Buying Advice: Marantz SR7012 vs. NAD T758 V3

Discussion in 'AV Equipment Advice and Pricing' started by Jazzy Jeff, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. AudiocRaver

    AudiocRaver Senior Admin
    Staff Member

    Nov 21, 2016
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    Lincoln, NE, USA
    First, apologies for not getting involved in this discussion earlier.

    A great set of speakers in the right room can sound fantastic with no room correction or EQ at all. There is usually at least a little room treatment involved in accomplishing this, sometimes a lot. When reviewing speakers, I tend to start out with getting them set up for the best sound possible on their own, no correction or EQ, and spend a fair amount of time getting to know them like that -- the natural thing to do for a speaker review, and the way a lot of listeners will use the speakers in their own rooms anyway.

    Having done that numerous times, I am still genuinely surprised when a room correction calibration is finally completed and activated and the speakers are heard for the first time with good room correction. I admit to having a listening bias that favors soundstage and imaging (SS&I). Even when they already sounded good, they invariably sound markedly better to me with room correction. The speaker is still the star of the setup, but the sense of refinement with good room correction is undeniable.

    "Good" room correction? Audyssey XT32 and Dirac Live are the two that most of us have worked with. I have heard some nice results with Audyssey, again focusing on SS&I, as this is where my ears go first and most naturally. The two main differences from the end-user perspective are that Dirac Live is designed to focus on SS&I along with frequency response, whereas - to my knowledge, and I have seen no evidence to the contrary - Audyssey focuses only on frequency response and can be coaxed to give fairly good SS&I performance, too. I say "coaxed" because it can be a lot of work getting there messing with mic setup patterns and the like, and "fairly good" because I have never heard SS&I with Audyssey that is as sharp and cohesive and engaging as with Dirac Live, and we have made some very painstaking comparisons.

    I am not suggesting that you rush to trade in your AVR. Listening priorities differ, you might hear Dirac Live and be unimpressed. Or you might be blown away. I can only speak for my own ears (and those of a few Ii have spent a lot of time listening alongside). You might watch for a chance to hear Dirac or a comparison setup at an audio get-together some time and let the experience guide a future purchase.

    Hope that clears things up a little.
  2. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2017
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    Balt/Wash Metro
    @AudiocRaver: You're awesome. I really respect your passion for SS&I... and while realizing that not everyone cares as much as you do, I really dig the fact that you value it so much!!

    @Jazzy Jeff: The Audyssey, especially the most recent version, is pretty good. Ignore those reviews! You can use it to store multiple corrections, and you can load the corrections in a matter of minutes. So, from that perspective, its nice. You can also use it to set target curves... meaning if you want to boost bass a little for your mains, you can do that. Also, it allows you to limit the scope of correction. Some folks believe you should apply room correction to frequencies up 300- 500Hz (@AudiocRaver can probably give us a really good technical explanation). The app allows you to achieve that.

    I'd suggest playing around with it... you can copy and paste correction files. Therefore, if you want, say, limit the scope of correction to only frequencies below 500HZ, you can create a file that does that. Then you can compare.

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