Getting a new a/v receiver this weekend, any thoughts

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by PaulDA, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    I thought I had winnowed the list of auditions to three, but now I've been told to consider some more options. Was considering separates but the WAF is a no on price. (Besides I've done such a good job of convincing her that $$$ is best spent on speakers as they are least likely to be obsolete that the rest of the system's budget has shrunk.)

    My current trio is

    Arcam AVR200
    Denon AVR3803 (am aware of 3805 but don't need the extras)
    Integra DTR 6.4

    but I've been told to consider
    Rotel RSX 1055/6
    NAD

    my budget is 900-1200$US and musical quality is a must have (over extra DSPs, channels beyond 5.1, assorted bells and whistles) I also don't listen at deafening levels (well sometimes, but not enough to be a factor).

    I like a warm sound and the current contending speakers (to be purchased 4-6 months from now) are Monitor Audio Bronze, Energy Connoisseur, Acoustic Energy EVO, Paradigm Monitor series. (2000-2500$US incl. sub--which will likely be SVS PCi at 550$)

    I've eliminated (apologies to any fans of these): KEF, Def Tech, Boston Acoustic.

    I'd happily stay with my current modest HT for movies and get a dedicated two-channel setup for music if it weren't for SACD/DVD-A. (You see where my priorities lie).

    I'd appreciate any ideas, especially if anyone has experience in combining any of the above equipment. Also, are the Rotel and NAD must listens?
     
  2. Jason_Paik

    Jason_Paik Extra

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It sounds like your challenge is to give more or less equal time to "traditional" 2-channel audio from analog sources, plus surround processing for digital sources. I'm in the same boat. Going to separate pre-amp/processor + multi-channel amp would be great, but your budget is too low.

    I've always liked audio gear from the Brits. I have auditioned the Arcam AVR200 -- terrific: very "musical". (MSRP CAN$1895 -- sells for less). I agree with your list (but don't know how the Integra sounds). I would certainly add the NAD and Rotel a/v receiver products.

    One other product I'm waiting to audition is the new a/v receiver from Cambridge Audio (out of the UK...again!). Early reviews on the Azur 540R are very positive. MSRP CAN$939 (!). Definitely should be on your list. Try to audition the amplification products with the speakers on your audition list. I bet the Acoustic Energy series will be a nice match: depends on so many factors including room size.

    Just my CAN$0.02

    Have fun auditioning!

    J.
    Oakville, ON
     
  3. Chester II

    Chester II Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dude,

    I have the Rotel RSX-1055 and it is an EXCELLENT machine. The new RSX-1056 is out which means you could find the 1055 at a good discount. Great receiver for music as well as home theater.

    Dude,

    Chester
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I'd get the Arcam, but would not count out Rotel.
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Took the plunge, got the Arcam. The Denon was far brighter than my current 1600, at least with the Energy speakers that I am seriously considering. The Integra was nice, and if not for the Arcam, would likely have been my choice. Had to order it, it arrives early next week. On to speakers.

    Currently a tie between Monitor Audio Bronze series and Energy Connoisseurs. Slightly leaning towards Energy because of CC-3 centre speaker (more impressive than Bronze series centre).

    Still left to audition, Acoustic Energy Evo and Paradigm.
     
  6. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas
    Real Name:
    Thomas
    i've done alot of comparisons lately and have concluded the Marantz SR-7400 to be my top choice in the ~$1000 price range. it really is a remarkable unit with good ergonomics and an even better sound. if nothing else, it's DEFINITELY worth adding to your shopping list!
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I did a lot of auditioning too, and it was the Marantz sound that I preferred the most. I really liked the 7300 (owned a 6200), so I'd expect the 7400 to be very good as well. I think I could have gotten by with a 7400 since I am now using monoblocks for my mains, but I am very happy with my 8300.

    A buddy of mine just bought a "little" 2ch system, powered by an Arcam A80. I went with him to audition it, and I was very impressed with it. Pricey for an integrated yes, but IMO, it's worth it.
     
  8. Shannon S.

    Shannon S. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a Nad integrated receiver for my bedroom 2 channel music. It is more on the warm side to me, which is good because I have it paired with speakers that are on the brighter side.
     
  9. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In light of the fact an AVR300 is on the way, I hope you got a good price on the 200. The Arcam sound is very nice, I auditioned some Paradigms with them and it was fantastic. I hope you get many good years out of it. [​IMG]
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Drew,

    Got a decent deal and my dealer tells me that new 200s are shipping (mine included, he says) with assignable digital inputs (not that that mattered to me but a nice upgrade to have).

    Everybody, thanks for the suggestions.
     
  11. Dean Wette

    Dean Wette Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    That doesn't really follow. The AVR300 is not a replacement for the AVR200. It's an entirely new model in the line, meant to sit between the AVR200 and the AV8 pre/pro. The AVR200 will continue as a current model. The 300 is also $800 more than the 200.

    I agree the 200 was a good choice. I've had mine for a year and love it, even though I'm upgrading it to a 300 when that comes out.

    Dean
     
  12. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Dean,

    You seem to be the head cheerleader in here for Arcam (I hope I'll be as happy). Just a minor point that bugs me (but not enough to not buy the Arcam), is the 100hz crossover a bit high or do you set all your speakers to Large? I only ask because the overwhelming consensus seems to be that 80hz is the "ideal" crossover point. I will, of course, judge for myself, but any experiences you might have had would be appreciated.

    P.S. I took a look at the Dynaudio site as per your suggestion elsewhere, but they are, sadly, out of my budget. Will be auditioning the Acoustic Energy Aegis Evos this weekend (with Arcam equipment--not always easy to do).
     
  13. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0

    capeche? this is discussed, with graphs, in the HT beginner's primer, in the section about crossovers, if i'm not mistaken.

    if the inflexibility of that arcam's bass management crossover frequency bothers you, then i'd seriously consider something else. i just bought a 3803, myself; $899US. the only complaint i have with it, so far, is that, except for some basic level adjustments, you absolutely MUST use your connected tv or monitor to make any major settings changes. i find this a pain. most are probably like this, including the arcam, probably, but some are able to display all of that setup info on the receiver's front panel. just a minor consideration.
     
  14. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Thanks for the detailed info. No, the inflexibility of the bass management doesn't bother me as such. I enjoyed the sound of the arcam in direct mode (no bass management) so much more than the denon, integra, yamaha through the same pair of Energy connoisseur C-5s at the dealer that I decided I'd shop for speakers that would fit its parameters. I'm not a engineer and until the past six months, I knew nothing about frequency directionality, nor did I use anything other than my ears to set up my speakers. Now I'm armed with a Radio Shack analogue SPL meter, a tripod, and probably way more technical info than I thought I could assimilate. Ultimately, I know, it comes down to liking what I hear. It's just that I also like to understand, if I can, how something works.

    As for Denon, I've been a fan for years. My 14yr old Cd player still works like a charm, my current receiver is the AVR1600, my headphones are Denon and I'm almost certain I'll be getting the DVD2900 or 2200. I'm selling my 1600 to my brother in law, who wants to start a modest HT setup and buying my cousin's Denon AVR3600 to mate with my modest HK sub/sat system as the living room (secondary) system. I just couldn't resist the Arcam after 2 1/2 hours of comparison listening at my local dealer.

    Again, thanks for all the insights.
     
  15. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    yeah, unless you're getting some really, really small speakers (and i know you're not), that fixed crossover shouldn't really be a concern. most speakers, bookshelf or tower, unless they're really exotic, strange, or bizarre are going to work fine with it.
     
  16. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Paul, congratulations on the Arcam...

    If you are looking at speakers, you must give Triangle a try...they are amazing.

    Rich
     

Share This Page