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Shrinking my STR-DN1080 (1 Viewer)

Aaron Silverman

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I've had a Sony STR-DN1080 AVR for several years now, and it works like a champ. However, while shopping for a new sectional, we saw a gorgeous TV credenza/bookshelf set that we just had to have (discontinued floor model; now or never). Sadly, the AV component shelf is only 6.125" high -- too tight for the 1080. This is the credenza:

tivo-stand.jpg

For the time being, we've pulled out the fireplace insert and have the AVR in what's now a single big open middle shelf, with all the wires clearly visible behind it. (There's no backing behind that space; the rest of the unit has a drywall-ish back with small cable cutouts behind the two enclosed cabinets and behind the middle top shelf.) It looks pretty grody.

I basically have two options:

1. Get an IR repeater and a fan unit (like this one), and put the AVR in one of the enclosed cabinets, each of which has one shelf about halfway up. I'd probably also need to cut a larger opening in the back for better ventilation, although I'd prefer to avoid doing that. My wife suggested taking off one door, but I doubt either one of us would care for the way that looks. I don't want to remove both doors, because the other cabinet is storing discs and things that'd look messy. (I could also install the Sony wi-fi remote app on my phone instead of getting a repeater, but opening an app every time I want to use the AVR sounds like a hassle.)

2. Buy a new AVR with a lower profile that fits on the top shelf. I'm here posting, so y'all know I'm champing at that bit. :) However, we did just spend a large sum on new furniture.

The obvious choice on route #2 would probably be the Marantz Cinema 70s, which seems to have everything I need, feature-wise. However, it's $1200, which is about double what I'd like to spend. (That said, not entirely out of reach, pending convincing the Missus.) If I consider buying secondhand, a couple of older Marantz models, like the NR1606, seem like they could fit the bill.

Costco has the Denon AVR S760H for under $400, although at 6" it wouldn't have much clearance.

Sony currently offers the STR-DH790 at around $450. According to the online listings, it's only 5.2" tall. Of course, it's pretty long in the tooth and a literal downgrade from the 1080, although I could probably live without the extra features and power of the 1080. That said, the 790 only has 4 HDMI inputs, which means I'd have to connect a couple of components directly to the TV or get a switcher, both of which complicate things. Any thoughts on whether switching to the 790 would actually degrade the sound, vs. just giving up other features?

We use it mostly for movies and TV, but also for gaming and music. The main features I need are 4K passthrough, eARC, and all the fun audio codecs like Atmos and DTS:X. I also need a front headphone jack. I'd like to have an optical input. I have a collection of SACDs, DVD-As, and DTS CDs, but I assume that my semi-trusty ol' Sony X800 UHD deck will decode all of those to something that any decent AVR can handle. :)

My speaker setup, which is not changing, is as follows:

Klipsch RP-600m front R&L
Klipsch RP-500c center (the RP-600c was too tall for my old setup! :) )
Klipsch R-41sa front height R&L (top of 6' bookcases with a 9' ceiling)
An old subwoofer whose brand escapes me at the moment (OK, this one might get replaced at some point :) )
Sony SS-CS5 rear R&L (got these as a cheap stopgap when setting up originally, but they're so insanely good for what they cost that I never saw a need to replace 'em)

Thoughts? Recommendations? Any other models I should look into? The shorter-than-6-inches requirement really narrows things down. :) Should I try to splurge on a new Cinema 70s? If I want to look at secondhand models, what are some dependable resellers?
 

Josh Steinberg

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Thoughts? Recommendations?

More of a general thought rather than a specific model recommendation:

If you really love the shelving unit, get the shelving unit.

If your existing AVR still works just fine, investigate a temporary solution while you look towards a permanent one - that might be as simple as having an open cabinet door in the short term while you figure it out. It may be that once you have it in the room, a workable solution that isn’t occurring to you now will make itself apparent.

In my opinion, if you’re going to have the new shelving unit for a long time, and it’s already a big purchase, don’t put the pressure on yourself to make two big purchases immediately if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

In terms of one day replacing the receiver and possibly buying used, Accessories4Less is frequently recommended here. They are a factory authorized dealer for refurbished Marantz units, so if you can bide your time and wait, if there’s ever a good deal on a discounted Marantz, that’s where you’ll find it.

It wound up being more receiver than I needed but as an example, A4L had the Marantz Cinema 60 factory refurbished for half off retail, and they added a five year warranty to it. So there are definitely good deals to be had, especially if you can take the “need to buy right now” part out of the equation.
 

JohnRice

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I second a refurb from A4L. Currently in Marantz, you can get an NR1711 for $500 or a Cinema 70S for $750. I suggest also getting a front exhaust Aircom for that, so make sure they will both fit, though there doesn't need to be any additional space.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Oh, we got the furniture. ;) The fireplace is behind a sofa in another room (for now) and the ol' Sony is all hooked up where it used to be. That'll do for now, although I do want to get something to raise the receiver a few inches so I don't have to stand up from the kitchen table to aim the remote at it.

Thanks for the tips about A4L! I'll definitely check them out.

An Aircom might be overkill, but I'll think about it. It's hard to see in the photo, but the inside walls separating the three shelf zones are set back from the front and don't go all the way to the back, so there's a decent space for airflow. The 70s is only 4.3" tall, so its internal fans could be sufficient. (Only one way to find out. . .)

Side note: I've seen the Cinema 70s in a nice silver color that'd look great with the new credenza, but only in the UK and Japan. The Marantz US site actually shows photos of it on the product page, but doesn't list it as an available color. Sigh. . .
 

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