AV Receiver with 4/1 HDMI and Pre-amp outs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I am looking for a cheap Receiver that can perform (minimum) 4in-1out HDMI 1.3 switching, and can output via RCA Left and Right front channels and Sub through a pre-amp out.

Here is what I have: Roku, HTPC, Blu-ray player, MainstageHD + Slimstage Sub (and hopefully a xbox soon)

V: Video
A: Audio

Here is what I want to happen:

Roku -> HDMI (V/A) -> Receiver
Blu-ray -> HDMI (V/A) -> Receiver
HTPC -> HDMI (V) / Digi-Coax (A) -> Receiver

Receiver -> HDMI (V) -> TV

Receiver -> RCA [Pre-amp out L/R] (A) -> MainstageHD -> RCA (A) -> Subwoofer
- or -
Receiver -> RCA [Pre-amp out L/R] (A) -> MainstageHD
Receiver-> RCA (A) -> Subwoofer

Im not sure which of those last two is the optimal.

I want to have all video switched by the Receiver to the TV.
I want all audio (input via HDMI, Digi-Coax, and in the future possible optical) to be output via pre-amp outs (Front L/R RCA). I MUST be able to use the receiver to change the Volume of the audio that is being sent out of the pre-amp outs.

I am not worried about losing all the fancy Dolby 5.1/DTS/etc. audio encoding when the audio is output via RCA Front L/R .. It is a sacrifice im willing to take. My MainstageHD is essentially going to be a "dumb" soundbar that is always set to the RCA input option and set at a medium volume (the receiver will be responsible for increasing/decreasing the volume).

So that's the story (I know its weird ) .. I would like to spend as little money as possible. I am fine giving up any feature that wont help facilitate the scenario outlined about (i am not looking to future-proof this receiver).

I like Yamaha and Onkyo (mostly because theyre affordable) but wont limit myself to them if there are better/cheaper options.

I did some research and found the following models. I noted their HDMI count, and what the pre-amp out situation was (though as youll see, on a couple I couldnt tell if the pre-amp out setup on them would work).

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks


Yamaha RX-V665 (HDMI 4/1 - Full pre-amp outs)
Yamaha HTR-6260BL (HDMI 4/1 - Full pre-amp outs)

Yamaha RX-V465 (HDMI 4/1)
Can i use the pre-amp outs to push Front L/R and Subwoofer audio?

Onkyo TX-SR607 (HDMI 5/1 - Not sure about pre-amp outs, Zone 2 L/R, Pre-out sub)
Onkyo TX-SR507 (HDMI 4/1 - Not sure about the pre-amp outs, Zone 2 L/R, Pre-out sub)
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 04:03 AM
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If the preamp outputs did not do what you described, they would be useless. So I think you have the right idea.

Zone outputs won't do what you want, as they are limited to analog connections.

Now, if you want a proper two channel downmix, that's a bit of a different story. With an analog stereo connection from a player, TV box, etc., the box should do that automatically.

With a source device connected via HDMI, there may be ways to force a stereo downmix. For example, if you turn on HDMI audio out with a TV connected, the source device would see the TV's audio capabilities which are usually limited to two channel.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 06:26 AM
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Marantz 6004 receiver:
more expensive: ~2x HTR-6260BL
hdmi: 4 in, 2 out (switched, not simultaneous)
preamp: 7.1 in, 7.1 out
digitally processed audio is on preamp outputs

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post #4 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

If the preamp outputs did not do what you described, they would be useless. So I think you have the right idea.

MJH - Thanks for the feedback. Any thoughts on how to best determine if the preamp outputs do what i need them too? ive read through a couple manuals and it never clearly defines whats happening with the preamp outs.

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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

With a source device connected via HDMI, there may be ways to force a stereo downmix. For example, if you turn on HDMI audio out with a TV connected, the source device would see the TV's audio capabilities which are usually limited to two channel.

If i don't somehow "Force" a stereo downmix what will happen with the preamp audio out? Will it not sound right? Assuming the incoming audio is 5.1, would the pre-amp outs ONLY push out the left and right channels and ignore everything on the center/rears?

Thanks
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:12 AM
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The Onkyo 607 has only 2 pre-outs and they are for zone 2. So its the Yamaha's or move up to the Onkyo 707. More money involved. You can also look into the H/K 254,354 or one of the H/K newer models. Either of these can be had on the cheap and are excellent AVR's. Go to Harmon E-bay for bargains on these. Also may want to check out accessorries 4less for bargains on the Marantz and Onkyo models. You can get a higher end Marantz for great deals there or the 707 or even the 806 from last year. Good luck and hope you can find what you need.
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post #6 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Marantz 6004 receiver:
more expensive: ~2x HTR-6260BL
hdmi: 4 in, 2 out (switched, not simultaneous)
preamp: 7.1 in, 7.1 out
digitally processed audio is on preamp outputs

Selden, Thanks! the 6004 is alot more than i as hoping to spend.. Couple questions/thoughts
1) What would 4/2 HDMI get me in my situation? Doesn't seem like I would ever utilize this
2) If I am going to output all my audio as 2.1, will 7.1 in/out do anything for me?
3) This out sounds like its the key to the 6004. The 6004 will take the digital audio coming over HDMI, process it "smartly" for the analog preamp outs. Can I assume that this processing will downmix a 5.1/7.1 audio signal to 2.1 so im not loosing chunks of sound?

Thanks again for your help
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empire29 View Post

Selden, Thanks! the 6004 is alot more than i as hoping to spend.. Couple questions/thoughts
1) What would 4/2 HDMI get me in my situation? Doesn't seem like I would ever utilize this
2) If I am going to output all my audio as 2.1, will 7.1 in/out do anything for me?
3) This out sounds like its the key to the 6004. The 6004 will take the digital audio coming over HDMI, process it "smartly" for the analog preamp outs. Can I assume that this processing will downmix a 5.1/7.1 audio signal to 2.1 so im not loosing chunks of sound?

Thanks again for your help

I'm not seldon, so look at the Marantz 5004 instead. There is not a major difference between the 2 of them. Both are overly expensive for what you get. There are other makes and models that will do the same, sound just as good, and cost less. Marantz ain't what they used to be. Just my opinion.
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post #8 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Phantom,

Appreciate the feedback. Do you have any pointers for exactly what i should be looking for?
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empire29 View Post

Phantom,

Appreciate the feedback. Do you have any pointers for exactly what i should be looking for?

I know your funds are limited on what you want to spend. I'm also a major Yamaha and Onkyo fan, just not overly excited about Yamaha's entries this year. You may want to look at the Yamaha 765. I still feel that the Onkyo 707 is a real bargain for what you get. Also go to accessories4less and give a look at the Onkyo 806 from last year. They are powerful, bargain receivers from that site. They also sell refurb Marantz units so if you feel a marantz is what you want check them out there. The 6003, 5003 may do what you want. There many bargains to be had, especially with Black Friday coming this week. You may find that you won't have to just "settle" for something you may regret purchasing later. Good luck.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 09:40 AM
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I have a question about the Onkyo 707. I have heard that manufacturers are skimping on their lower end pre-amp out AVRs and only supplying 1.5 volts to the outputs instead of the usual 2 volts. Is the Onkyo 707 handicapped this way?

Onkyo HT-RC 180 AVR
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post #11 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitting Bull View Post

I have a question about the Onkyo 707. I have heard that manufacturers are skimping on their lower end pre-amp out AVRs and only supplying 1.5 volts to the outputs instead of the usual 2 volts. Is the Onkyo 707 handicapped this way?

Haven't read detailed reviews or test results for the X07 or x007 Onkyo receivers. I would suspect that these models are providing enough voltage though to do the job. Haven't read on any of the threads about the new Onkyo models not doing this. Ther are users that are using additional amps that have reported no problems. !.5 Volts should be plenty though. Past reviews on much more expensive receivers were supplying <1.5 volts and working just fine. As a matter of fact the 2600(Yamaha) was doing almost 2.5 volts out and it was one of the highest I read about at the time. Check out test reports and not just reviews on the Audioholics website. Ther are several there with complete results. Hope this helps.
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post #12 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 10:11 AM
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Check this AVR out that's for sale here. Considered by many to be the best receiver for the money ever made. Its a bargain and even includes shipping. Beats the ones people on this thread are looking into.




http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/vbcla...do=ad&id=12092
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post #13 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 View Post

I know your funds are limited on what you want to spend. I'm also a major Yamaha and Onkyo fan, just not overly excited about Yamaha's entries this year. You may want to look at the Yamaha 765. I still feel that the Onkyo 707 is a real bargain for what you get. Also go to accessories4less and give a look at the Onkyo 806 from last year. They are powerful, bargain receivers from that site. They also sell refurb Marantz units so if you feel a marantz is what you want check them out there. The 6003, 5003 may do what you want. There many bargains to be had, especially with Black Friday coming this week. You may find that you won't have to just "settle" for something you may regret purchasing later. Good luck.

Phantom, thanks again for the ideas. In terms of when im looking at these various models - is there something in the specs that will definitively tell me in all audio is downmixed and then pushed out through the preamp-outs (after volume adjustments?) .. Alot of the receives list having preamp-outs - but it doesnt sound like they're all created equal (in terms of what they're outputting). I just dont want to get a receiver, pump 5.1 audio down the HDMI cable, and have only 2 distinct channels pumped out the pre-amps (i would want all the channels downmixed and output in stereo.. i think -- that sounds right, right?)

Thanks again
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post #14 of 27 Old 11-23-2009, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empire29 View Post

Phantom, thanks again for the ideas. In terms of when im looking at these various models - is there something in the specs that will definitively tell me in all audio is downmixed and then pushed out through the preamp-outs (after volume adjustments?) .. Alot of the receives list having preamp-outs - but it doesnt sound like they're all created equal (in terms of what they're outputting). I just dont want to get a receiver, pump 5.1 audio down the HDMI cable, and have only 2 distinct channels pumped out the pre-amps (i would want all the channels downmixed and output in stereo.. i think -- that sounds right, right?)

Thanks again

Nearly all if not all of the new receivers will do either 5.1 or 7.1 channel stereo if thats what your'e looking to do. I know even my older Yamaha 2600 has a setting for that mode. I guess this is what you are trying to do.
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post #15 of 27 Old 11-25-2009, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empire29 View Post

Selden, Thanks! the 6004 is alot more than i as hoping to spend.. Couple questions/thoughts
1) What would 4/2 HDMI get me in my situation? Doesn't seem like I would ever utilize this

2 outs are useful if you have two display devices, like a TV and a projector -- e.g. one for normal daytime viewing, one for movie (or football) night. I had the impression you needed more inputs, though.

Quote:


2) If I am going to output all my audio as 2.1, will 7.1 in/out do anything for me?

Probably not now. but maybe later when you decide to try surrond-sound. If you use the receiver's amps to drive your speakers, not using all of the channels means that more power is available for the ones you do use.
Quote:


3) This out sounds like its the key to the 6004. The 6004 will take the digital audio coming over HDMI, process it "smartly" for the analog preamp outs. Can I assume that this processing will downmix a 5.1/7.1 audio signal to 2.1 so im not loosing chunks of sound?

Any of the receivers described will do a downmix. They have menus where you can select which speakers you have. With a 7.1 receiver (or pre-processor), if you set surround left&right and surround-back left&right to off, all of the surround information is redirected to the front left and right channels.

As others have mentioned, Marantz has less expensive receivers, too. The SR5004 and last year's SR5003 have only 3 HDMI inputs and 1 output, and are missing a few less-essential features.

Most modern midrange receivers include Audyssey MultiEQ. It's an automatic sound level and frequency equalizer which attempts to flatten the audio frequency response of the amps and speakers in your room. Some people swear by it and some swear at it. The cheapest receivers don't have it, since the manufacturers have to pay licensing fees to Audyssey, raising the cost.

In principle, Audyssey greatly reduces the audible differences that have caused people to tend to prefer one receiver manufacturer over another. I have to admit that I've been a Marantz fan for a long time, but probably need to reconsider things given the availability of Audyssey, which I personally have not experienced.

[edit]
Most receivers do not have the computational performance to be able to both decompress and then apply Audyssey to the two lossless (DD & DTS) audio formats. The audio has to be decompressed by the player and sent to the receiver as PCM over HDMI.
[/edit]

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post #16 of 27 Old 11-26-2009, 11:23 PM
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i've heard that the marantz does not apply audyssey processing to bitstreamed audio via hdmi. Is this statement still true?
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post #17 of 27 Old 11-26-2009, 11:57 PM
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Look at Onkyo 706, 806, Yamaha 665, 765, Pioneer Elite vsx-21.

all can be had around $500 or less and have 4 hdmi inputs and 7.1 preouts.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r-Black/1.html

Probably the best deal...black Friday sale on Onkyo 706 for under $375.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r-Black/1.html

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post #18 of 27 Old 11-27-2009, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyecatcher127 View Post

i've heard that the marantz does not apply audyssey processing to bitstreamed audio via hdmi. Is this statement still true?

That's a misrepresentation of the situation. Audyssey and decompression can be used simultaneously for all audio formats except the two high-bit-rate lossless compressed audio formats. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio have to be decompressed by the player if you want to apply Audyssey to them. Current Marantz receivers don't have enough DSP performance to both decompress and equalize them.

This is also the situation for many other models of receivers. Most bury this limitation in the tables of capabilities in the back of their manuals.

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post #19 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Thanks for all the great feedback - and for the great recomendations Afro GT.

Unfortunately I missed the Blackfriday deals on the Onkyo 706, but I was looking around on newegg and spotted the Yamaha V465 and V565.


Yamaha RX-V465 (~$330)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115194
- 5.1
- No 1080p upconversion? for HDMI (Can a < $1000 AV receiver really process a <1080p noticeably better than my Toshiba 52XV545U?)


Yamaha RX-V565 (~$350)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115195
- 7.1
- I cant tell if this has 2.1 pre-out, or just sub (which would kill this for me)

Yamaha RX-V665 (~$380)
- 7.2
- This looks like it has everything I need, though I wouldnt mind saving $50 on the V465 if it meets my needs. I'm not sure when I would ever need 7.2 pre-out, or even standard 7.2 out.

Does that Onkyo 706 deliver anything that would benefit my situation enough to warrant the jump to ~$420?
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post #20 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 12:00 PM
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465 and 565 don't have preouts. 665 is your best bet under $400.

Afro GT
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post #21 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

465 and 565 don't have preouts. 665 is your best bet under $400.

Afro GT, Newegg's product spec page for the Yamaha V465 says:

Pre-Amp Out 2.1-Channel

Is that not accurate - or does that mean something else?

The Yamaha 665 looks like it might be the sensible option though (I read in the reviews, one guy was having connecting his computer up via HDMI to the 465 which is what I am going to be doing).

Thanks for the feedback!
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post #22 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 12:42 PM
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it you look at the pictures it has preouts for surround back which will enable you to go from 5.1 to 7.1 with a seperate amp, not the front channels. Plus its just a cheaply made receiver, cheap spring clips instead of binding post for speaker terminals.

I would have no interest in that receiver at all.

Do it right and just get the 665.

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post #23 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Afro GT - Just pulled the trigger on the Yamaha 665! ($380 shipped + Free Ipod adapter)

I should be getting it sometime next week - hopefully it does everything I need it to

Thanks to everyone for all the help -- ill post back and let you all know how it goes!
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post #24 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 01:43 PM
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I'm a bit confused.

Why do you want pre-amp outputs if you want a cheap receiver? That implies you are going to use an external amplifier. This would certainly be more costly then using the internal amps.

Edit Okay never mind. I understand now after I looked up the fullstage HD.

Out of curiosity why did you go with the amplified 5.1 speaker in box approach instead of seperates?

Speaker design is rather an art. There is no such thing as the perfect painting. Likewise there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. It's part science and part personal preference.
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-28-2009, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalGriffin View Post

Out of curiosity why did you go with the amplified 5.1 speaker in box approach instead of seperates?

DigitalGriffin -- Admittedly, my situation is a little backwards. I went with the MainstageHD because:

1) I am not an audiophile and have a very difficult time appreciating hi-fi/surround audio
2) I have a smaller living room space (it doesn't take much to fill it w sound), my entertainment center (which i am not at liberty to change ) doesn't have adequate space for a 2.1/3.1 speaker setup.
3) I hate wires, and dont have the skills to run wire through walls (for a > 3.1 setup)
4) Simplicity and wire reduction. Id use my TV speakers if they were better.

The MainstageHD/SlimstageHD (FullstageHD) has good enough sound for me, has an incredibly small footprint, fits perfectly in the top center shelf of my entertainment center. The other item I looked for was the lower end ZVOX models.

I was hoping i wouldn't need a receiver and use the MainstageHD to switch sound, and my TV to switch Video -- however the MainstageHD's doesnt have a volume indicator and to complicate matters the IR on the MainstageHD sometimes isn't as responsive -- which is why i created this thread. The new receiver should help reduce the number of wires in my setup as well!


Its a little convoluted, I know -- but its the bed i've made for myself
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-29-2009, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empire29 View Post


Its a little convoluted, I know -- but its the bed i've made for myself

If it works for you, then that's all that matters.

Speaker design is rather an art. There is no such thing as the perfect painting. Likewise there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. It's part science and part personal preference.
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post #27 of 27 Old 12-06-2009, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

Just thought i'd give an update. I ended up getting the Yamaha RX-V665 and its working well!

I had to upgrade my firmware to mix Digi-Coax Audio with HDMI video (for my HTPC) .. I used RX-V665 Firmware update version K032 (Aug 2009) -- Using this firmware update allowed me to associate AV3 Digi-coax w HDMI 3 input. Only certain audio inputs can be associated with certain HDMI inputs, so download the firmware and read through the PDFs before buying if you need to be able to do this.

Anyhow - initial thoughts:
1) I expected the base volume level output from the RX-V665 via pre-outs to be higher. This is not a big deal, I just had to increase the "base" volume on my mainstageHD and everything shifted accordingly. My RX-V665 is set around -20 DB right now (Max volume on RX-V665 around +15 DB)

2) Im not sure but there might be a VERY slight lip-sync issue (honestly cant tell if its just me looking for problems yet). I've only watched a couple rips of Flashforward .. it could be a problem with the MKV files themselves, or it could be my imagination. Im going to have to do some testing with other vis from the HTPC, Roku and Blu-ray. RX-V665 does have a lip-sync option that allows you to adjust audio delays, so im confident if the RX-V665 is actually introducing lipsync, ill be able to compensate.

3) YPAO (auto speaker setup) gave me a warning about reverse polarity on my Front Right speaker (which is part on he mainstageHD) .. in the manual it says it will sometimes give that warning, but if you can verify the speakers are hooked up properly then dont worry about it.

4) Using the Pre-outs was 100% painless. I plugged in a nice high quality RCA cable i got from Monoprice for cheap to Front R/Front L pre-outs, hooked them to my mainstageHD's RCA inputs and it worked like a charm. As previously mentioned, I did have to increase the mainstageHD's base volume to hear anything at "normal" volume levels set on the RX-V665.

Anyhow - im pretty pleased with the RX-V665 especially for the sub $400 price point i got it for (it jumped to around $500 the next day?!).

Here's a diagram of my setup with a couple notes .. for anyone that wants visual volume control for a mainstageHD/ZVOX/other speaker-box-solution, check it out. Its working pretty well - and also really simplified my wiring (big bonus for me!)

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