Considering going 7.1... options?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Darren_T, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Hello,

    Ok, I've been 5.1 for a while now. I will be buying a new home with a dedicated theater room soon and intend to go 7.1 at that time. I will be using 7 GR-Research AV1+'s and am trying to figure the processing out. I have a nice Onkyo processor that I use for the processing and switching, I'm using an AKSA 100 X 3 for my mains and center and have a B&K Reference 4420 for my rears. I intend to go AKSA all around so I have the amplifiers covered. I guess my quesion is basically how do I get the processing done and connect to my amps. I don't want to buy another receiver, I'd rather go with a separate processor or something. I have never done that before.

    Oh, obviously amplification isn't a consideration. I just want a good processor for 7.1, I don't use DSP's or anything, I play all my media flat. I also have an Outlaw ICBM so bass management is handled separately also so no consideration there. Just a good quality processor. Denon? Harmon Kardon? Others? I like my Onkyo so I could consider that but I was wondering if there is just a separate processor with minimal features rather than having to pay for the tuner etc...


    Any suggestions? Point me to a thread on such a topic?

    Thanks.

    Darren
     
  2. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Darren,
    What is your price range? There are several options out there. We can narrow it down if you give a general price range. Here are a couple of thoughts:

    Rotel RSP 1066 - $1250 range - excellent product especially since it is software upgradeable and Rotel seems to be on the ball with updates. I loved my 1066. I was gonna upgrade to a Sunfire TG 3 but ran into finacial difficulty so i had to sell my Rotel gear(1066,1075 amp) and "settle" on a receiver(HK 8000). While the HK is very good, the 1066 was better.

    Outlaw 950 - $900 - Very capable unit. I demoed in my setup and my friend owns one. Excels at HT but fell just a bit short of the 1066 for music. Overall a solid choice.

    These are just a couple to start off. I'm sure other members will have good suggestions also.

    Good Luck,
    Dalton
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Well, based on what you have already, it's clear that you take pride and you craft seriously. However, not knowing your budget, we can jump all over the spectrum here. We can start by suggesting a receiver to do the processing, or a stand alone Pre/Pro like a Lexicon. Notice the difference in the range of what I just proposed can upto 5,000 difference alone. Tell us what you got to spend, and maybe we can bring you closer to your goal and desire. On a product note, my dream would be to go with a Lexicon for 7.1 channel set up with seperates.
     
  4. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Sorry guys. I forgot to mention budget. I really like the idea of the Rotel processors and the software upgrade feature, I was first considering keeping my limit to 500 bucks but that would pretty much limit me to a lower end HK receiver which isn't a bad option for now but I want to consider future upgrades too. I'd say 1200 isn't out of the question for budget if it will buy me a processor that will last several years.

    Going 7.1 isn't top priority for me as I will be able to do significant room treatment with a dedicated theater. I have a 61" Toshiba projection TV that I'd like to upgrade to a front projector setup also so that may come before 7.1 but I'm not sure.

    I appreciate any help in my research though!


    Darren
     
  5. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Well looking at what you are willing to spend then I would say go with Harman Kardon, but I would look at the 7200 or the 8000 model. Only because you can apply Logic 7 to your 5.1 material. I don't think you can do that with the 525. I pretty sure the 525 owners will confirm or correct me on this. You can certainly continue to use your current set up and use the HK for your back surrounds only. Now I don't know how the AKSA sound but I can tell you, Harman Kardon is one rich sounding receiver, warm and not at all harsh. Maybe you can switch your fronts off between the two just to audition to see which ones sound the best.
     
  6. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    The AKSA's have a tube-like sound but with good solid bass since it is actually solid state. They are quite nice, my favorite so far. I'd say it is a fairly good match for the HK, might save some money up front if I powered my surrounds with two channels from it. Can the HK handle a 4 ohm load? I guess it shouldn't be a problem, I was powering five 4 ohm loads on my Onkyo with no problems for a while and it isn't rated for 4 ohms. Interesting option.

    Darren
     
  7. Mike_J_D

    Mike_J_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Darren

    Ummmm, are you aware that there is no such thing as 7.1 discrete? All 7.1 does is steal sound from your two rear speakers in a pro logic format. If you set your 5.1 system up right there is no need to go 7.1. Me I wouldn't. I own a 1066, and really like it's sound. But I bought it before I was taught the lesson that 7.1 is a marketing scheme. If you really want to go to 7.1 then I'll sell you my 1066. (I know this is not the hardware for sale thread) Really I'm serious. I've already tried hardware for sell page once. Now I am considering putting the 1066 and my 1075 on ebay. Hope this helps. Mike
     
  8. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Hi Mike,

    Yes, I'm aware that is it mostly stealing information but I have listened to such a system and it sounded great. I'm not sold on it though. I'm just considering my options and where my next chunk of money will go. I wanted to get everyone's take on it so I'm glad you spoke up. I have a friend on this form that goes by Martice who gave me similar advice, that if my room it treated well the imaging should be nearly the same with 5.1.

    I do plan on treating the new room well and tweaking my system to perfection before I spend more money on two more speakers and a processor though.

    Thanks!

    Darren
     
  9. Mike_J_D

    Mike_J_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Darren,

    You are more then welcome. I wish someone would have told me before I went and spent the money on all my Rotel equipment. LOL (Shakes head). I am in love with a Arcam reciever. I want it so I'm trying to sell my Rotel. Not having a lot of luck. Good luck with your new room. Mike
     
  10. Mike_J_D

    Mike_J_D Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Just came from J & R, they have the HK 7200 for 1200.00. This may be exactly what you are looking for. Oh by the way it applies Logic 7 to 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS material. I'm excited about it, just trying to figure out a way to convince the wife to be excited about it.
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Pigeon holing 7.1 as only "stealing" sound from your side speakers is a bit of a blanket statement. While it is true there are no 7.1 surround formats, there is plenty of 6.1 encoded material (I.E. DTS-ES and DD-EX). Whether it's 6.1 discrete or a matrixed format, the information is still there to be decoded and sent to the back speaker(s). When listening to 6.1 material in 7.1 speaker arrangement, the back speakers are outputting the same material. 2 back speakers can be better than a single back speaker because it helps diffuse the back sound stage and can keep the back sound from sounding like it's coming in front of you (which is a problem w/ a single back speaker directly behind the listener).

    That said, when you apply ES or EX decoding to 5.1 material, it does steal from the side surrounds and can muddy the back soundstage. That's why I listen to all of my 5.1 material in 5.1 and only use the backs for 6.1 material.

    Hope this helps clear things up a bit.
     
  13. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Well that kind of sucks. My guess is since the 7200 is new, we can only hope that it would apply Logic 7 to 5.1 without down mixing the 5.1 material. I downloaded the manual, I'll read it on the way home on that long train ride.
     
  15. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Yes Jerome it does suck. I wouldn't let it sway me from buying a HK receiver though. The sound quality on my 8000 is superb. Very close to my Rotel separates. The amp section is excellent. With it's main amp inputs it makes a good 5 ch. THX Ultra amp if you wanted to hook it up to a pre/pro in the future. Just wish the L7 worked like a Lex. [​IMG] Get what you pay for i guess.
     
  16. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

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    why not just get the real thing (Lexicon).. [​IMG]

    you can get a fully loaded Lexicon Dc-1 for around $1000..
    I did and haven't looked back since.. my 5.1 dvds have never sounded so good [​IMG]
     
  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Where, for a Lexicon used at that price.
     
  18. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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  19. Craig Woodhall

    Craig Woodhall Supporting Actor

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    yip, or even Ebay.. i just love my Lexicon and don't find it outdated at all.. with version 4, you get full THX/DD-ex/DTS-es/Logic7/etc.. what more could you ask for?

    Craig
     

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