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Receivers with Digital Amps

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Rory Buszka, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Hi. I'm starting to think about giving my old 5.1 Sherwood the boot and getting a new receiver. I have done most of my looking at the Fry's electronics store where I have worked since the start of the summer and I see that there are now three manufacturers with receivers that use digital amps. I found six models, of which I am most interested in these three:

    Onkyo TX-LR552 (Available in black or silver)
    JVC RX-D302 (or RX-D301 for silver color)
    Panasonic SA-XR70 (Only available in silver from Fry's)

    What's weird is that the Onkyo lists 5% THD at full power on their website while the JVC and Panasonic both only list 0.8% THD at full power. The JVC unit uses a "Hybrid Feedback" amp topology which uses both digital and analog feedback circuits, and I'm not sure what Panasonic is doing. I am wondering, though: Would the THD numbers from the JVC and the THD numbers from the Onkyo be obtained in the same way? Or would the Onkyo sound fine and the JVC sound like crap? Also, should I be scared off from digital amplifiers by the fact that the Onkyo TX-LR552 has 5% THD and the new TX-SR503 (7.1-channel replacement for the TX-SR502) only lists 0.08%? How audible is THD? I am trying to build some really nice speakers (actually a second revision of a previous design) to go along with this so I don't want to bother with a digital amplifier if it is still going to sound like poo through my nice speakers. I just thought that the lower heat output of a digital amplifier would be a cool thing to try, if it could be done with good sound quality.

    The JVC RX-D302 has binding posts for the front speakers while the Onkyo just does spring clips all around. I like the binding posts, and their ability to accept banana plugs because I want to make some nice speaker cables with my crazy discount on Monster brand cables. (I'm thinking Monster Standard wire with Monster banana plugs, just because I can get it so inexpensively.)

    P.S. I know a lot of people think Fry's salespeople are kind of stupid but I really try to have integrity and honesty as my core values, not just saying anything to make a commission but truly trying to educate the customer before they make a decision. (And my bosses really appreciate this, remarking that my kind of product knowledge is really rare among salespeople.)
     
  2. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    Another question: Does saying that I work for Fry's hang a big red letter A around my neck as far as this forum is concerned?
     
  3. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    rory,

    well if you work at Fry's I hope you get a very BIG employee discount because I usually find their prices to be pretty outrageous except for a few of the advertised specials (like Polk R15s for $50/pair), most of the regular priced stuff is a lot more than online pricing and usually even more than regular prices at Best Buy and Circuit City. Just make sure you look online first to compare prices.

    Of the 3 receivers that you listed I'd lean towards the JVC, just my very unscientific personal hunch. I listened to a JVC RX-F10 once at a guy's house where I was auditioning his Ascend speakers and that little receiver was VERY impressive, so the 302 can't be anything but better. If I'm not mistaken besides having binding posts that the other 2 don't, the JVC also has some sort of PC connection either USB or Ethernet?

    As for THD I wouldn't worry about it, anything under 10% is inaudible to the human ear, 5% vs. .01% THD makes about as much difference as car X doing 0-60 in 7 seconds and car Y doing it in 6.8!

    Also, working for Fry's is not that bad...we'd probably give you a whole lot more grief if you worked for Bose though! [​IMG]
     
  4. Richard Beckman

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    Fry's carry HK. I have the HK DPR 2005 with digital amps and I'm very happy with my purchase.
     
  5. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    I just picked up a JVC RX-D201S (junior of 301) a couple of days ago, and I can't say I am impressed. Built quality is pretty flimsy, especially the jog dials are a joke. Sound quality seems inferior to the older RX-F10 -- the music just sounds harsh to me for some reason, making it uncomfortable to listen to. There is also a noticeable hiss coming from the speakers as well when there is nothing playing. The unit also runs quite hot after short operations.

    Someboy suggested in the other forum that the RX-10s take a long break-in period of about 1 month before they would sound really good, and so it may take a similar period of time before the 201s starts to sound good also. I am not sure if I can afford to wait for so long to find out because by then I won't be able to return my unit if it doesn't sound better.

    If you can still find any RX-F10s where you work, I think you should give it a try because it's a steal at the price ($150) Fry's and Outpost are clearing them out.
     
  6. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Kean,

    You might want to leave the JVC on all day while you're at work...I'd be curious to hear if it improves much!

    The 201 does have binding posts too, doesn't it?
     
  7. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    eddieZEN, yeah, I am leaving it on for like 5-6 hours a day since yesterday. Hopefully the sound will improve after a week or so. Otherwise I will have to return it and find something else that's more musical. And yeah, 201s uses binding posts for all channels.
     
  8. EvanW

    EvanW Stunt Coordinator

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    The panasonic SA-XR25 basically the same as what ur looking at sounds decent, puts out above rated power closer to 110wpc. My Two cents and if ur not using surrouned and just 2 ch STAY AWAY FROM ALL SURROUND RECEIVERS!!!!, they are very week compared to 2ch receivers/integrated amps.
     
  9. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    Oops, just realized I made a mistake in my earlier post. No, the 201s does NOT have any binding posts. All connections are spring-clip type connections.
     
  10. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    I run the risk of sounding like marketing here, but Fry's has a "Low Price Guarantee" where if you find the same product at another retailer for less, tell your sales guy and they should take you to the Department Supervisor in Charge (DSC) and telephone the local outlet of that retailer and verify that the item is available for that lower price, and then they have to adjust the price in the computer system (so it's not just your purchase that gets price matched, but all future ones). Then you can get it at the lower price. However, this only applies to brick-and-mortar retailers, not online vendors (or even Fry's/Outpost.com web sites, due to the drastically different operating expenses of an online store and a real brick-and-mortar store.

    The D200-series JVC recievers have spring clips. The D300-series JVC recievers move up to binding posts for the front mains. The reciever seems to get hot at only one end because there is a tiny fan about mid-way through the reciever that blows air through that tunnel at a slow speed, to ensure proper cooling.

    I think I am more seriously considering a Harman/Kardon AVR 235. That is as much as I can afford now.

    Those Polk R-series speakers are sold at a large loss. At that price, they are not only a decent deal, they are a downright fabulous deal, but only because they are being sold below cost. That's great if you're the type who likes to "stick it to the man" but remember that honest hardworking guys like me work in electronics retail, too. Those salespeople that have a large net loss at the end of a day get to hear from their supervisor, and if that happens for months at a time then that sales associate will probably be fired. When a customer is dead-set on the Polk R-series speakers because they're the ones in the ad for such a low price, it really sucks to be the salesperson in that situation, believe me. It's not a bait-and-switch thing like some other stores do, where they will accidentally "run out" of a product that is on ad and then try to up-sell you. Fry's keeps a large stock of most ad items (unless they're a closeout item and then it varies) but then it's on the salesperson to keep the store profitable by successfully conveying to you, the customers, the benefits of stepping up to the RTi series speakers instead of locking yourself into an inferior product just because in the future when you discover the better sound of the RTi series you decide not to buy anyway because you've "already got some". We don't try to upsell because we're "sleaze-bags"*, but because we've been put in a spot and we would like to keep our jobs. I realize, however, that even though we salespeople would like to keep your jobs, at the same time you would like to keep your money, too, and probably aren't the most concerned about whether we get to keep our jobs or not, so I suppose the two interests will forever be at odds with one another.

    I've decided to not be in sales for very long. Once I leave Fry's, I don't intend to ever take another sales position again. The more I understand about the way this works and the way customers relate to me, the more I see the customer as an adversary, and it shouldn't be that way IMO. The customer only ever becomes an adversary when the store management puts the salesperson in a position where his or her job is on the line based on their performance, and yet they have to work against this immense tide of deeply discounted and extremely seductively-priced products. Nearly every customer I've come in contact with has seen the ad product and price, and then has been completely set on that product, and they never waver to the right or to the left, and it is so unbelievably tough to make the customer aware that they need/want/deserve something better that I am nearing the point where I don't want to deal with it anymore because it seems so futile.

    *You'd be surprised how some customers react when a more expensive model is suggested by the salesperson. Some people get hyper-defensive when they have the slightest inkling that you work on commission, and get into a me-vs.-them mentality. There may be quite a few sleazy audio salesmen out there, but I haven't met any at the Fry's store I work at. The Fry's shopping experience is probably a little less consistent from store to store because so much of the decision making is left up to the individual store managers and department supervisors, but as for the store I work at, we don't employ any sleaze-bag audiio sales guys.

    Ok, there's my Salesman's Rant for the evening.
     
  11. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Rory,

    That's outrageous...you'd really risk getting fired if too many people came and bought the ADVERTISED SPECIAL??? Man, I don't blame you for wanting to get the heck out of sales!

    You should really consider moving to Best Buy---as far as I know their salespeople do not work on commission. It makes for a much more relaxed shopping experience for the consumer even compared to Circuit City, but I'm not sure how BB's salary structure compares to Fry's.

    Another thing BB has over Fry's is that they will not only MATCH an advertised price but actually BEAT it by 10%.

    What Fry's has over BB is larger selection, that's no contest.

    I agree with you about the quality improvement going to the RTi speakers over the R-series though. I bought a pair of R20s that were going for $80/pair at CC on Black Friday last year...they went straight to my bedroom minisystem, just awful! The R15s actually have better highs and mids, IMO.

    I looked at the RTi speakers at Fry's too but found that even crutchfield.com had better prices esp. with no sales tax, and crutchfield is usually the most expensive online audio retailer.

    I can't ever see Fry's NOT making tons of money though, most consumers are too lazy and/or stupid to do a little research first online before they buy.
     

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