Upgrading for DVD, should I just go with an A/V receiver?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren_C, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Darren_C

    Darren_C Agent

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    I have just ordered my first DVD player, a Panasonic CP72K.

    My current (out-of-date) system is as follows:

    Magnavox TP3272C TV, Profesionally Calibrated
    Mitsubishi U770 S-VHS VCR
    JVC single disc CD Player
    NAD 1600 Tuner/Pre-Amp
    Adcom GSP-560 Pro-Logic processor with 3-channel center/rear amps
    Parasound HCA-800II 90W/ch Amp for main speakers
    Adcom GFA 545II 100W/Ch Amp for subwoofer
    Celestion MP1 Ceiling mounted compact main speakers
    Celestion Centre2 center channel speaker
    Boston Voyager ceiling mounted rear speakers
    Self designed and built dual subwoofer

    At the time I bought them over 10 years ago, most components were highly regarded in one publication or another for entry level audiophile equipment. They were used frequently at the time, but rarely now for anything but kids movies.

    So, I'm looking for an inexpensive A/V option to replace one or more of the preamp/tuner/processor/amp functions I have. Something with a street price of about $400 would be about right. Given the infrequent use, the quality does not have to match the previous system. Compatibility with the current standards is more important.

    So, what are the best options for me?

    Should I somehow take advantage of the CP72K's built-in digital decoders?

    Is there an inexpensive processor with 3 integrated amps to replace only the GSP-560 so I can re-use my other amps and preamp/tuner?

    Should I just go for the simplicity of a receiver? I see some with reasonable street prices around $300-$350 like the JVC RX-8020VBK and Pioneer VSX-D811S. These seem to support most every current format and also have pre-outs in case it is desirable to use my existing amps instead of the built-in ones. Are these overkill? Can I get away with something less expensive given what I have already?

    If I can save money with a cheaper component, that would be ideal. I'm guessing even the entry level items are better than the Adcom Pro-Logic I have now...

    Any opinions appreciated.
     
  2. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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    Short answer yes with a but, longer answer no with a maybe. I think this way. One is that you can't beat seperates. Two, A/V receivers in today's market are just plain awsome. For your duties, I would go with the Harmon Kardon AVR320. A lot of people in here have them and they get great reviews. The price is in your neighborhood and it's jam packed with features and has 7.1 pre-outs. This should be plenty for what you have described. As for the older equiptment, I'm not really familiar with that so I won't act like I know.
    http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_130430_2718crx.aspx
    http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...20&SVBName=276
     
  3. Darren_C

    Darren_C Agent

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    Thank you for the reply. I've not yet found a good solution other than a receiver. That is a great price on the 320. I had seen it at local stores for a couple hundred more. With $32 shipping and handling, it is a bit over my budget but I will consider it. Do you have good experience with Etronics? Are they an authorized HK dealer? I had never heard of them before...

    B&H Photo and a couple others had the Pioneer VSX-811D for $300-$330 delivered, so that is my other top choice unless I find a great deal on something nicer.

    Any other opinions on receivers shipped and delivered from a reputable retailer for $400 or preferably less? Again, the DVD player is a Panasonic CP72K if that matters.
     
  4. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    I like the Sony DA1ES (and maybe DA2ES) for the adjustability (bass management, equalisers). Since you have some external amps (can the Adcom be used as just a straight 3 channel amp?), the Sony's weakest point is not an issue.
     
  5. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Darren_C

    Darren_C Agent

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Sadly, the Adcom does not have preamp inputs. I will soon be selling the GSP-560 and the NAD 1600.

    I have used J&Rs and would buy from them again. That is also a good price. I also found a Marantz SR4300 locally for $399. Comparing them:

    Reasons to get the HK 320:

    Presumably higher quality, at least in perception.
    Higher rated in Consumer Reports, if that is worth anything.
    192k/24-bit decoding
    MP3 decoder
    Multi-Zone
    A few extra inputs and outputs
    1 year longer warranty

    Reasons to get the Pioneer 811:
    Dolby Digital EX
    Almost $100 less expensive
    I like less cluttered look with the flip down panel.
    More power on paper and as measured by CR.
    Appears to have 6 amps vs. 5 on the HK 320.

    Reasons to get the Marantz:
    Presumably higher quality, at least in perception.
    Dolby Digital EX
    Good quality 6x80W amps with full pre-in/out
    Retro look

    All these features are probably nice, but none essential. I don't know much about the need for DD-EX or 192k/24 bit decoding. Comments?

    I looked at the Sony DA1ES. It appears to lack DTS-ES, DD-EX, MP3 decoding, multizone, 192/24 decoding, a 6th amplifier and a couple pre-in/pre-outs. The DA2ES appears to be well over my price range:-( Unfortunately, I don't think the Sony's fit my needs as well as the HK or Pioneer, but I do appreciate the suggestion as I hadn't looked at those before.

    I'm heading out today to look at the Marantz...
     

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