Gift idea

Posted by: CatBrat

Gift idea - 12/03/09 09:47 AM

My son lives in a tiny 2 story house with his wife and 1yr old daughter. (Plus 2 cats and a blur that I think might be a small dog.) The living room consists of just a couch and a 40in plasma attached to a stand with a couple of shelves and a Sony PS3. That's about all that will fit in that room. They are using the sound coming from the TV.

I usually spend about $500 on them for Christmas, so I'm thinking about a pair of M3's and a cheap receiver like I bought a few weeks ago, the Sony STR-DH500, or similar. Right now, the 2 of them come to exactly $500. Not sure where the speakers would be placed yet, I need to take a better look at their room.

Does this sound like a good idea, or is there a better idea?
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 10:03 AM

I bought the exact same thing for my brother 2 years ago and it is very good.
Posted by: roar

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 10:05 AM

That sounds like a pretty great gift, don't forget to throw in some speaker cable too and maybe some banana plugs to pretty it up. Maybe another HDMI cable as well to go from the AVR to the TV. It would be no fun for him to open it all up Christmas day and not be able to plug it all in.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 10:17 AM

Looks like 2 sets of HDMI and optical audio cables. 1 set from PS3 to AVR. 1 set from AVR to TV. And some speaker wire. As expensive as optical audio cable is, it would probably be better to spend a little more on the receiver that can send sound through the HDMI cables instead.
Posted by: roar

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 10:43 AM

I just read the specs on the Sony STR-DH500, it will handle the sound and video from the ps3 no problem. It only decodes DTS and Dolby Digital, no DTS MA or Dolby True HD, but for the price of the receiver you can't expect much more. I don't see a need for optical cables in this setup... I could be mistaken though and if you do need optical calbles they can be inexpensive, along with the HDMI cables if you buy them from a place like monoprice.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 11:02 AM

As long as the receiver supports LPCM audio over HDMI you're good, I wouldn't pay extra for the HD codec support in the receiver, especially when paired with a PS3 which does a perfect job decoding on it's own. But I would not get a receiver in this day which had no HDMI audio support at all.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 11:59 AM

Like I said earlier, the Sony STR-DH500 has no audio capability in the HDMI cable.

Oops. It looks like I didn't say that earlier.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 12:18 PM

Check out Pioneer's VSX-519V-K. It has the same list price as the Sony, but does 5.1 PCM over HDMI. Found them selling for $180 from reputable sellers.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 12:27 PM

Yeah. It looks much better than the Sony. I just might return the Sony to newegg, then get 2 of these. One for my son and one for me.

Got RMA number from newegg. Will box back up and ship UPS ground back to them tomorrow. Just won't have any sound for up to 3 weeks. \:\(
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 01:34 PM

Does a refurb Onkyo TX-SR307 for $159 do anything for you?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 01:38 PM

The TX-SR307 doesn't do HDMI audio, it's a switch only.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/03/09 02:23 PM

I took some time off, and already shipped the Sony back to newegg. Total loss was $40 for Shipping and restocking fee.

Concerning the Onkyo, the 65 wpc is no-go for me. I would rather have the Pioneer with 110 wpc. I'll buy one, and if I like it, I'll buy another one for my son later. It would also make it easier to help him if I knew my way around the same model good.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 02:02 PM

I think I've found a decent cheaper variety of receiver. It cost double what I started out with, but it seems to be the best one for the price range. It's the Yamaha RX-V465. $330 from both Newegg and Best Buy. It has 4 HDMI input and blue tooth connection to my computer. Reviews all look good. 2 year instead of 1 year mfg warranty. Auto EQ. Lots of sound decoders.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 03:21 PM

Better yet would be the Onkyo TX-SR607 if I can find 2 of them on sale at a decent price. Refurbished perhaps.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 03:26 PM

Yeah, you do get quite a few more options for HDMI audio when you get into the $300+ range. Sub $200 is much more sparse.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 03:29 PM

Reg the Onkyo SR607....if you don't mind silver colour.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 04:02 PM

I don't care if it comes in purple, if I can get it at a good price. I've never heard of "High end electronics" in Tampa, Florida, though. Are there any user ratings on this site somewhere? Searching for it, but haven't found any yet.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 04:11 PM

I've never dealt with them before, Cat. I found them on "thefind.com" when I searched that specific Onkyo model. There were others priced in the $400 range as well if you want to do your own search.

Geez, I just found a black one at the same store for $253.58!! almost sounds too good, doesn't it?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 04:17 PM

They also have the Denon AVR1910 for $307.44, which, at first glance, looks to be as good as the Onkyo SR607.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 04:30 PM

I sent their sales department an e-mail asking them to verify the validity of their site, and what condition the Denon was in, New, Used, Broke, etc. (I don't suppose they would rat on themselves, but if they don't show me anything, that would definitely be telling).
Posted by: Emzdogz

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 04:52 PM

 Originally Posted By: CatBrat
I don't care if it comes in purple, if I can get it at a good price. I've never heard of "High end electronics" in Tampa, Florida, though. Are there any user ratings on this site somewhere? Searching for it, but haven't found any yet.


from that address (being a life long resident of the area), I'm pretty sure its in an office park. So it may not be a retail location at all, but rather a warehousing/shipping type of place.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 05:44 PM

Here's another idea for a cheap receiver. It's a Sherwood RD7502 100 wpc 7.1 for $215.83 which includes shipping form Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RD7502-7-...59966392&sr=1-5
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 06:11 PM

It's only $199 if you go to Amazon Marketplace.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 07:32 PM

Yeah. 199 + shipping = 215.83 at amazon.

For Pioneer, I like the VSX-819H over the VSX-519V for about $100 more. It has many more audio encoding options, plus all post type/banana plub speaker connections.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/04/09 08:34 PM

Does anyone reading this have the Pioneer vsx-819h-k? One of the reviews on CNET says that there is a lip sync issue with this receiver that can't be corrected. Is this true or is it just a faulty review.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/07/09 05:18 PM

Right now I'm thinking that the Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K would be a better receiver for the money, since it hast 1080p up-conv, GUI interface, and about 95% of the reviews I've read say it has superior sound quality for receivers in this price range.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/07/09 06:01 PM

I have the 1018, and really like it. But wouldn't take the 1019 upgrade if it was free. It's not a bad receiver, but the added features do nothing for me (mostly iPhone/Pod integration), and the removed some useful things (like pre-outs).

I believe the GUI has improved in the 1019, in the 1018, it wasn't so much a graphical interface, as it was a on-screen textual. Also, don't get too excited about the 1080p up-conversion, it only applies to the analog inputs (confirmed that has not changed in the 1019). If you input a signal at less than 1080 over the HDMI input, it is just passed through to the display unaltered. It can also do color/contrast/etc. adjustments on the analog input, up to 1080i. 1080p over component (like the Xbox 360 does), is simply digitized and passed to the HDMI.

These are not marks against a receiver of this price, no one else does these things either in this range, but people tend to get their hopes up when looking at the feature list.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/07/09 07:23 PM

I agree with you after thinking about it further. I just noticed the 919 version of this model. It looks to be exactly the same as the 1019, except for 3 things. 1080i instead of 1080p up-conv, no backlight on the remote, and 3 instead of 4 HDMI. Also $350 instead of $480 from Newegg. Not a bad deal, me thinks. A side by side comparision of the detailed specs on the Pioneer site showed them to be exact otherwise. Also both are GUI.

As a side note, the 1018 model isn't available anymore.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/10/09 01:06 PM

Right now, I've narrowed my choice of Receiver (cheap to midrange) for my son and myself to either the

Onkyo TX-SR607 or the
Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K
Denon AVR1910

These can be had from Bestbuy for around $500.00. I prefer not to order online around Christmas time, if it can be avoided.

Does anyone prefer one over the other for a good reason? Thanks in advance.

Although if I go Onkyo, I may get the TX-SR707 for myself.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/10/09 09:22 PM

Well, it's all done now. I purchased 2 receivers.

For myself: Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH.
For gift: Pioneer VSX-819H-k.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/11/09 06:34 PM

While I was not so gung-ho for the 1019 vs. the older 1018 for which it was supposed to be an upgrade, the Elite 21 gets my approval (for what it's worth). That receiver is the appropriate replacement for the 1018, too bad they stamped it Elite, and adjusted the price accordingly (I also don't like that Pioneer doesn't allow their Elite line to be sold online). Hope you found a good deal.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Gift idea - 12/11/09 06:42 PM

Sounds like what Denon did with the number change up, the 3310 replaces the lower 2809 and the 4310 replaced the 3808 but the prices are not the same. The 4310 is now in the 4308 price range and the 3310 took the 3808 price point meaning slightly less quality for the same money \:\( .
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/11/09 07:25 PM

I bought it yesterday at (yikes!) Best Buy. Good deal? no, but at least they gave me 10% off, for what that's worth. So I paid about $630.00 plus tax.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/11/09 08:06 PM

Best Buy/Magnolia is one of the few places normal people can find the Pioneer Elite line, and considering list for that receiver is $800, that's not too bad.

In Europe, Pioneer doesn't have as large a distribution network, so they don't place restrictions on what would be Elite here. The items get slightly different product numbers to make them look like their just higher models of the regular range. There's more competition between sellers, and with that the lower prices it brings.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 12/24/09 09:29 AM

Last night, I gave my son and his wife the Pioneer receiver (vsx-819H-k) and the Axiom M3's.

He loved it, but I'm not sure about the wife. Her comment was "If you play those loud, I'm going to put on the Mamma Mia musical and Charlotte's Web and me and the baby are going to boogie to them really loud." LOL.

Not sure why we couldn't get the MCACC auto eq to work. This receiver is somewhat different than mine, and I didn't have the time to play with it much. Upon pushing the Receiver button, then the Setup button (lower left), no menu on the TV would pop up. He's off today and will probably figure it out. (The mic was plugged in).


Posted by: Adrian

Re: Gift idea - 12/24/09 09:39 AM

Mamma Mia!! haha! what a nice gift...the M3's and 819H-k, I mean.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 12/24/09 01:28 PM

Plugging the mic in when the receiver is on, should put it automatically into MCACC setup. If nothing is being displayed on the TV, have a look at the display on the receiver, it should say something like "Auto MCACC". That'll at least let you know the receiver is doing it's thing. Then you can figure out why the GUI isn't showing up on the TV. Check the connections from the receiver to the TV. I'm not sure the GUI is enabled for all of them; I know it does it over HDMI for sure.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Gift idea - 01/06/10 12:10 PM

I called my son up and asked him how he liked the M3's and he said that he loved them.

One problem we had was with getting the OSD (on screen display) to work with MCACC. Then I noticed at the bottom of the page that describes this in small print it said that OSD was passed along to the TV using component instead of HDMI connections. Now it works fine with a component connection for just the MCACC OSD.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Gift idea - 01/06/10 12:27 PM

That's really odd, my older, non-Elite does OSD over HDMI. It looks like an old DOS program, and is only 480p, but it does show up.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Gift idea - 01/07/10 02:38 AM

Just another one of those things they drop off the lower models or previous model year to year to force you to buy the higher end new models for that one feature you really want.