Choosing a long-term receiver (and maybe amp)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Joshua H, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    I've read everyone else's threads for a while and now it's my turn. Basically, in a year I'm going to dental school, and I won't have any money to upgrade until I'm done, unless it's a sell the old and add $100 sort of thing. I also don't want to drop more than I need before then, since I'm sure I'll need the money later. Thus if I get a 7-channel solution, I want PLIIx, but I'm fine with 5 channel for the forseeable future... my room's not even big enough for 7. I like the idea of an amp because I feel it will still be current as anything in 6 years.

    I have JBL Studios for 5.1 speakers (4xS-38, S-Center). My current receiver is an old Kenwood. More on my setup is in my Gear link.

    I picked up a Pioneer Elite 45tx for $850 (inc tax), and am happily surprised at the improvement in sound... just the loss of the bass hump alone makes all the difference. Still, for 850, with no prologicIIx, it seems a lot to pay considering its future readiness (or lack thereof).

    I've been eyeing up the Marantz MM9000 amp, 150x5 for ~$750 (also looking at the Rotel 1075, a little more cash but newer model, and higher sexiness factor in silver). How would the MM9000 and an RX-V1400 or Marantz SR5400 compare to just a Rotel 1056? They are around the same total cost. The Rotel is upgradable, however much that legitimately adds. Would adding the amp make a noticable improvement for those cheaper receivers, if I'm not listening at reference levels? My rooms are rather small, on the order of 12x13. The 5400 especially will already do its full 90W with all 5 channels driven... I'm leaning towards that if I don't get an amp, while the RX-V1400 looks like it has more features as a pre/pro (and more of the money in it, with a weaker amp section).

    Alright guys, I tried to lay out all aspects of my situation and it ran a little long, sorry, but I look forward to some sage advice on making my investment last. I have some cash to throw at this, but just the same there's a lot of other things I could save it for, and I don't want to spend frivolously. One thing's for sure, when I get everything together I'm blocking the hardware forum from my computer until I have a real job again [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Joshua
     
  2. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    Bump, cause this is a time-sensitive decision...

    Would the MM9000 be a noticable difference over an SR5400's amp section in my relatively small rooms? and would this combo be outclassed in sound quality by a Rotel 1056?
     
  3. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    The amp and a receiver is the way I'd go. The receiver of your choice with the features you want. Unfortunatly, there's probably a superior receiver in your price range that would outclass all other receivers when used as a pre-amp but identifing it would be next to impossible. That leaves you with selecting a receiver that you would buy even if not connecting an amp. A few Rotel owners may be able to give you a better idea of what to expect but absent that, I'd assume a relative parity (of sound quality) and in the future, you will still have the amp to re-build on.
     
  4. DavidK

    DavidK Extra

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    Depends on your budget,

    A couple of options for receivers:
    1. B&K 507 (excellent price now & performance & upgradeable)
    2. One of the hot new Panasonic digital receivers XR50/XR70 - low cost and high performance - digital amps are the future
    3.Any good pre/pro with separate digital amps (Tripath/TI chip based)Carver PRO, etc


    At least something to consider...
     
  5. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to confuse things...

    How about just getting the RX-V1400 for now? In a room that size, you may not have any issues at all with it's amplifier section - there just aren't quite the same demands there as it would have to deal with in a much larger room (unless you constantly listen at reference+ levels, in which case you should get the absolute biggest & best now 'cause you'll be deaf by the time you move & then you'll never need more than a clock radio). The 1400 has PLIIx and probably all the preamp features you need and the amp is not terrible (it's practically identical to the 2400 & plenty of us can vouch for the relative capabilities there).

    This would allow you to keep some cash in pocket while you decide if you can live with the 1400's amp section. You'll be able to buy plenty of content with the money not spent up front on a separate amp, etc. Just one caveat - please don't expect a huge improvement over the 45tx, 'cause it's unlikely you're going to find any. PLIIx is good, but not an intergalactic panacea. If you're fine with 5-channel then the really hard truth here is that you're not going to do much better than your 45tx. It really does little good to add PLIIx capability just to play the same 5 channels you have now.

    Face it - you just may need to join UA (Upgrades Anonymous). Your current receiver is fine for 5.1 or even 7.1. Getting the RX-V1400 will get you the Yamaha DSP modes and PLIIx and that's OK - they're good things and you may like the sound better than the Pioneer. Just don't expect miracles. And yes, if purchased recently, $850 for a 45tx is a lot (unless that's Canadian, and I don't recall a Charleston, Quebec ;~). Shop carefully for the 1400 and you should do much better (you can get a 2400 for much less than that 45tx, so the 1400 s/b much, much less). Good luck!
     

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