A-V receivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Glenn Mcc, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. Glenn Mcc

    Glenn Mcc Extra

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    Just bought 65inch plat-plus mits need a receiver under $500. I heard a Denon sounds great any tips? Radio Shack has an RCA a-v receiver with 100X5 watts, Dobly Pro Logic II, Dolby Digtal, DTS, 5.1 channel, Virtual Rear Center Channel, 6 DSP Modes and so on. I can purchase it new for less than $200.00 with my wife's corporate discount. Why is this RCA so much cheaper than the high end brand names like Denon and so forth?
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Glenn,

    Check the specs on that power rating. Look for how many watts over what frequency range, and at what THD (Total Harmonic Distortion).

    Typically less expensive or mass market recievers will be rated at a constant 1000hz, with a THD of over 1%. It takes more actual power to drive over a full range of frequencies, so a rating at 20 to 20,000hz is going to be much more conservative. The low frequencies especially require lots of real power. Achieving low distortion also requires more real power.

    So 100 watts per channel at 1000hz with a THD of over 1% isn't nearly as powerful in the real world as 70 watts per channel at 20-20,000hz with a THD of .05%. There are other factors involved, such as a receiver's ability to output high wattage to all channels simultaneuosly, good recievers are much better at this than than cheap ones.

    It's a very good bet that a Denon, Yamaha, or Harman Kardon receiver rated at 60 or fewer watts per channel will actually play much louder and clearer than the RCA rated at 100 wpc.

    Aside from these 2 factors, the quality of the chips that convert digital signals (which DD and DTS are) to analog for output to the speakers is going to be much higher in the better receivers.
    This is going to make sound clarity and definition much better, with lower noise ratios.

    If your budget is really tight, one of the Kenwood, Pioneer, or Yamaha "home theater in a box" setups will probably far outperform the RCA at an acceptable price. These have a real receiver, 5 satellite speakers, and a powered subwoofer all packaged in one box. Expect to pay around $500 or so for a good HTB. The weak spot in these systems is invariably the speakers, but you can upgrade those later and still use the real reciever that came with the HTB.

    Alternatively, a $400 or so Denon, Yamaha, or Harman Kardon receiver and a matched sat-sub speaker system from a good speaker mfg. (check out the Energy Take-5 with 8" sub package generally available for about $600) will get you quite nice sound worthy of that nice tv for about $1k.
     
  3. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Steve on all points- the difference between the receivers he mentions and the RCA will be fairly apparent if you heard them side by side with the same speakers in the same room, etc.. However, if you never compare them this way you may never realize this differences- which may be fine also for some. Personally, I would look into a an HK or Marantz with less wattage or equal if you can afford it. Check out JandR.com for good deals on HK units. I own the 225 entry level HK and love it. The 320 and 520(great deals on these right now- read the boards) are also great machines. Next I might look into the Onkyo machines.
     
  4. DanielM

    DanielM Stunt Coordinator

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    it is a mass market receiver and you are getting a corporate discount as far as price/performance ratio it looks to be an OK deal the rca receiver is a re badged pioneer anyway...if you have budget speakers you would probably not hear any difference any way....decide the features you want and your budget then go and listen to the various models that fit you wants/needs
     

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