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  1. #1
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    Receiver or Components??

    I have an old Onkyo TX-SV444 (1996) driving my B&W fronts and centre and in-wall surrounds. Just bought the SVS PB-10 which sounds great for movies but with music/radio seems to pick up people talking etc. My Onkyo has no way to set a crossover and neither does the sub.

    Bottom line is I would like to upgrade the receiver but am curious as to whether components are the way to go. I am going to instal speakers in my back yard (suggestions?) and would like to be able to run music out back and movies inside for the kids. Is this possible with receivers? Like movies best but also appreciate good sound.

    Budget is in the up to $2000 range. Is it worth buying used? If so where do you get it?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vern
    Bottom line is I would like to upgrade the receiver but am curious as to whether components are the way to go. I am going to instal speakers in my back yard (suggestions?) and would like to be able to run music out back and movies inside for the kids. Is this possible with receivers? Like movies best but also appreciate good sound.

    Budget is in the up to $2000 range. Is it worth buying used? If so where do you get it?

    Thanks
    First, welcome to Ar.com!

    You have a lot of options at $2000. Personally, I think that's easily the point where you want to think very hard about separate components. Separates offer increased flexibility for future upgrades, and most likely some nominal performance improvements over receivers at that price point ast well.

    But don't discount receivers. Companies like Arcam, Rotel, and NAD offer excellent sounding, powerful, competent receivers in your price range that use the same componetry inside that's found in their separates. You get the added convenience of one box, and lose a bit of power and flexibility. Possibly some minute sound quality, though I doubt it's anything to shake a stick at. The power is the most notable thing, IMO.

    Many modern receivers have zone 2 options that will drive your outdoor speakers, which might simplify things a bit for your setup needs, otherwise you're looking at a B-channel on a power amp (or another amp) for that. Not the end of the world though.

    Ebay has a ton of good used gear, and people selling gear at that pricepoint generally take excellent care of it. Audiogon.com is also an excellent source for used electronics which it specializes in exclusively.

    Amps are dirt cheap 2nd hand, if it were me, I'd probably look at getting a decent pre-pro and a few power amps (or buying a mid-level receiver for a pre-pro). Outlaw audio offers a popular pre-amp/processor (pre-pro) for under $1000, that saves a good chunk of money for amps. You can find quality used 2-channel amps for $100-$200 from the likes of Rotel, Adcom, Parasound, NAD etc. Or get a multi-channel amp if you want.

    Hopefully some others chime in hear with some more options for you.

  3. #3
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Thanks for the welcome and advice!

    Would probably prefer to stay with one AVR if possible rather than separates for simplicity sakes..... Any suggestions on makes/models? Can I play 2 different source materials with the AVR? ie, TV in one room and stereo outside?
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vern
    Thanks for the welcome and advice!

    Would probably prefer to stay with one AVR if possible rather than separates for simplicity sakes..... Any suggestions on makes/models? Can I play 2 different source materials with the AVR? ie, TV in one room and stereo outside?
    Thanks
    It all depends how much you want to spend. Denon, Yamaha, Harman Kardon, Onkyo are always favorites in the $1000 and below category.
    Above that, there's 3 models I really think highly of that offer "separates quality" in a receiver.

    My favorite is Arcam's avr300. It'll use up most of your budget since it retails for $2000 or so...shouldn't have a hard time doing better than that.
    This is easily the best sounding receiver under $5000 I have ever heard. I am absolutely amazed by it. It might be too much receiver for most people though. It does have a zone 2 option, but I think it needs an external amp to power the speakers, that is, I think it just routes the signal.
    You could check that.
    http://www.arcam.co.uk/prod_diva_AVR300_detail_002.cfm
    The Arcam avr250 is a few hundred cheaper, sounds every bit as excellent, and offers most of the same features, except only 5 channels of amplification instead of 7.(separate amp needed to expand to 7 channels, if you even bother).

    The Rotel RSX-1067is almost as impressive, but I think retails for $100 more. Some people might prefer the sound, I didn't find it any better, pretty much on par with the Arcam only $100 or so more expensive. It does have nicer speaker terminals and feels sturdier, and higher quality, but looks aren't everything.

    NAD's T763 is their big model, I think it retails around $1800 or so. Comparable to the other two, though I just didn't hear the same level of sound quality. You migth actually prefer it though, so check it out.

    I believe all of these offer at least 1 model smaller/less expensive you can check their websites to be sure.

    You might also consider buying a decent quality Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, or Denon receiver in the $800-$1000 range, and adding external power amps to save a bit of money. Truth be told, these will offer more featurs in all likelihood, at the expense of a tiny amount of sound quality. If your'e big in to 2-channel, stereo music listening and want the absolute best, I think the 3 brands above are a better start for you. But for a good workhorse audio and video receiver, Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Denon, etc can do the job and then some.

    I use 3 separate power amps connected to my $850 Yamaha receiver. It's got all the latest processing, auto-setup with microphone, parametric eq'ing, tons of inputs/outputs, learning remote etc, and the amps provide that extra bit of power and sound quality. For me it was a better value.

    I guess it all comes down to priorities, how much you want to spend, and how much space you have.

    Hope I've helped a bit.
    What B&W's do you have?

  5. #5
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    Yes, thanks thats helpful. Will probably stay with one of the makes you suggest in the $800-1000 range. My taste probably arent sophisticated enough to know the difference! Any models you can suggest?

    One thing I am confused about. Can they play 2 different sources through the same receiver as I mentioned i.e. tv inside, music out?

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vern
    Yes, thanks thats helpful. Will probably stay with one of the makes you suggest in the $800-1000 range. My taste probably arent sophisticated enough to know the difference! Any models you can suggest?

    One thing I am confused about. Can they play 2 different sources through the same receiver as I mentioned i.e. tv inside, music out?

    Thanks again

    To my knowledge, the only way you can play 2 different sources on any of these "Zone 2" receivers simultaneously is with the addition of a 2nd amp (or your old receiver to accept the inputs). But yes, you can play 2 different sources.

    My Yamaha HTR-5890 (same as the Yamaha RX-V1500) has this feature, I just never use it.

    I did a review on two very nice, sub $1000 receivers a few months back:
    http://forums.audioreview.com/showth...103#post129103

    I'm sure if you called J&R they'd still offer those deals. Great receivers....

  7. #7
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Hey Vern,

    Kex has pretty much sumed everything up, but here's a little more info for ya, on the second zone some AVR's offer:

    Multi-room flexibility

    Another popular option that some receivers offer is dual-room/dual-source capability. This feature typically allows you to enjoy surround sound in your main room while a housemate listens to a different stereo source — say, a favorite CD or FM station — in another room. All dual-room/dual-source receivers offer preamp-level second-room output, which requires the use of an additional amplifier or receiver to drive the speakers in your second room (other options include self-powered speakers or a shelf system with an aux input). One advantage of preamp-level dual-room output is that it does not limit your main-room listening options in any way.

    A growing number of dual-room receivers also offer speaker-level second-room output. In the case of 7-channel receivers, this allows you to enjoy 5.1-channel sound in your main room (instead of the 7.1 surround you'd normally have) while simultaneously powering a pair of second-room speakers with a different source. This handily eliminates the need for a second amplifier or receiver. If you're interested in this option and you want the ability to easily switch back and forth between 7.1 main-room sound and dual room power, be sure to look for a model that offers separate "back surround" and "Zone 2" speaker outputs on its back panel. (Some receivers only offer one set of outputs to fill both duties, which would make regular switching between these two modes a big hassle.)

    There are a few more variations on dual-room capability. Some receivers offer dual-room A/V output, which lets you send a second video source to a secondary room. This allows you to watch a TV program in your main room while a housemate watches a DVD in another room. A few of the higher-end receivers even offer triple-room/triple-source capability, which lets you and two housemates each enjoy a different A/V source simultaneously.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, thats important info. Two AVR's that seem well regarded and appear to be "Zone 2" compatible are the Yamaha HTR-5890 and the Pioneer VSX-1015TX.

    I want to be able to have people watch TV in the main room but have music around the pool. These 2 receivers seem to have that capability (among many other capabilities!)

  9. #9
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    When I had to do the same thing, I went with a Yamaha Receiver. From advice here, I chose the least model that had all the pre-outs and a zone 2. Flexibility. I largely use the receiver as a preamp and for source management. With pre-outs I can run additional amplifiers for dual subs, two channel stereo, or a second zone. At the time, I was running Vandersteens for mains, they are power hungry. I definitely needed an external power amp for the mains. They sound better in two channel music and take a load off the receiver when playing multichannel. It used to be an old Carver, which finally died. I have another Adcom 545 on the way. We'll see how it does.

    For the money, a good AV receiver makes a great preamp.

    jocko

  10. #10
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    Why not do both? I use my Pioneer Receiver for taking in digital and then I use a NAD amp to boost my surrounds and Parasound for my towers. I would recommend going with the new receivers when they arrive that can handle HD-DTS as well and then use an amp to increase your power to whichever speakers you feel are best. Using the pre-outs from your receiver you can actually go to a 5 channel amp if you want to power up all 5 of your speakers...or however many you have.

  11. #11
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Welcome. You have rec'd some solid suggestions so far. I am curious though. Your posts asks for opinions of receivers or components and your second post says you want to stay with an AVR. What exactly did you mean by components if a processor and amp were out of the question from the start?

    Also, what kind of setup are you currently running? 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1? If you're running a 6 or 7.1 set up odds are that you're going to need an additional amp regardless of the AVR you chose. If however you're running only 5.1 then you have the option of going with a 7 channel AVR or buying a seven channel amp to run zone 1 and 2.

    I'd have to agree that the Arcam is incredible sounding for a receiver but be aware that there are some quirks that you need to know about going into the deal. There are several posts here on the Arcam forum. http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=119

    Also, benchmark testing showed some significant failing of the amp section during certain testing. This trait also apparently appears in the P1000 amp that is matched with the AVP 700, all from Arcam. All that aside, it's the best sounding receiver I've ever heard.

    For the price though, I can't see why anyone would spend that much money on any AVR when the Outlaw/Sherwood/Emotiva are priced the same or less. Good luck whatever you decide.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

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