Which new AVR should replace my HK 254? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Howdy Gurus and AVR fans!

I'm looking for a new AVR (or a new to me used or refurb...) my HK AVR254 just burnt out (well the HDMI in and outs stopped working after a lightning bolt seemed to take out my comcast cable box and all of my HDMI ports on the HK). I had A/C surge protection, but not coax! I tried a factory reset to no avail. I'm not sure repair is worth it, but would be willing to give it a try if anyone has any suggestions to that end. The closest HK certified repair shop is over 50 miles away, though (Baltimore)! I'm in the Dc area.

I'm looking for ideas and thoughts on my current needs/wants and list. I'm open to most companies, but I am most seriously considering Denon / Marantz / NAS at this point. I tend to have about a 70/30 movies/music balance. Remote is a non-issue as I use a Harmony (unless the AVR requires Bluetooth, if that even occurs!)

I have been researching for many (many!) hours and have been working hard on narrowing down my selection. I'm trying to stay in the $400-600 area, but have a bit of flexibility (~$50) if required. I like my HK, but it seemed to have a lot of audio drop-out problems with HD signals from netflix and comcast, even after I upgraded the firmware via the RS232 port. I like the Maranzt NRs for the low-profile design, but that is not a requirement as I have 8+" of height clearance in an open TV stand, where my HK currently resides. I would love to have a silver one, but they seem to only be available in Europe as far as I can tell...


Base Requirements:
-4 HDMI in
-1 HDMI out
-1 Digital Audio In (coaxial)
-SW pre-out
-5.1 Posts (I use banana clips)
-Audyssey MultEQ or decent equiv. I like OSD speaker set-up. I can tinker, but I prefer KISS methodology
-50 Watts/chl RMS
-Headphone Out (plug size doesn't matter) - Dolby is a nice extra


Wants but not required (ranked in order top to bottom):
-Video Overlay for things like volume, muting, and OSD stuff. (this is something my HK does)
-7.1 (posts) w/ 2-zone
-streaming internet radio (primarily pandora) and/or DLNA
-more HDMI (for expansion)
-Internet firmware updates (rs232 or usb is fine)
-1 Component In (in-case)


Other components / equipment:
-Comcast Cisco PVR / Cablebox - HDMI
-Visio 42" FHDTV (60hz) (using HDMI)
-Insignia BluRay w/ ethernet (Netflix / Pandora) - HDMI
-MythTV (Mythbuntu) PVR - HDMI video (nvidia) / SPDIF coaxial audio
-OrbAudio 5.1 mod2 + super-8 powered SW

Considering:
Marantz
5005, 6005 (I like the 5006, but it's close to 800bux!)
NR 1402, 1601, 1602

Denon
1921 or 2112ci

NAD:
T-747

All relevant suggestions, questions, and comments are welcome!!


-tgow
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:18 PM
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Yamaha rx-v867 and pioneer elite vr-32 and 33 would fit the bill as well.

Just a couple more for you to look at.

The marantz 5005 and 6005 would be nice as well.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:28 PM
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You might shop around for a Proficient Audio M80, they originally designed the NAD 747..
Usually only available through installers, very high current, robust software and high build quality.

Just my $0.02..
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I will look into those two recommendations, seedubs1. Thanks!

M code; Never heard of the M80, I'll check it out, too! I'm all about good quality. I want things to last (hence my using coax surge protection now, too!).

Does anyone know if any of the AVRs listed (by me and others) support video overlays for things like volume changes, muting, and such? I find that kind of thing hard to find. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places...

-tgow
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:37 PM
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The Nad t747 is a $1300 receiver that meets your specs. Its currently on sale from Crutchfield for $599. It is an audiophile grade product.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

The Nad t747 is a $1300 receiver that meets your specs. Its currently on sale from Crutchfield for $599. It is an audiophile grade product.

ya, i saw it for $580 somewhere. I read a bit and it looks like it's a high quality device! My grandfather was an audiophile and he stuck religiously to Marantz receivers. Hard to know if they are as quality as they were back then, though. His receivers all still work as if they were new! I want something that will last like that!

-tgow
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 01:58 PM
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If you liked the HK, I would recommend the Harman Kardon AVR 2600. It has everything you want except streaming audio (though the room EQ, by all accounts, is not up to the same standard as others).

It has the video overlay you are looking for, and it has Dolby Volume too. The 'new' X600 line of AVRs don;t have the quality problems that the X54 line did either. I would get a 2600 on sale rather than the newer, but apparently less well specified, 2650.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-07-2011, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgow View Post

ya, i saw it for $580 somewhere. I read a bit and it looks like it's a high quality device! My grandfather was an audiophile and he stuck religiously to Marantz receivers. Hard to know if they are as quality as they were back then, though. His receivers all still work as if they were new! I want something that will last like that!

The NAD is in a different category than the other receivers you are hearing about. Its main focus is on audio quality. It drops some features that are common on the main stream receivers but it adds in audio quality that is, frankly, pretty hard to find in most entry and mid level receivers. For the money, I doubt you could find a better sounding product that is new and not a refurb.

If you would prefer more bells and whistles, its not the receiver for you. It has no network support, an adequate auto-eq function and only HDMI 1.3. But, making a decision without hearing how good it sounds would be a mistake. Its a terrific sounding and looking receiver. Very classy.

I got an Apple TV for my networking and streaming needs for $100. But, there are a wide variety of devices that will handle those needs, so I wouldn't buy a receiver based on networking. It moves too fast, so whats top of the line networking today will be old and busted in a year of two. Whereas what sounds great today will still sound great tomorrow, like your Grandfather's Marantz. Grab the NAD, you won't regret it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-08-2011, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, all.

I think I'm going to do a bit more reading on the models posted in this thread and maybe see if I can find a shop locally that can repair my current receiver. Does anyone have any thoughts on the likelihood of that? Recommendations on good repair shops also welcome!


Also, How can I find out which if any of the Marantz receivers I listed do any video overlay? Would it be listed as "video overlay" in the specs / userguide or something similar?

-tgow
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-08-2011, 07:59 AM
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The NAD is a great piece especially at the current price. My only problem with it is it does not have any low listening modes like Dolby Volume or Audyssey Dynamic EQ.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-08-2011, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

The NAD is a great piece especially at the current price. My only problem with it is it does not have any low listening modes like Dolby Volume or Audyssey Dynamic EQ.

That is true. It is possible to use Dolby Digital's dynamic range limiting function to accomplish much of the same thing. EQ wise the Nad covers the essentials. I find the low volume listening better than my older Yamaha which had Dolby Night Cinema (or whatever it was called, lol). It maintains a lot of the richness that you hear at higher volumes.

Like I said earlier, a Nad isn't for everyone. They drop a ton of features other receivers have. It is replaced with a tremendous sound quality though. It all depends on what you are looking for.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-08-2011, 10:06 AM
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Shop around for the 5006 you can find it for less than list price I got the 6006 and did not pay list
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-08-2011, 10:35 AM
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The Marantz SR5005 would be a good choice, and it is now $499 online. Great deal! I have the SR6003 and it sounds very nice.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-11-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I went out looking around this weekend, and listened to the 2112ci and the Marantz 1402 and 6005. I thought the Marantz sounded a lot clearer, but the Denon had a more "full" sound. I preferred the Marantz, personally. (I brought my own CDs). The one thing that was odd / interesting was the sales dude from Magnolia (not pushy at all) had all the receivers set at the same volume and output levels, but the 1402 (lower RMS rated) had a louder sound to it than the other two ~100w units. I guess it could have to do with the other equalization settings and all that.

I tried to find a NAD unit, but to no avail

-tgow
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-11-2011, 03:25 PM
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Ya, those volumes are not calibrated. I wouldn't give that a second thought. My suggestion is to buy the NAD and try it in your house for a little while. If its not what you want, Crutchfield is great about taking orders back.

Honestly though, you are talking about a $650 Denon, a $400 Marantz, a $1000 Marantz and a $1300 NAD. There's not going to be much comparison in sound quality. You really have two classes of receivers there. The Denon and the low end Marantz are flashier and going to end up delivering less power and sound quality. The 6005 and the NAD t747 are more closely comparable with the t747 being a little better sound quality and a little lighter on features. I don't think you could go wrong with either one of those two.

The aforementioned Denon and 1402 are not going to compare well, despite what the specs might say.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-12-2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekard View Post

The NAD is in a different category than the other receivers you are hearing about. Its main focus is on audio quality. It drops some features that are common on the main stream receivers but it adds in audio quality that is, frankly, pretty hard to find in most entry and mid level receivers. For the money, I doubt you could find a better sounding product that is new and not a refurb.

If you would prefer more bells and whistles, its not the receiver for you. It has no network support, an adequate auto-eq function and only HDMI 1.3. But, making a decision without hearing how good it sounds would be a mistake. Its a terrific sounding and looking receiver. Very classy.

I got an Apple TV for my networking and streaming needs for $100. But, there are a wide variety of devices that will handle those needs, so I wouldn't buy a receiver based on networking. It moves too fast, so whats top of the line networking today will be old and busted in a year of two. Whereas what sounds great today will still sound great tomorrow, like your Grandfather's Marantz. Grab the NAD, you won't regret it.

How important is the auto-eq feature? That was actually something I was looking forward to having in my next avr.
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