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AV receiver brands

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Raptor382, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    hello, this is another "need help selecting a AV receiver" thread.

    well, sort of..

    I understand that, no matter what review site I look at, or how many forum posts i read, the results will always have variance. Like today, I went to yahoo and typed in "best home theater receiver brands" and the results were typical. One site said Denon, another said Sony, etc...

    The previous receiver I had was a Yamaha, I dont remember the model, but it was a decent model, it was about 4 or 5 years ago. I currently own a Sony STR-DG820. I like the sound of this sony, but looking to upgrade to a more current receiver.

    Keep in mind, i am currenly running my speakers through a Klipsch Quintet speaker system, about 5 or so years old. They sound good, but I will likely be looking at upgrading to a better speaker system, most likely a bookshelf system due to 1) price and budget, and 2) i live in an apartment and dont really need a full floor standing speaker system...although, I usually like to go for a pretty beefy subwoofer, simply because I like good bass, and even at low volumes, I want to be able to hear all the low tones and low effects in movies and music.

    I want the receiver to be able to process the usual stuff, dolby true HD, dts-HD master audio, and THX would be nice. I would like to have sirius/xm connectivity, but that is not all that important. It would also be a good thing to have internet connectivity, though I dont need wi-fi, since my reciever is right next to my modem and I can just plug it in directly.

    I would like a unit that has a setup mic and a decent GUI. Enough power to have excellent sound quality and all volume ranges, though, I probably wont be doing any loud listening, again, I live in an apartment. Something in the 100-120 w/ch range (roughly 850w total power would probably be enough).

    Ive not heard Denon, or onkyo, and havent really heard any of the newer yamaha or sony or pioneer units. ive not heard anything from marantz.

    I would like to keep the price under $700.

    a question about accessories4less. i know some of their units are refurbished. is this something one should stay away from? just curious if i should be leary of anything refurbished.

    thanks and sorry for the long post.

    sam
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Wait, you want to spend $700 and have 850 watts?
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Let's come crashing back down to reality. I need to find the specs on these speakers so I can tell you how much power you really need(which is likely to be under 100 watts, nowhere near the 850 that had me laughing so hard my eyes teared up)...

    Another post here in a bit.
     
  5. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Any receiver will power those speakers to levels that will scare your neighbors. You really should decide on what the next set of speakers will be before buying another receiver.

    You're right about one thing. Ask ten people and you're going to get 12 different opinions. Most every receiver in your price ($700) range will have what you're looking for. I usually recommend ac4l factory refurbs in the less then $500 range because you can get a 5 year extended warranty for $50. I've bought several refurbs from them without issue...so far.

    I currently have a Pioneer Elite vsx-23 and a Marantz 7005 as well as a Marantz 6005 which is currently for sale.

    I'd avoid Harman kardon. A shame to because they made fantastic receivers in their day. But not today. They used to have a refurbished 3600 listed on their ebay store for $399. That would have been worth the risk.

    Yamaha is an excellent choice. One of the few receiver brands I haven't owned in the last few years but rarely hear a bad thing about them. Maybe a 575/675?

    Denon is a nice over-all value but I find them difficult to setup and operate. Others don't seem to have such a problem but there is a humorous site that confirms my confusion...Batpig.com Maybe a 2112/3312?

    Onkyo might be the best value of them all but their HDMI boards have been known to fail. They also reportedly have 35+% of the receiver market so...Used Integras can be a great value.

    Marantz is a very easy receiver to setup and operate (IMO) but they tend to be a little more expensive and their internals are very similar to Denon. Again, I rarely hear a bad word about them.

    I've always liked Pioneer Elites but it may just be that I'm more familiar with them. They tend to have more user adjustable features then most others. If you like to "play' with your receiver then Pioneer will keep you busy for hours.

    I've been looking closer at NAD, mainly the 748, for a bit lately. A little pricey but I'm intregued.

    If you'll notice, I didn't mention Sony or Sherwood.

    Newegg.com is another good place to shop for receivers.
     
  6. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    i apologize. it's been a long time since ive dabbled in home theater things. ive always been under the impression that more power is better. more watts per channel is a good thing. that an 800w + receiver would be louder and more clear (even at lower volumes) than a 300 or 400w receiver.

    the reason i had the idea of 850 watts for under $700 is from looking at the yamaha RX-V675, which is an 875w total power receiver, for $550. 125w per channel at 2 channels driven

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Yamaha+-+875W+7.2-Ch.+A/V+Home+Theater+Receiver/8045225.p?id=1218863726772&skuId=8045225
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Ok the Quintet I found on Amazon are 91db efficient and have a meaningless RMS rating of 75 watts. What that means is you can connect anywhere from a 15wpc T-amp all the way to a barn burning Kenwood M2A that is conservatively rated around 220wpc.

    Since they are 91 db efficient, and most people watch TV at 80-ish decibels, those need around .125 watt(not a typo, period/dot125)

    To produce "reference peaks" that DTS HD and Dolby True HD are based on(85db to 105db...20db of headroom) they need...

    .25 watt(yes point 25) to 16-ish, maybe closer to 20.

    So, on 20 watts per speaker, you are pissing your neighbors off.
     
  8. Type A

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    Based on personal experience I would avoid Onkyo, HK and Sony. I would highly recommend Yamaha or Marantz. No personal experience with Denon or Pioneer however Gene's advice in post 5 seems very accurate with the manufactures I am familiar with.
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Yeah, that Yamaha produces 125 per channel on two channels ran at a time. Not all 7.

    General rule of thumb is(this works best with Onkyo cause they actually state in their owners manuals how much the video eats in power)...

    Take the amount of power "off the wall"(Yamaha puts that in the owners manual. Almost everyone else puts that number somewhere near the power cord)...

    Whatever that number is, take out roughly 120(for video processing, which is deduced from Onkyo manuals...and should be about the same for other manufacturers).

    Whatever that is, divide it by 2(cause amplifiers are typically 50% efficient. Pioneer, and others, have gone digital, so they are more efficient, maybe 70%...maybe)

    So, your equation is...

    Total power minus video...divided by 2...gets you the amount of power available...divided by the channels you are using.
     
  10. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    you are correct, i need to look at what speakers im going to end up working toward. when I had my yamaha, I had paradigm speakers, they were good, ive never heard martin logan, or B&W, or polk or definitive. One site that someone told me about that I may look into is Axiom for my front, center, surrounds, and possibly sub, but ive also been told about SVS for my subwoofer. I'll have to do some shopping and comparing and reveiw reading.

    so, it will most likely be either paradigm or axiom, with a sub from either two or svs.
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I differ with Type A as I currently own 4 Onkyo/Integra, 1 Denon, 1 Panasonic(ancient), 2 Yamaha(both pre-date HDMI, but have component) and 1 Harman Kardon(from when s-video was a luxury).

    I've not had a single one of them fail on me. Since the "dawn of center speaker itself"(1993???) I have had at least 5 AVR at a time, with a total of at least 50. I've been blessed, of the ones where I know where they still are(sold, given away)...all still work.
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    More is better but not always needed. Do you really need a 663 horepower Mustang? O.K., bad example. But you get what I mean.

    Receiver wattae ratings are usually in-accurate, mis-leading and/or un-necessary.

    Home theater mag bench tested the yamaha 475 ( 80 x 5 channels 0r 400 watts).

    http://www.hometheater.com/content/yamaha-rx-v475-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures it tested at 85 x 2 but only 24 x 5. In ther words, don't fret over numbers too much.

    You only need a very powerfull receiver if you have a very large room, 4 ohm speakers, or speakers with a very low SPL, say 86 or less.

    From what I've read, the Yamaha Aventage series is worth the extra money.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Wait, the 475 chewed up 170 watts in stereo, but could only muster 120 on 5?

    To put this into perspective, the Onkyo 616(last I looked) delivered 95x2 in stereo and 47 watts per channel when all 7 were running.

    So it mustered 300 watts total, vs 190 in stereo.
     
  14. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    thanks folks. schan1269, thanks for that run down on actual power output. am i to assume that the power block in these receivers is a single power block. in other words, if it's a 7.1 channel amp, there are not 7 seperate amps? so, in the case of this 875w amp that i mentioned, and using your formula:

    875-120 = 755/2 = 377.5w available. now from here, does that mean the 377.5 is simply divided up between how many speakers you are using? or is it divided by the total number of channels available on the amp? in other words, if you take a 7.1 channel amp, but only hook a 5.1 setup on it, does the formula work out like this?:
    377.5/5 = 75.5 w per channel and if you hook up 7 speakers to it, then it changes to 377.5/7 = 54w/ch? or does the amp simply always push 54w / ch regardless if you are using 5.1 or 7.1?
     
  15. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    From looking at bench tests of lower end Yamaha's, Pioneers, Sony's etc. those numbers are quite common. The Aventage 1010 was 116 X 2 and 55 x 5 or 7. Except for Onkyo, H/K and some mega-buck receivers the power really drops off when you add more channels. Maybe the biggest argument against using your Back Surrounds to bi-amp your fronts.
     
  16. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    ok, so, from what im gathering here, and correct me if im wrong:

    total power output to each speaker is probably never used. In other words, if a receiver rates their amp at 120/ch, that measurement is with the volume knob turned all the way up, correct? in other words, at normal listening levels, you may only be pushing 10-15w to each speaker. so, unless you plan on cranking the volume knob full blast, that 120w/ch is wasted, or at least overkill. you could get by very nicely with a receiver that pushes 50 or 80 w/ch, am i correct?

    also, you would never need more power than what the max wattage on your speakers are, correct? so if the speakers, such as the ones i have currently, are rated at 75w, then a 120 w/ch amp would be pointless? so to figure out how much power you actually need, what is the formula? at first, i thought if you simply reversed the formula you gave schan, that would do it, but that didnt seem to work out because, the number i came up with is way off. in the case of wanting a 7.1 channel receiver, you'd take 75x7 = 525 watts max, then if you basically reverse the formula you gave, the number i came up with was like 1170w...lol, which i know is wrong.
     
  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    You are starting off with the wrong number. I'll use this example as it is $700 on Amazon...

    http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR727-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B00BLGUKBQ/ref=sr_1_11?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1376967363&sr=1-11&keywords=onkyo+nr

    Using your original math based on bogus numbers you would think that AVR produces 770 total. Nope, not even close. On the back it says...

    6.9 amp. 6.9 x 120 = 828(the total amount of power it can suck off the wall).

    828 minus 120 is 708.

    708 /2 is 354.

    354 allows it to easily produce the 110 x 2.

    354 /7 is 50.
     
  18. Raptor382

    Raptor382 Well-Known Member

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    also, and i know im way over extending your courtesy here, but I do have a question about my current receiver.

    I just moved to a new apartment. The previous apartment was laid out differently, the living/dining area was a bit smaller, it had carpeted floors and I had my klipsch quintet speakers sitting on the TV stand and the surrounds on the end tables next to the couch. the center channel was on the TV stand on the second shelf down. everything sounded fine.

    the new apartments have faux hardwood floors, higher ceilings, and the living/dining area is bigger and i purchased some speaker stands that are made of metal and have plastic floor spikes. the speakers are now spread out a little further and a little further away than before, and the center speaker is on the top of the TV stand, basically sitting in front of my TV (more near ear level). however, the sound is now dramatically different, somewhat.

    I use a Roku box with amazon instant video and vudu instant video. When I load up a movie or a TV show now, the sound is all out of whack. In movies, the sound is hard to hear. voices are hard to make out what they are saying, there is almost no ambient noise and you only seem to hear anything that is loud in the movie, such as explosions or when the background music gets loud. ive adjusted my speaker distance to reflect the new distances, and even tried adjusting the speaker levels in the amp menu, doesnt seem to work.

    however, on my roku box, there is an app called abacus music, which is streaming classical music, and when I load that up and play it, everything sounds great, full volume, crisp sound, nice lows.

    im curious what could be making this happen? why would one music app sound good, but two other movie apps sound bad? i was curious if the larger living area, the faux wood floors and possibly the addition of speaker stands would have something to do with it. since the speaker stands are made of metal, and the speakers are sitting on top of them, and the floors are hard and the stands are sitting on plastic spikes on the floors, if there was something about resonation, since there is no padding between the speakers and the floors, maybe the acoustics have changed.

    on top of that, i lost the calibration mic that comes with the sony receiver i have, and apparently, you cant just go out and buy one, so ill either have to order one, or just get a new receiver (which i was looking into anyway). is there another type of mic you can use, maybe one from radio shack or somewhere that will work with the sony calibration feature i have? Sony STR-DG820 is the model of receiver i have now.
     
  19. Type A

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    Quite true, we do differ. Personally I dont consider the fact that they "still work" as a huge accolade. Theres much more to a good AVR than longevity.
     
  20. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The mics are brand specific.

    I have a feeling the prior EQing is still there. Have you turned the EQ off? (I know nothing of Sony AVR)

    Otherwise, the Quintet could be too small for the room. Live rooms(as in hard wood floors) also tend to create back waves cancelling sound out. Rugs would probably help.

    I'm also going to guess that using 2.0(or even 2.1) instead of 5.1 shuts down the EQ, which is why it sounds better.
     

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