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New receiver time - HK AVR8000? (1 Viewer)

Paul_Thompson

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
7
Hi everyone, love this forum! I currently have a Denon 3801 that I am less than happy with and am considering stepping up to a HK AVR8000. I still have an HK from about 20 years ago (can't remember the exact model) and love it. I just moved into a townhome with a large finished basement and my speakers (Boston System 1000) get lost in that room. Any thoughts on the HK? Any reason not to buy one? Got to run to a meeting, I'll write more later...thanks!
 

Yogi

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
1,741
Welcome to the forum. First let me ask you what is lacking in the 3801 that you hope to address with the AVR8000. The 3801 is an excellent processor with warm musical sound. If its your large basement that is causing your speakers to be lost in the room then you might consider getting an external 5 channel amp for much less than the price of an AVR8000. The 3801 with a separate amp will come quite close to the performance of a dedicated prepro/amp combination in straight DD and DTS. Its better to step up to separates than to yet another receiver. It will save you money for the next upgrade since you'll only be buying a processor.

If its two channel music that seems lacking then I'd suggest integrating a unity gain stereo preamp (L/R preouts) + two channel amp into your existing setup. This would still be much under the price of an AVR8000 and yet sound better in 2 ch music and will also sound superb on HT (since the receiver will no longer be underpowered for the remaining channels). the Denon 3801 measured at 148 W in one channel so having a two channel 150 x 2 amp (with a stereo preamp) will give you 150W X 3 for the front soundstage (where most of the sound resides). I am sure this setup will make you much happier than the AVR8000 both in HT and 2 channel music.

Something to think about IMHO.
 

Paul Clarke

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Messages
998
Paul,

By all means buy the 8000. Then I can buy it from you in a couple of years at a substantial discount. Just a thought.

Actually, Yogi makes perfect sense on this. You don't say what it is about the 3801 that makes you feel this way. If you are lacking musically I can see the shift to H/K even considering the amping suggestion. Processing does make a difference.

But if the dissatisfaction lies more in overall performance in general or HT specifically, a new amp or amp combo will do wonders for your system.

Paul
 

Paul_Thompson

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
7
Thanks all for the replies, I had to run on that 1st msg before I could get everything out. I am happy with the performance of the Dennon with movies (save the weak sub, but that is a separate issue). It is musically that I'm not so please. I think I am starting to have fan problems as well because it will power off due to heat half-way through some not very demanding soundtracks at even moderate listening levels. I haven't taken it in for service yet but I installed a secondary fan which solves the problem but drives me insane with the noise. I am one of those types who never really feels as happy with something once I start having service issues with it so I think that is partially what is causing me to consider the move. I've never had any experience with separates but it sounds like that may be the way to go? Do you think I would get more bang for the buck to try a different set of speakers? A friend just got a new set of B&Ws and they sound fantastic...
 

Arthur S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 2, 1999
Messages
2,571
Paul
Welcome to the forum.
The room has more influence on sound quality than anything else. Since you seem to be in a large room now, that room will definitely affect sound quality. A big room with lots of bare walls often needs sound treatments of one kind or another. Sometimes furnishings can help, but some times things like room tunes or other specially designed room treatments are needed.
If you were satisfied with the musicality of the sound of the 3801 before you moved I would slow down.
I would also suggest that getting your sub situation up to par for this new room should rank high on your list. A rule of thumb is that a beefy sub should be able to put out at least 105db average from 25-50Hz in your room. If you search the Hardware Archives on this forum, I believe you will find a long list done by Tom Vodhanel, who now makes and sells his own subs, called "updated Nousaine subwoofer list".
The list is a bit dated but there are a few names that come up repeatedly, especially Velodyne and HSU. In a large room you will need a sub that can crank out the volume. Toms SVS subs also deliver the goods.
Now that I have finished my rave about subs, deciding on a new receiver is a tough one. The HK 8000 is a well designed receiver allowing you to use (Lexicon's) Logic 7.
Now that I have my flame suit on, I can mention that HK still seems to me to have more problems than Denon, however, if you buy HK from an authorized dealer you shouldn't have to worry.
Coming full circle, apparently you now have a much larger room to fill. I could not find anything on the Boston System 1000. Big spaces call for big speakers and it can be difficult to place your surround speakers at an appropriate distance. The nice thing about a large room is that you will have flexibility with rear surrounds.
There is no shortage of fine receivers in the price range of the HK 8000. The Pioneer 49TX is probably a bit more but has a lot of features and power. I just read on this forum somewhere that the 49TX exceeded its power ratings putting out something like 147 watts per channel with all
7 channels driven simultaneously. The built in 9 channel speaker/room equalization might help in a room that big.
Artie
 

AntonS

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Messages
164
Another receiver is not a step up, it's a step sideways.
AVR8000 will be pretty big step from 3801 in terms of sound quality, not even mentioning Logic 7.

Now, you said go separates, but what separates would you recommend? AVR8000 has 5 pretty good amps. Buy a decent 2 channel amp to drive main speakers, and this combination will kill the majority (all?) comparatively priced separates on the market. What else is out there? Outlaw 950 does not exist, and even if it did it looks like going that way is not even sideways but down. Rotel? In terms of sound quality I would put my bet on AVR8000 (although it would be interesting to compare side by side.) What else? Anthem? Aragon? Lexicon? Nice, but way too expensive. Can you recommend anything else?
 

Doug Brewster

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
325
"...what is lacking in the 3801 that you hope to address with the AVR8000."

Let's see... Power, Logic7, DPLII, THX Ultra, VMAX, HDCD Decoding, MP3 Decoding, 192kHz/24bit DAC's, build quality... Are those enough? There are other not as remarkable in differences.

Does that mean I'm implying that the HK is better? No, but I will state it now: I think the 8000 is far superior to the 3801. Logic7 alone is adequate to identify it's superiority. It is what anyone would expect as there is about $700 difference in suggested retail price. Having owned and previewed both Denon and HK products (and having found both to be good quality), I would always give the nodd to HK in terms of quality, even at the same price point. Here we're not even considering a level playing field. Besides, Paul has already identified problems with the Denon. How could a defective 3801 be no better than a new 8000?

As far as moving to separates, that was not what he was asking about. He wanted to know whether there would be any difference in receivers.
 

Paul_Thompson

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
7
Thanks everyone. Artie, I agree with you I think upgrading to a larger sub, may be the way to go at first. I would love to get a SVS. The System 1000 was a set from Boston and the sub is only a 10in, and I think 75W. Obviously not nearly enough. Perhaps my speakers were never really up to the task but I never noticed because before I had the entire set up (plus a 55in Mitsubish) crammed into a small apt. Having said that though, I still think I may go to the 8000, but try new speakers first just in case that brings the Dennon alive. I really appreciate all your input...I'll be sure to post results.
 

Jerome Grate

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 23, 1999
Messages
2,989
It's my understanding that the 8000 also applies Logic 7 to 5.1 material as well. This is a major factor to me since so many Lexicon owners rave about Logic 7 being used on 5.1 material. Your large set up may very well be perfect for a 7.1 set up. Eventhough Lexicon MC1 is my dream processor, I look to upgrade from my HK 500 to the 8000 in a heart beat.
 

Paul_Thompson

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
7
Ok, one more question...assuming I do go to another receiver rather than separates, what do you think about either the 989 or Yamaha RX-Z1 compared to the 8000?? Or am I nuts, and should I just get separates and be done with it??
 

Craig_Kg

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
768
Unless you absolutely need the extra decoding modes of the 8000 or other new receivers, I'd invest in a stereo amp or a pair of monoblocks (150W/Ch) as a first step. This will make your mains sound much better and take the load of the receiver for the remaining channels. The amps will always be useful as they are a mature technology - receiver and prepros are changing every 6 months.
If stereo really floats your boat, then a stereo preamp between the receiver and the amps would definitely help with your stereo sources. It doesn't have to have the unity gain setting that Yogi likes - that just makes it easier for HT mode as you don't need to remember what volume you set the preamp to when calibrating (an external stereo switch could do the same job for $20).
The sub definitely needs updating too :D
 

Greg Hamilton

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 20, 1999
Messages
87
Paul, try some new speakers. See if you can borrow you friends new B&W's (after they've been broken in of course). You can buy the 8000 or seperates but at the end of the day if you speakers / placement / room are not ideal then you've wasted your money.

BTW, I own an AVR8000 and it's my intention to go towards seperates one day (I'm on an upgrade program - and my ultimate goal was seperates). I'll be hard pressed to find a upgrade path that will surpase what I have today. I enjoy upgrading only when the differences are very noticeable. -gh
 

Paul_Thompson

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
7
Ok, I think I've decided to invest $ in a solid 3 channel amp for the fronts that will hopefuly last me a long time. Now, as far as using the 3300 as pre/pro, I really want to get that thing out of my life, only because I've got service problems and I don't want to deal with it. I like Denon otherwise, and I'm sure I just got a lemon, but I think it's time to go. So...any recommendations? I guess if I do that I need another amp to drive the rear surrounds? Any suggestions for processors? Also, I will try and audition some speakers over the coming weeks as well. Funny how this whole thing is going to result in an entirely new audio set-up! Oh well, I'm single so now's the time to do it, right?
 

Yogi

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
1,741
Oh well, I'm single so now's the time to do it, right?
You got that right. Plus with your new setup you wont remain single for long. The moment you have a date over for dinner and show your new setup.....she'll be hooked, to the setup that is. Women like guys with toys...only problem being that they dont allow you to buy more toys once they are married to you:D
Best of luck, on your new toys that is.
 

AntonS

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Messages
164
Rotel RSP-1066.
Let's see. Street price for 1066 is $1300, for AVR800 is $1600. For Rotel you'll have to add 7ch amp, so add at least another $1800 for Outlaw 770. With AVR8000 all you need is a good 2-ch amp, so let's say add $800.

$1300 + $1800 = $3100 vs. $1600 + &800 = $2400.

Quite a bit of money difference. Will the difference justify the sound quality? I seriously doubt that, although as I've said before it would be interesting to compare them side by side.
 

Daryl L

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 26, 1999
Messages
766
I paid $1600 for H/K AVR8000, $300 for the H/K PA2000. Works great.
$1600 + $300 = $1900. :)
 

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