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New reciever - please help decide if this is the one! (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 11, 2000
I have been searching for many months for a new receiver that I can build upon in the future as a replacement for my lower end Yamaha 596 to use with my Paradigm Monitor speakers. I now have a Integra 7.2.
The first receiver I had was a Marantz 8200. Great sound with music and good (but a little dull in uppper range) with movies. Returned due to incompatability with my DVD player and Playstation 2; it took a little over 2 seconds to pick up a DD or DTS signal and CDs had a slit second cut off from the beginning of each track when skipping forward.
Next was a Denon 3802. Great sound for music in Direct mode! I really liked the amps on this model, but the DACS were horrible, IMHO. Music and especially movies were dull in the mid to upper range and digital signals added significant hiss from my speakers. Listened carefully at the store with the display 3802 along with Klipch speakers and the hiss was still there. Amps were had great sound but too dull when matched with the DACS. If these amps were matched with a neutral DAC the sound would be wonderful for both movies/music!
Now I have an Integra 7.2. The DACS seem to be very neutral, not changing the sound from what was intended. For music, I'll admit the previous 2 receivers were better in direct mode, but its not bad. For movies, upper range and voices are very clear. Amps give out less bass than the Denon, but it just be that sub blended better with the Denon.
OK here are the questions I need help with:
I want a receiver that I can add an amp to later (in a couple of years). I can't afford seperates now, and hope that this can be my starting point.
Am I correct in thinking that a receiver with a better DAC is the best place to start? What use is a good amp and OK DAC if the amp is replaced later
Will adding an external crossover give a better blend from the sub to the mains?
In your opinion, could the Integra 7.2 be a good starting point for seperates with a good amp later down the road?
Thanks for any help! I need to make my decision very soon!

John E F

Stunt Coordinator
Nov 18, 2000
I am not sure what you paid for the Intgra, but you might want to consider the Onkyo 898. The price difference is probably minimal. I compared the Onkyo 797 (similar to the Integra 7.2) and the Denon 3802 and found that for movies they were very similar, but I liked the Onkyo for music better. The only problem was that I liked the Denon features, I really need two rear surrounds because of the lay out of the room. I had the opportunity to move up to the Onkyo 898 and couldn't be happier. There really are no features it doesn't have in it's price range.

I really can't use the direct mode because of speaker size, but the stereo mode with the upsampling engaged works very well for music. The sub blends very well, but speaker combination may be more of a factor. No hissing, instant signal detection, and more that enough inputs and outputs. I really don't see a need to replace it anytime soon based on the features alone. It would made a great pre/pro, but adding external amplification would be overkill for me at this point.

One thing I have found is that different speakers mated with different receivers sound different. After trying many different combinations I decided on NHT. I am currently running 7 NHT SB-1's and love them. The only real problem is that if the source material isn't very good, the Onkyo / NHT combo really lets you know how bad it really is.


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 11, 2000
I got the Integra 7.2 for close to $1000 and the only place I can get the 898 for was $1450 and the price difference was not worth it to me to get the extra watts and extra back surround. I only have room for 1 back surround anyway.
I felt that the amps on the Denon had a "fuller" bass and I think thats why I liked it for music better. I do like the Integra for music, but I feel it could just be better. (I guess things can always be better ;) )
Down the road I expect to add an SVS sub to which I would like to use an external crossover to find the best blend between the sub and mains.
I also will add a more musical amp in a few years to power at least the three front speakers. I know that the Denon's internal Digital to Analog converters "dulled" the sound a bit and this turned me off to its sound. I like the neutral amp of the Onkyo/Integra and I feel that a seperate amp in a few years can make a great upgrade!
In the $1000 or so price range, I found that the receivers I tried were either good for music and just OK for movies or just the opposite, at least with my Paradigms. I am a musician so unfortunately I am finding that it would cost big bucks to make my ear happy! :frowning: I watch more movies than I listen to music so I went with the one I felt was better for movies. In a few years, with a new sub and amp, I hope to have the best of both worlds!
Any other opinions? Is this a good upgrade route?

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