The suckiness of downgrading before upgrading (long).

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ryan Peddle, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Well, it finally happened. After a few months of issues and, luckily, free repairs my receiver has died. I owned a decent Yamaha RX-V800 receiver. Had it since 2000 and it endured some very heavy use. I can't really complain, it has provided me some great movie experiences, but the problem with the receiver is something that I don't necessarily think will be easy to fix.

    For some reason it clips and shut off before the power capacitors even charge. Or in lemans terms instead of it going 'click..pause for two seconds..click', it just goes 'clikclick' and doesn't turn on.

    The place I took it into have looked at is a repair center for Bestbuy and Futureshop that a buddy of mine is a manage. Both this friend and myself have diplomas in electronic engineering. But to be quite honest, without schematics, your looking for a needle is a haystack if nothing jumps out at you like a blown cap or transistor.

    Any anyways, my buddy takes it in and has his technicians take a look at it. They blow it all out and plug it in and it works. But not for me. When I get it home same thing. So my buddy takes it back...it has a few problems but then works again. I get it home it works for about 5 mins, the dead.

    With something as random as that I don't think it is something I really want to have in my system anymore.

    So, it's time to buy something new...something better...yah, it's time to upgrade.

    But wait, I am broker than broke can be. My wife has been off work for over a year from a car accident and we are in a legal battle with her insurance company. So we have been living off my cushy income since then. luckily I make big monthly bonuses, or we would have been gone long ago. She also returns to work next month so we will back in the game or life again when that happens. But we have bills to pay and debt to get rid of (we're 27, me and 24, her)

    So this leaves me with no surround sound and barely any money. I was bidding on a refurbished NAD T752 receiver, but the price went above what I am capable of paying. So it has come down to the fact that I cannot live with tv sound any, longer, but don't want to spend $500 now on something moderately decent, when I can spend a little now, and save money to go to separates in the new year.

    So downgrading is my option, and I am going to go with a refurbished Yamaha HTR 5730 for 150US or 180CAD. The bottom of the yamaha rung, but still decent and better than many in my opinion.

    Then is the new year I can star to plane a move into separates for the first time. Right now I am researching NAD T163/T973 combo, the Outlaw 990/770 combo, or maybe a Rotel 1068/1075. These are all thing completely up in the air because I don't now the cost of these sets in Canada, and haven't had a chance to listen to them. Any suggestions are very much welcome.

    But at least I can see the light and I love the thought of getting to move to separates within the next year.

    Besides, this has already been a big year for me for electronics, see that I bought a new HDTV, and new upconverting dvd player and got a new universal super remote, I guess I can hold something off until the big '06.
     
  2. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    Why not a Panny Digital to hold you over? I tried one with paradigms. Sounded great. If money is tight this receiver will be affordable!
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Time to evaluate your needs my friend. Are you really such a golden eared audiophile that you need all that expensive gear?

    Why are you upgrading? Is there really, honestly, a big enough difference to make it worth the thousands you're spending or are you just compulsively upgrading? Be honest with yourself.

    Two years ago after many years of compulsively upgrading and upgrading I was running 7.1 sperates, an Outlaw 950, Sherwood AM-9080 amp (4x135W, 72lb behemoth), Harman Kardon PA2000 for 6 and 7. I decided that I didn't care about the high end stuff any more. I sold off the separates and now I'm running a 1997 receiver, a Pioneer VSX-D606S that I bought refurbushed for the bedroom for $137.

    Know what?

    I'm happier than ever with my system. It's much simpler and honestly to my ears it sounds fantastic. The difference between my $1500+ separates front end and the old receiver is negligible if it exists at all. If there is a difference I don't care. My guests are still as impressed as ever. My room is very large and this old 100Wx5(claimed) Pioneer kicks major booty. It would be kind of nice to have a receiver with more inputs so I wouldn't have to use the external switch boxes that I have, but not nice enough to cause me to invest.

    I don't care about bells and whistles. Just give me decent stereo DACs and Dolby Digital 5.1 and I'm a happy boy.

    My speakers, old 1997 B&W 602s across the front and old Mirage in the back, did not change, except the sale of my 6 and 7 B&W 601S2 speakers, which I did not need. (I prefer 5.1 over 7.1).

    My advice is find something older and low end used and just enjoy it instead of stressing about separates and always getting somethign bigger and better. Better yet go to another repair tech and see what it takes to repair your receiver. Keep it forever.
     
  4. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Why is it that the repair shop cannot get schemtics? They should not be in buisness if they cant!! If it's ony 5 years old you should be in great shape. Parts are required to be available for 7 years after they stop selling a model. This sounds like a power supply issue and they likely can just switch out that module.
     
  5. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Wow, you are the first person on HTF who is refering somebody away from separates.

    The problem with the receiver is something outside the powersupply. Both myself and my technician friend confirmed this. The other issue is, is that this problem is more or less random, meaning it works sometimes, but not at others. Problems like this with electronics are very hard to detect. Reason being is that it could be right down to one resistor that is blown but not visibly blown still alloing current to flow. This can do a lot of damage to other components and is something I do not have to risk.

    As to the separates, it is something that I have been encouraged to do on many forums (specifically this one) and with my wife returning to work I will actually have the ability to save some money (since she make more than I do) and buy high quality equipment.
     
  6. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Like Philip, I chased the upper end and found it frustrating. You get a nice piece in your system and you think, "this is it?" Then you drop in that old receiver and you think about it - what's missing?

    Not a damn thing.

    So keep up with the Jones', do what you need to do to make it in the big leagues, but I wish for you and your wife's sake you could prioritize a bit and not dwell on such superficial issues.

    And don't post when you've been drinking.
     
  7. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    You are over complicating it. I did TV/VCR/Audio equipment for years. The mechanical crap is a lot harder then the electronics. There is only so much that can go wrong and only a few boards that can be replaced. MFG's generally dont even do down to the component replacement anymore. Its all modular or complete boards. If its not the power supply, its likely the power amp. Like I said, schematics ARE available and if your friend does own a shop this should be a quick fix. And this is from a guy thatusually does not recomend fixing anything over 3 years old!
     
  8. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    "does not recomend fixing anything over 3 years old! "

    ...but, that's all the good stuff! (Vintage 2 channel guy)
     
  9. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    ColinM, I should have said the "throw away" stuff, not the high end amps that never get antiquated.
     
  10. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Wow, could you be more rude.

    I think I am not dwelling on superficial things as I am not getting a credit card and getting what I WANT. I have purchased a refurb from ebay to get me by while I save and pay for new equipment with cash.

    I guess I have posted this on the wrong forum.[​IMG]
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    You there is a lot to be said for being happy.

    A few months ago, I embarked on a full 7.1 true bi-amp system project against any sane philosophy. I keep playing and playing and playing and still needing more stuff. Oh well maybe by xmas. Who knows.

    I can say, everything everybody cautioned me about to do this right has panned out true. It is way way tougher than expected, and I still may need eq on every channel in the end to sort of smooth out that darn cross over from the low end drivers to the mids and highs.

    I can say that even just running all external amps has bought me quite a bit of headroom, but I would not say it sounds any better than my Denon 4802 alone, except that it gain stages much better with my dual 15" Velodyne subs now, I was having fits with the gain staging until I went to the external more or less mono block amps. (2 channel amps bridged to make it a mono block)
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My Infinite Baffle sub uses a circa 1973 Crown DC300A.... [​IMG] I do believe in mongo power when it's needed, but it's not needed on the main channels when you've got a subwoofer in a system.
     
  13. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Listen to yourself -

    You wrote 12 paragraphs on how sucky it is to have bottom-rung equipment.

    But, wait - I have bottom-rung equipment, by your standards.

    And I'm thrilled.

    No winning this one. Good luck, really - I hope you find happiness in the right combination of 17" wide boxes.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    +1
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Speaking from the sidelines, that is, as someone who owns a relatively decent "budget" receiver, I can say that external power amplifiers don't limit your speaker choices as much-- few receivers are "4 ohm stable", and that fact means you can't run magnepans (or whatever the current darling of this forum is). Some higher end receivers have pre-outs, so buying an pre-out equipped receiver could have served as a partial step towards separates.
     
  16. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    How else would I describe the lowest model of Yamaha. It is a set down from what I have been using, and there are a lot of people who have much much better equipment than me.

    I'm sorry if I insulted your equipment, it was by no means meant to be an insult.

    If you are happy with your equipment and set up, thats great. I just set up a friends HTIB that I would not be able to tolerate (sever boominess) but he loved it. I was very happy for him.

    This is a very serious hobby of mine and I enjoy the finer things in electronic equipment.

    So again, sorry that I inadvertantly insulted your equipment, I never meant to do that at all.

    Anyways. I am excited to get this new Yamaha receiver on monday. I miss suround sound so much.

    But I can't wait to save and spend some money on some new higher end stuff in 2006.
     
  17. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    No prob. I didn't mean to come across so harshly.

    Speakers are where I've found the biggest changes, but your problem is with the AVR / front end.

    Best HT speakers I've had so far are MK's. I bought them as a short term investment, had them for a week or so, and they were clearly better than anything else before or since, even with 40w*5 behind them.

    I'm done messing with the front end / HT, though. My 2-channel gets the tweaks.
     
  18. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    Completely understandable.

    I have a nice set of Paradigm speakers, and before I have my RX-V800 which powered these speakers very nicely I have a Yamaha RX-V595.

    The difference in sound was easily heard. I could easily notice the amplifier distortion from the load of these speakers had on the amp.

    but when I upgraded to the 800, it disappeared.

    Now maybe I won't notice a difference from the RX-V800 and a move up to something better, maybe I will. But I will never know now.

    To be quite honest I am very happy just to find something to get me back in the game because being without 5.1 sound is a big issue for me.

    It's like having a decent car but it not performing well, or needing a huge repair.
     
  19. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't see how anybody can knock a guy for wanting seperates and feeling like they provide better performance than a low end reciever.
     
  20. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Nevermind.
     

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