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First HT system, help!


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#1 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 22 2012 - 04:24 AM

Starting from zero, I've done a lot of research but could really use your help to finally make the decisions. I want to start with a basic, simple system for 15x20 room. Music first, movies second. Don't care about 3D. Want streaming via wireless. Have Apple Airport. Already have Energy CB20 bookshelfs and Energy subwoofer. Are they enough for decent HT? Can spend up to $1,500 or so total. Looking at Yamaha v671 a/v receiver or Marantz equivalent so far. Would prefer one unit for CD/DVD. Is Oppo bhp 93 overkill? Is DAC important? Thanks for your expertise!

#2 of 14 TheGary

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Posted February 22 2012 - 09:33 AM

I would look at a Onkyo 709, they are pretty nice, I think Crutchfield still has them for 549. Your energy speakers should be fine, and I don't know much about blu-ray's but it seems a big overkill. I know oppo is nice, but I'm sure any high end bluray player will suffice. Your choice though.

#3 of 14 Jim Mcc

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Posted February 22 2012 - 09:37 AM

Unless you need a specific feature only the Oppo has, I would pass on the Oppo. I highly recommend the Panasonic Blu-ray players.

#4 of 14 Frank A

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Posted February 22 2012 - 01:25 PM

My two cents worth which isn't/doesn't mean much. You want music first; therefore, I would go for the Oppo. I have read good things about the Oppo, especially the early models and have always wanted one, though I don't have one. The one thing I like about it, is its ability to play SACD and DVD-A.(not sure if that interests you). Not many of those type of players out there, as there are not many disks, but I do enjoy listening to good discrete surround sound now and again. Although good ones are getting harder and harder and more expensive to find. And many are not in surround, only two channel. Whoops, sounds like I am trying to talk you out of it now.:rolleyes:, but I'm not. Yamahas are good receivers, I used to have the RXV630. Never any problems with it. When I upgraded to hdmi, I decided to go HK, for its musicality. I never really enjoyed listening to music much until I went to the HK. Don't know if there was a major difference in sound (I thought/think so) or if I just started listening to music more. So in your listed choices, I would lean towards the Marantz, as they are supposed to be real good for music (but I've never heard one). Don't know much about them for HT, either. I have read good things about Energy in general. For music (two channel), you need really good mains (rt and lft). For HT, you should have a good center channel and a good subwoofer. At this point (HT), the mains become more of an "affects" speaker, similar to your surrounds. As I said in the beginning. my $.02 only and not worth much more than that. Good luck and don't stress too much over the choices/decisions:):).

#5 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 22 2012 - 02:22 PM

Thanks, will look into that Onkyo, but I am more interested in quality and reliability than features per se. Get your message that oppo is overkill. Thanks!

#6 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 22 2012 - 02:25 PM

Unless you need a specific feature only the Oppo has, I would pass on the Oppo. I highly recommend the Panasonic Blu-ray players. Good point. I want (1) one box, not two; (2) good sound quality; and (3) wi-fi streaming. Sohould that go through the bluray or the av receiver?

#7 of 14 Jim Mcc

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Posted February 22 2012 - 05:09 PM

Should what go through the Blu-ray player or A/V receiver?

#8 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 23 2012 - 01:31 AM

Should what go through the Blu-ray player or A/V receiver?

Probably poorly worded. But basically I want to play the music that's on my computer and to stream music and movies from Netflix, Pandora, etc. using my wireless network. What is the best, easiest-to-use hardware for that?

#9 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 23 2012 - 01:40 AM

My two cents worth which isn't/doesn't mean much. You want music first; therefore, I would go for the Oppo. I have read good things about the Oppo, especially the early models and have always wanted one, though I don't have one. The one thing I like about it, is its ability to play SACD and DVD-A.(not sure if that interests you). Not many of those type of players out there, as there are not many disks, but I do enjoy listening to good discrete surround sound now and again. Although good ones are getting harder and harder and more expensive to find. And many are not in surround, only two channel. Whoops, sounds like I am trying to talk you out of it now.:rolleyes:, but I'm not. Yamahas are good receivers, I used to have the RXV630. Never any problems with it. When I upgraded to hdmi, I decided to go HK, for its musicality. I never really enjoyed listening to music much until I went to the HK. Don't know if there was a major difference in sound (I thought/think so) or if I just started listening to music more. So in your listed choices, I would lean towards the Marantz, as they are supposed to be real good for music (but I've never heard one). Don't know much about them for HT, either. I have read good things about Energy in general. For music (two channel), you need really good mains (rt and lft). For HT, you should have a good center channel and a good subwoofer. At this point (HT), the mains become more of an "affects" speaker, similar to your surrounds. As I said in the beginning. my $.02 only and not worth much more than that. Good luck and don't stress too much over the choices/decisions:):).

At this stage, I am interested only in good, basic sound. So SACD and DVD-A are not priorities. So again the Oppo looks like overkill. Concerning a center speaker, is it essential for watching the "smaller" movies I tend to favor? This system is going in the living room, where speakers have to be semi-invisible. (The second system, when it comes, is a different story.)

#10 of 14 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 23 2012 - 01:56 AM

If you want to stream music from your computer you should definitely look for a network receiver. While the DVD/BR players can handle some decoding, I found that they are better at decoding video, and the receivers are better at decoding audio (particularly FLAC files). Also, what format are the files you're streaming? If they're mp3 you're fighting an uphill battle for quality sound right from the start. All the major brands have good network models. I just returned aMarantz 1602 which was nice but a little underpowerd and had trouble reliably connecting to my NAS. I even more recently got a Yamaha 671, but it's too early to have an opinion. Also, most decent DVD/BR players will decode SACDs nowadays (as I just learned when I was searching for a receiver to do that), so you don't need to upgrade to an Oppo for that. I just got a last years model Sony for $20 that handles SACD. Although if you have the money, Oppo's are clearly the best brand out there. When you say you want one box, not two, what are you referring to? If you're referring to a combo receiver/DVD player, that's generally considered a bad approach. They are usually lower end models, come with mediocre speakers, and have the problem that if one component fails you have to replace the who thing.

#11 of 14 Hijack

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Posted February 23 2012 - 02:41 AM

If you want to stream music from your computer you should definitely look for a network receiver. While the DVD/BR players can handle some decoding, I found that they are better at decoding video, and the receivers are better at decoding audio (particularly FLAC files). Also, what format are the files you're streaming? If they're mp3 you're fighting an uphill battle for quality sound right from the start. All the major brands have good network models. I just returned aMarantz 1602 which was nice but a little underpowerd and had trouble reliably connecting to my NAS. I even more recently got a Yamaha 671, but it's too early to have an opinion. Also, most decent DVD/BR players will decode SACDs nowadays (as I just learned when I was searching for a receiver to do that), so you don't need to upgrade to an Oppo for that. I just got a last years model Sony for $20 that handles SACD. Although if you have the money, Oppo's are clearly the best brand out there. When you say you want one box, not two, what are you referring to? If you're referring to a combo receiver/DVD player, that's generally considered a bad approach. They are usually lower end models, come with mediocre speakers, and have the problem that if one component fails you have to replace the who thing.

I currently favor the Yamaha 671 for a/v receiver. In addition to a lot of CDs, I do have mp3 files and yes I know that's a quality negative. I have to better control the sound quality of future downloads. Have eliminated the Oppo. By "one box, not two," I meant one to play both CDs and DVDs, not two separates. Presumably a good Bluray will do?

#12 of 14 Al.Anderson

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Posted February 23 2012 - 03:14 AM

By "one box, not two," I meant one to play both CDs and DVDs, not two separates. Presumably a good Bluray will do?

Aha. Yes, that's the concensus. I'm using my system mainly for music an I only use a BR now (and I don't own any BR disks). There was a recent thread on the same issue and someone ventured that an audiophile CD player may still offer some advantages, but the average listener would be hardpressed to hear them.

#13 of 14 gene c

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Posted February 23 2012 - 09:06 AM

All BR players will also play dvd's and cd's and as Al mentioned, some (mostly Sony models) will also play SACD's. Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer also make universal BR players but their cost is just as high, or higher, than OPPO. The only thing I really look at when comparing players is the Signal to Noise ratio. The higher the better. And I beleive it only matters when hooked up with analog cables. If using digital or hdmi then there all pretty much the same until you get to the real high priced models, and then the arguments start. I think BestBuy has Sony BR/SACD models for under $100 but I haven't looked for one myself.
"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 14 Hijack

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Posted February 23 2012 - 12:15 PM

All BR players will also play dvd's and cd's and as Al mentioned, some (mostly Sony models) will also play SACD's. Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer also make universal BR players but their cost is just as high, or higher, than OPPO. The only thing I really look at when comparing players is the Signal to Noise ratio. The higher the better. And I beleive it only matters when hooked up with analog cables. If using digital or hdmi then there all pretty much the same until you get to the real high priced models, and then the arguments start. I think BestBuy has Sony BR/SACD models for under $100 but I haven't looked for one myself.

Thanks, Gene. I will choose either Sony or Panasonic. It's time to move on, this is an entry-level system after all. Thanks!