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post #1 of 23 Old 11-12-2013, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently inherited a home theater system (my Dad's). I was with him when he purchased it , more that 10 years ago. I think he spend north of $5000 at that time.

The system consists of the following;
  • Denon AVR 2800
  • 2, RF 3
  • 1, RC 3
  • 1, KSW 12
  • 2, RS 3 (all Klipsch)

My question for the experts is what should I do with all this? I'm in need of a full surround sound system but I find the Denon to be not very user friendly (I'm admittedly a noob).
Should I keep the speakers and replace the receiver and if so what would be an appropriate choice?
I plan to add a new PS4 as well as a 55" Sony W900A. I would like my new receiver to be a "smart" receiver but I suspect that it will need to be pretty powerful to drive my speakers.

Thanks for your time!
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-12-2013, 06:34 AM
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The speakers seem solid. I'd replace the receiver with something a more recent model to get HDMI inputs and better processing capabilities. I'm a Denon fan and would highly recommend another one, but a specific model would depend on the budget. Denon has come a long way in terms of useability too. However their manuals still suck. AVS is a great resource for any questions you have or problems you run into.

Here is a thread for the 2013 Denon models.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465528/the-official-2013-denon-e-series-x-series-avr-model-owners-thread-faq

This is the receiver forum, you'll get better answers to specific model questions over there.
http://www.avsforum.com/f/90/receivers-amps-and-processors

Good luck, let us know how it goes. (We love pictures)

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.
How big of receiver should I be looking at to drive this speaker system? Is there a Sony receiver that would be up for the job?
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 07:05 AM
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The speakers you listed have quite good sensitivity, so you don't need a super powerful receiver to drive them. Having said that, most people consider an abundance of power a good thing. It is difficult to say exactly how much power you need without knowing the size of your room, your listening tastes, or your budget, but I would shoot for something with at least 100 watts of amplification per channel.

You can use Crutchfield.com to get an idea of what's available from the mainstream brands and filter things as you like. For example, HERE is a list of smart receivers in the $500-$1,000 range. You should also give the guys at AVS sales a call - they are very helpful and have great pricing.

I think that in general, you will see more people on this forum choosing Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo than Sony, but there is certainly nothing wrong with Sony if that's what you like the best.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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This is exactly what I'm looking for as far as direction.

The Sony that I was looking at is Sony STR-DN1040. It just so happens that it is on the list that you linked me to. My room is pretty small (15x15) however we will use these as background music for the whole first floor when entertaining (1500sq ft)

I'll do some more due diligence on some other brands, your list looks like a good place to start.
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 09:10 AM
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One additional FYI here...

Nearly all of the receivers listed in my prior post are 7 channel receivers and you have 5 speakers for your theater room. All of the receivers in that list except the Sony have assignable back channels. This means that you could run wires from the receiver in your theater room to the living area and connect speakers there. The receiver would give you 5 channel surround sound in your theater and 2 channel stereo in the living area at the same time. On the other hand, the Sony does include Wi-Fi and many of the other models in that range do not. Just wanted to be sure you're aware of the options...but you have to weigh them. smile.gif

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, that's good info! I definitely want Wi-Fi but the separate channel would be nice. What if I wanted to add a pair of wireless speakers for my outside deck, what should I be looking for to do that (perhaps all of them can do that)?
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 10:44 AM
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Just to throw this out there, I recently (last week) upgraded from a Marantz Receiver to a Sony. Mind you that it is a Sony ES model. I was able to find last year's top of the line new-in-box for a great deal.

I would not consider a Sony receiver that was not part of the ES line, which are pricier, but notably higher quality. So if your budget does not allow the ES line, I would remove Sony from your consideration.

And the brands listed by @AirBenji are all reputable. I loved my Marantz, but it was older and I needed more HDMI inputs.

I love my iPhone, but it will never replace my turntable.

The Cinema 1858 Remodel Thread
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 11:12 AM
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I had a Sony ES receiver I bought back in 2001. I loved it. I thought it was a great piece of equipment. It predated HDMI, though, so just like thrillcat, when technology finally overran me, I needed to replace my gear. I chose Onkyo this time, but I'd have no problem recommending an ES receiver to anyone.

It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Brian
The Cinema Rouge Home Theater
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Would you go with STR-DA1800ES over the STR-DN1040 (they're about the same price)? I'm not really clear as to what the differences are.
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-13-2013, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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post #12 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 06:11 AM
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Looking at the numbers you won't see a difference. But you'll hear a difference when you compare the two. And the ES line carries a 5-year warranty vs. 2-years on the standard stuff.

Think of it like an '84 Ford Escort vs. an '84 Ford Mustang. They both have 2 doors and a hatchback. They come in the same colors. Both have 4 wheels and 4-speed manual transmissions. But they're not the same cars.

Forgive the terrible car reference. I had an '84 Escort in college, and my roommate had an '84 Mustang GT, so it came easily to me. smile.gif

I love my iPhone, but it will never replace my turntable.

The Cinema 1858 Remodel Thread
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillcat View Post

Looking at the numbers you won't see a difference. But you'll hear a difference when you compare the two.

Can you give some more concrete information on this? I am not particularly educated when it comes to Sony products, but you're right - I don't see a difference in the numbers or componentry...and this is the AV Science Forum, so I don't understand why there would be a difference in audio quality. Neither has a toroidal power transformer, and the ES model even weighs less than the DN model, so it's not bigger heat sinks etc. Do all ES models use processing or chips not found in other Sony products?


I have to suggest picking the other receiver, for the following reasons:

1. It is newer. The ES model has been available since at least September 2012, and the DN model was not released until May 2013.
2. It has newer technology - 4K compatibility and upscaling. As more 4K content becomes available, this is likely a feature he will use down the line. The ES model does not support 4K.
3. It has Bluetooth wireless compatibility. Yes, many people use AirPlay or watch blu-rays etc., but he is already talking about wireless compatibility above. This is a nice feature to have available. And if he isn't an Apple product user, the Bluetooth might come in very handy.
4. It has more HDMI inputs. True, he probably won't use eight HDMI ins (does anyone?), but extra can't hurt.
5. Price. Save a hundred bucks and buy a newer receiver that has more features you'll actually use.


To be fair to the ES model, here is a list of the major items it offers that the DN does not:

1. An additional 3 years on the warranty.
2. Multi-room video (zone 2 HDMI out). He hasn't mentioned outputting video to a second room, but this would a useful feature if that's something he wants to do.



Sidebar - Sands_at_Pier147 - I looked at your thread...great theater carpet! I have the same one...super plush!

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 07:50 AM
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I wish I had more information, but I've never bothered to research the chipsets or anything.

What I can say is that I notice better surround separation, and better dynamic range. Here's my history with Sony:

Old receiver was dying, bought a high-end Sony receiver. Was never thrilled with it, but didn't have the budget to upgrade.

Couple years later had the budget to upgrade. Wasn't even considering Sony. Salesperson demoed a Sony STR-DA4300ES for me and I was blown away. Bought it. Connected it to the exact same setup and my system came to life. Like I said, the surround separation was better, the dynamic range was better, and it just flat out blew me away.

Six months later that receiver was stolen when our house was robbed. I replaced it with, again, a non-ES-but-almost-top-of-the-line Sony, thinking it would do the trick (plus the insurance didn't reimburse for the full value of everything that was taken, so I was again on a budget). It didn't.

At this point, I moved into a new house, so the whole setup changed. The new Sony still wasn't cutting it. I then found an older Sony STR-DA4ES on Craigslist and bought it. It was a downgrade in some aspects, as it was much older than the Sony I was running, and it was lower in the ES line than the Sony I was using, but again, I put it into the system and it again instantly blew me away with the difference. The only change was the receiver, and dropping from HDMI connections down to component/optical/coax connections. Huge difference.

Then I moved again. This time the house had a room for a dedicated theater. I initially set it up with the Sony STR-DA4ES and my Panasonic plasma monitor. When I upgraded to a projector, I also picked up a Marantz SR-5005 receiver that had HDMI switching.

I was pretty happy with the Marantz, but just last week replaced it with a Sony STR-DA5700ES, and it instantly made me realize what it was about the ES receivers that I love.

So I have no science to back me up, but I have two personal experiences where nothing but the receiver changed as I replaced a Sony with a Sony ES that was either comparable placement in the product line or even moving to a lower placement in the product line and was blown away each time.

I'm sure there's someone who could research the chips and processors and figure out what the difference is, but I don't really know. I know what I like and it's been demonstrated twice in a real-world test for me.

I love my iPhone, but it will never replace my turntable.

The Cinema 1858 Remodel Thread
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 08:50 AM
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I find myself in the awkward position of defending a product I don't own and really have no authority to speak about, but I realize I am putting myself in the position voluntarily.

I question some of the information in the Crutchfield comparison. I think that is what you used, AirBenji, to draw some of your conclusions. For example, you said "the ES model even weighs less than the DN model" but the Sony website lists the DN model at 22 lb 1 oz and the ES model at 39 lb 11 oz (according to their marketing spec sheet). My experience with ES is more robust power supplies, so that might be some of the difference in weight. You noted the DA was bluetooth wireless compatible, but the ES lists the same capabilities as the DN does ("Built-in Bluetooth® for music streaming from your smart phone or tablet"). In some respects I guess that makes the two receivers even more similar, so the question about price for the same unit is more appropriate. DN still has 4k upscaling, while ES only has 4k passthrough, from what I can tell. The DN model is certainly a good value for the features it possesses.

With respect to sound quality, I will point out a dramatic difference in THD between the units. The DN lists 165W x 7 @ 8ohms 1kHz 0.9% THD with 1 ch. driven; the ES lists 140W x 7 @ 8 ohms 1kHz 0.05% THD. Noticeable? Maybe. But I think that statistic is indicative of the overall difference in build quality between the two units.

As for my carpet, I love that carpet! I don't think I could have picked a better one. Soft, plush, dark, mid-priced. Absolutely perfect.

I'll throw a sidebar back at you - I spent four great years in the Capital District. I did my undergraduate years at Rensselaer. Spent more than a handful of nights in Albany, whether on Wolf Road or at Washington Tavern.

It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Brian
The Cinema Rouge Home Theater
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post #16 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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As I said in the beginning, I'm a noob. I love my music and my movie soundtracks but I am a far cry from a connoisseur. It's starting to look to me that I would not likely be aware of much differance in the sound of these two.
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 09:55 AM
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I’ll throw out my dissenting opinion; I’ve never been anything but disappointed with the Sony products I’ve purchased. ES or non-ES, I’ve found the build quality, durability, and overall performance of Sony products to not be on par with other manufactures especially at the charged price points. I’ve been much happier with the Denon products I have.
Just my $.02.

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post #18 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Which Denon would you put up against these Sony offerings?
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 10:23 AM
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Here's a good CNET review of the Sony STR-DN1040. The review is very enthusiastic, but the users' comments below the article mention many drawbacks.


http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/sony-str-dn1040/4505-6466_7-35734383.html

 

Specifically, it's not clear how well the STR-DN1040 supports two zones.

 

I don't like receivers that try to do everything. I started a rant here on integrated vs. best of breed devices like Sonos & Roku, but I realized it was somewhat OT, so I started a new thread here.

 

Rant in favor of "dumb" devices--let Sonos & Roku be "smart"
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1499606/rant-in-favor-of-dumb-devices-let-sonos-roku-be-smart

 

Good luck,
John

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post #20 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 11:29 AM
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I'd buy a Marantz or Denon before a Sony, unless of course you're looking at the Sony ES line. Then I would put it right in the mix.

I love my iPhone, but it will never replace my turntable.

The Cinema 1858 Remodel Thread
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sands_at_Pier147 View Post

I question some of the information in the Crutchfield comparison. I think that is what you used, AirBenji, to draw some of your conclusions. For example, you said "the ES model even weighs less than the DN model" but the Sony website lists the DN model at 22 lb 1 oz and the ES model at 39 lb 11 oz (according to their marketing spec sheet). My experience with ES is more robust power supplies, so that might be some of the difference in weight. You noted the DA was bluetooth wireless compatible, but the ES lists the same capabilities as the DN does ("Built-in Bluetooth® for music streaming from your smart phone or tablet"). In some respects I guess that makes the two receivers even more similar, so the question about price for the same unit is more appropriate. DN still has 4k upscaling, while ES only has 4k passthrough, from what I can tell. The DN model is certainly a good value for the features it possesses.

With respect to sound quality, I will point out a dramatic difference in THD between the units. The DN lists 165W x 7 @ 8ohms 1kHz 0.9% THD with 1 ch. driven; the ES lists 140W x 7 @ 8 ohms 1kHz 0.05% THD. Noticeable? Maybe. But I think that statistic is indicative of the overall difference in build quality between the two units.

Very interesting! I should have gone directly to the horse's mouth (i.e. Sony website) to get the information but I thought I could trust what I saw on Crutchfield. Eye-opening for sure! rolleyes.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sands_at_Pier147 View Post

As for my carpet, I love that carpet! I don't think I could have picked a better one. Soft, plush, dark, mid-priced. Absolutely perfect.

I'll throw a sidebar back at you - I spent four great years in the Capital District. I did my undergraduate years at Rensselaer. Spent more than a handful of nights in Albany, whether on Wolf Road or at Washington Tavern.

Yes absolutely - I couldn't be happier with the carpet. One of my favorite (and guests' favorite) parts of my HT.

Very cool that you know the Albany area! Washington Tavern is still going strong...and not to disappoint, the floor is still sticky too. I live 5 mins from Wolf Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwark View Post

Which Denon would you put up against these Sony offerings?

If going solely on brand preference, I would pick Denon over Sony. However, none of the Denon models offer wifi, so there's not much comparing here because wifi appears important to you. (I'm stupidly going off Crutchfield's info here again, although I just bought a Denon receiver in this price range and it does not have wifi.)

Finally, I don't think you're going to make a "bad" decision with any of the options we've discussed. Both of these Sony models (or a similar Denon - maybe E400 or X1000?) offer good features and bang for the buck.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 12:12 PM
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I am a novice at this stuff but my Marantz sr7005 drives my klipsch ICON speakers which are a lower end best buy Off The Shelf item pretty well. I am sure the newer Marantz model of this would also work well for you.
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-14-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I going to give the DN1040 a shot, mostly because it's available locally and it seems like I'll likely be impressed with any of the offering in this price range. Thanks for all the help. I'll report back with an end results. Picking up a new TV too. biggrin.gif
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