Upgrading Receiver...What to buy?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Brad R, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Brad R

    Brad R Auditioning

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    I haven't had to purchase anything audio Home Theatre related in about 7-8 years. I currently have an Onkyo 747 5.1 receiver that has served its purpose very well but the time has come where i need more optical inputs as well as component video switching capability. So far, I have been looking at the Onkyo 702 and Denon 2805.

    My question is, are there others I should be looking at? I mainly play video games and watch movies on my home theatre but occasionally play music.

    Should I buy a receiver with THX? (Onkyo)
    Should I get a receiver with the higher component bandwidth? (Denon)
    Do I need 7.1 sound for a room that is 20x15? (Denon)

    I want to stay in the price range of these two receivers so any help is appreciated. If you need more info, please ask away!

    I am looking to spend no more than 1000 retail on a receiver.

    Thanks much!!

    Brad
     
  2. Christian M

    Christian M Agent

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    The onkyo and denon you mentioned are excellent receivers. The onk I believe is also a 7.1 receiver...

    Should you buy a receiver that is THX certified? Well, it's not necessary. I have the onk nr801 (THX Cert) and although it can play loud and clean I have found the THX post-processing has little use - for me at least. It does do well in 7.1 playback but I have not heard PLIIx and since I dont have my 7.1 speaker set-up currently running, THX post-processing has even less use. It is nice, however, to know that the receiver meets a certain "criteria" - whatever that may be... At least it's some kind of standard but it is a black art.

    Should you get a higher comp. bandwidth? Again, both the onk and the denon will be fine passing HDTV signals through their component in/out jacks so probably no real worry there.

    Do you need 7.1? You may not need/want a 7.1 surround set up right now but there might come the time where you feel you want to tweak with your new toy and extract the maximum. I would just buy a 7.1 receiver so you can have it to play with later. Besides, (I dont knnow what games you're playing) halo (both old and new) are great when played in a 7.1 surround space [​IMG]

    Other receivers you may want to look at/into are the new Pioneer vsx-1015. It's THX cert, 7.1 etc. Also, Harman Kardon makes excellent stuff (looks nice too) so look at the avr-435 and avr-635. The HK's aren't THX (no biggie) but they are 7.1 and they use Logic7 which sounds very good in 7.1 playback.

    Others will have suggestions too. Hope all that helps.

    Good luck!!

    Christian
     
  3. Brad R

    Brad R Auditioning

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    Thanks for the response. Yes, most of my time is with HDTV, Movies and Halo 2.[​IMG]

    My wife says I play to much Halo.[​IMG]

    Someone on another forum also recommended the Pioneer. I perosnally didn't have the best luck with Pioneer stuff many years back so I told myself I would never buy another Pioneer product but, I am open.

    I will chekc out the HK too. I have the speakers for the 7.1 except the rear center. I could get that though. The denon has more Digital audio inputs which is another reason i want a new receiver as I am out of my current one.

    For THX, do I need a DVD player that can play THX? I have the old Sony DVPS 7000 which I plan to replace for a progressive scan DVD player sometime soon. Any recommendations on that? Probably another thread.:b

    Brad
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    You don't need a player with THX to use THX on your receiver (my Integra has it but my players don't). I find it makes setup w/o auto eq easier (as the test tones are pre-calibrated for 75dB) and the crossover is supposed to be THX compliant. On two films (both action blockbusters) I've noticed an improvement with THX processing. On the rest it seems, so far, neutral. So I leave it on for DVDs and do a case by case check with concert DVDs (it's been neutral, so far, on all the ones I've tried). Don't buy something just because it's THX, but THX does make a few things more convenient. IMO
     
  5. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    go with the Onkyo 702!

    you can get a refurb for $395 shipped form ecost.

    I have owned alot of refurbs and will say I just ordered a 602 refurb for $285 shipped and came to me with bad center channel. got it from J&R. never had that happen to me. from what I heard though the new Onkyo sounded better than my Onkyo 494 which has been great since new but I also need more features. my Paradigm Monitor 7's always sounded on the harsh side just a bit, tweeters mostly but the new receiver really sounded much warmer and crisp highs. gues the new DAC's really smooth things out.

    now for an exchange. good thing J&R send a pre-paid shipping label. glad I bought from them. other than this problem the unit looked brand new with not a scratch.
     
  6. francisco-a

    francisco-a Agent

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    I have the onkyo 494. You think the 602 makes a big difference in terms of sound, specially in stereo (music)?
     
  7. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    I wasnt upgrading for sound(more for features) as I thought my 494 did a great job. but I was obviously wrong as the DAC's seem to make quite a bit of difference. my Paradigms sound much warmer not to mention the 85wac (compared to 55) was noticably way more power which I did not think I would notice that much a difference. nice suprise. didnt think it could get much better than my 494 as it was a very nice performer.
     
  8. Brad R

    Brad R Auditioning

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    I am going to do some more reading before I jump into anything. I like the 702 and the 2805 but will look more into the others mentioned. I guess I need to decide if THX is really necessary or not.

    Thanks for the advice and if you have any other suggestions, please post![​IMG]
     
  9. Richard_A

    Richard_A Auditioning

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    Have a look at the new Yamaha HTR-5860. Mine arrives Tuesday, new factory sealed in box w/warranty, delivered for under $400 USD.

    This replaces a very reliable old Denon AVR-2500. This will be interesting for me to put this new unit through its paces, as I simply could not afford the Denon, as I am replacing my main speakers with a pair of Cerwin Vega E-710's and buying a 65" Mits projection TV. I had to keep things within a budget and the selected items were all carefully chosen after much research and consideration.

    Good Luck!

    Richard
     
  10. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Brad,

    Look into the Pioneer 1014, it's being discontinued for the 1015 so places like onecall.com have it going for a mere $350 shipped, outstanding bang for your buck. It *is* THX certified, has tons of connections and features, and has garnered tons of rave reviews on audio forums like this. Apparently it's got the exact same internal electronics as some of the entry-level Pioneer Elite models.

    There's a huge thread on it here, do a search.

    For a mainly-HT setup it would be a waste of money to spend more, IMHO.

    I would take the savings and upgrade your sub or front speakers (esp. the center) for a much more noticeable difference.
     
  11. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    ya know..... its to bad the 1014 had only 2 component inputs. that alone killed the 1014 for consideration for me.
     
  12. ChrisCan

    ChrisCan Agent

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    then get the 1015 it has 3 component inputs.
     
  13. Ralph B

    Ralph B Supporting Actor

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    the Onkyo TX-SR602 has 3 and does just fine. alot cheaper too.... got a refurb.
     
  14. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    One thing to consider....

    I was looking at the 1015 at BB last night, and noticed that it put off a great deal of heat, even though it was not driving anything. When I placed my hand on the top vent to gauge the heat output, I almost yanked it away. If you do get the 1015, make sure you have it very well ventilated. While my old Marantz or my current Denon do generate a minimal amout of heat while idling (barely discernable), they only get a little hotter when driving the speakers (the Denon's heat sink is amazing; after two hours of shaking the rafters, it only gets luke warm!). Of course, it could be that the morons at BB (or some snot-nosed brat who thought it would be funny) left the volume all the way up with the mute switch on....
     

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