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Thread: 170SE Impressions with my H/K AVR630 and Pany XR55

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    25

    Default 170SE Impressions with my H/K AVR630 and Pany XR55

    I got my two B-Stock Ascend 170SE's yesterday and have had them playing for about 12 hours now. I will update my impressions and comparison over the next couple of days. Comments and questions are welcome.

    Pany XR55 Settings:
    Treble = -10
    Bass = +2
    Speaker = Small
    Crossover = 80 Hz
    Dual Amp = On
    Sound Mode = Stereo
    Source = FM Radio - Smooth Jazz and Classic Rock
    Volume = Low

    H/K AVR630 Settings:
    Treble = 0
    Bass = -2
    Speaker = Small
    Crossover = 80 Hz
    Dual Amp = N/A
    Sound Mode = Stereo
    Source = FM Radio - Smooth Jazz and Classic Rock
    Volume = Low

    Speaker Position and Room:
    ~ 22" from side walls
    ~ 20" from rear walls
    ~ 4' 5" from floor, shelf mounted
    This positioning was done for convenience in my small listening room, which mostly has hard surfaces.

    Ascend 170SE Impressions with Low Volume Music:
    Pros
    - smooth, even response from highs to lows, not "peaky"
    - nice ambience, big sound field, nice stereo imaging
    - excellent value for its performance
    - handles speach well (comercials) and music very well
    - seems like it would perform even better with more power
    - works great with my H/K AVR630, best with Logic 7 (music)

    Cons
    - overall tonality is a bit higher than seems natural, slightly compressed
    - very slightly sibiliant, likely due to my source
    - does not work well with my Pany XR55

    Other Comments
    I'm keeping this brief for now. I will expand and update this as time permits and cover my comparison of the two receivers.
    Last edited by 1Time; 12-03-2006 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
    Posts
    1,222

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Time
    I got my two B-Stock Ascend 170SE's yesterday and have had them playing for about 12 hours now. I will update my impressions and comparison over the next couple of days. Comments and questions are welcome.
    Pany XR55 Settings:
    Treble = -10
    Bass = +4
    The treble setting indicates some serious room issues. The bass setting could indicate alotta things.
    There is no way there is that much difference between those two receivers.

    David

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    culver city, ca
    Posts
    219

    Default

    i haven't played with the treble/bass settings at all on my panny xr55... maybe i should try it out and hear what it sounds like.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    913

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    Using FM radio as the source introduces issues. First, you're also comparing the tuners of the two receivers (unless you're using an external tuner). Second, FM radio isn't a very good quality source.

    I'm confused by the positioning - 4'5" high on shelves, but 20" from rear wall? Is this a really deep wall unit or something?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    I now have a Bach CD playing with the Pany's treble set at -4. Sounds very good and enjoyable. The bass of the 170SE's seems proportionate in volume to the higher frequencies so being away from the wall doesn't seem to be an issue.

    My entertainment center is positioned away from the front wall so I can walk behind it to allow convenient changing of connections as I compare receivers, speakers, and subs.

    I may want to fashion some home-made room treatments some day; however my preference IS to keep the ambience effect that the hard surfaces in my room seems to compliment.

    Thanks for posting your input. I expect to have time to get more into all of this tonight or tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    25

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    Taking a break so posting again. Switched back to FM (smooth jazz) and changed settings on the Pany to -3 Treble and 0 Bass. Sounds very good. So what's happening here? I think the Pany was breaking in. Of course the Ascends also are breaking in but they sounded very good with my H/K before. Now with the Pany they just sound even better, fuller, deeper, more musical (I've turned them up a little too). The two FM stations I listen to the most come in very clear and play music that compliments the frequency range of the 170SE's.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2006
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    How is it that Panny sounds good at all, at a weight of <9 lbs?
    I've read ALOT of folks run the 55 and 57 receivers........

    Distortion #'s seem higher on these..

    I have a Yamaha HTR5550, which I am considering upgrading to a HTR 5990 or 6090(I like Yamaha receivers).

    ALL of these receivers weigh ALOT more than the Pannys.
    Wasting $ on cheap stuff is like challenging a dragon with a pocket knife....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzz
    How is it that Panny sounds good at all, at a weight of <9 lbs?
    It uses very high efficiency switching amplifiers - less power consumption means smaller transformer and little or no heatsink, the two heaviest parts in an amp. It also has few inputs/outputs, so there's less weight in connectors and a taller chassis.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Thats kinda what I figured.
    I think I'll stick with the design of the old amps.

    Never thought I'd see the day that CE's would start using switching supplies in audio applications.
    Wasting $ on cheap stuff is like challenging a dragon with a pocket knife....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Just a quick update. I'm gonna take perhaps a week more of breaking in the 170SE's and Pany XR55 before posting futher impressions and comparison. There are several other variables that are affecting my decisions including my need for headphone use that combine to make this process very time consuming. And I'm now concluding to do all of this before getting the equipment broken in is a waste of time. Sorry for jumping the gun here; I got a little too excited with my new toys. I will update later.

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