Please help me pick a new AVR. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, I've been reading through the forums and various websites and absorbing all the information. I was hoping I could get a little advice on a good receiver for my setup.

First off, I don't have anything yet, but I'm moving into a new house and have picked a few items that I think I like so far.

TV - Sharp 844 80" 3D

Speakers - DT ProCinema 800. (It's 5.1 so I'd like to get 2 more for 7.1. Feel free to recommend 2 more speakers that'll go with this too)

I'm going to be using Comcast HD cable and will also have an Xbox360, PS3, and probably a Micca EP600 G2 all hooked in via HDMI.

I would like a 7.1 or 7.2 setup for the tv that has the latest decoders and can handle 3D. There is also a "whole home stereo" throughout the house that the previous owner had installed. He had a bunch of speakers (2 in-wall speakers in 6-7 rooms) connected to speaker selection boxes and the boxes were daisy chained together. The main box was then hooked into a receiver under the "B" speaker area. If I get a 9.2 receiver, would that mean I could use 7.2 for the tv, and the other 2 for the home stereo?

I'd also like the receiver to have Airplay, as I want to be able to play a song from my iphone/ipod and have it go through the home stereo via airplay to the AVR. I'm planning to hook up the AVR via ethernet, so if it doesn't have wifi, that's not a deal breaker.

My budget is probably up to $1500 although I would definitely consider buying open box or refurbished.

So in a nutshell:

1. 7.1(2) or 9.1(2) that can handle 3d movies
2. Able to support the whole home stereo while not affecting the tv setup.
3. Able to stream music from idevices to the AVR over wifi.
4. Extra credit (since it's off topic) for picking complementary speakers for the ProCinema 800 series.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 12:55 PM
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How big is the room? Those def techs will have issues in a big room. A 4.5 inch woofer is going to need the sub to be crossed over pretty high for a decent blend and that's going to cause more issues. As an audio guy I can't see spending 1500 on a receiver, 5000 on a TV and only 1200 on a 5.1 speaker setup. Have you looked at a projector? There are some good projectors out there that can do a bigger screen for a lot less money than the Sharp. I would consider throwing a lot more money toward the speakers and cutting some of the Display/receiver budget but again I am an audio guy so it just depends on your goals.
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpearce023 View Post

How big is the room? Those def techs will have issues in a big room. A 4.5 inch woofer is going to need the sub to be crossed over pretty high for a decent blend and that's going to cause more issues. As an audio guy I can't see spending 1500 on a receiver, 5000 on a TV and only 1200 on a 5.1 speaker setup. Have you looked at a projector? There are some good projectors out there that can do a bigger screen for a lot less money than the Sharp. I would consider throwing a lot more money toward the speakers and cutting some of the Display/receiver budget but again I am an audio guy so it just depends on your goals.

It's a 15 x 23 family room. Are you saying the room is too big for those speakers? I have two small children (1 and 3) so I don't think I want floorstanding for the fronts. I plan to have everything mounted up high. The room also lets in a decent amount of light which is why I don't want to go the projector route.

Also, I'm mainly concerned with watching tv (sports, movies) and gaming. I won't use those speakers for listening to music much...
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spelly88 View Post

It's a 15 x 23 family room. Are you saying the room is too big for those speakers? I have two small children (1 and 3) so I don't think I want floorstanding for the fronts. I plan to have everything mounted up high. The room also lets in a decent amount of light which is why I don't want to go the projector route.

Also, I'm mainly concerned with watching tv (sports, movies) and gaming. I won't use those speakers for listening to music much...

I see, so the wife isn't going for black out curtains I'm sure. If you are set on the sharp then that's fine although projectors have gotten much brighter since 3D came along. I'm just throwing that out there.

I don't think the Def techs will do well in that room. I'm not saying you have to go with floorstanders but I would look at something with at least a 6" or bigger woofer. Here is one system I think would fill up that room much better.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid3pkg.html

It will be cheaper to go with a 7.1 receiver and run the preamp outputs for zone 2 to a second receiver or an amp. Do you have any old receivers sitting around or know somebody that is selling one cheap? The Denon 2113 will pretty much do everything you are needing if you can find a receiver/amp for the second zone and there are also some cheap amps on Amazon you could use.

I'm not sure how high you are talking about putting the speakers but they are supposed to be at ear level. If that is not possible and you have to put them higher make sure you point them down at the ear level of the main listening position.
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpearce023 View Post

I see, so the wife isn't going for black out curtains I'm sure. If you are set on the sharp then that's fine although projectors have gotten much brighter since 3D came along. I'm just throwing that out there.

I don't think the Def techs will do well in that room. I'm not saying you have to go with floorstanders but I would look at something with at least a 6" or bigger woofer. Here is one system I think would fill up that room much better.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid3pkg.html

It will be cheaper to go with a 7.1 receiver and run the preamp outputs for zone 2 to a second receiver or an amp. Do you have any old receivers sitting around or know somebody that is selling one cheap? The Denon 2113 will pretty much do everything you are needing if you can find a receiver/amp for the second zone and there are also some cheap amps on Amazon you could use.

I'm not sure how high you are talking about putting the speakers but they are supposed to be at ear level. If that is not possible and you have to put them higher make sure you point them down at the ear level of the main listening position.

We actually have a smaller living room area that I'm hopeful in 3-4 years I'll be able to turn into a real home theater room with a projector etc. For now, I'm just trying to get a nice room to watch sports, Thomas the Tank Engine, and play video games.

Those Hybrids look nice! I'll definitely keep that suggestion in mind, thanks. I was going to have Magnolia mount the tv/speakers and run the cables so I figure they'll put them in the right spots...

I do have an old Yamaha 6.1 HTIB circa 2004. I was going to just donate that receiver and speakers, but would that suffice for a 2nd amp? Would airplay still work with that setup?

Is that Denon the best choice for what I want or are there any other options you can think of? I just like to have a few choices to research...

Thanks for all the help so far!
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 02:25 PM
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The speakers you linked will do OK for most people, but if you ever like to listen loud, then avoid satellite speakers like that in favor of bookshelves or towers. There is a saying for engines in cars that also applies to speakers: There is no replacement for displacement. Small speakers like you linked have little surface area and also little excursion (in-and-out stroke) and cannot produce a large quantity of sound. They will still beat any TV speakers in both volume capability and in sound quality. I don't know how much you're looking for. You'll also be able to run more bass to the front speakers if you go for bookshelves/towers. You should be able to highpass at 80-100Hz on a decent bookshelf speaker, but probably more like 120Hz for a small satellite.

I prefer Denon myself. I like Audyssey MultEQ more than Pioneer's MCAAC and Yamaha's YPAO. I think Onkyo is too unreliable. Perhaps the 2112 or 2312 would work well for you. Good deals for both can be found.

Yes, you can use that HTIB setup for the other rooms, as long as the impedance of the speakers is within spec for it. Just run the zone 2 preouts from your main receiver into one of the inputs of the HTIB system - doesn't matter which other than not phono (if it even has phono).

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 02:33 PM
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Another way to put it: tiny speakers sound tinny.

A standard rule of thumb is to spend twice as much on speakers as on the electronics driving them. If you haven't already done so, you should spend some time listening to different models of speakers playing music that's familiar to you -- so you'll know what they should sound like; even if it's just the theme for Thomas I'm sure you'll be surprised at how different the different speakers sound.

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post #8 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

If you haven't already done so, you should spend some time listening to different models of speakers playing music that's familiar to you -- so you'll know what they should sound like; even if it's just the theme for Thomas I'm sure you'll be surprised at how different the different speakers sound.

Yes, having a reference CD that you use to listen to speakers of songs that you know is a very good thing. OP could look up suggestions if desired, but the most important thing is that you be familiar with the songs, especially if you've listened to them on good setups that you liked. The better the setups you've heard, the better your reference point.

I've read time and time again that deeper female voices are a trouble area for many speakers, so many here including me like to use Norah Jones. Personally, I made a mix CD of different artists and I tried to choose songs for different purposes. If you do this, and you want to check out satellite speakers, you might do well with some bassy songs (a real song with bass - not a "crank the subwoofers up and screw everything else" song) to see if you can hear the difference with/without a subwoofer. Actually, I feel that Norah Jones has a bunch of songs that fit that, and I've also got a Tori Amos and an Eric Clapton song on my mix partially for the same reason, plus a couple of actual bass test songs (such as "How Low Can You Go," but that's not going to be a useful test of satellite speakers)

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of great info, thanks!

I have nothing against floor speakers by the way. All things being equal I would love to get those for the fronts, but with 1 and 3 year old boys, I'm worried that they'd knock them over or something bad like that... If the kids were older, it'd be a different story... I think for now my best best is mounting speakers on the wall where they can't be messed with...

If there are other suggestions besides that Hybrid package, feel free to lay them on me. At least it'll give me ideas for some models to listen to if I can get to a store. Not to sound like a newbie (too late I'm sure) but I assume you can wallmount bookshelf speakers, so maybe a 7.1 (or even 7.2) setup with those instead of satellites?

It sounds like Denon is the way to go for what I want, so otherwise, is there a big difference between the 2113, 2313, and 3313 models other than price?
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh one thing I forgot to mention... This room has a cathedral/vaulted ceiling probably in the 20-25' range... Not sure if that makes a difference but wanted to throw that out there...
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 04:23 PM
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To wallmount speakers, make sure that they are not rear-ported. That is, if they have a port, it has to be on the front. Either that or you will have to mount them out a bit from the wall so the port can breathe.

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-30-2012, 05:17 PM
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Decent floor standers don't knock over that easy. So here's a suggestion

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/produ...ee393f36830099

You can fill the stands with sand, lead shot, etc... . Filled with lead shot you probably couldn't even move them yourself.

They have the matching center (ARX 2) ports can be plugged.

There are other much better options than the Def Tech sats.

Like 5 NHT super zeros, or 5 NHT Absolute wall speakers and with that size room you might want to look into a better sub.

For a lot of output for the buck the Cadence CSX 12 or 15 are great. For less than $500

If you want more low end then start with the Rythmik FV12 or HSU VTF2 MK4 for around $550.

Don't overspend on the AVR it has the least impact on your sound.

Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
Def Tech SC8000
Harman Kardon AVR 1600
PS3, Apple TV, Sharp 70" Qattron
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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So many options...

If there's anyone in the Philly/King of Prussia/Blue Bell area who would like to make a couple bucks and also get to play mad scientist by helping me configure a system and mounting the components, please shoot me a PM.

I was going to use Magnolia via Best Buy, but their selection seems to be limited and I'm not sure of their skill as their guy recommended the DT ProCinema 600's. Granted, they hadn't done an on-site consult yet so maybe he'd have changed his mind...
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 11:39 AM
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Unfortunately BB/Magnolia doesn't pay the salaries needed to hire people who really know what they're doing.

You might want to investigate some of the "real" A/V stores in your area. There are quite a few. One way to find them is to pick a well known manufacturer (e.g. Marantz) and use their Web site's dealer locator, skipping over all the Magnolia stores.

(Although I lived in Philly when I was a kid, I live too far away now.)

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Unfortunately BB/Magnolia doesn't pay the salaries needed to hire people who really know what they're doing.

I'm sure they are also used to people who want an awesome speaker setup... for $50. (Not literally... just that the vast majority of people - even those in a BB Magnolia - do not really care about having expensive gear, just something better than their TV speakers)

"Vintage" is good for wine, not for A/V equipment.

-Dan D.
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 12:32 PM
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I think you should buy a separate amp or maybe a separate receiver for the other rooms speakers. If you'll mainly listen to radio, MP3 or have an extra CD player to hook up, I would just get a receiver for it. it will make things much less complicated.

For the main room. Pretty much any new receiver supports 3D and 7.1. Just avoid the really low end 5.1 receivers. I suggest getting one of the xx11 series denon's as they're on closeout and are priced accordingly.

I'm in a similar situation as you with young kids. Plus a wife who hates the way speakers look. I have a 7.1 satellite system in my family room. It sounds OK. Way better than TV speakers. It won't sound as good as most large speaker systems, but sometimes you have to comprimise. Since we have cartoons on 90% of the time, sound quality really isn't that important. I have a couple of other setups with large speakers that I use along with the teenager.
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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@Selden Ball - There is a Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo close to the house, but my thinking is that they'll be pretty high priced and I'd expect that they'd want me to purchase all the equipment through them. I'm thinking at this point it makes more sense to get the best deals online and then just have someone come mount/configure everything. I suppose I can at least inquire...

@Kidhorn - I'm lucky in that I don't think my wife cares about the speakers as long as I can hide the wires. We both want to do this right and not have speaker wires running all down the walls so if someone can hide them, I think I have some flexibility as to what speakers I can get. I realize that I have an older 2008 Harman Kardon AVR 147 that I think should work fine as the receiver for the home stereo. I have an older Yamaha too, but that's from like 2004 so I think the HK will be better.

And as I mentioned, I'm not expecting audiophile quality, but I do want to experience that "wow" factor when watching a 3D movie if that's possible... It's funny, going into this I was planning on a budget of $2k for the AVR and $1k for the speakers, and after reading all of this is sounds like it makes much more sense to reverse that... Love this forum...
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonoMan View Post

I'm sure they are also used to people who want an awesome speaker setup... for $50. (Not literally... just that the vast majority of people - even those in a BB Magnolia - do not really care about having expensive gear, just something better than their TV speakers)


having worked at BB Magnolia for a few years, you'd be surprised how many people don't even want anything better than the TV speakers...
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post #19 of 21 Old 06-01-2012, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spelly88 View Post

@Selden Ball - There is a Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo close to the house, but my thinking is that they'll be pretty high priced and I'd expect that they'd want me to purchase all the equipment through them. I'm thinking at this point it makes more sense to get the best deals online and then just have someone come mount/configure everything. I suppose I can at least inquire...

Of course, they want your money just as an internet sales company would Getting a package deal can often reduce the prices they have to charge by quite a bit. Don't forget that included in the higher prices you're paying for services that an internet reseller can't provide. Auditioning speakers, for one. Often a local dealer will be willing to do other things, like provide an in-home loaner for you to try, or when something breaks. A few years ago, the local dealer here took care of all the shipping and paperwork at no additional charge when an AVR that I had bought from them needed a firmware update, for example, with a loaner while it was gone.

Quote:


And as I mentioned, I'm not expecting audiophile quality, but I do want to experience that "wow" factor when watching a 3D movie if that's possible... It's funny, going into this I was planning on a budget of $2k for the AVR and $1k for the speakers, and after reading all of this is sounds like it makes much more sense to reverse that...

Yes, quality speakers make a big difference.

Selden

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post #20 of 21 Old 06-01-2012, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the look of those HSU 7.1 Hybrid 3's that mjpearce023 suggested.

Would the HSU 7.1 Hybrid 15's be a better option and is the upgrade worth the extra $200? It's basically just a more expensive sub. Is that VTF-15H sub decent enough by itself?

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html

I liked those Arx floor standers but I think my best bet is to use satellites for a few years until the kids get older and then maybe move those to a bedroom or basement and then I can get some floor standing fronts...



P.S. I'm sorry this turned into a speaker thread... If a moderater wants to move it to that forum, I'm cool with that...
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post #21 of 21 Old 06-04-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Since this is basically a speaker question now, I'm going to post a new thread in the speaker section. Thanks to everyone for their help so far!
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