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TheFiend1

RF7-ii's and their future - seeking wisdom

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Hey guys!

I currently have the RF7ii system (with rc64ii, rs62ii, no sub though... Currently living in an apartment) paired up with a Pioneer Elite VSX-92TXH. I'm thinking about upgrading the AVR for the new Pioneer Elite SC-97 and my main concern is - will that be enough to drive a 7 channel + potential atmos setup and is the Pioneer Elite a good match for my speakers?

The reason I ask is complicated - I've always kind of felt like the RF7ii's are lacking something that my first gen RF5s had. They felt faster and punchier especially bass wise. I purchased them second hand and the owner said it had upgraded wiring or something - I can't remember exactly. I ended up giving those to my father when I picked up the RF7ii's. Those were also powered by the same avr. The only thing that has changed is swapping those out for the rf7ii's and moving to a different apartment - which I know can effect the sound depending on the room but I still feel like it's lacking that charm my RF5s had :( which makes me wonder if the RF7ii's need more power, or is it something else... I have heard of the "Dean G crossover" mod but I'm not even sure what that will do for me. I mostly use this for bluray movies but I do enjoy 2-channel music from time to time on them. However, with music I definitely feel like something is up there because something has always felt "off." Like it sounds hollow without a lot of bass. Linear PCM from the disc player... So many questions.

Seek wisdom I do. Any thoughts or advice, criticisms or such as - my body is ready.

Thanks in advance!

Ryan

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Hi Ryan. I don't think you can go wrong with the Pioneer. I upgraded from a low end Marantz NR-1402 which was 50wpc class AB to my current Pioneer SC-1323 which is 120wpc class D and found it to be a significant improvement. Fuller bass and smoother treble.

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If you haven't heard them in the room, it's hard to draw conclusions.  The room does soooo much.

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I have owned both speakers and I sold the RF5 because it did not have as much bass as I wanted since I would not be having a sub woofer in my living room. The RF7ii provides plenty of bass is for my room. I have always had a 200 back to amp powering them though

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Hey guys! Sorry for the late reply, it has been an insanely busy week.

The RF5s that I owned had plenty of bass especially with movies. They were a fantastic pair and didn't want to sell them to anyone so I gave them to my dad so they stayed in the family ;) I was also living in a loft at the time so the ceilings were very high.

My RF7-ii's provides plenty of bass when it calls for it but unfortunately I don't get to listen at reference very often since I live in an apartment... Which is also why I don't have a subwoofer currently :( But soon I shall. I stopped at my local Best Buy over the weekend and checked out what they had in their Magnolia Theater section (holy crap they had some high end gear there, the entire new B&W 800D3 series with McIntosh mono block amps! Not my cup of tea but they sure look nice). They didn't have the SC-97 that I was looking for but they did demo the Pioneer SC-99 (basically the same except with a DAC) and a Marantz 7010 AVR on a pair of B&W CM10s. They both sounded great - obviously it has a lot to do with the room and the speakers (I do love the CM10s) - the Marantz sounded a bit more refined though... Which has me tossed up. I was going in thinking the Pioneer was the one I was going to get because I like the sound I'm getting from my current Elite which has the Air Studios Certification and I'm worried that I'm going to be missing something if I don't get one without it. I guess I have to just demo them both in my place to see which one I like best.

Even though I'm satisfied with what I have now, i don't have enough hdmi ports in my current one and I'd like to get replace it for one with more features and with the current generation out right now it will future proof me for probably the next 10 years.

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The 7010 is a respectable model. It's Marantz's top of the line before you step into the world of parts.

The Marantz will probably sound a bit better when handling movies from experience. The Pioneer will be a little more balanced. You're talking about a 5 watt difference which wouldn't really be noticeable. If you've had Pioneer, staying there wouldn't hurt.

The Pioneer is heavier fwiw...

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Another option may be some offerings from NAD. Their amplifiers/receivers generally have the same type of sound. They are a bit warm with a lot of punch. I have a D 3020 that I use on my quartets and heresies. That's just a tiny class D amp with 30wpc and it has serious power to drive them.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I am venturing to say nothing is wrong with the RF 7 II's.  Placement and setup are the issues if the bass is not right and you don't normally listening real loud.  How far are they from back and side walls, how wide are they spread out?  Amps can help but, I doubt if it is a power problem.  Many people with the Pioneer avr's are running RF 7 II's.

 

Try running them as large and at 50 Hz crossover.  Consider some room treatment and look at the reveb with MCACC and see what is going on.

Edited by derrickdj1
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well, this happened to me....i had some KSF 10.5's that i did a crossover mod on (cheaper end caps) and when i switched to a set of RF-7's (un-modified) i felt disappointed.  i actually wanted my 10.5's back.  in my opinion they were "better" than the 7's.  the AVR at the time for the 10.5's was an old Sony (like 10yrs) and when i got the 7's i purchased the new Onkyo 805 (which was HIGHLY suggested). 

my 7's did not sound as good until i purchased a Emotiva LPA-1 and bi-amped them.  that's when i sat back and realized what i had.  then i did my first generation crossover mod and was very.  i later did more research and figured out a few other ways to improve the 7's (at least in my opinion) and did a second generation crossover mod along with cabinet and horn mods.

so in the end, the best AVR receiver with amazing power just didn't make the 7's sing.  you really need a good Separate configuration.  i also upgraded the AVR to Emotiva UMC-1, XPA-3, and LPA-1.  oh, in case it got overlooked, when the LPA-1 was powering the L/C/R, the Onkyo 805 was powering the rear 4.  the bi-amping made them a touch "louder" but i didn't hear/think it was "better." i switched because i didn't want to spend money on the extra banana plugs and wire. 

 

going separates isn't expensive either.  i'm attempting to help a buddy out and i found a UMC-1 for around $300 and i'm selling him my LPA-1 amp for $350.  so combined he will have a great processor with 125w x 5 and 2 x 50 A/B design for sub $700.  i don't think there is an AVR with that kind of power in that price range that will actually give u a true 125x5. 

 

i don't know how deep your pockets are but i would suggest finding a UMC-1 or UMC200 and then any Amp configuration from Emotiva that suits your needs.  i will always suggest an XPA-3 for the front, but if you are running just a 5.1, an XPA-5 is a great choice.  check their for sale section and see if you can find an older UPA amp.  those "replaced" the LPA-1 (mind has the bigger transformer, i think).  depending on pocket book, looks, and what u are going for, the mini-x is a small 50w that would be great for surrounds.

 

if you have the deep pockets for it, Emotiva has an XMC-1 that is actually "future proof" because it's fully modular.  when new items come out, they will send you the part (if you are brave enough).  oh, the XMC-1 has 8, that's EIGHT hdmi ports and 2 hdmi outs.  that has to be more then you need.  if not, please invite me over because i really want to be your friend!

 

i think your only "issue" is lack of true power.

Edited by InVeNtOr

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Solid advice regarding the power. I too have an Onkyo 805 and while it will run the 7's, there's a big difference in the bottom end when they're getting the power they want.

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Solid advice regarding the power. I too have an Onkyo 805 and while it will run the 7's, there's a big difference in the bottom end when they're getting the power they want.

 

As good and powerful as the 805 is, a beast of an AVR it is, the addition of a quality outboard amp is the way to go if you want to ring out all the RF-7's have to offer.

 

Bill

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Thank you all for the solid advice!! It's helped solve a lot of where I should go.

To Derrick: They are about a foot away from the wall, 8ft apart, and about 10.5ft away from the listening point. There isn't really a sidewall to the right but to the left its about 4 ft away with the corner of the wall filled in for the gas fireplace. I'll post a pic tomorrow so as to be more specific. Don't get me wrong, I think they sound great but only at higher volumes and if you are in the sweet spot. No doubt things can be tweaked further with the pioneer to tailor the sound a bit better and with room correction.

I just made a pretty big purchase over the weekend and bought the Pioneer SC-97 at Best Buy. They were having an undisclosed sale on it for $1599, so I made the jump. I also purchased the Marantz SR7010 from Crutchfield.com. BB wasn't offering a sale on the Marantz and neither was crutchfield but BB was gonna charge me tax and me no like California taxes... I'm really excited to test out the Marantz - but I'm concerned about it being 120 watts per channel versus the Pioneers 140 watts per channel... It's surprising to me especially when the SR7010 is Marantz flagship... You'd think it would be more. It's also class AB compared to the pioneers class D. I've read up on both and basically came out with: one draws considerably more power than the other but sound pretty much the same. After checking the specs on the units the SR7010 uses 710 watts of consumption vs 370! So that's pretty clear. I believe my current vsx92txh uses class d as well. Anyone have any preference or thoughts about this?

In either case I will still get a separate 2 channel amp either from Marantz to match or Rotel (since they offer class D) to drive the L/R.

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I believe my current vsx92txh uses class d as well.

 

The VSX model Elites are class AB design while the SC models are class D.

 

Bill 

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Apples to apples, you'll never hear the difference between 120 and 140 watts

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Apples to apples, you'll never hear the difference between 120 and 140 watts

 

The Pioneer SC series receivers will drive lower impedances like the RF7 better than the VSX series.  VSX being a class A/B will also likely not put out as much power when driving all the channels. Class D3 SC series holds up better when driving multiple channels and low impedances due to being Class D.  If you look at some of the Sound and Vision mags, they explain some of that.

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That's why I included the "Apples to Apples"....guess I should have said those two receivers may not be "Apples to Apples" though.  It was just a general statement that 20 watts will not make a difference.

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Good to know about both cases! I thought for sure I was already using Class D but I guess not; thank you for the correction.

 

Here are a couple photos a just snapped of how everything is currently layed out. Dont mind some of the clutter (and the AVR sitting on the floor...), still trying to get things situated for Christmas ;)

 

 

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Good to know about both cases! I thought for sure I was already using Class D but I guess not; thank you for the correction.

 

Here are a couple photos a just snapped of how everything is currently layed out. Dont mind some of the clutter (and the AVR sitting on the floor...), still trying to get things situated for Christmas ;)

 

Is your wall really curved, or does it just look like that because you were using a wide angle lens?

 

Rooms and room placement make a BIG difference.

 

It's hard to see how close the speakers are from the wall.  I might try pushing the speakers back so they are almost touching the wall (i.e., within a mm).  You may need all the speaker loading / room gain in the bass you can get. 

 

Do you have any bass controls you can turn up a bit? 

 

If you do get a separate power amp for the LF and RF speakers, make it a powerful one that also is good with speakers with low impedance (or impedance dips). 

 

It might be better to just get a sub and put it on a thick neoprene mat (or a specially cut double or triple mat), as some apartment dwellers do.  There are apartments, then there are apartments.  Some have such low transmission loss that people in the apartment below can hear the bass very well, then there are apartments where concert musicians and composers live, pounding on their grand pianos, and the other residents hear little or nothing.

Edited by garyrc

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The wall is definitley not curved its just an artifact from using the panorama function on my iPhone.

 

The speakers are about a foot away from the wall. I was always told that if the bass port is in the rear to place it atleast 8" away from the wall - and the RF7ii has 2 huge bass ports back there. As far as the seperate amp goes, if I end up keeping the Marantz SR7010 I was looking at getting a matching class AB amp from them which would be the 2 channel 140 watt MM7025... I wish they had a 200 watt 2 channel amp but I cant find one. Rotel has a 200watt class ab amp (RB-1582 MkII) but it is pricey. Rotel also has a cheaper class D amp (RB-1572) rated at 250 watts but I think that might be too much power.

 

Is it considered a no-no when mixing amp classifications in the same system? Can I mix the Marantz SR7010's AB amps and a Rotel Class D amp?

 

I would seriously love to get a subwoofer but im really nervous about pissing people off around here. I have neighbors on both sides and underneath. :ph34r:  I cant wait to get out of there and into a house.

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Rotel also has a cheaper class D amp (RB-1572) rated at 250 watts but I think that might be too much power.

Nah, it's not like you have to use all of it. :)

Although, my goodness, that's a $1,300 class D amp that only has 250 watts per channel. I'd be looking at Crown DriveCore 2's before I spent that. I'm running 18's off the 2502, plenty of power for towers. Most people love them for hi-fi applications, only bad thing I've ever heard is that when using super high efficient cinema speakers like 100+ db actual efficiency, there's more of a noise floor in terms of hissing than is ideal. Otherwise, you could get a cheap Crown 1002 that would hang with that kind of power. Some places even have the old 1000 on blowout for like $199. If you spent $1,300 on a class D amp it better be flat at 5 hz at 4,000 watts or something such as SpeakerPower.

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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