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The Apex Club

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RickyDeg's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 647
RE: The Apex Club

hello or goodbye Hope everyone is doing well? My rather lengthy and thorough personal review of my new NuForce AVP-18 and MCH-300SEC7 (with Apex) is online now if you care to check it out below:

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/nuforce-avp-18-and-mch-300sec7-with-apex-personal-review

__________________

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)

MUSICRAFT's picture
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Posts: 4357
RE: The Apex Club

RickyDeg wrote:

MUSICRAFT wrote:

RickyDeg wrote:

Just about to watch "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Oblivion" blu-ray's tonight on Apex and NuForce - SUPER EXCITED! Last night I watched a movie I love to hate, "Prometheus", and was floored by the amazing reproduction of the soundtrack. Just jaw-droppingly good!

Hi RickyDeg

I watched Oblivion last week (so,so story, great picture and sound quality) and most of Star Trek Into Darkness today (good story, excellent picture and sound quality). Prometheus - excellent picture but I found the audio quality to be soft and weak. The story - yawn and with a poor and seemingly rushed ending.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Hey Rick!  hello or goodbye I agree with you completely on "Oblivion" and "Star Trek Into Darkness". Glad you've seen them too. And I'm telling you - Apex truly shine on movie soundtracks in a way now that is a little difficult to describe. My NuForce kit is real good. I will post an in-depth personal review soon, in case you care to read some. I'm installing acoustic room treatments soon! Can't wait!

In terms of "Prometheus" I'll hold back my opinions of the story because I could go on all day, haha (let's just say Mr Scott has some serious redeeming to do after this movie haha). I find the visuals and audiomix rather amazing though, it was with Denon/Audyssey and even more so now with the NuForce kit. The mix is wonderfully dynamic and filled with so much detail and atmosphere throughout it staggers me. It has actually become my reference disc lately. You are not the only one who have said the audio is soft and weak, but I'm not sure how that could be...? We need to demo each others systems with that disc! HA!

Hi RickyDeg

I am very disappointed with the audio mix of Prometheus. Soft and weak. I have also noticed this with some other Fox releases such as The A-Team and Predators whereas with Max Payne, Hitman and AVP Requiem (i would rather watch this then Prometheus) are gutsy and powerful Smile

On the other hand i've found the sound on some releases from Universal such as Contraband, Fast and Furious 5 and Battleship to be almost flat and bright whereas Hulk (200cool , 9 and Hanna are gutsy and powerful Smile

Movie studios - Old School style audio mixes please pray

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

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Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer

 

good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all

MUSICRAFT's picture
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Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 4357
RE: The Apex Club

RickyDeg wrote:

MUSICRAFT wrote:

michael hoy wrote:

So Ricky, your not missing the Denon/Audyssey combo then excellent!

Hi Michael hoy

I wonder what Chris Kyriakakis will make of RickyDeg not using Audyssey  excellent!

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

HAHA! You crack me up! I had to respond to this!

Chris Kyriakakis is no longer friends with me on Facebook. There's your answer.  rolling on the floor laughing

Hi RickyDeg

Chris Kyriakakis is no longer friends with you on Facebook probably because there is a Nu Force in town excellent!

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

__________________

Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer

 

good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all

whathero's picture
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Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
RE: The Apex Club

puzzled

I've always liked this one 's pretty good ! good job

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RickyDeg's picture
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Posts: 647
RE: The Apex Club

Fellow club members, I'm about to reveal something I didn't think I would; I'm EQ-liberated! 

cheer

Some of you may have read my personal review elsewhere of my newly accuired a/v separates from NuForce and how much I love them driving Apex. Well, contrary to things mentioned in the review (and things I've said in the past) I no longer care for eqalization to make Apex bloom. In fact I'm hearing them in a new way right now. After being pleased and impressed with the AutoEQ in the AVP-18 processor I switched to 'direct/bypass' by accident this weekend and could hardly believe my ears. A bit of a revelation after having been such a fan of Audyssey for many years.

I know for many a/v fans this isn't a revelation but I have to mention I personally was never convinced running 'direct/bypass' mode with any receiver in the past and have therefor been dependant on equalizers to bring out that engrossing sound I was looking for (Audyssey-equipped machines in particular). When I owned my Denon receiver it sounded downright awful without Audyssey and Dynamic EQ. To me the sound was just unlistenable. I had the exact same experience testing Onkyo, also with Audyssey, as if these receivers were constructed with Audyssey in mind and you weren’t really supposed to switch it off. Perhaps that was because those receivers simply relied on EQ in order to sound good? And thus I foolishly assumed bypassing wouldn’t impress me with NuForce either. But to my surprise this have became a game changer. I guess the purity of the unaltered signal fed to the amplifier really makes Apex sing and sound 'the way they are meant to'. And I also guess that my speaker placement and my room isn't as much of a disaster as I thought.

Everything I raved about with NuForce AutoEQ is bettered in every sense in 'direct/bypass' mode and the slight reservations I had suddenly vanished. It's almost as if I got myself a new set of ears. The sound has broken free from the speaker cabinets more so than before – they now breathe ‘air’ and spatiality is unmistakably more natural. The ease of which everything is projected throughout the soundstage is uncanny. My A40 center projects vocals more naturally, as if the actors are in the room. The AW-12 subwoofers also appear somewhat liberated from the restraining EQ and now present more slam and depth (there is occational boominess with no EQ though, as to be expected, but I will tame that with bass traps soon). The dynamics and impact of the entire Apex system have grown substantially, as if the EQ (as good as it is) was holding back the true fidelity and refinement of the signal fed to the amplifier, at least to some degree. I would not have thought that had I never hit the 'direct/bypass' button on the remote! This awakening will keep me going down the route of 'purity'.

This has been such an interesting revelation I just had to share it!

Acoustic room treatment panels next!

Cheers all!  beauty, eh

__________________

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)

michael hoy's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2008
Posts: 1548
RE: The Apex Club

RickyDeg wrote:

Fellow club members, I'm about to reveal something I didn't think I would; I'm EQ-liberated! 

cheer

Dare i say it...

Told you so Shock

On a serious note, glad you are enjoying your new system.

__________________

AV System -  Panasonic 42VT30 ¦ MA Apex 5.1- 4xA10 1xA40+ AW-12 Sub ¦ Van Damme UP LCOFC Speaker Cable ¦ Pioneer SC-LX85 ¦ OPPO 95 ¦ Mark Grant G1500HD Precision audio cable ¦ Sky+ HD(1TB) ¦ Chord Active HDMI ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Belkin PF50 mains conditioner.

Bedroom - Sony KDL-40W2000 + Archos 7 streaming from Windows Home Server 2011, Altec Lansing inAir 5000.

Dining Room - Sonos S5.

Music - HP Proliant Server running WHS 2011 ¦ streaming FLAC to Sonos ZP90 and OPPO 95 via SC-LX85.

Hi Fi - Cyrus 8 XPd QX amp ¦ Cyrus PSX-R power supply acting as Pre Amp ¦ Quad 909 Power Amp ¦ Speakers - Spendor A3 ¦ Logitech Squeezebox Touch upgrade by Fidelity Audio ¦ power supply upgrade by Mains Cables R Us ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Power Plant Premier mains regenerator.

Controlled by – iPad2 and Harmony 1100.

 

RickyDeg's picture
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Posts: 647
RE: HA!  How did I know you'd say

HA!  I knew you'd say that! Tongue  And you were right in doing so, Michael  Wink

It's curious how none of the other solutions I tested over the last 2 years (and boy have there been many) sounded convincing at all in 'direct/bypass' mode. And this with the same speakers, in the same room! Some didn't convince me with EQ either though, unless it was Audyssey of course. But now with NuForce it's a TOTALLY different deal. Watched two animated favorites on Blu-ray last night - "How To Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda" - the viceral dynamics through Apex is just unreal now. Don't get me wrong, Denon and Audyssey were terrific for me, but not like this. It's like I've unlocked Apex true potential. LFE is slightly overpowering without EQ of course but bass traps will take care of that.

I'm even keen on trying the Oppo BDP-105 as a preamp connected directly to the NuForce amplifier in order to eliminate the processor completely for shortest possible signal path. Others have done that with great results. Were you aware of this? With no need for EQ and lots of inputs the processor only serves as a volume control with speaker management - something Oppo does as well. 

Hope you are enjoying your systems too, Michael! (gosh, you have so many!)

beauty, eh

__________________

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)

michael hoy's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2008
Posts: 1548
RE: HA!  How did I know you'd say

Hi ricky,

Having a bad time with my ears at the moment (7 weeks now).

Besides that I am waiting to revamp the living room and move things around, the HiFi is used in the loft but his full at the moment with stair parts for the hallway.

Just ordered a new car as well so no money to spend on system at the moment.

 

Let me know how you get on with the OPPO as a pre amp.

__________________

AV System -  Panasonic 42VT30 ¦ MA Apex 5.1- 4xA10 1xA40+ AW-12 Sub ¦ Van Damme UP LCOFC Speaker Cable ¦ Pioneer SC-LX85 ¦ OPPO 95 ¦ Mark Grant G1500HD Precision audio cable ¦ Sky+ HD(1TB) ¦ Chord Active HDMI ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Belkin PF50 mains conditioner.

Bedroom - Sony KDL-40W2000 + Archos 7 streaming from Windows Home Server 2011, Altec Lansing inAir 5000.

Dining Room - Sonos S5.

Music - HP Proliant Server running WHS 2011 ¦ streaming FLAC to Sonos ZP90 and OPPO 95 via SC-LX85.

Hi Fi - Cyrus 8 XPd QX amp ¦ Cyrus PSX-R power supply acting as Pre Amp ¦ Quad 909 Power Amp ¦ Speakers - Spendor A3 ¦ Logitech Squeezebox Touch upgrade by Fidelity Audio ¦ power supply upgrade by Mains Cables R Us ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Power Plant Premier mains regenerator.

Controlled by – iPad2 and Harmony 1100.

 

djolord's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2013
Posts: 13
RE: The Apex Club

Finally ordered my Apex babies today. For now only getting 3xA10's for front soundstage and the new radius 90 for rears and sticking with my B&W ASW300 sub (it's small but enough as I have a small room). Pics and reviews to come shortly Smile

__________________

HiFi: Speakers - ATC SCM40, Power Amp - Rotel RB-1582, Pre-Amp/DAC - Audiolab M-DAC

AV: AVR - Pioneer SC-LX72, Sources - Sky HD/PS3/Popcorn Hour C-200, TV - Pioneer PDP-428xd, Speakers - B&W DM602 s3 + 600LCR s3 + B&W DM600 s3 + B&W ASW300 sub (soon to be replaced by Apex!)

michael hoy's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2008
Posts: 1548
RE: The Apex Club

Welcome to the club djolord.

Any reason not to have the A40 for your centre.

__________________

AV System -  Panasonic 42VT30 ¦ MA Apex 5.1- 4xA10 1xA40+ AW-12 Sub ¦ Van Damme UP LCOFC Speaker Cable ¦ Pioneer SC-LX85 ¦ OPPO 95 ¦ Mark Grant G1500HD Precision audio cable ¦ Sky+ HD(1TB) ¦ Chord Active HDMI ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Belkin PF50 mains conditioner.

Bedroom - Sony KDL-40W2000 + Archos 7 streaming from Windows Home Server 2011, Altec Lansing inAir 5000.

Dining Room - Sonos S5.

Music - HP Proliant Server running WHS 2011 ¦ streaming FLAC to Sonos ZP90 and OPPO 95 via SC-LX85.

Hi Fi - Cyrus 8 XPd QX amp ¦ Cyrus PSX-R power supply acting as Pre Amp ¦ Quad 909 Power Amp ¦ Speakers - Spendor A3 ¦ Logitech Squeezebox Touch upgrade by Fidelity Audio ¦ power supply upgrade by Mains Cables R Us ¦ Furutech Mains Cables ¦ Power Plant Premier mains regenerator.

Controlled by – iPad2 and Harmony 1100.

 

Chord_Freak's picture
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Joined: 29 Aug 2012
Posts: 15
RE: The Apex Club

Hi guys, I've not been on here for a while but I'm still enjoying the Apex speakers! I have just added a DSpeaker Antimode to tame a huge peak at 40hz on the sub and it has done an amazing job. For anyone who has boomy / flabby, over-bearing bass from the Apex sub, get one of these:

 

http://www.dspeaker.com/en/products/anti-mode-8033.shtml

 

Fairly cheap and worked wonders in my less than ideal room!

__________________

Monitor Audio Apex 5.1, Yamaha RX-V3067, Cyrus 7CDQ, Chord cables

ellisdj's picture
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1087
RE: The Apex Club

RickyDeg wrote:

Fellow club members, I'm about to reveal something I didn't think I would; I'm EQ-liberated! 

cheer

Some of you may have read my personal review elsewhere of my newly accuired a/v separates from NuForce and how much I love them driving Apex. Well, contrary to things mentioned in the review (and things I've said in the past) I no longer care for eqalization to make Apex bloom. In fact I'm hearing them in a new way right now. After being pleased and impressed with the AutoEQ in the AVP-18 processor I switched to 'direct/bypass' by accident this weekend and could hardly believe my ears. A bit of a revelation after having been such a fan of Audyssey for many years.

I know for many a/v fans this isn't a revelation but I have to mention I personally was never convinced running 'direct/bypass' mode with any receiver in the past and have therefor been dependant on equalizers to bring out that engrossing sound I was looking for (Audyssey-equipped machines in particular). When I owned my Denon receiver it sounded downright awful without Audyssey and Dynamic EQ. To me the sound was just unlistenable. I had the exact same experience testing Onkyo, also with Audyssey, as if these receivers were constructed with Audyssey in mind and you weren’t really supposed to switch it off. Perhaps that was because those receivers simply relied on EQ in order to sound good? And thus I foolishly assumed bypassing wouldn’t impress me with NuForce either. But to my surprise this have became a game changer. I guess the purity of the unaltered signal fed to the amplifier really makes Apex sing and sound 'the way they are meant to'. And I also guess that my speaker placement and my room isn't as much of a disaster as I thought.

Everything I raved about with NuForce AutoEQ is bettered in every sense in 'direct/bypass' mode and the slight reservations I had suddenly vanished. It's almost as if I got myself a new set of ears. The sound has broken free from the speaker cabinets more so than before – they now breathe ‘air’ and spatiality is unmistakably more natural. The ease of which everything is projected throughout the soundstage is uncanny. My A40 center projects vocals more naturally, as if the actors are in the room. The AW-12 subwoofers also appear somewhat liberated from the restraining EQ and now present more slam and depth (there is occational boominess with no EQ though, as to be expected, but I will tame that with bass traps soon). The dynamics and impact of the entire Apex system have grown substantially, as if the EQ (as good as it is) was holding back the true fidelity and refinement of the signal fed to the amplifier, at least to some degree. I would not have thought that had I never hit the 'direct/bypass' button on the remote! This awakening will keep me going down the route of 'purity'.

This has been such an interesting revelation I just had to share it!

Acoustic room treatment panels next!

Cheers all!  beauty, eh

 

This is not surprising at all - I dont want to say I told you so but I told you so. - the eq system used in the Nuforce appears a basic parametric which are generally not very good.

However dont expect some bass trapping to sort your bass boom out unless you are prepared to go the whole hog - thats treatment in every corner in the room - so imagine in your room where one wall / ceiling / floor meets another thats a corner - I cant imagine you doing this but maybe you will.

Bass trapping will help, acoustic other treatment will be your best upgrade yet for your apex but still look at eq for your subs as you will likely still need it. 250hz and down

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Optimised Audio PC - J River / JPlay / Custom Full Linear Power Supply

Panasonic 65VT65, Marantz UD7007, HIFi Racks Podium Reference

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RickyDeg's picture
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Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 647
RE: The Apex Club

ellisdj wrote:
This is not surprising at all - I dont want to say I told you so but I told you so. - the eq system used in the Nuforce appears a basic parametric which are generally not very good.

However dont expect some bass trapping to sort your bass boom out unless you are prepared to go the whole hog - thats treatment in every corner in the room - so imagine in your room where one wall / ceiling / floor meets another thats a corner - I cant imagine you doing this but maybe you will.

Bass trapping will help, acoustic other treatment will be your best upgrade yet for your apex but still look at eq for your subs as you will likely still need it. 250hz and down

It's ok to say "I told you so", I'm sure you'd love that! HA! Someone else already did and I welcomed it. 

All kidding aside, bypassing with NuForce reminds me of the transparency and soundstage spatiality I achieved with the Lexicon DC-1 processor and Musical Fidelity HT600 amp many many years ago, apart from the fact that now of course we've got lossless formats that didn't exist back then. The EQ in the NuForce did infact do an excellent job overall, and with their up-coming professional microphone I'm certain that measuring will become even more accurate. This won't change the paratetric EQ quality though of course. In many ways the EQ was better than Audyssey in fact, but like I said it's not until I bypassed it that the last bits fell into place - the speakers truly 'breath' now.  I can clearly hear that EQ'ing hold the speakers back in some respects. I'd like to repeat though, that when I bypassed the EQ on the Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer and Anthem receivers it did NOT sound anywhere close to this - at all - it was unlistenable to me on those units. Might simply be because NuForce is in a different league.

It's nice now though to have moved away from room EQ. Like you said though, I still feel the sub would benefit from EQ'ing AND bass traps. The slight bass boom I experience only with the deepest of rumbles in soundtrack LFE's - its very mild. My acoustic consultant was here last week to excecute measurements with a microphone and test-discs (was very interesting, even if I don't get graphs and such at all, they tell me nothing, which is why I rely on him). I only have two corners in my listening room as it's an open architecture type apartment and the left side cannot accomodate any treatment whatsoever. The corner of my front subwoofer is the location in which he strongly suggested placing bass traps - from floor to ceiling. So that's what we'll start off with.

__________________

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)

tris101's picture
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Joined: 29 Sep 2013
Posts: 12
RE: The Apex Club

Hi guys,

 

I'm new around here so hello to you allhello or goodbye

I have x6 a10's for left right, side and rear surrounds and the A40 for the centre partnered to Yamaha 3010 amp. My question is which subs should I be looking at? I have around £1000 max my room is quite large are 13 foot by 30 foot it is brick and plaster walls and concrete floor. I will be using the sub for movies and music, I normally prefer sealed subs to ported designs. I have a young child and dog so I need a grill which kind of rules out the aw-12.

I welcome suggestions...

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fayeanddavid's picture
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Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1067
RE: The Apex Club

tris101 wrote:

Hi guys,

 

I'm new around here so hello to you allhello or goodbye

I have x6 a10's for left right, side and rear surrounds and the A40 for the centre partnered to Yamaha 3010 amp. My question is which subs should I be looking at? I have around £1000 max my room is quite large are 13 foot by 30 foot it is brick and plaster walls and concrete floor. I will be using the sub for movies and music, I normally prefer sealed subs to ported designs. I have a young child and dog so I need a grill which kind of rules out the aw-12.

I welcome suggestions...

Look at the BK range of subwoofers, the XLLS 400 is a sealed design and the Monolith is a ported design, both are fantastic subs at around £450 -£550, with finishes that you can select, (painted or veneer)

We have the Monolith and chose down firing so no grilles to worry of.

 

I have recently change to Apex A40s across the front, fantastic speaker and the integration with my Monolith sub is excellent (crossed over at 100Hz and sounds really good)

__________________

Lounge: Sony 52W5500, Emotiva UMC 200 & XPA 5, Sony S790 BDP, Sky+ HD 1TB, 5 x MA APEX A40 LCR & surrounds, Chord Odyssey and Carnival for rears, BK Monolith DF & AntiMode 8033C ;

Family: Cambridge One, Rega P3-24 Elys 2, Mission 771e, Chord Carnival cable

Various: MacBook Pro, HP Pavilion dm4,  iPod docks,  iPhones, 160GB Classic and various generation Nanos