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receiver help


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#1 of 18 sam37

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Posted August 01 2008 - 12:00 PM

Looking to upgrade my Yamaha RX-V463 5.1 receiver. Looking in the $600 to $900 range. Local retailers sell Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon and Onkyo. Would like someone to suggest which brands they like the best and if there are any in my price range that would be any kind of upgrade to the one I currently have.

Thanks

#2 of 18 Ed Moxley

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Posted August 01 2008 - 01:13 PM

If you like Yamaha, this one would be a good upgrade for you:
Amazon.com: Yamaha RX-V863BL 735 Watt 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver: Audio & Video
It can handle the HD audio formats, found on Blu ray movies.
I'm sure it has a few other bells and whistles, your current one doesn't have. This should be good, for a few years to come.
You can get Denon and Onkyo with the HD audio handling abilities too. This is the feature to look for now days, since Blu ray is becoming so popular.
Good luck with whatever you get.
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#3 of 18 Cloud

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Posted August 01 2008 - 04:13 PM

I got the little sister to the above mentioned receiver (RX-V663) and really like it so far. If you like your current Yamaha I'm sure you will not be disappointed with any of there current lineup above and beyond the RX-V663.

#4 of 18 brandonchenry

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Posted August 02 2008 - 01:36 AM

I am hooked on Denon

#5 of 18 Brent_S

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Posted August 02 2008 - 02:12 AM

Sam, what area of performance are you hoping to upgrade? That's really the first parameter you need to define. The 463 is part of Yamaha's current model year so you've purchased it fairly recently. What is the associated equipment? Plans for a BluRay player? Anything above the 463 in a given brand's price point will likely offer you upgrades in terms of features and/or power, but it's wasted money if you don't need it. There may be better places in your system to spend the money.

-Brent

#6 of 18 sam37

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Posted August 02 2008 - 01:22 PM

Well, I guess i'm wanting better fidelity in my sound. Right now I just have my RX-V463 with a set of Paradigm Cinema 110 speakers. I am currently looking at replacing my speakers with either a Paradigm Monitor 9 set or a Klipsch Reference set (not sure yet).

The associated equipment would be just a Sharp Blu-Ray player and my HD DVR cable box, so I don't need many HDMI inputs.

I know I will probably experience a great deal of difference just upgrading my speakers from the set I have, to an actual set of floor standing speakers. The main thing I am looking at is if the receiver I have will be enough to power the speakers I am going to buy. The RX-V463 has 105W x 5, the speakers I am going to buy, i'm sure, are rated for more wattage than that. I am wondering if I need to move to a 130W/channel+ receiver in order to properly power any kind of new speakers I would buy.

I guess I need to look at what speakers I will be leaning toward before I buy a receiver. The Paradigm Monitor 9 speakers are rated at:

Suitable Amplifier Power Range 15 - 200 watts
Maximum Input Power 150 watts

and a comparable Klipsch set that I would be looking at are:

150W RMS / 600W Peak

#7 of 18 Brent_S

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Posted August 03 2008 - 03:44 AM

A speaker's recommended power range has little to nothing to do with how much power your receiver/amp needs to be capable of. The biggest indicator is the speaker's sensitivity rating and your preferred playback level. The Monitor 9s you're considering are actually more sensitive at 96 db/1w than the Cinema 110s you currently have (90 db/1w). That means the 9s actually only need 25% of the wattage to play at the same volume as the 110s. IOW, while you may perceive other sonic improvements from an upgrade, doing it for power alone is probably not the best way to spend your money if you're satisfied with the output of your current setup.

A quick scan of the Sharp BluRay player's manual suggests that it doesn't bitstream the HD codecs (or even decode internally), so there's no advantage with a receiver upgrade there given your current player. The 463 will process PCM audio via HDMI. Since you'd need to upgrade players to get TruHD/DTS-HD anyway, you could make sure to choose a player that internally decodes to LPCM, such as the PS3.

Finally, you don't mention a subwoofer in your equipment list. Even the Monitor 9s are only spec'd down to 50hz anechoic. They'll most likely go a little lower in room, but still not as low or with the same impact as a dedicated sub. You'd recognize a much bigger bang for your buck putting that $600-900 towards a quality subwoofer.

My .02.

-Brent

#8 of 18 IdontHaveAgoodUserName

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Posted August 03 2008 - 11:49 AM

the onkyo 706 is out for roughly 799 at i believe 100 watts and thx certified, havn't got to play around with it yet though, and guy above is right a sub would help give it some kick if you currently dont have one

#9 of 18 Mark Sherman

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Posted August 03 2008 - 01:20 PM

Keep the reciever and look into getting a solid 5 channel amp. You can use your Yamaha as a Pre amp whick will provide the power that you need to fore up the speakers you have. Outlaw audio comes to mind or maybe for a little more money a rotel for around a grand.



good luck and happy hunting
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#10 of 18 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted August 03 2008 - 03:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Sherman
Keep the reciever and look into getting a solid 5 channel amp. You can use your Yamaha as a Pre amp whick will provide the power that you need to fore up the speakers you have. Outlaw audio comes to mind or maybe for a little more money a rotel for around a grand.

I was going to suggest something like that earlier, but apparently, the 463 doesn't have pre-outs for that.

Anyway, if he doesn't have a sub, then I agree w/ Brent's suggestion. Otherwise, *maybe* the Yamaha 663 would be a good enough upgrade considering how efficient those Paradigm speakers are. And if he finds need for more (or better) power later, then he can consider using the receiver as a prepro w/ a separate, quality power amp (that can be had affordably in the used market). The 663 can be had for <=$400. In fact, I'm currently using just this config myself w/ my old B&K amp.

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#11 of 18 sam37

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Posted August 03 2008 - 03:54 PM

Sorry Brent, i forgot to mention that I am going to get a sub, but really guess it will be based on which brand of speakers I am going to buy. Currently, I just have the 10" sub that comes with the cinema 110 speakers, not really even sure of the power rating or specs on it since the Paradigm website doesnt give a good spec sheet on the set.

What I have been leaning toward is that if I go with the Monitor series, I'll more than likely get the DSP-3200 12" sub, if I go with the Klipsch reference speakers, it will be the RW-12 sub. I am actually going to a store tomorrow that has theater rooms with Klipsch speakers set up in them, they also carry Definative speakers, as well as Boston, so i'll give them all a listen.

I'm not really looking to upgrade my system on power basis alone, i just want cleaner, more discrete sound. My current speakers are nice, but they don't have the definition that I want. I want to kick the fidelity of my surround speakers up a notch, and thus why I am looking for a speaker upgrade. I guess becuase the speakers I am looking at are bigger, have bigger drivers in the enclosures etc...i assumed I would need more power to...drive them. I didnt realize that bigger speakers could actually be more sensitive than smaller speakers and thus not require a larger power input to make them sound good.

As far as subs go, I have heard a DSP-3200, and am going to listen to some others tomorrow. After doing some reading, it seems that sealed boxes and bandpass boxes are not quite on the quality level as ported boxes, at least that is what I am to understand. The SVS subs, while they are highly regarded, are a bit out of my price range, unless I want to get the SB12, which is a sealed box. The PB (ported box) subs are upwards of $1000, and a little more than I want to spend. I am looking in the $700 price range for a sub. I know I may not get the glass shattering bass that I could get with some of the higher end subs, but I know that whatever I get, it will be an improvement to the sub I currently have.

The Sharp Blu-Ray player I have (BD-HP20) has the "TrueHD" logo on the front, so I am assuming that in order to listen to that sound format, I would just need a receiver that has that capability, correct? The RX-V863 is one such that has the ability. I'm have thought about waiting a little longer on the receiver upgrade, saving a little more cash and going with the RX-V1800, which has pretty much all the sound formats, and is 130watt/ch.

#12 of 18 sam37

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Posted August 04 2008 - 02:24 AM

Was reading on the Klipsch website and came across this, which is what I was talking about. They recommend that you have a receiver that has enough power to supply the speakers. They say that underpowering your speakers will actually damage them more than over powering them:

Quote:
While Klipsch speakers are highly efficient and don't need a whole lot of power to drive them, you still need to purchase an amplifier/receiver that's relevant to the system you choose. After all, one of the most common causes of speaker damage is not having the right electronics to support it.


Be sure to buy at least as much power as your
speakers are rated to handle.
One of the most common causes of speaker
damage is not having the right electronics.

A good rule of thumb when trying to pair your speakers up with the right amplifier is to buy at least as much power as your speakers are rated to handle. For example, if a speaker is rated at 75 watts maximum power, then you should buy an amplifier that can deliver at least 75 watts per channel. However, you don't need to limit yourself. You can buy a 100-watt per channel amplifier for a 75-watt speaker because more speaker failure occurs from being under powered rather than over powered. It is safer to go slightly higher with your amplifier wattage because you'll never be in danger of clipping.

When an amplifier is expected to deliver more current to a speaker than it's capable of doing, clipping occurs. When an amplifier clips, it literally cuts off the tops and bottoms of the sound waveforms that it's trying to produce. This, in turn, sends a lot of distortion into your speakers, which is bad. Distortion puts a lot of stress on your speakers, typically the tweeter, and will eventually cause them to fail. In fact, your speakers will fail before your amplifier does.


#13 of 18 Cees Alons

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Posted August 04 2008 - 03:01 AM

That info is not correct, Sam.

An amplifier is not clipped by having it send it's output to a more "powerful" speaker, but by 'cranking it up too much period'.

If the amplifier is much too weak for the environment where you're using it (e.g. a very modest amp in a huge 100 x 100 ft room crowded with people), you may be tempted to turn up the volume too much for it to handle, indeed possibly causing the dreaded clipping.

But that has hardly anything to do with the power the speakers can handle. This can also happen if the speakers are a perfectly fit to that modest amplifier.

That said, it's not very wise to hook a pair of 2 Ohms speaker to an output asking 8 Ohms (the speakers and the amps should have roughly the same generic impedance).

You need to know where you're going to use your system. Then choose a wattage that's fit for that room. Choose some extra to let your system have a bit of head space. Then choose the amps and speakers according to that first choice. Speakers preferably (but not strictly necessary) with some more wattage "room".

If your current speakers are fine already: great. No need to upgrade. If they can handle more wattage than your room necessitates: fine too, but no reason to proceed and over-dimension your amps.


Cees

#14 of 18 Brent_S

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Posted August 04 2008 - 10:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam37
The Sharp Blu-Ray player I have (BD-HP20) has the "TrueHD" logo on the front, so I am assuming that in order to listen to that sound format, I would just need a receiver that has that capability, correct? The RX-V863 is one such that has the ability. I'm have thought about waiting a little longer on the receiver upgrade, saving a little more cash and going with the RX-V1800, which has pretty much all the sound formats, and is 130watt/ch.

A quick Google says the Sharp internally decodes TrueHD and sends it out as Multichannel PCM. That isn't clear from the manual. However, it won't bitstream so it doesn't matter if a receiver will decode TrueHD/DTS-HD from that standpoint.

While it's more than capable of hearing damage levels in the real world, I'd do plenty of research before spending your money on the 1800 based on its amp specs. The 1800's strength isn't in its amps. S&V benched it to only do 55w with all channels driven (150x2). While the 663, 863, and 3800 have displayed similar results, Yamaha as a manufacturer is not alone in "failing" the all channels driven test. Regardless, it's a condition that currently doesn't exist in the wild. And as I said, in objective terms the difference between 55 watts and 110 watts is only 3dB...barely perceptible, IOW. Even the little $100 (on a Black Friday sale) Pioneer 516 I use in my living room will easily hit 100+ dBs measured at 17' from the mains...acoustic space is on the order of 35'x22x18' and the speakers are only rated at 89db/1w.

-Brent

#15 of 18 sam37

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Posted August 04 2008 - 01:26 PM

Ok, I went out and bought a DSP-3200 sub and a pair of monitor 9 Paradigm speakers (the center and surrounds will come later, for now, im just using the center and surrounds from the cinema 110 set I have. I know there is a mismatch here, but gotta do with what I have at the moment).

I'll just keep my RX-V463 for now and upgrade later. It seems to be fine at driving my 9's, with 105w/ch @ .9THD.

There are, however, a few settings i'd like some help with. Small, NRM, Large? When setting speaker size, how do you know what to set this to?

Crossover. Another setting i'm not sure of. I know that by setting the crossover, you are telling the amp to send anything at that frequency or lower to the sub, the rest goes to your mains. So, my crossover goes from 40hz up to 200hz. Right now I have it set at 100hz, but not sure if that is where it needs to be. The cutoff dial on the back of my sub goes from 35hz to 150hz and then to "bypass"..whatever that means. I have it currently set just a little before the half way range. Are you supposed to match the crossover setting on the receiver to the cutoff range of the sub or is it entirely independant?

Sub out. SWR, Front, Both. SWR sends all the bass to the sub, front sends it all to the mains and Both...splits it up? For better sound, which is recommended?

Also, the phase dial on the sub, currently have it set to about half way. I am not entirely sure what the phase control does. I used to think it had something to do with the timing of the signal, but now i'm not really sure. Also, on the receiver, there is a sub woofer phase setting, which right now, I have set to "normal".

sorry for the 20 questions, but I just want to get the best sound out of my speakers...without destroying them Posted Image

#16 of 18 mrhtguy

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Posted August 04 2008 - 04:19 PM

i recently got a pioneer vsx-91 txh for under $350 from ebay. it has all the bells and whistles necessary for blu-ray i believe.

it has all the latest encodings, thx certified, 7.1 ready, hdmi 1.3a.

the 3 weaknesses i noted are it only produces 110w per channel so amplified speakers are a must, it doesn't upconvert video to 1080p but it will pass through a 1080p signal and the setup options are not very cutting edge. this can be kind of a weakness depending on how many devices you have, it doesn't bother me though it only has 2 hdmi inputs.

unfortunately i didn't get a calibration mic that usually comes with it but i hear the auto mccac with the calibration mic does a good job.

there are a few models above this one with even more features but they are much more pricey. the next one up is the 92 which improves upon all 3 of the things i didn't like on the 91. it does 1080p, it output more power per channel but not much more and the setup is more advanced. catch is i doubt you'll find one for under $700.

the next model up put out more power and has ip link capabilities but i think you will not find that for less than $1000.

last is the SC-09TX which has a monitor built into it. it should do everything , i didn't bother looking it up b/c for the moment you may not get one for less than $5000.

the best value(for pioneer) is the 91 txh but for your budget the 92 seems to be the best value/feature list of all the pioneer elite models unless you want to network it then throw in the extra $100 and get the 94. After all what is $100 when you are prepared to spend $900?

i am using the vsx-91 txh and i like it alot. does everything i want it to do. the low power output isn't really a problem b/c most of my speakers are amplified, i would have really liked the 1080p upscaling but for me it isn't too big of a problem b/c i have a dvd player that does the same and a hd satellite reciever and while the setup options are not very user friendly, there are alot of configuration options after you get used to the low tech gui.

not sure if this is an option you'd be looking for but the 91 also can connect to an ipod, sirius and xm satellite radio.

if you do check out the pioneer elites, make sure the 91's have txh in the part# b/c i believe there are non-thx certified versions made.

lastly, take this with a grain of salt though b/c i am kind of new to the game and haven't sampled/compared to other models.

#17 of 18 Brent_S

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Posted August 05 2008 - 10:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam37
Ok, I went out and bought a DSP-3200 sub and a pair of monitor 9 Paradigm speakers [snip]

[snip]

There are, however, a few settings i'd like some help with. Small, NRM, Large? When setting speaker size, how do you know what to set this to?

Crossover. [snip] The cutoff dial on the back of my sub goes from 35hz to 150hz and then to "bypass"..whatever that means. [snip]

Sub out. SWR, Front, Both. [snip]

Also, the phase dial on the sub, [snip] Also, on the receiver, there is a sub woofer phase setting, which right now, I have set to "normal".

First, congratulations on the new toys.

Second...did you try reading any of your manuals?

A couple of things I'd do first. Set the subwoofer's crossover to bypass. The 463 will handle that duty. Right now, you're double filtering the signal which will cost you some bass output at best. I'd also start by setting the phase to 0° and the volume to in the 25-35% range.

Now, you are aware that the 463 has the YPAO auto setup routine? Start by running that after adjusting the subwoofer as suggested above. This should set your channel trims, delay (speaker distance), and crossover frequencies. Although, it's not entirely clear from that manual if YPAO will set the crossover frequency and small/large, but I would think it should.

After running YPAO, do a sense check of the distances. Also check the trim levels if you have an SPL meter...your ears are less trustworthy. Personally, I think all of your speakers should be set to small, even the 9s. Yamaha has some generic advice based on driver size, but the simple fact is Large means the speaker needs to be able to produce any frequency sent to that channel since the bass won't be redirected to the sub. Very few home speakers qualify as Large in the DD/DTS sense.

Set the xover frequency to 80hz. That should be a good compromise between the 9s and the 110s. That's also the THX standard, FWIW.

LFE/Sub out should be "SWFR", IMO. Let the big boy do the heavy lifting, that's what it's built for. "Both", per the manual, will send all bass below the xover point and the LFE channel to the sub, but the fronts will also play the bass that's in the FR/FL channel. In essence, you'll be doubling any bass info in the FR/FL channels by playing it from the sub and front mains. You may like the sound, but it's probably not the most accurate way to configure your system.

Set the 463's phase to normal. Phase allows you to compensate for differences in location between the mains and the sub. In basic terms, you're trying to get the peaks/valleys of the sub's sound waves to line up with the peaks/valleys from the mains...kind of like two kids on a trampoline landing at different times can kill each other's bounce or get even more height from it. The distance setting already accomplishes this to some extent. So, leave the 463 at Normal and the 3200 at 0 for now. The 3200's manual should have some suggestions for adjusting phase if you want to play with it later.

In the end, experiment and go with what you like the most. You can't really break anything and right/wrong is just the perspective of some standards committee or Codec developer. Have fun!

-Brent

#18 of 18 pink

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Posted August 06 2008 - 09:05 AM

I would go in the $900.00 range for that you get high current, it's the power supplies that matters not the watts.


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