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#156558 - 01/22/07 10:25 AM THX, what's the big deal?
Allen_L Offline
regular

Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 5
Hello all, I am new to the forum and just had a quick question for the experts! In a real-world application (livingroom setups specifically), what emphasis should be given for THX processing in searching for a new receiver? I know what THX is and the different levels but does it have real-world significance? Take Denon for example. You have to go all the way up to a $4,000 4806CI (specs straight from their website) receiver to find one with THX processing. On the other hand, a Pioneer VSX-1016 WITH THX can be had for $499 (again, retail pricing and specs from their website). So, what weight should you give THX when shopping for a receiver? Just curious, thank you for taking the time to read my post.

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#156559 - 01/22/07 10:41 AM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Allen_L]
real80sman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1174
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Allen, welcome, and happy birthday!

I think most people dismiss THX as more of a marketing scheme and money grab. The re-eq part may have some relevance, but most new receivers have some sort of equalization that the home owner can adjust anyway.
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#156560 - 01/22/07 10:50 AM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: real80sman]
Allen_L Offline
regular

Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 5
Thanks for the response, that's about what I figured but wanted some input from more knowledgable people. Thanks again!

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#156561 - 01/22/07 04:13 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Allen_L]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5316
Loc: Marion, IA
My only add-on is that most THX products are actually better built than non-THX products, but that is not directly related to the THX certification, but more to the fact that THX certification falls on the more expensive product lines, so you should be getting a better quality product anyway.

Now, I have a Pioneer Elite receiver that is THX certified, but I didn't care about the THX certification. I wanted to features, build quality, and price combination that it gave me. The THX certification really didn't play into the purchase.

As already mentioned, you will hear from others that the certification itself generally doesn't mean anything, and I would agree.

When I was in the market for a receiver about 16 months ago, I was told that as long as you are in the $500+ price range, you will get a very nice receiver. Now, market prices have gone down for models that have been around a little while, so that number may be lower today.
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#156562 - 01/22/07 04:54 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Allen_L]
Lorenzo1000 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 537
Loc: Winterpeg
Both my Pioneer 1015 and my new Elite 84 are THX receivers. The 1015 was a very reasonable price, purchased while I was tired of waiting for a replacement of a defective Harman Kardon receiver. I liked it so I decided to keep it and got a refund for the HK instead. The new Elite receiver I purchased because it has HDMI inputs. Both just happen to be THX but I think really if you buy a good quality amp or receiver it makes no difference.
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#156563 - 01/22/07 05:29 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Allen_L]
BudgetAudiophile Offline
buff

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 45
THX is more a certification program than anything else. The re-EQ in surround processors is supposed to improve the correlation between the sound heard at home and the sound in properly calibrated theaters. Does it make a difference? Possibly. Not enough to make a buying decision on, IMO.

In order for a component to have the THX label, it has to be certified in several performance criteria, depending on the type of component. Just because a component doesn't have the THX label, doesn't mean it can't perform as well or better than one with the label. With that said, when it comes to receivers, it makes the manufacturer a bit more honest in the amplifier power ratings, by making the specification of power a bit more useful in the real world, like "100 watts/channel, two channels from 20-20K Hz"... rather than the usual garbage ratings of "100 watts, one channel driven into 1KHz" that plague the receiver market.

I don't think THX should be a sticking point. Just be careful to compare apples to apples before buying. Some "50 watt" receivers put out more power than other "100 watt" receivers. Look for a power rating that shows all channels driven, this will be a far better indicator of amplifier strengths and weaknesses than the one advertised.

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#156564 - 01/23/07 12:22 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: BudgetAudiophile]
Allen_L Offline
regular

Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 5
Thank you for all the great information. I was really curious if the THX certification had any correlation with the quality of components and, as a result, better sound quality. I must say I'm very impressed with the unbiased, very helpful comments made here in this forum...not only to my questions but to others I've read as well. Thanks again for all your help.

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#156565 - 02/09/07 03:42 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Allen_L]
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 734
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
Originally THX was the name of one of the first short films that George Lucas made in the early 70's.

Having a component being THX certified only means the audio company has paid to have the unit certified by THX.

My $1500 Rotel pre amp / processor is not THX certified, neither is my Rotel power amp, however I would hope they sound every bit as good at a $500 receiver (hopefully better). You will notice that none of Axiom's speakers are THX certified. This doesn't mean they couldn't be, (I bet the EP500 and 600 would pass with flying colours not to mention the M80 and Qs8) it just means Axiom has made a busness decision not to certifiy any of their speakers.

Lets look at a company like Bryston, none of their current power amplifiers are THX certified. Does this mean that the $500 Poineer THX receiver is better then the $4000 Bryston power amplifer. I hope not. Bryston just doesn't see a need to pay for the certification.

If you really look around you will notice its mostly the hight volume commercial companies will get the THX sticker on their face plates. Companies like Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, Sony. These companies all make fine gear and it's not a slam against them. But they are in busness to make money. They may only certify their top end piece as a marketing ploy. Who know's, maybe most of the components in their line up would pass THX certification. But by only certifing the top component, it is viewed as a huge up grade to the consumer.

Remember, companies have to pay for the certification, and they choose wich products to get certified regardless if others would pass or not.
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#156566 - 02/09/07 04:08 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Worfzara]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

My Rotel RB 1080 is THX "Ultra" certified, not that I care though. I think it's the only thing in my system that is.
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#156567 - 02/09/07 08:31 PM Re: THX, what's the big deal? [Re: Worfzara]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
I think worfzara has said it all.

The THX certification DOES actually mean an electronic component has passed a set of tests or requirements, but ultimately does not necessarily equate to a better sounding unit over those which do not have it.
There are many better built electronics that do not bother with THX certification but with it, you can be guaranteed that the item will be able to jump certain hurdles (e.g. powering 4 ohm speakers at 1khz with both channels powered, etc.).

So what? Just buy good brand names with the features you want for a price you can handle and you are golden.
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