Archive for category AV Receivers
For CD-resolution sound, I streamed TIDAL extensively. While I love using the TIDAL user interface on my desktop and mobile devices, the Pioneer interface is a text-only folder tree with artists, albums, or songs–so it can become tedious to search for a particular artist, album, or song if you have a large saved library, as I do. It was still great to have the convenience of TIDAL on board, but I did find that I didn’t search new music as much on the Pioneer as I do with my other devices.”
But extensive features aside, what really impresses us is how articulate, rhythmically precise and musical this AV receiver sounds. It’s punchy enough and fully exciting, but we love how it gives importance to the subtler aspects of sound quality.
While the mid-range priced receiver market is the most competitive and sought out range for purchase by consumers, the Onkyo TX-NR676 stands out in the crowd due to the emphasis on sound quality. It took everything I could throw at it and kept asking for more, with the Music Optimizer feature cleaning up not only compressed audio tracks but my vinyl as well. Onkyos’ Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC), which takes the signal and completely removes pulse noise generated by the digital to analog conversion, made a noticeable difference in sound when comparing to high end external DAC’s I had on hand, allowing music played through the USB input to sound closer to pure analog such as high end tape or vinyl. The few times it didn’t satisfy me musically was due to comparison with products costing 10x as much, or pushing it far past what the general consumer would likely not push to. I highly recommend this unit and I will be sad to see it
There’s no denying that Rotel’s RAP-1580 is a bit of an anachronism, but it’s a charming one, for sure. Its 1990s-era setup menus (and configuration capabilities) are sure to be infuriating to some and welcome to others, as is the lack of room correction capabilities or any other form of auto calibration. More troubling are the limitations in terms of amp distribution. I can imagine there are a number of people for whom this would be their ideal receiver (or surround amplified processor, “”