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Pioneer/Onkyo/Yamaha upgrade opinions


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Adult Beverage

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Posted December 18 2006 - 04:20 AM

Looking to upgrade an old Yamaha receiver that only has Dolby ProLogic. I'm looking at the following receivers and would appreciate any input, pros/cons, reviews, etc. to help me decide. All are approximately the same price, just want the right one.

1. Pioneer VSX-1016TX

2. Onkyo TXSR604

3. Yamaha HTR-5950BL

Currently have 2 year old Sony DVD player, 7 year old VCR, Dish Network soon to be upgraded to Time Warner Cable digital (and probably HD), and 8 year old Sony CRT TV (soon to be upgraded to HDTV in next 6 mos.), and Polk 5.1 speakers. Not sure what Time Warner will give me for cable box to know what inputs (component/DVI/HDMI) needed on receiver.

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted December 18 2006 - 04:54 AM

The Pioneer 1016 gets my vote, this model is basically a re-badged Pioneer Elite (with a few less features)

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Leigh_M

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Posted December 18 2006 - 05:07 AM

I haven't used any of the receivers in your list, however, I've used some that are close. I own/owned the Pioneer VSX-1014, Yamaha RX-V630, Onkyo TSX500 (not sure on the model, it was with a HTIB system). All are nice receivers, but IMHO each has different strengths. I have a hard time commenting on the Onkyo, because I used it with different (not as good) speakers. I did think it was a nice unit, just not as detailed as the other two. Again, this was impacted by the speakers. the other two were used on the exact same HT set-up. Each was used with Boston Acoustics CR series with an SVS sub. I would describe the Boston CRs as neutral to laid back.

The Pioneer by far had the most features. The auto set-up was nice, but I think I do a better job with my meter. In theory, this receiver has the most power, however, in my real world system the yamaha had more head room. I think the pioneer did the best with dialog, but fell way short on music and soundtracks. After using the Pioneer for two weeks, I took it out and put the Yamaha back. I just wasn't willing to give up the music/soundtrack performance of the yamaha.

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 18 2006 - 07:45 AM

I would make sure the reciever has plenty of HDMI conections for HD sources. I would make sure I had at least 2 to 3 HDMI inputs. Now depending on if you will be buying a 1080p display with HDMI 1.3 or not? And if you are planing to purchase HD-DVD or Blu-ray as well? You might want to put off your reciever purchase until the last half of 07'. At that point with HDMI 1.3 you can run multiple HD sources through your reciever and not have to worry about running out of multi-channel analog inputs. The reciever will be a big part of how good your HT sounds and is second to your speakers. I would actually recomend a reciever that cost more money as they would do a better job and offer more bang for the buck IMHO. Thats not to say that the lower cost models can not do the job!

I have a Yamaha RX-V995 myself and am planing on replacing it next year but am looking to spend $1,500 - $3,000. My next purchase will be the Panasonic BD-10 Blu-ray player. I might put it off until the 2nd gen player is available with HDMI 1.3. If I was in the market for a reciever in the $500 range I would recomend the Pioneer or Yamaha. Granted if you moved up in price range I would recomend the Denon as there less exspensive models do not have HDMI 1080p switching. Pioner Elite is another good quality peice even though they might have a few less features than there standard Pioneer counterparts. I feel the audio/video quality more than makes up for the options difference. I use my Yamaha with a commercial set of Altec Lancing Voice Of The Theater A-7 speakers and it has worked nicely. Its just time to upgrade and get something that is superior in audio/video quality. I really like what is offered in the mid level recievers in the $1500 to $3k range. While it would be great to have a flagship reciever at my current income its not going to happen. Otherwise I would be looking at brands like flagship Denon, Adcom, Sunfire and McIntosh. Its all about how good you want it to how much you are going to spend. And I allways recomend getting the best you possible can afford. Even if you have to save up a little to get it! Posted Image

As far as the difference of Pioneer vs Pioneer Elite goes. IMHO I would choose the Pioneer Elite over the standard Pioneer. Better quality amplifiers and better quality of components is worth it. IMHO thats what you are getting when you buy an Elite component vs the standard Pioneer. You might not get all the features of the standard Pioneer line but the Elite is going to have better quality.

Are you going to purchase HD-DVD or Blu-ray? If so take that in cosideration when choosing a reciever.
Supporter of 1080p & 4K video / Supporter of Lossless PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio / Say No To MP3 & WMA / Say no to Bose & LG!
 

 


#5 of 11 OFFLINE   orestes

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Posted December 18 2006 - 11:08 AM

Pioneer gets my vote too.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted December 18 2006 - 01:23 PM

In the $500ish price-range I'd look at a refurbished Onkyo SR803 from Ecost for $535. It's a much higer end unit even if one model year old. It does true HDMI switching/repeating where the Pioneer 1016TX and Onkyo SR604 just act as passthrough switches. The Yamaha 5950 lacks HDMI entirely and is only 6.1.

If you like Yamaha you can pick up the HTR-5990 w/ 7.1 and HDMI for $550 refurbished from www.electrified.com (they rank pretty highly on resellerrating.com). It's the mass-market version of the Yamaha RX-V1600.

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   ToddJ

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Posted December 30 2006 - 04:55 AM

What is the difference between HDMI switching and passthrough? Is the video quality the same? and I am guessing passthrough won't upconvert the video, is that true?

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted December 30 2006 - 05:37 AM

Passthrough won't upconvert analog sources to HDMI, it won't scale sources to a higher resolution, and it won't read audio (most importantly LPCM) from the HDMI. This is very important for HD-DVD and BluRay players and getting the best audio from them.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   mikieson

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Posted December 30 2006 - 07:01 AM

I have been a Pioneer man since about 1990. I love them. But I also like Onkyo a lot too.

And honestly, I dont care about having a ton of hookups. For the most part its not all needed. You can go through your tv for hdmi and just run sound to the receiver as normal....

Good luck.
About me..Im a gamer, I workout, I love music and movies. I reallly like BASS IN MY FACE!!!....Im crazy, fun, silly , and make people pee their pants..lol...I think I just did!

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted December 30 2006 - 07:41 AM

Running HDMI to the TV and sound to the receiver has a few of drawbacks... most TVs right now only have one HDMI input, so if you have multiple HDMI sources (HD-DVD player, PS3, HDTV box) then you're SOL.

Also next-generation-disc sources like BluRay and HD-DVD have next-generarion sound formats that are decoded in the player and only passed via either HDMI or 6ch analog inputs. HDMI offers the advantage over 6ch analog here because the receiver almost always has better DACs than the player.

The third and possibly least importand for some but most important for others is that HDMI offers a single cable solution if implemented fully on the receiver.

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   mikieson

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Posted December 30 2006 - 10:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins
Running HDMI to the TV and sound to the receiver has a few of drawbacks... most TVs right now only have one HDMI input, so if you have multiple HDMI sources (HD-DVD player, PS3, HDTV box) then you're SOL.

Also next-generation-disc sources like BluRay and HD-DVD have next-generarion sound formats that are decoded in the player and only passed via either HDMI or 6ch analog inputs. HDMI offers the advantage over 6ch analog here because the receiver almost always has better DACs than the player.

The third and possibly least importand for some but most important for others is that HDMI offers a single cable solution if implemented fully on the receiver.

I think my problem is..Im just not a believer in HDMI yet. I dont know if I will be...

Maybe if I had the money and time to invest in all the greatest hypes I might get into more.

I got my first Pioneer Elite 52tx last year and I like it. But I also have a 1990ish Pioneer 9700S I bought new and I still love it. Even though the lights flash and dont work half the time and the remote broke a few years back..lol

I guess im not picky anymore like I was.
About me..Im a gamer, I workout, I love music and movies. I reallly like BASS IN MY FACE!!!....Im crazy, fun, silly , and make people pee their pants..lol...I think I just did!