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Upgrading my receiver, will I be able to hear a difference?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Matt_Smi


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Posted May 22 2004 - 05:00 AM

I am looking to spend around $500 on a new receiver sometime this summer. It will be replacing my Sony STR-DE545 that I paid $300 for over three years ago. I am looking at the Yamaha RX-V650 or HTR-5760, and will also be checking out the new models that Onkyo and Denon will have out this summer. But once I get my new receiver will I be able to hear a difference? I am assuming I should, since my new receiver will have better DAC’s and a better amplifier section. My front speakers are older floor standing Advents, and even though my Sony is rated at 100 watts per channel I doubt it is putting that out so it may be under-powering the speakers. I have noticed that when I put my receiver up really loud the speakers get very harsh sounding, esp. with music, this is only when really loud and almost near the receivers max volume though, and at normal to moderatly loud volume they sounds fine. I don’t know if this is just my speakers or the receiver or a combination of both. Anyway I think that it would suck to spend $500 and hear no improvement, but I am sure that I should be able to.

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Paul S

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Posted May 22 2004 - 05:13 AM

It is highly doubtful that you will notice any difference.

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko


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Posted May 22 2004 - 05:39 AM

Well each reciever will sound different which is something to remember. Personally I find Sony to make a very crummy reciever, until you get up to there more expensive end in the 1000 range. Yamaha makes a decent reciever, but they aren't my first pick. If you don't mind looking around some good brands are such as Onkyo, Harman/Kardon, Yamaha, Panasonic, etc. I personally love Harman/Kardon, there product is very solid and works very well. Take a look around, Harman also has a very pleasing look to it. For $500 you can definantly get a nice reciever, much better than your Sony.

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted May 22 2004 - 05:57 AM

I imagine you will. It won't be as dramatic as changing out speakers, but it'll probably be noticeable. There is alot of room for improvememt with the lower line Sony's. Plus you'll probably pickup an extra channel or two, more inputs, and video switching if you want it. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. DJ
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#5 of 18 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko


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Posted May 22 2004 - 08:34 AM

Also I have an older Sony that kind of still works, the back channels are blown (under normal use) and I must say I agree that they are very harsh sounding when up loud.

#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Yogi



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Posted May 22 2004 - 09:20 AM

You probably won't notice any difference esp in multichannel performance.
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#7 of 18 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 22 2004 - 06:35 PM

I would like to think a $500 Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, etc. would show an improvement in sound over a three year old $300 Sony, not to mention better flexibility and many, many more features. I think it would be a good investment. And if it isn't, return it. BTW, I have an Aiwa DV-75, an H/K 520 and an Onkyo HT-500 and aside from more features/flexibilities, the H/K and Onkyo also sound much cleaner and louder at higher volumes, even though the Aiwa claims more wpc (which it doesn't have). All this is IMO of course.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
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#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Wayne Ernst

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Posted May 22 2004 - 11:49 PM

Matt, Differences will be noticed - but, most would be subtle. Such as: - I'm not sure which subwoofer and speakers you're running, but a new receiver will give you a built-in crossover so you can properly manage the bass that gets sent to your sub. - A new receiver will give you more control over your video switching - if you care about having the receiver do such tasks. - A new receiver will provide you with pre-outs (if the receiver is equipped with them) allowing you to connect an external amp if more power is desired down the road. - Finally, a new receiver such as the Yamaha, will give you the capabiliity of using DSPs to change the sound you are hearing, if you desire to make such changes.
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#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Thomas Willard

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Posted May 23 2004 - 01:02 AM

You have identified the results you are expecting in an upgrade, which is always the first step in deciding if an upgrade is worthwhile or just to have the satisfaction of having a newer component on the shelf in front of you. I would strongly urge you to get a receiver that offers external input and output so that you have the capability of adding separate amps to power your speakers. A new receiver may have a better power supply and hence better output, but you may need to get separates if you like to run your music at higher volume levels and your speakers are not very efficient. I just got a Denon 2803 and in comparing the sound to the older Kenwood VR 509 I gave to my nephew, the difference in sound quality is not greatly noticeable. You may want to reconsider your price range and look for something at the $800 to $1K level.

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Matt_Smi


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Posted May 23 2004 - 11:07 AM

Some good differing views here, I could try to buy the receiver at my local Tweeter, Cambridge Soundworks or circuit city, so if I am not satisfied with it I can return it, but most of the good prices are online and retuning online is a hassle. I guess I could also buy from a store, decide if I like it and if I do then order it offline and return the other one to the store. I defiantly want a receiver with pre-outs for adding an external amp. Even if I currently have no plans for adding one, it’s always good to have options down the road, and after some time if I was no longer satisfied with the amp in the receiver, I could just add a separate amp and use the receiver as a pre-amp/tuner instead of replacing the whole thing, correct? The Yamaha’s that I am looking at have pre-outs and I am hoping that the new Onkyo and Denon models that fit my budget will as well, as the current ones (Onkyo 601 and Denon 1804) do not have pre-outs. But I want to wait and see what the newer models offer before I jump on the Yamaha. The new units may offer more or nothing over the Yamaha, but maybe the Yamaha will drop in price a little by then, so IMO its best to wait for now as I don’t need a new receiver right this moment. I would love to be able to have the cash to drop around 1k on a receiver, but that is not really an option. Anyway even if I don’t hear much of a difference, it will be nice to have a receiver that does component switching, has more than 3 digital inputs, has an adjustable subwoofer crossover, as I believe that the Sony is fixed at a certain frequency, not to mention all the other nice features that a new receiver will offer.

#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Marty Neudel

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Posted May 24 2004 - 07:35 PM

>I have noticed that when I put my receiver up really loud the speakers get very harsh sounding< Matt, this indicates a strong possibility that your speakers are driving the amps close to (or possibly into) clipping. If this is the case, then a more powerful set of amps (new or used) should make a noticible difference in sound. Not to mention the fact that this kind of distortion can damage speakers. On the speaker front, most Boston Acoustic floor standing speakers have been exceptional performers over the years. Most likely, an improvement in this area would require a large cash outlay. Again, all this is generalization based of the few facts you have given. But, the type of distortion you mention does raise a warning flag. Marty

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   CalvinCarr


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Posted May 24 2004 - 10:47 PM

I too have the 545 and have been using it for 4 years. What I did and am doing is holding off until I can get the real goods. I'm looking in the $4k range.I'm thinking about the Outlaw products that sem to have a good value/performance. If it's been o.k. until now and you can save for a year I would wait until you can get what you really really want. It's tough but be patient. There has been several times I just wanted to throw down my visa but waited.

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

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Posted May 25 2004 - 01:25 AM

C'mon guys. He said he has a Sony DE-545 receiver that is OVER 3 years old...YES, he is going to hear a difference.
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#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Matt_Smi


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Posted May 25 2004 - 05:18 AM

Ha-ha, I really hope so and would do not see why I would not, Sony’s DE receivers are always criticized for sounding crappy, so it would not make sense if there was no change with a Yamaha, Onkyo or Denon.

#15 of 18 OFFLINE   CalvinCarr


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Posted May 25 2004 - 06:43 AM

Honestly Matt if you are in college don't even worry about an upgrade. I know it's hard to do but there are plenty of other things you can do with the money. But after college...Posted Image

#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Mike Keith

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Posted May 25 2004 - 07:48 AM

Why not go for a used component, there is a lot to choose from around $500. I just upgraded and am about to sell my Sony TA-E9000ES for around $500 (MSRP around $1700), I'm sure many others that have upgraded will let go of their old units for a good price.

#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Tabish



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Posted May 25 2004 - 01:57 PM

I have little suggestion for, before buy any receiver go to BB or CC and try a panasonic xr50, they have 30 days return policy, check that receiver you might like it and its not very expensive, I replaced my Pioneer 811s with it, and let me tell you this there is a huge difference in both music and movies.

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   NoahD



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Posted May 25 2004 - 03:08 PM

If you spent $500 on better speakers then you'd hear a difference! Except for some DSP's (which you might never ever use) there probably won't be a huge difference. 3 years isn't that old. Improvements in the DACs (if any) will be difficult if not impossible to hear with out very critcal listening or good speakers. 2 cents
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