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Thread: What Say You?

  1. #1
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    What Say You?

    This article is entitled, Save The A/V Receiver. First of all I didn't realize A/V receivers were in any danger. The article does make a couple valid points IMO but others are not practical or off the wall. I wanted to post it here and see what your rebuttals might be if you could comment back to the writer. I will save my particular comments as to keep the article fresh.
    How to save the AV receiver | TV and Home Theater - CNET Reviews

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    1- Make them smaller
    Yes and No - Smaller means smaller transformers and lower wattage output. The Marantz Slimline units are all what I would call low wattage, but adequate for many. But at the same time, there is a lot of wasted space in many of the larger A/V units.

    2- Make them prettier
    Yes and No - They do not make them square ugly and black because they think it looks better, they do it because it is the cheapest way to manufacture and paint anything. Square cornered tooling is way cheaper to make and maintain vs round corner tooling. (I can say this from 25 years experience as a Toolmaker building metal stamping dies and tooling) Think older Volvo vehicles. So in order to give a customer "Prettier", they need to pass the tooling cost on to the customer same as always. Most "customers" want cheap and with all features.

    3- Get rid of most features
    Yes and No - The whole reason you buy an A/V unit is for the Features that do not come with a simple Receiver or Integrated unit. That said, yes there are many things that they could remove and add the money back in quality amplification. The Audio Streaming on my Integra works fine and the menu and navigation isn't all that bad, but there is always someone to complain about anything. Never used the Zone 2 or 3 on any of my units so they could go.

    4- Embrace Wireless
    Yes and No - Don't take away the ability to hard wire, just add the Wireless. There are places and situations where wireless is not the best option for some. I have countered that with the units that work through the electrical wiring of the house.

    5- Include a true High Definition Interface
    For what? So I can select a stupid menu item in true 1080? This has to be the stupidest item in the list. My OPPO has a reasonable interface and the Integra is similar to the screen shot but in a "Prettier Blue and White".

    6- Make a Usable Remote
    Yes and Yes - I totally agree with this one and all units should come with a Harmony One or similar. I cant even use my OPPO remote properly because it's signal strength is so bad, but I can use my One from the next room. I actually have not met a Remote that fits my hands and needs. I know it's a hard task to satisfy everyone with this but they can definitely do much better with Remotes.

    7- Include Speaker Cables in the box
    No- I don't agree with this one because whatever they supply will be as cheesy as the Black & Reds that come with Mass Market CD Players and such. Thereby leaving the owner of a great new AV unit and killer speakers with a less than satisfying experience as to what his little home theater setup can really sound like. Instead, "Educate" the people selling the gear AND the consumer a bit without overwhelming them.

    8- Embrace Stereo
    Huh? Don't all A/V units have a Stereo Mode? If you want Stereo or 2.1, buy an Integrated or Separates. They could however make Stereo the first thought with the ability to go 5.1 or 7.1 as the option, but then again, the consumer is buying it for HT.

    Thanks for the link Mr Peabody

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    This article is entitled, Save The A/V Receiver. First of all I didn't realize A/V receivers were in any danger. The article does make a couple valid points IMO but others are not practical or off the wall. I wanted to post it here and see what your rebuttals might be if you could comment back to the writer. I will save my particular comments as to keep the article fresh.
    How to save the AV receiver | TV and Home Theater - CNET Reviews
    I've given the matter a little thought; here's my 2 cents worth ...

    1. Make them smaller
    For sure, in fact my old Panasonic was much smaller than my current Onkyo -- but a lot of space is needed on the back for connections.
    My Panny was (a) class D which is inherently smaller and lighter, and (2) had no pre-outs nor HDMI connections.

    2. Make them prettier
    Wouldn't be hard. For a start, get away from black: I always preferred silver or "champagne" colored componets.

    3. Get rid of most features
    Heck, yeah. Referring back to #1, get rid of Component and old-fashioned Composite connections (used your VCR much lately?), also pre-outs (already not there on my lower end models). And all those special DSP modes are pretty much useless.

    4. Embrace wireless
    A very big 'Yes' here. Most want to stream music and video from a computer server -- they ought to accommodate this given.

    5. Include a true high-definition interface
    Sure. My Onkyo is a bit better than picture, but much more is possible. How about a choice-driven logic stream that would help the average Joe deal with appropriate combinations of settings?

    6. Make a usable remote
    A simpler remote for starters. I agree there too many buttons; combined with a better on-screen interface far fewer is possible.

    7. Include speaker cables in the box
    Not really: this is choice limiting in so many ways.

    8. Embrace stereo
    See below.

    The future is already here, sort of: Integrated amps
    Well two things. First, stereo receivers and stereo amps ought to combine key AV receiver features such as HDMI connections, on-board DACs, bass logic subwoofer crossover/connectors, and maybe on-screen user interface. Secondly, how many people really want AM/FM? Some of course, but many could do without it. Dropping off-air radio could help diminish the size of the component too.

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    ...
    2- Make them prettier
    Yes and No - They do not make them square ugly and black because they think it looks better, they do it because it is the cheapest way to manufacture and paint anything. Square cornered tooling is way cheaper to make and maintain vs round corner tooling. (I can say this from 25 years experience as a Toolmaker building metal stamping dies and tooling) Think older Volvo vehicles. So in order to give a customer "Prettier", they need to pass the tooling cost on to the customer same as always. Most "customers" want cheap and with all features.
    ...
    Thanks for the link Mr Peabody
    Maybe some will hate the idea, but I'm ready for cast, hard plastic cases (the stuff your car is increasingly made of). That would allow prettiness for much, much lower cost & weight than machined aluminum. More color choices too.

    Cheap components have used the stuff for a long time, but higher grade, more substantial application is possible. I thing some mid-range Chinese equipment already incorporates high-grade plastic fascia for example.

  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    This article is one of the reasons why, although I visit it EVERY morning, I HATE CNET. Every other day there's some article proclaiming from the rooftops that "(insert name of your fave technology here) is dead!" Everything thing from my PC to my HT receiver to my toenail clipper is destined for the trash bin. The funniest was when they proclaimed that Sonos was going to force me to through out my vintage 2 channel speakers for the "convenience" or substandard sound in my bathroom. Pheh...

    Still I read the article. I agree that we could do without composite video, cases could be more attractive (within reason). I wholeheartedly agree that the LAST thing we need AV manufacturers providing is speaker wire. It'll just wind up in the land fill with all the rest of the spaghetti wired reds and whites they already give us. I really wonder at the expertise of the writer when he say's "embrace stereo". My old school Onkyo 905 has a separate toroidal amp just for the mains. It also has "stereo mode" and a "pure audio" mode whereby the signal is passed on unmodified by the any circuitry or DSP. I don't understand how it could embrace stereo any more than it does. If I could afford to have a dedicated 2 channel room I would but until I can the Onkyo must do "double duty" and it does it well.

    Well thanks for asking... that's my opinion.

    Worf

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would like to see a simplified interface. I have an old JVC HT receiver that has dials on the front to scroll through all the settings with a nice florescent screen. It is simple and easy to use. On the other hand I have an Adcom AVR that is a pain in the A$$ to use. I have to use the remote for most of the settings and have to go through several menus.

    I also agree that you can get rid of some of the DSP modes and many of the connections on the back. I do like the Preamp out however. I use the preamp out to my 2ch preamp HT pass through to my main speakers.

    And I would be Ok with a 3.1 channel receiver as that as what I run at home. I know a lot of people that would be fine with this type of set up.

    What would really be helpful would be better wireless speakers for home theater for the rear channels.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  7. #7
    Forum Regular BadAssJazz's Avatar
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    CNET is predictable. What they really want is an Apple-ization of the AVR: sleek, elegant form factor with basic functionality linked to a simple remote. Not gonna happen.

    Personally, I like the BBRs (Big Behemoth Receivers). The first time that I saw a Denon 5800, or the Yamaha RXV1, or the Pio SC09, not to mention any of the monstrosities that BK used to manufacture...well, it was nothing short of love. Feature-rich and just damn pleasing to the ear.

    I can see how the current meme calls for something with less heft, but I doubt very seriously that they'll ever be able to manufacture anything that delivers pure audio bliss. At least not at a reasonable price point.
    *Panasonic 60" Plasma HDTV
    *Marantz AV7005
    *Marantz MM7055
    *Oppo Digital BDP-95
    *Silverline Audio Sonatina MK II
    *Silverline Center Stage
    *Silverline Audio SR11
    *SVS SB12

    http://www.panasonic.com
    http://www.marantz.com
    http://www.oppodigital.com
    http://www.silverlineaudio.com
    http://www.svsound.com

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I wanted to post it here and see what your rebuttals might be if you could comment back to the writer.
    Tell Matt what he seeks is found here.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Tell Matt what he seeks is found here.

    There are a lot of people that like the bose systems for ease of use and are happy with the sound.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Dag-nabbit! You beat me to the punch.

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    I have heard those lifestyle systems sound better than setups put together incorrectly.

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    Good replies Gents. if you read all posts you can see the issue with the article, we all want, prefer, different things so the manufacturer puts out a product covering as much ground as possible.

    When he started talking about including speaker wire I thought he was uninformed or lacked experience. Either it would be thrown away as some one mentioned or some one would have to splice, which if you couldn't put a plug on, splicing could be a challenge . Did he not know terminated cables was in abundance?

    The only way to make an A/V receiver smaller is to go digital. I don't think smaller power is an option.

    I thought HDMI and other such features in a stereo unit would be too much of a nitch but maybe not.

    I'm with him on the remote, the remote to my AV8003 is terrible.

    There is a lot to setting up an A/V receiver and I can't imagine how it could be streamlined much more unless you give it it's own brain. Maybe you could give it a set up where it asks you the questions and you feed it the answer.

    Dynaudio offers great wireless speakers, pony up .

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not mentioned so far is automated EQ, e.g. Audyssey. Of course that assumes that signals are digital, either from source or via ADC. Personally I love Audyssey on my Onkyo AV receiver and would like to see on stereo receivers and integrates of the sort mentioned in the article.

    My old Panasonic SA-SX25 receiver, (still in service outside my main HT system), converted everything to digital and hence fed its class D amps directly without a DAC stage. The Panny was a decently good sounding device once burned in -- it had the longest burn-in I've ever experienced: several hundred hours. I'd like to hear NAD's "direct digital" amps although reviews suggest they have the NAD house sound.

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    Audessey or similar is a given, must have, on an A/V receiver. Actually, if they want easy set up it's a must, can you imagine the poor writer using a SPL meter, explain that one to him. That would make for a whole new article .

    I agree, on DSP, I only use the HD audio for BD, whatever 5.1 Dolby/DTS for DVD and whatever the default is for 2-channel stations, the rest is wasted. However, I do know a guy who has a big system with Marantz 8801 into a couple ATI 3007's driving a bunch of Revel towers, he has two of the Velodyne 15's, he like to listen to music in "all channel stereo" so he can light up all his speakers. So we can't assume we all listen the same .

    For me, streaming features are a waste but I realize it's big for other people, so it doesn't bother me that it's there. And, who knows what I may do in the future. Like Frenchmon told me, "I'd rather have the features and not need them opposed to needing them and not have them".

  15. #15
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    There are a lot of technically challenged people out there that would be fine with a basic HT set up. It would be nice if the instruction manuals were written better and if there was a section for basic settings. I do believe that we will start seeing digital HT receivers.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  16. #16
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    There are a lot of people that like the bose systems for ease of use and are happy with the sound.

    Yeah and there's a lot of people who think MP3's sound "just like the real thing" but that don't make em right now do it?

    Worf

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    The digital issues is interesting, I think Panasonic was successful, maybe it just took too long to catch on for them or maybe they decided to get out of that market any way. Pioneer tried it but was very expensive, not sure if they offer any digital receivers any more. On the other hand the amp market for digital is flurrishing.

    Then digital is not all the same, my Linn amp is 5x125, I'd guess that's conservative, and it weighs 11 lbs, I've seen other amps that were said to be digital stereo that weighed 3 times that much. I just don't want to see receivers go back to cheezy IC chips for amps like the craze in the 80's.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    There is no reason that digital amps have to cost so much. There is definitely price gouging going on.

    Those Panasonic digital AVR's are well sought after on the used market.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  19. #19
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101 View Post
    This article is one of the reasons why, although I visit it EVERY morning, I HATE CNET. Every other day there's some article proclaiming from the rooftops that "(insert name of your fave technology here) is dead!" Everything thing from my PC to my HT receiver to my toenail clipper is destined for the trash bin. The funniest was when they proclaimed that Sonos was going to force me to through out my vintage 2 channel speakers for the "convenience" or substandard sound in my bathroom. Pheh...

    Still I read the article. I agree that we could do without composite video, cases could be more attractive (within reason). I wholeheartedly agree that the LAST thing we need AV manufacturers providing is speaker wire. It'll just wind up in the land fill with all the rest of the spaghetti wired reds and whites they already give us. I really wonder at the expertise of the writer when he say's "embrace stereo". My old school Onkyo 905 has a separate toroidal amp just for the mains. It also has "stereo mode" and a "pure audio" mode whereby the signal is passed on unmodified by the any circuitry or DSP. I don't understand how it could embrace stereo any more than it does. If I could afford to have a dedicated 2 channel room I would but until I can the Onkyo must do "double duty" and it does it well.

    Well thanks for asking... that's my opinion.

    Worf
    I with you on this. CNET is a report everything, know nothing website. It lost its credibility with me when they could not name the best product the best product because of enternal politics with their parent company.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
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    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
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    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
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  20. #20
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadAssJazz View Post
    CNET is predictable. What they really want is an Apple-ization of the AVR: sleek, elegant form factor with basic functionality linked to a simple remote. Not gonna happen.

    Personally, I like the BBRs (Big Behemoth Receivers). The first time that I saw a Denon 5800, or the Yamaha RXV1, or the Pio SC09, not to mention any of the monstrosities that BK used to manufacture...well, it was nothing short of love. Feature-rich and just damn pleasing to the ear.

    I can see how the current meme calls for something with less heft, but I doubt very seriously that they'll ever be able to manufacture anything that delivers pure audio bliss. At least not at a reasonable price point.
    I agree with you about heft. Those big boys also had lots of power to drive most any size hometheater. In hometheater, power is king as it assures lots of head room.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  21. #21
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Matt knows his stuff when it comes to TVs, but he's woefully out of his element in discussing the audio side. Where in the discussion does he mention anything about sound quality? He brings a typically jaded techie perspective to the article, by trying to shoehorn biases from mobile computing devices to home audio. I do agree with him though about bringing more modern connectivity features like HDMI to two-channel gear.

    The issue with HT receivers is that they are asked to navigate between analog and digital source components, and that's why the connectivity can be complicated.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
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  22. #22
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
    I do agree with him though about bringing more modern connectivity features like HDMI to two-channel gear.
    Amen to that!!!

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