My husband is sentimentally attached to his PIONEER VSX-D1S - please help!!

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by elizabethz, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. elizabethz

    elizabethz Auditioning

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    Hello everyone - first time in this forum and hoping for a little help. We are getting ready to upgrade our little setup in the living room, electronics-wise and I am thinking we are going to need to replace the VSX-D1S my husband bought in 1988 in order to get the most of what we're buying.


    We're adding:

    Samsung UNC46C7000 240HZ LED/3D (our room is only 14x20 so we can't go bigger really)

    PS3 360G (from what I can gather this seems to be the best value in a blu ray player to be had - gaming/wifi/move bundle - seems to have it all)


    I want to add these:

    Sony STR-DH810 7.1-channel A/V Receiver with 7 HD Inputs

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0038W0J0S/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER


    Harmon Kardon HKTS 20BQ 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

    http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-Theater-Speaker-System/dp/B0039UUPH6/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1297668349&sr=1-3


    I also would like to add a Harmony One remote.


    He wants to keep the Yamaha, get an S-video to HDMI converter and continue to use his ancient (and ugly) but nice fronts (which is all there is currently) or if forced to change, get this or similar:


    Onkyo HS-S7300 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver and Speaker Package w/ Ipod Dock

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003OQUIIG/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER


    Someone please tell me that VSX is just too dang old to convert in any reasonable fashion. It still works perfectly unfortunately, so to keep it is his preferable choice. I told him it will be great in the basement for our sons' playroom. It doesn't have to retire.


    Seriously, if anyone could offer any input as what might be good or bad about the new item choices or possible other suggestions in similar price ranges (about $600-700 combined total). Also, if it is possible to still use the yamasaur, what are the limitations in the compatibility once we have the converter on there - I read something about not being able to get anything in 1080p and having to run those items directly through the TV but that kinda defeats the purpose for surround sound for the blu-ray and games doesn't it?


    One other piece of info that may or may not be helpful is that we are getting ready to kill our dish/bb/phone bundle with AT&T and go to cable based internet that is 3+ times faster, and get an antenna to pick up local HD channels and pull down Netflix and internet based content for all our additional viewing. This is not set in stone but is more an experiment to see how much we actually miss it, and what we can't get our "fix" of via internet content. It saves us over $100/mo so it we can pull it off and get used to it, I would much rather use that money to build a huge blu-ray library and maybe buy some awesome shoes or something. ;)


    I appreciate any help anyone might be willing to offer. Thanks!
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Well this is a first. Wife wants to upgrade and husband wants to keep the old stuff .


    The old Yamaha, being a stereo receiver, won't support any kind of surround sound. You need a new receiver for that. Nothing wrong with keeping it for a two channel system somewhere else in the house. Sony receivers aren't thought of very highly around here. Not that they're really bad, just that there are better options. Denon and Onkyo are the most often recommended followed by Yamaha. Harman Kardon and Marantz are real nice but a little more expensive. Maybe get another Yamaha to passify the husband?


    S-video to hdmi converters sometimes don't work very well.


    Speakers are the most important part of the sound system. Try and listen to a few different options before you decide.


    I'd also like to dump my Dish/BB/Phone but my brother works for ATT so...
     
  3. elizabethz

    elizabethz Auditioning

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    Thanks for your insight Gene. I feel kinda dumb now as I realized this morning, it is a PIONEER not a yamaha. I must have been thinking of the yamaha receiver we keep on our back porch for music outside. It is even more ancient, probably early 70's and still going strong. It's amazing how these older receivers can last so long. (I got curious and looked it up, it is a CR400, couldn't find an exact prod. date but found a texas monthly magazine from 1976 advertising it, so somwhere around there :) It was a hand me down from my grandparents.


    I kinda liked the Sony because it seemed to offer a lot of good features for a low price, and I was hoping to keep more of the budget for the speakers. I have listened to those HKs I listed a friend's numerous times and they sound fantastic. I also thought the Sony might be more compatible with the PS3. I read a few reviews that said people have had problems with the video on their PS3 with the Onkyo receivers but then others that say no problems at all so I hope I can chalk the problems up to user error rather than the receiver itself.

    After doing a bit more research today, I have come up with an alternative in the Onkyo brand.


    I may possibly go with this:


    Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BIFOL8/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER


    and these:

    Onkyo SKS-HT870 Home Theater Speaker System http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C73WRW/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ALAQLAKJ574UN



    I have read many posts about how happy people are with their Denons but the price of those seems to be a bit out of range unless I had speakers already. I also really like the Pioneer VSX-1020-K.



    I have spent hours and hours reading reviews and looking at specs and I seem to really just keep making the decision harder on myself.



    Anyway, if anyone else has any advice or suggestions to offer that would be great because the choices are seemingly endless and it is about to blow my mind. I don't want to make a mistake and get something that sucks but I also have to stay in my budget.

     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    If you like the H/K speakers then by all means purchase them. You can get a factory remanufactured Onkyo 508 for under $200 from ac4l.com. The 608 adds video up-conversion which it looks like you don't need. It looks like Onkyo packaged the 608 with the 870 speaker package and called oit the 7300. Looks like the same receiver and speakers. The Denon 1611 can be had for under $400 as well. It has a better version of Audyssey than the Onkyo 508/608. The $349 Denon 591 is the same as the 1611 but is 5.1 instead of 7.1. Also comsider the Pioneer 920 or 1020 for lots of features in a lower priced receiver but at this price point I feel Denon and Onkyo are a bit better. It is true. The more you learn about this stuff the harder the decision becomes.
     
  5. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Hi Elizabeth,


    I "believe" there may have been an issue that was resolved by Sony a few years ago with artifacts appearing on the screen when using HDMI with certain receivers (more than just Onkyo). I can't find a reference to it, but I kinda, sorta remember it. FWIW, I have an Onkyo 705 and a PS3 Slim. I have no issues (or I should say my son has no issues).
     
  6. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

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    Welcome Elizabeth


    I had to say good bye to my old 1970 & 80's stereo equipment when I built my first 5.1 HT system two years ago. After 40 years of playing with Stereo systems I had a lot to learn.

    I think the the two most important thing to keep in mind are:


    1. A modern 7.1 receiver can be configured to drive any number of speakers from 2.0 to 7.2. systems as most of them have auto speaker and room correction software to set up and calibrate your speakers. You receiver will be the hub and switch of you system where all of your equipment and future equipment will be connected to each other. This will minimize the number of cables that you will need. Whenever possible you are going to want to use HDMI cables, and don't spend a fortune on them. You selection should be based on the equipment you want to connect and features.
    2. Speaker selection is your most important and individual selection you will make. As Humans we all tend to perceive and process sound differently. A speaker system my ears might like yours may not. The three words you need to know is Listen, Listen, Listen. and pick the system that sounds best to your ears and your budget. As a result you might want to listen to various systems and then purchase them on line to save money. If you decide to buy blind without listening to a system make sure the Internet seller has a liberal return policy that will allow you to return them if you don't like the way they sound in your home.
     
  7. winniw

    winniw Second Unit

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    As usual, I agree with Gene and Bill... especially about the speakers. You already know that you like the H/K speakers... get them!
     
  8. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I would recommend the onkyo htrc270 (708) over the onkyo 608. the 270 & 708 can do internet connection that the 608 cannt do. doing a firmware update is alot easier with the 270/708. I own the 270 and its a great receiver.


    the ps3 is fine a player. but if you do more research you can find a better player.

    I still have some old speakers that are still going strong.. you might not need to update that. who knows


    Jacob
     
  9. elizabethz

    elizabethz Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input everyone - I am a bit tardy getting back here and I am STILL shopping.


    After doing some rethinking - I am nixing the PS3 and getting an XBOX - my twin boys want to "BE the controller" don't ya know. So, the kinect too. Already bought the kinect, a few games and have the XBOX 250g holiday bundle in my cart at Amazon all ready to pull the trigger. I also want that Beatles Rockband set so bad I could taste it so I am watching a few of those on ebay. For the blu ray's I am getting the Panasonic DMP-BDT210. The free 3D Avatar right now was just too good to pass up - we don't have a 3D TV, but selling it will offset the cost of the player.


    We got the TV, but I went with a Philips 240hz 46in instead of the Samsung, has built in wifi w/ apps like netflix and such, picture is awesome - we love it and at $750 w/ tax at Sam's Club - that adds about $400 back into the budget. However, that actually just makes things more difficult. LOL.


    So, I have narrowed down the receiver to two - the Denon 1911 or the Pioneer 1020 (or maybe 1120).


    Speakers is where I am having the hardest time. I do like those HKs however they really look rather boring don't they? I found some Wharfdale MovieStar 70's that look really cool and get great reviews. I was also looking (and listening/seeing on youtube) at some Jamo 5-speaker sets - I like the 606s but they don't come in black, the S426HCS3 set comes in black so I may just end up going with this little bundle:


    http://www.amazon.com/S426HCS3-Speaker-VSX-1020-K-7-1-Channel-Receiver/dp/B004JP1LLY/ref=pd_ybh_20?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0K68DJ5MT7911G7GQ7S5


    They also have it for the same price with the Denon 1911, or for another $130, I can get it with the Pioneer 1120.


    That leaves the sub, and I may just spring for the Klipsch Ref Series - RW10D.


    That brings my total for receiver and speakers to $940 - or $1070 if I get the 1120. Is that too much for that stuff? It seems like a lot but I know those are much higher end speakers than I was originally considering and we were able to bump the budget because of the tv choice.


    Does anyone have any experience with the MovieStar 70's - if I was going by looks alone they would be the ones. So pretty. The sub is only 100w though and that makes me leery. The Klipsch is 260w.


    Ugh....I don't think I am ever going to make up my mind and that is frustrating because it is really not like me. I usually can do my research on something and make a DECISION, and not feel bad afterwards. The world of AV has too many variables and possible combinations and unfortunately, I hate shopping B&M for almost anything unless I have to so I am a review and forum junkie.
     
  10. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

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    Elizabeth


    Great progress, now I will repeat what I have written before about speakers.

    Speaker selection is your most important and individual selection you will make. As Humans we all tend to perceive and process sound differently. A speaker system my ears might like yours may not. The three words you need to know is Listen, Listen, Listen. and pick the system that sounds best to your ears and your budget. As a result you might want to listen to various systems and then purchase them on line to save money. If you decide to buy blind without listening to a system make sure the Internet seller has a liberal return policy that will allow you to return them if you don't like the way they sound in your home.


    I understand your frustration. When I looked at speakers on the Internet, I read various speaker reviews, and so called professionals top picks I was confused as I felt it was impossible for me to make any valid comparisons other than price. However, when I started to listen to my so called top picks in person the fog tended to disappeared as some systems appealed to my ears more than others. In fact the speakers I finally selected were not even on my short list.
     
  11. elizabethz

    elizabethz Auditioning

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    Well, I did something crazy out of frustration and just a general sick of looking at all of this stuff-ness. I'll report back once I (I say "I" like it will be me setting this stuff up - LOL) get everything together over here - it should all be showing up in the next day or two. I think I might have made a really good choice, but it is potentially stupid. We'll see which it is. I am such an impulse shopper, my husband is so right.

    I only spent half of what I had budgeted, but I think it's going to be great, really. Please, please, please....
     
  12. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

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    Let us know how it works out.
     

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