I took the plunge and bought a new receiver!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianF, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. BrianF

    BrianF Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I set out Friday to purchase the Pioneer Elite 45TX. All the local dealers were out of stock do to the labor strike. Being the inpatient person that I am I went looking for something else. I was close to buying a Denon 1082 or Yamaha 2300. Then I went to another store and found what I was looking for and bought it. The Harman Kardon AVR525. Yeah!!! Went and purchased too more back channels to go along with it and hooked it up in the 7.1 configuration.
    First impression was this thing is heavy! I’m going to have to get used to the controls. OSD is only through s-video which is a pain in the ass, but I’ll live with it. The cooling fan pumps out some air when it turns on but is noisy. It just sounds like it is moving a large amount of air.
    I’ve had a chance to watch the DVD’s Mr. Deeds and the first scene of LOTR. Also the satellite broadcast of The Last Castle (only part of it) and all of Changing Lanes. The movies I watched in DD EX and TV in Logic 7 7.1. Well I can say that I wasn’t wowed like I thought I would be, but it definitely is a step up from what I had. My previous receiver was a Kenwood VR-4080. The sound on the H/K is much, much cleaner and very detailed. Volume is not a problem either. LOTR at -15 was VERY loud. I like my movies loud but that was probably louder than I would watch the movie at. The front channels are incredible and Logic 7 really makes the rear channels come alive. Logic 7 has been impressive so far. Watching Changing Lanes was like a DVD. The Logic 7 sound processing is awesome. The only music I’ve heard is from the movies and it sounds great.
    Tomorrow I’ll listen to some music and watch some more movies. Give it a more thorough testing. So far I think it’s a keeper. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    BrianF,
    COOL!

    Regarding the 7.1 performance, have you already calibrated your system? Pick up a copy of BladeII, it will give your rear channels a workout. Another great disk to play with is The Blueman Group, even though it is not a ES or EX title it will sound great with your 7.1 set up! The first track is called MandleGroove and it contains some serious bass, so hang on to something when you crank it up!
     
  3. BrianF

    BrianF Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought BladeII actually. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet though. Hopefully I will tomorrow (Sunday). I didn't even get a chance to listen to it Saturday. I think my roommates like it though. lol I'll check out the Blueman Group also. Yes, I have calibrated it for 7.1. I do notice that Logic 7 seems to utilize the rear channels more than DD EX. By the way I've watched all the DVD's so far in DD EX. I wish that Logic 7 could be applied to 5.1/6.1 sources, but H/K is going to leave that feature to the flagship model. Have you watched X-Files in 7.1 yet? That movie sounds good in 5.1 I think it'll sound even better in 7.1.
    Another thing...I ended up saving $140 because I got them to price match Sound City. They weren't going to but the supervisor had purchased an item from Sound City before and decided he could match their price since he knew about the company. Cool. [​IMG]
     
  4. BrianF

    BrianF Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh my local dealer called me Saturday morning and said they got the Pioneer Elite 45TX in. The lowest he said he could do is $1100. As much as I think it's a great receiver and I do like THX processing I don't know if I could justify the price difference over the H/K. Would it be a few hundred dollars better? I don't know.
     
  5. Harold A

    Harold A Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    I have the 45TX, I picked it up locally for ~$900. I was also considering the 525, Denon 3803, Sony 4ES, Onkyo 898.

    Here was my thoughts, I was looking at the Sony because it got good reviews and my old unit was a Sony so I would not have to reprogram my Pronto remote. The 3803 was not out yet and I hate the way the Denons look, they look cheap to me plus their remotes are terrible. The Onkyo was a strong choice but I was worried about the problems people were having with the surround channels. The 525 was a good contender, however in the end it was the THX certification and the MCACC that won me over.

    As for the sound, I always found my old Sony somewhat bright and very forward, the Pioneer has a more laid back smoother sound. I know this is all preference so you would have to go out and listen to them.

    Go listen to both and decide. A few hundred dollars if you can swing it really is not that much if you keep the receiver a few years.
     
  6. MikeRP

    MikeRP Supporting Actor

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    I was able to get my 45 for $1000. I'd be interested in hearing your comparisons between the 45 and the HK if you do so. Thanks!

    Mike
     
  7. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    The 45TX was the unit you set out for in the first place. If you don't check it out, it will probably nag away at you preventing you from enjoying the HK. I have to agree with Harold that a few hundred dollars is not that great a difference when you're talking about the unit you REALLY want.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with the HK after auditioning the Pioneer; but you owe it to yourself to be fully satisfied that you bought the receiver you wanted most.

    Marty
     
  8. BrianF

    BrianF Stunt Coordinator

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    After listening to some music and watching BladeII I had a big grin on my face. I'd love to hear the 45TX but I don't think they are going to put it on display. How did you get your local dealer down to $900 even $1000? Mine didn't really seem to want to go any lower than $1100. Part of the reason might be that they don't have any competition locally for the Elites. THX processing and the auto MCACC where two points that I was interested in. Now after listening to Logic 7 on 2 channel sources I want to hear it applied to DD/DTS sources. If it can make a two channel source sound that good I can't imagine what a 5.1 or 6.1 source might sound like. Too bad the 8000 is out of my price range. Oh well. I'll call my local dealer today and see if they have the 45TX setup for me to demo. Maybe they can lend it to me for a week. [​IMG] lol
     
  9. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  10. charles mix

    charles mix Stunt Coordinator

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    does the HK do Dolby EX. Not posted on literature. If so How? I thought about buying this receiver over my kenwood VR-6070 but want EX. Please let me know
     
  11. charles mix

    charles mix Stunt Coordinator

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    sorry my bad, I was thinking 520, not 525.
     
  12. BrianF

    BrianF Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi - I haven't been able to listen to the Elites but you think that the H/K's are that much better in terms of sound? I think the MCACC would be a great feature and THX processing would be nice but I've been enjoying the H/K since I got it. The Harman Kardon sound is just so effortless.
     
  13. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    Believe me, HK sound is so much better than Elite sound. Initially you might find only slightly warmer presentation on the HK and some might even like the top end sparkle on the Elite but extended listening (as in daily HT/music use) will strain your hearing with the Elite. While the HK, you could listen on endlessly without ever feeling strained. It just sounds so smooth and relaxed compared to Elite.

    IMHO, anyone deciding between different receivers (or amps/preamps) should listen to them on an extended basis for atleast two weeks before making a decision, because some recievers that grab your attention initially may turn out to be just treble accentuated that lead to listener fatigue in a few days or weeks. While some receivers that initially sound dull and rolled off are may be the ones you end up liking in the long run because they are so much easier to listen to. So dont make your decision based on some cursory evaluation at the dealer's. Find a dealer with good return policies and bring home the candidates to evaluate. Break them in, let them play continiously and do your listening as much as possible and then after a week or two keep the winner. This might however not be possible with online retailers.
     
  14. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I wouldn't characterize the HK as better--just different from the Elite. Everyone has different tastes.
    If you are happy with your purchase, Brian, then stick with the HK and enjoy. Playing "what if?" can be dangerous(and expensive[​IMG]).
    DJ
     
  15. Ron Newsome

    Ron Newsome Stunt Coordinator

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    Yogi said:
    Thank You!
     
  16. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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