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New HT receiver recommendations


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#1 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 19 2012 - 06:21 AM

I'm currently researching replacing my B&K AVR507 with a new receiver with HDMI capabilities. I've loved the power and sound quality of my B&K over the past 7 years so it's going to be very difficult to let go. Unfortunately though it's become to antiquated to be a seamless part of my current HT set-up. Must have's: HDMI input on the front of my new unit. USB port on the front panel MP3 Jack on the front panel Warm sound capable of adequately powering my Paradigm studio 60's A remote which is intuitive and capable of truly controlling everything Newtork capable using wireless and a LAN connection Reliable with good build quality I also have a few questions regarding HDMI switching. If I have all of my components connected via HDMI running through the receiver will the unit have to be on in order to view programming through my HD display? I would assume that components are connected to the TV using the optical cable for sound with the unit off, is this correct? Here's what I've reserached so far. Denon 3312CI - concerns: May not be powerful enough for my speakers. Remote control Denon 4311Ci - concerns: Seems adequate for what I need. Price is higher than I would like to spend. Denon 4310Ci - concerns: Not quite as powerful as the 4311CI. Price is more in line with budget. Not sure if I would miss the features not common with the current 4XXX model. My budget is less than 1500.00. Pioneer Elites are overpriced IMO (UPDATED) The SC55 seems like it could be an option and is well priced. The Onkyo 809 interests me but I'm not familiar with Onkyo and have read about quality and reliablity issues with the new 809. I appreciate any and all recommendations. Greg

#2 of 16 Mr645

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:03 AM

Not that I can suggest a specific model, but I recently went from B&K to Pioneer Elite. I had a Ref 20 processor and Parasound amps, one 5x85 and a 2x70 amp for the rear. L & R mains were and are still bi amped. I bought a Pioneer VSX 32 open box for $399. The receiver is rated at 110x7. First I set it up just like the external amps, in a 5.1 system with the front mains bi amped. The sound seemed a little less natural I then added the 85x5 (Parasound HCA-855a) back into the system and sounds quality improved, fuller, more natural, more realistic vocals, especially male vocals. One thing I also found surprising, the 85 watt Parasound is almost 4 times more powerful then the Pioneer receiver. The Pioneer does a great job decoding everything, DTS and DD master audio sounds fantastic. The tunability of the new gear is way better then anything short of a B&K 70 2 channel music? I still have to give the edge to my old Ref 20 for soundstage, depth and a bit more dynamics that seem to put 2 channel music just a hint closer to realism then with the Pioneer. But overall, the Pioneer has a lot going for it. Perhaps consider the Marantz AV-7005 and with the 7.1 input on your 50, you could still use it as an amp. Or stretch the budget a little and pick up a little multi channel amp. Carver, Parasound, B&K. Or check out the Marantz SR 7005 I sold my Ref 20 and 2x75 amp for what I paid for the Pioneer processor

#3 of 16 Gary Seven

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:20 AM

Hello,


You are where I came from.  I replaced my 507 (moved it to the bedroom) late last year.  Like you, I had trouble letting it go as it is a beautiful receiver with good power and sound.  And expensive when it came out, which is why I know longer will spend that kind of money on an AVR.  Technology changes too fast.

After some research, I opted for the Denon 4311ci, which I got for 1500 dollars new... about half of what the B&K was.  It has 9 discrete amps rated @140.  I have a 7.1 set-up running 8 ohm speakers.  The front two I bi-amped so I had 8 amplifiers running in the Denon.  The power supply for the Denon is 780 watts.  So if you divide 780 in to 8, you get about 98 watts among 8 amplifiers, at best.  And you really won't get that.  So, movies, this thing is great but I found it lacking for music.  It does not have the power of the B&K.  This is what you are going to miss.  So I went ahead and ordered an external amp to take the load of the front speakers and leave the power supply and amps for the surrounds.  This helped ALOT.  The botton line is you will not have the power of the B&K but that can be addressed via an external amp.


The receiver does not have to be on to see TV and get sound.  It has pass thru.  You do NOT have to hook up an optical cable to the TV for sound when the receiver is off.  HDMI does it for you.


Your budget is a big drop from the B&K so if you are stuck at 1500, expect less from your AVR as far as power goes.


Let me know if you have any other questions.



#4 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:24 AM

Appreciate the response. Just to alleviate any confusuion I have the AVR 507 and not the ref 20. I really want to purchase an all in one deal without going the separates route. I would only consider a pre-amp with all the bells and whistles if there was a way to use just the amp section of my B&K AVR. I really do love the sound of my B&K and I know I'll be hard pressed to find a suitable replacement considering how little I'm willing to spend. Is adding a pre-amp and using just the amp section of my AVR 507 even possible?

#5 of 16 Gary Seven

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:25 AM

No.



#6 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:29 AM

Hello, You are where I came from.  I replaced my 507 (moved it to the bedroom) late last year.  Like you, I had trouble letting it go as it is a beautiful receiver with good power and sound.  And expensive when it came out, which is why I know longer will spend that kind of money on an AVR.  Technology changes too fast.   After some research, I opted for the Denon 4311ci, which I got for 1500 dollars new... about half of what the B&K was.  It has 9 discrete amps rated @140.  I have a 7.1 set-up running 8 ohm speakers.  The front two I bi-amped so I had 8 amplifiers running in the Denon.  The power supply for the Denon is 780 watts.  So if you divide 780 in to 8, you get about 98 watts among 8 amplifiers, at best.  And you really won't get that.  So, movies, this thing is great but I found it lacking for music.  It does not have the power of the B&K.  This is what you are going to miss.  So I went ahead and ordered an external amp to take the load of the front speakers and leave the power supply and amps for the surrounds.  This helped ALOT.  The botton line is you will not have the power of the B&K but that can be addressed via an external amp. The receiver does not have to be on to see TV and get sound.  It has pass thru.  You do NOT have to hook up an optical cable to the TV for sound when the receiver is off.  HDMI does it for you. Your budget is a big drop from the B&K so if you are stuck at 1500, expect less from your AVR as far as power goes. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Appreciate the response. It sounds like we're both in the same camp. Like you I'm really leaning towards the Denon. Thanks for the clarification with the HDMI connections. Did you check out any other receivers before pulling the trigger on the Denon? If so I would like to hear your thoughts and impressions. Greg

#7 of 16 Gary Seven

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Posted March 19 2012 - 10:49 AM

The only other AVR I considered was the Marantz but I went with Denon because basically I got a good price on it and the reviews I read were all positive.  But if I were in the market right now, I would look at the Marantz SR7005 as well.


If you find the power inadequate, you can add the external amp later.  The beauty of it while the tech for the AVR may and will change, the external amp will still provide it's benefit for many years to come.



#8 of 16 Mr645

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Posted March 19 2012 - 12:55 PM

You actually could your AVR507 as an external amp. You can access 5 channels only however. So if you are using a 5.1 system, it would work. Use a processor to select inputs, and send the 5 channels plus sub signal to the DVD inputs on the B&K 507. I don;t think it is possible to set the AVR 507 to 5.1 with front L & R bi amped. I may be wrong. Not the most elegant set up, but the Marantz AV-7005 to the B&K 507 to a 5.1 speaker system should work. You will only be over budget for the cost of cables. Yu wont be able to trigger the B&K to turn on when the processor comes on, like a typical external amp. B&K was able to do quite a bit of custom work, but since they were bought, I have no idea if that same level or service is there.

#9 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 19 2012 - 03:39 PM

You actually could your AVR507 as an external amp. You can access 5 channels only however. So if you are using a 5.1 system, it would work. Use a processor to select inputs, and send the 5 channels plus sub signal to the DVD inputs on the B&K 507. I don;t think it is possible to set the AVR 507 to 5.1 with front L & R bi amped. I may be wrong. Not the most elegant set up, but the Marantz AV-7005 to the B&K 507 to a 5.1 speaker system should work. You will only be over budget for the cost of cables. Yu wont be able to trigger the B&K to turn on when the processor comes on, like a typical external amp. B&K was able to do quite a bit of custom work, but since they were bought, I have no idea if that same level or service is there.

I think this could work. Output the pre-amp to the DVD Audio inputs "analog" on the back of the B&K. I see no reason why this wouldn't work in theory but of course I would still be out the cost of a good pre-amp with all the bells and whistles I'm looking for. I've decided to put my 507 up for sale on ebay. It should sell as I'm only asking $800.00 for it and at this price it's a steal. I'll use the money I get from the B&K to offset the cost of my new receiver. In the mean time I'm in full blown research mode. I like what I'm reading and seeing with new Pioneer Elite receivers and they are on par price wise with the Denon. I just need to figure oput where I can go test drive so I can do some A and B comparisons. Greg

#10 of 16 Mr645

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Posted March 20 2012 - 12:17 AM

Check to make sure you have the features you need, but coming from B&K, I can't think of a solution that won't either be over budget, or a sacrifice in performance in some way. Except perhaps http://www.accessori...rocessor/1.html And then add a Parasound or B&K AV5000, Acurus, Bryston, etc. 5 channel amp from Ebay or Audiogon etc. I am pleased with my Pioneer receiver, don't get me wrong. And it's one of the entry level Elites, a VSX-32. But B&K does have the edge in stereo sound quality. The Pioneer does do wonders with the hi rez BluRay audio formats. You can also keep en eye out for a B&K 707, although the Japanese brands still probably have a big lead on features, and they are still in business. Also, those Paradigm 60's are not difficult to drive. You just might be happy with the amp section in a high end Receiver.

#11 of 16 Gary Seven

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Posted March 20 2012 - 02:52 AM

I don''t think that will work as you will still be using the pre-amp part of the B&K, as it is integrated, but you can try.


#12 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 21 2012 - 05:25 AM

I spent the day yesterday researching and audiotioning as many HT receivers as I could. This was mostly low to mid level models from various manufacturers as there aren't many options available in my area (we have a Best Buy and a higher end HT dealer) . I did get a chance to hear the new Anthem MX700 with a pair of late model studio 60's and was quite impresssed with the sound. The receiver itself lacks many of the features I'm looking for though and therefore is not an option for me. Here's what I've narrowed my search down to based on onloine research and in store observations. Not necessarily in this order are the units currently on my short list. All can be found online with-in my price range. Bang for the buck and recommendations here will help me make my final decision as I have not had the opportunity to do any A+B testing of any of these receiver's. Pioneer Elite SC-55 Denon 4311CI Marantz AV 7005 I appreciate all the feedback so far. Greg

#13 of 16 Gary Seven

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Posted March 21 2012 - 12:49 PM

I think you will do well with any of those.  Since you narrowed it down, I would  check the power supply rating and consider the one with the biggest (remember how heavy the 507 is).  I wished I had done that.  The Denon is 780.


Another thing I realized I lost the ability to mix and match.  With the 507 I could set a code to use the video from my LDs and get audio from my cds.  Push a couple of buttons and everything switches over easily.  The Denon can't do that.  Bummer really.  So if that ability matters, see if the other units have it.


Other than that they seem comparable.  Let us know your choice and your listening experience, particularly with music.



#14 of 16 Mr645

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Posted March 21 2012 - 01:30 PM

I would guess Marantz would have the edge for music sound quality, but that's really just a guess on my part.

#15 of 16 greggor

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Posted March 26 2012 - 09:08 AM

The market value for a used B&K AVR507 seems to be somewhere around $500.00 and I just can't justify letting this great receiver go for that price so I've decided to keep it for a few more years. I really like the sound quality of my B&K and I don't think there's a receiver on the market that can compete. Definitely not at $500.00 and probably not in the &1500.00 range that I've budgeted on a new unit. I appreciate all the advice and the recommendation's offered. At the end of the day I save a few thousand dollars and get to keep a great sounding piece of equipment! Greg

#16 of 16 gene c

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Posted March 26 2012 - 10:18 AM

Nothing wrong with vintage gear. One of the best sounding setups I've had was an OPPO 83se hooked up to an H/K 7200 (with the multi-channel analogs) and Infinity Beta speakers. Video straight to the display. Never felt the need for room correction, hdmi, etc. Of course, new gear does have it's advantages and I wanted to jump on the hdmi bandwagon but in the end it doesn't always mean it will sound better. My later model Pioneer Elite stuff sounds pretty good, but not better.
"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.
 
 

 





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