Revenge of the old receiver.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Philip Hamm, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Since I've been spending less and less time in front of the TV watching movies over the last few years, I decided to "downsize" my HT system, sell off some of the high-end gear and simplify.

    Old 7.1 front end: Outlaw 950 / Sherwood Newcastle AM-9080 / H/K PA2000

    "New" 5.1 front end: Pioneer VSX-D606S vintage 1997 receiver. First generation Dolby Digital receiver. Original full retail price was $700 but probably $300 of that was covered by the DD decoding DSP - they were expensive back then.

    Sub unchanged - dual 15" Dayton IB with a Crown DC300A power amp (vintage 1974).

    I ran the highway scene in Matrix and to really tax clean sound quality I ran some Disney animated stuff.

    All I can say is wow. I don't miss the separates hardly at all (well, maybe I will after I sell them - see the for sale section). The sound of this old receiver is really great!

    I guess the moral of the story is appreciate your more modest gear!!!
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Phil,

    That can't be stressed enough. For me, modest gear allows me to get more bang for the buck. Sometimes, we all need to question whether that upgrade that would run us 100% is really worth it if the sound quality only goes up by 5%.

    The area where people do need to push money is into remotes and automating some of the process of getting it all up and running when they want to watch a movie, though.
     
  3. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    I hear ya, I am honestly questioning if it is worth it or not to upgrade my 3 year old Sony receiver to a new $500 one by Yamaha, Denon or Onkyo. I think that my Sony receiver kind of sucks, but then again it has been good to me and I also still think my movies sound great with it, my old Advent front speakers, cheap Sony surrounds and my STF-2 subwoofer. Still I wonder if a new receiver would make the Advent sound better, as they require a lot of power that I am willing to bet the Sony is not giving them, not to mention the features that a new receiver will offer, a biggie being component switching which I may soon be in need of.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Of course you have to make your own descision.

    For me part of the experience was coming to grips with the reality of my damaged hearing and diminishing returns. I'm a musician and have been for over 25 years, so I'm a big music lover and I should appreciate fidelity. However, I played bass in loud rock bar bands for long enough that I have to admit to myself that my hearing is permanently damaged and that the difference between a cheap receiver and separates, though somewhat perceptible, is just simply not worth it to me. Ditto hi-res audio or DTS versus Dolby Digital.

    Yes, I can hear the difference, but it's too small for me to care.

    Also, my speakers are B&W DM602s and are easily driven by the clean amps in the Poineer receiver so there you go. We all "want" to have crystal clear sound and the best quality we can percieve, but what do we really need? For me the extra 1% of quality is just not worth it.

    However, I do miss the S-video switching of the old preamp. The 606 only has composite, so there's a cheap mechanical S-Video switch on top of my DVD player. Someday my TV will break and need replacement but I'll deal with that when it comes. Things are a little more complicated from a switching standpoint but I have a nice universal remote so it's not too bad. Also, the Pioneer 606 is a really nice receiver, and has very good ergonomics and a great universal remote. Less bells and whistles and surround modes makes it easy to operate.

    My advice is put your money in the bank and enjoy your current receiver until it breaks. Or if it has pre-outs buy my amp as an upgrade. [​IMG] Or better yet, find an older refurbished unit or used unit that is an upgrade for you and buy that. I got my 606 for $159 refurbished about 3 years ago and it is awesome.
     
  5. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    This may be the best advice. Upgrading my Sony SA-WM40 subwoofer to an HSU STF-2 was worth it as it sounds much better than the old Sony, and once I get my HDTV upgrading my older DVD player to a progressive scan unit will be worth it. But I can see myself getting a new receiver and saying “was this really needed”. I think what I will do is buy a Denon or Onkyo receiver from Tweeter/Circuit City, hook it up and see if I can tell a difference, if I can then the upgrade may be worth it, but if not I will just return it and probably keep the Sony for a while.
     
  6. Chris Sherman

    Chris Sherman Second Unit

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    I just posted somthing similar here recently. Todays AVR's are so damn good that it is all most people really need. I started with an AVR went to full seperates and back to the AVR again. For me with my modest sized room , decent quality, reasonably efficent, speakers it sounds fine. I finally got off the upgrade wheel and am enjoying movies again and not sweating the gear as much. I do use a pair of Outlaw monoblocks, one to drive my passive SVS and the other to drive my center channel , because it does tend to do the heavy lifting and these amps are dirt cheap for as good as they are. I can now save up my money for the eventual display upgrade but for sound I'm fully satisfied.
     
  7. Paul S

    Paul S Stunt Coordinator

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    How refreshing to see some sanity come into this forum. You really don't need a Krell for an 18 x 20 living room.

    Todays receivers are excellent in every way and in MOST cases all you will need (especially when you are using a powered subwoofer).[​IMG]
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Or in my case, yesterdays receivers fit the bill.
     

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