In my opinion , for good stereo listening floorstanders are needed ( or higher end standmounters).Apex are to small to produce good stereo from only 2 speakers.Most receivers cross Apex to 80hz, so must play subwoofer for good bass weight.Two Apex speaker alone are to weak sounding for me.So i always use MULTICHANNEL STEREO mode with my Denon, when all channels are playing with subwoofer- there is another league....TRy it AC/DC "Higway to hell"
Ricky> i'm very happy with my avr-4311 - this is a beast.I think i'll get Audyssey Pro for Christmas
Sorry, I've mislead you slightly, when I say I listen in stereo mode I mean 2.1 stereo - by default the yammy in 2channel stereo still uses the sub for the bass. It's only if you put it to 'pure direct' that you lose the sub. I agree that you can't really use the Apex without a sub for stereo listening - you are losing too many low frequencies (although it doesn't sound that bad when I'm listening late at night and don't have the sub on).
Monitor Audio Apex 5.1, Yamaha RX-V3067, Cyrus 7CDQ, Chord cables
Guys, when listening to CD's in 5.1 what decoding mode do you use - there's so many and they all sound different! I decided to buy a second-hand Cyrus CD7Q (upgraded Q DACS) to play my CD's but still find 2channel stereo sounds better than any of the 5.1 modes - am I missing something? What's the difference between 7channel stereo and the neo 6 surround modes?
I'm using 'Multichannel Stereo' on my Denon. Regular 2-channel simply sounds dull in my case. I want the music to fill the entire room. I have tweaked the mode so the centerchannel is silent. Basically stereo in the front and stereo in the back. It does the trick quite well without sounding gimmicky or overblown. I'm sure your Yamaha must have the ability to tweak it's 7channel stereo mode to your liking aswell. The whole idea with a mode like this is to find balance. But if plain old 2-channel sounds good for you then why bother? It is the more accurate route to go, after all, and what most people seem to prefer.
The difference between DTS Neo 6 Music and a 'Multichannel Stereo' mode is that the latter simply sends the same stereo signal more-or-less untouched to all connected speakers (duplicating the signal), while the former is a sort of psuedo-surround mode that extracts cues and ambience in the recorded music and places them in the appropriate speakers to create an effect. If it sounds natural or not only you can decide. I think the end result varies alot between material.
Thanks for that RickyDeg, I'll try multi-channel again and turn off the centre channel and see how it sounds. I think it was the centre channel that was obscuring the stereo imaging which is what I didn't like about the multi-channel mode so by doing what you've done it should sort out the imaging problem!
Just remember to possibly adjust the balance of the other channels aswell so nothing sounds overpowering. Every receiver/processor handle 'Multichannel Stereo' modes differently, but last time I had a Yamaha in my home I recall that it was possible to tweak independently of any other mode or input. In retrospect I think the best integrated solution I've heard for music was when I tested the Primare SPA22 HD; it sounded stunning in 'Multichannel Stereo' mode with the Apex, and I could easily tweak each channel to my liking for that setting. Too bad it didn't do as well with movies or I might have kept it.
Current A/V equipment:
NUFORCE AVP-18 (processor/DAC) | NUFORCE MCH-300SEC7 (multichannel amplifier) | MONITOR AUDIO APEX (5.2 speaker system) | SAMSUNG LE-52B755 (tv) | DENON DBT-3313UD (disc transport) | NAIM UNITISERVE (music server) | SUPRA (cabling) | LOGITECH HARMONY 900 (universal remote) | NORDOST PULSAR POINTS (isolation feet)
For the people that might be interested:
I was finally able to have my listening session with both a proper Denon and NAD amp connected to the Apex A10's.
Bit of background:
I currently have a Marantz SR4001, which is clearly not potent enough to properly drive the Apex speakers to their full abilities. I'm currently saving for the A40 center speaker and will complete the set with the R45HD back surround speakers, but that still leaves me with an AV amp that is too weak for these lovely speakers.
So I started reading up on what most people tend to use, which lead me to the standard suspects: Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, Marantz and of course a couple of exotics such as the Anthem and the NAD.
The mainstream amp (P, Y, D, O, M) all play roughly in the same pricerange and they are without a doubt fine offerings, but after having read a number of raving reviews of the NAD T757 which were prasing the amp for the way it could reproduce sound, made me think if chosing a NAD over the others would be a good move, understanding that the NAD doesn't focus on all the new and neat features that are fitted to all the new and modern amps.
So decided to have a listen myself, and went to a dealer this afternoon that holds most of the amps mentioned above.
The setup was very simple: 2x Apex A10 without a sub, so pure stereo sound. I figured that if I wanted to hear the difference in the amps, this would be the best setup to do so. Keep in mind that I did NOT test the actual AV amps, but tested with stereo amps that boast the same power levels as their AV brothers.
I started with the Pioneer, followed by the Denon and the Marantz. All 3 played well enough and clearly outperformed my current amp, but they left me feeling a bit wanting for more. The soundstage felt narrow and a bit cold. That was when the NAD was connected.
All I can say is OMG. The difference in sound stage, control, tightness of the sound, depth and control of the low (yes, low) frequencies, clarity and detail in the sound were all amazing and clearly levels above what the other amps were able to bring to the stage.
After having listened to the NAD amp I now understand what the reviewers were talking about! I still entend to try and do the same listening session with a Yamaha; the Anthem may be a proper amp but the design/looks of it seem so outdated (personal opinion before anyone shoots me) that it is already out of the selection anyway.
Just thought I'd share my experience if there are still people out there that are searching for an amp to complete their (Apex) setup.
Great gunny! Been looking forward to your feedback on NAD with Apex! Terrific post! If you liked it that much with plain 2.0 we can only hope full-on multichannel will bring more of the good stuff. I've yet to listen to a NAD machine myself so cannot comment on any listeningexperiences but I have heard good things about them. Then again, good things have also been said about Pioneer, Anthem and the likes yet none of those impressed me. It's always subjective, is it not?
Now, not saying that Audyssey should automatically be a dealbreaker but I must admit I'm still baffled as to why NAD's newer models (especially the more costly ones) do not include the more advanced MultEQ XT32. That is partly the reason behind my lukewarm interest. I would simply find it difficult to justify the investment of a machine with a simpler version of Audyssey that I already got in my Denon. My dealer claimed NAD was working on a new MDC-module with XT32 but when I contacted NAD themselves they replied no such plans exist. Go figure. Unfortunate strategy by NAD if you ask me. Still, having that said I would not say not to a homedemo of the bigger T787.
Let us know any further feedback! Would be great!
Indeed RickyDeg, it is strange that they only have a basic room correction system on the T757 and the older version of the Audessy on the top range, which could indeed be a deal breaker as few people have the "ideal" room conditions...
I do have some hopes that they are working on MDC modules that will encorporate (hopefully) the latest of the Audessy calibrations, as it is already the case to some extend with the AM 200.
If they are serious about their MDC module feature, they should certainly come up with modules that encorporate the latest Audessy cablibration, as they will otherwise be losing customer as you said (people like features, even if the amp is able to play leagues above the alternative).
I use Audyssey MUltEQXT32 and it crossed my front Apex to 90hz, center to 60hz and surrounds to 60hz.Is it normal?
Monitor audio Apex5.1, Denon AVR-4311, Dune SmartHD1,Playstation3(FATboy), Synology ds411+II(ultrasilent, fans modificated by me),Chord Odyssey2 cables. will buy panasonic plasma wow
Let's keep our fingers crossed! BTW, did you ever even listen to the T787?
In one way yes, greedy, it is "normal" for Audyssey to do that. If the calibration is carried out correctly crossovers will be set depending on how the speakers actually perform in your particular room. You may find that if you rearrange speaker positions or change something in your room and then run a new calibration that the crossover settings may change. It simply has to do with in-room response, nothing else. It disregards any specified frequency set by the manufacturer because that seldom has any meaning in a real situation such as a livingroom.
Audyssey tends to suggest leaving the crossovers as the calibration sets them and not change anything, but I think that is up for personal preference. My Apex are set to 60Hz during calibrations but I manually tweak it upwards to 80Hz simply because it sounds better to my ears. Just make sure you DON'T tweak any crossovers lower than what Audyssey has because any frequency under has not been compensated for. I believe there is more info on their website.
You know what else though? I suspect Audyssey Pro might provide a big advantage in this area thanks to the more advanced microphone. It will likely bring way more accuracy into the equation.
sorry RickyDeg, I haven't as I don't realy need that kind of power. I also risk hearing something which I could learn to "love", leaving me with a dilemma of needing even more money to clench the AV hunger
The wife agreed that I could replace my B&W 603 S3's with an Apex surround set and a sub "as long as it integrates in the interieur", so if I now start listening to stuff that's way out of my price range and get a taste for it, I'd probably be in trouble if you know what I mean
Keep in mind that I did NOT test the actual AV amps, but tested with stereo amps that boast the same power levels as their AV brothers.
This seems like an odd test, that won't really tell the full picture if you were to buy the AV version of the stereo amp. Is there a reason you couldn't test the actual AV amps as opposed to the stereo amps?
In my experience a stereo amp rated at the same output as an AV amp is still going to sound much better than the AV amp - it's not all about the power figures and most AV amps rated at 140w rms etc are only with 2 channels driven and this figure drops considerably when all channels are used - thats' why a £300 stereo amp can sound much better than a £1200 AV amp being used in stereo mode.
although it might seem as a strange test, my main goal was to get a sense of the "color" these brands put into their amps, and also to confirm the rumor that a NAD focuses on the ability to produce sound, where the others also focus on this, but spend part of the R&D budget for additional features.
Not sure I follow the comment about the power figures.
I listened to them in stereo and do understand that with the default brands the power output will drop away from the quoted output, but this is NOT the case with the NAD as they rate their power output with all channels driven and with full frequency applied instead of the 1kHz.
But these facts aside, as I mentioned, I wanted to get a feel about the difference in sound the companies apply to their amps, and that was an eye opener to say the least.
Again, I understand that it might not be a one to one comparison with their AV amps, but I like to believe that the sound qualities would be applied to all of their amps, not just their proper stereo amps.
The reason why I didn't listen to the different AV amps was that it was easier to switch between the stereo amps, as the apex demo room was set up with a Denon, but if they would need to switch between the different AV amps, it would have taken more time than I had available at that time. Be sure that once the time comes to purchase a new AV the same test will be repeated with the AV amps that time, but at the moment I just wanted to have an idea on the brands in combination with the Apex's.
Edit: Also keep in mind that I'm currently listening to movies or music through a simple 2.1 setup (2x A10 and 1x BK XXLS400), so for me it was a rather useful test
Thanks Ricky.Another strange thing, that Audyssey set my subwoofer to -0.4db and i cant understand why.Maybe in one of calibration( listening) positions i put tripod with mic to close( aprox 0.7m to sub)?My room is not very big and i measure 3 listening positions on the sofa, one position on the seat, and all another position measured closer to speakers..i set my sub +7.5db manually, and now i think its ok...maybe, when i do my Audyssey setup next time, try to put tripod more far from speakers?
Again I would advice to read up on Audyssey on their website. They give valuable tips that could pay off if you follow them. My own calibrations have done strange subwoofer settings sometimes too, and there could be a million different reasons (the interaction with the room, or maybe bad microphone positioning). Does your Denon model have a subwoofer pre-calibration in XT32 before the full calibration? When testing the Onkyo TX-NR5009 one first had to make an individual calibration on just the subwoofer before moving on to anything else. I think that made a difference in my case. That function does not exist in the simpler XT (which is partly why I miss XT32).
Then, as always, you should definitely run the full 8-point calibration! It doesn't matter if you have a small room (nor does it have anything to do with the number of seats). If you find Audysseys website a hassle you could always watch this excellent calibration video that give you useful tips (primarily on microphone positioning). Just pay close attention and try it out.
Alternatively, this post/thread on AVSFORUM.com is very informative:
Thanks Ricky for reply,read Audyssey website yesterday and understood, that allmost all what i done in calibration was wrong.My measured posiotion were to far one from another, and to close to speakers and subwoofer.I will do calibration like in Audyssey website.In Denon manual is not very good described about positions.My Denon has "subwoofer precalibration"- then i need adjust subwoofer volume knob and it must be about 75db..I think in Onkyo the same?
Terrific greedy - yes, the Onkyo (I think with XT32 in general) you adjust the subwoofer to 75db pressure level with a dedicated test tone. It worked particularly well with my dual AW-12's.
BTW, I hope you watched that video also? I've followed lots of these tips closely myself (microphone positions first of all) and it has given great results and made a difference with Apex. I agree that user manuals of receivers seldom describe this whole procedure in depth (they seem lazy about it actually). Audyssey themselves naturally do a much better job informing and explaining.
Best of luck & keep us posted
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