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Please Help Me Choose A Reciever


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 Rich*s

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Posted December 08 2009 - 06:20 AM

 I am building up to a home theater in my family room (about 20 x 25).  I presently have a Sony 60" LCD WEGA ( a few years old, but works great) working through a free (!) cheap Yamaha 5.1 system that I plan to dump.  I just got a PS3 for Blu-Ray (really awsome picture).  Now I need to work on sound.

I say "building up to" because my budget does not currently have room for new speakers.  I'll probably use a mix of stuff I already have until I can upgrade.  Meanwhile, I hope to enjoy the benefits of HDMI switching, iPod connectivity (if I go Pioneer) and a few other features.  (Yes, I am aware that speakers are everything.  I'm just doing this a piece at at time.)

I'm considering the following:

Onkyo RX-SR706 ($600 at Amazon today)
Either the Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH  or 23TXH ($500/$550 respectively)
Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K ($500 at Amazon)

Background:  I have a old (2yrs!) Denon 1707, a Pioneer 50 in plasma and a Paradigm Cinema 110 7.1 system in our 15x20 bedroom and love it.  Denon seems to pale a little next to my choices above, however.

1.  What would you choose and why?

2.  Can't say I see much reason to pick the Elite 23 over the Elite 21.  Is there (other than maybe an extra input or two)?

3.  The non-Elite seems to get better ratings than the (supposedly superior) Elite models--Why?

4.  Will any of these allow me to connect a second (analog L/R) amp and speakers and still operate in 7.1 mode (i.e. do they have pre outs)?  I've looked at the manuals and it's unclear whether I can retain 7.1 and still have a another connected amp.

Rich

#2 of 8 ShanonS

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Posted December 08 2009 - 09:30 AM

I take it you mean the TX-SR706 from Onkyo.  If so that would be my suggestion, even though it is last years model, I would prefer it for the Audyssey sound processing.  Yes, I believe you can run a zone 2 from this receiver and still run the 7.1.  I'll try to verify that later for you.

#3 of 8 gene c

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Posted December 08 2009 - 02:09 PM


Quote:
Can't say I see much reason to pick the Elite 23 over the Elite 21.  Is there (other than maybe an extra input or two)?

 

The 23 also has an extra hdmi output. And has Zone 3 and multi-ch PQLS as opposed to stereo (PQLS locks the digital clocks between Pioneer components with this system to sychronize the digital audio signal and eliminate "jitter" for a smoother sound, or so they say).

Quote:
The non-Elite seems to get better ratings than the (supposedly superior) Elite models--Why?
 

Don't know. I've never heard that. In fact, I wouldn't consider the 1019 if your budget could get you an Elite.

Audyssey is the hot ticket right now so the 706 would be a great choice, but you couldn't go wrong with the 21/23 either.

The Denon 1910 would also be a good choice but you do seem to pay a little more for a little less. But they have a loyal following.
"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).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#4 of 8 apatel

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Posted December 08 2009 - 03:36 PM

I was at my local best buy just last night listening to the Pioneer Elite, Onkyo and Denon.  All with the same speakers and source, and I will say that the Pioneer Elite sounded the best of the three.  It was very close with the Onkyo being second and the Denon was quite a distant 3rd.  There is a chance that something wasn't setup correctly with the Denon, and I hope I don't offend any fans, but both myself and the employee who was helping me agreed that it was outclassed.  

I heard the Elite SC-25, Onkyo 807 and Denon 4310.   Good luck.


#5 of 8 Rich*s

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Posted December 09 2009 - 01:40 AM

1.  Yes (oops), I meant the TX-SR706.  I've just looked at the owners manual, and that is exactly what I am hoping will work for me.  It has a Zone 2 line out that outputs an analog stereo signal.  I have an older but still pretty good stereo system in the same location as the video setup (Arcam FMJ, 2 B&W Nautilus 804s).  I'd like to add that to whatever 7.1 system I put in.

It looks like the Elite 21/23 have two- and three-zone pre-outs respectively, but they seem to say (bear with me, I'm a little new to this) that they will output only analog input signals (manual, p. 33).  My inputs will be entirely digital (HDMI from BD, component + optical audio from my cable box).  Does that mean I will get no audio zone 2/3 output if I am using these input sources?  Same answer for the Onkyo (even though they don't say so, or I can't find it)?  That would be a severe limitation on the zone concepts.  Workarounds?

2.  Thanks for the difference between the Elite 21 and 23.  Might be worth the difference.

3.  Is Audyssey appreciably different from the Elite's MCACC (or for that matter the seemingly basic microphone-driven setup with my 3 year old Denon)?  From what I've read, the ad hype is impressive (mutieq, dynamic eq and dynamic volume), but does it really seem to work?  I set my 1707 up the the mic, and it sounds great, but I never took the trouble to set it back to default settings and see what difference it makes.

4.  It looks like there is only one output to a powered sub in all of the cases above.  Is it possible to connect 2?  Is it advisable?  Is this one of those situations where more is not better?

Thanks, everyone for all your help.  This is helping me a lot.

Rich


#6 of 8 Rich*s

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Posted December 09 2009 - 02:34 AM

 A quick add:  I just noticed that the Onkyo 706 is now (maybe always was) $500 at Amazon.  I also noticed that the 707 (looks like a bit more Audessey functionality plus 7.2) goes for only about $40 more.  Is this a wise step up for the price?

#7 of 8 jcrilley3

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Posted December 09 2009 - 07:28 AM

I just installed the Pioneer Elite 21 about a week ago and I love it. Very easy to hook up and the sound is phenomenal. I bought it on line and saved a lot of money as opposed to going to Best Buy or 6th Ave Electronics.

#8 of 8 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 15 2009 - 03:20 AM

I do not have any experience with Audyssey, but have used Pioneer's MCACC feature on two different Elite receivers -- an older 47TX and my current 94TXH.  Pioneer added quite a bit of functionality and room correction improvements to MCACC between these two models, and I am pleased with the results I get for room correction on my current 94TXH.

The only item that annoys me is that MCACC still wants to set all my speakers to "large" for bass management. It is very simple to change this once the calibration is complete, though.





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