HUGE Receiver upgrade: Integra, NAD, Rotel, Marantz (Help me please!)

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jim.M, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Apologies in advance for the long post gents. I have been hovering for a little bit now. I am looking to upgrade from what was at the time of purchase a $300 Technics (SADX-90?) receiver which was my first experience with a home theater. I started with a H/K sub/sat system and now have the energy take 5.2 (1.2 center, 2 pairs of 2.2s) speakers and will soon have the C1 bookshelves to use as the L/R channels (so i can move a pair of the 2.2 sats to the back surrounds). The TV/HT room is rectangular room that is approx 13'X 8' or so... not a large room.

    I am looking for a receiver in the $500 to $1000 range that will be used primarily for movies with some occasional 2 channel music use and perhaps SACD in the future. I have auditioned Marantz at one store which sounded decent to me, but I did not have much of a point of reference as they didn't carry much else that I was interested in. I also listened to an Integra DTR 7.3 receiver followed (cruelly so) by the Rotel 1055. The Integra sounded pretty darn good when listening to 2-channel music, but the Rotel just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The vocals sounded so warm and overall sound seemed much fuller. I almost wish I hadn't heard the rotel as I wouldn't have known what I was missing. This, like my other hobby wine collecting (drinking really), is an expensive hobby that is very prone to always wanting something better.

    With that, my mind tells me to go for the Integra b/c of the great deal I can get on it ($850) and b/c of all of the connectivity options. I have an aching suspicion that if I don't go for the Rotel ($1200ish), I will always wonder what it would have been like to have that receiver in my little system. I am looking for any input/thoughts and also for some additional suggestions in the $500 to $1000 range that I should listen to before making a purchase. The NAD T763 was suggested to me and I plan to take a listen. One other thought, is it ridiculous to have a $1000+ receiver driving these speakers??? Just can't imagine needing larger speakers for a room the size of the one my HT occupies.

    Thanks in advance for all of your help and for actually reading this absurdly long post.

    Best,
    Jim
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Rotel, has a somewhat unique sound to me, really if it made you feel warm and fuzzy, I don't see how you could get anything else that did not give you that same feeling.


    Bite the bullet, get the Rotel. lol
     
  3. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Thanks for the nudge... i think that is really what I am looking for. Is there anything else out there that could give me a similar sound for a little less cash? And perhaps something that has high bandwidth component video switching and perhaps an onboard amp for a 6th speaker? If I go with the Rotel I'll have to also invest in an amp to power the back surrounds for 6.1 and 7.1 listening. If there is nothing that can compare to the Rotel, I should prob just get it and when I can throw some more cash around, get the amp for the back channels...
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    The 1055 is being discontinued and if $1k is your max, you might be able to snag a demo for around that range give or take a drop. The speakers are the last thing in the chain of sound reproduction so it certainly makes sense to have better electronics, cables, etc. I've not heard the Outlaw stuff but have heard good things and as something sold w/o dealer network, there are positives and negatives but something that may be a very good value for the money. It also depends on whether you must have something new vs. used and what features are important to you. I have a good reference system and am in process of doing the basement and just traded excess equipment for a Marantz 7300 OSE (orig. special edition, has all copper chassis, etc.) which I will use when the basement is finished. I've been playing around with it a little and it appears to be very nice. Right now it is termporarily set-up with the tuner available and a Pioneer (704) LD player as a transport/CD player into a pair of B&W P6s and sound very nice.


    It depends on how comfortable one feels with buying something used. You could look in the hardware for sale section here or see if anyone locally in your area is selling something via audiogon.com. Someone just sold one of the above-noted receivers (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=178563) here well within your price range.

    So what I would do first of all is make a list of features you need. Continue to audition stuff (no substitute for listening) but remember some stuff is in process of changing models. Here is the press release on the new Rotel receivers - http://home.wanadoo.nl/evanvliet/files/rsx1056.pdf
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well plenty compare to the Rotel. But Rotel, to me anyways, has a uniuque sound, others just don't sound the same to me.

    I'm a Denon head myself, I went with a Denon 4802, Denon also has a certain "sound" to me, one I prefer over nearly anything else, especially on heavy horn oriented music.

    If you are really going to let your ears decide, then you almost have to get the Rotel, unless you come across something else that you feel is close or even better.
     
  6. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I agree with all of the above posts as well.

    Make sure you listen to as much as you can.
    Take your time.
    Don't worry about overkill, because eventually you'll get the itch to upgrade the rest of your stuff.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Thanks for all of your helpful comments guys! I really appreciate the input, suggestions, and encouragement to go with my gut/ears.

    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  8. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim:

    under $500 price is H/K 525 at ecost (this is refurb)
    just a little over $500 is elite 53Tx at ecsot also
    at 6ave denon 3803 is selling for $699. but you have to call in for the price; internet is still showing $999

    hope that helps
     
  9. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

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    >If I go with the Rotel I'll have to also invest in an amp to power the back surrounds for 6.1 and 7.1 listening.<

    That is the thing. I remember when I was shopping I looked at the Rotel and NAD, (older models) and they not have the features of a Yam or Den. I could never tell (did try, I dragged my old Yamaha and mains to the Rotel dealer and NAD dealer a few times.) the difference in sound so features were important to me.
    What I do rember was the Fan noise in the NAD and the fact two channel never worked right when setting the Mains to small and using a sub. Make sure that is worked out on the NAD and Rotel.

    Good Luck

    Bob
     
  10. Neil White

    Neil White Supporting Actor

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    I think the 6ave deal on the 3803 is finally dead.

    N
     
  11. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Just wanted to thank you all again for your input and to let you know that I went for the Rotel RSX-1055. I had the component video inputs/output upgraded to handle HD signals (200Mhz). I picked it up yesterday and set the badboy up last night (was up until ab 2 AM playing). So far, so good... going to be spending some quality time with it over the next week or so and will let you know how it is treating me.

    Take care,
    Jim
     
  12. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Jim,
    Congrats. You made a great choice. I'm glad you chose the warm and fuzzy feelings over common sense and economics.
    Only 2 am? Common on do you realize how much money you've just spent? That should have been an all niter and then a sick day!
     
  13. Chester II

    Chester II Stunt Coordinator

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    Dude,

    sweeeeeeet

    Dude,

    Chester
     
  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You made a great choice[​IMG] Now what's the firmware on that unit? (Press and hold mute until its displayed on the screen). You might also want to visit Club Rotel for other like minded folk[​IMG]
     
  15. ross ish

    ross ish Stunt Coordinator

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    My brother just picked up the Rotel. His final choice was the Rotel, Denon, or Marantz. No comparison, the Rotel amplifier is the best of the lot; huge power reserves.
     
  16. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Thanks guys... I think it's pretty sweet too. Makes the rest of my gear look like kiddie toys. Only "downside" is that I am using the the Rotel remote for everything... my wife was mad b/c she had just figured out how to use the other Universal (Rat Shack) that I had programmed using JP1. Not sure why pressing two buttons to execute a macro that does everything for you is so hard for some folks (read women/my wife... apologies to all the tech savvy ladies out there) [​IMG]

    Not sure on the firmware Andrew - I'll check it out tonight. Anything I should concern myself with re: the firmware?

    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    No but you might as well be running the latest version since its a free upgrade.

    As for the remote buy a pronto [​IMG]
     

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