Newbie with a lot of questions

Arkaon

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Nov 20, 2012
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Hello All,
About 6 years ago, a friend gifted me with a great Pioneer SX-880, and after pulling some tubes out of an old church organ, we got it working again, but it has finally run its course.
That being said, I really know nothing about things that are important to look for in an A/V receiver.
If I could be so bold as to post the things I am looking for and a price range I would like to be around, then perhaps you all can steer me in the right direction.
Also, when you suggest something, if you could explain why you suggest it, and some of its pro's/con's it would really help me learn.
I really don't need a lot of excess bells and whistles. I have only 1 zone (my basement) and I only plan on doing 5.1 surround.
I would like it to be able to connect to Pandora.
I plan to eventually connect some kind of media machine to it for streaming movies and music (roku box, WD live, something like that).
I also am a little deaf due to some grenades to the head while I was in the service, so I play my audio just a little louder (nothing obnoxious, its just hard for me to hear people talking quietly in movies), so I will need to make sure that it can output clear audio at slightly higher than normal listening levels. Also note, when I say this, I really do mean only slightly louder, so if its just a matter of turning it up louder, dont let it affect your suggestions too much.
Edit: Price Range $200 - $400 if possible
Thank You,
Arky
 

Robert_J

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I would like it to be able to connect to Pandora.
Do you want Pandora built in or do you want it on an external device connected to the receiver? I have Pandora on my DirecTV DVRs, Roku, Blu-ray player, my phone and my Android tablet. All can easily be connected to any receiver on the market.
I plan to eventually connect some kind of media machine to it for streaming movies and music (roku box, WD live, something like that).
I have a Roku box connected to my receiver. You will need HDMI inputs on the receiver if you want 5.1 surround sound from the Roku. I don't have any idea about the other media devices.
I will need to make sure that it can output clear audio at slightly higher than normal listening levels. Also note, when I say this, I really do mean only slightly louder, so if its just a matter of turning it up louder, dont let it affect your suggestions too much.
All receivers have a volume control. You want efficient speakers but that can be handled on another thread in a different section.
I'm a fan of Pioneer receivers. For $400, pick the current model that has 5.1 and HDMI inputs. I'd go with last year's model so I could get more bells and whistles. In this price range, I think all of them have MCACC auto calibration.
 

schan1269

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At your price range, you are pretty much "stuck" with Onkyo if you want networking...as they've been doing it longer than everyone else...and it is as "seamless" as it gets.
Like Robert said though...if Pandora* is all you are worried about, why bother having it "in" the receiver?
An AVR does not provide "clear audio". That is the job of your speakers. Speaking of which...are???
It would help to know your other sources...if any...
Wii/VCR?
Turntable?
Cassette deck(people still use them)?
Droid/Iphone/Ipod/Ipad?
Edit:
*Speaking of Pandora, they are in bed with everybody. I've yet to see a smart phone without an app for Pandora. I asked Directv, back when Pandora showed up, if they were going to add Spotify/MOG/Slacker etc. They said they were testing Pandora to see how much use it would get...if it gets used, they'll add more. However you need a HD-DVR to use Pandora. That is a guess of mine though, as you need DVR....but whether Pandora exists on an SD-DVR, I haven't a clue.
 

Al.Anderson

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As the other guys said, you don't need a network receiver if you have other devices that handle that aspect for you. However, I like having direct access to music from the receiver (no 2nd device) and use the Yamaha V671's DLNA capability to access a NAS device. That receiver happens to be on sale at Amazon today for $299.
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V671-7-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B004QR56SE/ref=xs_gb_A24AISTUJBTQ9W?pf_rd_p=441937901&pf_rd_s=right-1&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06S36121NT7F230JK2EH
 

schan1269

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Al.Anderson said:
As the other guys said, you don't need a network receiver if you have other devices that handle that aspect for you. However, I like having direct access to music from the receiver (no 2nd device) and use the Yamaha V671's DLNA capability to access a NAS device. That receiver happens to be on sale at Amazon today for $299.
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V671-7-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B004QR56SE/ref=xs_gb_A24AISTUJBTQ9W?pf_rd_p=441937901&pf_rd_s=right-1&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06S36121NT7F230JK2EH
That AVR, however long this $300 lasts, is #1 in price/features...
 

Arkaon

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All,
Sorry for the late reply. Life got crazy for Thanksgiving around this house.
schan1269 said:
At your price range, you are pretty much "stuck" with Onkyo if you want networking...as they've been doing it longer
Wii/VCR?
Turntable?
Cassette deck(people still use them)?
Droid/Iphone/Ipod/Ipad?
It will have the following plugged into it:
Comcast digital box
TV
Roku
BlueRay Player
Wii (Possibly this christmas)
Also, due to the fact that I will most likely be getting a Roku box, I will not need the receiver to have an Ethernet connection, as I wont need to stream media from it. Also, if any of you are aware of any Cyber Monday deals going on, those would be great.
Thanks,
Arky
 

Steve Tannehill

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Hi, Arky, I just wanted to welcome you to HTF and in particular thank you for your service!
 

Arkaon

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Steve,
Thanks man.
Got any thoughts on a good A/V receiver as well? It would make all this strolling through cyber Monday deals a lot easier.
 

schan1269

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That Yammy mentioned before at $300(assuming it is still there)...
Otherwise Onkyo NR609/515/616(you need HDMI upconversion for the impending Wii)
Denon AVR1913(there is one below this with HDMI upconversion, but it is 5.1)
Pioneer 921/922
 

Arkaon

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schan1269 said:
That Yammy mentioned before at $300(assuming it is still there)...
Otherwise Onkyo NR609/515/616(you need HDMI upconversion for the impending Wii)
Denon AVR1913(there is one below this with HDMI upconversion, but it is 5.1)
Pioneer 921/922
I noticed that those receivers all had some form of Ethernet. Seeing as how I intend to purchase a Roku box, are there better models that don't have ethernet that would be in my price range?
Thanks.
 

schan1269

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Networking in AVR has hit the "mainstream"...
Meaning...unless you dredge the bottom of the barrel...you are going to find networking. But...
An AVR at $250 with networking ability...the $2500 AVR has a completely different spin on networking.
So, basically, at the price range you are looking, the Roku offers 90% more capability. Even if you bought a $2500 AVR...the Roku(in content) still has an 85% advantage.
The difference between a $250 "networked" and moving up the food chain is how it interacts with Droid/Iphone/Ipod etc in control. Meaning...a $250 AVR your Ipod(if you have one?) probably won't have any form of AVR control. But, if you buy a $600 AVR...your Ipod can control the AVR.
Why would you want Ipod/Droid control of your AVR?
2nd zone. So, you can be outside...simultaneously streaming content to the AVR while changing the volume or whatever else you'd like to do.
So, $250 "networked" AVR does not equal a $600 "networked" AVR.
 

Arkaon

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Ahh, ok.
Anyone know of any good Cyber Monday deals I can take advantage of for a good receiver?
Thanks,
 

gene c

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Check to make sure they are authorized dealers before buying.
Newegg.com http://www.newegg.com/Receivers/SubCategory/ID-488
Electronics-Expo.com http://www.electronics-expo.com/products/home-theater-and-audio/receivers
ABT http://www.abt.com/category/1043/Cyber-Monday-Specials.html?camptype=cpcbingBrand
B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Receivers-Amplifiers-Tuners/ci/16259/N/4289257190
BestBuy http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Home-Audio-Systems/Home-Theater-Receivers/abcat0202003.c?id=abcat0202003
 

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