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Receiver/Amp suggestions for 2.2 setup? AVR?

Luke
Community Member

I have 1961 towers on order and will likely run a single or dual sub setup with them in my living room. I’m pre-wired for multi-channel throughout, but I will very likely not add surrounds or height speakers in the foreseeable future to keep the aesthetic nice, unless I come up with something in-wall and super clean.

That said, what are some suggestions for powering these for TV and music if I am streaming everything from an Nvidia Shield TV Pro and would like to have quality room correction? An AVR? I’ve been told a DDRC-24 MiniDSP with Dirac might be a good idea, but I’m not exactly sure how that setup would work starting from scratch (but open to it).

I’ve seen the Denon DRA-900H 2-Channel Stereo Network Receiver, but there is no room correction, the subwoofer outputs appear to not be discreet, and its unclear if its rated for 4 ohm.

The X3800H seems to be the lowest model from Denon with Audyssey XT32.

Others have recommended the Marantz Cinema 50s in another thread, but that is out of the price point I’d like to be in. The Cinema 70s looks underpowered.

Ideally, I’d like to keep this under a street price of say, $1,500, unless there’s a convincing argument in favor of another option (like higher level Dirac DLBC).

All replies (29)

Arkmann
Active Member

Luke sounds like you’re planning to build your system over time.  How does it sound now in 2 channel mode with just the 2 towers?  If it sounds ok you can add other speakers to build up to a 5.1 or 2 system and take your time.  The problem is the 1961s are discontinued so you won’t be able to add on with the same speaker series over time.  Something to consider.  Buying an entire system at the end of a product’s life cycle can be a great value but if you’re buying over time it’s a different story.  Let us know what you decide to do. Good luck and good listening!

James Bigham
Community Member

I agree with the suggestion of meticulously setting up your system.One thing you might do is to get your speakers out from the wall a bit more and start with the old equilateral triangle between your listening position and speakers until you find the magical sweet spot.This sometimes can take hours and position changes of inches can make a huge difference.Be sure you measure things exactly and use some tape to mark your positions of the 3 spots.This costs nothing but your time and effort but is the most important part of your setup.Good luck!!

Luke
Community Member

In 2-channel mode with no room correction, it’s quite lifeless and lacking in detail, particularly at the upper end. With Audyssey performed at the full spectrum it sounds the best, although I still need to put dialogue enhancement at medium or high to hear dialogue when watching a movie/TV.

You make a good point that adding a center later might be an issue given the series is discontinued. Hopefully, whatever Arendal comes out with is still timbre matched to the rest of their speakers. If not, I’ll need to move on to a new speaker brand or series.

Luke
Community Member

@james I wish I had the flexibility to place the speakers anywhere in the room. Particularly, a few feet out from the wall. I’m constrained because there is a pathway directly in front of them for the front door, and pushing them back will put them behind the plane of the media cabinet. The sides have constraints as well. What I can get away with is messing with the toe-in. Do we know if these speakers tend to sound best on axis with the main listening position? I could possibly move the couch forward as well.

James Bigham
Community Member

I think they sound good off axis.What is the distance between your speakers and what distance are you from each speaker?

Luke
Community Member

The distance between them is currently 7 ft, 7 inches (2.311 meters), and they are about 12 ft (3.658 meters). They currently are on axis with the MLP. I could try to toe them out or toe them in. Which do you do?

Keep in mind that the room with its vaulted ceilings, being open on one end to the kitchen and dining area, and fairly hard surfaces throughout is a big problem. I know I won’t get perfect sound, but I would like to improve it the best I can. I am thinking through options for tasteful room treatment that will get approval, given this is our living room in a smaller house where there are no other gathering rooms.

The room

Arkmann
Active Member

Luke from the picture of your room it looks like they are toed in slightly.  Suggest you try toeing them out.  Since you can’t move where the speakers are placed is it possible to move your seating position?  If you are up against a wall, try pulling out from the wall.  The suggestion about measuring and moving a little at a time until it sounds best is the way to go.  Another suggestion is to pull the speakers out from the wall while listening and then move them back when done so the room flow is back to normal.  All the adjustments can be a pain but it’ll be worthwhile once you get the sound you want.  Good luck and good listening!

Luke
Community Member

The MLP (my couch) has quite a bit of room behind it. I can move further forward about 12 inches before it gets too close to the pathway to look okay. Moving further back seems counterproductive. The speakers cannot move much further forward. They can move back but then will have diffraction issues with the media console.

If we assume on axis is the speakers pointed directly at the ears of the MLP, I have them close to on axis. Maybe ever so slightly toed out by a few degrees. I haven’t really given them much listening time toed out so far as to be in line with the wall behind them. Are you suggesting that far toed out? It’s my understanding that these speakers do not have a very wide horizontal dispersion, and I was trying to minimize as much side wall interaction as possible. It would be good to know what the consensus is out there with this series on toe in with the understanding that every room is different.

I find it difficult to trust my perception when adjusting the speakers and re-listening in the new position. It takes a little time to move them and go back to the seating position, so I’m working off memory at that point. There’s also the issue that moving them will change the decibel level of the MLP, which will obviously be interpreted as “better” when it’s really just “louder.” I suppose getting a UMIK-1 mic and learning to take measurements might be the answer to take those confounding variables out of the equation.

James Bigham
Community Member

Hey Luke, truly admire you for your extra effort in getting the best sound possible for your situation. I’m going to suggest a book that is designed to be used with a download of specific sounds and music that I found invaluable in doing a basic 2 channel setup for new or old (me)audiophiles.It’s called THE STEREO by Paul McGowan.Be sure and get the download or disc if you have a playback method. I promise you that you’ll be very glad you did. I was hit and miss on my setup and this will keep you from wasting time and for me, I discovered the magic of 2 channel hifi!You will know it when you get it just right!

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