Lions and Tigers and HT Receivers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JohnMaggs, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    And I thought buying a car was confusing. It's got nothing on HT Receivers. So here I am with some questions.

    I am looking to get a solid HT receiver on a $600 budget and a decent DVD/CD player for an additional $300. I have a cambridge Sound Works Ensemble III (a gift that has been sitting in its box for 1.5 years) and a passable TV. I will be setting the system up in a 12' by 20' carpeted room.

    I have been looked into the Pio 43TX or Pio VSX912K, Denon 1804, as well as entry level Yamaha's, and HK's. Yesterday picked up a Denon 1082 from Tweeter for $600 to play with for 30 days but I am a bit wary because they were really pushing them (due to some kick backs as I understand.)

    So my questions are:

    1) Is the AVR1082 a worthwile investment?

    2) If not then what would your recommend?

    3) If it is then what would be its competition?

    4) Any suggestions on DVD/CD Players?

    Thanks for any help from a long time reader first time poster.
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  3. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    How about the Harman Kardon 525 from one call for a little over $500 shipped? Just go to the deals page to get the link for that special price.

    HK 525 vs. Denon 3802(1082). I won't call a winner there. Anyone else care to take a stab at it? If it were 3803, I'd probably declare that the better choice, but I don't know about the 3802 vs. 525.
     
  4. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I heard that Denon and I liked the HK's much better, it's just me but i'm not a big fan of Denon even though they use some nice equipment.

    I would definantly go with the HarmanKardon AVR-525. You will notice it is one of the nicest looking pieces you will ever find and it sticks out with it's very nice front panel.

    Also, if you are looking for video features you might want to go with the HK's because they feature loads of them. Also like Wayne stated the warranty. I would definantly want at least a 2-year warranty... Take a look at the 525 from OneCall. Remember if you go to a normal retail store it will be more than $500. If you are looking for just pure retail you might want to look at the AVR-325, less features but if you feel more comfortable.

    I love my HK AVR-225 and I would trade it unless it was for a better HK, sound quality is excellent and features are definantly all there.
     
  5. Dick White

    Dick White Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought the Pioneer VSX-41 receiver along with a DV-45 DVD player at Tweeter. I'm taking the DV-45 back tomorrow for a replacement because it has a problem with single-layer DVDs, but it seems pretty good other than that, and there aren't a lot of players right now that will play SACD and DVD-A. It's $100 over your budget, but you may want to look at it.

    The VSX-41 is a low-ball Elite receiver and I'm taking it back to get the Denon AVR-1082 (even though it sounds great). Big drawbacks of the VSX-41 include no on screen display, too few inputs, and for some reason, switching the S-video from the DVD player loses the signal to make the TV switch to full mode on an anamorphic DVD. Plus, they gave me the wrong remote and can't seem to find the right one. Hopefully, the Denon solves all those problems and adds a little power (for an additional $281, though).
     
  6. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Not certain, but I'm pretty sure that the Esemble III system has a small, passive (non-powered) subwoofer... which is OK, but it will put an additional strain on the receiver, as opposed to a powered sub... plus, you've got a fairly large room for those tiny speakers.

    Try to find as much power as you can in your receiver choice to accommodate that... of the above-mentioned, the HK 525 might be the best bet... better yet might be a used Rotel... take a look on Audiogon.
     
  7. DaveAr

    DaveAr Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  9. DaveAr

    DaveAr Stunt Coordinator

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  10. DaveAr

    DaveAr Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually I am looking to set up my firsdt HT system. I was looking into the AXiom line, as well as maybe the SVS subs. Then looking to pair these with a decent receiver, in this price range. If I don't go the SVS route(kinda pricey, would be stretching budget) I would like to look at comparable budget minded subs[​IMG]
     
  11. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  12. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Here is what I've currently got:

    - Cambridge Sound Works Ensemble III (it has a 6.5" passive sub) (A wedding gift.)

    - An older Toshiba TV

    - APEX AD 3200 DVD Player (Another gift.)

    - Headphone AMP

    - Sennheiser HD580 Headphones.

    As of last week I was listening to music through a portable CD player - Headphone AMP - Sennheiser Headphones and suffering with the speakers on the TV (while the Ensemble III sat in its box). I hooked up the Denon AVR1082 this weekend in the front half of the room (12' by 12') listening area and it is definitely a vast improvement (as I expect any receiver would be.) Not much base boom but I may look into a moderately priced powered sub.

    Denon pluses - Good Power. Dual Zones. Easy to set up and use. Seems to have good surround sound processing ability. I have heard it is a reliable unit and I can get it through a local shop.

    My primary concern with the Denon is there are comparable units with nicer two channel sound quality (HK, Outlaw). In addition, I am not sure how the surround sound processing would compare to a newer model receiver.

    I have looked at the HK but I consistanty heard they have some quality control issues. I have also heard they make a great sounding unit. Probably worth a listen.

    Also, although buying on line offers very good prices, I do not want to spend my music/movie time shipping 30lb receivers around the country. Therefore, I am willing to pay a bit more to buy through a local shop.

    Barring a winning lottery ticket this receiver will be the hub of my music/movie system for the next 5-10 years. I am looking for a reciever that will not limit my system as I upgrade the DVD, television, and speakers.

    In addition to the HK525, I will probably test the Yamaha's. I've heard alot of hype about the new models but they are outside of my budget. However, the prices may drop on last years line.

    Any other suggestions? Thanks again.
     
  13. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  14. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Auditioning in the store doesn't tell you much about the real-world performance in your room, with your equipment. It's great for playing around with a unit, discovering its features, etc, but it's difficult to say anything qualitative based on what you "hear" in the store.

    Comparing specs can lead to pitfalls. Compare features instead, and narrow your choice to AVRs that have the features you need at the price you can swing.

    Finally, you'll find pro and con reviews for all of the AVRs. Let your needs and your ears decide. Audition at home if at all possible. Ultimately, the good news is that there are many more similarities than differences between--for example--H/K and Denon. You can only go right with either choice.
     
  16. DaveAr

    DaveAr Stunt Coordinator

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    If one was to compare the HK AVR525 to a Denon, what would be the comparable unit. My readings brought opininons on the HK involving Axiom speakers. I read that the HK brought a "warmer" sound to the Axioms. Would the Denon compare as well.:b
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I believe the 3803 is comparable, in terms of features.
     
  18. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    Sooo, the Denon AVR1082 has been up and running for a couple of days now and I am loving it. The set up seemed fairly intuitive and I like the interface. The remote is a bit clunky but I've used worse. In a week or so, I will see if I can track down a HK AVR525 to compare it with but I find myself really enjoying the Denon.

    The Denon's power definitely helps the ensemble III speakers (with a passive 6.5" base), which are struggling a bit in my room. However, they still sound pretty good to me. I also got the Sennheiser HD 580 running off the Denon and through a seperate headphone amp and they are great.

    I am using an ikea wall unit as an equipment rack and the shelving is a bit tight around the reciever (2.5" above, 0.5-1.0" on the sides and 6.0-8.0" clearance behind the unit). It does not come close the the 4" of clearance recommended in the Denon Manual. After running the receiver for a while (1.5-2.0 hours) it is warm to the touch. Placing the receiver somewhere else in the room will be difficult.

    - Is this a problem?
    - Will keeping the glass front open during use help?
    - Would installing a small cooling fan behind the receiver help?
     
  19. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    To answer your questions:

    - Is this a problem?

    Heat can be a problem. Just ensure that you have the recommended clearances on the sides, top and rear of the receiver as indicated in the owner's manual.

    - Will keeping the glass front open during use help?

    Yes. Please keep the door open when using the receiver -- and also for the hour or so following its use so as to ensure the receiver has had a chance to cool down.

    - Would installing a small cooling fan behind the receiver help?

    Most likely, this would be of benefit. Now, the question remains if you'd like to listen to a fan blowing all the time. As long as you leave the recommended clearances on the sides, top and rear of your receiver - it should have a nice, long life. [​IMG]
     
  20. JohnMaggs

    JohnMaggs Auditioning

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    It is not possible to meet the recommended clearances in my current wall unit. I am trying to avoid getting a dedicated audio rack (I don't how I would fit it into the room.)

    So, would installing a PC type cooling (accepting the fact that no fan is perfectly quite) be sufficient to mitigate lack of clearance or do I need to find a new home for my receiver.
     

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