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Using a new low end receiver as a processor???


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted July 12 2009 - 05:34 AM

I have an older receiver that is in great shape, I love the sound and couldn't possibly afford it's equivalent in a new receiver. Like many, my problem stems from a lack of HDMI, for audio decoding and video switching.

 

Would a low end receiver, such as a Sony make a good unit for decoding and sending the audio to my old receiver? I am currently sending the audio from my Sony Blu to the receiver through analog... sounds great but... I also have SACD, DVD-A, and HD-DVD that are connected using the inferior digital route.

 

 Let me know what you think?

 

Thanks


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#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted July 12 2009 - 05:58 AM

 I may have answered my own question after some additional research... I can't find a low end receiver with multi-channel outputs :(

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#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Stephen Tu

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Posted July 12 2009 - 06:00 AM

These days $350-$500 gets you a very good 7.1 receiver.  Onkyo 607, Yamaha 565, Pioneer 919 ...

At that price they usually don't have all channel pre-outs to connect to anything else like an old set of power amps.  Cheapest with that is probably Yamaha 665.  So what you propose isn't usually possible.  But I really strongly question why you would want to do something like that at all, as opposed to just using the new receiver.  IMO many HT enthusiasts vastly overestimate how much the receiver contributes to the sound quality (as opposed to speakers, placement, the room), especially the power amp section.  It's really all in the processing & particularly in the room equalization features.  The power amp is just supposed to linearly amplifiy the sound, so it shouldn't color the sound at all making it better or worse, when operating within its normal power limits.


#4 of 10 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted July 12 2009 - 07:12 AM

In order to get the most out of your 3 hi-res components you're going to need a receiver with HDMI 1.3a. I would keep what you have and start saving for an avr such as one of those mentioned by Stephen. It may not be the same level of avr you have now but the over-all performance will be better. Connecting with HDMI is much better than with 7.1 analog because the receiver acts only as an amplifier thru the 7.1's with speaker volume the only control that works. No bass management, no bass and treble controls, no auto eq, (Audyssey, EzSet, MCACC, YAPO, etc.) if so equipped. And bass mgnt is almost always better when processed by the receiver than the dvd player. BTW, I'm also having a hard time parting with my H/K 520 for the same reason as you but the purchase of an OPPO BDP-83 has solved that problem. For now anyway. Only thing missing is bass/treble controls but they are set @ detent for other inputs so I think I'm O.K. there too. Edit: I'm also losing the 520's bm but even though the OPPO's is fixed at 80 (can't believe they didn't include adjustable x-over) it's acceptable.

I would also hook up the SACD/DVD-A player thru the 7.1's and not the BluRay player since those formats are not available thru a digital connection. If I had to choose between HD for movies and hi-res for music I would choose hi-res for music. 

And even though I completely agree that speakers, room acoustics, etc. offer a much bigger gain in sound quality than the brand or price of the receiver, I still think certain receivers just sound a little bit better than others (of the ones I have owned). And every little bit helps. If you can afford the one you really want.

This might be the first time I have heard anyone thinking of passing audio from one receiver to another. Interesting suggestion but terribly impractical.  
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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted July 12 2009 - 07:55 AM

 The reason I want to keep my current receiver is because I am driving Magnepan speakers. In attempting to find the receiver I have now I had to test out a lot of top of the line receivers including Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer Elite, HK (All of these shut themselves off before they melted but simply couldn't drive the maggies) I am currently using a 200 wpc Sunfire which works and was a better financial option for me.

The low end receivers wouldn't last 5 minutes driving these and a receiver that would is going to run a minimum of 2k, probably much more. I would be open to a new processor but they are really expensive too, so I was thinking this might be a good option.

 

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#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Stephen Tu

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Posted July 12 2009 - 09:04 AM

I don't think you have to spend $2k.  With the nom. 4 ohm speakers you maybe do have to go up to the Onkyo 706 which is rated to handle such speakers, but that's only ~$800.  And that one does have all the pre-amp outs if you find that it still doesn't have enough juice at your preferred volume level

If you are 100% sure you want to go the "receiver as pre-amp" route, the Yamaha 665 is only $500.


#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted July 13 2009 - 02:33 AM

Stephen, funny you should mention the Onkyo, I tried out the 806, thinking it might stand a chance before I started looking at alternatives. It worked well driving 2 channels, just a little lacking in bass. It went into protection mode 2 scenes into Gladiator with 5 channels driven.

100wpc into 2 channels barely gets the panels moving and I am highly suspect of the Onkyo 4ohm rating of 200 watts.

At this point I think I need to live with what I have for a few years and go to seperates, which would have been the smart thing to do years ago when I got the maggies. I was, as so many of us do, hoping for an inexpensive fix to an expensive problem.

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#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted July 13 2009 - 04:28 AM

My Onkyo 805 drives three channels, with 4 ohm speakers (Polk Audio LSi9 and LSiC), without a problem. I've not tried a setup with five  4 ohm speakers yet. I don't have access to any more 4 ohm speakers to try. Did you setup the 806 for 4 ohm speakers, in the receivers setup menus, or run it straight out of the box? Straight out of the box, it's set for 8 ohm, and would probably do exactly what you experienced. Just double checking............... :)
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#9 of 10 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 13 2009 - 05:30 AM

Doug, if you use a sub and properly configure the receiver, it should be fine with the Magnepans.  They are a purely resistive load, not dynamic like most speakers, which makes a big difference.  The critical thing is probably not trying to feed them the lowest frequencies, which they can't handle all that well anyway.

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#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Doug_H

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Posted July 14 2009 - 02:24 AM

I appreciate the feedback... I am not knocking Onkyo, just FYI, if I had just about any other speaker I would own one right now. I did have it set for 4ohm. It is a great feature.

I am running 4 magnepan 3.6, and a CC3 center, even running them small has proven too much. I also have an SVS sub that does bass work during movies, I run the stereo channels full for music listening.

 It sounds like my idea is a pretty bad one although I can't find a reason why it wouldn't work, it would just be very unusual. The use of a low end unit for video is likely also going to have poor performance compared to higher end receivers so it is time to rethink things.

Damn my addiction to the maggies...Damn it too HELL!

Every child has many wishes. Some include a wallet, two chicks, and a cigar, but that's another story.