SOUNDBARS vs. AV RECEIVERS
Even the best & most expensive soundbars have far less sound quality & flexibility than less costly small speakers & AV receivers. Most of our AV receivers include wired & wireless internet connections, Bluetooth wireless streaming & five or more analog & digital inputs, three types of video inputs [HDMI, RCA component & composite] plus can power speakers in two or three rooms. Soundbars omit most of these features.
A SOUND & VISION test of a top-rated $1700 soundbar confirms this. Soundbars are made for perfectly symmetrical rooms that are seldom found in any home. "This soundbar has little bass. The left "surround speaker" seemed to be in front rather than behind me. It sounded like a crappy tabletop system: not much stereo separation & thin, lifeless sonics will leave you wondering why you spent $1700. There's no apparent surround info with the 3D surround mode. Freq. resp. is 200hz to 10khz within 7db. The two 4" woofers have a 40W amp & 44 about 1" speakers have an 88W amp. It is 43" wide & 8.4" high." SOUND & VISION 9/2016 Though this is one of the best & most expensive sound bars, the reviewer thought it needed a $1000 sub. Most soundbars are far worse.
Our smallest separate speakers & AV receivers work far better. Our under $1400 system has deeper bass, smoother & more spacious sound & is more flexible. We include four top-rated Elac B5 speakers. ABSOLUTE SOUND, 11/16, "sounds terrific, exquisitely balanced & music; exceptional." We include an Elac center, a Yamaha subwoofer & 7 channel receiver, the RXV579, with: wired & wireless internet; 6 HDMI; component & composite video; 3 digital inputs, USB, 3 analog inputs, 2 sub outputs, headphone jack, a good AM/FM tuner, plus outputs for seven speakers, so another room can be connected. Most soundbars don't have any of these features. Instead of only 88W total, there's 80 watts by 7 channels. For under $1700, we include an Audio-Technica 120USB turntable with 33/45/78 rpm; direct drive; adjustable speed; a diamond needle cartridge; built-in phono preamp, USB output, USB cable & software disc. This sturdy, 25 lb. turntable gets great reviews.
We stock Yamaha's most affordable soundbar, the YAS108, $199, includes Bluetooth wireless streaming, HDMI inputs & a built-in amplifier. This is the least expensive soundbar recommended by SOUND & VISION, 12/16, rating it an "outstanding value". This Yamaha soundbar has smoother response than competing models for twice as much.
NEW ELAC S10EQ SUB
Andrew Jones, world-famous speaker designer for ELAC, KEF, Pioneer, Infinity & more, has set a new standard in subwoofers.
Here's the first sub controlled by your Bluetooth Smartphone. The sub's built-in digital signal processor measures room acoustic & automatically equalizes the response, phase, crossover & more for best sound. The sub's freq. resp. is 28-150hz. The crossover is 50-150hz. The sub's BASH amplifier is 200 watts RMS & 400 watts peak. The sub's 10" driver is augmented by a 10" passive radiator. There's an RCA input; size is 13.5 x 13.5 x 13.5" & weight is 31 lbs. The cost is $499 each.
Dali is one of Europe's leading speaker manufacturers. Their products have earned the praise of STEREOPHILE & ABSOLUTE SOUND, WHAT HI-FI & more for their Quality construction, outstanding sound & tremendous value. Some engineering features include wood pulp midrange & woofer cones; ribbon tweeters for extended, smooth treble & soft dome tweeters that have a sweeter sound than the common metal tweeters; precision -engineered crossovers & well-braced, Danish furniture quality cabinetry. ABSOLUTE SOUND calls the $5995/pair DALI RUBICON 6 "Bold, effortless, superb." STEREOPHILE calls the $395/pair Zensor 1 "a new benchmark in its class." A home theater system with the Zensor 1 is rated, "The most stunningly entertaining sound this money can buy." WHAT HI-FI The same magazine rates the $2495/pr Opticon 6 as "Bold, expressive, great balance, lots of low end." The Opticons, all made in Denmark, excel in sound, value & appearance.
FOCAL ARIA SALE
All made in Europe, 5 year warranty; very limited quantities.
List price NOW
905 Bookshelf $1000 $699/pr
New Focals Praised by Reviewers
The 906, $1500/pair, the smallest & most affordable Aria speaker, was just called "Terrific" by ABSOLUTE SOUND.
All Aria speakers feature better sounding drivers with flax-cone woofers & midranges, plus new aluminum-magnesium tweeters, reducing distortion by 50%. Arias are 8 ohms & about 92db efficiency, or four times as efficient as many competitors. You can use solid state amps or tube amps, like our 35 watt/channel Prima Luna amps. The Arias have sleek, attractive styling with black lacquer or walnut wood veneer.
Focal speakers have higher efficiency, plus deeper bass than many competitors. Almost every Focal speaker has 90db or more efficiency. Some new B&W speakers are only 84db efficient. Most Focals are 4 to 5 times more efficient.
The $1500 Focal 906 bookshelf speaker has higher efficiency, 10hz deeper bass response & is less than half the height of a B&W for $400 more. The Focal 906 also has 35hz deeper bass response & is smaller than a Klipsch for $1,000 more.
We now have the new Focal 700 models on display. People love their sound. We have had many speakers traded in, including five different B&W models & Paradigm & Klipsch towers.
YAMAHA AV RECEIVER Sale!
Yamaha is famous for great value & reliability. Our receivers are new in sealed boxes with 2 year parts/labor warranty, wireless Bluetooth, USB, many video jacks, including HDMI, RCA component & composite, plus YPAO & a standard microphone to analyze the room acoustics & automatically adjust for best sound. All but RXV385 have wired & wireless internet connections for Airplay, Internet radio, DLNA Music Streaming & Spotify.
RXV585 can power 5 speakers in one room & 2 in a second. RXV585 has 80W/ch, 8 ohms, 20-20k at 0.09% distortion. The RXV585 has 6 HDMI inputs & one HDMI output. We have more Yamaha receivers on sale in our store. The Yamaha RXV685 is our most affordable receiver with a built-in phono preamp, plus has Dolby Atmos, providing two additional front channels with height information, so you could hear a rocket or helicopter rising up from the floor level. Unlike its competitors, Yamaha has a Denver warranty station.
YAMAHA SURROUND RECEIVERS
HDMI In/out list now
RXV385 70Wx5ch, 4/1 $300 $279 Bluetooth & USB
RXV585 80Wx7ch, 6/1 $550 $479 internet & A/B speakers
RXV685 90Wx7ch, 6/1 $650 $599 "& phono preamp, Dolby Atmos
RXA780 90Wx7ch, 6/1 $750 $649 internet & A/B/C speakers
STEREOPHILE & ABSOLUTE SOUND praise Elac speakers for their outstanding sound & tremendous value. One of the world's foremost speaker engineers, Andrew Jones, designs Elac. He has designed many speakers for KEF, Pioneer & TAD for up to $100,000.
We now have on display: *Asterisk means that this product has been favorably reviewed by STEREOPHILE, ABSOLUTE SOUND, etc. Reviews are on our "RECOMMENDED" pages.
CXA60 Integrated Amp with DAC
10 bookshelf speakers
DALI ZENSOR 1 & 3 Bookshelf Speakers*
>OBERON 1 & 3 Bookshelf Speakers*
OBERON 7 Tower Speakers
OPTICON 6 & 8 Tower Speakers
ELAC Bookshelf Speakers: B5.2, B6.2*, UB5*
Tower Speakers: F5*, UF5
Center Speaker: C5 & UC5
FOCAL Bookshelf Speakers: 905, 906*
Aria: 926 & 948*
GRADO Headphones: iGrado, SR60*,
SR80*, SR125*, SR325*
JBL In-wall Speakers: SP6C
KEF In-wall Speakers: 130F
KIMBER: 4PR, 8PR, 4TC*, 8TC* & 12TC*
Hero*, Silver Streak*, Timbre* &
MARANTZ AV Receivers: SR5010
MONITOR In-wall Speakers: 165, 265
MONITOR RADIUS On-wall Speakers: 225
NHT In-wall speakers: IW1, IW2
PARASOUND HALO POWER AMPS: JC1*, A21, A23
PARASOUND HALO PRE AMPS: JC2*, P5*
PARASOUND CLASSIC POWER AMPS: 2125 &
PARASOUND HALO Integrated AMP
PRIMA LUNA, all tube
Classic Integrated amp, 35W/ch
QUAD Speakers: & L center*
YAMAHA CD Players:
CRX332, CD/iPod/AM/FM mini receiver
CDC600, CD Changer
YAMAHA iPod docks:
YD10SL & YD12SL
YAMAHA Stereo Receivers:
RN500, RS201, RS300, RS500 &
YAMAHA Surround Receivers:
RXV385, RXV485, RXV585, RXV685, RXA780, RXA1080
YAMAHA Outdoor Speakers: Nsaw190,
194, 294 & 592
YAMAHA Subs: YSTSW215PN, 216 & 315
AC FILTERS: AudioQuest
AMPS, MULTI-CHANNEL: Marantz, Parasound, Yamaha
A-V PREAMP-PROCESSORS: Marantz, Yamaha
CABLES & Gold Connectors: Apature, AudioQuest, Kimber, WBT
CD: Cambridge, Marantz, Yamaha
CD Player / Mini Stereo Receiver: Yamaha
DIGITAL-ANALOG CONVERTER: AudioQuest, Music Hall, Parasound, Pro-Ject, Rega
DVD Player: Yamaha
HEADPHONE AMPS: Creek, Dared, Grado, Lehmann
HEADPHONES: AKG, Audio-Technica, Grado
HDMI CABLES: Apature,
IN-WALL SPEAKERS: Gold Sound, JBL, KEF,
Mini Stereo Receiver / CD Player: Yamaha
OUTDOOR SPEAKERS: Yamaha
PHONO PREAMPS: Parasound,
PHONO PREAMPS with USB output: Parasound,
POWER AMPS, MULTI-CHANNEL: Marantz, Parasound
POWER CONDITIONERS: AudioQuest, Furman
POWER CORDS: AudioQuest
POWERED SPEAKERS: JBL
PREAMP-PROCESSORS: Marantz, Yamaha
RECEIVERS: Marantz, Yamaha
SPEAKERS: Cambridge, Elac, Focal, Gold Sound, Yamaha
SPEAKER COMPONENTS: Gold Sound, JBL Pro,
Morel, Seas, Vifa & more...
SPEAKER SWITCHERS: Parasound
SUBWOOFERS: Elac, Yamaha
HOME THEATER SYSTEMSBelow are a few Gold Sound Home Theater Systems. Many more are available. Systems include receiver; front, center & rear speakers; powered subwoofer & cables.
1] YAMAHA VALUE, list $1000; now $799
YAMAHA RXV385 Receiver [100 watts per channel, all 5 channels, 4 HDMI inputs], plus Yamaha speaker system with 4 satellites, center & subwoofer. The 4 speakers include swivel metal wall-mount brackets, a 4" woofer, a dome tweeter & are available in black or white. The Yamaha powered subwoofer has a 100 watt internal amp.
2] YAMAHA FLEXIBLITY, list $1100; now $899
YAMAHA RXV485 Receiver [115W/channel, 6 HDMI inputs], plus Yamaha speaker system with 4 satellites, center & subwoofer. The front two speakers are 3-way 8" Yamaha 6490. The rear speakers include swivel metal wall-mount brackets, a 4" woofer, a dome tweeter & are available in black or white. The Yamaha powered subwoofer has a 100 watt internal amp. The Yamaha RX479 receiver includes wired & wireless internet, including internet radio, Pandora, Spotify 192k Apple lossless & DSD 2.8/5.6MHz formats.
3] YAMAHA & FOCAL PERFORMANCE, list $3300; now $2798
YAMAHA RXA780 Receiver, Top-rated FOCAL speakers, 4 bookshelfs, center & sub, all with rosewood, walnut or black.
4] MARANTZ & FOCAL PERFORMANCE
MARANTZ SR5010 Receiver, 2 FOCAL 706 bookshelf speakers, 2 Focal 705 rear speakers, 700 center & 270W Yamaha sub., all with wood veneer or black lacquer.
How to Improve your Home Theater System
Most home theater receivers have power ratings that melt away like a snow man in the hot sun. HOME THEATER tested a $600 Denon receiver rated at 125W/ch. With all channels running, the tested power is under 53 watts/ch. However, you can easily fix this problem.
If your receiver has preamp outputs, hooking up a good separate power amp makes your system come alive. Beyond getting a larger quantity of watts, you'll get far better quality watts. Power amps have more robust power supplies, which enable them to have richer & deeper bass, plus imaging that you can touch & feel.
HOME THEATER compared a $5200 Denon & $7000 Lexicon receiver with a $2000 Marantz power amp. The amp "easily won in every department, especially treble transient clarity, transparency & resolution, with an airy, open & extended yet sweet top end; far superior to Denon, which was closed in & opaque. The Marantz amp produced complete sonic satisfaction at any volume; combined delicacy, detail, transparency & a velvety overall sheen. Bass more supple, subtle, better textured & less mechanical than the Denon. I doubt any receiver at any price can match the amp's sonic performance."
The Parasound A23 stereo amp, 125-200W/ch & reduced from $1000 to $899, improves most receivers. The 125W is the 8 ohm power; 200W is the 4 ohm power. The A21, 250-400W/ch & reduced from $2500 to $1999 has far more wattage & better quality watts than any AV receiver. The Parasound A31 has the same power as the A21, but has three channels, for the front left, right & center. Parasound also makes several fine five channel power amps.
Big TVs are not home theater systems. Over 80% of big screens sold over the past 5 years were sold without an audio system. The speakers in a $1000 TV are only 1" across & cost under a dollar. The amps inside big screen TVs have very low power, often under 10 watts & very high distortion, 10% or more. Even our smallest & least expensive speakers [under $100/pair] sound far better than the speakers in big screen TVs.
The sound system is an essential part of the home theater experience. Much of the enjoyment of action movies comes from hearing the soundtrack. We have new home theater systems with a Yamaha HDMI receiver, 5 speakers & a subwoofer, starting under $900. Our better home theater systems can sound better than systems in movie theaters.
HOME THEATER & many other magazines recommend MARANTZ. PLAYBACK magazine top-rated a Marantz above all other AV receivers tested. "What made it a standout design is just how easy it was to install & use. We never had to consult the owner's manual to get the job done. The remote deserves special mention. It's just so darn well laid out & easy to master; it also helps that it's completely backlit, so we could actually see all the buttons in our darkened home theater." It was the only receiver earning the highest grades for user interface, plus movie & music sound quality.
MARANTZ AV receivers have seven discrete amplifier channels, plus HDMI 2.2, which is necessary for Blue Ray & 3D DVDs. The NR1403 is only 4" high, the same size as Marantz Blue Ray players. Most Marantz AV receivers include HDMI video upconverting, pre outs for every channel, A/B speaker switching, front panel AV inputs & a front panel USB input.
All Marantz CD's, amps, receivers & DVD's have 3 years parts & labor warranties. Reviewers praise MARANTZ for its sound, ease of use & comprehensive, intuitive remote controls. DVD's, plasmas & projectors are a reference standard.
YAMAHA AV receivers all include wireless blutooth for Smart phones, including the $279 RXV385. Inputs include 4 HDMI, 1 USB, 2 RCA digital, 1 Toslink [or optical], 2 RCA analog & 2 RCA video composite.
The YAMAHA RXV585 AV receiver lists for $550, your cost $499, adds many features. Inputs include 6 HDMI, 1 USB, 2 RCA digital, 1 Toslink [or optical], 3 RCA analog & 3 RCA video composite. This 7 channel receiver lets you connect 7 speakers in one room or 5 in your home theater room & 2 more in another room. It includes wired & wireless internet connections, plus is compatible with Yamaha's wireless Musicast speakers. This $249/ea. speaker lets you put the Yamaha RX479 sound wirelessly throughout your home. The speakers can work directly with bluetooth devices. MARANTZ & YAMAHA AV receivers are renowned for their features & flexibility. Most Marantz & Yamaha receivers feature:
1] HDMI video inputs for HD picture quality & simpler, easier connections.
2] A/B speaker outputs for two rooms with double banana speaker jacks for better sound with quality cables & connectors. The $149 Parasound speaker switcher lets you connect up to 10 speakers throughout your home.
3] Learning remotes that run most any TV, DVD, satellite, cable, etc. Your home theater experience is much more enjoyable with one remote control running everything, rather than fishing between seven different remote controls.
4] Multi-zone; different music can play simultaneously in different rooms. While you are watching a surround sound DVD in one room, the FM radio, for example, can play in another room. The only things needed are another pair of speakers & the wire to connect them.
5] Preamp outputs for easy upgrades. The receiver becomes a tuner-preamp. If you want more power, you can plug a 200W or 400W / channel amp or whatever power you prefer directly to the receiver. Parasound power amps have deeper bass, more power & better quality power than any receiver. The $995 Parasound A23, now $899, has 200W into a 4 ohm load. The $2495 A21, now $1999, has 250W, 8 ohms & 400W, 4 ohms. This is far greater than any AV receiver.
With most other receiver brands, you'd have to replace the receiver to get more power. Preamp outputs are included in most Marantz receivers & some Yamaha receivers.
6] Video up-conversion to improve video quality. While DVD players can use an HDMI connection, VCR's use a composite video connection. With most receivers, you would have to use the this sort of cable between the receiver & TV, reducing the video quality. Video upconversion enables you to use the highest type of cable, noticeably improving video quality.
7] On-Screen Display enables you to see any changes you make on the remote control or receiver's front panel on your TV screen. This greatly helps when first setting up your system.
8] A Built-in Equalizer automaticly adjusts all the channels when you first set up the receiver. A microphone is included, which you can place at your favorite listening seat.
HOME THEATER & STEREOPHILE magazines praise PARASOUND's high performance, high value power amps. The Parasounds have more power & better sound quality than any receiver. Parasound's warranty is 5 years labor & 10 years parts, also far better than any receiver.
AV PRE & POWER AMPS
Some people need more power & better sound than any receiver can deliver. Preamp processors & power amps have more features, greater flexibility, better bass, smoother sound & vastly more power than any receiver. The Parasound A51 has 250W/channel 8 ohm, 400W, 4 ohm with all channels running. Even the most expensive receivers can't do this. Regarding a $5200 Denon AVR5308CI, HOME THEATER stated, "Don't expect the power & punch that only separate, more powerful amplifiers can provide."
MM8003, 8 channel power amp, $2399 "Tested power, one channel, 192W, 8 ohm; 289W, 4 ohm."
AV8801 Surround Processor, $3,599PARASOUND HALO A51 power amp, EDITOR'S CHOICE "Powerful & flexible power amp with impressive sound. Excellent value." HI-FI CHOICE,
Home Theater: Marantz's new top-of-the-line performed so well in reviewer David Vaughn's system, it earned a place as his new reference.
YAMAHA AV RECEIVERS
Most speaker companies buy their parts from a few generic manufacturers & put these in a cabinet. Every speaker we carry is from a company that designs, engineers & manufactures every part in their own factory. The benefits include better sounding, more durable speakers of higher value, since you are not paying for multiple companies' markups. We choose our speakers for superior sound quality & value, not for the biggest ad budget. We've tried over a dozen speaker brands that didn't pass our high standards. Most of these speakers are now available at local competing stores.
Hear JBL, NHT, KEF, GOLD SOUND & other in-wall & in ceiling speaker systems here.
INVEST IN THE BEST!
OUR BRANDS WILL BE HERE MANY YEARS
YAMAHA & THORENS
have been in business over 125 years.
ORTOFON, over 70 years.
MARANTZ, over 60 years.
AKG, AUDIO-TECHNICA, & GRADO, over 50 years.
CAMBRIDGE, DBX & REGA, over 40 years
SUMIKO, over 35 years
FOCAL, PARASOUND & VPI, over 35 years
DARED, over 20 years
PRO-JECT & over 20 years
PRIMA LUNA, 12 years
WARRANTIES, all parts & labor
CAMBRIDGE: electronics, 3 years; speakers, 5 years
DALI: 5 years
DARED: 2 years
ELAC Speakers: 3 years
FOCAL: 5 years
GRADO HEADPHONES & CARTRIDGES: 1 year
MARANTZ: 3 years
PARASOUND CLASSIC: 3 years
PARASOUND HALO: 5 years
PARASOUND JC HALO: 10 years
PRIMA LUNA: 2 years
YAMAHA: receivers, amps, speakers & subs,
2 years; CD & DVD, 1 year.
This Page Last Updated - 3/7/19
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