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Anyone willing to discuss some receiver options? (1 Viewer)

caiazpa

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Paul
I am looking at buying a new receiver for my home theater.

The receivers I am considering are as follows:

Onkyo TX-NR5007
Denon avr4810ci
Yamaha RX-Z7
Pioneer SC-27
Sony STR-DA6400ES

The features I am most interested in are as follows:
Home theater sound quality
Multi-zone capability
Networking (internet radio, a/v server)
HDMI switching
1080p upconversion
Quality manufacturing/construction
Warranty
Ability to last 5-10 years.

Can anyone who has experience with any of the above comment?

I like the fact that the Sony can deliver video to the second zone over cat5e, this makes for a simple installation in my case. I have heard somewhat negative reviews of Sony home theater products however. My own Bravia SXRD had problems that Sony covered under an extended warranty but I'd still rather have something built to last.

The Onkyo looks like it has some excellent features, but I have no experience with the brand.

I know Denon is a good brand, and this unit slotted into my price range so I thought I should include it for consideration.

I looked at the Yamaha at a local HT shop, and liked it, but I have no experience with this brand and would like opinions on longevity, build quality, etc. Also, is the RX-Z11 worth the hefty price increase?

Since I haven't researched home theater in many years I thought I would ask the experts here before spending the money.

I am also looking at speaker systems, but that is another subject for another thread ....unless of course you guys also want to comment on surround systems comparable to a system with Klipsch WF35's, WS24's,and a WC24.

Thanks for your time.
 

Ed Moxley

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Any of those you listed should be just fine. Usually, the complaints on Sony receivers, are from their lower tier. Once you get into the "ES" line, you should be ok. That being said, my choice of those listed would be the Onkyo. You'll notice in my signature that I have an Onkyo. Onkyos give a lot of bang for the buck. They are easy to setup and use also. The Audyssey does a very good job calibrating the speakers to the room. Only complaint with Audyssey is that it likes to set the speakers to "Full Band" (called large on most systems), even when using a subwoofer, and they shouldn't be.

Denon makes very good gear, but tend to be pricy. If the Denon is the same price as the Onkyo, it won't have as many features, unless you've found it on a very good sale. The worst thing about a Denon is their remote. It can be a nightmare to learn, if you're a "newbie". Denon also has their their own language for some things. What every other manufacturer calls "Multi-Channel", Denon calls it "EXT. IN". There's a couple of other differences I can't think of right now.

I owned a lower end Yamaha before I got my Onkyo, and had no complaints with it, except I didn't like the amber colored display on front of it. It's not real hard to setup and use, but my Onkyo was easier.

I've never had any experience with Pioneer receivers. I have a Pioneer turntable from the 70s, that I'm still using. I have a Pioneer universal player I've had for about five years, and it still works. It has a little glitch occasionally, but overall, it still works fine.

There are lots of speaker systems, that people here recommend regularly. The ones I recommend most are these: http://www.svsound.com/products-sys-sbs_black.cfm they come with an outstanding subwoofer too. If people have the money to spend, and have enough power to drive them, I'll recommend these: http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/bookshelf.php
The Polk Audio LSi series are excellent speakers, but they are a little pricy, and they are 4 ohm, so they need some good power to drive them. You'd still need a subwoofer with them, and I'd recommend the SVS subs, from the other site I linked to. I hope to get an SVS cylinder sub in April, myself.

Good luck with whatever you decide on. I hope this info helps in some way.
 

caiazpa

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Hi Ed,
Thanks for your input. That did help - your comment about how any of the above would probably be fine made me think I should attempt to more carefully justify the price differences between the above.

From low to high, the prices I've found are as follows:

Pioneer SC-27
Sony STR-DA6400ES
Onkyo TX-NR5007
Yamaha RX-Z7
Denon avr4810ci

The Onkyo and the Yamaha are similarly priced. It actually looks like I can get a Yamaha RX-Z11 for about the same price as the Denon, and it seems the Z11 would be the better unit at that price point.

However, I read a user review of the Denon here on this forum that was positively raving, and it seems like Denon is a company who truly stands behind their product. It is difficult to assign a dollar value to that, however it is certainly valuable. In the end $300 difference would be well worth it for exceptional support.
How well-built are Onkyo products? In the event of an issue, is Onkyo a good company to work with? I have the same questions about Yamaha and Pioneer Elite.

Also, thanks for the heads up on svsound.com!
 

Ed Moxley

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I've seen some bad reviews of Denon's customer service. I know one guy that says he'll never own another Denon product. You can find reports like that for every brand. Can't make everybody happy. I won't own another Panasonic product.

My Onkyo 805 is a tank. The build quality is pretty good to me. Denon's build quality is usually pretty good. The Yamaha I had was good, to be a cheap unit. Can't really say about the others. I've not had personal experience with them. I know the cheaper, lower end Sony's weren't that great. I've known a couple of people with them.

As I said, you'll hear good and bad about all the companies, when it comes to customer service. I've not had any personal experience there either, even with Onkyo, because I've not had any problems with it. Panasonic is the only company I've had personal experience with, and I said I won't have any more Panasonic gear.

I can say that I've not heard one bad thing said about svsound's customer service. Everyone has praised them as being outstanding.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I've owned two Pioneer Elite receivers, and both have been solidly built machines that delivered excellent performance. As for service, as long as you purchase from an authorized dealer, you should have no issues. I had a fuse blow on my old Elite 47TX, and my dealer handled the repair issue with Pioneer without any headaches on my part -- and the dealer even loaned my another (non-Pioneer) receiver while by unit was being serviced. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on your dealer.

I did own a Sony ES receiver before the two Pioneers. It was decent, and Sony handled a repair under warranty for me without issue through a local official Sony Service Center (which is no longer in business). I do prefer the two Elites I've owned over the Sony ES, though. It just seemed I was getting more for my money.
 

I recently replaced my old Denon 3803 receiver. I've owned Kenwood and a Sony DB in the past and was thinking about a Sony ES to go along with the PS3 / Bravia TV combo I recently purchased. I ended up going with the Denon AVR890 which cost $200 less than the low end ES and has a lower THD. While I can't comment directly on the Denon AVR4810ci, I can tell you that my 3803 has served me well and was still working flawlessly. I only upgraded for HDMI switching and the new codecs to go along with the Blu ray in the PS3. I looked really hard at the ES because of the control link through HDMI allowed me to use the remote to control the PS3. Ultimately I remembered how much better the old Denon was compared to the Sony DB I had and decided I could live with using the PS3 controller. Luckily I discovered that the TV remote still worked on the PS3 even though the signal was passing through the Denon. Good luck with your purchase.
 

cujobob

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I don't know about Networking capabilities, but I'd go with a Pioneer 1019 and put the money saved into better speakers. Dr. Geddes did some testing on inexpensive receiver models and found the chipamp used in the 919 and 1019 models to be quite excellent...I use the 919 model with my Gedlee Abbeys and find it does a great job. For the price of that receiver, you could buy alternate receivers for various rooms if need be.

For speakers, if you can afford them, the Gedlee Nathans and Abbeys are phenomenal...Get 3 Nathans across the front and use some cheap rears and a sub to mate them with. You'll love it! They're all very efficient so you'd never even need the 100 watts offered by the Pioneer receiver.

Put your money where it counts...on great main speakers and a great display. The rest makes up very little of the overall sound quality.
 

I haven't seen a Kenwood in years. I just checked their website and its only car electronics now.
 

caiazpa

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Oddly enough, the receiver I am purchasing will be replacing an older Kenwood unit which I will be glad to see the back of!

The problem I am having is this: In this price range, there are so many good options that it is difficult to say any of them are definitely better than any other. Each have their own merits, and as with anything all brands will have their loyalists...

All that said, it looks like the price on the Yamaha RX-Z11 is actually about the same as the Z7. I'm not sure I'd have an 11.2 channel system in my main home theater room, but the extra channels of amplification would be great to have for zones two and three.

I have also read that the Z11 is occasionally on Newegg for around $2,000. At the $2000 price point, does anything compete with the Z11?
 

caiazpa

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Just to close this out, I ended up buying a Yamaha RX-Z11 from Newegg for $1799 shipped on a Saturday morning promotion. I had a price alert setup to notify me if the price of this receiver dropped below $2k.

When it came through at $1799, I couldn't pass it iup. At that price I don't think the others on my list can compete. The Z11 will power my main home theater as well as handle what I had intended for my other 2 zones.

The 4810 would have been my top choice but I couldn't justify the $800-1000 cost difference. I could have purchased the Denon for $2100 but without factory warranty coverage. To me this just seemed too risky.

Thanks to all for helping me decide.

Now, I need to piece together a surround speaker system.
 

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