I've not heard the Aventage RX-A2030, AVR-X4000 and the AVR-4520 however based of my experience these models should be a safe bet as Yamaha and Denon AV amplifiers pair well with Apex speakers.
Btw, Anthem's MRX300 and MRX500 AV receivers are also worth serious consideration.
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Thanks for your answer Rick !
Ok you have not heard Apex with X4000 or RX-A2030.
But I can suppose you know how they sound with:
What are the differences (tonality) between these two avr?
I've not heard the AVR-4520 either.
I've find the pairing of the Aventage RX-A3020 and Apex sub/sats reproduce a clear, full bodied, fast and dynamic sound
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
Hi Rick and thanks you again for your answer!
In my local store i hear apex with pioneer lx56 and it sounds great in home cinema but not as good as my monitor in hifi (quite normal i have got studio monitor neumann and they are just perfect in music).
How does rx-a3020 sounds compared to the pioneer?
@ Ricky Degg,
Well how's the trial going?
i don't post on this forum anymore but I do keep a fond eye on the Apex thread and your upgrade path.
All the best.
Anthem MRX 510(used as processor),Anthem Statement A5 power amp,MK MP150MKII's LCR,MK S150T surrounds,Paradigm Signature Sub1,Perfect Bass Kit,Sonos ZP90 ,Qnap NAS,Oppo BDP 103 Multi region,Isol-8 Cleanline2 mains conditioner,SKY+HD,Audioquest Diamondback interconnects. ATV3,iPad4,Panasonic TXP50GT60
Hya Ric! Awesome to see you here every now and then! Loving your M&K's?
My trial of the NuForce separates for the Apex have gone well. A revelation, of sorts. As you can see in my signature below the units are here to stay now! No going back! But, I'm gonna wait a while before I drop my personal review as I want to give the units an additional 200 hours of break-in (the MCH-300SEC7 amplifier requires a good deal of play before it's settled completely). It's a different experience than with the capable Denon and Audyssey, let me tell you that at least. Would be fun to have a head-to-head comparison with your Anthem rig and Apex!
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)
The SC-LX56 is a good amplifier however in all fairness the RX-A3020 is even better. Given the price difference it should be.
Anyway more importantly i find the pairing of Apex sub/sats and the Aventage RX-A3020 form a great tonal match which is comfortable to listen to for the reasons which i mentioned in my previous post.
I don't normally follow this thread so not sure what you may have said on here about the nuforce combo but I'm pleased to hear it's gone well and I look forward to your thoughts and more pics when you've put some more hours on the kit.
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
I am not surpised the denon is gone and the pre and power is staying - it costs more to have, especially factoring in all the addtional and necessary cabling but the benefits are there. It makes sense to seperate the processing of video and audio and the amplification to prevent cross contamination.
You could argue going through analogue cabling between the 2 will have a detrimental effect and I would agree with that - but it allows I think more design feedom rather than constraint when you design a box for one thing only - especially with power supply in mind.
You also have other upgrade options - keep the processor upgrade the amplification to somehting of a reference level like a big bad boy bryston or similar. Or keep the amplification and upgrade the processor to one that has what ever you need i.e. 4k and whatever new formats are bound to be around the corner
Meridian G61R, HD621, Bryston 9BSST
Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply
Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference
Monitor Audio GX100, GXC150, Apex A10, BK XLS400 (set with hard knee house curve)
JCAT USB and Sata, Graham Slee Spatia (SC) Graham Slee Lautus Digital / Analogue IC x 9
Hello Ben! Glad to see you in here! We talked not long ago on my dedicated NuForce AVP-18 thread, and now it's in my possession! The NuForce duo have definitely done interesting things to my existing Apex speakers! More to come in a few weeks!
How very right you are, ellisdj! Separates are often a bigger investment in cost of course, and with additional cabling, space requirements (etc) but the added bonus of everything you say is worth it in the long run. Not just in terms of performance. With my particular NuForce duo the multichannel amplifier MCH-300SEC7 is the real high-end star of the show, one that is meant to stay with future speaker upgrades. Separating the processing/dac/decoders from the amplification makes all kinds of sense, it truly does. Processors are "easily" discarded these days as technology changes so rapidly, but amplification not so much. Now I only have to look for a new processor down the line, and that's it.
I take it you are loving your Meridian gear, BTW? They sure build amazing units!
Mind telling me personal impressions of your GX100 and GXC150 speakers? Those are beauties!
If you like Monitor Audio you will like the GX - they sound similar to the apex - but they are bigger, richer sound, definately smoother and they have been very senstive to changes I have made. The Apex image well, I would say the GX image better - they are less direct sounding in favour of a bit more natural presentation sound, hard to descirbe - you get a really good centre vocal with a lot of clarity. They are very bassy in my room and need taming with eq - I can see some people not liking them for that reason whjere they have no knowledge or control over whats going on
In the right room acoustics I bet they will image amazingly well (3D), as they image really well in my room, with some basic treatment (not that 3D because there isnt the space or treament) - I have heard the platiums in such a room and they image better than anything I have heard - but that was 90% the room allowing it to happen.
I have got to a point with the sound in stereo where I am really close to truely stunning results - i mean truely stunning. I have a few things left to get and then at this price point I think I will be maxed out and will have to settle there. The next step up will be to a good used 806 v4 Processor that has better dacs and just as important a linear power supply - thats out of my reach atm
In terms of the meridian kit - its definately an aquired taste in certain regards -It will be different to a lot of other sounding kit - you can listen all day and never tire which is great but not always everyones cup of tea.
I have just sold 2 Meridian streaming units in favour of building my own audio pc. I think it sounds better - becasue it sounds more like how I want it to - with the Meridian its often said you need their DSP speakers to get their full sound benefit - which is probably right. I am not finished wioth the audio pc and have been lucky to find info on optimising it to the lengths I have - someone written a great guide he is a true legend.
In terms of setting up the Meridian processor - there is a basic auto setup of bass equalisation but its not great - and you have to manually set everything else up distances, levels - thats a no go for most people - for me its ideal. Its the only system I have seen where you can manually eq the system - all the others do it auto and I wouldnt want that as it would not eq how I wanted it to - Hard Knee House Curve - its the way forward!!
If you want to know how it sounds ask Ric71 - he came round for a demo - he was blown away by the stereo playback and the bass from my sub he couldnt believe it. I have since improved the bass a lot and improved both stereo and film sound tracks playback with some tweaks, speaker / sub placement and the UD7007 so its a good system, I really like it.
One thing to point out - you can only EQ in the bass region so 250hz and down! I am dead against eqing above that and would not eq at all if I could get away with it. If you heard the system you would know why i say that - EQ is not needed it doesnt make the system sound better, only more processed
Also putting the big TV in has been a system trasnformer - this TV is amazing with the calibration I have done - its ridiculously good
Thanks for the teriffic read, ellisdj!
Lucky Ric71 having heard/experienced your system! Sounds lovely! I'd love a demo! Plus, I'd love a demo comparing MA GX100 with KEF R300, another fine set of speakers. I can't house fullrange floorstanding speakers in my home so a sub/sat system is optimal. But, changing from Apex to anything else isn't imminent. I will say this though - when you have electronics that beg for higher capability speakers (like my recently acquired NuForce) it's hard to resist temptation, hehe. I have been to demos with that amazing threedimensional imaging you speak of, so I know how stunning it can be. I've never fully been able to replicate that sensation at home, with any system to date. But just like you say, the room play the biggest part here - the acoustics, and that's a big challenge in most livingspaces. My next investment will be dedicated room treatments, for sure.
I'm not surprised Meridian is an aquired taste, I've heard other owners say the very same thing. In terms of manual EQ and manual tinkering I think I see your point. My new NuForce AVP-18 actually has that, apart from Auto EQ. It appear a million times more flexible and customizable than Audyssey, for example, with it's eleven programmable, fully parametric equalizers per channel (3 for the subwoofer channel). Since I'm a novis at manual EQ I haven't yet devoured those possibilites but with multichannel content the Auto EQ in the AVP-18 is tremendously effective.
Apart from the NuForce duo I also upgraded my blu-ray player to the Denon DBT-3313UD transport (a relative to your Marantz UD7007 player!) and the stunning HDD music server Naim UnitiServe, that makes bit-perfect copies of all my cd's. As good as the Apex speakers are, traditional 2-channel stereo is not all it can be, and I do believe (thanks to your feedback) MA GX100 or KEF R300 would offer more in that regard. For me to demo those now though would be dangerous...
You dont need or want big floorstanders in your space - small speakers will be better for you for sure. There are lots of good small speakers
The KEF LS50 are really good, I have heard them they have a lot of potential to be really good and rarely is somehting so universally accepted as excellent in this game - so they are worth consiodering if you can live wioth the gold which I know you will say no to
The GX are different to the Kef - I would love to demo them all in my home, it would be a lot of work but worth it.
If I was you - dont buy anyhting else until you have treated your room - spend the money and time on that first - as it will change things drastically for you. I bet you this - you have not heard how good the apex can be yet - dont be changing them until you have!!. I suggested the same thing to Ric71 but he had already bought his long desired M&K
You wont like me saying this but paramteric equalizers are not very good as they are too general - Auddesey is better as it uses a knotch filter system which is mroe accurate. Thats not to say your not getting better results from the Nuforce - just a general statement on the two systems.
If you do treat your room you will find you will be able to turn the eq off (bass excepted) - then you will get the best sound from your kit, I promise you that!! It will sound far more natural and give you a much bigger soundstage / field!! Its the best upgrade you can do and often the least expensive!
In terms of bass eq - 3 filters doesnt sound like enough mate - I use minimal filters on my sub and I have to use 8.
The system in the nuforce sounds very similar to that in Pioneer Receivers - it needs addtional bass eq - which is not a problem it can actually be a benefit.
You have 2 options if your subs dont have buitl in dsp
1. get in something like an antimode and set and forget or the much better option
2. Measure the room using REW - use REW to creat your filters - then use a feedback destroyer - there a Behringers perfect for this job and then input the filters into the behringer - they is how you get really good bass
Option 3 - in the Meridian I can do option 2 internally which is obviously better
Yeah, those KEF LS50's - people rave about them. But you are right, ellisdj, I'd say no to gold! (you know my 'style' too well! haha). I bet those MA GX100 of yours sound lovely in your system, and certainly look the part too. However, I was taking a peek at the smaller brother GX50 and the matching center GXC150, as these would probably fit my small listeningroom better. But what am I saying!? No new investment in speakers for a loooong time! I'm definitely gonna follow your advice to focus on the room itself next. That, if anything, will have the biggest impact.
I'm honestly a real novis when it comes to paramteric equalizers and manual EQ's - it's not my strong suit at all, which is why I've relied a ton on automated ones the last few years. I have to say though, having had hands-on experience of both Audyssey MultEQ XT and XT32 and liking them both (in contrast to MCACC, YPAO and ARC) that NuForce seemingly simpler Auto EQ (similar to Emotiva's Emo-Q Gen 2) have acchieved teriffic results in my room with Apex - a sound that is far more transparent than any of those other systems accomplished. And ontop of that, despite not being equipped to calibrate two individual subwoofers, daisy-chaining AW-12 have worked just fine. Here is a screenshot of the manual filters one can adjust in the AVP-18 for the subwoofer channel, not that it says much to me but just so you can see it:
You bring up many valid points though, regardless! Have no doubts however that proper room treatments in selected locations will yield an even better result than any EQ would. Trick is to know exactly what and where to place them for best results, which is why I'll hire an expert to come in and do it for me. No chance in hell I'll get the same result by myself, even if I study acoustics and use REW. I'd gladly pay for professionals who truly know what they're doing.
BTW - have you used any DSPeaker AntiMode in your system at some point?
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