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post #1 of 13 Old 12-20-2013, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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...who works to much to stay on top of AV gear, build a system to feed a pair of Boston Acoustics VR-50 8 ohm bookshelf speakers in our family play room.

-budget 250-400
-can be a single receiver or separates
-not afraid to plug and unplug inputs
-inputs: cd's (have player), fm radio, various apple and android devices (3.5mm?), pandora (can feed from preceding devices or wifi), rare spinning of vinyl.

Somewhat intrigued by the dayton dta-100a amp or similar and no need to dumb it down for the kids (maybe they'll pick up the challenge and teach their old man a thing or two after it's all over).

thanks in advance

alan
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-20-2013, 08:20 PM
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-20-2013, 08:25 PM
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The price range likely precludes separates, but there are a number of stereo receivers in that ballpark. If you could stretch your budget to $700, the Outlaw Audio RR2150 Stereo Receiver would be a great choice. It's still recommended by Stereophile.

http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/rr2150.html
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-20-2013, 08:55 PM
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The H-K above, or this Onkyo, which has some networking capabilities (wirelessly so with optional USB add-on):

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8050-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B004UR486G

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-20-2013, 11:29 PM
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Yup the 3 receivers listed above are the go to in the pridce range. The Obkyo can be purchased for under 200@ a4l

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post #6 of 13 Old 12-21-2013, 02:31 AM
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+1

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-21-2013, 03:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akpoke View Post

...who works to much to stay on top of AV gear, build a system to feed a pair of Boston Acoustics VR-50 8 ohm bookshelf speakers in our family play room.

-budget 250-400
-can be a single receiver or separates
-not afraid to plug and unplug inputs
-inputs: cd's (have player), fm radio, various apple and android devices (3.5mm?), pandora (can feed from preceding devices or wifi), rare spinning of vinyl.

Somewhat intrigued by the dayton dta-100a amp or similar and no need to dumb it down for the kids (maybe they'll pick up the challenge and teach their old man a thing or two after it's all over).

Your best value in audio sound quality is an AVR. With $400 to spend you can get a nice one. For example:

http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=search&search_query=denon+home+theater+receiver&x=-734&y=-192

Any of these can be configured for a 2.0 configuration and will equal or surpass the sound quality of every alternative mentioned in this thread so far.

Obviously, AVRs provide a superior upgrade path for the future. Let me recommend adding a subwoofer for a 2.1 system.

Even this product provides the benefits listed above:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1513/DENON-AVR-1513-5.1ch-Home-Theater-Receiver-3D-ready/1.html

Yup, $139
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-21-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Many Thanks...

Looks like if I go the Onkyo 8050 route I'll just need to purchase the USB/WIFI dongle and a 3.5 mm to L-R RCA cable to make everyone happy. Will look at the HK 3490 and Denon options next.

alan
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-31-2014, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Update-

First, many many thanks for the advice--I've gone down a rabbit hole I've enjoyed so much I've yet to surface biggrin.gif.

Only 8 bucks spent so far on a 3.5mm to L-R RCA cable...instant MP3, Pandora and Spotify from Apple and Android devices into the supremely lame faux Sony stacked separate system we have used for the past 15 years. The kids love having their music on tap, but I can't stand the hollow sound. Also, discovered our Panny blu-ray player (2010 with vintage component video and analog audio outs feeding an old ED Panny Plasma eek.gif , Panny SA-XR55 receiver and Mirage Nanosat 5.1 speakers--8+ years of HT bliss) streams Pandora at much higher quality than Spotify at full bit depth from a Dell tablet over the cable mentioned above.

So, where does that leave us: pair the SA-XR55 in the family room with a Pandora, Spotify and MP3 streaming device and buy a new AVR for the mini-home theater? Pros: HDMI transport of lossless audio to the Mirage 5.1 system and automated room correction and equalization. Con: money spent on TV and movies not music. Or try to maximize my music enjoyment with something like the Yamaha R-N500 or not yet released Harman Kardon HK 3700 (the marketing of both is working on me) or Denon X1000? Pros: more money spent on music not TV and movies. Cons: no HT upgrade.

What I need to know: how does the sound quality of the SA XR55 stack up against the new receivers?
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-01-2014, 07:08 AM
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For a substantial step up in quality, consider the Marantz SR 4023 Stereo Receiver.

I would advise against the Onkyo; not that good-sounding.

Amazon now has a few of the HK 3390 receivers for $240.; that is quite a nice deal on a good unit.
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-01-2014, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
how does the sound quality of the SA XR55 stack up against the new receivers?
The basic sound quality of all receivers today is fine, assuming you aren't pushing them beyond their limits. (Some have lower limits than others, but you'd be surprised how little power you need in most cases.) What distinguishes them are things like connectivity options and room correction.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #12 of 13 Old 02-05-2014, 10:49 AM
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Jumping on this thread as I'm in similar situation to OP, but will be running older Infinity Modulus speakers, like these:

http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/reviews/stereophile_infinity-modulus.htm

 

Originally posted my query to the main receiver/amp forum and was suggested the HK 3390, which can be had for $240.  Seems like a good fit.

 

But I'm wondering if it would make sense to hold out for the soon to be released HK 3700 or 3770?

 

I realize that these updated models lack pre outs, but I don't plan to use a separate amp or EQ.  Would I greatly benefit from being able to run a separate EQ given the HKs lack of any EQ controls?

 

Any other arguments pro or con for the newer models?  Better processing, different power handling, etc?  

 

The more modern inputs on the 3700/3770 appeal to me since some of my currently analog connections could be made digital (i.e. streaming devices and cable box), and DLNA/USB connections could be handy.  Would I notice any improvement when streaming 192 kbps mp3s through a SPDIF vs. 3.5?

 

Also intrigued by the Marantz SR4023 suggested in this thread, which can be had at a reasonable price on accessories4less.  Might that give me better sound than these HK models?

 

Thanks very much for any guidance.

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post #13 of 13 Old 02-10-2014, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Now, I'm in for more than a cable, but still under-budget: I ordered a Denon E-300 refurb with free shipping from accessories4less.com, due to arrive at the end of the week.

Pros:

1. Although this may be more true for some of the receivers mentioned here and a few I found down the rabbit hole, it will still be massive upgrade in fidelity from our current system

2. Even if clunky to access, it will be nice not to have to grab an external device for the bulk of our streaming with Pandora, Internet Radio and Spotify native in the receiver.

3. Airplay

4. Audyssey

5. Savings = new (larger) subwoofer for our little home theater (down another hole) with the Mirage S8 coming upstairs to pair with the Denon.

6. It might join the new subwoofer downstairs with another new receiver upstairs before the end of the year.

7. If not 6, makes a surround system possible upstairs.

Cons

1. It's not a HK 3700 or Yamaha RX-N600.

and thanks again for the help,

Alan
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