Help me spend some money on a receiver!

Posted by: Zarak

Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 03:10 PM

I know I've been MIA lately. Less time for the boards with two kids at home, which leads into my post. My wife just called and our receiver was locked up so she could not play a movie for my daughter. We have an Onkyo SR600 that is about 10 years old. It locks up a couple of time a year. The only fix is to unplug it, plug it in again, and then redo all the settings. It's a pain, but not a big deal for me since I know how to set it up. For her though, she is effectively without a TV (the good one at least) until I get home to fix it.

She's had enough and wants to get a new receiver (I know, twist my arm, right?)

I haven't looked into them since I got one 10 years ago, so I'm sure plenty has changed. What features should I be looking for. If you have a favorite with those features, I'll take that too. Thinking about ~$500 if that helps.
Posted by: Socketman

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 03:47 PM

Hey Zarak what sort of budget have you got to work with , and is 5.1 adequate and would you use more than one zone.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 03:52 PM

Thinking $500, but don't really know what I can get for different price ranges at the moment. Only have 5.1 at the moment. Don't expect that to change unless I get a dedicated HT room someday, which would likely come with another new receiver at that point.

I can do a 2nd zone today, but have never used it, so 1 is fine. Receiver is mostly used for TV/movies. don't often have time to just sit and listen to music anymore. Music is mostly for the car.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 04:03 PM

For my money, I think it's still Onkyo.

Get as much Audyssey as you can (MultiEQ XT, Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ). Get lots of HDMI inputs.

I'm interested in the ability to control the receiver from an iPad or Android device. I'm also interested in streaming music from my network.

This TX-NR809 refurb at A4L looks pretty good to me. God is in the details, and you'll need to do your own due diligence.

Getting a super remote (an MX-700, in my case) was the #1 best money I ever spent on my system by a wide margin. It made everything so much better for the rest of the family. I know the URC stuff isn't the leading edge any more, but you might consider whether a Harmony might make your wife happy.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

I'm interested in the ability to control the receiver from an iPad or Android device. I'm also interested in streaming music from my network.

I caved and bought into the Sonos system.
One of the best purchases ever.
Although getting it setup wasn't so seamless at first and then eventually i figured out i had a bum unit and things were much easier since.
Posted by: Socketman

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/30/13 09:32 PM

When I bought, I really thought I would go for an onkyo it was always a good brand. But I read enough about hdmi problems and poor customer service I just couldn't bring myself to buy one.
In the end I bought a Denon 3311 ,which has been really good though they were plagued with network issues, I got lucky and they had an update by the time I bought mine. As suggested get as much audyssey as you can afford, if that sort of thing is important to you. I have a decent room and the difference is negligible with or without audyssey. If I were buying mainstream again I would not hesitate to buy another Denon though I have always been a pioneer guy for 30 yrs, I could be persuaded to go that route . I also have a upper level Yamaha RX-A1000 which is totally reliable and works and sounds great . I don't think you can really go wrong with any of them, just more about features and appearance. Have a look around at some different recievers and then come back and we will all critique them for ya. grin

Richard
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 02:43 AM

Jason, if you can go about $100 more on the budget, the Onkyo 818 factory refurb for about $650 shipped, from Accessories4less is strongly suggested, especially in view of the top Audyssey MultEQ XT32 it has.
Posted by: F16Thud

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 10:57 AM

I purchased a Denon 2313CI from Accessories4less, $450 shipped! I have really enjoyed the receiver! The sound is great and it has plenty of connections for what I need! So, I would definitely recommend accessories4less.com to get the most for your money. There are some things in life that are important to buy brand new, but a receiver/amp is not one them!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 11:58 AM

Heck, i'm still running my Onkyo 797 circa 2002.
It has been a solid performer. I've really liked some of the simple options like volume limiter.
Never did setup a zone2 and probably won't bother now that i have the Sonos setup.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 08:39 PM

So I'm a bit behind apparently. Audyssey didn't exist the last time I bought a receiver. Going to read up about it. Beyond that, I assume it is number of ports available (don't have HDMI on the receiver today) and whether I need network streaming for things like Pandora directly via the receiver, correct?

I won't completely rule out Onkyo, but I'm leaning away from them mostly because of the lock up issue with the one I have currently.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 09:25 PM

So it seems like these would be good things to look for:

MultEQ XT32 (or maybe without the 32, 32 seems to make it $$$)
DSX
Cinema Sensation
Dynamic volume
dynamic eq
bass XT

Upconverting to 4k can't hurt for when I get a new TV someday.
Streaming things like Pandora or airplay would be nice for when I do want music. Maybe I'd have it on more with these features, but definitely nice to have, not have to.

I like the sound of DSX, mostly because ever since I moved into my current house ~6 years ago the surround sound isn't as good, since the rear/side speakers had to go a little in front of the listening position on the sides the way the room is setup. I can tell a big difference from when they were on the sides but behind where I sat in the old house. If there is a receiver technology that can help with this, I'm all for it.
Posted by: Socketman

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 08/31/13 10:20 PM

I would suggest some research about the 4k over at AVS its not really 4k. I have read about it but cant really explain it and really its way off in the future unless you have deep pockets. The room correction helps in rooms that are not properly treated for acoustics. Audyssey is considered the best of the lot in a receiver the average guy can afford. This Video is a good primer by Joe Kane about 4k. You will probly find yourself ending up wanting something in the 1k range, so if you have a budget of 500.00 keep you sites on the midrange recievers and don't get to worried about audyssey its overhyped in my opinion.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/01/13 11:49 AM

A good source of material concerning 4K is "Lumagen", the video processing company, that were probably among the first to introduce processors that allow one to do calibrations with both 3D and 4K sources. Apparently there are still limitations in that "full" 4K input and output will really not be available until the next HDMI protocol is introduced.
Posted by: cohesion

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/01/13 06:10 PM

If you want a good basic receiver you could look at Emotiva. IIRC they have one with good sound quality at a fairly low price but with few bells and whistles.

I myself had a higher end Denon and liked it. Marantz and Yamaha also have their proponents hereabouts.
Posted by: cohesion

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/01/13 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: cohesion
If you want a good basic receiver you could look at Emotiva. IIRC they have one with good sound quality at a fairly low price but with few bells and whistles.

I myself had a higher end Denon and liked it. Marantz and Yamaha also have their proponents hereabouts.


Pardon me but Emotiva doesn't actually offer a receiver and their entry level pre/pro (list price $599) currently seems to be out of stock. Did you check what's available at your local Best Buy?
Posted by: Mad_Chesser

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/01/13 07:12 PM

I highly recommend the pioneer elite
Posted by: Gary Vose Sr

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/02/13 12:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Mad_Chesser
I highly recommend the pioneer elite


I second this statement big time. When looking for a receiver myself I had two criteria that needed too be fulfilled. One obviously was great sound,next was the unit needed to be very dependable as well. After scouring the Net I to became a Pioneer Elite owner myself. As an added bonus these receivers come with some solid D class amps, which is more than enough to drive my 9.2 system.These amps are far more energy efficient, they also run much cooler.Pioneer makes the claim that they are more dynamic for peak fluctuations over other units because of these amps. This statement would obviously be up too the ears of the beholder.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/02/13 02:22 PM

Is there a specific Pioneer Elite model that is in Zarak's price range?
Posted by: Gary Vose Sr

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/02/13 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Is there a specific Pioneer Elite model that is in Zarak's price range?



The Pioneer Elite SC-71 is currently being offered at Amazon for $795 which appears to be their least expensive unit offering up their D class amps. Pioneer Elite offers up four more receiver with out the D class amps for between $399-$599 for the varying units.

This would be another possible option (non - Elite receiver) being offered up by Pioneer with those D class amps. http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-1222-K-...+elite+receiver


IMHO this receiver would have the better all around value.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/02/13 09:49 PM

No, advertising claims of that sort can be judged simply by referring to basic principles of audio technology. When a speaker requires a certain power usage to play a particular peak in the music, if the maximum power capability of the amplifier is sufficient then the peak is played, regardless of the details of the amplifier design. So, the statement in question appears to be another example of advertising bs.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/04/13 05:51 PM

I second, or triple, the Pioneer Elite, if you like lots of bass. In my experience, Audyssey limits the bass too much. It may be more accurate, but to my ears, MCACC in Pioneer sounds better.
Posted by: Mad_Chesser

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/04/13 06:18 PM

I know that 4 months ago when I wanted a new reciever, I bought a brand new Marantz SR5007. I had it for 3 days and returned it for a Pioneer SC-61.

I personally believe MCACC to be much more capable. This is just more opinion than anything. But I found that audyssey just lacked something. Plus, when I run audyssey, it's just a simple few chirps in each speaker and it's done. MCACC runs all sorts of various tests. It lets you customize your sound much better. More options. Whether it's front align, symmetry or all channel adjust...or whether it's your delay time...or whatever. Everything is fully customizable. You can tweak EVERYTHING.

I played around with Audyssey a lot in those 3 days and I found I couldn't tweak as much as I'd like. It seemed to me that it was more designed for the plug and play person.

Again, these are just my personal opinions and observations.

If your a guy that likes it to be complex and a guy that wants to have total control, go with MCACC and a pioneer Elite.

Plus, I found the Marantz ran extremely hot compared to the class d of the Pioneer Elite. My elite only gets warm after some heavy extended use. As Catbrat pointed out, I also found there is a lot more heavy end, or "chest thump", after running MCACC compared to Audyssey...and I like it a lot! smile

I would have typed this all up the first time, but was on my phone wink
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/04/13 06:24 PM

To get the most out of Audyssey MultiEQ XT, I think you have to run the sweeps at 6 or 8 locations. There's a guide, somewhere.

Does the Elite have a good UI for network streaming and stuff? How about AirPlay? I'm interested in those things, but haven't really done the research, and I value your experience more than what a manufacturer website might tell me, anyway.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/11/13 01:20 AM

That's one thing I've never delved into, although I have a Pioneer Elite SC-67.
Posted by: Hansang

Re: Help me spend some money on a receiver! - 09/11/13 07:10 PM

These threads are killing me. It was the final tipping point for me....Just got my Denon 4520. AVS gave me a very nice price and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I'll repurpose my 3808 at a different location.