advice on buying HT home theater receiver amp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mikey Ber, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    Looking at putting together a ht system.

    receivers:

    Yamaha HTR-5540 $249
    Pioneer VSX D811 $280

    Speaker systems:

    Acoustic Research HC4 $229
    Onkyo SKS HT-500 $249

    Need some input on these components, and would like recommendations on compariable models from other manufactures. Was looking at Onkyo HTiB ST650, but don't like the problems associated with it. Don't really care for Pioneer, rather have a Yamaha, H/K, or Onkyo amps/recievers. Heard alot about the Pioneer VSX D811 model though.

    Have a Toshiba 50hx81 television, and a JVC XV-S60 DVD player...so I don't need a player or a tv.


    So what I am looking for is an amp/receiver 40 watts/channel minimum with a powered sub and matching speaker system, at a modest cost say between $500-$700. I would be using it mainly for movies.

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    just found Bob McElfresh post on receiver comparison.Is the yamaha Rx-v430 the same as the HTR-5540? I plan on hooking up just the audio to the receiver, and wiring the video directly to the tv. Does anyone see any problems this may cause?
    how does the Denon AVR-1403 compare to the yamaha RX-V430?
     
  3. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    Any recommendations of other speaker sysytems or receivers?
     
  4. steven pm

    steven pm Agent

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    The Denon is great as is the Yamaha, even in this price range. And yes, the HTR-5540 is pretty much identical to the AV-R430. FYI, J&R has the 5540 for $199. Or, for $249, they have the AV-R530 (same as the HTR-5550). Same power specs and all, a few more inputs (1 coax dig. audio plus 3 optical, just 1 of each in the 5540) plus component switching (which I don't use). Great deal IMO; just repalced my older Denon with the 530 after also considering the Denon 1603.
     
  5. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Mikey:

    If you are looking for a Home Theater Receiver for under $300 USD, you will be hard pressed to find a better value than the Pioneer 811S.

    I looked at everything in the price range before deciding that this was the receiver for me. If you are interested in what my decision criteria were, check out this thread.

    By the way, Pioneer is coming out with a 912 soon that will have more features than the 811 but the same MSRP.

    For more ideas on receivers and speaker systems, checkout the buyers guides at http://hometheater.valuecanuck.com.

    Jeff
     
  6. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,
    thanks for the link to that website.
    It really is pack with alot of information.
    Mike
     
  7. steven pm

    steven pm Agent

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    Mikey, just a note that I concur with the comment in the other thread about the trade-off. How much do you really need a second pair of amplified channels, pre-outs, etc? On the loiwer end, the Yamahas/Denons/Onkyos have the high-current amps (Pioneer *doesn't*) which will give you lots of cleaner sound at louder volume when desired. Any amp can play loud when turned up, but many will fatigue your ears or sound strained in the mids/highs rather than clean and open. (My old Sony did, so I know what it sounds like. $^)

    I have and have listened to many good and so-so systems. Just picked up the Yamaha RX-v530 for myself, and believe it or not, apaprt from the overall quality, many (even most!) of the DSP modes are listenable. (Unlike even their earlier receivers.) Even in DD and DTS, their's an 'enhanced' option that opens up the soundfield subtley to make it more theater-ish. There are also a few music modes that work well, without sounding too echo-y like many DSP programs I've heard.

    As for a sub, the SOny SA-WM40 generally gets good reviews here for affordable bass.
     
  8. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve,

    My wife told me I can spend what is "necessary" for a system. (she wants a parrot...) I am upping my spending to around a $1000..so....I like to purchase a little better system, which now I can go a little higher on the scale.

    looks like difference between the denon avr-1403/yamaha rxv-430, and the higher models denon avr-1603/yamaha rxv-530 is the number of video inputs/outputs the higher models have, and the speaker connections. The only reason to go with the denon avr-1603/yamaha rxv-530 is to do your video switching thru your receiver/amp instead of your tv, am I correct in saying that. I have the Toshiba 50HX81, which is loaded with inputs/outputs. The thing I don't like about the lower models are that the speaker connections are spring clips.

    Now, do your have any recommendations for 5.1 speaker systems?

    Mike
     
  9. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    I am between the Yamaha HTR-5540 and the Denon Avr-1403.
     
  10. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    For $100 more (MSRP), the Denon AVR-1603 offers the following improvements over the AVR-1403:
    • 80 watts x 5 vs. 70 watts x 5
    • component video switching for 2 sources
    • S-video switching for 3 sources
    • 3 optical inputs vs. 1
    • an optical output
    • an improved remote
    • binding posts vs. spring clips for the surround speakers

    For $100 more (MSRP), the Yamaha RXV-530/HTR-5550 following improvements over the RXV-430/HTR-5540:
    • component video switching for 2 sources
    • S-video switching for 3 sources
    • 3 optical inputs vs. 1
    • an optical output
    • a multibrand remote
    • binding posts vs. spring clips for all speakers

    Personally, I think the extra dollars are worth it in both cases.

    As far as speaker systems go, I would suggest you look into the following:
    - Axiom Epic Micro
    - Athena Point5
    - Energy Take 5.2
    - Paradigm Cinema 90 HT

    Again, check out Value Canuck's buyers guides for details on all of them.

    Good luck with the decision,

    Jeff
     
  11. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for all the info...

    I am going for the Yamaha RXV-530, was looking at the Energy take 5.1 speaker system...but going to do alittle more research on the speakers.
    Mike
     
  12. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok,
    How is these setup:

    Yamaha RXV-530 receiver
    Sony SAWM40 powered sub
    Fluance 5 Speaker Surround Sound Home Theatre System SX-HTB

    can I improve on the setup any?

    Mike
     
  13. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

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    Good call, Mikey!!!! I shall join you on one of those Yamaha HTR-5550's in a few months when I finish putting my bedroom unit together. That and a TDB Hi-Fi Stereo VCR is all I need.

    I needed a fine receiver for the right price to serve as a secondary/bedroom unit with several forward-compatible features such as more digital audio and component and S-video inputs. In my honest opinion, for $100, it is more than worth it, as Jeff so aptly out it. Plus, I also like the versatility of the different surround sound processing the Yamaha provides, such as DPL standard, enhanced or II SEPARATELY, as well as the usual suspects of DD, DTS, matrixied 6.1, etc. I look forward to putting it to work and good usage this coming summer!!!! [​IMG]

    And also, for the Yamaha 5550, I shall even bring in a Monster Cable HT connector box kit which has everything I will need to hook it all up. :b
     

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