My Conundrum - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-30-2012, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Good day to you gentlemen. I have an interesting appeal for help today as I'm trying to find the perfect receiver for a PC situation. I'm going to be blunt. My budget is tight, I'm a highschool student looking for a the best option. The receiver will be bought and paid for via my own hard work, something I've come to be rather proud of in other cases. The utmost price I think I can budget is about $400 but that's really, really stretching it. The ideal solution should have a $200 price tag.

My main objective is to find an A/V receiver with analog multi channel input for use with the HT Omega Claro Halo XT located here: http://www.htomega.com/clarohalo_xt.html

Specifically the XT expansion for 7.1 channel sound -


(the connections on this are all mono-RCA)

The ideal receiver would have this for connection with the sound card:



Gold plated connections are always a plus because, rather unfortunately, as a pianist I am a horrible audiophile. I plan to use the regular RCA output on the Halo Claro for new headphones I'm planning to purchase as well. I will probably end up using them with Xbox too so they will be run through the receiver as well. Gold RCA input on the receiver would be nice for this as well. Again, I take my audio very seriously. I suppose there is also the possibility I will output S/PDIF from my Xbox and run it through the soundcard to the receiver as well. I remain undecided on that. I may switch HDMI from the PC and XBox through the receiver but I do not believe my graphics card can run audio so I have ruled the audio part of HDMI out.

The frustrating part is I can't find a receiver with the analog 7.1 on mono-RCA for the XT part of my soundcard at any beginner price. I know of several that have it but they are 7.2 or more channel receivers.

Any help is appreciated. I've thought about digital/optical for surround, I'd prefer the analog if I can. If I think of anything else I'll add on below. Cheers.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-01-2012, 12:26 AM
 
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Do you already own the sound card? If not, then please, STOP! Even if you do already own the card, you may want to adjust course anyway.

What you really want is any cheap piece of crap video card that spits out audio over HDMI. That does two things. 1) It keeps your audio digital until its ready for output to the speakers. There is no reason to involve a DAC at the PC side of this. 2) It opens up your options to any receiver that accepts multichannel PCM over HDMI. That would be anything modern.

Alternatively, you can look for something used that does multichannel analog in. That feature was common three years ago, but is a rather outdated way to transmit 5.1/7.1 audio now so receivers are quickly dropping support for it.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-01-2012, 12:27 AM
 
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What are you actually using this for? What is your end playback goal?
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-03-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I do not believe my graphics card spits out audio over HDMI, I can't find any information on it and have tried with the speakers built into my display. I have an MSI R6870 Twin Frozr II. I also don't have this sound card already, I was looking at it for a kind of gadget cool sound card setup. It was on my mind to ask about a good medium to pass multichannel and sound card to do it with... I am currently working on finishing a really cool room and there is the possibility I can set up 5.1 or 7.1 for movies, games, etc. However right now I am stuck in an den/office and I think the best thing in there might be either really nice bookcase speakers, studio monitors or my current idea: a pair of KEF MODEL3BL. Check them out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882156021

So the end idea is to have 5.1/7.1 later on and find a good intermediate setup to build on.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-03-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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You have a 6870? You're good to go. That thing will spit out any format of audio you want in 8 channels out over HDMI. I am actually running a 6870 in my living room PC right now, and the only cable hooked up from PC to receiver is HDMI. Spend that money on a receiver then.

Now that multichannel analog in isn't a requirement, change your base requirement to some thing else. I am going to very strongly suggest that you get something with Audyssey MultEQ room correction. The software behind that particular room correction is brilliant, and will make any set of speakers that you hook up to it vastly better.

Start your look at the Denon AVR1712. Better version of MultEQ. Great feature set. Currently end of life so deals can be found.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-03-2012, 08:55 PM
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KEF Q300 is very nice bookshelf, or NHT Absolute 2s. Either could become part of a larger system later. Personally, I like 2 channel and find the fake surround systems a bit gimmicky.

The last year h/k receivers 2600/3600 can be had for a pretty good deal. Also consider higher-end used. You just need your hdmi our or a spdif from the computer to receiver.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity does anyone know how up to par the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD is now in 2012?

http://www.auzentech.com/site/produc...theater_hd.php
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 07:57 PM
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I was always kind of a hater, but I picked up a Pioneer receiver ( a 920 something or other) a couple of years ago and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. The midrange models (toward the top of your $400 budget) have better amplification than the lower end models. However, I think any of the Pioneer models would be a decent choice for a smaller set up and still have a lot of nice features. 3D compatability, play nice with iDevices, and features USB port for playing MP3s from removable storage.

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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Again. You do not need a sound card. Modern Windows treats audio as "a wad of channels" so hardware audio is useless. Your 6870 spits out everything you need it to. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be.

Pioneer and Yamaha both make good quality gear in general, but they both do not have Audyessey. This drops them right off any list I would look at.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

Start your look at the Denon AVR1712. Better version of MultEQ. Great feature set. Currently end of life so deals can be found.

Thanks for that James, I've been thinking about replacing my aging Denon and this looks great.

Sorry to threadjack, but do you have any opinions on the AVR-2112ci? It's $130 more than the 1712 and looks to have some useful features, like SD video conversion to HDMI.

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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I actually just bought the Marantz NR1602 about a month ago. It is the exact same thing as a Denon AVR1912, but short. Same company, same software, same functionality. I passed over the 1712 myself for a couple reasons. While the Audyssey version is a bit better, it loses analog to HDMI upconversion, and loses AirPlay and general networking. So, the AVR1912 gets my seal of approval, which should also carry over to the 2112. I'm not sure what gets added in that one though. Is it just a 1912 with MultEQ XT instead of just regular MultEQ?

Audyessey? Freaking fantastic, by the way.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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Yup, the 2112 is just a 1912 with the next step up of Audyssey, upon a quick scan of Denon's site. It's the best parts of the 1912 and 1712 put in to one. That is probably what I would have bought then if I could have fit it in my new stand. As it is, I love my new Marantz. Not quite the build quality of the Yamaha RXV2500 it replaced, but it is very capable.

I have no qualms heartily recommending the Denon edition of what I grabbed.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

I actually just bought the Marantz NR1602 about a month ago. It is the exact same thing as a Denon AVR1912, but short. Same company, same software, same functionality. I passed over the 1712 myself for a couple reasons. While the Audyssey version is a bit better, it loses analog to HDMI upconversion, and loses AirPlay and general networking. So, the AVR1912 gets my seal of approval, which should also carry over to the 2112. I'm not sure what gets added in that one though. Is it just a 1912 with MultEQ XT instead of just regular MultEQ?

Audyessey? Freaking fantastic, by the way.

Yeah, the Audyssey feature is what's leading the charge for a new AV.

Denon's 2112ci is the next step up from the 1912. It adds MultEQ XT (the 1912 drops XT for some reason ), setup via a browser, inc. a save/load option, and the extra year of warranty.

But even if I don't use/need any of that (except the XT upgrade), it's currently $20 cheaper than the 1912.

EDIT
Quote:
I have no qualms heartily recommending the Denon edition of what I grabbed.

Thanks again for the suggestion and advice!

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post #14 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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I'm guessing that the same DSP is used in the 1712 and 1912. Without network features, the 1712 has resources available to run XT. The 1912 spend those same resources on other software. The 2112 probably upgrades the DSP, allowing networking software and XT.

My NR1602 does network setup, so I'd guess the 1912 does too. It's not nearly as interesting as you'd think.

Yes, I like the 2112 then. Buying it gets a thumbs up from me. Audyssey, HDMI switching and upconversion, network streaming that works brilliantly with my iOS devices were the primary reasons that I upgraded.
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