Help Buy Me A Receiver!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by aeverson, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. aeverson

    aeverson Auditioning

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    I recently purchased a house that has a HT in the basement. I negotiated the TV and Speakers in the deal, but the seller took the Receiver. I currently have a Mitsubishi 65" Widescreen HDTV and 7 Klipsh speakers & sub. Two of the speakers are built into the ceiling, while the others are set up like your typical HT.

    I need to buy a new receiver for this system and haven't really set a price limit. I want a high end one though. The questions I have are:

    1) Should I pay attention to whether it's THX certified? What does that really mean anyway?

    2) Since I have 7 speakers, does that mean I need a 7.1 channel receiver? (forgive my ignorance)

    I guess I'm really looking for something that sounds amazing here. It doesn't have to be full of power, just full of sound. I'm hoping to watch a lot of movies (dvd of course) and regular tv, but also play quite a bit of music too.

    Please recommend a few. THanks!
     
  2. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    where in the ceiling are these two inwall speakers?

    edit: with respect to the seating area.
     
  3. aeverson

    aeverson Auditioning

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    The two speakers are directly above the seating area. Only about 6.5' up.
     
  4. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    is your ceiling only 6.5' high or is the room oddly shaped?

    also, if they are directly above the seating area, are the other two speakers in the "typical HT" position behind the seating arrangement?
     
  5. aeverson

    aeverson Auditioning

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    Yes, the room is oddley shaped. The ceilings are 8', but above the seating area is where some of the duct work is, so it's cut down to about 6.5' or 7'. The two speakers are built right in there. The others are set up like a normal HT. THe center is on top of the tv, there are two others on the wall to the sides of the tv and two just behind the seating area, with a sub in the upper left corner.
     
  6. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    alright, ill try to give my opinions:

    1) as far as i know, THX certification is just a series of tests that we arent allowed to be told about that are lucas arts runs on machines to make sure the units stack up to some unknown metric. as long as it does and you are willing to pony up the money to pay for the THX licensing fee you are good. some companies do pay for it, some dont. i personally havent even considered whether thx certification was a part of any product i have bought. some of my components are, some arent. i wouldnt worry about it.

    2) you dont need to go 7.1, but it sounds like you could go that way. generally, with a 7.1 system (from what i have read) the two surrounds go on the sides of the seating area pointing in (similar to your in-ceiling ones) and the back surround speakers are behind the seating area, so it seems like your speakers are close enough to those positions that you can go 7.1. but by all means theres no reason you have to. there are a lot of very good reasonably priced receivers that have 7 channels of amplification. or you can get a good one that has 5 and add an external amp later (assuming it has preouts for 7 channels). so the bottom line here is that its definitely a possibility, but its not something you _need_.
     
  7. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    I totally agree with David on point #1. THX is nothing but a lot of talk and a badge. Same here, some of my compnents are THX and some are not. It really doesn't matter. With that being said, my receiver is THX Select. This was not even a factor when consdiering receivers. I picked up an Elite 45TX which is 7 x 100W. It also has a best thing since sliced bread feature called MCACC, where it will go through a series of tests and automatically do a 5 band EQ, test how far the speaker distances are, and some other stuff that I don't want to screw up saying. It's a real nice feature, and I haven't run across anyone yet who doesn't like it. Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, H/K, NAD, Rotel, Onkyo, etc. all make good quality products. I believe most of these manufacturers offer a model with 7 channel amplification, or the ability to add 2 speakers if they are only 5 channels of amplification. Also, like David said, the whole 7.1 deal is up to you, but sounds like the speakers are already in place (can't tell for sure without seeing), so might as well use them.
     
  8. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    When you say you have 7 speakers does that include the sub? If so you have a 6.1 setup. 7.1 would be a total of 8 speakers. I would buy a 7.1 receiver in case you want to add an extra surround back speaker.
     
  9. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Given your Klipsch speakers, I would tend to go with either a Pioneer Elite or a Harman/Kardon. The reason is that Klipsch tend to be rather bright and forward. A bright sounding receiver, such as a Yamaha or JVC, would not be a very enjoyable sound with those speakers. A Pioneer Elite (which has a stated goal of bringing the sound of tube amplifiers to transistors) or Harman Kardon would tame the brightness and give you a very balanced, enjoyable sound.

    What your budget is only you know, but you say you want a high end receiver. I might suggest you start with the Harman/Kardon 525, which is a very fine receiver. MSRP is $999, but it can be had for less than $700. The Pioneer Elite 43tx is also in the same range, MSRP I believe is $800, but I am seeing prices in the $600 range.

    You might also look into a Marantz 7300, which has a MSRP of $849. The Marantz is not as warm as the other two, but is pretty warm overall and a good match for your Klipsch speakers. I really like it for its smooth sound.

    Each of these would be a high-ish end receiver. If you want to spend more, look higher in the line from these brands, such as the H/K 7200, the Pioneer Elite 45tx, or a Marants 8200. Personally, I think once you hit the $1500 range, you should be looking at separates rather than a receiver.

    I hope this helps.
     

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