Unbiased A/V Receiver Review and Ranking - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone recommend a good online unbiased review/ranking web site for high end A/V Receivers??
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 02:46 PM
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No such thing as unbiased, IMO

Also, how are they going to be ranked. There's too many metrics. Main thing, IMO, is to read all you can on perspective model on here, and avoid ones with unlivable defects.

I think you should refine your needs a bit. Do you want the most sophisticated room correction? Think video processing matters, and looking for state of the art VP chips being used? Internet audio? Zones? Price? Etc.

I think you can reduce your search a lot.

You may also have brand preference, which can help. For example, I would not personally buy Harmon Kardon, because I feel they are a bit behind the curve in some key areas, but other people insist they have superior amp sections, etc.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

No such thing as unbiased, IMO

Also, how are they going to be ranked. There's too many metrics. Main thing, IMO, is to read all you can on perspective model on here, and avoid ones with unlivable defects.

I think you should refine your needs a bit. Do you want the most sophisticated room correction? Think video processing matters, and looking for state of the art VP chips being used? Internet audio? Zones? Price? Etc.

I think you can reduce your search a lot.

You may also have brand preference, which can help. For example, I would not personally buy Harmon Kardon, because I feel they are a bit behind the curve in some key areas, but other people insist they have superior amp sections, etc.



Thanks Michael, I'm just trying to decide between Onkyo TX-NR5009 and Yamaha RX-A3010 and its so close I'm looking for a tie breaker.
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 03:12 PM
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If room correction systems are on your list, onkyo gives you audyssey, which is far better than yamahas ypao system. The 3010 is a great avr aside from ypao. 3010 gives you dual subs and a real working 2nd hdmi output.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbevins View Post

Thanks Michael, I'm just trying to decide between Onkyo TX-NR5009 and Yamaha RX-A3010 and its so close I'm looking for a tie breaker.


Onkyo has stronger features, Yamaha has better reliability...

Just my $0.02..
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

Onkyo has stronger features, Yamaha has better reliability...

Just my $0.02..

Yep. And if you want the best room correction, probably look at Trinnov - it's made the biggest difference to my listening enjoyment of any single piece of amplifying or processing equipment. Far and away better than Audyssay MulitEQ XT, IMHO.
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 05:17 PM
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+1 for Yamaha reliability. what is the point of buying a product with a lot of features if it will not last?

Strong or weak in the end we are all dead
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 06:38 PM
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I wish one of the sites could take the flagships and compare them all without fear but the only publication I could ever remember giving the facts without bias was The Audio Critic.
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbevins View Post


Thanks Michael, I'm just trying to decide between Onkyo TX-NR5009 and Yamaha RX-A3010 and its so close I'm looking for a tie breaker.

Have you looked at the Denon 4311ci? My Onkyo 1007 is in the shop for an HDMI board replacement(going on a month now) so that got me looking. The Denon can be had for a song and it has XT32. I've always loved the sound of the Onkyo's and the number of features/price but reliability is not their strong suit based on my experience. Time to try Denon at least for me. Just my .02.
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 07:26 PM
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Trinnov is only available on the Sherwood 972 which is a couple of years old. Now that Sherwood was bought out by Ikei (a Korean company), their future seems a bit cloudy with nothing new announced, so I would not consider them.

Arcam is supposed to be really good, with excellent audio characteristics and good power.

Onkyo is a great value but their reliability and quality control has really deteriorated. Their customer service is very weak as the techs have no idea what is going on with updates. Their newest models feature 4K upscaling.

Denon is pretty good but their one year warranty is sorely lacking. Again, their support really is prettybad (common issue with a lot of vendors). I had a Denon, while it was reliable, the amplifier sounded weak compared to the Onkyo with the same amp rating.

Pioneer is pretty reliable, but I am not too sure about their digital amps. They are efficient but digital amps as whole can sound a bit harsh.

I am not familiar with Yamaha, so no comment given.

Sony ES receivers are decent but with their very regulated power supplies, the power output drops drastically with all channels driven. They use their own inhouse chipsets which seems to be pretty reliable but nothing outstanding.

Marantz seems pretty decent, I have not heard issues with them but they have the same support group as Denon, so it is bad.

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post #11 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 07:29 PM
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Denon has 2 or 3 yr warranty, and it must be bought at a authorized dealer new, not refurb.
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post #12 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Yep. And if you want the best room correction, probably look at Trinnov - it's made the biggest difference to my listening enjoyment of any single piece of amplifying or processing equipment. Far and away better than Audyssay MulitEQ XT, IMHO.

No argument our experience with Trinnov has been very positive...
However...
Due to its cost, heavy load on DSP resources/memory and complex, development software any future, further implementation in consumer AVRs is doubtful...


Just my $0.02...
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post #13 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I wish one of the sites could take the flagships and compare them all without fear but the only publication I could ever remember giving the facts without bias was The Audio Critic.

You forgot the smilie.

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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #14 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Trinnov is only available on the Sherwood 972 which is a couple of years old. Now that Sherwood was bought out by Ikei (a Korean company), their future seems a bit cloudy with nothing new announced, so I would not consider them.....

Well, IMO the most distinguishing feature among AVRs nowadays is room correction.

The R-972 is the ONLY way to get Trinnov on a consumer AVR, and as I said, in my experience Trinnov is so superior to Audyssey, that there is no real contest.

The fact that it's a couple of years old is irrelevant, if it has the features you need -- the R-972 passes 3D, but you don't get audio return channel, about which many may not care at all. You still get 3 years warranty.

Anyway, I am not aware of any upcoming mainstream AVR featuring Trinnov EQ, so if you want it, the only other choices are stuff like ADA's TEQ (for $13000).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Pioneer is pretty reliable, but I am not too sure about their digital amps. They are efficient but digital amps as whole can sound a bit harsh.
...

With all due respect, this is absolute nonsense.
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post #15 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 08:06 PM
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Hello,
For what its worth, Sherwood has actually announced a replacement for the 972 in the R997. I agree with Ryan about Trinnov and also own a 972 as well. However the feature set is about as vague as humanly possible. I also do think Onkyo is doing better with QC on the latest x09 Series and moreover, I have owned an TX-SR805, TX-SR875, TX-NR3007, and TX-NR3008 and only the B-Stock 3007 needed repair. In addition, both the 805 and 875 were sold to close friends and are still working 5 years later with zero issues.

I do agree that Yamaha makes a very reliable AVR, but I do prefer Audyssey over their proprietary YPAO. Same goes for Pioneer's MCACC RoomEQ.
Ecoustics is a good site for finding Professional Reviews of AVR's from a broad swath of places.
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post #16 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

No argument our experience with Trinnov has been very positive...
However...
Due to its cost, heavy load on DSP resources/memory and complex, development software any future, further implementation in consumer AVRs is doubtful...

Real pity.

But I am curious how Sherwood did it in a $1800 box (retail)?

Whatever the initial R-972 problems were, it appeares to me they were unrelated to Trinnov, but to upscaling and HDMI implementation.

Is Trinnov so much more expensive to license and integrate than something like Audyssey MultiEQ XT32?
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post #17 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 08:30 PM
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post #18 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Real pity.

But I am curious how Sherwood did it in a $1800 box (retail)?

Whatever the initial R-972 problems were, it appeares to me they were unrelated to Trinnov, but to upscaling and HDMI implementation.

Do your own calculations the 972 was originally selling @ $1800 and now is discounted by $1200 to $600..

We have seen previous AVRs being discounted 20-40% upon closeout, however a 66% discount is bit steep.... IMHO..

Quote:


Is Trinnov so much more expensive to license and integrate than something like Audyssey MultiEQ XT32?

My reference to cost wasn't the licensing/royalty $ but rather the costs of material and very significant cost/overhead burden of creating, debugging & validating its software development...
Since Sherwood was the 1st implementation of Trinnov in a consumer application the costs were significant to both Sherwood & TI. Whereas for Audyssey, the audio DSP suppliers of TI, Analog Devices and Cirrus Logic have certified software largely already written and validated for Audyssey. Yes, there are additional QA/debugging required when the Audyssey S/W code is integrated into the entire AVR OS code but these steps are straight forward.

Just my $0.02..
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post #19 of 27 Old 03-08-2012, 11:34 PM
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Just pulled the trigger on one of these R-972s. Me pumped. Replaces my 12 yr. old Pioneer Elite. Still going strong after all these years. Trinnov should be an upgrade over MCACC.

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post #20 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 07:00 AM
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German magazine called StereoPlay has done pretty thorough reviews and rankings tied to data from reviews. If you get a copy of the magazine the Av receiver ranking table is in the back. They have a website so It may also be online - if so, Google Chrome + the translate extension is your friend.
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

German magazine called StereoPlay has done pretty thorough reviews and rankings tied to data from reviews. If you get a copy of the magazine the Av receiver ranking table is in the back. They have a website so It may also be online - if so, Google Chrome + the translate extension is your friend.

I do that with Areadvd.de all the time. I believe they are linked as some Reviews come from Stereoplay I think. I do wish Area provided measurements however.

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post #22 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post


Onkyo is a great value but their reliability and quality control has really deteriorated. Their customer service is very weak as the techs have no idea what is going on with updates. Their newest models feature 4K upscaling.

Reports have it that the 4k upscaling doesnt work and they are having problems getting it to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Denon is pretty good but their one year warranty is sorely lacking. Again, their support really is prettybad (common issue with a lot of vendors). I had a Denon, while it was reliable, the amplifier sounded weak compared to the Onkyo with the same amp rating.

Denons have a 3 year warranty and from everything that I have read their CS is top notch as long as you buy from an authorized dealer, if not I could see people having problems with CS as they would have no warranty on their receiver.

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post #23 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 08:28 AM
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I have never seen an unbiased review of any audio equipment.
There is always an individual brain (hopefully) behind a review, which states his own view on the matter and then there are all those "other" things to consider, like guidelines of a magazine, personal contacts to sales, marketing or the manufacturer, "political" reasons, you name it. Don't forget personal taste and preferences, which will further influence a review.
Purely "objective" test data don't tell the "truth" either as we all know and probably have experienced too.

Just the mix of everything taken into account will establish some guidelines to a units quality.
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

...
My reference to cost wasn't the licensing/royalty $ but rather the costs of material and very significant cost/overhead burden of creating, debugging & validating its software development...
Since Sherwood was the 1st implementation of Trinnov in a consumer application the costs were significant to both Sherwood & TI. Whereas for Audyssey, the audio DSP suppliers of TI, Analog Devices and Cirrus Logic have certified software largely already written and validated for Audyssey. Yes, there are additional QA/debugging required when the Audyssey S/W code is integrated into the entire AVR OS code but these steps are straight forward.

Just my $0.02..

Thanks. Scale would explain it then.

I really hope (O.K., mostly wish) one of the larger producers would jump on Trinnov and bring it to market, so it can get traction and scale.

If at the same price or lower, it would give them a significant edge over Audyssey I would think -- I know I was a convert the moment I heard it (and would hate to have go back to Audyssey now).
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-09-2012, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbevins View Post


Thanks Michael, I'm just trying to decide between Onkyo TX-NR5009 and Yamaha RX-A3010 and its so close I'm looking for a tie breaker.

I have owned A2000, A3000, A3010 and so far 809 & 1009. I have become an Audyssey fan since the 809. I was able to compare A3010 and 809. The 809 really impressed me, specially its power an Audyssey. I tested their power capabilities with a pair of RTI12 and the 809 sounded better.

Since then I have moved to 1009 which IMO is better than 809, DTS NEO X is really cool with movies (9. 2 current set up) . I think I will stop at 3009 maybe 5009 but can't justify the price for very few upgrades from 3009. You really have to try both specially at this price. I believe a necessary pain.

I'm pairing this with RTI 12 and 65VT30, couldn't be happier.

I hope you find my post useful.

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post #26 of 27 Old 03-12-2012, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know anything about this web site ranking?

http://hometheatergears.com/
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post #27 of 27 Old 03-12-2012, 07:50 AM
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^^^

read the small print on the bottom of the home page... it's a click through advertising site for amazon...

as far as the "reviews" go... since the "reviewer" attributes stuff to the avr that is a actually a function of the display and speakers/room (along with just enough audiophool jargon to make the reader "comfortable" that the reviewer knows what he is talking about), i wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in them...

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