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Need help updating equipment for new sound formats

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tom Tucker, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Hi, I'm hoping to get some advice here.

    I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TXI receiver, which I bought quite a number of years ago. I mostly use this for BluRay movies and some streaming. Until recently I've connected a Samsung 3D BluRay Player to the receiver via 7.1 analogue outputs. This has been ok, but I don't think the sound is as good as just going digitally out to the receiver, as I understand it, doing it this way uses the dacs and sound processing in the Samsung and not those in the Pioneer.

    I have just replaced the Samsung bluray player with a newer Sony player which does not have the analogue outputs, and as the receiver is so old, there are no HDMI connections. So I have to use the digital coax out from the Sony (which also has an hdmi out for sound). I have to say the sound is much better, but I no longer get 7.1 sound as my side and rear surrounds are no longer separate, e.g. what plays (during a speaker id test) on the right side speaker also plays on the right back speaker.

    As I bought all my equipment before I retired, even though I'd like to update my receiver, it's not ideal financially. I hoping there might be a way to either find a piece of equipment to put between the bluray player and the receiver that will accommodate the hdmi output from the Sony and then pass the output to the receiver via the analogue connections. I'm not sure this is the best option for me, so I'm starting to consider replacing the Pioneer, but since it's been so long since I've shopped for a receiver, and since there are so many new sound formats now, I am looking for suggestions on what might be a good more or less comparable newer receiver that's not too expensive, e.g $2,000 or less.

    The Pioneer is a great receiver, just out of date...

    Here's my setup:
    Front speakers: B&W 703 x 2
    Front center: B&W HTM7 x 1
    Side Surrounds: B&W DS7 x 2
    Rear Surrounds: B&W DM602 x 2
    Subwoofer: Velodyne DD15 x 1
    Display: Epson Powerlite 5030 projector

    Thanks in advance for any advice
     
  2. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    The new receivers support all the sound formats, particularly ones priced 1500 to 2000. So that should not be a concern. However, your mains seem like they need some power so I would find a receiver that is rated about 140 wpc with the largest power supply you can find for that rating and 2000 dollar price (also you are powering 5 other speakers). Be wary that any receiver with 140 wpc with a light power supply will not get you anywhere near that rating. I personally like Denon and Marantz but the other major brands will be fine as long as you pay attention to the wpc rating and the capability of the power supply.
     
  3. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Thanks very much for your reply Gary. Is there a particular model of either the Denon or Marantz you'd suggest?
     
  4. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    Denon currently show 2018 models for your price range. Marantz has newer models. So I wold lean towards Marantz. For your price that leaves SR6014 (600 w power) or SR7013 (710 w power). The latter will push your speakers better. Another option is to go lower, the SR6014 for example, and buy an external amp for your mains. That's what I do since the external amp will not be obsolete over time and leaves the amp in the receiver to power the other speakers.
     
  5. Message #5 of 17 Jan 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I don't see anything that indicates your speakers are particularly difficult to drive, but I won't discourage you from considering an external amp, at least for the front three channels. That's something you can add later. If you don't mind buying refurbished, you can get some nice deals. You can get the Marantz SR7013 well within your budget. I'd probably lean toward that or the Denon X6500, which is the same price. Don't get wrapped up in power differences of 15 or 20 watts. That's insignificant, and power ratings aren't that reliable.

    Marantz and Denon are the same company, so they share tech. The main difference between the models is that the Marantz is supposed to have generally better electronics and sound, while the Denon has some more basic features. Mainly that the Denon will process and power up to 11 channels, while the Marantz will process 11 channels but will only power 9, so you need an external amp to run 11 channels of surround sound. I would never recommend driving 11 channels with any receiver anyway, because they simply don't have enough power supply to do it sufficiently, depending on how loud you want to go.
     
  6. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Thanks to you both for your advice. Do you think the Denon AVR-X3600H would be under powered?
     
  7. Message #7 of 17 Jan 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I forgot to tell you that when I look to analyze speaker and power requirements, music is what I use to set the bar (two channel), not movies and my recommendations follow suit.. That is why I suggested something with more power for the mains as good fidelity is important to me. If music is not important , then Denon AVR-X3600H would be fine. Otherwise, for me, it is under powered.

    In my experience, I have found what is good for music is good for movies, but not necessarily the reverse.
     
  8. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Thanks Gary, I suppose I could hang on to the Pioneer and use it as a amp to power speakers in a pinch. Does that make any sense?
     
  9. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I don't think you can use an integrated amp as an external amp, if that is what you mean. Typically you can't. Check your documentation to be sure.
     
  10. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Ah, ok, thanks
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I'm just trying to be realistic. My basement HT has about 200 lbs of power amps driving it, so it's not exactly foreign territory to me. If you get a receiver with full preamp outputs, you can add them later. Or, you can go full separates, like I do, with a surround preamp and all external amps. The lower end receivers that have preamp outputs (like the X3600) can have difficulty driving their signal to external amps, so it's not necessarily a good idea to go cheap, even if you plan to use external amps.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    If it was my money, I’d get the refurb SR7013 and give that a spin. Then you can consider external amps.
     
  13. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Hmm, interesting, I see that's on sale at Best Buy (Canada) for around $2000, normally it's 3K.

    Sale is on until the 26th so I'll need to do my homework. In your opinion, will that suffice to run my system now, it's not too likely I'll be getting another amp anytime soon to supplement it?
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    That's quite a deal. According to the exchange rate, that's equivalent to $1,521 US, so it's only $120 more than the refurb price. You have a lot of options available, but that's definitely a good one. In my living room I have the SR7012 driving ELAC Debut V2, which are probably a more difficult speaker than your B&Ws. It's a quality receiver, and in an entirely different league than the X3600, which is no slouch.
     
  15. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    So, I've placed my order for the SR7013! Thanks to all for your advice and help.

    Since I've only dealt with my old Pioneer receiver (which has no hdmi connections), I just want to confirm some things regarding video switching with hdmi inputs/outputs. Can I assume that there's no loss of quality using the Marantz to switch video for attached devices, as opposed to connecting components directly to my projector?

    (My projector has 2 hdmi inputs.)

    E.g. I have my BluRay player, which I could set up by connecting one of its hdmi outs to the Marantz hdmi in. There's a 2nd hdmi out on the bluray player meant for audio only, but I'm not sure how I'd use this, unless I just connect the bluray player directly to my projector, and connect the audio hdmi to the receiver...

    I also have a dvr I want to connect, with just one hdmi, which I'd connect to the receiver for both sound and video, and use one of the receiver's hdmi outputs to connect hdmi to my projector.

    I would also need to output video to the projector for the receiver setup menus.

    Finally, can anyone point me to any YouTube videos for setting up using Audyssey?

    I'm going to start studying the manual for the Marantz, but I'd appreciate any advice and suggestions.

    Thanks again
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I'll respond with more later, but I just got to work. Make sure to connect the receiver to your projector with hdmi first, before even turning on the receiver, because it has a setup procedure that you need the monitor for. It's not the end of the world if you don't, but you can't go through the setup without a monitor connected.

    But you essentially have it. Pass everything through the receiver using hdmi. Some people like to send separate signals but in most cases it really shouldn't have any benefit except sometimes with 4K.
     
  17. Tom Tucker

    Tom Tucker Auditioning

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    Thanks John. I've managed to do a first read through of the manual, so I have a better understanding now of the connections I asked about. I'm digging into subwoofer setup and settings now. From what I've seen so far, it appears I should set all my speakers to small.

    My sub is a Velodyne digital 15", which I've had connected to my Pioneer (LFE) via a digital coax cable, and as I recall the crossover is set to 80hz.

    Thanks for taking the time to help me get up to date...
     

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