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Thread: Well... I'm now an XR-55 owner...

  1. #1

    Default Well... I'm now an XR-55 owner...

    Or will be once the package arrives. After exhaustive online research this receiver is the only logical choice for me; frees up funds for 340SEs vs 170SEs, too. Such a painful process but taking into account perceived performance, the liklihood of no improvement in SQ when spending less than $1k for a similar analog receiver and quickly changing technology I've been
    swayed.

    One thing: can anyone comment on SQ when bi-amping the XR-55?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11

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    Hi! I'm glad you asked this question. I've only recently started cruising audiophile sites, and after a month or so of obsessing, I finally bit the bullet and ordered

    So far I have the XR55 hooked up and running my crusty circa 1985 **** 201's, and I used the B speaker inputs so it defaulted to bi-amped. Of course, my wife thinks I'm crazy to replace these as she has always loved them. I do too, but I'm thinking now that they are going to sound muddy after I get my new 340SE's!

    I've started my speaker collection with 2 340SE's and a Hsu STF-1, and I plan on adding the center and 2 of the 200's in the future, but I'm wondering what will be the best configuration for me on the XR55. I have noticed that the 340's can be bi-wired, but which would be better...bi-wiring or bi-amping?

    I'll probably try both when I get the speakers (10-12 days till shipping...I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas!), but I'm curious to see if anyone has any experience with this receiver/speaker pairing.

    Thanks!

    (LOL...I didn't know B O S E was a dirty word here )
    Last edited by Venri88; 01-20-2006 at 09:56 AM. Reason: funny

  3. #3

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    My XR-55 will be here soon and, like you, I'll be anxiously awaiting the 340SEs for another couple of weeks! I'm skeptical about this receiver, specifically it's "musicality" but I have no qualms about ordering 340SEs based on the sweetness of my current 170s paired with my old HK receiver rated at, oh, 40 watts or so. I'm expecting it to sound like XM radio- crystal-clear but lacking in depth. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised instead.

    As for ****, my understanding is that sheer marketing drives their popularity but I'm not that familiar with their products. When I started a month-long search prior to buying my first Ascends a year ago, I'd narrowed it down to a couple of popular "audiophile" lines and a few direct sellers like Ascend. I'd eliminted two based on their flashy websites alone that appeared (to me) to detract from the speakers themselves...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,062

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    I heard a X-55 at a fellow forum members house last month. It is very nice for ~$250. I liked it much better than the digital JVC RX-10 I owned previously. I like my Audio Refinement better though. But, it is 4 or 5 times the price.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn
    I heard a X-55 at a fellow forum members house last month. It is very nice for ~$250. I liked it much better than the digital JVC RX-10 I owned previously. I like my Audio Refinement better though. But, it is 4 or 5 times the price.
    Could you describe the differences in sound? Is the Audio Refinement "warmer" sounding? To be honest, I might stick with 2-channel sound and use my 170s in the bedroom. In that case, something like the Outlaw RR2150 receiver might be what I'm looking for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
    Posts
    1,222

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    For two channel, if I could have one receiver in the sub $1000. category, it would be the Panny. It's that good in my set-up. It really compliments my 340's.

    David

  7. #7

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    Very reassuring, David... I'll have the chance to compare the XR-55 with my 170s prior to receiving the 340SEs as well. I'm not sure acoustically if it will make a difference but my listening room is carpeted, has fabric-covered wall paper and the house is made of block... it's very quiet and I'm concerned about "brightness".

    Now, hopefully my DVD player comes back in fine condition from the repair shop or that will be another piece of equipment I'll be needing... always something...
    Last edited by Beuby; 01-20-2006 at 03:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,062

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    The warmth of the XR55 actually impressed me. It is much warmer than the JVC RX-10 digital I had before the Audio Refinement. The Audio Refinement(AR) is a little warmer but not a lot. The AR has better details and a bit more punch to me. But I did not hear the XR55 in the same room with the same source as the AR.
    Last edited by Quinn; 01-23-2006 at 04:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia area, PA USA
    Posts
    48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venri88
    which would be better...bi-wiring or bi-amping?
    IMO, bi-wiring is a waste of time if you're already using good quality wires (i.e., 12 gauge oxygen free copper). All it does is essentially double the gauge (thickness) of the wire you're using.

    Bi-amping on the other hand is a whole different animal and is definitely recommended for speakers that can handle it, like the 340s. When you bi-amp you're using 2 amp channels to power one speaker instead of one -- twice the power. There are a few variations of bi-amping... In the pro audio live sound reinforcement world, we do it with external active crossover networks or digital speaker controller units, using 2, 3, 4, sometimes more amp channels to power one speaker or speaker stack. In other words, we'll use an amp channel to power a speaker's horn (or tweeter), another to power the midrange driver(s), another to power the bass bins (subwoofers), etc., using active crossovers to separate the signal into the different frequency bands (upstream of the amps) instead of passive crossovers built into the speakers.

    In the case of home speaker bi-amping like what you'd do with the 340s, you're simply sending the same full-range signal to two amp channels and connecting them to the two speaker terminals on the back of the speaker. AFAIK in most bi-ampable home speaker designs, the speaker's crossover will internally use filters to roll off the appropriate frequencies, and will actually use one amp input to power the tweeter and the other the mid/bass driver(s).

    End result is cleaner, better sound with more headroom.

  10. #10

    Default Hmmm...

    I plugged in the XR-55 to my 170s and have a few impressions, none of which are probably original among reviewers:

    In a word, the sound is startling. I was looking to describe the sound as bright but more like detailed and "airy". So far, only hooked up to FM radio (probably not a fair source for evaluation) I seem to have lost a degree of depth and bass. This is in comparison to an HK3250 that is rated at 40 watts. There's no doubt that there is much to the music that's "missing" with the HK, especially the highs. I'll reserve final judgement when I pair the new 340SEs with this receiver and listen to a few favorite CDs but I think the result will be "honest", uncolored sound. "Warm" is not an adjective I'd use but the 170s never were harsh to my ears and they aren't now, one of my concerns. What makes this receiver a keeper for me (at least short-term) is price-- nothing else on the market like it that I'm aware of.

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