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#352876 - 08/09/11 12:33 PM New HT receiver options
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I’ve been thinking lately of upgrading my HT. In 2006, I got the Outlaw 990/7125 prepro/amp combo to power my Epic 80-500 in a 5:1 setup, with zone 2 feeding video and audio to a TV and a pair of ceiling speakers in the rec room next door. I’ve enjoyed the 990 greatly, but I feel it is showing its age. It came out before HDMI switching and lossless audio formats became the norm. The main thing I am wondering is how much I am missing by not having Dolby TrueHD or dts-MasterAudio functionality.

Current set-up: I feed a DirecTV HD-DVR, PS3, and HD-DVD player to the 990 over component video and optical digital audio. There’s also a Marantz DVD player coming in the 7:1ch input for DVD-Audio and SACD. Hey, like I said, this was 2006.

I figure my video capabilities are pretty maxed out with the component video in the sense that my projector is a Panasonic AE900, which is capable of 1080i and 720p. This is the highest resolution that DirecTV puts out anyway, other than a few PPV movies in 1080p. However, I do watch a fair number of Blu-rays, so a projector upgrade to a 1080p model is probably coming down the road. See you in another thread.

My two options, as far as I can tell, to upgrade my sound, are:

1) get a Blu-ray player, such as the Oppo BDP-93, that will convert Dolby TrueHD and dts-MasterAudio to output over the 7:1 ch analog cables that I could hook up to my prepro on a direct setting.

2) Get a new AVR.

I’m leaning toward option 2, which seems to offer more bang-for-the-buck. Specifically, I am considering the Onkyo HT-RC370. It can be had for $529 on Amazon, B&H, and New Egg. It is not currently available on Accessories4less, presumably because it is a new model and not many have been refurbished yet. It seems comparable to the Onkyo TX-NR709, which is $579 at Accessories4less.

I have also considered the Denon 2112 that was mentioned in this thread. Both units have Audyssey MultEQ® XT. The Onkyo has a little more power and a ton more connectivity, including a 7:1 ch input if I want to keep my Marantz connected as it currently is, 7:1 preouts if I want to use the receiver as a preamp for my Outlaw amp, and a phono input.

Thoughts?
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#352878 - 08/09/11 01:01 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: medic8r]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'm amazed at the amount of features you can get in a receiver now for under $600.

I definitely vote for option #2. You are adding way more versatility per dollar by adding a receiver vs the nice but very highly priced BD-player.

The two receivers are both great. I give the Onkyo the upper hand for the reasons you have mentioned. Also, although hardly a deal breaker, the thoughtfulness of putting a 7th HDMI input in the front may come in handy over the years as more and more laptops and portable devices come with HDMI out built in or via a companion cradle.

My one gripe on both, only one HDMI out. However, that only deters me for my own purposes and this is not about me, it's about you. That's right, I said it, but for just this one topic only..... wink
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#352880 - 08/09/11 01:15 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: Murph]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Righto - I'm only running one display in the HT, so one HDMI out is adequate. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have sent a second HDMI out to that TV in the rec room, but it'd be a real bear to fish that much cable now.
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#352881 - 08/09/11 02:05 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: medic8r]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I'm pleased to see that the Onkyos are rated for 4 ohms.

I'm really just waiting on JohnK's blessing to pull the trigger. grin
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#352893 - 08/09/11 09:55 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: medic8r]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10626
JP, blessing granted. Go in peace my son, sin no more, and get that Onkyo 370.

It seems that you've done your homework on this pretty well. The 370 and 709 are nearly identical. They have a 100 watt rating on the 370 rather than 110 watts, but of course this isn't a significant difference and may be simply a lowered rating(rather than an actual change in the amplifier)for the purpose of market differentiation from the 709.
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#352902 - 08/10/11 12:30 AM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: JohnK]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
JP, get the 709 and the 370 and let us know if you hear a difference wink
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#352920 - 08/10/11 11:31 AM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: jakewash]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Jason, as a wise cat once said, "TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!" wink

I just ordered the 370 on Amazon with a trial of Amazon Prime for two-day shipping. Turns out the item is close enough that I was able to select one-day shipping as a free bonus, so it will be here tomorrow.

I also ordered the Nordic Sound - 2L Audiophile Reference Record (Blu Ray Audio & SACD) and the Rush Moving Pictures Blu Ray rerelease so that I'll have some new stuff to play with.

The wife has requested that the Outlaw 990/7125 combo move into her office. Thing is, she has no speakers. I may be in the market for some bookshelves. Are M3 the best bang for the buck? They sure sounded good at the blind testing in Dwight.
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#352931 - 08/10/11 03:31 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: medic8r]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
M3s are a fantastic, long, tender, and loud bang for the buck. smile
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#352935 - 08/10/11 05:13 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: pmbuko]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
They're not "small", though. If Gail cares about form factor, you *might* consider a 2.1 system or some audiobytes or something. I know audiobytes would not leverage your existing investment in the Outlaw, and I just wasn't sure how to balance the issues.

Personally, I'd sell the 990, keep the 7125 for the theater and get her an audiobyte system.

Of course, I rarely know what MY wife wants, much less yours.
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#352937 - 08/10/11 05:25 PM Re: New HT receiver options [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
Peter, you might like M3s a bit too much.

JP, congrats on new stuff. Let your patients fend for themselves while you wait for the UPS truck at home.
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