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Need updated advice on current technologies


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#1 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 04 2011 - 05:14 AM

I came very close to buying this Sony changer then starting reading the reviews, and there were more negative than positive. Such things as it stopped working after 5 months, it wouldn't read discs after 7 months, and worse. Conversely, there were people who really liked it. I am a guy who knew just about all there was to know about electronics, 25 years ago. Now with everything going Blu ray and 3D, I am badly in need of advice on which way to go on a few issues. Just bought a Blu ray player a couple of days ago which is network capable, 3D ready and all that. But with this Sony changer, which is upconverting to 1080p through an HDMI connection, my TV has 4 HDMI connections, but I want the sound to come through my home theater system, not my TV. So, I know I can plug the changer into my receiver with RCA plugs or coax connections, but wouldn't I be losing the benefit of HDMI audio quality? Do Blu ray players make audio CDs sound better? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

#2 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 04 2011 - 06:20 AM

There's no difference in sound quality between the HDMI connection and a regular digital connection like coax or toslink (optical). As far as sound quality is concerned it's all the same, a digital connection. The sound benefit for HDMI occures with BluRay discs as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio are only available through the HDMI connection, not optical or coax. An analog connection might be better if you have a really good cd/dvd/bluray player (with better internal processors than your receiver has) such as an OPPO 83se/95. For most consumer level players a digital connection is just as good. As far as BR players making cd's sound better, just the fact that it's a BR player doesn't mean cd's (or dvd's) will also sound better. When connected with coaxial, optical or HDMI, consumer level players should all sound pretty much the same since the receiver is doing the processing. An analog connection might make a difference since the player would be doing the processing but you'ld be hard pressed to hear the difference. But I have to admitt, an H/K DVD 47 I had sounded absolutely wonderfull through the two channel analog connection. Unfortunately it had a couple of other issues that caused me to replace it :( . What model numbers are the receiver, BR player, cd player etc? Maybe we can suggest the best way to hook them up.
"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.
 
 

 


#3 of 87 Adam Gregorich

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Posted September 04 2011 - 06:40 AM

Gene nailed it.  With regular CDs an optical, coaxial or HDMI output will give you the same result.  If you are listening to a high resolution format like Blu-ray, SACD or DVD-Audio you will need to use HDMI, but for CD you are fine.



#4 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 04 2011 - 07:27 AM

Hi Gene: First, I really appreciate your response to my post, no kidding. I hope you will be patient with me because I have a number of issues. I am a guy who knew just about everything there is to know about this stuff, 25 years ago. I have 2 home theater systems with a great variety of components. System #1 has a Sony 46" HD that is 8 years old. The heart of the system is a Sony STR-DB840 receiver, now 11 years old but has performed flawlessly without exception and I believe it will for a long time to come. I will have DIRECTV on both systems on Wed. I have a Toshiba DVR connected to that system as well, and a second Panasonic DVD player which I have accumulated over the years, but it has no real purpose now. The system's best features are its speakers which are Polk Audio floor monitors, a Klipsch center speaker and subwoofer and Polk monitors as the rear speakers. All perform beautifully, and the Polk floor speakers were purchased in 1980, and I swear by them. System #2 has a Toshiba REGZA 42" HD TV which is 3 years old. The receiver is a Yamaha HTR6030 5.1 channel enigma, also 3 years old, and I don't like. I am not a Yamaha fan at all, but lets just say its all I could find at the time for what I wanted to spend. I had a Yamaha DVC6860SL 5 disc changer too but have had nothing but trouble with it from the start and am getting rid of it. I get that common problem of "NO DISC" I've seen on other review sites. The Blu ray player is a Panasonic DMP-BDT110, brand new. I know both systems need upgrades but it is frustrating and time consuming to educate myself just by looking at vendor websites. I would really like to get a good multi disc DVD/CD player, and almost just bought one on eBay but it had more negative reviews than positive. It was a Sony DVP-NC800H/B player. If you could suggest one, great. So that is my story. I need a quick education on this newer technology and you seem like you may be the guy to provide it. What do you say? Many thanks, raverell

#5 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 04 2011 - 09:16 AM

Can you better explain what your ultimate goals are for each system, and what is the maximum budget allowed? Up-grading slowly as funds trickle in is what most people do. Also, which system do you use more frequently? For video the main things are obviously 1080P and 3D. An HD receiver from DirectTv (or cable/Dish) and a BluRay player are needed for 1080P and or 3D. So, if you want the best video that's what you need. As for displays, they've come a long way in a short period of time. And prices are falling fast. I recently bought a 58" Panasonic plasma (non-3D) for $799 from Frys and last week it was $699. For Audio it's a little more complicated. The best audio is Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. These two formats that are currently available on most BR discs are accessed by HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 and with the proper BR player( one that internally decodes the formats and has mc analog outputs), mult-channel analog inputs. You could hook a BR player up to the Sony DB840 and the Yamaha 6030 and enjoy TrueHD and DTS MA. But there are several reasons to upgrade the receivers. Usefull[I] features that are performance oriented are a more advanced bass management, automatic setup and eq programs (Audyssey, EZSetEQ, YAPO, MCACC, etc) HDMI switching and analog to digital video conversion so you don't have to switch the input on the display. Having said that, I also use an older receiver (H/K 7200) in one of my rooms and still love it. We usually strongly suggest that at least the front three speakers be from the same series and brand as the sound they produce needs to be as close to each other as possible so when sounds, like cars or planes, pan from one side of the room to the other it will sound natural and cohesive. But if your happy with the Polk fronts and Klipsch center than that's O.K. Some older displays, like perhaps your Sony 46", have the ability to display more than one resolution. It's important to match that resolution with the highest available from the source. Is the DirectTv HD or standard definition? Needless to say HD will be far better, even on an older display. The Sony has 5.1 multi-channel analog inputs which can be used for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. We all have our own opinions about this stuff but if it were me, I would up-grade one of the systems first. It would have a 1080P display, a newer hdmi 1.3 receiver (or 1.4 if 3D is important), an HD DirectTv receiver and a bluray player. If you want to use the Sony DB840 in that system then make sure the BR player has the MC analog outputs. And the speakers of your choice. But again, most of us would recommend a matched set and a really good sub woofer. Another thing that deserves mention is a Harmony remote. After they're set up it's a one button operation to watch a movei, listen to music, etc. The remote does it all for you. Many members swear by them, especially those with wives and kids. Go to the Display forum for more on those. I'm also fond of dvd/cd changers but they're getting hard to find. Many of the 5 disc dvd changers of years gone by are actually quite similar on the inside. Most brands buy the chassis from another maker and stick in their own DACS, video chips, etc. Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer, Philips, etc are often based on the same player. They just use their own front panel design. I had a Yamaha 6770 universal dvd changer for years and never had a problem with it. I currently have a Marantz VC-6001 and it's very similar to the 6770 right down to the remote and OSD. Another model to consider is the Pioneer C-36 5-disc dvd changer. In short, displays have gotten a lot better, receivers have added many usefull features (and a lot of fluff) and hdmi has made things much easier to hookup and operate. But it's all determined by what you actually [I]need and your budget.
"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.
 
 

 


#6 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 04 2011 - 10:24 AM

Upgrading slowly is the preferred method, yes. The DIRECTV will be HD, and a DVR, in both rooms, which will be very nice. It looks like I'm going to make a run at a Sony DVP-NC85H DVD/CD 5 disc changer shortly on an auction site. Its upconverting to 1080i. Let me tell you after hours of research this week and phone calls to manufacturers, they are simply not making 5 disc changers available anymore. Gotta admit, I've never understood how those 5.1 multi channel analog inputs work. And you are saying I can achieve Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio using them? On the old Sony receiver? How would I accomplish that, because I really don't know. For example, what cables would I use and how would they be connected? We all know 3D is the future, and the Blu ray player I just bought will handle it. I have to check on the multi channel analog outputs and mult-channel analog inputs. Well, I just looked on the back of the unit, and I don't see any. I don't mind embarrassing myself by saying I don't know what they would look like. Just like any other inputs/outputs? If its that important an issue, I'll send this back and get one that has them. Can you explain what HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 are? Is it part of how the receiver is manufactured? Now, I'm really going to throw you a curve. Years ago, I had an Audio Control 20 band graphic equalizer and it was one of the best pieces of electronics I have ever bought. It cost over $200 in the late 70's. So, I saw one on eBay a couple of years ago. The name of the unit was changed to Octave and I paid $12 for it, so I figured if it doesn't work, no big deal. It just laid around the house for a few years, then I recently contacted Audio Control, who are great guys to deal with, and they gave me a few suggestions on how to connect it, but none worked. When I had the previous one, I had it connected to a Nakamichi cassette player, and what an incredible difference that equalizer made. I used to record albums onto cassettes and run them through the equalizer to do it. So Audio Control said I could send it up to them, they felt confident they could fix it, and if they couldn't, all I would be out is the shipping. I figured I could use it to record onto the Toshiba DVR and just having it on listening to anything is just so much better. Well, I look forward to your responses to my stated questions, Gene. Many thanks.

#7 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 04 2011 - 11:18 AM

The up-converting on dvd players isn't that big of an issue, depending on which display you will have it connected to. I'm not that familiar with the older displays anymore but your Toshiba can probably only display one resolution, probably 1080P, so it will convert any signal it receives to that resolution anyway. Again, the more expensive dvd players will have better converters in them. The better ones are Anchor Bay, Silicon Optics-Reon and the new kid on the block, Marvel's Qdeo. Frajudja was the first well known one but it's only considered average nowdays. I have no idea what might be in the Sony, maybe a proprietary one. The Multi-Channel outputs on the BluRay player look just like the Multi-Channel inputs on the back of the receiver (on the top to the left of the optical inputs). You use standard analog cables (3 pairs) to connect the BR player to the receiver. You need six cables because the BR player seperates the signal into each channel (5 for each speaker and one for the sub) before sending it to the receiver. The big disadvantage to using the MC analog inputs is most receivers bypass all processing (like bass/treble controls). The receiver acts as an amplifier only. A few, like my H/K 7200, will allow bass management to be handled by the receiver. Your Sony receiver will probably pass the signal straight to the volume control. Take this into consideration when making your decision. The multi-ch analog inputs were first used many years ago when Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 weren't supported by the receivers as they didn't have coax or optical inputs (they were called Dolby/DTS "ready"). You had to buy an outboard DD/DTS processor. The mc inputs were then used for mc SACD/DVD Audio players. To make the decidion even harder, almost all new receivers have their own 7 channel eq built in. They use the automatic setup program with an included mic to analyze the room acoustics, measure and set the speaker distances and volumes, and set the eq to correct the room acoustics They can also be adjusted manually if you prefer. This is the Audyssey (Denon, Onkyo and Marantz), EZSetEQ (Harman Kardon), YAPO (Yamaha) and MCACC (Pioneer) that I mentioned earlier. One thing I really like about Pioneer receivers is they offer 6 MCACC presets which can be used for different purposes. It's like having 6 seperate eq's connected at the same time. Speaking of Audiocontrol (agreed, excellent products) I'll match you curve with a couple of knucleballs :) . I have two Audiocontrol Rialto 5 channel equilizers at the moment. One is in use between the BR player and H/K 7200. I have also owned a couple of Audiocontrol Bijou 7 channel eq's in the past. H/K's two channel EQ8 is also a real good one. You have to be carefull when using eq's. Many "audiophiles" feel they can do more harm than good.
"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.
 
 

 


#8 of 87 Robert_J

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Posted September 04 2011 - 12:56 PM

A few things that maybe you didn't think about.

The DIRECTV will be HD, and a DVR, in both rooms, which will be very nice.

You should network them. I have dual DVRs and it is great to be able to access programming from either one. You also have the ability to get Video On Demand (VOD) as well as streaming audio from your home server. I haven't been able to get streaming video or You Tube to work yet but that is probably my fault. Another option is a non DVD HD model as a 2nd receiver. It will allow you view all the recorded programs on the DVR. You didn't mention remotes. A Harmony remote to control everything makes controlling a complicated system so much easier.

#9 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 04 2011 - 01:07 PM

Gene: Just picked up a Sony DVP-NC85H 5 disc DVD/CD changer on eBay for $53.00. I still have some questions about your last post, but I have been at the computer all day and I've got to call it quits. I will post again to you probably tomorrow. And again, I really appreciate your help. Best Regards, Rich

#10 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 06 2011 - 04:29 AM

Hello again Gene and others. I found out that my Toshiba resolution is 1080p and the Sony is 1080i. The Sony has a DVI-HDTV terminal along with a set of audio jacks on the back panel. Again, this is the one that is 8 years old. What are your comments on that? I spent some time on Wikipedia yesterday and they state that ""DTS-HD Master Audio has been steadily becoming the standard for Blu-ray lossless audio format." And that DVD-HD is "obsolete." Talking about the eq available on receivers in an earlier post, in particular the Pioneer, they are not as powerful as the Audio Control equalizers are they? So, you suggest I start upgrading one system at a time and that is the advice I would follow. You said that you would get a newer HDMI receiver, 1.3 or 1.4 if 3D is important, and it probably is. I assume the Pioneer you mentioned meets those requirements? And I'm still confused about the 5.1 multi channel analog inputs and outputs. How could such an old technology still be important enough today to provide Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio? And should they be on the receiver or on the BR player? I looked through my Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Manual and it doesn't mention anything about Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio, or HDMI 1.3 or 1.4. You said earlier that both my receivers, the Sony and Yamaha have multi channel capabilities, so either would provide Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. You asked earlier which system I use more, and really, I spend about the same amount of time on each. You mentioned to use the Sony, the BR player would have to have multi channel jacks, which it does not, but I could send it back and buy another one. Could you shed some more light on what HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 are and how they differ? Also, regarding the Harmony remotes, I saw one that controls 4 devices for around $30. I really don't need to control mroe than that number. Is the cost more a factor of how many devices it will control, or are the more expensive devices better in other ways? Well, I think I've given you enough to think about for now. Look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, Rich

#11 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 06 2011 - 10:02 AM

It wasn't really DVD-HD, it was HD-DVD :) . There was a format war between BluRay and HD-DVD and BluRay won. HD-DVD is no longer produced or supported. I'm not sure "powerfull" is the appropriate term to discribe equilizers but I would say the ones in the receivers are much better. They are integrated into the receiver and not added on as an outboard eq is. Having said that, Audiocontrol equlizers are very good for outboard eq's. Just about all new receivers are HDMI 1.4. Some from as little as a year or two ago may only be 1.3. It pays to make sure which version you're getting. This is where the manufactures websites come in handy, and I like Crutchfield.com as well. Sometimes even more accurate then the manufactures. Here's a quick run-down of the different HDMI versions. HDMI version 1.0 supported standard audio and video. HDMI version 1.1 added support for DVD-Audio (a lossless music format not to be confused with regular audio on a dvd). HDMI version added support for SACD (another hi-resolution music format by Sony). HDMI version 1.3 added support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, high definition video like Deep Color, and is rated for a higher speed. HDMI 1.4 adds 3D support and the HDMI Ethernet Channel. That's the short version. Here's HDMI.orgs explanation. http://www.hdmi.org/...gcenter/kb.aspx (scroll down a bit :) . Also look at this http://www.hdmi.org/...turer/hdmi_1_4/ Multi ch analog inputs aren't a technology, they are simply another way to connect two audio devices together. You're familiar with two channel stereo audio ( the red and white cables, one for the left channel and one for the right) correct? Well, think of MC analogs as a stereo type connection for 5.1 surround sound. One channel for each of the front speakers, one for the center channel, two for the surrounds, one for the subwoofer and on newer devices two more for the surround-back channels. One cable for each channel instead of one digital cable for all channels. Both the receiver and the BluRay player must have the MC analog connection. Since your Sony BR player doesn't have them then it can't send Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio to either of the receivers you have. I would suggest you replace the receiver with a newer one that supports at least hdmi 1.3 or if 3D is in your future, HDMI 1.4 but if you really want to keep the Sony receiver then a BR player with MC analog outputs will still get you TrueHD and Master Audio. It's just that the player will decode the formats and not the receiver (but it's usually better for the receiver to do it). As for Harmony remotes, the number of devices it controls isn't the thing. Any $10 universal remote can control 4 devices. It's how they control them that's important. When the Harmony remotes, like the 880 I have, are set up properly all you need to do is push one button to turn on everything. If you push the "Watch A Movie" button, it will turn on the receiver, tv and BluRay player (but not the DTV receiver), and set the inputs properly. If you push "Listen To Music" it will turn on the receiver and cd player (or BR player if that's your music source) but leave the tv and DTV off, and set the input on the receiver to the correct one. Push "Watch TV" and the receiver, display and DTV receiver will magically turn on, be set to the correct inputs, but the BR player will remain off. It can do much, much more depending on how you set it up. Like I said, guys with families swear by them. Keeps the kids from messing up the settings on your stuff.
"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.
 
 

 


#12 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 06 2011 - 11:50 AM

"Since your Sony BR player doesn't have them then it can't send Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio to either of the receivers you have. I would suggest you replace the receiver with a newer one that supports at least hdmi 1.3 or if 3D is in your future, HDMI 1.4 but if you really want to keep the Sony receiver then a BR player with MC analog outputs will still get you TrueHD and Master Audio. It's just that the player will decode the formats and not the receiver (but it's usually better for the receiver to do it)." Gene, yeah I got straightened out on the HD-DVD issue earlier this morning. My Blu ray player is a Panasonic without multi channel inputs/outputs, but both the Sony and the Yamaha receivers have them. I hear what you're saying that its better for the receiver to do it, and receiver replacement is something I can do. Ah, which leads me to more questions. Most all receivers sold today are 6.1 or 7.1 units. And I understand that they are just additional channels. But, if the source, be it whatever it is, isn't sending signals with 6 or 7 channels, what is the point? Or are they? Or is this just a way of getting ready for upcoming future technology? The HDMI cable I got for the BR player is a Sony 3D ready job with speeds up to 10.2 Gbps, so I am assuming that is HDMI 1.4? It says nothing about it on the box. As for the Harmony remotes, yeah, I did some more reading up on those and understand what you're saying. That is something I will get. One more thing when I was talking to the guys at Audio Control. I asked them if they had a comparable product to the Octave EQ and I was told they don't, "not for 2 channel systems." Thats what he said anyway. He did mention the Bijou but said it wouldn't work with the equipment I have. Well I am determined to improve both systems, one at a time. How about putting on a salesman hat and recommending a few 1.4 receivers and a BR player with multi channel inputs/outputs? You mentioned a Pioneer receiver with MCACC presets you liked for its EQ functions, but is that a current receiver, meaning a 1.4? I will look around on Crutchfield as well. Your posts are a big help.

#13 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 06 2011 - 12:57 PM

Only the very cheapest avr's are 5.1's. They wouldn't be able to sell anything over $300 if it didn't have 7 amplifier channels. Even as far back as 2002-2003 Harman Kardon got some flack for only having 5 amp channels in it's 520 and 8000 receivers. Got to keep up with those Jones's. Also, with most 7.1 receivers the 6/7 channels can be used for a Zone 2 so they're still very usable. You can also create a 6th and 7th channel using Dolby ProLogic II, DTS Neo:6 or H/K's Logic7. Not as good as the real thing but some seem to like it. Technically, there isn't such a thing as a 1.3 or 1.4 hdmi cable. It's all marketing. In one of the HDMI.org links I posted it shows how they use Standard Speed, High Speed, Standard Speed w/Ethernet, High Speed w/Ethernet and HDMI/Auto. The current spec is High Speed with Ethernet. That one should cover it all. Different cable brands use there own terminology (marketing). The proper way to hook up an equilizer is between the processor section and the amplifier section. Some older receivers, like the H/K 8000 I mentioned earlier, actually had "Pins" connectiong the two sections of each channel on the back of the receiver. Remove the pins and use RCA cables to slip the eq in between them much as you would do when hooking an eq in between the Tape In and Tape Out connections. You could still use the Bijou (or Rialto) between the BluRay player and receiver using the multi-channel analog iputs and outputs. That's what I did with my 5 channel Rialto eq and H/K 7200/OPPO 83se. Worked beautifully-for the BR player. Everything else had to do without an eq. First thing needed is a budget. I could get real carried away with your money :) . I'm one of the few who feel there is a difference sound quality between different receiver brands. That comes from having 4 receivers and a pre-amp in my house at the same time. An integra 8.9, a Marantz 7002, a Pioneer Elite 94txh and an 8 year old H/K 7200 along with an Outlaw 990 (I'm down to just the two I need now). My brother has a Denon 1610. I feel the Marantz and Denon are the best for music. The Pioneer had crystal clear sound but was more suited for movies and tv. The Integra 8.9 was a beast but I never cared for onkyo/Integra's treble reproduction. Sounds too much like a car stereo to me. My old H/L 7200 is a perfect combination of music and movies. I also had a new H/K 7550HD flagship receiver about a month ago but something was missing. Just didn't sound as good to me. Sold it on Audiogon.com. Now, I'm sure most people think it's all in my head and that's O.K. Maybe it is , but that's how I feel. We're real fond of saving money around here and often recommend Onkyo and Marantz factory refurbished models from http://ac4l.com/ They're authorized to sell both brands. I'd look at the Marantz 5005. It's last years model but at $399 for a factory refurbished model (with one year warranty) and $449 for a new one (three years) it's tough to beat. Also look at the 5006 to see if it has features you just can't live without. Others to consider are the Pioneer 1120/1121, Denon 1911/1912 and Onkyo 708/709. First model number is last years model, second number is this years. You can save a lot of money by buying last years models (oe a refurb). They should all be 3D (HDMI 1.4) capable. This years models mostly added internet and streaming features. H/K 2600 and 3600 can be found at a real good price but H/K's usually have fewer features than the others. Best amp section, though (that 7550HD almost blew my windows out! :P ). I really don't know much about Yamaha receivers but I wouldn't consider them unless the budget was above $600. Unfortunately, Sony receivers aren't though of very highly anymore. Not they're really that bad, just that there are better ones available. The ES line is probably O.K. As for a Bluray player with MC analogs, I haven't really kept up with them. I've had a couple of OPPO Digital BR players over the last couple of years but they're pretty expensive, $499-$99. But they do pretty much everything. I've sold the both and currently have a Pioneer Elite BDP-23 (with MC analogs) and a Marantz BD 8002 (also with MC a's). Buying a used BR player is a risky proposition but it's worked out well for me so far. Maybe you should post the question in the Hi-Def Source Hardware section but I bet Panasonic and Sony will be the two suggested (unless you want to spend $500, then it's OPPO for sure). But again, using the MC analogs means your receiver will act as an amplifier only. No Bass/Treble controls and no Eq or other sound processing.
"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.
 
 

 


#14 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 06 2011 - 02:18 PM

If I used the MC analogs and had no EQ, I don't think I would be very happy. I really like the EQ functions you described in an earlier post, particularly the Pioneer. I would certainly like to have DTS Master Audio or Dolby True HD, but then I lose the EQ in the receiver. Is that right? I will check out the models you mentioned above and surely learn alot from that. "Also, with most 7.1 receivers the 6/7 channels can be used for a Zone 2 so they're still very usable. You can also create a 6th and 7th channel using Dolby ProLogic II, DTS Neo:6 or H/K's Logic7" Sorry, no idea what you're talking about here.

#15 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 06 2011 - 03:05 PM

With a newer receiver (hdmi 1.3 or 1.4) hooked up to a BluRay player with an HDMI cable you will get TrueHD/DTS-MA and be able to use the receivers internal eq (they pretty much all have them now days). It's only through the MC analog inputs where you will lose all processing in the receiver. That's the downside to using the MC inputs. Dolby ProLogic II, Harman kardons Logic7 and DTS Neo:6 can take even a two channel stereo signal (like from a cd) and convert it to 7.1 channel. They can also take a 5.1 movie and convert it to 7.1. They do this by taking the information from the surround channels and creting the surround back channels. In going from two channel stereo they can create a center channel and all 4 surround channels, again, with varing degrees of success. Zone 2 allows you to have a 5.1 setup in one room while using the 6th and 7th channels to power a completely different stereo setup in another room. Referring to the receivers internal eq, Harman Kardon's EZSetEQ offers the fewest options and it can't be adjusted manually. Basically, you either turn it on or you turn it off. Audyssey, an independant company whose technology is licensed to Marantz, Denon and Onkyo/Integra, You have the choice of using Audyssey, Flat, Front or off. I think Audyssey is everything it has to offer, Flat tries for a Flat frequency response and Front tries to match the center and surrounds to the sound of the un-altered front speakers. It also incorporates Dynamic Volume, which equilizes the sound accross different sources like turning down the volume on those annoying commercials, and Dynamic EQ which increases the surround speakers output during times of low volume like late at night when others in the house are asleep. They are quite effective. Some receivers also have Dolby Volume which is similar to Dynamic Volume. Pioneers Advanced MCACC has it's 6 presets or can be turned off. It also has things like Full Band Phase Control, Standing Wave, EQ Profesional and X-Curve. The biggest problem with Pioneer receivers is they only allow one crossover setting for all speaker groups. Most other receivers allow you to select a different crossover setting for the Fronts, Center, Surrounds and Back Surrounds. This might be usefull if you have speakers of varying sizes. Audyssey is considered to be the best of the Automatic Setup and EQ programs but they can all be helpfull. Personally, I've never had much luck with them myself (I prefer to set the eq myself) but I have had some success in the past. Particularly H/K's EZSetEQ on a 435 about 4-5 years ago. Phenominal. Never been able to replicate it again though.
"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.
 
 

 


#16 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 08 2011 - 03:52 AM

Wow, I;ve been looking at that website A4L and I too am fond of saving money and you can certainly do it there. I am comfortable buying factory refurbished equipment. Hey Gene, I trust your experiences have been good? These new receivers from Onkyo and Marantz just have unbelievable functions and features. I looked at the back panel of one of the Marantz models and became very frightened!:D I expect to do more homework today and I will try to post to you later today/tonight.

#17 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 08 2011 - 09:38 AM

Ac4l.com is an authorized dealer for both receiver brands so your warranty is protected. Manufactures usually won't honor the warranty if you buy from un-authorized dealers like some of those on ebay. If you hook everything up with hdmi cables then 90% of that scary stuff isn't used anyway. If you really want to be frightened then down-load the manuals off the manufactures website (or Manualowl.com but they don't have Marantz or Onkyo). They're down-right terrifying! http://www.manualowl...K/Manual/213098
"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.
 
 

 


#18 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 08 2011 - 10:19 AM

Hello Gene and anyone else interested. I have DIRECTV all taken care of, and the picture on the Toshiba 1080p is really impressive. Its better than I had with Dish, or DIRECTV the first time around 4 years ago. Regarding receivers, I am leaning heavily toward the Onkyo 708 from A4L. I am comfortable buying factory refurbished equipment. Gene, what has your experience with that been, because I am all about saving money too. They have a convenient receiver comparison chart to print out from their site. So, I guess I can forget about sending this Octave EQ back to Audio Control! I'll definitely grab a Harmony remote too.

#19 of 87 gene c

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Posted September 08 2011 - 10:44 AM

It's been a while since I bought any receivers from Ac4l.com but my prior experiences have been great. The 708 refurb is a really good deal. The one thing about Onkyo receivers is they can get pretty warm. if you're planning on putting it in an entertainment center or other enclosed space then you may want to re-think it. But Onkyo's are thought to be the best bang-for-the-buck but personally I'm into Marantz receivers at the moment. But we all have our favorites.
"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.
 
 

 


#20 of 87 raverell

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Posted September 10 2011 - 04:57 AM

Gene: Being the proactive guy I am, I downloaded the manual for the Onkyo 708 (96 pages) and it states the following: The AV receiver’s HDMI interface is based on the following: Audio Return Channel, 3D, x.v.Color, Deep Color, Lip Sync, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DSD and Multichannel PCM It goes on to state that "Your Blu-ray Disc/DVD player must also support HDMI output of the above audio formats." So, having just bought a Panasonic BDT110 Blu-ray player, I looked up its technical specs and it says: Dolby® Digital Plus/ Dolby® TrueHD Decode (5.1ch) and Bitstream Out DTS™-HD Master Audio Essential/ DTS™-HD High Resolution Audio Decode and Bitstream output That SOUNDS like it supports those formats, but I would like your opinion on that. And get this: The HDMI video stream is compatible with DVI (Digital Visual Interface), so TVs and displays with a DVI input can be connected by using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter cable. (Note that DVI connections only carry video, so you’ll need to make a separate connection for audio.) My 8 year old Sony 46"HDTV has a DVI interface on the back panel along with the necessary audio jacks. Hey, its gotta help some, right?




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