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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Help me pick a new AV receiver, folks


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77 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:10 PM

Look at B&W speakers... Expensive, but beautiful sound.


What about the Bose Acoustimass® 16 Series II speakers? A bit pricey, but with speakers you pretty much get what you pay for, don't you?

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#42 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:15 PM

DO NO GET BOSE.

You get what you pay for with everything except Bose.

Are you familiar with Monster cables? The ones that cost $100 when you can get the same cable from monoprice for $5.

Bose is about the same. Their speakers aren't terrible, but they're way over priced. They rely strictly on marketing.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#43 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:16 PM

Is it even worth buying the two extra speakers to get to 7.1 instead of 5.1? How many soundtracks take advantage of the two extra channels?

I'd hate to have a 7.1 capable receiver and not take advantage of it if it makes a difference in the sound, but maybe it's not worth the expense and trouble.

#44 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:18 PM

DO NO GET BOSE.

You get what you pay for with everything except Bose.

Are you familiar with Monster cables? The ones that cost $100 when you can get the same cable from monoprice for $5.

Bose is about the same. Their speakers aren't terrible, but they're way over priced. They rely strictly on marketing.


OK, forget Bose. How about the Mirage Nanosat® 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System?

http://www.crutchfie...=4&tp=184&avf=N

#45 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:24 PM

You can get almost as good a spatial effect going 6.1 as you would with 7.1 sound The rear center channel works quite well for me. I have a 7.1 receiver, but my house was prewired for 6.1, so I went with that. very nice.
I agree with spartanstew regarding Bose. For the price you pay for Bose speakers, you can go to an audio specialty dealer and get Paradigms, which are very good, indeed (I did a lot of comparisons before settling on the Paradigms I bought. B&W, Cerwin Vega and the better Klipsch and Pioneer spearers are also quite nice.

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Sony KDFE-55A20 55" LCD RPTV; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVoRoamio Plus, LG BH200 HD DVD/Blu-ray player via HDMI to AVR
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#46 OFFLINE   Hansen

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:28 PM

I use the Mirage nanostats in one room and they are actually pretty darn good for a low profile speaker and their cost. I only used 4 and replaced the 5th with a robust center channel and that worked well. They do not compete with higher end, bigger range speakers but do a really great job for their size. Very wife friendly given the low impact on decor.
HR20-700 (networked) with 750gb eSATA drive via HDMI to Panasonic 42" HD plasma
HR20-700 (networked) via HDMI to Pioneer 50" HD plasma with customized URC Complete Control MX-3000 touch screen remote using RF
HR20-700 (networked) via HDMI to Samsung 19" HD LCD
H20-100 via HDMI to Toshiba 19" HD LCD
H20-100 (now retired and collecting dust) via HDMI<DVI to Sony 42" HD plasma
H21-100 via HDMI to Sony 40" HD LCD (in outdoor pavillion)

SWMLine dish

DirecTV since 1997


#47 OFFLINE   russdog

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:10 PM

I very recently looked into this, to replace a Denon 4802.
I spent a couple weeks doing extensive research via internet.
My location makes it difficult to audition things directly, so I don't even try.
I'm not trying to convince anybody to favor any brand or model, am only reporting my own thoughts and decisions.
  • I became convinced that Onkyo has perhaps the best current profile of price, features, and quality.
  • I narrowed the choices down to the current generation (model numbers ending on 6) vs. the previous generation (ending in 5).
  • By nature, I am sorta OCD and a borderline-cheapskate. So, I try to get the most for the least.
    • The advantage of the 5's is that you can get factory-approved refurbs for cheap.
    • The advantage of the 6's is the improved version of Audyssey auto-EQ.
    • I am generally not a fan of DSP. However, while some people have trouble setting it up properly, I am satisfied that Audyssey magic is a good thing. (Audyssey is available on various brands.)
    • While both the new and previous versions of Audyssey are useful, the current one is better in that it works at various volume levels, not just reference volume.
    • So, for me, the hard part was choosing between a cheaper '5 with the previous Audyssey vs. a more expensive '6 with the newer Audyssey.
  • Due to both (a) the level of amp-goodness, and (B) the details of the Audyssey features, I decided that I wanted one of the 800-series.
    If I had wimpier speakers, I would have grabbed a SR706 ($480 from Vann's).
  • I narrowed the choices down to refurb-SR805, refurb-SR875, or new-SR876.
    • These have the same amp. (I rejected the SR806 because Onkyo downgraded the amp/power-supply from the 805.)
    • I could get a refurb 805 at accessories4less. By going through live.com cashback and then to ebay, when the dust settled it would be $484.38 delivered.
    • I could get a refurb 875 as above for a total of $676.67 delivered.
    • I could get a new 876 at J&R. By going thru live.com cashback and then to J&R, I could get it for $836.07 delivered.
  • The 805 and 875 are basically the same except for better video processing in the 875.
  • The 875 and 876 are basically the same except for the newer Audyssey in the 876, plus more HDMI's.
  • Since I feed 1080i signals to the TV, while I do want the HDMI switching, I don't need the video processing.
    This narrowed it down to between the 805 and 876.
  • If I wanted the better Audyssey, I'd be paying for the better video processing in the 876 that I don't need.
    If I was up for living with the previous Audyssey, I'd get the 805.
After due agony, I opted for the 876.
So, I ended up paying:
  • $351 more to get a new 876 (rather than a refurb 805) with the up-to-date Audyssey plus good video processing I don't need.
  • $159 more to get a new 876 rather than a refurb 875, both of which have video processing I don't need.
Ouch.
I rationalize it by telling myself that I got a great price on the 876, and that it's both cheaper and better than the old Denon was.
It's not here yet.

#48 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:22 PM

Wow. I'm rather impressed by your analysis.

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


#49 OFFLINE   russdog

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:49 PM

Wow. I'm rather impressed by your analysis.

OCD + internet access to lots of info ;-)

#50 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:50 PM

Obviously.

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

Opinions are my own but should be those of all Americans, who would be much better off intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally if that were the case.


#51 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 12:09 AM

Is it even worth buying the two extra speakers to get to 7.1 instead of 5.1? How many soundtracks take advantage of the two extra channels?

I'd hate to have a 7.1 capable receiver and not take advantage of it if it makes a difference in the sound, but maybe it's not worth the expense and trouble.


Yes, it's worth it. It doesn't matter how many soundtracks are in 7.1. As long as your receiver has ProLogic IIx, it will matrix a 5.1 soundtrack into 7.1. The difference it great. I have 5.1 in my living room and 7.1 in my HT. There's really no comparison between the two. If you have the ability to go with 7.1, I'd take advantage of it.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#52 OFFLINE   bobukcat

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:49 AM

DO NO GET BOSE.

You get what you pay for with everything except Bose.

Are you familiar with Monster cables? The ones that cost $100 when you can get the same cable from monoprice for $5.

Bose is about the same. Their speakers aren't terrible, but they're way over priced. They rely strictly on marketing.


No highs, no lows, it must be Bose!

#53 OFFLINE   jlast01

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:28 AM

I've been looking into the PS3 and even though I don't have much interest in game consoles, it's a helluva deal and the reviews of its Bluray performance are very good.

I've never heard of B&W speakers. B&O, yes, but not B&W.

BTW, why are you sorry you didn't buy a plasma?


I didn't spend a lot of time researching Bluray players, mostly because I'm a bit of a gamer, so the PS3 was an easy choice.

B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) Speakers are British, I think...

http://www.bowers-wi....aspx?infid=799

We have the 704 series. Expensive, but dude, they sound so good. I think we spent around $3k for the speakers and sub (5.1 set-up). This was way, way more than we set out to spend that day, but we were really taken by the sound of these speakers in the showroom... These speakers replaced a set of Bose we had been using for several years.

We have a 60" Sony LCD/projection, but with HD D*, 7.1 Onkyo (using 5.1 of it), high-end speakers, etc, I feel like we cut corners a bit with the TV. I think a plasma display might deliver better results. You do get more bang for your buck with projection, but I wish we had gone with a 50" plasma instead of a 60" projection. Also, the 60" is a bit too large for the room we have it in.

When you say hot, how hot do you mean? I have one of those typical open-backed cabinets with a glass door. I really wouldn't want to put it on top of the cabinet because I have the ViP 722 up there and that runs a little warm, too (although not nearly so warm as the HR20 I used to use).

If these Onkyos run too hot to put in any cabinet that's a definite non-starter for me.


Yeah, the Onkyo runs a little warm, sometimes hot, and it has shut down a few (maybe 3 or 4) times, but it's been when I was pushing it past normal operating conditions. It's never shut down while we were watching a movie or anything. My Sony used to do the same thing when I was pushing it.

I have it in a open-sided/open-front TV stand, but there's not much clearance on top of it. I'll post a photo of the Onkyo in the cabinet later today to give you an idea...

The Onkyo also has on-screen set-up, you can customize the component tags, etc, and the auto-calibration (comes with a mic so it can hear itself) works well.

#54 OFFLINE   jlast01

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:55 PM

I took these with my Blackberry, so they're not that great.

Not much clearance above the Onkyo, but no problems with the heat. If I start having issues, I'll just get a fan to move air.

Attached Thumbnails

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#55 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:12 PM

That's up to you. the 806 has more power (130W compared to 100W), extra THX processing and certification, a detachable power cord and a couple of other things.

You can compare them directly at onkyousa.com


i believe the 806 has an extra hdmi port as well over the 706

#56 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:37 PM

Is the 876 worth $310 more than the 806?

According to Onkyo's web site, the 806 actually has more HDMI inputs (5 vs 4). As far as video processing goes, I don't know what the difference is between HQV Reon and DDCI Cinema, but the 876 upscaled to 1080p and the 806 only to 1081i.

They both have the same Ultra2 Plus THX certification, and THD differences are negligible: 0.08% vs 0.05%.

Where's the $300 price uptick coming from?

#57 OFFLINE   russdog

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:23 PM

Is the 876 worth $310 more than the 806?

According to Onkyo's web site, the 806 actually has more HDMI inputs (5 vs 4). As far as video processing goes, I don't know what the difference is between HQV Reon and DDCI Cinema, but the 876 upscaled to 1080p and the 806 only to 1081i.

They both have the same Ultra2 Plus THX certification, and THD differences are negligible: 0.08% vs 0.05%.

Where's the $300 price uptick coming from?

Better amp.
Superior video processing.
Better version of Audyssey processing.

Whether the diff is worth it to you is a different matter.

ps: You can't adequately judge the quality of either the video processing or the amp just by reading manufacturer spec-sheets.

#58 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:57 PM

Gotta say, if you can stretch your budget, I'd go for the Pioneer Elite SC-05. I just spent the last 4 days reading all 3300 posts in the owners thread over at avs and I'm very impressed. It's not too often that you read a thread with that many posts and there's less than 10 posts that aren't raving about the product. So, far soundandvision magazine has given it their recommended status and ultimate av magazine has done the same. Glowing reviews. Plus, it looks gorgeous. If you shop around, it can be had for less than $1300. I'm seriously thinking about getting one and I'm not even really interested in upgrading my avr.

Posted Image

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#59 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:22 PM

I can't deny that the Elite SC-05 is a fine receiver. However, if you don't need all the extra inputs and outputs, the Yamaha RX-V863 is an excellent choice at a little over half the price.

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Sony KDFE-55A20 55" LCD RPTV; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVoRoamio Plus, LG BH200 HD DVD/Blu-ray player via HDMI to AVR
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#60 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:20 PM

I love Denon, but they blew it with their current series. From what I understand, their frequent software updates resulted in a unacceptable number of boat anchors.




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