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  1. #1
    RGA is offline
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    Nov 2003

    I have entered the world of home theater!

    Yes RGA of all people is giving home theater another go after 10 years(the first was a dismal affair with the flagship Pioneer Elite VSX-95).

    The folks are staing with me until I graduate from Uni - my career change and we needed a headphone system for the mother's hard of hearing.

    So rather than buying a headphone amp for the TV I figured what the hell why not get a HT receiver with a headphone jack. I went to used stores for amps but $100.00 for some 70s Sony 2 channel amp? nope.

    So looking for the cheapest absolute cheapest HT receiver with headphone jack I came across the Panasonic for $279.00Cdn. But it has the worst speaker connectors in the world and no pre-outs.

    That led me to the last Marantz SR-4300($320CDN $239.00US) - SR 5300($398.00Cdn $298.00US) - SR 6300($490US) and SR7300($642.00US) A&B Sound carried.

    I was interest in the 5300 but the deal was not quite so good because the store had lost the remote - or it was stolen. Since the on screen functions require the remote I would need to buy one at nearly $100.00. Yikes take care of those remotes people.

    So the SR4300 won out. I like it mainly because I can upgrade all of the power amps to each channel one day so basically it will serve only as a processor/preamp. Have not hooked it up yet but it certainly has an instruction manual to make one wonder what the thing doesn't do. The 7300's back panel is a sea of connections digital inputs outputs etc. I also liked theat the Marantz warranty was 3 years which bettered the Denon, Yamaha and Sony's the store carries which in some cases was only 1 year. The Marantz was 6.1 had more features, is heavier and has preots which the Donon/Yamaha and Sony did not have for double the money. 80watts per is on par with the others - if it really can produce that.

    The one area of supposed weakeness is the lack of Subwoofer crossover control and no componant the DVD would have to go directly to the TV.

    Then there is the adventure of trying to match speakers to my horn loaded Wharfedales where Wharfedale makes no match. And Klipsch's horns are totally different. So it's phantom mode or whatever this thing has.

    Anyway, another toy for the collection.

  2. #2
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    sweet. Tell use how much you like the surround sound experience and if it was worth the money to you. I think you'll like it.


  3. #3
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York

    Holy Kersmolies Batman... The RiGA's gone straight!!!!

    Dayum... next thing you know the Yanks will stop buying champeenships... Dems and Republicans will start making kissy kissy... Cats and Dogs mating together... Ladies and Gentlemen Armageddon!!!!!... LOL, sorry I couldn't resist. I expected this posting like.... NEVER!!!!... Let us know what hoppens....

    Da Waiting Wit Baited Breff....Worfster

    You sure you're RGA ? Invasion of the Body Snatchers 2004???

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications

    Yeah, geez RGA

    Something fishy here...any proof you are in fact RGA?
    Next you'll be telling us you picked up a set of Paradigms to run off your receiver

  5. #5
    RGA is offline
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    Nov 2003
    You never know - Paradigm has a new series and since they're in Canada it's a cheaper brand for me to attain. Certainly they're subwoofers will draw some attention though I think I will prefer a sealed unit.

    My Pioneer Elite was $1800.00 and this Marantz was $320.00Cdn. Marantz has done something a little smarter with fewer watts. Instead of badly trying to drive deep bass from my Wharfedales it seems to duck and basiclaly ignore the attempt. The result produces less bass depth but then it also avoids the nasty flabbyness as well. A smart trade. It's quite quiet for the headphones as well which is nice.

    I watched T2 last night in 2 channel - since I only have two speakers and the Sugden produces less glare in the upper frequencies and a more rotund presentation and a considerably more pleasing midrange.

    The cheapie $49.99Cdn Aspire DVD player I bought on boxing day I raved about as a DVD player bettering my Pioneer. But where it falls down is on cd playback...obviously the company put the cheapest possible cd portion into the unit...I have not heard cd replay that bad since the initial cd players in the early 80s truly terrible. But the DVD player is very nice and that's what it was bought as.

    So far the Marantz for $320.00Cdn is more respectable than I was expecting - nothing particularly great about the sound but so far it's not harsh highs or flabby bass. Since it has the same preamp as the higher models one can make up the power supply with an external amp...which makes me wonder why one would buy the 8300 or 9300. Unless those have completely superior surround decoders or an absolute must have feature, this little thing to me anyway makes the most sense. And if you're not overly anal the 80 watts is probably enough.

    One thing though is that because I have not connected other speakers we'll soon see how the power distribution works out. Driving two easy to drive speakers is different from driving 5.

    So far it is pretty good and for this price I would probably recommend it over comparable integrateds simply because of the features and upgrade path.

  6. #6
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    TX, USA

    This is definitely a perpetrator

    The RGA I know definitely would not talk like this.... Blasphemy. :-)

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    Somebody better get me to the church on time. I hear them locusts buzzing abouts ...

    Seriously though, congrats on the entre into multichannel. Once you start getting into the placement and calibration aspects of the whole setup, you'll have plenty to tinker with and at least now have an idea of how a specific soundtrack was intended to sound. For basic digital format decoding, you already have everything you need. The more advanced receivers are for the extended processing capabilities, better bass management, higher quality digital and analog circuitry, higher capacity output circuitry, better chassis isolation, or more flexible multiroom options.

    Typically, if you switch the DSP processor off, the DD and DTS mixdown from 5.1 occurs in a standard proportion down to two-channel. The DSP processor is still active, but only does the basic processing and mixes it down for playback. Any "phantom" effect is not deliberately part of the mixdown or created by the processor.

    The "phantom mode" is where you leave the DSP processor on and let it create a virtual surround effect. This is a more deliberately synthesized center or surround effect with two channels that occurs when only two-speakers are switched on through the setup menu. How effectively this mode is varies greatly by receiver. Some models let you independently calibrate the center and surround levels, even when playing in virtual mode with two speakers.

  8. #8
    RGA is offline
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    Nov 2003
    Well so far I'm wading through a sea of features and set-up is hardly an easy process. I wanted to connect the dvd player's audio to both the tv and the I used the analog RCA's out to the tv and a cable from the digital out to the digital in so the Marantz DAC can handle the cd player decoding. There are four inputs on the Marantz and I needed to assign digital 4 to this task. Naturally all of this requires some manual hunting of both units to figure out exactly how to get both in sync. The DVD player had to be set to PCM from it's Spidf setting --- LOL. I like analog freakin jacks and a selector knob instead of LCD hunting through menu screens. Nevertheless it's done. Gone is the ability to plug an play...don't need an instruction manual for the Sugden

    Speakers have a set-up mode for EACH bloody surround mode. Set your speakers to full range - they call it large. Then you set each channel in each mode +/- 10db - do you want trubass(what the hell is it?) Then there is the master bass treble another +/-6db. Then there is Bassmix, Panorama, center width options --- Growl---. Yeah it does have source direct.

    Then you set how far each speaker is away from you - are your fronts 9 feet away and your rears 4 feet and your center 10feet etc plug all this in.

    From reading the instructions there is an auto mode which supposedly will find the best decoding depending on the disc from DD, DDsurround EX, DTS, DTS-ES or PCM audio. In Circle Surround II mode it supposedly will crate virtualized surround sound from two speakers playing any of the multi-channel formats

    One interesting thing is the A/D button. So you can connect a cd player BOTH with the analog RCA jacks and also connect with the fiber optic digital out. Play the cd and push that button...that will tell you if there is indeed a difference in DA converters - and will end the debate whether cd players sound different - well maybe not end the debate but when I get time and a spare cd player I'll try it.

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