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Need Home Theater Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianDiP, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. BrianDiP

    BrianDiP Extra

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    Hi folks,
    Here's my situation. Right now we have a very small living room, around 12'x12' and we have a small kenwood htib. It works ok for that area, but we are moving somewhere that has a little bit larger living area, around 18'x20' or so. So we are looking to upgrade. Here's the receivers I am looking at. Harman Kardon AVR-320, Pioneer VSX-D811S, Denon AVR 1803, and the Denon 2802 if I can find it around $500. As you can see, I am trying to stay in the near-sub $500 range for my receiver. I was dead set on getting the Pioneer after reading the reviews of it and for the price, but then I came across the HK. I like the sound of it as well. Those are my two front runners at the moment. Here is my speaker situation. I plan on getting the JBL nsp1 II set and then adding the JBL ND 310 II towers for my mains. Etronics has them for $179 a piece. I'm still debating whether to upgrade the fronts and center to the studio class, but I will probably do one or the other unless I get any comparable deal with another brand of speaker. I'm not quite sure what I should do about a sub. I have seen the sony sub and the audio source sub from ubid reccommended a lot. I also see the jbl sub reccommended as well. The JBL + the JBL 12" sub can be had for $500 at etronics so that is right where I want to be for that set if possible. That would be about a $250-$300 budget for a sub. If the sony is nearly as good, there is no reason I shouldn't save some money and get that one. The last thing I want to add is I want to get a progressive scan dvd changer. For the time being I will be watching all this on a 32" JVC D series television, but hope to upgrade to a large widescreen hdtv within the year so I just thought that it would be good to go with the prog scan. I will be using the system for 65% home theater/35% music I imagine if that info is useful. Any advice about anything on my list will be absolutely appreciated. As you can probably see, I am a total newbie at this [​IMG]. Thank you in advance!!
    --Brian
     
  2. Mauricio_BR

    Mauricio_BR Agent

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    Brian,

    IMHO, of all receiver you have listed the Pioneer would be the last to consider. I have a Pioneer 709 but this new line 11 is not quite as good as it was, despite all the enhancements it has such 6.1, dpl II etc.

    The HK 320 i think is the best option in terms of audio power. HK receivers are famous for its high current power stages and can more easily drive larges speakers.

    Denon 2802 would be a very nice option too.

    Regarding the JBL speakers, I think you should consider a S-CenterII and a couple of S26 II for the surrounds. As far as i know, the JBL subs have a week power stage that often fryes at you and it sound is somewhat flat, kind of a one key sub. You should consider a Velodyne or maybe even a Polk instead for a not so expensive alternative.

    Folks, any other thoughts ?

    B R

    Mauricio
     
  3. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    i have to disagree. the pioneer is a great receiver. The h/k's have reliability issues and no 6 or 7 ch outputs. I hve the 810 pioneer and I love it! it's great from movies to music.
     
  4. Mauricio_BR

    Mauricio_BR Agent

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    So do I love mine (vsx-d709s wich uses the power stage of the elite line), but if you compare them side by side, same room, same speakers, you´ll notice (as did) it´s not that good.

    It´s not in the same league as HK and Denon. Maybe not even with Yamaha. We cannot let our judgement of what we have bought in the past cloud the perception of reality.

    B R

    Mauricio
     
  5. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    Count me in the anything but h/k crowd. My first 5.1 receiver was an h/k and it sounded great for a couple of years then the left channel just died on me. My first two pro logic receivers, an RCA and a Kenwood, are still running strong after many more years of use, and the Onkyo that I bought to replace the h/k has been flawless too.
     
  6. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    Buy the H/K if you want countless and unpredictable shutdowns...buy the Denon(s) if you want no expandability (no full set of preouts)....buy the Pioneer if you want a solid piece of equipment that has received mainly good reviews and can be paired with an external amp in the future for expandability, as long as you don't mind being looked down upon snobbishly by so-called "audiophiles."

    {None of this directed at you Mauricio...mainly at others I have read on other forums...you present a solid A/B comparison for your comments...thanks}
     
  7. Mauricio_BR

    Mauricio_BR Agent

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    Mark,

    I really think it interesting. I´m new to this forum ,but what I always read is that HK is the Holy Grail of receivers.

    Everybody else trashing Pioneer, Sony etc.

    I never heard b4 about the shtdown problems with HK. Whats is it ? Overheat ?

    Tks

    Mauricio
     
  8. Rick_FL

    Rick_FL Stunt Coordinator

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    my HK never shuts off. You shouldn't stack anything on top of them, or they will overheat. Also, some HK receivers will go into standby if there are speaker issues.


     
  9. Mauricio_BR

    Mauricio_BR Agent

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    Brian,

    One and FINAL advice. Take pointers from what everybody says, but use it only as pointers. Go try the equipments yourself.

    I always say, LISTEN to everything your thinking on buying before you buy. If you have the opportunity to try in your OWN room, with your OWN speaker it´s even better, because the same system won´t sound equal in two different rooms.

    B R

    Mauricio
     
  10. BrianDiP

    BrianDiP Extra

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    Thank you all for your responses. You have given me more and more to think about before I actually take the plunge. I am actually throwing the HK 520 into the mix since jandr has it for sale for $500 as well, but I have to do some research into their unpredictability and history of breaking down. Does anyone know how HK's warranty service/tech support is? I will also listen to them all before I choose one. I also believe that I will up to the studio class for all the speakers. Will all these receivers be ok to power even the large tower speakers or will I want an amp? If I was going to get an HK, would it be worth it to spring for the 520 over the 320 or should I save the $100 and get the 320? Any more responses would be very much appreciated. Thanks again!!

    --Brian
     
  11. Rick_FL

    Rick_FL Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi to all - the standby and reliability issues I have read about are referred to by Rick.

    Also, there is a huge thread over at avsforum about the 320 and 520 having some problems with their rear right and left surround when using Logic 7, that, to my knowledge, HK has yet to fix. Brian, you may want to check this out.

    I love the Pioneer, but now jandr has the 520 for about 530 shipped, and onecall has the 520 for $514 shipped (with $20 discount coupon) and 5 months SAC financing. If you can do without EX surround sound (from what I hear, Logic 7 does a good job not withstanding problems above), this sounds like a h$%^ of a deal.
     
  13. Ryan.w.d

    Ryan.w.d Auditioning

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    I currently have the predicesor to the AVR-520 the AVR-500. I have not experienced any problems with this receiver. Granted my speakers are a mix of 6ohm in the rear and 8ohm fronts and center. Mabey on a 4 ohm set-up it might overheat but I doubt it since it is rated down to 4ohm. I believe your JBL setup is either 6ohm or 8ohm so you shouldnt run into any problems. I remember a earlier Pioneer receiver I had back in the Dolby Pro Logic Days I noticed the rear channel had very little output in Pro Logic Mode. Don't no if Pioneer fixed that problem. Anyways I give the HK a big thumbs up! It has tons of current, enough at higher volumes if you grab the speaker leads you get a warm fuzzy feeling! Now thats power ( or current I mean )[​IMG]
     

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