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Looking for educated recommendations
4 replies to this topic
Posted February 04 2013 - 02:08 AM
Hi All, Back in the late 80's I was a pretty knowledgeable audiophile but it has been many years and the market has changed. I suppose my zeal has lessened to a small degree, but I would still like to make a smart purchase. I like cranking the music up every now and then (mostly rock but all kinds) but the primary requirement for the receiver is for home theater. We are big movie people. I have a mix match of hardware but I currently have: Current hardware Speakers - Cambridge Soundworks matched set of speakers - (Just before they went out of business) Fronts - Tower II Cambridge large Subwoofer Large Cambridge Center channel (of the two options they offered) 2 Cambridge Soundworks rear channel Sony Blue Ray (new 2013) Sony kf-50xbr800 (works great for it's age with a new lamp, but only allows DVI in). I am ready/dying to replace it when I move or when it breaks, but it is doing the job for the interim until I move and get a "perfect" wall hanging wiring setup) Comcast DVR Airplay iphone/iPad - new to this but I love the ease of it I am looking for a replacement receiver as my Denon 70watt receiver (Circa 1998 with MTS - a year before DTS came out) is failing and is turning off when pushed to any higher volume. I don't think I need multi zone unit. I was at Best Buy for another reason and cruised the Magnolia room and did some research - and the entire crew were in favor of the Pioneer Elite line for my needs, and I am also partial to Yamaha, but I want a good unit and don't care (Pioneer elite, Yamaha, Onkyo or Marantz) would all be fine. The manager said he thought the Amplifier should be more powerful to match my speakers (of course - he said I/they deserved it! lol) , but I think that was sales speak, and want your opinions). Any suggestions for receivers the $450-600 range (is that enough??)? The TV will be replaced at some point in the next year or so and I am leaning towards the Panasonic TCP55GT50 55" Ready to buy now Pioneer Elite VSX 42/60/53 seems like good units. They had a box open higher end SC-65 they were pushing on me for $1,164, but I just don't think I need it as it is multi zone. Can you help?
Posted February 04 2013 - 08:12 AM
It is a good thing you have DVI. As you'll run everything through the AVR and connect a HDMI-DVI cable. I would recommend Denon/Marantz(same company) for the multiple crossovers. If you aren't going to use multi-zone...then don't spend the money(for much of a multi-zone...cause at some point...it is unavaoidable to have it). If you have no "legacy" gear(VCR/LD/Wii), you don't even need HDMI upconversion. I don't remember that Cambridge sub...is it passive? If so, you'll need a mono amp to run it. HTD.com has two amps to choose from or if you need "less expensive" there are Dayton "bread loaf" amps that can run mono.
Posted March 01 2013 - 07:33 AM
The Cambridge Subwoofer is powered. For that it is worth they were considered pretty nice in the day (2000) Here is where I am now having trolled through every website I can find and settling in the 400-900 range. I am definately an OCD web research type guy into learning as much as I can (analysis paralysis) ensuring I get the best value for my needs - perhaps to a fault. My brother a huge Yamaha guy (like me) and like me a audiophile from the 80's 90's thinks 400-500 is sufficient, but again his knowledge is dated also and we are all not as picky as we once were (he worked in the best high end audio store in Burlington VT in the 80's and got me most of my stuff at discounts or box open specials in the day. Question - Here is where I am settling in on - YAMAHA RX-V673BL (400 great price) or Pioneer Elite VSX-53 (500 also great price) Basically Yamaha is 100 less. Yamaha is rated at 90w and the Pioneer at 110 - but I assume both are powerful enough? Frankly I could spend more and I am comfortable going up to 900-1000 if I really "had" to but when from what I have read during my research, I get the sense that I can get what I need for the 500ish range. Happy to be proven wrong but I use this mostly for home theater and from what I have read (and read and asked and asked etc.) it seems you can get a nice system for 400-600. I would go up to 900 if it really was noticeable. I think these two price deals are both well priced specials. Initially the Magnolia gang recommended the Pioneer Elite, but I have always been fond of Yamaha, and I found a great deal on the YAMAHA RX-V673BL for $400 (from 599). The Magnolia guys did a unusually hard sell to of course go right up to the SC-65 $1,300 which was a turn off (and was overpriced). All things being the same I would go Yamaha, but I want the best product regardless of name. I put the order in for the (YAMAHA RX-V673BL) and of course the next day received a tracking special of the Pioneer Elite VSX-53 at $500 $599 (from higher -BestBuy starting prices are artificially higher) which I thought could be an even better solution. Is there a significant difference? Any thoughts as I could possibly cancel the order and go the other route. Agonizing over it probably more than I need to (my usual thing) as both seem nice and I read the Yamaha was receiver of the year for a couple trade sites. Thanks quasi - OCD IT Guy needing to replace his 12 year old 70W Denon unit - Always had issues with the Denon - voices never clear, and the FM tuner always stunk, and I wanted to stay away from them this time around for that reason. Thanks for the help everyone. I wish I started this earlier but timing has been a challenge and I have to act while specials seem motivating, so if you had a quick response I would really appreciate it. Boston Tech Guy
Posted March 01 2013 - 08:20 AM
Pioneer isn't what it used to be(upper end Elite, notwithstanding). They've hopped on the "D-amp train". To my ears, D-amps sound dead and lifeless. Others call it "neutral". The 673 is hard to go up against. It is probably they only RX-V AVR actually worth what Yamaha wants you to pay. The 373/473 are worse than a joke...at their price points.
Posted March 01 2013 - 01:08 PM
The 673 is last years model, the Elite 53 at least a couple of years old. Thats a great price for both of them (673 was $649, Elite 53 way over-priced at $1100) and both are fine receivers I'm sure but I've never owned a Yamaha however. I've had several Pioneer Elites and was happy with all of them. The 53 doesn't offer very much over the 52 but it's still a nice price. I couldn't tell any difference in sound quality between an SC-35 I had and a vsx-23 but the 35 did have a bit more Umph! to it. As I've said so many times before, my favorite feature of Pioneer's is their 6 MCACC presets on the models with Advanced MCACC. You probably wouldn't notice any difference in power output between the two but the 53 does weight about 8 lbs more and consume 560 watts vs 400 for the 673. I don't think you'ld be disappointed in either of them. Both are much easier to setup and operate then Denon imo and would be a huge improvement over your 12 year old Denon.
"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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