I'm looking to replace my 10+ year old Kenwood receiver which is beginning to give me trouble. This purchase would be the first step in upgrading my entire system, which is of a similar vintage as my current receiver. I don't want to have to replace this thing for another decade.Full list of system considerations (Click to show)
This system is going to be used primarily for video (Blu-ray/DVD/HD cable). When we listen to music through it, it's primarily as background; it will not be used for critical or high-volume music appreciation.
Primary considerations (must have):
- Component video out (to feed my existing HDMI-less CRT display, which I am not wishing to replace immediately)
- Support for multi-room, multi-source configuration (minimum 2-zone, 3-zone would be awesome)
- Support minimum of 7.1 channels
- Price of no more than $550 (I'm not afraid of refurb/open box/gently used)
Secondary considerations (like-to have):
- Networked w/ DLNA support (AirPlay support is not a priority)
- Internet music support (preferably Spotify and Pandora)
- Good Android remote app
- Phono input (for the 2-3 times a year I break out the vinyl)
- Support for 4K video (which is simply future proofing)
I'm leaning toward the Onkyo TX-NR717 or it's predecessor, the TX-NR709, which both seem to check all the boxes.Lists of differences between the 709 and the 717 (Click to show)
My initial inclination was toward the newer NR717, but in looking around a bit here, it seems that many are near-apoplectic over the downgrade from Audyssey MultiEQ XT to 2EQ
Features/specs the 717 has
that the 709 lacks
- Rear USB input
- Powered/Line-out Zone 3
- Streaming audio from non-Windows 7/DLNA source
- THX Select2 Plus certified
Features/specs the 709 has
that the 717 lacks
- Audyssey MultEQ XT speaker calibration (v. 2EQ for 717)
- S-Video inputs/outputs
- RS-232 input (I don't know why I'd miss this)
- Activity based, "learning" remote (I use a Harmony remote anyway)
- Solid aluminum front (further reading here tells me that the 709 has a plastic front, so this may be an error in Onkyo features list)
- U-port for HD-Radio and/or iPod dock; I don't anticipate missing "HD-radio" and it appears this proprietary Onkyo port is now dead (or dying)
- "Pure" mode ??
. I have no experience with any speaker calibration system, so I don't understand why this feature is such a deal-breaker for some. I've read the information on Audyssey's site that attempts to explain the differences
(copied below) as well as the "Official" Audyssey thread/FAQ
, but I simply don't have enough depth of knowledge about this stuff to interpret it. From what I can take away, 2EQ doesn't include ANY subwoofer calibration and MultiEQ XT offers "16x filter resolution" v. "x" for 2EQ, though I have absolutely NO idea what that means.
I can accept that MultiEQ is better, but it would seem that this is a feature that I would use exactly once (unless I reconfigure the system or room) and it's something (speaker calibration) that I've been able to do manually with my current system (which sounds decent enough to me).Flavors of Audyssey MultiEQ (Click to show)
FLAVORS OF MULTEQ
Audyssey room correction technology comes in four solutions: MultEQ XT32, MultEQ XT, MultEQ and 2EQ. While they are all built on the same core science, each is designed to operate within the constraints of the available DSP processing power.
Our newest and most accurate room correction solution with more than ten thousand individual control points allowing finer details of the room’s problems to be captured and corrected. The ultra high resolution filters are applied to all channels including the subwoofers, with the most obvious benefit being heard in the low frequency range where correction is needed the most.
Our advanced resolution room correction solution with high resolution equalization filters for satellites and subwoofers. Most products with MultEQ XT are installer-ready and can be calibrated by an Audyssey Registered Installer to provide even higher performance for even the most demanding large or odd-shaped rooms.
Our standard resolution room correction solution that uses mid-level resolution filters for satellites and subwoofers.
Our basic resolution room correction solution that uses basic resolution filters for the satellites, but does not apply a filter to the subwoofers.
* Up to 32 measurement positions with MultEQ Pro. Most AVRs with MultEQ XT32 and
MultEQ XT are installer-ready and can be calibrated by an Audyssey Registered Installer to
provide even higher performance for even the most demanding large or odd-shaped rooms.
I like the 717's rear USB input and support for a third zone, but I'd like to understand more about the Audyssey difference and why that apparently makes such a difference to many of those on this forum
before I make a purchase I'll regret.
Sorry for being so long-winded, I've tried to make the essentials of the post as simple as possible while making the details of my situation available to those who care for more detail. Thanks in advance for your advice.