Receiver Features!? What should i be looking for?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Matt Bauer, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Matt Bauer

    Matt Bauer Auditioning

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    Hey everyone-

    First time poster here. I've got some money to spend and am looking for the right advice/guidance on receivers. I know what I want so that should make this easier.

    I plan on using this receiver for both movies/tv as well as music. My plan is to purchase a receiver + a nice set of front left/right standing speakers. Down the road I will add a center channel, rears, and a powered sub.

    I want a receiver that:
    -does 5.1 (should i look into 6.1, 7.1?)
    -has nice power especially for listening to music (granted Im in a apartment now, but I do not want to have to reinvest when i purchase a house in the next few years)
    -sounds great for audio CDs
    -offers me dolby digital, dts, etc possiblities.

    I get lost with all of these features on todays receivers. I need to know which ones are necessary/nice. Im not an audiophile so I dont want to over do it. I just purchased a 57" Sony HDTV so I'd like nice sound to go with it.

    I've been primarily looking at Harman Kardon's (AVR 230/330/430). Looking to spend (I dont care if its used/new/refurb/online between $300-$600 on the receiver).

    Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, HDCD, Logic 7, Dolby Pro Logic 2, etc..??
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Welcome to HTF.

    It's very difficult to go wrong buying a receiver nowadays; even many entry-level pieces are offering more than enough processing and power to accomodate a large number of users, so you'll get the "necessary" features by default.

    And the reason there are so many "should I buy Receiver X or Receiver Y" threads here is that folks are typically comparing units of similar specification, and thus similar performance. Virtually all of these questions can be answered with: "either X or Y will work for you."

    Most of the AVRs in your range will be 5.1 or 6.1, and I feel that 5.1 is sufficient for most folks (and, therefore, Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES are not an issue). Just about every AVR in your range has Pro Logic II, and the h/k pieces add Logic 7, which some folks prefer to PLII. HDCD encoding involves a very small % of software so as to be almost irrelevant; ditto for DTS 96/24.

    The advantage to looking at the higher end of your price range is that you will generally get more connectivity and expandability options, such as pre-outs for adding external amplification.

    All of this is to say, again, that if you simply want to watch DVDs, TV and listen to 2-channel music, it's almost impossible to make a huge mistake buying a receiver. The 3 choices from h/k that you list would all meet your needs.
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Everything Angelo said [​IMG] plus I'd like to add a good remote and on-screen displays. Those two things work together to make things easier for me. Componenent video switching is also popular around here. Your speaker choice will be more important to the sound of your system though. And maybe a tougher decision to make.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Amen. Much, much more important.
     
  5. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    But in choosing speakers, you shouldn't regard all receivers as the same. Different receivers/amps will make a difference in the sound that comes out of the speakers. You should really look at both simultaneously.
     

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