Looking to upgrade

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by daniel b, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. daniel b

    daniel b Auditioning

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    Hi all,
    My first post here! Please be gentle!

    I'm looking to upgrade my receiver when I get my tax return in a month or so. I really don't have any gripes with my current Onkyo, 5.1 100W, but it looks like the prices have dropped to the point where I can get a 6.1 or even a 7.1 for less than what I paid for my Onkyo 3 years ago. I don't have an HDTV..I just have regular digital cable, so when I'm watching regular TV, it's pretty bland....not much surround going on...I only have PLII for those signals (I think?) I read somewhere that there's Dobly EX? that might improve my situation? I also don't like the fact that I don't have many options to improve or shape the sound....bass, treble, very limited DSP options.
    I hear the Yamahas have 20+ DSP otptions? Are they any good or just fluff? I saw something about an EQ too? Do multichannel recievers have an EQ option? Does that automatic calibration of speakers with the built in mic mean anything or is it just another whistle? I have 5 Paradigms of the mini monitor variety. Do you think Yamaha is the way I should go? I'm looking for 6.1-7.1 channels, with some options other than just bass/treble, and that Dolby EX option that I know nothing about.
    Thanks for any tips. As you can see I'm obviously a rookie.

    Dan
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Welcome Dan.

    Dolby Digital EX will only work for those sources that are encoded as such - in other words, specific DVD releases. Even HD signals carrying Dolby Digital are carrying the standard DD 5.1. And Dolby Pro Logic II is the best you can get for any two channel sources (e.g. most television, even HD, depending on coverage in your area).

    I think you'll find the majority of people here would dissuade you against the need for EQing, except for your subwoofer, which is a whole other realm really. I don't recall the exact reasons but I'm sure you can dig it up in a search if someone doesn't chime in. The majority of receivers don't have a lot of EQ options.

    The DSP stuff is really up to you. The purists will always just love two channel stereo and won't have much need for all the other processing options. I think the majority who don't mind DSP tend to stick to Pro Logic II or the All Channel Stereo anyways, so having 20+ isn't usually a key selling point for most people.

    I can't comment on the auto calibration system. I know that if even I had that option I would probably want to do it myself initially just for peace of mind.

    Generally speaking, Yamaha would not be a bad way to go at all.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Yes, prices on 6.1 receivers are indeed coming down. Can you believe that www.outpost.com has the Sherwood RD7108 priced at less than 100 bucks. Unbelievable.[​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    Welcome to the forum Dan!
    Nope, it's the real deal. Receivers with this feature automatically calibrate the distance, (some say to the inch), of each speaker; which enables a perfect setting for the time delay and can really improve the soundstage for 2-channel stereo listening. Then there's the graphic equalization. Each speaker, including the subwoofer, is qualized to the room and to each other with an internal equalizer.

    You might want to do a search on "auto calibration" or "auto setup" and read a few threads. While your at it I'd suggest doing a search on the Pioneer 1014. Its a 100 watt per channel, 7.1 a/v reciever with auto calibration that sells for around $400/$450 and has gotten good word of mouth here and on other forums as well.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Hey Dan!

    Welcome to the forum. There are a lot better ways to spend your money than on a new receiver or HTIB. You have no complaints with your current system. Keep it. There isn't enough material available in 6.1, let alone 7.1, to justify buying a new system when you are still watching SDTV. IMO, get an HDTV so you can enjoy HD broadcasts and better picture quality from your dvd player. With your current 5.1 setup, switching to a new system won't make a difference while a new tv will. No offense, but I don't think you are getting maximum enjoyment out of your current system. I would look to upgrade the rest of your home theater before you throw away a system that exceeds your current needs.
     
  6. daniel b

    daniel b Auditioning

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    Hey gang!
    Thanks so much for your informative replies. You've made an awful lot of sense, and the improvement I'd see in a newer receiver would probably be minimal, so I've decided to switch gears and put my $$ towards a hdtv. I know this is the wrong forum but are their good deals on 42" hdtv's in the $3500 range?

    Heading to the tv forums!

    Thanks!

    Dan
     

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