Receiver recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Hello,

    I'm looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade to DD & DTS. I've blown way too much money on my video and in doing so have neglected my audio. Current setup is a TEAC system purchased at Costco over 10 years ago. It works beautifully, and sounds fine as far as I'm concerned, but I don't have "real" surround sound.

    I'm willing to spend about $300 and don't mind buying used equipment. My only "must haves" are (1) Component video switching, (2) 100w/channel minimum, and (3) DD & DTS processing. (EDIT: Actually, I prefer to buy used if I can get a better system for the money. I've been looking on eBay but have no idea which brands & models to look for.)

    Lastly: I don't have experience with DD or DTS yet. Is a subwoofer a must when running one of these systems? Put it this way: I don't have a subwoofer now. My current setup puts out enough bass to rattle pictures off walls, and I'm happy with it. My concern is that when I go to a 5.1 system, all of the bass will be sent to the subwoofer output, which won't have anything connected to it. Is this the case? Can I simply configure the receiver to not use a subwoofer, and get the bass from the left & right front channels?

    Give me another year and I'll be looking to spend $5k on separates, but for now, I just need something to get by with.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    You know, while I'm at it, I might as well ask if anyone knows why my current setup exhibits the following bad behavior: All of my volume is in the first 30% or so of my receiver's range. It is very difficult to set the volume I'd like, because even a tiny volume adjustment produces large jumps. This is another reason why I want a different receiver. My room is ~12 by ~18 feet; I watch movies louder than anyone I know, and even I can't handle this past about 40% of volume. I've literally knocked things off walls and have never turned the volume up past 50%.

    We sometimes mute the receiver and turn it up a little to get the volume level we want, it's that bad.

    The receiver, as I said, is an older TEAC outputting 100 watts per channel. Main speakers are KLH towers, max input of 300 watts each (12" main, 5" mid, & 1" tweeter each). They're your basic, inexpensive consumer level speakers, but I'm happy with them. The speakers are some 50 cable feet away from the receiver. Wire is in the walls, I believe it's 16 gauge, but could be 14.

    Any ideas? I'd like to make sure this problem goes away with a new receiver... And if it's solvable on the Teac, I'd like to solve it, because I can still use this receiver for music in another room.

    Thank you again for your time.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ryan, the November 2002 issue of Sound & Vision magazine has a receiver buyers guide that has lots of specs in a table. Should make it easy for you to identify the models that have what you want.

    But a quick scan shows that component video switching starts at these models & prices:

    Dennon AVR-1803 $500
    HK AVR-325 $800
    JVC-RX7020VBK $330
    Kenwood VR-606 $500
    Marantz SR7300 $900
    Onkyo TX-SR600 $530
    Pioneer VSX-D811S $475
    Sherwood R-756 $600
    Sony STR-DA1ES $500
    Yamaha RX-V530 $400

    I suggest you run out and get this issue.
     
  4. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    Ryan,
    The Denon, Marantz, and HK models are great. The others, starting with Onkyo are very good to good (only my opinion). The Onkyo TX-SR500 can be had as a refurb from JandR for 199.99 (not bad). As far as the "100w/channel minimum" is concerned, I don't think that should be an issue. Maybe it is for you, but many receiver manufacturers play power spec. games, which in the end are not that important anyway. The difference between a 65w/ch and a 100w/ch are not that significant- maybe 3dBs. (See the HTF primer for more info on that.) regarding the volume control- I experienced the same issue with my old technics receiver. My new HK utilizes the full range of the volume and setting it is never an issue.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Ryan,

    All DD/DTS receivers will have a bass management system that will allow you to redirect the .1 LFE channel to your main left/right speakers if you do not have a subwoofer. In the receiver's setup options, you tell it that you do not have a subwoofer, and that your main speakers should be set to 'LARGE' (most will not even let you set them to 'SMALL' if you have no subwoofer). You should also be able to redirect the lower bass frequencies of your center and surround speakers to your mains, if the mains have better lower frequency response than the center/surrounds.

    There are differences in the flexibility of bass management features from model to model. Some have fixed crossover frequencies, some are globally adjustable and some are adjustable for each channel. The fixed crossovers could be anywhere from 80Hz to 120Hz, depending on the manufacturer.
     
  6. Ralph Bru

    Ralph Bru Stunt Coordinator

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    the onkyo sr-500 can be be had for $300 at cc.

    very good reciever!
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Thank you for the replies!

     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  9. BobJ

    BobJ Stunt Coordinator

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    Note the TX-SR500 does not have component switching if that's a feature you need.
     

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