Needing some "sound" advice for SQ Receiver

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Johnb71, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Johnb71

    Johnb71 New User

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    I'm mulling over what I already know is good vs what has come out on the market that I don't know. I used to be in custom home theater sales, so I've demoed everything from Mcintosh, Arcon, Carver, to "systems in a box" Right now I'm looking at finding an old Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX, or Yamaha Z1, or something along those lines. This is going to be just for listening, so AV switching doesn't really matter. That being said, if there's something sub $500 that sounds good and has hdmi switching and video up-conversion, that would be nice too... I'm really only looking for good clean sound.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I had an Elite VSX-59 a few years ago. What a beast!

    In all reality, it tough to hear a real noticable difference in receivers in about the same price range and "category". By that I mean consumer level vs. boutique brands like Arcam, NAD, Rotel, etc. which I really don't have much experience with.

    I have owned 20-25 different receivers over the last few years (I think I have 4 on hand right now?). To me, the biggest difference between them is how easy they are to setup and live with. I'm a tweaker so H/K is out. No manual adjustments to the EZSet EQ.
    Those with Audyssey and Yamaha are O.K. with at least some manual EQ setting. But Pioneer wins with 6 MCACC presets and a ton of audio adjustments.

    As for a "clean" sound, the one that pop's into my mind first is also Pioneer. They've never been called a "musical" receiver (whatever that means) but I've always thought they were crystal clear, especially those that are Air Studio certified. But again, if someone came along and said I was nuts for thinking I could hear a difference I wouldn't/couldn't argue with them. But look for a good SC-05/07/25. The SC-27 and newer are tough to find in good shape for $500. I'm using an Elite VSX-23 in my family room and see no reason to replace it.

    Onkyo/Integra were the price/feature leaders but their hdmi boards have a high failure rate. Denons of that era were a nightmare for me to setup and operate so I've never really considered them for long term use. Yamaha is the one consumer level brand that I haven't owned yet but I rarely hear a bad thing about them.

    One old-timer that I'd like to mention is the Adcom GFR750HD (the HD added hdmi video up-conversion). It only has two hdmi inputs but they worked very well (un-like teh H/K 745 I had) and that 145 wpc amp and the other high quality audio circuitry made for an excellent sounding receiver. But it was a little more difficult to live with simply because it was their first (and only?) attemp at HDMI and the remote was somewhat old-school.But the core audio performance rivalled, and maybe surpassed, the best that H/K has ever offered. Which was quite a lot with the 7200/67300/745 and 7550HD. They pop up every once in a while, usually for well over $500 but +/- $400 is more like their true value. I think I should have kept mine. An Adcom 750HD and OPPO BR player would be a tough pair to beat in SQ.

    If you stretch the budget to $600 then look for a Pioneer 1124. It has the Sabre ESS DAC's in it. Should sound wonderfull if it's anywhere near the OPPO 83se/95/105.

    If you can do with hdmi then an H/K 7200 and Oppo 83se might just be the best sounding electronics I've had so far.
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I have a DTR 7.8 that I bought under your budget. The .9 series aren't down that far(not even the 5.9. As .8 to .9, essentially is more HDMI).Denon 4 series(4810 specifically) is plentiful out there. Under $500 is the tough part.2007 era AVR is where nobody had many HDMI devices, but lossless audio arrived(HDMI 1.3).2008 is when prior year(mid to high end) 2-3 input AVR blossomed to 4-6 input AVR. Hence why AVR from that 1 year, specifically, are sold so much more often.
     
  4. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    A sleeper in the vintage group might be the Pioneer Elite VSX-84tx. 4 HDMI 1.2 inputs (let the BR player do the decoding, Air Studio, i-Link for your compatible DVD-A/SACD player (Elite 59 or 79?), 140 wpc (I know, who cares) nice remote, video conversion, RS-232c, 3 zones, Advanced MCACC, phono input and iPod input. $300?

    i-Link is fantastic!
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Issue with, current, BD players decoding lossless.Since the Sunset...many only decode 2.0 dowmix. They have to bitstream for MCH.
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I was thinking of something like an Elite BDP-23FD. The BDP-05 would be a good choice too except it's real slow to load.

    But in hind-sight, there are better choices then the 84.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Yeah, bringing up the 84 dredges up the Onkyo 804/874/904.Far more user friendly than the Elite.I still wouldn't buy those over a 805/875/905.
     
  8. Johnb71

    Johnb71 New User

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    Thank you all for your insight. These are the replies I was hoping for. Now my search has broadened. Thank you all very very much. I was hoping for these types of replies, and not the typical "use Google," or "use the search function." What a community! Thanks all :)
     
  9. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Lets not forget Marantz. I just sold an SR8002 a few days ago for $350. Hated the remote but one from my 7005 worked just fine except for the initial setup. Unfortunately the flagship for the time, the SR9600, is holding it's value very well @ $800-$900.
     

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