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"You are the weakest link....goodbye" - upgrade ?'s

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Tim K, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

    Jul 7, 1999
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    OK, so my subject may be outdated by a year...but it sums it up...

    I'm looking for some feedback regarding "equipment upgrades" and I was wondering if I could get some opinions regarding the weakest component in my setup.

    I currently have:

    Pioneer SD-533HD5 53" HD ready RPTV
    (HD/SD material via cable with Motorola DCT-5100)
    Pioneer VSX-D608 DD/DTS Receiver (lists 100w/chan)
    Panasonic DVD-RP56 Progressive Scan DVD player

    I am satisfied with my speakers, though I could go for an SVS Sub! I think my TV is excellent (and haven't paid it off yet!). So I'd like to focus on my Receiver and DVD player to duke it out over the title of "weakest".

    When I bought the receiver 4 yrs ago it was $399 and one of the earlier models to support DTS. Clearly it is older, but I am happy with its performance. Like anyone, I'm always looking for a little more power, and I'd like the capability to go to 6.1 or 7.1 some day too.

    I got the DVD player last summer after getting the HDTV. I did some research and determined it was the most affordable progressive scan player. It doesn't display any of the major display flaws, and the only thing that I can say negatively is that it has a fairly long layer change pause. I feel like maybe I am missing out on something with this player, simply because I got it for $167 on clearance. They say that you get what you pay for...should I have spent more??

    My question is, when it comes time to upgrade, which one will get me the biggest bang for my buck? Are there better Progressive players out there that will offer me noticeable improvement for a marginal price ($500)? What about my receiver? I don't see myself going to seperates anytime soon, and I've been satisfied with what I have up to now. Would I notice the difference if I moved up to say an Elite series receiver from Pioneer like the VSX-41 ($500)? I don't feel like I'd be wasting anything by upgrading because we need a DVD player in the living room anyway, so I could get a better one for the HT and move the Panny downstairs. And our living room Audio is a weak little Aiwa bookshelf system, so moving the Pioneer receiver down there wouldn't hurt either.

    Obviously it would be nice to upgrade both, but realistically, it would only be one...unless you want to explain to my wife why I need to spend $1000+ to replace equipment that works just fine!

    Personally, I'd like to upgrade the receiver as it is the oldest and I think the Panny is still a fine player. At the same time, it would be EASIER to explain that I was buying a new DVD player for the HT so I can move the Panny to the livingroom. The same logic wouldn't work to get a new receiver as we don't "need" a new stereo downstairs.

    Help please.
  2. James_SCEA

    James_SCEA Agent

    Sep 19, 2003
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    Your Panasonic RP 56 is actually a pretting decent progressive scan player. I would not use it as my audio player for cds, but I've seen the video image and I believe it has a faroudja processor - although not stenciled on the face.

    Your weekest link is definately your receiver. As to the brand of receiver, everyone has their own preferences as far as taste. Are you going to use it mostly for theater? Do you do much music listening? The answer may effect your decision. I personally prefer Marantz equipment because of its great balance between music and movies.

    The Pioneer Elite receivers are definately great quality receivers, but I personally found that they lacked the warmth and sense of presence with music. They do totally kick ass with theater though. Again - that's only my opinion.

    It is not necessarily an issue with getting more power out of your receiver - but now the processing is so much more accurate than that of your current receiver. Other technologies such as Dolby Pro Logic II will benefit you when watching regular TV/Satellite programing.

    Although it may not be as easy getting it past the Mrs. , this definately sounds like "the weakest link" to me.

    Happy shopping!
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Jun 24, 1999
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    I agree. Definitely keep the DVD, spend that cash on the receiver. [​IMG]

    With the Pioneer Elites, I found that I did not like the 41 or 43, but when you move up to the 47 and 49 they were downright impressive (and fairly expensive).

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