Pioneer VSX-D814 vs. Denon AVR1705 vs. Onkyo SR702 vs. ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by DavidGriswold, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. DavidGriswold

    DavidGriswold Auditioning

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    In my plans for a very small-space home theater, I had originally listed a Pioneer 1014 receiver as my choice. It was pointed out to me, however, that I had no need for that much power, or 7 channels for that matter, to power a small 5.1 (but possibly someday 6.1!) setup in a tiny NYC apartment.

    However, I want the ability to decode Dolby Digital-EX (I think. I mean, why not?) as 6.1 is a likely expansion in my future, so I wasn't able to go TOO far down the receiver tree. The receivers in the subject are the ones I've looked at so far, all priced in the $250-$300 range street, and all with similar features. I'm looking, now, for user reviews from anybody that's played with any of them. Here are my thoughts, what few I have:

    Pioneer: It has MCACC, though it's manual. Still, I'd probably use the built in mic/tones and save myself the $40 on an SPL meter (I know it's not quite as ideal, maybe, but it seems likely to be plenty good enough). Also, it seems to be just the tiniest bit cheaper than the others.

    Onkyo: It's actually a 7.1 receiver - their 6.1, for some reason, seems to not decode DD-EX. It also comes with a learning remote, which may be useful for learning my (probably not programmed) Xbox remote codes if I don't feel like coughing up the cash for a nicer thing.

    Denon: Has only 3 (or 2? Picture shows 2 optical/1 coax, text says 1 of each) digital audio inputs (the others have 5 and 7 respectively), but has THREE component inputs, so I could plug in my Xbox, a Universal Disc Player, and an HDTV tuner thingy all into it, assuming I someday had each of those things (though, honestly, will probably continue using the Xbox for DVD playback in the foreseeable future)

    EDIT: Just found the Sony STR-DE597. It's cheap. Has very few analog audio inputs, but I don't really need a lot, and it has a reasonable number of digital audio (3) and component video (2) ins, considering it's about $100 less than the other receivers here. Must do more research, but comments in-thread are welcome adn invited.

    EDIT: Also, the Yamaha HTR-5740. Looks about the same, feature-wise, as the others (though the Sony is skimpier, as mentioned). Could be missing something, though. It retails for about $200, though, which is cheaper than all but the Sony. Might lean towards this one...

    At this point I'm leaning towards the Pioneer just because it's a bit cheaper and mostly has the features I want (S-video upconversion to component would be nice, but not necessary, and none seem to have it at this level - I'm not so lazy I can't switch the inputs on the TV if need be). Are there any other receivers I should look at, or compelling reasons to pick one of these over the others? I looked at Harmon-Kardon, but they didn't seem to have anything in the same bracket.

    P.S. This will power a set of primarily Axiom systems, if there's anything I know about matching these receivers to their fairly bright sound.
     
  2. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    The 1014 would be a great choice. The 1014 has a manual and automatic MCACC. Even though DD Ex and DTS ES are 6.1 channel sources, its recommended (even if you have a 6.1 receiver) to still set up your system as 7.1 with 7 speakers. Having 2 rear surrounds give you better localization (I think thats the term to use) over just one rear surround.
     
  3. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Does the 1014 upconcert and display through component?

    I got the 814 and I love it. my only complaint is I have to plug to TV in 2 inputs. one component and one analog for the VCR and other non-component units connected to the amp.
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The Onkyo 502 and 602 both can decode Dolby Digital EX (and DTS ES, and Dolby ProLogic IIx and...). Neither are THX certified, though.

    I'm not sure why one would think that 7.1 takes up any more space than 6.1, though perhaps an extra speaker is just a hassle. I think I've seen at least one "two rears in one box" speaker somewhere...

    And James, much of the THX spec is actually intended to prevent localization-- that's one of the reasons THX uses dipoles.
     
  5. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    The 1014 does do transcode svideo/composite to component.
     
  6. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    The difference in sound level between a 110 watt receiver and one with 75 watts is miniscule. Doubling power from 50 watts to 100 watts yields a 3db increase in sound level. So, that's not the reason to buy a more powerful receiver.

    The 1014 has more features than any of the others you listed. Automatic MACC, video upconversion, and full 7.1 capability. I don't know if any of the others have preamp level outputs, but this may be useful someday along with the ability to biamp the front speakers if you want to.
     

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