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Hi-fi, low dollars


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted February 28 2013 - 04:12 AM

Hi all, Well after many years on the sidelines it is finally time to get back in the game and upgrade my AV receiver. I bought my last unit over 20 years ago (Yamaha RX-830) and it has served me well. At the time I was young, single and looking for a decent receiver that would last me for a while so I guess I did OK. When the Yamaha's LCD display finally went recently though, I knew - the time had come. I would have loved to upgrade even sooner, but I added a wife and 5 kids to the 'home entertainment" mix since then, so I've been on a sort of self-imposed audiophile exile (don't look, don't buy). :) I know a lot has changed since my last purchase, and I have been reading/researching like crazy to get caught up. I'd love nothing more than to splurge on some of the really cool stuff I am seeing, but with the family still a big priority, the budget won't allow it. The sad reality is I will only have about $200-$400 to spend on a "new" receiver (and you can probably guess which number the wife likes best ;) ). So, given that, I am trying to decide between something lower-end new vs. higher-end used to give me the best av bang for the buck. Brands I'm looking at from what I've read so far - Pioneer, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo (and one Sony). Here are examples of some models I think I can get in that price range - New Sony STR-DN1030 Denon AVR-1913 Pioneer VSX-1122 Onkyo NR-616 Used Denon AVR-2312CI or 3808CI Pioneer Elite (various models) Yamaha RX-V671 On the low end of my price range I was also looking at the following models - Yamaha RX-V1800 Denon AVR-1912 Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K Onkyo NR-609 Personally I care most about music and audio quality, but video/home theater is also important with 5 kids. We have a large variety of wireless devices (Iphone, Ipods, Android tablets and smart phones) so streaming and the ability to use these to control the unit is a big plus. Spotify is currently used by everyone, so native support for this would also be cool (but not required). Other features I care about include HDMI connectivity and video up-conversion (for some of our older devices), and multi-zone capability (I have speakers in several locations indoors and out). I know this is a wide-open target, but I'd love to hear what you think on this subject and any specific recommendations you might have on the models above (or others for that matter). No telling how long this next one will need to last me, so I need all the help I can get! Thanks for listening! Sincerely, Dave H.

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 28 2013 - 04:41 AM

The only one I know of with Spotify support is Onkyo. Although...if you were to add a Roku to the mix(I think Roku now has Spotify...as I know Roku has MOG)...you can go with a non-internet enabled AVR and go for even the Onkyo SR608...which sells, used, roughly $100 less than the NR609....which you could "use" to buy the Roku. Also keep in mind, on the lower end AVR, the "networking" isn't available for Multi-Zone use...so an outboard Roku...connected analog for the audio...would be required.

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 28 2013 - 04:57 AM

By the way, based on your budget....and intended use... http://www.ebay.com/...=item2ec69cf548

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted February 28 2013 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for the reply Sam. I have read a little about Roku and other streaming devices but have no personal experience with any of them. Have you used a Roku yourself? I think if a Roku was compatible with most or all of the higher end "non-networked" models I have seen out there, that this could be a practical/economical way to go since I have definitely noticed the jump in price on the used market for networked vs non-networked receivers. FWIW on Spotify, native support would be a bonus but definitely not required. Maybe I'll edit my original post to note this. Thanks again for the suggestion.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted February 28 2013 - 08:59 AM

By the way, based on your budget....and intended use... http://www.ebay.com/...=item2ec69cf548

Thanks also for the link. I will definitely check this out.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 28 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the reply Sam. I have read a little about Roku and other streaming devices but have no personal experience with any of them. Have you used a Roku yourself? I think if a Roku was compatible with most or all of the higher end "non-networked" models I have seen out there, that this could be a practical/economical way to go since I have definitely noticed the jump in price on the used market for networked vs non-networked receivers. FWIW on Spotify, native support would be a bonus but definitely not required. Maybe I'll edit my original post to note this. Thanks again for the suggestion.

No I don't have a Roku. Been tempted, but I use the best device there is to stream. A computer. I have an older Acer 7735Z I take around the house and a Lenovo "entertainment PC" for my main theatre. I use a HP DV7 windows 8 in the office for the WiDi. Edit: I also have an Ipad2. There is an "Apple HDMI adapter" (not what it is actually called, but you can find it) for $40 at Target or $35 and under on Ebay. I connect it for streaming as well.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted February 28 2013 - 12:26 PM

Thanks Sam. Yeah with my old Yamaha what we usually used was my laptop with an analog connection from the headphone out to an available line in on the receiver. It worked, but I thought it would be nice to have some other options. I am going to look into the 608 and other non networked models and see how this option stacks up. I still have a lot of catching up to do.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted March 01 2013 - 06:44 AM

FYI, I took a shot at that SR608 on eBay but lost out. Somebody got a good deal though. So I am still in the hunt for a replacement. So if anyone has any suggestions for the best bang for the buck in my price range ($200-$400) I'd be glad to hear them. I'm open to any recommendations new, refurbished, used or clearance. Thanks! (I know it's not much to work with, but I'm really hoping to satisfy an audiophile's taste on a caveman's budget).

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted March 01 2013 - 07:26 AM

If you don't need 3D capability... Denon 1909/1910/890/790/990 Onkyo 607/606/706/707 Those are the easiest to find used. If 3D is "off the table", that opens you up to a myriad of AVR that are HDMI 1.3. Any Denon that is a 789 or higher(the 89/90/91 denote year) or 1909(09/10/11 denote year). If you can go back to HDMI 1.2(essentially AVR that don't process lossless, meaning your BD player...if you have one???...has to do it) Denon 787/788/1908/1907(to keep HDMI upconversion you have to ignore "bottom feeder" AVR) Onkyo 674/675/605/705

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted March 02 2013 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for the list Sam. i have been debating how important HDMI 1.4 is to me right now (or will be in the future). I don't have any 3D devices now and I've seen some nice high-end 1.3 units used in my price range that are tempting. I will spend some time checking out the listings tonight. Thanks again for the advice.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   JOHNnNM

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Posted March 06 2013 - 07:13 AM

If you can zero in on one? Then sort of wait for a deal on it somewhere. I just put in a low end Pioneer 1022 in and got it for well under $200 US.... I had it down to 2 or three models and just searched every day for a few days and bammo, there it was. Prett darn happy with it so far...

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   dhman

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Posted March 08 2013 - 01:59 PM

Oh happy day. My budget took a little unexpected turn for the better and I now have as much as $500 to work with. Based on that, here are the choices I have narrowed it down to at this point (based on best prices I could find online for new units) - Pioneer SC-1222 - $471 Sony STR-DN1030- $399 Denon AVR-1913 - $399 Pioneer VSX-1022 - $200 I think if I were to get the 1022 (or similar model), I would take some of the dollars saved and put them toward a set of speakers. John - thanks for your input on the 1022. Anybody else have any of these units? I'd be really grateful to hear your thoughts. Thanks!




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