The open box RF-82IIs i ordered from ASD came today. i played hooky so i could be sure I got them. Since I knew they wouldn't be here in the morning I had some time to kill, so I went out amp shopping.
If you've been following my other threads, you might remember i have a Yamaha RX-V675 I got last year. I've liked it OK, but now that I've paired back to 2 speakers, it seemed like overkill to have an amp that could do 7.2 and had all these bells and whistles that I didn't want and wasn't using. I too the requisite trip to BB and saw there was nothing there to beat the Yammie, so i stopped by the local "hi-fi" store to see what they had. I was eyeing the Marantz slim line and a Rotel they had on sale, but both were more than I wanted to spend if I already had $600 sunk into the Yamaha.
It wasn't quite lunch, so I decided to stop into an antique/junk shop that has a lot of great old record and also some vintage hi-fi stuff, which i'd never paid much attention to.
I went over to the hi-fi wall and right there staring me in the face was a Kenwood KE-8006 integrated amp, which I'd just watch a youtube video about a few days ago. The price was steeper than I'd like, but the guy had cut me many a deal on records in the past. the amp had been serviced after he brought it into the shop and got a nice lubing and clean bill of health other than the phono pre not working. i have outboard for that, so I decided to give it a shot after he told me he'd give me my money back if i didn't like it.
i came home and set it up with the RF-26Fs that I've been listening to for the past week or so. Holy crap. Low end for days. Not cruddy woof-woof low end, but big full, floor shaking low. and punchy. And the rest of everything sounded amazing too. Very open, yet powerful. I felt like I was listening to music again for the first time since...well since I started buying newer gear about 15-20 years ago.
I listend to Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl, of course. I know it's a cliche, but it's a decent baseline. I don't really like my vinyl copy, but it sounded pretty amazing. Then i put on Phil Collins. I know, I know, I can' t believe it either, but that self-titled record is very dynamic and extremely well-recorded. Even with the BB speakers, it sounded great.
Then the RF-82IIs came. My original plan was to set them up and A/B back and forth with the RF-26Fs, but once I got them going, I couldn't bear to bring myself to unhook them again. I listened to the Phil Collins again and...Holy jumped up jesu christe!
The combination of that amp and those speakers is an absolute revelation. For years I've been listening to stuff that I know sounds great and wondering why it had lost its luster for me. Now I know.
Maybe if you spend well over $1000 on an AVR can you get something that rivals this sound, but I'll never find out. Yes, I'm going 2.0 for now, but with the low end that this thing puts out, I feel no need for a sub. I could put one in, but it would be overkill. And before you think I'm a basshead or something, no. I like my bass like I like my coffee: strong, but not overpowering. if you're used to using a $500-$800 AVR you haven't heard bass like this, maybe ever. This amp was built the year my brother was born. I was 3 that year. It sounds like a billion bucks and so do the RF 82IIs. WOW.
2014-08-07 15.24.12 by thejtl, on Flickr
2014-08-07 15.24.55 by thejtl, on Flickr