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  1. #1
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    Need some help picking a receiver

    Hello group,

    Well let me just say I have a headache from reading all the threads in this place trying to find the right answer. It is a good headache because I am learning a lot of new stuff, but boy o boy for someone who just likes to sit back and enjoy this is tuff work.

    So here is my issue. I picked up a Bose 5.1 system for my living room. I know I know they are not the best and after reading a lot of threads here I am a little worried. Hey for 715 bucks for the Accoustimas 10 I figured I was getting a good deal and I subscribed to the hype. Heck I realized the error of my ways so I am here now ask the smart people for help.

    So what I am looking for is something in the sub 1000 range but I could be willing to go higher if need be. Since the above system is pretty standard I am guessing I need to expand on what I am looking for. I want to be able to put sound in other rooms of the house. During construction We wired other rooms in the house so I will be able to put speakers in elsewhere. So something that is multi-room friendly would be nice. I also plan on upgrading my TV someday soon which is only a 32 inch Wega, but I am looking at a lot of the HD DLP type sets. So from what i have read it is a better to run everything through the reciever then to the TV, DVD, VCR(yes I still have one), Cable, computer, etc.

    I have asked around and I get the usual answer oh go with Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, and even Nakamichi. In some of the threads I have heard about the Pioneer Elite series.

    So I ask you what is a good series of receiver for a novice looking to learn more and be somewhat taken care of for the next 5+ years? I hear so many stories about equipment last 10 plus years and still sounding good, so I want something that will last.

    Thanks for the help guys, girls, other.

    PS i know the Bose thing was a bad idea, but hey we have to learn from our mistakes that is why I am here.

  2. #2
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbochat
    Hello group,

    Well let me just say I have a headache from reading all the threads in this place trying to find the right answer. It is a good headache because I am learning a lot of new stuff, but boy o boy for someone who just likes to sit back and enjoy this is tuff work.

    So here is my issue. I picked up a Bose 5.1 system for my living room. I know I know they are not the best and after reading a lot of threads here I am a little worried. Hey for 715 bucks for the Accoustimas 10 I figured I was getting a good deal and I subscribed to the hype. Heck I realized the error of my ways so I am here now ask the smart people for help.

    So what I am looking for is something in the sub 1000 range but I could be willing to go higher if need be. Since the above system is pretty standard I am guessing I need to expand on what I am looking for. I want to be able to put sound in other rooms of the house. During construction We wired other rooms in the house so I will be able to put speakers in elsewhere. So something that is multi-room friendly would be nice. I also plan on upgrading my TV someday soon which is only a 32 inch Wega, but I am looking at a lot of the HD DLP type sets. So from what i have read it is a better to run everything through the reciever then to the TV, DVD, VCR(yes I still have one), Cable, computer, etc.

    I have asked around and I get the usual answer oh go with Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, and even Nakamichi. In some of the threads I have heard about the Pioneer Elite series.

    So I ask you what is a good series of receiver for a novice looking to learn more and be somewhat taken care of for the next 5+ years? I hear so many stories about equipment last 10 plus years and still sounding good, so I want something that will last.

    Thanks for the help guys, girls, other.

    PS i know the Bose thing was a bad idea, but hey we have to learn from our mistakes that is why I am here.
    You can get a heck of a sub for under 1K from SVS or HSU to name 2.
    Look & Listen

  3. #3
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    You can get a heck of a sub for under 1K from SVS or HSU to name 2.
    Uh...Shok, I believe our poster is looking for a receiver for sub $1k... as in less than.

    There are plenty of competent AVR's with multi-zone capabilities for your app. Denon, Yammie, Marantz, and Pio are the most frequently mentioned. All come from reputable companies and are widely regarded as durable, high quality pieces. The Denon 3807 is a sweet piece with 3 zones (IIRC) and HDMI switching, a key feature if you plan on running HD content from more than one source (i.e. HD sat and HD DVD/BluRay).

    You also have some options available to you if you'd like something different from the usual Japanese fare. Cambridge Audio, Rotel, Arcam, NAD, and B&K are also very well respected and better known for their mid to high end equipment. The general consesus is that if you want a lot of bells and whistles, the Japanese are tough to beat. If sound quality is your priority, you may find the latter group more to your liking. Understand, I'm not saying the latter group sounds better, hence the emphasis on "may." It's purely subjective so decide for yourself.

    I'd suggest you first narrow a list down to AVR's that support the features that are most important to you. Then listen to them, side by side preferrably, and determine which sounds best with your speakers.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    LMAO My bad,work and this is hard to mix.
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
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    Ha! no worries on the mix up. You are right though the toughest thing is knowing what features you want in the receiver. I have looked at the Denon 3806 and 2807? I hope I have the numbers right on those. I read that they are both really good, but one thing that seems to stand out is that people don't like the setup menus and such. I am all about reading manuals and being adventerous but I don't want this to be an unpleasant experience.

    I just finishe reading a teaser artical on Yamaha RX-V2600 and RX-V1600 Receivers. They seem to be pretty nice and tout the HDMI upconverting which I am starting to read more and more about. I did not realize how behind the times I was on the technologies these days. Ten years ago you plugged in some speaker turned up the dial and boom you hand sound.

    So I have hit the Tweeter by me they were completely useless, they were more salesy than informative. There is a mom and pop place called century audio that was recommened for listening and learning so I will have to try them out.

    One word of advice that is soo true, is listen to everything. I guess the next question is what should i be listening for? I know that is an odd questions, but sometime the more into this stuff you begin to notice things better. It is like a car buff talking about the stearing on a BMW vs. a Ford.

  6. #6
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbochat
    Ha! no worries on the mix up. You are right though the toughest thing is knowing what features you want in the receiver. I have looked at the Denon 3806 and 2807? I hope I have the numbers right on those. I read that they are both really good, but one thing that seems to stand out is that people don't like the setup menus and such. I am all about reading manuals and being adventerous but I don't want this to be an unpleasant experience.
    I didn't find the set-up to be all that challenging, at least not after a few glasses of wine . Seriously tho, coming from a separates based two channel system, the first time I glanced at the back panel of a modern AVR I almost went into cardiac arrest! It can be intimidating and I'll be the first to admit that Denon's manual's aren't the most user friendly. In fact, they can be down right cryptic. That said, the OSD's are pretty basic and once you get the hang of it, it's not that big of a deal.

    I guess the next question is what should i be listening for? I know that is an odd questions, but sometime the more into this stuff you begin to notice things better. It is like a car buff talking about the stearing on a BMW vs. a Ford.
    Not exactly. In cars, feedback is feedback. It's either there or it isn't. It isn't purely subjective like audio where one person's "bright" is another's "laid back."

    "What should I listen to?" is a actually a fair question. The Holy Grail in audio is the exact replication of a live event. Therefore, you should be listening to how well something approximates the actual event. IOW, how accurate is it? Naturally, this is going to have to be based on a best guess, unless you have a recording where you were actually sitting in on during the actual studio recording. Since this is likely impossible, take some discs that you are intimately familiar with (and that are well recorded) and note how one piece of equipment changes the sound from another. Is one warmer sounding? Does one delineate the musicians in space more accurately? Is there more grain or sibilance? ETC. For example, I like to use Sheffield Lab's James Newton Howard & Friends not only because the recording was direct-to-disc and exceptionally clean but also because Jeff Porcaro was playing a Gretsch/Paiste kit whose sound I'm somewhat familar with. I know how the splash and decay should sound, blahblahblah. Acoustic instruments and vocals are easier to judge with as long as they haven't been monkeyed around with during production. A piano is a monster to get right in playback. You'll know what's right when you hear it.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    ...at least not after a few glasses of wine.
    I agree

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    How long you keep your receiver will depend on how current you want to stay with the latest formats and connection standards. And the need to keep on top of all that will depend on the ancillary equipment you connect to the receiver, and how you have your system setup. FWIW, I bought my Yamaha receiver five years ago, and it still works fine for my purposes.

    In general, a receiver purchase will give you a myriad of decisions to make. But, I think the major considerations are as follows:

    Do you want to buy a brand new model or are you willing to go with a closeout model?
    In general, the newer models will include one or two updated features that previous models don't have. On the other hand, closeout models will give you more substantial build quality and amplification for the money, and might in fact provide the same features because older midlevel models will typically have features that don't make their way to the entry level models until later.

    The user interface and remote more important than you might think
    You've already noted the confusion with Denon, and it's up to you whether the user interface with their receivers are something you can live with. Bottomline is spend some time with the different receivers and check on they operate. Things like the setup menus and the remote can differ much more widely between receivers than how they actually sound.

    Don't get too worked up over minor differences on the spec sheet
    Typically, differences between an 80 watt/channel and 100 watt/channel receiver are meaningless. Focus on how they sound, and how well they work with specific speakers (namely yours).

    Buy from authorized sources and don't get caught up in shopping for a bargain
    Most receiver manufacturers will invalidate the warranty if you purchase from unauthorized vendors. Most of these unauthorized sources are mail order/web vendors. Be wary if you find a price that's much lower than anything you can negotiate from a retail store. Yamaha in particular is very strict about enforcing their warranty policies.

    Keep in mind the features that you will use and which ones you don't think you will need
    There's no such thing as "future proof" when you're talking about digital technology. But, I think a safe generality is that the only mandatory features you actually need for home theater are 5.1 output, Dolby Digital, and a six-channel analog input. Everything falls into the "nice to have" category. However, if you plan to buy a HDTV soon, I think that you should look into HDMI switching. Things will also change over the next couple of years as Blu-ray and HD-DVD come to market, and bring the DD Plus, DD TrueHD, and DTS-HD audio formats with them. But, for the short-term, you should be able to enjoy those formats with the multichannel analog inputs.
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  9. #9
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    Wow lots to think about. I appreciate everyone's help. I will be hending to the local store tonight to check some stuff out. They came highly recommend by friends and family as a place that is willing to educate as well as sell. That will be a nice welcome change from the Best Buys of the world.

    Thanks to all, and by all means if you think of something don't hesiated to post it. :-)

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