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Help on selecting HT receiver.

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 01 2003 - 08:17 AM

Hello all:
I am looking to buy a good receiver for building my first 5.1 home theater. I have looked/listened at various speakers and have been very impressed with Paradigm speakers.

My choice of speakers is
Monitor 7 - Left/Right
CC-370 - Center
Titans - Surround

PDR-10 - Sub

I have read that I should buy a warm reciever for Paradigm speakers and after reading this forum and other places and matching with my price range, I have the following choices.

Pinoeer Elite VSX-47TX - Available for 1700$
Marantz SR9200 - Available for 1900$ (I think it is factory refurbished ).
Harman Kardon AVR 8000 - Available for 1400$

I would like advice as to which receiver will be better value and a better match for my speaker system. Any other receiver in that range is also fine.

Thanks in advance for the help.

#2 of 12 ChadLB



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Posted March 01 2003 - 12:19 PM

If you are spending that much money on a receiver you should almost consider seperates...

#3 of 12 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 02 2003 - 04:12 AM

Hi Chad,

At this point I think I would like to stick with an integrated solution. I have read in this forum that separates are much better.. but I think it will cost me more than my current budget (which already is a bit much Posted Image ) .. Thanks

#4 of 12 JohnSer


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Posted March 02 2003 - 05:17 AM

I am not a Denon owner, but would add that brand to your evaluation list. The 3803 is certainly in your price range, and possibly a 480X from a not-authorized dealer.

I am not familiar with your speakers (I build my own), but Paradigm, has gotten good press here. If that sub is only a 10" driver, consider dropping down a level in the receiver, and use the $ to get a good 12" sub. The extra effects output will make a noticble difference vs the small impact between the next lower level receiver. Look at SVS. Again, good press here. I use two 12" subs(Shiva and PE DVC) for HT, one is fine when just listening to music.


#5 of 12 ChadLB



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Posted March 02 2003 - 07:55 AM

You can get the new outlaw combo 950/7100 for 1698 + shipping. I would take that combo over the Marantz anyday.
The pioneer elite is a great receiver but I think the outlaw would still sound better.

#6 of 12 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 02 2003 - 02:04 PM

Hi chad, Thanks for the input. I was reading about the
outlow combo you mentioned and I am finding more and more drawn towards. Thanks again for your advice.

#7 of 12 ChadLB



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Posted March 03 2003 - 01:57 AM

I don't know much about the HK you listed the Pioneer and Marantz are not bad receivers but I would think twice before buying and do research to see what you want out of a receiver.
I don't own an outlaw - only wish I did - but I bet for the money it would sound better than the marantz or Pioneer. The key thing I have learned from being on this forum is that figure out what you want from a reciever than ask questions or demo one yourself. Also seperates seem to be the way to go since the amp is always usable. I myself will probably be adding a amp to my current Pioneer 811. I did some testing recently with a parasound that was only 75 * 2 and there was noticeable difference in sound between the onboard and the parasound. This way I don't have to change my whole set up...Just add a 5 channel parasound amp.
Plus if you don't like the outlaw....return it within the 30 day trial period...you can't pass that up. Yes the outlaw may not look the best since it has that grayish tank look to it but from reading reviews and what not it seems to be a great piece of equipment.

#8 of 12 JamieS


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Posted March 03 2003 - 03:26 AM

I have nearly an identical speaker setup except I have Atoms in the rear and Pw2200 sub VS the PDR 10.

I used to have a pDR 12.

I am driving mine with a Denon 1603 and it works decentley. If you are NOT going to spring forseparates I would seriously consider chopping a few hundred off you reciver budget (unless there are features you HAVE to have) and spend it on a Pw 2200 or other sub.

If you buy a 1200 or 1300 reciever instead maybe you have 5 WPC less but having a 12 inch sub with a 275 w amp over a 10 inch one with a 100w amp is going to lessen the load on your reciever and front speakers enough so you won't notice the 5 wpc diffenence but you syre will notice the differnce in the sub going 5-10 HZ lower.

If you are happy with the SUB and are still going to buy something in $1700 range I'd go with the separates but that is just me.

#9 of 12 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 03 2003 - 06:14 AM

Ok. I will move to 12'' sub. The reason I selected a 10'' sub was because the monitor 7s had a decent bass performance and assumed that I would not need more bass for movies.. guess I am wrong.

Here is what I want from the setup. Even thought good movie performance is a need, I definitely want very good music performance cause I have a big collection of CD. Also, since I will start getting SACD and DVD-A, bass management is a definite need.

With most receivers boasting good movie performance, I see that not all have a good music perf.

I was reading about outlaw combo and my worry was that some people said that the music performance is not that great. That is a worrying factor and I cant even go and audition it. So, I am wondering if I should get it and check and then return If I am not satisfied.

Here where I stand now.
Marantz 9200
- Great Audio and Video perf
- 7 channel amplification
- RS 232 port for upgrade
- Bass management..not that good
- THX ultra certified
- looks great Posted Image
- costs 1899 (Factory refurb with warranty)

Outlaw 950/7100 combo (What I read off the net)
- Great Video perf
- Ok Audio perf
- Bass management
- Upgradeable (processor alone if req at a later time)
- Looks pretty dull indeed
- Not THX ultra certified
- Costs 1698 with warranty

Pioneer elite 47TX (Very very impressive receiver) is out of contention cause I couldnt find one that costs less that 2400$ with warranty (Way too much for my budget)

Therefore, If I confirm for sure that the seperates are atleast as good in audio as the marantz, then I will get the seperated.

Another question:
does THX post postprocessing improves performance a lot??
Should this be an issue in selecting the setup?

Thanks a lot for all the input.

#10 of 12 MikeMcGrew


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Posted March 03 2003 - 02:46 PM

My best friend has an HK 8000 with an Axiom setup (M80's and QS8 surrounds, the VP 150 center is killer with DVD Audio vocals and a paradigm sub ( I think it's the 2200)) and it is probably one of the most musical setups that I've heard in a long time (without being seperated). The smaller Axioms can be a little bright from what I've heard but that really is a matter of taste. I personally like a little "light" in my music. It sounds cleaner to me. The HK's seem to have a very "musical" reputation and are also known for being very accurate as far as their power ratings are concerned. Plenty of HT/Video options too. You mentioned a "warmer" sounding receiver. I don't think the HK fills this want though. Also said to be a little "bright". I have auditioned a few different receivers and I really can't tell that much difference in sounds from the receivers themselves. It's when I play with the settings and the speaker setups that I notice the most difference. Please understand though, I am very much a novice and only offer a humble personal opinion. I do not claim to know what I am talking about officially Posted Image My next receiver purchase will almost definitely be an HK (my price range is much more limited than yours is though). I am just waiting to hear the new digital path receivers before I commit (or am committed!) Good Luck. Mike M.

#11 of 12 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted March 03 2003 - 04:04 PM

I would look at the Sony 4ES or 7ES since bass management is on your list of wants... they have pretty much the best bass management of any receivers on the market. They also have very strong amplifier sections. They may be a bit bright to match w/ the monitor series though, depending on the sound you're looking for.

Another VERY viable option to look at would be a Sony 4ES matched up with a Outlaw 7100 amp, or even a capable 5ch amp and let the receiver power the back surrounds. The 4ES/7100 combo would run around $1500 and would leave $$ for the sub upgrade as well. Also think about starting off with a $6-800 receiver then adding an amp on down the road if you feel the need... that's my plan... my 4ES should be here in a few days and I may add amps later on this summer if i feel the need... i'm currently running 3 matched Paradigm 3ES MK3s (predecessors to the current monitor 3s)in the front, Mini MK3s (predecessors to the Mini Monitors) on the side and Titans in the back.

Hope this helps Posted Image

#12 of 12 Raj Kumar

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Posted March 04 2003 - 01:57 AM

Thanks for all the input. I thought I had looked at most of available options but now I have more options than I started out with (Which is great). I will be reading more about these products before deciding to go with seperates or high end receiver or a mid range receiver with seperate amp Posted Image . The best part about buying these things is the research and getting deals!!