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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

#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.

 
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#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.

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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.

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

 
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#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
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Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
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.

#61 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:36 AM

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.


Thanks for the info, but it's a moot point now. I made my buy and it's Sony:

Samsung HL67A750
Sony STR-DA4400ES
Sony PS3 Playstation (instead of a standalone Bluray player)

Decided to hang into my Polk speakers for now because I can't decide which way to go in that department. Heard about Orb Audio and they look interesting, but there's no way you can hear them unless you live in NY or LA and you can only buy them online.
Was thinking about Mirage Nanosats, but I might go all in on the Orbs. Gotta think some more and do more research.

#62 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:40 AM

OK, how long until someone pops in to say, "You made a horrible decision!", "Sony? Dude, wrong choice!" etc.

:D

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

 


#63 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:42 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.


Well, I don't care about all the inputs as I wouldn't use most of them. To me it's about the audio. That Yamaha (almost any Yamaha with the possible exception of the RX-Z7) would never be able to compete with the ICE amps in the new pio's (05/07). There's a reason that Yamaha is half the price.

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

 
Directv customer since 2000

#64 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:56 PM

OK, how long until someone pops in to say, "You made a horrible decision!", "Sony? Dude, wrong choice!" etc.:D


Won't bother me. I have yet to read one bad review of the upper end ES series receivers. CNet was absolutely crazy about them. I've had my Sony STR-DE675 since September 2001 and it has performed flawlessly. I have no complaints.

All the reviews say the Sony graphical interface is superb and the kind of software every receiver maker should emulate. Seems silly to spend $1K on a box and have to fight with text menus and a DOS-like interface. There's more to these receivers than just the tech specs. User friendliness is a major issue.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about speakers. Orbs? Mirage Nanosats? Klipsch RF-10 system? Aperion Intimus 4T? Can't decide. I wanted to spend less than a grand on them, but it doesn't look like that's going to be possible, especially since I want 4 surrounds and a new subwoofer so I can do 7.1 the right way.

#65 OFFLINE   farmermike

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:31 PM

Won't bother me. I have yet to read one bad review of the upper end ES series receivers. CNet was absolutely crazy about them. I've had my Sony STR-DE675 since September 2001 and it has performed flawlessly. I have no complaints.

All the reviews say the Sony graphical interface is superb and the kind of software every receiver maker should emulate. Seems silly to spend $1K on a box and have to fight with text menus and a DOS-like interface. There's more to these receivers than just the tech specs. User friendliness is a major issue.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about speakers. Orbs? Mirage Nanosats? Klipsch RF-10 system? Aperion Intimus 4T? Can't decide. I wanted to spend less than a grand on them, but it doesn't look like that's going to be possible, especially since I want 4 surrounds and a new subwoofer so I can do 7.1 the right way.


Answering my own question tonite. Just bought PolkAudio RM85 surround system and added two more RM7 surrounds and a PSW125 subwoofer.

So I'm done with all my home theater shopping. And I managed to keep it under $5K, including TV stand and HDMI cables. All I have to buy is new speaker wire, connectors and 4 stands for my surrounds. Whew, glad that's done.

#66 OFFLINE   Lord Vader

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 02:37 AM

Won't bother me. I have yet to read one bad review of the upper end ES series receivers. CNet was absolutely crazy about them. I've had my Sony STR-DE675 since September 2001 and it has performed flawlessly. I have no complaints.

All the reviews say the Sony graphical interface is superb and the kind of software every receiver maker should emulate. Seems silly to spend $1K on a box and have to fight with text menus and a DOS-like interface. There's more to these receivers than just the tech specs. User friendliness is a major issue.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about speakers. Orbs? Mirage Nanosats? Klipsch RF-10 system? Aperion Intimus 4T? Can't decide. I wanted to spend less than a grand on them, but it doesn't look like that's going to be possible, especially since I want 4 surrounds and a new subwoofer so I can do 7.1 the right way.


I'm certainly not criticizing him for getting that model. I was just surprised he did because of its price. I DO love the fact that it has tons of HDMI inputs!

FAITH: I find the lack of it disturbing.

 


#67 OFFLINE   ShawnL25

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:39 PM

Three pages and no one has suggested HK
I love mine. Get the HK AVR 354

It does everything and is easy to use / setup.

#68 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 02:44 PM

Three pages and no one has suggested HK
I love mine. Get the HK AVR 354

It does everything and is easy to use / setup.


1. No video passthrough.
2. Underpowered.
3. EZSET (one of the worst of the auto calibrations)
4. Audio synch issues with the PS3 via HDMI
5. Clips BTB/WTW
6. Random speaker level bug.
7. Sound loss issues when changing channels/FF, which needs a source change to correct.

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

 
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#69 OFFLINE   rotohead

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:32 PM

I vote for the Denon 3808 w/Audyssey. Great features and I love the Rhapsody subscription. Sound quality is exceptional. Only shortcoming I find with it is only one HDMI output. If you hate when commercials are much louder than regular programming then Audyssey is the answer.

#70 OFFLINE   shedberg

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:43 PM

What do you guys think of the Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K as a decent AVR?

#71 OFFLINE   Sirshagg

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:33 PM

If you hate when commercials are much louder than regular programming then Audyssey is the answer.


What are these commercials of which you speak? :D
Who is this "Vod Kanockers" that you speak of?

#72 OFFLINE   rotohead

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:05 PM

What are these commercials of which you speak? :D


Jezz, I get it...my sister continues to point out there is a 'mute' button.

I watch 90% sports, LIVE, don't care to much for Idol or Dance programming. I also can't time shift even just a little bit if I know the event is live. Can't do it.
I'm just saying, for what it does, Audyssey worked for me, aging, hard of hearing viewer tired of diving for the remote everytime something changes. Audyssey maybe isn't for the purist but it is working better than I expected for me.

#73 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:30 PM

What do you guys think of the Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K as a decent AVR?


I'm a big Pioneer fan, but in that price range, I'd get the Onkyo TX-SR706 (might cost you $100 - $150 more, depending). I think it's a much better receiver in terms of sound and features. It's also a Recommended Buy from Sound and Vision Magazine.

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

 
Directv customer since 2000

#74 OFFLINE   jimstolz76

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:43 PM

CNet doesn't have any official reviews of the 806, but there's one user review that's a bit frightening:


"Good sound, lots of connectivity, but video problems."
by imperito on November 14, 2008

Pros: The sound is great, driving my Aperion speakers. The video conversion is convenient, I can put everything on HDMI. Configuration isn't too difficult, nice to see a menu on the TV.
Cons: When displaying 1080p video from my Xbox 360, I see blue dots on the screen during dark scenes, even with the HDMI mode set to "Through". I don't think it is doing real pass through of the video. Doesn't happen on a 720p signal.
Summary: I like the sound, and the connectivity. The video on 720p is fine.

But the problem with 1080p video is very distracting,the whole screen would sparkle with blue dots during fade to black transitions. I had to switch to using 720p.


99% sure that is a bad HDMI cable and nothing else.

#75 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:58 PM

99% sure that is a bad HDMI cable and nothing else.


Actually that's an issue that some Onkyo's have with gaming machines via HDMI (PS3/XBOX). You can usually correct it by going into the OSD menu and turning off immediate display.

You can also avoid the issue by choosing 720p or 1080i. It only happens when gaming (not watching Blu Ray via the PS3).

There's a thread about it on avforums

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

 
Directv customer since 2000




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