Help me buy my first AVR! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm finally in a place in my life where I feel like I can spend some money on a home theater setup. For a little background on myself, my parents liked to buy nice home theater gear and I got to set it up so I learned the basics at a young age. Granted, HDMI wasn't around back then, I'm enough of a techie to understand how all that stuff works, and it helps that I'm into car audio. I'm assuming that audio quality will be similar between most of the receivers I'm looking at, so my decision is being made on features, price, and brand reliability/reputation. Meaning, I probably wouldn't buy a Fisher-Price AVR for half the price even if it had all the bells and whistles.

Things that are important to me:
  • Under $900
  • At least 6 HDMI inputs
  • HDMI through standby
  • Some form of auto-tune, preferably MultEQ
  • 7.2 Preouts
  • RS-232C
  • Ethernet
  • Bluetooth
  • DLNA
  • iPod
  • Pandora
  • Spotify would be nice, but I can stream via bluetooth

Receivers that I'm interested in (sort of in YAY to NAY order):
  • Marantz SR5007 (Seems like the golden ticket?)
  • Onkyo TX-NR709 (no BT module)
  • Yamaha RX-A810 (unfortunately, the BT module is discontinued)
  • Pioneer VSX-60 (doesn't have 7.2 preouts, but cheap!)
  • Denon AVR-2312CI (no 7.2 preouts, or BT)

Can anyone reccomend any similar receivers that aren't on my list, and/or critique some of my decisions? As you can see, many of the receivers are in the $8-900 range with the exception of the Pioneer which seems surprisingly inexpensive. Also, what's the deal with the Marantz? It seems like the best receiver to have in the $8-900 range.

Here's a google spreadsheet that I've been using to do my comparison. If I highlighted something in red, it's because it doesn't have a feature that I would like to have:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ame0MECs94MzdHI3cmNJQUZ1R1Jnam1qVHU2aEFLRnc
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 05:19 PM
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I don't know anything about the AVR models you listed, but don't discount the Yamaha simply because the BT module is discontinued. It was overpriced and sounded horrible anyway (I have one). I picked up a cheap Belkin F8Z492TTP (now only $25 at Amazon) and it works great. (One minor caveat: I first connected it to the Phono input on my Yamaha RX-Z7 and it didn't like that, but I had plenty of other unused inputs to choose from.)
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mspiegle View Post

  • Marantz SR5007 (Seems like the golden ticket?)

It is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mspiegle View Post

Also, what's the deal with the Marantz? It seems like the best receiver to have in the $8-900 range.

It is.

And if you call around, you can get a better price than list. I got mine delivered two-day from Vann's, for $750.00.

biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Unless there's a feature on the Denon 2313CI that is not offered on the 2113CI, consider the 2113CI as well as you can add a 2nd sub pre-out with a $3 RCA "Y" splitter cable. Also, with exception of the pre-outs and EXT IN on the 5007, it's basically the same model as the 2113CI. What speakers will you be connecting that you feel you need to add an external amp? Unless you are in a very large space, play volume at or above reference levels, or are driving 4-ohm speakers, you likely don't need pre-outs. However, If absolutely a requirement, consider last year's 3312CI on clearance now which does have 7.2 pre-outs.

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abilyeu View Post

I don't know anything about the AVR models you listed, but don't discount the Yamaha simply because the BT module is discontinued. It was overpriced and sounded horrible anyway (I have one). I picked up a cheap Belkin F8Z492TTP (now only $25 at Amazon) and it works great. (One minor caveat: I first connected it to the Phono input on my Yamaha RX-Z7 and it didn't like that, but I had plenty of other unused inputs to choose from.)

I considered that, but I'm *really* worried about the sound quality through some crappy analog channel. I guess any receiver's "built-in" BT module could be just as "crappy", so maybe my worry is unfounded. What's your take on it?
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Unless there's a feature on the Denon 2313CI that is not offered on the 2113CI, consider the 2113CI as well as you can add a 2nd sub pre-out with a $3 RCA "Y" splitter cable. Also, with exception of the pre-outs and EXT IN on the 5007, it's basically the same model as the 2113CI. What speakers will you be connecting that you feel you need to add an external amp? Unless you are in a very large space, play volume at or above reference levels, or are driving 4-ohm speakers, you likely don't need pre-outs. However, If absolutely a requirement, consider last year's 3312CI on clearance now which does have 7.2 pre-outs.

There's a chance that I may never use the pre-outs. The desire to have full preouts is to maintain maximum flexibility in the future as I hope to have this receiver for 5+ years and move into a much larger home with it. I'm sure a small bit of it is also the technogeek in me that wants to have all the shiny features. I'll definitely check out the 3312 and 2113 and see how they stack up.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mspiegle View Post

I considered that, but I'm *really* worried about the sound quality through some crappy analog channel. I guess any receiver's "built-in" BT module could be just as "crappy", so maybe my worry is unfounded. What's your take on it?

It's true that the use of a dedicated dock port is no guarantee of high quality sound. There don't seem to be many online reviews of the Marantz adapter, but they seem generally positive. With Bluetooth, certain source device/adapter combinations seem to work better than others (the Yamaha adapter actually works pretty well with my iPhone 3GS, but not with anything else I tried), so your results may vary depending on what you're trying to stream from. I'm not really an audiophile and I don't play a lot of music over BT (I mostly use it for audiobooks), so I'm probably not the best judge of sound quality, but my Belkin sounds great to me. A lot of people also like the Logitech 980-000540. My point is just that there are options other than the "built-in" modules. It sounds like you're leaning toward the Marantz, and their RX101 adapter will add another $100 to your cost, taking you over your $900 mark. I would suggest trying one of the cheaper third-party options first, and if that doesn't meet your needs, you can spring for the RX101.
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