Help with finding a suitable receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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So after years of using a HTIB setup (Logitech Z-5500) I am in the market for a real stand alone receiver.
The main reasons I want a receiver are: more connectivity options, better upgrade-ability and hopefully in the long run better sound.

I am an avid gamer so this receiver would be used primarily for playing games, though I also watch a blu-ray or dvd every so often.
It will be hooked up to a Wii and a PS3; now I am not sure if every receiver supports it, but I would like for it to support Dolby Pro Logic 2 since the Wii has no real discrete audio support and for my PS3 at least DD/DTS and LPCM. In the future it will probably be connected to a Wii U as well (also a motivation to get a receiver since it will only support LPCM audio through HDMI).

My plan is to re-use my 5 satellite speakers from my Logitech Z-5500 for now as to spread out my purchases a bit more, but the plan is to eventually also get 5 new speakers essentially replacing my whole 5.1 setup.
I will need a new subwoofer since the one that comes with the Z-5500 is proprietary and doesn't sound that great anyway (really boomy and the bass is not very tight).
Any suggestions on recommended speaker bundles and subwoofers are appreciated.

The space I will be using it in is approximately 5 x 5 meters so it is a decently sized room, I don't know if that is helpful information for choosing a receiver or that it only applies for determining which speakers are suitable for the room but I thought I should mention it just to be sure.

Now I have done some research on different receivers and terminology (tested frequency range, impedance, THD, etc) and have heard about the trouble of finding honest receiver specs.
That is why I would like opinions on good receivers since just looking at the receiver specs isn't getting me anywhere.

I have looked at several receivers and I was thinking about getting the Yamaha RX-V373.
Though I am not sure if it has a decent amount of power since the way they measured power is not RMS and only on the 1KHz frequency and of course the fact that I am not very familiar with receivers since I never actually owned one.
Any opinions on this receiver or a better one for ideally around 300 euros would be great; I would like to keep my purchase under 400 euros since I also will need to buy a new subwoofer.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 06:26 AM
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I was going to write that I have the RX-V473 and that, if you don't need networking or HDMI standby pass-through, the RX-V373 looks like a perfectly good step down. BUT after you pointed out that the 373's power is rated only at 1K (while the 473's is at 20-20K), I fear that the 373 might not have the intestinal fortitude of its big brothers.

Also you should realize that no entry-level AVR that I know of has a video chip. Thus, your Wii component video will be output as component video as well (requiring an extra cable to the TV).

Hopefully others can weigh in on the entry-level models from other brands vis-a-vis performance.

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post #3 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 07:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPliskinS View Post

The main reasons I want a receiver are: more connectivity options, better upgrade-ability and hopefully in the long run better sound.

Contemporary receivers are pretty much all the same with variations for build quality. I can only post regarding USD and availability in the US. As to receiver choice, it all boils down to budget and what features are you willing to compromise on. My perspective is that of a Denon/Marantz fan. Our current receiver is a Marantz SR5007. After having it for a couple of months, I have no buyers remorse and see nothing that turns my head; it's my personal ideal in receivers. In response to your above, you comment about upgrade-ability. Sans pre-outs, beyond upgrading firmware, there's nothing to upgrade beyond replacing the unit itself. As to sound quality, you'll find that lays with your speaker budget and choice as today's amplifiers are engineered towards a flat, neutral response with you the user EQ'g the sound graph to your liking.

Quote:
I am an avid gamer so this receiver would be used primarily for playing games, though I also watch a blu-ray or dvd every so often.
It will be hooked up to a Wii and a PS3; now I am not sure if every receiver supports it, but I would like for it to support Dolby Pro Logic 2 since the Wii has no real discrete audio support and for my PS3 at least DD/DTS and LPCM. In the future it will probably be connected to a Wii U as well (also a motivation to get a receiver since it will only support LPCM audio through HDMI).

A requirement that most if not all of today's units should be able to handle.

Quote:
My plan is to re-use my 5 satellite speakers from my Logitech Z-5500 for now as to spread out my purchases a bit more, but the plan is to eventually also get 5 new speakers essentially replacing my whole 5.1 setup.
I will need a new subwoofer since the one that comes with the Z-5500 is proprietary and doesn't sound that great anyway (really boomy and the bass is not very tight).
Any suggestions on recommended speaker bundles and subwoofers are appreciated.

My recommendation would be to concentrate on the receiver first as speakers are a whole separate conversation. With your stated budget, you might find it best to buy the receiver and then slowly step up to your speaker choice. If I were to give advice regarding subwoofers, my recommendation would be to consider a pair of 10" subs for smooth, tight bass.

To start the conversation, my AVR recommendation would be to look at the likes of a Denon AVR1712 (last year's model) or this year's model, a Denon AVR1713. FWIW, as I'm sure you know, technology moves fast as that's what keeps consumers buying. One needs to expect to have to periodically upgrade to the latest and greatest or be left behind. It's an electronic conspiracy, I know, but that's the way it is for us consumers. As to other manufactures and models, I'll let others chime in with their recommendations.

As to speaker choices to look at, a good starting point would be Polk Audio and Pioneer.

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Thanks.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, I indeed don't need networking and while HDMI standby pass-through looks like a cool and useful feature I could live without it.
Though if it means that the RX-V473 has more power and is more reliable I am willing to go for that one instead should I get a Yamaha unit.

Could you explain what you mean with having to run an "extra cable to the tv"?
I don't mind if the receiver does not upscale the source and just passes it to the tv as is.

So if I get what you are saying correctly:
I cannot simply have a single HDMI connection from the receiver to the tv, then connect my wii to the receiver through component cables and expect it to be displayed?
The only thing I can think of with what you mean by running an extra cable is:
Wii connects to receiver with component cables -> receiver connects to tv via other component cables.

Also a few questions in general:
What has your experience been like with the RX-V473?
How useful or effective is YPAO as opposed to roughly calibrating the system by ear?
What kind of speakers do you use in conjunction with the AVR? (as to get a rough idea what I should look for in speakers power wise)

If anyone has any other good suggestions for brands or specific models, I am all ears. smile.gif
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Beeman I will look at some Marantz/Denon units as well.
What I meant with upgrade-ability was being able to actually replace speakers and such, a privilege I didn't really have with the Z-5500. :P
But as said I will use my Z-5500 speakers until I have found some suitable proper speakers since I don't want to skimp on the audio quality.

I will look into your recommendation for a subwoofer.

Keep the suggestions coming people! smile.gif
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 08:01 AM
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I agree with BeeMan458. In my opinion, the Denon 17xx series is the quintessential receiver for enthusiast on a budget (like most of us). Great features and Audyssey MultEQ to boot.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPliskinS View Post

So if I get what you are saying correctly:
I cannot simply have a single HDMI connection from the receiver to the tv, then connect my wii to the receiver through component cables and expect it to be displayed?
The only thing I can think of with what you mean by running an extra cable is:
Wii connects to receiver with component cables -> receiver connects to tv via other component cables.

If you buy an AV Receiver w/o upconversion you can use this for Wii http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-12630&green=22486662030&utm_campaign=MyBuys&utm_medium=Recommendation&utm_source=hcat&utm_term=83-12630

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 08:04 AM
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Lower level AVRs (eg. 373 and 473) generally don't do analog--> HDMI conversion so if you were to connect the Wii via component cables to the AVR, you would also have to connect component cables from the AVR to the TV as well. This can be avoided by using a Wii2HDMI.

Looking at the Z-5500 manual, it appears the speakers connect to the sub with a single wire which would make it difficult to connect to an AVR with +/- speaker posts. You're likely much better served hanging on to the Z-5500 until you have a budget to purchase a new AVR and speaker setup. You could then sell the Z-5500 setup as a whole unit without having to damage the wiring.

The Energy Take Classic 5.1 is often recommended with entry level AVRs and would likely go well with any AVR selected. In the Denon line, you may want to consider either the 1612 or 1712 on clearance sales now.

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the explanation pertaining to connecting my wii, it makes sense now and I will probably get some extra component cables to connect from receiver to tv then.
Question though, is there any disadvantage to connecting my video cables directly from the Wii/PS3 to the tv and just have the audio for Wii/PS3 go through the receiver? Or does this introduce synchronization issues between picture and sound?

There are Z-5500 speaker sets that use proprietary plugs I think to connect to the subwoofer.
But my Z-5500 speakers use normal speaker wire to connect from speaker to the subwoofer (two sperate wires color coded with red and black to signify plus and minus); that shouldn't be a problem then right?
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 08:38 AM
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No real disadvantage and likely no audio sync issues. Although connecting optical from the PS3 won't get you the HD audio codecs on BDs, it's unlikely you would be able to notice a difference anyway and as the majority of your use is gaming, no big issue. As long as your speakers aren't 4-ohm or less (which is common with HTIB setups), then you shouldn't have a problem connecting them directly to an AVR.

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post #11 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPliskinS View Post

Thanks for the info, I indeed don't need networking and while HDMI standby pass-through looks like a cool and useful feature I could live without it.
HDMI pass-through is useful for guests. When houseguests are there and I'm not, I can just set the AVR to pass through the cable TV signal, then hide the AVR remote.biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPliskinS View Post

Could you explain what you mean with having to run an "extra cable to the tv"?
I don't mind if the receiver does not upscale the source and just passes it to the tv as is.
So if I get what you are saying correctly:
I cannot simply have a single HDMI connection from the receiver to the tv, then connect my wii to the receiver through component cables and expect it to be displayed?
The only thing I can think of with what you mean by running an extra cable is:
Wii connects to receiver with component cables -> receiver connects to tv via other component cables.
Yes. Extra cable is not an issue, but this also means that you cannot completely hide your TV remote since you'll need to switch inputs. You might try the Wii->HDMI converter described above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPliskinS View Post

What has your experience been like with the RX-V473?
How useful or effective is YPAO as opposed to roughly calibrating the system by ear?
What kind of speakers do you use in conjunction with the AVR? (as to get a rough idea what I should look for in speakers power wise)

So far I like it. Downsides are that the OSD looks like an Atari 2600, every once in a while the TV screen turns purple and I need to turn everything off and back on again to fix it, and occasionally I hear a little static (not quite a pop) when switching sound modes. I have PSB Image B6 mains and a C5 center (no surrounds or sub yet) and have no power issues, even in the absence of a subwoofer. YPAO: meh. I ran it and it reported the center as small and I didn't like how voices sounded as much after that. I have the EQ off (i.e., flat) and it sounds fine. For listening to CDs, I put it in DIRECT mode (minimal processing) and it sounds even better. Others swear by room correction though so don't just take my word for it.

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post #12 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the RX-V473 specifics.
I am leaning towards getting it since it is just within my price range and will be a significant step up from what I have.

Still looking over some of the other AVR recommendations made here and I think I have enough info to go out and try some of them in a store to make my final decision.

Thanks for the help guys!
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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Thanks for the help guys!

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