How do I "listen" to a receiver? Need advice on buying receiver.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Kim, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    Hello,

    I'm thinking about upgrading my receiver but I not that familiar with them really. I've heard of some receivers being characterized as warm/bright. How do I go about shopping for a receiver?

    Should I be looking more at build-quality, and the features it has rather than what it sounds like? I mean, I guess I don't understand the concept of how one "listens" to a receiver when how it sounds seems largely dependent on the speakers being used.

    This will be my first digital receiver so I'm looking for DD, DTS (pretty much a standard I see now).

    I think the higher end makes such as Onkyo and Denon will be out of my reach in terms of price.

    I was looking into the Yamaha's (RXV-520/620)

    or possible the regular Pioneer line (VSXD710/810) or maybe something from the Sony line (STRDE's).

    Can anyone give me any suggestions or hints when I go shopping, what to look for in a receiver to make sure it has a good build quality, and perhaps a brief reputation history of the companys I mentioned?

    I would appreciate any help.

    Thank You

    Andy
     
  2. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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    Look for Dolby Pro Logic II. It is a very cool feature.
     
  3. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    i SELL ALL 3 OF THE BRANDS YOU MENTIONED (AS WELL AS DENON) AND IF YOU WENT INTO A STORE THAT CARRIES ALL 3 THEN YOU COULD LISTEN TO ALL 3 THROUGH THE SAME PAIR OF SPEAKERS...

    YOU WILL PROBABLY LIKE THE SOUND OF THE YAMAHA AMPS BEST (COMMON OPINION) BUT ,UNFORTUNATELY , MANY BUY OFF THE "FEATURE-SET CHECKLIST"...A SHAME REALLY 'CAUSE IF WE BOUGHT CARS THAT WAY MANY WOULD HAVE THE YUGO WITH EVERY FEATURE IMAGINABLE!
     
  4. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    I have a Sony DE level receiver, and heres my advice to you, avoid Sony DE receivers like the plague. [​IMG] I think that was my biggest mistake, and if i had the chance, I'd probably go with a Denon instead.
     
  5. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm. how to listen... this is an excellent question, albeit a very subjective one, but an excellent one nonetheless... here's my $0.02.

    I pop in a few of my favorite music cds and listen for how open and alive the sound. I close my eyes and try to imagine the suggested setting in front of me and how convinced I am that this setting is accurately reproduced. If I'm listening to a concert cd I want to be able to believe that I'm there at the concert. If I'm watcing a movie and the scene is in the jungle, I want to close my eyes and be convinced that I'm in the jungle.

    It's one thing to be listening for particular effects or actual sound coming from a specific channel all the time. I did this when I was first considering a 7.1 receiver, finally I accepted that sound doesn't always have to come from every channel...

    Ultimately, I think a receivers job is to reproduce sounds that match certain contexts... Opinions on how well a receiver does this depend on personal preferences on what is believable... I guess that's it my 2 cents.
     
  6. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Of course, the real challenge is isolating the role of the receiver/amp from the speakers. Many would argue that loudspeakers contribute so much to overall sonic output that you cannot really know if a given property, e.g. warmth or bightness, is contributed by the receiver or not. I like to start off either listening to a unit at either the extreme high or extreme low end as a point of reference. But then, sometimes it is difficult to arrange the switching of numerous receivers with the same speaker set. Some retailers won't do it for you.
    BTW to the original poster, I do not know what your budget is, but the Onkyo tx-ds595 at $375 from www.jandr.com which comes with a full warranty is IMO the best deal running on a sub-$500 receiver at the moment. If that price fits your budget, you might look into it.
     
  7. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    MatthewJ S// Can you get us a good deal? E-mail me!
    Earl
    Eric/ My problen is I can't listen to any of these on my list. Not available in my town!!!! I have to buy internet with a blind trust in opinions at this forum. But I suspect I won't be disappointed in 3802/898/797/DA5es/2200/3200. All good companys and have a good track record.
    And if you have never had lobster you don't know what you have missed.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. JoeDeM

    JoeDeM Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe
    Andy, don't buy the Sony DE series or the Pioneer, they make good high end gear but their regular stuff is just OK. If you are considering the Yamaha RXV-520/620($599/$699cdn)you can get a Denon 1602/1802 for a bit more ($699/799cdn), these prices are the list, so I'm sure you can get a better deal, in the very least you should aim at not paying the 15%gst/pst. I would tell you to get Onkyo 595 as well but they are even more here in the GTA ($899cdn), they are way less in the US. Don't take any price as gospel even when they tell you it's on sale, try to get a better deal.
    As for testing always bring your favorite CD and DVD, something that you know well, but remember it will sound a little different at home if you don't have the same speakers.
    Good places to check with good selection.
    Kromer Radio Bathurst/Dundas (Toronto)
    Bay Bloor Radio Bay/Bloor (Toronto)
    REGENCY AUDIO & VIDEO Woodbine/Denison (Markham)
    PS cdn=Canadian
     

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