Considering upgrade from way older HK525 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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So all these years later I still am still using my HK 525. I have to do a lot of work around for HDMI to my front projector and getting older BD players with built in Dolby and DTS decoders. My wife doesn't like the hoops to jump through to get everything to play together and has encouraged me to make the theater room system easier to use. So for the last year I have been looking at upgrades. I still like the oder 525 so my search is one that is taking its time.

I see the HK 7550 is now at a really nice price by buying it as a referb from the HK site. Now I am not afraid of referbished stuff and would like to know more about others experiences with these units. So the question is, to those who have in the past few months bought the HK 7550 from the referb site, how is it working for you? I know there has been problems in the past with this model, but having gone through the line again to be repaired, is the reciever working out to your expectations? Are the bugs pretty well worked out of the system?

My other choice is the Marantz preamp unit but to be honest, I really like the Logic 7 decoding. To be able to layer it over other digital decoding schemes is really attractive to me. Still, I want to be a bit cautious before I make the plunge.

I am using power amps off of the pre amp outputs of my 525 and may consider just using the built in amps of the 7550. My amps are the HK 2.0 for front and side surrounds. A Kenwood KM106 power amp for two subs which are fed with a Y off of the sub out on the 525. For the back surrounds I am using a Hafler DH200. This has worked out pretty well for me and if I need to keep using these amps I will but I have the feeling the built in amps will work pretty darn well.

Thanks for helping out.

Alan in Boise
103 inch AT screen with 9.x playback. IB subs. Two with dual 15s and one with dual 12s. Screen channels with Minimus 77s. Minimus 7 on front wide and front high and wides and sides. Room is perfect size for smaller speakers like the Minimus speakers. Approx. 17x13x8. Tower speakers were taking up to much room. Onkyo 818 used as pre-amp. Power amp duties handled by HK 2.1 Kenwood KM-X1. Hafler DH200.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 AM
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Knowing your approximate budget would help in coming up with suggestions.

Bear in mind that the room equalization software which is available in many modern receivers and pre/pros often makes a significant improvement in the quality of the sound. As best I can tell from the HK manuals I've looked at, though, their EQ software only sets speaker distances, crossovers and volume levels.

Receivers tend to be much more cost-effective than pre/pros, but preamp-outputs tend to be available only on high-end models of current receiver lines. The current economy seems to be causing many companies to drop as many features as they can from their lower-priced units.

Since you mention a Marantz pre/pro, you might want to investigate the Integra DHC 80.3, which has more features than the Marantz AV7005 for only a slightly higher list price. If you can wait until this fall, Marantz is scheduled to have two more pre/pros available.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My budget could get the HK7550 now. Later maybe I will consider a new Marantz if I decided not to get the refurbished HK now. but as I said, I do like the Logic 7 offering of the HK. As to budget the cost of the referbished HK is good, and the Marantz is to high for me right now. I could save up the cash and look at Marantz later. The question though still stands. Those who have bought the HK7550 in the last few months, are you having any bug issues.

The one thing that would make me wait and get something WITHOUT Logic 7 is if there was a pre pro with 9.x or better yet 11.x that would not cost over $1200 but that may well be wishful thinking. What ever I get I will be paying cash for. I have banned plastic from my life except for debit. (Wish I had done that 20 years ago) If I don't get anything for another year I would be ok with it, but there are moments that the upgrade bug hits and the 7550 is within budget now but I don't want to buy a case of bugs that I have read about in the past. I am hoping that with the refurbished models this has been worked out.

Alan in Boise
103 inch AT screen with 9.x playback. IB subs. Two with dual 15s and one with dual 12s. Screen channels with Minimus 77s. Minimus 7 on front wide and front high and wides and sides. Room is perfect size for smaller speakers like the Minimus speakers. Approx. 17x13x8. Tower speakers were taking up to much room. Onkyo 818 used as pre-amp. Power amp duties handled by HK 2.1 Kenwood KM-X1. Hafler DH200.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-22-2012, 11:39 PM
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If you're willing to spend $850 on a refurb HK 7550, why not $700 on a refurb Marantz SR6006?
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MARSR6006/MARANTZ-SR6006-Home-theater-receiver-3D-ready-HDMI-AirPlay/1.html

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 07:12 AM
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The current Marantz line up cannot compare to the the 525 for audio quality, try one and see.The Onkyo would be a better choice although their $1500 unit won't sound as good as the old 525 even with its electronic gadgetry, sad.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I thank everyone so far for the responses. For sound quality of my older 525 I am very happy with it. I have a job that allows me to be in various homes each day. In some I find older legacy audio equiptment. The electronics and speakers from decades back is still pumping out sound. I am amazed at the quality of sound from this older stuff. This led me to buy some vintage gear myself for a garage system. I was not disappointed with the sound I got on the cheap. Now I am talking about gear that didn't really cost a lot back in its day, and buying second hand It was really cheap. I got a Kenwood preamp, power amp, and tuner. The stack cost me $50. I hooked it up to my iPod and even mp3 sounded pretty good through the system.

Years later you would think that with new devices being installed in amps that there could be a jump forward in sound. Well there just isn't. It seems like we are going backwards. Source material being what it is I guess we shouldn't be to surprised. I hear the arguments about Marantz not sounding like it did in the past, Onkyo, Dennon, or such not as good as HK. Well all that just shows how cheaped out stuff can get today.

So far my 525 gives a pretty good sound but I do have to work around the lack of HDMI input/ouput features. Now I could just ignore that but a 15 year old piece of gear just may decide to belly up on me. Or it may not. It is a toss of the dice. So I am looking to replace it with the 7550 but I would like input as to recent experiences with some of the bugs it exhibited when first released. I am hoping as the years have gone by, and the unit was put through the referbishing line, that these bugs have been eradicated.

Alan in Boise
103 inch AT screen with 9.x playback. IB subs. Two with dual 15s and one with dual 12s. Screen channels with Minimus 77s. Minimus 7 on front wide and front high and wides and sides. Room is perfect size for smaller speakers like the Minimus speakers. Approx. 17x13x8. Tower speakers were taking up to much room. Onkyo 818 used as pre-amp. Power amp duties handled by HK 2.1 Kenwood KM-X1. Hafler DH200.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmo C View Post

The current Marantz line up cannot compare to the the 525 for audio quality, try one and see.The Onkyo would be a better choice although their $1500 unit won't sound as good as the old 525 even with its electronic gadgetry, sad.

Really, not even with the advances in room calibration? I have a HK AVR 325 so would you put that in the same boat as the 525? A little less power but otherwise the same unit.

At what point do you think Marantz sound quality went down? I also have a Marantz sr4001 and think it sounds pretty good along with my HK 325.

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post #8 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 09:21 AM
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It says on their site that the refurb stuff retains the same factory warranty as a new unit so what is the worst that could happen... and your $850 wont buy you the same level of features and performance in another flagship model anywhere else...

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-23-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_si View Post

It says on their site that the refurb stuff retains the same factory warranty as a new unit so what is the worst that could happen... and your $850 wont buy you the same level of features and performance in another flagship model anywhere else...

It comes down to this. I cannot afford a newest pre pro or receiver with pre outs. My main focus of the upgrade is HDMI in and out and trying to keep Logic 7 decoding. If I am going to give up Logic 7 I will be looking for a pre amp or receiver with pre out that will have 9.x or 11.x capabilities. Cost wise, that will be out of my budget for a few years yet I figure. It may also shake out that it does not catch on and the feature is dropped and focus is made on other things like home Atmos decoding.

I have developed a habit of buying my audio stuff used, or referbished. That has allowed me to have a lot of great audio gear at much more affordable prices. I don't expect everyone to adopt this habit, but I am enjoying the journey it has me on.

I really do like the sound of HK. I bet I would really like the sound of a Marantz too, but I am kind of stuck with wanting to stay with Logic 7 for now. I decode it from TV audio from my Directv DVR that is has Dolby Digital turned off. I am of the opinion that a lot of matrix tracks can sometimes carry even more surround information after the audio mix guys have a bit of fun with it. I have heard stories about such goings on. I would A/B the sound track of Stargate Universe and my ears heard a lot more interesting stuff in the Logic 7 decoding than in the Dolby Digital decoding. If I understand right, the matrix track can be embedded in the front stereo track of a Dolby digital track. This allows for backwards compatibility with older matrix decoding. I also understand that the 7550 can overlay the Logic 7 decoding on any of the audio tracks. I find that attractive. So I can get the 7550 now and work towards 11.x later when it comes down in price. If it is going to be in flag ship stuff today, it will be had at lower prices tomorrow when that gear is available at lower prices or available in lower end models.

Yes, I could buy it and use the warranty if needed. I am just hoping that someone can tell me "I have had no trouble" or tell me "I bought it and there was a lot of bugs still." I just want to avoid the hassle of sending it back.eek.gif I just want a wee bit of peace of mind that I can sit back and just enjoy it. I also know life isn't perfect and electronic gear can hicup. I just want to know if the hicups are more rare than what seems to be having gone on in the past. smile.gif I also read where some have had a HK and bought a different name brand and were a bit put off by the new sound. They ended up sending the new one back and getting an HK again. I am not sure I want to put my toe in that pool right now.

Alan in Boise
103 inch AT screen with 9.x playback. IB subs. Two with dual 15s and one with dual 12s. Screen channels with Minimus 77s. Minimus 7 on front wide and front high and wides and sides. Room is perfect size for smaller speakers like the Minimus speakers. Approx. 17x13x8. Tower speakers were taking up to much room. Onkyo 818 used as pre-amp. Power amp duties handled by HK 2.1 Kenwood KM-X1. Hafler DH200.
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