THX or not

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by VictorA, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. VictorA

    VictorA Auditioning

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    Peoples, I have got my eye on a Harmon/Kardon AVR-8000 Thx reciever. My questions are;

    Is THX really worth the extra money?
    Any thoughts on this reciever?
    Is it true about this HK, that it will decode 7 channels but only amplify 5?
    If it true, then will another amp be necessary for the rear two channels?

    Thanks for the help. See ya at CES in LAS
     
  2. Espen Braathen

    Espen Braathen Stunt Coordinator

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    To THX or not - that's the question...

    If we concentrate on the electronics (and ignore the loudspeaker issues) my generall thoughts about THX are as follows:

    * THX hardware provides easy setting and calibration of the volume to the REFERENCE LEVEl (might be too loud for many/most persons, but never the less...)

    * THX certifies that the power amp section is powerfull enough to drive the speakers to reference level without strain (> 3000 cubic feet in case of Ultra/Ultra2).

    * THX products provides a standardized x-over.

    * Provides proprietary signal processing like Re-Eq, Timbre Matching and Decorrelation. Depending on the soundtrack this can be a good thing IMO. It also depends somewhat on your own "philosophy" in this regard.

    * Provides a subwoofer overload limiter function; usefull if you have subs without proper overload limiting built in.

    In general I think the latest THX Ultra2 modes (Music and Cinema) is a worthwhile addition if you use a set up with both side and rear surrounds. However the AVR8000 does not have Ultra2 as I recall.

    Personally I now uses a THX Ultra2 certified amplifier (Denon AVR-5803/AVC-A1SR) and while I generally use normal DTS or Dolby Digital decoding, the THX modes are a worthwhile addition IMO.



    Yes, the AVR-8000 only has 5 x 110 watt amplification onboard. An external 2-channel amp is required to drive the back surround speakers.

    If you desire 7 channel built in amplification; check out the Pioneer, Denon or Onkyo THX Ultra2 certified models (ULtra2 requires 7 channel amplification built in).

    regards
    Espen Braathen
     
  3. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Victor

    If you search within the past 3-5 days you will see that you must be very careful with purchasing a HK 8000. They have a design defect that creates buzz and hum in the center channel. Although there is talk of a fix, HK has known of this problem for about a year and they are just starting to talk about a fix now.

    In my system THX does not seem to make much of a difference.

    You can buy a really nice THX receiver for about $425 (Kenwood VR 6070), but it won't do Logic 7. It does have Circle Surround II Cinema that is a worthwhile addition to Pro Logic II.

    And yes, you would have to add 2 channels of amplification for Logic 7.

    There are some real questions of the viability of the AVR 8000. HK's web site shows a price of $2,800. One Call recentely sold them for under $1,200 delivered.

    What is wrong with this picture?

    Caveat emptor.

    Artie
     
  4. VictorA

    VictorA Auditioning

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    All excellent points. What would be a nice or better comparative for less than $2000.00
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Victor

    For me, the next step up would be something with Logic 7. Since Lexicon is under the HK umbrella, HK receivers are going to be the only brand with Logic 7.

    So if Logic 7 is a must for you, there aren't a lot of choices.

    Many are picking up Lexicon DC 1's with the upgrades and getting a lot of bang for the buck. MC1's have gone for under $2,000 on eBay, but they can be few and far between.

    The HK 525 has a Logic 7 mode and can be had from a reliable dealer like J&R Music for $700 or less. J$R are top notch in customer service and price. They will usually match any authorized dealer price.

    Pretty early to know how the 525 will hold up. So far looks ok.

    Artie
     

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