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The right receiver for music - not surround sound system


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I recently purchased Klipsch XF-48 speakers - which BTW are terrific for my 600 sq/ft apartment. Can someone suggest a good receiver (under $700) that will go with the speakers? I primarily listen to cd/mp3 music and don't care much for the fancy surround-sound capabilities. I have sensitive ears and I have a feeling that my old Technics SA-GX530 is not doing justice to XF-48.

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I recently purchased Klipsch XF-48 speakers - which BTW are terrific for my 600 sq/ft apartment. Can someone suggest a good receiver (under $700) that will go with the speakers? I primarily listen to cd/mp3 music and don't care much for the fancy surround-sound capabilities. I have sensitive ears and I have a feeling that my old Technics SA-GX530 is not doing justice to XF-48.

Welcome to the forum. Bill has given you good advice. You also need to pay close attention to your source material (and format) as that will have a great deal to do with what you ultimately hear.

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Thanks Bill and CECAA850.

Following Bill's suggestion, I’ve been focusing on NAD C 326BEE. However, since XF-48 speakers have a built-in amplifier, do I need to be concerned with models that have more “continuous average power” (which also carry a higher sticker price)?
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I recently purchased Klipsch XF-48 speakers - which BTW are terrific for my 600 sq/ft apartment. Can someone suggest a good receiver (under $700) that will go with the speakers? I primarily listen to cd/mp3 music and don't care much for the fancy surround-sound capabilities. I have sensitive ears and I have a feeling that my old Technics SA-GX530 is not doing justice to XF-48.

Stereophile had a glowing review of the Outlaw Audio receiver a few years ago- probably worth a look:

http://stereophile.com/integratedamps/306outlaw/
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Thanks Bill and CECAA850.

Following Bill's suggestion, I’ve been focusing on NAD C 326BEE. However, since XF-48 speakers have a built-in amplifier, do I need to be concerned with models that have more “continuous average power” (which also carry a higher sticker price)?

With those speakers, you could get by with a preamp/tuner combo. Down the road, if you go to passive speakers, you could just add outboard amplification. If you don't listen to the radio, you could use something like THIS .

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I recently purchased Klipsch XF-48 speakers - which BTW are terrific for my 600 sq/ft apartment. Can someone suggest a good receiver (under $700) that will go with the speakers? I primarily listen to cd/mp3 music and don't care much for the fancy surround-sound capabilities. I have sensitive ears and I have a feeling that my old Technics SA-GX530 is not doing justice to XF-48.

Welcome to the forum. Bill has given you good advice. You also need to pay close attention to your source material (and format) as that will have a great deal to do with what you ultimately hear.

I will second that... Anything less than 320 kbs (MP3s) will not give the best sound.

This makes a HUGE difference in how my system sounds!!!!!!!

I have been updating all of my MP3s to at least 320 kbs or FLAC. You should take $200 away from the budget (amp/receiver) and buy a HUGE external drive..... I am over 120GB on music and growing every day.....

Good Luck.

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If I was doing what you're doing -- and responding to your restriction to 2-channel , I'd consider a simple Yamaha receiver like

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/productdetail.html?CNTID=200030&CTID=5000600&ATRID=1020&DETYP=ATTRIBUTE

One reason is that the variable loudness is very handy. In an apartment it should allow you get satisfactory bass at lower listening levels.

The second reason is that a good buddy has an older Yamaha system which has always served him well and sound good on his SK near copy of K-Horns.

But if you're making a long term investment, you might want to consider a multichannel AV type receiver. You may eventually want to include a center channel and eventually surrounds. AV receivers will also allow you to switch video through the receiver. Some have complex equalization systems which you might like too. You can use such AV receivers with only two speakers for the time being.

The point is that a more sophisticated AV receiver is within you budget and will allow you to expand your system -- in your own good time of course.

Wm McD

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The collective knowledge on this board is amazing. I'm grateful for all the thoughtful responses to post. I’ll have to reflect on the suggestions. One lingering question remains: when I activate the "loudness" button on old my receiver, the active speakers produce more noise - - louder but seems less clear. I blame the less clear part on my old receiver. HOWEVER, does this mean that my speakers with built-in amplification would sound better with an integrated amplifier vs. only the preamp?
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At this point you're better off getting a pre-amp versus an integrated amp. If you don't need the amplification that's built into an integrated amp why pay extra for it?

I know I speak a lot about Emotiva a lot on here but they do make a great product. Something such as their USP-1 http://emotiva.com/usp1.shtm is one to consider. It has a lot of options that most integrated amplifiers won't such as a 2.1 output with bass management, digital inputs, etc.

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I'm getting pedantic here, as usual. Some people don't mind.

It may be interesting to you to check out the Fletcher equal loudness curves here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves

In a way they are a frequency response curve for the human ear. Essentially, subjects were asked to listen to a 1000 Hertz tone, and then switch to another frequency and adjust the second frequency's level until it sounded equally as loud as the 1000 Hz. The ancients were so clever.

Interpreting the curves are somewhat like an SAT test. Each different curve is pegged to a 1000 Hz tone at a different level.

One interesting thing is that the human ear is very sensitive to 3500 Hz (the dip in all the curves). Maybe it is the sound of a tiger moving in the jungle, or the fricitives in speech, or the dang faucet dripping in the middle of the night.

But regarding bass. At high levels, the ear ear is relatively flat and so we can hear 50 Hertz. At low levels, it takes a lot of boost to make bass seem equally as loud.

One upshot of the many different curves on the graph is that the amount of boost necessary depends on overall listening level.

- - - -

This means, as PWK pointed out, a single bass boost switch is almost always wrong. Though I think you can switch in the single switch and turn the overall volume down until it sounds balanced. A variable loudness control allows much better control. But the general compliant is that most if not all loudness filters (boosters) are not sophisticated enough to do anything but approximate what is needed. Maybe a regular old bass control knob accomplishes most of the same.

- - - -

I suspect that what is going on with your old receiver is that there is so much boost that it makes the sound seem muddy or tubby.

Also, it may be that a lesser speaker will not sound quite as bad simply because lesser speakers don't reproduce the boosted bass.

- - - -

Of course re electronics are up to you. I can't disagree with any of the suggestions given. It all depends on short term and long term goals and your pocketbook.

Wm McD

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Gill is sending you in the right direction, but I'd like to recommend vintage Yamaha recievers or Integrated amps. Look for CR-x00 or CA-x00 first, CA/CR-800 or larger and CA/CR-x10 second. Again, go for CA/CR-810s or larger. The CA-x00 series is switchalbe to Class A. For instance, the CA-800 is rated at 45 WPC, IHF, but mine put out 60 watts/ch and met it's distortion spec; in Class A it was rated at 10 WPC. I could hear the difference, but it was small. The old Yamahas had the variable loudness knob. It may have started with the CA-x00 series. Those old amps sounded very smooth and quiet. They were a pleasure.

The receivers are rated a little higher than the Integrated amp with the same number

http://www.oaktreeent.com/SOLD_Receivers_YAMAHA.htm

Also, look at 70s Luxman Recievers and Integrateds And 70s Marantz receivers.

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Emotiva gives you 30 days to return it. From their website:

Emotiva offers a 30 day, no questions asked and hassle-free, return policy. Simply call 1-877-EMO-TECH for an RMA number. Once we have received your unit(s), checking to make sure they are intact, we will issue a refund for the full purchase amount. It’s that simple!

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Thanks wuzzzer, Wm McD, and John for the latest comments.

Wuzzer, I read about Emotiva USP-1 at their website, and am tempted by their words. CECAA85 also made a similar recommendation about it. Too bad they don't have a showroom for folks to sample it.

I actually have one hooked up to some KP-250's. It's a nice unit.

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Thank you all for the helpful comments. Based on the suggestions on this board and reviews on USP-1, I purchased + received it Thursday. To my extreme disappointment, Emotiva sent me a refurbished/used unit. Mine has a crack and scratches. I was a bit taken back that Emotiva would do something like that. Perhaps there are many folks returning the item based on their liberal 30-day trial, and Emotiva is shipping the returned unit as new to subsequent purchasers. Emotiva didn’t even bother to “freshen up” the unit before selling it as new. That zapped my impression of USP-1 and the company. I am waiting Emotiva’s response to my complaint.
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To my extreme disappointment, Emotiva sent me a refurbished/used unit. Mine has a crack and scratches.

We we all be interested to hear the outcome of this. It was clear that it was to be a "brand new" unit? How much did you pay for it?

Sorry to hear about this. Not to sound like a smart *** but how well does it function/sound?

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