth ears that can't tell the difference between a decent bit of kit and a low-rent kit.
    2. I can't audition all the kit I want in one place - the amps for example come from 2 or 3 different dealers. How do you guys get round that?
    3. If I keep my speakers, in the short term, I'll have to lug them round to the auditions.
    4. Most importantly - SWMBO has to be convinced.

    If this all sounds a bit naff or I'm overlooking something obvious please let me know.

    BTW last time I purchased any kit (about 4 years ago) I just bought loads of mags and used their reviews to guide me. I bought most of it from Richer Sounds. The shop was too crowded for me to audition, so I was told to bring anything back I didn't like.
     
  5. nunew33

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    Im like you are. And all your points are perfectly valid

    I can kind of tell the difference between agood piece of kit and an average piece of kit. But once im happy with what I hear I dont feel the need to better it, even though I may have heard better. I think sometimes its the difference between listening to music or listeing to the system. I simply set a budget and got the best I could get that I thought sounded ok.

    You will notice the difference between prologic and dolby digital as that is a leap in difference. The difference between DTS and DD is less discernable. And the sound between different amps in the same price/performance bracket can be different, but its a matter of how sensitive your ears are and your personal taste.

    Ive got a marantz av amp that I thought was better than its yamaha equivelent especially for music. Ive put it with a £400 speaker set (that was £800) and use what use to be considered a good Sony DVD. Yet I still prefer the sound of my Kenwood Midi for stereo music!!!!! Even though you hear more detail in the AV setup and its more 3 dimentional, I dont know what it is that makes me prefer the kenwood.
     
  6. James45

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    replace the amp first surely... you WILL notice the difference between Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 compared to Pro-logic. Then a sub would seem the next logical step. After that you have to decide which is the next weak link to be replaced... it's a slippery slope downhill. But a new DD/DTS amp and a sub should improve your movies' sound no end.
     
  7. nunew33

    nunew33
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    James45, Sorry to digress, but is that icon Jay? of Silent bob and Jay fame
     
  8. WBC

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    Do you have a short list for your amp & speakers???

    You can book a demo with Richer Sounds (southampton) if they have the kit you are looking at. (Don't be swayed by the sales b*****ks that their staff will throw at you, most of the kit they try to move is usually their own!!)

    If you want an unbiased opinion try Portsmouth HiFi (Arundel Street, You know where it is!!! :D ) I've always found them more than helpful, they stock a fair amount of kit and their guys seem know what there talking about.

    Sony (in Portsmouth) have a listening room now, but unfortunately your stuck to testing only one brand.

    Don't be swayed by mag reviews, I'm sure they've a hidden agenda!!!

    Use your ears and make up your own mind. Its your hard earned money and you have to decide for yourself.

    Make sure you ask ALL the questions in your head before you leave otherwise you'll be kicking yourself all the way home.

    Good Luck
    Stace :D
     
  9. James45

    James45
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    sure is... in Chronic-guise battling Cocknocker in J&SBSB, not the clearest of avatars though, a bit dark... i may have to redo it
     
  10. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Cocknocker, yes its all coming flooding back!!! Mark Hamill as Cocknocker, that film certainly knocked down the icons of the star wars generation
     
  11. Andywilliams

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    hi glenmus
    have a look at the yamaha hti-b 60 and hti-b 65 these cost £491-£515 they are excellent systems for the money and are both easy to upgrade if you so wish.The systems have all separate components and also look good as well as sounding good. You can find them on qed.com .
    gonzo:)
     
  12. glenmus

    glenmus
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  13. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Note that all of the amps you list give dpl2 which is a leap in sound quality over dpl. This means that the upgrade will benefit all your stereo sources (that have surround embedded) as well, specifically coronation street and eastenders!!! If your wife is a soap fiend, the upgrade is as good as sanctioned
     
  14. glenmus

    glenmus
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    I've not heard of these before. Time for a little web research.
     
  15. glenmus

    glenmus
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    Actually we were watching The Full Monty on video last night. I told her it would sound much better with dpl2 without provoking the usual response:D

    The more I think of it, I'm likely to be able to get an amp, new DVD player and sub past her but she probably won't wear the speakers (as it were). It's crazy when you think about it. A car costs far more in depreciation each year than home cinema, and home cinema is mostly pleasure while driving is mainly sitting in queues.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  16. James45

    James45
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    Damn right that's why SWMBO never gets obeyed around my way!!:D
     
  17. glenmus

    glenmus
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    Ah! She's not too bad really. It's mainly a matter of bad timing. I let her buy a couple of things, then loads of essential electrical bits started going belly up (cooker, dish washer, you know essentials). That means there's not too much left in the pot. Still, if I hold off on replacing my motor for an extra 6 months...
     
  18. Rory

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    Glenmus

    My system comprises of a Tosh SD220, Marantz SR5200, Gale fronts, eltax centre and some old Solid rears - and it sounds fine.

    The next step for me is to buy a decent Velodyne sub from Uncle Eric and then look at replacing the main speakers at a later date.

    Rory

    P.S. You can get the 220 from RS for £119 - an absolute bargain.
     
  19. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The Tosh may be a good player but I've always gone for something with two scart sockets as it makes connecting everything up that much easier if you have a digibox and want RGB from both sources.
     
  20. glenmus

    glenmus
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    Thanks Rory,

    I think I'll probably go for a sub-woofer first.

    Glenn
     
  21. glenmus

    glenmus
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    Thanks Ian,

    I hadn't thought of that. My cable box goes through my VCR to enable me to record from it. I know the Pioneer 656 (?) has 2 scarts. What other reasonably priced players do?

    Glenn
     
  22. Nobber22

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  23. nunew33

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    Sorry for being a bit slow but what does SWMBO stand for
     
  24. James45

    James45
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    She Who Must Be Obeyed!!
     
  25. dgj

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    Don't forget to budget for decent connection leads and speaker wire. A quality co-axal for audio and good RGB scart or component, £20 to £50 each should be ok for the best sound and picture.

    With the amp decoding DD and DTS, you won't need a decoder with the DVD, just one that outputs DD and DTS.
     

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