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So Confused


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#1 of 17 Spinnerz

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Posted September 13 2012 - 04:02 AM

So I am looking at receivers on ac4l.com (www.accessories4less.com) and I have to say that I have very little idea as to what I am looking at or for. I am basically looking at every receiver on the site that is $200 or less but I guess I have no idea which is best for me. Here's what I have... http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B004H1M4NO http://www.pioneerel...Speakers/SP-C21 http://www.pioneerel...r Speakers/SW-8 I will be getting the matching pioneer bookshelf speakers eventually. But what receiver would be best for these speakers. Sure it is easy for my to know the 100 W/ch is better than 80 W/ch. But I look at other things like RMS (I believe that is what it is called) or 20Hz to 20KHz and I feel lost. All the receivers on ac4l.com seem pretty good, or at least will work for me but I have little idea as to what separates them from one another. I am looking at the SHERWOOD R-772 Newcastle 7.1 Surround Receiver because it will give me the option to eventually go to 7.1 surround sound. This is currently $200 on the site but everything that is less money seem like it would be serviceable as well plus save me money of course. Heres what I need from the receiver... 2 HDMI inputs at least (xbox and blu ray player) I believe and optical digital audio input for my TV which doesn't have and HDMI output but does have and optical digital output (The TV is a LG 50 inch 720p plasma) And of course it needs to be able to adequately power the speakers I have. So I guess my question is am I even in the ball park of the right receivers I should be looking at? If so, which entry level one would you suggest?

#2 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 13 2012 - 04:23 AM

Have no clue what you are trying to say in the bottom about your plasma...(I assume you mean the only audio output is a toslink...which is correct on 95% of TV made since 2008...that don't have a headphone jack) Within reason... Every single amplifier ever made since the dawn of audio, will power every single speaker made since the dawn of audio... Meaning, even this... http://www.amazon.co...words=amplifier Will power these... http://www.amazon.co...waterfall audio The biggest concern in AVR is buying the one that has the features you need...and has a menu you can navigate.

#3 of 17 Spinnerz

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Posted September 13 2012 - 05:07 AM

I understand what you are saying. And to provide an answer to your biggest concern I really don't know much about AVR features and navigation. So picking one has become rather hard and confusing to me because they all seem close to the same provided that some may have few different bells and whistles. So assuming this, I would guess the easier navigation the better. As far as features go. I am guessing I just need the basics. I just want something that is going to sound good together.

#4 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 13 2012 - 05:12 AM

From a "couple decades" experience... In ease of use... Pick an Onkyo. Pioneer 2nd. I would add Yamaha, but they don't provide the "super simple" menu until 2-3 times the amount you want to pay. Onkyo are straight forward. I would avoid a Denon unless you want to peruse this... http://batpigworld.com/wp/

#5 of 17 Jason Charlton

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Posted September 13 2012 - 05:20 AM

Originally Posted by Spinnerz 

Sure it is easy for my to know the 100 W/ch is better than 80 W/ch.


Actually, the difference between 80wpc and 100wpc is negligible.  It takes double the power (roughly) to produce a 3dB increase in volume.  Really, anything from 75wpc to 120wpc is going to sound about the same.


Also, the "wattage" numbers associated with your speakers are meaningless, too.  They don't "map" in any way to the wattage numbers of a receiver, so trying to match the watts on the speakers to the watts on the receiver is pointless.


The important things are impedance (6 or 8 ohms will work with any receiver, lower impedances will require a beefier receiver) and sensitivity (this is a better indicator of how "loud" your speakers will get - your speakers have an 87dB sensitivity which is OK, but not great - higher end speakers will be over 90dB and some even surpass 100dB).


As for the audio connection from the TV to the receiver, you really shouldn't need that unless you're picking up TV signals over the air using the TVs internal tuner (are you?) or if the TV has built-in apps that you use.  All of your sources should connect directly to the receiver (hence you get a receiver with enough inputs for everything you currently have plus some extra for future expansion) leaving only a single HDMI from the receiver's output to an input on the TV.


Other nice features to look for in a receiver are auto setup/config utilities (like Audyssey in Onkyo/Denon) that use an included microphone to set speaker levels and distances automatically for you.  Definitely a worthwhile feature, IMO.


$200 is a pretty tight budget - even when shopping refurb.  The Onkyo HT-RC360 is $240 and at first glance seems pretty full-featured.  I can't comment on Sherwood, as I don't know much about them.  I would personally take a close look at the Denon models (like the 1612)  that are listed, and are even slightly cheaper than the Sherwood.  Denon has a reputation for being slightly less user-friendly than other brands, so be sure to peruse the manual online before deciding.  They are quality receivers, though, as are Onkyo.


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#6 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 13 2012 - 05:27 AM

On A4L you have... 330/309(technically the same receiver) 580/590 are the "same" just the 580 is a year prior. (590 adds another component video, do you care? It also has an extra toslink, do you care? A4L is wrong on the description of the 590...they can't "always be correct", that is why you always check the manufacturer website. Basically is the extra component video and toslink worth $10?) With the 330/309, there is no reason to pick the 313. Besides for the price of the 313 you can have the 580/590. The only meaningful difference, for you, is the 580/590 include the ability to do DPL IIz(read up on it). That by itself is reason enough.

#7 of 17 Spinnerz

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Posted September 13 2012 - 08:24 AM

First of all guys thanks for your responses, they all have good information and good things for me to think about. I read a little bit up on the DPL IIz. Basically what I came away with is that if you want the 7.1 surround sound but dont have the room to pull it off you can instead put the 2 surround speakers up high above your fronts. (The reviews on a couple of the websites I read seem mixed about this). I will definitely check out the manuals before I buy. Also I need to read up on the "setup/config utilities" that were mentioned above. Being a pretty big audio noob, anything to help me set up would probably be well worth the money.

#8 of 17 gene c

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Posted September 13 2012 - 11:37 AM

A receivers output can be rated differently to make it look better on paper. The best specs are: X watts per channel 20-20,000hz @ .09% thd (or less) all channels driven into 8 ohms. Some are listed as: X watts per channel 1Khz @ 10% thd one channel driven into 6 ohms. 1Khz is much easier to drive then the full frequency range, .09% thd is much better then 10% (which is almost un-listenable), 1 channel is much easier to drive then all channels and 6 ohms is easier to drive then 8 ohms (like peddling a bike down hill). This all adds up to a higher power rating but measured with smoke and mirrors. It's all a matter of keeping up with the Jones'. An engine can be measured at the flywheel without accessories to get a large number or at the rear wheels for a more realistic rating. A Yugo could go 120 mile per hour down hill. But would you want to be in it while it was doing it? Some of us also look at a receivers power consumption (usually listed in the back of the manual) and it's weight which might suggest a bigger power supply. Being an audio noob (we all were once opon a time-feel like I still am sometimes :confused: ) you want a receiver with an automatic setup feature like Audyssey automatic setup and room correction. It comes on most Denon, Onkyo and Marantz receivers except the very least expensive models. The Denon 1612 mentioned earlier has the better version (MultEQ) then Onkyo's (2EQ) in your price range. But as was also mentioned earlier, Denon's seem to be a bit more complicated to use. But they get easier as time goes by. Pioneer, Yamaha and Sheerwood use their own versions. The Newcastle 772 looks real good on paper since it's new and supposedly comes with a 3 year warranty (I'd confirm this first) but Sherwood isn't the first brand thought of when making recomendations. Or the second...or the third...which is funny since they make some receivers with other brand names on them. My pick in the low-price range is usually the Denon 1612 if you have the required patience to learn how to operate it. Otherwise, the Onkyo 580/590 looks like a good choice.
"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.
 
 

 


#9 of 17 Spinnerz

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Posted September 13 2012 - 02:59 PM

Great advice from everyone once again. No one really seems to no much about the Sherwood Newcastle 772, which doesn't seem like a good sign. I have read quite a few reviews on the Denon 1612 and people who can get it set up seem to love it. The problem obviously is getting it set up right. The only reviews I have found on the Onkyo 580/590 are with a HTIB speaker package/bundle. Though to be honest I have not looked too hard for reviews for these products because I need something to do at work tomorrow :D.

#10 of 17 Gary Seven

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Posted September 14 2012 - 04:34 AM

I don't understand all this talk about Denon being difficult to setup and use.  I have the 4311 and I found it very easy to setup and use.  I assume the lower model is even simpler.  What is it about the Denon that is so diificult compared to others?



#11 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 14 2012 - 06:26 AM

The major problem with Denon over Onkyo/Pioneer... They separate the "same functions" over a basic menu...then you have to enter an "advanced" set-up to do...essentially the same thing. Take speaker set-up. You can set the subwoofer crossover in the basic menu. The other 3/4 sets of speakers you have to open up a completely different part of the menu. Why? Onkyo nor HK do it that way. I've never met an AVR I couldn't figure out either. I played with the Anthem MRX 500 about a month into it being sold. Easy peasy...for me. And it extends to the universal players as well. I have the "twins" Onkyo/Integra DVPS607/DPS6.7 (not looking AT THEM at the moment, may have the model numbers wrong). I also have a Denon 3910. I made a photocopy of the instruction manual for the page on how to access SACD DSD. That is left on the 3910. Even I, looking at the instructions, still occasional screw up it playing DSD. Why does Denon make you enter DSD each time when Onk/Int put DSD in the set-up menu???

#12 of 17 gene c

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Posted September 14 2012 - 11:01 AM

I don't understand all this talk about Denon being difficult to setup and use.  I have the 4311 and I found it very easy to setup and use.  I assume the lower model is even simpler.  What is it about the Denon that is so diificult compared to others?

It's hard for me to pinpoint specific examples it's just that Denon (and marantz) seem to do things a bit differently than other receivers I'm more familiar with. My brother has the Denon 1610 and the manual is just about useless for me (an over-exaggeration I'm sure) and I really don't care for the "pamphlett" style layout. The remote that came with the 1610 looks like a design from the mid '80's. I have to admit, the more I have to fiddle with it the easier it's becoming but Pioneer's, Onkyo's and H/K's just seemed to make sense to me right from the get-go. I think most people could set them up without taking the manuals out of the rapping. Pioneer's do offer quite a bit more "tweaking" which did require an occasional thumbing through the manual, and there are still a few thing I haven't quite figured out yet (mostly dealing with the Advanced MCACC which is down-loaded to your computer). My marantz 5005 is a bit better but still uses that awefull (to me) manual style. The remote on it is excellent for one coming from a receiver manufacturer. I also have an Integra 70.2 on hand and it's remote took a step backwards from previous Onkyo/Integra versions. Can't do as much with the newer models. I've always liked Pioneer and H/K's remotes but after reading various magazines and forums I seem to be the only one who does :blush: . I've always felt my difficulty with Denon/Marantz was mostly being un-familiar with them but the existance of BatPig's guide makes me think it's a wide-spread issue. Maybe the higher end models are actually easier to setup and use.
"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.
 
 

 


#13 of 17 Gary Seven

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Posted September 18 2012 - 03:13 AM

I see... the layout of the functionality is different.  However, I still don't understand the statement Josh made ...."The problem obviously is getting it set up right."  I don't see how a different functionality layout would lead to a problem getting things set up right.  I've been doing home theater now for over three decades so maybe that is why I have no trouble.  When choosing A/V components, ease of use is never a consideration for me... performance overrides all, particularly for music.


#14 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 18 2012 - 03:56 AM

^^^ That works for us that know what we are doing.

#15 of 17 Spinnerz

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Posted September 18 2012 - 04:52 PM

One more question to add. It has to do with 1.3 HDMI and 1.4 HDMI. I know 1.4 hdmi receiver allows for 3D, but since I don't have a 3D TV (and quite frankly don't really like watching 3D because it gives me head aches) is there any other reason to get a receiver with 1.4 hdmi over one that has 1.3 hdmi or is there really not a difference between the two? I hope that made sense :confused:. I guess what I am trying to say is what were the advances made in technology from 1.3 HDMI to 1.4 HDMI and is there a big change between the two outside of the 3D aspect?

#16 of 17 Jason Charlton

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Posted September 19 2012 - 01:48 AM

HDMI 1.4 added ethernet support and Audio Return Channel (ARC) in addition to 3D support.


The ethernet addition allows all your HDMI connected devices to "share" a single network connection - but as I am not one that has a "connected" system in any way, I can't really offer any substantial input on how useful this would be.


ARC's usefulness will vary from setup to setup.  If you are like most of us and connect all of your sources via HDMI directly to the receiver (bypassing the TV) and you don't pick up any over the air broadcasts and don't have a "smart" TV with apps and such, then you likely won't ever need to use ARC.


If you use built-in streaming apps on the TV, then ARC *might* make it easier to route the audio from the streaming apps to your receiver, however not all display manufacturers implement ARC the same way, and in fact some TVs make it impossible to get the app audio out of the TV (via HDMI, digital optical or any other means...)


3D is the biggest reason to opt for HDMI 1.4 - if you are certain it's off the table for you, then you should be pretty confident in going with a 1.3 receiver and not missing out on anything of importance.


Oh, and one more thing - for you to take advantage of any of these 1.4 features, ALL the devices in a signal chain would have to be 1.4.  So for 3D blu-ray playback, at a minimum your TV and Blu-ray player would have to be 1.4.  If you route the HDMI signal through your receiver, then the receiver would also have to be 1.4.


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#17 of 17 schan1269

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Posted September 19 2012 - 03:24 AM

Speaking of the "ethernet" ability in 1.4... I know of nothing that uses it. That is an ability that would have made sense at HDMI 1.1. But "everything" has WiFi now, which makes internet over HDMI pointless. So, if you care not for ARC(and its headaches with CEC)...and don't watch 3D... There is a plethora of 1.3 receivers on the used market. I don't care for 3D either. I've been having a field day in the last 18 months buying 1.3 receivers off Fleabay. TX SR707 (with the Onk Ipod dock, which I resold) for $300. This was right when the X09 receivers hit the market and the X07 were a year old. Paid $300. It is worth $350 if I sold it today. considering I sold the dock for $60, I got the 707 for $240. Integra DTR 7.9. Paid $475 (still had the original box, manual etc...). Guy listed it as "bought 3D, needed a new receiver, been sitting in a closet, decided to sell it". TX NR1008. Bought it "non-functional" on Ebay for $100. The problem was the recall that this guy apparently had no clue to figure out. When I got it, drove it to an Onkyo repair facility...showed them the problem. Without even asking for a receipt, or even proof I was the original owner...Onkyo fixed it. Ergo, tons of deals out there to be had on HDMI 1.3.




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