Receiver: How to find what i want.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by pagerfriendly, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reading up before I bought my TV and now on home theater systems before I buy is great. The problem is that I know more than most of the salesmen...but not enough to answer new questions I have. Can someone help me? First, is there a receiver out there that allows audio to pass through with the HDMI cable? Second, I want a receiver with certain capabilities, as do most people, but it's hard to find them all in one. What is the best way to find what i want? A certain website? Techsupport? Crutchfield support? Thanks.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,842
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene

    Yes, many of the newer recivers pass audio as well as video. Look for a receiver that is an hdmi "repeater" and avoid the ones that are "pass-thru". Those are video only and are usually the less expensive models.



    Let us know what capabilities your looking for, maybe we can help. But a good way to find out if a certain receiver has what you are looking for is to download the manual from their website. But even then you have to read between the lines to find out what a receiver is capable of. Finding someone in an on-line forum that has the model you're considering is the best way.

    Also, websites like Vanns.com, Onecall.com and Crutchfield can com in handy. Much of the info I get is from these sites. But they aren't perfect, only as good as the person who inputed the information.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    12,229
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Real Name:
    Parker
    Chris:

    What are you looking for in a receiver other than it can pass audio from HDMI?
     
  4. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks G, that was helpful already. Basically, I don't need top of the line but I do want a relevant system. I would like HDMI video conversion, good THD rating, high current power, video / audio calibration, and possibly USB. Also, I'm noticing a lot of 7.1 systems come up when I search. Would it be reasonable to buy one if it had what I wanted and choose not to use the last two for now?
     
  5. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris,

    One of the best moves you made was to join the forum. In addition to getting answers to your questions you can educate yourself by reading the other posts on the forum as common questions do tend to repeat themselves.

    I joined a year ago, and although I have been involved with stereo music systems for 40 years I was a novice when it came to Home Theater. Reading the posts helped educate me and I avoided what would have been a big mistake of buying a brand of Home Theater in a Box that came in a package deal that would not have met my needs.

    As far as salesman go I tend to find those at the smaller local stores tend to be the most knowledgeable with their product line.
     
  6. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I'm in no hurry. I want to read as much as I can first and be completely happy with what I get.
    I'm kind upset right now because after reading, I realized that I ran non UL wire through my walls and attic.
    Live and learn.
     
  7. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Chris. Welcome to the forum!

    Bummer about the non-UL cable . . . live and learn I suppose.

    Since we don't have lots of information about what you're specifically looking for or your budget, why don't you take a look at these two well-respected receivers that are mid-range and let us know what questions you have or what these are missing that you're looking for.

    Denon AVR-1910: www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/4858.asp
    Onkyo TX-SR607: onkyousa.com/model.cfm
     
  8. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Seth,
    Those are nice. A lot of info to take in for me. Most of it makes sense. I'm trying to stay at or below $400 if I can.
    I noticed one was rated at 80w / channel. Is that significantly lower volume than 100? And what about HDMI switching. If it didn't come with it, how much more cumbersome is it?
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Watts per channel is a tricky rating. Many manufacturers come up with this number differently, so you are not necessarily comparing apples to apples with this rating. Also, the volume (or SPL) that this translates into is largely dependent on the sensitivity of your speakers.

    Explain what you're looking for in HDMI switching. Are you just talking about several inputs feeding into a single output, or are you talking about several inputs feeding into two or more outputs? Most any receiver that does HDMI will handle the first option . . . you have to get into higher priced receivers to handle multiple outputs (e.g. one to projector and one to television).
     
  10. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seth,
    Crutchfield has a "home speaker glossary" and it talks about sensitivity. This is what it says: Speaker A 85 dB 100 watts Speaker B 88 dB 50 watts Speaker C 91 dB 25 wattsIf this is true for all applications, I can figure what wattage will work.

    As far as HDMI switching, I was talking about multiple ins and one out.
    I can't thank you enough for the help.
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,842
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene

    Speakers have an SPL (Sound Pressure Level) rating and what it means is a speaker with an SPL of 86 will require twice as much power as a speaker with an SPL of 89 to reach the same volume. An increase of 3 decibles is twice as loud. You want to make sure the speakers SPL will work with a receivers power rating. In other words you wouldn't want to pair a Denon 1610 (75 wpc) with speakers that have an SPL of 84 in a large room. That 1610 would have to work real hard to fill the room with sound from those speakers.
    A speakers SPL and the Ohm rating is far more important then the speakers power handling such as 150 wpc. 4 Ohm speakers must be used with a receiver that is rated for 4 ohm use. Most are not.

    And even though one speaker may not be as sensitive as another (meaning it has a lower spl) louder does not always mean better.

    As for a receivers power rating, these numbers are often inflated, especially with lower priced entry level receivers and particularly with htib's in order to make a receiver seem better than it is. Receivers are rated with various factors involved.

    THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)
    Frequency at the rated power (1Khz, 120-20,000hz, 20-20,000hz, etc)
    Number of channels driven (1, 2, 5, All Channels Driven)

    As an example, a low end receiver may be rated at 100 wpc but with only 1 channel driven, at a single frequency like 1 khz, with 10% THD.

    Another might be 55 wpc, all ch driven, 20-20,000hz with .o5% THD.

    The second one would most certainly be stronger than the first. The first might get loud, but it would be un-listenable.

    Bottom line-don't worry too much about a receivers power unless your speakers are low sensitive (like 85 spl) and your room is very large.

    The Denon 1610 has become my favorite under $400 receiver but the Onkyo 607 is very close behind.



    Virtually all receivers with hdmi are switchers. What you want to avoid are receivers that are hdmi "pass-thru". This means they don't send audio thru hdmi, only video. Look for an hdmi vs 1.3 "repeater". It will handle audio as well as video and process the new Hi-Resolution formats found on BluRay discs.
     
  12. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's the second reference to the Onkyo 607. I've got it bookmarked. I'll check the Denon.
    The wattage info helped. The lower numbers were scaring me off but I knew there must be more behind it.
    I think I'll start with the receiver, (probably one of the two mentioned,) and then buy speakers that will work with it.
    Thanks again. Very helpful.
     
  13. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are going to find out that when it comes to receivers the big players are pretty much Onkyo, Dennon, Yamaha, and Pioneer. Each brand is going to have quite a few receivers in various prices ranges. Don't get hung up on watts per channel as you will find that the Onkyo 607 advertises 90W per channel (8 ohms) While their top of the line TX-NR507 which is 5 times the price advertises 145W per channel (8 ohms). Rather look at the features each receiver offers in relationship to your budget and the equipment you want to hook up to it.

    Your speaker selection is going to be the decision that is going to have the greatest impact as to how your system will sound. That decision will probably be the most difficult one to make. You should set you budget and listen to as many systems as possible and select the one that sounds best to you.
     
  14. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    One small word of warning on the Onkyo. While they have a reputation for being great "bang for your buck" they also have a reputation of running a little hot. If you will have adequate ventilation around your receiver this shouldn't be an issue at all. If you're planning to put it in an enclosed cabinet then you might lean toward the Denon or work on putting some fans in your cabinet. FWIW I picked up a Denon 1610 a few months ago and have been very pleased. Onkyo was right there with Denon on my list, but I found at a better deal on the Denon at the time.
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,842
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene


    The reason I chose the 1610 over the 607 is the Denon has a front A/B speaker switch and Audyssey MultiEQ where the 607 has 2eq. The 607 does have a powered Zone 2 but we thought the A/B would be easier for his wife to operate since their old HT-R500 has it. The 607 does have 5 hdmi inputs a few other things the 1610 lacks but we felt he wouldn't use them anyway. Only bad thing id Denons are almost never discounted and I HATE paying full price for anything! But the 1610 was still a good value.
     
  16. pagerfriendly

    pagerfriendly Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Denon 1610 is my receiver. It's exactly what I want. Thanks everyone.
    I'm glad I joined this forum.
     

Share This Page