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#258253 - 04/26/09 12:27 AM need advice buying my first AVR
malk Offline

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 1
i am trying to decide on which A/V receiver to buy and since i have never owned high end stereo equipment the choices are overwhelming

it seems the manufacturers i have researched (onkyo, marantz, denon, pioneer) all have an aprox $2K model and a $1K-$1.5K models ..... and i simply cannot tell the major difference between them other than the more expensive versions seem to have a little more power, higher end decoding options, and a few more connections

i am assuming that like everything else once you hit a certain quality level, the relationship between price and features stops being linear ....but i don't know where that thresh-hold is with AVRs there a huge difference in going from $500 model to $1k model? from $1K model to $2K model?

here are the things i think i want to have
-at least 100W ...(if i understand correctly my real watts would be 100W/# of channels)
-i can go as low as 5.1 channel
-Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD
-i have an HDTV and blu-ray so i understand that i want HDMI connections to get the max out of my DVDs
-i want to be able to get free internet radio on the AVR
-receiver can wirelessly read music from my non-Apple laptop
-i can plug in a flash drive through a USB port
-keep the option to upgrade later buy buying a separate power amp

things i am not sure about
-what is "upscaling"?
-is HDMI superior to Svideo and component video or are these different things?

thanks in advance, Mike

#258274 - 04/26/09 03:08 AM Re: need advice buying my first AVR [Re: malk]
2x6spds Offline

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3087
Loc: CA, USA
Hi Mike

What kind of speakers are you thinking of for your set up?

I've been thinking of picking up a new AVR. Although I have a 7.1 set up with processor and outboard amps for my big system, I think a good 5.1 system works just fine.

That having been said, I'm waiting for the new Onkyos which have 2 extra front channels which supposedly gives a huge soundstage and the illusion of a huge space (when appropriate). This is the Pro Logic IIz format.

Good luck to you.
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

#258275 - 04/26/09 03:49 AM Re: need advice buying my first AVR [Re: malk]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Mike, welcome. As to when the relationship between price and features "stops being linear", the answer is that such a relationship never even starts. In audio equipment, as in many other things that are sold to us, we have to pay a lot more for relatively small(if any)improvements. So, don't worry about finding a financial "sweet spot"; get the features that you want at the lowest price possible. From your description, you do want significantly more than a basic feature set, and receivers such as the Denon 3808 and Onkyo 876, which can be had for around $1000, are prime candidates.

As to power, anything in the area of 100 watts should be more than sufficient for the vast majority of setups. There's no such concept in reality as "real watts". The law requires that amplifier power ratings be in fact true. A 100 watt rating is actually what has to be delivered per channel(dividing 100 by the number of channels isn't a meaningful exercise)with at least two channels being driven simultaneously at full power for at least five continuous minutes. Unless specifically stated, this doesn't mean with all the channels being driven simultaneously at the full rated power, but that's a lab test number which has no relation to real-world home use.

"Upscaling" relates to the requirement that all the "pixels"(picture elements)in a TV screen be filled to present a full picture for viewing. When a standard definition TV transmission or standard DVD content with 480 pixels per line is sent to a TV display which has a "native resolution" of 720 or 1080 the missing pixels have to added in to show a complete picture, and this is done by mathematically calculating extra pixels to be added. The result is that the picture is fully displayed, but not with the resolution that comes from a source that provides a "real"(here that term does apply)720 or 1080 output. The upscaling can take place in a player or receiver or if not done previously, in the TV display itself. Which of these does the best job of upscaling varies between the various units.

An HDMI connection can carry both audio and video and the video quality may be(but isn't necessarily)slightly better than that carried by a component cable video connection(which requires a separate audio cable connection).


Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


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