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Please help me choose a new AVR.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by greggor, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    My B&K AVR 507 finally died on me so now I'm forced to buy a new AVR. I've contemplated replacing it a few times over the past few years but now I don't have a choice. I don't have the budget to pay as much for my new AVR as I did when I purchased the B&K so I need good bang for the buck suggestions. Here's my wish list: 7 Channels (at least) HDMI switching with pass through (I would like to have the option to watch TV with-out the AVR requiring full power. Networking capabilities to stream MP3 files wirelessly to the AVR. Enough power to drive Paradigm studio speakers. On screen display for easy set-up. At least two optical inputs Sound quality for music is as important as it is for movies to me. Connections available via a front access panel for audio and video. (USB, HDMI, composite would be nice) I know most AVR's will have the functionality I'm seeking, however the features listed above are a must have. My budget is 1k or less. So far I like the Denon 4311Ci if I can find one in my price range. What else should I be looking at? I've been out of the game for awhile so I greatly appreciate all recommendations. R/Greg
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    The 4311 is $1100 as a refurb on ac4l.com and extended warranties are quite expensive on gear priced that high. The 4310 is $750 but may not have everything you want. Pioneer's aren't as good of a value imo at that price range. Marantz isn't what they used to be and I don't know that much about Yamaha but they may be worth a look. Anthem might be out of range as well (MX-700?). How about the Onkyo 818? It has Audyssey XT32 and more stuff then you can imagine. Download the Product Sheet from Onkyo's website for a quick peak. http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?m=TX-NR818&class=Receiver&p=d Ac4l.com has them as refurbs for $779. Add a 3 or 5 year extended warranty for $55 or $90. http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXNR818/Onkyo-TX-NR818-7.2-Ch-THX-Certified-Network-A/V-Receiver/1.html#!warranties Amazon has them new for $949. The Pioneer SC-1522 is $999 shipped. But it has a hard time when compared to the 818, and I like Pioneer. http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-1522-K-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B0083C8AWW
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I would almost suggest an older Onkyo NR808/809/1008/1009, even the 807/1007(if you don't need 3d). Those AVR will do all you ask and still have a front composite. Composite has kinda died this year. You will have to make a choice...2 USB or 1 USB and a front composite. Cause front composite disappeared when front USB arrived.
     
  4. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I would give an update. After researching many different models from those listed above as well as adding a few such as the new SC XX Pioneer Elite models I pulled the trigger on the Pioneer Elite SC-67. I was able to hear a SC-65 (as well as other brands) with the same speakers I have and was very impressed with the sound of this receiver. I ended up opting for the 67 over the 65 for its additional power. The Pioneer scores some very high marks for their somewhat new D3 amplifiers and I was wowed by the features offered in this price range. I Did spend a little bit more than I originally intended to but I think I'll be happy with my choice once I get the unit set-up and integrated in to my system. A very close second was the Denon 4311. I don't think I could have gone wrong either way. At $1300.00ish I think the Pioneer is a pretty great deal considering what you get. I'll post more once I get everything connected calibrated properly.

    Greg
     
  5. Dheiner

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    Gene, you say the Pioneer has a hard time. What do you mean. I'm torn between an 818, that I got refurbed, and a 1522 that Costco is selling for $599. It sound like you've seen/heard them compared. Where?
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    He is refering to features/price only.

    Unless you buy the 1522 specifically for the iControl, there is no other reason to pick a Pioneer over an Onkyo or Denon at the same price. The 1522, in essence, is a "one year warranty" Elite SC65.

    For a comparison between the 1522 and 818, you'll have to find a shop near you that sells Elite and Integra. The 818, more or less, is the DTR 40.3.
     
  7. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I too own a B&K 507 and was forced (well maybe not forced) to upgrade in order to make use of HDMI and the lossless codecs. I went with the Denon 4311ci myself and find it to be a great avr. I also have Paradigm studio with the 100 as the mains. I still found a lack of power using the Denon as it does not have the power supply the B&K has so I got an external amp to drive the mains (wyred4sound 250 watt 2 channel) and that brought my system up to snuff.

    That Pioneer model should server you well.
     
  8. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    The Onkyo's have too many reports of reliabilty issues for me to have considered one. I disagree that there's no reason to buy a Pioneer over a similarly priced Denon or Onkyo. The Pioneer to my ears matched better with my speakers than the other models did and that right there is more than enough reason for me. As I said the Denon was close in all actuality it was probably a tossup between the Denon and the SC-67 I purchased. At the end of the day the SC-67 appealed to me more.
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Onkyo's have reliability problems...Must be reading AVS...
     
  10. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I agree with the OP. For his setup, I think he made the right choice.
     
  11. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    Wrong again. As you'll notice by looking at my join date I've been a member here since 1999. I don't hang out at the AVS forum. I got my info from many (this means more than 1) of the dealers that I've spoken with during my audtions of different units. Their observations were substantiated by things I've read online. thanks for your input.
     
  12. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    Time will tell as this is my first Pioneer. It was really, really close between the 4311 and the SC-67 and I honestly could have gone either way. I guess I liked the features of the Pioneer a little more and with the Pioneer I can bi-amp my speakers. the Denon on the other hand with is more user friendly and has superior room equalization. I'll always miss the sound of my B&K, howver the Pioneer is non-current limiting like our B&K's.
     
  13. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    You can bi-amp with the Denon as well, which is what I did initially. It sounded good but power wise, I didn't hear much oomph as I was looking for which is why I bought an external. Your Pioneer is heavier than the Denon so the power supply might be a bit more powerful. Perhaps you might hear a benefit, but in the end, the amps all use the same power supply.
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Been using my phone for days. It doesn't show join date/ post count.My issue with "Onkyo naysayers" stems mainly from "I read somewhere..."I personally like the SC67. It does what similarly priced Onkyo don't. The HDMI 4 is the main reason to buy it.By the way, I sold Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer/Elite and Yamaha wholesale. There is a reason X store and X salesman steers you away from Onkyo...and it has nothing to do with quality.
     
  15. greggor

    greggor Well-Known Member

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    In Onkyo's case what I was told by more than one Onkyo dealer was substantiated by online reports. Money is just too tight for me at the moment to take a chance on a product with questionable reliability. Then there's always the "X" factor. I'm sure that side by side playing the same music through the same speakers at the same time most of the AVR's would sound similar but in my case the Pioneer sounded a little better. MCACC will be sufficient for my needs. I'm not concerned with the sub EQ as I'm a little old school and still like to calibrate using an Avia disk, test tones and a good old fashion SPL meter. My SVS sub is great and can be easily adjusted and integrated in to my system with a simple twist of a knob on the rear panel. I will of course use the MCACC but we'll see if I end up keeping the settings. I was intrigued by the D3 amps. Those familiar with B&K know that it's a beast of an AVR and runs extremely hot. The Pioneer was among the coolest running AVR's I tested.
     
  16. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was mostly a features/value thing. Onkyo's are tough to beat at street prices. $599 is a pretty good price for the 1522 but you don't get Pioneer's warranty from Costco.

    But I'm also a fan of Pioneer's. I've had several Pioneer's/Elites over the last few years. 1014, VSX-94, VSX-03, VSX-23 (still have it) , SC-35, SC-27 (should have kept that one). I really like Pioneer's 6 MCACC pre-sets. And a few Onkyo/Integra's. HT-500, 805, 8.9, 70.2, 9.8. They're all good. All receivers have something to offer, it's just a matter of finding the one that has the feature you need at the right price.

    Pioneer's do run cooler. Denon's are harder to setup and operate, same with older marantz. Newer Marantz' are user-friendly but just not the same as pre-6005's. Integra was also nice (especially the 70.2) but I must have had some reason for selling it. Newer H/K's are like a Pantera. having it isn't as good as wanting it.

    I'm currently using an Elite VXS-23 (and dv58av, BDP-23) in one room and an old (but good-as-new) Adcom GF-700 and OPPO BDP-80 in another. Having an OPPO (even the 80) makes up for using a receiver without hdmi 1.3 (the 700 is a video switcher).

    BTW, I didn't notice any difference in sound quality with an SC vs. a regular class D pioneer. Louder yes, but not better. That's why I sold the SC-35 and kept the vsx-23.

    Again, just the ramblings of yet another knucklehead on the internet :rolleyes: .
     
  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    "are like a Pantera. having it isn't as good as wanting it."

    I know many things that fit in that explanation... :D
     
  18. cindrella

    cindrella New Member

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