First time for HT - many decisions to make...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by EricRWem, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Hey folks.

    I am about to set foot and graduate from HTIB into the "real" world, so to speak.

    I think I have my choices boiled down to the following: Either the Yamaha 1400/2400, Denon 3805, HK 430, or the Sherwood Newcastle R-695. Pioneer's comparable units also have my eye...

    Sherwood is kind of an unknown to me, but that thing sure looks nice on paper. I have no authorized Sherwood dealers even remotely near me, though.

    I like the fact that it and the HK both have Dolby headphones. That's a nice bonus that, frankly, I feel should be pretty common by now.

    So... that's where I'm at. I look forward to devil's advocacy, tons of questions, opinions, experiences, whatever ya got!

    Then I get to figure out speakers!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I believe Circuit City still sells Sherwood receivers. I'm not sure if you have one of their locations close to you or not.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Pick your speakers first. They are by far the most important factor in sound quality and personal preference. Your receiver hunt, should you not go separates, should have sufficient power for your room size and to avoid clipping your speakers at loud volume. Note that specs can be misleading but, by and large, similarly rated receivers will work well for most listening levels for an appropriate room size (though there are many among us who like to "go for broke"[​IMG] ). Features on a receiver are important to consider, what you absolutely want, what would be nice to have, and bonus features.

    When it comes to speakers, AUDITION, AUDITION, AUDITION and when you're done, AUDITION AGAIN. Use music that you are intimately familiar with, so you can tell if you like the sound the speakers give. Remember that whatever you hear in the store will sound different at home (how different depends on how well the store is set up and your room characteristics). However, in-store demos will separate the wheat from the chaff.

    There are many factors to consider. Before you get any useful suggestions, either for receivers or speakers, people here will want to know the following:

    What is your budget?

    How important is music to your needs (50/50 or some other ratio)?

    How big is your room and what is in it? Lots of hard surfaces, windows or maybe carpets and an open concept area?

    Good luck. This can be a lot of fun (or a lot of stress). Try to make it fun.[​IMG]

    And one last thing, your ears (and wallet) have to make the final decision.

    (the above is, of course, just my humble opinion--based on some experience, for what it's worth).
     
  4. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    That's cool. Always good for thought.

    Wayne: I didn't see Sherwood Northcastle at CC last time I checked, but maybe it's happened. I'll check again. That R-695 is a beaut!

    FWIW, I have learned that if you find a receiver that does music well, the HT just takes care of itself. In other words, music is more "difficult" to manage and "do well" than HT is.

    Does that sound about right? I do know that music is very important to me, greater than 50 percent.

    My room is 20 X 12 feet carpeted, with one window.
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've traditionally made this argument regarding speakers, but I guess it would hold for receivers. You may find more disagreement on this point re: receivers, because some like the multitude of DSP fields available on, say, a Yamaha, whereas others prefer the bare bones approach of British fare like Cambridge Audio, NAD and Arcam. If music is your preference, though, I would reiterate my point about finding speakers first. They are critical to the whole experience.
     
  6. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I am about to jump on the HK 630 refurb direct from them on Ebay. Yay or nay?
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've read good things about HK receivers, power-wise. If it has the features you are looking for and is in your budget, go for it. If you do a search around here, you'll find far more satisfied than dissatisfied HK owners. If that's definitely what you want, then try to audition speakers with that make of receiver (the same model if you can), as you will increase your ability to judge whether a particular speaker goes with your receiver. I found subtle, yet noticeable differences when I was shopping for receivers, though I didn't use level-matching, so much of my experience was subjective. Still, at the mid-fi level, you really can't go wrong within a price point. I think it's largely a matter of features, user-interface, warranty, aesthetics (if that matters to you), build quality, reputation for reliability. When speaker shopping, pay attention to the impedence rating of the speakers vis a vis your receiver. An 8ohm load is the easiest for mid-fi to carry, but many have used 4ohm speakers with no problems.

    Have fun, it's only the beginning.[​IMG]
     
  8. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I lost the auction last night but I might go for it again tonight.

    That HK 630 refurb at $600 or so sounds like a steal to me...
     

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