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Help an old person

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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 glen harwell

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Posted March 20 2003 - 11:32 PM

I bought a Harmon Kardon AVR20 about 7 years ago. Salesman sold me that and speakers and no subwoofer and I was in the surround sound business. Problem is we moved six months later and left the bookshelf speakers with house and haven't hooked up since. I want to get the system working. Have the receiver, Pinnacle center, DCM fronts. Just bought a DCM 1515 subwoofer and am looking at Klipsch SS1 or RS3 surrounds. Saw another salesman last night and he said I needed a new receiver to do it right. Is this true and if so can you recommend a brand and model that will get this all to work. Thanks from a technically challenged old dude.

#2 of 14 ColinM



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Posted March 21 2003 - 12:04 AM

Probably don't NEED a new rec, but it'd be a big upgrade to go to Dolby digital. Biggest thing with an older rec is to be sure it has a sub rca pre-out.

If you like the HK, try the 325 or higher. Denon is popular as well.

Do you have a DVD player?
You call that a knife?

#3 of 14 glen harwell

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Posted March 21 2003 - 01:49 AM

I do have a Toshiba with 2 slots that is 3 years old/ I will start looking for the HK and Denon receivers as an upgrade. Will read opinions here. Thanks.

#4 of 14 Ralph Summa

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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:09 AM

Need is very strong word, as my wife says whenever I try to upgrade equipment. Posted Image I have an AVR20II that I have retired to the basement for 2 channel stereo use. It's a quality receiver but it does not process the newer surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro Logic II nor DTS. This, as well as the fact that it sends low power to the surrounds (25 Watts per channel) was the reason I upgraded. I could never get get really good sound to the rear channels. I thought about adding a pre-amp or processor, but it was pretty much a wash to upgrade. I just bought my Dad, who is a technologically challenged 76 year-old, a Sony receiver (model STRDE865) for under $300 that processes five channels plus a sub (5.1) in Dolby Digital DTS and Dolby Pro-Logic II (DPL II). DPL II does wonders for for regular TV, cable or Satellite audio. The newer HK models also have "Logic 7" which does the same type of work as DPL II.

I hope this helps!


#5 of 14 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted March 21 2003 - 02:13 AM


As Colin mentioned, a Dolby Digital receiver gets the best from the sound tracks on a DVD. When DVD came out I resisted upgrading my Dolby Pro-Logic receiver, but I found that DVDs in Pro Logic did not sound as good as video tapes in Pro-Logic.

That said, Glen I suppose whether or not you upgrade really depends on whether or not you have a DVD player. If all you’re interested in is videotapes, you may as well keep your old receiver.

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#6 of 14 Jack Briggs

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Posted March 21 2003 - 04:53 AM

Glen, if your budget allows for it, I'd upgrade to a receiver that can process the newer multichannel formats. And, yes, do you have a DVD player?

#7 of 14 Earl Simpson

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Posted March 21 2003 - 06:26 AM

Us old people need to help these young guys. I remember frying bacon on amplifiers and the grease dripping down through the case, and it never shorted out because it was hand wired.Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
SHARP 52" 1080P
Sony 46" 1080PPhillips 32" LCDSony 333ESSony PS3Toshiba A2Panasonic ES46VComputer Video card feed over HDMIetp

#8 of 14 Marty Neudel

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Posted March 21 2003 - 08:01 AM

>I remember frying bacon on amplifiers<

do you still have the meter radio shack used to sell for measuring your amp's cholesterol count?


#9 of 14 Doug Brewster

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Posted March 22 2003 - 12:29 AM


Old person??? I think I meet that criteria, but not compared to Ralph's Dad.

Here's my input:

Upgrade. The home theater improvements are obvious. You will hear it immediately if you play a DVD with Dolby Digital or DTS. Both are outstanding, but I think DTS is superior.
If you liked the old HK and you are listening to alot of music, then you'll like the new HK (325 or 525). You could also find a 320 or 520 out there and save some money. The difference is that the '25 series comes with 7 channels of power...
For pure home theater, Denon is hard to beat. The amps are not as robust, but you have a subwoofer and might not miss anything. They make good stuff from $300 up. You'd probably be better off with a little more than an entry level receiver, so the 1803 ($500) might be a good place to start looking.
Of course ALL major manufacturers have similar prices for similar features and it just depends on what you are willing to pay and what you want. The choice is generally a matter of preference. Actually Panasonic has a receiver available that is talked about around here as a good entry level model - the HE100. You can usually find it available for around $280. It is really well-reviewed...but I didn't like it, although the next one down (HE70) was perfect for a friend of mine...
Which brings up the most pertinent point: listen to whatever you are going to buy. It's best to listen to it through YOUR equipment because some receivers will sound much better or worse on some speakers, DVD players, etc. What you like and what you hear are different than what someone else will like and/or hear.
Just make sure you know who you're buying from and use an authorized dealer. If not, there will be no warranty and these electronics tend to have "bad batches" which call for replacement...
But definitely upgrade to DD, DTS, and Prologic II. A world of difference...Even to Old People.

Turn It UP!

#10 of 14 glen harwell

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Posted March 22 2003 - 03:15 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I went to a local store and listened to all plus sat on a box with chairs on top and got totally seasick watching the boat in Jurassic Park! The salesman thought I was joking when I asked him about the receiver with the hot plate and pan optionPosted Image I am looking at the Denon 2803 and Klipsch SS1 surrounds. I was going to look at e-bay but if you read the feedback it looks like some scammers working there so I am going to buy local.I am also considering the Denon 1600 for DVD. Are the RS3 Klipsch surrounds way better than the SS1s? Has anyone bought one of those computerized boxes to sit on? Only $23000 and feels like you are there but can't imagine that kind of dough.

#11 of 14 Ricky T

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Posted March 22 2003 - 04:06 AM

I don't think the Harman Kardon Ebay store would be a scam. They sell HK, Infinity, JBL, and Citation electronics and speakers. With full warranty on both Astock and Bstock. Most auctions have no reserve with very reasonable flat shipping fees. You can easily bid on the HK receiver of your choice.

The Citation 5.3 and 7.3 dipoles are very, very good rear speakers and used to retail $1100 and $2200 per pair. They are going for 20-25% of retail..yes, ~ $200 and $400 per pair! If you click on "Citation" you'll see three auctions ending within 3 hours of my post!


#12 of 14 Doug Brewster

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Posted March 23 2003 - 08:53 PM


While I wouldn't disagree that the HK store at ebay is reliable, I saw some prices equal to or more than the products were closing out for (new) at other authorized sites.

Buying local is never a bad idea for us old folks who want to be able to get face to face assistance. Sometimes, if you will print out an Internet dealer's price, you can get a local store manager to match it (or come close). Try

for the HK 525. I think they email you a quote. They are an HK authorized dealer. I'm not sure who (is authorized and) sells Denon at a discount. You have to check their website to see their authorized Internet dealers. I've not known of any of these to sell for less than list, but I gave up early and went with HK. That situation is a whole other story (and you can get it by reading this link):


I am actually now quite leery of what happens in shipping
and believe it's another reason to buy local. Having said that, it doesn't mean I wouldn't try it again. Nor does any of this mean that HK is the only answer - just the best one for my needs/price. I'm quite happy with the HK 520, but would have really loved the 525 if things had worked out.

Turn It UP!

#13 of 14 Phil*K


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Posted March 24 2003 - 10:56 AM

I usually prefer to buy my equipement locally, but wouldn't have any problem buying from Harmanaudio's ebay store. I agree with you Doug that some of their Buy it Now prices are a bit steep, but if you bid great deals can be had.

But like you, Doug, I alway get a little nervous with shipping. If something goes wrong its a real pain to return the product. Besides I like instant gradifacation Posted Image


#14 of 14 Doug Brewster

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Posted March 24 2003 - 08:33 PM


I don't need instant gratification as long as I can have it right away.Posted Image

Turn It UP!