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post #1 of 10 Old 11-25-2012, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry in advance, but being a noob in this category is driving me nuts. I have been searching and reading things but only end up for confused.

I bought 2 new tower speakers (Klipsch KF-26) and a 200W Polk subwoofer to replace by old HTIB system. They are currently still in box sitting in the front of my room. I purchased 2 receivers online and I should receive them this week. I bought 2 because of the black friday specials and could try out both systems to see which I like better.

I went to Bestbuy today and told the Magnolia staff guy that I was just planning on having the tower speakers instead of surround sound and he told me that I should get a Stereo receiver instead of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. Since then I have been all over the internet looking at stereo receivers becoming more and more confused. I plan to use the speakers for 90% blu-ray movies and 10% music. I liked the Airplay features and network capabilities on some of them. My questions:

Is it true that my sound would be better with a stereo receiver instead of a multi-channel system?

Is there no digital signal for stereo receivers?

How would I connect Apple TV, Blu-Ray player, and other systems to the receiver? Through an optical cable from the tv?

These are the receivers I bought and will return at least one of them:

  • Harman Kardon - AVR 1700 500W 5.1-Ch. A/V Home Theater Receiver
  • ONKYO TX-NR515 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

These are the stereo receivers I have been looking at:


Reading reviews it seems like no one uses stereo receivers for home theater but it seems like its my best option. I love powerful sound that I will never need to go to max volume but still want very detailed and clear sound (of course!). I don't really care about up-conversions and things like that.

What receiver would serve my setup best and what kind of cables would I need if i'm not using HDMI (RCA/Composite cables?) Thanks in advance, I'm getting a headache juggling all this
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 02:42 AM
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Your first clue should have been "the guy from Best Buy".

There is no reason to believe that a stereo reciever will sound any better than an avr and there is no reason you can't drive a 2.1 system with an AVR. In fact I can almost guarantee the avr based system will sound better just because both recievers have the ability to do automatic room correction with a microphone. This will do a better job of blending in the sub to the mains and setting the level of both the sub and the mains. No guess work. With audyssey (onkyo) you just plug in the mic and let the reciever guide you through calibration. About all you'll have to do is press a few buttons and move the mic around a few times. You can only do that with one two channel device I know of, the harmon kardon 990, which starts at around 1999.

I use an avr (denon 3311ci) in a 2 channel system with much more expensive speakers and I'm very pleased with the result.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajuncowboy23 View Post


I went to Bestbuy today and told the Magnolia staff guy that I was just planning on having the tower speakers instead of surround sound and he told me that I should get a Stereo receiver instead of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. Since then I have been all over the internet looking at stereo receivers becoming more and more confused. I plan to use the speakers for 90% blu-ray movies and 10% music. I liked the Airplay features and network capabilities on some of them. My questions:

Is it true that my sound would be better with a stereo receiver instead of a multi-channel system?

What Mr. Langford said!

I'd add that the word "Masgnolia" part of Best Buy is the higher-margin, higher profit segment of their operation.

I suspect that the name "Best Buy" is one of the more ironic business names in the USA today because it seems like their prices tend to be higher than most and their service is certainly no better than anyplace else.

I use a AVR with my 2.1 system and it works and sounds so much better than the stereo receiver that preceded it.

I see that stereo receivers are starting to add more of the useful features that have been standard on AVRs for years, but they are generally still playing catch-up.

If you configure an AVR for 2 speakers it will become an excellent or outstanding stereo receiver.

In general the price performance of stereo receivers is poorer than AVRs because they are a niche item, and not mainstream products that have to be highly competitive and produced in large volumes.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I see that stereo receivers are starting to add more of the useful features that have been standard on AVRs for years, but they are generally still playing catch-up.

Other than a few that are adding DACs to their stereo equipment which features would that be? Room correction and bass management would be handy on a stereo product and the only one I know of that has that is the HK 990 and it cost $2k. Making AVRs a much better bargain even for 2 channel.

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the prompt responses. Ok, So setting up a avr can have the same advantages if not better than a standard stereo receiver in a 2.1 setup?

I also think the avr is best because I might add a center speaker down the road to my floor-stand speakers.

I know its probably annoying when people ask what they should buy but any recommendations as far as the items I have purchased? I like Onkyo technology but I hear their sound isn't up to par as Denon or Harman Kardon. The model Harman I got, but have not yet received, is apparently lightweight, about half the weight of a standard receiver, which according to some of the reviews makes it seem weaker in comparison.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cajuncowboy23 View Post

Thanks for the prompt responses. Ok, So setting up a avr can have the same advantages if not better than a standard stereo receiver in a 2.1 setup?

I also think the avr is best because I might add a center speaker down the road to my floor-stand speakers.

I know its probably annoying when people ask what they should buy but any recommendations as far as the items I have purchased? I like Onkyo technology but I hear their sound isn't up to par as Denon or Harman Kardon. The model Harman I got, but have not yet received, is apparently lightweight, about half the weight of a standard receiver, which according to some of the reviews makes it seem weaker in comparison.

I don't see a lot of *REAL^ differences among receivers. SQ is a lot more alike than people are telling you. They really don't know because they aren't doing good listening tests.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-26-2012, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Other than a few that are adding DACs to their stereo equipment which features would that be? Room correction and bass management would be handy on a stereo product and the only one I know of that has that is the HK 990 and it cost $2k. Making AVRs a much better bargain even for 2 channel.

Outlaw has the RR2150 with bass management and a USB DAC.

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post #8 of 10 Old 11-27-2012, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Other than a few that are adding DACs to their stereo equipment which features would that be? Room correction and bass management would be handy on a stereo product and the only one I know of that has that is the HK 990 and it cost $2k. Making AVRs a much better bargain even for 2 channel.

Outlaw has the RR2150 with bass management and a USB DAC.

At almost $700 for an essentially analog receiver selling to the niche market, it makes just about every point I can think of about economies of scale and moving processing into the digital domain.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-27-2012, 08:11 AM
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While there is no cost or performance-based reason to prefer a 2-channel receiver or integrated amp to an AVR receiver there is, at least for me, an ergonomic reason. For example..

I don't like the infinitely rotating knob of AVR's. ..I like being able to know where the volume is set by simply looking at the score line on the knob. This makes it easy to know whether my wife or kids left the volume cranked before turning it on. ..And while many AVR's allow you to contour the bass/treble to taste (indeed, most allow room-correction which is useful) and the ability to switch to mono, I prefer having these switches and knobs on the faceplate of the component so I can make adjustments quickly rather than having to scroll through a bunch of menus. ..In short, some prefer the simplicity of a Stereo Receiver or Integrated Amp to the complexity of an AVR. ..But these amount to ease of use considerations rather than cost or performance. And yes, you may end up paying more money for less complexity b/c of economies of scale.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-27-2012, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

At almost $700 for an essentially analog receiver selling to the niche market, it makes just about every point I can think of about economies of scale and moving processing into the digital domain.

Yeah, it's a bit pricey. Just wanted to mention another option. wink.gif

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