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AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Rain
Date: August 28, 2013 12:05AM
Think I'm probably beating a dead horse, but with the purchase of a new flat panel and audio cabinet I started looking at updating my old Sony ES series receiver to one of the newer ones that have HDMI. Seems there are models that pass 3D, pass 4k, etc and even have the ability to somewhat "tune" your room with the use of an included microphone.

Whats the best bang for the buck today that is around $500 or less?

I'm still 5.1 but may upgrade that down the road.

Thanks
Rain



[www.reverbnation.com]

Thanks for everyone's help and support after Hurricane Katrina!
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 28, 2013 03:24AM
Take a look at whatever was the best model last year (or the year before) and see if you can find one on closeout. I got a $900 Yamaha for just over $200 that way a few years ago.

What did I give up? I'm still not sure I gave up anything but marketing hype.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: August 28, 2013 03:54AM
Quote
Ombligo
Take a look at whatever was the best model last year (or the year before) and see if you can find one on closeout. I got a $900 Yamaha for just over $200 that way a few years ago.

Agreed. I did the same with my Denon. I got last's years model at a steep discount. The only thing it didn't have was 3D compatibility. But my TV doesn't have it nor do I ever want it. So it was a no brainer.



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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: SunZmSpark
Date: August 28, 2013 06:07AM
This might be a helpful resource [www.audioholics.com]. There seem to be a lot of great deals in that price range. I picked up a discontinued Onkyo (TX-NR818) for $599, normally $1200, a few months ago.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 28, 2013 06:27AM
Rain,

I'm in a similar situation. Currently, I have a nice LED TV connected to an aging Onkyo receiver. While I adore the receiver - it has served me very well - it lacks HDMI and a few other modern features. But, I keep holding off on replacing it because my solution is to use the TV for switching.

All of my sources connect to the TV via the appropriate interface and I ran an optical cable from the TV to the receiver. So, the TV does the switching and sends audio to the receiver. I guess what I'm saying is that your old receiver may do its job without a problem. Just use the TV for switching and the receiver for audio. See how that works. If it is sufficient, stick with it for now.

I'll replace the Onkyo receiver at some point. It's not a priority since what I'm doing now works well.

Robert
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 28, 2013 06:52AM
Quote
Robert M
All of my sources connect to the TV via the appropriate interface and I ran an optical cable from the TV to the receiver. So, the TV does the switching and sends audio to the receiver. I guess what I'm saying is that your old receiver may do its job without a problem. Just use the TV for switching and the receiver for audio. See how that works. If it is sufficient, stick with it for now.

Keep in mind that many TV's only pass a stereo signal along through the optical audio output, even if the source is 5.1. Something to do with licensing and manufacturers being cheap...
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: August 28, 2013 06:57AM
I much prefer using the receiver for switching for the simple reason of having a single cable running to my TV vs 1 for each of my components. All my "stuff" is at the receiver level so all the wires are behind the entertainment center. And all I have is the one HDMI cable going up to the TV that's mounted on the wall. Fishing the HDMI cable through the wall was bad enough. I'd hate to think of doing it for all my components.



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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 28, 2013 07:24AM
I'd steer you to Denon, Onkyo and HK as primary "makers".
I'd steer away from Sony, Pioneer and Yamaha.
Based mostly on build quality.

Most "consumer" rcvrs have the features each other.
Like computers, you can pay for a name, but you may be very disappointed.
I was with a Sony.

I and others I work with have found Pio and Yam somewhat piercing in their sound.
Not that it means much.

There are other good choices in less mainstream badges, but for this item I'd go mainstream.
As others have mentioned, the first 3 can be found discounted as last years model or B stock.
I picked up our Onk I think 5 years ago for about 50% off at about $400.

The only things I wish it was better at is vacuuming the floors and discouraging the neighbor dogs from barking after 11P.
But I'm gonna borrow a few JBL Vertec VT4880s with the hope that it might discourage the neighbors from leaving their dogs out after 11P. I'll pump a little dancehall raga to .... ah ..... move them.



!#$@@$#!

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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 28, 2013 07:30AM
This page on amazon compares the Yamaha series of receivers [www.amazon.com]



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 28, 2013 08:05AM
Look at the Onkyo TX-NR616 from last year or the new model they just released (626).



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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 28, 2013 08:08AM
My biggest takeaway from buying one nearly 2 years ago is that HDMI is the fastest-changing spec a modern receiver will deal with because they keep adding more functionality into an HDMI cable, and TVs and other stuff that uses HDMI will keep up with that. So buy "last year's model" with caution, because 3 years from now you may want a feature that's 2 years old and you might not have it.

And if you find yourself wanting a new receiver in a few years, that's just like with computers. Don't sweat it. This isn't the old days, when a 2-ch receiver's architecture didn't evolve for decades.

The corollary to that is, if the receivers you're looking at have stuff you don't care about (3D or whatever) don't worry about it. Lots of that stuff comes as part of whatever chipsets they use and don't add appreciably to the cost.

What adds to the cost is the same stuff that always has, power supplies and so on.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 28, 2013 08:14AM
I got a Marantz at [www.accessories4less.com] and have been very happy with it. Accessories4Less is an authorized dealer for refurbs of several brands and at least in Marantz' case you'll get Marantz' normal 2-yr warranty.

You DO pay for it; some brands are cheaper and have 90-day or 1 yr warranties and Denons are reliably seen as better values given that it's a sister brand with shared engineering (but different features). At just over the 1 yr mark, mine developed a "stuck pixel" in its front panel display and I contemplated the hassle of sending it back, or somewhere ... but a firmware update (or something) corrected it after a couple months.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: August 28, 2013 08:51AM
I just upgraded to the A820 so I have a pristine Yamaha Aventage RX-A800 in box I am getting ready to list on eBay.
[www.amazon.com]

It has a couple advantages over other AV receivers. First it has dual HDMI outputs, which is very unique. The other thing is it has the ability to accomplish switching without being on, thereby saving you electricity.
PM me if interested.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 28, 2013 09:01AM
The Onkyo's that I mentioned also have dual HDMI-outs and 7 inputs.

They offer the most bang for the buck - guaranteed.



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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: August 28, 2013 09:08AM
I'm a big fan of Harman Kardon, and finally upgraded to an AVR 2600 from an AVR 320 last year (mostly because I needed to add HDMI inputs, but retain 6-channel inputs for the SACD player). HK are also sticklers about purchasing through authorized dealers if you ever need warranty support, and I was glad it worked out to where I got a brand new one for a hell of a price through World Wide Stereo via Newegg ($300 shipped).

My primary complaint, which apparently is related to HDMI handshaking, is that the 2600 "suffers" from a 1-2 second audio dropout whenever it detects a change in the audio signal format (for example, switching from Logic 7 to Dolby Digital+ at the start of a movie being streamed). It generally is not a big deal since there is rarely any audio of note in the first few seconds of a movie, anyway (the studio's logo, more often than not). The remote is also terrible, but I have used it maybe twice since I have a Harmony controlling everything.

The refurbished Denon AVR-890 (no longer available) from Accessories4Less was also a contender, but they jacked the price up $50 the day I decided to purchase it and wouldn't budge (they apparently were running a "sale" on it until then), so the hell with them. I found the new HK lower than their sale price a week later.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 28, 2013 09:10AM
Gareth,

While this is true on some TVs, it's still worth trying my suggestion. If it works and the cables don't cause agita from an aesthetic point of view, great. If not, then cough up the bucks for the new receiver. For me, my primary TVs send full signals out via optical and I'm not concerned about cables.

Robert
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Forrest
Date: August 28, 2013 11:28AM
I picked up a nice Pioneer 5.1 70W/channel AVR last year for just under $200. I think it has 6 HDMI in/1 out and it networkable thru ethernet for Airplay. The HMDI ports didn't handle 4K.

Note 4K HDMI displays are pricey right now ($3500) - not sure they will catch on considering there is no source material for 4K. This technology seems to be heading down the same path as 3D displays - nowhere.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 28, 2013 12:17PM
Quote
onthedownlow
Look at the Onkyo TX-NR616 from last year or the new model they just released (626).

There were problems with the 616 - I would research to see if Onkyo got those ironed out before buying one.



It is what it is.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 28, 2013 12:19PM
Quote
Ken Sp.
I just upgraded to the A820 so I have a pristine Yamaha Aventage RX-A800 in box I am getting ready to list on eBay.
[www.amazon.com]

It has a couple advantages over other AV receivers. First it has dual HDMI outputs, which is very unique. The other thing is it has the ability to accomplish switching without being on, thereby saving you electricity.
PM me if interested.

Be careful about the dual HDMI output thing. My Onkyo 809 has dual HDMI outputs... but you can only output the same signal to both ports.



It is what it is.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 28, 2013 12:22PM
Quote
onthedownlow
The Onkyo's that I mentioned also have dual HDMI-outs and 7 inputs.

They offer the most bang for the buck - guaranteed.

See my warning above about dual HDMI outputs. Some research at AVSForum.com will confirm this. I will say that I have not spent time researching this year's Onkyo models, so the possibility does exist that this has changed for the most current models.

It is widely accepted amongst A/V aficionados that Onkyo A/V receivers offer the most bang for the buck.



It is what it is.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 28, 2013 12:23PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
onthedownlow
Look at the Onkyo TX-NR616 from last year or the new model they just released (626).

There were problems with the 616 - I would research to see if Onkyo got those ironed out before buying one.

Initial firmware problems that affected 0.01% of the receivers (I know, as I had two of these and was a frequent visitor to their forums).

I had one that had a couple of the issues (not a dealbreaker though, just a mild inconvenience), but the other was always fine.

The firmware released - I don't know - back in June of last year pretty much fixed everything and they've released a few updates since.



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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 28, 2013 01:03PM
Quote
onthedownlow
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
onthedownlow
Look at the Onkyo TX-NR616 from last year or the new model they just released (626).

There were problems with the 616 - I would research to see if Onkyo got those ironed out before buying one.

Initial firmware problems that affected 0.01% of the receivers (I know, as I had two of these and was a frequent visitor to their forums).

I had one that had a couple of the issues (not a dealbreaker though, just a mild inconvenience), but the other was always fine.

The firmware released - I don't know - back in June of last year pretty much fixed everything and they've released a few updates since.

Good to know.



It is what it is.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 28, 2013 01:18PM
I have been very, very happy with Pioneer receivers. They go on sale at Woot and NewEgg pretty regularly.

But never, ever connect one to a Comcast DVR via HDMI. It'll fry the ports (yes, really--happened to me a few weeks ago).
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: dk62
Date: August 28, 2013 03:29PM
I just replaced this one:

[www.amazon.com]

for lack of 3D connectivity. Works great, I am not sure I did a good thing. But if you are interested and somewhere in Princeton/Bucks county area let me know and I can let you have it for much less than Amazon is charging for a used unit.
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: August 28, 2013 08:13PM
I'll second the HK 2600 or 2650 if you need a little MORE POWER!



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: AVR - audio video receiver
Posted by: Rain
Date: August 28, 2013 11:37PM
Thanks all - Gives me somethings to read. Seems the Onkyo units on Amazon had rough reviews. I'll dig deeper.



[www.reverbnation.com]

Thanks for everyone's help and support after Hurricane Katrina!
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