file Best 5.1 System

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WayneWilmeth Posted 6 years 1 month ago
#2006
Thanks rmunawar9,
I appreciate your taking the time to explain what unit you got and why.
I am not familiar with the CA equipment. Can you say in what areas, in what ways does it sound better than the Marantz?
I have read that some feel the Marantz is on the bright or hard sounding side. But others say it is warm. I don't have much to compare it to, so I was wondering what you feel is the advantage of the CA 551r over the Marantz?
Thanks for your time and explanations.
All the best on your Quest!!!!!
Thanks, Wayne
God bless the child that's got his own.

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rmunawar9 Posted 6 years 1 month ago
#2007
Well let me first categories warm & sharp for you my simple comment could be whoever say Marantz is sharp sure has not listened to Marantz :) IMHO Marantz is one of the warmest AVR in it's class.

In the common commercial class
Sharp AVRs:
1. Onkyo (Sharpest) You must use speakers like Mission to bring the sharpness to a reasonable down level
2. Denon (Not very sharp but still a sharp one)
3. Harmon Kardon

Warm AVRs:
1. Marantz (The best warmest among all)
2. Yamaha (Also a warm all in features gen. purpose AVR)

In the specialize class of AVRs

1. Arcam (Sharp)
2. CA (Warm)
3. NAD (more towards Warm)

Now we come to your question Why CA over Marantz:
As much as i love Marantz i can say still Marantz has one drawback (I normally don't like to admit) Marantz is an excellent Warm Musical AVR. Music is it's strength and Movies are nowhere close to the quality which Marantz produce for Music. But i think it's by design/business reason as you know both Marantz & Denon are from the same company and so Denon has the same weakness by other way. Denon is excellent for Movies but doesn't come closer to that quality in Music.

CA just like Arcam/NAD/Rotel has been focusing a lot on music especially stereo but that's where they change the game by producing a AVR which is not only good for stereo Music but gives you the same quality for Movies and 5.1. See mostly people like to have 2 different AVRs one for stereo Music (or you can say Music) and one for movies, frankly i'm not talking about public but audiophiles. With a AVR like CA you can have 1 AVR to surve both purposes. Stereo sound quality of this AVR is just like a dedicated one and at the same time it gives you the same sound quality for 5.1/7.1 channel movie.

As i mentioned earlier for me high/loud sound is not a criteria but how well the sound (clarity/depth/detail) is there at a low volume and this is where these AVRs (CA/Arcam/NAD/Rotel) excel. Also another area to test is that when you blast the sound do you feel pain/harshness(Even warm AVRs sound harsh) or sounds mix with each other or do they still produce the same pleasant detail/clear/separate sound again this is where these AVRs gives you the value for your money.
My exp of listening and now using CA AVR compare to Marantz is that earlier i was enjoying music a lot more than movies (they were good but not great) but now it's like there's a new life i had in my movie experience with so much detail & clarity with all the warmth and no sharpness. The surround experience is great and base/depth is also much superior.

Yeah one more reason why i picked CA over Arcam (in the same class) is individual cross-over settings which CA provides for all channels vs. Arcam which only provide one cross over setting. Also the DTS-HDMA remapping feature which is available in CA.

Frankly when you will look at the data sheet/ features details of CA you won't like to give a chance to CA over Marantz due to the lack of so many features which we like to feel are essential but only when you will listen you will find the difference and that would compel you to buy CA despite the lack of features (which after buying you will realize you don't miss at all).
Even the menu of CA is so simple text based that i remember my almost 10 years old Yamaha AVR has a better GUI based menu vs simple text based menu of CA for a 2013 product.
But in my view this is worth it.
BTW speaker matching is also an important part of the equation... like i said earlier i hate Onkyo and i always had a strange pain in my ear within 2-3 minutes of listening Onkyo but in one demo when Onkyo was matched with Mission bookshelf speakers i could listen to it for 10 min and it was ok, which shows how warm Mission speakers could be. So when you listening to CA do make sure they are matched with some good speakers (warm would be better)
Again if you need more info do not hesitate.

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WayneWilmeth Posted 6 years 1 month ago
#2008
Well thanks rmunawar9, that is a great explanation.
Obviously I asked the right guy. I did not know all of that.
My own personal experiences with Onkyo and Denon have not been really good, but I am sure there are a LOT of people who like them and maybe have a system where they have the right sound for them.
I like detail and a true harmonic sound, but do not like sharp, etched, "digital" harshness. I have been looking into tubes to try to find a little warmth and roundness or fullness to the sound. But I want a solid, not flabby bass end.
Sounds like I need to check out the CA equipment.
I agree, there are a LOT of different bells and whistles on Marantz and most other processors that I do not need.
One thing I have not heard of, you mentioned DTS-HDMA remapping? Is that something worthwhile?
Anyway, thanks for much for your great explanation.
I do agree 100% that the system needs to match, work together, and that the speakers are the MOST important to be complimentary to the rest of the system.
All the best, happy listening!!!!!
Thanks, Wayne
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rmunawar9 Posted 6 years 1 month ago
#2009
Based on what you said you are looking for i would strongly recommend to listen to CA and it won't disappoint you and you will find all the mentioned/required characteristics.
Sure there are people who love/adore Denon & Onkyo cuz they like sharp sound on the edge whereas warm sound is all about mellow/soft and for which they don't like Marantz etc. It's a matter of taste i would say more than which AVR is better or why so i classify AVRs in 3 categories
1. Common i.e. Yamaha, Onkyo etc (Ok/Mediocre sound, lot of features, cheap/ok price)
2. Best in class commercial: Marantz, Denon, Pioneer, HK etc (Good sound, lot of features, reasonably expensive)
3. Best in class Specialized: CA, NAD, Arcam, Rotel etc (Excellent sound, very less features, very expensive)
and in all categories they are all good and it only comes to personal preference whether you like sharp or warm sound or your preference is movie or music.

See it's just the companies who are exploiting end users by making it a race of features instead of sound to sell their products... frankly if you already have an excellent TV/Projector a good/excellent Media Player/Bluray Player then why would you need to have a upscaler/processor for Video in your AVR it defete the purpose and at times confuse the system how to present the video on TV. So i say to me the product just do a great job what it made to do.

DTS Speaker re-mapping allows the playback of DTS-HD High Resolution or Master Audio formats with encoded height information on standard 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 speaker setups

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WayneWilmeth Posted 6 years 1 month ago
#2010
Thanks, another good explanation.
I will have to try to find a place to listen to the CA equipment.
I had been thinking of going with a really good pre-amp for excellent 2 channel music, but one with a home theater bypass, so I can use the Marantz for movies. I don't have any problem with its quality for movies, they are fine to me. Sounds like you are more critical a listener for movies than I am.
BUT what I do like is listening to a great bluray concert, movies in surround sound. So that is an area which might be improved too.
Alright, thanks for the help, good listening!!!!
And let us know what you choose.
God bless the child that's got his own.

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