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#148074 - 09/22/06 09:48 AM Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-)
laurien Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 14
Loc: Utah
Posted this on other forum but got no takers and I thought maybe you all would pitch in. Room is 27 x 13.5 with 8'ceilings sloped up to 11'in center.

I have decided, but not yet purchased, the following 5.1 system (will add more speakers when content demands):

Display: Panasonic TH-50PH9UK
Speakers/sub: Axiom Epic 60-500 (in Natural Rosewood with Satin finish I think but waiting for sample)
DVD: Denon DVD-1920
HD STB: Motorola 3412 (no real choice here right now)

I am trying to strike a balance between quality/value/performance. I am the wife so I have no WAF to deal with, however DH watches to see that I don't spend unrestrained and that it doesn't take a degree in rocket science to drive this thing (he has zero geek factor in his DNA unless you consider power tools in the geek realm).

Also I bought a Hooker entertainment center already to house this stuff in my semi-formal mostly 19th century French furniture room and the components (but not the beautiful speakers)will all be in cabinets-so overheating is a concern.

Hooker EC

Axiom rep (JC) suggested Denon as well as the Sherwood Newcastle (?). He said I should only consider a receiver with mofset amps. Not sure that I understand the trade-off between mofset vs tube.

My contenders were:

Denon 3806
Yamaha 2600
Pioneer 74 or 84 txsi

As a software engineer I understand the difficulty in providing complex customization but highly value useability and tend to think the Denons need a lot of work in the useability realm. I want a great listening/viewing experience and will rarely dink around with the equipment-more likely to set it and forget it than what a true audio/videophile would get off on. Therefore the Denon is my least favorite of the three-though I can be convinced.

So which should I buy and why? Other options (with HDMI) are welcome.

On a completely different track-I am not wild about the speaker stands for the QS8 surrounds and would welcome options from others with these speakers.

Thanks in advance for any help/opinions,
Laurie

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#148075 - 09/22/06 10:10 AM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-) [Re: laurien]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3191
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Laurie,

While I'd agree in principle with JC on amplifiers using MOSFET output transistors (nothing to do with tubes, by the way), it's not the only way to design a robust amplifier.

Given the room dimensions, I'd suggest you go with the Denon 3806. The Denons are powerful and do not shut down with lower impedances such as the 4-ohm M80s. Generally speaking, they have more robust amplifier sections than the Yamaha's and Pioneers, although several models from each of those are very good.

While your M60s are 8 ohms and an easy load for any AV receiver, I'd still opt for the Denon because of my comments above.
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#148076 - 09/22/06 11:45 AM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway [Re: alan]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
Hi Laurie,

Welcome. I enjoyed reading your post; it struck several chords with me.

I have a lower-level Denon (1804) and, as I've observed to this group previously, the person who designed the user interface simply looks at the world in a much different way than I do. It transcends "counter-intuitive" to me.

I would also consider HK and possibly Outlaw Audio. There are many board regulars who have powered similar systems successfully with a wide variety of equipment. There are also Onkyo devotees among us. I am not familiar with the 3806 remote control, but the 1804 was completely useless. You might want to consider the notion of budgeting for a Harmony or URC system remote; the initial investment in programming it will pay dividends on every use.

My counsel on the receiver front would be to download the user manuals for models you are considering and try to get a feel for whether they make sense to you. I hesitate to disagree with Alan, but my experience with the Denons is that the engineering is wonderful but the structure of the UI can be very frustrating. I don't think a 5.1 system including the M60's is going to be a prohibitive load for any of the brands that have been mentioned so far, especially if you are not listening at very high volumes for extended periods.

Is there some reason why you would not simply mount the QS8's on the wall using the included T Bracket? You can get Cord-Mate track to hide the wires easily if you don't want to fish them through the wall.

Good luck. Welcome. Your DH is lucky to have you.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#148077 - 09/22/06 01:29 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-) [Re: laurien]
WhatFurrer Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 692
Loc: Round Rock, Texas
Laurie,

I was interested that JC suggested Sherwood Newcastle.

I currently own the Sherwood Newcastle R-965 A/V reciever. I have it running M60's, a VP 150 and QS-8's in a 18' X 19' room with a two story vault. The Sherwood does not break a sweat and powers the speakers effortlessly. It is a 7.1 reciever with the option to run a separate audio source to the rear speakers as a Room 2 config. I also have a SVS PB12 Plus / 2 subwoofer connected the system.

I got a deal on the unit at a Get To Gather for a rival speaker company and have been very pleased with the unit...

The remote that comes with the unit is a rebranded HTM MX-500. And the set up menus are well thought out but it does have a couple of idiosyncracies but not as many as some of the stories Denon owners have passed on. You might want to check out the manual for the R-965.

Not to say Denon are not great units...If I had not stumbled on this deal, I would have eventually bought Denon. The Sherwood unit is field upgradable so as they update the features, you can update it at home...

Your choice, though, just thought I would pass on my experience with this Sherwood.

Alan, What is your expert, informed opinion of the Sherwood unit mentioned? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts...Don't worry about bruising my ego though...I can't afford anything else right now, just interested in your views.

Laurie, good luck in your choices...sounds like you have most of the geek genes in your family

Regards,

WhatFurrer

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#148078 - 09/22/06 05:45 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway [Re: laurien]
Lorenzo1000 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 537
Loc: Winterpeg
The pioneer elite 84 is an excellent receiver with very adequate power and has a very accurate auto calibration setup although I wouldn't use the room equalization. I have the cheaper pioneer 1015 with 60's, vp150 and Qs8s and it works great.
_________________________
2xM80 VP180 2xQS8 2xM3 HSU STF3 LG 60PS11 Denon 3808 ATI 1506 LCR 2xATI 1502 Oppo BDP-83

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#148079 - 09/22/06 06:08 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-) [Re: laurien]
osvijazz Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Gurabo, Puerto Rico
Hi Laurien. I can understand your dilema. I chose the Yamaha 2600 after doing a side by side comparison with the Denon 2807, and I'm very happy with it. As for the "ease of use" I'm not sure if the Yamaha is easier to use, It definitely has a lernning curve and the manual could be much better. Check out the Yamaha 2700, it's pretty much the same for a few $ less.

osvaldo
_________________________
osvi

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#148080 - 09/22/06 06:39 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway [Re: laurien]
littleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: Moorhead, Minnesota/US
Laurie,

I can understand your concern about Denon's UI. It is a nightmare, and in my humble opinion, not worth putting up with because it might be compatable with 4 ohm speakers. I've had a Pioneer, Yamaha, a Denon and and a couple of HKs in the past, and currently am running my Axiom speakers with an HK. If I needed a receiver today, I would probably purchase a Yamaha, first, and an HK, secondly. I didn't care for the Denon I had, and gladly gave it away to a family member who has more respect for that manufacturer's products than I do. I know Denon is popular around here, but I don't think their receivers are for everyone. As far as the QS8s, they come with wall mounting brackets, so you can anchor them to walls.

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#148081 - 09/22/06 07:28 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-) [Re: laurien]
laurien Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 14
Loc: Utah
Thank you all for taking the time to respond to an understandably tiresome newbie kind of question. I am especially honored to been answered by Alan on my first post.

I did consider looking at the manuals to get a better handle on which receiver to pick, but being as familiar with product documentation as I am, I hesitated thinking that I would reject a great product because of lousy documentation-or worse yet (even though snowballs surviving in very warm places are more likely)that I would buy a poor product based on great documentation. But I have read and researched as much as I can, so I do think that is a logical next step.

Ooh baby, planning to read receiver documentation on a Friday night. Do I live the high life or what?

Your responses validated my thinking to pass on the Denons though-Alan's advice not withstanding. I forgot that JC did suggest an HK as well, but I have seen more than one indication that their quality isn't what it used to be and that more people are having failures with these receivers, though I didn't keep track of which models were involved.

As for wall mounting the surrounds, that really isn't an option. Here is a link to a quick sketch of the room I made:

Living room

I thought to put the surrounds behind the recliner on the left and the sectional on the right. The left side is all big windows (with a gorgeous view of the Wasatch mountains and a bunch of oak and aspen). In between the windows are drapes-ie no open wall space and I don't want to put the surround behind the drapes on that side. On the left side is the only wall space I have and as much as I love the look of the speakers they aren't going next to the only piece of art in the room. The only other wall space is all the way to the back of the room and that seems too far away. So discreet stands behind the recliner and in the corner between the couch and the kitchen counter is where I want to put them.

Not that it matters, but could one of you explain mofset amps to me? I googled it briefly but that didn't help.

Last, I agree with tomtuttle. My DH is VERY lucky to have me. He must also agree or he wouldn't have stayed married these last 26 years (though it took me almost 7 years to get him to do that it the first place). Yes, we are old, but there is upside to that as well. Our hearing is going or I would have looked to spend even more money on putting this system together.

Looking forward to getting to know you all better,'

Laurie

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#148082 - 09/22/06 08:25 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway ;-) [Re: laurien]
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1127
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi Laurie, and welcome!

I can't comment on the Denon, but I do own a Yamaha. As much as the experts don't recommend them for a 4ohm load, mine has been bullit proof driving the M80's for over 3 years now. It has never given me a second of trouble.

As far as the interface goes, it could stand to be better. I am used to it now, but it's still not that good. For example, I can't help but play with the sub levels THROUGHOUT a movie. To do this, you need to enter 2 to 3 keystrokes AND watch the display every time. Pain in the back side.

I used to long for an HK, but with all the reports of quality demons, I've had a change of heart. When it comes time to change, I'll be looking at Rotel or even Axiom when they finally come to market.
_________________________
Shawn

Epic 80/600 + M3's + Custom Finish Algonquin V3's

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#148083 - 09/22/06 09:43 PM Re: Yeh I know but please give recvr advice anyway [Re: laurien]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
Hey Laurie,

Our good forum friend dllewel lives somewhere in Utah. I like Dave's setup very much. He seems satisfied with his Lexicon receiver, in case you were not confused enough.

Many people seem quite fond of the Outlaw 1070 receiver.

I am not sure I'd let the HDMI switching drive my decision. Since you'll have everything in that lovely entertainment center, it really doesn't make a lot of difference how the wires get routed as long as the right switches get thrown when you press your remote button. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but a nice remote will really be a godsend, and, as already mentioned, some of the higher end receivers come with very capable remotes.

Is there a chance of mounting the speakers from the ceiling, or even very high on the walls and angled down? I'm sure the stands will be fine, but I like to get the speakers out of the way, because I'm almost as clumsy as the dog.

I don't think you need to understand mosfet amps to solve your problem.

Thanks for your time and interest. Enjoy your journey!
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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