New Reciever Suggestions?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Daman, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Hi Fellows,
    Am back here in the reciever section after a few months [​IMG] time for yet another upgrade hehehe.. Wife has agreed to 'gift' me a reciever so im here for suggestions! I basically have 2 recievers currently but am thinking of selling one of them.
    Heres the setup i have in the main HT
    Yamaha HTR5790 with Energy C3 mains,CC1 center,CR1 surrounds,C1 rear back surrounds and SVS PB10

    Heres the second setup - Yamaha HTR5650 with Polk RTi6 Mains,CSi3 Center channel,FXi3 Side Surrounds and RTi4 rear surrounds with Polk PSW 303 Sub.

    I am thinking of selling off the Bedroom reciever and either replacing it with a new one for the Polks or getting the main systems reciever 5790 to power the polks and get a better reciever for the main HT.Budget is between 700-1000$.
    It would be fantastic if you guys can suggest some recievers considering the speakers i have and also do i really need an upgrade or i can do with the current setup? My reason for upgrade is that the bedroom reciever is 6.1 while i do have a 7.1 speaker setup with me for it.. I dont want Harmon kardon because im afraid of its unreliablity. Im thinking of Denon,Onkyo,Pioneer or Marantaz,needs to be 7.1 with PLIIX.
    Please help!!
    Thanks a ton!
    Daman [​IMG]
     
  2. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Thanks Bob,Well i dont want to go with Yamaha since i already have one, want to try some of the others, any good model you can suggest in the price range i have?
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    My speaker setup is similar to yours exept my mains are also C-1s and I have a Hsu STF-2 sub. I've used the RXV-1400 (same as your 5790), Denon 2805, a Pioneer VSX-45tx Elite (sort of a precursor to the 1014), and currently an HK AVR-635.

    For ergonomics I'd rate them as follows:
    1-Pioneer
    2-Denon
    3-HK
    Not much spread between these 3.
    Distant 4th-Yamaha.

    For auto eq:
    1-HK, by a very wide margin--uses frequency sweeps for sample tones rather than pink noise, can and does auto-eq the sub, which none of the others can. Think automatic Behringer Feedback Destroyer for the sub and you get the idea.

    Tie for 2&3 Denon and Yamaha

    4th-Pioneer

    with all but the HK I've felt the need to go back in after the auto eq and manually reset speaker sizes and such, haven't felt this with the HK.

    For apparent power, i.e. how well the receiver seems to drive the speakers

    1-HK, even though it has the lowest advertised power rating.

    2&3-a tie between the Yamaha and the Pioneer. Not as effortless as the HK, less headroom, but more than adequate.

    4-Denon 2805--never failed to play loud, never went into protect mode, but did sound "strained" for lack of a better word at reference volume. I almost never listen any louder than -10db from reference volume though.

    I paid 800-900 for all of these receivers. The Pioneer carried a list price of $1400 ish but I bought it at a substantial discount from an internet retailer, no factory warranty as a result. The Denon and Yamaha were $900 and $800 respectively at authorized B&M dealers, roughly msrp.
    The HK is msrp $1299, typically sells at CC for $1099, is available at a couple of authorized internet dealers for $850ish.

    I strongly suspect the Denon 3805 would have noticeably better amplification than the 2805, it retails for about $200 more but does not come with the calibration mic- $60 extra and included with all the others.

    The HK is my favorite, to me it has the best overall sound by a considerable margin, perhaps due to it's very much better auto eq but even with the auto settings turned off it has excellent sound and effortless power. Logic 7 is something I always scoffed at in the past but I find I like it very much now that I've tried it.

    One glitch with the HK is that if you are in a 7.1 surround mode and switch to another source that is flagged as 2 channel or 5.1, it will automatically drop out of the 7.1 mode. The remote has separate buttons for DTS, Logic 7, and DD surround modes, so one need only mash one of them a few times to get back into 7.1. This does not happen when pausing a dvd or switching chapters, ff/rw, or layer changes, is most common when changing tv channels on your cable box or sat. box. The receiver does have a USB port that is labelled "for service use" so software can be upgraded and HK may issue an update to correct this glitch.
    I like the sound and other features of this unit so much that I'm willing to put up with this particular characteristic. Having had a great deal of difficulty changing surround modes on the fly with the Yamaha I find this glitch much less of a problem.

    I don't have any experience with Onkyo but agree that they are well regarded and very much worthy of consideration, maybe also sample some of the offerings from Marantz and NAD.
     
  4. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Wow!! That was something Steve [​IMG] I really appreciate you took out the time to write such a long and detailed post of your experience. So you liked Harmon Kardon the best? My only fear is that ive seen too many HTF posts on them going bad and thats what was stopping me from considering them in my list. But after reading your post i think i should definetly give them a try and see. Correct me if im wrong because i dont have much experience with H/K's i understand that they have their own Logic 7 decoder instead of PLIIx? Though you have written that you liked it but how different is it from the PLIIx decoding? Thanks a lot for your inputs again Steve!!
    Regards
    Daman
     
  5. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I would recommend the Denon AVR3805. Before I settled on the Denon, I auditioning the Yamaha RX-V1400, HKAVR430, HKAVR630, Denon AVR2805, AVR3805, Arcam AVR300 and NAD753.

    The 3805 has no problem driving my energy speakers pass the 0 dB level without audible distortion. I have tried using my 2 channel power amps (via the pre-outs) to drive the front mains, and could not hear any obvious improvement in sound quality. I probably could hear the difference if I could do a quick A/B, but I don't have the switching device to do it at home.

    I have not listened to the new HKAVR635 but I was impressed with the 630. The only thing I don't like about the HK receivers (except the flag ship models)is the fan. I think it is bound to be a source of noise.

    In terms of power, if you believe in the lab measurements done by H.T. mag, the 3805 has significantly more power than the AVR630. I am not sure if the 635 is more powerful.
     
  6. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Thanks for the feedback Shiu, i was checking Harmon Kardon recievers on the net and came across DPR2005 which im getting within my budget as well. The specs say its 120 watts X 7 and from what i know Harmon Kardon is the only company which doesnt overrate their power ratings.The AVR 635 is rated at 90 wpc i think. The 3805 is also rated at 120wpc.. how do you think the 3805 would fare against the DPR2005? I personally havent heard either, maybe i should buy them both and try it out? The price difference between both isnt much from the deals ive found online..
     
  7. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    There are no shortage of reviews on the 3805 and the 630. It may be tougher to find reviews on the newer DPR2005 and the AVR635. Regarding how the 3805 would far against the DPR2005, I would even try to guess. I believe the DPR2005 is a digital receiver, quite a different technology. For that kind of money, I am sure you want to listen to both before pulling the trigger. The 635 seem like an excellent unit as well, just that fan bothers me, but then people are saying that you won't hear it...........or that it only turns on if you push it hard.....etc.
     
  8. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Ah [​IMG] well my loudest volume is normally 10dB below the reference level so i dont anticipate hearing the fan if thats the case Shiu. Yes the DPR2005 intrigues me..it also seems to be lacking the auto eq.. I've written a mail to Harmon Kardon asking the basic difference between the AVR and the DPR series, lets see what they say.Ill post their reply here.
    I guess in the end it would boil down to my personal taste if i decide between these 2 guys. Steve mentioned that the 3805 comes without a mike.Would you know if the mike i got from Yamaha work with Denon?
     
  9. Steve(S)

    Steve(S) Extra

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    You might want to try Marantz, and read what my signature says.
     
  10. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Hahahahaha [​IMG] yes ill check it out Steve, how the the 7500 marantz look to you? Ive shortlisted these guys as of now..

    Marantz 7500
    HK AVR635 - which btw isnt available at CC [​IMG]
    Denon 3805
     
  11. Steve(S)

    Steve(S) Extra

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    I personally have a Marantz SR5300. If I ever needed to upgrade to get some additional features, I would get either an SR7500, SR7400, or SR6400.
     
  12. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Im more and more leaning towards comparing the HK 635 to the Marantz 7500.. anyone had a chance to review them both?? Thanks again to everyone for all their inputs!
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    It definitely does have PLIIx in all it's varieties--cinema, music, and "game"; also DTS-ES, DTS NEO 6, DD-EX, etc. The Logic 7 is an addition, not a replacement.

    As for the difference between Logic 7 and PLIIx, Logic 7 seems to sound a bit fuller and smoother for lack of better terms.

    CC in my area doesn't have any 635's yet, only 630s. They will carry the 635, even had the shelf tag up when I was looking. I got mine from OneCall, an authorized internet HK dealer for $860 including shipping. Ordered it on Monday night and it came via fedex, double boxed, Thursday afternoon. CC's price is going to be $1099 per the shelf tag, msrp is $1299.
     
  14. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Steve!Thanks for the input, i got the HK AVR 635 from circuit city today (my local one had it)and will try and get the Marantz 7500 also over next weekend. I want to compare both and decide, and as you mentioned the best prices are online, ill return these back and buy online.
    I did the auto setup tonight of the 635 and man am i impressed!!! I played Hotel California DVD-A,LOTR fellowship and U571 as demo tracks and it felt like i had whole new set of speakers!! The vocals were so clear even with the volume set at -35db and my apartments heater making lot of noise. I never had to raise the volume even a single notch or strain to hear the vocals. The LFE was a bit weak but when i switched from DLPIIX to Logic 7 it was more fuller, just like you mentioned. I've at present just used the recievers auto eq and not my DVE or ratshack meter so i expect the sound to be even better once i calibrate. And this is coming from comparing it with my Yamaha HTR 5790 which would go in the second room. There is really a lot of improvement in the overall sound!! Now waiting to check the Marantz before i make the plunge.
    One question- how better would the AVR 7300 be to the AVR 635 and would it really be required? I am getting a decent deal on it from jr.com. Thanks again for all your help!
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The 7300 does not have the auto eq of the 635, which in my opinion is the one best feature of the 635. It's got more power and the video upconversion (not just transcoding like the 635 but a built in Faroudja based video scanrate upconverter). So you'd be giving up the "whole new set of speakers" that the auto eq gave you for the ability to upconvert video. Since I already have progressive scan and upconverting dvd players and a very good upconverter in my HD receiver, I don't need the video features of the 7300, nor do I have the $2000+ that it costs, lol.

    As for calibrating with RS meter, I double checked the settings the auto setup did with my meter and the surrounds initially came out a bit weak. You can manually change speaker levels without having to redo the auto setup, but if you change speaker size or crossover settings you will have to redo the auto eq. In the latter case you go into the menu, select EZ-SET EQ, then select "manual" rather than "automatic". The rest of the procedure is just the same as automatic but the reciever will not automatically change speaker sizes (except the rear surrounds for some reason, it'll still reset those) or crossover.

    I had originally done the auto setup with the microphone placed a meter (about 3 feet) above my normal ear level, as the manual recommends, and my listening position is very close to the back and side surrounds. Thus with the mic placed so high it got a straighter shot from the back surrounds which resulted in the lower level setting for those speakers. After rerunning with the mic at normal ear level the receiver set the back surrounds higher.

    If your only perception is that the bass is a bit weak in DPLIIX, I'd just manually turn up the sub setting a couple or three db and leave the rest alone.

    The auto eq is incredibly sophisticated on these things and does some really unexpected things--I'm sure if you go back and check your auto-derived settings you'll find that it set your center to small yet your mains are probably large, even though they all 3 probably have similar bass handling characteristics. The fact that it will in most cases change back surrounds to large even on a manual setup while leaving the rest of your manual speaker size selections alone is also indicative of some mysterious goings on.

    Add to this the fact that the auto eq sets crossover for speakers that it sets as large. We all know that when a speaker is set as Large no bass is sent to the sub so there is no crossover, yet crossover settings are made by the 635 for speakers that are set to Large. I don't know if it's actually doing bass management on speakers set to large or not. Maybe it's sending bass below these crossovers to the sub and the speaker involved, nobody really knows.

    You probably also noticed that the auto setup test tones are actually frequency sweeps rather than the pink noise the Yamaha used.

    This is one case where I tend to trust the auto setup even though it comes up with some seemingly strange settings. It's setting up the system as a whole and doing more room correction than any other auto setup system I've tried.

    All I know is that the resulting sound is a virtual revelation, something I did not know my speaker system was capable of. I just enjoy the end result and try not to worry about the fact that the auto derived settings seem in some cases to defy conventional wisdom on how a surround system should be set up.
     
  16. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Steve, Very interesting... well i think in that case 635 would be a better option because i really do like the auto eq, and since my projector has froudja so i dont need the video upconversion from the reciever. Next week the Marantz should finalize things, but it would have to be pretty awesome if it were to top the 635.
    That theory about the crossover sounds interesting, i normally set my crossover at 80hz and let the sub handle all the LFE and set all the speakers to small. I would love to see what results i get with these settings. As you said the LFE would become pretty strong. The only problem i was bugged with the 635 is that each time the signal type changes i have to press the buttons again to get to the Logic 7 or some other mode i am in. That sometimes can get really annoying i guess. Thanks for your inputs, once again [​IMG]
     
  17. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Just an update, i returned the Harmon Kardon 635 to CC and ordered a Marantz 7500 today online, should get it sometime next week and would post up my experience comparing the 635 and the 7500. Hoping to find a clear winner between these two..
     
  18. Kevin_Breeze

    Kevin_Breeze Second Unit

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    So what ever happened? I am considering the 635 myself...
     
  19. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Ah,old thread.. Well i ended up keeping the Marantz. I found the musical quality of both the recievers to be pretty much the same with Marantz having an edge in the movies. I really like the 635 but felt Marantz equalled or bettered it in most of the areas.
    The plus point of 635 was its auto eq and logic 7 but after calibrating the marantz with DVE it bettered the HK(in my opinion). Marantz's CS II has a disadvantage that it can apply only to 2 channel sources while logic 7 can be applied to all types. A big Plus for Marantz is its remote - it scores big points as a universal programmable remote. So much so that i havent touched my normal universal remote in months now. I would definetly recommend you to hear out the Marantz as well before you finalize.
    Daman
     
  20. Tim_

    Tim_ Stunt Coordinator

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    Go with NAD T753. I now swear by NAD.
     

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