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Which receiver? Need Help...


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidLim

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Posted July 11 2006 - 04:57 PM

Hey all,
I'm about to graduate from grad school and enter medical school and I recently got married. So I have lots to celebrate about Posted Image. I want to purchase a new receiver (I have an old Sony STR-D990). However, I don't have much in funds since I'm also about to invest in a house. I want to spend around $500 (+/- $200) on a receiver that will tie me over for 4-6 years (expected time to graduate med school).

For the house, we don't know the size of the living area yet but it will range from 16x23 to 17x17. For speakers I currently have:

Fronts: Athena AS-F2's
Center: Athena AS-C1
Rears: Axiom M3's
Sub: (still need to purchase)

For my theater use I plan to have 70/30 (Movies/Music), but the musical sound is still greatly important to me. I was raised on classical music (and enjoy lots of jazz) so my ears appreciate the warmer sounds of classical.

I'm not expecting anything up-to-date and am not expecting to use HDMI. Therefore, I don't need to wait for HDMI 1.3 to come out. I'm especially interested in the Marantz/ Denon line (like the Marantz 7500). Before getting married I was going for HK receivers because of the cool blue volume knob Posted Image, but decided against it after hearing about all of the bugs HK has had problems dealing with.

I'm not well versed in all of the different surround sound formats (still learning) or what technologies a $500 receiver will limit me too. I'm also unsure where I should be looking as far as the Denon lines are concerned.

Any help addressing my concerns would be greatly appreciated. I also do not mind alternate suggestions for receivers. Overall, I'm looking for a receiver that will tie me over until I graduate and one that will drive my current speaker setup well.

Thank you to the gurus and the not-so-gurus Posted Image that offer me advice.

David

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted July 11 2006 - 06:21 PM

Hi David - a great entry level receiver from Denon at your pricepoint would be an AVR-1706 or AVR-1906, I've been very impressed with both models! If you purchase from a Hifi store, you may be able to eventually trade this model up towards an AVR-2807 or AVR-3806.

You'll also want to check out the Yamaha RX-V659.

Enjoy!

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   PhilMays

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Posted July 11 2006 - 10:38 PM

Good suggestions. If you like your music on the warmer side you may want to consider the Debob as some folks say the Yamaha can be bright. I've owner both brands however I like the bright Yamaha for my needs more.

Congrats! Big life changes....let's see...in terms of stress points....graduated, going back to school, married, buying a home, CHOOSING A RECIEVER! holy cow! It's all down hill from here Posted Image

Phil

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidLim

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Posted July 12 2006 - 06:52 AM

Down hill?!? Right now I'm enjoying the climb up and looking for that beautiful view :o). whew.

I only see subtle differences between the Denon (debob Posted Image?) 1706 vs 1906 vs the 2106. Any reasons why I would pick a 2106 over a 1906?

Also are there any opinions about Marantz 7500 compared to this line of Denons? I've heard that they sound similar since Denon owns Marantz, but I haven't had a chance to go listen to a Marantz before.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 12 2006 - 07:33 AM

Denon does not own Marantz, a holding company owns both, as well as a few other big names. They do not sound like one another either.

Marantz is my choice for what you are trying to do, though I think the 7500 is well out of the league of even the 2106 - you'd want to look at the 5600. It is easier to find deals on the Denons though. I've owned the B1s and ran them with my PM7200 integrated amp, and they still sounded a bit bright, so the receiver alone isn't going to tame any brightness. The midrange and bass on these speakers is quite impressive for the price though.

I would pick a 2106 over a 1906 because it has more power, and that is never a bad thing, even if it is only 10-20wpc. Many say that is not much difference, but you will definitely notice it if you don't have enough power... Generally as you move up the food chain, you get a few more watts, and a few more features, growing more significantly as you move up. You should be able to do a side by side compare at Denon's site and see exactly what differences there are.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#6 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidLim

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Posted July 12 2006 - 08:13 AM

Yep. I've been eyeing the reconditioned Marantz 7500 from accessories4less.com for 649.99. I'm also considering the 5600.

I compared the 7500 to the 5600 via the website and the differences include M.R.A.C., THx receiver, 5600 has HDCD decoder, 7500 is software upgradeable, Speaker A/B, and Wattage seemed like the major differences.

HDCD doesn't seem very important now-a-days (w/ DVD-A and SACD). I think I could benefit from MRAC and the extra wattage is always nice (as John pointed out) Posted Image. So between the Marantzes I'm leaning towards the 7500. And between the Denon's I'm leaning towards the 2106. Now I have to go out to the dealers and listen to 'em.

If the speakers are the cause of a brighter sound then I have no choice but to live with it. I don't plan to make a new speaker purchase Posted Image.

THanks for the help, and if anybody has more advice I would greatly like to hear it.

David

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 12 2006 - 09:26 AM

The 7500 is a pretty big step up from the 5600, so I'd stretch the budget for that one. If brightness is an issue, the MRAC may help with that as well. I have an 8300 and I still love it Posted Image
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#8 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidLim

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Posted July 13 2006 - 04:03 AM

So I've been reading about HDMI 1.3 and the more I read the more interesting it becomes. I need to upgrade my current receiver, so I'm going to lean towards something more budget-sound like the 2106 (unless I really don't like the sound, which I doubt). After I graduate from medical school, they'd better get this HDMI and blu-ray/hd-dvd thing straight Posted Image.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted July 13 2006 - 04:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLim
So I've been reading about HDMI 1.3 and the more I read the more interesting it becomes. I need to upgrade my current receiver, so I'm going to lean towards something more budget-sound like the 2106 (unless I really don't like the sound, which I doubt). After I graduate from medical school, they'd better get this HDMI and blu-ray/hd-dvd thing straight Posted Image.
Hi David - there are no receivers on the market yet that support HDMI 1.3 - at the very earliest they will be out by fall/winter. At most, this may mean support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

For an entry-level HDMI-capable receiver, take a look at the Denon AVR-2807, or the Yamaha RX-V1600.

But don't worry if your reciever is HDMI 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 compliant. Here is what the Marketing Group at HDMI Licensing said in an interview last week:

Quote:
CD: Should consumers pay attention to the different versions of HDMI?

SV: It is true that many consumers are confused by different versions of HDMI, but this is something that consumers should really not worry about. I advise consumers to never focus on the specific version of HDMI, but rather, on the feature set of the device, such as 1080p capability, DVD-Audio support, etc.

In fact, looking for the version of HDMI supported in a product does not mean that all the latest features possible from the specification are actually implemented in the product. So again, the key is for consumers to seek the feature, not the specification.

Since we are in a stage of incredible technical innovation in home theater equipment, HDMI also evolves to support new technologies. HDMI 1.0 was launched in December 2002, and since then, HDMI has added capabilities ahead of the market so that when components come out with specific new functionalities, the HDMI connection can support that new functionality.

Source: http://www.electroni....mi_basics.html


#10 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidLim

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Posted July 13 2006 - 04:34 AM

I should have noted that I'm leaning for a budget receiver without HDMI that will hold me over until after I graduate. By then I'm hoping that the full potential of HDMI will be realized.

Thanks for the link too. I'm going to read through it right now.

The Denon 2807 is a little out of my price range at the moment, though. The 2807 was the original receiver I had my sight on, but then I figured that I might as well save my money for the future.

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   BillSuneson

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Posted July 13 2006 - 05:37 AM

David,

Congrats on everything, I know you mentioned looking at the Denon/Marantz/Yamaha receivers, but the one big one (that you can get some great deals on) that was left out is Onkyo. Look into their 803 receiver, it can be had for 499.00 and is hard to beat feature and sound wise. It has received alot of great reviews and for the price it will be hard to beat.

Bill





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